Thank you. Good afternoon, everybody. I would like to wish everybody a good afternoon and thank you for joining us on the call today. Welcome to the ADA Distance Learning 2003 session titled Ask the Department of Justice (DOJ). This is our regularly scheduled May session for this year. Our next session in June will talk about towards the end of the program, just to remind you this is again an ongoing process. This is part of a series of distance learning programs we offer on a monthly basis. It is a collaboration between all of the ten disability, business, technical assistance centers as a way to provide a monthly ongoing dialogue around the numerous topics around and about the ADA. The particular format we are using today is more of a question and answer format. We will not do the traditional presentation followed by a question-and-answer session. Our guest speaker today is John Wodatch, the chief of the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice. John has been working with the federal government probably longer than he would like to admit to. Since 1969. And has been with the Department of Justice since 1980. I know with the disability and business technical assistance centers we have worked with John since we were in existence in 1991 and worked effectively with him and his staff to try to meet the needs of people for technical assistance and training across the united states and beyond into our territories and things as well. I want to remind you about how we run the session. First and foremost, we do have the session real-time captioned using streaming text on the internet. If you are interested in accessing that particular mode, you can go online to our website at www.adagreatlakes.org and follow the links for the real-time captioning. It is free. You can log on and you will be connected and will be able to follow along using that method. In addition, it is being digitally recorded. We will be making it available on our website following the program, so that individuals who may have missed the session today or want to double check something or whatever, would be able to go back and listen to that using media or real player. We take the transcript of the session and edit that and post it to our website for future reference as well. There is multiple ways for people to get this information or maintain it. Many people find it to be valuable too. Past sessions we have offered these sessions now for almost two years, or a little over two years, are available on our website as well on an archived basis. If you want to check the various topics, feel free to do that. We will open up to you, the participants, to ask questions. We ask you keep your questions as precise as you possibly can. We will not be able to deal with individual persons one-on-one complaint against a particular entity or anything of that nature. We will be addressing things from a broader perspective from policy on various issues that relate to the Title II. We would refer you to go to either your local DBTAC or the department of justice for a case by case situation you may have that may result or stem from a complaint you may have filed or are interested in filing. Again, I also ask you, because we want to make sure everyone is able to hear what is said, that you try to speak into the phone or speak as directly into the phone as possible. If we find that we have interference on the line today, we will ask your line be dropped in the interests of everyone else being able to move forward. We apologize. It does become very difficult sometimes for us when there is a lot of static on the line to maintain you on the line. The operator will be giving you instructions about how to ask your questions. Those questions are queued one at a time. We will take you as you are placed in the queue. We will try to get all the questions we can in the time available to you. At this time I will turn it over to John. He will make a few comments before we open it up to everyone else. So go ahead, John.
Thank you very much, Robin. Good afternoon, everyone. It is my pleasure to be here with you. I thought I would open with just a few of the highlights of what is going on and be brief about it to set up, give you some food for thought for questions you might have if you do not have them in mind already. And I guess I would have to start with where we are on the constitutionality of Title II of the ADA. I think you are all familiar with the Supreme Court ruling in the Garrett case. Let me just put it in context for you. Because it gets fairly arcane, constitutional law theory, but it is very important to the implementation of the ADA. When the ADA was enacted, congress made clear individuals could sue states for violations of the ADA. But you have to put this against the context of the 11th amendment to the constitution, which says the states have sovereign immunity to being sued by private individuals in federal court. Congress can abrogate that immunity in certain circumstances and one of the ones that congress used for the ADA was that the ADA was an implementation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. The Supreme Court recently, though, reexamined this line of thought, and was relooking at our federalist system. And basically said for congress to open up states for suits for money damages, under the 14th amendment, congress has to do two things. It has to establish a record that there has been unconstitutional discrimination by the states, and then they have to craft legislation that is in their words congruent and proportional to that discrimination. And in the case under Title I, the Garrett case that went to the court, the court found the ADA went beyond what the equal protection clause prohibited. In other words, they prohibited a much wider range of discriminatory acts than would be deemed unconstitutional, and therefore congress had no authority under the 14th amendment to subject the states to lawsuits for any damages. A practical result of the Garrett decision is in Title I. State workers with disabilities are now unable to use Title I of the ADA in suits against employers for money damages. Of course you have to remember a state worker can sue for injunctive relief if they name a particular state individual and that this doctrine, this sovereign immunity doctrine on works with state governments, not local governments. There has been a larger impact from the Garrett decision, and that is the fact that the Supreme Court''s reasoning in Garrett called into question the factual basis for the ADA and the history of discrimination that inspired its enactment. Moreover, really what it did is put the constitutional legitimacy of other titles of the ADA in doubt, particularly Title II. There are numerous cases in the court, and we are spending a lot of time defending the constitutionality of Title II. Just about any time a state is sued, it raises the fact that they think that the ADA is unconstitutional and cannot be sued for money damages. Thus far, the nation''s appellate courts, there are a number of them in the country, have split on the question. Five circuit courts of appeals have held that congress did not amass a sufficient enough record to justify damages actions against the states, and have found Title II constitutionally invalid. Four other circuits have found Title II to be a constitutionally appropriate exercise of authority. And thus, allowed, in different kinds of circumstances, suit by private citizens. We at the justice department believe, and continue to believe that the ADA is constitutionally valid legislation to remedy the history of discrimination against people with disabilities in this country. And we are making a strong case in every court where the constitutionality of Title II is being considered. We are still awaiting decisions in five major cases, and we recently filed another case in the 5th circuit. In these cases, when we go to the court, we make the case that congress when it enacted the ADA had gathered extensive evidence of unconstitutional discrimination by states and made specific findings in the text of the ADA that state-sponsored discrimination existed in areas such as education, voting, institutionalization, and public services. Because of this evidence and the findings, we believe that Title II is appropriate. I think clearly this issue is not going to be resolved until the Supreme Court rules on the question. We thought that that might happen this term in a case you may have read about called medical board of California versus Haysen. It was a case that involved a complainant who alleged that his application for a medical license was improperly denied because of a history of mental illness. He sought damages and an order for the state to license him as a doctor. The case was at the Supreme Court, but it was recently removed after the state of California withdrew its appeal. And the state of California withdrew its appeal following a very concerted effort by people with disabilities in California to get them to do that. So we do not have a case now with the Supreme Court. But I think it is probably certain, in the next year or so, there will be. In fact they are considering a case right now out of Tennessee, Tennessee versus lane. A Title II case dealing with a wheelchair user unable to