Pacific ADA Center (Region IX)

The purpose of the Pacific ADA Center is to build a partnership between the disability and business communities and to promote full and unrestricted participation in society for persons with disabilities through education and technical assistance.



U.S. Access Board Enhances Animations on the ADA and ABA Standards

The U.S. Access Board recently released a series of animations as part of its new online guides on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Standards and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards. Upon launch of the guides, website server constraints may have impacted playback of the animations. These constraints have been resolved and the animation files further optimized to improve performance. If you encountered difficulty playing any of the animations, please revisit the Guide to the ADA Standards or the Guide to the ABA Standards. The Access Board regrets any inconvenience users may have experienced.

Extension of Comment Period for Proposed Rule. Movie Theaters - Movie Captioning and Audio Description

The proposed regulation was published in the Federal Register on August 1, 2014, and the comment period was to close on September 30, 2014; however, on September 2, 2014 the Attorney General granted a 60-day extension of the comment period for Movie Theaters. Opportunity to comment on the proposed rule for Movie Captioning and Audio Captioning in Movie Theaters. All comments are now due on December 1, 2014. The Department encourages the public to review the NPRM and submit comments. Comments may be submitted on the regulations.gov website or by mail at the following addresses: Regular U. S. mail: Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U. S. Department of Justice, P. O. Box 2885, Fairfax, VA 22031-0885; Overnight, courier, or hand delivery: Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U. S. Department of Justice, 1425 New York Avenue, N. W., Suite 4039, Washington, D. C. 20005.

The unofficial copy of the Notice Extending the Comment Period is available on the Department's website at ada.gov. The official copy will be posted after it is published in the Federal Register.

FCC Adopts Rules To Promote Widespread Text-To-911 Availability

The Federal Communications Commission adopted rules requiring text messaging providers to enable Americans to text 911 in an emergency. Building on commitments made by America's four largest wireless carriers to support text-to-911 by May 2014, the new rules will ensure that all remaining wireless carriers and certain IP-based text application providers are prepared to support text-to-911 by the end of the year. After that time, if a 911 call center requests text-to-911, text messaging providers will have six months to deploy the service in that area. In the future, this action will make text-to-911 more uniformly available, and will keep pace with how Americans communicate. . For now. however, people who have an emergency should still call 911 and not rely on texts.

To learn more about text-to-911, visit: http://www.fcc.gov/text-to-911

Justice Department Developing Disability Training For Police

Plans are in the works at the U.S. Department of Justice to roll out law enforcement training focused on people with disabilities. The Justice Department's Community Relations Service — a division that steps in to help communities address tension stemming from civil rights issues — is currently working on the effort, Attorney General Eric Holder said.

Read more about Justice Department Developing Disability Training For Police

EEOC Releases Updated Guidance and Fact Sheet on Pregnancy

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues, along with a question and answer document about the guidance and a fact sheet for small businesses. The Enforcement Guidance, Q&A document, and Fact Sheet are available on the EEOC's website.

Read more about EEOC Releases Updated Guidance and Fact Sheet on Pregnancy

"Emergency Management and Preparedness - Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities" Webinar Series

National state, and local entities and communities are increasingly planning emergency management and preparedness to handle disasters. Emergencies and disasters can be particularly concerning for people with disabilities. Successful outcomes for people with disabilities in disasters will depend on the how inclusive the plans are. These free 90 minute webinars will focus on key strategies and approaches at various levels (federal, state, and local) toward emergency management and preparedness and the inclusion of people with disabilities.

Produced by the Pacific ADA Center with technical support by the Great Lakes ADA Center. The Pacific and Great Lakes ADA Centers are both members of the ADA National Network.

All webinars start at 2pm ET/1pm CT/12pm MT/11am PT/8am Hawaii.

Registration: Free on-line at www.adaconferences.org/Emergency

These 90 minute webinars are delivered using the Blackboard Collaborate webinar platform and all sessions will be closed captioned.

Upcoming webinars:

  • September 11th, 2014. Registries: Its not about the List!

    The whole community approach to emergency management requires an informed and shared understanding of a community risks, needs, and capabilities. Communities often consider using Emergency Assistance Registries as a strategy for gaining such an understanding of their populations with communications, medical, independence, support, or transportation access or functional dependencies. Drawing on recent research, this talk will not focus on "the list"; rather, it will focus on four concepts critical to making registries about the people: registry purpose, inherent contract, location vs. hazard, and contract fulfillment. These concepts will be explained by showing how they played out in one community's registry operation.

