Thank you very much. Welcome, everyone, to our call today titled "Ask Department of Justice (DOJ)." This is kind of the questions you have always wanted to ask and were afraid to in the past. Our focus today will be on Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. In a moment I will introduce our speaker. I want to welcome one and all to our series. It is February already. We are winding down as the year goes by. I hope that everyone is having a good winter and looking forward to the spring, as I know that many of you in the northeast and the Central part of the Country with too much snow and too much cold are waiting for. This program is a collaborative effort of the ten Regional District Ability and Business Technical Assistance Centers, referred to as Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC), ADA and Accessible Information Technology (IT) Centers, a lot of history to our multiple names but we are a Technical Assistance Center funded by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institution on Rehabilitation Research, Disability Rehabilitation and Research and we provide information on the ADA to Individuals and Entities Impacted by the ADA, from a rights perspective as well as from a responsibilities perspective. You can contact the Regional Centers serving your area by dialing 800.949.4232, that is both a voice and a TTY number. If you are not sure which center serves you and you find it find it on the Internet, we have a central Web site. Each of us have our own web sites, you can find yours by going to www.adata.org. This session is our February session. And I want to make a brief announcement or a commercial for the next three sessions that follow this one. For the first time, we are offering a series on one single topic, which will start with our March session. The audio conference series runs each month, 12 months of the year, the third Tuesday of every month from 1:00 to 2:30 P.M. central time. You have to do the math for your own time zone. I know we have people joining us from everyone from Alaska, Hawaii to the far reaches of the East coast and the South. The three series session is on Reasonable Accommodation. Each month we will address various issues in regards to how Regional Accommodation is addressed in small and large business and from a legal perspective through the courts. We will offer a certificate of completion for those attending all three sessions, and the sessions are registered for credits from CRC and other entities. So if you would like more information about the sessions, and the series, and participating in our Reasonable Accommodation Series, contact your regional DBTAC. And you can get information about these programs on our Web site, which is www.adagreatlakes.org. And follow our links to our programs and services that will get you to the audio conference series. As a reminder, today''s session is available through real time text captioning on the Internet. You can access that if you are interested in doing that, again through our Web site. On the front page of our Web site you will see a link under our current news section that will link you right directly to the captioning program and once you have registered you will be in. From that program, you are able to save a session transcript that you can refer to later. We also edit the transcript and post both a audio recording, as well as the transcript to our Web site under our archive section and Individuals can go back month after month, year after year and access that information. So hopefully, if you have not visited or are not aware of those services, you will familiarize yourselves with those things and if you have questions again contact your Regional DBTAC for more information. So without further adieu, I would like to get into our session today. The session is billed as primarily a question-and-answer session. That is we are relying and looking for you, the audience, to pose questions to our featured speaker today. Regarding issues, as I said earlier, on Title 2 and Title 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We are very pleased to have back with us today John Wodatch, who is the chief of the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. He has been with the Disability Rights Section and the Department of Justice for many, many years, probably longer than he wants to admit. We are very happy to have him. He was worked with the DBTAC, the Disability Organizations across the country for many years on issues from housing to the ADA and beyond. Looking to assist with enforcement and interpretation and Technical Assistance to assure that those entities who are either covered or are responsible have the information that they need. So John will be giving just a little bit of an update about the activities of the Department of Justice, what is happening, what is going on, as a prelude to the session today. And then once he has completed, we will open it up to questions from all of you. I will turn it over to John at this time.
Thank you very much, Robin. And good afternoon, I guess good morning to some people who are on this call. I''m delighted to be with you all once again from Washington, D.C. where I''m happy to report that the sun is shining and it is in the 60s, so hope springs eternal here for spring coming. What I thought I would do is just give you an update on a couple of the initiatives that we are working on, just so you will have some idea of what has been going on. Recently, and of course when we get to the question and answer phase you are not limited to the things that I have spoken about. Anything that is on your mind, we are fair game to have a discussion on. Let me begin by I will just do a little brief synopsis of each of several issues. I hope that you are familiar with the project specific access. We have talked about it in the past. If you are not, you can go to our Web site, ADA.GOV, and find out about it. It is a project where we work with cities, counties and towns and villages throughout the United States, and look at how they are providing services and whether those services are Accessible to People with Disabilities. We look at core Government functions, and try to improve access to all of the aspects of civil of civic life from courthouses and libraries and parks and sidewalks, addressing a wide range of Accessibility issues including recently voting Emergency Preparedness and response and even a little bit of weather their local Web site are Accessible to People with Disabilities. To date we have reached agreements with 108 Communities. They have signed agreements with us whereby they agree over a period of time to make changes to specific buildings and move programs around to ensure that the programs are accessible. The most recent five have been signed in the last couple months, thought that I would just tell you what those were. Missoula County Montana, California, Washington County Utah, Chester County New Hampshire and San lieu we Obispo, California the most recent communities entering into agreements with us. The agreements are on our Web site. If you want to see what these communities have agreed to do and the changes that they will be doing over time, click on there and get more information it there. An issue that is much on our mind here in Washington is the Supreme Court looking at the ADA. I think you have followed over the years the Supreme Court has been interested in looking at the Americans with Disabilities Act. This term is no different. There is going to be an argument of an ADA case on February 28th. The case is called specter versus Norwegian crews lines and deals with the issues of whether cruise ships that sail under foreign flags are covered by the ADA when they operate in U.S. ports. Now you may or may not know that in fact just about every major cruise ship line that, that has cruise ships are foreign flags, which means that they fly under the flag of another country, not the United States. In this particular case, the people who sued Norwegian cruise lines were Individuals with Mobility Disabilities, and their non-disabled companions. And they filed a suit that alleged that the cruise line, Norwegian cruise line, discriminated against them on a cruise that began in Houston, Texas. And they allege that they were charged a surcharge for an accessible cabin, that the cruise ship failed to move architectural barriers to ships facilities including public restrooms, restaurants, swimming pools and elevators and that they failed to make reasonable modifications in their policies to include People with Disabilities in the ships Emergency Evacuation Procedures. The case was decided by the fifth circuit, which held that Title 3 does not apply to foreign-flagged cruise ships even when they voluntarily enter U.S. ports to receive passengers, even though those passengers are from the United States. The fifth circuit in deciding this relied on General International Law Principles and said this a domestic law, IE here a law of the United States may not be applied to a foreign flagged ship without specific evidence of congressional intent to do so and the court did not find in the ADA, either in the text of the Legislative History that Congress entitled intended Title 3 to apply to foreign flagged cruise ships, we at the DOJ disagree with this position and have filed a brief in the Supreme Court saying that in fact Title 3 does cover cruise ships, even operating under foreign flags when they are in the United States. Now we, there is one other court decision in the 11th circuit, a case called Stevens versus premier cruises where the court agreed with the United States and said that foreign flagged ships operating in U.S. ports are covered by the ADA. We filed a brief in the Supreme Court; we will be participating previous in the Supreme Court. We will be participating in the argument on February 28th. And so I would expect, if you want to follow this case, there will be a lot of articles about it. Around the 28th. And then some within, say, two months after that we would expect a decision. This is a little unlike other ADA cases that have been at the Supreme Court because it is mostly not about ADA law, it is mostly about International Law and how U.S. Law interacts with Treaties, and International Law. And so we had sort of watch that space to see how that case develops. While I''m talking about the Supreme Court, let me just follow up a little bit about the lane decision last year on the constitutionality of Title 2. The U.S. Government remains convinced that Title 2 and all its aspects is Constitutional. And