get to the second floor of a courtroom where-and in fact he had to crawl up the stairs to get to the courtroom. That case may be the one that resolves this at the Supreme Court. Okay, on to a little more mundane things. In our day-to-day activities, we try to focus our efforts on the fundamental issues and on making every day American life accessible to people with disabilities. We do this in a variety of ways. We do outreach and technical assistance. We receive complaints and try to resolve them and get settlements. We file lawsuits and we are involved in the development of regulations along with the access board, and we work to certify state and local building codes. In the area of lawsuits, a couple of recent lawsuits that have been filed. I will do it till you get an idea of the issues we are working on. In Massachusetts we sued the state and the trial courts and the registrar of needs in Bristol county because of the existence of significant architectural barriers in the courts that denied program accessibility to wheelchair users and others with mobility impairments. In Brooklyn, New York, we sued a hospital for refusing to supply qualified sign language interpreters to patients and their families. In Tennessee, we recently sued a private provider of fixed-route transportation services between Memphis and the little rock airport, because it failed to provide a wheelchair accessible vans. The company purchased at least six wheelchair vans of the right size covered by the law, the 15-plus passenger vans, and none of them were lift-equipped. Also in the Memphis area, we sued the owner and operator of 15 McDonald''s restaurants for the failure to remove existing barriers in those restaurants including lack of proper curb ramps, inaccessible entrances, and inaccessible rest rooms. And maybe the last case I will mention in Arizona, we recently intervened in a case against a sports medicine practice in the Phoenix area that refused to provide medical services including orthopedic surgery to someone who identified himself as being HIV positive. In a different vein, I think you probably-I hope you all are aware of the lawsuits we have been dealing with on new stadium-style movie theaters. I hope you are familiar with those. These are the kind of theaters instead of having a sloped floor, they have step stair seatings like stadium. It is just about all movie theaters are being built in this country are built in this pattern. And unfortunately, from our perspective, the people with-the wheelchair seats in these places were only placed in the front rows, on the sloped floor, near the movie screen and provided very poor views, and we filed suit in a number of different places. One of the early suits we lost in the state of Texas against Cinemark, basically the circuit court said all you had to do was have an accessible seat in the theater, it did not matter where it was. We have been involved in a lot of litigation to try to turn that around. I think we have gotten to the point we may have turned the corner on getting the courts to understand why this is a disadvantage to people who can only sit in the wheelchair-accessible seats. We had a recent decision in Los Angeles, and a case against AMC, and we had a recent decision in Boston in the case we had against hoyts and national amusements. The courts recognized in both of those that the theaters violated the ADA by only putting the accessible seating in the front rows on the sloped floor and not putting it in the stadium itself. We have turned the corner. The jury is still out. There are appeals in a couple other cases. We will continue to pursue this issue because there is so much building going on now of movie theaters, and having seats in these bad locations really effectively keeps wheelchair users and their families from attending. The last thing I will talk about before opening this up for questions, and it is something I hope you know about, which is our work on what we call project-specific access, which is a wide-ranging effort on our part to ensure that cities and towns comply with the ADA. So that persons who use-persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in all phases of civic life. Over the past several years, we have entered into over 50 agreements with local governments nationwide, and signed agreements basically requiring a comprehensive scheme to make the cities more accessible. They usually include looking at the town hall, at municipal buildings, the courts, parks and recreational facilities in the town. 911 centers. Including looking at not just the accessibility of the facilities but ensuring that communication access and employment policies are accessible. This was so successful that the Bush-we had finished what we thought we were doing on project civic access, the Bush administration asked that as part of the new freedom initiative, we begin a phase two of project civic access, we are one year into that. And our goal is to, in this three-year period, review and reach an agreement with another 50 cities scattered across the-across the United States. We are engaged in investigations now of 17 cities right now, and we hope to do that many each year of this three-year period. It takes-those are very intensive for us. They take a lot of our resources, but I think the comprehensive nature of them makes them really quite useful. We hope that even if we are not in a town near you, that towns and cities can go on our website and look at the agreements that are there and try and duplicate them in their own town. I could go on with-about these efforts and others in more detail. I think our purpose today really is not for me to describe what the department is doing, but to try and address any questions and concerns that you have. I hope I have stimulated your questions on these subjects. I am fair game for any questions that you have. So, Robin, why don''t we move on to the real phase of this?
That is dangerous. To say you are fair game there, John.
Always fun, though.
But you have opened the door. So with that said, thank you very much for your update in some of those critical issues. Here at the DBTAC we get calls on the topics all the time. They are on the minds of people out there. One of the things we made people aware of as part of the session was your updated CD-ROM that was available on your website as well as I know the DBTAC''s have copies for distribution as well which provides your updated documents that can be of use for people for technical assistance efforts. With that, if you would come on and give instructions so we can start with our participants'' questions.
Hi, this is actually a question coming from the Indiana department of workforce development. We administer quite a few training programs under the workforce investment act and under the trade adjustment act. I had a question from one of our program people last week involving-or asking who has the requirement to pay for an interpreter services where we fund the training, but then the training is provided by a public institution that was set up to provide an interpreter but then it turns out that particular interpreter did not sign the same language as the student. Now, we feel pretty comfortable we figured out it really was the school''s responsibility to provide the qualified interpreter, and that we would not be expected to expend what in this case I think it would have been something like $52,000 to fund the additional service, in addition to the training. If you could just speak in general about that issue
I would be happy to. It is an issue that is-has come up with us for federal employees in much the same way it is coming up for you. The way the ADA is written, it is written-it is a civil rights statute written very broadly. It is written in a way that it gives the responsibility to both entities. If there is an entity that is providing a training program, and it is either-and it might be-if it is private, it would probably be covered under Title III. If it is public, it would be covered under Title II. The teaching entity, the school, whatever it is, would have that obligation. But so would the employer who is sending the employee to the training, if it is a public institution, and the training is related to the work at the public institution. So if I would use me as an example, if I sent one of the employees in my office whose was deaf to a training opportunity, as the employer, in that situation, I have the obligation to ensure there is effective communication. But so does the other agency that is providing it. Usually what happens-and one thing to be careful about, there are limitations on each of the obligations, and there is an undue burdens, which is a-defined in the law as significant difficulty or expense. If you are dealing with a very small entity that is providing the training, it might be a fundamental-it might be an undue burden for them to have to pay for interpreting services. I am not sure how you got to $52,000. That is really an unbelievable high cost, unless it is a year-long course or some issue of that nature. But-so you have to factor in fundamental alteration. In some circumstances the two entities will work together. They each independently have an obligation to provide-to ensure that the training is accessible to the participants.
