ADA in the News: July 17, 2014

Court Recommends Supervalu/Jewel-Osco Be Held in Contempt for Violations of EEOC Consent Decree in Disability Case
Federal Magistrate Judge Michael Mason has entered a Report and Recom­mend­ation, in the form of a court order, recommending that the District Court in Chicago find Supervalu / Jewel-Osco in contempt of court and sanction it for multiple violations of the consent decree previ­ously entered by District Judge Ronald A. Guzman to resolve the EEOC's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit against the supermarket giant.
After a three-day hearing in March and April 2014 and briefing by the parties, the court found on July 15 that "the evidence is overwhelming that the company did not do what it was supposed to do under the Decree." The court opined that Jewel-Osco was in contempt of court when it violated the pro­vision of the consent decree enjoining the company from discriminating "on the basis of disability by not providing reasonable accommodation to persons desiring to return to work from a disability leave." The EEOC contended that two employees who were fired and one who was forced to resign while on unpaid leave could easily have been returned to work at Jewel-Osco with simple minimal-cost accommodations.
 Retail establishment are not required to provide wheelchairs or motorized scooters for patrons
Under the ADA, a qualified individual with a disability is not entitled to the accommodation of their choice but only to a reasonable accommodation. A modification is not required under the ADA unless it is “necessary to afford access” to the public accommodation. The Supreme Court has held that amodification is not “necessary” even where access to the public accommodation may be “uncomfortable or difficult” without it.
Regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Justice have made clear that public accommodations are not required to provide personal devices such as wheelchairs, individually prescribed devices including prescription eyeglasses or hearing aids, or services of a personal nature including assistance in eating, toileting, or dressing. 
Disabled individuals use a variety of devices for mobility including walkers, canes, crutches or braces, and manually-operated or power wheelchairs. While businesses do not need to provide these devices, individuals with disabilities must be allowed to use these devices in all areas where customers are allowed to go.
 Disability lawsuits target Coachella Valley hotels
The Desert Sun
De Klerk, general manager of the Skylark Hotel off North Palm Canyon Drive, is dealing with a lawsuit filed by Cross alleging the hotel is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and state building codes.
At least 17 local businesses — including at least 13 hotels — have been hit with lawsuits in recent months alleging they are not ADA compliant, according to Riverside County Superior Court public records.
 Deaf Montesano councilwoman: city hasn't hired interpreter
A city councilwoman in Montesano says the city has failed to meet her needs for a sign language interpreter during council meetings.
 Blue Ash mini horse lawsuit dismissed
The fight between the city of Blue Ash and a Blue Ash resident over a miniature horse is over.
United States District Court Judge Timothy Black granted the city a summary judgment, which dismissed Ingrid Anderson’s lawsuit against the city with prejudice July 7. Anderson can appeal with decision in a higher court, but cannot file the case again in the United States District Court.
Anderson and Housing Opportunities Made Equal, or HOME, filed the lawsuit against the city in February claiming that the city violated the Fair House Act and Americans with Disabilities Act by not allowing Anderson to keep a miniature horse at her property. Anderson claimed the horse, Ellie, was a service animal for her 13-year-old daughter with disabilities.
 Nordstrom ads feature models with disabilities
Schenectady Gazette
It's not easy to find models with disabilities in ads for the fashion and beauty industry — unless you look in the Nordstrom catalog.

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