July 2012
Volume 8 Issue 9 

Trainings & Events

ADA Audio Conference Series
JULY 17, 2012 1:00 - 2:30 CDT
Mark the 22nd anniversary of the ADA by joining this audio conference as we listen to representatives of the Federal Agencies present an update on their litigation, technical assistance and enforcement efforts over the past year. Participants will have an opportunity to pose questions to the presenters regarding issues in their own workplace or community.
Eve Hill - US Department of Justice
Sharon Rennert - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Sally Conway - US Department of Justice
For more information visit ADA Audio Conference Series at http://www.ada-audio.org
(877) 232-1990
ADA Legal Webinar Series
JULY 18, 2012 1:00 - 2:30 CDT
Are pregnant women considered disabled under the ADA? What laws protect women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth from discrimination? Are employers obligated to provide leave to women who are pregnant, or provide other types of workplace accommodations? This webcast will answer all those questions and more, as attorney J. Aaron McCullough facilitates a discussion with law professor Jeannette Cox, and Martin Ebel of the EEOC on pregnancy discrimination in employment, disability, the related law, and recent litigation. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions during the webcast but are encouraged to email questions to J. Aaron McCullough in advance via: http://www.adaconsult.com/contact-us.html%20
For more information visit ADA Audio Conference site at http://www.ada-audio.org/ or call (877) 232-1990.
AccessibilityOnline Webinar Series
Accessible Detention and Correctional Facilities
August 2nd, 2012 1:30-3:00 CDT.
Unique security features can pose challenges to designing accessible detention and correctional facilities. Technical provisions addressing these issues are included in the 2010 ADA Accessibility Standards and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards and address features in holding cells and housing cells. This session will highlight applicable provisions for these facilities along with some additional requirements established by the U S Department of Justice.
Yanchulis, Dave - Coordinator of Public Affairs, US Access Board
For more information visit AccessibilityOnline at http://www.accessibilityonline.org
Accessible Technology Webinar Series
AUGUST 14, 2012 1-2:30 CDT.
Almost everyone is currently a Web author. Having access to online interactions is no longer optional but an essential part of participating in society. Not everyone can be made aware of, learn, understand and be motivated to apply Web accessibility guidelines no matter how hard we try. However, almost everyone that creates Web content or Web applications and services uses authoring tools, component toolkits and development systems. This session will discuss how authoring and development tools can be designed to support the creation of accessible content, even by authors who are neither motivated nor knowledgeable about accessible Web content guidelines.
Jutta Treviranus - Inclusive Design Research Center
For more information visit ADA Audio Conference site at http://www.ada-audio.org
ADA Audio Conference Series
AUGUST 21, 2012 1-2:30 CDT
Advances in technology have given rise to new power-driven devices that were not necessarily designed for people with disabilities, but are being used by some people with disabilities for mobility. The term "other power-driven mobility devices" appears in the revised ADA regulations and refers to any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines, whether or not they are designed primarily for use by individuals with mobility disabilities for the purpose of locomotion. Examples include but are not limited to Segways , golf carts and all-terrain vehicles. Covered entities must consider whether or not they can make "reasonable modifications" in their policy and procedure to allow individuals who use these devices to enter their premises. Join this session and learn the factors that go into determining whether or not it is "reasonable" and what is happening nationally to address this issue.
For more information visit ADA Audio Conference site at http://www.ada-audio.org/ or call (877) 232-1990.
AccessibilityOnline Webinar Series
Accessible Webinars
September 6th, 2012 1:30-3:00 CDT.
Access to individuals with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who are blind or have low vision must be provided. This applies whether you are participating in a webinar or presenting one. The Access Board and the Great Lakes National ADA Center has worked together in providing a monthly webinar series and has developed some technical assistance to assist others in ensuring accessibility. This session will examine the use of interactive features, captioning, audio connections, and other features as it relates to those who are planning to provide webinars as well as those who are developing webinar platforms.
Robin A. Jones - Director, Great Lakes ADA Center
Peggy H. Greenwell - Accessibility Specialist, Office of Technical and Information Services, US Access Board
For more information visit AccessibilityOnline at http://www.accessibilityonline.org
ADA Audio Conference Series
SEPTEMBER 18, 2012 1:00 - 2:30 CDT
2012 is a presidential election year and as we reflect back to 2008 we know that 14.7 million Americans with disabilities voted in the 2008 election. This is a significant increase over the 10.9 million Americans with disabilities who voted in the 2000 presidential election. Passage of the Help America Vote Act in 2002 increased the focus and attention on the barriers faced by people with disabilities attempting to exercise their civic responsibilities. However, many polling places remain inaccessible and individuals continue to report that they do not get the supports they need in the polling place to ensure that they can vote independently and confidentially. Join this session as we explore the obligations under the various laws and regulations and strategies for working with local election officials.
Faith Gross, VOTE! Coordinator, The Legal Center for People with Disabilities, Denver, CO
For more information visit ADA Audio Conference site at http://www.ada-audio.org
ADA Legal Webinar Series
SEPTEMBER 19, 2012 1:00 - 2:30
Disability harassment, retaliation and constructive discharge are emerging workplace issues affecting employees with disabilities and presenting unique challenges to employers. This session will review the ADA and recent case law decisions, and also provide practical tips for navigating these complex areas of the law.
Barry Taylor, Esq Director of Legal Services
For more information visit ADA Audio Conference site at http://www.ada-audio.org

