The ADA Turns 26
July 26, 2016

“Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.” – Former President George H.W. Bush, July 26, 1990. 
Intro page ADA White House.jpg
 

With those works spoken, 26 years ago today, President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. The ADA is by far the most comprehensive and far reaching civil rights law ever passed for the nearly 50 million Americans with disabilities. 
 
The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

However, the ADA is often misunderstood, so today, I thought I would share some “Myths and Facts” about the ADA. (Source: www.pva.org/Americans_with_Disabilities_Act_ADA_Myths_and_Facts.htm)
 
Myth: Older or historic buildings are exempt from the requirements.
Fact: There is no “grandfathered in” concept under the ADA. The law does hold facilities built or renovated after 1990 or 2010 to a more stringent standard of accessible design, but all publically accessible places must take reasonable steps to improve access to patrons.
This mandate includes the obligation to remove barriers from existing buildings whenever it is “readily achievable” to do so. “Readily achievable” accessibility is a legal term determined by a reasonableness test for when a business can provide access to the products or services it offers “without much difficulty or expense.
Myth: The ADA protections apply to housing.
Fact: The ADA does not protect people with disabilities against discrimination in housing. The ADA applies to housing rental and sales offices but protections against housing discrimination fall under the Fair Housing Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Myth: A commercial landlord is liable for ADA compliance, not the business tenant.
Fact: Both the landlord and the business tenant share the legal responsibility for complying with ADA accessibility, including removing barriers or providing other accessibility devices such as “auxiliary aids and services.” These include interpreters, written materials, assistive listening devices, or computer-aided services. The landlord and the business tenant may decide by lease who is supposed to make the changes or provide the services, but both remain legally responsible to the patron or employee.
 
Myth: The ADA requires private citizens to modify their homes to allow people with disabilities to visit.
Fact: The ADA does not require private citizens to modify their homes to make them accessible. Some homeowners, however, choose to modify their homes to make them “visitable” by friends and family members with disabilities. More information about how to make your home visitable is available at this link.
 
Myth: Everyone claims to be covered under the ADA.
Fact: The following groups are protected by the ADA, according to the Department of Justice’s technical assistance manuals at www.ADA.gov:
Someone with a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity,” including walking, talking, seeing, hearing, breathing, reasoning, or taking care of oneself. Major life activities also include bodily functions, such as cell growth or the proper functioning of immune, nervous, respiratory, or other body systems.
People with a record of impairment that previously limited life activities, such as a history of treatment for cancer or mental illness that is now in remission.
Anyone who is regarded as having a disability even if their life activities are not substantially limited, such as a person with adequately controlled diabetes or a facial disfigurement. This category also protects people who are not impaired but are treated as if they are – for example, someone who is refused entry to a public accommodation based on untrue rumors that he or she is HIV-positive.
The law also protects able-bodied people against discrimination based on their known relationship or association with people who have disabilities. The Department of Justice presents an example of a day care center that refuses to admit a child whose sibling is HIV-positive, even though the child seeking admission does not have a disability. 
 
Myth: A service animal protected by the ADA is any animal that provides assistance to a person with a disability.
Fact: The Department of Justice's ADA regulations define a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. In certain situations, a service animal may also be a miniature horse.

(Cross posted at The Minot Voice)


The ADA Turns 26
July 26, 2016

“Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.” – Former President George H.W. Bush, July 26, 1990. 
Intro page ADA White House.jpg
 

With those works spoken, 26 years ago today, President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. The ADA is by far the most comprehensive and far reaching civil rights law ever passed for the nearly 50 million Americans with disabilities. 
 
The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

However, the ADA is often misunderstood, so today, I thought I would share some “Myths and Facts” about the ADA. (Source: www.pva.org/Americans_with_Disabilities_Act_ADA_Myths_and_Facts.htm)
 
Myth: Older or historic buildings are exempt from the requirements.
Fact: There is no “grandfathered in” concept under the ADA. The law does hold facilities built or renovated after 1990 or 2010 to a more stringent standard of accessible design, but all publically accessible places must take reasonable steps to improve access to patrons.
This mandate includes the obligation to remove barriers from existing buildings whenever it is “readily achievable” to do so. “Readily achievable” accessibility is a legal term determined by a reasonableness test for when a business can provide access to the products or services it offers “without much difficulty or expense.
Myth: The ADA protections apply to housing.
Fact: The ADA does not protect people with disabilities against discrimination in housing. The ADA applies to housing rental and sales offices but protections against housing discrimination fall under the Fair Housing Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Myth: A commercial landlord is liable for ADA compliance, not the business tenant.
Fact: Both the landlord and the business tenant share the legal responsibility for complying with ADA accessibility, including removing barriers or providing other accessibility devices such as “auxiliary aids and services.” These include interpreters, written materials, assistive listening devices, or computer-aided services. The landlord and the business tenant may decide by lease who is supposed to make the changes or provide the services, but both remain legally responsible to the patron or employee.
 
Myth: The ADA requires private citizens to modify their homes to allow people with disabilities to visit.
Fact: The ADA does not require private citizens to modify their homes to make them accessible. Some homeowners, however, choose to modify their homes to make them “visitable” by friends and family members with disabilities. More information about how to make your home visitable is available at this link.
 
Myth: Everyone claims to be covered under the ADA.
Fact: The following groups are protected by the ADA, according to the Department of Justice’s technical assistance manuals at www.ADA.gov:
Someone with a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity,” including walking, talking, seeing, hearing, breathing, reasoning, or taking care of oneself. Major life activities also include bodily functions, such as cell growth or the proper functioning of immune, nervous, respiratory, or other body systems.
People with a record of impairment that previously limited life activities, such as a history of treatment for cancer or mental illness that is now in remission.
Anyone who is regarded as having a disability even if their life activities are not substantially limited, such as a person with adequately controlled diabetes or a facial disfigurement. This category also protects people who are not impaired but are treated as if they are – for example, someone who is refused entry to a public accommodation based on untrue rumors that he or she is HIV-positive.
The law also protects able-bodied people against discrimination based on their known relationship or association with people who have disabilities. The Department of Justice presents an example of a day care center that refuses to admit a child whose sibling is HIV-positive, even though the child seeking admission does not have a disability. 
 
Myth: A service animal protected by the ADA is any animal that provides assistance to a person with a disability.
Fact: The Department of Justice's ADA regulations define a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. In certain situations, a service animal may also be a miniature horse.

(Cross posted at The Minot Voice)




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