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ADA

YOUR RIGHTS: AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a federal civil rights law designed to prevent discrimination and enable individuals with disabilities to participate fully in all aspects of society. It ensures equal opportunity in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications for people with disabilities.

To be protected under the ADA, a person must have a disability as defined by the ADA. This disability can be either physical or mental in nature and it must substantially limit a major life activity such as seeing, hearing, speaking, thinking, walking, breathing or performing manual tasks. A person must also be able to do the job that they want or were hired to do with or without reasonable accommodation.

A reasonable accommodation is any change or modification to a job or to the work environment that would allow a person with a disability to apply for a job and perform the essential tasks of a job. Some common types of accommodations for people with psychiatric disabilities include getting help and support from a job coach, receiving flexible hours and scheduling, and getting time off for treatment of a disability.

For expertise on the ADA, please visit the website run by the U.S. Department of Justice at www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada. They have a very helpful question and answer sheet which will provide you with a lot of information and will help you determine if you are being discriminated against and whether should file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.