Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the ADA Federal Update, 21st anniversary of the ADA. At this time all participants are in a listen only mode. Later, we will conduct a question and answer session and then instructions will follow at that time. If anyone should require audio assistance during the conference, please press star then zero to reach an operator. I would now like to turn the call over to Robin Jones.
Thank you and welcome everyone to the call today and this session which is celebrating the 21st anniversary of the ADA. This is part of our monthly ADA audio conference series which is sponsored by the ADA National Network which is comprised of the ten regional ADA centers. We''re glad that everyone could join us today and I know that this is often a much anticipated session. I was just going through some of our records and we''ve been holding this program since 1998 and we''ve held this session every year since that time period, and so this marks, you know, another milestone of another year to celebrate and as well as provide people an opportunity to get an update of what''s happening at the federal level. We''re pleased to have two excellent speakers with us today representing both the Department of Justice and the Equal Opportunity Commission to give us some highlights of what''s been happening and what is happening in their agencies. But before they do that, their introductions, I just want to go through some of the logistics so that we all know what''s happening. We do have people joining us today by both telephone as well as streaming audio and also individuals who are using real time captioning via the internet. Individuals on the telephone will be given an opportunity with instructions from our operator to ask questions. Those of you that are using real time captioning, if you would convey your questions to the captioner, she will then or he will then alert us and enter your question to us. And those that are on streaming audio, if you use the interface available to you to submit a question, we''ll make sure that it gets introduced to our presenters. We do find that this session often generates a lot of questions and we hope to get as many questions in as possible today. This session is also being recorded and an archive of it will be available following the session in about five business days, both a written transcript as well as an audio recording at www.ada-audio.org website. So without further ado, I''m going to go ahead and just do a short introduction of our presenters before I turn things over. Now, many of you have been joining us for over the years. Are use to hearing the voice of John Wodatch, who is formerly the chief of the Disability Rights Section in the U.S. Department of Justice? He has retired officially and he has been replaced, I mean never actually replaced but a very qualified person has been named in his division and that is Allison Nichol who is now the Chief of the Disability Rights Section within the Department of Justice. She oversees litigation and regulatory and policy development under the American Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. She also serves on the national part of the national strategy on HIV and AIDS and is a nationally known employment and trial lawyer and lecturer on ADA and HIV and AIDS discrimination issues, trial practice, and strategy. She also is a--in her busy life, an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she teaches disability discrimination law. Our second speaker represents the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is Joyce Walker Jones and she is a senior attorney in the Americans with Disabilities Act and Genetic Information Discrimination--Nondiscrimination Act Policy Division, that''s a mouthful, in the Office of the Legal Counsel at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C. She is involved with an overseas commission, development of commission guidance, conducting training, providing technical assistance to federal government, state agencies, public and private sector employers and employees, human resource managers, and disability rights advocates on Title I of the ADA and Title II of GINA. She was a principal drafter of several ADA guidances and also has been a member of various presidential and interagency ADA taskforces. She''s a graduate of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and Chicago Kent College. She''s a hometown Chicago girl of law in Chicago. And she has been an attorney at the EEOC since 1987. So I think, as you can see by their brief bios, both are very competent and highly qualified to be able to speak to all of us today. So we''re going to go in the order of the fact Allison is going to speak first about Department of Justice who will then turn it over to Joyce to speak about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and then we''ll open it up at the end for questions for everybody. So we will be taking questions all at once at the end and, again, we''ll be providing you some instructions accordingly. So without further ado, I''m going to go ahead and turn it over to Allison. Allison, go ahead.
Thanks very much. First of all, good afternoon to everyone and I just wanted to let folks know who may be in shock that John is now retired. He did put in his 42 years. We said a very nice and fun farewell to him a few weeks ago and he''s spending the last three weeks in Italy. For those of you who don''t know me, I am one of John''s longtime deputy chiefs in the disability rights section. I''ve been doing this work with him for about 15 years. So I may be the new section chief, but I''m certainly not new to the section, and, of course, I was fortunate enough to learn this business from, you know, one of the best guys in it. So I hope that we will--my name will become more familiar to you over time. In terms of the updates that I''m going to give, just to give you a little order to my presentation. I''m going to start with the enforcement update and then probably do a separate piece on Olmsted and then go through a regulatory update and then our technical assistance, things that we''ve done recently. So let me begin the enforcement update. I try to pick a variety of subject areas. So let me start first with transportation and talk about our settlement with the Megabus bus company. I''m not sure where everyone is from or how familiar you might be with the Megabus system but here in Washington, New York, D.C.--I''m sorry, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston, there''s this company called Megabus and it''s really a low cost alternative to the Amtrak to get from cities on the eastern seaboard, primarily back and forth to each other, but mostly back and forth to New York, by low cost, and the tickets can be as cheap as 20 dollars, so it''s become a very popular mode of transportation between here and New York. This case was started by complaint from a man who got a roundtrip Megabus ticket trying, getting from Baltimore to New York. And he''s a person who uses a wheelchair. The outgoing trip from Baltimore to New York went fine. The bus is accessible. However, on the return trip, despite the fact that he had--he and his wife had reserved a bus that was accessible to him as a wheelchair user, they didn''t send one. And there was no way to ameliorate that situation in time for them to get back to Baltimore in a timely fashion. And so they ended up putting us--him, in his wheelchair on the bus without using a ramp, which as you know, is incredibly dangerous and a very dicey undertaking, although he was not injured. They also made him transfer into a seat as opposed to securing him in his wheelchair, which is, again, not just a violation but can be both dangerous and a very dicey event as well. So we undertook an investigation and entered into a settlement with them. The settlement terms, the first of which, of course, is the Megabus fleet will be a hundred percent accessible. And they had a trouble here--one of the things we found out during the investigation was that the bus stop for the Megabus here in Washington, D.C., was not sufficiently accessible for wheelchair users to be able to board and get off the bus easily so we''ve made them make some changes to the location of that to make it more accessible. They are paying a civil penalty in the amount of 55,000 dollars. And for those of you who don''t know, that''s money paid to the federal government, sort of as a fine, and also, paying compensatory damages to the complainant in the amount of 12,500 dollars. So moving from transportation to education, let me tell you now about our agreement with the Alexandria Country Day School. This is a case that was started by complaint by the parents of a girl who was then six years old who has Type 1 diabetes. And the school denied their daughter admission to the school because she had Type 1 diabetes and they did not want to have to be responsible for or they feel they were legally responsible for helping to test and monitor her blood glucose levels, or administer insulin. With that we entered into agreement with them in which they will no longer turn away children who--on the basis that they have Type 1 diabetes and they will provide training to their personnel who maybe with--you know, charge of the responsibility for looking after children with type 1 diabetes which will include a general diabetes training in how to recognize symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, ways to get help quickly for those 2 conditions, and how to assist these children in any other way that they need in order to make sure that they can safely be in school. The next agreement that I''m gonna talk about is a very large agreement that you may have read about this in the newspaper. It got a