Persons With Disabilities:

Reports on Costs of Accommodations

HRD-90-44BR: Published: Jan 4, 1990. Publicly Released: Jan 4, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the potential costs of proposed legislation prohibiting private-sector employment discrimination against disabled persons.

GAO identified 12 published reports that estimated the costs of accommodating the disabled, noting that: (1) the reports had limited value for estimating the costs of implementing the employment discrimination legislation, since they were outdated and primarily addressed physical access issues; (2) the cost estimates in seven reports on building accessibility were limited to specific building types and utilized differing or incomplete cost estimate methodologies and assumptions; (3) the only report on employment accommodations estimated that 8 percent of costs exceeded $2,000, 51 percent of the modifications cost nothing, and 30 percent cost less than $500, but the applicability of those estimates, given technological changes, was questionable; (4) three reports covering transportation accessibility contained cost estimates that reviewers and disabled groups disputed or that were otherwise inappropriate for analysis; and (5) the remaining report was a notice of proposed rulemaking on telecommunications accessibility for persons with hearing or speech disabilities, that requested comment on cost estimates for a nationwide telephone relay system.

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