News

News items will help keep you up to date on disability related developments, resources, and other emerging issues. 

You can access the current and recent issues of the Center's ADA In Focus newsletter under the news menu above. The ADA In Focus newsletter is published three times each year. You can also contact our office at (800) 949-4232 Voice/TTY to request a hard copy, accessible formats, or go to the newsletter page to read current or past newsletter issues online. Please note that old newsletter issues may contain inactive links or outdated information.

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Hot Topics

October 12, 2015

The Survey of Riders with Disabilities on the Accessibility of Public Transportation is designed to improve understanding of the accessibility of public transportation for people with disabilities, and to gather evidence to support improvements. We want to hear about the experiences of riders with disabilities in using public surface or subway transportation, such as fixed route bus systems, ADA complementary paratransit, rapid rail (subway-type), light rail (streetcar-type), or other public transportation options.

The online survey is available in either English or Spanish (look for the drop-down box in the upper right hand corner to select Spanish).

Alternatively, the survey may be completed by phone, in either English or Spanish. To complete the survey by phone in English, please contact the research team at 312-996-9655. To complete the survey by phone in Spanish, please contact Ancel Montenelli at 312-413-1439. Please mention that you are calling about the ADA transportation survey.

The study is being conducted by the ADA Participatory Action Research Consortium (ADA-PARC), a collaborative research project of seven ADA Regional Centers, including our own Mid-Atlantic Center.

October 5, 2015

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published its ADA Circular to provide guidance for transit agencies. The document explains ADA requirements in detail, using real-world examples of good practices to help ensure accessible services for passengers with disabilities. The Circular also provides illustrations of common accessibility problems and solutions, information about accessible vehicles, rail cars, and vessels covered by the FTA’s rules, and a variety of sample policies and forms, such as a checklist for newly constructed or altered transportation facilities, and sample paratransit eligibility determination letters.

October 3, 2017
Survey on Service Animals and Assistance Animals

If you are a U.S. resident at least 18 years old who uses a service animal or other animal that assists with your disability, or a parent of a child who uses such an animal, the Southwest ADA Center invites you to complete this anonymous survey about experiences accessing public places with your animal.

Nominate a Disability Employment Champion

The Viscardi Center is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards. These awards honor leaders who have helped improve quality of life for people with disabilities in all areas of community life, including employment. Nominations are due by October 20.

July 4, 2017
ADA Anniversary: Celebrate July 26!

It’s been nearly 27 years since the ADA was enacted in a festive outdoor ceremony attended by thousands. Overwhelming majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed the legislation, and it was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990.

The new law represented, for many, a promise of opportunities which had long been denied. President Bush compared signing the bill to taking a sledgehammer to a wall, “one which has for too many generations separated Americans with disabilities from the freedom they could glimpse, but not grasp.”

July 4, 2017
ADA Resource Networks: Connect and Learn

The Mid-Atlantic ADA Center’s professional resource networks have nearly 400 members throughout the region. Network members learn the latest information on the ADA through exclusive webinars and group mailing lists, networking with others who have similar jobs and challenges, and sharing resources and ideas to enhance ADA implementation.

Recent Network Activities: ADA Leadership Network
  • The ADA Leadership Network (LN) welcomed two new groups of trainers; one in April and one in May.
July 4, 2017
Pennsylvania Judge Rules that Individual Claiming Disability Discrimination Based on Gender Dysphoria May Proceed with ADA Case

A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania refused to dismiss the ADA claims of the plaintiff in the case of Blatt v Cabela’s Retail, Inc.. The plaintiff, who was “diagnosed with ‘Gender Dysphoria, also known as Gender Identity Disorder’” alleged that she was discriminated against based on her sex (in violation of the Civil Rights Act) and disability. Cabela’s sought dismissal of the disability claims because the ADA specifically excludes from protection individuals with “gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments.” The plaintiff countered that applying the exclusion to her case would violate her constitutional right to equal protection under the law.

July 4, 2017

Volume 21, Number 2

ADA In Focus is published three times yearly by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center. It is also available by request in large print, Braille, audio CD, and computer disk. To obtain copies in other formats, contact us.

March 14, 2017
Supreme Court: Parents Don’t Need to Follow IDEA Procedures for Non-IDEA Issue

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of a young girl who was denied the opportunity to bring her service animal to school. The student’s parents brought the case of Fry v Napoleon Community Schools under Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (the school receives federal funds).

The school argued that the matter should have been addressed under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The IDEA has unique and very specific procedures which parents must follow and exhaust before they can bring a private lawsuit alleging that a school failed to adequately provide a “free appropriate public education (FAPE)” to a student with a disability who needs special education services.