Newsletter: August 21, 2019

Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin: August 21, 2019

Updates from the Northeast ADA Center:

Free Webinar - Access to Voting

September 25, 2019
12 PM EST-1 PM EST
Presenter: Joe Zesski, Program Manager Northeast ADA

Participating in the electoral process is a fundamental right in the United States. Voters with disabilities should have equal access and an equal opportunity to exercise this right. Join the Northeast ADA for a webinar that will review how the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws are intended to ensure that people with disabilities can have their voices heard. It will also highlight recent Department of Justice enforcement activity regarding physical, electronic, and communication voting access.

To register go to: http://register.yangtaninstitute.org/register/index.cfm?event=7368

What's New in Our Region:

Where the Sidewalk Ends for New Yorkers with Disabilities

Nearly three decades after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and a quarter-century after a class action lawsuit was filed by the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association against New York City, a New York judge approved a plan July 23 to make all of the city's sidewalk curbs accessible to wheelchair users within the next 15 years. This was necessary because, as The New York Times wrote in 2017, a federally mandated report "found that the majority of the city's curb ramps are still not in compliance with federal requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and that the city lacks even a comprehensive survey of all its corners or an adequate plan of action." New Yorkers might be wondering why a supposedly progressive city has stood in violation of federal requirements. To read more about this go to: https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/policy/transportation/where-the-sidewalk-ends-for-disabled-new-yorkers.html

Village in NY Settles ADA Parking Lawsuit

After a year in federal court, the Village of Garden City, NY has entered into a settlement agreement with resident Gerry Kelly that will require the Village to designate three on-street accessible parking spaces on Seventh Street between Franklin and Hilton Avenues. The agreement, which was approved by federal Judge Joanna Seybert in the Eastern District of New York on July 30th, says that neither side is at fault. However, it grants Kelly virtually everything he had requested when he filed suit. To read more about this go to: https://www.gcnews.com/articles/village-settles-ada-parking-lawsuit/

NY ABLE Program Helps New Yorkers with Disabilities and Their Families Cover Costs

The NY ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) program is a tax-advantaged savings plan administered by the Office of the New York State Comptroller and is designed to help individuals with disabilities maintain their health, independence and quality of life without risking their Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and other means-based benefits. If you know someone who is living with a disability or is caring for a loved one with a disability, please encourage them to visit https://www.mynyable.org/ or call 1-855-5NY-ABLE to learn more about opening an account.

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

Department of Labor's Job Accommodation Network Offers New Online Workplace Disability Accommodation Resources

Employers working to evaluate reasonable accommodations now have additional online resources available. In its recent press release, the DOL has announced a new publicly available resource for employers and employees alike - a Workplace Accommodation Toolkit developed by its Office of Disability Employment Policy-sponsored Job Accommodation Network (JAN). To view the toolkit go to: https://askjan.org/toolkit/

Tamco Professional Coating Services to Pay $90,000 to Resolve EEOC Disability Lawsuit

Tamco Professional Coating Services, Inc. (Tamco) has agreed to pay a foreperson $90,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. Tamco, which is based in Houma, Louisiana, performs sandblasting, painting, soda blasting, pressure washing, water blasting, cleaning, coating, and minor fabrication and repair services. The lawsuit was resolved through a consent decree, which U.S. District Judge Greg Guidry approved on July 26, 2019.

The EEOC's suit alleged that Tamco told the foreperson that its insurance costs would increase because of the foreperson's hearing loss and that, soon after, Tamco fired the foreperson. According to the lawsuit, Tamco discharged the employee without following its own progressive discipline process. This alleged conduct is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which makes it unlawful for an employer to fire an employee because of disability.

Opportunities for You!

Free Webinar - Evaluating & Managing Accessibility in 3rd Party Web Content

Thursday, September 19th, 2019
2:00 PM EDT - 3:30 PM EDT

These days' web sites are rarely built entirely from HTML under your control. In this age of APIs, embedded widgets and iframes, it is all too easy to render an otherwise fully accessible page both inaccessible and completely unusable just by adding a single line of JavaScript. In this session we will discuss all aspect of identifying 3rd party tools and app, assessing your risk and devise strategies for solving the 3rd party problems. Specific topics include:

  • The legality and liability of using inaccessible 3rd party tools in your website.
  • What is 3rd party and what is NOT 3rd party?
  • Options for remediating 3rd party issues.
  • How to write a remediation request to the 3rd party vendor.
  • How to find and select accessible 3rd party apps and tools for your site.
  • What to do if you've run out of ideas and options.

As time allows we'll examine examples of various types of 3rd party tools, take questions from the group, and devise actual solutions for anyone interested in sharing their 3rd party problems. To register go to: https://www.accessibilityonline.org/ada-tech/session/?id=110714

U.S. Access Board to Conduct Free Webinars on Website Accessibility

Access to websites is essential in today's digital environment for obtaining information, downloading data, sharing media, obtaining goods and services, and making other transactions. Many websites, however, remain off-limits to people with disabilities, particularly those with sensory impairments, because they are not structured and coded properly for accessibility. The U.S. Access Board, which maintains accessibility standards for information and communication technology in the federal sector under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, is conducting free webinars in September on how to evaluate websites for accessibility.

An introductory webinar on September 5 from 2:30 - 4:00 (ET) will cover online barriers to accessibility and explain how to check that web content is accessible to all visitors using the Board's Section 508 Standards. Presenters will review key components of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines issued by the World Wide Web Consortium, which are incorporated by reference in the Section 508 standards. They will also discuss common problems and easy solutions and share practical tips for improving website accessibility. Attendees can pose questions in advance or during the live webinar. This session is intended for both a general audience as well as website designers and content managers who are experienced, but new to accessibility.

For more information or to register for this session, visit www.accessibilityonline.org

A more advanced session will take place September 24 from 1:00 - 2:30 (ET) as part of the Board's Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series. This session is intended for federal employees involved in procuring web services and products who may not have a technical background but who are responsible for compliance with Section 508. It will follow the "user story" of a non-technical federal employee who has been recently assigned 508 oversight responsibilities for a web services contract. Presenters will review requirements for web content in the 508 Standards and address technical requirements for procurement contracts, how to verify that procured services and deliverables are fully compliant, and available resources and tools for evaluating website accessibility and fixing access issues.

Visit www.accessibilityonline.org/cioc-508 for further details or to register. The Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series is made available by the Accessibility Community of Practice of the CIO Council in partnership with the Board.

Special Spotlight:

September is National Service Dog Month

They provide companionship, inspire confidence, and live to serve, protect, and assist their handlers. Guide dogs, seeing eye dogs, service pets, and assistance animals are helping their humans perform tasks, accomplish lifelong goals, embark on adventures, overcome debilitating mental illnesses, and safeguard military bases across the country and around the world. To learn more about service animals go to: https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet