Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 adds a new dimension to the body of anti discrimination law in the United States. Encompassing nearly all aspects of employment and public life, it has sent a shock wave of concern throughout the commercial vessels industry. Through examination of the Act's salient features and potential application to commercial vessel operation, manning, and construction, it is concluded that the Act's goals may be substantially achieved without additional risk or significant financial harm to shipowners. The requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 are not considered to be inconsistent with a shipowner's duty to furnish a seaworthy vessel and crew under the general maritime law. It is also concluded that the Act affords the necessary mechanisms for owners to make effective employment decisions without increasing their risk of exposure to liability.