Term Paper: American With Disabilities Act

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[. . .] This leads to increase worker productivity through greater understanding and cooperation of the special needs and modifications required by Americans who have disabilities. Not only are relations improved, but education leads to improved hiring practices that allow more opportunities for applicants with disabilities to become part of the workforce. With increased awareness, the employers gain a greater understanding of the advantages of employing persons with disabilities.

Annual Estimates of Individuals to be served in Florida

Estimated numbers of individuals projected to be determined to be eligible and served during fiscal year 2001-2002 are based on three years of historical data.

Number of applicants projected to be determined eligible by the Agency in fiscal year 2001-2002 (Florida State Disability Plan, 2002)

NUMBER ACHIEVING EMPLOYMENT OUTCOME

TOTAL COST

Title I

Title VI-B

One major goal of the DVR Employment Services Unit is to help employers in locating, and then hiring qualified job applicants. DVR representatives work closely with employers to identify prospective employees with basic skills or those who are willing to be trained for the job. Not only are the prospective employees trained, but it is also imperative to train the supervisors and co-workers so they will gain an understanding of working with disabled people.

One of the main reasons employers become interested in the tax incentives that are available. This area creates an interest in gaining more knowledge concerning the hiring of disabled people, and then the training leads to greater benefits that are beyond tax incentives. A greater kindness and understanding is developed when people have proper training and exposure to people who have disablity.

However, even with Florida's training program to help employers with the hiring process of the disabled, supervisors should avoid any questions on applications asking about disablities or any related questioning during the interview process. Instead, they should focus on the deficiencies they have observed during the meeting. Awareness of what not to do is an approach that will prevent employees' personal problems from becoming employers' legal problems (Segal, 1997).

Even employers with employee assistance programs, such as Florida's should abide by that approach. Non-disabled workers can also sue you under the ADA. The employee assistance program will focus heavily on substance abuse and other emotional disorders, and a supervisor who refers an employee to an employee assistance program may actually be helping the employee's attorney prove that the worker was perceived as having a disability. To address that problem, the employer should implement a uniform policy on referrals. For example, you could routinely refer all employees to an EAP as part of the final step of discipline or corrective counseling. That way no individual worker could credibly claim you perceived him as being disabled.

There will always be cases filed concerning the ADA laws and regulations. Modifications have been made concerning education, definitions, and specifications. Fortunately, the law has helped disabled individuals lead more productive lives without feeling overlooked or hindered by society. It has also given disabled Americans the opportunity to experience freedom of independence where otherwise they might not have had that chance.

The Future of Florida's Disabled Employees

Florida has worked to develop partnerships with potential employers. These employers will offer opportunities for the development of meaningful jobs and careers to the disabled. Jobs will include working at home, telecommuting, non-traditional employment, self-employment, use of trial work plans, and the development of opportunities in rural areas of the state. The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Agency works on a continuous basis to coordinate and expand efforts with partners while working with employers to explore meaningful job openings which pay better wages and also provide employee benefits.

The DVR has not only addressed the working needs of the disabled, but also includes plans for assisted or independent living for the disabled. Outreach to the local community and educational programs inform people about the special needs of the disabled. Each of the efforts are backed by the federal government. In the document, Self-Evaluation to Promote Community Living for People with Disabilities (2002), the following future goals are defined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services:

To increase innovative and strategic partnerships across Federal agencies to promote the employment and retention of people with disabilities in the Federal government.

To increase the use of technology to disseminate information about employing people with disabilities.

To utilize reviesed policies and guidance on the Federal employment of adults with disabilities

To improve agencies' capacities to recruit and retain people with disabilities.

To expand efforts to employ people with disablities through dissemination of information at meetings, conferences and other means.

Challenges of Marketing Disabled Employees

Reeder (2002) states that there are two main challenges to placing the disabled. One is to provide adequate training for the disabled individual, and second is dispelling the myths in the outside world about the disabled. Training the disabled can be an issue. Since many disabled workers didn't finish high school their educational background is lacking, training becomes an issue.

However, the development of staffing companies that are trained specifically to meet the needs of the disabled offer built-in testing, training, screening and assessment programs. With these evaluations available, individuals have the opportunity for their skills and aptitudes to be measured. After completing this assessment, the counselor can access each job and break it down into required tasks and essential skills.

In conclusion, employers should actively seek out ways to attract the disabled worker through local or national organizations such as the Florida Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. They should also look for assistance from organizations such as the National Business and Disability Council for help to become sensitized to working with people with disabilities. There are many resources available that provide information and counseling regarding accommodations for the disabled. An employer should also explore alternative avenues for interviewing and testing potential applicants, such as a corporate Intranet, the Internet, TTY and interpreters. An employer should remember to look at the skills the person brings to the job opening, not the disability.

Dupont (Redder, 2002) conducted a thirty-year study and found that disabled workers had job performance equal to or better than fully functioning peers. They also had a 90% above-average job performance, with safety and attendance records that exceeded their co-workers. Not only were they shown to be very dependable, but they were far more loyal to the hiring employer, and thus more resistant to more lucrative offers elsewhere.

While employers are obligated to hire employees with disabilities, they will find that they will also benefit. The Legislation was written to protect and help the disabled American, but this Act also educated communities that physical or mental limitations could be overcome with determination and commitment.

Works Cited

Bretts, H. "Disabled." World Book Encyclopedia. 1994.

Carelli, R. (1999). "High Court will Review Law Shielding

Rights of Disabled." Associated Press. [Online] Available http://www.oregonlive.com/news/99/01 / st010905.html.

Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Retrieved November 25, 2002, from: http://www.rehabworks.org/

Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. (2002), Florida State Rehabilitation Plan.

Retrieved November 25, 2002, at http://www.rehabworks.org/admin/Publications/files/state_plan_2002.doc

Hofmann, M. (1998) "ADA Among Cases on High Court Docket."

Business Insurance.

Legal Information Institute. [Online] Available:

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/unframed/42/ch126.html. Accessed July 24, 2001.

Reeder, J. (2002). The Disabled: 26 million people looking for work. Retrieved November 26, 2002 at http://www.sireview.com/articles/disabled.html

Segal, J. (July, 1997). "Looking for trouble? HRMagazine, (42) 74.

Westreich, L. (2002). "Addiction and the americans with disabilities act." Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry & the Law, 30(3), 355-363.

United States Census Bureau. (1997). TABLE 1. Distribution of Earning and Benefits Received by Individuals 21 to 64 Years Old by Disability Status. Retrieved November 25, 2002, at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disability.html

United States Department of Health and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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