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Ada Mediation - Essay Example

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The case deals with a second year music student, studying in State College, who is disabled and using a wheel chair to move around. The State College is an old institution and the college authorities claim that it has historical significance of over 200 years in terms of its architectural structure. …
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Ada Mediation
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ADA MEDIATION Inserts His/Her Inserts Grade Inserts 18 April ADA MEDIATION Factual Summary:The case deals with a second year music student, studying in State College, who is disabled and using a wheel chair to move around. The State College is an old institution and the college authorities claim that it has historical significance of over 200 years in terms of its architectural structure. The real problem derives from the fact that due to absence of ramps, the student is not able to move freely around, which prevents him from utilizing the resources available in the college. Thus, he is forced to seek help from others to negotiate the tall steps. This causes considerable problems to him and hampers his music practice. The authorities of State College, on the other hand, state that it is hard to make modifications in the building, which will spoil its architectural value of historical significance. Besides, they claim that they will have to incur an expense of over $ 1 million to make the ramp for a single person. They are putting forth this reason to avoid any modifications to the college building to render it ADA compliant. This fact has raised a public issue as it disregards the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990, enacted by the American Congress. Issues: The present subject raises the question of legal support to the music student in State College. For all practical purposes, this person has been unable to use the facilities to learn music in the college. The ADA emphasizes that all disabled persons have to be extended full facilities in their workplace. However, in the instant case, the student has been denied his genuine rights. The legal question that emerges in this case is that “why he should be prevented pursing his music studies because the college does not have ramps?” The college authorities, on the other hand, feel that they cannot modify the historical building with $1 million expenses for a single disabled student. Thus, the current case creates a dilemma for both sides, and both parties seem to have a valid reason to argue. Legal Concepts and Analysis: Violation of the provisions of ADA mostly happens because equal services are not provided as per the rules and this entails complaints. “The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services” (Solis n.d). The Act intends the prevention of discrimination among the employees and it also provides legal support for the disabled persons to facilitate them an appropriate environment to carryout their activities. The employer has to provide a reasonable accommodation also, considering the disability. In the instant case, the student has disability to move and is using a wheel chair. The college does not have ramps, due to which he finds difficulty in scaling the tall steps and he needs some external help to go into the class or to use academic facilities. Thus, this disabled student is in need of a reasonable accommodation. “A reasonable accommodation is a change or adjustment to a job or to a work environment that enables a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job, participate in the job-application process, or enjoy the privileges and benefits of the job equal to those of other employees” (DeShazer & Cohen 1998). From this perspective, the student needs to be provided all support to practice music. As the country gives importance to education, every student must receive relevant materials and appropriate conditions to pursue studies. The disabled students also must be provided adequate support to complete their education. The authorities need to recognize the limitations and boundaries of the student, and provide him a reasonable accommodation by altering the building’s structure so that he can continue his education, and the school authorities can comply with the dictates of the law. This will ensure that the student has a proper opportunity to achieve the aims relating to his studies. Thus, it appears that the excuse of the college authorities cannot stand in the instant case, though they may claim undue hardship, which is “an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of such factors as the nature and cost of the accommodation needed” (Muskovitz 2011). Conclusion: To conclude this legal issue, the music student has to get reasonable accommodation through an architectural modification. The school authorities need to make ample provisions for the student so that he can complete his studies in a proper manner. This will also ensure compliance with the requirements of the law. Besides, making feasible adjustments seem to be a reasonable choice so that positive aspects are always upheld and it will enhance the public image of the organization. “In ADA cases, where reasonable accommodation are an issue, the joint session provides an opportunity for the parties to engage in the "interactive process" (favored by the EEOC, courts and commentators) to identify and evaluate accommodation alternatives” (ADA Mediation Guidelines 2008). Bibliography ADA Mediation Guidelines. Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution. 1998. DeShazer, Samual H. & Cohen, Judy. 1998. Mediating Employment Disputes under the Disabilities Act. American Arbitration Association. Muskovitz, Mel. 2011. The Americans with Disabilities Act - An Employer's Responsibilities. About Solis, Hilda L. n.d. Disability Resources: Americans with Disabilities Act. United States Department of Labor. Read More
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