ADA Inclusion

ADA Inclusion

The Facts

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ADA inclusion is a civil rights legislation that works towards increasing the inclusion of people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted 30 years ago with the purpose of improving accessibility and opportunity for individuals with disabilities in the workplace and other aspects of life. 

It's a never-ending endeavor to comply with the ADA and raise awareness about handicap discrimination. Providing ADA training, reviewing business policies and recruiting and hiring procedures on a regular basis, and responding to feedback from disabled employees are all positive steps that can help organizations create a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture while avoiding harsh penalties for ADA violations.

ADA: An Overview

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities and to provide them with equal access to opportunities. The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all aspects of life, including employment, education, transportation, and public accommodations.

The ADA has helped to improve the lives of countless people with disabilities by giving them the opportunity to participate in society on an equal basis. However, there is still work to be done in order to fully include people with disabilities in our community.

Disability discrimination remains a persistent employment issue, despite several indicators of progress, such as ADA-accessible subway stations and recreational facilities. Discrimination based on disability accounted for 33.4 percent of all accusations submitted with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in FY 2019, second only to retaliation claims (53.8 percent).

What Employment Practices are Covered under ADA?

The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate in all employment practices including,

  • Hiring
  • Pay
  • Promotion
  • Termination
  • Job assignments
  • Training
  • Leaves
  • Benefits

And other employment-related activities.

The Act also makes It is also equally unlawful to discriminate against an applicant or employee, whether disabled or not, because of the individual's family, with a disability.

What is Disability Discrimination? 

Treating an employee or applicant (with a disability) unfavorably because they have a disability; failing to provide reasonable accommodations to job applicants and employees who need them to apply for a job, do a job, or enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment are all considered disability harassment.

The ADA covers all aspects of employment, from recruiting, hiring, firing, pay, promotions, job assignments, training, leave and benefits. 

Companies haven’t leveraged the talents of disabled persons for three reasons:

  1. A lack of understanding of the scope of the talent available.
  2. A lack of understanding of the potential benefits.
  3. Misconceptions about the cost versus the ROI of disability inclusion.

The Need for Having Good Disability Inclusion Policies

Creating a work environment that is open and supportive to all people including people with disabilities has the following benefits.

  • Your company is more welcoming 
  • Recruit and retain better talent
  • Avoid lawsuits
  • Boost productivity and innovation
  • Improved shareholder value 
  • Improved productivity
  • Enhanced reputation
  • Improved market share

Ways to Include People with Disabilities

Making our community more inclusive for people with disabilities is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. People with disabilities have a lot to offer, and by making our community more accessible, we can tap into that potential.

There are a number of ways that we can make our community more inclusive for people with disabilities. Here are a few.

  • Recognize the Talents of People with Disabilities

People with disabilities are exceptionally talented, which breaks the stereotype that disabled people are warm and kind-hearted, but not competent. After all, Harriet Tubman had epilepsy, Beethoven was deaf, Richard Branson was dyslexic, and Steven Hawking had ALS. Some of the most successful, popular, and influential people in the world are successful despite their disabilities.

  • Providing Accessible Transportation Options

This can include things like making sure there are sidewalks and curb cuts for people who use wheelchairs, as well as providing accessible public transportation.

Another way to make our community more inclusive is by making sure that public places are accessible to people with disabilities. This includes things like making sure there are ramps and elevators in public buildings, as well as making sure that Braille signage is available.

  • Value Each and Every Person’s Perspectives

To maintain a safe and equitable workplace for its members, the ADA is committed to a culture of diversity and inclusion. In this setting, representation is important, and every member is given a specific opportunity to contribute meaningfully. Diverse perspectives and needs are heard, respected, and treasured.

To foster innovation and growth, assure a relevant and sustainable organization, and give purposeful value to members, prospective members, and stakeholders, the ADA encourages diversity and inclusion. The American Dental Association's dedication to diversity and inclusion will enhance the dental profession, improve public oral health, and attain optimal health for all.

  • Practice Inclusivity

Make sure your team and leadership represent a varied spectrum of individuals and viewpoints. Getting input from employees and clients with disabilities when developing everything from internal policy to new products to client-facing marketing campaigns ensures that you are meeting their requirements rather than making assumptions. 

  • Work to Overcome Bias

Inclusivity isn't only a concern for persons with disabilities; it affects everyone in your company. Follow up with education targeted at encouraging understanding and awareness of the unique problems faced by persons with disabilities, as well as the necessity of inclusion, once you've set the objective and expectation for diverse and inclusive company culture. 

Adopt a policy of using People's First Language (PFL). An Individual's first language is a manner of speaking that focuses on the individual rather than their handicap, demonstrating respect for people with disabilities. Instead of stating "impaired consumers," you would use "customers with disabilities" if you were considering changes to your shop space for your clientele. This acknowledges their limitations and helps you to be more flexible.

Final Thoughts

The ADA law establishes minimum accessibility standards for facility renovations and new construction. It also mandates that public accommodations eliminate obstacles in existing structures where doing so is simple and inexpensive. When serving people with impairments, this title instructs businesses to make "reasonable adaptations'' to their customary procedures. It also compels them to take the necessary steps to properly interact with clients who have vision, hearing, or speech impairments. So let's all work together to make our community more inclusive for everyone!

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