Sessions to Put the ‘Dis’ in Disability

AG plans to revoke 10 ADA guidance documents.


Alarms are going off throughout the disability advocacy world over Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III’s decision to repeal 25 documents, including ten of which are very important Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidance, which he deemed are “outdated, used to circumvent the regulatory process, or that improperly goes beyond what is provided for in statutes or regulation should not be given effect.” This decision came after President Trump ordered each agency to go through their regulations and find things to modify, replace or eliminate.

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One regulation in particular that the advocacy world finds tough to swallow is a mandate on employment integration, which discourages working conditions that isolate people with disabilities such as vocational and day programs as well as segregated employment. While state and local government workplaces could offer these settings, they must provide their employees with disabilities with alternative options.

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and the Collaboration to Promote Self Determination released a statement saying, “We are extremely concerned about the withdrawal of this guidance document, both because it sends the wrong signal to public entities that are seeking to comply with the ADA and because it may reflect a diminished concern with the importance of providing employment services in the most integrated setting.”

Although taking away these documents will not have any residual effects on existing laws, it has the potential to create uncertainty as well as loopholes.

Sheltered workshops have been part of the American workplace for over 100 years. The debate on whether the shift from work centers to integrated employment is good or bad has been prevalent for quite some time. Detractors argue that isolating people while assigning them minimal tasks goes further in marginalizing them. According to NPR, in 2015, an estimated 300,000 people worked in sheltered workshops across the nation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2016, 17.9 percent of persons with a disability were employed.

The other area in which regulations are being revoked is in the housing sector. This document states that it is unlawful to deny persons with disabilities public housing based on one’s diagnosis or accommodations necessary such as accessibility. It also includes places of public accommodation so that individuals with disabilities can fully participate in everyday life.

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  • It’s all about the Benjamins. The move away from integrated employment allows employers to continue to take advantage of disabled workers by segregating them from non-disabled staff and paying them less than the minimum wage, frequently in marginal — or worse — working conditions. Revoking the requirements for disability accommodations in housing and public accommodations puts more money back in the pockets of real estate developers, landlords and business owners, at the expense of the disabled community.

  • It’s amazing that first they say you can’t have benefits unless you work then they dicontinue the safeguards to ensure that you will be able to work. So hypocritical and disgusting.

  • Hi everyone. I’m middle age deaf man. I have see that the publicity never understand the deaf culture for years. They still ignored them BEC they think that deaf people are normal but they cannot hear as they are still disability forever. AMERICAN NEVER GOES AWAY. THAT WHY THEY TRY TO DESTROY IT. THANKS.

  • Keep Trump’s mitts off of the ADA. Myself, I have several disabilities that I need to have the ability to park somewhat near the store entrance. If the government would take these away, I would have to have someone drive me to the stores each time I need to go. It is bad enough to block a lane of traffic while I get in/out of a car. I cannot afford to hire someone to drive me.

  • My nephew has Prader Willie. He is 28 and requires constant supervision. He is mentally and physically disabled. He can complete only the simplest tasks. He had a job sticking labels on jars. How are these changes going to help him? No way he can fully participate in the workplace.

  • Excuse me, but my Masters and years of tech experience do not justify putting me in a thrift store or mail room.

  • Seriously Ed? Where did it say ANYWHERE that Trump was going to take away your parking space? Also, nowhere is the disabled paid less than minimum wage? You folks are some true Trump Haters who want to use scare tactics. I would truly be willing to bet that any of you that are disabled, have benefited from any of those regulations being considered. Also, it’s not the AG or the Son’s department to determine these things. It would be the EEOC or HIS etc. Just another fake news story to scare people.

    • Under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are able to pay a wage below the federal minimum wage to workers whose work is affected by a mental or physical deficiency. (The ADA does not change this provision.)

      Guess actual laws are fake news now

      • Thank you for your response to the Trump troll who lives in an alternate reality where lie is heralded as truth and truth dismissed as a lie. As parent of an adult son with a disability, I am concerned about this administration and it’s determination to send the nation back to a more ignorant and unkind time.

    • Chris Hancock

      Yes in workshops a worker can be paid prevailing wage which is based off what a normal person would make doing the same job at a Givin pace if the worker is 30 %of a normal pace then he or she gets 33% of the pay it is perfectly legal. You can put what ever spin on it you want but no one is making huge profits usually the facility housing these workers are breating even due to the number of workers needed to maintain production and the price they charge the company there doing work for and the staff needed to stay within guidelines mandated by the state usually a 1 to 6 staff ratio. The bigger picture is the feeling of purpose that an individual getting that pay check . The ability to work and be trained to gain outside the workshop setting is easy to talk about but in reality Obama policy on small businesses hurt more than helped these individuals it’s easier to negotiate a job with a small buisness owner than any large human recourse department for any major chain because there is negotiations so the disabled person can work and keep there benefits and recieved the support needed to maintain there job.

    • I work with people with disabilities. Many participate in day programs doing landscaping or janetorial work. 1 of 4 is paid. He does well at $11/hr, the others get nothing but experience. Those who can work in non-supported positions definitely benefit from being mainstreamed not isolated. The goal is increasing self-sufficiency and to eliminate stigma. Sessions seems to prefer the disabled to be hidden away.

  • This whatbis referred to as “pure evil”. Jeff Sessions is a bigot and an anti-Semite. People can’t see what’s happening because they have their eyes closed. Things started to happen like this in 1933 Germany. It’s happening and it will continue. The constant attacks in the press, the white nationalist’s, the “good nazi’s”, the repeated lies, singleling out of numerous, etc. Trump and Sessions are very detrimental to this country.

  • Injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. Remember; you voted for your own personal reasons and agenda, but you didn’t consider how it would later affect you.

  • Him Trump and the rest of his cabinet need to go thay are destroying this country

  • cynthia strickland

    I worked in vocational rehab. for over 25 years and with disabled. I was then lucky enough to get a group of disabling diseases and have suffered, as I watched all my wonderful clients do. Until you care for a disabled loved one, watch a healthy loved one begin a long, painful and slow death process you don’t really get it. I know that since I became disabled my life lost almost all meaning and I’m treated like hell and suffer 24/7. So, Trumper’s, keep working, you need to pay for my medical bills. I made my living serving the disabled and we all paid for it. I’m profoundly disabled now and am happy to remind Trumpers that you paid me to help those with disabilities and now you pay me, my doctors, nurses, lab workers, SSDI staff, radiology techs., and every single program I apply for assistance from. Luckily, I know them all, use them so keep working hard to pay my bills. Granted, I’d rather be healthy, working, use the degree’s I earned to benefit my community BUT accommodation is almost non-existent in any tangible way, addressing underlying health issues is not available, insurance is way out of sight so I’m freaking HAPPY as H*ll to take the Trumper’s money, sorry about the rest of you but if you’re anything like me you were and are happy to pay well-utilized. taxes and are aware you too can wake up one morning forever changed, forever marginalized, isolated and in pain. I applaud those Trumper’s who actually pay taxes, I’m going to start running up my bill. Keep on working.

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