Transcript for Ask the Department of Justice (DOJ): Open Question and Answer Session

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Do you have a burning question regarding the non-discrimination in programs and services provisions of the ADA? Is there a policy or procedural issue that you are confused about? Do you have questions about service animals vs emotional support animals under the ADA? Are you clear about what constitutes undue hardship under the ADA? What are the guidelines regarding the provision of VRI versus Sign Language Interpreters during medical or professional services appointments? Join us for this popular session where you will have an opportunity to ask your question. We will be accepting questions in advance of the session. The first 25 questions submitted will be given priority and then we will take questions “live” during the session as well.

Speakers URL:


Stephanie Berger

Welcome. Great. Hi everyone. It is our pleasure to join you today.

So, the Justice Department remains fully committed to the mission and goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And, we are working hard every day to use all available tools to realize the ADA's goals for people with disabilities across the nation. So, let's dive right in and talk a little bit about some of the department's disability rights work over the past year, and then we'll get to answering your questions.

So, the first thing I wanted to highlight is one of our relatively new rules, which updated title three regulation to clarify a movie theater's obligation to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services for people with disabilities. This role took effect in December 2016, and the rule requires movie theaters to do three things, first, to have and maintain the equipment necessary to provide closed movie captioning and audio description when enjoying digital movies, second, to provide notice to the public about the availability of these features, and third to ensure that theater staff is available to assist patrons with the equipment.

So, although this movie role has different deadlines, depending on when a movie theater starts showing digital movies in its auditoriums, the most significant deadline just came to pass on June 2nd, 2018. So, Just ten days ago.

Most movie theaters that show digital movies need to have the required number of captioning and audio description devices by the State. This regulation establishes a nationally consistent standard, and ensures that people with hearing and vision disabilities can fully enjoy watching movies with their families and friends in theaters across the country.

So, next let's talk a little bit about enforcement. The Disability Rights Section exercises our authority to ensure compliance with the ADA through enforcement and litigation. Our staff is actively engaged in this effort and through our U.S. attorneys program we have been delighted to work closely with U.S. attorneys across the country to enhance understanding of and compliance with the law. You are always welcome to review our settlements at, and we want to work collaboratively with covered entities to reach voluntary compliance if possible. Our preference for voluntary compliance however, does not mean we are unwilling to enforce the ADA to ensure people with disabilities are provided the equal opportunity and full participation that the ADA promises them. It ranges in physical accessibility, effective communication, reasonable modifications of policies, practices and procedures, employment, education, voting, transportation, access to healthcare, and many other issues.

So, here is an overview of some of our current top priority areas, and the types of settlements that we've recently reached.

The first area I will talk about is employment. So, as you probably know, our authorities who enforce the ADA applies to state or local government entities employment practices, and then it is the EEOC that has jurisdiction over all other covered entities for employment matters.

One of our recent settlements was in October 2017 when the department entered into a settlement agreement with the city of New Albany, Indiana. The case arose due to a breach of confidentiality of medical records gathered from a police officer. So, the city shared the employee’s confidential medical information, including information on his disability, medication and treatment with the press. So, in the settlement agreement --

Peter Berg

This is Peter. I'm sorry. Could I ask you to slow down just a bit for our captioner, please?

Stephanie Berger

Sure. Sure. Sure.

Stephanie Berger

Thank you.

Stephanie Berger

So, as I was saying, the violation here was that the city shared the employee's confidential medical information with the press. And, so in the settlement agreement, the city agreed to revise its policies, practices, and procedures to ensure the confidentiality of employees medical information, and to train all employees with access to confidential medical records and also to provide the complainant with a hundred grand in compensatory damages.

So, next let's talk a little bit about voting and polling place accessibility. When it comes to polling place accessibility, there are numerous issues that we see. One being that people who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids such as walkers, are unable to enter polling places because there is no ramp. We also see people who are blind or have low vision who have not been able to cast their vote independently and privately because the ballot is inaccessible.

So, we launched the ADA voting initiative in 2015, and partnership with U.S. attorney's offices across the country, to increase polling accessibility. It covers all access of voting from voter registration to casting ballots and neighborhood polling places. Since that time we have surveyed approximately 1,500 polling places across the country. Our resolutions on these polling place accessibility issues can be found on our website, including recent settlement agreements with Monroe County, Illinois, Chicago, Palm Beach County, Florida, and Faulkner County, Virginia.

I also want to mention our long-standing project Civic Access. Through project Civic Access the department of has comprehensively addressed accessibility issues in cities and towns across the nation. Project Civic Access work has resulted in over 220 resolutions in every state, including between 15 and 20 in the past few years.

In January of this year, we reached our most recent project Civic Access agreement with the city of Denver. The agreement requires Denver to remedy inaccessible features at courthouses, emergency shelters, libraries, parking lots, polling places, and parks. The city will also improve communication with people with hearing disabilities by contracting with sign language interpreters. Denver has also agreed to ensure that its emergency operations plan is accessible and to provide training to its employees on the ADA side.

Another big area of focus across not just the Disability Rights Section, but the entire federal government, as I'm sure you've been hearing a lot about in the news lately, the opioid crisis. As many of you are likely aware, the administration is focusing its efforts to stem the tide of opioid addiction that is gripping the nation. We at the Department of Justice recognize that we need to take a comprehensive approach to tackle this issue, and we often call this a three-pronged approach of prevention enforcement and treatment. So, the civil rights division specifically is focusing on that third prong of treatment by working to address discriminatory barriers to treatment.

The ADA provides one of the many tools the department can use to expand access to treatment and recovery for individuals who have Opioid Use Disorder or OUD.

So, a lot of people don't realize that for the most part the ADA's coverage for people with disabilities extends to people who have substance use disorders, like OUD. Although the ADA generally does not protect individuals if they are currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs, and the covered entity takes action against them because of that illegal drug use, the ADA does protect individuals participating in medication-assisted treatment or what's called MAT. These are individuals who are prescribed FDA approved medications, like Methadone and Sub Oxone, in conjunction with therapy and under the supervision of licensed healthcare professional.

As one example of work in this area, the U.S. attorney's office in Boston recently reached a settlement with a skilled nursing facility to resolve allegations that the facility violated Title 3 by refusing to accept the patient because the patient was being treated for OUD. According with the complaint filed with the department, an individual seeking admission for treatment at this facility was denied, because they were being treated with Sub Oxone. So, under the terms of this agreement, the facility will adopt a non-discrimination policy, providing training on the ADA and OUD to personnel and pay a civil penalty.