Let me clarify, I think I also-a question I heard this participant-this particular person asking was it is not as much of an employee of an entity issue as you have one state agency who is funding a program to a private-sector group. Who is carrying out the program?
I did not get that.
So does the state agency, in this case, I believe it is the workforce development board, who would be using Title I WIA funds or something of that nature they are dispersing to private providers who are providing services of clients who are involved in the WIA system, because that one entity fails to provide the interpreter, or does not provide the interpreter, does the responsibility fall back on the original entity that provided the funding for the overall program? Is that correct from the person who has asked the question?
Yes, that is right.
I am sorry. The answer is still very much the same. They have independent obligations. If the-if we are talking about a program entitled "financial assistance" there is a 504 obligation that goes in here that creates an alternate universe of obligations. But it is usually not an either/or. They both have obligations. So it is a matter of working it out so that the costs are equitably allayed throughout the program.
But one cannot come back to the other and say, your responsibility. It is a mutual tool?
That is correct. We have-I know that that is easy to say, and very hard to work out, and I know that from personal experience of having to do that in the federal government, because other agencies will try to slough off their responsibilities and you have to hold their feet to the fire.
So if the one agency fails to do it, it could be-if I am the participant as an example, and the school, the educational entity fails to meet my needs, I could file a complaint against the entity but I could say to the state entity who was originally funding and supporting this program they had obligation, a complaint as well?
That is right. And in case you wonder why it is set up that way, it is a civil rights law. There are a number of places where there are multiple obligations with the hope that entities would work things out. The same thing in like when you have owners and operators of facilities that are different legal entities, they each have obligations.
Does that answer your question?
Yes, it does. Can we ask one more unrelated?
Thank you, Robin. The question I had was given-and this is obviously loaded. The question I have got is given we have things like the architectural barriers act of 1968 and the rehab act of 1973, do you have a position, the DOJ, about the waiting period, the legislation for a waiting period?
The-you mean the ADA notification act?
Okay. For those of you who do not know what that is, there is a piece of legislation sponsored by a congressman, Mark Foley, in the present congress, that would provide a 90-day waiting period before someone could file and would require a person who is filing a lawsuit against an entity to give people notice and wait 90 days and give the entity some time to respond. To fix the violation before the lawsuit would go forward. The Bush administration has not taken a position on this particular bill yet. I think the administration is very much aware of some of the difficulties that have occurred especially in Florida, and in California about very heavy lawsuits. But it is a complicated issue, and I think we have been working to try and ameliorate the problem as much as we can, but the legislative proposal was there. There was a hearing on it not long ago in one of the small business communities that was a fairly good airing of the issues. It is something that has been proposed before, and there is-it is an issue that the disability community opposes this bill. There are a number of people in the business community who are in favor of it. It is in its developmental stages at this point.
Okay. We will go on. The next question, please?
Good evening, John.
How are you?
Fine, thanks. Could you describe the process, or-for the project civic access?
Sure. We-how we do it, the first thing we have to do is decide which cities we go to. And one of the things, I think a lot of you are familiar, we get many more complaints than we can handle. And unfortunately, the number of legitimate complaints that we have to turn away. And so what we have done, when we are deciding which-where to go in a state, we see if we have complaints against cities that talk about basic services, and then put that into the hopper and try-we have tried to do it so we will get to one city in each state in this three-year period. We then write a letter to the city, tell them that we are going to do an investigation, send a team of people out to work, to identify what barriers are there, and then in-just about every case, we have had a lot of cooperation from the cities who have gone-you know, we have gone literally building by building, I can tell you the staff that I have here, their secret nickname for project civic access is "Private Commode America." they got good at measuring urinals. We get into the nitty-gritty of seeing the barriers and coming up with a plan with the city or town that meets their resources over several years so they can eliminate the barriers and make their programs accessible to people in the town. It is not just facilities, it can be making sure the 911 center has TTY''s and can receive TTY calls in the same way they receive other emergency telephone calls. It may be policies about employment or allowing service animals into the local hospital. It is a variety of issues. We-this time, we are also taking a look at, in the new version, some of the city websites to see if they are accessible to people with disabilities. As well as looking at voting facilities.
Thank you very much.
Next question, please.
One moment. Go ahead, Michael. Oh, okay. We had some questions about DOJ''s position on the strong institutional bias that is going on in this country, and first of all, I do not know if John Wodatch can answer this question or not.
I will try.
There was a bit of an encounter, well, a big encounter, I think you know what I am talking about.
Ralph Boyd jr. They had asked for me to sit down with some folks at DOJ, and talk about how we are going to eliminate this institutional bias in our country. And I allude to the swift implementation of Olmsted across our country instead of just a few states. Can you tell us has a meeting been arranged? Where are we in that process?
I will give it more background. Adapt was in Washington drawing attention to the institutional bias in the Medicaid system, and one of their stops was the justice department. And they very skillfully had a very-you know, I think a very positive, useful demonstration. Ralph Boyd, who is my boss, spoke to the group there. I think one of the positive things that came out of it was trying to get a public identify case that there are people who are living their lives in nursing homes who everyone agrees would be better served living in community living arrangements in their communities and being productive citizens instead of being locked in institutions. I do not think there is any-I think the Bush administration has made it clear to us that eliminating institutional bias in Medicaid system is a goal. But that said, that is the easy part. What does it mean to work toward that goal? We have several parts of the civil rights division that work on these issues. One of the premiere examples has been working on the Laguna Honda home in California. But these are sort of, we are working at it at the justice department on a piecemeal basis, which is case by case. The real attack on the system I think will come in reexamining the way that the Medicaid system is, and adapt has a piece of legislation that they are trying to get the administration to adapt called mikasa which would have the funds follow the person much more than having the-an institutional bias. I think the administration is still examining that. I think there is a recognition of the problem in trying to fix it. We at justice, I have part of my marching orders are to have effective implementation of the Olmsted decision. Until recently the courts, we had a good decision in the courts. There have been a couple of decisions in the courts that have been setbacks, frankly, and part of the problem being that courts are not very well equipped to deal with this. We are doing our best to begin a dialogue. I think Ralph committed us to a dialogue. He had it there. I think that Ralph and maybe Bob Cofka and others from adapt are setting up further meetings to see what concrete actions can be taken.
All right. Let us go back to those two particular cases. You said kind of the Olmsted decision.
One in Maryland in particular.
What case is that?
