Critique of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Affirmative Action Bshs422

Topics: Disability, Discrimination, Lyndon B. Johnson Pages: 6 (1991 words) Published: March 3, 2013
Critique of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Affirmative Action BSHS/422

Critique of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Affirmative Action Violations of civil liberties and acts of discrimination are often precursors to the creation or modification of laws and public policy in a moral society. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and affirmative action are both examples of moral society demanding change. Both were the result of the Civil Rights Movement and the Individuals with Disabilities Movement that advocated for needed social change. The following critique will provide a brief history of each and some popular arguments of proponents and opponents for both public policies. Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act was the result of the individuals with disabilities movement in the United States that challenged social barriers excluding the disabled from communities, the educational system, and employment opportunities, and fought against the cultural norm of institutionalization (Mayerson, n.d.). According to Affirm Able Action Associates (2013), The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is the most significant civil rights legislation to be enacted by congress since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The ADA makes it illegal to discriminate against anyone who has a mental or physical disability in the area of employment, public services, transportation, public accommodations and telecommunications. (para. 1) In addition, “The ADA prohibits discrimination in … job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. It applies to recruitment, advertising, tenure, layoff, leave, fringe benefits, and all other employment-related activities” (Affirm Able Action Associates, 2013, para. 4). The ADA also mandates organizations make reasonable accommodations that allow the disabled access to the aforementioned areas. Proponents of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Proponents of the ADA argue the act promotes and supports the education (public service) of the disabled and results in gainful employment; hence, allowing the disabled self-sufficiency and independence. This reduces reliance on government programs and government spending on disability programs like social security that support disabled individuals who cannot support him or herself. Moreover, the reasonable accommodations mandate of the ADA ensures equal access to public transit, public housing, access to public restrooms, and buildings in general, thus overcoming physical barriers previously present, which prevented the disabled from participating fully in society. Opponents of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Opponents of the ADA claim the inclusion of disabled students in the classroom disrupts learning and takes valuable time away from able-bodied students. Recent studies show; however, that the inclusion of disabled persons in the classroom has no adverse effect on able-bodied students (National Institute for Urban School Improvement, n.d.). In point of fact, inclusion promotes social skills, patience, commitment to moral and ethical principles, and social advocacy for the disabled (National Institute for Urban School Improvement, n.d.).

Opponents also argue that the expense of providing reasonable accommodations is too cost prohibitive for small businesses. According to the United States Department of Labor (n.d.), The majority of workers with disabilities do not need accommodations to perform their jobs, and for those who do, the cost is usually minimal. … two-thirds of accommodations cost less than $500, with many costing nothing at all. Moreover, tax incentives are available to help employers cover the costs of accommodations, as well as modifications required to make their businesses accessible to persons with disabilities. (para. 12) Additionally, businesses with fewer than 15 employees...

References: United States Department of Labor. (n.d.). Employers and the ADA: Myths and facts. Retrieved from
University of California. (2002). A brief history of affirmative action. Retrieved from
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