lot of press in part because the damage award is up to 16 million dollars and this is our very large settlement with Wells Fargo which has banks in a whole series of different kinds of financial institutions. And this came about initially because we got 15 or 16 complaints from all of over the country. Basically alleging the same thing against Wells Fargo and that is that they were not accepting relay calls from people who are deaf. And instead of accepting them, they were telling the relay operators to have the individuals who were deaf call their TTY number and then when then when they would call the TTY number, nobody would answer it. So it was a complete lack of understanding about accepting relay calls and their obligations for their clients who are deaf or hard of hearing. As we continue to investigate, we found some other things that Wells Fargo was doing that were problematic with respect to people with disabilities like refusing to provide auxiliary aids and services for complex financial transactions, refusing to provide things in alternate format, they had some very removable architectural barriers in some of their financial institutions, their ATMs weren''t necessarily compliant. So it''s a very comprehensive agreement. It reaches beyond the issue that was presented for people who are deaf and hard of hearing and goes into kind of a range of disabilities. I think that''s an important thing to note. And in addition to all of the policy changes that will be necessary in order to make sure that all of the people with disabilities who are customers are dealt with effectively they have set up a fund of up to 16 million dollars. So there''s a whole process whereby individuals who were harmed by the policies of Wells Fargo can file complaints to the Department of Justice and an assessment will be made of those complaints and then a determination as to whether or not they''re deserving of some of the claimant funds. In addition to that, Wells Fargo voluntarily decided they wanted to give a million dollars to 3 organizations that support people--supports specifically veterans with disabilities. And they have now done that. So the claims process is ongoing. One of the things we''re trying to do is get the word out to as many folks as possible. We''re advertising in newspapers using, you know, any other kind of message movement that we can to reach out to people who may have been harmed by these practices to get them to file a claim with us. Moving back a little bit now into the education sector, this is a case called CC versus Cyber School District which occurred in the in the Central District of California. And this is representative of what we''re seeing is a little bit of a trend in both elementary and middle school that is tied I think in part to the rising rates of autism and autism spectrum disorder that we''re seeing. This is a situation we were not directly involved in this lawsuit. We did not bring this lawsuit ourselves. Rather, private party brought it against the school district and then the Justice Department came in and filed whats called a statement of interest which is sort of a legal analysis to help the court decide whether or not a violation of the law took place. This case involved a 7-year old with autism spectrum disorder who was almost completely non-verbal and he acquired a service dog that was incredibly helpful to him and in fact the 1st word he said as a verbal kid for the first time at 7 was the name of his dog. So, the school was completely resistant with the notion that this 7-year old could bring the dog to the classroom with him. And so that''s really what the lawsuit was about. And our view of course was that we feel reasonable modifications of policies meant that the school had to allow this child with autism spectrum disorder to in fact keep this service animal in school with him and that was the basis of our statement of interest and that while the case is ongoing, at least the preliminary view of the judge I think is very positively disposed toward, in fact, the dog being allowed to stay with this kid at school. And we''re seeing--I think an increasing number of these and that will probably continue. Somewhat education related is the case brought by the National Federation for the Blind against the Law School Admissions Council. For those who don''t know what the Law School Admissions Council is, they do 2 things. They administer the Law School Admission''s Test which is a test you have to take in order to get into law school. But the other thing they do is they are the primary conduit for kids now to bundle their applications to law schools. So you put all your stuff together, you send it to the Law School Admission''s Council and they send it along with your LSAT score out to the law schools. That''s the process that was at issue in the National Federation of the Blind lawsuit. Because of that process whereby, LSAC has you give them all your documents and then send them out to the law schools was completely inaccessible to people who are blind, and have low vision, and so they brought suit against LSAC. In the meantime, NFB filed with us a series of individual complaints against individual law schools. Essentially saying, look, these law schools should not be using the LSAC website for their students or they should not be accepting these applications from LSAC. Because what happens is, if you''re a blind kid and you wanna apply for instance to the John Marshall Law School, and you can''t use this process, you have to send in a hard copy and you are immediately identified as a person with a disability. So, we were--although we didn''t--we weren''t directly involved in the lawsuit, this is a little tricky. We were involved in the settlement and LSAC has promised now to make that within the year--to make that process completely accessible and we entered into actually a separate settlement with the John Marshall Law School and we''re working on others where they are agreeing to refrain from using the--accepting applications from LSAC until and unless it is fully accessible. Moving now to Olmstead, and of course you know we have a huge push on Olmstead, and--and let me--let me start by one, you know sort of inserting one technical assistant piece here. We now have, you know, our website, its ada.gov. We now have a separate page just for Olmstead matters. So if you have a particular interest in the Olmstead work that we''re doing, it is now all collected on a single page. So if you go to ada.gov, the very first link under what''s new, you''ll see the Olmstead page. And it lists all of the statements of interest that we filed, all of the amecius briefs we''ve filed and settlements we''ve had, cases that where that weve brought ourselves, that''s all cataloged in that one place. To give you just one of our most recent examples over Olmstead work and of course there are many, is our settlement with the State of Delaware. And that agreement dealt with Delaware''s state operated psychiatric hospitals and the agreement provides relief for more than 3,000 individuals who are unnecessarily institutionalized in Delaware''s--in those psychiatric hospitals and people who are at risk of becoming institutionalized in those hospitals because of the lack of community support. And as you might imagine these Olmstead agreements are very thorough and very complicated because they deal with each state''s system for doing things on an individualized basis. But, just to give you a sense of the kind of things that we''ll be changing in Delaware that will lead to deinstitutionalization and prevent further institutionalization, they are--the State of Delaware is increasing its case maximum support, its crisis walk in centers, its mobile crisis teams, its crisis stabilization services, its peer and crisis apartments, the statewide crisis hotline. There will be 4 intensive case management teams each serving approximately 800 people. There will be targeted case management. They''ll have 25 case managers serving approximately 875 people. There will be discharge planning supported employment within the community, rehabilitative services, family and peer support. So there''s a very comprehensive change that needs to be undertaken once you begin to deinstitutionalize people. In other words it''s more than just moving them to another setting, it''s making sure that when they''re in that setting rehabilitative services and methods of thriving are available to them in that new setting. [ Pause ] So let me move from the enforcement side now to the regulatory side. As you know we published four announced--four AMPRMs last July. The comment period for those closed in January of this year. On the web accessibility AMPRM we have received 440 public comments, on the movie captioning AMPRM we have received 1,171, for the next generation 911 AMPRM we have received 146 comments, and for the accessible equipment and furniture which of course includes medical equipment we have received 420 public comments and we now are reviewing those comments and as you know during the comment period although I can--this is really more for the Q and A period can certainly listen to any concerns or thoughts people have about those but because we''re in the middle of the rule making process I can''t really engage in a dialogue about those. But I at least wanted to let people know that the comment period has closed and that we got--did get comments on everything and that we''re now reviewing those. The other thing that the justice department is responsible for is ensuring that the federal government is complying with section 508 of the rehabilitation act which is the part of the rehabilitation act that deals with the procurement and deployment and use of electronic technologies and to make sure