2020 Mid-Atlantic ADA Virtual Conference Session Recordings

Sessions are organized according to topic areas:

General ADA Topics

Employment

ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program (ACTCP) Foundation Level Requirements

In each session description, the speakers' names are linked to their individual biographical sketches, and the full roster of speakers (in alphabetical order) appears after the list of all sessions.

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General ADA Topics

ADA Overview

2.5 Clock hours
Original Broadcast: Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Speakers: Carleen Crespo and Nancy Horton, Mid-Atlantic ADA Center

This session is designed for those who are new to the ADA. The presentation provides a basic outline of the ADA, including provisions related to employment, state and local governments, and private businesses that operate places of public accommodation.

Federal Agency Panel

2.0 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Thursday, September 10, 2020
Panelists:
Sharon Rennert, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
John Day, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration
Dave Yanchulis, U.S. Access Board
Amanda Maisels, U.S. Department of Justice

The panelists discuss their agencies’ current initiatives and activities related to the ADA.

Serve Disaster Survivors with Disabilities FAST!

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Speakers: Christine Heyser, Laura Szweda

Though disasters vary in type and scope, they tend to disproportionately affect people with disabilities. Pennsylvania is an emerging leader in inclusive emergency planning. The Commonwealth is not planning FOR disability communities but planning WITH them via the Disability Integration Taskforce and Functional Assessment Service Teams (FAST). FAST evaluates the needs of disaster survivors and assists in obtaining resources so individuals can maintain their health, safety, and independence. FAST provides accommodations so that all disaster survivors can access all available programs and services. Pennsylvania’s Disability Integration Taskforce, a consortium of governmental staff and community disability leaders, allows people with disabilities to partner with emergency management to improve inclusion. This session discusses how you can get involved to make disaster planning, response, and recovery more inclusive for your whole community.

On Board: Reasonable Modification of Policy and Public Transportation

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Friday, September 18, 2020
Speaker: Ken Thompson, National Aging and Disability Transportation Center

The workshop introduces the audience to a core principal of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 — reasonable modification to policy and practice. This session informs participants about the requirement for public transportation providers (fixed route bus, demand response, and paratransit) to have an effective process in place to handle reasonable modification requests. The process for requesting a reasonable modification must be advertised and easily available to the public and in accessible formats. Additionally, transit must have a mechanism to hear disagreements or complaints related to this process or perceptions of disability discrimination from riders.

A Sense of Place: Accessibility Excellence at Museums and Historic Sites

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Speakers: Jenny Angell, Pennsylvania Museums; Janet Bowen, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC)

This session educates participants on the current work being done by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Historic Sites and Museums (BHSM) and PA Museums on their multi-year Accessibility Excellence project, funded under an Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grant for Museums. This project aims to assist museums and historic sites across the state in establishing their accessibility baseline and working to meet national standards for more universally accessible sites and programs. Presenters share the history of the project and the work in progress.

Technology to the Rescue: An Update Featuring the Top 10 Tech Treasures You May Not Know Exist to Support Inclusion for ALL!

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Friday, September 25, 2020
Speaker: Joan Green

Are you swamped with little spare time to keep up with the rapidly evolving world of technology? Save time and minimize frustration by joining Joan Green as she highlights accessibility features and customizable apps and tools that can bridge the gap between an individual’s current abilities and goals. We owe it to ourselves and the community to learn about affordable cutting-edge solutions that can dramatically enhance the lives of people with communication, cognition, literacy, and learning challenges. Learn about resources that you may not know exist using smartphones, tablets, and computers along with specific strategies to support language and cognition to develop independence and success with reading, writing, attention, time management, productivity, and learning. Let’s “be in the know” to leverage the benefits of technology to help people who communicate and learn differently so they can thrive at home, in school, at work, and in the community.

