Chapter 3. Federal Disability Rights Laws and Their Application to Overseas Facilities, Programs, and Employment

This chapter examines federal disability rights laws and evaluates the extent to which they apply to U.S. Government-funded overseas facilities, programs, and employment. It also considers whether and how such laws apply to private entities abroad. In particular, the protections afforded by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)[1] and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973[2] are discussed in relation to international development work funded by the United States.

Federal Disability Rights Laws: An Overview

The United States has a long history of leadership in the development of progressive disability law and policy and in working to ensure the equal rights of Americans with disabilities. In 1973, Congress enacted the Rehabilitation Act, the first federal legislation to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities and the first domestic legislation in the world to introduce the concept of reasonable accommodation.[3] The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination based on disability by federal agencies and requires that reasonable accommodations be provided in programs under contract with the Federal Government and recipients of federal financial assistance.[4]

In 1990, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act, which further extended the protections and prohibitions of the Rehabilitation Act to private conduct with the goal of reducing the social discrimination and stigma faced by people with disabilities.[5] In drafting the ADA, Congress recognized that “historically, society tended to isolate and segregate individuals with disabilities, and, despite some improvements, such forms of discrimination against individuals with disabilities continue to be a serious and pervasive social problem.”[6] The ADA prohibits discrimination in the following areas: (1) employment; (2) public services; (3) telecommunications; (4) higher education; (5) professional examinations and licensing; (6) access to public accommodations and commercial facilities; and (7) other realms of society.[7] The ADA is divided into several titles that cover the various protections afforded by the law.[8] Titles I and III cover employment and access to public accommodations and are thus most relevant for the purposes of this study, in particular their application to U.S. Government-funded facilities, programs, and employment overseas.

Title I of the ADA specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in private employment. Title I requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for people with disabilities in the employment realm. Reasonable accommodations by private employers include, but are not limited to—

  • Providing job application materials in accessible formats;
  • Providing assistive technology for people with disabilities so they can perform the essential functions of their job;
  • Providing interpreters for communication for people with disabilities and their colleagues; and
  • Providing accessible workspace for people with disabilities.

Title III of the ADA requires “reasonable modifications” be made to ensure that people with disabilities can fully and equally enjoy “public accommodations.”[9] Under Title III, any entity that leases, owns, or operates a public accommodation must make reasonable modifications to its premises that are necessary for people with disabilities to access goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations. Examples of Title III violations include a private university that does not accept students with disabilities, a bank that does not have an accessible entranceway, and a privately owned medical facility that does not provide people who are deaf with sign language interpreters upon request.

The ADA and Rehabilitation Act, in combination with other key pieces of federal disability legislation, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),[10] the Fair Housing Amendments Act,[11] the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968,[12] the Air Carrier Access Act,[13] and the Telecommunications Act of 1996,[14] comprise the core of federal disability rights legislation. One of the issues examined in detail in this report is the extent to which American federal disability rights laws apply extraterritorially—beyond the borders of the United States—and the implications of extraterritoriality on U.S. Government-funded foreign assistance programs. This review is particularly important because the U.S. Government is the largest international development donor and should ensure compliance with U.S. disability rights laws in overseas work. Moreover, Americans with disabilities work and travel abroad, whether as private citizens, as diplomats, or as implementers of U.S.-funded foreign assistance programs, and must be able to enjoy equal access to overseas facilities, programs, and employment.

