ADA Fire Away

The questions I came up with are more like scenarios but I am curious to get the thoughts of others. Let me know what you think!

The definition of reasonable accommodation explains that an accommodation is not unreasonable if it does not create an undue hardship for the employer. At what point is an accommodation an undue hardship? If an employer has to spend $20 to make an accommodation for one employee this is not an substantial cost but it is $20 more than they will spend on a non disabled employee.

If a city owns a park on top of a hill that is only accessible by stairs what sort of accommodation would the city have to make in order for the park to be ADA compliant? Requiring a costly ramp to be built in order to grant access to a facility that does not generate revenue seems like an undue financial hardship for a local government.

One of the requirements to be a certified pilot for a jet powered aircraft is to be able to see color. Colorblindness is a condition that an individual is born with, much like a disability. By not making accommodations to allow individuals with colorblindness to become pilots are airlines ADA compliant?

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  1. Hi Sam,

    I really liked how your questions were specific scenarios. I had a similar question about what could be deemed “an undue hardship”. I think you’re right in saying that for certain employers this could be defined differently because for some any amount of money could be seen as hard to deal with. I thought your example about color blindness was also really interesting. I never knew that you couldn’t be colorbind if you wanted to be a pilot for jet powered aircrafts. I think you bring up a good point in saying that perhaps this is in violation of ADA. I’m curious if the same thing could be said about how you must have 20/20 (perfect) vision to be a fighter pilot.

    Great job!

    1. Thank you. It is interesting, the loophole most likely lies with the job description, it feels like a violation of ADA but by putting a job requirement of perfect vision this may take care of any potential violations.

  2. What do you think of my question “Does the ADA regulate private residences?” ( And more broadly, what do you think the balance should be between regulation of public spaces and personal property like homes and apartments? Should homes be treated differently from apartments since apartments can be considered public places if constantly sold while homes generally are owned by one couple or one person for longer periods of times than apartments?

    1. I think the need for ADA compliance should really affect residences unless they are publicly owned. There are building codes to guide for ADA compliance but untimely it should be up to the owner of the property if they want to follow these guidelines. Even in the case of apartments these are often privately owned and then rented to tenants so I don’t know that ADA should come into play. The exception would be when apartments are publicly owned, for instance university housing. Then they should be required to be ADA compliant.

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