Disabled? How Can My Legal Rights Be Protected?

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Disabled? How Can My Legal Rights Be Protected?

People who have disabilities have legal rights which are guaranteed through a range of state and federal laws. That means that if you face discrimination in areas of your life due to your physical or mental impairments you often have recourse. Unfortunately, many disabled people find that their rights are often overlooked when it comes to housing, employment or even public access. It’s therefore important to know exactly what the law says on the subject of discrimination. Here are just some of the ways in which your legal rights are protected.

Discrimination In The Workplace

The ADA and 1973 Rehabilitation Act ensure your rights as a disabled person to work free from discrimination. You cannot be forced to undergo different forms of testing in the workplace from other employees and no employment test can be designed with eliminated disabled people in mind. It’s not permitted to segregate disabled employees or to treat them differently or deprive them of any benefits which other employees can enjoy. Your employee has to reasonably accommodate your requirements in order for you to do your job such as providing you with physical access aids like elevators, handrails and ramps or Braille signage.

Discrimination In Housing

Your rights when it comes to housing are controlled by an act known as the Fair Housing Act which protects disabled people from being discriminated against in terms of property. Landlords cannot refuse to rent a property to a disabled person and it is also prohibited to discriminate in the form of refusal to finance or sell housing to someone with a disability. Disabled people must be able to access all common areas and may not be segregated from any other tenants. Private landlords are obliged to allow for any reasonable changes to a housing unit and some reasonable accommodations may be required like reserved parking spaces and an exception to a no-pet rule for a service animal.

Discrimination In Education

The IDEA controls education for young people with disabilities. Schools are obliged by law to supply all necessary services that disabled children require, not only in terms of their education but also in terms of other services such as help with eating or catheterization.

Public Access Rights

There are several laws who guarantee disabled people access to public services and places including all business locations open to the public such as stores, restaurants and hotels as well as telecommunication services and transportation.

What If My Rights Aren’t Being Adhered To?

If you are being discriminated against in any of these areas you can either file a lawsuit or file a complaint with the appropriate enforcement agency. Seeking professional legal advice is always recommended to ensure that your rights are protected and that you are able to enjoy the full protection that the law provides to people living with disabilities.

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