hearing loss and employment – part 2
Disabled Access Credit
The Disabled Access Credit is an income tax credit that small businesses can claim for expenses related to accommodating disabled employees. A small business is one with maximum revenues of one million dollars or one with 30 or fewer full-time employees.
The credit is claimed on IRS Form 8826. The amount is 50 percent of accessibility expenditures over $250 up to a total of $10,250. So the maximum annual credit is $5000 if your company spends $10,250 or more on accessibility. Note that the amount not covered by this credit is eligible for standard business deductions, so that actual out-of-pocket costs for accessibility expenditures can be as little as 25% to 30% of the actual expenditure.
The credit is available for virtually anything that improves accessibility for disabled people, whether employees or customers. Examples of qualified expenditures include equipment, architectural modifications, and communications services (CART providers or interpreters).
So, when you go it to request an accommodation from your small business employer, be sure to inform her of the Disabled Access Credit
Japan Removes Occupation Restrictions on People with Disabilities
We reported awhile ago that Japan was considering lifting some of the restrictions on occupational choices for people with disabilities, including people with hearing loss. I’m happy to report that it looks like that effort is underway. The Japanese House of Representatives recently voted to amend 27 laws that forbid deaf or blind people from working as doctors, dentists, nurses, or pharmacists. The House of Counselors has already passed the bill, which does allow the government to deny licensure if a person would have difficulty carrying out the functions of a profession because of a physical or mental disorder.
The Health Ministry is charged with defining the specific disabilities to be considered, and the restrictions they would cause. It appears that deafness will be cause for restrictions on applicants to become doctors, dentists, or nurses, and that blindness will cause additional restrictions.