Americans with Disability Act (ADA): An Eye Opener
A salute is not enough to honor those thousands of dedicated military personnel stationed around the world just to provide security to many people. These veterans deserve more than an honorary token and recognition for their bravery and dedication to protect the country and their citizens. Among all the jobs in the world, you can even categorize military jobs as one of the most toughest and dangerous career. However, despite of the dangerous nature of their jobs, they haven’t given the appropriate protection and rights that they worth for the past years. That is why most of military personnel decide to leave their duty and tend to return to their previous job before they enter into the service while others choose to seek for a new job.
Generally, they are exposed to inherently dangerous situation because of their work’s nature. In this condition, serious and life-threatening injuries were being incurred by these military personnel’s sometimes leading into physical damage, disorders and fatality. They suffer these service-related disabilities for the rest of their life. Most of the veterans have this type of service-connected disability thus including spinal cord injuries, hearing loss, missing limbs, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), burns, traumatic brain injury, and more. These military veterans reflect how much pain and sweats they’ve spent in their service.
In this realization, a law was enacted by the Congress in 1990 by the help of Sen. Tom Harkin. The law was approved by Pres. George H.W Bush in July 26, 1990 and amended later with changes in January 1 of year 2009. These was called as American with Disability Act (ADA) which aims to provide protection for the veterans with disability. Abided by this law was the prohibition of discrimination, improper and unfavorable treatment of disabled veterans in the place of work based on their disability. ADA also offers regulations and equal rights for veterans who are searching for jobs and even to those who are already in the workplace. Some of the guidelines and scope of ADA includes the following:
- Prohibits employers from unfavorable treatment to his/her employee or applicant in all the employment aspects. These includes job assignments, terminations, hiring, training, promotions, and other privileges, terms and conditions of employment-due to disability or having history of such disability. Moreover, the employer should not refuse to hire veterans with an irrelevant assumption of disability, previous diagnosis of certain disability, or because of the reason alone that he has a disability due to presumption that he is only capable of doing light job.
This also prohibits disability-based retaliation, discrimination or harassment thus degrading his morale or causing physical assault. Furthermore, employees and applicants with disability shall also be given equal benefits and privilege same as normal employees do. They are entitled of reasonable job accommodation, enjoy their benefits, and perform their jobs having a sense of belongingness in their work.
- Those veterans with service-connected disability will only be entitled with the ADA protection if he meets the definition of disability described in the ADA, these includes the following: individuals having a mental or physical impairments which limits one or more life activities substantially; has a medical record of such impairment; or regarded having such kind of impairment. A person with disability in accordance with ADA’s definition is qualified to if he was able to meet the employer’s job requirements such as training, skills, employment experience, education, licenses, and was able to do or perform the job’s fundamental duties even without reasonable accommodation.
- There should be a public accommodation like facilities or places that are specially designed for the individuals with disabilities. Under the Title III of the ADA, there should be a modification, construction or alterations in the facilities of the workplace (also includes transportation and other places) and should get rid of architectural barriers in the place thus complying with the provision. However, facilities with historic properties should also comply to the title III of ADA but without destroying or threatening the historic features and significance of the facility.
- There is also other accommodation which veterans can use for his need for any job application or performing his job. He can make use of the following: recruitment fairs, tests, interviews and training held in places or accessible locations; Telecommunications like modified devices or equipment’s using assistive technology which allows blind or deaf person to communicate with their employer or other job-related personnel (e.g. technologies which allows blind individuals to use computer, or assisted devices like phones which can be used by deaf or persons having a hearing problem for communicating).
Veterans having a disability can now take part and participate in all society’s aspects. They are not a liability but an asset which can contribute to the success of the economy and as well as the country. All of the people are equally created be it a normal person or a disabled one because very person are significant in building a progressive society. Thanks for the help and protection of ADA, veterans or persons with disability will never get disregarded.