Job Accommodations Network (JAN) has published a new document that addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about disability disclosure and employment. Information is relevant to both individuals with disabilities and employers. See Disability Disclosure and Employment. Additional information and resources related to disability disclosure are at AskJAN.org in the A-Z section, under the topic of Disclosure.
Have a look at this new set of resources to develop the advocacy skills of emerging independent living leaders and youth with disabilities. The toolkit describes how to introduce advocacy through facilitating discussions and unique activities like improvisation, identifying issues of importance, and putting advocacy skills into practice. http://rtc.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/resources/advocacy-skill-building-toolkit/
July 25, 12:30-1:00: ADA Basics for Museums. In this session, presenters will give an overview of successful ways to ensure greater customer satisfaction for patrons with disabilities throughout their digital and real-life museum experience. Registration is free and required. http://www.adainfo.org/training/ADA-basics-museums
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted a new order, along with various proposals, as steps to improve the quality of Video Relay Services (VRS). This item also proposes a new provider compensation plan to better ensure that the experience of people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or have speech disabilities is functionally equivalent to voice telephone services.
In this American Sign Language video, we share these new mandates and proposals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq0Xqt3uZBQ
July 20, 2PM,
Webinar: Neurodiversity and Workplace Technology. Sponsored by the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology.
This “virtual talk” will discuss why technology and information access is a critical right for everyone, and how technology solutions are changing employment opportunities for people with cognitive disabilities.
Details here: http://www.peatworks.org/content/2017/07/Coleman
Join us July 13th for a FREE Webinar, Accessibility in the VR/AR Space. You’ve seen commercials about Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR/AR). VR/AR is not just about video games; it also has important uses in other fields, including healthcare and hospitality.
Key Topics we'll cover include:
* What is VR/AR?
* The Policy and Programs surrounding VR/AR
* How can VR/AR be made accessible? Explore the concepts
July 13, 2017 - Join a free webinar discussing disclosure of disability in the workplace. Presenters will review the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) pertaining to disclosure and examine the considerations that workers with disabilities must make in deciding whether to disclose. Registration is free and required.
The following information is forwarded to you by the Great Lakes ADA Center (www.adagreatlakes.org) for your information:
The New England ADA Center has released an updated version of the Title II Action Guide. This updated version is on-line and provides numerous interactive opportunities.
Access to civic life by people with disabilities is a fundamental goal of the Americans with Disabilities Act. State and local governments (public entities) have obligations under Title II of the ADA to provide people with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in all services, programs and activities. The new guide/website leads public entities through a process to compliance with the ADA.
You can view the guide on-line at: www.adaactionguide.org
Since this year’s inauguration, we’ve seen a sea of protest sweep across the U.S., from spontaneous events to carefully organized marches that have been in the works for weeks. As a seasoned protest veteran, it’s exciting to see so many people engaged in taking their causes to the streets.
It’s coming at a price, though. Many of these events are leaving disability off their “diversity statements” and they’re also failing to account for disabled people who might want to participate. We have a lot at stake in the coming years and we’re eager to join our fellow citizens. We’re also tired of repeatedly asking events to foreground accessibility, rather than treating it as an afterthought, or expecting us to come in and clean up their inaccessible mess.
Real inclusive organizing should at a minimum include: Incorporating disability into your values or action statements; having disabled people on the organizing committee or board; making accessibility a priority from day one; and listening to feedback from disabled people.
Cook County Record
April 24, 2017
Lawsuit: McDonald's website, mobile app not accessible to the blind, violates ADA
by Jonathan Bilyk
A blind man has sued McDonald’s, claiming the fast food giant has discriminated against him under federal disabilities law because it has not made its smartphone app or website accessible to those with visual impairments.
On April 23, plaintiff Sean Gorecki, of Los Angeles, filed suit in Chicago federal court, accusing the Oak Brook-based McDonald’s Corp. of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as California state law.
According to his lawsuit, Gorecki, while visually impaired, navigates the internet and smartphone apps by using special screen-reading software. Specifically, the complaint said Gorecki regularly uses a popular screen reader known as “Jobs Access With Speech,” or JAWS, to browse webpages and obtain information from online sources.
The complaint said he also uses an Apple iPhone, browsing websites and mobile apps using the iPhone’s built-in VoiceOver screen reader.
The complaint noted federal authorities have typically interpreted the ADA law to mean businesses must also design their websites and apps to allow for people with visual impairments to read the pages and access the information using only such a screen reader and a keyboard.
However, Gorecki said he and others who are blind or have significant visual impairments cannot easily read the information listed on McDonald’s website or app, including sections designed to allow users to “find … restaurants, access menu item descriptions and nutritional information, acquire special offers and coupons, and many other benefits related to these goods and services.”
He alleged McDonald’s has designed these online sources in ways that make it difficult for the screen readers he uses to navigate and access the information contained on the pages and in the app.
Specifically, the complaint alleged the online resources lacked accessible slide shows, made it difficult for visually impaired site users to use the site’s Nutrition Calculator, contained bad links and various “cursor traps,” which “structured (the site) in a confusing manner for screen readers.”
“During several separate visits to Defendant’s (McDonald’s) website and mobile app, Plaintiff (Gorecki) encountered multiple access barriers which denied Plaintiff full and equal access to the facilities, goods and services offered to the public and made available to the public on Defendant’s websites,” the complaint said.
The lawsuit alleged the “widespread access barriers” has meant those with visual impairments have “been deterred, on a regular basis, from accessing Defendant’s website and Mobile App,” preventing them from enjoying “full and equal access” to McDonald’s “goods and services” and deterring Gorecki and others from being able to visit McDonald’s restaurants “to purchase McDonald’s products and utilize coupons found on McDonald’s website and Mobile App.”
In the complaint, the plaintiffs ask the court to order McDonald’s to agree to allow a consultant to work with their website and mobile app teams to redesign the resources to be accessible to those with visual impairments who are using screen readers.
The lawsuit asks the court to order McDonald’s to pay compensatory damages “including, but not limited to, mental anguish, loss of dignity, and any other intangible injuries suffered by the Plaintiff as a result of the Defendant’s discrimination,” plus attorney fees. And the lawsuit asks the judge to award statutory minimum damages of $4,000 per violation, under California law.
Gorecki is represented in the action by attorneys Rusty A. Payton and Marc E. Dann, of the firm of PaytonDann, of Chicago, and attorneys Joseph R. Manning Jr. and Caitlin J. Scott, of the Manning Law Office, of Newport Beach, Calif.
A news blog on issues in the community of people with disabilities and accessibility.
Derek Mortland, ADA and Community Outreach Coordinator