Newsletter: September 20, 2017

Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin: September 20th, 2017

Updates from the Northeast ADA Center:

Overview of the Final Rule for Accessible Medical Diagnostic Equipment- Free Webinar
Thursday September 28th 2017 1pm to 2pm EST
Presented By: Jennifer Perry
This webinar will review the accessibility standards developed by the U.S. Access Board for equipment used in medical settings by health care providers for diagnostic purposes, including: examination tables and chairs, weight scales, mammography equipment, and other imaging equipment. The webinar will also discuss the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' guidance information for health care providers regarding their responsibilities to make their services and facilities accessible to individuals with mobility disabilities under the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. To register go to:


What's New in Our Region:

NYC Denies Nearly 9,000 Children with Disabilities the Services They Need
As of last May, 8,854 public school students with disabilities were lacking services such as speech therapy, physical therapy and counseling, according to figures the city Education Department supplied. The city's data shows that students from underserved districts in the south Bronx and Brooklyn are most likely to be deprived of the services they need to learn in comfort and safety. The problem is most acute in districts such as Bronx District 9, where 856 kids with disabilities weren't getting their needed services as of last May. By way of comparison, in Manhattan's relatively affluent District 1, only 67 students were missing the treatments they needed, the city's figures show. In July, advocates filed a lawsuit against the city for failing to provide services to hundreds of Bronx kids with disabilities. To read more about this go to:

School Settles Claim it Didn't Evacuate Student with a Disability During Fire Alarm
The Watchung Hills Regional High School District Board of Education in Warren, New Jersey, agreed to settle claims that staff failed to evacuate at least one student with a disability during an unplanned fire alarm and did not have policies for evacuating students with disabilities, federal officials said Monday. The student, who uses a wheelchair, could not leave the building because its elevators had been shut down, according to the settlement. Fellow students waited with the student with a disability, but an "unidentified adult" told the students without disabilities to leave. The district agreed to make sure that students with disabilities are included in emergency evacuations and drills, provide Americans with Disabilities Act training for staff and maintain policies to ensure that students with disabilities are accounted for in school safety protocols, including drills and unplanned evacuations. To read the full article go to:

Retail Websites Are 'Public Accommodations' Subject to ADA, Judge Rules
As courts remain divided over whether or not websites should be held to the same standard under the Americans with Disabilities Act as brick-and-mortar locations, companies across the country continue to get hit with lawsuits for lack of online accommodations for people with disabilities. There are an increasing amount of lawsuits being filed against websites that are claimed to be inaccessible. Over a period of about two weeks in June and July of 2017, Steven Matzura, who is legally blind, filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against 18 companies for lack of accommodation on their websites, including Shake Shack, Nordstrom Inc. and Katz's Delicatessen. Another legally blind man, Lawrence Young, filed suit in the Southern District against more than 20 companies over several weeks this summer. His targets include Sotheby's, Sbarro and Ethan Allen. In a recent ruling, U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein of the Eastern District of New York found that the website for Blick Art Materials, where customers can purchase products, is a place of public accommodation and thus subject to the ADA. To read more about this go to:

If you would like to learn more about making your website accessible, please visit our archived webinar at:

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

More Businesses are Opening up to People with Disabilities

More than a decade ago, when Jenny Lay-Flurrie was looking for a job, she told an interviewer at Microsoft that she had some trouble hearing. "I didn't tell them I was profoundly deaf," Lay-Flurrie tells USA TODAY through an American Sign Language interpreter. "It was Microsoft that educated me. They helped me realize that my disability is a strength that makes the company better." Thirteen years later, Lay-Flurrie is the chief accessibility officer for Microsoft. "I work for a company that supports me every day," she says. "I want every employee to have that shot." Microsoft is not the only business actively working to incorporate people with disabilities in both its customer base and workforce. The 2017 Disability Equality Index (DEI), a survey conducted by the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), reports that U.S. businesses are becoming increasingly accessible for people with disabilities. To read more about this go to:

U.S. Access Board Consults Stakeholders on Reform Plan
During its July meeting, the Board met with stakeholders to gather feedback on an agency reform plan for improving its operations and services. Attendees included representatives from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Environmental Health Network, the Great Lakes ADA Center, the National Federation of the Blind, the National Park Service, the National Recreation and Park Association, The Paciello Group, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. The Board convened this group to discuss ways it can improve and make more efficient its programs and activities, including technical assistance, training, and enforcement of the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). Participants urged the Board to increase its outreach and external communications to make more people aware of its services and resources. They recommended that the Board work with professional and trade associations to disseminate information to their membership. In addition, the Board should expand its communications platform to include blogs, podcasts, and additional webinars. You can read more at:

Opportunities for You!

Accessible Hospitals and Medical Care Facilities: A Refresher-Free Webinar
Thursday, October 05, 2017, 2:30pm - 4:00pm EST
This session will provide a refresher on the requirements in the ADA and ABA Accessibility standard for Hospitals and Long-Term Care facilities. The presenters will provide an in-depth review of the standards and design challenges in long-term care settings, including highlights from recent research. Additionally, they will explore strategies for success in the field that both comply with the standard and meet the needs of older adults and their caregivers. This is a joint session presented by the Access Board and the AIA Codes and Standards Committee. Session participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance. 

• Rex Pace
• Amy Carter, AIA
To register go to:

Special Spotlight:

As the Northeast ADA Center typically receives technical assistance questions related to the rights of students with disabilities under the ADA and Section 504 this time of year, we are sharing several resources below that will be of use to individuals that would like to learn more about the federal protections for students with disabilities in school settings.

Frequently Asked Questions page developed by the U.S. Department of Educations' Office of Civil Rights:

U.S. Dept. of Education Guidance on Schools' Obligation to Provide Equal Opportunity to Students with Disabilities to Participate in Extracurricular Athletics:

Bullying of Students with Disabilities Addressed in Guidance to America's Schools:

The Civil Rights of Students with Hidden Disabilities Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973:

Protecting Students with Disabilities - this is a Department of Education document on the overall requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in elementary and secondary education in public schools.

Assistive Technology Glossary - this is produced by the Family Center on Technology and Disability. It compiles terms and definitions frequently encountered in the educational setting.