Extraterritorial Application of Federal Disability Rights Law

In reviewing the extraterritorial application of American disability rights laws to determine whether and how they apply to U.S. Government-funded overseas facilities, programs, and employment, a central question is whether Americans with disabilities are afforded the same protections abroad as those they are accorded in the United States. A key consideration, therefore, is whether U.S. Government-funded facilities, programs, and employment opportunities overseas must comport with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other federal laws to the same extent as U.S. Government-funded facilities, programs, and employment opportunities within the United States. The Supreme Court has held that Congress has the authority to enact laws that apply outside the territorial boundaries of the United States.[15] Historically, however, many American courts have been reluctant to apply federal laws extraterritorially, relying on the long-held presumption against extraterritorial application of federal laws. Under this presumption, and absent explicit affirmative congressional intent of extraterritorial reach, U.S. courts traditionally have not applied federal laws to actions or parties outside of the United States.[16]

As the United States became more involved in the global economy, its courts slowly abandoned the presumption against extraterritorial application in matters that ranged from antitrust enforcement against foreign businesses to international trademark infringement, and in some cases, criminal law.[17] Further, U.S. courts started reviewing legislative history[18] to determine whether Congress intended for a law to apply outside of U.S. borders.[19] For the purposes of this report, it is important to consider how courts have interpreted congressional intent with regard to federal civil rights statutes in claims arising in foreign jurisdictions, as many American civil rights laws, including the majority of federal disability rights laws, are silent when it comes to defining their extraterritorial reach.

In 1991, the Supreme Court considered the issue of extraterritorial application of American civil rights law in EEOC v. Arabian Am. Oil Co. (Aramco).[20] Aramco involved application of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (CRA) to a foreign-born American worker employed by an American corporation overseas.[21] The employee alleged employment discrimination based on his religion and national origin.[22] The Court relied on the presumption against extraterritoriality to hold that federal statutes did not apply abroad “unless a contrary intent appears.”[23] Significantly, the Court noted that Congress had the authority to extend the protections of American civil rights laws to American citizens working for American employers abroad.[24] However, the Aramco Court held that Congress had not issued a “clear statement” as to the extraterritorial reach when Title VII was enacted.[25] Because there was no clear language that Congress intended Title VII to apply to conduct outside the United States, the Supreme Court was not willing to extend the law’s protections in that case.[26]

In direct response to Aramco, Congress moved to enact amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (CRA Amendments) that specifically overturned the Court’s decision.[27] The CRA Amendments expanded the protections of Title I of the ADA and Title VII of the CRA to Americans working for American corporations and companies controlled by American corporations overseas.[28] The CRA Amendments extended protections to people with disabilities in the private employment realm under Title I of the ADA and did not specifically apply to other U.S. disability laws, such as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or other titles of the ADA.[29] Nevertheless, the 1991 Civil Rights Amendments exemplified Congress’ discontent with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the reach of civil rights laws and laid the foundation for finding that the protections articulated in federal disability rights laws should apply overseas.

Notwithstanding these developments, important questions remained as to the scope of protections and rights afforded under federal disability rights laws when applied overseas. As noted in NCD’s 2003 report, Foreign Policy and Disability: Legislative Strategies and Civil Rights Protections to Ensure Inclusion of People with Disabilities (Foreign Policy and Disability):

Recent case law indicates that courts may be willing to extend the protections of American disability discrimination laws to persons and conduct overseas, even in the absence of specific legislative language, and even in the face of the long-held presumption against the extraterritorial application of American laws.[30]

Since 2003, U.S. courts have continued to apply American disability laws extraterritorially. In 2005, the Supreme Court addressed the issue of extraterritorial application of the ADA to foreign-flagged cruise ships in Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. (Spector).[31] In Spector, the plaintiffs brought claims against a cruise line company alleging violations of Title III of the ADA.[32] The Court considered the issue of whether Title III applies to foreign-flagged cruise ships.[33] The Court held that because of the business practices of Norwegian Cruise Lines in the United States, and the fact that the majority of their patrons were American citizens, the foreign company could be held liable under Title III. In so holding, the Court struck down a lower court’s ruling that the ADA was “inapplicable because the statute has no clear statement or explicit text mandating coverage for foreign-flag ships in U.S. waters.”[34]

In Spector, the Court noted that if extraterritorial application was provided in a federal statute, then the court must enforce the statute. However, the Court abandoned the “clear statement” rule that looked only to whether a federal disability statute expressly mentioned applying extraterritorially. Spector is thus highly relevant, given that many American disability statutes are silent as to their application overseas. The Spector decision gives courts more discretion to analyze disability rights claims arising abroad on a case-by-case basis to determine if Congress intended to prevent the alleged disability discrimination extraterritorially.

