30 years after the ADA, disabled workers continue to fight for employment equality

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The passing of the civil rights law ushered in a new beginning for workers with disabilities. Unfortunately, an unintended consequence of the bill is companies’ hesitance to hire more of these workers and offer accommodations. Street curbs must be wheelchair accessible. Discriminating against disabled job candidates is illegal. Businesses must remove any architectural barriers when updating existing facilities. Read Full Story

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It’s time to end the law that lets businesses pay less to people with disabilities

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In 2020, businesses can still legally pay their employees with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage—we need to put an end to this. The continued struggles of women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities to achieve equality in the workplace are partly the result of societal and cultural forces, but they differ in at least one key respect: The law explicitly enables employers to pay workers with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. In other words, under the law, individuals with disabilities may earn less than their colleagues who are not disabled due to a trait they cannot change. Read Full Story

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The ADA has shaped physical space for 30 years. The internet hasn’t caught up

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On the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, its author reflects on why it’s so important—and how far we still have to go when it comes to digital accessibility. This summer, the United States is marking a momentous milestone: the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA. The act, of which Tony was the primary author, was without a doubt the single most important piece of legislation for an entire generation of Americans with disabilities. It so dramatically changed daily life in America—mandating physical measures such as handicapped parking spots and accessible restrooms, equal rights for service in restaurants for patrons with disabilities, and equal pay for workers with disabilities—that today, younger Americans with disabilities can hardly imagine the realities we both faced. Read Full Story

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4 reasons why hiring disabled workers is good for business

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The pandemic has hit the disabilities community particularly hard. This founder of a startup that makes software more accessible warns that’s a major loss for your innovation. Everyone has been struck by the pandemic, but the individuals who typically fail to be taken into account in society and business have felt some of the harshest blowback of all. Diverse employees have been facing greater challenges , work-related stress, and fear for their professional futures more than non-diverse workers. A million U.S. workers with disabilities lost their jobs between March and August last year, and by the end of 2020, the unemployment rate for the community reached 12.3% —nearly double the 6.2% national average. We need to be springing into action now to make sure the most vulnerable groups in society aren’t excluded from tomorrow’s workforce. Read Full Story

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COVID-19 effect: How Mable pivoted to support vulnerable Australians

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Mable is an online platform which connects people with disability and older Australians with independent care and support workers, nurses and allied health professionals in their community. It differs from other provider models, as it gives more choice to both users and the independent support workers, so they feel they’re in control – something that can often feel ‘taken away’ in these groups.

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Employers need to address their workers’ mental health. Here are 3 ways to start

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Since the pandemic started, some workers are in crisis and could be at risk for longer-term mental health issues, which can impact business productivity, healthcare costs, and disability absence. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic fallout are creating nothing short of a mental health crisis for American workers, which isn’t surprising when you consider that more than 40 million Americans have recently lost their jobs and millions more have had their work hours or pay reduced. Of those fortunate enough to still have jobs, many are working long hours at home, away from colleagues but constantly connected through always-on digital channels and email. Others are in roles that require contact with the public and come with a higher risk of infection as a result. Read Full Story

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