News from the Federal Agencies

U.S. Access Board

Board to Lead Effort to Develop Guidance on Accessible Drug Labels

The Access Board will lead an effort to develop guidance on making prescription drug labels accessible to people with vision impairments under the Safety and Innovation Act . A provision of the act (904) authorizes the Board to convene a stakeholder working group to develop best practices for making information on prescription drug container labels accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.

Read more about this at http://www.access-board.gov/news/drug-labels.htm

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

RCC Consultants Will Pay $45,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

RCC Consultants, Inc. has agreed to pay $45,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),. According to the EEOC lawsuit, RCC Consultants failed to hire an applicant for a managing consultant position because of the applicant's disability, ocular albinism. The EEOC charged in its lawsuit that the applicant interviewed for a managing consultant position at RCC Consultant's facility and was offered the position. However, later in that month, when RCC Consultants learned that the applicant did not drive because of his disability, the company rescinded the job offer.

Read more about this at = http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/7-10-12.cfm

Jackson Sun to Pay $150,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

The Jackson Sun will pay $150,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),. The EEOC lawsuit alleged that The Jackson Sun fired a commercial print manager exactly one week after his return from a medical leave of absence. He had sustained permanent spinal cord damage after back surgery. The EEOC said that The Jackson Sun could have accommodated the employee with minimal effort and that his termination was discriminatory.

Read more about this at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-29-12b.cfm

United Road Towing to Pay $380,000 to Resolve EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

United Road Towing, Inc., a Mokena, Ill.-based towing company, will pay $380,000 to 13 claimants and provide other relief in order to resolve a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A federal district court judge in Chicago entered a consent decree ending the litigation on June 20, 2012. The EEOC lawsuit charged that United Road Towing had failed to provide reasonable accommodations to a class of employees with disabilities. The complaint highlighted United Road Towing's inflexible medical leave policy and practice of terminating employees with disabilities at the end of medical leaves rather than bringing them back to work with reasonable accommodation.

Read more about this at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-25-12a.cfm

Albuquerque Bakery & Caf Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Jaazrubin, LLC, doing business as Savory Fare Bakery and Caf has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for $20,000 and other relief. The EEOC lawsuit charged that Savory Fare subjected an employee to discrimination because of her disability, or because it regarded her as disabled, due to her hearing impairment and minor speech impediment.

Johns Hopkins Home Health Care to Pay $160,000 to Settle Discrimination Lawsuit

Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, Inc. (JHHCG) will pay $160,000 to settle an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In this lawsuit, JHHCG violated the ADA when it discriminated against an employee because of her disability, and failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation for her disability the EEOC had charged ints lawsuit.

Stevens Transport to Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Stevens Transport will end up paying $50,000 and furnish other relief to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). An applicant, who became paraplegic in 2003 as a result of a car accident, was denied hire for two management positions at Stevens because of his disability the EEOC charged. The EEOC as a result filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.

Read more about this at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-8-12a.cfm

EEOC and Vitas Health Care Resolve Disability Discrimination Lawsuit for $65,000

Vitas Health Care Corporation will pay $65,000 and amend its reasonable accommodation policy to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC charged that Vitas violated the ADA by failing to reassign a Registered Nurse applicant to a vacant position for which she was qualified because of her inability to perform her duties due to her disability, high blood pressure. Instead, Vitas required her to compete for the position with other applicants.

Homestead Gardens Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Homestead Gardens will pay $50,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit for firing a worker because he has hemophilia. Considered as the largest enclosed garden center in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C, metropolitan areas, it was engaged in disability discrimination when it fired an applicant the EEOC charged. The applicant had been employed as a stocker when his mother disclosed through a casual conversation with Homestead Gardens that her son had hemophilia. He was told not to return to work because of Homestead's perception of his disability.

Read more about this at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-6-12a.cfm

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

Justice Department Releases Technical Assistance Document on the ADA and Persons with HIV/AIDS

The U.S. Department of Justice is leading the Federal government's efforts to strengthen enforcement of civil rights laws as they pertain to individuals with HIV/AIDS. As part of the Strategy, the Department has committed to increasing outreach to affected communities to educate them about their rights and to uncover discrimination. An updated technical assitance document has been added to the Department's website. The document explains the rights of persons with HIV/AIDS and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for employers, businesses and non-profit agencies that serve the public, and State and local governments to avoid discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS.

