Accommodating individuals with

Posted by / 28-Jan-2015 01:00

Accommodating individuals with

Employers with 15 or more employees were covered two years later, beginning July 26, 1994. What practices and activities are covered by the employment nondiscrimination requirements? The ADA prohibits discrimination in all employment practices, including job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. An individual is considered to have a "disability" if s/he has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

It applies to recruitment, advertising, tenure, layoff, leave, fringe benefits, and all other employment-related activities. Persons discriminated against because they have a known association or relationship with an individual with a disability also are protected.

How accurate must transcripts of audio or video recordings be?

These questions are being addressed in both regulation and litigation.

Federal regulations on digital accessibility have been delayed, but expectations are being set through litigation. Federal protection for those with disabilities is grounded in the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

These laws are enforced by civil rights offices in the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Education (ED).

As digital tools and resources have become essential to education, access to electronic information technology (EIT) has become a critical civil rights issue.

Fair, swift, and effective enforcement of this landmark civil rights legislation is a high priority of the Federal Government.

In a 2011 resolution, one university agreed to elaborate remedies that covered EIT, including telephones, websites, search engines, databases, course management systems, clickers, and office equipment.

It also agreed to adopt “WCAG 2.0 AA,” a technical standard now endorsed in federal regulatory proposals, and to ensure that EIT was “fully and equally accessible to and independently usable by blind individuals so that [they] are able to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as sighted students and faculty, with substantially equivalent ease of use.”More recently, the National Association for the Deaf (NAD) brought class action complaints against two universities, alleging that they unlawfully failed to provide captioning for content made freely available to the public.

In 2009, advocacy groups for the blind sued one institution and filed DOJ complaints against others engaged in a pilot project to distribute electronic textbooks on Kindles.

Unable to sue Amazon (which makes Kindle) directly, they charged the institutions with discrimination for choosing technologies not fully accessible to the blind.

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In 2010, DOJ issued an “advance notice” of proposed rules on web accessibility for public and private entities, including higher education.

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