Americans With Disabilities Act Analysis

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The Americans with Disabilities Act: The purpose of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was to protect the civil rights of disabled Americans, as well as put an end to discrimination, and to make adjustments to better accommodate the disabled. When presented to Congress, the Act surpassed party lines and gained support and popularity very quickly. While in theory the ADA seems revolutionary and helpful; in practice it presents the disabled with numerous problems, most of these arise in the form of red tape. The ADA has been called the most meaningful act since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Activists said, “’It’s the first declaration of independence and equity for people with disabilities…It’s like the Berlin Wall coming down’” (O’Brien 162). The ADA is divided into five titles each addressing a different area of concern for the disabled. Title I protects the disabled from discrimination in the work place. Since the adoption of the ADA, Title I has had little impact on the rate of disabled people being hired for new jobs; furthermore, disabled individuals facing discrimination in their current jobs have found little justice through new legal avenues provided by Title I. Most cases are filed by disabled workers who are requesting appropriate accommodations from their employer, in many of these instances; accommodations entail slight adjustments to the employees’ work area by installing ramps or railings. Unfortunately, many employers see the adjustments as a hassle and disabled employees are forced to work in subpar conditions. The act presents disabled workers with a catch 22: it places disabled workers into two categories; the worker is either too disabled to be working at all, or they are not af... ... middle of paper ... ...abled is difficult to address. Society continues to hold on to ancient ideals, and the lack of support in the judicial system only reinforces the sentiment of inequality. The ADA was passed in an effort to end discrimination and prejudice in American society, and to better accommodate the disabled. While the act gives a clear outline of what rights a disabled person is entitled to; it does not clearly enough define who exactly is allowed these rights or protections, because of the use of vague language, and diagnosis’ being assigned by judges rather than doctors the disabled have seen little change as a result of the ADA. Works Cited: O'Brien, Ruth. "Two Horns of a Dilemma: The Americans With Disabilities Act." Crippled justice: the history of modern disability policy in the workplace. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2001. 162-205. Print.

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