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Every day on the streets of America, a dove awakens.

He knows he must be quicker than the quickest alley cat, or he will be killed.

Every day on the streets of America, an alley cat awakens.

He knows he must be faster than the fastest dove,

or he will starve.

It doesn't matter if you're an alley cat or a dove,

when the sun comes up, you better be ready.

Table of Contents
Rationale and Objectives
Comments from the Attorney General
Gamesmanship: The Art of Winning Without Ever Breaking the Rules
1.1   Beware of the quarterback who says he's had a great first half
1.2   Gotta phobias and proactive optimism
1.3   Able versus disabled employees: The facts
1.4   Gold in an untapped source

Yes, it's true that the ADA legislation has landed in the laps of employers with a thud.  It's here.  It's hearty.  And it's hungrily waiting to dine on employers who refuse to restructure stucco and attitudinal walls.


In fact, some people look at the summer of 1992 like the story of the alley cat and the dove:


For most managers, thumbing through the tome of ADA regulations is like watching the Wizard of Oz on the big screen, first time: The experience is fascinating, frustrating -- and frightful.


But first impressions are sometimes off beam.  And once you actually peek behind the curtain and fully understand the spirit and scope of the ADA, not only will your pulse rate come down,


but you'll see the stage is set with a whole new market for recruiting good staff.


The Americans with Disabilities Act can be a management mechanism that unveils new perceptual strategies to push industry further ahead than anyone ever dreamed.  This book will tell you how that can be possible.

The Americans with Disabilities Act for Employers
A Practical and Fun Guide to Compliance and Management Confidence


This book is dedicated to Jack,

who's perfect in every way.

Some say he's hearing impaired,

be he can't be,

because I don't know how

to speak louder or clearer,

yet he accommodates nicely

to the essential functions of my life,

listening with his heart

and never missing a word.


Studies show that the United States has been one of the most litigious countries in the world, and that one thir of us will eventually run into a legal snag that has major implications.


This book will tell you how to decrease your risk of liability by explaining the legal impact of the ADA and by focusing on strategies tht will preclude problems, so that when you're face-to-face with job applicants who are both qualified and disabled, you'll know exactly what to do -- and you'll both come out ahead.  Unlike the alley cat and dove in the story, you'll know how to respond in a way that perpetuates survival -- and applauds the dignity of work for every human being in this country who wants it.


On these pages you'll learn to understand the critical issue of essential functions for every job in your facility or corporation, by taking job descriptions apart and putting them back together again.  You'll easily separate essential functions from marginal ones and soon be able to tick off those differences when an applicant come in.


With the methods outlined here, you'll get the hang of how to motivate everyone on your staff, including those who are disabled and those who are not.  You'll find out how your employees with disabilities can give you many of the answers you need just by asking them the right questions.


Without wading through stuffy jargon, you'll see how to distinguish the fine line between reasonable accommodations and undue hardship, and profit from a simple check list that saves you precious time and handfuls of hair.  You'll know how to cut through the do's and the don'ts of just what to say -- and not say -- to applicants who are disabled.  And to spot easy-to-launch accommodations that are a perfect fit for each unique person.  Accommodations that won't break the law, your wallet, or your maintenance supervisor's back.


You'll learn secrets that will reduce worker stress and fatigue.  And how to cut down on work-related injuries and their by-product: workers' compensation claims.


You'll be able to sack any traces of the career-deadly mindset that sees only wheelchairs and leg braces, and people who can't hear.  Rather, you'll learn the knack of recognizing caped-abilities behind those auxiliary aids.  With your new way of thinking, you'll celebrate the valued employees you already have, and know instinctively how to stop them from deserting the ship.  And, by revamping a few management techniques, you'll see improved communications between management and employees, with the people you serve, and everyone else with whom you come in contact.  You'll discover the rewards of effective time management, increased productivity, and heightened job satisfaction for both you and your staff.


You'll find this book particularly useful in two ways:


First, as a fast, easy reference for those times when things get chaotic and you need a quick answer to make the right decision, right now.


And second, because of the clear cut layout of information, the association of simple (and sometimes silly) illustrations to accompany difficult concepts, and the repetition of critical mandates, you can easily imprint the material in your memory for later, on an as-needed basis.


You'll have at your fingertips the resources to call on if you want an ergonomics expert or people who design products to accommodate applicants who are disabled.  Products like desk pads that allow one-handed writing, or work stations with variable-height tops, or standing frames that hold weak or position-sensitive folks upright so they can accomplish their jobs. 


There are gadgets to help people type,flip through the pages of books, and effectively complete other tasks most of us take for granted. 


You'll know who to contact for hundreds of auxiliary aids -- from lumber yard scraps that are free, to sophisticated accommodations that qualify as tax deductions.


Along with dozens of strategies, you'll find forms, illustrations and checklists that you can copy right off the page or Internet. 


Plus, by reading though the Glossary of Terms and Sample Case Laws shown at the end of the book, you'll soon be conversant in the critical aspects of the statute.


But best of all, after reading this book, you'll understand why the Americans with Disabilities Act had to be passed.  Why this law is a legal catalyst with teeth, a vehicle to nudge you to take on the response-ability of changing the way America thinks about employing people who are disabled.  You, as an employer, hold the key to making it work.

Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can. 
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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