Sunday, September 14, 2008

ADA Law Expanded

Last Thursday, the Senate approved major legislation that would expand protection against workplace discrimination for people with disabilities and overturn several Supreme Court rulings that have affected many. In the past decade, the courts decisions have created "catch 22" where people with serious conditions could be forced to choose between treating their conditions and forfeiting their protections under the ADA, or not treating their conditions and being protected by the law. They were unfair to the people with disabilities. The bill is to ensure protections for people with disabilities who are trying to keep their jobs. The Supreme Court has ruled that a disabled person using medication to control his condition or a device to mitigate his impairment (such as a hearing aid), is not considered disabled. I wear hearing-aids and I am legally deaf but when the courts say that when I am wearing hearing-aids, I am no longer considered "disabled". Therefore, congressional bill HB 3195, "The Restoration Act of 2007," was introduced in the House and passed this year, clarifying the ADA to restore it to its original intent. The pros and cons of ADA implementation should be of interest to all persons with a disability and we are to understand the new law after the President signs the bill.

This bill also defines that a condition can be classified as a disability even if it is in remission or occurs episodically which often refer to people like me who have Multiple Sclerosis. I am healthy and most of the time, I am fine except when I have a relapse.

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