How many people in the U.S. have a disability?

56.7 million

About 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population — had a disability in 2010, according to a broad definition of disability, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe, according to a comprehensive report on this population released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Learn more at www.Census.Gov

Business FAQs

Q: Is it expensive to provide accommodations to employees with disabilities?

A: The majority of workers with disabilities do not need accommodations to perform their jobs, and for those who do, the cost is usually minimal. According to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, 57% of accommodations cost absolutely nothing to make, while the rest typically cost only $500. Moreover, tax incentives are available to help employers cover the costs of accommodations, as well as modifications required to make their businesses accessible to persons with disabilities.

Source:  http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/ada.htm

Q: I have 7 full-time employees; am I covered by the employment provisions of the ADA?

A: Businesses with fewer than 15 employees are not covered by the employment provisions of the ADA. Moreover, a covered employer does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation that would cause an “undue hardship.” Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as an organization’s size, financial resources and the nature and structure of its operation.

Source: http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/ada.htm

Q: Under what conditions am I able to fire an employee with a disability:

A: Employers can fire workers with disabilities under three conditions:

    1. The termination is unrelated to the disability or
    2. The employee does not meet legitimate requirements for the job, such as performance or production standards, with or without a reasonable accommodation or
    3. Because of the employee’s disability, he or she poses a direct threat to health or safety in the workplace.

Source:  http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/ada.htm


The ADA gives job applicants with disabilities advantages over job applicants without disabilities.


The ADA does not give hiring preference to persons with disabilities.


An employer can be required to reallocate an essential function of a job to another employee as a reasonable accommodation


Applicants who are unqualified for a job cannot claim discrimination under the ADA.

Nearly 1 in 5 People Have a Disability in the U.S.

The report shows that 41 percent of those age 21 to 64 with any disability were employed, compared with 79 percent of those with no disability. Along with the lower likelihood of having a job came the higher likelihood of experiencing persistent poverty; that is, continuous poverty over a 24-month period. Among people age 15 to 64 with severe disabilities, 10.8 percent experienced persistent poverty; the same was true for 4.9 percent of those with a non-severe disability and 3.8 percent of those with no disability.
Learn more at www.Census.Gov

Other FAQs

Q: What is “reasonable accommodation?”

A: Reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.

Source: http://www.ada.gov/q&aeng02.htm

Q: What are public accommodations?

A: A public accommodation is a private entity that owns, operates, leases, or leases to, a place of public accommodation. Places of public accommodation include a wide range of entities, such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, and day care centers. Private clubs and religious organizations are exempt from the ADA’s title III requirements for public accommodations.

Source: http://www.ada.gov/q&aeng02.htm

Q: We live in a large gated community of over a thousand homes. Our homeowners’ association’s swimming pool is inaccessible to people with severe disabilities. Is there any way to force our HOA to provide a lift for those that need help to enter the pool?

A: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), “Title II Entities” and “Title III Entities” have minimum requirements for making swimming pools, wading pools and pool spas accessible. The entities required to abide by these requirements are public entities, such as state and local governments (their departments, agencies or other instrumentalities) and places of public accommodations, commercial facilities and private entities that offer educational and occupational certification. Places of public accommodations include restaurants, hotels, theaters, convention centers, hospitals, parks, zoos, museums, amusement parks, health parks and such.

Under the ADA, these entities must make recreational programs and services, including swimming pool programs, accessible to people with disabilities. The ADA requirements provide large pools must have two accessible means of entry, with at least one being a pool lift or sloped entry. Small pools are required to have one accessible means of entry, either a pool lift or a sloped entry.

Condominium associations and homeowners’ associations are generally not considered “places of public accommodation” under the ADA. Common areas of a homeowners’ association and common elements of a condominium, such as the clubhouse and pool, are not covered by the ADA where use is restricted exclusively to residents and their guests, and not open to the public. Exceptions may apply where short term rentals are permitted.

Your HOA is likely not legally required to retrofit to make the swimming pool accessible, provided that it was constructed in accordance with the building codes which existed when the pool was constructed. In some cases, ADA standards are built into building codes and may also be necessary to follow in connection with major renovations.

The federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) permits disabled individuals, at their own expense, to make “reasonable modifications” to the common property of an association when such modifications are necessary to permit that individual to use the property for the purpose intended. For example, it is likely that the FHA would require an association to permit a disabled resident to add, at his or her own expense, a pool lift to a commonly used swimming pool, provided the nature and manner of the requested modification was reasonable.


The majority of ADA employment-related disputes are resolved through informal negotiation or mediation.


Every feature of a new facility must be accessible


An employer is always free to hire the applicant of its choosing as long as the decision is not based on disability.


Under the ADA, employers must give people with disabilities special privileges, known as accommodations.


Under the ADA, an employer cannot fire an employee who has a disability.

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