The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that individuals with disabilities have access to all public facilities regardless of the disability. This means each child must be considered as in individual, not simply rejected from the program because they fall into a category (i.e. blind, developmentally disabled, hyperactive, etc.). The ADA requires that programs look at each child and assess them on a case-by-case basis, making accommodations when necessary, to care for that child.
The ADA requires programs to take “readily achievable” actions to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability. Does this mean each licensed program must build a wheelchair ramp? No, what should happen is that readily achievable steps be taken without undue burden (which means significant difficulty or expense). For example, the providers might assist the family by removing the child, folding the chair and bringing it through the door to gain entrance to the facility.
The ADA is trying to encourage the attitude of “Let’s see what we can work out…” instead of ” We can’t do that!”
If you have further questions please contact Ange Burnett, Inclusion Project Coordinator, by calling (925) 676-5442 ext. 3113, or by e-mail, or the Child Care Law Center at (415) 495-5498.
More to explore…
- Child Care Law Center www.childcarelaw.org Under publications, see Questions & Answers about the Americans with Disabilities Act: A Quick Reference (Information for Child Care Providers)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Home Page www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm Under publications for businesses and non-profit service providers, see Commonly Asked Questions about Child Care Centers and the Americans with Disabilities Act