A Conversation with John Wodatch

1.5 Clock hours
Original Broadcast: Friday, September 25, 2020
Speakers: John Wodatch, Caleb Berkemeier

John Wodatch was the former chief of the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division for the U.S. Department of Justice. As such, he was instrumental in drafting ADA regulations and enforcing the law. This interview covers his time as chief of the Disability Rights Section and current work on disability rights laws.

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Employment Sessions

Medical Marijuana and the ADA: Hashing Out How States and Employers Cope with Medical Marijuana

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Friday, September 11, 2020
Speaker: Monika Taliaferro, D.C. Public Library

Thirty-three states have legalized medical marijuana. Ninety-three percent of American voters support legalizing medical marijuana. Despite this support, marijuana remains an illegal drug under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. When the ADA was passed in 1990, it excluded individuals who used illegal drugs from its protections. What does this mean for the millions of medical marijuana users? This session begins with discussions on the history behind the illegal drug provision in the ADA and how courts have applied the definition to medical marijuana. Additionally, the session delves into case studies to explore the varying approaches taken by states and employers to protect or prohibit the use of medical marijuana by employees and applicants with disabilities. The session ends by identifying reasonable accommodations and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Ethical Dilemmas in Vocational Placement: Best Practices to Serve Customers with Disabilities

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Monday, September 14, 2020
Speakers: Bridget Frascella and Rob Hodapp, Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

This session assists VR counselors in making sound ethical decisions to best serve their customers with disabilities, as well as their business customers. Topics addressed include the need for ethics, basic ethical principles, characteristics of an ethical dilemma, important ethical considerations, and an ethical decision making model.

Navigating Challenging Accommodation Issues

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Speaker: Granette Trent, U.S. Department of Justice

This session explores challenging issues faced by employers addressing reasonable accommodation questions under Title I of the ADA, and for federal employers, Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The presenter walks participants through the accommodation process involving workers with non-obvious disabilities such mental health issues, learning disabilities, and addiction. Various accommodation issues are explored, including return to work following leave, job restructuring, the intersection of misconduct and performance problems, fitness for duty, and reassignment as an accommodation of last resort. The presenter also shares communication strategies and dispute resolution tools that can be used during the interactive process to facilitate an effective discussion and development of a plan of action.

Title I: From Recruiting to Retirement

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Speaker: Monica Lynn Kennedy

This presentation includes key ADA elements to consider from the moment a person begins their application process, such as the initial application (website accessibility), to interviewing, testing, and hiring. This includes what an employer can and cannot ask, and accommodations to consider. We discuss breaking the stigma of hiring individuals with disabilities, how to communicate ADA measures with the staff, training management to recognize potential accommodation requests, and working with Human Resources to begin the interactive process.

Implementing Section 503 through Employee Engagement

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Thursday, September 17, 2020
Speaker: Wendy Strobel Gower, Northeast ADA Center and Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN)

Under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, federal contractors must have affirmative action programs that include hiring goals, workforce analyses, barrier analyses, proactive steps, and progress reports about people with disabilities in their workforce. The primary method for measuring success and identifying opportunities for improvement is to invite applicants and employees to self-identify as having a disability. This session reviews the basics of Section 503 and introduces some of the strategies that federal contractors are using to increase their self-identification rates.

Thinking Outside the Box: Creative Solutions for Resolving Tricky Employee Accommodation Requests

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Monday, September 21, 2020
Speaker: AJ Nanayakkara, Johns Hopkins Health System

Routine reasonable accommodation requests are usually easily approved, but some challenging requests take a lot of time and other resources to resolve. Failure to effectively respond to these requests leads to missed opportunities to help employees with disabilities safely work, and could lead to a charge of disability discrimination against an employer. Participants learn to use the interactive process principles to resolve difficult accommodation requests from applicants and employees.

Discrimination and Harassment: What Is It? What Can We Do About It?

