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ADA Lite / Disability Awareness and Diversity Graham L. Sisson, Jr. Executive Director General Counsel Governor’s Office on Disability Deputy General.

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Presentation on theme: "ADA Lite / Disability Awareness and Diversity Graham L. Sisson, Jr. Executive Director General Counsel Governor’s Office on Disability Deputy General."— Presentation transcript:


2 ADA Lite / Disability Awareness and Diversity Graham L. Sisson, Jr. Executive Director General Counsel Governor’s Office on Disability Deputy General Counsel Dept. of Rehabilitation Services State ADA Coordinator Adjunct Professor

3 Contact Information 800-205-9986 ADA Hotline 205-290-4540 Bham Office 334-293-7189 Mont’gy Office

4 All information provided is non-binding Ultra-Reader’s Digest Version ADA Update Basics Disability as part of Diversity

5 My Personal Experience Injured in 1982 motor vehicle collision with drunk driver Paralyzed from waist down and suffered a closed head injury Attended college and law school using a wheelchair Suffered some employment discrimination Have experienced public perception of PWD –5 dollar episode –Restaurant example –Decreased expectations –Want to live American dream

6 Disability Specific Laws Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) ADA Amendments Act of 2008 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Fair Housing Act, as amended in 1988 (FHA) Air Carriers Access Act of 1986


8 Five Titles of the ADA Title I: Employment Title II : Public Entities Title III: Public Accommodations (private businesses) Title IV: Telecommunications Title V: Miscellaneous

9 Definition of Disability Physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity or Record of impairment or Being regarded as having an impairment

10 U.S. Supreme Court Decisions Impact Sutton trilogy –Three decisions that mandate consideration of corrective or mitigating measures when determining substantial limitation –Sutton: eyeglasses –Murphy: high blood pressure medication –Kirkingburg: behavior modification for monocular vision Toyota v. Williams –To be an ADA disability must substantially limit activities of central importance in life

11 ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008  Became law on September 25, 2008.  90 to 95% of ADAAA concerns the definition of disability  Reverses Sutton and Toyota decisions  Also clarifies that covered entities under the ADA do not have to accommodate those regarded as having a disability.  It became effective on January 1, 2009.  Shifts emphasis from whether or not there is a disability to whether there has been discrimination.  New EEOC draft regulations, possibly will be retroactive to January 1, 2009.

12 Major life activities The ADA Amendments Act has the following non-exclusive list: Caring for oneself Performing manual tasks Learning Breathing Reading Seeing Hearing Speaking Eating Concentrating Sleeping Thinking Walking Communicating Standing Working Lifting Bending

13 Major Bodily Functions ADAAA Also defines major life activities to include major bodily functions like –Immune system –Normal cell growth –Digestive –Bowel –Bladder –Neurological –Brain –Respiratory –Circulatory –Endocrine –Reproductive

14 Exclusions “Regarded As” Disability does not include impairments that are transitory or minor. Transitory means an impairment with an actual or expected duration of 6 months or less. Can consider corrective measures of eyeglasses or contact lenses Episodic conditions or those in remission are covered if there is a substantial limitation when active.

15 Do Not Be Afraid of Workplace Accommodation According to a survey between January 2004 and December 2006 by the University of Iowa Law, Health Policy, and Disability Center in partnership with JAN: Of the employers who gave cost information related to accommodations they had provided, 167 out of 366 (46%) said the accommodations needed by employees and job applicants with disabilities cost absolutely nothing. Another 165 (45%) experienced a one-time cost. Only 25 (7%) said the accommodation resulted in an ongoing, annual cost to the company and 9 (2%) said the accommodation required a combination of one-time and annual costs; however, too few of these employers provided cost data to report with accuracy. Of those accommodations that did have a cost, the typical one-time expenditure by employers was $500. When asked how much they paid for an accommodation beyond what they would have paid for an employee without a disability who was in the same position, employers typically answered around $300

16 Reverse Discrimination The ADAAA clarifies that there is no reverse discrimination based on disability.

17 Hostile Work Environment Disability Harassment

18 Disability as Diversity Equal part of diversity Persons with disabilities have a separate culture Largest minority in U.S. –58 PWD in U.S. –Over 945,000 in Alabama

19 New ADAAG Compliance with the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design is permitted after that date, but not required until 18 months after the date of publication (September 15, 2010). Covered entities are given the choice of following the new standards or original standards (ADAAG 1991) during the first 18 months after September 15, 2010 for new construction or substantial renovation. After 18 months, use of the 2010 standards will become mandatory (March 15, 2012). Safe Harbor: Elements in covered facilities built or altered in compliance with 2010 standards are not required to be brought into compliance with the 2010 standards until such elements were subject to a planned alteration.

20 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design Changes to the 1991 Standards –The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design contain more than incremental changes.

21 Reach Ranges Reach Range Requirements (Section 308) –The reach range requirements have been changed to provide that the side reach range must now be no higher than 48 inches (instead of 54 inches) and no lower than 15 inches (instead of 9 inches). –The side reach requirements apply to operable parts on accessible elements, to elements located on accessible routes, and to elements in accessible rooms and spaces.

22 Toilets/Water Closets Water Closet Clearances in Single User Toilet Rooms (Sections 603, 604) –In single-user toilet rooms, the water closet now must provide clearance for both a forward and a parallel approach –and, in most situations, the lavatory cannot overlap the water closet clearance. –The in-swinging doors of single use toilet or bathing rooms may swing into the clearance around any fixture if clear floor space is provided within the toilet room beyond the door´s arc.

