Revised regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are in effect as of March 15, 2011, the Department of Justice announced. The revised rules are the department’s first major revision of its guidance on accessibility in 20 years.
The National Council on Disability notes in their book, “Equality of Opportunity: The Making of the Americans with Disabilities Act”
[The Americans with Disabilities Act] champions human rights themes by declaring that people with disabilities are an integral part of society and, as such, should not be segregated, isolated, or subjected to the effects of discrimination. The ADA is also distinctively American. It embraces several archetypal American themes such as self-determination, self-reliance, and individual achievement. The ADA is about enabling people with disabilities to take charge of their lives and join the American mainstream. It seeks to do so by fostering employment opportunities, facilitating access to public transportation and public accommodations, and ensuring the use of our nation’s communications systems….In a long tradition of promoting civil rights, the ADA upholds the principle that each individual has the potential, and deserves the right to participate in, and contribute to, society….It has altered our public discourse about disability and about the role of people with disabilities in American society. Future generations will look back on the passage of the ADA as a watershed public policy.
To learn more about the ADA visit www.ada.gov
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department today announced a comprehensive settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with HRB Tax Group Inc., H&R Block Tax Services LLC and HRB Advance LLC (H&R Block) to ensure effective communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in the provision of income tax preparation services and courses at more than 11,000 owned and franchised offices nationwide.
The Department of Justice has scheduled three public hearings on four Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRMs), which seek public comment on the possibility of revising the ADA regulations to address accessible web information and services, movie captioning and video description, accessibility of Next Generation 9-1-1, and accessible equipment and furniture. The ANPRMs were published in the Federal Register on July 26, 2010, and the comment period for them closes on January 24, 2011.
In December, 2008, HLAA joined Washington State Communications Access Project (Wash CAP) and others in a "Friend of the Court" (amicus) brief for a movie captioning case that was filed in Arizona. In that amicus brief, we supported closed captioning in movie theaters as a form of accommodation that could be provided to people with hearing loss under the ADA.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled April 30, 2010 that the ADA can require movie theaters to exhibit closed-captioned movies.
Next year, 2010, we will reach the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the civil rights law for people with disabilities. It’s time to ask: are the barriers gone, have we reached full accessibility for all people all the time? The answer: I don’t think so.
Julius Genachowski was confirmed by the U.S. Senate June 25, 2009 as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. In addition, Commissioner Robert McDowell was approved for a full term at the Commission.
In addition, President Obama announced his intention to nominate Meredith Attwell Baker (Republican) and Mignon Clyburn (Democrat) as new FCC Commissioners. Each will also now have confirmation hearings in the Senate.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) provides information about cases they are involved with on their website www.ada.gov/new.htm . We have summarized information about cases that impact people who are hard of hearing or deaf. Visit www.ada.gov or the links provided below for more information about these and other cases.
Last summer, advocates across the country worked furiously to meet a deadline to respond to the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. HLAA filed our own comments: