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Legislation & policy

Americans with Disabilities Act

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies, and labor unions with more than 15 employees and prohibits discrimination in employment against any qualified individual with a disability.   A qualified individual with a disability is someone who can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation.

The ADA was amended in 2008 to restore the civil rights of Americans with disabilities and overturn four Supreme Court decisions that had inappropriately narrowed the protections of the ADA.  The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, signed by the President on September 25, 2008, emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the ADA and generally shall not require extensive analysis.

For more information about the ADA and enforcement, click here.

Rehabilitation Act

The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination based on disability in any programs conducted by federal agencies, receiving federal funds, in federal employment and in the employment practices of federal contractors. 

Section 501:  Requires affirmative action and nondiscrimination in employment by federal agencies of the executive branch.

Section 503:  Requires affirmative action and prohibits discrimination by federal government contractors and subcontractors of more than $10,000.

On December 11, 2011, the President proposed a rule to ensure equal employment for people with disabilities for Federal Contractors. To learn more, click here.

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Section 504:  Prohibits discrimination based on disability in any programs conducted by federal agencies or receiving federal funds.  This includes accessibility requirements and reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.

Secion 508:  Requires federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees. 

National Defense Authorization Act

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provides the annual authorization for the Department of Defense.  The NDAA includes provisions for disability retirement pay for individuals who are disabled from being wounded in action.

AAPD monitors reauthorizations of the Act and promotes benefits for disabled veterans.

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AAPD Resources

Employment Fact Sheet

Know your rights under the ADA.

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The American Association of People with Disabilities:

Promoting equal opportunity, economic power, independent living and political participation for people with disabilities.

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