A brief history of how it took almost 300 years to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act


The eight-decades-old Fair Labor Standards Act has an exemption that allows companies to pay workers with disabilities “special” minimum wages because they cant perform the task as an able employee would.Its a fantastic illustration of how individuals with any kind of special needs have been reduced to the predisposition– mindful or unconscious– that theyre somehow not whole and mentally and physically capable of doing the work.Bias as old as the U.S. itselfThis bias is as old as the U.S. itself. Formerly, it had actually been presumed that the problems faced by people with disabilities, such as joblessness and absence of education, were inescapable repercussions of the physical or mental limitations imposed by the impairment itself. Enactment of Section 504 evidenced Congress acknowledgment that the inferior social and financial status of people with disabilities was not a repercussion of the disability itself, however instead was an outcome of societal barriers and bias.

Whats less well understood is that in between March and August 2020 a million employees with specials needs lost their tasks, and by December, unemployment amongst this cohort climbed up to 12.3%– which is about two times the nationwide average.One in four U.S. adults (61 million) has some type of disability. The eight-decades-old Fair Labor Standards Act has an exemption that enables companies to pay workers with specials needs “unique” minimum salaries since they cant perform the task as an able employee would.Its a great illustration of how individuals with any kind of impairment have been minimized to the predisposition– conscious or unconscious– that theyre in some way not entire and psychologically and physically capable of doing the work.Bias as old as the U.S. itselfThis predisposition is as old as the U.S. itself. Previously, it had actually been assumed that the issues dealt with by people with disabilities, such as unemployment and lack of education, were inevitable repercussions of the physical or mental restrictions imposed by the impairment itself. Enactment of Section 504 evidenced Congress recognition that the inferior social and economic status of individuals with disabilities was not a repercussion of the special needs itself, however instead was a result of social barriers and prejudices. That case was settled out of court.Overall, though, “the ADA is based on a standard anticipation that people with disabilities want to work and are capable of working, want to be members of their communities and are capable of being members of their communities and that exclusion and partition can not be endured,” Mayerson wrote.


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