The American Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George H. Bush on July 26, 1990 to protect the civil rights of disabled individuals in regards to their employment, public transportation, and access to public establishments (National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, 2012).
In regards to employment for individuals living with disabilities, the ADA outlines regulations and laws that are to be followed by potential employers. One of the regulations states that potential employers may not discriminate against an applicant based on a disability of a potential employee. This regulation is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
These regulations have significant impact on persons living with a disability. Until the American Disabilities Act took effect, persons with disabilities had no recourse for discrimination. Employers could refuse to hire a qualified individual based on the presence of a disability or the employer perceiving the applicant of having a disability. Potential employers could also deny a disabled applicant a position based on not being able to accommodate their disability. With the ADA, employers are responsible for providing reasonable accommodations to a qualified applicant in order for them to properly perform their job responsibilities (The ADA: Your Employment Rights as an Individual With a Disability, 2005). These accommodations include making the work environment handicap accessible.
Although many strides have been made for fair treatment of individuals with disabilities there remain many obstacles. One of these obstacles is the current unemployment rates in the United States. As of October 2012 the unemployment rates in the U.S. were 7.9% for people without disabilities and 12.9% for those with disabilities (Disability Employment Statistics, 2012). One reason for these statistics is that employees that have a disability do not...