According to statistics, one out of five Americans has a disability. If there are more than 300 million Americans today, there should be approximately 60 million disabled Americans out there. Because of this huge number, legislators have enacted a federal law to protect their rights â€“ the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA was enacted in 1990 and since then it had helped many disabled Americans fight discrimination and harassment. The ADA requires employers, companies, building contractors, and government agencies to comply with its conditions to promote the interests and welfare of people with disabilities. Some of these requirements include:
- Constructed buildings should provide accommodations to disabled individuals. There should be a spacious area to cater to individuals who have difficulty in walking.
- Any public area should be available to anyone, whether they have disabilities or not. Disabled people should feel that they are still equal to non-disabled people.
- Hotels and restaurants should have restrooms that can be used easily by people with disabilities. Faucets, flushes, and other functions inside a restroom should not require too much effort from its users.
- Employers should not refuse a person's job application because of his disability. This is often called discriminatory hiring.
- Discriminatory and harassment actions done against disabled employees are prohibited. Employers and employees should not conduct any offensive actions against disabled individuals.
- Companies and establishments should provide "reasonable accommodations" to help disabled people perform certain actions and tasks. Accommodations are "special treatments" for people with disabilities. Employers may not be required to conduct a certain accommodation if it would cause an "undue hardship" to their company.
- Aside from abiding by the ADA regulations, Americans should also comply with other federal and state laws concerning disabled individuals.
These regulations are just derived from the long list of ADA regulations that aim to protect the rights of people with physical impairments. Employers, company owners, businesses, building contractors and government officials should remember that no one is exempted from following the ADA rules. Anyone who would fail to comply with the provisions of the ADA would be penalized accordingly.
Having a disability is a condition that is personally degrading. People should have compassion with them and provide reasonable accommodations to ease their burden and make their lives easier.