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ADA: a shield against Disability Discrimination in Health Care

This content about civil rights was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) forbids the unequal treatment of people with disabilities in different areas: employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications.

According to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), “the term ‘disability’ means, with respect to an individual:

A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual;

(B) a record of such an impairment; or

(C) being regarded as having such an impairment.”

This law states that “major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working”.

The ADA also asserts that a major life activity as well encompasses “the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions”.

Examples of physical or mental impairments are the following: speech, visual, and hearing impairments; emotional illness; intellectual disabilities; epilepsy; orthopedic conditions; cancer; diabetes; heart disease; tuberculosis; HIV disease; among others.

Health Care Discrimination Protection

The ADA prohibits disability discrimination in health care entities that provide services to the public: Title II covers state and local governments, and Title III includes private businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Health care organizations must make sure to make its facilities are fully accessible for individuals with disabilities through the following actions:

  • Modifying their practices, policies, and procedures when needed to supply services, goods, and accommodations.
  • Guaranteeing that all their facilities are accessible.
  • Making sure all forms of communication are understandable for everybody.

What to Do in Case of Disability Discrimination

If someone in a health care entity has discriminated against you based on a disability, you may file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) online or by snail mail. You have 180 days counted from the day of unlawful action to send it.

On the other hand, you also have the option to file a private lawsuit against the wrongdoers to assert your ADA civil rights. If you win your case, you may get compensatory damages, or injunctive relief to prevent the illegal action.

Choosing which course of action you will take may be a difficult task. You may contact a civil rights attorney to give you advice about your discrimination case, to make the legal process easier, and to obtain positive results.

Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California.  Call or email us for a free consultation.

This content was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.