Visibility Vol 11 Issue 3 & 4, 2017

Workplace Discrimination and Visual Impairment: Still a Concern Following the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act

Employment plays an important role for most adults in the U.S. as it fulfills a desire to interact with society. However, for individuals with disabilities, including visual impairments, unfair workplace practices may prevent employment or satisfaction with employment (Kielhofner, 2008). Despite the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) enacted to protect individuals with disabilities in the workplace, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to receive formal charges alleging workplace discrimination. Before the ADAAA, a majority of the discrimination charges from individuals with visual impairments were deemed non-meritorious by the EEOC, thereby determining discrimination against the employee had not occurred (Unger, Rumrill, & Hennessey, 2005). Yet, following the passage of the ADAAA, there were no studies addressing the laws’ effectiveness with protecting individuals with visual impairments against workplace discrimination. The purpose of this study was to determine where to focus professional efforts for individuals with visual impairments based on the outcomes of filed discrimination charges. The proposed research question was ‘Are there associations between outcome resolutions before and after the enactment of the ADAAA regarding a visual impairment?’

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