A New Podcast titled “My Stories…Chapters and Challenges” is set to hit the air waves March 14th. Inspired by the Pulitzer nominated book, Call To Witness, a true story of one woman’s battle with disability, discrimination and a pharmaceutical powerhouse, will feature guests who overcame challenges and started new chapters in their lives.
“My Hope is that Call To Witness will be an inspiration for those who feel they have no voice and who feel powerless when facing what seems like insurmountable challenges. I want readers and listeners to have the courage to take a stand against discrimination in the work place and stand against domestic violence. Also, I wish the challenges they face will be seen as a new chapter and not as an obstacle. This Podcast will welcome all without judgement or criticism; every person will be embraced completely no matter where they are on their journey,” says Host Jane Gagliardo, subject of Call To Witness.
The full press release is here.
My book, Call To Witness, will be the topic of discussion at a women’s group in September. I’ll be sure post the date as soon as it is available. Stay tuned!
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to prohibit discrimination against a qualified individual on the basis of disability, and it applies to employers having 15 or more employees. It also requires an employer to make reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodations would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business. There are many intricacies to the ADA which cannot be covered in this blog. However, a few definitions are appropriate.
A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or a record of such impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. The regulations implementing the ADA do not provide a per se list of impairments, although they do provide specific exclusions for personality traits, economic, cultural or environmental traits or stress and certain conditions and practices. The regulations do identify certain conditions that by their very nature will, in virtually all cases, result in a determination of disability under the ADA because they pose substantial limitations in a major life activity. They include, without limitation, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cerebral palsy and others.
Major life activities include such things as caring for oneself, walking, hearing, learning, seeing, breathing and concentrating, the latter being established in Jane Gagliardo’s case. Whether or not working is a major life activity is determined on a case by case basis, but typically requires a limitation on the ability to perform a class of jobs or broad range of jobs in various classes.
Employees or applicants for a position should make their employer/prospective employer aware of any impairments they believe might affect their ability to perform an essential function of their job. This is particularly so if there is a reasonable accommodation that would enable the employee to perform that task. Likewise, employers should endeavor to determine the extent of any possible impairment, and engage in a meaningful determination of whether or not there is a reasonable accommodation which can be granted without undue hardship. Because of the intricacies of the ADA, and the regulations, it is always a good idea for both the employer and employee to discuss any questions or issues regarding an impaired employee with the Human Relations expert or an attorney.
I recently had the great pleasure to be a guest on the Dr. Pat Show and talk about Call To Witness. They were kind enough to post an audio stream recording of the interview, as well as, a podcast MP3 to download and listen to offline. Both are available here→
I would love to hear from you with your comments and thoughts regarding the interview. Sherry