You know, I think it is Williams versus Wassermann. The problem, and it was a case where the court basically said, well, you know, the state is doing the best it can to implement Olmsted. I think it was a major disappointment to us. We were in that case as well as disability rights advocates from Maryland. One of the things that makes it-looking at it from the court''s perspective, they had some-they had plaintiffs there who clearly were institutionalized and in our view should have been, you know, professionals that said they would be better served in their community rather than in statewide institutions. But the court in looking at that said, might agree in the case of these two or three people, but they also did not know how that-what impact that had on other people with disabilities, and other parts of the system. And Maryland came forward and said, look, we have-and Maryland had moved large numbers of people out of the warehouse big state institutions, although they still had some in institutions and nursing homes. The court was unwilling to take the step to order them to close down the other parts of the institution. So I do not-you know, I view that as a temporary setback. We have to recognize that we have to just keep chipping away at this. The Laguna Honda case, the other thing I mentioned, is a case that Laguna Honda is a very large, new nursing home in the city of San Francisco. It has a number of people-
It is not new.
Well, it has-all right, it is not new. I thought they added beds to it.
They rehabbed the thing. They got support from the public out there in San Francisco under false pretenses by telling them it was a hospital and not a nursing home.
And they also got public support by saying it was a way to provide a place for the city''s homeless so they would not be on the streets. That added to it. We have recently set a-sent a letter to the court telling them our view this institution as it is being operated is in violation of the ADA, and we have joined with disabilities rights advocates in California on that-on that case. We are an amicus in that case. We did an investigation. If you are interested in that, that letter is on our website. It is not on our ADA website. We will put a link to it in the next week or so. It is on the civil rights division home page.
Okay. And another thing, let me ask you, referencing project civic access, if-you have already cited two or three cases that you have assisted with here in Memphis. If we wanted to make sure that Memphis, Tennessee, was one of those places you all surveyed, or whatever processes project civic access, excuse me.
Mandates you to do. How do we make sure that Memphis is on that list?
Well, you have just done one part of it by saying it to me now. I will put that into the hopper. You can send a letter to us saying that you think that that is-it should be done. I think if you are in Memphis, you know that one of the things that the Department of Justice has is U.S. Attorneys office throughout the country. Some are much more active than others. You have the good fortune of having some attorneys from justice who are local in your community who are very interested in ensuring that there is equal access for people with disabilities. Approaching them would be a way to-
If we sent a letter personally to you-
That would be fine.
We can do that and possibly cc it to the-our local-
That would be great.
Thank you very much. We move on to the next question.
I finally got on, all right. My question, John, is what is the DOJ''s position or take on native tribe or native corporation-owned businesses such as gift stores, hotels, or the casinos? They provide service and business to the public. Must they follow the ADA? Or is it just Title III, Title I? What is your-
You get a prize for asking a very hard legal question. [ laughter ]. I will give you where we are on it, which is we will maybe be clear as mud when we are done here. Early on, it was our view that based on Supreme Court case law, that tribes themselves and things that were run by tribes were not covered by the ADA. So that if the tribe itself ran the casino, it was exempt from the ADA. If the casino was on tribal land and privately owned it was covered by Title III. That was based on a reading of the ADA the way it was written and Supreme Court precedent which says, you know, Indian nations are sovereign nations and the only way that congress can cover them is to specifically say they are covering them. The ADA did not specifically say they were covering them. Since that time, however, there was a decision in the 11th circuit that came to the opposite conclusion. Saying that in fact tribes were covered by the ADA. We have referred that case, and this issue, to another office in the justice department for analysis and a decision to us, because it-this involves the office of tribal justice, it also involves the Department of Interior. Right now, I guess my answer to you is we are in limbo. Our position was that if it was owned and operated by the tribe itself, it was not covered. If a Days Inn had a hotel that was on tribal land, that was covered by Title III. That position is under review. Certainly in the 11th circuit, which involves some states in the southeast, the court-in those jurisdictions, which would include Florida, for example, tribes are covered under the law of the circuit. That is probably as clear as mud. I apologize for that. It is one of those positions that may change because the courts have done a different analysis than was done originally by the department.
But just to clarify, let us say that same Days Inn was a franchise type of situation and the tribe held the franchise.
If the tribe itself held the franchise, it would be exempt.
It is only if days inn corporate was running it or a private entity?
Or if a Native American citizen owned it but it was not the tribe itself.
This comes up frequently as you know.
Okay, thank you very much. We will move on.
That was other great question.
I will have one of our folks with our National ADA compliance unit ask the question.
I have a question regarding the 1999 federal register. Section 804, sinks, kitchens, kitchenettes and wet bars. The question is in regards to cabinets. It says 4.3, the cabinets comply with 905 referring you to the-the question is if you had a situation in a kitchen or kitchenette where you had base cabinets and wall-mounted cabinets, if you could achieve the 50% shelf space room in base cabinets only would you be required to lower the wall-mounted cabinets?
Let me start with because of the numbers you are using, the 804 and 905, those-keep in mind, those are guidelines that the access board has put out for comment and has not adopted yet as final. So those standards-those are not standards that are legally in place yet. The access board under the rule making procedure, the access board has been going through a process, they are close to making those final guidelines, but they have not done that yet. And so those guidelines really are at this point are not legally applicable.
We would recommend that because the DOJ would not be in a position to be able to talk about those, because they are not their current enforceable standard under the ADA, we recommend that you either contact your DBTAC at the 800 number to have them help you factor that out.
And I was also going to say they may not be accurate. To get the answer to your question, because there is not another standard that is applicable. It is probably better to use that standard than nothing. I would call the access board. And ask them that question, because they are the people who should say that, not me. It is not mine yet to talk about.
Okay, thank you.
Do you have the Access Board number? Would you like it?
We have it, thanks.
Sure. For those of you who may not have it. 800-872-2253 for the Access Board. It is a complicated issue with many of the regulations that are out there now. I am sorry, the guidelines for play areas for children''s facilities and others that have been out for both public time and final rule from the access board have not been adopted.
You should also keep in mind that you may have a state law that has a standard as well. You should factor that in, because something that the state has may also apply to you.
It may be more stringent.
It may be more stringent. You are calling from Tennessee. I do not think so. But that is something to consider.
Okay, go ahead. Next question.
I am reading this question on behalf of Tom Fricky. He has two questions. He wants to know has there been adequate enforcement of the ADA or are there gaps in this area? An opinion question.