Although U.S. federal disability statutes are silent as to whether they can be applied extraterritorially, congressional intent in creating the ADA and other federal disability statutes was to promote the full participation of people with disabilities in all facets of society and to protect people with disabilities from discrimination that would limit such participation.[35] In 2008, Congress amended the ADA to reemphasize the law’s purpose to focus on preventing discrimination and to correct the Supreme Court’s previous errors in statutory interpretation that narrowed the ADA’s application.[36] Congressional intent discloses that American disability rights laws should be interpreted to provide the same protections and remedies to Americans with disabilities throughout the world. The extraterritorial application of American disability rights laws is essential to ensuring that Americans with disabilities can travel, live, and work anywhere they want to in the world. One example that illustrates the importance of these laws applying abroad occurs when an American with a disability encounters an emergency in a foreign country and needs to be able to access the U.S. embassy in the country.

Accessibility of Federal Buildings and New Construction Projects Overseas

New investments in infrastructure funded by U.S. taxpayers should not create barriers that will hinder the participation of Americans in work and tourism abroad. Nor should such investments create barriers in countries whose development the United States is seeking to promote. In other words, the failure to provide access results in exclusion from physical premises as well as denial of equal access to services and resources inside buildings. Lack of access to public buildings also infringes on political rights by preventing access to voting centers, courthouses, administrative agencies, and embassies. Further, access to embassies and missions can facilitate the employment of Americans with disabilities in the Foreign Service, as ambassadors, legal advisors, political officers, and development practitioners, among other positions. Thus, ensuring accessibility to federal buildings for people with disabilities can help foster important linkages between the United States and foreign governments.

The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 requires that all federal buildings be made accessible.[37] The law requires that all buildings designed, constructed, or financed by the Federal Government ensure physical accessibility.[38] The law contains no provision limiting its applicability to buildings located in the United States, and accordingly, should be construed as applying to embassies and missions overseas.[39] Further, the concept of universal design should be applied to all U.S.-funded new construction overseas. The next chapter provides an in-depth review of the concept of universal design as defined in the CRPD.

Equal Access to Employment Opportunities in U.S.-Funded Overseas Programs

Under American disability rights laws, Americans with disabilities have the right to equal access to employment opportunities and are entitled to reasonable accommodations to perform their job duties. This should include the opportunity to work in U.S. embassies, missions, and U.S. Government-funded programs abroad. It is therefore important for U.S. Government agencies to ensure that Americans with disabilities are afforded the same protections and remedies overseas as in the United States. The following analysis reviews the provisions of the ADA and Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that are most relevant to employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities in overseas programs.

Title I of the ADA applies to private employers and provides, “[n]o covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual on the basis of disability in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.”[40] As discussed above, Title I of the ADA extends to protect American citizens working for private American-controlled employers overseas, such as major American corporations with offices in other countries.[41] These groups of Americans with disabilities who work abroad are afforded the same accommodations, rights, and remedies as people with disabilities working in the United States. Although Title I does not apply to the Federal Government, when private employers contract with the Federal Government to perform work overseas, private employers must comply with Title I.[42] This requirement is of special relevance for the purposes of this report given that a high percentage of U.S. Government-funded foreign assistance work is implemented by private contractors, which are considered covered entities under Title I.[43] For example, Chemonics International, a large private international development company working under USAID contracts, is subject to Title I of the ADA in the 75 countries where it works. Accordingly, Title I jurisdiction extends to protect Americans with disabilities who work for these private employers on foreign assistance programs.[44] It follows that government employees with disabilities working on the same program overseas should be covered by Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, the legal equivalent of Title I for government employees. Title I’s protections are essential to furthering the goals of inclusive development by ensuring that more people with disabilities will work in the field of international development for both private contractors and U.S. Government agencies, thus raising disability awareness worldwide.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in

