What Is The ADA Act, And How Has It Helped The Disabled?
There are many different kinds of handicaps that an individual can have, some are more obvious than others, but each has its own needs for assistance that can make or break whether those afflicted can work, shop or thrive in the modern world. At a certain point in time, July 26, 1990 to be exact, the far-reaching Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted and now the doors have been permanently opened for those with disabilities. They now have complete access to bathrooms, stores, parking, hotels, and employment due to the ADA.
What Is The ADA Act And How Does It Affect Businesses?
Some of the changes are quite subtle but make a huge difference for those with certain disabilities. If you’ll notice that many of the round door knobs have been disappearing and being replaced with easy to grasp levers, then you can see the effects happening.
Some simple changes that a business can make can be a huge lifesaver for anyone with a disability. Wheelchair ramps are now commonplace at almost all larger stores, and all new stores are being built with easy access entries including automatic doors, no steps, and disabled parking nearby.
Inside the store, there will be bathrooms with extra wide doors to accommodate a wheelchair, and inside a special toilet designed to be the same level as most wheelchairs with handles built into the walls, plus automatic water faucets and hand dryers. This is not only good for business, but it’s the law of the land from now on.
How The ADA Affects Employers
America had a serious problem with not allowing many partially disabled people access to good jobs that they were qualified to do. Obviously, it’s far more beneficial for both the economy and the individual to be able to get to work, make a good living, and pay taxes into the system like everyone else. The alternative is to accept defeat, stay home and collect government handouts while living a life of depression and poverty.
By making a few changes many employers found that some of the best workers were those with some physical disabilities but with a strong work ethic and high intelligence. By finding parking, making the building accessible, and creating a workspace around the disability that they may have, a qualified hard working individual gets added to the tax rolls and becomes a strong contributor to society.
What Is The ADA Act’s Affect On Hiring?
It imposes restrictions on employers from requiring applicants to take medical exams and questions about the particular disability before a job offer is made. It is possible for the employer to ask whether an applicant can do certain types of work that are required in the performance of a job. And to ask an applicant how they would perform a certain task or function on the job.
Basically, there are a lot of important parts of the ADA that need to be further studied if a company’s intention is to hire disabled workers or accommodate them in the workplace. Care must be taken to make sure regulations are followed correctly, but also that a good match is made between an employer and employee that could end up being a long-term relationship that benefits both parties.