how does ADA(americans with disabilities act) possibly limit the freedom of others?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The ADA is a civil rights laws. All civil rights laws infringe on the freedom of who had their rights superseded by the newly acquired rights of others.

    When the US decided to grant the right to vote to women - that meant men no longer had the exclusive right to vote. So men no longer had all the power. Their power was limited by the new rights of women. Men didn't lose their rights - they simply no longer had an exclusive right to them. Men and women were afforded equal opportunity to vote.

    This is the same with disability civil rights. People without disabilities might lose some of their AMOUNT of access to provide access to people with disabilities who before had none.

    If only men voted we wouldn't need as many voting precincts. We wouldn't need as many ballots. We wouldn't have to wait in line so long to vote. We wouldn't need to have as many senators and congressman. But I have never heard anyone say the woman's right to vote should be taken away because it costs extra money for women to vote or it takes away from the freedom of men to make all the choices.

    When do people with disabilities get equal access? How many of us have to benefit before it is considered OUR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to have the same opportunities as others?

    Added: Reasonable accommodations are not defined because what is reasonable for one business is not reasonable for another, but if you read the ADA Technical Assistance Manual you find numerable examples that will help you sort this out.

    Stadium seating does not prevent the existance of wheelchair accessible seating. The University of Michigan football stadium recently completed renovations for the second time which included wheelchair accessible seating alongside its deluxe stadium seats. The Emagine and Palladium Theatre chains have stadium seating and it also has accessible seating. Stadium seating did not exist 20 years ago when the ADA was enacted - there is no excuse not to include accessible seating in theatres or stadium with stadium seating.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It limits the others not at all ! In the building of the access for ADA compliance is freedom for citizens who can expect other citizens to join them one day with infirmities. I don't argue with or deny legal complaints by both parties can result in inequities but that is reasonable to expect when building change into the workplace, public areas, schools, restaurants, airports, bathrooms etc. Engineers and Architects build this freedom for themselves and others who will need this access and for those not endowed by birth without disabilities. When the noise Level and age gives you the need for hearing aids, the slope in your back requires a cane or wheelchair, the injury requires doors to open automatic for you. Then thank a Engineer or Architect for their knowledge and fight for codes,rules,and regulations against those who site cost and disadvantage to themselves.

  • 1 decade ago

    I just want to second what Lawyer X said. Some of those accomodations end up helping more than the disabled. If you are able bodied then suddenly find yourself injured and on crutches while you rehabilitate then you would applaud curb cuts and automatic door openers!

  • 1 decade ago

    Actually; just like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed discrimination based on race, the ADA is a civil rights law that outlaws discrimination based on disability. As a result; just like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which gave the blacks an equal chance of a happy life, the ADA also gives the people with disabilities that same chance of having a happy life as everyone else.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If people with disabilities (or minorities or women) can no longer be excluded from the workplace or from housing, etc., that may mean fewer jobs or fewer homes for white, nondisabled males, but that's hardly an infringement on anyone's freedom, unless you believe there's a right to discriminate against and exclude people based on disability, race, gender, etc.

    Briefly re some other answers:

    The notion that making readily achievable modifications to buildings puts mom-and-pops out of business is a myth spread by business interests. The requirements of the ADA have been in place for almost 20 years, yet businesses claim they are taken by surprise when they are sued.

    There's no excuse for building stadium style movie theaters since the ADA regulations went into effect, requiring equivalent lines of sight for wheelchair accessible seating. Yet new theaters are still being built with the accessible seating limited to the front few rows--the last seats to be filled because they are the least desirable.

    And lets not overlook the advantages to everyone from ADA-related changes--including curb cuts, automatic door openers, universal design, diversity in the workplace and the community, etc.

    The costs of inclusion and integration are insignificant when compared to the immeasurable benefits to people with disabilities and society.

  • 1 decade ago

    By requiring equal access for the disabled, it can diminish the enjoyment for able bodied people. I manage a movie theatre and there are several issues that impact my industry.

    Stadium Seating auditoriums: There have been numerous lawsuits against theatres of the design of these auditoriums. The suits come from people in wheelchairs who are not happy with the position of wheelchair access in the auditoriums. This is a case where theatres have faced expensive litigation over designs that benefit less than 1% of the population.

    Closed Captioning and similar technologies: There are groups who want theatres to offer 100% of movie showings with closed captioning or similar technology. Some want it to be projected right on the screen where everyone can see it, some are ok with technologies which provide the captioning to just the individual. Unfortunately, any open captioning system which works just for the individual is very expensive to install and is a benefit for a very small percentage of the population - like maybe 0.1% or less. The one or two times we ran a single showing of an open caption film, we sold less than 10% of the seats.

    There are numerous other issues related to the ADA, and most of them are fair and reasonable. Things like access ramps, wide doors, and much more. But I do think it is completely unreasonable for a minority that is less than 1% of the population to demand changes that diminish the experience for the rest of the population. Especially when it comes with significant extra expenses for the business - expenses which are then passed on to everyone else.


    One of the keys to the ADA is that business are supposed to provide reasonable accommodations. However, in most cases, there is no legal definition of what is or is not reasonable. There are very few definitions of what equipment might be required or how much a business needs to spend to provide those accommodations.

    EDIT 2

    Lawyer X: I beg to differ with you on the issue of stadium seating. As a rule, stadium seating creates a much better movie going experience for virtually all movie goers than more traditional slope floor seating. While a theatre should be designed so the wheelchair spots are more toward the center of the seating area than the front or back, the comfort of a relative few with disabilities should not trump the enjoyment of the majority.

    Don't misunderstand me, I fully support laws and regulations that make reasonable accommodations to allow access and employment of people with disabilities. But the majority should never be relegated to a less than full experience because it would be a less than full experience for the few.

    Should the rules of baseball or football be changed to allow people in wheelchairs to compete with able bodied people. The suggestion seems absurd, but it's no less absurd than suggesting someone should have a less than state of the art movie going experience just because the same can't be offered to a person in a wheelchair.

  • E-ma
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    When attorneys are allowed to sue companies even though they already made ADA recommended changes. The people with disabilities get no money at all from the suit. The business has to close down b/c they don't have enough money to pay the awarded judgment, especially after sinking all the money in to improvements.

    The attorneys have properties seized as payment & then make money again by selling them off.

    The public looses that "Mom & Pop" establishment.

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