About the ADA

There was an interesting comment this week on the website in response to my page One Year Anniversary: Part 1 What I’ve Learned.  I was asked why I would have to quit my job when my vision got worse. The reader asked if the school was not obligated to accommodate me. She cited ADA.

The answer to that question is yes, and no. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to employees with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are defined as “necessary and appropriate modifications and adjustments that do not impose a disproportionate or unfair burden upon the employer.” The burden can either be financial or it can be in efficiency of getting the job done.

On the job I am already being given reasonable accommodations. If you look back in the pages, you will discover I have accommodations in pretty much all aspects of the job. When I do classroom observations, I wear telescopic glasses. I use my CCTV to do file reviews and learn my kids’ educational histories. When I test, I have my testing manuals loaded on an iPad so I can zoom in and read the questions easily. The tech department took days to do that for me! I use my CCTV again to record answers on the answer sheets. When I write reports with the assessment results I use ZoomText. Lots of reasonable accommodations in my work day!

When I become unable to see my kids to do observation, unable to read test questions to them or record their answers, I will have to stop working. Requiring the school to hire someone to do all that for me so I could ‘sort of’ do my job would be an unfair burden. I would not be doing my job, my helper would and the school would be paying two salaries. That is not fair not appropriate.

In basic terms, ADA does not require an employer to carry the dead weight of a disabled employee when she cannot do the job. What it does is allow those who can still function pretty well to keep working by changing just a few things.

The reader asked if learning Braille would not allow me to keep working. That is an intriguing idea and I may research and write a page on learning Braille as an older adult. Braille, however, would not let me keep my school job. Braille will not help me see what types of mistakes Johnny is making on his math papers. Braille won’t allow me to see how Susie is daydreaming in class. Those are integral parts of my job that require sight.

So, to summarize, ADA moves barriers off the playing field so the disabled worker can run down the field himself. Under his own power. ADA does not require the employer to carry the employee down the field on his back. I have reasonable accommodations per ADA but when I cannot fulfill my job duties using them, I am done. ADA cannot help me.

The learning Braille in my 60s idea? I will get back to you on that.

Next: Can An Old Dog Learn Braille?

Home

Ratings

  • Rate this
  • Summary
Current Average Ratings
Overall quality
Avg: 0/5
Applies to topic
Avg: 0/5
Helpful to me
Avg: 0/5
About the ADA
Total Avg Rating: 0.00 out of 5 with based on 0 rating(s)
Overall quality
Applies to topic
Helpful to me