The ADA prohibits discrimination against "qualified individuals with disabilities" who are individuals with disabilities who meet the skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of a position held or desired and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of a job. Employers are obligated to make reasonable accommodation only if they are aware of a person’s disability.Thus, employers do not have to accommodate disabilities that they are unaware of.The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment; state and local government activities; public accommodations; public transportation; telecommunications; and public services. Explore your feelings about having a mental health challenges and about sharing that information with others.

In general, however, it is the responsibility of the individual with the disability to inform the employer that an accommodation is needed. However, an employer may ask you objective questions that help the employer decide whether you can perform essential duties of a job.

An employer may ask you about your ability to meet the physical standards for jobs involving physical labor, your ability to get along with people, or your ability to finish tasks on time, and to come to work every day.

The definition of disability in the ADA includes people with mental health challenges who meet one of these three definitions: "(1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual; (2) a record of such an impairment; or (3) being regarded as having such an impairment." A mental impairment is defined by the ADA as "any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental health challenges, and specific learning disabilities." Disclosure is a complex decision and should be made with care.

Remember, no one can force you to disclose if you don't want to.

Finally, people who are in poor health or have physical disabilities were more likely to perceive workplace inaccessibility as a barrier but less likely to have received accommodations in their current or most recent job.

This suggests that people with these characteristics may be good candidates to target for greater access to workplace accommodations.

The ADA requires employers who provide "reasonable accommodations" for qualified individuals with disabilities.

What are "reasonable accommodations" for people with severe mental health challenges?

Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, activities, and services provided by state and local governments.

A state or local government must eliminate any eligibility criteria for participation in programs, activities, and services that screen out or tend to screen out or discriminate against persons with disabilities, unless it can establish that these requirements are necessary for the provision of the service, program, or activities.

First, an employer is not required to provide an accommodation if it will impose an "undue hardship" on the operation of its business such as accommodations that are excessively costly, extensive, substantial, or disruptive, or would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business.