Approximately 54 million non-institutionalized Americans have physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities (Hernandez, 2000). .
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination based upon their disability (Bennett-Alexander, 2001). The protection extends to discrimination in a broad range of activities, including public services, public accommodations and employment. The ADA's ban against disability discrimination applies to both private and public employers in the United States.
Not all individuals with disabilities are protected by the ADA. To be protected, individuals with disabilities must show that they are otherwise qualified for the job they want. They have to prove that they can perform the essential functions of that job with or without reasonable modifications, and they must have a disability that significantly limits them and show that they have suffered discrimination because of the disability.
The ADA prohibits employer discrimination against qualified individuals with a disability in regard to application procedures, hiring and firing, promotions, pay, training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment (Hernandez, 2001). This applies to the entire range of employer-employee relationships, including testing, work assignments, discipline, leave, benefits, and lay-offs. In addition, the ADA prohibits retaliation against individuals w...