Read more about this at http://www.ada.gov/aids/ada_q&a_aids.htm

Great Lakes In Focus

The Great Lakes ADA Center Celebrates 22 years of promoting voluntary compliance of the Americans with Disabilities Act

July 26, 2012 marks the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities to access businesses, employment, transportation, telecommunications, as well as State and local government programs and services.

The Great Lakes ADA Center is part of the National ADA network which provides information on the ADA that facilitates voluntary compliance via a broad and diverse network of partners across the Midwest. The states served by the Center are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The Great Lakes Center funds State Affiliates to help foster voluntary compliance of the ADA within the six states. The Center works with the State Affiliates and other organizations in order to provide technical assistance, trainings, and materials on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and on accessible information technology. The mission of the Affiliates is to enhance and utilize local resources, trainings, technical assistance, and conferences, in order to get voluntary compliance with the ADA. The Affiliates serve as a centralized and statewide vehicle that educates and promotes full implementation of the ADA throughout the state.

Each Affiliate provides the following services:

  • Education, training, and topic specific presentations
  • Connection to a network of local and national agencies
  • Publications with information on employment, accessibility, reasonable accommodations, etc.

More information regarding our Affiliates can be found at:

In addition, the Great Lakes Center has partnered with a variety of entities to conduct outreach, awareness, training and consultation in the area of accessible technology. Activities include a web based collection of resources (http://www.accessibletech.org) and a webinar series covering a variety of topics. The Center strives to work with a variety of entities to insure that their technology is accessible to customers, employees, students, staff and the public with disabilities.

The Great Lakes ADA Center is proud of our involvement promoting voluntary compliance with the ADA. However, the center recognizes the importance of continued efforts and looks forward to positive changes in the future. For more information about the Great Lakes ADA Center please call 1-800-949-4232 (V/TTY), 312-413-1856 (Fax) or visit our website at http://www.adagreatlakes.org.

The Docket

NIXON-TINKELMAN v. NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE For more information visit http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?page=1&xmldoc=In%20FCO%2020110810065.xml&docbase=CSLWAR3-2007-CURR&SizeDisp=7

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals revived a claim by a municipal employee who alleged that her employer had failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation. The employee alleged that her employer had not assisted her with getting to work as a reasonable accommodation. The lower court had dismissed the claim ruling that commuting fell outside the scope of the plaintiff's job. The Court ruled that such an accommodation is outside an employer's obligations under the ADA.

The Second Circuit disagreed with the lower Court, ruling that "there is nothing inherently unreasonable in requiring an employer to furnish an otherwise qualified disabled employee with assistance related to her ability to get to work." The Court ruled that depending on the circumstances, "an employer may have an obligation to assist in an employee's commute."

The case was remanded back to the lower court for a determination as to whether it would have been reasonable for the employer to provide assistance. The Second Circuit provided the district court with additional guidance suggesting that it consider whether defendants could have reasonably accommodated the employee's needs "simply by transferring her back to Queens or another closer location, allowing her to work from home, or providing a car or parking permit." In addition, the lower court was asked to consider factors such as the number of employees employed by the employer, the number and location of its offices, whether other available positions existed for which the plaintiff was qualified, whether she could have been transferred to another office without unduly burdening the employer's operations, and the reasonableness of allowing her to work without on-site supervision.

From the ADA Expert

Question: I am the ADA Coordinator for a local community college and the college allows local organizations to hold events in the college's facilities. Some groups use classrooms and others use larger spaces such as the theater. The college only provides the rooms and does not have anything to do with putting on the event. Recently I was contacted by an individual needing an interpreter for an upcoming event and wanted to know if the college was going to provide the interpreter because the organization putting on the event said they will not provide one. Does the college have any responsibility to provide the interpreter for this event?


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that state and local governments and places of public accommodation provide individuals with disabilities the same level of access to information that is provided to individuals without disabilities. In some instances that may require the provision of auxiliary aids and services. An example of such an auxiliary aid or service used to communicate with someone that is deaf is a qualified interpreter. Every time a covered entity communicates with some one that is deaf an interpreter may not be necessary. Consideration of the complexity of the information being communicated and the length of the communication taking place, along with consultation with the deaf individual should help determine what auxiliary aid or service is needed.

Addressing your specific question, if as you state the college is only providing the space for the event then the college has no responsibility to insure that the individual that is deaf has access to information being presented. The group putting on the event would have the responsibility for providing access to the information if the group is covered by the ADA or receives federal funds requiring compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

For more information please call 800-949-4232 (Voice/TTY) or Online via Contact Us form.

Great Lakes ADA Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of Disability and Human Development (MC 728)
1640 West Roosevelt Road, Room 405
Chicago, Illinois 60608-6904

Last Updated on:
Sat May 25, 2013