we are spending a lot of our time take taking that position in court cases. Since, since the lane decision was decided last May, we have entered and filed briefs in an additional 12 cases talking about the constitutionality of the Title 2 of the ADA. These cases have mostly dealt with different issues. If you remember, in the lane case the Supreme Court said that there was under Title 2 an established record of Pervasive Unequal Treatment in the Administration of State Services and Programs, including Systematic Deprivations of Fundamental Rights. But the Supreme Court limited their decision to the facts that were in front of it which at that point was access to State and Local Courts. And the Supreme Court said that if there were future cases, they must be analyzed, whether Title 2 is appropriate legislation under the 14th amendment must be looked at in the legal context in which each case has arisen. And so in the areas of prison, deinstitutionalizations or homestead matters, transportation and education we have filed briefs in 12 cases. There have also been a series of six decisions in the circuit courts, and I will just sort of give you a heads-up of where we are. I will give you the good news first. In the first circuit, in a case that came out of Puerto Rico, the court held that Title 2 was constitutional in the case that involved a person with hearing loss, and the failure, the failure of a court to a come late that to accommodate that person in the hearing. In two cases dealing with homestead issues, one in the fifth circuit and one in the seventh circuit, I think that one was in Illinois; the courts in those cases avoided the constitutional issues. But said that the plaintiffs had a right to proceed under another doctrine, ex part young. So they avoided the constitutional issue but in fact allowed the cases to proceed. On the other side, there have been a couple of losses. One other win was in the ninth circuit, which all along has held Title 2 to be Accessible to be Constitutional. They held that in a prison case under the ninth circuit that the ADA was Constitutional. However, the 11th circuit in a prison case came to the opposite conclusion. In the 11th circuit case, it dealt with wheelchair users who were segregated in prisons and because of that segregation had limited access to programs. The court in those cases, in the 11th circuit, found that the ADA went too far beyond the 8th amendment to the constitution and therefore was non-constitutional. Similarly, in a case out of the eighth circuit in Missouri, case involving parking Placards and fees, we lost that case. But they did not look at that case under the 14th amendment; they looked at it on the basis of the commerce cause. That case has been appealed to the Supreme Court. We have told the Supreme Court that the decision, we believe, is inconsistent with the lane decision of the Supreme Court and have asked them to vacate that and remand it. I guess it is important for you just to know that these cases are ongoing. At some point we will be back in the Supreme Court on the issues of constitutionality of Title 2. I just want you to know that it is, it is very much important to us that we are involved in those cases, and we will continue to spend a great deal of our time trying to convince the Federal Courts that the ADA is Constitutional Legislation. Keep in mind what is at issue in most of these cases is whether, when a Private Party sues, can they sue for money damages? Even in those, these cases where the court has held the ADA unconstitutional for money damages by Private Parties, they have not taken away the Federal Government''s ability to go in and seek injunctive relief or even money damages. Okay. That is probably more than you wanted on Constitutionality. I will be briefer on the other subjects. Certification of State and Local Building Codes is, you may remember this, the ADA sets up a Voluntary Process where, if a State or Local Government sends us their State Building Code, or Local Building Code we can look at it and make a determination that, that the state code is in Compliance and is Equivalent to the ADA Code. It is in our view a good thing, because a Local Builder, a Local Architect, a Local Business can then just look to the State Code and know if they follow their State Code, and do not get any waivers from it, that they are they are building their buildings in compliance with the ADA. At the moment we have certified the Codes of most recently the State of Maryland, Florida, Washington, Texas and Maine. And we are, we have before us, we are very close, we have been working with the state of North Carolina. We are very close to moving to preliminary certification of North Carolina. And have under active review the Codes of California, Utah and New Jersey. And we are also spending some time working with the Model Code groups to see if we can identify the, whether those Model Codes are equivalent to the ADA standards. Okay. Let us move on to seating in movie theaters, I think that you are familiar that we have spent, we have been involved in a number of cases against movie theaters who in our view went to the new design of stadium styled movie theaters fail the to provide wheelchair users with lines of sight that were comparable to the general movie-going public. The we lost the first case on cinema in the fifth circuit, and have sued in a number of other circuits. I''m pleased to report that we continued with cinema and have recently reached an agreement with them. The agreement concludes our litigation with them. And under this consent decree, cinema has agreed to design all future movie theaters in accordance with plans that we reproved and these plans will move wheelchair users to much better seats than they have had, closer to the center of the auditorium, not always exactly at the center of the auditorium, usually around at least at the 40% as opposed to 50% percent back from the screen. There is a much better design than they had been using. Cinema also agreed to make some changes to some of their existing theaters. In 100 auditoriums and 14 complexes in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee they have agreed to move their wheelchair seating further back from the screen. And they have agreed to do that in theaters in a number of other states as well, including Utah, Illinois, New York and California and Oregon. We continue to be involved in Litigation against some of the other major movie theater chains. I think what we have seen is the movie theater chains are beginning to get it and as they are developing new theaters they are providing wheelchair users with seats in the theaters that don''t provide what one of the courts called headache city but in fact give them a decent viewing angle of the screen. A recent case we got involved in, just on another issue, we joined a lawsuit that was in existence in the city of Philadelphia. It was a case against the city, brought by an Individual with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) positive who claimed that the City discriminated against him in the procession of Emergency Medical Services. Basically what happened is he was experiencing severe chest pain. His partner called 9-1-1. Emergency medical Techs arrived on the scene. But after being informed that the Complainant in this case was of his HIV status, they refused to provide pre-hospital care that would have been reasonable under the circumstances, refused to touch him and refused to assess his condition and refused to even give him physical assistance in getting him out of his home and into the ambulance. We have joined that suit. We think those allegations are correct. We have joined that suit. And are and have asked the court to have the Fire Department enter into new procedures and training that would keep this from happening in the future. And we have sought an award of compensatory damages for the Individual who had been harm in that case. Two other things, then we can get to the questions. I hope you are all familiar with an advanced notice of proposed rule making that we put out last July. It is what we have we expressed our intent to adopt the revised ADA Accessibility Guidelines that the Access Boards had put out and asked a series of specific questions. The comment period was originally going to end in January. We received a number of requests to extend it, because people wanted more time to provide us comments. We agreed to do that. So the comment period has been extended until May 31st. I urge all of you to take some time and provide comments to us. You can do it on the web. If you want to provide comments to us electronically, all you need to do is go to www.adaanprm.org and follow the instructions there. If you want more information about that, you can also visit our Web site. And speaking of our Web site, which is ADA.GOV, there are a couple of new things on the Web site that I just want to draw your attention to. We have a new technical piece on what an accessible jail cell is. Now that may not be in everyone''s interest that is calling in here, but we do spend we get a lot of complaints from prisoners. One of the thing that is happening in our society is the prison population is aging, and just like the general population, people even people who were not disabled when they went into prison are becoming disabled in prison and therefore have a need for Accessible jail cells. And this document provides advice to State and Local Governments on what an Accessible Jail Cell is. I would also like to sort of drop a hint that we are a, a couple one knew thing that is going to be coming to our Web site, and I hope within the next month, is streaming video. We haven''t had that on our Web site in the past. We have had to work with the web people at the department to work it out, especially given the special security precautions that the justice Web site has to go through. But we will be having two videos put up. One that will be a video of the signing of the ADA in 1990 by the first president George bush. And the second is a video; a 13-minute video called Ten Small Business Mistakes, which we hope, will be very useful for businesses, as well as for people who want to work with businesses to make them accessible. So sort of watch that space, I hope within the next month or so, we will be able to have that up on the Web site so that you can view it and also so that you can download it and use it yourself. I think that is probably, Robin, more than people wanted to hear at all. Why don''t we go ahead to the question and answer part of this program?