On another topic, we all know that education has the power to open doors, but our efforts to ensure equal access to education are not just limited to higher education. Just last month we reached a settlement agreement with Learning Care Group, the largest for-profit child care in North America. Learning care operates over 900 child care centers nationwide. The settlement agreement resolved complaints that the company was discriminating with type one diabetes by failing to make reasonable modify cases for them.

Among other measures, the company agreed to pay $10,000 to each of the eight aggrieved individuals to train child care staff to assist with routine diabetes care tasks and evaluate requests for reasonable modifications on individualized basis using objective evidence and current medical standards and not just acting on stereotypes about children with diabetes. The agreement helps ensure all children can have equal access to child care centers.

I also wanted to mention our Veterans Access initiative. We recognize that many of our military veterans have acquired disabilities in the course of their service to our country. To ensure that veterans enjoy equal opportunities to participate in the activities of their choice, we are dedicating increased resources to this Veterans Access initiative. In January, we settled a case brought by a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder against the very memorably named When Pigs Fly Barbeque Pit in Upstate New York.

The veteran wanted to go for an anticipatory July 4th dinner on July 2nd because he wanted to avoid fireworks triggering his PTSD, but when he arrived at the restaurant with his family and his service dog he was told that he cannot sit inside the restaurant, he could only sit outside.

So, in a settlement the restaurant agreed to allow service animals in the restaurant, to prominently post that policy at the restaurant, and on its website, and to train its staff on how to accommodate individuals who use service animals.

Another important topic that is vital to ensuring the well-being of people with disabilities is access to medical services in facilities. Through the department's Barrier-Free healthcare initiative, which was established in 2012, U.S. attorney's offices partner with us to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access healthcare. The Barrier of Healthcare initiative, Barrier Free healthcare initiative addresses effective communication for people who are deaf or have hearing loss, physical access to medical care for people with mobility disabilities, and equal access to treatment for people who have HIV or AIDs, among other topics.

I want to highlight just one other recent agreements under the barrier-free healthcare initiative. We entered into a settlement agreement with Mountain States Health Alliance, a healthcare organization that operates 13 hospitals in Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina. The settlement agreement resolved allegations that the hospital failed to provide effective communication to two parents who were deaf, and their daughter was admitted to the hospital for a total of 115 days for cancer treatment. So, that is quite some time to go without being able to effectively communicate with your daughter's care providers. As a result of the settlement, the organization has agreed to implement measures at all its hospitals to protect the rights of patients and companions who are deaf or hard of hearing, including identifying service these can provide qualified sign language interpreters in a timely manner. The organization also agreed to pay a $15,000 penalty and reach a confidentiality agreement to compensate the family.

I want to talk about mediation and technical assistance. One important tool we employ to help ADA is our mediation program. It has utilized professional mediate terse to help parties resolve thousands of complaints. Just this past year mediation was helped in 650 matters and mediation was completed with successful resolutions in 82% of those cases. The program, which is offered at no cost, has successfully resolved more than 7,000 cases, since its inception.

Another vital tool of the Disability Rights Section uses to help advance ADA compliance is our technical assistance. In general is a great source of information. I hope many of you are using it already, and I encourage you to look at it, and to keep checking back, because the site is updated often.

You can also sign up for updates by email on the website, and you will get email when new content has been added.

In the last year, we've added a checklist that state and local Governments can use to help them make polling places accessible to people with disabilities, as well as an updated publication on protection with people living with HIV and aids. Most recently we added a link to a variety of federal government resources in order to help public entities ensure that their emergency preparedness response and management programs are accessible.

Beyond our website, our ADA technical assistance program provides free information and technical assistance directly to businesses, state and local governments, non-profit service providers, people with disabilities, and of course the general public.

The program includes a nation-wide confidential toll-free information line staffed by a team that is solely devoted to answering the public's questions about how the ADA applies to their specific circumstances. And, our ADA information line staff takes over 1,000 calls a week.

So, to complete this before we start to take some of your questions, on behalf of the department, I want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to share some highlights from our work in the past year. We are now happy to start answering some questions.

Katie Wolfe

Hey Peter this, is Katie. Before we go to questions, I just wanted to share just a couple of little facts that I thought your audience might be interested in, and to encourage them to continue to use and recommend both our speakers bureau and our complaint intake process.

So, I thought you would be interested in that fiscal year to date, that would be from October 1st of 2017 until today, our intake unit has received over 11,500 complaints, and those come in through our online complaint process, actually get the majority of them, also received by mail, fax or email. In fiscal year 2017 we received over 15,000 complaints total. So, keep those coming, and then the other fact that is interesting is our speaker’s bureau stat. One of the things that we do at the department is we love to go out and present when we're invited and ask when we can. In fiscal year 2018, so far we have had staff do 20 events reaching well over a thousand audience participants. So, that is another way to spread the word, and we encourage those requests to keep coming.

Now, I'll turn it over to Peter.

Katie Wolfe


Peter Berg

Hi. Thank you very much, Katie, and thank you Stephanie for that update.

Before I bring Mary in to give instructions for our phone participants, I was hoping you could address, Stephanie you mentioned, or perhaps one of the other speakers can talk about, the U.S. attorneys program and how that works, Katie. You just talked about people filing complaints through a variety of means with the Justice Department. How does -- can individuals file directly with the US attorney's office or complaints received in DC by the Disability Rights Section and then forwarded on to the US attorney's office.

Katie Wolfe

Sure. This is Katie. So, we have a very, very robust U.S. attorney program we call it. So, we coordinate directly with, I think we're up to maybe 90 offices participating across the country, and these offices are on the ground, they know their communities, and I have to say they -- the attorneys, they're really, really feel privileged to do the ADA work. This is, you know, their dockets may be largely defensive in posture where they're defending the United States, and to have this chance to do this affirmative civil rights work is something that's been just incredibly successful both for us and both for their offices.

As far as filing complaints, it works both ways. Individuals can reach out to their U.S. attorney's office and send them a letter, or you can go, the easiest way, of course, is to go through our office. If it goes to the -- directly to the U.S. attorney's office, that office is going to coordinate with us, and you know eventually that complaint will be logged and recorded with our office and then we'll work with the U.S. attorney's office.

So, either way if it comes in here, again, we'll assign it out to a U.S. attorney's office. Whatever makes the most sense for a particular matter. And, sometimes that depends on whether the allegation is against an entity that has a nationwide presence. You know, whatever it might be. So, whatever works best. But, yeah, all of our doors are open across the country.

Peter Berg

Great. And, then, we had a question submitted online. I promise we'll get to our questions that were submitted in advance, but this ties in. Someone wants to know where they can see, is there a location, a website, where folks can see all of the Justice Department settlement agreements under ADA enforcement.

