A project of the Institute for Human Centered Design
March 2021 Newsletter
ADA Question of the Month
Question: I have difficulty maintaining my balance and I have diabetes. I have two service animals, one to help with my balance and the other to detect my blood sugar levels. Recently, I was denied entry into a store. The manager said I cannot have two service animals. Is that correct?

The answer is at the end of the newsletter.
COVID-19 Updates
What's ahead for people with disabilities in the post-pandemic workplace?
A diverse group of people around a round conference room table with paperwork.
Recently, experts reported on employment and vocational rehabilitation considerations for people with disabilities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic across health, work, and education. They emphasize a focus on access to technology and home-based employment to ensure people with disabilities are prepared for the new global workplace. The report also highlights important implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath for the disability community and for rehabilitation professionals.

Image source: file photo.
What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces workplace anti-discrimination laws including the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act (which applies to federal employees), including the requirement for reasonable accommodation and rules about medical examinations and inquiries. The EEOC provided guidance consistent with workplace protections and rules, that can help employers implement strategies to navigate the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace. The guidance identifies established ADA and Rehabilitation Act principles to answer questions frequently asked about the workplace during a pandemic.

The original pandemic guidance was written during the prior H1N1 outbreak, which is still relevant today. Section K has been updated to address examples and information regarding COVID-19; the new information appears in bold and is marked with an asterisk.

New England ADA Center's ADA and COVID-19 Webpage
New England ADA Center IHCD Combined Graphic
People with disabilities have a right of participation in society even during a pandemic. We have collected resources to help people understand their ADA rights during the pandemic. Read more about how the ADA relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regional News
RI Governor's Commission on Disabilities (GCD) Releases New Webinar on Employment Practices and COVID-19
Rhode Island Governor's Commission on Disabilities Logo
GCD's Assistant State ADA Coordinator for Employment, Chris Rancourt Bruzzi developed the webinar to address questions about the intersection of employees with disabilities and their rights during the pandemic. Questions about who is covered under the ADA and what accommodations may be necessary are highlighted. The release of the webinar is a continuation of GCD's celebration of the 30th Anniversary signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Service Animals: An Overview of the ADA and Other Disability Rights Laws
On Wednesday March 31, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. the New England ADA Center presents a FREE 1.5 hour webinar on the rights of people with disabilities to have service animals in various environments. Service animals will be examined through the lens of several intersecting laws. There will be time for questions. Registration for this event is required.

Contact Jason Angel at adainfo@NewEnglandADA.org or 617-695-0085 for questions and to request accommodations, like closed captioning. Please request accommodations by March 25.

Image source: file photo.
Participate: The Disability Law Center (DLC) Seeks Your Input
Disability Law Center, The protection & advocacy agency for people with disabilities. Text circles around a faded image of the scales of justice.
Do you know an adult with an intellectual or developmental disability who lives in a Department of Developmental Services (DDS) funded group home/community residence? The DLC is looking for your input about experiences in DDS community residences/group homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Responses gathered from the survey will inform their monitoring and advocacy work. All responses provided are confidential. Survey may take five minutes to complete.

New England ADA Center is Open and Provides Webinars on the Americans with Disabilities Act
New England ADA Center IHCD Combined Graphic
During this pandemic, compliance with the ADA is even more critical whether you are a municipality, non-profit organization, state agency or business. We are open for business and here to take your ADA questions. Let us help you ensure that everyone can participate in your services. The New England ADA Center provides webinars on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact us at 800-949-4232 or info@NewEnglandADA.org with your questions or to request a training.

National News
ADA National Network (ADANN) American's with Disabilities Act (ADA) State of the Science Virtual Conference
On April 13th - 15th, the ADANN will host a conference that will highlight research related to successes and challenges in fulfilling the promise of the ADA. Researchers from the 10 Regional ADA Centers will discuss their findings in emergency management, transition planning, local governments and the ADA, and ADA implementation for cities and towns.

On day two of the event, Wednesday, April 14th at 1:05 p.m., the New England ADA Center will present their findings from "Results From Identifying Challenges to Implementing the ADA Survey for Cities and Towns in New England."

New Fact Sheet: Addiction, Recovery and State and Local Governments
Boston City Hall
The ADA National Network has released the third factsheet in our ‘ADA, Addiction, and Recovery’ series! Learn more about how the ADA applies to state and local governments for people with addiction to alcohol and people in recovery from opioids and other drugs by visiting our newest factsheet: Addiction, Recovery and State and Local Governments.

Image source: file photo.
White House Website Redesigned for Better Accessibility
View of White House with water fountain in foreground surrounded by red and white flowers.
The White House website pulls in new accessibility features and refreshes the Biden campaign branding for a traditional-meets-modern look. The design matters because the White House website is a place for people to learn about the administration and its agenda. The new site has lots of negative white space and is designed to be accessible to everyone from Spanish speakers to citizens with vision impairments.

Image source: image courtesy of nixbay.com.
Why Is Facebook Rejecting Certain Fashion Ads?
Woman with dark hair with black pants, white top, and grey sweater in a power wheelchair,
The automated intelligence systems of Instagram and Facebook have repeatedly denied ads placed by small businesses that make stylish clothing for people with disabilities. The algorithms that are the gatekeepers to the commercial side of Facebook (as well as Instagram, which is owned by Facebook) routinely misidentify adaptive fashion products and block them from their platforms. Several small adaptive clothing companies have experienced this type of ad blocking.

Photo source: image courtesy of the New York Time by Yarrow.
Participate: 2021 National Survey on Health and Disability
The Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living wants to know your experiences in the last year. Many people with disabilities have been impacted during the pandemic. CHRIL wants to know if the supports you receive have been affected by the safety protocols for COVID-19 virus. The data collected will serve to change policies and attempt to reduce the high-level of unmet health care needs. CHRIL asks that former participants take this year's survey to reflect any changes in the last year. Survey closes April 30th and takes 20-minutes to complete.

ADA National Network Celebrates 30 Years of Service
ADA National Network Celebrating 30 Years!
Did you know the ADA National Network is entering its 30th year of service? In 2021, we will share videos, memories, and events to celebrate 30 years of providing information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Thank you for being part of our family and community over the years!

Follow #ADANetwork30 to learn more about our anniversary events!
As always, our ADA specialists are here to help. Contact us at 1-800-949-4232 (toll-free voice or TTY) or email us at info@NewEnglandaDA.org.
Answer to the ADA Question of the Month
Answer: No, the manger is misinformed and cannot deny you access because you have more than one service animal. A person with a disability can have more than one service animal as long as each one has been train to perform a work or task, under the control of the handler at all times and housebroken. Your larger dog was trained to help you keep your balance while walking, and your smaller dog was trained to detect any changes in your blood sugar levels. You should have been allowed entry into the store. To learn more about service animals join our free upcoming webinar "Service Animals: An Overview of the ADA and Other Disability Laws," REGISTER NOW.
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@newenglandada.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  90DP0087.