that those are accessible to everyone both in terms of buying them and using them within the federal government but also making sure that people who are trying to have communication with the federal government from the outside for instance via our websites are able to do that and we are--we here are responsible for compiling a report on a yearly basis that then is eventually sent to the president and to the congress detailing the extent to which the federal government either is or isn''t in compliance with 508 including our own agency, the department of justice. So this--this year''s survey closed on May 20th and 89 agencies and more than 450 individuals from those agencies were involved in the surveying. The data is transmitted to us now electronically so it''s very easy for the federal agencies to report the data to us. That just closed in May so it takes a good deal of time to then analyze the data and that data once it''s analyzed is again will be used as a basis for our report to the president and to the congress on the state of 508 compliance within the federal government, so you''ll have to look for that in the future. We have two new technical assistance documents up on our website. One is our new TA document on service animals and the second is--TAPs on ticketing. So those are currently available on the website. The other--the last thing that I''ll talk about in terms of TA is I''ve told you we have a separate Olmstead page. We just launched also last week a separate page for HIV and AIDS. I think as you heard earlier I am in charge of the justice department responsibilities under the president''s national AIDS strategy. And one of the things that we had heard from advocates for a long time is that there is a lack of pipeline if you will for folks to know how to file a complaint of HIV discrimination with us and I think that''s because unlike folks with some other kinds of disabilities. The HIV community has been sort of--is more involved with sort of the health literacy end of this and less involved with the civil rights aspect of it whereas with other disability organizations I think it''s more balanced between health literacy and civil rights. And so one of the things that this HIV AIDS page allows people to do is it''s a one click system for filing a complaint. You can go on there''s an icon, you click on it and you can file a complaint directly with us and we''re hoping that that bolsters our ability to be able to feather out HIV discrimination which we think is actually under reported and to respond to the concerns of the constituents. I think for me that''s probably a good enough place to sort of stop and then I''ll turn it either back to--should I turn it over to [voice overlap]. Okay, just go ahead and we''ll just go ahead and turn it right now over to--Joyce. Alright thanks Allison this was--good for me too because I got to see what another sister agency is doing. I''m gonna talk similar to--Allison and give you some updates on what''s happening at the EEOC and I''ll start with our most significant accomplishment which many of you already know about which is the issuance, the long awaited issuance of the final rule implementing the ADA amendments act. Then I''m gonna give you an update on some charges we filed under the ADA, an update on charges we''ve received and talk about a few cases and the lessons learned. So as many of you probably know on March 24th EEOC finally issued its final regulations to implement the ADA amendments act which was it became effective January 1, 2009 so--people we were getting a lot calls and questions about when the final rule would be out and as many of you probably know that that takes a very long time. We also put out a notice to propose rule making--to seek comments before we issue the final regulations and we did that in 2009 and we held a series of town hall meetings to solicit comments and I don''t have the figures at hand but we received well--I''m sure high hundreds maybe in thousands of comments from a broad spectrum of people; stakeholders, employers and advocates for people with disabilities from people with disabilities themselves and we catalogued all those. We looked at them all, we debated them and you know ultimately it''s up to our commission to vote on the final regs which they finally did and then it--goes to OMB and--so as I said following that long involved process we did finally issue regulations in March. Those of you who are familiar with the regulations should know they closely track the statute itself so I''m not gonna go through a lot of detail because I assume that many of you have--either have looked at the regs yourselves or a bit to training the reg. You should know that we only revive those portions for regulations the appendix that were affected by the amendment. And basically the regulation set forth a list of principles to guide the determination of whether or not a person has a disability. For example the principal provide an impairment need not prevent or surely restrict the performance of a major life activity to be considered a disability. As many of you will know that this is really huge because many--most people file in a claim under the ADA that stopped at the door meaning that courts found that they didn''t have a disability therefore they never got to the merits of their complaint. Congress decided that was not the intent of the original ADA at all and so the over arching purpose of the amendment is to make it easier for people to file complaints--complaints of discrimination that the definition of disability--stressed should be construed broadly. So the--the principal also provides that with one exception and that is ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses mitigating measures such as medication on assisted devices like hearing aid must not be considered when determining whether or not someone has a disability. As many of you are aware that was a big hurdle. When EEOC originally issued a regulation in 1991 we said that when you''re just assessing whether or not somebody has a disability you look at the person without regard to mitigating measure, a series of cases decided by the supreme court however overturned that and said no when you''re looking at whether somebody has a disability you look at that person with their assistive devices you look at that person on medication. Congress said no when you''re assessing in essence that EEOC is right when you''re assessing whether or not somebody has a disability you look at that person without mitigating measures except when--if the impairment involves using ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses. Another big change, the ADA amendment, the regulations, the ADA Amendments Act explicitly state that impairments that are episodic such as epilepsy or in remissions such as cancers are disabilities if they would be substantially limiting when active. This is also huge because many people who had conditions such as epilepsy were finding it hard to show that they had a disability if they did not have seizures all the time. Congress said that''s not necessary. A person doesn''t have to have--the effects of the impairment don''t have to be present 24/7 in order for that person to be covered. So that means that a person who has epilepsy even if they only have seizures infrequently or even if they have--don''t have seizures, all are covered. The same with someone with cancer they don''t have to actively have cancer but they have to--if they had cancer and their cancer is in remission and that cancer would be substantially limiting a major life activity when active, that person is covered. The regulations also make it easier as the statute itself to establish "Regarded as" coverage. "Regarded as" coverage should be a significant hurdle. But now it''s easier for individuals to establish because it focuses on how the person was treated rather than what the employer believes about the nature of the person''s impairment. Prior to the Amendments Act the person had to show that the employer believed or perceived them to be substantially limited in a major life activity. Now that''s not necessary. All the person has to show is that they were subjected to an adverse action, not hired, fired, not selected for promotion because of an impairment and that impairment meets their definition regard as as long as it''s not transitory meaning lasting or expected to last 6 months or less and not minor. The other big change to the ADA was that now there is a second list of major life activities and that list is major bodily functions which will make it easier for people with conditions like cancer and HIV, and diabetes and epilepsy to show that they have a disability and they don''t have to resort to sort of task oriented activities, or life function activities such as you know, eating, sleeping, taking care of oneself, concentrating. Before the ADA Amendments Act, that was a list that we had to resort to and even though that list is not finite for some conditions it made it harder to show that the person--a person with a disability but now with the list of major bodily functions and it is major life activity that will be the first list that you look to with certain conditions. In addition to issuing the final rule we are also currently updating our enforcement guidances, our technical assistant documents reflect the changes made by the amendment. And we''re also looking at whether we need to issue a document that addresses reasonable accommodation in one piece. You maybe aware that we have many technical assistance document and they all--many of them address issues of reasonable combination for example we have a series of question and answer documents on specific impairment such as diabetes and epilepsy and intellectual