Great. I think that people always want to hear from you, John. You always have something to say that we think is valuable. But with such a diverse audience, I agree we will kick in to the question and answer and then if you would just give some instructions to the audience please. I will start it off; with I had some questions that were sent to me by e-mail, John. I will start off with one of those while we are getting ready to cue folks up. This is a situation where we have a court or Sheriff''s Administration Building. There are two main entrances from the sidewalk. One entrance you navigate stairs to get to the door landing, after going through security you either go up steep stairs to the courtroom or go down the stairs to the Sheriffs Administration Building. There is an adjacent fully accessible entrance just off the same sidewalk. But it is used only as a special accommodation entrance for People with Disabilities. Individuals must ring a buzzer, wait until security has time to come down, open the door and check the person in. There may be extended wait before the security gets there. The questioner relating to that scenario is would it be required would it be required for the government agency to move the security to the lower level accessible entrance and make it the main accessible entrance to the building with minimal cost of making the change and signage could be posted to direct the public to the new entrance and security for the building still would be maintained.
I tell you what, one of the problems in dealing with a scenario without seeing it and knowing what the reasons are, it is always very let me give that general caveat. But I think that clearly what you have here is probably not equal access for wheelchair users and others who need an accessible entrance. And so I think there, there has to be some fix that will create an accessible entrance. And it sounds like the fix that is being proposed makes totally logical sense. However, there must be some reason I mean, it is so logical; I would be intrigued to know why they have not changed it around. I mean, maybe there are some other problems that are, are created by that. But certainly if we were looking if this was one of for example, if this came up under project specific access, we would work with the sheriff''s office or the mayor''s office or whoever was the administrative unit in charge of it to come up with a solution and probably would offer something like a solution that is being offered there so there is not a wait for wheelchair users. Keep in mind though we are dealing with program accessibility and there is an undue burden limitation and there may be some reasons that this has not been done quiet yet. But it certainly looks to; sounds to me like things could be done there to improve access. And we often find that having an entrance that is generally accessible, not just for wheelchair users but to everyone else, really encourages easy access for a much larger segment of the population.
I would agree. So hopefully, all right. Why don''t we take one of the questions from our audience?
Can you hear me?
Yes, I can.
Thank you so much. My goodness, I did not know that Department of Justice was as involved as you are with the courts and thank you for that. I had a question a few months ago on a teleconference and I mentioned then that in New Jersey the Compliance of the ADA is nearly non-existent from what I see. In new construction. And certainly the existing facilities, even the parking spaces and access isles are still not being made larger than the two feet wide that the access isle is or the four-feet wide if it is the only parking spaces for People with Disabilities, I found 80% of what I see with new construction is not complying. I also just came back from the wonderful State of Hawaii, talking to two people who are long-time residents, they said it is not good, this is on the outer islands, not in Honolulu, someone was visiting from Tennessee and they have a home in Alabama and they said bad. My question is: Would it be at all possible for your Department, your Offices, to please send a letter reminding say the director of codes of each of the 50 states and the territories of the existence of the ADA and the need to follow its guidelines? I mean, I still have construction code officials, the plumbing inspector telling me last week that New Jersey has not passed the ADA yet.
That they are officials, State Employees, and they can only follow the State Code. They do not get involved. They do not read. They do not know about the ADA. Then, unfortunately, when the architects who might have been trained 25 years ago put in the four-foot access isle or the 5-foot access aisle and no handrails or what have you, then it is building construction parking decks or structures built 6-foot tall instead of the 8 foot two. Could you send them a letter and remind them?
I think that is a great idea. I can tell you that I''m sort of discouraged to hear what you are saying about New Jersey and new construction, because one of the whole reasons to pass the ADA and have such stringent requirements for new construction was it does not cost much to do this to get it right when you are building a building right the first time. If we do enough of it by getting it right over time, we will make ourselves a much more accessible society. The kinds of things, which you are talking about which, you know, are simple kind of parking issues.
We are not even talking about some of the more difficult kinds of things. I will look into the idea of a letter to Code Officials but Code Officials are ride there is nothing in the ADA that requires them to have a Local Code that meets the ADA, but they are required to follow the Federal Code. And they would be in violation. If you know so a letter is a good idea. Also I, I even hesitate to say this, because I think people realize, you know, we get a lot of complaints and we cannot do even a fraction of the complaints that we get.
Um-hum. I know.
But we certainly are always looking, especially where we see violations in new construction issues.
Or violations in parking things, I have seen a lot more of what you are talking about in terms of the in the parking area, we see a lot of problems with communities not understanding Van Accessible Parking.
Both in garages and even outdoors, and not doing it correctly. And we would be happy to pursue a I mean, any small number of those, especially there was a good case somewhere where we could proceed to sort of make the point that there is an obligation to do this.
