On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act went into effect to provide individuals with disabilities with more accessible opportunities for employment and life. A basic Americans with Disabilities Act summary starts with five basic divisions: employment, public services, public accommodations, telecommunications, and a miscellaneous category. Each provides basic information about accommodations that employers and service providers must make for individuals with qualifying disabilities.

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Currently, the Americans with Disabilities Act defines people with disabilities as having symptoms or impairments that substantially limit their ability to move or interact with the world. These impairments can be physical, mental, and sometimes even emotional, although they must be well-documented to qualify. Currently, this act only applies to businesses that have 15 employees or more, so long as they are not government based businesses. Government based businesses must comply with the act regardless of their size.

The most litigated aspect of the Americans with Disabilities Act is typically what the act means when it says that reasonable accommodations must be made. Reasonable accommodations have a number of varying definitions, depending on the situation, the individual, and the type of disability. Most of the time, a reasonable accommodation is a change that a business or public accommodation or service could make without incurring an unreasonable burden. In other words, if it would cost $50,000 to install a handicap accessible entrance, a business might not be obligated to make this change. Conversely, if it would only take a little more time to train an individual with a disability to serve as a quality employee, then the employer cannot choose not to hire him or her because of the disability or use it as a reason not to promote him.

If you need help figuring out how to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, we can help you find a lawyer.

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