Who qualifies for disability under the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in order to protect people with mental or physical handicaps. Under the ADA, employers cannot legally discriminate against someone because they have a disability. It also compels public transportation, telecommunications and government buildings to make their services accessible to those who may have trouble walking, hearing, seeing or are disabled in some other way.

This federal law does not explicitly state qualifications that someone must meet in order to fall under its jurisdiction. It does include, however, those who are physically or mentally disabled in a way that has a major impact on their everyday lives. This can include those who use wheelchairs or canes/walkers, cannot see or hear well, has trouble speaking or in some other way has trouble performing ordinary tasks.

Under the ADA, every person has the right to live fully, including work. As such, employers are required to offer equal opportunity to all who apply, regardless of disability. In addition, if an employer makes an offer to someone with a disability, they must make reasonable accommodation for them to work there, such as a ramp or allowing a service dog.

When a person with a disability is discriminated against in the workplace, it can become a federal crime. If you live in Wisconsin and feel you have faced workplace discrimination based on your disability, it is important to file a complaint with the local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office, located in Milwaukee. You should also consult an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the next steps of the legal process. 


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