Past webinars:

Archives can be found at: http://www.adaconferences.org/Emergency/Archives/

FCC Submits Report to Congress on Video Description

On June 30, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Report to Congress (Report) on video description, as required by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). Video description makes video programming accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired through the insertion of audio narrated descriptions of a television program's key visual elements into natural pauses between a program's dialogue. This Report addresses the status, benefits, and costs of video description in video programming distributed on television and video programming delivered using Internet protocol.

Links to the Report to Congress are:

Drug Store Chain to Pay $180,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - Drugstore giant Walgreens has agreed to pay $180,000 to a longtime employee with diabetes and to implement revised policies and training to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC's lawsuit charged that former cashier Josefina Hernandez, who has Type II Diabetes, was fired by a South San Francisco Walgreens because of her disability after she ate a $1.39 bag of chips during a hypoglycemic attack in order to stabilize her blood sugar level. Hernandez had worked for Walgreen for almost 18 years with no disciplinary record, and Walgreens knew of her diabetes. Yet the company security officer testified that he did not understand nor did he seek clarification when Hernandez wrote, "My sugar low. Not have time," in reply to his request for an explanation of why she took the chips before paying.

Read more about Drug Store Chain to Pay $180,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

EEOC Sues Wal-Mart for Disability Discrimination

ROCKFORD, Ill. - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently 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.

"What our investigation indicated," said John Rowe, the EEOC district director in Chicago, who managed the federal agency's pre-suit administrative investigation, "is that Wal-Mart rescinded a long-standing practice of giving written job assignments to the employee, William Clark. That accommodation had been the key to permitting Clark to successfully perform his job during an 18 year career at Wal-Mart and to his meeting the company's performance expectations. We determined that shortly after rescinding the accommodation, Wal-Mart began disciplining Mr. Clark for supposed performance issues, and that ultimately lead to his termination."

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The Federal Communications Commission Seeks Comment on Emergency Alert System Improvements Including Accessibility

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). Included 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.

Links to the proposals are:

Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

July 26, 2014 is the 24th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Pacific ADA Center encourages everyone to use the ADA Anniversary Tool Kit, which contains:

  • a sample Anniversary Proclamation for government officials;
  • an e-Postcard from the ADA National Network;
  • background and history on the ADA;
  • and so much more!

To access the Tool Kit, visit http://adaanniversary.org

NCD Statement on the 15th Anniversary of the Olmstead Decision

Fifteen years ago, on June 22, 1999, the Supreme Court issued its landmark "Olmstead v. L.C." decision fundamentally changing the lives of Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson, who had both been languishing in an institution for years after their initial treatment ended. Lois and Elaine filed suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for release from the Georgia facility. The court ruled in their favor and, in doing so, affirmed the constitutional right to self-determination for Lois and Elaine, but also paved the way for other Americans with disabilities to live outside of institutions, opening avenues and opportunities to enhance our communities and our lives.

Read more about NCD Statement on the 15th Anniversary of the Olmstead Decision

911 Services Increasingly Available by Text Across United States

The ability to text 911 in emergency situations - as opposed to calling - is increasingly becoming more of an option. Starting in May of 2014, the nation's four main cell phone networks: Sprint, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and AT&T will support text messaging to 911. By the end of the year, the Federal Communications Commission is requiring all text messaging providers to support the service. The option to text message 911 provides individuals, for example those who have difficulty hearing or speaking, with increased access to emergency services.

Read more about 911 Services Increasingly Available by Text Across United States

Walgreens Launches Nationwide Program Offering Talking Prescription Devices for Customers with Visual Impairments

Walgreens, the nation's largest drugstore chain, today announced the launch of a nationwide program offering talking prescription devices to customers with visual impairments. The initiative introduces a new service that complements other accessible prescription information Walgreens currently provides.

Walgreens is the first in the industry to offer this exclusive talking prescription device, called the Talking Pill Reminder, at its retail locations chain wide. The device attaches to prescription containers and will be provided free of charge with prescription medications that Walgreens dispenses to its pharmacy customers who are blind or who have visual impairments. The Talking Pill Reminder can be recorded to speak the information on the customer's prescription medication label, and also has an audible alarm to remind patients when to take a medication.

Read more about Walgreens Launches Nationwide Program Offering Talking Prescription Devices for Customers with Visual Impairments

Pending Consent Decree by DOJ Against Law School Admission Council

The Justice Department filed a joint motion on Tuesday, May 20th for entry of a landmark consent decree to resolve allegations that the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) engaged in widespread and systemic discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the proposed consent decree, LSAC will pay $7.73 million in penalties and damages to compensate well over 6,000 individuals nationwide who applied for testing accommodations on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) over the past five years.

