What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990?
It states that all state agencies
must comply with Title I of the ADA and as such prohibits employment discrimination
against "qualified individuals with disabilities." It is a national mandate to
provide access to all aspects of American life to people with disabilities.
What Do ADA Employment
Employment provisions of the ADA
require good faith efforts by an employer and an employee who is a qualified individual
with a disability to identify reasonable accommodations that permit the employee to
perform the essential functions of the position.
What does the ADA cover?
Access to facilities, programs, services, activities
Other miscellaneous provisions
Who is an individual with a
An individual who meets the skill,
experience, education, and other job-related requirements of a position held or desired,
and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of
a job. The ADA definition of an individual with a disability is very specific. A person
with a "disability" is an individual who:
has a physical or
mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of his/her major life activities
has a record of
such an impairment; or
as having such an impairment.
Who is a qualified
A disabled individual whose
experience, education, and/or training enable the person, with reasonable accommodation,
to perform the essential functions of the job.
What are major life activities?
To be a disability covered by the
ADA, an impairment must substantially limit one or more major life activities. These are
activities that an average person can perform with little or no difficulty. Examples are:
walking, seeing, speaking, hearing, breathing, learning, performing manual tasks, caring
for oneself, working
What is substantially
An impairment is only a
disability under the ADA if it substantially limits one or more major life
activities. An individual must be unable to perform, or be significantly limited in the
ability to perform, an activity compared to an average person in the general population.
The regulations provide three factors to consider in determining whether a persons
impairment substantially limits a major life activity:
What is reasonable
Any modification or adjustment to a
job, an employment practice, or the work environment that makes it possible for an
individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity. This obligation to
provide a reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment. This duty is
ongoing and may arise any time that a person's disability or job changes.
An employer must make a reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental
limitations of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless it can show that
the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the operation of its business. An
employer does not have to make an accommodation for an individual who is not otherwise
qualified for a position.
Some examples of reasonable accommodation include:
facilities used by employees readily accessible to, and usable by, an individual with a
reassignment to a
modifying equipment or devices
modifying examinations, training materials, or policies
qualified readers or interpreters
An employer is not required to lower
quality or quantity standards to make an accommodation. Nor is an employer obligated to
provide personal use items, such as glasses or hearing aids, as
A qualified individual with a
disability has the right to refuse an accommodation. However, if the individual cannot
perform the essential functions of the job without the accommodation, s/he may not be
qualified for the job.
What is an undue
It is an accommodation which is
excessively costly, extensive, substantial, or disruptive, or that which would
fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business.
In determining undue hardship,
factors to be considered include the nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to
the size, the financial resources, the nature and structure of the employers
operation, as well as the impact of the accommodation on the specific facility providing
An employer is not required to provide an accommodation if it will impose an undue
hardship on the operation of its business. If the cost of an accommodation would impose an
undue hardship on University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the individual with a disability will
be given the option of providing the accommodation or paying that portion of the cost
which would constitute an undue hardship.
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