The ADA Report-April, 2019


Attendee asking question during ADA Symposium.

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ADA National Network Releases New Fact Sheet: Small Business and ADA Readily Achievable Requirements

This fact sheet, developed by the Great Plains ADA Center, provides a user-friendly explanation of "Readily Achievable' and a step-by-step description of how to meet readily achievable requirements.

April is World Autism Awareness Month.

In recognition, the National Organization on Disability shares a video “Employing New Sources of Talent”, created by the F.B. Heron Foundation, featuring Jacob Waltuck, whose autism enables him to excel at his job.  Jacob’s autism gives him a keen focus and a deep imagination that is a perfect fit for his job in the entertainment industry.


Court Cases/Articles

Ten Steps to Comply with the ADA's Interactive Process

This article from JDSupra article outlines step-by-step the interactive process required by the ADA to respond to reasonable accommodation requests by employees with disabilities.

The Time Crunch on Standardized Tests is Unnecessary

( In this opinion piece, the author questions the value of intensive testing practices that are often designed to make it difficult to complete exams in limited time frames.

Post 911 Vets Have Far Higher Disability Ratings than Prior Generations:Report

( Post-9/11 active-duty veterans have disability rates significantly higher than those of previous generations, according to a government report.  About 41 percent of those who served after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in Afghanistan, Iraq and other war zones have disability ratings from the Department of Veterans Affairs, compared to 25 percent of veterans of other eras, according to the annual survey of veterans employment and status by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Classroom Safety Barricades: Safety Measure or Dangerous Violation of the Law?


Recent good-faith attempts by many educational institutions to improve safety measures for students, teachers, and administrators instead put many of these educational institutions in the position of potentially violating federal, state, and/or local law.

Reacting to the recent surge of public mass shootings, many educational institutions have installed barricade locks or similar devices, which are intended to physically prevent intruders from entering into a building or classroom. Unbeknownst to many educational facilities, however, these types of devices can be a violation of the American Disabilities Act (ADA), International Building Code (IBC), the International Fire Code (IFC), state, and/or local law.

Under the ADA, IBC, and IFC, operations of door locks in educational buildings must provide “egress” for its occupants. Egress means door locks in such buildings must meet the following the requirements:

  • Doors must be continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments for full instant use;
  • Doors must be operable with no tight grasping, pinching, or twist of the effort, and without a key, tool, a special knowledge, or effort; and,
  • Doors must not require more than one operation to release a door latch.

The stated purpose of this requirement is to ensure occupants (including persons with disabilities under the ADA) are able to quickly evacuate a location in a tornado, fire, violent threats, or other emergency situations. However, some have felt this requirement does not take into full account those emergency situations where an occupant may want to prevent ingress into a building or classroom. To address this concern, a handful of states - such as Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, Utah, and Ohio - updated their fire and building codes to allow the legal installation of the safety barricade locks. Some states (such as California, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, and New York) have looked at the balance of interests differently and have explicitly banned barricade devices in educational facilities.

In what appears to be a direct response to the wave of recent laws, the 2018 edition of both the IBC and the IFC regulations promulgated Section 1010.1.4.4 Locking arrangements in educational occupancies, which requires any school facility’s safety barricade device to satisfy the conditions of egress outlined above. As a result, any state that decides to adopt the updated 2018 IBC and/or IFC regulations would be effectively banning certain types of barricade locks from educational buildings.

A majority of state legislatures have not yet taken a position on whether or not to adopt the 2018 edition of the IBC and the IFC – Wisconsin being one of them. However, based on a recent Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Service response, the State of Wisconsin is taking the position that safety barricade devices are not code-compliant.

With inconsistent positions being taken by key legal stakeholders, and no adoption of the 2018 edition of the IBC and IFC by a majority of the states, it remains to be seen how each state will settle on this open area of law. Even if a state has authorized safety barricade devices, an educational institution is still exposed to risks of discrimination under the ADA. Educational institutions should be proactive to ensure any safety barricade device meets the requirements of the ADA, IBC, and IFC, as well as state and local codes.

Upcoming Webinar/Conferences/Training

Webinar Series: Promoting Independence and Access Through Responsible Design

Melissa Anderson, PE, formerly a Transportation Engineer for the U.S. Access Board, will present this  webinar series designed to improve the understanding of why and how to provide accessible pedestrian facilities in the public right of way.

Part 1: Obligations and Sidewalk Basics:--April 30

Part 2: Safe and Accessible Intersections:--May 14

Part 3: Curbside Access:--May 28

Note: This series will meet the Public Rights of Way foundation elective requirement for ACTCP members. Members must secure a certificate of attendance for all three sessions to receive credit.

508 Webinar: Open Q&A Session on the Revised 508 Standards

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

This webinar provides an opportunity for attendees to pose questions to the Access Board on the revised Section 508 Standards. The 508 Standards apply to information and communication technology (ICT) in the federal sector such as computers, telecommunications equipment, printers, software, websites, information kiosks and transaction machines, and electronic documents. Questions are welcome on all sections of the standards, including application and scoping, functional performance criteria, hardware and software requirements, support documentation and services, and referenced standards. Access Board ICT Specialists will also address questions about companion guidelines for telecommunications equipment covered by Section 255 of the Communications Act and any other topics related to the Board’s activities on accessible ICT.

Webinar: Accessible Sales & Services

May 2, 2019

Counters can pose barriers to people with disabilities in accessing goods and services. This session will cover access to sales and services counters and review applicable requirements in the ADA and ABA Standards. Presenters will illustrate access to various types of counters, including sales counters, check-in counters, and food service counters. They will also address teller and service windows, check-out aisles, self-service shelves, and food and beverage dispensers.

Bill Botten & Dave Yanchulis, U.S. Access Board

Web Accessibility Summit-May 28, 2019

Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
Web Accessibility Summit is a conference about website and digital accessibility. The conference has a specific focus on higher education best practices.

Missouri Ahead Spring Conference-May 30-31, 2019

Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
A two-day conference about all things ACCESS in higher education immediately following the Web Accessibility Summit