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Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

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The Americans With Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The rights of handicapped persons to enjoy equal employment opportunities were established on the federal level with the enactment of the “Rehabilitation Act of 1973” (29 U.S.C. 701-794). Although “not designed specifically as an employment discrimination measure but rather as a comprehensive plan to meet many of the needs of the handicapped” (Twomey, 2001, p.540). The Rehabilitation Act provided three sections (sections 501,503,504) that prevented discrimination in employment. Section 501 was applicable to the federal government itself. Section 503, applied to federal contractors. Finally, section 504 applied to the recipients of federal funds.

On Tuesday, the 23rd of January 1990, a “clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the bases of disability” was established by the One Hundred First Congress of the United States of America in its second session (D.O.L, 2003). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, which is estimated to cover over, 43 million Americans with disabilities, went into full effect in January of 1992. Considered a “Bill of Rights for Americans with a wide variety of disabilities” the act applies to employment, public accommodations, transportation, telecommunications, State and the federal government (Holley, Jennings, Wolters, 2001, p. 424). The passage of the ADA “expanded the scope and impact of laws and regulations” on discrimination against individuals with disabilities (Jackson, Mathis, 2003, p. 112).

The ADA affects more than just employment matters. All employers with 15 or more employees, fall under the provisions of the ADA. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing the “employment provisions of the ADA under the same procedures as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964” (Jackson, Mathis,...

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