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 Please note that old newsletter issues may contain inactive links or outdated information.

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February 27, 2018

Volume 22, Number 1

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.

February 27, 2018
Community Spotlight: WVCDHH Initiatives

The mission of the West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WVCDHH) is to advocate for, develop, and coordinate public policies, regulations, and programs to assure full and equal opportunity for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in West Virginia.

WVCDHH has been working on two projects to address needs in the deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) communities in West Virginia. A vehicle visor card was designed and distributed to deaf drivers in West Virginia to facilitate communication with law enforcement. Another WVCDHH initiative involves working with theaters to offer open captioned movie showings to the D/HH community.

Recently, WVCDHH Project Director Sarah Lowther answered some questions about these two projects.

Visor Cards

Can you tell us how this project began?

February 27, 2018
American Airlines and Envoy Air to Pay $9.8 Million to Settle EEOC ADA Lawsuit

American Airlines and Envoy Air will pay $9.8 million in stock to settle a nationwide class lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC claimed the airlines discriminated against hundreds of employees by refusing to allow them to return from medical leaves unless they had no restrictions. The EEOC has long maintained that such “100% healed” policies violate the ADA because they discount the possibility that reasonable accommodations may enable workers to return to duty.

EEOC Regional Attorney Mary O'Neill said, "This consent decree is the result of productive and thoughtful negotiations with American. We appreciate American and Envoy working with the EEOC to reach a settlement. In addition to providing meaningful monetary relief for hundreds of former employees, the settlement contains important equitable relief, including company policy changes and training designed to provide people with disabilities equal opportunities in the workplace."

October 24, 2017

Volume 21, Number 3

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.

October 24, 2017
Community Spotlight:
Pittsburgh’s “Oakland For All”

Oakland For All - Beyond Accessible is an initiative promoting accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood. Oakland, home to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, is an urban area with a lively business district.

Oakland For All (OFA), founded in 2015 in honor of the 25th anniversary of the ADA, is facilitated by the Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) and the Oakland Transportation Management Association (OTMA). OFA is a collaboration of stakeholders, advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, universities, and businesses. Their mission statement is "Together, we are opening a pathway to a community without barriers." 

Georgia Petropoulus, Executive Director of the OBID, answered some questions recently about Oakland For All.

How did your organization get involved?

October 24, 2017
DC Judge: EEOC Must Reconsider Rules on Employer Sponsored Wellness Programs

A judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a memorandum opinion in the case of AARP v EEOC, requiring the agency to reconsider its rules related to employer sponsored wellness programs under both the ADA and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

The rules, which went into effect in January of this year, allow employers to penalize workers up to 30% of the cost of their health insurance premiums if they decline to participate in wellness programs that require them to undergo medical testing or answer questions about their health. Such programs are only permissible under the ADA if they are “voluntary.”

The level of incentive (either a reward or a penalty) that would preserve the voluntary nature of a program – in other words, an incentive not so great or so burdensome that it leaves workers with little meaningful choice – is at the center of the debate in this case.