Read more about Pending Consent Decree by DOJ Against Law School Admission Council

U.S. Access Board Enhances Animations on the ADA and ABA Standards

The U.S. Access Board recently released a series of animations as part of its new online guides on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Standards and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards. Upon launch of the guides, website server constraints may have impacted playback of the animations. These constraints have been resolved and the animation files further optimized to improve performance. If you encountered difficulty playing any of the animations, please revisit the Guide to the ADA Standards or the Guide to the ABA Standards. The Access Board regrets any inconvenience users may have experienced.

Access Board Publishes Final Rule for Outdoor Developed Areas

New Standards Apply to Federal Trails, Picnic Areas, Campgrounds

On September 26, the U.S. Access Board published its Final Rule on accessibility standards for outdoor developed areas including trails, picnic areas, campgrounds, scenic viewing areas and beaches. The new standards are part of the Architectural Barriers Act. The final rule applies to the following federal agencies and their components that administer outdoor areas developed for recreational purposes: Department of Agriculture (Forest Service); Department of Defense (Army Corps of Engineers); and Department of the Interior (Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service). The final rule also applies to non-federal entities that construct or alter recreation facilities on federal land on behalf of the federal agencies pursuant to a concession contract, partnership agreement, or similar arrangement. The new standards will become effective November 25, 2013.

The rule can be viewed at: http://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/recreation-facilities/outdoor-developed-areas/final-guidelines-for-outdoor-developed-areas.

DOL Announces New 503 & VEVRAA Rules

Today, August 28th, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the release of two new rules to improve hiring and employment of veterans and people with disabilities. These rules update requirements under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The new VEVRAA rules require contractors to create and monitor benchmarks related to the employment of veterans, and the Section 503 rules introduce a hiring goal that 7% of individuals in each job group within contractor organizations be qualified individuals with disabilities.

To learn more about these new rules visit: www.dol.gov/ofccp/VEVRAARule and www.dol.gov/ofccp/503Rule

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USDOJ ADA Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative

The U.S. Department of Justice has a new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative to make sure that people with disabilities have access to medical information, treatment, and facilities that are accessible. The initiative targets people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, are HIV-positive, and those who have mobility disabilities.

Read more about USDOJ ADA Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative

Department of Education Issues Section 504 Guidance on Extracurricular Activities Participation

To ensure that students with disabilities consistently have opportunities to participate in extracurricular athletics and other activities equal to those of other students, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance to clarify and communicate responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for all schools that receive Federal financial assistance.

Read more about Department of Education Issues Section 504 Guidance on Extracurricular Activities Participation

Upcoming Webinars ADA National Network logo

New and interesting webinars on the ADA, accessibility standards, and other disability civil rights laws are offered frequently by the ADA National Network. With all the recent changes in the ADA, you can’t afford to miss them! Register today and increase your knowledge.

ADA-Audio Webinar series provides in-depth information on the ADA, Accessible Information Technology, and other related topics.

Accessibility Online Webinar series provides free webinars by the US Access Board on different topics of accessibility.

FCC Publishes Internet Protocol (IP) Closed Captioning Rules

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published the Internet Protocol (IP) closed captioning rules in the Federal Register. The effective date for these rules is April 30, 2012. According to the rules, both new and re-aired video programming shown on the Internet must have captions based on specific schedules established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

For more information, visit http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-138A1.txt

High Court Decides Disability Employment Case

The ministerial exception is based on the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom, and states that religious organizations are not subject to employment-related non-discrimination laws for employees who are members of the clergy and/or have significant ministerial duties. Because this case was so specific on its facts, however, future lower court decisions could find that employees of religious entities, like religious schools, are not covered by the ministerial exception, and therefore are not barred from bringing ADA or other employment discrimination claims.

More information on this case can be found on the Supreme Court website.

ADA National Network Fact Sheet Series on the Title II & III Regulations

The ADA National Network has produced a series of 9 fact sheets that provide an overview of the updated ADA regulations and accessibility standards for Title II and Title III entities. The fact sheet topics are:

  • Overview of the Revised Titles II & III Regulations
  • Effective Communication
  • Examinations and Courses
  • Transient Lodging
  • Ticketing
  • Wheelchairs & Other Power-driven Mobility Devices
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Overview of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design

These fact sheets can be found on the ADA National Network's website.