  1. programs receiving federal financial assistance;
  2. federal employment; and
  3. the employment practices of federal contractors.[45]

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act applies to entities and programs receiving federal funding and covers “otherwise qualified individual[s] with a disability in the U.S.”[46] NCD’s Foreign Policy and Disability briefly discussed the meaning of “in the United States,” and then presented arguments that recent case law demonstrates that Section 504 is applicable overseas, noting, “Upon review of recent court decisions, it appears that Section 504 also applies to conduct outside of the United States.”[47] Following this line of reasoning, the U.S. Federal Government is obligated to comply with the nondiscrimination mandate of Section 504 in programs overseas, provided such compliance would not conflict with another country’s laws.[48] The requirement that compliance with Section 504 not conflict with another country’s laws is relevant here as it means that U.S. Government agencies must ensure their programs and practices in each country do not conflict with the host country’s domestic law.[49] As will be discussed at length in the next chapter, the ratification of the CRPD by dozens of countries where the United States funds development programs has implications for U.S. Government agencies in their foreign assistance work. Moreover, it should be noted that the CRPD prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and creates a duty to provide reasonable accommodations, provisions that are consistent with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The failure to comply with Section 504 in federally funded programs abroad has the perverse effect of creating an inconsistent application of a law that Congress clearly intended to apply to the U.S. Federal Government in federally funded programs, facilities, and employment opportunities. Further, the failure to apply Section 504 in foreign assistance work undermines disability laws in countries that have ratified the CRPD and seriously undercuts American leadership in disability rights and inclusive development.[50]

Similarly, Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination against federal employees, has been held to apply in cases of federal employees seeking to work abroad.[51] In its 2009 decision, Katz v. USAID and Department of State, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)[52] held that DOS and USAID were in violation of Section 501 for failing to conduct an individualized assessment of an applicant for a U.S. Foreign Service position.[53] The complainant in Katz alleged that DOS and USAID discriminated against her on the basis of disability when she was denied a Class 1 Medical Clearance after applying for a U.S. Foreign Service position in USAID’s Democracy and Governance Office.[54] The Department of State’s Office of Medical Services (MED) denied the complainant the Class 1 Clearance because she did not meet its definition of “worldwide availability,” which was considered an essential function of the position.[55] According to USAID, “worldwide availability is both an affirmed willingness to serve anywhere in the world and a matter of being medically qualified to do so; both are essential requirements for appointment to the Foreign Service.”[56] In cases where an individual does not receive a Class 1 Clearance, USAID’s Medical Review Committee can grant a waiver if the applicant can work in more than 51 percent of worldwide posts. In Katz, the waiver was not granted, and therefore USAID did not hire the complainant, notwithstanding medical evidence provided by her longtime physician stating that she could indeed live and work at the post in question and irrespective of the fact that she had already worked in a difficult postconflict environment in a previous position that was, incidentally, funded by the U.S. Government.[57]

In Katz, the EEOC shifted the burden of proof to the agencies and provided guidance on how the agencies must conduct assessments: “when making its individualized assessment the agency must gather information and base its decision on substantial information regarding the individual’s work and medical history.”[58] Despite a number of letters from the complainant’s physicians providing evidence that she did indeed meet the “worldwide availability” standard, two physicians at the Department of State Office of Medical Services (MED) who reviewed the complainant’s medical record admitted that they never saw those letters.[59] Furthermore, the EEOC found that the MED grounded its decisions on assumptions about the complainant concerning her medical condition and did not undertake an investigation to assess whether the assumptions were true.[60] The EEOC upheld the administrative judge’s (AJ’s) decision and stated: “The AJ found the State Department failed to conduct an individualized assessment and hence, did not satisfy its burden of establishing complainant was a direct threat.”[61] The Katz decision provides a salient example of how Section 501 has been applied to prohibit discrimination against federal employees with disabilities working abroad.

