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Resources for Individuals and Employers to Combat Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination is a serious issue that affects millions of individuals with disabilities every day. This type of discrimination can take many forms, from employment discrimination to accessibility barriers to harassment and abuse.

One of the most common forms of disability discrimination is employment discrimination. This can include failure to hire or promote individuals with disabilities, failure to make reasonable accommodations, and harassment or abuse on the job.

Another common form of disability discrimination is accessibility barriers. This can include physical barriers, such as steps or lack of ramps, or communication barriers, like failure to provide adequate auxiliary aids and services.

Strategies for Individuals Combating Disability Discrimination

To combat disability discrimination, individuals with disabilities can take a number of steps. One of the most important actions is to educate oneself about one’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as other laws that protect individuals with disabilities.

person using wheelchair on a ramp
(Shutterstock)

Another approach is to speak up when faced with discrimination (or if you witness discrimination). This can include filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) if faced with employment discrimination; or filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) if faced with accessibility barriers.

In addition to these steps, individuals with disabilities can also seek assistance from disability rights organizations and legal clinics. Some examples of such organizations include the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Understanding Individual Rights to Combat Disability Discrimination

To gain a better understanding of individual rights, especially as they pertain to combating disability discrimination, check out these resources:

It is important to remember that disability discrimination is a serious issue, and it is imperative to take steps to combat it. By educating oneself about one’s rights, speaking up when faced with discrimination, and seeking assistance from reputable disability rights organizations and legal clinics, individuals with disabilities can work to ensure that they are treated rightfully and with dignity and respect.

an inclusive workplace helps combat disability discrimination
(Shutterstock)

Strategies for Employers to Prevent Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

As an employer, it is crucial to understand and prevent disability discrimination in the workplace. Disability discrimination occurs when an individual with a disability is treated unfairly or less favorably than an individual without a disability. This type of discrimination can take many forms, including but not limited to: hiring and firing, promotions, pay and benefits, and job assignments.

One of the key ways to prevent disability discrimination is to have a clear and concise policy in place that outlines the company’s stance on disability discrimination and the steps that will be taken to prevent it and address it. This policy should be communicated to all employees and should be easily accessible.

Another effective strategy is to provide training for all employees on disability discrimination and the rights of employees with disabilities. This training should be mandatory for all employees and should be updated regularly to ensure that the company’s entire workforce is aware of current laws and regulations.

Employers should also make sure that their workplaces are accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes ensuring that the physical workspace is accessible, as well as providing necessary accommodations, such as assistive technology or sign language interpreters for example, to ensure that individuals with disabilities can perform their job duties.

Finally, it is important to have a process in place for individuals to report any instances of disability discrimination. This process should be easy to comprehend and employ and should be communicated to all employees. It should also include a mechanism for the employer to investigate reported incidents and take appropriate actions if and when needed.

Employers who are committed to preventing disability discrimination will not only be in compliance with the law, but they will also be creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace for all employees.

four hands forming a circle around handicapped symbol
(Shutterstock)

Understanding Employers’ Leadership in Combating Disability Discrimination

For additional guidance on addressing disability discrimination in the workplace, employers may review these resources:

It is important for employers to understand that disability discrimination is not only illegal but can (and more than likely will) lead to a negative work environment and a decrease in company-wide morale. By taking the necessary steps to prevent and address disability discrimination, employers can create a more inclusive and equitable workplace for all employees.

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