Defining Disability Discrimination
A disability is the result of an injury or handicap that makes it impossible for a disabled person to go through his or her day without assistance from either trained professionals or specialized tools – usually both.
Whether you were born with a handicap or if you received your disability from a work injury, the fact remains the same; it is much harder to get by without some form of care and assistance from others. Yet just getting through the day involves a lot more than just completing simple tasks.
In order to get by as a disabled person, it is necessary to maintain a sense of dignity. Unfortunately, there are a wide variety of people and institutions that - either actively or passively - discriminate against the disabled. Anyone who has experienced this form handicap discimination will be able to attest to the severe trauma and humiliation it can cause emotionally, psychologically and even physically.
That’s why it is extremely important to have a disability lawyer defending your rights. While on the surface it may appear that people who suffer from disabilities can get by just fine, you know better. Indeed, the fact is that “just getting by” is a lot more difficult than it seems.
One of the fundamental impediments faced by disabled people is discrimination. Indeed, disability discrimination has played a major role in causing pain and suffering for countless individuals with disabilities. Interestingly, while this form of discrimination often takes an active form, – a job being denied due to someone’s disability, for instance – the cause for disability discrimination can also be a passive one.
What is passive disability discrimination?
A good example of this type of discrimination that affects disabled people was seen a lot more in the past, before disability law began to require greater public accessibility for people with disabilities. At this point, physical access points such building entrances, street curbs and busses were not able to be passed through by persons in wheelchairs or who were handicapped in some other way.
Fortunately, this has changed due to the recent developments in disability law. Now, disabled people who suffer from any form of disability discrimination have their cases seen by a disability lawyer, and now it is not uncommon for entire law firms to be filled with attorneys who are dedicated to protecting disability rights.
One of the integral pieces of legislation that gives the typical disability attorney more legal clout in the courtroom came about in 1990. It’s called the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and may be heard referred to sometimes in the singular form: American with Disability Act.
The disabilities act serves two major purposes in defining disability law. First, it outlines what it means to have a disability. Whether disabled from birth or due to an injury, disability is defined by this act as a condition – mental or physical – which significantly prevents routine activities in life from being carried out. Maintaining a record of this condition and being looked upon by others – individuals or institutions – as having a disability are also prerequisites for qualification under the American with Disability Act.
Disability discrimination under the act can include any one of a variety of practices, occurring in the fields of housing, employment, public accommodations and public transportation access. In addition, it can involve being discriminated against due to connections such as friendship or family relationship with a disabled person.
If you feel you have been discriminated against because of a disability, it is probably a good idea to seek a disability lawyer to see you have a case.