Since I am in charge of enforcing it, I is have an opinion. Here is the way I will put this as best I can. We have, you know, in Washington, my office, which enforces the ADA has a hundred employees, which is a lot of employees, except when you consider there are six million businesses covered, 80,000 units of state and local government, and thousands of employers. We can make a dent in coverage, but it is clearly, you know, we have to turn away complaints that we get. We cannot do every complaint we get. So I think we do a very good job with the resources that we have at hand. But I certainly think there needs to be more of an enforcement presence. I think unfortunately given the federal budget situation, and with resources going to appropriately so to counterterrorism efforts, it is not likely any of our staffs will grow in the near future. So we try to be as effective as we can with the resources that we have. I think where we go, we do make a difference, but there are a lot of places that we do not go. From what I hear, there are still businesses and governmental entities that are really dragging their feet, and not being proactive in trying to go out there and do the best that they can. So I think there is certainly a need for more enforcement. I think I could probably go into any city in this country and find violations of the ADA. We will continue to do what we, as good a job as we can with the resources we have.
Will you allow us a second question here?
Sure, go ahead.
Mr. Fricky wants to know what court decisions had the greatest impact on the ADA, good and bad.
That is a good question. It is an interesting question. It is one we think about a lot of the one of the most debilitating parts of what has happened with the ADA from my perspective are the decisions on the definition of "disability." you may remember the Sutton trio of cases the Supreme Court had, and basically the court held that if you have a mitigating measure, if you are a person who has hearing loss, but you use a hearing aid, or you are a person bipolar but take medication or you have epilepsy and the symptoms of the condition are ameliorated by the medication you take, that you have to look at the person with their medication or with the prosthetic device or whatever it is that ameliorates it and then determine if that person is covered by the law. And the courts, and this has made it particularly hard in the employment area. It is very hard for us to get an employment case where we can prove that the person is a person with a disability. Especially people with hearing loss, people who have vision impairments who are not blind and not deaf. People who have diabetes, people with epilepsy, people with psychiatric conditions, it is very hard to make the case in the courts that they are covered. That has been one of the-the biggest losses. The constitutional cases, I talked about before, are on the downside. On the positive side, I think you may remember the Casey Martin case at the Supreme Court, which really reaffirmed one of the key ADA principles, which is that if you have policies and practices, you have to have reasonable modifications to any rules you have to allow people with disabilities to participate in your program. I think that was a very important decision. The earlier decision about whether someone who is HIV-positive is covered by the law, the Bragdon case at the Supreme Court was a very important decision, because it had, at that point, at least a broader discussion of the nature of disability and close to what I think congress had in mind when the law was enacted. Another decision that people do not hear about much is the-early on, a Yesky case at the Supreme Court, in which the court basically agreed with us the coverage of Title II is very broad. There the-Pennsylvania was trying to say that its jails and prisons were not covered by the ADA. The court said, no, it is clear the ADA covers just about everything local and state governments do. And I think most people would say the grand daddy decision of, and the good side, is the Olmsted decision at the Supreme Court, which recognized that the integration regulations of the Department of Justice said that like other civil rights laws, integration is a key part of the ADA, and the failure to-or keeping someone in an institution when they should, by a variety of criteria, actually be in the community, is in and of itself a violation of the ADA. That was a strong statement of the importance of integration and living in the community.
Thank you very much.
Okay, thank you very much also. Can we move on to the next question, please?
Go ahead, Chuck.
From Ann Gray.
As you know, there is a lot of budget cuts in different state health care programs and they are restructuring their Medicaid system including Oregon. I am curious knowing that some of them may go to Medicaid HMO systems, which Title do the physicians fall under? Would that be Title II or III? Because in some cases, they are not for profit, or private HMO''s, they are providing Medicaid services.
Unless-most of those cases that I am familiar with, the coverage of the-you will have-the coverage of the HMO itself most of the time they will be private. Unless it is actually run by the local government or the state government, or the state Medicaid agency actually operates the HMO, it will be a private entity. Most of the time they funnel money to a private entity so it would be covered by title three. Even if the HMO itself is covered by Title III, keep in mind that the state agency that is providing a funding stream is covered by Title II, because everything the state agencies do is covered by Title II and because we are talking about a fairly large federal grant program, there is also section 504 responsibilities that will go to the state Medicaid agency. It is-but the HMO itself is usually going to be covered as a private entity. Even if it is a for-profit.
Okay. Thank you very much. I guess a very quick follow-up question is, we have had a lot of issues with providers and compliance to the ADA. Are there resources through the ADA website or otherwise that could go towards compliance access specifically healthcare access.
I would say a couple things. www.ada.gov Our website has a lot of information on it, and you can link from ours to the Department of Health and Human services. They have some information there as well. But even though we cannot-let me mention to you, because we cannot do all the complaints that we have, we also have a fairly well-developed mediation program. And we will take a number of complaints-actually I think we just reached a goal, we did a milestone the other day and it happened without us knowing, we hit the 1,000th complaint successfully mediated. Mediation is a little different than our investigating a complaint. It involves a neutral, a mediator who will bring together the person with the disability and the entity they complained about and try to work out a solution. It has been a very successful program. We have been careful with it. The mediators are trained. We are not a party to it, so the federal government is out of it. In the right kinds of circumstances, a lot of these situations really can be mediated. And if you are interested in seeing the kinds of things that have been mediated, we do our-on our website we have "enforcing the ADA" which every three months we put out a status report. There are write-ups in there of the kinds of solutions that have been worked out in mediation. Even if you cannot get a complaint to us, or if the information on our website does not directly address that, filing a complaint and saying, look, I do not mind it being mediated is one possible avenue. Also keep in mind we do have an 800 number, so that if you have questions about how to proceed with certain kinds of issues, or circumstances, you can call that number. And I think it is in the materials that have been provided to you. Is that right, Robin?
Yes. Okay, next question, please.
We have two questions. The first one is related to hotels, travel agencies and other entities that own their own vans and buses. And provide free transportation. What is required under the ADA when they purchase a new vehicle and has the DOJ handled any complaints against any of those entities who continue to purchase inaccessible transportation vehicles?
Yes. The-what you are talking about are private entities who are in the business of providing-there are two ways of looking at it. If it is a private entity in the business of providing transportation, the ADA has certain requirements for that. We have had a-several settlement agreements, the case I mentioned, the lawsuit involving what is the betty bus company that we recently filed is exactly that situation.
We are talking about large hotels or travel agencies that own buses and vans.
Okay. Large hotels-
They provide free transportation for their customers.