The Katz decision illustrates ongoing challenges in ensuring that employment opportunities are open to people with disabilities. In this regard, it stands to reason that Congress should instruct DOS and USAID that Section 501 applies abroad and that agencies must issue clear guidance to missions and embassies. In comparing Section 501 to Title 1 of the ADA, it is important to note that Congress made it clear in the CRA Amendments that Title I applies overseas, and thus Title I does indeed apply to private contractors who receive U.S. Government funding to implement programs. It is equally clear that Congress also intends for government employees to have the same protections, rights, and remedies as private employees working on government-funded programs and thus Congress should provide clear instructions to DOS and USAID that they must adhere to the provisions set out in Section 501.

Similarly, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act should also be applied to prohibit discrimination beyond the borders of the United States. Section 503 prohibits discrimination by contractors with the Federal Government,[62] and NCD’s Foreign Policy and Disability report emphasized that it may be applied extraterritorially, even in the absence of specific legislative provision.[63] As previously discussed in relation to Title 1 of the ADA, Section 503’s application to government contractors is critically important as the majority of U.S.-funded foreign assistance work is contracted out by the Federal Government to private contractors who must comply with the law’s provisions. Therefore, Section 503 has a significant role to play in promoting the rights of people with disabilities to work for government contractors, and thus furthers the goal of inclusive development by creating jobs and programming accessible to people with disabilities working in international development.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is another important provision that should be applied overseas to ensure equal access to employment for people with disabilities.[64] Section 508 covers access to electronic and information technology (EIT) procured by the Federal Government.[65] It requires that EIT developed, procured, maintained or used by any federal agency be accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 “enhances the ability of federal employees with disabilities to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to others. Similarly, agency procurement of accessible EIT enhances the ability of members of the public with disabilities who are seeking information or services from a federal agency to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to others.” Of specific relevance to this report, Section 508 applies to U.S. Government websites and procurements issued on the Internet.[66] U.S. embassies, missions, and other federal offices overseas should be in compliance with Section 508 and ensure that their websites are accessible to people with disabilities. Further, U.S. Government agencies operating overseas must issue electronic procurements in a manner that is accessible to people with disabilities. Websites and procurements must be in accessible formats in order to ensure equal access to programs and employment in U.S. Government-funded overseas work.

Conclusion

The proper application of American disability rights laws abroad is crucial to achieving and promoting the purposes and goals behind the ADA and Rehabilitation Act, namely, the full participation of people with disabilities in society and protection against discrimination that would limit such participation. U.S. involvement in international work and foreign aid is increasing, and the American workforce abroad should be afforded the same protections as Americans working within the United States. Further, the goals of American disability rights laws would be reinforced through ratification of the CRPD by the United States, given the stated purpose of the CRPD “to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.”[67] The next chapter outlines the CRPD and its relevant articles that are vital for U.S. Government agencies to consider in foreign assistance work.

Footnotes

[1]Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [hereafter ADA], 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213 (2000).

[2] Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Pub. L. No. 93-112, 87 Stat. 355 (1973).

[3] Id.

[4] Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act establishes a federal Interagency Committee on Employees Who Are Individuals with Disabilities. 29 U.S.C. § 791(a) (1991). Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act requires every contract or subcontract of $10,000 or more with any federal department or agency to “contain a provision requiring that the party contracting with the United States shall take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.” 29 U.S.C. § 793. 29 U.S.C. § 794 applies to recipients of federal financial assistance.

[5] ADA, Pub. L. No. 101-336, 104 Stat. 327 (1990).

[8] Title I pertains to employment; Title II to public entities; Titles III to public accommodations; Title IV to telecommunications; and Title V to other miscellaneous provisions. ADA, Pub. L. No. 101-336, tit. I-V, 104 Stat. 327 (1990).

[9] 42 U.S.C § 12111(9) (2000); 42 U.S.C. § 12182 (b)(2) (2000).

[10] 20 U.S.C.A. §§ 1400 et seq. Under IDEA, public schools are required to provide all children with disabilities a “free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment appropriate to their individual needs.” Id.