Katie Wolfe

Absolutely. is one-stop shopping for everything. And, you will see there is an enforcement section, there is a law section, which is going to include the regs and the statutes, and then there is technical assistance. And, we have some specific pages on specific topics, if that is of interest. Like a voting page, and Olmstead page. HIV page. So, it's helpful, and once you get on to the enforcement pages, you can search by topic. So, say you're interested in child care, you can search child care or day-care and find every settlement that we've done touching on that topic.

Peter Berg

Great. Thanks.

All right. Let's move into questions that were submitted in advance of today's session, and of course we were talking before the session started that it wouldn't be a Department of Justice Audio Conference Session without a service animal question, and we have several of them. So, let's start with this one, which is can an individual have multiple service animals?

Andy Washburn

Good afternoon, Peter. It's Andy Washbur here. Just a quick correction. I am not an attorney for the department. I know many find people here that are attorneys, but I'm actually an accessibility specialist and I primarily work on the ADA information line. And I can tell you that this question comes up with a great deal of frequency, both from the disability community, and from covered entities, state, county, local governments under Title 2, and private businesses, commercial facilities covered by Title 3.

There is no language in the statute or Title 2 regulations or Title 3 regulations that limits the number of animals that a person with a disability could have as service animals. And, there are a lot of legitimate examples where, for example, you might have a person that has mobility issues, difficulty walking or ambulating, and might use two dogs, one on each side working in tandem to maintain balance, as an example.

You could also see instances where a person might have multiple disabilities and you would have a dog trained to perform one set of tasks for one disability. Let's say the person has a seizure condition and the service animal might be trained to alert the individual when it senses changes in the body chemistry indicating that a seizure might be coming on. That dog might be very close to the individual, and you wouldn't necessarily want that dog, that animal to be trained to do something apart from doing the seizure alert, so you might have a second animal that would be performing some other set of work or task that relate to a secondary disability that that person might have. Now, the corollary to this is even though the ADA statute and the regulations don't limit the number of animals, that doesn't mean that a covered entity has to accept an unlimited number of animals or service animals because the person states that they are service animals. An example of this would be within the last couple of weeks I had a co-worker on the ADA information line who got a call from a hotel, and the hotel indicated that they had a guest that was arriving and that that guest had ten Chihuahuas, that they indicated were trained to assist her to get up if she fell. And, this person wanted to know whether that could be a legitimate and whether or not they had to accept ten Chihuahuas. So, quite separate and apart from whether or not it would be possible to train ten Chihuahuas to assist somebody to get up from a fall, I don't -- when you look at the language in the Title 2 and the Title 3 regulations, the obligations of those covered entities are only to reasonably modify policies, practices, and procedures. And, personally, I just don't think I could find a scenario where I think it would be reasonable for a hotel to accept ten Chihuahuas in one hotel room. It would be quite likely that that would be disruptive to other guests, and it might prove very difficult to keep the room clean, among other things. So, although a person can certainly have more than one service animal, that doesn't mean that a covered entity has to accept some unlimited number of animals.

Peter Berg

Great explanation. Great answer on that, Andy, thank you.

And for those of you who have not seen or read the Justice Department Americans with Disabilities Act frequently ask questions on service animals, I would encourage you to do so. It covers a whole lot of scenarios and is more I see frequently asked questions. Goes into depth and provides those scenarios that the Justice Department is getting questions on.

So, we'll stick with the service animal theme here and this is a question that we get here at Great Lakes and over the National Network 800 line, and that involves local licensing and requirement that animals have appropriate vaccination shots. And, the question being, can a local business, can a local government entity, you know, play the part of enforcing that local requirement and, you know, while covered entities are limited to asking the two questions, is it a service animal, what work has the animal been trained to do, can they enforce local requirements regarding vaccination? Can they require that persons with disabilities that their service animals have appropriate tags, licenses?

Andy Washburn

Andy Washburn again here, Peter. So, this question again comes up with some frequency on the ADA information line. Usually in a couple of contexts. We noticed, especially when we adopted our revised regulations in 2010, this seemed to generate a lot of calls of questions into the office about if I was a business, if I was a hospital, or medical facility, could I require that the person provide, say, vaccination records that indicated that the service animal had received its vaccinations. And, essentially, our regulations are silent on that issue. I don't believe it would be a violation for a covered entity to ask the question about whether or not a dog is up to date on its vaccinations. I think it would prove more difficult to force somebody to provide proof. So, if a person answered in the affirmative, that effectively should be enough at that point. They should not have to be forced to carry vaccination records with them at all times. Now, what is common in many jurisdictions, especially at the city or the county level is that all dogs that reside in that county or that city may be required to have a tag, for example, that indicates that it's up to date on a rabies vaccination. And, service animals would be subject to that requirement as pets in that jurisdiction would be, however, I think our feeling is that an entity probably can't bar a service animal because it’s not wearing its tag. It would strike me that that would be more likely a local jurisdiction matter where if there was animal control that wanted to enforce the fact that the dog didn't have its tag, that might be appropriate. But, I think our stance would be that if the person indicates that the dog is up to date, on its rabies vaccination, and it doesn't necessarily have the tag, that's probably not going to be enough direct Title 2 or Title 3 entity to prevent the service animal from coming into that environment.

Peter Berg

Great. Thanks for that, Andy.

Yeah, when we get that question, you know, I always ask, you know, who is responsible for enforcing the local requirements that dogs need license and have appropriate vaccinations, and it is typically not a business. It is typically done through animal control as you mentioned.

One additional question. I'm sure we'll get some others on service animals, and then I promise we'll move on, but it is a popular hot topic. Again, this is a question that we're getting frequently, I'm sure that you are, Andy, on the ADA hotline. And, the issue of dirty service animals, unkempt, may appear to have fleas. We get the question often in times with individuals wanting to bring a service animal into a shelter.

What does a covered entity, whether Title 2 or Title 3, have in terms of admitting or not admitting a service animal that may be -- appear to be dirty or actually dirty or may have some other issues, such as fleas or other concerns?

Andy Washburn

Andy Washburn here again. Peter, you're right. This is a question again that does come up frequently on the ADA information line. So, I think there is multiple parts to this question. First you look at the requirements in the Title 2 and Title 3 regulations, there really are two reasons under which you could exclude a service animal. The first would be that the animal was not under the persons control, and secondly if the animal was not housebroken. Now, of course, both Title 2 and Title 3 entities have other broader defenses, such as not having -- you know, if there was a direct threat, meaning it was something that couldn't be mitigated in some way, the issue here is that if the dog is simply dirty and we're not, like, actually visibly observing fleas as an example, you're really speculating at that point that there is a direct threat, and to exclude, you know, in that sort of an instance, you would have to make sure that the threat was a non-speculative threat. Also, of course, a covered entity doesn't have to do something that would be considered to be fundamental alteration to the nature and services that they would be providing.

