The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted in 1990, is a landmark civil rights legislation in the United States that ensures equal opportunities and protection for individuals with disabilities. The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in various areas of public life, including employment, public accommodations, transportation, telecommunications, and governmental activities.
Right to employment
Under the ADA, disabled individuals have several fundamental rights. Firstly, they have the right to equal opportunity in employment. This means that employers cannot discriminate against individuals with disabilities in hiring, firing, promotions, or any other aspect of employment. Reasonable accommodations must enable disabled employees to perform their duties unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
Right to public accommodations
Secondly, the ADA guarantees disabled individuals the right to access public accommodations. Restaurants, hotels, theaters, stores, and recreational facilities must be accessible to people with disabilities. This includes provisions for wheelchair ramps, accessible restrooms, designated parking spaces, and other modifications necessary to ensure equal access.
Right to public transportation
Thirdly, the ADA ensures that disabled individuals have equal access to transportation services. Public transportation systems, such as buses, trains, and subways, must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes provisions for wheelchair ramps or lifts, designated seating areas, and appropriate accommodations for individuals with visual or hearing impairments.
Right to telecommunication services
Additionally, the ADA safeguards the rights of disabled individuals in telecommunications. Telecommunication companies must provide relay services to individuals with hearing or speech impairments, ensuring they have equal access to telephone services.
Protection from discrimination
Moreover, the ADA protects disabled individuals from discrimination in state and local government activities, including public services, programs, and accommodations. This ensures that disabled individuals can fully participate in civic life and access government services equally with others.
In summary, the ADA guarantees the rights of disabled individuals to equal opportunity, non-discrimination, and access to employment, public accommodations, transportation, telecommunications, and governmental activities. These rights foster inclusivity, promote independence, and eliminate barriers preventing disabled individuals from fully participating in society. The ADA has been pivotal in advancing disability rights and creating a more equitable and inclusive society.
Get help with Delta Center
At Delta Center St. Louis, we can provide you with resources to fight against disability discrimination. Our experienced team is here to help you through our Information and Referral services by researching your options and providing referrals to the appropriate agencies.