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Houston Mayor Commemorates Disabilities Awareness Month

Inclusion treasures diversity and builds community.

This was the theme of this year's celebration honoring Disability Awareness Month in Houston.

On October 5, Houston Mayor Annise Parker hosted a celebration at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center in honor of citizens devoted to the cause of removing barriers for individuals with disabilities, reports Your Houston News.

The event was sponsored by the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, the public library and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, among others.

There were a few notable faces at the event, including Bill Klein, the star of TLC's "The Little Couple."

In Houston alone, there are 600,000 residents with disabilities, according to the 2010 Census.

Disability discrimination is a huge problem in employment law. Disabilities can get in the way of an employee's job duties and as such, discrimination against the disabled is a cause for concern.

Disability discrimination can occur in the hiring process, during training, promotion, in pay or benefits, at the time of discharge or even as early as the application stage.

Back in 1990, Congress passed the ADA-- or the Americans with Disabilities Act. This law makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate on the basis of a disability.

Furthermore, this law states that most businesses and places open to the public must make "reasonable accommodations" for several types of disabilities.

So, even if it is difficult for an employee to complete the job tasks due to a disability, the employer has an impetus to accommodate the employee.

But getting into the definition of "disability" can be tricky. Under the ADA, the disability must substantially limit a major life activity in order to fall under the protection of the law.

On the theme of disabilities in employment, the Houston celebration also featured a job fair, where employers focused on hiring injured and disabled war veterans.

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