The ADA Report-February, 2019



Woman wearing sensors on face for augmented communication.

User needs survey for communication device.

The Fluid Interfaces group in the MIT Media Lab is working on concepts for augmentative communication devices that use neuromuscular and/or physiological information as inputs.  We need help understanding what type of device would be most useful for people with speech impairments, and would appreciate hearing about your needs in this 30 minute survey:
Go to survey.  




Form titled Emergency Plan Checklist

Do You Have a Personal Emergency Plan? This Resource Can Help.

Recent winter storms and severe cold make clear the importance of community disaster preparedness plans. Individuals, however, need their own personal plans as well. is a resource designed to help individuals develop their own emergency plans for a variety of situations. People with disabilities can find specific information to help develop their personal plans with this resource.  Go to page.

Court Cases/Articles

Municipal Liability Under the ADA for Website Inaccessibility-JD Supra

Many business owners have faced litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by disabled individuals who claim the businesses’ websites are inaccessible. Now, many plaintiffs are turning their attention to municipalities and their websites.  Full Article...

Employee's Preference to Work from Home is Not Enough-JD Supra

Courts are becoming more receptive to the idea of working from home as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). A few principles remain static, however, as reflected by the Eight Circuit decision affirming summary judgment for the employer in Brunckhorst v. City of Oak Park Heights, No. 17-3238 (8th Cir. Feb. 4, 2019). An employer is not required to accommodate an employee based simply on the employee’s preference.  Full Article...

DOJ Considers Opioid Use Disorder an ADA Covered Disability and Pursues Claim Against a Provider for Refusing Medical Services to Opioid Users  -National Law Review

The U.S. Department of Justice reached a January 31, 2019 settlement of an American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Title III complaint against health care provider Selma Medical Associates relating to provision of medical services to an individual with opioid use disorder (“OUD”).  The settlement is notable for health care providers and employers as it makes clear that DOJ considers OUD as a disability under the ADA.   Full Article...

How Much Leave Is Too Much? Determining When An Employer May Deny or Stop an Extended Medical Leave of Absence

Employers continue to face challenges managing employee requests for additional or extended medical leaves of absence for employees who are not eligible for or have exhausted FMLA leave. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and many federal courts have found that unpaid leave may be a form of reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") even when FMLA leave is not available if the employee will likely be able to perform the essential functions of his or her position upon return. Because employee leaves and accommodation requests are fact specific and analyzed on a case-by-case basis, courts have been reluctant to place definitive limits on the length of employee leaves as reasonable accommodations. As a result, employers are often uncertain on whether an additional or extended leave of absence request must be granted and when they can finally say "enough is enough."  Full Article...

Upcoming Webinars

The ADA, Businesses and Barrier Removal: What are the Requirements? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
2:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

Obligations for businesses operating from existing buildings continues to be one of the most misunderstood requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). People forget that the ADA is a civil rights law and not a building code. Numerous lawsuits and complaints have arisen due to the lack of barrier removal by retail and business establishments on main streets across the country. Tune into this session to learn from our presenters about the ADA requirements for "readily achievable barrier removal" and how it applies to a place of public accommodation.


U.S. Access Board Webinar: Accessible Entrances, Doors, and Gates

Thursday, March 7, 2019
2:30-4:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

Entrances, doors, and gates are key components of access along routes and to buildings, rooms, and spaces. The next webinar in the U.S. Access Board's free monthly series will cover scoping and technical requirements in the ADA and ABA Standards for entrances, doors and gates. Presenters will review in detail the specifications for maneuvering clearances at doors and explain the rationale behind these provisions. They will also address recessed doors, automatic doors and gates, doors in a series, door hardware and other topics.


Register Today to Attend the National ADA Symposium!

June 16-19, Grapevine-Dallas, Texas -Gaylord Hotel

Gaylord Texan Hotel