Wonderful. If someone like myself does not have Web site or computer, I''m allergic to computers and I rely on the phone. A year ago I called project access and I was told to write a letter to the New Jersey ADA coordinator for the State, which I did precisely a year ago, short of a year ago. And I have received no answer. My assisted living I volunteer for wrote a few months later and has yet to get an answer. So we keep hitting these brick walls.
Well, why don''t you do you mind sending us some of that information.
Yes. I sent a shoebox full of photos and paperwork to you but I''m told by salary Conway that perhaps they were zapped in the microwave for security.
If you send us, I''m sorry to say this, any mails if you get you remember the anthrax issues from a couple of years ago.
All the mail that we get, believe it or not, you wonder how mail works in Washington, no matter where you accepted it to us, it is sent from here to Ohio where it is zapped, then they sent it to us. If they are photos or anything of that nature, they are often melted.
Yes. How could one get that information to you?
A simple letter would do and then we can work with if it is a case that we can pursue, what we do is use things like FedEx and other entities like that. We can foot the bill for that if we are actually doing the case so you do not have to.
To the Department of Justice, your name and address.
Thank you very much.
Okay. Thank you.
Good. My question is project-specific access has, as John said, hit a lot of cities. We are wondering if the DOJ is going back to those cities to see if Compliance Efforts are being correctly implemented and whether there are any consequences for not living up to the agreements.
That is a very good question. Yes, we are. We go back each year to these towns. We have very elaborate the settlement agreements are really very specific, they are fixing certain restrooms and we go back and make sure that the changes are being done. What we found originally when we first started doing this was, unfortunately, and I suppose not surprisingly, a number of these towns hired contractors and they did not do it right in terms of making the fixes. We made them go back and do the fixes over again so that they are done correctly. Our goal really with this isn''t to get compensatory damages, or to try and get sieve penalties or any of those kinds of things. But we are going to ensure that they make the changes that they said they were going to do so that their facilities become accessible. I think we have learned a little bit from the first couple rounds of PCA, and we have been working with some of the towns and told them some of the pitfalls that other towns have had in terms of understanding that the ADA standards apply, that a lot of those, you know, measurements are there for very specific reasons. And if they do not get them right, they are creating safety hazards. And so we will continue to follow up with that. I should point out to you this is very resource intensive for us. One of the reasons that we do a lot fewer of the complaints that we used to do is because we are spending a lot of time going back to these cities and making sure they are doing it correctly. I think it is important to get that, that message across.
Yes. This question concerns ADA coordinators for Title 2 and Title 3 Entities.
Those are required to identify and publicize that information. We have found that that information is not readily available and often contacting those Title 2 or Title 3 Entities, they are not able to identify who is the ADA Coordinator for the Public to get in touch with that Individual. Do you have any suggestions on how to improve Compliance with that particular requirement for the Public to be able to Access those ADA coordinators?
You know, it is interesting. I suppose we do not have that problem. Because when we show up they know we are coming, and if they did not have one. Or what I think is happening is they may have had one at one point. The person shifts jobs, or someone leaves and they don''t appoint someone to follow up. It really, to us it is a procedural, basic kind of thing. Although in our experience it is very important to have and hopefully a high enough level person who is the ADA coordinator so that the thing get done. I mean, it is always hard to get things done in bureaucracies and one reason we have this requirement is there will be someone who thinks about the ADA implications of, you know, simple policy changes that may be made that someone is not thinking about. The impact on a person with Disabilities. I guess my suggestion, it seems to me that the simplest kind of thing that to either have that person available or, you know, you are, you write to the mayor or to someone and say have it there, or maybe write to us. Maybe it is a thing that we can do through the mediation program a little bit. We are always looking for things that we can do in terms of mediation that, that work with State and Local Governments; mediation is hard, much harder with Local Governments than it is with Title 3 Entities. But if you cannot get things done that way, maybe a letter to us that we put through the mediation program will put some light on that. And we have we have some, you know, over at our disposal, over 400 mediators around the country. And so it is a lot easier for us to use that mechanism than the smaller staff that we have here.
Just for clarification, and you can clarify if I''m incorrect. I think that the caller was asking or in her comments citing both ADA coordinators for Titles 2 and 3 but that really only applies to Title 2. Title 3 does not have the same Language or Administrative Requirements as Title 2. When people we hear this a lot, people kind of want to make them one and the same, they are not. We need people to understand there are different Obligations for Title 2. Title 3 does not require an ADA coordinator.
If you wondered why that is, people out there listening wondering why that is, it really was a difference between looking at what the obligations of a State and Local Government should be as opposed to a business, and, and whether this kind of procedural obligation should be placed on American business. And, and I think the view of any number of administrations has been to try and get businesses to do substantive things, but also understand that State and Local Governments have a lot of bureaucracies and getting them to make changes requires someone like a ADA Coordinator.
Yes. This is the confusion. Thank you. I think oftentimes we do not know the history, quote-unquote, behind some of those things and people wonder why is one treated differently than the other.
There are many areas like that were requirements are different for and often more stringent for Local and State Governments than they are for businesses.
Great. I''m going to give you another question that came to me through the Internet. I have a situation of a recreation center. And I think this could apply anywhere. I do not think it necessarily makes a difference that it is in a recreation center or what it is. But it has an electric rotating door that they say is the handicap entrance. Yes, quote-unquote, handicapped entrance. There are other doors but they all exceed the 15 pounds of pressure or opening force. The director says of the facility has indicated that the electric rotating door is all they are required to have by law. The doors are sensor activated and according to the person sending in this information there is little room between the doors. I think it is more the issue of can a revolving door whether electric or otherwise ever be seen as an accessible entrance.
Okay. You are going to hate this answer. It is one of my favorite answers, and I will admit to my answer is: It depends.
You knew, Robin that I was going to say that. I have often been accused that when I am dead, they will put that on my tombstone. It is often an appropriate ADA response because it will depend upon a lot of things. There may be electric doors, although rotating doors often are not going to be accessible. You can have doors of that nature that provide full accessibility for and keep in mind we are not just talking about wheelchair users here, you might be talking about people with people with walkers, people with slow gaits, people with service animals, people with vision impairments, have a number of and having rotating door that is going to meet the needs of all of those people is might be difficult. And in most if it is rotary, unless the doors are incredibly wide, it is not going to provide access for most People with Disabilities, in which case the obligation on them would be to have an accessible entrance that is usable by People with Disabilities. And it may be that they have to change you know, changing the, the poundage on a door is not a very difficult thing to do, so as long as the door is wide enough and there is enough space in between, one of the issues that we found recently and even if the department were going into because of security concerns a number of very different kinds of door mechanism and door operations. And we have been spending a lot of time making sure that some of these new secure features don''t exclude People with Disabilities.
