Persons with disabilities are a minority group in the United States. As per the Social Security Advisory Board, the federal government first allocated funds for state-run disability assistance programs when they first began. A disabled individual must be deemed to be entirely and permanently disabled to qualify for benefits.
The Disability Insurance Program amended this definition in 1956. Disability is the failure to engage in a substantial gainful activity because of the presence of any medically determined physical or mental impairment that has the potential to result in death or that lasts an indefinite period. Throughout history, holistic definitions of disability were adopted, such as those used in the original definition were limited to an occupational scope. In the United States, present-day consensus upon disability relates to impairments that physically or mentally prevent individuals from engaging in significant life activities or perceiving such a disability.
In the U.S., five primary laws which protect persons with disabilities from discrimination while employment and the recruitment process:
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The Rehabilitation Act
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act
The Civil Services Reform Act.
Many employers and employees might know the ADA, but the anti-discrimination policies of the other federal laws may be less familiar. A person with a disability is prohibited from discriminating based on their disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA assures individuals with disabilities equal participation in employment, public accommodations, transportation, and state and local government services.
Moreover, two sections of the American Disability Act that deal with employment:
Title-I of the act prohibits employers from discriminating against disabled employees in all aspects of the workplace, including hiring, paying, providing benefits, and terminating employees. Participants in the program include private companies, educational institutions, labor organizations, state and local governments, and educational institutions employing 15 or more employees.
A person with a disability can get protection from discrimination in government programs and services under Title II: State and Local Governments.
Various activities and purposes related to disability are authorized under the Rehabilitation Act. These include state vocational rehabilitation programs, independent living programs, training, research, and the National Council on Disability activities.
Law requires applicants with disabilities to be provided with reasonable accommodations unless doing so will cause undue hardship to the agency. Such as access to the workplace, adjusting the interview process, and adjusting the benefits and privileges of employment. It is necessary to disclose and share information about the disability with relevant individuals to receive accommodations at work or in the application process. A company’s job posting, website, or materials may include information about the procedure for requesting accommodations.
Documentation, Disclosure by Individuals, and Programs
An employer can satisfy their requirement for documentation by requesting a letter stating that they are disabled. Any entity responsible for providing disability benefits, such as a physician, a licensed medical professional, or a licensed rehabilitative professional, may write a letter. As per the law, the disclosure of, or the sharing of, information about the disability is a personal decision. During an interview, the interviewer has no right to ask about the candidates’ disabilities. Furthermore, during an interview, the interviewer should ask questions regarding the candidates’ qualifications for the position and how they would perform their responsibilities. An interviewer must portray the candidate positively and emphasize their strengths and assets in a job application. Students and recent graduates with disabilities can connect with federal employers via the Workforce Recruitment Program nationwide. In the United States, the Division of Disability Employment Policy administered this program at the U.S. Department of Labor. This program offers many advantages to individuals with disabilities.