ADA in the News March 24, 2020

EEOC and California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) Conciliate Disability Discrimination Charge

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) announced today the successful conciliation of a charge filed with the agency under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC reached a voluntary agreement with the employer through the agency's conciliation process following its investigative findings. CALPIA has not admitted to any wrongdoing or fault in violation of the statute. CALPIA has waived confidentiality regarding the disclosure of the terms.

Following an investigation by the Fresno EEOC office, the EEOC found that the state agency violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to hire the complainant for a permanent full-time position because of his disability or perceived disability. The EEOC further charged that retaliation for engaging in a protected activity was also a factor in the denial of hire.

In addition to the monetary relief of $30,000 to compensate the complainant, the two-year agreement also includes other forms of relief aimed at preventing future disability discrimination. CALPIA has agreed to provide training to all employees to ensure compliance with the ADA, post notices in areas visible to all employees, and consent to a two-year monitoring period.

"We commend CALPIA for its commitment to the ADA and for agreeing to comprehensive remedies," said Rosa Viramontes, director of the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office. "We encourage all employers, both private and public, to follow suit and review their anti-discrimination policies and practices to ensure they are in compliance with federal law."

Melissa Barrios, director of the EEOC's Fresno Local Office, added, "Discrimination on the basis of disability in the employment process will not be tolerated and the EEOC will do everything in its power to eliminate such occurrences.

How WCAG 2.1 Has Completely Changed Compliance In The Tech Industry

There are over 50 million disabled Americans, and over 25% of them use the internet daily for all of their day-to-day tasks (working, entertainment, shopping, etc.). This number is expected to grow over the coming years, especially now that 5G internet is on the way (and smartphones, in general, are becoming more popular – particularly among the elderly).

Ensuring that this growing population can rely on the internet for their day-to-day tasks isn’t only important from an accessibility standpoint, but it’s important from an ethical one as well. Imagine being a “disabled” person, and trying to go to your favorite website, only to find out that it’s not optimized for accessibility. How crushing of a blow would that be?

This is just one example of why it’s incredibly important to make accessibility standards a strong focus in the coming decade. The ADA, Section 508, and the WCAG 2.1 guidelines are some good starts, but more work needs to be done to ensure a seamless experience for disabled people. 

Netflix's 'Crip Camp': From Section 504 to the ADA, the documentary tracks a little-known movement for equality

Spoilers for Netflix's 'Crip Camp' (2020).

'Crip Camp' is a Netflix documentary executive produced by Higher Ground in collaboration with Netflix. It is produced and directed by Jim LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham, the former being one of the campers at Camp Jened, a summer camp for disabled teenagers run by disabled adults and hippies.

Many of the campers at Camp Jened would go on to become disability rights activists and spearhead the civil rights movement to outlaw discrimination against all marginalized groups in the US. 

Two major developments in the movement that are highlighted in the documentary are the '504 Sit-in' and the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Despite being monumental in securing equal rights for the disability community, these events are generally overlooked and forgotten. 'Crip Camp' seeks to change that by shedding light on just how these two events came to pass.

All you need to know about web accessibility and UX

Web designers and developers should aim for accessibility because, at the end of the day, accessible design equates to good UX design. Follow these guidelines and web accessibility standards to ensure that everyone has equal access to the web.

In this digital age, the web is increasingly becoming a vital resource. Almost everyone utilizes the web relating to all aspects of life; be it for education, employment, government services, business transactions, and much more. Therefore websites, mobile apps, and other digital products shouldn’t be just visually attractive to users should also be accessible.

Web designers and developers should aim for accessibility because, at the end of the day, accessible design equates to good UX design. Web accessibility is the practice of making your online content easily available and usable to all people regardless of their limitations. So, web page accessibility is no longer optional—it’s a requirement!

Mental Health and The Workplace

Virtually all the conditions classified as mental illness may or do have symptoms that could impact an employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of their job. In many cases the illness manifests itself in conduct, behavior, or performance ...

Disability discrimination complaint filed over COVID-19 treatment rationing plan in Washington State

Self Advocates in Leadership (SAIL), Disability Rights Washington (DRW), and The Arc of the United States (The Arc) filed a complaintwith the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) about their grave concerns that the plans being put in place discriminate against people with disabilities in violation of federal disability rights laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and place their lives at serious risk.  We call for OCR to take immediate action to address this discrimination and assist local jurisdictions and providers to develop non-discriminatory approaches before there are lethal consequences to application of these illegal policies.

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