I think part of what this comes down to is sometimes you have to apply some degree of common sense. When somebody brings a dog into an environment, the dog is probably going to smell a little bit because it's a dog. Now, I'm not saying that all dogs are filthy, but all dogs are going to have some smell. I think that there would be instances, exceedingly rare, but I would conceive there could be instances where an animal could be so filthy that it might not be appropriate to allow that person into an environment door. An example that came up on the information line had to do with public transportation. (Inaudible) as an example. So, if you were telling me that a dog was so dirty that it was making people's eyes water and they were forced to get off a bus, well, that is not -- that is not necessarily not being in control, and that is not necessarily the fact that the dog is not housebroken, but it seems to me that there would be an argument to be made that potentially they would be a direct threat there. Potentially could you argue a fundamental alteration if the dog is just so unclean that it's disruptive, the way in which that business or government entity functions, it seems likely to be an argument to be made under the regulations for potentially excluding that animal. Again, I think that would be exceedingly rare, but I think it's possible.

Peter Berg

All right. Yeah, thank you very much, Andy. We had a question submitted online on service animals and Title 1, and the question about whether or not Title 1 has a definition of service animals. I will refer you back to last month's Audio Conference Session in the archives, which was ask the EEOC, and this question was addressed, but to the questioner, you are correct, the Title 1, the employment provisions of the ADA does not include the definition of service animals and, you know, that would be handled as any other reasonable accommodation process. But you can find the archive of last month's session by visiting

All right. Take a break from our service animal questions and give Andy a chance to take a break and get a sip of water, and look at some of the other questions that we had submitted in advance.

A question about obligations of the court to make modifications for a potential juror who is obese and may need modifications in order to serve as a juror. So, what would be Title 2 court's obligations in terms of having to accommodate someone that is obese who may be a prospective juror?

Andy Washburn

So, Peter, I'm going to handle that one again.


Andy Washburn

I promise I won't be handling all the questions. But, in this instance, very common question that we get on the information line is, you know, is X, Y, Z. condition considered to be a disability. And, there is no master list of all conditions, diseases, et cetera that would necessarily be considered to be disability. The definition, which is a three-pronged definition of disability, is constructed to be broad and to bring into or under the umbrella of ADA's protection, would include, one, an individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Two, a person could have a history of having had such a physical or mental impairment, and three, somebody could be regarded as having a disability, even if they don't actually have a disability, they might be treated like they do have one. And, so, in looking at it in that context, we're never going to say, all people who are morbidly obese are people with disabilities. What we would probably analyze here would be, does the person have an underlying medical condition that, perhaps, morbid obesity, where the person as a result of that underlining medical condition may be morbidly obese. That underlying medical condition could be a disability, and in some instances, people who are morbidly obese might be treated like a person with a disability, even if they aren't, although in that sense if we regarded them, I think -- there wouldn't be an obligation to accommodate because they don't actually have a disability in that particular context. But, if they did have a disability through the first prong of the definition of disability, then obviously the Title 2 entity might have to make reasonable modifications the policies, practices and procedures. Obviously could not deny an opportunity to participate based on disability. The question doesn't really identify what sorts of accommodations the person would want, but it is certainly possible that there could be an obligation to accommodate.

Peter Berg

Great, Andy. And, if you answer the next question, I'm going to do a roll call to make sure everybody didn't leave you on your own there.

A couple of questions that came in, I'm sort of going to combine these to address the situation. We had a question about rulemaking with regards to accessible technology. So, if you could provide an update on where that stands for both, you know, for the title, the ADA, and then a second question that came in regarding access to information that is on websites that may not be accessible, and obligations of, for instance, a local government entity regarding that information. So, the two questions are, you know, one, can you provide us with an update on rulemaking for accessible technology, and then the second question I'll pose as, you know, in the absence of, you know at this point, enforceable standards, what are the other obligations, regulatory obligations for Title 2 entities regarding information that's being provided on their website.

Stephanie Berger

Sure. So, this is Stephanie. I'll take sort of the first part of that question about the regulations, and then I will call on Andy to help me talk about effective communication a little bit. But, the update that I have to provide is probably what folks already know. In December, the department announced a withdrawal of our Title 2 and Title 3 website accessibility rulemakings. At this time the department is reevaluating whether specific technical standards are necessary and appropriate, and you know, we are doing that evaluation, but it is important to note that the withdrawal of these rulemakings does not change the substantive requirement of the ADA to provide effective communication and the requirement that websites be made accessible.

Andy, do you want to talk a little bit about website accessibility and how a covered entity needs to provide effective communication?

Andy Washburn

Sure. When you look at the Title 2 regulations, subpart E of that regulation requires that Title 2 entities ensure that their communications with people who have disabilities are as effective as they are with the general public. And, the question, as it was posed to us, had to do with a government website and that there were information that was available on the website, but it wasn't downloadable, it wasn't something that you could print. We would clearly indicate that there would need to be services that would provide accessibility. Now, the city might make the website accessible, and even though the -- we have not adopted specific standards for that, there are still ways to do that. There would also be other methods by which they could provide access to the information that is being provided to the public, generally. They would have to give some preference to what it is, some priMary consideration, some deference to what is it the person who has the disability needs in the format in which that information would be provided. So, that is an important concept that Title 2 entities have to think about when meeting the needs of people with disabilities in communications.

Peter Berg

And, that's important to understand, I think, Andy, that even without enforceable standards, there are still regulatory requirements that address the issues of access to information, in general, for both Title 2 and Title 3 of the ADA.

All right. If we can touch on -- if you can provide some clarification, I don't know if this is a Stephanie area or a Katie area, regarding if you provide us with an explanation on, I think it was back in December the attorney general announced the -- several guidance materials under the ADA had been rescinded, and if you could provide just an explanation of that, I think there was -- may have been some misunderstanding. And, then, in addition, the questioner also wanted to know about one of those documents that was taken back was on Olmstead, and the application of Olmstead in employment systems.

Stephanie Berger

Sure. This is Stephanie. So, as people are probably aware, this administration and this President has implemented several executive orders that pertain to guidance and reviewing guidance documents and reducing the number of guidance documents that exist. And, so, as part of the ongoing government-wide effort to reduce regulatory burdens and improve the quality guidance documents, we as every other department have been engaging in regulatory review.

As part of this process, the department reviewed public input received through a request for comments that the department's regulatory reform task force put out, which was in June of 2017. And, in response to that, there were quite a few comments that were receive on the Olmstead document that you're referring to, which was a 2016 guidance document on state and local Governments employment service systems. And, so, one thing I would just pause to say is that, you know, the department does periodically put out requests for comments, and we would certainly encourage folks to look for those, because your voices are important, and the department is responsive to folks comments, or at least tries to be, so we're always eager to receive public input.

So, with the Olmstead document the removal of the document was taken in order to forward further discussion with relevant stakeholders, including public entities, ask the disability community as to how best to provide technical assistance in this area, and if you go to our website on our Olmstead section, you will see a statement that says what I just said, but it basically talks about the decision to remove the Olmstead document at this time.

I will also note the department will maintain a list of all documents that it has withdrawn. Those documents are on that list, and if there are any others that are taken down in the future, they will be put up on that list. You can also search on using the word withdrawn, and those documents will come up.

Something I want to know, is just like the withdrawal of the web rules, just because the document is withdrawn does not change the obligations that exist under the ADA. And, so, the Olmstead decision is still law, still binding Supreme Court law, and you know, other binding legal requirements, and so the withdrawal should also not be understood as expressing any views on the legal merits or the principles that were set forth in that statement, or on the merit of any specific procedures that are currently in place, and any state or local jurisdictions. So, we continue to plan to fully and fairly enforce the ADA. And, that's what we have to say about that.

Peter Berg


Great. Thanks, Stephanie. There are a couple of Justice Department settlements agreements on that, and some of the other documents that were rescinded were based on the original 1991 Justice Department regulations or based on the 91 ADA Accessibility Standards.

So, speaking of Accessibility Standards --

Stephanie Berger

Wait. Hold on, Peter.

Stephanie Berger

I'm sorry.

Stephanie Berger

Sorry to interrupt. I was just going to mention for those who do get -- if you look at the DOJ website now, you will see that the division just entered into a new Olmstead agreement, I believe involving law enforcement. May just be a very large systemic agreement involving the State of Louisiana and law enforcement, and I was looking. I just want to grab the press release so I can actually give you the -- thank you. Great.

So, the department reaches the agreement to resolve ADA investigation of Louisiana use of nursing facilities to serve people with serious mental illness.

So, this is a matter in which I believe the department filed a complaint in federal court and then resolved it with a settlement agreement with the State of Louisiana. So, for those who are interested in the department's Olmstead work, I think you can go on and see the most recent and hot off the presses work in that area. All right. Sorry. Go ahead.

Peter Berg


All right. That's great. So, we get, as you can see, continued enforcement and you have settlement agreements out there and that will be available on

All right. So, going on to some accessibility questions that we had submitted in advance. In questions dealing with a mobile bathing facility that is provided at a shelter, and what would be the application of the ADA, and more specific, what would be the application of the 2010 ADA Standards to, you know, a temporary moveable bathing station that had, you know, three bathing facilities within that mobile unit?


Hi, Peter this, is Mary. I'll take that one.

So, there wasn't -- when I was looking at the question, I actually looked up to see what our options were for these mobile hygiene centers. It appears that some are doing them in vehicles and buses and vans, some of them are doing them as trailers. So, more portable bathing units. And, so, I'll kind of talk a little bit about both of those.

So, the mobile hygiene center, if you have a van or a bus is a facility subject to requirements of Title 3, and also of Title 2, but I will start with Title 3. There are no specific standards for newly constructed or alter vans. So, but the vehicles are subject to other Title 3 requirements including the obligation to provide equal opportunity and the duty to remove architectural communication, if that is necessary in this situation, and transportation barriers to the extent that it is readily achievable to do so. If not, they have to provide alternative methods. So these surfaces were offered to everyone. In particular, so in order to remove those barriers you could look to the 2010 Standards as a guidance to what would it take to have accessibility in those vans.

As far as the one that is are trailers or probably would look more like portable units, those could follow the 2010 Standards as portable units. So, we could look to that. I don't know that -- I don't know if I have enough information to really specifically talk about this particular trailer question.

And under Title 2, of course, you know, if the local standard government is running the shelter or providing the shower facilities, then there would be a program access obligation to make those showers and bathing areas accessible to people with disabilities.

Peter Berg

Great. I think the important thing for folks to remember is that, you know, temporary facilities structures are subject to the 2010 Standards and to the ADA, in general. So, Mary, speaking about temporary, we also had a question about an entity that uses as an overflow parking and we get these questions, and I'm sure Andy and you get these questions. It is summertime and we have lots of festivals and temporary events and lots of people are doing their rib fest and music fests and all sorts of things.

What is the application of the ADA to just in general temporary parking that is provided in grassy areas or, you know, on dirt areas?


Well, I think if you're providing additional accessible parking, so then your numbers of parking spaces go up, then you would look to the chart and the standards to find out how many accessible spaces would be needed and provide those spaces to meet that increased quantity of parking spaces offered. Of course, they wouldn't meet the standards if they were provided on the grassy areas, but you might be providing them closer on an accessible surface.

Peter Berg

Great. Thanks. And, another question here on the access board had published a final rule under the Architectural Barriers Act ADA regarding outdoor developed area, so addressing areas such as picnic areas, campsites, beach sites, and a question about rulemaking for that under Title 2 of the ADA and the questioner wanted to know, again in the absence of enforceable standards, what is a good guidance for state and local Governments that do have, you know, state parks, campsites, and picnic locations. What is their best options for, you know, compliance and ensuring access for people with disabilities?

Andy Washburn

Sure, Peter. It is Andy again. Well, as you stated, obviously the standard that was adopted was under the Architectural Barriers. Having read the access website, I think they will be engaged in some -- in drafting some guidelines, specifically for the ADA, which I know the department will have some input into. We frequently get questions where there may not be direct standards currently under the ADA as adopted by the department, but there may be other goods like the U.S. Access Board that has put out good material that is well-considered material and researched material on how to make certain environments accessible, and it's not uncommon that in answering a question like that that we would point to that information that is available and make it clear, although if the ADA doesn't compel the covered entity to use that guidance, it is information that they could point to from obviously a very reliable source on how to make those environments, or at least those aspects of those environments for which we do not currently have standards accessible to people with disabilities. So, again, it's very common that we would refer people to that information and tell them that they might want to review it, and how to make those elements accessible.

