In order to strengthen its non-discriminatory framework of laws, the United States of America introduced the Americans with Disabilities Act in the year 1990. The American Disability Act defines disability as mental or physical impairment that is capable of substantially limiting major life activities.
Visual impairment that can be corrected using of prescription lenses and prohibited substance abuse, are certain conditions that have been excluded as physical disabilities, by the ADA.
The Americans with disabilities Act is a civil right law, which deals with the cases pertaining to discrimination against people with certain physical disability. An addendum to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the ADA awards similar protection to physically challenged citizens, as in case of discrimination based on sex, religion, ethnicity and other characteristics.
The American disability act was introduced and included in the year 1990, by the then US President, George H. W. Bush. The act was later amended and the changes were effective as of January 1st 2009. The Americans with Disabilities Act is inclusive of five prominent titles that cover five major areas of an individual’s life.
‘Title I’ covers employment, ‘title II’ deals with public transportation and public entities, ‘title III’ covers commercial facilities and public accommodation, ‘title IV’ pertains to telecommunication, where as ‘title V’ relates to all miscellaneous provisions. The title I of the ADA, clearly states that a person with adequate qualification should not be discriminated, on basis of his or her physical disability, during the employment and post-employment processes.
In all the public places and official buildings, access for physically disabled citizens has to be facilitated with proper equipments and availability of medical services backup. The United States National Rail Road Corporation, along with other passenger transit organizations, has been instructed to comply with the Title II of the Americans with disabilities Act.
The Accessibility guidelines for the Americans with disability Act (ADAAG), ensures full compliance with the provisions in Title III of the ADA, with regards to all new constructions, alterations and modifications of all public and residential constructions. Physically disabled people suffering with speech impairment, deafness and difficulty in hearing have been provided with some relief under an amendment to the 1934 Communication Act.
In the early 1990s, the Title IV of the ADA, made sure that public utility buildings and offices, were equipped with tele-typewriting machines (TTY) along with other telecommunication devices, for ‘partially deaf’ and deaf people. The application of advanced information technology has helped in uplifting communication standards for physically disabled people. Title V deals with miscellaneous issues and strongly advocates the prohibition of any kind of retaliation, coercion, intimidation or threatening of a person exercising rights awarded by the ADA.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, is a flexible law that doesn’t entertain private litigants and may levy civil penalties in the cases forwarded by the Justice Department. If the businesses show bad faith, hostility towards physically disabled people and substantial violation in compliance with the ADA, attract civil penalties and legal actions.