Independent Living Center of Mobile

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PROMOTING INDEPENDENCE FOR PERSONS WITH

DISABILITIES IN THE MOBILE COMMUNITY SINCE 1988

Americans with Disabilities Act The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services. Employee Rights Individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination in employment primarily by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides information about these laws. However, ODEP does not enforce these laws. Job Accommodations A job accommodation is a reasonable adjustment to a job or work environment that makes it possible for an individual with a disability to perform job duties. Determining whether to provide accommodations involves considering the required job tasks, the functional limitations of the person doing the job, the level of hardship to the employer, and other issues. Accommodations may include specialized equipment, facility modifications, adjustments to work schedules or job duties, as well as a whole range of other creative solutions. Fair Housing Act The Fair Housing Act, as amended in 1988, prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin. Its coverage includes private housing, housing that receives Federal financial assistance, and State and local government housing. It is unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing or to deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter because of the disability of that individual, an individual associated with the buyer or renter, or an individual who intends to live in the residence. Other covered activities include, for example, financing, zoning practices, new construction design, and advertising. The Fair Housing Act requires owners of housing facilities to make reasonable exceptions in their policies and operations to afford people with disabilities equal housing opportunities. For example, a landlord with a “no pets” policy may be required to grant an exception to this rule and allow an individual who is blind to keep a guide dog in the residence. The Fair Housing Act also requires landlords to allow tenants with disabilities to make reasonable access-related modifications to their private living space, as well as to common use spaces. (The landlord is not equired to pay for the changes.) The Act further requires that new multifamily housing with four or more units be designed and built to allow access for persons with disabilities. This includes accessible common use areas, doors that are wide enough for wheelchairs, kitchens and bathrooms that allow a person using a wheelchair to maneuver, and other adaptable features within the units. Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 generally requires polling places across the United States to be physically accessible to people with disabilities for federal elections. Where no accessible location is available to serve as a polling place, a political subdivision must provide an alternate means of casting a ballot on the day of the election.This law also requires states to make available registration and voting aids for disabled and elderly voters, including information by telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDDs) which are also known as teletypewriters (TTYs). Effective September 15, 2015: A polling official may allow a voter who is physically disabled or over the age of 70 to move to the front of the line at a polling place upon request of the voter. Telecommunications Act The Telecommunications Act requires manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of telecommunications services to ensure that such equipment and services are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, if readily achievable.These amendments ensure that people with disabilities will have access to a broad range of products and services such as telephones, cell phones, pagers, call-waiting and operator services, that were often inaccessible to many users with disabilities.
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