They have a similar obligation to provide transportation for people with disabilities. But it is different than the private entity that is just in the business of providing transportation. So they do not-their obligation is to ensure that the wheelchair user or whatever the nature of the disability the person has can be accommodated, and they have to provide services. It may not be an obligation to provide accessible vans. However, if they are buying-if it is a travel agency with a fleet of buses, the obligation is really-is looking at it not from the purchase of the bus but the service. The service has to be accessible to people with disabilities. We have had some-we have never had a case that I can recall dealing with a travel agency. We have dealt with a number of hotels and a lot of hotels that have services that pick up people at airports or bring them to certain places. They had to make their system accessible either by contracting with accessible companies that will provide them with accessible buses or purchasing them. It is a different obligation in the statute than the private entity which has an obligation when they buy certain kinds of vehicles to buy accessible ones. The way the ADA was written for the entities covered by Titles III and due transportation as a secondary source to their main business, the obligation is to ensure that the service is accessible, not that the vehicles they buy are accessible.
They have to have a contract with a transportation provider that had accessible vehicles, not make the person have to rely on when a taxi that has an accessible lift can manage to get there?
That would be correct. They have to provide-the way we look at this, we look at it in terms of what service do you provide to the customers at the hotel? You have to provide the same nature of service to-if the service is you have a bus that is there when they want to leave the building or it is there on the half hour, you have to provide the same thing to the person. You cannot say, we will call a cab, if they have one, you get it. If not, you have to wait an hour. That would be a violation of their obligation to provide those services.
Okay, that is what I thought. The second question also has to do with problems with hotels that do not have two beds in their accessible rooms. Even though they have two double or two queen beds in other rooms and seem to act like they never heard of the ADA.
It is interesting you raise this with me. I gave a speech not too long ago in Boston, and this issue came up twice. And to be very honest, I had not-we have not gotten complaints, I know, about this issue. I will tell you, what I did at the meeting in Boston was ask them to send them to me. We have talked-we get a lot of complaints about hotels. Over the years I have worked a lot with hotel associations and this is an issue they should be able to address. I mean, clearly, you know, clearly the violation is I hope clear to people that, you know, if you have-if you are a person who is traveling with an attendant, you do not want to have to rent two rooms, but you also do not want to sleep in the same bed, and the hotel that has this kind of facility available for its other customers must have it available for wheelchair users. I will be very anxious to see that, and we will-we have identified this as a new issue for us to go and talk not just to a complaint we get but to go to the hotel and lodging association and saying, and say they should have the same rooms and variety of accommodations and particularly this one. You will have a parent traveling with a disabled child or vice versa.
Or at least providing adjoining rooms for the price of one room.
That would be another solution.
This was not part of the settlement agreement with bass hotels.
It is not something that we have ourselves addressed before.
This has been a problem.
Okay. We will raise it with them. They have been supportive of other efforts outside the agreement, and I hope we can get them to do that.
Okay. Thank you.
Thank you for your question. Next question, please.
This is Marianne in the disability resource center. On Title III ADA complaints involving a restaurant, any time limit, for example if it went to the DOJ, and I am thinking of a specific case then was referred, and there was a request for mediation with the Keybridge foundation, and came back, is there any limit on resolving that or litigating it or so on? We are talking a two-year-old case particularly so lack of access. I could go on why it is inaccessible.
I take it as a given there is a problem there, and that it is-
A private telephone number if you need it.
We have cases I am sorry to say in our office that are three years old. We have made those our two priorities for our investigators, our project civic access, and cleaning up cases that are old. We are-we are moving to do those as fast as we can. One of the-there are limitations, if we are going to court, we cannot keep something so long we cannot get into court that it is stale. But there are not-you know, we have our own interior timelines we are trying to meet. We have not done as good a job at that as I hoped we had. I think we are improving. We still have cases that are old. We have cases older than the one you are talking about. We are trying to eliminate what we consider our backlog of those. Our goal is to receive a case and handle it within 180 days. We are not there yet.
With this case, it is two years old, what do you suggest I do?
Is it still in mediation?
I do not know, I have not heard from the particular lawyer that was working in your unit since last august I think when I called from here.
We have a rule that I will double check on, and maybe if you can-
I can put my phone number out. I can give it out on this teleconference. Marianne McDavid. I can tell you which attorney was handling it.
That is enough for me to figure it out. We will have someone call you. One of the other rules we have, although it was not followed here, any complainant is supposed to be contacted every three months.
They are? Okay? It has been last august.
I have got you. I will follow up on it.
He called me in march last year.
We will edit your phone number out of the transcript so you will not get phone calls two years from now. Thank you very much. Hopefully we can get that clarified.
Somebody will contact me?
We have a question that came through on e-mail that I am going to give to you now. This comes from an organization that says they receive a lot of questions from entities such as educational institutions and employers who know they can require documentation of disability before they provide accommodations, etc. They are confused as to why they are told-oh, why they are told they cannot ask for any kind of documentation when someone wants to bring a service animal into their premises. The question here is, is the department considering offering any further guidance or clarification on animal issues such as documentation and things of that nature and when it is appropriate or what may be appropriate?
Okay, we have a variety of-there are a lot of circumstances where we have said that it is appropriate for an entity that is covered by the ADA to ask for further documentation. We view that as the exception rather than the rule. There are a lot of-you know, for example, if someone is buying a ticket to a sporting event and needs accessible seats, we say they cannot ask them if they-the nature of their disability. The same thing with someone coming in with-to an establishment with-clearly with a service animal that is-that has been trained for them, and is obviously a service animal, they can ask what-you know, what services the animal provides for the person, and are you a person with disability, but that is all they can ask. In other areas, particularly in the employment area, and in the education-educational area for test accommodations, so if someone who has a learning disability is asking to take double time on a test, we have said that is a different kind of situation and so specialized it is appropriate to ask information in order to get that kind of specific accommodation. It is a specific kind of accommodation. But these more generic accommodations, we have been pretty clear you cannot ask about whether that person has a disability. To the extent-to the extent that the question is are we considering other rule making in the area of service animals, we are always asked about service animals, I have to admit I am surprised that here, 13 years after the ADA was enacted, we are dealing with a lot of service animal issues. We will be doing a new rule-making in the next year or so, and one of the issues we will ask for comment on is policies that we have on service animals. There are people with disabilities who disapprove of some things we said, and businesses that disapprove of some things we said. We will give people a chance to air out whatever the issues are, and deal with these, although I think our-the rule we start from is someone with a disability should not have to reveal personal information about themselves to do, you know, to go into a grocery store and buy groceries, to go to a doctor''s office or visit a friend in a hospital, to buy a ticket to an event at a stadium. These are not the things that-everyone else in society does them freely and people with disabilities should do them freely as well.
