New England ADA Center
 April Newsletter

ADA Question of the Month - Do You Know the Answer?
Question In employment situations do requests for reasonable accommodation need to be in writing?
The answer is at the end of the newsletter.

Legislators Seek to Bar Judges from Sending Drug Users Who Relapse to Jail

'Accessibility for All' Launched April 2 in Connecticut
Audubon Greenwich and The Bruce Museum, along with nine other Fairfield County attractions, are working to reduce the stresses of planning visits for guests with special needs through a new partnership called "Accessibility for All."  Now, anyone who wants to know how the 11 attractions accommodate guests with disabilities will be able to find the information on their website.

Image source: File photo.

National News
Registration is Open for the 2019 ADA Symposium
This year's Symposium will be held in Grapevine, Texas (near Dallas) June 16-19. The event provides the latest information on regulations, guidelines, implementation strategies, and best practices related to the ADA. Sessions are presented by experts from the Dept. of Justice, EEOC, US Access Board, and Dept. of Health and Human Services. 
To register and learn more about the Symposium click here.

Kids with Physical Differences See Themselves in A Doll Like Me

New Device Helps Visually Impaired Students to "See" What's on the Screen
Students with visual impairments that impede their classroom learning experiences will be better able to see and learn from on-screen material by using a new device. HaptImage LLC  has developed a new technology that will be particularly applicable to students in technical fields like engineering and science since it will help them to better visualize graphics.

Click here to read more.
  HaptImage cofounders Ting Zhang (left) and Shruthi Suresh (right). Image source: image courtesy of  Purdue Research Foundation, by Oren Darling.

The Time Crunch on Standardized Tests is Unnecessary
Some of the alleged parents in the cheating scandal are accused of exploiting extra-time accommodations for exams. William Singer, the college-consultant fixer at the center of the scam, drew the ire of the disabilities-rights community: the abuse of extended-time accommodations on standardized tests. "All the wealthy families that figured out that if I get my kid tested and they get extended time, they can do better on the test," he allegedly told one parent. "So most of these kids don't even have issues, but they're getting time."

Click here to read more.
Image source: photo courtesy of The Atlantic, by Joe Raedle.

Anita Silvers, an Authority on Disability Rights, Dies at 78
Anita Silvers, a philosophy professor who was a leading voice in the interpretation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), arguing that disability rights should be viewed the same as other civil rights and not as an accommodation or as a social safety net issue"A critical thing for her was to understand the ADA as a civil rights statute," said Leslie P. Francis, a professor of law; "Not as an approach to giving people special privileges, but as a way of giving people the rights that everyone else has."

Image source: photo courtesy of the New York Times by Andrew Corpuz.

ADA Employment Course Online graphic
Who has obligations under Title I of the ADA, who has rights, pre-employment do's and don'ts, the process for identifying and providing reasonable accommodations, requirements concerning medical information and confidentiality, how to troubleshoot job performance and safety issues and the complaint process. Approximately 2.5 hours. Approved for 2.5 credits from the HR Certification Institute and/or the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification..

Click here to get started.
Answer to the ADA Question of the Month

Answer No. Requests for reasonable accommodation do not need to be in writing. Individuals may request accommodations in conversation or may use any other mode of communication. An employer may choose to write a memorandum or letter confirming the individual's request. Alternatively, an employer may ask the individual to fill out a form or submit the request in written form, but the employer cannot ignore the initial request. (Source: EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act )

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New England ADA Center, a project of the Institute for Human Centered Design