[11] Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Pub. L. No. 100-430, 102 Stat. 1619 (codified at 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619, 3631 (1988), and 28 U.S.C. §§ 2341-2342 (1988). Prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in housing.

[12] Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4151-4157 (1968).

[13] Air Carrier Access Act, 49 U.S.C. § 41795 (1986).

[14] Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. §§ 153, 255 (1996).

[15] U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 3. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress broad powers “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations.” See EEOC v. Arabian Am. Oil Co., 499 U.S. at 248 (1991) [hereafter Aramco]. Citing Foley Bros. v. Filardo, 336 U.S. 281, 284-285 (1949). See also, Hartford Fire Ins. v. Cal., 509 U.S. 764 (1949); Ford v. U.S., 273 U.S. 593 (1927); American Banana Co. v. United Fruit Co. 213 U.S. 341, 356 (1909) [hereafter United Fruit].

[16] The first known case was Murray v. The Charming Betsy, 6 U.S. (2 Cranch.) 64, at 118 (1804), where the Court stated, “[A]n Act of Congress ought never to be construed to violate the law of nations, if any possible construction remains.” A century later, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes stated, “The general and almost universal rule is that the character of an act as lawful or unlawful must be determined wholly by the law of the country where the act is done,” United Fruit at 357.

[18] Legislative history includes the recorded statements of Congress during the passage of a particular law.

[19] Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd., 545 U.S. 119 (2005).

[20] Aramco, 499 U.S., at 248.

[21] Id.

[22] Id.

[23] Id.

[24] Id.

[25] Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote for the dissent joined by Justice Harry Blackmun and Justice John Paul Stevens, arguing that the question of whether Title VII protects U.S. citizens from discrimination by U.S. employers abroad turns solely on congressional intent. “Contrary to the majority’s analysis, this canon is not ‘clear statement’ rule of which relieves a court of the duty to give effect to all indicia of the legislative will…. when these tools are brought to bear on the issue in this case, the conclusion is inescapable that Congress did intend Title VII to protect United States citizens from discrimination by United States employers operating overseas.” Id. at 261.

[26] The Court stated, “We assume that Congress legislates against the backdrop of the presumption against extraterritoriality. Therefore, unless there is ‘the affirmative intention of the Congress clearly expressed,’ ...we must presume it ‘is primarily concerned with domestic conditions.’” Id. at 258 (citations omitted).

[27] Following the Court’s decision in Aramco, Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) introduced H.R. 1694, American Employees Equity Act of 1991, Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-MD) introduced H.R. 1741, Extraterritorial Employment Protection Amendments of 1991, and Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) introduced S.1407, Protection of Extraterritorial Employment, together with Sen. Edward Kennedy’s (D-MA) bills comprising the Civil Rights Act.

[28] Congress amended the Civil Rights Act of 1991 to give extraterritorial protection to American citizens working overseas for American employers. Civil Rights Act Amendments Act of 1991, Pub. L. No. 102-166, § 109, 105 Stat. 1071 (1991) (codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-1 (1994)). Civil Rights Act Amendments Act of 1991 § 3(4). See 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-634 (1999). The 1984 extraterritorial amendments are at 29 U.S.C. §§ 623(f) (1), 623(h).

[30] National Council on Disability, Foreign Policy and Disability: Legislative Strategies and Civil Rights Protections to Ensure Inclusion of People with Disabilities [hereafter, NCD, Foreign Policy and Disability], at 45 (September 9, 2003), http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2003/Sept92003.

[31] Spector, 545 U.S.

[32] Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the full and equal enjoyment of public accommodations, 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a) (2000), and public transportation services, 42 U.S.C. § 12184(a) (2000).

[33] Spector, 545 U.S., at 125.

[34] Id. at 120.

[35] 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (a), (b) (1990).

[36] ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-325 (2008). See also Sutton v. United Air Lines, Inc., 527 U.S. 471 (1999), Toyota Motor Mfg., KY, Inc. v. Williams, 534 U.S. 184 (2002).

