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The Americans with Disabilities Act protects your rights

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against people of certain backgrounds. This includes those with disabilities along with others.

Thanks to the ADA, people with disabilities can apply for any job without the risk of being discriminated against during the hiring process or during employment. To obtain these protections, you must have a qualified disability.

What qualifies as a disability?

A disability includes any mental or physical impairment that restricts your activities. For instance, having to be in a wheelchair could impact your ability to drive or go to school in certain circumstances, making it a disability.

People who have disabilities can often work in the same positions as others with reasonable accommodations. For instance, someone in a wheelchair may be able to complete a job if he or she has a ramp instead of stairs in the workplace. This would classify as a reasonable accommodation.

What is reasonable accommodation?

Reasonable accommodation includes modifying work schedules, modifying or adjusting training materials or policies and making sure that the workplace is available and usable by those who have disabilities.

Employers only need to provide reasonable accommodation when those accommodations don't cause undue hardship. Accommodations vary by the individual, so each person should be prepared to discuss their needs with potential or current employers.

With the right accommodations, most individuals can perform any job. Employees have a right to work and to be treated fairly by law, regardless of their disabilities, so long as they can complete their work. If you're unfairly fired or refused work, you can pursue a claim against the discriminatory employer.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act," accessed Jan. 11, 2018

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