23 Other Changes Assembly area requirements (Sections 221, 802) Location of Accessible Routes to Stages (Section 206) Transient Lodging Guest Rooms (Sections 224, 806) Common Use Circulation Paths in Employee Work Areas (Sections 203.9, 206.2.8) Still others …

24 New Title II and III Regulations In general, these final rules will take effect 6 months (March 15, 2011) after the date on which they are published in the Federal Register. (September 15, 2010). Same safe harbor as ADAAG

25 New Title II and III Regs. Definition of service animal basically includes only dogs with limited exceptions. Dogs used only for emotional support are not service animals. The final rule also clarifies that individuals with mental disabilities who use service animals that are trained to perform a specific task are protected by the ADA. The rule permits the use of trained miniature horses as alternatives to dogs, subject to certain limitations. To allow flexibility in situations where using a horse would not be appropriate, the final rule does not include miniature horses in the definition of "service animal." Wheelchairs and other power-driven mobility devices must be allowed in all areas open to pedestrian use. Includes VRI (Video Remote Interpreting) as a kind of auxiliary aid to provide effective communication.

26 New Regs. Ticketing. The rule provides guidance on the sale of tickets for accessible seating, the sale of season tickets, the hold and release of accessible seating to persons other that those who need accessible seating, ticket pricing, prevention of the fraudulent purchase of accessible seating, and the ability to purchase multiple tickets when buying accessible seating. It requires a venue operator to accommodate an individual with a disability who acquired inaccessible seating on the secondary ticket market only when there is unsold accessible seating for that event.

27 Residential Housing Residential housing programs provided by title II entities are covered by the ADA. For the first time, however, the final rule establishes design requirements for residential dwelling units built by or on behalf of public entities with the intent that the finished units will be sold to individual owners. These design requirements are set forth in the 2010 Standards.

28 Title III New Regs. Highlights Ticketing, Service Animals, mobility devices, and VRI: same new rules as Title II.

29 New Title III Regs. Reservations Made by Places of Lodging. The rule establishes requirements for reservations made by places of lodging, including –procedures that will allow individuals with disabilities to make reservations for accessible guest rooms during the same hours and in the same manner as other guests, –and requirements that will require places of lodging to identify and describe accessible features of a guest room, to hold back the accessible guest rooms for people with disabilities until all other guest rooms of that type have been rented, and to ensure that a reserved accessible guest room is removed from all reservations systems so that it is not inadvertently released to someone other than the person who reserved the accessible room. The final rule limits the obligations of third-party reservation operators that do not themselves own and operate places of lodging. In addition, to allow the hospitality industry appropriate time to change reservation systems, the final rule gives places of lodging 18 months from the date of publication to come into compliance with these requirements.

30 Timeshares/Condos/New Title III Regs. Timeshares, Condominium Hotels, and Other Places of Lodging: The rule provides that timeshare and condominium properties that operate like hotels are subject to title III, providing guidance about the factors that must be present for a facility that is not an inn, motel, or hotel to qualify as a place of lodging. The final rule limits obligations for units that are not owned or substantially controlled by the public accommodation that operates the place of lodging. –Such units are not subject to reservation requirements relating to the "holding back" of accessible units. –They are also not subject to barrier removal and alterations requirements if the physical features of the guest room interiors are controlled by their individual owners rather than by a third party operator.

31 Disability Awareness Disability Etiquette Make eye contact Speak to person with a disability directly Never ask someone associated with a PWD what that person needs or wants Do not be afraid- PWD are people first

32 Offering Assistance Before helping a PWD, ask him or her Do not be upset if someone refuses help Ask the person how they prefer to be helped as he or she knows best

33 "The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names." Old Chinese Proverb "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." Mark Twain

34 Why Care About Disability? Disability does not demean or lessen a person's self worth or his or her ability to contribute to society. Disability is a natural part of the human experience. If you help people with disabilities, you will be helping yourself one day or a family member or a friend. Anyone can acquire a disability in a split second. (TAB) Disability is an equal part of diversity as race or sex or national origin except that is crosses all social strata.

35 People First Language Always refer to the person first: Example: “person with a disability”, not “disabled” person Do not use “handicapped person” “Handicap” has origins that make it synonymous with “beggar.” Others words to avoid : “ cripple, invalid, wheelchair bound, confined to a wheelchair” etc. More words to avoid: “differently abled”, “challenged”, “able bodied”, “special”, “gimp” or “gimpy”, “afflicted”, “suffering from”, “intellectually disabled”...

36 Language Caveat: do not avoid speaking to someone with a disability out of fear of saying the wrong thing. Example: Ok to say to a person with a visual impairment “see you later.” Many PWD have a sense of humor. Do not allow a negative experience with one PWD to cloud attitude toward other PWD

37 Myths All PWD meet in a convention each year or know each other PWD cannot work Disability is contagious PWD are superheroes or “inspirational.” PWD can live off the government PWD are "victims" PWD have everything paid for them PWD are few in number

38 TRUTH Disability is a natural part of the human experience There are approximately 54 million PWD In Alabama there are approximately 945,000 PWD PWD want to be fully contributing members of society PWD want what everyone else does: family, job, transportation, happiness, etc.

39 TRUTH People with disabilities can work. Do not be afraid to include them in your workforce. Education and assistive technology are 2 great equalizers that enable individuals with disabilities to be successful on the job.


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