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Speaker: Colleen Moran, Independent Living Choices

All workplaces should provide employees with an environment that is safe and free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Unfortunately, not all workplaces protect employees from inappropriate behavior, and not all employees know what steps can be taken when harassing conduct occurs. So, what can be done, and who should do it? This session provides answers through the use of scenarios and review of case law. Participants learn the difference between harassment and bullying, identify the action steps to take when inappropriate conduct occurs, and understand current case law and its application to "real life."

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ACTCP Foundation Level Requirements

Updating (or Creating) an ADA Self-Evaluation

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Friday, September 11, 2020
Speaker: Kathy Gips, New England ADA Center

Public entities were required to complete a self-evaluation by January 26, 1993. Since then both the ADA Title II regulations and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design have changed. We review what a self-evaluation should consist of and different methods for gathering and assessing the necessary information. A state government’s process will be different from a small town’s process but they should both result in a plan that will ensure full participation of people with disabilities.

Updating (or Creating) an ADA Transition Plan

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Monday, September 14, 2020
Speaker: Kathy Gips, New England ADA Center

If structural changes to facilities are needed to achieve “program accessibility,” a public entity that has 50 or more employees must develop a transition plan. Although many public entities created transition plans in the early 90s, both the ADA Title II regulations and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design have changed since then. For example, we now have design specifications for recreation areas. We review transition plan requirements and different methods to develop a transition plan.

2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design Part 1

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Thursday, September 17, 2020
Speaker: Dave Yanchulis, U.S. Access Board

The ADA Accessibility Standards apply to a wide range of facilities covered by the ADA, including places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government buildings. This two-part session provides an overview of the 2010 ADA Standards and reviews scoping and technical requirements for new construction and alterations, with a focus on common sources of confusion. Part I covers application of the standards and which rooms and spaces must comply, exempt areas and structures, employee work areas, accessible entrances and routes, and operable parts (Chapters 1 – 5).

2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design Part 2

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Friday, September 18, 2020
Speaker: Dave Yanchulis, U.S. Access Board

The ADA Accessibility Standards apply to a wide range of facilities covered by the ADA, including places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government buildings. This two-part session provides an overview of the 2010 ADA Standards and reviews scoping and technical requirements for new construction and alterations with a focus on common sources of confusion. Part II covers accessible toilet and bathing facilities, signs and other communication features, dining and work surfaces, and sales and service counters (Chapters 6 – 9).

Access in the Public Right of Way, Part 1: Obligations and Operations

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Monday, September 21, 2020
Speaker: Juliet Shoultz, U.S. Access Board

This session covers the legal obligation to provide accessible pedestrian facilities in the public right of way. The presenter discusses the need for Transition Plans and the importance of including policy and practice review and public outreach. We also discuss best practices for addressing technical infeasibilities on complex designs where it may not be possible to meet the minimum criteria, and how to improve compliance on construction projects.

Access in the Public Right of Way, Part 2: Technical Criteria

1.5 Clock Hours
Original Broadcast: Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Speaker: Juliet Shoultz, U.S. Access Board

This session covers the technical criteria required to provide safe and accessible transportation for people with disabilities walking and wheeling in the public right of way. The presenter discusses pedestrian access routes, such as sidewalks and paths, curb ramps, intersections including street crossings and pedestrian signals, transit stops, and parking. The conversation is based on the requirements in the ADA and the proposed Public Right of Way Accessibility Guidelines.

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Speakers

Jenny Angell

Jenny Angell is the Project Manager for the Accessibility Excellence project, a partnership between PA Museums and the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission’s Bureau of Museums and Historic Sites. The project is funded by an Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grant for Museums, to design and implement a methodology and toolkit to help museums improve accessibility for traditionally marginalized communities. The two-year project aims to go beyond the ADA to tackle the unconscious bias that creates and reinforces systemic barriers to access at all levels of museum operations.

