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PRCIL offers ADA information: Who is protected?

PALESTINE, July 5, 2014—Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects qualified individuals with disabilities from employment discrimination.  Under the ADA a person has a disability if he has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The ADA also protects individuals who have a record of a substantially limiting impairment and people who are regarded as having a substantially limiting impairment.

To be protected under the ADA an individual must have a record of or be regarded as having a substantial, as opposed to a minor, impairment.  A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, walking, learning, working, performing manual tasks, or caring for oneself.

In order to be protected by the ADA, an individual with a disability must be qualified to perform essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation.

This means that the applicant or employee must:

Satisfy the job requirements for educational background, employment, experience, skills, licenses, and any other qualification standards that are job related; and

Be able to perform tasks that are essential to the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.

The ADA does not interfere with the right to hire the best qualified applicant.  Nor does the ADA impose any affirmative obligations.  The ADA simply prohibits an employer from discriminating against a qualified applicant or employee because of their disability.

For more information, contact Palestine Resource Center for Independent Living (PRCIL), 421 Avenue A, Palestine, Texas, 903-729-7505.

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