Mid-Atlantic ADA Update 2018: Session Descriptions

Mid-Atlantic ADA Update 2018


Tuesday, September 4, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Pre-Conference Session: ADA Overview

Mid-Atlantic ADA Center Staff
This session is designed for those new to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or anyone needing a refresher. The presentation will provide a basic outline of the three major sections of the ADA: Title I, the employment provisions of the ADA, Title II, the provisions covering state and local governments, and Title III, the provisions covering public accommodations and services operated by private entities. The 3 ½ hour session will provide a working knowledge of the major concepts and regulations of the ADA.

This session approved for 3.5 LU/HSW by AIA.
This session approved for 3.5 Recertification Credit Hours by HRCI.
This session approved for 3.5 PDC by SHRM.

ADA Leadership Network Meeting

Leadership Network Members: please contact ADA-LN@transcen.org for information.

Wednesday, September 5, 9:15 AM

Keynote Speaker:

Claudia Gordon, Esq.
Director of Government and Compliance, Sprint Accessibility

Wednesday, September 5, 9:55 AM

Federal Agency Panel

Join us for a conversation with representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Access Board and U.S. Department of Transportation who will discuss their agencies current initiatives and activities related to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Audience members will have an opportunity to pose questions to the panelists.

This session approved for 2.0 LU/HSW by AIA.
This session approved for 1.5 Recertification Credit Hours by HRCI.
This session approved for 2.0 PDC by SHRM.


Moderator: Laura Owens, TransCen, Inc.


  • Sharon Rennert, ADA/GINA Policy Division, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Roberta, Kirkendall, Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division U.S. Department of Justice
  • Scott Windley, U.S. Access Board
  • John Day, Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation

Wednesday, September 5, 1:30 PM

Breakout Session #1.1: ADA & Business Boot Camp Part 1: Accessible Buildings and Facilities

Kaylan Dunlap, Evan Terry Associates
This session will provide an overview of Title III of the ADA and how it applies to commercial facilities and places of public accommodation, such as stores, restaurants, theaters, professional offices, and other types of businesses that offer goods or services to the general public. We will outline requirements for new construction projects and planned alterations, as well as the obligation for public accommodations to remove barriers in existing facilities, and we will explain the distinctions between alterations and barrier removal. We will discuss limitations that may arise when addressing access to existing facilities, including historic properties, and provide examples of alternatives and creative solutions to improve access to facilities, goods and services.
This session approved for 1.5 LU/HSW by AIA.

You may attend this session with full conference registration or with the half-day ADA and Business Boot Camp program.

Breakout Session #1.2: The ADA in State and Local Courts, Corrections, and Law Enforcement

Steve Gordon, United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia, U.S. Department of Justice, 
The ADA and its implementing regulations require state and local courts, law enforcement and correctional facilities to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to take advantage of services provided by these governmental entities. Thus, whether courts, law enforcement or correctional personnel are interacting with crime victims, witnesses, arrestees, detainees or just members of the public, they are required to take steps to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to fully participate. This presentation will focus on the ADA legal principles in state and local courts, law enforcement, and correctional settings, including the applicable ADA regulations, and Technical Assistance Publications and recent cases in this area.

Breakout Session #1.3: Effective Communication in Healthcare

Bonnie O'Leary, Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons and Pamela Jones, Mary Washington Healthcare
Talking about medical issues can be difficult in any context. When a patient is speaking with their medical care provider, there are a variety of challenges, barriers, and misunderstandings that can get in the way. This session will discuss effective communication in the medical setting from both the patient with a disability and the medical provider perspective and address best practices for creating a positive and clear exchange.

Breakout Session #1.4: Public Rights of Way

Scott Windley and Juliet Shoultz, U.S. Access Board
The proposed "Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way" addresses the accessibility of pedestrian facilities such as sidewalks, shared use paths, and other elements located in the public right-of-way. This session will include an update of the current status of the rulemaking process and a discussion of the basic obligations of States and local agencies to make their facilities accessible. The guidelines for pedestrian access routes within sidewalks and shared use paths and for curb ramps and street crossings will be presented.

This session approved for 1.5 LU/HSW by AIA.

