New Publication: Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities
The US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, has issued a new technical assistance publication titled, “Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities”. This 19-page publication provides guidance for medical care professionals on the ADA’s requirement to provide accessible health care to individuals with mobility disabilities and includes an overview of general ADA requirements, commonly asked questions, and illustrated examples of accessible facilities, examination rooms, and medical equipment. It is available on-line at: http://www.ada.gov/medcare_ta.htm
ADA-OHIO (The Americans with Disabilities Act)
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ADA-OHIO is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization supported by DBTAC – Great Lakes ADA Center and by Community Shares of Mid-Ohio.
OFCCP Getting Serious About VETS & Disability Obligations
Although the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) stepped up enforcement of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) toward the end of the Bush administration, those efforts pale in comparison with the Obama administration’s stated agenda. Patricia Shiu, the new Assistant Secretary over the OFCCP, has announced increased focus on enforcement regarding veterans and disabled workers. Contending that the agency had done “literally nothing” for the past eight years in the area of veterans and disability, Shiu promises change.
Covered federal contractors and subcontractors are required to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, train, and retain individuals with disabilities and certain categories of veterans. These obligations have, however, previously taken a back seat to enforcement of Executive Order 11246, which requires the same affirmative action for females and minorities. Executive Order 11246 requires a detailed analysis of the race and gender demographics in an employer’s workforce, as well as employment activity and compensation practices. Where unexplained areas of disparate impact exist, contractors are often required to pay large amounts in monetary penalties.
By contrast, under the Rehabilitation Act and VEVRAA, contractors are not required to conduct any such analysis, primarily because of the lack of comparative data for individuals with disabilities and veterans. In the past, the OFCCP’s enforcement of the Rehabilitation Act and VEVRAA has included little more than requesting documentation of contractors’ good-faith efforts to recruit individuals with disabilities and veterans during the course of a compliance review. Without the analyses, there is also no possibility of monetary recovery.
The OFCCP now says that it will “solicit recommendations from unions, civil rights groups, community-based organizations and other stakeholders which are designed to ensure that the regulations [implementing the Rehabilitation Act and VEVRAA] are responsive to stakeholder needs and concerns.” To this end, the OFCCP has been conducting town hall meetings and “listening sessions” to gather comments from the public regarding possible changes to its regulations. Shiu has said that the agency intends to publish proposed regulations updating contractor requirements under these laws in December 2010. There is speculation that the new regulations will require contractors to analyze their recruitment and hiring efforts with respect to individuals with disabilities and covered veterans, and to establish numerical goals for these groups, as is currently required for females and minorities.