Teachers are the backbone of our society; they shape the next generation’s minds by providing knowledge, guidance and inspiration. However, like any professionals, teachers in Kentucky can face challenges that may affect their ability to continue teaching. One such challenge is the development of a physical disability.
The state requires teachers to obtain and maintain teaching certificates to work in public schools. These certificates serve as proof of an educator’s qualifications and competencies. These certificates come in various forms, including Provisional, Professional and Master Certificates. The type of certificate an educator holds can impact their career and their professional privileges. These certificates are not tied to physical ability unless an individual cannot fulfil their ongoing requirements due to a disability that makes such fulfillment impossible.
ADA and disability rights
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against teachers with disabilities in various aspects of life, including employment. Under the ADA, employers, including public schools and educational institutions, are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities.
This means that teachers with physical disabilities are entitled to certain accommodations to perform their job duties effectively. These accommodations may include modified teaching materials, accessible classrooms or assistive technology to help ensure that educators can effectively perform their duties.
However, suppose a teacher with a physical disability cannot perform their essential duties, even with reasonable accommodations, or performing their duties somehow directly threatens the health or safety of themselves, their colleagues and/or students. In that case, there may be grounds for termination.
Losing a teaching certificate due to a physical disability is uncommon. However, there may be grounds for termination if the teacher in question is unable to perform their essential duties even with reasonable accommodations.