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Americans with Disabilities Act celebrates 21 years

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is 21-years-old. The anniversary of the ADA's inception occurred on July 26. Thusly, it seems a good time to review some important facts about ADA in Colorado and throughout our country.

Thirty-six million people in the United States have disabilities, about 12 percent of the population, outside of institutions. Americans who live with disabilities stem from all ages groups and gender.

The Americans with Disability Act, here in Colorado and elsewhere, has provided disabled people with the opportunity to work. Employees in healthcare, educational services and social assistance, make up about 22 percent of the disabled population. However, 72 percent of disabled people aged 16 and over are not working. That figure compares with 27 percent of people without disabilities who are not working.

There is work yet to be done as the following statistics illustrate. The median salary for disabled persons 18 and older is $18,865, while for the non-disabled it is $28,983. However, the general population 25 years and older, 28 percent of the disabled did not graduate from high school; as compared to 12 percent for non-disabled.

Individuals with disabilities that have gone on to college make up 13 percent, as compared to 31 percent in the non-disabled population.

When an employee is discriminated against for a recognized disability under ADA, all Americans suffer. Protected persons with a disability have the right to live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, places of public accommodation, commercial facilities and telecommunications.

An individual who believes he or she may have suffered from a violation of these rights might find that talking with an attorney can provide education for enforcing the rights that are guaranteed in this great country.

Source: Associated Content from Yahoo!, "Factbox: Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act," Doreen Fehr, July 20, 2011

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