If you've been injured on the job, or if you were born with a disability that makes it difficult to find conventional employment or educational opportunities, you should know that there are laws designed to protect you in the workplace and beyond. Here are just a few ways that you can exercise your rights as a disabled citizen in the U.S.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA is the single largest piece of legislation concerning people with disabilities. Not only does it prohibit discrimination against those with "physical or mental impairments," but it also protects the rights of disabled citizens in everything from hiring practices to public transportation. If you're disabled, you legally cannot be denied employment, promotion or benefits because of your disability. You also can't be fired because of it. You're entitled to take the same buses and apply for the same jobs as non-disabled citizens.
The Rehabilitation Act
The Rehabilitation Act is a matter of funding; it ensures that disability-related programs always have the money they need to operate. It also requires three different types of federal employers to use affirmative action in the hiring and retaining of disabled citizens. If you're looking for a government job, you should know as soon as you walk in the door for an interview that you can't be discriminated against by your potential employer.
The Fair Housing Act
While the Fair Housing Act doesn't apply only to people with disabilities, it covers the disabled under its anti-discrimination policies. According to the Act, no landlord can reject your application based on race, religion, gender or disability. You also can't be denied a home loan or refused by a real estate company because of your disability status. If you think you've been unfairly treated by a bank, Realtor or landlord, contact a disability attorney immediately.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
IDEA exists to protect children with disabilities. They can't be denied an education because of their impairments, and depending on things like parental income, they might also qualify for special intervention or assistance programs. If you're struggling to find a school for your child with special needs, government-funded programs can help, and it's all thanks to IDEA.
Social Security Disability
If you are disabled to the point that you literally cannot work the job you have in the past, or any other full-time job, you may be entitle to SSD benefits. This is something that you must be able to prove, and a Social Security Disability lawyer can help you to do so. It’s important to work with someone who has a great understanding of the disability law surrounding SSD.
If you're disabled in America, it's important that you understand your rights in order to live a happy, productive and successful life despite the hand that you've been dealt.
Work-At-Home Mom who quit years of corporate life to take care three kids full time. Fond of cooking, reading books and determined to master housekeeping. Created this blog to share about career, job, human resource, hobbies, sports and travel