[37] 42 U.S.C. §§ 4151-4157 (1968).

[38] Id.

[39] Id.

[40] 42 U.S.C. § 12112 (1990).

[41] Civil Rights Act Amendments Act of 1991 § 109(a) (1990).

[42] Id.

[43] Curt Tarnoff and Larry Nowells, Congressional Research Service, OC 98-916, “Foreign Aid: An Introductory Overview of U.S. Programs and Policy,” 30 (2004).

[44] Id.

[45] Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Pub. L No 93-112, 87 Stat. 355 (1973).

[46] Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended?29 U.S.C. § 794 (1973).

[47] NCD, Foreign Policy and Disability, supra note 50, at 47. The report cites two federal cases where courts applied Section 504’s protections to Americans abroad, reasoning that the individuals qualify for Section 504 protections when they are “in the United States.” Bird v. Lewis & Clark College, 104 F. Supp. 2d 1271 (D. Or. 2000) aff’d 303 F.3d 1015 (9th Cir. 2002); King v. Bd. of Control of E. Mich. Univ., 221 F. Supp.2d 783 (2002). One court found that Section 504 was applicable to a student who sought accommodations in a study-abroad program operated by an American college. Bird, 104 F. Supp. 2d. 1271 (2000). Further, in another case, a federal court noted that the phrase “qualified individual in the United States” applies to individuals who qualify for the law’s protection in the United States, but does not limit the law’s coverage to entities and programs located in the United States. There, the court held Section 504 applicable to “all federally funded programs, not only those in the United States.” King, 221 F. Supp. 2d 783.

[48] Foreign Assistance Act, 22 U.S.C. § 2151 (1961).

[49] Id.

[50] Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended?29 U.S.C. § 794 (1973); CRPD, supra note 9.

[51] Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended 29 U.S.C. § 793 (1973).

[52] The EEOC is the federal administrative agency in the United States given judicial authority through the Administrative Procedures Act 5 U.S.C. §500 et seq. (APA) to interpret employment discrimination law. If a plaintiff or defendant wishes to appeal the EEOC’s decision, he or she can appeal to a federal court. However, a higher level of deference is given to the EEOC’s construction of a statute. “If the Court determines Congress has not directly addressed the precise question at issue, the court does not simply impose its own construction of the statute . . . rather…[i]f the statute is silent or ambiguous with respect to the specific question, the issue for the court is whether the agency’s answer is based on a permissible construction of the statute.” Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. National Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 104 S. Ct. 2778, 81 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1984).

[53] Katz v. Department of State, EEOC No.0720060025 (2009).

[54] Id.

[55] Id.

[56] USAID, “Foreign Service Officer Frequently Asked Questions,”  http://www.usaid.gov/careers/fsofaq.html.

[57] Katz, EEOC No.0720060025.

[58] Katz, citing Lovell v. Department of Justice, EEOC Appeal No. 01A41642 (May 26, 2006).

[59] Katz, EEOC No.0720060025.

[60] Id.

[61] Id.

[62] Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended 29 U.S.C. § 793 (1973).

[63] Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act requires every contract or subcontract of $10,000 or more with any federal department or agency to “contain a provision requiring that the party contracting with the United States shall take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.” 29 U.S.C. § 793. NCD, Foreign Policy and Disability, supra note 50.

[64] Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 794d (a) (1) (A), http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/act.htm; “Section 508 requirements are separate from, but complementary to, requirements in sections 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act that require, among other things, that agencies provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, provide program access to members of the public with disabilities, and take other actions necessary to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability in their programs.” U.S. Census Bureau, Section 508 Acquisition FAQs, http://www.census.gov/procur/www/508-faq.html.

[65] Access Board, “Section 508 Homepage,” http://www.access-board.gov/508.htm.

[66] Access Board, “The Rehabilitation Act Amendments (Section 508),” http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/act.htm.

[67] CRPD, supra note 9, at art. 1.

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