Trainings & Events
- Learn about standout accessibility apps in the Apple iOS App Store and Android Google Play Store
- Learn about apps that can assist with access to digital materials
- Learn about apps for accessing the world around you
- Android is accessible. TalkBack, BrailleBack, and Explore by touch are accessibility services available to people who are blind or low-vision
- Android is customizable. Features and settings associated with screen readers in other platforms are available to Android users through third-party apps
- Android is original. Google's approach to things is a little wild and a little experimental. It's approach to accessibility is no exception.
News from the Federal Agencies
U.S. Access Board
Board Issues Guidelines for Emergency Transportable Housing - United States Access Board
The U.S. Access Board has issued guidelines that address access to temporary housing provided by the government in emergencies and natural disasters. The new requirements supplement the Board's accessibility guidelines for facilities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA).
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
EEOC Sues Wal-Mart for Disability Discrimination
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., alleging that the giant retailer fired an intellectually disabled employee at a Rockford Walmart store after it rescinded his workplace accommodation.
Disability Network Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination
A Detroit nonprofit formed to assist people with disabilities violated federal law by discriminating against a deaf employee, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it recently filed. According to the EEOC lawsuit, Disability Network denied a deaf independent living specialist reasonable accommodations and then fired him. The nonprofit refused the employee his requests for TTY equipment, a video phone and the ability to use text messaging, and refused to provide him with alternate accommodations according the lawsuit.
House of Raeford Farms to Pay $52,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit
House of Raeford Farms, Inc., a poultry processor, will pay $52,000 and provide other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC had charged that House of Raeford violated federal law by discriminating against an employee because of her disability.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Settlement Agreement with FSU Announced
The Justice Department has reached a settlement agreement with Florida State University (FSU), Tallahassee, FL under title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. FSU under the settlement agrees not to conduct any medical examination or make any disability-related inquiry of job applicants before a conditional offer of employment is made, and to make its employment opportunities website and its mobile applications, conform to, at a minimum, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA Success Criteria and other Conformance Requirements ("WCAG 2.0 AA").
DOJ Reaches Settlement with Campus Inn and Bell Tower Hotels
The U.S. Department of Justice has reached an agreement with Campus Inn and Bell Tower Hotels resolving a complaint filed under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Following the complaint and receipt of architectural drawings from the hotel operators, DOJ conducted a site visit. As a result of its investigation DOJ determined that the hotels had failed its obligations to remove existing barriers where readily achievable to do so. As part of the agreement the hotels will provide wheelchair accessible rooms, complying with the 2010 ADA standards for accessible design, among other requirements.
New Jersey School District to Adopt Service Animal Policies and Pay Fine to Resolve Justice Department Investigation
The Justice Department announced that it reached a settlement with the Delran Township School District in New Jersey under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The agreement resolves allegations that the school district violated the ADA by refusing to allow a student with autism and encephalopathy to have his service dog in school or at school-related activities. The service dog alerts to the student's seizures, provides mobility and body support and mitigates the symptoms of his autism.
Hospital for Special Care and Justice Department Reach Settlement Agreement
The settlement with the Hospital for Special Care resolves a complaint that the hospital refused to accommodate a child in its summer camp program in 2013 because the child had juvenile diabetes and required the use of an insulin pump. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the Hospital for Special Care agreed to implement policies and procedures to ensure that children with disabilities are afforded full and equal opportunities to participate in and benefit from all of its summer camp programs. The Hospital also agreed to publish on its website a statement of policy on prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability.
Great Lakes In Focus
Federal Communications Commission Seeks Comment on Emergency Alert System (EAS)
On June 26, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released proposed rules to change the way that alerts are provided to the public under the Emergency Alert System (EAS). These proposals address problems that were encountered during the first nationwide test of the EAS (which took place on November 7, 2011). Included within these revisions is a proposal for standards to ensure that EAS alerts are accessible to all members of the public, including people who are deaf or hard of hearing or blind or visually impaired. This proposal specifically seeks comment on quality standards for visual crawls and audio access to EAS messages. For the accessibility section, please go to paragraphs 31-40 on pages 16-21 in one of the links to the document below.
Deadlines for comments and reply comments will be posted to AccessInfo upon publication in the Federal Register.
Links to the proposals are:
Joshua Bunn quit his job at a Dairy Queen franchise and sued his former employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The employee, who has low vision, believed that the employer failed to accommodate his disability as required by the ADA and that the employer subjected him to disparate treatment when they reduced his scheduled hours during the winter months. The district court granted the employer's motion for summary judgment on all of the plaintiff's claims. Bunn appealed the District Court's decision to the 7th Circuit.
The 7th Circuit affirmed the District Courts summary judgment ruling. The Appeals Court found that Bunn's failure-to-accommodate claim fell short because the employer did reasonably accommodate Bunn's disability even though the accommodation was not the one he had wanted. The Court also found that his disparate treatment claim failed because he had not introduced sufficient evidence to create a triable issue of material fact and because the facts show that the defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
From the ADA Expert
Question:I recently took my father to one of those large "box stores" and was surprised that they didn't have any wheelchairs or electric scooters for customers to use. When I asked at the customer service desk they told me they were not required to provide them. Does the Americans with Disabilities Act ((ADA) require businesses to provide wheelchairs or electric scooters for customers with disabilities?Answer:
The ADA prohibits businesses from discriminating on the basis of disability with regards to the goods, services, privileges or facilities being offered to the public. A business must make goods and services available in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individual.
The ADA however does not require businesses to provide its customers, clients, or participants with personal devices, such as wheelchairs, individually prescribed devices, such as prescription eyeglasses or hearing aids. Businesses are also not required to provide services of a personal nature including assistance in eating, toileting, or dressing.
Some businesses do provide mobility devices for customers as a good business practice. They recognize that some individuals may have difficulty navigating their facilities.
For additional information please contact the Great Lakes ADA Center at (800) 949-4232 (V/TTY) or by completing the online form: http://adagreatlakes.com/WebForms/ContactUs/>Suggested Resources