Do you have a job and live with a chronic illness or condition that leaves you unable to do certain activities? (aka living with disablities?) Do you believe that you are well aware of your rights given by the Americans with Disabilities Act? Are you shaking your head, YES?
Most likely, you’re misinformed.
Just ask any human resource professional. She’ll tell you about the number of employees who come to her office with incorrect ideas about this Federal Act. If she’s honest, she’ll share how most supervisors know even less. And, if she’s really into “letting her hair down”, she’ll tell you that most HR folks are just as clueless about what this piece of legislation actually DOES in a court of law (even with the recent amendments).
The things is that the problem is not that most people don’t know about the ADA. Quite the contrary. Most managers in the workplace have heard enough to quake in their boots when these 3 letters are even mentioned. Clients tell me horror stories of managers who won’t hire or promote a person with chronic illness because they’re worried that somehow, because of the ADA, they could be facing a lawsuit some day.
In a terrific article, Sandy Lahmann describes just this situation: Equal – But not Special. FYI- Sandy was a cicoach.com client who demonstrates what strategic thinking and sheer grit can do. She’s the 2007 winner of the Colorado Ski Country USA’s Adaptive Athlete of the Year Award among her numerous other accomplishments – check out Sandy’s website.
I wonder if the ADA doesn’t do more harm than good to people with chronic illness? More often than not, we don’t use visible assistive devices or even have a consistent disabling condition.
What do you think?
Prefer to “discuss” this in a more private forum? I’ve posted this as a discussion on my cicoach facebook fan page. You don’t have to be “on” facebook”.