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PRESS RELEASE
7-22-15

EEOC Celebrates 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act July 23

Announces Memorandum of Understanding with Department of Justice, Issues Updated "ABC's of Schedule A" Brochures and Launches ADA 25th Anniversary Webpage

WASHINGTON - Tomorrow, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) jointly with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) at an event at DOJ headquarters. During the event, the two agencies will announce a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) designed to strengthen EEOC and DOJ's Civil Rights Division's enforcement of the ADA and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

Title I of the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment. GINA bars the use of genetic information in making employment decisions.

Keynote speakers at the July 23 event will include EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, former Senators Bob Dole and Tom Harkin, and Representative Steny Hoyer. Six individuals who EEOC or DOJ has assisted will participate in a panel discussion about the role the ADA played in their lives and the federal government's efforts to help them address the discrimination they faced. The joint event will begin at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time and can be viewed, via live stream, at www.ada.gov/ada_25th_anniversary/25th_event_livevideo.html.

"As we celebrate the ADA, the world's first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities, we reflect on the critical role that EEOC plays in fulfilling its promise," said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang. "We look forward to working with employers and the disability community to make continued progress in the years ahead."

EEOC and DOJ together enforce the ADA's provisions concerning public sector employers. The MOU directs EEOC and DOJ to coordinate investigations of charges of discrimination on the basis of disability, while respecting the distinct responsibilities and enforcement priorities of each agency. Further, the MOU calls for the agencies to share information, as appropriate and to the extent allowable under law.

In time for the 25th anniversary of the ADA, EEOC also will issue its updated five "ABCs of Schedule A" brochures. Schedule A enables federal agencies to streamline the hiring process for qualified individuals with intellectual, severe physical or psychiatric disabilities. The brochures provide updated information on the Schedule A hiring authority for applicants with disabilities seeking federal jobs and for officials assisting people with disabilities to obtain federal jobs.

EEOC partnered with its sister agencies, including the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Office of Personnel Management, in updating the Schedule A brochures. The brochures can be found on the EEOC's website at: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/initiatives/lead/abcs_of_schedule_a.cfm.

In addition, EEOC will launch an ADA 25th anniversary page on the Commission's website. The new webpage provides helpful details about disability rights and responsibilities, information on EEOC's efforts on behalf of people facing discrimination in their workplace based on disabilities, and milestones in the history of EEOC's enforcement of the Act. The webpage can be found at www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/history/ada25th/index.cfm.

EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum said, "We have accomplished so much since passage of the ADA 25 years ago, and we have much to celebrate. Still, there is more work to be done to ensure that the promise of the ADA becomes a reality for all.  I am proud that the EEOC has been such a stalwart player in enforcing the ADA over the past 25 years. But this agency will never rest on its laurels."

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.