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The ADA Amendments Act: Guidance for Small Businesses

Every day, in communities across the nation, small businesses demonstrate the industriousness and self-determination that characterize our nation. They drive our economy and strengthen our communities. They represent the spirit of America.

The foundation underpinning this spirit is America's premise of equal opportunity for all. This premise means many things to many people, and over the years has been reinforced through legislation designed to ensure more people can fully realize it. One such law is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which works to make our nation's communities and workplaces more inclusive and welcoming of America's nearly 50 million people with disabilities.

Originally passed in 1990, the ADA was amended in 2008 to more clearly define whom it covers. And last month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its final regulations to implement the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA).

In drafting the new regulations, EEOC considered the interests of both employees with disabilities and employers, clarifying the requirements for both under the law's employment provisions. The following resources are available to assist small businesses in understanding their responsibilities:

In addition, small business employers are encouraged to contact one of EEOC's Small Business Liaisons, who can help them understand how the new regulations apply in specific workplace situations and steps they can take to foster a workplace culture inclusive and welcoming of all qualified individuals.

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