As the workforce development system strives to meet the diverse needs of all its customers, a clear understanding of key nondiscrimination issues affecting youth and adults with disabilities is essential. One primary example is that professionals in the workforce development system need to know what they can and cannot ask about an individual’s disability and what they can do with that information.
Disability nondiscrimination laws—such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) —are somewhat different than other civil rights laws. Where people with disabilities are concerned, simple access to your program is not enough. You have a legal responsibility to work with people with disabilities to make sure they have an equal opportunity to benefit from your programs, services, and activities. This means that you may need to take active steps to offer accommodations, auxiliary aids and services, or make necessary modifications to allow customers with disabilities to benefit fully from your programs, services, or activities. This InfoBrief is designed to help clarify what you can and cannot ask about someone’s disability and is for those working in One-Stop centers as well as youth and adult service providers who interact with individuals with disabilities.