New ADA Rules Classify 38.4 Million as Disabled

Commercial Real Estate Agent with REATA Commercial Realty, Inc. Texas 537349

That's a shocking number, I know. But not only did your government enact the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the first place, but also passed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) of which the final regulations were published in the Federal Register on March 25, 2011. Find out more at Questions and Answers on the Final Rule Implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.


From the Q & A and ADAAA:


"These regulations apply to all private and state and local government employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, labor organizations (unions), and joint labor-management committees. The Amendments Act retains the ADA's basic definition of “disability” as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. However, it changes the way that these statutory terms should be interpreted in several ways, therefore necessitating revision of the prior regulations and interpretive guidance contained in the accompanying “Appendix to Part 1630—Interpretive Guidance on Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” which are published at 29 CFR part 1630 (the appendix)."


"Both public comments and comments received during the inter-agency review process under EO 12866 highlighted a variety of limitations in our analysis. Indeed, the alternative that we later present indicates that the figure of 8.2 million people with disabilities used in the preliminary analysis significantly underestimated the number of workers with impairments whose coverage under the law will now be clarified."


"Thus, based on this data, the number of individuals with the impairments cited in § 1630.2(j)(3(iii) could be at least 60 million. In addition, we know that people with many other impairments will virtually always be covered under the amended ADA definition of an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity or record thereof."


"If we assume 64% of individuals with these disabilities are in the labor force, then the number of labor force participants whose coverage is clarified under the ADA is approximately 38.4 million."

"The most recent JAN study, issued September 1, 2010, reported a mean accommodation cost of $1,183, based on 2009 data. Using estimates of both the mean and median cost of accommodations, the preliminary analysis estimated that the ADA Amendments Act and these regulations would result in increased costs of reasonable accommodation of from $19,000,000 to $38,000,000 annually."


For more information visit the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) - the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

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Bob Gibbons

REATA Commercial Realty, Inc. | 1211 E. 15th Street, Plano, TX  75074

972-468-1946 p | 866-439-8015 f | 972-984-8580 m |




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