Friday, June 12th from 10:30am to 12:00pm
This panel, organized by the special interest group on Work, Employment & Society, will address the impact of anti-discrimination legislation and contemporary advancements in employment policy on disability rights. A disability studies lens permits this dialogue to interrogate the boundaries of disability employment. The collection of papers presented here will: add to the body of knowledge on characteristics of a process to change the status quo in employment policy for people with disability; build on prior work analyzing the conceptual relationship between the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964; explore the impact of Employment First policy on the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, particularly with regards to entrepreneurship; and use disability theories to explore what workplace analytics means for anti-discrimination laws and for how we understand ability and disability
Moderator & Discussant: Sarah Parker Harris, Ph.D.
- Policy Barriers and Incentives to Realization of the Employment Section of the ADA: Holistic Organizing Initiatives, Katherine D. Seelman, Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh).
- Reasonable Accommodations after the ADA Amendments, Jeanette Cox, J.D. (University of Dayton School of Law).
- Entrepreneurship in a Changing World: The Impact of Employment First Policy on the Rights of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Kate Caldwell, Ph.D. (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Chris Danguilan (University of Illinois at Chicago).
- The New Era of Segmenting Society on Ability Lines: Workplace Analytics and Disability Discrimination, Paul Harpur, Ph.D. (University of Queensland) and Miranda Sue Terry, Ph.D. (Stephen F. Austin State University).
Policy Barriers and Incentives to Realization of the Employment Section of the ADA: Holistic Organizing Initiatives
The employment rate and the poverty status of people disabilities as well as the impending funding crisis for SSDI are at the top of the disability policy agenda. Nonetheless, the needle has not advanced on employment, in particular, for decades. Many reports have been issued, including the National Council on Disability’s soon to-be released report on SSA Benefits Policy which synthesizes findings from research and best practice studies.
This presentation will examine the emerging coordinated efforts at the national, state and local levels among government agencies, the civil rights community and local organizers to move a holistic employment agenda forward which combines transition and employment with medical and social policy. Policy initiative examples include: Congressional legislation such as the Work Innovation and Opportunity Act, CMS’ Key Provisions of the 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services and the Affordable Care Act. Targeted units of implementation include the state Medicaid agencies, special education, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and developmental disabilities units and at the local level, various consumer organizations.
The problems to be considered includes: a) the limits of the ADA which is based on negative law rather than positive law and broad economic rights which characterize the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and b) strategies which circumvent the limitations of the ADA but, if enacted, would enhance its implementation.
The author is a practitioner of public policy, having served as a policy analyst for the National Council on Disability (NCD) in 1989-91 and now as a Presidential appointee as well as a former director of NIDRR under President Clinton and one of two Americans and the only section author for the nine member international committee that guided WHO/World Bank’s first World Report on Disability. The methodology involves review of legislative reports, state-level work plans and other documents in order to identify characteristics of strategic action under way to address the employment problem. The role of the disability movement and community organizing are of particular interest.
The presentation will add to the body of knowledge on the characteristics of a process to change the status quo in employment policy for people with disability. In particular, it will name key actors and change agents and describe features of their advocacy efforts.
Reasonable Accommodations after the ADA Amendments
Now that the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) has resolved most disputes about who may bring an ADA claim, courts have turned to the more difficult task of delineating the scope of the duty to reasonably accommodate. In this effort, courts and legal commentators assume that the amendments provide no support for expanding employers’ obligations.
My presentation will challenge this nearly universal assumption. I argue that although the ADA Amendments Act’s sole purpose is to expand the group of persons who may bring an ADA claim, Congress’s execution of this purpose suggests that the ADA’s reasonable accommodations provision is broader than many courts and commentators have previously thought. In this manner, the ADA Amendments Act invites close reexamination of pre-amendment judicial interpretations of the ADA.
This presentation will build on my prior work analyzing the conceptual relationship between the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is most closely linked with Crossroads and Signposts: The ADA Amendments Act, 85 INDIANA LAW JOURNAL 187 (2010), which examines the ADA amendments’ impact on the theoretical justifications that underpin the law of disability accommodations.
Entrepreneurship in a Changing World: The Impact of Employment First Policy on the Rights of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
The advancement of Employment First policy appears to have reignited discussion around employment in the intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) community, particularly with regards to its influence in the reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Historically, as the deinstitutionalization movement has progressed, people with I/DD are increasingly moving from large, state funded institutions to living in community-based settings. However, state and federal policy has not consistently prioritized integrated employment for people with I/DD or reallocated the resources necessary to support community employment (Butterworth et al., 2013). As a result, the majority of people with I/DD (81.6%) are working in segregated, facility-based settings, otherwise known as “sheltered workshops,” and non-work programs. Further, the majority of funding (86.5%) has gone towards these programs rather than towards integrated employment services. The significance of the Employment First initiative is that it requires integrated employment be considered first, before any other alternative. However, this leaves the position of entrepreneurship ambiguous despite its’ promotion as an effective employment strategy. This presentation will draw upon previous disability studies research and experiential knowledge to explore the impact of Employment First policy on the rights of people with I/DD, particularly with regards to the potential for entrepreneurship to challenge the charity and rehabilitation models that pervade disability employment. This topic is particularly salient given that Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) not only recognizes work and employment as a right, but includes among this opportunities for self-employment and entrepreneurship.
The New Era of Segmenting Society on Ability Lines: Workplace Analytics and Disability Discrimination
Big data is transforming what it means for segmenting society. Every time a person turns on their computer, carries a mobile phone, uses a swipe card, taps their credit card, borrows a library book, has an identification card scanned or their car registration recorded by the state or at a gas station, that individual has information about them stored. This mass of data is now being crunched by analytical tools that can explain past conduct, predict future conduct and help alter human conduct. These analytical tools are self-learning and involve billions of decisions to sort society in new and uncharted ways. The growth of workplace analytics is having a substantial impact on who is hired, fired and promoted. For persons with disabilities big data analytics presents both challenges and massive threats. This presentation will use disability theories to explore what workplace analytics means for anti-discrimination laws and for how we understand ability and disability.