ADA25: #3 of 25 — Title I

[Video description can be found below. If you use a screen reader and need to access the caption file transcript, go to “More…” and click on “Transcript”]

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has several titles, NAD Attorney Debra Patkin explains Title I of the ADA. View the entire #ADA25 series at

Video begins with an off white vintage background. Three black and white photos appear. First photo shows a group of people marching, one holds a NAD poster. Second photo shows another group of people marching, one holds a poster “We Shall Overcome.” Third photo shows President Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act. Text appears “ADA25 — Americans with Disabilities Act”. Video flashes to white then to Debra Patkin inside NAD Headquarters. On bottom left corner, “#ADA25” appears as a light watermark. On bottom right corner, the NAD logo appears, also as a light watermark.

DEBRA: As enacted, the ADA has four titles. Title I pertains to employment. The scope of Title I is broad, protecting your rights as an employee in all stages of employment, including applying and hiring, job performance, job training, conditions, promotion and termination.

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations for (1) essential functions of the job and (2) to allow for the enjoyment of benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities. Examples of “benefits and privileges are:  birthday parties, multi-purpose rooms granted for personal use. Employers must make these two elements accessible by providing reasonable accommodations. Reasonable accommodations pertaining to deaf and hard of hearing employees include: qualified interpreters, CART, Videophone, TTY, visual alerts, transcribers/notetakers.  Reasonable accommodations also include reasonable modifications to policies, such as allowing service animals or allowing reasonable modified work schedules. What is reasonable depends on the individual and the situation.

Employers with 15 or more employees must comply with Title I. Title I covers state/local employers, but not federal employers. Federal employers are covered under a different law. There may be state laws that apply to employers with less than 15 employees.

If you believe you have been discriminated against by a place of employment, you must first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It is important to be aware that EEOC imposes strict time limits for filing complaints. Some state laws may have shorter time limits, watch out for those.

At the conclusion of the EEOC process, you will get a right to sue letter which authorizes you to bring a lawsuit in federal court if you are unhappy with the EEOC outcome.

Video fades to a gradient background with dark blue to light blue, a grey National Association of the Deaf (NAD) logo is centered. White text below the logo appears, “A production of the National Association of the Deaf (copyright) 2015 All Rights Reserved” with four teal social media icons, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

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