Peter Berg

Thanks, Andy. And, we also, on the topic of pending rulemaking, had a couple of questions regarding public rights of way, which falls under the jurisdiction enforcement of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and just like the undeveloped area rule, the Access Board does have draft guidelines for the public right-of-way, and when we talk about public right-of-way, we're talking about public sidewalks, street crossings, on-street parking, and the like. So, you know, again, that is an area where a public entity could choose to use that. Those are the best guidelines available for compliance and doing self-evaluation and transition plans. And, in fact, the U.S. Department, I'm sorry, the Federal Highway Administration, you know, has sent out information, you know, encouraging state and local government entities to use those drafts as guidelines. As we know the 2010 Standards, those are accessibility requirements specifically for a building.

So, hopefully that information is helpful for the folks that had questions about Pro Wag, Public Rights and Ways Accessibility Guidelines.



Peter Berg


Peter Berg

Go ahead.


This is Mary. I would like to add the Public Rights Guidelines and Requirements under the ADA. Section 35151i, the 2010 Standards does have two requirements where you would have to comply with the 2010 Standards of related to curb ramps that are in the right-of-way. The newly constructed -- if you have newly constructed or alter streets, roads or highways, they must contain curb ramps or sloped areas to have any curbs or barriers to entry from the street. Level pedestrian walkway. Or, and also when you have newly constructed or altered street level pedestrian walkways, they must contain curbs, ramps, other sloped areas. So, if the street is altered, the curb ramps need to comply, if the walkway is altered and hits an intersection where there is a curb, that curb ramp needs to comply, as well. And, Section 406 of the 2010 Standards has technical requirements for curb ramps. So, they must follow the 2010 Standards to comply with that obligation under Title 2 to provide access to programs, activities, and services that are accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

And, also what we're saying, what we're saying -- have said, is that public entities may turn to different sources for guidance when determining how to comply, which is what you mentioned, with the program access requirement in the absence of standards. So, in all other situations, other than these two curb ramp locations. But, a public entity could look to the 2010 Standards as some of those standards include requirements, it might be analogous to issues in the public right-of-way, and as you stated, they may wish to consider the 2011 Access Board draft guidelines. We just want to make sure that they understand that the proposed guidelines that the Access Board has have not been finalized or adopted by DOJ, or DOT, so they're not enforceable or otherwise required. So, just wanted to make that clear, that there are two situations that are covered by the 2010 Standards.

Peter Berg

Right. And the Justice Department has a really good technical assistance document that was issued in conjunction with the Department of Transportation on resurfacing and obligations to address the lack of curb ramps at intersections.


That's correct. Also defines what is considered an alteration in the public like right-of-way.

Peter Berg

Yes, a question that gives specific examples. Another technical assistance document that you can find on, when you get to the home page, look for the link that says requirements and technical assistance material is the link.

All righty. Let's go on to another question here that was submitted in advance, and a question about taxis and the requirement to provide accessible vehicles. And also the application of the ADA to newer, they've been around for a bit now, the rideshare service such as Uber and Lyft and the application of the ADA to those types of services.

Stephanie Berger

This is Stephanie. So, the transportation regulations are actually issued by DOT under their authority under Title 2, Subtitle B of the ADA. So, we have sort of concurrent jurisdiction DOT on a lot of transportation issues, but those regulations as opposed to finding them in the same section where you have find those are regulations that you actually find them as I believe it is 49CFR37. So, taxis are not -- the DOT regulations have some vehicle accessibility requirements, but taxis are not covered under those vehicle accessibility requirements, in other words making the actual vehicles themselves accessible. So, the DOT regulations and we are silent on modifying minivans vehicles currently. So, I can't provide any great advice on that, but I can talk a little bit about Uber and Lyft and our position on those services.

Actually, in 2014, the DOJ weighed in with a statement of interest in a case called National Federation of the Blind versus Uber, which was in the northern district of California. And, in that case an individual [who] had a service animal was denied access to an Uber, and the question was sort of whether or not these services were considered to be public accommodations, and the answer to that question was it doesn't really matter whether they're public accommodations or not, because they are covered separately under the Department of Transportation regulations as what is called a Demand Responsive Transportation Service. So, just like taxis, the vehicle itself is not required to be accessible, but they do have to meet all the sort of program access requirements, which does include allowing service animals in the vehicle. So, it is a long way of saying that our response to that is that, Uber and Lyft and all these other ride share apps that are sort of popping up these days do need to meet accessibility requirements, specifically allowing service animals.

Peter Berg

All right. Great. Thanks. We had a question regarding ticketing and the use of the accessible seating location. And, the question had to do with an individual that uses a service animal that is using the accessible seating location and whether or not there would be a requirement of the individual with a disability to keep the service animal within the wheelchair seating location.

Andy Washburn

So, this is Andy again, Peter. There is no language in our regulations that specifies that the dog must be kept specifically within the boundaries of that space. Clearly the individual who is using the service animal needs to maintain control over the animal, and the animal can't be disruptive to other individuals who are at the event and enjoying whatever event it might be, whether it is musical, theatrical or a sporting event, whatever. We don't categorically say that not even so much as a tail wagging outside of the space would be some violation of the law. I think in most instances the dog is probably going to be of a size that could be contained within the space, but we don't specifically state that. And, I don't think we would see it as a violation of the dog was somewhat out of the space but not, again, actively interfering with somebody else's enjoyment of the event. If that makes sense.

Peter Berg

Great. Thanks, Andy. Yes, that does.

And, another sort of a service animal question. Has another aspect to it. So, this questioner wanted to know about a college that is renting out dormitory rooms during the summer, operating it as sort of transient lodging, and wanted to know what are the requirements for the college in that context. And, then, there is an additional part of the question that indicates that the college is requiring individuals that use or have service animals to go through an additional step in order to get approval to be allowed to have the service animal accompany the person with a disability. So, a question about the application of the ADA to some this type of situation, and the individual wanted to know what options they have in terms of exercising protecting their rights.

Andy Washburn

This is Andy again. So, from the question, we don't know whether the school is a Title 2 or Title 3 entity, which will change what kinds of obligations an existing facility is likely to have. In this case, with regard to the current standards, we would reference this as transient lodging. So, there would be specific requirements for mobility, rooms, rooms that have features for people with mobility and disabilities, as well as a certain number of apartments or rooms that are being rented that would meet the needs of people who have communications issues. If we're talking about Title 2 entity State or Local County Government, they're going to have a broad program access requirement. So, we might not specify a specific number of rooms, because it is not new construction. They do have to make their programs accessible, and so they are going to have to take a look at probably upgrading some of those elements to ensure that at least one, if not more of the rooms, meet requirements from a mobility feature, as well as one, if not more rooms, units that would have features for people who have communication needs.

If this was a private entity, not run by a religious entity, then they would likely have obligations to remove barriers that are readily achievable. And, that is a requirement that is going to require significantly less accessibility than a program access requirement would be, and that's going to be more about, you know, can we remove certain barriers that are easily accomplishable without much difficulty or expense. And, much of that is going to be determined by what it would cost to remove certain barriers, what the resources of the title 3 entity are, whether there are some inherent architectural limitations that would prevent full compliance. So, there's going to be obligations, but it's probably going to fall short of a new construction standard.

Peter Berg

All right. Great. Thanks, Andy.

And, staying along the lines of barrier removal, a question that was submitted. And, the question about, you know, grandfather clause and does the ADA apply to, you know, all buildings, all facilities regardless of when, you know, when those facilities were constructed, and if you could address that issue you started to talk about, barrier removal, obligations, if you could just talk about if you know that phrase that we sometimes hear, you know, grandfather clause.

Andy Washburn

Yeah. That comes up all the time, Peter. Frequently, let me put it this way. For most businesses, it is intuitive for them if they're building something brand new, that they have to make it accessible. Even if they don't know what the standards are, I think they get that it has to be accessible. And, when they're altering, again, most businesses are going to understand I'm altering this, I'm going to have to, you know, provide some accessibility here, and they may not know what that means, but I think they get that.

What is less intuitive from my experience in talking with many businesses is that if they've done nothing to the property, it was built 60 years ago and they haven't done anything at all for the last 35 years, no alterations, no new construction, they don't understand that they may well have an affirmative obligations to remove barriers that are readily achievable. Again, that is going to fall, usually, short of a new construction standard, but many times people will find, people with disabilities will find that they can use the facility with just nominal changes that provide a bit more accessibility than there was. We clearly want to get people in the facilities, and we want to get people to where services are being provided for the general public, and then we would start to look at other ancillary things like services or elements that might support the primary area where the public is getting service, like a bathroom or water fountain, those kinds of things. So, there is an ongoing obligation that entities have to remove barriers that are readily achievable, again, as the defined easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense, it's an ongoing obligation. Again, I think that is just not intuitive. It is not a particularly well-understood part of the law, but those entities are not going to be grandfathered, i.e., as in not having any responsibility to doing anything.

Peter Berg

Great. Thanks, Andy.

And, another really good technical assistance document primer for small business, you know, takes you through the steps, gives you samples, as well as other parts of title 3, but does take you through the priorities for barrier removal getting really good examples so you can again find that on the Justice Department ADA website.

The question, and this is something that pops up from time to time, the question of the new symbol of accessibility, which is sometimes described as the dynamic symbol of accessibility, and a question about, you know, in the Justice Department 2010 Standards there is a section that allows what is called equivalent facilitation, which allows a departure from the specific technical requirements, where one is providing, you know, equal or greater access. So, this questioner wants to know about the application of that equivalent facilitation to this new dynamic symbol of accessibility, for instance, being used on accessible parking spaces in other areas.

Andy Washburn

So, let me share two thoughts about that with you, Peter. The first, as you've referenced is, you know when look at our 2010 Standards, Chapter 1, Section 103 does provide for disability of an entity to depart from our standards when they can show that what they're doing provides substantially equivalent or greater accessibility that would be the equivalent facilitation part.

There is also an advisory there that makes it quite clear that it is the covered entity's responsibility to show that it is an equivalent facilitation. So the burden of proof is theirs to show that what they've done is an equivalent facilitation.

But, the second part I would like to share with you comes from a phone call I took from the owner of a Title 3 entity a few weeks back who had questions about this new dynamic symbol. And, really wanted to get a sense of whether or not it would be an equivalent facilitation or not, and they were revamping their facility and it was going to be putting this or wanted to put it at the accessible parking spaces. They also had multiple entrances to a building and not all the entrances were accessible, so you wanted to mark the accessible entrances. They also had public restrooms. Again, they were not all accessible public restrooms. They wanted to mark or designate the accessible public restrooms with this symbol of accessibility. So, in thinking about this issue with him and talking with him, I made a point that when you put up the international symbol of accessibility that is usually conveying very specific information about the ways in which certain elements are going to be accessible. So, if you put that at a parking space, you know, for many people of disabilities, that is going to mean that the space is a certain width, that there is going to be an access out of it, there is going to be some sort of route, accessible route that gets them to where they're going from the parking. If you're putting it at the entrance of a facility, then you’re going to have a sense that the entrance or the route there is going to be so wide that it's, you know, that the slope is going to be a certain thing. If it is just a route, or another thing, if it is a ramp, but that information is going to be conveyed. If it is on a bathroom, you're going to have a sense that the lavatory is going to be a certain height, that the controls are going to be a certain place, you're going to be able to operate these controls with one hand, that the toilet is likely to be in a corner, it going to be so high, it's going to be grabbed by the back and then the side walls. And, so, in talking about that with this gentleman, I said, you know, if somebody is driving into a parking space and it has this new dynamic symbol, there is a lot of visual cues that go along with the sign. They're going to see the spaces wide enough. They're going to see that there is an access aisle there. They're going to see, or probably see, that there is a route that leads them to where it is they want to go from the parking. And, so, I think that is going to be fairly intuitive to many people in that context, but if you put the new dynamic symbol on a bathroom, for example, I don't know what is in that bathroom until I go in. You're not going to get the same sort of visual cues, you may not be conveying the same information you would a parking stall where you can see everything.

So, I think there is a danger of just sort of assuming that the new symbols absolutely an equivalent facilitation. I think you have to take a look at the context and determine, you know, whether that would be appropriate. But I certainly think in some instances it would be intuitive. It may be less intuitive in other environments.

Peter Berg

Thanks, Andy. And, you know obviously the obligation, you know, is on the entity to prove equivalent facilitation if ever challenged.

A question regarding one of the exception allowances in the 2010 Standard. So, in Chapter 213 of the 2010 Standards there is an exception for single-user toilet rooms, and the exception is that no more than 50% of those rooms are required to be accessible. And, this questioner wants to know does that exception or will that exception apply to single user bathing rooms?

Mary Adams

Hi Peter. This is Mary. If you look at 13.2, the part of that section where says bathing rooms are provided, each bathing room shall comply with 603. So, we'll start there, and then we want to look down that exception list to see if that requirements changed.

And, when you look at exception 4, it is very specific to say toilet rooms, it does not say bathing rooms. So, that would mean that all of the bathing rooms would have to comply. There wouldn't be an exception to only providing 50% that comply.

Peter Berg

All right. Great. Thanks for that clarification, Mary.

To our other -- Mary, our operator, at this point I'm going to check with you real quick to see if we have any questions on the telephone.


At this time, I would like to remind everyone in order to ask a question, press star and then the number 1 on your telephone keypad. We will pause for just a moment to compile the Q&A roster.

