Academic journal article International Journal of Management

In Search of Disability Resource Information in the United States: A Managerial Perspective

Academic journal article International Journal of Management

In Search of Disability Resource Information in the United States: A Managerial Perspective

Article excerpt

Census 2000 counted 49.7 million people with some type of disabilities in the United States of America. This estimate, however, excludes people in the military, war veterans, and those who are committed to institutions. In order to ensure equal opportunity for all people with disability, U.S. Congress extended the 1961 Civil Right Act to include people with disabilities by passing American with Disability Act in 1990, and continuously funded a number of organizations for providing various types of support services to people with disabilities. This paper attempts to search for the existing disability resource information centers in the U.S. and urges the development of disability management strategies utilizing this information for improving the workplace and the employability of their employees with disabilities.

Introduction

Census 2000 counted 49.7 million people with some type of disabilities in the United States of America (1). This represented 19.3 percent of the total 257.2 million people who were aged 5 and older in the civilian but non institutionalized population, or nearly one person out of five of the U.S. population (2). This estimate, however, excludes people in the military, war veterans, and those who are committed to institutions. In order to ensure equal opportunity for all people with disability, U.S. Congress extended the 1961 Civil Right Act to include people with disabilities by passing American with Disability Act in 1990.

American with Disabilities Act (ADA)

American with Disability Act (ADA) ensures equal opportunity for people with disabilities, and prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. It also applies to United States Congress (5). ADA protects an individual who has a disability or has a relationship or association with an individual with a disability.

An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA, however, does not specifically, name all of the impairments that are covered, but takes the determination and recommendation of a licensed physician in this respect.(5)

Title 1 of ADA requires all employers with 15 or more employees to provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of opportunities available to others normal employees. Religious and educational entities with 15 or more employees are also covered under title 1. (5).

Title II of ADA covers all activities of State and local governments regardless of the government entity's size or receipt of federal funding. Title II requires that State and Local governments give people with disabilities an equal opportunity from all of their programs, services, and activities (e.g. public education, employment transportation, recreation, health care, social services, cowl, voting and town meetings). They also must provide access in inaccessible older buildings, communicate effectively with people who have hearing, vision, or speech disabilities. They are required to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination, unless they can demonstrate that doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity being provided. (5)

Title III of ADA covers businesses and nonprofit service providers that are public accommodations, and privately operated entities offering certain types of courses and examinations, such as schools, colleges, and universities. It also covers privately operated transportation, and commercial facilities, such as airlines, buses and retail outlets (5). …

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