Association

Association is a part of Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is meant to protect a person from being discriminated against because they have a relationship with a person who has a disability. (This protection applies to all people, regardless of whether they themselves have a disability.) Association applies across the different areas of the ADA, including Title I (employment) and Title II (accessing the programs, services, and activities of state and local government). And for Title III, association can apply to accessing the goods and services of businesses and nonprofit organizations that are open to the public. For example, if an employer refuses to hire a person because the job applicant has a child with a disability, then the employer is violating the association provision of the ADA.

Auxiliary aids and services

Auxiliary is an adjective describing something that provides additional help. The terms auxiliary aid and auxiliary service describe communications tools or assistance offered to someone with a sensory disability. For example, a pen and paper can improve communication with a person who is Deaf or hard of hearing, as can text messaging on smartphones. Additional examples include sign language interpreters and Communication Access Real-Time Captioning (CART), as well as TTY for telephony, Braille and large-print reading materials, and audiobooks.

Barrier

A barrier prevents access for a person with a disability. The most common barrier referred to in the ADA is a physical barrier, also known as an architectural barrier.

Braille

Braille is a system of raised dots that may be used as one type of substitute for print by individuals with visual impairments. The raised dots provide tactile information, and are meant to be felt instead of viewed. Braille letters do not feel like—or look like—the English alphabet. The dots are arranged in small groups, with each group representing a letter or a group of letters. Not all people who have a visual disability can read Braille.

Built environment

Built environment means places that are made by people. Examples include office buildings, schools, hotels, theaters, sidewalks, parks, airports, and bus stops.

Captioning

Captioning is displaying audio as text on a screen or other visual device. Captioning can occur at a live event, such as a lecture. Captioning can also be applied to a recording, such as a movie. Captioning includes both the spoken word and other sounds that are important to an event or communication. To be effective, captioning must be timely, complete, accurate, and efficient. There are two general types of captions: closed and open. Closed captions, often identified by [CC], are available in a separate stream from a given media source. Closed captions can be turned on or off by the user. Open captions are “baked” into the media and are always visible.

Department of Justice

The US Department of Justice, often abbreviated as DOJ, is responsible for issuing rules for Title II (state and local government) and Title III (businesses and nonprofit organizations that are open to the public) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The DOJ is also responsible for enforcing these rules, though the DOJ works on enforcement with several other federal agencies. For example, it works with the Department of Education on education-related enforcement and the Department of Transportation on transportation-related enforcement.

The DOJ has adopted the physical access requirements developed by the United States Access Board. This made them enforceable under the ADA, and now they are known as the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

Also, The Civil Rights Division of the DOJ has created a useful website, ADA.gov.

Department of Labor

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) contains the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). ODEP funds the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service that offers free information about workplace accommodations.

Disability

Disability has different definitions depending on where and how it is used. In the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), disability means that a person has a substantial physical or mental impairment or a history of one, or is treated as if they do, by a group or entity covered by the ADA.

See also: Who Is Protected by the ADA?

Disability-related inquiry

A disability-related inquiry is a question asked by an employer about whether a person has a disability. The question can be direct or it can be such that an answer would likely reveal the information. A disability-related inquiry might occur during a job interview, where a prospective employer might ask a job applicant about a disability. It might also occur once an employee is hired, for example if an employee’s manager asks these sorts of questions.

See also: The ADA and Employers

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