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Webinar: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The ADA: Addiction, Recovery, and Employment

October 25, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Webinar Description

The pandemic has led to sharp increases in alcohol and substance abuse in the U.S. and an increase in behavioral health disorders. More than 70% of individuals with alcohol or drug use continue to maintain employment. Over 22 million Americans are currently in recovery from alcohol and other drug use disorders. (Source: Working on addiction in the workplace, Harvard Health Blog [link: health.harvard.edu/blog/working-on-addiction-in-the-workplace-2017063011941]. Although addiction affects all demographic groups, drug and alcohol abuse among African American communities is higher than the general population and African Americans have poorer treatment outcomes. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 20.4% of adult African Americans reported illegal drug use in the past year. (Source: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics/african-americans) American Indian and Alaska Natives have some of the highest rates of substance abuse.  Twenty-two percent abuse drugs, and 5% report heavy alcohol use. (Source: https://pro.psycom.net/special_reports/bipoc-mental-health-awareness-racism-in-psychiatry/race-and-addiction-treatment-outcomes)

Individuals in recovery are often unaware of their civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA ensures that people with disabilities, including those with alcohol use disorder and substance use disorders, have the same rights and opportunities in the workplace. This session will discuss how the ADA applies to addiction in three phases of employment: pre-offer, post-offer, and employment and use scenarios to apply the ADA as it relates to alcohol, opioids, cocaine, and marijuana.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the ADA’s definition of disability and how it applies to addiction and recovery.
  2. Recognize how the ADA applies to people with addiction to alcohol and those in recovery from opioids and other drugs.
  3. Discuss the questions and approaches that can be used during the three stages of employment (interview and application, post offer and pre-employment, and during employment).


Presenter: Barry Whaley

Barry Whaley works at the Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University.  He is the Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director of the Southeast ADA Center, Principal Co-Collaborator with the University of Leeds (UK) Inclusive Public Spaces project, Co-Collaborator with the University of Queensland (AU) Gender, Equity, Disability, and Social Inclusion Mainstreaming Short Course, and Principal Investigator of the Mid-Atlantic Youth and Self-Advocacy project.  His current research examines the impact of intersectionality of race and disability, on three ADA-related issues: 1) employment, 2) access to digital technology, 3) long and short-term poverty.

Barry is an alumnus of Indiana University and holds a Master of Science in Mediation, Arbitration, and Alternative Dispute Resolution from Sullivan University.


October 25, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Online only
UT United States


Hillary Hase