Yeah. We there are a huge problem. So in this particular situation the person may want to challenge this statement or at least the finding by the Individual is that that is all they are required to have.
And, and the question to me is does it does it work for People with Disabilities.
Right. They indicate there is little room between doors, which could mean that maneuverability is an issue for them.
And that could be especially an issue for people with motorized chairs or scooters where the wheelbase is different, or for people with service animals.
They could get caught in there.
Definitely. Another option might be to put an electric door opener on those doors if they cannot change the poundage depending on the type of door, if it is metal, glass or other which can be problematic.
We have found that is a very low cost kind of solution and even in our experience here in some of the Federal Buildings proven to it has not been a problem, a maintenance, mechanical, you know, problem either. It is often a very good solution to have those kinds of push plates available.
Yes. I think the technology has changed and there are more reliable products to choose from. Back to Ben to ask for another question from the general audience.
Sure. There are still 13 left.
We knew there would be.
Hi. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to ask this question today. I also want to thank John. I really learned a lot from the things that you had to share, John.
The question that that we have in Central Florida in our Center is we have some Individuals who work for us who are deaf. And we had one sign up for a class at a Local Community College''s Business and Industry Division where they have classes for the general public, and anyone actually who wants to sign up. And when this person asked for an accommodation specifically the interpreter.
The College told her that it was the Employer, IE us, our responsibility to find and pay for an interpreter her to take this class. So the question really, that is the situation. The question really is: Is that true? And if not, how would we proceed with the Business and Industry Division of the College to get the Accommodation for this Individual?
Yes. It is not true. I mean, if this is I''m not sure if this if it is a Title 2. I assume it is a community covered by Title 2. It does not really matter whether the college is a Private Entity covered by Title 3, which would be covered as a Public Accommodation, as in the Business of doing Education, or if it is a Public Entity, Community-based, Local or even State based. They have an obligation to provide Effective Communication to students, no matter where those students come from. And they have an Obligation to provide Sign Language Interpreters if that is what is needed to Provide Effective Communication. And in most college settings that would it would be what would be required. The only limitations on that obligation would really be an undue burden, but if especially if we are talking most Universities or Community Colleges that that really isn''t don''t usually work. There are usually resources available for them. I Would I you know, all you could do is you can go to our Web site. We have a lot of indications of this kind of issue. The Department of Education has done a lot of work on this issue. And if you cannot proceed, I would proceed with the Complaint either with the Department of Education or with us.
I mean, this is an issue that I think I had hoped that we had put to bed a while ago. I mean, it is a pretty basic requirement. A lot of our initial cases dealt with this, this kind of issue.
Okay. So Now by the way Would this actually be a written Complaint to the Department of Education or to the Department of Justice?
That is correct.
I know that the DOJ has a Regional Office in Atlanta, which is our Region. Is the Department of Education also have a Regional Office.
They have one in Atlanta, yes.
Thank you very much.
You can actually also does an online Complaint Department of Education has an online Complaint Process. If you go to the Department of Education''s Web site, which is www.ed.gov, G-O-V, you will be able to find under their offices of civil rights, there is an online. You can submit it and it goes directly to the office that serves you.
That is something that I have learned today. That is fascinating. Thank you.
They are a little ahead of us. I''m chagrinned. In the process of filling it out, you are asked what State you are from and it direct it is appropriately to the person in that office.
Wonderful, thank you.
Not a problem. John, another note on that, we get a lot of calls, I do not know this situation was sent to us on e-mail too, I''m glad that he got on to ask it personally, but a lot of times we see when Entities, Government Entities or other Entities who see it that it is a Employer sending an Employee to these courses. And such, that they interpret or at least have interpreted this as a Title 1 issue and Responsibility for Employers. You know, we get a lot of calls from Private Courses and Employers sending Joe Employee to an Accounting Course or to whatever type of a course. And the Entity, even though they are covered under Title three of the ADA, as a Site of Education or Place of Education, will often, you know, and indicate their responsibilities and say, well, you know, it is the Employer who has the Obligation because you are a Employee.
Right. And in some cases, there may be an Obligation on the Employer, if it is a required course, for to come to work, then if it is training that is required by the Employer, the Employer might have a communication ant obligation to provide interpretive services but it does not take away the obligation of the school to provide the interpreter.
The employer needs to be in those situations having a dialogue with entity and looking at whatever contract actual relationships they might have.
It would depend, if they have it. In most situations, if it is just an Employee who wanted to take a course to better themselves, if it is not required for the job, the Employer is not going to have an Obligation to provide. That if it is employer-provided training, then, then I think that the employer has that Obligation. And in some of those situations could work out a sharing Obligation, for example, so that the cost of the interpreter or other services that that might be provided, you know, it might be real time captioning that is used as opposed to an interpreter. There are a lot of the obligation is to have effective communication for the Person with the Disability.
Basically, there could be duel responsibility but the Title 3 entity is always going to have their own Obligations.
They will have it no matter what, correct.
There is an interplay-taking place.
You raised a question, can I ask a follow-up.
Are you still on? Go ahead.
Sorry. If the employee does it make a difference if, if it is not a required course, but the employer is paying for the course, does that have any impact?
Hmmm, it puts you in a different; you might be viewed as having some Obligation in that sense. I can tell you for our own employees who are deaf, when we send them to courses that we pay for, we would view ourselves as having an obligation to provide interpretive services. But we have sort of taking that on voluntarily here. I do not think we have ever said you usually have to have some tie to the employment itself, if it is a enrichment program, there is probably less you know, you are going to weigh the factors. The fact that you are paying for it, though, I think puts you in the position of being less able to say, well, no, it is not our Obligation. You may have Joint Obligation in that requirement, in that situation.
So if the Title 3 or Title 2 entity providing the training fails to provide the accommodation refuses to provide, the employer still has to look to see if they have Obligation themselves.
They may have the obligation.
We do not want to miss the fact even if it is Employer-required, the Employer still has an Obligation.
They have an Obligation. The ADA in many ways is written oftentimes to give multiple responsibilities to entities. And in fact what we often try to in our lawsuits if we have a lawsuit on an issue it is to bring the parties together to say, look, you all have an Obligation, you all figure out how you are going to pay it jointly but the Person with the Disability cannot be the person who loses out in that, in the people pointing fingers at one another.
Yeah. Great. Moving on, next question please.
My question to John is I''m a, I''m a chair of the commission on Disability in our Local Town here in Western Massachusetts. And our question is, like most small towns, we have on street parking. The question arises that we have 287 on Street parking spaces and none of them are accessible. Now the town did go and designate some of them as HP, but all they did was put up a sign. This is no access aisle, no curb cuts or nothing like that, and it is dangerous for people who have to go out in traffic, down the street to get to the curb cut. The question has been raised, I have brought it to the mayor''s attention, and they redid the streetscape in downtown in 2001 and put in new parking meters, curbs and everything like that. What Obligation do they have under Title 2 to comply with the on Street parking and providing Access for People with Disabilities?