Peter Berg

We'll come back to you Mary, if we have time, since there is no one on there now.

A question regarding the use of LULA, I don't know it is a Mary or Andy question, the Limited Use or Limited Access elevators. A questioner wanting to know whether those can be used under the 2010 Standards, the use of the LULA or Limited Use, Limited Access elevators.

Mary Adams

That would be Mary again. Thank you. So, the LULA can be used when an elevator is not required. So, it can't replace an elevator that is required by the standards. It can be used -- so, if you're a facility that falls under some of the elevator exceptions, less than three stories, less than 3,000 square feet per floor, you're not required to put an accessible route to put in a level, if you choose to put in a LULA, you could do that.

The other place you could use a LULA is anyplace that is permitted under 206.7 to use a platform lift. So, it could be used instead of a platform lift in those specific instances. And, they're listed in 206.7.

Peter Berg

Great. Let's stick with another 2010 Standard question, an elevator question. And, the question has to do with buildings that either are required to provide elevators because they're more than three stories or more than 3,000 square feet, or where they choose to provide an elevator. And, you know, the requirement when you have a building that has a mezzanine within one of those stories, and what are the 2010 requirements regarding access to those mezzanines in buildings that do have elevators within them.

Mary Burns

Right. So, what was interesting about this question is going back to kind of the beginning, where the 91 Standards spoke about elevators, the 2010 talks about accessible routes. So, an elevator is one element that could be used in an accessible route.

The exception falls for a facility that has less than three stories. So, if we hit the three-story mark, we now have to have accessible routes to all the stories, and mezzanines. So, the overall requirement is to have the accessible routing to all stories and all mezzanines that don't fall under those exceptions.

Once you fall under that exception, so you're less than three stories, in this case, or less than 3,000 feet, then you go -- the exception says that you do not have to provide an accessible route to the stories. And, so, the questioner kind of got that correct in that it doesn't say mezzanines, it just says stories. Where the beginning of that Section 206.2.3 says you have to provide route to all stories and mezzanines, this one takes out the requirement to provide an accessible route to stories.

So, then the question is, what happens to the mezzanines? So, they're still required to be accessible under that situation. Because you had the requirement that says stories and mezzanines had to be accessible. And I think that is the case, because then when you get to other sections under the accessible route, so in 206.2, which is accessible route, let's see, what it is specifically called. Yeah, accessible routes were required, if you get to 206.2.4, which talks about spaces and elements, and it says at least one accessible route shall connect the accessible building and facility entrances with all accessible spaces and elements within the facility that are otherwise connected by a circulation path, and then it says except if you meet one of those exceptions. So, okay, so we don't have to provide the accessible route, because we met the exception to stories, but then what happens to the mezzanine? Well, interesting if you look at Exception 3 under that Spaces and Elements Section, it tells you, accessible routes shall not be required to connect mezzanines where building and facilities have no more than one story or in addition where they're not required to connect stories and they're accepted.

That is kind of where it takes it out. I think the reason mezzanine is parsed because if you get to 206.2.5 as an example, restaurants and cafeterias, that requires an accessible route to all dining levels, whether raised or sunken or outdoor. And, there is an exception under that requirement that says, that they're not -- buildings and facilities are not required to provide an accessible route between stories. If it is not required to provide a route between stories, it is not required to provide a route to the mezzanine dining area, but there is a qualifier, where the mezzanine contains less than 25% and the same decor and services are provide an accessible level. Specifically for restaurants and cafeterias, you might have to provide an accessible route to a mezzanine. I think you have to look at each kind of element shall find out where you fall to see if that requirement to find an accessible route to a mezzanine has been taken out by exception.

Peter Berg

Excellent. Thanks for that breakdown and explanation, Mary.

Getting close to the bottom of the hour here. A question that was submitted online regarding obligations of large box doors, such as hardware stores that provide for rental trucks. You know, your U-Haul type trucks to bring home the large merchandise that one has just purchased or drywall or what the case may be. What are the obligations for those businesses with regards to providing hand controls for someone that requires hand controls to operate a vehicle?

Stephanie Berger

[Laughter]. Well, you might have come up with one that stumped us all. [Laughter].

I think, is that -- would that be in DOTs regs?

Katie Wolfe

No. It is part of reasonable modification analysis. Is it a reasonable modification to require hand controls in that instance? Interestingly in the title 3 regulations, the installation of hand controls is one of the examples listed among the examples of generally readily achievable barrier removal.

So, this issue comes up sometimes. I haven't seen it in this context, but I've seen it in others, and I think it is a fairly fact-specific analysis as to whether it would be a reasonable modification to do so, or whether it would be a fundamental alteration in terms of, you know, the safety specs, or permanent changes to the car -- to the van. It might depend on how large their fleet is. In general, I would think that the store would have an obligation to provide equal access. We've seen it in the rental car context, and we have taken the position that rental car enterprises do have to provide hand controls. So, generally it is an equal opportunity standard, and it very well might be required, unless there were defenses.

Interestingly, there has been some recent litigation on this issue where I believe there were thousands of pages of amicus briefs filed by not on the box stores, but on, I believe, used cars. And, whether they need to install hand controls for -- so you could go on a test drive. And, those amicus briefs brings really factual questions about the actual, what is involved in installing hand controls, what kind of training you have to have to do it, liability issues, safety issues, and things like that. So, if anyone is really interested in this issue, I would recommend that you do a quick case law search. And I think there is some interesting issues there.

Peter Berg

Thank you very much, and we have reached, actually gone past the bottom of the hour, so I appreciate the extra time that you put in, all of you, Andy, Stephanie, Katie, and Mary, with answering these questions. We still had many questions that we were not able to get to, so you can certainly reach out to the Justice Department, the ADA hotline, as well as your regional ADA centers with additional questions, or if your question was not addressed, you can take those up.

As a reminder, today's session has been recorded. An edited transcript of today's session will be available within two weeks' time and posted to the ADA audio conference website.

I want to, again, thanks our speakers today for their preparation for thinker time in joining us today, the ADA national network has a long history and relationship with the Department of Justice, and we at the national network truly appreciate the ability to access, you know, all of you and your expertise in helping people understand rights and responsibilities under the ADA.

We will be having -- information will be upcoming, forthcoming regarding the July ADA Audio Conference Series. Please stay tuned to, and that is where you will find information about that session and the availability to register once that session has been posted.

Again, thanks to our speakers, thanks to all of you for participating. Thanks for all the questions submitted in advance, and during the session. Hope to have all you back -- have all of you back in July. Thanks for joining us today. Take care, and have a good day.