Accessible: Easy to approach,
enter, operate, participate in, or use safely, independently and with dignity
by a person with a disability (i.e., site, facility, work environment, service
Affirmative Action: Proactive
action to accomplish the purposes of a program which is designed to increase
the employment opportunities of certain groups, which may involve goals,
timetables, or specifically outlined steps to be undertaken to assure that
objectives are reached. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not mandate
affirmative action for persons with disabilities, but does require that covered
entities ensure nondiscrimination. Title 5, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation
Act does require that affirmative action be taken in employment of persons with
disabilities by Federal contractors.
Alternate Dispute Resolution
(ADR): A variety of procedures for the resolution of disputes. Each
ADR procedure is a fair and efficient alternative to court adjudication that
must be entered into voluntarily by all parties. Some of the more common ADR
procedures include arbitration, mediation, and conciliation. ADR is encouraged
under the Americans with Disabilities Act to resolve conflicts.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):
A comprehensive civil rights law which makes it unlawful to
discriminate in private sector employment against a qualified individual with a
disability. The ADA also outlaws discrimination against individuals with
disabilities in state and local government services, employment, public
accommodations, transportation, and telecommunication. The law was enacted in
July 1990. The private sector employment provisions (Title I) became effective
for employers with 25 or more employees on July 26, 1992, and on July 26, 1994,
for employers of 15 or more employees. The public sector employment provisions
(Title II) became effective on January 26, 1992.
Auxiliary Aids and Services:
Devices or services that accommodate a functional limitation of a person with a
communication-related disability. The term includes qualified interpreters and
communication devices for persons who are deaf or persons who are hard of
hearing; qualified readers, taped texts, braille or other devices for persons
with visual impairments; adaptive equipment for persons with other
communication disabilities; or similar services and actions.
Essential Job Functions: The
fundamental job duties of the employment position that the individual with a
disability holds or desires. The term essential functions does not include
marginal functions of the position.
Equal Employment Opportunity:
Nondiscrimination in hiring, firing, compensation, promotion,
recruitment, training, and other terms and conditions of employment regardless
of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin or disability.
Individual with a Disability:
A person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one
or more of that persons major life activities, has a record of such
impairment, or who is regarded as having such an impairment.
Job Coach: A person hired by
the placement agency or provided through the employer to furnish specialized
on-site training to assist an employee with a disability in learning and
performing a job and adjusting to the work environment.
Major Life Activity: Basic
activities that the average person in the general population can perform with
little or no difficulty, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks,
walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.
Mentoring: Mentoring is an
educational process where the mentor serves as a role model, trusted counselor
or teacher who provides opportunities for professional development, growth and
support to less experienced individuals in career planning or employment
settings. Individuals receive information, encouragement and advice as they
plan their careers.
Natural Supports: Supports
provided to an employee with a disability from supervisors and co-workers, such
as mentoring, friendship, socializing at breaks or after work, providing
feedback on job performance or learning a new skill together. These natural
supports are particularly effective as they enhance the social integration of
the employee with a disability with his or her co-workers and supervisor. In
addition, natural supports are more permanent, part of the workplace and more
readily available than paid job coaches, thereby facilitating long-term job
Qualified Individual with a Disability:
An individual with a disability who satisfies the requisite skill,
experience, education and other job-related requirements of the employment
position such individual holds or desires, and who, with or without reasonable
accommodation, can perform the essential functions of such position.
Readily Achievable: Easily
accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense.
In determining whether an action is readily achievable, factors to be
considered include nature and cost of the action, overall financial resources
and the effect on expenses and resources, legitimate safety requirements,
impact on the operation of a site and, if applicable, overall financial
resources, size and type of operation of any parent corporation or entity.
Reasonable Accommodation: (1)
Modification or adjustment to a job application process that enables a
qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such
qualified applicant desires; (2) modifications or adjustments to the work
environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or
desired is customarily performed, that enables qualified individuals with
disabilities to perform the essential functions of that position; or (3)
modifications or adjustments that enable a covered entitys employee with
a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are
enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities.
Supported Employment: An
employment option that facilitates competitive work in integrated work settings
for individuals with the most severe disabilities (i.e., psychiatric, mental
retardation, significant learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury) for
whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred, and who, because of
the nature and severity of their disability, need ongoing support services in
order to perform their job. Supported employment provides assistance such as
job coaches, transportation, assistive technology, specialized job training and
individually tailored supervision.
Title V of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973: Title of the law which prohibits discrimination on the basis
of a disability by the Federal government, Federal contractors, by recipients
of Federal financial assistance, and in Federally-conducted programs and
Undue Hardship: With respect
to the provision of an accommodation, significant difficulty or expense
incurred by a covered entity, when considered in light of certain factors.
These factors include the nature and cost of the accommodation in relationship
to the size, resources, nature, and structure of the employers operation.
Where the facility making the accommodation is part of a larger entity, the
structure and overall resources of the larger organization would be considered,
as well as the financial and administrative relationship of the employing
facility to the larger organization.
Programs designed to assist individuals with disabilities enter or
reenter gainful employment.
Sources for these definitions include the Americans with
Disabilities Act, its implementing regulations and Title V of the