I will tell you were we are. I''m glad that you raised this because it is becoming a more common issue, and even here in the District of Columbia we are facing the same issue. The access board is in the process of considering a rule on public rights-of-way that will deal with on street parking. But right now there is no Obligation in Title 2 of the ADA that says that you just have accessible on street parking or even what that is.
What about when they charge anyone for parking. The town keeps the money. Isn''t that a program of the town? That is a program of parking. And you may have a little bit you mean other than taxes; everyone has to pay for parking?
Right. That is an interesting wrinkle on this. I will tell you what the problem that we have is that we have not specified what an access age on street parking space is, and the access board is looking into that for the very issues that you just said, you know, the being able to get out of the car in terms of safety, transfer and not be in, in the line of traffic, having a curb ramp that is close to the accessible parking, if you have meters, have an accessible meter in terms of getting to it and being able to operate the mechanisms. We have not issued standards on any of those things yet. What a lot of towns have been doing though is creating a number of accessible on street parking situations. I think the ideal way to do that is to have sort of parallel parking, but that is not really doable in older towns because the streets are not wide enough. What they do here in the District I can tell you is to make the end spaces the accessible ones. But even in that situation, the person is transferring out into a line of traffic, which is not even, and close to ideal. I can tell you in terms of our enforcement mechanisms, we at this point could not go out and sue someone for failure to have done this in terms of on street parking. Mostly the parking issues we have dealt with have been where there are parking garages, Parking lots, parking facilities and ensuring that the appropriate numbers of spaces are there and the appropriate number of van spaces and the appropriate height of parking garages to the extent they are being done new. But you are really identifying an issue that still needs more regulation before we can tell people exactly what it is that they have to do.
Great. Thank you. This is a it is a huge issue. We get a lot of questions on it.
It is. And it is a changing issue as well. I think the future will be that there you know, there will be a future requirement that there will be on street parking that will have to make certain particulars. I encourage any city, or city Governments or Organizations working with them to try to come up with the any solutions until that time, especially if you are making changes to your street scape to try and, there are some, some States and there are some standards and issues, insets that you can have that will create an area where a person can you know, if you have a big enough street scape a big enough sidewalk you can have a cutout for a period of time so that the spaces are inset so when someone transfers out that they are not in the line of traffic, which is one of the most difficult part.
I believe that the access board and the U.S. Department of Transportation do have some design guidelines. They are not enforceable.
That is right. They are not enforceable. But if you want an example of how you things that you can consider, and I would encourage Local Governments to consider those and do some of those.
Right. It could access that. That information is on their Web site at www.access-board.gov, and go underneath their publications and you will find the documents I''m referring to that were issued. And John would want to reinforce, for sure, they are not enforceable. But they do give some ideas that can be looked at, kind to identify what maybe accessible for considerations.
Thank you. This question is about transportation. And I also have another question if we have time. Does the ADA have any specific guidelines for transit, for Para transit concerning cancellation and no choke policies or is it left up to the Individual Transportation Authorities to set the guide to these policies.
Okay. Let me keep in mind that the Federal Transit Administration handles primarily by the Department of Transportation and by the Federal Transit Administration. But, but there are very specific requirements in the Department of Transportation''s regulations about ensuring that Para transit services are comparable to the services that are, are provided to the General Public. And there are policies that the Department of Transportation has about no-show policies, about cancellation, about wait times. There are often features in that have been worked out between the Federal Transit Administration and the Local Provider, State or Local Provider. And so it, it is just not unfettered discretion. I think that if there is a specific issue, I would suggest that you raise it with officials from the Federal Transit Administration. They have officials in Regional Sites, as well as in head quarters. And Michael Winter who is the head of the office of Civil Rights is very expert at these issues and can follow up on any specific issue that might arise.
Okay. My other question has to do with descriptive narration video for persons who are blind or visually impaired. One question is do you, is there any Obligation or do you know if movie theaters actually do show these movies.
Okay. Yes. I will answer that. There, there is no specific Obligation at the moment for movie theaters, either to have captioned movies for deaf people or to have audio description. For people who can who will have an enhanced experience because of that, usually people who are blind or have low vision. The reason for that has to do with some language that was put into the legislative history of the ADA when it was enacted. And the deaf community has been very active in working with the, both by lawsuits and by jawboning to work with movie theaters to provide captioning, and, and I believe some of the theaters have gone to having some forms of audio description for movies. I think the technology is beginning to be there. The movie industry has fought this a little bit. And if you wonder why, other than it is just another thing and it is another cost, they are in the process of determining whether they are going to become digital, in which case they will have to replace every projector they have in every theater and so the theater owners are worried about that, and worried about going to a technology that they will have to replace if and when they become totally digital. And so it is sort of tied up with technology changes that are there. But there is no requirements per say. But a number of, I know theaters in the Los Angeles area, theaters in the Washington area that are providing both captioning and audio description. And I can tell you that we would not put out for example, the video that we are going to be putting out on our Web site will have both, we would view that as an Obligation that a Federal Agency has if they are doing video to have it both captioned and audio described.
One more thing, talk about making descriptive movies in DVD format, their point is they have to add another audio track but it is going to be more costly, my argument is why can''t it just be another option in the second languages options? Why can''t they do that?
Yeah. And I do not think this it is as costly as I think technology is changing this industry greatly, and making it easier. The problem that they face is certainly for a DVD, that should not be a problem once the, the problem is the in-house theatrical presentations, right now they do not want to in presentations right now they do not want to invest a lot of money into changes if they think they have to reinvest the money if they go to a digital format. If they go to a digital format they will be many more things to make audio descriptions and captioning an easy thing.
Thank you very much. We have an issue in town with a local theater company when they have movies that are shown on CBS, nationwide that have the second audio switch with the descriptions, they turn it off and do not give that option to the people. We are trying to work with them.
And that may be a different issue in terms of that may be a more actionable ADA issue than not than if it wasn''t there as counter intuitive as that sounds. But, you know, there is a ADA Obligation that I suppose could be stretched to cover this, which is you have to maintain accessible feature, even if that accessible feature was not required to begin with. If you have it, it certainly isn''t it should be something that they it should work out. I think their fear; at least their fear with captioning for deaf persons has been that it wills that American audiences will turn away from movies that are captioned. But I do not know if that is real or not. But that is what they say their problem with it is.
If they can have it as a on or off feature where it is a choice.
Then that is, It would work. It becomes much easier.
Thank you. We are going to move on here. Next topic. Next question.
