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The Americans with Disabilities Act and Business

The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 and the subsequent amendments in 2008 have established an environment of diversity in all aspects of American life. Its application to business and employment are very specific. Title 1 of the ADA provides protections to both the business and the individual with a disability.

Title I of the ADA specifically addresses business and applies to employers with fifteen or more employees. Personnel procedures must allow people with disabilities to apply, be hired, advanced or discharged, based on their qualifications and performance, not their disabilities. Employment of people with disabilities, just like all employees, should be paid based on their qualifications. They should receive the same training and benefits as other employees. Medical examinations must be job related and consistent with the employer's business needs. ADA does not cover employees or applicants using illegal drugs.

Accessibility and reasonable accommodations seem to be the catch phrases within ADA. Basically, making a business accessible will meet the needs of both employees and the customers. Good access is good business. The U.S. Department of Labor provides universal design and universal strategies to assist a company to attract and keep a diverse workforce and customer base.

Reasonable accommodations are adjustments to a work setting that make it possible for a qualified employee with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job. Creating access or providing accommodations does not have to be an expensive endeavor. Accommodations can be simple or complex. In fact, fifty percent of accommodation cost under $500.00.

PWDNET, Utah’s Business Relations Team, provides information and training to businesses. Team members are nationally certified to work with business in all areas of the ADA:

  1. Disability Awareness and the ADA
  2. Tapping into Talent: Best practices in hiring, retaining and accommodating people with disabilities
  3. Serving Customers with Disabilities: Reaching out; expanding your market
  4. About Hidden Disabilities: The legal, practical and human side of non-obvious disabilities
  5. Reaching Individuals with Disabilities: Accessibility in private or commercial businesses
  6. Accessible Technology in the workplace
  7. Accessible Web Sites: Everyone benefits!

The Utah Team is not an enforcement agency. All information is confidential. You can be confident the team will assist you in effectively recruiting, hiring and retaining employees with disabilities. For more information contact the PWDNET Team at (801) 538-7964 or leahlobato@utah.gov.

Disability: Dispelling the Myths is an excellent resource published by business, for business. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is committed to developing workforce strategies for businesses, chambers of commerce, and communities to hire, train, retain, and advance skilled workers in the 21st century.

Online resources are also available to business. Learn more at the following websites:

Resources

ADA Homepage is the U. S. Department of Justice website for all information and resources for the Americans with Disabilities Act. Extensive federal resources and publications can be found to assist business.

Rocky Mountain ADA Center provides reliable information, guidance and training on the ADA, tailored to meet the needs of business. This Rocky Mountain ADA Center serves the intermountain states, including Utah.

U. S. Department of Labor Disability Resources provides information and publications on many topics from wages and healthcare to unemployment insurance and technical assistance

JAN (Job Accommodation Network) provides free consulting services for all employers, regardless of the size of an employer’s workforce. Services include one-on-one consultation about all aspects of job accommodations, including the accommodation process, accommodation ideas, product vendors, referral to other resources, and ADA compliance assistance.

Disability.Gov provides information about recruiting, hiring and retaining people with disabilities, as well as the many talents and contributions that employees with disabilities can bring to the workplace. There's also information about assistive technologies, job accommodations, tax incentives, occupational safety and laws that protect the rights of workers with disabilities.

Dispelling the Myths about the ADA . There are many myths about implementing ADA in a business. Dispel the myths and learn the realities of ADA.