disabilities. And in those documents we addressed reasonable accommodation issues that might be common for those particular disabilities. We''ve also issued a document on performance and conduct. We addressed reasonable accommodation. We issued a document on accommodation issues for applicants. And we recently had a commission meeting to address reasonable accommodation and one of the suggestions was that because reasonable accommodation is probably gonna become a big issue now that the issue of coverage is not gonna be major that we should be think about issuing a document that addresses reasonable accommodation in one issue. Let me talk a little bit about charges. We''ve already seen a significant increase in ADA charges since the ADA Amendment Act took effect on January 1, 2009. More than 25,000 ADA charges were filed with EEOC in fiscal year 2010 and that fiscal year 2010 ended on September 30, 2010 up from about 7,000 from fiscal year 2008. As of April 2011, EEOC has filed 18 cases under the ADA Amendments Act. I''m sure we filed more in the last 3 months. The most frequent seen condition are charge that we have seen has alleged that the person who had been discriminated against based on cancer which before the ADA Amendments Act was hard to prove believe it or not because of the need to show that the cancer substantially limited major life activity. Again, usually we had to resort to activities such as ability to take care of oneself or working. Now, with the new list of major bodily functions as a major life activity it''s easier to show that cancer is a disability because cancer by definition, substantially limits normal cell growth. I neglected to mention that also in the regulations we have a list of disabilities that we think almost always or virtually always will be a disability. It''s not intended to be a per se list but based on the nature of some disabilities, cancer being one of them, intellectual disabilities and epilepsy, cancer in others, we think that those disabilities require a little individual life assessment to show that they are disabilities. We''re also litigating some of the other disabilities. We''re litigating diabetes, seizure disorder, bipolar, hemophilia. We also filed our first case with a charging party that has dwarfism. In this case against Starbucks, you may have seen our new press release. In this case the charging party was hired by Starbucks working as a consumer service position but she was only allowed to train for 3 days before she was fired. The job description for a barista position, and it stated that no prior experience was required. But soon after being hired, the charged party had to use a stool or a small step ladder to perform the essential functions of her peer in orders and serving customers at the counter. Starbucks disregarded her request and refuse to consider her use of a tool or step ladder. And on the same day that she requested accommodation that Starbucks terminated her employment claiming that she could pose a danger to customers and employees. We''re arguing that the charging party has a disability because she''s substantially limited in a major bodily function involving the musculoskeletal system. And we''re also looking back--she could have been accommodated without imposing undue hardship. Our most frequently filed class cases involved policies on--based on fixed leave and where employees want to get grant additional leave as a reasonable accommodation. Ill talk about a couple of those cases in a minute. In fact let''s go now to talk about some of the litigations. These cases I''m gonna talk about, two big ones where the file actually were settled actually in 2009, 2010 but I think they''re still really important. These cases alleged a failure to accommodate where employees have sick leave policy and typically the policy was that if you''re on leave for more than a year, you''re out of the door. So the two cases I''m gonna discuss one EEOC versus Sears, Roebuck. We actually filed the case in 2004. We settled it in 2009 for 6, almost 6.3 million dollars. It''s the largest monetary reward in a single EEOC ADA case and the money with distributed among 253 class members with an average distribution of 26,300 per class member. And this case involved a service technician. It started out with a service technician whose job was to repair refrigerators and washing machines in customer''s home and it was a physically demanding work. One day he was injured when he fell down the stairs of the customer''s home and he hurt his knee, back and ankle. Because he can no longer get down on the floor and work on appliances he took Workers Comp leave. He asked to return to a job at Sears that was less strenuously, was less physically strenuous. He applied to become a service manager and dispatcher and those were jobs that were both open for which he was qualified but SEARS said no. After his one year of leave run out he was fired. In the course of investigating this charge we discovered a class of other employees who have been placed on leave had never been seriously consider for reason of accommodation and after a year was put on the street. The consent degree requires Sears to designate a core group to review all request for accommodation and this group also has authorized any termination due to exhaustion of leave. Communications were also overhauled and employees are now informed by certified mail of their right to request accommodation and the types of accommodations available including reassignment. In similar case and these were cases that were filed at our Chicago office so I''m sure Robin knows this. The second case was EEOC versus SuperValu and it was filed in 2009 and settled in 2010 for 3.2 million with a release divided among the 111 claimants--for an average award of nearly 29,000 dollars. And like Sears, SuperValu had a 1 year disability leave policy but as part of the injunctive relief consent decree requires the employer to hire a job description consultant to ensure that the job description accurately describe the requirements of its position. Old descriptions for example including lifting requirements like 80 pounds for check out line cashier position but testimony as well as observation of any of us who ever been through a grocery store, grocery line indicated that virtually no employee ever did such lifting. Instead, cashiers use a scanning wand to scan heavy purchases. And certainly in this economy probably no one could afford 80 pounds of grocery in one visit. SuperValu also require--is also required to hire a job accommodations consultant, to develop a list of common accommodations that may be offered to employees with common restrictions. And the reason I mentioned these two cases even though they were filed prior to the ADA Amendments Act, I think is because employers can learn valuable lessons from these cases. First one being, of course, a flexible period of leave even if substantial is not enough to satisfy employer''s duty of reasonable accommodation. Employees are offered disability leave--tend to see that period of leave as all that is necessary. For reasonable accomodation requires more than putting employee on leave and waiting to see if the employee heals one hundred percent and return to the same job he had before he went on leave. Leave may be appropriate accommodation in some cases but in other cases the employer must determine whether there is any other accommodation like reassignment or reduced hours. And, again, because we believe that coverage is gonna be so much easier and that employers are not going to win by saying that a person is not covered on the ADA, we are gonna get to the merits of more accommodation issues. Employers need to be aware that they may need to adjust and amend their policy. Another lesson to be learned from this case is that the appropriate length of leave under the ADA requires an individualized analysis even if the employer has given a generous sick leave policy. So, again, just because employers offer one year of leave before terminating a person they still need to engage in individualized analysis to determine whether additional leave may be appropriate accommodation. Leave that can never be extended is not consistent with the ADA. As a best practice sick leave policy should be amended to make clear that the leave period can be extended or adjusted as a reasonable accommodation where such extension or adjustment will not result in undue hardship. Another lesson employers should learn from these cases is that separating leave administration, like the administration of workers compensation benefits or disability benefits from the ADA administrators is risky and there seems to be a trend toward outsourcing benefits administration for employees on leave. This is what Sears and SuperValu did. But this often results in the left hand failing to know what the right hand is doing, so the information collected for benefits administration by the employer often is not used by the ADA administrators at the same employer to determine whether the employee on leave can be brought back to work with the reasonable accommodation. Another lesson is that clear why the lines of communication regarding reasonable accommodation are critical not only for employees on leave but also their healthcare providers, supervisors, and managers. And best practices we think require communication about the availability of reasonable accommodation with players at all levels of the leave process. This means that an employee should know about--should know that he or she might be able to return to work with an accommodation even if he or she is not 100 percent healed. And this is important because a lot of times the employees--the handbook may say that only one year of leave is available which may lead