Previously, Jenny was an Associate Educator at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Michigan, where she managed professional development programs for K-12 teachers and served as part of a cross-departmental team that collaborated with community partners on a multi-year project to improve museum accessibility for visitors with disabilities. She also served for 2 years as founding Vice Chair of the Michigan Alliance for Cultural Accessibility (MACA). Jenny was diagnosed with glaucoma in her twenties and translated this experience into her MA thesis in Arts Administration & Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on interpretation at artists’ homes and studios for visitors who are blind or have low vision.

Caleb Berkemeier

As the Training Specialist for the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, Caleb coordinates ADA webinars and podcasts, plans the annual Mid-Atlantic ADA conference, and conducts customized trainings for businesses, universities, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Before joining the Center, he taught for several years at Kent State University where he is completing a dissertation in disability studies.

Janet Bowen

Janet Bowen works for the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) in support of the Bureau of Historic Sites & Museums to advance 21st century museums, along with diversity and inclusion initiatives. Janet is currently working on the Accessibility Excellence project and other projects revolving around PHMC’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and access initiatives. Janet brings decades of experience in higher education with health, emergency services, and law enforcement training programs. She also specialized in dementia care both as home caregiver and professionally for several years.

Janet’s own journey with disabilities culminated in a DSM V diagnosis of Autism, Level 1 (A/B) in March 2019 when she turned 48, and she has built a role as a strong self-advocate for disabilities both personally and professionally. Janet is enjoying the opportunity to blend her experience with community support and her love of the humanities in her current position at PHMC. Janet is also known for her love of motor scooters and commuting on her beautiful white, 200cc Vespa Granturismo. On weekends you can find her volunteering at the Shippensburg Historical Society in community programs, career support, and education.

Carleen Crespo

Carleen provides critical support to the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center and to the general public as an ADA Information Specialist. In doing so, she provides information to callers who require information, support, and guidance on the ADA and other relevant laws. Prior to this position, Carleen was the Office Administrator for the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, working at TransCen since 2014. Carleen previously worked with young children with disabilities through the Arc of Montgomery County, served as the Event Coordinator for a major bookstore, an editor for a hotel company, and a church parish administrator.

Carleen loves to spend her non-work time with her family, especially her “two wonderfully curious and creative cubs” (her kids). Carleen’s unofficial motto is, “Life is truly a blink, so I believe time is better spent seeking expression over perfection.”

John Day

John Day serves as the Program Manager for Policy and Technical Assistance for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Office of Civil Rights. A former transit bus driver, Mr. Day joined FTA – then “UMTA” – in 1989, and spent the next decade working on new transit systems and extensions. He moved to the Office of Civil Rights in November 2001, where he is now responsible for managing compliance reviews, policy development, and technical assistance across all civil rights areas. He has been involved in every DOT ADA rulemaking activity since the statute was enacted in 1990, and has served as the Department of Transportation’s liaison to the U.S. Access Board since 2009.

Bridget Frascella

Bridget Frascella, MS, CRC, is a Business Services and Outreach Specialist for the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and has also served as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and Supervisor. In her current role, she is a vocational expert in working with consumers and businesses to promote the hiring and retention of individuals with disabilities. Additionally, Bridget promotes disability awareness practices by providing businesses and community partnerships with disability etiquette trainings and ADA consultations.

Kathy Gips

Ms. Gips provides trainings and technical assistance on the principles of universal design, the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the federal Fair Housing Act, and related federal and state laws to architects, designers, businesses, non-profit organizations, public and private schools, people with disabilities, advocates for people with disabilities, and state and local governments. She has over twenty years of experience in the disability field. After college Kathy worked at mental health facilities in Vermont where she encouraged patients to express themselves through dance and dramatics. Prior to working for the Institute for Human Centered Design, she was assistant director for community services at the Massachusetts Office on Disability where she assisted municipalities in establishing commissions on disability and helped develop the Community Access Monitor Project.

