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Employment and Consumer Protection Law, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 852

Essay

Factual summary

The dispute involves a disabled student (Mr. Edward Burton) and his college over his state of disability. The student was complaining about the neglect and/or ignorance of the college administration towards him and his studies as a disabled person. Mr. Burton’s disability is as a result of an accident that severely injured his waist and this made it hard for him to walk for several minute without losing balance. This disability therefore has necessitated Mr. Burton to be moving in a wheel chair most of the time. He has a problem with accessing his music classroom which is located on the tenth floor of a building in his college. He is complaining about the lack of provisions in place to help disabled people like him to access the building.

The school on the other hand being represented by Professor Emily Mitchum argues that the cost to build a ramp would greatly interfere with the budget of the music department. The music building is also said to have gained the greatest value as a result of its history of over 200 years. The professor argues that the cost of building a ramp would surpass the budget allocate for her for the maintenance of the building. The college therefore finds it hard to risk losing the very center of attraction to outsiders just to help on individual. The college has put the several ramps in other building s to help the disabled students access the buildings and therefore shows concern to the needs of the disabled.

Issue

This situation raises several legal questions such as: Is Mr. Burton’s outcry valid especially from the perspective of the Americans with Disabilities Act? Is the college action or inaction in provision of ramps to enable Mr. Burton access the music classroom allowable considering the provisions in the ADA?

Legal concepts

According to ADA, the employer has the responsibility to put in place provisions that would enhance the disabled persons to perform their duties just like any other non-disabled persons (DeLeire, 2000). In this light, colleges are also required to put in place provisions that enable disabled students to undertake their studies as comfortably as other non-disabled students.The ADA also creates a room for the employer, who finds it hard economically or realistically to meet the needs of the disabled people, not to provide for the accommodation as required.

There is a legal provision that suggests a restructuring or modification of the job or the duties of the employee just to ensure he performs his duties comfortably and successfully. This might include changing the working schedule and providing the employee with a qualified interpreter who would assist him or her as he/she carries out her daily activities. In the context of the State College, the administration has an obligation to modify the way learning goes on. It may choose to relocate the music class from the current building to a building that has easier access by the disabled persons (Schall, 1998). The college may also assign someone to help a particular disabled person to climb the stairs. The disabled person may in such instance have to reschedule or agree to the rescheduling of the classes to ensure that he or she gets maximum help from the assigned assistant.

Analysis and conclusion

Considering the state of Mr. Edward Burton, he is no doubt, a disabled person and therefore the provisions of Americans with Disabilities Act apply. He, like other students, has the right to get the best education possible from the state college regardless of his disability. The college administration should consider his needs and where possible put in place provisions that would ensure comfort for Burton. In any case that the financial budget required in order to meet his needs is unrealistically high to be met by the college’s administration, the administrators should seek for alternative provisions as provided in the law. The administration should think of relocating the music class from the current building to another building that will be favorable for Burton. However, if the building itself is part of learning music, this would obviously be a problem and might be disastrous to music as a subject

The argument that Burton is just one student in a class of 249 other non-disabled students is not valid for everyone has a right to get the best (Weber, 2007). The college administration should hold a discussion with Burton to discuss on the best way he can be helped considering the shortages the college is experiencing in its desire to ensure equal learning opportunities for every student. This is likely to result in a consensus based solution to the problem (Schall, 1998). Such solution may be for the administration to assign a person to him that will be helping him with the stairs.

References

DeLeire, T. (2000). The Wage and Employment Effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act.            Journal of Human Resources, 35(4), pp. 693–715.

Weber, C. (2007). Disability Harassment. New York, NY: NYU Press.

Schall, M. (1998). “The Americans with Disabilities Act—Are We Keeping Our Promise? An    Analysis of the Effect of the ADA on the Employment of Persons with Disabilities.”       Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. Vol. 10(3), pp.191-203.

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