As a person with disability, I sometimes find it beneficial to look back in time to see what has occurred recently in the disability community regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act. For example, in February of this year
presented by the
This week, I focus on a look back by another ADA center. On January 26, 2022, the
conducted a webinar entitled
“Looking Back: The Northeast ADA Review of 2021”.
The link above enables playback of event archive. I notice that the page text changes as the video plays, which I interpret to be a transcript. In this blog post, I will summarize what I learned.
I heard the webinar archive on March 1, 2022.
Reasons for Northeast ADA Center Contact in 2021
The top categories for people contacting the Northeast ADA Center during 2021
were people with disabilities, businesses and family members. Frequent topics were facility access, reasonable accommodations and general ADA information. In some cases, the center provided referrals to other agencies which can assist them. Example: referral to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or independent living centers. Focus then shifted to the second presenter who discussed COVID-19 as a disability.
Long COVID can be a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This can happen if an employee or applicant has a long-term limitation as a result of COVID. If COVID is temporary (clears up within a few weeks), COVID would not be considered a disability. Legal cases involving ADA Title I (employment) were then discussed.
Legal Case Summaries
A technician at a medical center was declined workplace accommodations. As a result of that case, EEOC made clear the necessity of enabling people to perform essential job functions. Additionally, the medical center was required to undergo ADA Title I training. IN another legal case, a court determined accommodations must be provided even if the job functions are not essential. As a result of that case, the employer agreed to monitor how it handles future ADA accommodation requests. The first presenter then highlighted U.S. Department of Justice activities.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Activities
In November 2021, the attorney general of New Jersey found that train stations were not fully accessible. The New Jersey Transportation Authority agreed to improve accessibility. In the same month of 2021, Uber was determined by the U.S. DOJ to not be accessible because passengers with visual disabilities were not given enough time to board a vehicle. As a result, ADA training is now required of Uber drivers. The presenter then discussed web site accessibility.
Write-Aid’s web site was determined to not be accessible for screen reader users. For example, it was difficult to schedule a vaccine appointment because vaccine forms were not accessible. As a result of DOJ involvement, Write-Aid is required to improve accessibility by using up-to-date Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. In December 2021, a transportation provider’s web site was determined to not be accessible to people with disabilities. This included limited accessibility through the keyboard. This settlement had similar requirement as above. In addition, the transportation provider was required to commit $100,000 to improve access for people with disabilities. Bottom line: although ADA-related issues are many and varied, they can have a direct impact on people’s lives.
Question for Readers
Of the various subjects discussed above, which caught your attention and why? I will return with another article.