Working with Disabilities: The Americans with Disabilities Act
Many persons with mental or physical disabilities find that they are not able to work and seek disability benefits from programs such as Social Security Disability Income, workers’ compensation, and private disability insurance, as addressed in Chapter 7. For many other people, the meaning that they derive from work is the spiritual core that sparks their lives (see Chapter 3). These individuals want to maintain their employment despite their impairments and believe they could perform the essential functions of their jobs if given some accommodations. The law does not recognize an individual right to employment. Nevertheless, the law does provide that all people who want to work, including those with disabilities, are entitled to a fair opportunity to participate in the competitive labor market and it provides for special measures to facilitate access to competitive employment for people with disabilities (Bonnie, 1997d).