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Since this is the beginning of 2022, I chose to focus this week on ADA legal cases from 2021. I had a similar theme in
my article “Webinar: 2020 ADA Legal Cases”.
On January 19, 2022, the
hosted a webinar entitled
I heard the archive on January 31, 2022. Before proceeding, I would like to make two points.
- Some of the cases are ongoing as of this writing. I did not summarize every case shared by the presenters.
- I am not a lawyer. This article is my attempt to summarize what I understood the presenters to be conveying. After reading my summary, I suggest checking out the event recording and/or reading the handouts. Both are provided at the archive link above.
In this blog post, I will summarize what I learned.
The two presenters represented
Equip for Equality, Illinois’s Protection and Advocacy disability rights organization.
ADA Title I: Employment
An employee with a disability requested various workplace accommodations which were denied. A court determined that accommodations needed to be evaluated by the employer. In an EEOC settlement agreement, an employee asked to not use a revolving door. A court found in favor of the employee and a settlement was reached with the EEOC. In another EEOC settlement, multiple deaf people required interpreters for job interviews and received no response. Under an EEOC settlement agreement, ADA training and policy modifications were required. Title II ADA cases were then discussed.
ADA Title II, State and Local Governments
A person summoned for jury duty experienced physical accessibility barriers at the courthouse. He was dismissed as a juror. Due to dismissal, the person’s filed a lawsuit. One court did not rule in favor of the individual with disability. However, upon appeal another court determined the person’s case had merit and sent it back to a lower court. Another legal case involved transportation. A person with disability filed suit because some elevators at a train station were not working. One court did not find merit. Upon appeal, another court determined that elevator accessibility needed to be further analyzed and how the facility can accommodate people with disability when elevator breakdown occurs. One of the presenters said this case is currently ongoing. In another case, a wheelchair user filed suit because private cars were parked on public sidewalks inhibiting wheelchair access. A court determine that the case can move forward because sidewalks need to be accessible. Cases which could fall under either Title II or III of the ADA were then focused on.
Cases Which Could Fall Under ADA Titles II or III
A woman trained her own service animal. One court determined that service animal certification was necessary. Another court disagreed because the U.S. Department of Justice already determined that dog only need be individually trained. This fact is confirmed in this
U.S. Department of Justice question-and-answer document about service animals.
my recent webinar summary discussing service animals,
I pointed out that certification of service animals is not a legal requirement. In another ADA case discussed during the January 19 webinar, a person whose primary language is American Sign Language was denied an interpreter at a career fair. A court determined that effective communication is necessary; note-writing is not sufficient. In two instances, web site accessibility settlement agreements were reached with the U.S. Department of Justice. In both settlements, the vaccine registration system must be made accessible to people with disabilities. The presentation wrapped by focusing on ADA Title III cases.
ADA Title III: Places of Public Accommodation
IN 2019, a court determined that Domino’s Pizza’s web site must be accessible to people with disabilities. More recently, a lower court came to the same conclusion. In another case, kiosks at a store were determined to not be accessible for shoppers who are blind. The court determined the store provides effective communication methods. In another case, a healthcare-related company did not provide accessible kiosks. The entity determined they did not need to provide accessible services. The case is ongoing. Another ADA case involves ride-sharing service Uber. A court determined that accessible vehicles which can accommodate wheelchairs. The ride-sharing service has argued they do not need to comply with the ADA because they are a technology company. That case is ongoing. Bottom line: ADA legal cases continue to be filed.
Question for Readers
Of the ADA cases discussed above, which caught your attention and why? I will return with another article.