Breakout Session #1.5: A Deep Dive into the Interactive Process: Making Informed Decisions about Requests for Reasonable Accommodation

Sharon Rennert, ADA/GINA Policy Division, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
This session will examine the “interactive process,” the process of responding to and evaluating a request for reasonable accommodation.  This session will break down the process and examine the types of questions to be directed to the individual making the request, as well as supervisors and health care providers.  The focus will be on how to conduct an interactive process that gets you the information you need to make an informed decision consistent with the legal requirements of the ADA.  Bring your questions, as Ms. Rennert wants to hear from you about your problems and experiences.

This session approved for 1.5 Recertification Credit Hours by HRCI.
This session approved for 1.5 PDC by SHRM.

Wednesday, September 5, 3:20 PM

Breakout Session #2.1: ADA & Business Boot Camp Part 2: Accessible Operations and Customer Service

Marian Vessels, MSV Consulting, Claire Stanley, American Council of the Blind and Rebecca Witzofsky, student, Gallaudet University
This session will be a panel discussion about operational issues in places of public accommodation, and how businesses can ensure that customers with disabilities have equal opportunities to obtain goods and services. We will discuss how businesses can respond to individual requests for assistance or policy adjustments and communicate effectively with customers who have vision, hearing, or speech disabilities. Frequently asked questions, such as when or how businesses can question individuals with animals, will be covered, along with other tips for commonly encountered situations. We will also introduce our “Customer Service Toolkit,” a resource businesses can use to train their employees to interact successfully with customers with disabilities and provide exemplary service. 
You may attend this session with full conference registration or with the half-day ADA and Business Boot Camp program.

Breakout Session #2.2: Feeling Safe and Understood in the Community: One State’s Experience with People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Training of Law Enforcement

Jennifer Eastman, Maryland Department of Disabilities, Patti Saylor, Ethan Saylor Alliance, Robert Wagner, Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions, Erica Wheeler, self-advocate, Lisa Schoenbrodt, Loyola University Maryland
Long term supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have drastically improved over the years, facilitating more opportunities for access and engagement in community life. This shift to community-based services, however, does not come without the need to increase understanding and reduce stigma that is unjustly associated with this population, especially for public safety organizations. This panel presentation will outline how a grassroots advocacy effort that stemmed from a family tragedy incited statewide systemic change and facilitated unconventional partnerships among a multitude of stakeholders.

Breakout Session #2.3: 2010 Standards for Accessible Design Overview

Scott Windley and Juliet Shoultz, U.S. Access Board
The ADA Standards apply to a wide range of facilities in the public and private sectors and specify which elements and spaces must be accessible. This session will cover how the standards apply in new construction, alterations, and additions and review scoping requirements, general exceptions, and other provisions relevant to application. 

This session approved for 1.5 LU/HSW by AIA.

Breakout Session #2.4: Self-Evaluation and Transition Plans

Elizabeth Savage and Thomas Fodor, Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Title II of the ADA requires all state and local government agencies to complete a “self-evaluation” to determine the accessibility of their programs, services, and activities. Agencies must assess their policies and practices to ensure they do not unnecessarily exclude people with disabilities. Additionally, those public agencies that have 50 or more employees must develop and implement a “transition plan” to address any structural changes that are needed to achieve inclusive programs and services. This session will provide an overview of these requirements and outline an integrated approach to conducting a self-evaluation and creating an effective transition plan.

This session approved for 1.5 LU/HSW by AIA.

Breakout Session #2.5: Assistive Technology as Reasonable Accommodation

Amy Goldman, Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs
Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. From speech recognition software to organization and communication aids, AT can be an essential part of helping individuals with disabilities be successful at performing their jobs. This session will cover commonly used products and the latest trends in using assistive technology as reasonable accommodation in the workplace. 
This session approved for 1.5 Recertification Credit Hours by HRCI.

This session approved for 1.5 PDC by SHRM.

