One Year In, Change of Perception Kicks In

Submitted by Jaime Harter on Wed, 02/16/2022
Summary
Once You Are Aware of Your Rights, You Can't Look Back.

Forgive me for sounding ignorant, but I grew up not needing accommodations or wanting to ask for help. I guess you can say that I “unintentionally” oppressed my own disability without even acknowledging my actions.

It wasn’t really until I attended Rochester Institute of Technology for college when I realized that it is okay to ask for help. A variety of options for accommodation requests were handed to me on a silver platter, and I did not even comprehend how convenient it was to get assistance for me.

Ever since I stepped into the field of accessibility, my perception has slowly shifted with the way I look at society. I’m constantly analyzing ramps, accessible entrances, scenarios at doctors’ offices for effective communication, and/or equipment for people with disabilities.

After understanding the processes of achieving ADA compliance in whichever circumstance, I feel obligated to take on the responsibility of spreading the word and helping the community, should they feel that they need help knowing their rights under the ADA.

A variety of examples I’ve encountered that I would like to emphasize:

  • Effective Communication: What kind of auxiliary aids and services are required by the ADA? There are a variety of aids to serve deaf/hard of hearing, blind/low vision, nonverbal people, ranging from interpreters to screen readers to electronic technology.
  • Employment Complaint: Have a complaint against your employer? The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Federal laws against employment discrimination.
  • Housing: The ADA does not strictly cover housing (i.e. private homes, private apartments).The Fair Housing Act eliminates housing discrimination against race, religion, sex, disability, and other protected classes in housing matters.
  • Service Animals: A service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.
  • Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace: Reasonable accommodation is any change to the application or hiring process, to the job, to the way the job is done, or the work environment that allows the person with a disability who is qualified for the job to perform the essential functions of that job.

Rocky Mountain ADA Center is located in Colorado Springs and proudly serves individuals/organizations throughout Region 8 (Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota). There are 10 regional ADA Centers across the United States - Contact Your Region/ADA Center | ADA National Network (adata.org).


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The Rocky Mountain ADA Center's blog, Access Granted, tackles ADA issues through unique and diverse perspectives. Articles are written by staff of RMADAC and a variety of special guest authors. Some may be educational, others might be personal or thought-provoking. Either way, Access Granted will bring you the ADA of today!

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