Great Plains ADA Center
The ADA Report
December, 2021
Note: The Great Plains ADA Center will be closed through December 24th, 2021 through January 3rd 2022.
The Great Plains ADA Center Remembers
Senator Robert Dole 1923-2021
Senator Robert Dole smiling in front of the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.
Senator Dole was instrumental in the passage of the ADA and a lifelong advocate for people with disabilities. A veteran of the Second World War, Senator Dole sustained injuries resulting in limited mobility in his right arm and numbness in his left arm. His personal experience as a veteran with a disability informed his life-long commitment to advancing opportunities and equality for people with disabilities. Senator Dole considered the Americans with Disabilities Act to be his greatest achievement. His leadership, especially with the business community, is credited for the law's bipartisan support and ultimate passage. After leaving the U.S. Senate in 1996, he continued his work on behalf of people with disabilities both in the United States and globally.

We encourage you to visit the Robert J. Dole memorial site at to learn more about his legacy. Many in the Great Plains region may wish to share a memory of Senator Dole on the site.
Photo: Courtesy Dole Institute of Politics
COVID-19 & the ADA

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 technical assistance adding a new section to clarify under what circumstances COVID-19 may be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act.
Key information includes:

  • An applicant or employee whose COVID-19 results in mild symptoms that resolve in a few weeks—with no other consequences—will not have an ADA disability that could make someone eligible to receive a reasonable accommodation.

  • Applicants or employees with disabilities are not automatically entitled to reasonable accommodations under the ADA. They are entitled to a reasonable accommodation when their disability requires it, and the accommodation is not an undue hardship for the employer. But, employers can choose to do more than the ADA requires.

  • An employer risks violating the ADA if it relies on myths, fears, or stereotypes about a condition and prevents an employee’s return to work once the employee is no longer infectious and, therefore, medically able to return without posing a direct threat to others.

The Justice Department today announced that it has secured a settlement agreement with Hy-Vee Inc. that will help people with disabilities get information about COVID-19 vaccinations and book their vaccination appointments online. The Hy-Vee supermarket chain has more than 280 stores in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Today’s resolution is the department’s second agreement on this critical issue, following a November 2021 announcement of its settlement with Rite Aid Corporation.
Court Cases & Settlement Agreements
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division announced that it has concluded an investigation into whether the State of Iowa subjects residents of Glenwood and Woodward Resource Centers, two state-run institutions for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) in Glenwood and Woodward, Iowa, respectively, to unnecessary institutionalization in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland announced today a settlement agreement with the Frederick County Public School District in Maryland to address the discriminatory use of seclusion and restraint against students with disabilities. The department’s investigation found that the school district unnecessarily and repeatedly secluded and restrained students as young as five years old in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the settlement, Frederick County will end the use of seclusion, overhaul its restraint practices, and train staff on use of appropriate behavioral interventions for students with disabilities.

The Justice Department entered into a settlement agreement with the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) to resolve an investigation conducted under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the agreement, the MTD must conform its website – – and mobile applications to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Version 2.1, Level AA. Additionally, the MTD must invest a minimum of $100,000 to improve its services for passengers with disabilities.
U.S. Access Board Activities

The U.S. Access Board investigated 38 cases under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968 that were resolved through corrective action in FY 2021. The ABA requires access to buildings or facilities that were designed, built, or altered with federal dollars or leased by federal agencies. The majority of cases concerned access to U.S. post offices, which is typical of the Board’s yearly caseload. Most of the complaints involved entrance doors, particularly the opening force of manual doors, and customer parking. The U.S. Postal Service completed action to correct accessibility issues at 32 facilities. Other cases involved military facilities (2), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers (2), and facilities leased by the General Services Administration (GSA) for other agencies (2).  

People with disabilities face significant barriers to accessing primary and preventative healthcare. It is vital for medical care facilities and equipment, such as exam rooms and tables, diagnostic instruments and machines, and patient bedrooms and bathrooms, to be fully accessible to people with disabilities. The U.S. Access Board will host a virtual public event on equity in healthcare for people with disabilities on January 12 from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. (ET). The event will feature presentations on standards and resources related to healthcare accessibility, including inclusive medical equipment, healthcare facility design, information technology, and communication devices and systems. Members of the public will be able to pose questions during the event.
Articles and Resources
"For many individuals with disabilities of working age, pursuing traditional employment can be a daunting prospect strewn with challenges and uncertainties"......."These issues may go some way to explaining why approximately 700,000 workers with disabilities have opted for self-employment, a rate almost twice that of their non-disabled peers, according to the latest U.S. Census".

Great Resource from the ADANN: Bedside Emergency Supply Kit Checklist

The Center is part of a partnership between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to make community living a reality for all. This partnership will expand accessible, affordable housing; help people exit homelessness; improve home and community-based services; and address the institutional bias in America's long-term care system.
Online Conferences & Webinars

2022 Winter ADA Coordinator Conference!
February 7-9, 2022 (Virtual Conference)
24 Sessions offered over 3 days. Specific sessions have been approved for AIA-HSW credits. Day rates are available.
More Information & Registration (Details on AIA-HSW credits are provided on the Agenda).

Wednesday, January 12th, 2022-Webinar 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Central
Sponsor: Region 5 Great Lakes ADA Center, ADA National Network
During this session, individuals will have the opportunity to ask ADA professionals questions related to service animals. To ensure your question is answered during the session, individuals are highly encouraged to submit their questions ahead of time via the registration website (option to submit questions is available once you have registered for the session).

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 1:00 PM-2:30 PM Central
Sponsor: Region 5 Great Lakes Center, ADA National Network
Join us for this second session highlighting accessible technology on smartphones and tablets for persons with disabilities. In this session, our speaker will highlight mobile apps to improve independence for users with hearing, cognitive and mobility disabilities. There will be time following the presentation for questions.

Wednesday, January 19th, 2022--1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Central- Online.
Sponsor: Region 5 Great Lakes ADA Center, Region 6 Southwest ADA Center, ADA National Network
2021 was a year of reopening, new or revised mandates as well as a new administration. This legal webinar will review key 2021 ADA decisions under all Titles of the ADA, and discuss their potential implications on future ADA litigation. Start the New Year off right with a better understanding of the most important ADA cases decided in 2021 and the implications that they may have for the future!

Virtual National ADA Symposium
May 9-12, 2022
-A comprehensive conference on the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Virtual Symposium will feature three separate session tracks over four days and two keynotes. Registration opens January 19th, 2022.

The National ADA Symposium will also be a collaborative partner with the Mid-Atlantic ADA Conference, October 11th-13th, 2022 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia.  We are excited about this partnership and look forward to announcing more information about this event over the coming months.
Happy Holidays from the Great Plains ADA Center