Thursday, September 6, 9:00 AM

Breakout Session #3.1: Customer Service: Tools for Success

Nancy Horton and Caleb Berkemeier, TransCen, Inc. - Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
Training frontline staff to successfully interact with customers with disabilities is a necessary but often neglected practice. This session will build upon the Boot Camp #2 panel discussion by focusing on how managers can train their employees to provide exemplary customer service to persons with disabilities. The “Customer Service Toolkit” resource will be the centerpiece of the session. We will explain its content and discuss its grounding in the equal opportunity and non-discrimination provisions of the ADA. While this session is in the business track, Title II entities will also benefit from customer service training. You do not have to be an expert – we will give you the resources you need to train your staff.

Breakout Session #3.2: From Court House Front Doors to Jury Rooms: ADA Accessibility and the Courts

Bruce Adelson and Jinny Bromberg, Bromberg and Associates
ADA Title II requires state and local courts to ensure that programs, services & activities are accessible to people with disabilities, even if located in older buildings. These requirements include a myriad of structural and communication concerns - parking spaces, accessible routes, doorways, wheelchair lifts, elevators, counters, judges’ benches, jury boxes, plus court proceedings, effective communication, and more. But courts and local governments often are unaware of Title II requirements. Our presentation will take conference attendees from the courthouse entrance door to the jury room as we discuss ADA requirements, litigation, and best practice tips.  

This session approved for 1.5 LU/HSW by AIA.

Breakout Session #3.3: Topics and Trends in Cultural Venues

Betty Siegel, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Wondering what new technologies might impact captioning and audio description during performances or at exhibits? Considering how ticketing for accessible seating and compliance is getting a bit more complicated with dynamic pricing? Thinking about offering sensory friendly and dementia friendly activities, and how to integrate them into your programming? And, what’s up with emergency evacuation, or website accessibility? This is a great opportunity for the managers of cultural venues to learn more about current news in the field, including updates in case law.

Breakout Session #3.4: Self-Evaluation and Transition Plans: Practical Application and Lessons Learned from Project Civic Access

Nancy Greene, former ADA Title II Compliance ManagerMontgomery County (Maryland) Government
This session will highlight one county’s experience implementing and sustaining ADA compliance efforts through a coordinated approach to policy and resource development, staff training, contract management, facility construction and renovation planning, interdepartmental collaboration, and community engagement. Following a Project Civic Access review and settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Montgomery County, Maryland ADA compliance program kicked into high gear, and continues to evolve to address ADA issues across the broad range of programs and activities in this large and diverse county. Join us and find out more about the challenges encountered, lessons learned and successful strategies of this small but proactive ADA team!
This session approved for 1.5 LU/HSW by AIA.

Breakout Session #3.5: Employment Issues in Healthcare Settings

Teresa Goddard and Matthew McCord, Job Accommodation Network
Healthcare workers may have a variety of disabilities, ranging from limitations in motor functioning, sensory, or cognitive and psychiatric functioning. These impairments can affect performance of certain job duties- such as, patient lifting, interpreting medical records, administering medications, working long shifts, responding to alerts, and communicating with patients and other providers. These job tasks could be hard to perform without reasonable accommodations. This presentation will explore a variety of accommodation scenarios in which various assistive technologies and accommodations were utilized in healthcare settings to ensure the employability and retention of healthcare workers with disabilities. 

This session approved for 1.5 Recertification Credit Hours by HRCI.
This session approved for 1.5 PDC by SHRM.

Thursday, September 6, 10:50 AM

Breakout Session #4.1: Improving Workplace Accessibility and Inclusion

Susan Skelly, Rachael L. Bradley Montgomery, and Adrienne Thomas-Loftin, The MITRE Corporation
This presentation will explain how The MITRE Corporation embraced the concept of accessibility by developing inclusive processes that support applicants, employees and campus visitors who are persons with disabilities. While still a work-in-progress, MITRE has made great strides in promoting inclusion, reducing stigma and potential awkwardness, and combating isolation, segregation, and second-class citizenship of individuals with disabilities. 

The session will include a discussion of MITRE’s approach, including changes made to: 

  • Talent Acquisition and New Employee Orientation
  • Communicating our Commitment to Accessibility 
  • Addressing Workplace Accommodations and the Return to Work Process
  • Integrating Accessibility into Development Processes
  • Making Facilities Accessible for Persons with Disabilities
This session approved for 1.5 Recertification Credit Hours by HRCI.
This session approved for 1.5 PDC by SHRM.

