Has The ADA Broken Its Economic Promises To People With Disabilities?

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on Has The ADA Broken Its Economic Promises To People With Disabilities?

In 1984, Donna Walton was working as a news assistant at a newspaper in Washington, D.C., when she decided she wanted to learn more about the production of the paper. She requested a transfer and got one, arranging the artwork and graphics on the newspaper pages every day. There was just one problem: The job required her to stand for long periods of time, which was difficult because of her prosthetic leg. She asked if she could take breaks to sit, but her employers refused. Soon after, she lost her job.

Walton said she’ll never know for sure if — as she suspects — she was fired because of her disability, but she doubts that her experience would have been the same today. “There was nothing in place to protect individuals,” she said. “We didn’t have any power against employers.”

That was 31 years ago, six years before Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA was a landmark piece of legislation that banned employers from discriminating based on disability and mandated access to government services as well as public facilities like buildings and transportation. This year is its 25th anniversary, and advocates are taking stock of whether the ADA has achieved its goals of equal opportunity and access. What it doesn’t seem to have done: improve employment and overall economic conditions for disabled Americans.

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Source:  http://fivethirtyeight.com/