New Guidance on ADA Title I

Recently, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) posted new guidance regarding Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on conduct & performance of employees. The guidance from the EEOC addresses what steps are appropriate for employers to take where a disability is causing - or seems to be causing - a performance or conduct problem, when a request for accommodation should be made, etc.

More information on these guidelines can be found on the EEOC's website.

2010 Standards Highlights

The 2010 Standards went into effect on March 15, 2012. Section 707 of the 2010 Standards adds specific technical requirements to ATMs for speech output, privacy, tactilely-discernible input controls, display screens, and Braille instructions.

More information can be found on the DOJ's ADA website.

ADA Transportation Regulation Amendment

Effective October 19, 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) amended its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations to require intercity, commuter and high-speed passenger railroads to ensure, at new and significantly renovated station platforms, that passengers with disabilities can get on and off any accessible car of the train.

More information on these regulations can be found on the GPO's website.

HUD Guidance on Olmstead Community Living

HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) issued guidance to assist persons with disabilities in making the transition from institutionalization to community living. This guidance is consistent with the enforcement of the Olmstead decision which requires government entities to provide community living opportunities for people with disabilities under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

More information on these guideline can be found on HUD's website.

Recent Settlement Agreements and Lawsuits FiledLegal scales

Our lawsuit page has up-to-date information on important settlement agreements and legal decisions on the ADA and related disability civil rights laws.

What's new with the ADA?

Employment and the ADA (Title I):

  • Frequently asked questions on the ADA Amendments Act
  • New TI Regulations
  • What is Title I?
    Title I prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.
  • What is a Reasonable Accommodation?
    A Reasonable Accommodation requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment, unless to do so would cause undue hardship. "In general, an accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities." There are three categories of "reasonable accommodations":

    (i) modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such qualified applicant desires; or

    (ii) modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or

    (iii) modifications or adjustments that enable a covered entity's employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities.

New State and Local Government ADA rules (Title II)

  • Fact sheet on the new Title II requirements
  • New TII Regulations
  • What is the purpose of Title II of the ADA?
    Title II prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any programs, services, or a activity provided or made available by a public entity
  • What does program access mean?
    A public entity shall operate each program or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. A public entity can comply with the requirements of this section through such means as redesign or acquisition of equipment, reassignment of services to accessible buildings, assignment of aides to beneficiaries, home visits, delivery of services at alternate accessible sites, alteration of existing facilities and construction of new facilities, use of accessible rolling stock or other conveyances, or any other methods that result in making its services, programs, or activities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. A public entity is not required to make structural changes in existing facilities where other methods are effective in achieving compliance with this section. A public entity, in making alterations to existing buildings, shall meet the accessibility requirements of the ADA specified at section 35.151 (New Construction and alterations). In choosing among available methods for meeting the requirements of this section, a public entity shall give priority to those methods that offer services, programs, and activities to qualified individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate.
  • What is a reasonable modification under Title II?
    A reasonable modification is an adjustment to rules, policies, or practices that would result in providing an individual with a disability the opportunity to benefit from or participate in a program or service of a title II entity. A modification would not be considered reasonable if the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.

New rules for public accommodations (Title III)

  • Fact sheet on the new Title III requirements
  • New TIII Regulations
  • What is the purpose of Title III?

    Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any programs, services, or a activity provided or made available by a private entity open to the public.

    Title III also specifies the design requirements for new construction and modifications of commercial facilities and obligations for barrier removal in public accommodations.

  • What is a reasonable modification under Title III?
    A reasonable modification is an adjustment to rules, policies, or practices that would result in providing an individual with a disability the opportunity to benefit from or participate in a program or service of a title II entity. A modification would not be considered reasonable if the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.

2010 Design Standards

Collaborative Training Program of Accessibility Online Web site ADA Centers and Access Board

The National Network of ADA Centers and the US Access Board are conducting a collaborative training program. The program includes a series of free webinars and audio conferences on different topics of accessibility. Sessions are held on a monthly basis and cover a variety of topics concerning accessibility to the built environment, information and communication technologies, and transportation.

More information can be found at:
http://www.access-board.gov/webinars.htm#upcoming

Accessible Technology for All Accessible tech Web site

The purpose of AccessibleTech.org is to build a partnership between the disability and business communities and to promote full and unrestricted participation in society for persons with disabilities through the promotion of technology that is accessible to all.

Technology makes access to jobs, goods, and services possible for people with disabilities - easier for all.

Visit AccessibleTech.org today at www.AccessibleTech.org

Distance Learning Series

The Distance Learning Series provides in-depth information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Accessible Information Technology and other related topics.

To register or for more information, visit our Distance Learning page.