Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – Framework
To address the issue of discrimination against people with disabilities in the US, the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title V, was implemented. Sections 501, 502, 503, and 504 of Title V were created to establish action programmes. People who meet the criteria for a handicap have faced discrimination as a result of both physical limitations in workplaces and prejudicial beliefs toward their capacity to perform well as an employee.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Act’s Title V mandates:
Private businesses must use affirmative action to hire people with physical or mental disabilities if they get federal contracts worth more than USD 2,500.
Employers are advised to provide reasonable adjustments for disabled workers, but they are not required to hire anyone who are not qualified.
Additional provisions of the Act give people with severe disabilities access to vocational guidance, help with their training, and job placement.
The term “disabled individual” refers to someone
- who has a physical or mental disable that substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities
- who has a record of such impairment
- who is regarded as having such an impairment” in the context of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. The term supplied by the Americans with Disabilities Act and this definition are very similar.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Act’s Section 504
- A federal provision known as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 shields qualifying people from discrimination because of their disability.
- It relates to civil rights. It is a prerequisite for federal financial aid to not-for-profit institutions like schools and colleges but does not fund any programmes or activities.
- It outlines the rights of people with disabilities to partake in programme benefits and services as well as to have access to them.
- Organizations and businesses are prohibited by Section 504 from excluding or denying people with disabilities the same chance to obtain programme benefits and services.
- Employers and organisations that receive financial assistance from any Federal department or agency, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are subject to the nondiscrimination standards of the law (DHHS).
- Section 504 must be followed by every not-for-profit organisation that accepts government money for any reason. Numerous hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facilities, and human assistance programmes are among these organisations and employers.
If a person has a contagious illness that directly endangers the health and safety of others and cannot be accommodated, the Vocational Rehabilitation Act does not oblige businesses to hire or keep that person on staff. Additionally, employment is not required if the person’s illness renders them ineligible for the position or if their impairment prohibits them from performing a necessary aspect of the job.
Objectives of vocation rehabilitation
The main goals of vocational rehabilitation services for children and young adults with disabilities should be to minimise the physical and psychological limitations imposed by their impairments and to provide them with the greatest opportunities to prepare for and enter the most suitable occupations