I have spoken to many disabled people who feel angry in today’s society. They are angry that they have been mistreated in today’s society. Angry that they have been denied jobs. Angry that they are being treated unequally just because of their disability. I say it is time that disabled people take a stand everyone and fight for what is justly theirs. I have studied the American’s with Disabilities Act which was passed by Congress in the 1990’s and it is just what people need to fight society’s mistreatment of disabled people.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is designed to make sure that employers carefully look at every employer regardless of race, creed, color or disability. If a job doesn’t require that a person use a part of their body that is disabled, then it is unfair of an employer to refuse to hire a candidate because of that. The American with Disability Act makes sure that the best and most qualified individual receives the job. There is one particular case that exemplifies the power of the American with Disability Act and useful it has become to disabled people.
In Jameson vs. Knight the case was about a woman who was denied a job position because she was handicapped as a paraplegic. She had lost all nerves from her waist down and was paralyzed, losing all movement in her legs. She worked in a wheelchair on her job as a news reporter for a television news station. She worked their successfully for about ten years, winning an award in her field for journalism and leading her station to new highs in viewer audience in her regional location. She also received a bachelor’s in English and received a masters degree as well. She applied to a television news station in Nebraska which was a higher paying job. Her main competition was another woman who didn’t have as high of an education as she did, and had not been a reporter for as many years. When the case reached the Supreme Court, the court ruled in favor of the paraplegic woman in her use of the Americans With Disabilities Act. While the employer had stated that the paraplegic woman couldn’t be hired because she was not a mobile individual and the company did not have the money to pay for a wheelchair accessible van, the court ruled against him. The court stated that the employer’s company was fully capable financially of paying for the costs of the wheelchair accessible van. The court ordered the television company to pay the paraplegic $100,000 in damages in court.
This case shows that by standing up for yourself you can get self respect. The American With Disability Act was also important in making employers aware that there are consequences for not treating disabled people the same as other people without disabilities. It also makes employers take into account the nature of the disability and whether the person really needs that part of their body to perform the job. For example, a person who is a secretary and sits at a desk all day typing on a computer would not need use of his or her arms to perform their job function; they would only physically need use of their hands.
The next you, you as a disabled person feel you are being mistreated, consult the American with Disability Act and consult a lawyer to see if you have been mistreated and how you can rectify the situation.