Breakout Session #4.2: Law Enforcement Interaction with People with Disabilities

Gary Talley, Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
This session will discuss  effective communication between law enforcement officers and people who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired and with speech difficulties.  It will touch on other disabilities that require a slightly different approach to understanding and being understood. 

Breakout Session #4.3: Accessible Social Media For All

Lori Markland, Maryland Department of Disabilities, Technology Assistance Program 
Social media is a fundamental tool used by government agencies, businesses, and organizations to stay in touch with their constituents. This session will highlight the ways to ensure that the content and the context of your organization's message is accessible, whether you're using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other platforms to stay in touch with your community. 

Breakout Session #4.4: Accessible Medical Facilities and Equipment

Kaylan Dunlap, Evan Terry Associates
This session will provide an overview of requirements specific to healthcare facilities, including hospitals, long term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and doctor’s offices. We will discuss the small pictures that make up the “big picture” of providing accessible healthcare, including: typical barriers seen in these types of facilities; readily achievable barrier removal; maintenance of accessible features; policies and procedures; and accessible diagnostic medical equipment.
This session approved for 1.5 LU/HSW by AIA.

Breakout Session #4.5: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Participation: Lessons on Transit Accessibility from BaltimoreLink

Jaime McKay, Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland Transit Administration
BaltimoreLink is a transformational redesign of the bus network in the Baltimore region. The largest network change in Baltimore’s transit system in decades required and continues to require an enormous public outreach effort. During the initial planning phases of BaltimoreLink, Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) worked alongside National Federation of the Blind - Maryland and advocacy groups to produce descriptive, screen reader accessible turn-by-turn documents outlining the numerous routes that would be changed. The team created an inclusive and participatory process for individuals with visual impairments, older adults, advocacy groups and other stakeholders. This session will focus on the lessons learned from this project that can be of value for local, regional, and state governments when undertaking initiatives to enhance accessibility in their communities.

Thursday, September 6, 1:30 PM

Breakout Session #5.1: Digital Accessibility 101: How to Successfully Jumpstart Your Program

Jonathan Avila, Chief Accessibility Officer, Level Access
The old adage that “there is no such thing as bad publicity” does NOT apply when it comes to ignoring digital accessibility. Companies that are threatened with litigation for inaccessible sites or apps can face mountains of legal fees, judgments, and rebuilding public opinion if their assets are not accessible. In this session, we’ll show you how to jumpstart your organization’s digital accessibility program in an effective and efficient manner. This is an interactive process and journey and doesn’t happen overnight, although there are some immediate things you can do to lower your risk.

This session approved for 1.5 Recertification Credit Hours by HRCI.
This session approved for 1.5 PDC by SHRM.

Breakout Session #5.2: What About Jails and the ADA?

Captain Tameka Hull, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office
This session is an introduction to reasonable accommodations in a jail setting. There will be discussion on how to modify policies, practices and procedures to ensure inmates with disabilities are fully included and receive equal benefits to programs and services in a jail setting.

Breakout Session #5.3: Department of Justice’s Barrier-Free Healthcare Initiative

Steve Gordon, U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia
The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in partnership with the United States Attorneys’ Offices across the nation have instituted the Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative, which targets their enforcement efforts on access to health care providers for individuals (patients and companions) with disabilities. The Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative is a multi-phase initiative that includes effective communication for people who are deaf or having hearing loss, physical access to medical care for people with mobility disabilities, and equal access to treatment for people who have HIV/AIDS. This program will focus on the ADA legal principles applicable in health care settings, recent DOJ enforcement efforts, including an exploration of actual cases against health care providers including hospitals, physicians, and skilled nursing facilities.

Breakout Session #5.4: When Disaster Strikes - Emergency Preparedness for State and Local Governments

Julia Wolhandler and Jessica Hunt, DC Office of Disability Rights
This session will focus on the necessity for state and local governments to ensure program access and reasonable modifications to policies and procedures as it relates to emergency and disaster situations. As we have seen this past year the devastation that Mother Nature can cause, more often than not people with disabilities are not included in emergency planning. The failure to incorporate the world’s largest minority leads to barriers that affect evacuation, notification and continuity of communication, sheltering, and emergency transportation. We will discuss communication plans, service animals during evacuations and in shelters, accessible accommodations and vehicles, and programmatic access. 