Joan Green

Joan always has an eye out for affordable, cutting-edge technologies to help others thrive in life. For the past 30+ years, Joan has been providing forward-thinking speech therapy services to individuals of all ages who have a wide variety of speaking, understanding, reading, writing, learning and attention challenges. She received her undergraduate as well as graduate education at Northwestern University. In 1992, she created Innovative Speech Therapy, a private practice in the DC area, so she could provide top quality rehabilitative and intervention services using her unique approach, combining cutting-edge technology with individualized action plans.

In addition to providing 1:1 therapy and professional development through online webinars and courses, Joan has published four books to share her knowledge of using emerging technologies to support neurodiverse learners. She received several awards for her unique approach to helping others and is actively involved with many local, online, and international groups and associations. Joan is ASHA certified and licensed in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. She was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, and lives in Potomac, Maryland. She is the proud mother of four wonderful young adults and two dogs.

Wendy Strobel Gower

Wendy Strobel Gower is a program director at the Yang Tan Institute on Employment and Disability in Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Wendy has been on the Northeast ADA Center team since 2001, and served as the Center Director since 2010. Wendy has extensive experience with employment issues and reasonable accommodations in the workplace for people with disabilities. Other areas of interest include disability legislation and its impact on disability services and the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace, and the identification and accommodation of the functional limitations of disabilities across the lifespan.

Christine Heyser

Christine is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Mass Care Coordinator and Disability Integration Specialist, working for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Division of Emergency Planning and Safety Operations. Christine has established several initiatives to help the Commonwealth prepare for and respond to disasters more inclusively. These initiatives include formation of the Disability Integration Taskforce, composed of governmental staff and community disability leaders, and the development of the Functional Assessment Service Team (FAST) program to directly assist disaster survivors with access and functional needs. Christine deployed to North Carolina as a FAST Leader in response to Hurricane Florence in 2018, and as a disaster volunteer with the American Red Cross in September 2017 in response to Hurricane Irma.

Christine started her career with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services as a caseworker and Administrative Officer at the Adams County Assistance Office. Her background in building community partnerships began as an AmeriCorps member coordinating the Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in York County, Pennsylvania. She has been a volunteer firefighter/EMT since 2002. Christine holds a B.S. in Health Sciences and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Gettysburg College. She resides in Gettysburg.

Rob Hodapp

Rob Hodapp is a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist for Pennsylvania’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). He has a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center’s Trainer Leadership Network.

Rob has worked serving people with various disabilities in obtaining competitive employment for more than 20 years. He has presented to colleagues and businesses on subjects including disability etiquette, job readiness, workplace accommodations, and the ADA, as well as Section 503 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the 1974 Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) for employers with federal contracts. He has also provided guidance on building accessibility and on-site facility assessments to businesses and other partners.

Nancy Horton

Nancy Horton is the Technical Assistance Project Specialist for the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, where she provides information and guidance to individuals with disabilities, employers, businesses, public agencies, designers, and others. She also writes and edits a variety of articles, fact sheets, newsletters, and bulletins on ADA topics, and develops ADA training materials.

Ms. Horton has worked in the disability field for more than 30 years. Her experience includes conducting site accessibility surveys, architectural plans reviews, and trainings on accessible design, employment issues, and effective communication requirements.

Monica Lynn Kennedy

Monica has held many titles in her life, but the ones she’s proudest of are daughter, wife, mother, and Marine. She has been responsible for different levels of employee management throughout her career in both the private and public sectors. She’s worn many hats, with roles in human resources, sales, and operations. This brings her a unique understanding of how all the pieces of an operation work together as a whole.

Monica, in her current role as a human resources director at a regional jail, is responsible for all Title I actions, including the ADA interactive process and communicating with department heads and supervisors about employees’ accommodation needs. She also manages two recruiters, ensuring that they comply with all ADA-related needs for applicants.

In Monica’s spare time, she volunteers with the local Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapter and has held the title of VP of Programs since January 2019. Education is particularly important to Monica. Her love of learning has led her to obtain a bachelor’s degree in global business management, and three master’s degrees in human resources and employment relations, business intelligence, and project management. She also holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SCP) certifications.

