This week marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the positive impact the ADA has had on the lives of individuals with disabilities – and to take stock of your organization’s policies and programs.

Are You Doing Your Part?

The landmark civil rights legislation was passed in 1990 to protect individuals from discrimination and to support their full participation in the workforce, education and communities. The ADA anniversary serves as a reminder that employers have a legal obligation to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal job opportunities and are able to fully participate in the workforce. 

In meeting these obligations, consider taking these steps this year:

  • Ensure that appropriate processes are in place to provide individuals with disabilities the accommodations they need to participate in the job application process, perform essential job functions, and enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment.
  • Review all personnel policies, manuals and handbooks to ensure they clearly prohibit discrimination based on a disability and explain the availability of reasonable accommodations.
  • Analyze your recruiting, hiring, promotion, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination and rehiring procedures to ensure the most qualified individuals are advancing.
  • Confirm that your job descriptions set forth the actual and essential functions an individual must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Examine your web and physical accessibility to identify and remove barriers.
  • Train supervisors and managers to recognize disability discrimination and enforce your policy against it.