an employee to believe that he or she doesn''t have a right to ask for any more leave. So the employee should know that even if they''re not able to return to work one hundred percent then they should ask if they think that there is another--that there is an accommodation that they should ask for it. The employee''s healthcare provider should understand the availability of alternative means of performing work so that an informed work to--return to work certification can be completed. Managers also need--who deal with employees returning leave should be educated to support reasonable accommodation request in the workplace in order to make them a reality. The other lesson learned, you know, as these two cases shows, that the Commission occupies a unique role of litigating these cases by virtue of the fact that the amount of money that we got, your 6.3 million in Sears and 3.2 million in SuperValu. So, you know, not providing a reasonable accommodation can really cost an employer. We also recently just got a big settlement against Verizon. So big employers should be on alert that failing to provide a reasonable accommodation, failing to do an individualized assessment can be really costly. Some of the more recent cases we filed we just recently were awarded a 600,000 dollar verdict against AutoZone. It was by a federal jury in Peoria. And in that case AutoZone failed to provide a reasonable accommodation to a sales manager with a permanent back and neck impairment who is required to perform certain cleaning task including mopping floors. And these tasks violated his medical restrictions. And we presented evidence of mopping floors was a non-essential function of the sales manager''s position. It could have been reassigned to other employees. So, again, it''s really important that employers know that they actually look at and update their position descriptions and make sure that they understand what the central functions of the job. You know, employers a lot of times get in trouble for using outdated position description so they don''t keep pace with changing technologies. As I said in SuperValu, maybe years and years ago cashiers were expected to lift heavy objects onto the conveyor belt and then lift those objects into baskets. But now they have scanning wands, but the position descriptions may still show these lifting requirements. The other thing that employers need to be aware of is not--focusing on not how a job is done but what needs to be done, so a lot of times employers confuse certain functions and will have requirements that a job requires standing or lifting or walking when the job actually doesn''t require that. That the job--that''s not why they''re hiring somebody to stand or lift or walk, they''re hiring a person to do a specific job, and that maybe how the job is accomplished, but that''s not the only way that a job is accomplished. Another case that we recently filed was against ENGlobal Engineering. That was a case that we filed in Texas and that company will pay a hundred thousand dollars and provide additional remedial relief for unlawfully fired employee because it mistakenly assumed he had MS. In that case the charging party was already working for the company when he started experiencing numbness and tingling into his extremities and told his supervisors and doctors--told the supervisors that his doctors thought he might have MS. And the supervisor in this case happened to be a part-time paramedic who claimed he was familiar with MS and knew what the symptoms were and knew what the outcome was. And so he immediately recruited somebody else for CP''s job and urged him, CP, to take medical leave which the CP did because he told him that MS is very debilitating and didn''t think the company will wanna deal with anyone with this disease. CP followed his advice and took medical leave. However, when he obtained a full medical release to return to work without restrictions, he was told that his job was no longer available. So, again, employers are gonna be--have to be really careful about not making decisions based on an impairment or perceived impairment because, as I said earlier, showing as regarded as coverage, is going to be a lot easier. It doesn''t mean that the person will automatically win but it does mean that they may get a claim and then the employer is then going to have to defend its actions. So in this case the employer will have to show that it fired a person or hired somebody else up for his job because it believed that he could no longer do his job. They have to show that he can no longer do his job or that he posed a direct threat. Other cases that we have filed, one, two employees who were given unlawful medical inquiries. They were asked about whether they had any number of conditions, and, of course medical inquiries and exams don''t change under the ADA, ADA Amendments Act, so it''s still unlawful. A person doesn''t have to have a disability to make an unlawful inquiry or exam case. In this case they asked two employees who werealready working. They had no reason to believe that the employees couldn''t do their job. They had no--the employer had no reason to believe that the employees posed a direct threat. Yet, they asked. One employee revealed that he had diabetes. I think another revealed he had hypertension. So when it came time to do a RIF to cut the workforce, the employer actually fired these two employees and we alleged that, you know, but for the employees revealing that they had disabilities, they would not have been fired. I''m gonna probably stop there in terms of some of the cases we filed and talk a little bit about, you know, we''ve been doing a lot of training. I was out with Robin a month or so ago, I guess this was in May, to the ADA symposium. And so when you go out and do this training, you listen to a lot of questions, you hear what''s on people''s minds. A lot of them are, you know, HR people who are actually on the frontline. Sometimes they are, you know, other employers. Obviously, anticipated issue is accommodation now that coverage is easier. Employers are wondering what''s going to happen when they receive too many requests. So there is an anticipation that because people--more people are covered that there''s going to be a flood of request, I guess obviously the cases we''ve been seeing have involved a reasonable accommodation is I think time will tell whether or not that continues, I mean the--the fear from employers is that people who, you know, who find out that they''re newly covered because the broad definition or something like that. I think some of them may be true but I think also that people who already are covered would''ve been covered before the ADA was amended have not asked for reasonable accommodation that they continued to work without meeting the accommodation and that includes people with diabetes, and epilepsy and cancer but people for many reasons still are not going to want to reveal their disability therefore not gonna ask for anything because of that. Employers are also gonna--are asking you know, what happens if they receive too many requests, should they grant requests on a first-come first-served basis. The ADA Amendments Act did not change the requirement that you have to grant with each reasonable accommodation request if it comes from a qualifying individual disability and providing that request will not pose an undue hardship. So there''s no such thing as saying well, we--you know, already granted 100, that''s the maximum that we have to grant so we''re not granting any more, that''s not what the ADA requires. It requires employers to look at each request that comes in and to consider whether or not they have to grant the request. The other things we''re telling employers is that a lot of the stuff they''ve been doing anyway without deciding whether or not they have a legal obligation under the ADA but then when employers come and they need some change or adjustment in the workplace and they value the employee that they are making those changes without considering whether or not the person is covered at least for technical or legal definition of disability. Other anticipated issues is how much documentation is enough, even though the--now that the definition of disability is broader, people are asking--but we''ve also said that there''s no such thing as a per se disability, so how much documentation. I think in those cases where the disability virtually always will be--will be a disability such as cancer and diabetes and epilepsy and certainly people with mobility impairment. The--in those cases that the documentation will be minimal, in other cases I think that it''s still will not be as extensive but we are saying that self-diagnosis is not enough so that it''s not enough for a person to come and say, you know, "I''ve been having symptoms and I looked up, you know Google or you know there''re all these websites available and I think I have diabetes, its never been confirmed but I have diabetes and because of that I''m asking for reasonable accommodation." No self-diagnosis is not enough but it''s probably sufficient for employer to present documentation that says--from a doctor to say this person has been diagnosed with diabetes without saying and that it substantially limits, you know a major bodily function. We''ve been asked questions about you know, qualification standards as I said a minute ago, I think in terms of qualification standards that that''s gonna be an issue. There hasn''t been a lot of case law developed from qualification standards because we never really got to the issue of the merits of that. So to the extent again that employers have qualification standards that require or say that certain physical qualifications are required for a job, I think the