Trainings & Events
News from the Federal Agencies
U.S. Access Board
Board Releases Proposed Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment
The U.S. Access Board has published accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment and is excepting public comments. The standards were developed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and address access for people with disabilities to examination tables and chairs, weight scales, mammography equipment, and other equipment used for diagnostic purposes. The standards were published on February 9, 2012 and the public comment period lasts 120 days.
Public Hearings on the Proposed Access Board Standard
March 14, 9:30 - NoonAccess Board Conference Center1331 F Street, NW, Suite 800Washington, DC
May 8, 9:30 - NoonHilton AtlantaMeeting Rooms 309-311255 Courtland Street, NEAtlanta, GA
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Celadon Sued By EEOC for Disability Discrimination
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed suit alleging that Celadon, Inc., a trucking company headquartered in Indianapolis, unlawfully subjected applicants to medical examinations and failed to hire qualified applicants because of disabilities or perceived ones. According to the EEOC suit, Celadon performed medical examinations on applicants for driving positions before making conditional job offers.
EEOC Issues Revised Publications on Employment of Veterans with disabilities
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued two revised publications addressing veterans with disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The revised guides reflect changes to the law stemming from the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which make it easier for veterans with a wide range of impairments to get needed reasonable accommodations that will enable them to work successfully.
- Veterans and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A Guide for Employers at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/ada_veterans_employers.cfm
- Understanding Your Employment Rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A Guide for Veterans at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/ada_veterans.cfm
Tyson Foods Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
Tyson Foods, Inc. will pay $35,000 and to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC. The EEOC had charged that Tyson Foods refused to hire a former employee because he had epilepsy.
Product Fabricators to Pay $40,000 to Settle Disability Discrimination Suit
Product Fabricators, Inc. will pay $40,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In lawsuit the EEOC charged that Product Fabricators fired an employee because the employee was taking a low-dosage, prescribed narcotic medication for back pain.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Signs New Project Civic Access Settlement Agreement
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a new settlement agreement under its Project Civic Access initiative with the City of Humboldt, KS. Project Civic Access works with counties, cities, towns, and villages to remove barriers that will foster compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). By eliminating physical and communication barriers Project Civic Access allows persons with disabilities to participate in the activities and services offered by their respective communities. The DOJ has conducted reviews in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia and posted the agreements on the Project Civic Access website.
Department of Justice Reaches Settlement Agreement with the Henry Ford Health System
The Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement with the Henry Ford Health System resolving a complaint that had been filed under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The complaint had alleged that Kingwood Hospital, owned by Henry Ford Health Services, failed to provide necessary auxiliary aids and services to a patient that is deaf and to family members that are either deaf or hard of hearing. Kingswood Hospital did not dispute the allegations and agreed to develop policies that would insure that persons that are deaf and hard of hearing receive necessary auxiliary aids and services so that they are able to enjoy the full services provided by the hospital.
Great Lakes In Focus
Swimming pools, wading pools and spas
The U.S. Department of Justice has issued technical assistance materials and two letters clarifying the application of the 2010 standards to existing swimming, wading pools and spas. The DOJ materials clarify obligations to provide accessible entry for operators of existing facilities with swimming pools, wading pools, and spas. In addition, the materials clarify when portable lifts may be used in existing facilities.
Any new construction or alterations taking place on or after March 15, 2012 must comply with the 2010 standards. The 2010 standards contain scoping and technical requirements for accessible entry into swimming pools, wading pools and spas. The 1991 standards do not contain similar requirements so existing swimming pools, wading pools and spas do not fall under the "safe harbor" provision of the DOJ revised regulations applying to state and local governments and places of public accommodations. State and local governments after March 15 must use the 2010 standards to insure that all programs, services and activities are accessible to and useable by persons with disabilities. Places of public accommodations must use the 2010 standards when removing existing barriers where it is readily achievable to do so.
- Revised ADA Requirements: Accessible Pools Means of Entry and Exit at http://www.ada.gov/pools_2010.htm
- Asian American Hotel Owners Association at http://www.ada.gov/aahoa_letter.htm
- American Hotel and Lodging Association Letter at http://www.ada.gov/ahla_letter_2_21.htm
- For more information about 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design visit http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAstandards.htm#top
- For more information about Swimming pools and spas visit http://www.access-board.gov/recreation/guides/pools.htm
- For more information about February 3, 2011, Accessible Transient Lodging visit http://www.accessibilityonline.org/Archives/
- For more information about March 3, 2011, Accessible Swimming Pools and Spas visit http://www.accessibilityonline.org/Archives/
- For more information about August 4, 2011, Accessible Health Clubs and Fitness Facilities visit http://www.accessibilityonline.org/Archives/
The United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, affirmed a lower Court's granting of summary judgment in an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit. Erico Lopez had filed suit against his former employer AT&T, CORP, alleging that he was harassed and terminated on the basis of his disability, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). AT&T, CORP had argued in its filing for summary judgment that Lopez had been terminated for violating company policies.
The Court of Appeals rejected Lopez's claim that the district court erred in granting summary judgment to AT&T. The Court wrote that summary judgment is appropriate "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." The Court also ruled that Lopez failed to establish that AT&T terminated his employment because of his post-traumatic depression and panic attacks.
From the ADA Expert
Question:Q. . I am a public library director. We have a patron who comes in daily for long periods of time with a service dog. She has revealed that she herself does not have a disability, but that the dog "trains other dogs" to be service animals. Her dog has completed training, but she says it must accompany her at all times to maintain its training. I'm wondering if this is a reasonable request. There is no question that we would welcome a service animal accompanying a patron with a disability, but does this obligation extend to trained service animals accompanying people without disabilities?Answer:
Any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.
A service animal in training would not meet this definition contained in the ADA regulations. In addition, an individual with a disability using a service animal is the one protected by the ADA from discrimination on the basis of disability. The service animal not being used by an individual with a disability has no protection status under the ADA.
If a trainer is accompanied by a trained service animal there is nothing in the ADA that would require that the service animal be allowed into a covered entities facility. To summarize, a service animal in training does not meet the definition of a service animal under the ADA and a service animal meeting the definition under the ADA only must be allowed into covered facilities when with an individual with a disability.
Some states have laws that do require that animals in training be allowed to accompany trainers in public facilities. Individuals should check with a state attorney general's office to get information about states laws.
For additional information contact the Great Lakes ADA Center by calling (800) 949-4232 (V/TTY) or via the online contact form at http://www.adagreatlakes.org/WebForms/ContactUs/