Overcoming Myths About the ADA, and Serving Customers with Disabilities
We are the consulting service to turn to for compliance with the ADA, Section 504, and the Fair Housing Act – We provide comprehensive services, nationwide, in affiliation with other experts.
ADA Expertise Consulting, LLC was founded by Marc Dubin, Esq., a former Justice Department attorney who was responsible for nationwide enforcement of the law on behalf of the United States for over a decade. We collaborate with architects, web accessibility experts, and others across the nation, to provide you with the training, guidance, surveys, and other services you need, designed to enhance your ability to comply with the law and avoid litigation and federal enforcement efforts. We dispel myths and stereotypes about the ADA, and provide you with what you need to know.
Did You Know That:
According to the Justice Department:
"More than 50 million Americans – 18% of our population – have disabilities, and each is a potential customer. People with disabilities are living more independently and participating more actively in their communities. They and their families want to patronize businesses that welcome customers with disabilities. In addition, approximately 71.5 million baby boomers will be over age 65 by the year 2030 and will be demanding products, services, and environments that meet their age-related physical needs. Studies show that once people with disabilities find a business where they can shop or get services in an accessible manner, they become repeat customers."
- Compliance with state and local building codes does not mean that you are in compliance with the ADA. The ADA is not a building code, but rather, a complex federal civil rights law, enforced by the Justice Department, other federal agencies, and by private litigants, and it has its own requirements concerning architecture. In addition, many states, like Florida, no longer have their building codes certified by the Justice Department, resulting in increased risk of federal violations and federal enforcement.
- The ADA mandates that effective communication be provided, and that in many circumstances, businesses and state and local governments are required to pay for a sign language interpreter, and provide printed materials in alternative formats, such as Braille and large print, even if it cuts into your profit.
- The ADA applies regardless of the number of employees. Even a solo practitioner is covered, and must comply.
- The ADA does not have a grandfather clause.
The ADA requires businesses to remove architectural barriers, even in buildings that were built before the passage of the ADA, and if a business makes an alteration or builds a new building, the federal architectural obligations are even more strict.
- Many building code officials do not know what the ADA requires, since it is a federal civil rights law, not a building code, and that many architects and attorneys do not adequately know the requirements of the ADA either? In addition, state building code waivers may still get your business in trouble under the ADA. We provide extensive training and assistance, to improve their services, and to help you comply.
- Websites that are not accessible to visitors who are blind or deaf may result in a federal civil rights investigation that could require you to pay damages, and pay civil penalties to the federal government of as much as $75,000 for the first offense, and up to $150,000 for each subsequent violation.
Did you know that many websites contain inaccessible PDFs? Did you know that Target Corporation paid over $6 million in damages in a recent lawsuit about the inaccessibility of their website? Our experts can assess your website, and help you bring it into compliance, thereby bringing you more customers.
- ADA Coordinators, despite their best efforts and intentions, often do not have adequate training in the ADA and in Section 504, and that they often are assigned so many other projects that they do not have time to provide the services they are required by the ADA to provide? Did you know that all state and local government agencies with 50 or more employees are required to appoint and train an ADA Coordinator? We provide them with the training and support they need, and keep them informed of what they need to do. We can also help develop outreach materials and efforts, and help state and local governments develop and update Self Evaluation Plans, Transition Plans, and Grievance Procedures.
- Police departments and jails are often unaware of their obligations to the deaf community, and often fail to have lawful policies about communicating with victims, witnesses, suspects and inmates who are deaf? Did you know that police often fail to have contracts with qualified sign language interpreters or a method for providing sign language interpreters at crime scenes, and thereby miss critical communication, in violation of the ADA? We have extensive experience training police departments, and ensuring their ADA Coordinators are prepared to assist them in addressing the needs of the deaf community.
- Lawyers, accountants, and architects are covered by the ADA, and are required to provide qualified sign language interpreters to clients who are deaf, at no cost to the client, when the interpreter is necessary for effective communication? We have extensive knowledge of these requirements – Marc Dubin brought the Justice Department's first Civil Rights Division investigation of attorneys failing to provide sign language interpreters to clients, an investigation which became a model for all future Justice Department investigations.
- Even if you do not receive federal financial assistance, you are covered by the ADA. And, if you do receive federal financial assistance, you risk losing it.
- The Justice Department recently issued new ADA regulations, in 2010, and that they became effective March 15, 2012.
Why Is This a Good Time To Review Your ADA Compliance?
The Justice Department issued major revisions to the title II and Title III regulations, revisions which took effect on March 15, 2012.
Even if you were previously in compliance with the ADA, it is time to review your compliance efforts in light of these new regulations. The new regulations set out important changes, including:
- Use of Segways and similar devices
- Service animals
- Miniature horses
- Testing and licensing
- Automated phone systems
- Video Remote Interpreting and
- Ticketing policies for performance venues.
For the first time, the ADA regulations also cover areas never before addressed:
- Recreational facilities, including exercise equipment and exercise machines, amusement rides, boating areas, fishing, golf courses and miniature golf courses, play areas, swimming pools, and spas.
- Courtrooms and judicial facilities
- Prisons and jails
- Holding cells and housing cells
- Residential dwelling units and facilities
It is important to understand these new requirements. We can help, and can provide training and policy assessment and development..
In addition, it is important to note that the Justice Department, and many private plaintiffs, are increasingly bringing investigations and lawsuits concerning web accessibility. Our experts can help you.
ADA Expertise Consulting, LLC can assist you in addressing all of the ADA’s mandates, and guide you in what you need to do to be in compliance. We can also assist your attorney and architect in understanding the ADA. And, if you are already in litigation, we can assist you in preparing for negotiations or mediation. Please get in touch with us to see how we can be of service to you.