employers are gonna have to look at that because I think those kinds of standards are going to be challenged. With that, I will move to the one question that I''ve already received and it is an accommodation issue. So it seems like this is appropriate segue, someone submitted a written question about what happens if when an employee discloses disability but does not request accommodation and then that employee starts to have performance problems that may or may not be related to disability. And the question is, "Is the employer responsible for implementing reasonable accommodations before going through the termination process?" And the answer to that is no, that won''t, that doesn''t change under the ADA and then our enforcement technical assistance piece on performance and conduct issues, we''ve always talked about--we''ve said that, its always a prospective duty so from the point that the employer knows that the person has a disability, for the person--the employer has to consider whether or not reasonable accommodation would help a person meet a performance of conduct standards. If the employee has no reason to know that and the person has not requested a reasonable accommodation then the employer is not under any obligation. If a termination is what would be the course of action then the termination proceeds because the person hasn''t asked for reasonable accommodation and the assumption, I mean the principle of course is just because a person has a disability, there''s no reason for the employer to assume necessarily that the performance problem stemmed from the disability. Of course, you know, common sense is always the way to go. Employer can always ask someone, tell them about the performance problem, say "what''s going on? Why are you having difficulties?" That''s not a prohibited disability related inquiry. My favorite question is always, you know, "I have an employee that falls asleep all the time, what should I do?" and I always answer, "wake him up" that, you know, is not prohibited even if the employee does have a disability or a--that''s, you know affecting his ability to stay awake. It''s not a violation to wake up a sleeping employee because presumption is that the potential functions of any job requires a person to be awake, and so you know, the same thing with performance, don''t let performance problems go on too long. If you suspect that somebody''s--you know, somebody''s having a performance problem it certainly needs to be documented. It need to be brought to the person''s attention and get the person should be given the opportunity to say, "well I''m having performance problems because I''m having some medical issues." The other question we were asked is a related question was if a person discloses a disability but does not request accommodation but I think this is was a university. The university sees that the disability could be a safety concern, is there an obligation on the university''s part to work to resolve the safety concern? And the issue there was that the standard is that you have to have a reasonable belief that the person poses direct threat which is pretty high standard so it''s not just sort of altruistic concern that this may not be a good job for the person to do or the person may hurt themselves but if this is a substantial risk of harm that it''s not remote or speculative, certainly you could start asking questions and some of those questions maybe, you know, more information about the disability, whether or not the person has worked in a similar job, how they--you know, if it''s say for example if its epilepsy, how often the person has seizures, whether or not, you know, the seizures are under control, whether or not the person gets some kind of warning that a seizure is coming. So with that, I think we''re pretty close to turning it over, generally to the audience, is that true Robin? Yes, that''s great. Well, thank you and thank you for addressing that question that has been submitted and that gets to some track for taking questions, so Jamie I''ll ask you to give instructions to the people that are on the phone, those of you that are online, you can use the processes available to you through that system to submit a question and we''ll convey it to the speakers. So go ahead Jamie. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have a question at this time please press the star key and then the 1 key on your touchtone telephone. If your question has been answered or you wish to remove yourself from the queue, please press the pound key. Again to ask a question, please press the star 1. While we''re waiting for people to queue in, Joyce I do have a question that was submitted online from someone asking specifically, "Do they--EEOC have something in writing about the interaction of Workers'' Comp, family medical leave and the ADA regarding confidential and medical information since all have very significant restrictions in the use of information needed to determine disability, any guidance provided will be very helpful. Yes, we have a--you know, series of documents on our website, www.eeoc.gov and if you go to disability and then I think available resources, we have done a Q & A on workers'' comp, we''ve also done one on the interplay between, you know, FMLA and the ADA. I don''t have the website open in front of me but that you know I would certainly suggest you go there first and if you can''t find anything, of course you can contact me directly and I''ll try to help you navigate our website. Also you could contact one of the regional ADA centers through our various community website as well, so that would be at 800-949-4232 both Voice and TTY. Thank you and Jamie, could we have anyone who queued up for a question? Our first question comes from Daryl Christianson Go ahead. Yeah, hi, I''m here with Susan Malloy who has a question. Hello, thanks for this presentation. It''s been great and I feel very encouraged with the news that you''ve given us today. I''m in need of a technical assistance, document or a website about accommodations for people who have had toxic exposures and are chemically sensitive or who have radio frequency triggered illnesses. And I haven''t been able to find much about that yet. For example in housing of course one of the issues would be the new smart meters that are getting installed across the country, those are forcing people out of their houses. And we don''t have any protection from fragrant chemicals or maintenance chemicals in the workplace. And we''re very much in need of some guidance and support. And I wondered what''s on the books or what''s in the plans for work on that kind of issue. This is Julie, we don''t EEOC has not issued any specific technical assistance guide in this area. But I know that the job accommodation network has--they have excellent resources for you know a number of conditions and I know that theyre...they do have one suggested or possible combinations for people with this kinds of sensitivity. Again I don''t know what the job accommodation network the website is offhand Robin, do you know? Job accommodation network is askjan.org it''s spelled as A-S-K-J-A-N dot org. That is a good site, thanks for that recommendation. I''m thinking that we need something more like some directions from DOJ I suppose to federal agencies saying that we''re to be accommodated and no longer are we to be evicted or fired for sport. [ Simultaneous Speakers ] I guess I''m not entirely sure that that''s a question so much as a statement. It''s a statement and I need some help real badly. I think that my recommendation at this point more on--because we do have a lot of people asking questions and stuff we don''t have the ability to take a lot of individualized concerns and questions would be to I think Allison made--I mean Joyce made an offer for somebody to contact her directly or contact--what you bring up is a very difficult issue and I know there is not a lot of information out there so I think it''s gonna take some effort to try to identify what is out there to help and then of course making the federal agencies known that this might be an issue that they need to address if they have not already got it on their radar screen you know to do that. So contacting the agencies and working through that and I don''t know, Joyce or Allison have any other comments? I don''t. I think the JAN recommendation was the best. They are part of the department of labor and obviously they''re working on various issues and maybe it need to be identified that this is something that needs to be dealt with more with some more documentation and more resources as well. May I have your contact information please. My contact information, its best to contact me my email and that will be email@example.com. One more time please. firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Your welcome. Next question please. The next question comes from Kathy Good Hi, can you hear me? This is a question for Allison. And Allison I was just wondering if you could comment on the statement of interest in the CC versus the school district case and how that sort of relates with the title II regulation that a public entity is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal? Certainly, absolutely. Let me say that what you will read in the statement of interest is our view that in this particular case the--that regulation was not implicated because the care was not for the dog so much as it was for the child who was handling the dog. So that is one of the issues that was raised in that case. But our view of that was different than the school district. So I guess I didn''t quite get that so the school district was responsible for the care and supervision of the animal? The school district was responsible for the care and