When I went to the Philadelphia “Town Hall” meeting for the EEOC, it was very impressive. The room was packed. There was a huge presentation board and someone speaking sign language for the non-hearing. There were people of all kinds of disabilities on the ADMINISTRATION BOARD — non-seeing, wheelchair bound and others.
In other words, the EEOC doesn’t just walk the walk. They talk the talk!
Just to prove it, the EFA announced newly issued regulations from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for implementing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). Title I protects people with disabilities, like epilepsy, from discrimination in the workplace.
“The Epilepsy Foundation is pleased that the EEOC has issued its final regulations to implement the new law, which became effective on January 1, 2009. These regulations will ensure that the original purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is finally implemented, which is why I worked for the passage of that law originally,” said Tony Coelho, honorary lifetime board member of the Epilepsy Foundation and former U.S. congressman from California, who served as a primary author of the original ADA.
The new regulations have listed several conditions, including epilepsy, which should—almost without exception—be considered disabilities under the ADA.
The clarified law and regulations are designed to eliminate any question of whether a person with epilepsy should be protected from illegal discrimination under the law.
“These regulations are a result of a truly bipartisan effort,” said Sandy Finucane, the Foundation’s Executive Vice President. “The Foundation is very pleased with the clear approach to implementing the definition of disability that the EEOC has taken. We want, as Congress wants, to get and keep people who have epilepsy in the workforce, and the ADA and these regulations will help us do that.”