Defining Disability and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 

image that says Disability Inclusion and Disability Rights are Civil Rights

People with disabilities are not “them,” they are “us”. Nearly everyone is affected by disability in some way. Odds are that you, or someone you know has a disability – about one in four of us will at some point in our life.  One in ten Americans of working age have a disability.

Disability is the only protected class that spans all economic, racial, gender and religious groups. And disability is the only such group that you can join at any time – often without warning.  

Disability Inclusion in the workplace is a recognition of the value that people with disabilities can bring. Employees with disabilities are reliable, have a great retention rate, and are as creative and capable as anyone else. And they increase the diversity of your workplace, which leads to a more agile and robust modern workforce. 

You don’t have to be a lawyer to comply with and interpret the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It’s simple: people with disabilities have the right to equal access to a workplace. The civil rights struggle that brought us the ADA was long and hard, and it continues today. 

But the ADA is not primarily about compliance, or about forcing you to do anything that’s not in your company’s best interest. It’s about recognizing opportunity, thinking outside the box, and recognizing that a lot of your business needs can be met by employing people with disabilities. It’s good for you and your business. People with disabilities spend a lot of time learning to solve problems. Which employers benefit the most from good problem solvers? All of them!  

Each week during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we are featuring one module on a workplace disability inclusion topic. For a bite-size learning opportunity about disability and the ADA, and what it means for your business, please take about 20 minutes with our video for module one. It will be worth your time. And make sure to check out all the modules in the Disability Inclusion Bite-Sized Learning series.

For more information on hiring people with disabilities, please contact one of our Vocational Rehabilitation Services Employment Specialists. We’re ready to help connect you with great candidates! 

Return to the National Disability Employment Awareness Month blog page.