Thank you for the opportunity. We have several questions, and hopefully you can address both of them. One is about the 2% cross slope research in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and development from 2001 States that a 4% cross slope is feasible for short distances. So our question is, in Local Jurisdictions used published research to allow for construction tolerances up to a 4% cross slope for a short distance.
Okay. Why don''t you give me the other one? Actually, why don''t we we will talk about that? Cross slopes is one of those things you know, having a one in 50 is very difficult to, to even provide and maintain. There are a lot of People with Disabilities who have difficulty with cross slopes. And so it is an issue that we spend a lot of time looking at. It is if you look at the kind of enforcement actions that we take, and what we proceed, you will see that we don''t spend a lot of time dealing with the cross-slope issue because of construction tolerances issues, and because of water pooling, with even a little variation of that. And so to be very honest, we are quite tolerant of looking at that issue. One of the issues we will look at in our ANPRM is something that I guess the question you are really asking me is would 4% cross-slope for a short distance be an equivalent facilitation and construction tolerance and it might be, it would be something certainly that we would like at very carefully.
Thank you. Our city building official here is nodding his head.
You know it is an issue we care a lot about. We know how difficult having something with only a 2% cross-slope and maintaining that, especially when you are dealing with older cities or uneven terrains, it becomes very difficult. And we are aware of the problem that that creates.
Thank you. Another question that we have is regarding service animals.
Um-hum. I''m amazed we have been talking for I don''t know how long and this is the first service animal question. I always get them much sooner than this.
And the question is, I guess for me as an ADA coordinator, I know that it is not an appropriate to ask a lot of questions about the use of a service animal. However I''m beginning to wonder if there are cases in which people perceive an animal that is a companion, but is not performing a service related to a Disability, if are aware of some clear definitions that I use to.
Okay. Here is the difficulty with clear definitions is hard. Our under the ADA, under Title 2 and 3 of the ADA which I''m talking about, and I will talk about a little of the D.O.T.''s approach under the air care access act which is different and Housing and Urban Development (HUD)''s approach under the fair housing act which is different, but under the ADA we certainly don''t allow you to ask if someone is a Person with a Disability, if they have an animal with them. You can ask is it a service animal? And we have allowed in circumstances, if you can to ask what services are being provided. In our view, as long as the animal is trained to provide the service, and provides a service, then it is a service animal and should be allowed to wherever a service animal should be allowed in a public accommodation. However their comfort animals, for example, are in our view, is there is not usually in those situations the animal providing a service. And so under in our view, under Title 2 and 3, those animals are not given the protection that service animals are given under the ADA. Actually, this approach is a, our approach has been criticized by some groups of People with Disabilities, although a lot of the blind groups and the canines companions for independence and others are very much interested in having us follow this line, and even maybe take a harder line because of the backlash that is occurring against the use of service animals by non-traditional users, people who are deaf, in wheel chafers or people with balance problems because other people are trying to pass their pets off as service animals in order to have them accompany them. And so we are very careful about that. Keep in mind that HUD under the fair Housing Act allows companion animals to be covered and so they have to be allowed in housing and under certain circumstances DOT allows companion animals under the Air Care Access Air Carrier Access Act to be and but in DOT they require someone to answer questions in advance about the nature of the Disability and the nature of the companion animal. We do not do that under the ADA. This is another issue that we get a lot of questions about especially for what might be considered non-traditional persons with Disabilities but we spend a lot of time our trying to educate Local Governments and Businesses that there are a number of People with Disabilities who now rely on service animals to open doors, fetch things, provide stability while someone''s mobile around town and those are legitimate uses of service animals, even for People with Epilepsy or who have seizure alert animals and so it is a difficult issue. Do we have guidance on our Web site about it? I guess the bottom line there is if it is a pet or companion animal they are not protected by the ADA.
A couple of quick question. Number 1 is training, that you mentioned earlier, is that self-trained animals, meaning that the owners trained.
It can include self-trained in most cases it does not. When we wrote this, which was in the 1990s, we weren''t we didn''t want to say that it had to be done by some Organization. Because there are no Standards for Organizations. There are no State Certification Standards that are uniform or applied in many States. And so a person can train the animal. In our view, the importance is the animal trained? Is the animal behaving appropriately in the circumstances, because clearly if an animal is not behaving appropriately, for example in the super market it takes a steak of a counter or barks and disturbs people in a live performance in a theater, these are instances where we would say it is appropriate for the enterprise to say to the person who is using the animal, please, the service animal cannot come back, you cannot come back, but the service animal cannot come back because it has not proven to be able to participate without a fundamental A, altering the program.
We have a question regarding buildings on College University Campus Situations where buildings are extremely old on some campuses do not apply with respect to structures and access points. What does the ADA says there are situations like laboratories that may be up on high-level floors that student cannot access, there is no elevator, and there is no ramp. What is the thinking on how these situations should be handled?
Okay. That is a great question. And let us start with the older, difficult buildings, classrooms, laboratory, as well as dormitories. The obligation that the ADA would place on the university here is to provide Persons with Disabilities Equal Opportunity with other students. It may be that the way you do that, because of cost issues, as well as safety issues, is that not every dorm is going to be accessible. We would encourage as many dorms as being as accessible as possible, because the dorms are not only where the student, him or her, has housing but also they visit their friends. The more situations that you have that are limited for, say, wheel-chair-using students, it denigrates their college experience. But that said, especially with most Colleges and Universities, building new buildings and altering them over time, it is certainly a way of dealing with that issue. The laboratory issue is a more difficult one though, because if the only place that you have chemistry 101 is on the fourth floor of a walk-up building and you have a wheel-chair using student, you are going to have to find a way to make that classroom accessible, either by moving the chemistry lab to the first floor or somehow creating an accessible environment. And that becomes maybe more difficult for a University, but the Obligation is, you know, a student should be able to take any of the courses that are available to any of the students. In most situations can you do that by moving classes around? In some situations, it becomes more difficult. The chemistry lab is probably and the physics lab, those and you may have to create a mini physics lab or, or make fiscal changes to make the environment accessible. I would hope that over time, especially in the 15 years since the ADA has been there, and keep in mind 504, which applies to Colleges and Universities, has been there since ''77, that over, over time this problem will lessen as we get more and more new facilities. And the other and the alternative to that are ensure that as you are building new facilities that they are in fact accessible. Because that is your key to making it easy.
Hi, my name is Loretta Woodruff with parking, we would like to know if we do not have any more open parking remaining and we get a request for a ADA student, what process should be used to take backspaces from a able-bodied student; and is this legal to discriminate against a able-bodied student in this case?