Breakout Session #5.5: Welcoming Veterans with Disabilities into the Workplace

Steve Zappalla, LPC, NCC, Center for Veterans in Transition, Ann Deschamps, Ed.D., Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, TransCen, Inc.
This session is designed to educate the business community about veterans with disabilities who are transitioning to the workplace. Participants will explore how to create a welcoming environment for veterans with disabilities, and learn about the unique aspects of military culture. The presenters will discuss attitudes and behaviors that can affect veterans with disabilities, and examine how that might impact employee engagement in the business culture.

This session approved for 1.5 Recertification Credit Hours by HRCI.
This session approved for 1.5 PDC by SHRM.

Thursday, September 6, 3:20 PM

Breakout Session #6.2: Diversion, Not Discrimination: Jails, the ADA, and People with Mental Illness

Mark Murphy, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
People with mental illness are over-represented in the criminal justice system, and their first contact with police often involves being arrested for behaviors associated with their disability.  In addition, once in jail, people with mental illness usually fare poorly and are most costly to serve than inmates without disabilities.  This workshop will discuss how the ADA can be used to help people with mental illness both avoid incarceration through diversion to community-based services and, for those not diverted, receive necessary services and accommodations so that any jail stay is as short and free from harm as possible.

Breakout Session #6.3: A Conversation about Service Animals

Leah Hagedorn, PhD and Olsen the Service Dog, Canine Assistants Noah's Team of Virginia & Coastal North Carolina
A professor and her service dog lead this "flipped" session, which begins with attendee questions and includes a review of the history of service animals and relevant federal and state laws. Topics will include myths, misconceptions, issues and challenges for organizations, ranging from large cities to small colleges, to health care settings of all sizes. The session will teach participants how to differentiate service animals from emotional support animals; how to deal with animals in training; how to address concerns about allergies; and how to make facilities, programs, and mass transit safe and accessible for service animals and people with disabilities.

Breakout Session #6.4: Title II Case Law

Robert Dinerstein, American University, Washington College of Law  
This session will present an analysis of cases decided under Title II of the ADA which covers state and local governments.  Emphasis will be on federal cases (Supreme Court, if any; Courts of Appeals; District Courts), supplemented by any significant state court decisions that rely on the ADA.  In this session, the presenter will discuss the holdings and rationales of the cases, and indicate how these cases fit within the larger context of ADA Title II case law and jurisprudence.

This session approved for 1.5 LU/HSW by AIA.

Breakout Session #6.5: Investing in the Future: Empowering Millennials with Disabilities in the Workplace

Moderator: Sue Werber, Chair, DC Metro BLN ME Committee, Panelists: Tamara Burks, Olivia Dunne and Claire Stanley
By 2020 Millennials will make up over a third of the global workforce.  Chances are that your organization is preparing for this large and expanding workforce. But what are you doing about Millennials with disabilities?  Add in Section 503 regulations and you start to think, what do we need to know? What do we need to do?
While there is currently little research, what is known is that Millennials with disabilities do not tend to identify as individuals with a disability. This is the ADA Generation. They tend to consider intersectionality and explore the organization’s commitment to diversity in which they choose to bring their talents. They focus on bringing their whole self to work and want an employer who recognizes the capability of Millennials with disabilities. This session will share 2 new webinars created in 2018 to educate college students and graduates with disabilities on how to get a job (Strive) and how to excel (Thrive) in their job with information gathered from work done with the ME Collaborative (Millennials and Employers) and DC Metro BLN employer members who have made significant progress in the arena of inclusion. You will also hear from Millennials on what is most important to them in making their career choices.
This session approved for 1.5 Recertification Credit Hours by HRCI.

This session approved for 1.5 PDC by SHRM.


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The Mid-Atlantic ADA Center is a project of TransCen, Inc. (Federal ID #52-1487462; DUNS 627032386) and funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (grant #90DP0089) under the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The content of this conference does not necessarily represent the policy of HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.