The Court allows the ADA Title III complaint against Uber to go forward despite Uber’s claim that as a virtual service they are not a place of public accommodation. The decision has potential implications for a wide range of online services.
National Federation Of The Blind Of California; Kelly; Hingson; Pedersen
Uber Technologies, Inc. Rasier Technologies Inc; Rasier, LLC; Rasier-CA, LLC
Case No. 14-cv-04086 NC Order Denying Motion to Dismiss.
Last September the National Federation of the Blind California and three individuals filed a complaint in Federal Court against Uber stating that drivers routinely refused to serve riders who travel with service animals. Uber filed to have the case dismissed for lack of standing. stating in part that they are outside the ADA’s jurisdiction because they are not a place of public accommodation. Uber’s argument is that they facilitate rides through technology having no storefront or building where their clients are served and are there for not a “place of public accommodation”. In last week’s ruling for the plaintiffs the district court followed the reasoning of the First Circuit (37 F.3d 12, 13, 1994) where the Court reasoned that “by including ‘travel service’ among the list of services considered ‘public accommodations,’ Congress clearly contemplated that ‘service establishments’ include providers of services which do not require a person to physically enter an actual physical structure.” Circuits have been split on this issue. Larry Paradis, Executive Director of Disability Rights Advocates which represents the plaintiffs stated that this ruling will help to establish that “new technology companies like Uber are subject to the same civil rights laws as other companies that have more traditional business models”
The ultimate decision may impact accessibility of digital only services offered to the public. It would not shift the current obligations of colleges to ensure that their programs and services, including those offered digitally through third party vendors, are accessible. However a decision for the plaintiffs would likely increase the availability of accessible products in the market place.
U.S. Access Board Webinar: Application of the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards (May 7)
The next webinar in the U.S. Access Board's free monthly series will take place May 7 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will cover application of the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards in new construction, alterations, and additions. The session will address the scope of the standards, which encompass a wide range of facilities in the public and private sectors, and review scoping provisions for spaces and elements, general exceptions, and other provisions relevant to application. Questions can be submittedin advance of the session (total limited to 25) or can be posed during the webinar.
For more information, including registration instructions, visit www.accessibilityonline.org.
ADA 25 Columbus Essay Contest
Call for Entries
July 26, 2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is one of the most significant civil rights laws impacting millions of people with disabilities. Columbus, Ohio will host events in recognition of this landmark legislation on July 22nd and 23rd, 2015. Included in its celebration, the ADA 25 Columbus Planning Committee is pleased to announce an ADA Essay Contest.
Two winning Essays will be selected, one from each age category and each will be awarded a $250 prize. Winning Essays will be included in a commemorative booklet, will be read on the VOICEcorps reading service radio program Morning Exchange and published in disability-related media.
A. Topic: Disability Rights Are Civil Rights—what does this mean?
B. Word limit: 250-500 words, single-spaced (word count needs to be included at top of page), Times New Roman, 12 pt. font
C. In an attached Microsoft Word document (not in body of email)
D. Can be dictated to someone and proofread
E. Age categories: 17 and under, and 18 and over
F. Entrants must reside in Central Ohio
G. Non-fiction, but can be personal or research-based
H. Abilities: all
I. Judging criteria:
1. Factually correct or historically accurate
3. Adherence to topic
4. “Wow!” factor
Essays must be returned electronically in an attachment as a Microsoft Word document (not in the body of an email) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In email body include:
Contact Information: Address, Phone, Email Address
Entries must be received by midnight, May 31, 2015
Note: Electronic submission of Essays for this contest automatically grants permission to the ADA 25 Columbus Planning Committee to reproduce or use any or all parts of the Essay with appropriate recognition of the Author.
The EEOC released an advanced copy (attached) of its promised rulemaking on the intersection of the ADA, wellness programs and group health plans yesterday it will be officially published on Monday starting a 60 day public comment period ending June 19.
The proposed rule provides guidance on how wellness programs offered as part of a group health plan can comply with the ADA and with HIPAA, as amended by the Affordable Care Act. The ADA limits employer medical inquires but does allow them if they are voluntary and part of an employee health program. Such programs must show that they are reasonably likely to promote health or prevent disease. Employees can’t be required to participate in a wellness program, and cannot be denied health coverage or disciplined if they choose not to participate The rule supports offering participation incentives of up to 30 percent of the total cost of employee-only coverage to employees that participate in wellness programs even when the program includes medical exams and inquires (such as questions on a health risk assessment).
The rule highlights important protections offered by the ADA. Medical information collected as a part of a wellness program may be disclosed to employers only in aggregate form that does not reveal the employee's identity, and must be kept confidential. The rule reinforces the employer’s obligation to provide reasonable accommodations to allow employees with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in wellness programs and to earn any offered incentives.
EASI Free Webinar: Accessibility Training for Online Educators Tuesday April 21, 11 Pacific, Noon Mountain, 1 Central and 2 PM Eastern
Presenters: Sheryl Burgstahler and Hadi Rangin from the University of Washington
This presentation describes 2 online courses to prepare faculty to provide accessible online content for their students. Sheryl describes a course she delivered online for faculty at Rutgers University. Hadi outlines a similar course he delivered for faculty at the University of Illinois.
EASI Webinar: Adobe Connect Meetings (web conferencing) Tuesday April 28 at 11 Pacific, noon Mountain, 1 Central and 2 Eastern
Presenter: Jim Allan from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired >
Adobe Connect is one of the major Web conferencing systems in wide use today. The Texas school has been using it regularly, and Jim will demonstrate it for us
You can read about and register for these Webinars at: http://easi.cc/clinic.htm#april
Press Releases Home → Media → Press Releases →
Willits v. City of LA Sidewalk Settlement Announced
Posted by Mayor Eric Garcetti on April 01, 2015.