I think that this comes from a lot of questions because of the depth and breadth of the different types of service animals. And types of service animals. You now see the use of the small ponies or miniature ponies and things like that. There is more questions, people are not as familiar with service animals for seizure disorders or other kinds of disabilities. There is a great, you know, I think problem also in the disability community sometimes about the understanding between a companion animal that might be allowable in a hudd situation in housing, which may not be in the service animal realm and where does that cross over. There is some much ambiguity sometimes, about these things and lack of clarity, there is a confusion.
There is. We can tell from the questions we get. We tried to put out some documentation on this. Our view is a service animal is an animal of whatever type that is-has been individually trained to provide a service to a person with a disability. So that-and where we-we see a lot of complaints, they tend to come from restaurants and sometimes doctors'' offices and hospitals, and they often come not from people who have vision impairments but people with mobility impairments, people with hearing dogs, people who have seizure alert dogs, and I think part of what we have to do is educate the population that these are service animals providing a service to people with disabilities, and that when these people need them to be out in-and freely moving independently in society, and they should be treated like other service animals. There are always difficult questions at the extreme. We have not really had to address the issue of the-these new-not new, but ponies that are used. Keep in mind the limitation on this is undue burden and fundamental alteration. I do not know if it is-to be very honest, we have not thought about ponies in this regard. At some point the size of the animal may be such an impediment that it is a fundamental alteration to deal with that. We have not addressed that. We are certainly willing to consider it and address it as the issues come up.
I guess one of the things that we have had is for example when it comes to the animal issue and the pony, a title-being asked to modify a policy and procedure of no livestock within a city boundary or city limits. Obviously there is a difference between a domestic animal such as a dog and what a pony might mean to the other definitions out there of potentially livestock. Is that something a Title II entity would be required to do under ADA?
They might be. Title II as-the Casey Martin case talks about the part of the law that talks about reasonable modification of policies, practices and procedures. So you have a policy or a law that says-no animals of this type can be within the city boundaries. Well, then you would have to say, is this a reasonable mod fill case, is it necessary for the person to walk independently in the town? Is it a fundamental alteration of the town? And those are all things you would have to consider. And a town cannot say, no, they do not have to do it. You have to consider all of these things, and there would be factors that would-would go into that. As it would the same kind of thing if you are talking about the local 7-eleven, which is tiny and the animal may be larger. I am told a number of these ponies really are not necessarily different in size from some service dogs.
That is correct.
So it is not-the size issue is not as difficult as, you know, if they really are trained, and can behave according to the rules of conduct that are expected in the facilities we are talking about, then that animal should be allowed in as a service animal.
Okay. Why don''t we go on to another question please.
We have two questions, please.
One is considering Para transportation as linked to the city bus system, restriction of distance from existing bus lines, and also hours of transportation.
So is the issue, you know, the paratransit system certainly has, under the DOT obligations a series of requirements. You know, this is a little far a field for me. Is it two miles from the regular routes? And in terms of being able to meet the needs of people who are eligible for paratransit, is there a specific issue you are asking about?
What we are asking is that the limitations, what we have been told is three-quarters of a mile from the bus stop, and also we are limited by hours of operation, no later than 7:00 at night, and no earlier than like 6:00 in the morning. That would limit our opportunity to utilize the system or any system for work, and especially on Sunday.
Is the regular bus system operating at those hours or beyond those hours?
That is the hours of operation for the bus system.
I see. I think, well, the way the ADA is set up, the paratransit system only is obligated to operate the same hours that the main-line system has to operate.
Okay. Second question, then, is dealing with computer classes not accessible to visually impaired individuals in the community college system.
That would be your basic ADA and probably section 504 violation. They have an obligation to provide their classes in a manner that is accessible to people with disabilities, which would include people who are blind having access to computer classes.
And they would also have to provide training for utilizing the system itself?
You know, if it is part of the teaching regimen, certainly. There are assistive devices available that make computers accessible to people with disabilities, and if you are operating a-a class, you would have the obligation to make accommodations to the way you teach the class and the materials you use to make them accessible to people with disabilities participating in the class.
John, for clarification, for people who might be listening and making sure we are clear. Let us say I am a person who may be newly blind, or may just never have been exposed to much that is out there and I go in to take a computer class, and for example maybe they use this particular entity has Jaws or Window Eyes or one of the various brands, would they be obligated to train me in how to use the Window Eyes, or would they be obligated to have the system equipped so I would be able to come in and use the screen reader?
I guess my answer-I guess once in every session I have to say it depends. It depends on the nature of what the course is.
Let us say it is an accounting course. It is a computer-operated-I am coming into learn a particular accounting program.
I do not think they have the obligation to do the base-you know, they have the obligation to have the equipment there that allows a person who is blind to participate in the accounting course. So if they have to-if it is computer-run, they have to have the, you know, screen-reading equipment or whatever it is that will make the equipment itself accessible. If it is a more basic course, if they are teaching people how to use computers, then I think the obligation extends to teaching them how to use the assistive technology as well.
That is good for clarification. Sometimes things get-when you are on the phone you only have a minute to ask, you want to make sure people get the answer.
I would hope if there is a community college out there thinking about this and they are only doing the accounting course, I think there is probably a need out there for people to have that, although the voc rehab system and maybe the Department of Labor system in terms of the training they have, might also have places that people can go to learn those skills.
Yes. Okay, I have another e-mail question that I was going to give. This is related to a-it comes from a parent. It relating to playground issues. I know the guidelines and such, the question is that now there are ADA guidelines for children''s play spaces recently revised by the U.S. Access board, is it the consensus within DOJ that these new guidelines would go far enough? And whose responsibility is it to initiate changes to any guidelines if someone felt that there would need be-to be more stringent?
The access board would be the entity that would receive the information they are not stringent enough. These guidelines have been done by the access board. I know there is a lot of disagreement about the surface that the access board has said is usable. There was a great deal of analysis of the cost of rubberized and other surfaces, and that the decisions that were reached by the access board were a compromise between cost and the firmness of the surface. People are unhappy with that, they should provide information on it, especially information if they-specific information about why it is not working to them. We are-the department of justice has not yet adopted the board''s rule making. Our obligation is to not-to use theirs as minimum standard. I guess you could also provide that information to us as well.
Just to clarify, if it-and when at what time the department of justice would go forward with additional rule-making, they would open up their own potential public comment period?
That is correct.
For any rules which may be above what the U.S. Access board has provided or they may be the same. They cannot go below.
We will be-of course I have given up saying when we will do this, but we have people working on it right now. I can tell you that the federal requirements for doing a rule are getting more and more difficult. So we have more hoops we have to go through. We will have to do our own financial impact analysis, and we are in the process of beginning that. But we will-it will be a public process, and so people will be able to give us comments. We will eventually hold public hearings on the issues as well so people can come and testify.
