A civil rights law, The Americans with Disabilities Act, was passed in 1990 in order to protect individuals with disabilities in many areas of life including jobs, schools, public or private locations, or transportation. The Act, which celebrates its 29th anniversary today, July 26th, ensures that individuals with disabilities are afforded the same rights as those without disabilities.
In honor of this, we wanted to explain a little more about what exactly make up the five separate sections (titles) of the ADA.
Title I – Employment
Title I of the ADA, which is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice, entitles individuals with disabilities to the same employment opportunities and benefits as those without disabilities so long as the employer in question has at least 15 employees. Reasonable accommodations must be offered to those applicants with disabilities who are otherwise qualified. A “reasonable accommodation” is one that enables the employee to do their job without any “undue hardship” to the employer. An employer cannot refuse someone employment for a position that they are otherwise qualified for, simply because of their disability. Nor can they be terminated for the same.
Title II – Public Services: State and Local Government
Title II of the ADA, which is also regulated and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice, prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities with respect to public entities, such as state and local agencies. It provides that these entities offer services, activities, policies, procedures, and programs that are accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Title III – Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities
Title III focuses on the rights of individuals with disabilities in public places, whether or not they are privately owned (e.g. restaurants, movie theaters, and sports stadiums). It defines the minimum standards necessary for any new construction and explains that existing public places must remove barriers wherever necessary. They are obligated to make “reasonable accommodations” for customers with hearing, vision, and speech disabilities, so long as they do not constitute undue hardship to the owner.
Title IV – Telecommunications
Title IV, which is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission, requires that telephone and Internet service companies create services that allow individuals with speech or hearing impairments to communicate. An example of this is closed captioning of federally funded public service announcements on TV.
Title V – Miscellaneous Provisions
Title V of the ADA includes other provisions that focus on the whole of the ADA, such as its relationship to state laws, insurance benefits, retaliation, and more. It also provides a list of which conditions are not considered to be a disability for purposes of this Act.
Individuals deserve to be judged on their experience and abilities – not their disabilities. When an entity does not comply with the rules of the ADA, an individual with a disability who is involved may have a case. Disability cases can be difficult to prove, which is why it is so helpful to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable disability attorney.
At Caddell Reynolds we service our clients with disabilities with pride. We will fight for any SSD benefits to which you may be entitled! To learn more about what you are entitled to or to schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-671-4100 today!