Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

We are providing meals at our conference. An attendee said she has food allergies. Do we need to have a special meal prepared for her?

In order to be viewed as a disability under the ADA, an impairment must substantially limit one or more major life activities. An individual's major life activities of respiratory or neurological functioning may be substantially limited by allergies or sensitivity to a degree that he or she is a person with a disability.  For example this may include an individual with severe nut allergies, the symptoms of which may include difficulty swallowing and breathing.

If I am using my facility to host a job fair, must I provide a sign language interpreter?

  • When is an organization or business required to provide an interpreter?

Public entities and private businesses have responsibilities under the ADA to furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities. A qualified sign language interpreter is considered an auxiliary aid or service.

Our town has a crafts workshop every spring. Some presenters use big heavy extension cords to run their equipment. Do we have to do anything to cover them?

Buildings or outdoor venues designed for complete accessibility can become inaccessible without proper attention when setting up temporary events such as your crafts workshop.  A poorly placed extension cord can make your crafts workshop venue unusable to people with mobility disabilities. In regards to the ADA, the extension cords need to be addressed if they are obstructing the accessible route or access to craft workshop activities for people with disabilities.

What are some things vets can do?

  • For more information, go the the Making Work Happen website [makingworkhappen.com] and find the Veterans Tutorial.
  • Think through how you want to talk about your disability or disclose it.  Unless you are asking for an accommodation, you do not have to disclose your disability to an employer either during hiring or employment.  Whether you decide to disclose depends on a number of factors:  Your feelings about your disability, whether you need a workplace a

What are some things employers can do?

  • For more information on this, go to the Making Work Happen website [makingworkhappen.com] and find the employer’s a tutorial on veterans with disabilities in the workplace.
  • Consider the workplace climate and culture.  Is there a climate of trust and openness around disability and accommodation?  What actually happens to people with disabilities when they come forward with an accommodation request?  Is there a quick and effective response?  Or is this the first road to termination?  What happens to people with d

Are returning vets with disabilities covered by the ADA?

  • Returning veterans with disabilities are not automatically covered under the ADA.  Their disability must meet the ADA’s definition of disability:  A mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. 
  • In most cases, however, disabilities such as PTSD, TBI or depression would be covered under the ADA.
  • There are two EEOC documenst which can help clarify these issues. 

How many vets will be returning?

  • It’s hard to predict exactly, but it’s estimated that over the next decade, there will be about 1.6 million veterans returning from active service.
  • Since 2001, 2.5 million service members have been deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan—Vets who served since Sept 2001 are called “Gulf War Era II” vets.
  • Among Gulf War II vets, more than a third of these were deployed more than once and nearly 400,000 were deployed three or more times.

Pages