Would the DOJ enter into its own research on any of these areas are that potential disagreements brought forward already?
I do not know if we would call it research. We respond to comments and open ourselves up to comments. I think the access board is interested in people''s views on these issues still as well.
Okay. Thank you very much. If someone could directly contact the U.S. Access board, that is information on their website www.access-board.gov. Their contact information is on there as well as the Department of Justice''s contact information is on their website www.ada.gov . You can find how to contact them through writing facts and other means for comment. Thank you very much. Next question, please.
Yes, I am calling for Sherry Hoffman.
Concerning the priorities of filing a complaint and what the priorities are of the acceptance from the DOJ of these complaints?
And then second part is why are some being sent back and what can be done about it?
Okay. We receive many more complaints than we can open, and so we go through an annual process of trying to decide what issue areas, since we cannot do them all, which ones we should be doing. We also look at those complaints that we think would be good sources for mediation. You know, certain kinds-smaller issue complaints are certainly more likely to be successful in mediation. So we make some decisions about that. We also try to look at the nature of complaints that we are getting. I think early on, frankly, we did not open a lot of service animal complaints, and then we started seeing many and many more service animal complaints, so we tried to gauge what the issues are out there, and open up complaints accordingly. We still get a lot of complaints about hotels, so we still do a lot of hotel issues. We-what we try to do is ensure that we open up complaints from across-that we run a national program so we deal with complaints from every state, and that we have a wide range of issues. Most of the complaints that we get really are about burial removal. Most of the-probably the next biggest group of complaints are about the failure to provide interpreters especially in police departments and in courtrooms. We have a lot of complaints that we have dealt with also with hospitals. Those-and we now have a lot of service animal complaints. So we try to really-we adjust it as we are going along. We-in terms of what you can do about it the fact that we cannot do all the complaints, we have, over the years, tried to increase the number of people we have who do this work. We-there are people in other agencies that will do some of it. There are offices for civil rights that take on some of the burden of doing complaints. Complaints about community colleges that we get, or about elementary and secondary schools we send to the education department. Most of the healthcare complaints, a lot of the Olmsted complaints we send to the Department of Health and Human services because they have resources for doing complaints. We try to ensure as much as we can, the complaints get handled. But it-we have literally here 12 people who do complaint investigations. And so it is-for the nation that is not a lot of people. We have tried over the years to increase the number, but frankly, it is-in the budget situation we have now, I do not think that will happen, in the immediate future. So we are trying to more efficient, trying to use mediation and other sources, but I think the truth is we will not do them all. In terms of what issues we do, that will change from time to time. It will change in terms of situations like this, for example, I have now heard several times complaints about hotels not having two beds, so that is an issue we will be looking to do some of those to hope we can set a precedence so other people will see what we are doing and follow suit.
Okay, thank you very much. Next question, please?
Yes, I have two questions.
I am sorry, I only have time for one. Choose which one you want to have the most right now.
Well, going back to the responsibility of the-of providing the interpreter, I believe it was the first question.
If someone is hosting the meeting, but not necessarily participating, but the other agency who is having the meeting would be hosting agency still be responsible for providing the interpreter?
I guess that might determine what hosting means, if it is just like the name, but if-if the-in most situations the answer is probably yes. If they have some obligation in terms of how the meeting was set up, say, for example, the American bar association has a meeting at a hotel. The hotel is just putting, you know, is renting them space. Under the ADA, both the hotel and the ADA have an obligation to provide interpreter.
Okay. Because the other agency is going to be using just these facilities.
That is correct. And often what happens in the situation, the example I gave, is the hotel will have a contract and say, you agree to provide the interpreters, we do not, because we are just renting you the space. So often there is a contract or some agreement between the two entities as to which one is going to provide the interpreters. It is usually-obviously it is usually the organization that has more to do with running the event as opposed to just the host. But legally the way the statute is written, that host has an obligation as well.
That is what I thought. I wanted to be sure.
Thank you very much. Unfortunately we are end of time. We have gotten on to many different discussions. We could probably spend another two hours with the number of questions and the topics, obviously Title II and III are broad. There are so many different issues that people have and there is so many questions unanswered through policy guidance and other things as people dealing with these issues on a day-to-day basis. I wish we could take all your questions. We apologize we are not able to. 90 minutes is a lot of time but often not time enough. Sometimes we may have gone on too long on some questions and not gotten on as we would have liked to and we apologize for that as well. Just to remind you this is a collaborative effort of the 10 DBTAC''s across the country working together. We are interested in getting your questions answered. We recommend you contact your DBTAC at 800-949-4232. And also the U.S.Department of Justice has an 800 number which they take inquiries through John''s office and his staff. 800-514-0301. That is their voice number. And their 800 number is 800-514-0383. That is their TTY number. So you also can contact them. In addition, we do know there are many documents available that have attempted, as John alluded to a few times, to help clarify some of these questions, and those are available on the Department of Justice''s website which is www.ada.gov. I do want to thank the Department of Justice for shortening that website address. It makes it a lot easier to give out. Again, there is no question that is a bad question. We do really encourage you and we wish we would have been able to get to everybody''s question and apologize we are not able to. I do think we covered a broad breadth and depth of topics. John will join us again in July for our annual ADA update. We will do a bigger recap of the litigation and things that the Department of Justice has been involved in across the last year as well as some additional discussion of the EEOC cases. I encourage you to join us again in July on the 15th of July where John will like I said be joining us again. Before we sign off, I throw it back to you to see if you have closing comments.
No, I just want to thank everyone. I think that was a-I really enjoyed listening to the questions. I am sorry if I prattled on too long. I have a tendency to do that. I like this, Robin, I think it is a very successful format. It gives-I have a good sense of the issues that people are concerned about and what we can be doing about all of them. And I thank you for spending the time with me this afternoon. I appreciate it.
Well, thank you for joining us. For everyone on the call we would like to remind you our next session will be in June on June 17th. It is titled "Demystifying the Federal Access Requirements." ADAAG, fair housing, what applies to what. We will be joined by representatives of the U.S. Access Board to help us with that. We look forward to having you join us. We want to thank you, John, for your willingness to put yourself out there in a session like this. I know it is not easy to have-not knowing where your question is going to come from and how you need to prepare. I appreciate your willingness to do this. For those of you who would also-just a reminder-he session has been digital taped. It will be available as well as the transcript for later reference and review. And again, thank you all for joining us. Hope you have a good day.