ADA and Affirmative Action

Aspects of discrimination often influence enactment or changes of laws, public policies or statutes. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) came into law in 1990. The Act prohibits universities and employers from discriminating against persons with disabilities. The Act also demands that institutions must provide reasonable accommodation for disabled employees or students. However, requests from disabled persons that are deemed to place undue hardship on institutions are not permissible. More specifically, the institutions have power to decide on the most convenient option in terms of financial feasibility (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2008).

The ADA allows disabled people to access an education, as well as employment. The move is critical in empowering the disabled persons. Thus, the Act is significant in the creation of an independent society, where each person is able to cater for his/her bills. The ability to meet personal expenses implies that the State does not spend much money on welfare. The Act has also contributed towards the increase in the awareness of the difficulties that those persons with disabilities face. Thus, handling the hardships is more feasible.

It is arguable that the Act is anti-capitalism. Capitalism and the free market economy place demands that businesses should self-regulate. However, the Act requires employers to hire persons who have disabilities. Persons with disabilities require certain facilities or devices in order to work effectively. Thus, the regulations push organizations into spending more funds in preparing to accommodate the disabled persons. It should be noted that one of America’s primary ideals was that no person should impose his or her ways on another. In the case of ADA, it appears that the disabled persons are forcing their way through the legislature. This is because ADA facilitates the violation of the civil liberties of a section of people, while, on the other hand, claiming to uphold those of others. It is also discernable that the ADA has contributed towards the resentment of the disabled persons. Similarly, the continued involvement of the government in the hiring process reduces the chances of the disabled being hired. Although the regulations limit the questions an employer asks, the powers to determine the suitability of persons as employees rests with the employer. Moreover, as Froomkin (1998) found, the definition and interpretation of terms were at the discretion of the employer. In regards to the learning institutions, it is alleged that designated places for the disabled have been reduced to daycare facilities, as students in these facilities are not offered pertinent information due to lack of funds.

Affirmative action has often been questioned. The worst aspect is that it poses more danger to those that it seeks to protect. Similarly, affirmative action might pave the way for abandoning other persons. For instance, holding affirmative action in job promotions would disadvantage both the beneficiaries and the losers. As an illustration, if a region adopts affirmative action to empower Black men based on the idea that the White men are dominant, the former might access opportunities although they would be branded as a favored group. The act also denies qualified persons an opportunity for a promotion. As, Froomkin (1998) observed, reserving opportunities for a given class, race, sex, etc. amounts to reverse discrimination. For instance, it is difficult to convince persons that education and hard work is better than belonging to a group that is assumed to be marginalized. This is because the marginalized groups are favored when affirmative action is employed.

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