Pacific Update, Winter 2013

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News From the ADA National Network

2013 National ADA Symposium

The National ADA Symposium is a comprehensive, 3-day conference on the Americans with Disabilities Act that provides practical, expert training on ADA implementation from the country's top presenters. This year, the Symposium will take place in San Antonio, Texas on May 12-15, 2013.

To learn more and submit your registration, visit:
http://www.adasymposium.org/.

For ADA training and technical assistance:

1-800-949-4232 (Voice/TTY) or email

Pacific ADA Center Training

The Pacific ADA Center provides individually-tailored training and consultation on all aspects of the ADA, including:

  • Comparison of the 2010 ADA Accessibility Standards and State Building Codes for architects and other construction professionals (fulfills California Architects Board disability access CEUs)
  • Reasonable accommodation policies for employers
  • ADA compliance for State and local government officials
  • Understanding ADA basics for small businesses
  • ADA transportation regulations and disability awareness for bus charter companies

To request training, contact the Pacific ADA Center at 1-800-949-4232 or use the contact form

Recent Court Cases

Settlement Results in Captions for Netflix Streaming Movies and Television

Netflix Inc. and the National Association of the Deaf, a non-profit organization, have submitted a joint Consent Decree to a federal court in Springfield, Massachusetts, ensuring closed captions in 100% of Netflix streaming content within two years. The agreement indicates the parties’ mutual intent to increase access for people who are deaf and hard of hearing to movies and television streamed on the Internet. Netflix began its closed-captioning program in 2010. Netflix has increased captioning for 90% of the hours viewed but is now committed to focusing on covering all titles by captioning 100% of all content by 2014. Captions can be displayed on a majority of the more than 1,000 devices on which the service is available. Netflix will also improve its interface so that subscribers will be better able to identify content that has been captioned in the period until 100% captioning is achieved.

More information can be found on the National Association of the Deaf website at:
http://www.nad.org/news/2012/10/netflix-and-national-association-deaf-reach-historic-agreement-provide-100-closed-capti

For ADA training and technical assistance:

1-800-949-4232 (Voice/TTY) or email

California City Sued by DOJ for Restricting Group Homes

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit against the City of San Jacinto, California, alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act based on its treatment of group homes for persons with disabilities. This lawsuit is part of the Justice Department’s continuing effort to enforce civil rights laws that require states and municipalities to end discrimination against, and unnecessary segregation of, persons with disabilities. The lawsuit alleges that the city has impermissibly restricted the ability of group homes for people with disabilities to operate within the city. Under the city’s zoning code, group homes that are not required to be licensed by the state, as well as some licensed homes, are not permitted uses in any zoning district within the city, and their ability to operate in multi-family zones is restricted.

For more information on the lawsuit, visit:
http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/November/12-crt-1348.html

woman in wheelchair at workCalifornia Fair Employment Regulations Finalized

In an effort to synthesize California's employment law with the 2008 Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission has issued new regulations pertaining to the Fair Employment and Housing Act. The final regulations make it clearer to employees and employers alike that individuals with a broad range of disabilities are covered, and that the law requires employers to communicate with their disabled employees about possible reasonable accommodations. The rules also set forth a number of exemplary accommodations that may be required, such as assistive technology, a leave of absence, a part-time schedule, telecommuting, and preferential reassignment to a vacant position.

To read the new regulations, visit:
http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/res/docs/FEHC Disability Regs/FEHC FINAL_DISABILITy_REGS_12-18-12 _2_.pdf

For ADA training and technical assistance:

1-800-949-4232 (Voice/TTY) or email

Governor Brown Signs SB 1186 - Affects Accessibility Lawsuits Against California Businesses

On September 19, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1186 into law. The bill is now part of the California Civil Code, sections 55.51-55.545. The law is designed to reduce the number of facility accessibility lawsuits filed through increased notice requirements, and by lowering the financial penalties for property owners who are making good-faith efforts to comply with physical access requirements. Under the new law, attorneys are now barred from sending "demand for money" letters, requesting payment of money in lieu of filing a lawsuit. person in wheelchair outside a cafe Additionally, small businesses (defined as having 25 or fewer employees and no more than $3.5 million in gross annual receipts) faced with unintentional, construction-related accessibility violations may reduce the minimum statutory damages from $4,000 to $2,000, as long as the violations are corrected within 30 days of being served with the complaint. Statutory damages would be reduced from $4,000 per violation to $1,000 for those who had their properties inspected by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) or had construction approved by local building officials as long as fixes to bring the property into full compliance are made within 60 days.

To read the California Civil Code sections, visit:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=00001-01000&file=55.51-55.545

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