supervision of the child. And like with all children that age there are some things that you have to do for them you know you help them out with their coats, or with their boots, a number of other things, and tethering and un-tethering this dog, the service dog, to the 7 year old kind of falls in that more ministerial category. Oh okay and also things like walking the dog when it has to relive itself. The dog does not have to be walked. Oh. These are very fact specific. In this case the dog did not have to be walked or attended to in those ways during the school day. Okay, thank you. Yeah. Again to ask the question please press star 1. The next question comes from Gary Adler. I''m gonna turn it over to Ronald Jackson to ask the question. Ron. Hello everyone, how are you? My question is if an employee has a disability that is not known, they don''t know if it''s job related or not and the employee can''t do their current job. And the company has other jobs that the employee can do, is that company required to give one of those jobs to that employee? This is Joyce. If the person has a disability obviously that means one of the things that employers have been accused of is the disability does not have to be job related. If a person has a disability meaning they have substantial limit--they''re substantially limited in major life activity then they are--they have a disability and then the question is whether or not they are qualified to do the job. My understanding is you''re saying the person is no longer qualified for the job they currently have and what the ADA requires is then--is that employer obligated to reassign that person as a reasonable accommodation. And reassignment means that the person is qualified to do another job that is open. It''s currently vacant or it''s soon to become vacant. Then the employer has to consider that person for the job. The employer does not have to create another job, does not have to train the person to become qualified for a job but has to consider or not whether if the person can be reassigned to available job for which the person is qualified. Thank you. Next question please. I''m showing no further questions from the phone line. Really? It''s a very silent group today. We actually did get one Cathy Gibbs just queued up again. Okay. This is a question again for Allison on a whole different subject. We''re getting some--well I don''t know if it''s confusion but federal agencies under section 504 that are holding entities to the uniform federal accessibility standard. And I''m just wondering if there''s any coordination on the department of justice''s part to get the federal agencies to change their regulations to either point to the ADA standards for accessible design or the architectural barriers act accessibility standards. Well we do coordinate with the federal agents all the time on a range of things whether that specific issue has been the subject of recent coordination I''m afraid I don''t know. Thanks. And we did also just get another question from Daryl Christianson [phonetic]. Go ahead please. I have a question I was thinking it''s directed to Joyce, you had spoke about the employer and the person with the disability. If the accident happened and it wasn''t on the job related and once the person had the surgery and came back to and not able to do the job that he or she was doing. And they were suppose to be retrained but then the timeframe lapsed and then they kind of shoved you out the door. What recourse does that person have? Okay, I''m trying to understand the question, your saying that the person was injured on the job and has a disability or injured not on the job--it doesn''t matter, if the person is injured and has a disability they can''t come back to the job they had and they were suppose to be retrained. Yeah, it''s called rehabilitation program. But the insurance company kept prolonging the you know the opportunity to get into the program and during that time a year lapsed and the person wasn''t able to get in the training at the same time the time expired where he or she could have the medical leave. Well again I think this is you know, it''s not exactly like the situation in Sears and in SuperValu but it does implicate the whole this one year leave policy and--you know the sort of the clock is ticking and once a year is up then the person''s out. And the ADA says no not so fast but if you know if this person hasn''t been accommodated the employer needs to look at whether or not you know because you know they haven''t been retrained whether or not there is another opportunity to continue to complete that training whether or not there was any other accommodations that will allow the person to do their job whether or not if the person can''t do that job but with an accommodation or are you know are there jobs to which the person could be reassigned. So what I would say is that the emphasis shouldn''t be on well a year is up and it didn''t happen so therefore the employer can kind of wipe his hand, that''s not true it''s still an ongoing obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation. And there lies the question for the person because they aren''t knowledgeable to pursue that information that you were saying that obviously should exist but they don''t know it and the employer is not giving that information to them so and then by they not knowing they automatically just go along with what they think. Right and I certainly understand that and that''s what happened in the class of inthe case that we filed against Sears. The employees assumed that because the company policy says that you only have a year and once that year was up, they were out but they didn''t know that they could pursue. And so this is an issue that we are aware of you know should we be doing more to you know--to as a best policy to make employers make clear you know to disseminate information to their--to the workforce to say that you know that the one year policy that''s stated in the--while it''s not illegal in an employee manual that they should make--clarify that reasonable accomodation under the ADA may require more than that. And so this is--we are aware that this issue that employees don''t know that they can ask for something beyond the one year and certainly you know we''re looking you know into whether or not we should be doing more trainings, we should be issuing more you know for technical assistance guidance that we should be somehow obligating information out to employers that that they have an obligation. The consent decree in Sears you know said that they needed to change their communication methods and that they should make sure that they communicate this information and that they should be in contact with employees during that one year. Certainly no employer should give somebody a year and not have any contact with the person and then say "Oh it''s 366 this is the 366th day and you''re out." I mean they should be having ongoing communication with the person. Thank you. Is there anybody else in the queue? We do have another question from Gary Adler. Hi my name Leonor Komisar I''m with the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission. It sounds like the definition of the disability along with functional limitations have changed a little bit with--rehabilitation agencies in different states we typically use the ADA as a guidance in order to determine eligibility in order of selection for vocational services, has anybody been working with the rehabilitation services administration as far as like importing the exchanges? Is that you are aware whether or not there''s been any collaboration or--or related to the RSA or rehab services administration within the department of ED No I''m--I''m not. Okay. So--it''s probably definitely something that you know Lenae Rutledge and the commissioner and such hopefully they are aware of and maybe have plans or are looking at but it sounds like there may not be anything formally in place. Right. Yeah. Thank you. Not that I''m aware. Thank you. Any additional questions in the queue? I''ve got some from the online now Ill interject here. There are no further questions. Okay. We got a question here that somebody is asking related to the fact that under the ADAAA it calls for the definition of disability to be modified in section 504 and other related regulations within the ADA and this is for you Allison, what is the status of the department of justice''s efforts to update your regulation to reflect the definition of disability that''s within the ADAAA? Let me give you two answers of that. First with respect to us this one of the things that''s underway the other is that all of the federal agencies will now have to amend their 504 regs and we of course are also charged with the overseeing and coordinating that and that process is also ongoing. Do you think that that''s something that would be what we''re looking at you know the next year kind of a thing? I mean I know it takes a while for regulations to be developed and then published and comments and all those kinds of things, so is this a year process or do you have any sense of that? You know I actually don''t and I think that one of the things that is challenging all federal agencies at the moment in every aspect of what they''re doing is we have you know tremendous budgetary constraints and so I don''t know if that will play a role in this but it seems to be playing a role a little bit on everything. So I hate to put timeframes around that stuff but regardless of the change, the law, regardless of when the actual regs are changed it is still the law that there''s a conforming amendment to 504 that so that when courts are looking at these questions of who''s to stay under 504 they are going to be looking at the language of