An agreement to resolve the Willits v. City of Los Angeles case was reached today that will result in a more than $1 billion investment in city sidewalk repairs and other pedestrian improvements.
The class action sought to ensure better access for persons with mobility disabilities to the city’s sidewalks, curb ramps, crosswalks, pedestrian crossings and other walkways.
Plaintiffs included Mark Willits, Judy Griffin, Brent Pilgreen, and Communities Actively Living Independent and Free (“CALIF”). They were represented by a team of lawyers led by Guy Wallace of Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns, LLP, Linda M. Dardarian of Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian and Ho, Jinny Kim of the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, and Anna Rivera of Disability Rights Legal Center.
The City of Los Angeles was represented by City Attorney Mike Feuer and Chief Deputy City Attorney Jim Clark, Assistant City Attorney Laurie Rittenberg, and the City’s outside Counsel Kevin Gilbert of Lozano Smith, and Christopher Wong and David Raizman of Ogletree, Deakins.
In addition, the Mayor’s Office, City Council President Herb Wesson, City Council Members Paul Krekorian and Joe Buscaino, and City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana all played key roles in the shaping of the agreement.
Plaintiffs’ lead counsel Guy Wallace said, “This $1.4 billion settlement is the largest disability access class action settlement in U.S. history. It will make the City’s sidewalk system accessible to persons with mobility disabilities. It will install curb ramps throughout the City, fix sidewalks that are broken and torn up by tree roots, install accessible sidewalks where they do not exist, and remove many other barriers. By making the City’s sidewalks and crosswalks accessible, this settlement will make it much easier for persons with mobility disabilities to get to and use government facilities, to find or get to jobs and workplaces, to go shopping, to go to the doctor, to participate in community life, and to be with their friends and families.
“Under the settlement, people with disabilities will also be able to make requests for access fixes in their own neighborhoods, such as for curb ramp installation, or tree root repairs. Over the course of the settlement, the City’s sidewalks will be transformed. And the lives of persons with mobility disabilities will be made a lot better. We are very thankful to Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer, Chief Deputy City Attorney Jim Clark, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana and all of the City officials who have made this outstanding and historic result possible.”
Lillibeth Navarro, Executive Director of CALIF, said, “This settlement vindicates the central purposes of the ADA: access, independence and equality. In Los Angeles, for too long, wheelchair users and people with other types of mobility disabilities have been forced to struggle with curbs that don’t have curb ramps, sidewalks that are broken and torn up, and crosswalks that are filled with potholes and cracks. We are pleased that the City has finally made a real commitment to making its public sidewalk system accessible. Now people with mobility disabilities will be able to go whether they need to go, and also where they want to go. That is what the ADA is all about.”
Linda Dardarian, said “This historic agreement shows what can be accomplished when the City and its residents work together to solve chronic, systemic, seemingly intractable problems. The City’s sidewalks have been deteriorating for decades, but due to the dedication and commitment of the City and the community of people with mobility disabilities, this trend is being reversed, to the benefit of everyone who lives in or visits Los Angeles.”
“This agreement shows how we are changing the way we do business at City Hall and are getting back to basics,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Instead of fighting against fixing our sidewalks, we came to the table to reach an agreement to invest more than a billion dollars in our sidewalk infrastructure – which will improve access and safety, and boost property values and neighborhood pride.”
"Today we make an ironclad long-term commitment to repair L.A.'s broken sidewalks," said City Attorney Mike Feuer. "It's so much better to prevent residents from being injured in the first place than to react after the fact. This settlement directs taxpayer dollars to where they belong: solving one of our City's most longstanding problems."
“This historic settlement is good news. After five years of litigation, we can now look to the future and what will be achieved to enhance the quality of life for everyone in the City of Los Angeles," said Council President Herb Wesson.
“This settlement is an enormous step forward for the City of Los Angeles and its residents,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. “For decades, buckled sidewalks have plagued neighborhoods from the San Fernando Valley to the South Bay. All of that is going to change starting today with the city’s historic commitment to fix our sidewalks and make them accessible to everyone. I have been intimately involved in this case from day one and will continue to work with the Mayor, the City Attorney and my colleagues on the City Council to achieve our goal of implementing a comprehensive sidewalk repair program that improves every community in this great city.”
"As chairman of the Public Works committee, I have been committed to finding solutions to fixing our streets and sidewalks since my first day on the Los Angeles City Council," said Councilmember Joe Buscaino. "The settlement of this lawsuit is a win for not only the mobility impaired, but for all Angelenos as it finally requires the city to fix its broken sidewalks. There are no losers here. I look forward to hearing from the public as we develop the details in the Public Works Committee on how residents can submit repair requests, which locations to prioritize and how quickly we can start the work."
The agreement calls for a $1.4 billion investment in the city’s sidewalks and other walkways over the next 30 fiscal years, starting at the beginning of FY 15-16. Annual investments will range from $31 million during the next five years to more than $63 million in years 26 to 30. The amounts increase over time to ensure value is not lost due to inflation.
The settlement proposal will now go to the supervising court for approval and ultimate implementation.
Ohio Medicaid Buy-In for People with Disabilities Presentation
April 15, 2015
McCampbell Hall, Room 101
Join us as we learn more information about Medicaid Buy-In for individuals with disabilities with emphasis specifically for parents and advocates on:
• Potential Impacts of Affordable Health Care Act
• Medicaid Methodology
Presented by: Charles Beatty, Chairman, Medicaid Buy-In Committee and Parent Advocate
Please RSVP to: email@example.com 614-685-3185
A news blog on issues in the community of people with disabilities and accessibility.
Derek Mortland, ADA and Community Outreach Coordinator