New England ADA Center
November Newsletter

ADA Question of the Month - Do You Know the Answer?
Question : I live in a no pets private apartment complex. My cousin told me I have a right to an emotional support animal because of my mental problems. Is that correct?

The answer to this month's question is located at the end of the newsletter.

Over 60 ADA Coordinators Gather in Connecticut
ADACC Conference AttendeesAmericans with Disabilities Act Coalition of CT (ADACC) had its 3rd Annual ADA conference. Over 60 municipal ADA Coordinators and others attended. Several participants qualified for ADA Coordinator certification. Conference Co-Chairs were William DeMaio, Sandy Keefe, and Erik Barbieri. US Attorney for CT, Deirdre Daly, was the speaker at lunch, and Kathy Gips provided training.

Photo: ADACC conference attendees listen to a presentation.

Architectural Firm Honored by VCIL for Having Eye on Accessibility
Wheelpad Accessible Bathroom ModuleThe Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) honored Julie Lineberger and Joseph Cincotta of LineSync Architecture with an Ally of Accessibility Award. LineSync recently debuted the Wheel Pad, a 200-square-foot accessible bedroom and bathroom module.Learn more about the Wheel Pad module and read the full story!

Image: The Wheelpad Accessible bedroom and bathroom module.

VCIL Honors Youth Leaders
Erika Dow and Maleia DarlingVermont Center for Independent Living honored Erika Dow and Maleia Darling with the Deborah Lisi-Baker Youth Leader Award.

Ms. Dow of Plainfield is committed to Lamoille County Mental Health Services. Ms. Darling, a student at Spaulding High School, helped create a space for Vermont's autism community.

Photo: Erika Dow (top) and Maleia Darling (bottom).

Vermont Awarded $9 Million for 'Linking Learning to Careers' Program
Voc Rehab VermontVermont's Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D) announced a nearly $9 million grant to support an innovative project to help students with disabilities in transitioning to the workforce. The grant is for the Linking to Learning Careers Program.

NIDILRR Visits Boston For a Listening Session
NIDILRRThe National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) visited Boston on November 18 for a listening session to inform their long range plan. The results of public testimony will be posted on their website

ADAPT Advocates for Civil Rights of People with Disabilities in Massachusetts
ADAPT Meeting ADAPT, a national grassroots group of disability rights activists, came to Massachusetts to advocate for the civil rights of people with disabilities and urge the state to end its institutional bias and increase options for home and community-based services for people with disabilities.

Photo: National ADAPT Action participants in Massachusetts.

News From Outside New England
Disability Integration Act Introduced by Senator Schumer
U.S. CapitolS.2427, the Disability Integration Act, seeks to strengthen the ADA's integration mandate to provide seniors and people with disabilities home and community-based services (HCBS) as an alternative to institutionalization. If enacted, it requires states and insurance providers to provide community-based services first, and HCBS to people in institutions.

Answer to the ADA Question of the Month

Question: I live in a no pets private apartment complex. My cousin told me I have a right to an emotional support animal because of my mental problems. Is that correct?

Answer: The ADA does not apply to private apartment complexes however the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) does. Under the FHA a person with a disability has a right to reasonable accommodation, if the accommodation is necessary to afford the person an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit, including public and common use areas. Emotional support animals are frequently required to be permitted as a reasonable accommodation, even if a housing provider has a "no animals" or "no pets" policy. 

Keep in mind that you have to have a disability as defined under the Fair Housing Act and the animal must be necessary (not just a benefit) for you to live there. The definition of disability is "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity."  

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