WASHINGTON -- Three federal government agencies today released a new guide explaining rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that apply to individuals with disabilities who are receiving Social Security disability benefits but who want to become employed. The document, entitled A Guide for People with Disabilities Seeking Employment, was the result of a joint effort involving the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
"The new guide is significant because it will help benefits recipients with disabilities, many of whom may be new to the workplace, understand their rights to be free from employment discrimination," said EEOC Chairwoman Ida L. Castro. "This collaborative effort by the federal government will bring about tangible results by assisting people with disabilities enter the workforce at an increasing rate."
The guide sets out the ADA's key provisions, including the definition of "disability" (which is different under the Social Security Act), and an employer's obligation to make "reasonable accommodation" for applicants and employees with disabilities. The guide also explains the process for filing a charge with EEOC if an individual believes that his or her rights under the ADA have been violated.
"It is important that these individuals who are returning to work, some after long periods out of the workforce, understand their rights under the ADA. This guide demonstrates our agencies' ability to work together to ensure that these individuals re-enter the workforce knowledgeable about their ADA employment rights," said William R. Yeomans, DOJ's Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.
"This guide provides practical information for Americans with disabilities who want to return to work," said Ken McGill, SSA's Associate Commissioner for Employment Support Programs. "We are committed to providing timely, accurate and easy-to-understand information to our customers as we implement each phase of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Act."
The SSA will make more than 150,000 copies of the guide available, in English and Spanish, to recipients of Social Security disability benefits seeking employment. Additionally, EEOC and DOJ also will offer a limited number of copies of the guide upon request. The text of the guide, as well as further information about EEOC (www.eeoc.gov), SSA (www.ssa.gov/work), and DOJ (www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada), is available on the respective web sites of the three agencies.
This page was last modified on April 4, 2001.
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