The Americans with Disabilities Act is Only the First Step

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The Americans with Disabilities Act is Only the First Step The United States of America is founded upon the groundwork that "all men are created equal." America is also viewed as the "land of opportunity," as large numbers of immigrants enter the country in order to make a better life for themselves. These catch phrases used above are an honorable attempt to portray America as a land where everything is fair and everyone possesses a chance to succeed. These slogans, which we so easily state, do not tell the full story, however. Racism and prejudice abound in "the land of the free" and can be witnessed on an almost daily basis. The government endeavors to remedy the inequalities through programs such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is a noble attempt to present all people with a more equal playing field. This program, and others like it, are effective, but it is not the final solution that people often think it is. There is much to be done to gain equality, especially regarding the physically disabled in the work force. The ADA is a foundation upon which a greater sense of equality should be created. The Americans With Disabilities Act was passed in 1990. The ADA strives to guarantee disabled individuals protection from discrimination. Marjorie Baldwin defines a main principle of the ADA when she states, "One of the main objectives of the ADA is to improve the employment prospects of persons with disabilities by eliminating employer discrimination" (Baldwin 39). Under the ADA, a disabled person is one who is limited in one or more life activities by a physical or mental impairment. Through five titles of the act, disabled people are defended from being denied access to a job if they can meet the demands... ... middle of paper ... ...m the government, and the disabled can then succeed and erase the stigmas of society, then true equality can be obtained. This government support is not simply protection from injustice, but a chance to compete equally with the rest of society. Works Cited Baldwin, Marjorie L. "Can the ADA Achieve Its Employment Goals?" Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 25. 4 (1981): 39-62. Charlton, James I. "Nothing About Us Without Us: Disability Oppression and Empowerment." Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1998. Harlan, Sharon L. "The Social Construction of Disability in Organization." Work and Occupations 25.4 (1998): 420-425. Kregel, John. "Why It Pays To Hire Workers with Developmental Disability." Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities 14.3 (1998): 132-135. Nation’s Health. 30.8 (Sept. 2000): 8-13.

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