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Americans With Disabilities Act Technical Assistance Program

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Justice , Civil Rights Division
CFDA #: 16.108

Program accomplishments...

Recent accomplishments in enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act include obtaining a consent decree against AMC Entertainment, Inc., resolving accessibility problems in newly constructed AMC stadium-style movie theaters not related to the provision of comparable lines of sight; and remedying Title III violations by Top China Buffet, a restaurant that refused to permit a patron to enter with a service animal. The Department intervened in a number of lawsuits to defend the constitutionality of Title II suits against States and filed amicus briefs arguing that private plaintiffs can pursue actions in particular circumstances, and defended an employer's neutral policy of refusing to rehire former employees who have lost their jobs because of illegal drug use, because the policy was applied in a non-discriminatory manner to all discharged employees regardless of the type of misconduct that was the basis for the discharge and regardless of whether the former employee had a disability. Formal settlement agreements were secured under Project Civic Access to ensure that the local government programs of 17 communities were accessible to a broad range of people with disabilities, bringing the number of agreements reached under this initiative to 69. Other significant settlement agreements have addressed the obligation of the State of Connecticut Superior court to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language and oral interpreters, where necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities and the obligation of a chain of 48 convenience stores to improve accessibility by removing barriers to access at entrances and restrooms in stores that were existing before the ADA. Much of the Department's enforcement effort focuses on resolution without litigation or formal agreements. For example, under a contract the Department refers complaints to professional mediators who have been trained in the legal requirements of the ADA. This has resulted in many mediated agreements. The Department's successful enforcement and educational efforts are detailed in quarterly reports published by the Section and available online. The Technical Assistance Program, mandated under Section 506 of the ADA, provides answers to questions and free publications to businesses, state and local governments, people with disabilities, and the general public. The Section?s toll-free ADA Information Line received 120,000 calls in FY 2003. The Section develops and disseminates free ADA publications, provides training and information at meetings nationwide, and carries out a variety of outreach and educational initiatives to reach audiences affected by the ADA. The Section's technical assistance publications range from detailed technical assistance manuals to basic Question-and-Answer booklets and illustrated guides addressing specific topics. Publications can be obtained 24 hours a day through a free fax-on-demand service or through the Section's ADA Website. This web site, one of the top five in the Department, received 25 million visits to its pages and graphics in FY 2003. The Section also chairs an ADA Technical Assistance Coordinating Committee and works with other agencies to coordinate technical assistance activities nationwide. In 2003, the Section developed three new publications, a new video, a new CD-ROM, and electronic versions of the Guide to Disability Rights Laws in eight languages (Cambodian, Chinese, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese). The Section also published an article about the ADA-related tax credits and deductions in an IRS newsletter that reached seven million businesses nationwide. As part of its outreach to rural and minority populations and other groups affected by the ADA, the Section answered ADA questions and distributed information at the State Fairs of Florida and West Virginia, at