Okay. It is always it is always very difficult when you have a closed set and you but I can tell you that the ADA is written differently than some of the other Civil Rights Laws, it does not provide Equal Protections for Disabled People and Non-Disabled People and so it would not be a violation of the ADA to take away a parking space from a able-bodied student, because you have requirements to provide them for Disabled students. That said, I would hope that you would it would not come to that, there would be a way to deal with this. I think you should just take a look at the criteria on how students are given parking on your campus, and apply that across the board. It may be that, unless you have a rule that says all Disabled Students get parking, if you have for example, if you had a rule that it is based on Seniors get first choices and Juniors, second choice. Then this might not be an Obligation to provide that parking for the for the wheelchair user. I think the important thing is to have criteria in place that are neutral, that make sense to you as a University and how you apply them. You know, you have a limited number of spaces. And if you are talking about Howard, I know Howard, I know what you face. It is a you know, every student is not going to have access to parking. And so just have legitimate criteria that you follow.
You will end up with someone who is not happy one way or the other. And I in that regard, you just have to follow what you think is the right set of procedures that are fair for the whole student body.
I think that is a reality that not everyone is going to ever be happy, no matter what.
That is true. And keep in mind that the ADA is an Equal Opportunity Statute, it is not a we will give things to Disabled Students. It is a little different than the lab situation where everyone has to have access to that. Not every student has a parking space. You have a Scarce Resource and you decide how do you that and do you it by criteria relating to the University.
Okay. We are winding down, but let us take another question.
One of our guests will ask. We want to follow up; we have another service animal question. At least more specific. And this is based on an actual complaint we have received. We have a woman who owned a 57-pound dog and is disabled. The woman''s physician provided us with a medical statement, and we spoke with the physician and he states that the woman has to have, has very fragile psychiatric condition, needs the dog with her at all times to remain focused and calm. The woman is required to attend an interview at the County office, which we supervise at least once per year to qualify for medical coverage under a Federally Funded Program. There is no specific restriction against dogs being allowed in a County Building. The woman has been told that she cannot have the dog accompany her to her interview at the County Building. They do not consider it is a service dog. The prosecutor says that service dogs are allowed in the building and that the woman''s dog must receive training costing approximately $1500, which she cannot afford. The prosecutor states that the woman must provide certification that the dog completed training before the dog can accompany her to her interview. The prosecutor''s concerned with County Liability if the dog bites someone within a county building, and there is no evidence that the dog has bitten anyone. The dog will not provide a home interview as an accommodation. I guess is this violation of the ADA.
Well, the last part is very interesting. Of course, this is you no, this is one of those things, you know how things can seems to get out of hand. It may be see, the initial question that we would look at, if this is was a case in front of our office, is a service animal. Has this animal been trained to provide a service for this person? It sounds to me, although keep in mind that you know it is just a very rude men teary information here, it sounds to me like this is not a service animal under our definition of a service animal in terms of someone that provides a service. Keeping someone calm, I don''t think we have ever said is a service that is provided, an animal is not trained to do that. And so I think in that regard, I it sounds like there is not an obligation to allow the woman with a service animal into the interview. However it strikes me that if this is a woman who is a Person with a Disability, which is sounds like she might be, and she needs to have this interview to have services, that one of the requirements on the service provider may be, since she cannot get to that office because of the requirements of that office, or because of other requirements, that they may need to provide that interview at her home or at a neutral site.
Fine. The other follow up is it gets even worse because the dog has not been trained but we were told by her social worker that the dog does provide her with some balance because she has a cane.
And they worked with it out with where she works with the dog and if she goes upstairs, the dog helps her with her balance.
So that may be you know, as you get more towards that kind of a situation, that is a traditional thing that some service animals do for People with Stability Issues. And animals can be trained to do that. You don''t really have to have a certification that the animal is trained, I mean, because we do allow for self-training of animals. And it may be in that regard, it is not because the animal is a companion, but because it is providing a service of allowing her mobility. But this strikes me as, especially if this is in an interview for someone to keep social services, that there is sure this has been allowed to it sounds like it has spun out of control and saner heads should get together and find a way for this interview to take place, so they can ensure that she is receiving the appropriate services for her Disability or whatever it is that services here.
That is what we are trying to do and negotiate the prosecutor, the only other thing we came up with, and I do not want to take all of your time. We talked to her and she would be willing to muzzle the dog when they came in which would take away the liability issue.
And there is probably not real well, I mean unless there is evidence of that in the past, especially if we are talking are we just talking about a regular old office building, it not a hospital, not a -
Yes. So it becomes it seems to me that this is one of those situations a should be able to be worked out. Even by going to a neutral site. If they did not want to go to the person''s home. They felt that was but going but home delivery of services is an appropriate mechanism for providing a service under the ADA.
Okay. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Unfortunately, our time is winding down here and John could probably keep you going and going and going here until.
These have been fabulous questions, quite a range of interesting issues.
And complex once that are you know, I think that as we are now celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the ADA this year, we realize that the questions no longer are as general. They are very specific. They are real circumstances and real situations that people are grabbling with out there.
I can tell you that I''m curious about new construction in New Jersey now. Whoever piqued my interest on that, we should not be at that point any longer.
I agree. Well, thank you very much. We are down towards the end of our hour. I know that there is people who did not get their questions responded to today. And I''m sure that which you are, your questions are important to you, and that makes them important to us. So I would remember a couple of strategies, if you still have remaining questions. One, if you have not posed this question, you could contact your Regional Disability Technical Assistance Center or ADA Center at their 800.949.4232 number, both voice and TTY. We do work closely with the Department of Justice as well as the other Federal Agencies to respond to questions. And when we do not necessarily have the response, or it is one of those "it depends." We do confer on a regular basis with the Department of Justice and so can help to get some answers for those questions. And again the U.S. Department of Justice has their own 800 numbers which, John, would you like to give a pitch for that.
Sure its a. Please call us at 1-800-514-0301 for voice calls or 1-800-514-0383 for TTY calls.
And they do have a Web site with a plethora of information, documents, some of them you have heard him refer to, some of the Technical Assistance Documents, the settlement agreements and other kinds of resources on their Web site at www.ada.gov So we would welcome you to continue to explore your questions because, again, I do not ever find that there is a quote unquote dumb question, it is only the one that has never been asked. Please follow up as needed. Just a reminder that we do have the Regional Accommodation Series starting in March. The three sessions, you can find more information out from your regional DBTAK or from our Web site at www.adagreatlakes.org, all one word. And we hope that you got some good information out of the session today. We will have a transcript of today''s session, as well as the audio recording available within five business days on our Web site in our archives section. If you are interested in that information, or to rehear it or to have someone else or take snippets of it, visit that web site and get that information. Thank you everyone, thank you John for your time.
Thank you all.
And have a good day, everybody.