Amanda Maisels

Amanda Maisels is a Deputy Chief in the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she previously served as a Trial Attorney, and has worked in the disability rights arena for 21 years. The Disability Rights Section enforces Titles I, II, and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Ms. Maisels oversees enforcement work under all three titles of the ADA; she also oversees the Section’s Title I program. Some of the more notable issues she has worked on include polling place access for individuals with disabilities, the institutionalization of adults with mental illness in board and care homes in New York City, discriminatory zoning of residential substance abuse treatment programs in Baltimore, and the unlawful disclosure of a police officer’s confidential medical information by his employer.

Colleen Moran

Colleen Moran is the Chief Operating Officer at Independent Living Choices (ILC). ILC provides services to individuals with disabilities to assist them in living independently. As COO, Colleen oversees ILC's Independent Living Services program and is tasked with all human resources responsibilities. Prior to working at ILC, Colleen served as an Assistant City Attorney and ADA Coordinator for the City of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. As an Assistant City Attorney, Colleen provided guidance on the ADA to City departments, businesses, community organizations, and community members. She was also responsible for enforcing the city's civil rights laws and investigated claims of discrimination and harassment. Colleen has also been a prosecutor with the Minnehaha County State's Attorney's Office and was a law clerk for the Chief Justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court.

AJ Nanayakkara

AJ Nanayakkara is the ADA and Accessibility Program Manager for the Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS), an organization with over 30,000 employees across multiple states. AJ develops policies to ensure compliance with federal and state laws regarding individuals with disabilities, and he produces training to reinforce obligations. His primary role is advising Human Resource representatives in complying with equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws and policies.

Prior to joining JHHS, AJ served as an Accessibility Consultant and the Executive Director of a nonprofit organization. In these roles, he provided expertise in program development, accessibility accommodations, disability policy, adaptive recreation, and education. AJ also conducted needs assessments, program evaluations, and policy analyses to facilitate quality improvement of programs and services for persons with disabilities.

Sharon Rennert

Sharon Rennert is the senior member of the ADA/GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) Division in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Ms. Rennert develops the Commission’s policy interpretations of the ADA and has worked on almost every ADA policy guidance and fact sheet issued by the Commission. She also specializes in providing private and public sector employers with practical approaches to ADA compliance.

Ms. Rennert wrote the EEOC’s guidance on reasonable accommodation and offers particular expertise on this central requirement of the ADA. She drafted the Commission’s 2016 resource document on leave as a reasonable accommodation. She also wrote the ADA guidance on performance and conduct issues and has helped thousands of employers in addressing difficult situations in these two areas.

Ms. Rennert was involved in the EEOC’s development of regulations implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. She regularly consults with EEOC investigators and attorneys on ADA charges and litigation and works with EEOC administrative judges and federal sector attorneys on Rehabilitation Act appeals.

Ms. Rennert also has played a key role in developing technical assistance materials on GINA. Ms. Rennert has written and delivered ADA and GINA training programs for EEOC staff, in addition to conducting numerous seminars and workshops for attorneys, human resources professionals, federal personnel, law enforcement agencies, risk management personnel, and persons with disabilities.

Juliet Shoultz

Juliet Shoultz currently serves as Transportation Systems Engineer in the U.S. Access Board's Office of Technical and Information Services (OTIS). She has 15 years of experience in transportation planning and engineering for state government. Most recently, she served as the ADA Policy Engineer at the Illinois Department of Transportation, where she led development and implementation of the department's ADA transition plan and served as the department's accessibility expert, providing technical assistance and reviewing plans for state projects. She is a member of the Transportation Research Board Standing Committee on Paratransit and previously was a member of the Illinois Accessibility Code Revision Committee, which was tasked with revising the Illinois Accessibility Code.

Laura Szweda

Laura was essential to the development of the Functional Assessment Service Teams (FAST) program in Pennsylvania. Being a member of the disability community, Laura lends legitimacy to the initiative among disability partners, and she continues to assist in the instruction of the program.

