The ADA Turns 32

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has protected the rights of people with disabilities for 3...



Posted by Beth Conner on August 17 2022
Beth Conner

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has protected the rights of people with disabilities for 32 years. The act was signed by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990.

During these 32 years ADA has protected those with disabilities not only in the workplace but also in the public sector. As each year has passed, organizations have gained knowledge, understanding, and helped more and more individuals with disabilities (IWD). As a federal contractor or subcontractor, you are also required to abide by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against individuals with disabilities in regard to employment and promotional opportunities in the workplace as well as requiring them to take “affirmative” steps to recruit, hire and retain individuals.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) reported in Fiscal Year 2021 they received over 350 complaints based on disability and 260 complaints in the first half of Fiscal Year 2022. As you can see by the numbers, education and improvements still need to be made.

It’s not too late to share in this year’s theme of “Celebrate, Learn, Share” to spread more awareness to ADA . Here’s how:

“Celebrate”

As with all celebrations we want to let people know and in today’s world we can reach so many people with one little tweet and share. Use the following hashtags on social media, signatures, and logos to spread awareness.

 #ThanksToTheADA  #ADA32  #ADANetwork  #DisabilityPride

“Learn”

If we stopped at the signing 32 years ago, we would not be where we are today, and each day is an opportunity to grow. Take this time to educate yourself and others. There are so many publications, videos, training, and answers to questions available to you. Grow your knowledge.

“Share”

Not only do you want to Share by celebrating, but you may also want to share by telling your story. Sharing your personal story may help other individuals in similar circumstances, it may help them discover an opportunity they never thought about before and help them feel they are not alone.

Under Section 503 part of your obligation is a 7% goal for IWD. If you have less than 100 employees, it is 7% for the entire company, if you have over 100 employees it is 7% for each job group. The regulations require that you invite your employees to self-identify every 5 years with a reminder in between, as our disability status can change. If you have not recently surveyed your workforce this may be a great time to do so. Check out some best practices Section 503 Best Practices Awareness, education, and support is the key to obtaining IWD goals.

Beth Conner
Beth Conner
Beth Conner, HR Consultant, has over 15 years of experience as an HR Generalist, focused the past 7 years in Affirmative Action.

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