Newsletter: July 19, 2017

Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin: July 19th, 2017

Updates from the Northeast ADA Center:

Information Access to Healthcare Medical Records-Free Webinar
July 26th 2017
1:00 pm ET to 2:00pm ET
Presented by Joe Zesski

Whether a person is going to their general doctor for a checkup or being admitted to a hospital for a procedure, today the record of medical visits are kept electronically and typically made available to the patient through some form of e-portal. With this movement towards electronic records keeping and sharing, effective communication for the patient is essential. This webinar will discuss the impact of the ADA on access for the patient to electronic medical records and documentation as well as the need for medical providers to ensure the accessibility of this critical information. To register go to:

What's New in Our Region:

New York Stores to Improve Access for People with Disabilities Under Deal With the State
After a 2015 probe by the NYS Human Rights Commission, more than onehundred stores were found to be inaccessible to people with disabilities. Starting with Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood and eventually expanding to the entire city and northern suburbs, 129 stores have agreed to install ramps and take other measures to remove barriers for people with disabilities. To read the full article go to:

City's Disability Pride Parade Marches Through Health Care Concerns
July 9th, 2017 saw thousands take part in the third annual NY City Disability Pride Parade held in Manhattan. While participants said rights for people with disabilities have come a long way in the nearly three decades since the ADA's passage, they said there is still a lot of work to be done. The Disability Pride Parade also gave participants a platform to talk about issues that are most important to them, such as how to improve the accessibility of the city. To read the full article go to:

These Actors with Disabilities are Wowing Theater Crowds
The Off-Broadway production "Cost of Living" set out to cast actors with disabilities to provide a cast more indicative of what America looks like. "Cost of Living" playwright Martyna Majok insisted on casting actors with disabilities who can "tell their own stories".. "I wanted a cast that looked like America, and 19 percent of Americans have some kind of disability," says its co-writer and director, Marc Acito, citing recent census findings. To read the full article go to:

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

Edinburg Hospital to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Ineffective Communication for Deaf Patients

After being sued by the US Attorney's Office from the southern district of Texas, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance has agreed to settle a lawsuit claiming the hospital failed to provide auxiliary aids and services for deaf patients. The lawsuit claimed that the hospital violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing an interpreter to a family whose daughter was undergoing treatment and instead forced the parents to use family members to translate. To read the full article go to:

Florida Agrees to Make Prisons More Accessible for Inmates with Disabilities

A lawsuit filed by Disability Rights Florida has been settled with the State to address disability related barriers that inmates face. The settlement, filed in United States District Court in Tallahassee, followed years of legal actions on behalf of inmates with physical disabilities who sought equal treatment. The lawsuit that Disability Rights Florida filed last year included complaints from 32 of those prisoners, who said they were denied prosthetics, wheelchairs, hearing aids and functioning canes, among other issues. The changes include making qualified interpreters available for disciplinary hearings and doctor's appointments, providing functioning canes to inmates with visual disabilities and removing architectural barriers in prisons for people that use wheelchairs and others with mobility issues. To read the full article go to:

Santa Rosa CA Grinds Out Accessibility Upgrades
In 2008, investigators from the U.S. Attorney General's Office conducted an audit of 40 city facilities, identifying nearly 200 violations of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The following year the city entered into a settlement with the DOJ, agreeing to fix the problems over five years at what was a then-estimated cost of $2.9 million.

Seven years later the city is still working to complete the multimillion dollar upgrades. While the city tackled some of the more readily achievable upgrades such as lowering hand dryers in public bathrooms, the larger and more costly projects are just getting underway. The work in and around the 152-acre Howarth Park, the city's busiest, is one such example. The city recently ripped out and replaced a long stretch of buckled sidewalk along Summerfield Road next to the park's lower parking lot. As part of the project, the city cut down several large mature trees, whose roots had forced several concrete slabs upward. For people with mobility disabilities this has made a big difference. The project is just one of hundreds the city has completed over the past several years at a total cost of $7.5 million. To read the full article go to:

Sensient Pays $800,000 to Settle ADA Claim Because of Inflexible Leave/Accommodation Policy
The EEOC announced on 6/30/17 that Sensient Natural Ingredients, a division of Sensient Technologies, has agreed to pay up to $800,000 and also provide other significant relief, to settle a charge of disability discrimination based on an inflexible leave/no restrictions policy. According to the EEOC, employees were either discharged for surpassing the company's restrictive leave policy or were required to return to work without accommodations or restrictions. The EEOC also contended that when employees attempted to return to work even without restrictions, the company refused to accept them back and fired them instead. To read more about this go to:

Opportunities for You!

Free Webinar: ADA Basics for Museums
Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
12:30 PM EDT - 1:00 PM EDT

The ADA impacts the visitor experience from the moment they first land on your website, purchase a ticket and enter your building. Not sure how to best enhance their experience? Then join us for a brief overview of successful ways to ensure greater customer satisfaction. This session will be presented by Donna Baker-Notter, Senior Director of Operations and ADA Compliance Officer with the Newseum, an organization headquartered in Washington, DC which promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. To register go to:

Free Webinar: Surface Roughness and Rollability Research
Thursday, August 3rd, 2017
2:30 PM EDT - 4:00 PM EDT

Rough and uneven surfaces can be uncomfortable, even painful, for people who use wheeled mobility aids. While there are ways to measure and analyze surface roughness for roadways, none are appropriate for pedestrian pathways. The U.S. Access Board funded a study that used subject testing to examine how the roughness of pathway surfaces impacts wheelchair travel. Conducted by the Human Engineering Research Laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh, the project measured body vibrations resulting from travel across various types of bumpy or uneven surfaces, including existing sidewalks and simulated surfaces. Results from this research were used in the development of a new ASTM standard on pedestrian surfaces. This session will discuss the research findings and the new ASTM standard. To register go to:

Special Spotlight:

ADA 27: 27th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Happy 27th Anniversary ADA!
On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications, and state and local government services. In honor of this anniversary, below are several features that highlight the importance of this landmark civil rights law.

Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act: July 26
This Facts for Features (developed by the U.S. Census Bureau) provides a demographic snapshot of the U.S. population with a disability and examines various services available to them. The statistics come from various Census Bureau censuses and surveys, covering differing periods of time:

ADA Anniversary Toolkit
Throughout the year, celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Anniversary (July 26) in your workplaces, schools and communities. While much progress has been made, much remains to be done. This Tool Kit is a project of the ADA National Network and its ten regional ADA Centers across the United States that provide information, guidance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Learn more here:

Battle-Tested People with Disabilities Fight for Rights
July is widely celebrated as Disability Pride Month in the U.S. This year, the month marks the 27th anniversary of passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990. The ADA, a landmark U.S. civil rights bill for people with disabilities, was enhanced in 2008 by the ADAA, Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act. . With legislation being considered in Congress that could have broad ranging impacts on people with disabilities, the disabled community has responded to these attacks with resistance. To read the full article go to: