A project of the Institute for Human Centered Design
December 2021 Newsletter
ADA Question of the Month
Question: Recently I was scheduled to have a medical procedure to address a health issue. My surgeon canceled my procedure stating that he would not perform the procedure based on my Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) status. Isn’t that discrimination?

The answer is at the end of the newsletter.
Just for Laughs
Blind man with his guide dog at an eye exam. The dog responds, "E;" when reading the top line of the eye exam chart.
Regional News
Baystate Medical Center Agrees to Settle Allegations of Americans with Disabilities Act Violations
Grey exterior wall of the Department of Justice with American Flags fluttering above.
The complaint alleges that Baystate Medical Center failed to provide effective communication during scheduled labors and deliveries of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, in violation of the American with Disabilities (ADA). While investigating the complaint, another aggrieved party was identified for the same violation.

Image source: file photo.
Hampshire Hope: Does the ADA Protect People with Substance Use Disorders?
Hampshire Hope. Heroin/opioid prevention and education.
Most people understand the ADA is a civil rights law that ensures people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as others without disabilities. What many people may not realize is that the law applies to people with alcohol and substance use disorders. New England ADA Center director Oce Harrison and ADA trainer Stacy Hart presented to Hampshire HOPE members on the ADA, Addiction and Recovery. Read their recent article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

New England ADA Center Newsletter Survey
New England ADA Center IHCD Combined Graphic
We want your opinion. We are updating our newsletter and want to make sure the content is relevant to you. With your help we can ensure our newsletter is a useful resource. We invite you to complete the short 3-question survey anonymously. It would help us greatly to improve the information we provide if you would take a few minutes to complete our survey. For any questions about the survey, email jangel@ihcdesign.org.
 
National News
EEOC Updates Technical Assistance by Adding New Section to Clarify When COVID-19 may be a Disability
Spikey blue blob rendition of the coronavirus.
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 ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. The updates also provide examples illustrating how an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 or a post-COVID condition could be considered to have a disability under the laws the EEOC enforces.

Image source: file photo.
DOJ Sues Uber for Overcharging People with Disabilities
US Department of Justice seal
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. (Uber) for charging “wait time” fees to passengers with a disability who need more time to enter a car. which is a violation of the ADA. DOJ’s complaint alleges that Uber violates the ADA by failing to reasonably modify its wait time fee policy for passengers with disabilities.

New Funding will Help Expand Access to Transit for People with Disabilities
With the new bipartisan infrastructure legislation, nearly $2 billion is coming to transit agencies across the country to help deal with an accessibility gap. The infrastructure measure creates a $1.75 billion five-year grant program for transit and commuter rail agencies to upgrade their stations.

Image source: file photo.
EEOC Updates Covid-19 Technical Assistance to Cover Retaliation
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Seal
The EEOC updated its COVID-19 technical assistance to include more information about employer retaliation in pandemic-related employment situations. The updates explain the rights of employees and job applicants who believe they suffered retaliation for protected activities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, or other employment discrimination laws.

Kansas City International Airport: Setting the Bar for Inclusivity and Accessibility
A wide open blue room with small cozy spaces within is a  multi-sensory room> A quiet and secure place for children and adults with autism, dementia, or sensory processing disorders.
The Kansas City International Airport (KCI) plans for a new terminal. The facility will include visual paging boards, which allow deaf visitors to see information about flight rescheduling at all major information displays. A multi-sensory room will provide a quiet and secure place for children and adults with autism, dementia, or sensory processing disorders. The new facility will meet the current standards of the ADA and exceed them with elements like adult changing tables.

Image source: image courtesy of Kansas City International Airport and Airport Review.
California School for the Deaf Football Team Competes for First-ever State Championship
Brown pig-skin football sits on a grassy football field with yellow goal posts in the background with green trees as a backdrop.
After several losing seasons, the California School for the Deaf Riverside Cubs put together a season in which they averaged a staggering 65.6 points-per-game achieving an undefeated regular season. Every one of the school's players and coaches are completely deaf and face off against hearing teams. The team's appearance in the state championship was a first ever for the school.

The ADA National Network Seeks Spanish Language Outreach and Program Coordinator
ADA National Network
The Program Coordinator will build connections between the ADA National Network and Spanish-speaking stakeholders and communities across the nation to facilitate increased understanding of and implementation of the ADA in Spanish-Speaking communities. The position requires working across a project team that is based in Chicago, IL, and Seattle, WA, and has many staff who work remotely.

Video Game Accessibility Survey
Southwest ADA Center
The Southwest ADA Center is conducting a study on video game accessibility for people with disabilities. Participants must be: 18 years of age or older; play or like video games; and have a disability or limitation. The survey is meant to discover what can be done to make the process of gaming better for individuals with disabilities. The questionnaire will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Survey closes February 28, 2022.

Events
The Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Compliant Investigation Process and Corrective Action Plan Procedure
ADA National Network
Thursday, January 6, 2022
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Zoom Webinar
This webinar will feature the Access Board’s Senior Compliance Specialist who will discuss the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) complaint investigation process and corrective action plan procedure to address the barriers. Session attendees will also learn about the most common barriers to accessibility in complaints received under the ABA. This webinar will include video remote interpreting (VRI) and real-time captioning.

Ask an ADA Professional Questions About Service Animals
Blonde colored retriever with a blue vest and leash sits at attention on a grassy area.
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
Zoom Webinar
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.

Image source: file photo.
Transition from School to Adult Life: Using the IEP to Create Success
Mass Families. leadership training for a world where everyone belongs.
January 25th, 2022
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. ET
Zoom Webinar
Mass Advocates for Children, Massachusetts Families, and the Arc of Greater Haverhill – Newburyport host a free webinar series for Massachusetts Families. This workshop will focus on youth with disabilities ages 14-22 and the special education services needed to prepare them for employment, independent living, and further education. The workshop will also provide information about the transition to the adult human service system.

Answer to the ADA Question of the Month
Answer: Yes. The surgeon must provide you with the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations that he provides to others, regardless of you disability status per the ADA. Specifically, if he is a heart surgeon and you need heart surgery he can’t refuse to treat you because of your HIV status, to do so would be discrimination. Should you experience this kind of discrimination you may want to file a complaint with your state’s human rights commission under comparable state antidiscrimination laws.
Do you have an ADA Question?
Call 800-949-4232 (voice), 711 (TTY relay) or email: ADAinfo@ihcdesign.org
Stay Connected:
We strive to ensure the Newsletter and the content we share is accessible. Unfortunately we have limited control of external websites. Please email us at ADAinfo@IHCDesign.org if you encounter any issues accessing the newsletter or related content.

Access New England features topics related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), originating from the ADA Center, our state affiliates, the ADA National Network, and national sources.

The New England ADA Center is a member of the ADA National Network funded by the Administration for Community Living through National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research Grant  90DPAD0011.