the amendments act. Okay great thank you. And Allison could you--we get a lot of calls in the ADA network related to materials and fact sheets and when is DOJ going to be updating you know some of their multitude of documents and things and while we''ve seen a few things coming out, get the primer first, small business and address some of the changes in the--in the regulations and it''s the you know service annual documents and a ticketing document. What''s kind of the timeframe again I''m sure you''re gonna talk about some constraints with staff and monies and things of that nature to ensure that a lot of your documents that are affected by the changes and the regulations are available? To help people understand these changes and what to do with them. Well I think you''ll see two things. We have a lot of technical assistance documents so the notion that everyone of our technical assistance documents that was developed and produced under the last set of regulations is gonna be updated either at all or quickly. I think it''s probably not correct. I think we''re trying to prioritize new documents and prioritize amending the older technical assistance documents that are the most widely used. So I think you''ll see those done in sort of a priority list. And what was the second part of your question? I think that was the same part it was all just about what the status and I just gave you some examples of things that you already have. Oh I''m sorry that was--so you''ll see--you''ll see that we will be updating our TA documents. The first few are out and there certainly will be more. The other thing is I think you''ll see new technical assistance documents developed as we begin to be informed by people and the public the parts of the regulations that they''re dealing and they''re struggling with the most, the thing is that they feel that there is insufficient guidance on even under the old regulations. So I think you''ll see whole new documents also being created. And you know we''re moving at pace but again there are a lot of documents so it is gonna take some time. Great thanks I think it gives people an idea of what to expect or you know what''s out there in that regard. Sure. Allison can you speak a little bit to the efforts that obviously with the new regulations and--there''s been a lot you know it takes a while we think back 20 years and think of you know starting in 1991-92 when the regulation started to go into a fact and how long it took for entities to kind of gear up to compliance and such. Recognizing that the regulations, the majority of them went in to effect this last March 15th some architectural standards and things going into effect next year, what efforts or what thoughts does the department of justice have related to ongoing enforcement monitoring related to these things I mean you know for example the ticketing regulations and the major changes there for purchasing and obviously the number of entities that this impacts everything from their websites and how they promote their purchasing and such to the actual doing of it. What kind of efforts or relationships has the department of justice looked at to help address some of the ongoing enforcement and awareness issues around these things? Well a couple of things. I think these first of all I think these set of regulations differs from the initial set because the law has been around for 20 years so while the first set of regulations were really new to everybody because the law was new particularly with respect to the architectural standards. And you can make the argument that you know a disability law in some form has been around since 1973 but I think for the private sector that''s something that they didn''t focus on that''s really--that would only really be true for the federal government and federal financial recipients. So I think the fact is that the ADA has been now a part of people''s lives for a very long period of time. So I think coming out with the second set of regulations and the changes that are contained in there you''re looking you know that information is going out and it''s a wholly different much more informed world than the first set. So we are continuing to move the message about the regulations and people''s obligations and responsibilities you know in the same way that we always have. We are--we''re still running a hotline, our website gets more hits than any other website at the Department of Justice. We are continuing to both update and to do outreach to new technical assistance documents. We do speeches, we do calls like this, I mean we''re doing the same level of outreach--the greatest level of outreach that we can frankly afford to do. Beyond that it''s hard for me to foresee ways in which we aren''t moving the message already but if people have suggestions for how we should be moving the message you know we''re certainly always happy to have that conversation. Great thank you. Thank you very much. Are there any additional questions from anybody, Jamie? I''m showing no questions. Okay. I guess we''re almost at the bottom of the hour here. So I guess we have a very silent audience so they felt that you guys gave some great information or the stuff that''s been coming out from your agencies and other places has been so comprehensive everybody''s feeling that they are feeling pretty comfortable of what they know and that''s great. So I''ll just give each of you just the last opportunity to make a comment and then we''ll wrap up the session. I''m hoping that you know the lack of questions is not because they prefer Sharon Rennert from our office or John Wodak [laughter] from justice but anyway I will give my email address again if there are questions that people have and that''s email@example.com and I do respond to all the emails. You may have to give me a little bit. I am leaving for vacation tomorrow but may not get back until--first of all August but I will respond. The other thing is I would say you know to continue to check our website as I said we are updating our documents we--I can''t promise when they will all be updated but we are in the process of doing that and as soon as they are updated we will post them and put some kind of notification that you know that they have been updated. We''re also looking at you know the possibility of issuing new guidance or new technical assistance documents so I would just suggest that anyone should frequently visit our website at www.eeoc.gov. And I would close with the same first of all thank you all for participating in this and for allowing the department of justice to be part of your event today. ada.gov if you want to know every time something new happens to the department all you need to do is sign up for the email alerts there so then every time there''s a new settlement or new brief, a new technical assistance piece, anything having to do with the ADA you''ll be alerted and then you could go on the website and see what that is. And our information line again is always open for business. If you wanna connect with any individual where all of our emails are available on ada.gov and I--we certainly welcome any and all questions that you might have. Great well thank you both Allison and Joyce. It''s--sincerely appreciated your time and your efforts of your agencies and your own personal time and we are thrilled to have you Allison working with us at the ADA national network has enjoyed a great relationship with the Department of Justice over the years and hope that will continue. Thank you everyone who has participated this day and has been engaged with us and we hope that the information was useful to you as I indicated the session was recorded and we will be posting it in the archives section of the www.ada-audio.org website. We encourage you to contact the regional ADA center that serves your geographic area as we are available to provide you assistance and information on a variety of issues related to the ADA and you can do that by contacting us at 800-949-4232 that''s both voice and TTY. If you are not familiar with which particular center serves your geographic area you can go to the national website which is www.adata.org and that will give you a clickable link to the center that serves your geographic area and as well from other resources that we have available as a national network. So again thank you everyone. I wanna remind you about our session in August. Our session for August is August 16th and we''ll be addressing ADA and alternative dispute resolution and mediation. We are featuring some speakers from the key bridge foundation, the focus of the session is really just to talk about how mediation plays into ADA related disputes. We also have representatives who will be joining us from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well as the Department of Justice mediation program to give you a sense of how their specific programs actually do work and how you might be able to use their specific program. But the focus of the session is really on what is mediation and how is it used and how has it been used successfully. So we invite you to join us for that session and then in September we will be focusing on marketing for accessibility within the hospitality industry. Looking at the changes to the ADA regulations what that means and what hoteliers and others need to be thinking about as we move forward in this new era of the ADA. So we invite you to join us for both our sessions to round out this particular fiscal year for us and then we will be looking forward to the future and a new set of sessions for next year. So thank you everyone and have a good rest of your day. Thanks Robin. Okay. Ladies and gentlemen that does conclude the conference for today. Again thank you for your participation you may all disconnect.