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E – 1439 A Brief Introduction to the Americans with Disabilities Act

Intended Audience: all engineers



For individuals with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act gives civil rights protections similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. Using a question and answer format, this course provides a brief and accessible introduction to the ADA, a complex law that engineers with even minimal supervisory responsibilities must comply with and understand.

This course is intended for all engineers who have supervisory responsibilities of any kind.

This course is based on a document created from a website (http://www.ada.gov/qandaeng.htm) of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, last updated on November 14, 2008.

Learning Objectives

At the successful conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss:

  • Being familiar with the types of employment and facilities covered
  • Being familiar with the definition of a “qualified individual with a disability”
  • Knowing the rules on when medical examinations can and cannot be required
  • Knowing when applicants can be asked to self-identify as disabled
  • Understanding “reasonable accommodation”
  • Understanding “undue hardship” on the operation of the employer’s business
  • Being familiar with requirements for accessible facilities
  • Understanding essential and marginal job functions
  • Understanding when a “direct threat” to health or safety is present
  • Understanding “readily achievable” barrier removal for existing facilities
  • Knowing about available tax credits and deductions for employers

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