Laura is the Disability Integration Specialist at Abilities in Motion, a Center for Independent Living (CIL) in Reading, Pennsylvania. She provides core CIL services, and works to advocate, educate, and create a more inclusive environment for the disability community. She is an advocate on the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Emergency Planning sub-committee, the Pennsylvania Disability Integration Task Force, and the Pennsylvania Statewide Action Group, as well as a volunteer for the American Red Cross as a Disability Integration Regional Lead.

She attends regularly scheduled stakeholder calls with the Partnership on Inclusive Disaster Strategies and the Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion (REAADI) and Disaster Relief Medicaid (DRMA) acts to help support the mission of inclusive emergency planning, mitigation, and recovery. Before acquiring her disability, she worked in Berks and Chester Counties as an Emergency Medical Technician and aeromedical helicopter dispatcher.

Monika Taliaferro

Monika Taliaferro is a passionate attorney who finds joy in teaching others about legal rights, especially labor and employment rights. Monika has more than ten years of legal experience in human and civil rights. Public service is the overarching theme of Monika’ s life. She served as a court-appointed advocate for children in foster care for several years, while also providing legal representation to children with special education needs. For the past eight years, she has worked as an attorney for the District of Columbia government, where she litigates before the Office of Human Rights, Office of Employee Appeals, Contract Appeals Board, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Monika provides legal advice on ADA issues, and regularly attends ADA trainings. She often trains staff on anti-discrimination laws such as the ADA. Monika was born and raised in Georgia, where she earned her B.S. in Public Relations, with a minor in International Studies from Georgia Southern University and her J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law.

Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson has over 25 years of experience with community-based disability services, including ten years managing a human service agency transportation system. He has thorough knowledge of ADA requirements for both public and private transportation services. He presents and trains to national and statewide audiences on a variety of transportation topics related to ADA requirements, accessibility for people with disabilities, and veterans’ transportation. Ken has completed the ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program and has a master’s degree in Public Affairs from Hood College. At the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC), he leads the technical assistance effort to provide quality information and assistance to transportation personnel and customers.

Granette Trent

Granette Trent is the Assistant Director for the Affirmative Employment Program on the Equal Employment Opportunity Staff within the Justice Management Division at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). In this role she also serves as a Supervisory Attorney Advisor and provides oversight of the department's Disability Employment Program, which includes the reasonable accommodation program.

Prior to this position, Ms. Trent served for 17 years as an attorney in the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Affairs at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). She provided legal support and administration for all aspects of the Equal Employment Opportunity complaint process, including overseeing investigations, drafting agency final actions, and providing legal support for its reasonable accommodation program. Ms. Trent joined the FBI after serving as an Assistant General Counsel within the Labor and Employment Law Branch in the Office of General Counsel at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In this role, Ms. Trent represented the agency in matters involving employment discrimination, unfair labor practice claims, mediations, and appellate work. Ms. Trent received both her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

John Wodatch

John L. Wodatch is a civil rights attorney with over 30 years of experience with the federal government, specializing in the rights of persons with disabilities prior to his retirement. As Chief of the Disability Rights Section in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice he was responsible for enforcement of titles I, II and III of the ADA. He also played a key role in developing Administration policy on the ADA and was the chief author of the Department of Justice's ADA regulations and of the federal regulations implementing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. He received a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, an M.P.A. from Harvard University, and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Dave Yanchulis

Dave Yanchulis serves as the Director of the Office of Technical and Information Services at the U.S. Access Board. The Access Board is an independent federal agency that develops and maintains accessibility guidelines and standards for the built environment, transportation vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and information technology under the ADA and other laws. Yanchulis joined the Board in 1988 and provided training and technical assistance on accessibility for many years as an Accessibility Specialist. He was active in the Board’s development and later update of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) and oversaw publication of guidance on these requirements. Yanchulis also previously managed the Board’s public affairs program.

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