Disability Law - Archive

Shame on the Smithsonian Institution – The Blog – by Janice S. Lintz

November 3, 2016 in Disability Law, Technology

 

 

The Huffington Post
THE BLOG
by Janice S. Lintz
Consultant, Consumer Advocate, Foodie and Traveler

The Smithsonian Institution should be ashamed for failing to include hearing induction loops for its videos and films, for people who are hard of hearing, in the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. Twenty-six years after the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, none of the Smithsonian museums provides hearing induction loops for videos or films. Some of the museums offer loops at the service desks.

Read more  . . . Smithsonian

National Council on Disability Calls for a “Technology Bill of Rights”

October 11, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law

 

 

National Council on Disability Calls for a “Technology Bill of Rights” for 57 Million Americans

Go to Original Page Content

Posted: October 7

Washington, DC – Today, the National Council on Disability (NCD)—an independent federal agency—calls on Congress to establish a Technology Bill of Rights for Americans with Disabilities in its annual report to Congress and the President outlining the state of the union for 57 million Americans with disabilities.

NCD’s 2016 annual report, “National Disability Policy: A Progress Report,” identifies access to information and communications innovations as a civil rights issue due to the power technology has to transform civic engagement and economic opportunity in the United States.

NCD will release the report this morning in connection with a Capitol Hill briefing on the report this morning at 11:00 AM at the Washington, DC’s Capitol Visitor Center. The briefing panel features technology industry leaders from Microsoft and IBM, as well as disability advocates and federal partners.

“Accessible technology is not limited to what we can conceive of today. It also sets the stage for what we will achieve tomorrow,” said Clyde Terry, NCD Chair. “Regulations, legal frameworks and professional standards are important foundations, but they begin a process, they don’t end it. In today’s world, technological equality for persons with disabilities is a social justice issue. To be truly accessible, technological inclusion must be built in, from the ground up, with every user in mind.  Anything else is a step backwards. Anything less creates second class citizens.”

A full report may be downloaded from NCD’s website at www.ncd.gov/progress_reports.

Department of Justice: If Disabled People Can’t Use Berkeley’s Free Online Courses, No One Can

September 22, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law

 

 

The university will have to remove free online content that doesn’t meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Harrison Bergeron should enroll at the University of California-Berkeley. The federal Department of Justice recently informed the university that the online content it makes available to the public free of charge runs afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act—blind and deaf people wouldn’t be able to access it, according to the government.

In response, Berkeley is considering simply removing the online resources, since that’s much cheaper than becoming ADA compliant.

You might say, well, Berkeley is a public university, and has a responsibility to make its resources available to all students, regardless of their disability status. That’s true. But here’s the thing: no Berkeley student has complained. The online courses have proven to be perfectly accessible to the entire student body thus far.

Read more . . . DOJ – ADA

Supreme Court Takes Up Deaf Texans’ Suit Against State

June 30, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law

 

“This has the potential to be a landmark decision for deaf rights and indeed for all disability rights,” 

– Wayne Krause Yang, legal director of the Texas Civil Rights Project

The Texas Tribune
by Aneri Pattani
June 30, 2016

A group of deaf Texans fighting what they claim is discriminatory treatment is hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will step in and force the state to provide sign-language interpreters at classes young drivers must take to get licenses.

The high court on Tuesday agreed to hear the case, Ivy v. Morath, involving a group of deaf Texans who sued the state in 2011. The state requires first-time driver’s license applicants under age 25 to take classes that are typically conducted by private companies. The suit argues that since Texas requires the classes, it should make sure there are interpreters for deaf students.

Read More  . . .  deaf Texans

Deaf Rhode Island man arrested for obscene sign language gesture

May 1, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law

 

 

The Rhode Island branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, along with the Rhode Island Disability Law Center, has filed a federal lawsuit against the Woonsocket Police Department for the arrest of a deaf man.

They claim 25-year-old David Alves of North Smithfield was apprehended and detained for making an obscene sign language gesture.

On July 8 of last year, Alves, who is deaf, was at the City Side Club in Woonsocket with friends, including some who are also deaf or hard of hearing. He had just returned home from summer break at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.

Read more  . . . arrested  . . . See Captioned Video

Supreme Court Chief Justice learned sign language to swear in deaf lawyers

April 19, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Disability Law

 

 

The Washington Post 

April 19

When a dozen lawyers rose together to be sworn into the Supreme Court bar Tuesday morning, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made a sweeping motion with his hands.

It translated in American Sign Language to: “Your motion is granted.”

Roberts learned to sign the phrase just for that occasion, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

That moving gesture alone made the admittance of 12 deaf lawyers to the highest court in the land historic. All were members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association and were from various parts of the country.

Read more . . . Supreme Court Chief Justice

US Supreme Court to Welcome Deaf Attorneys to Bar in Unique Ceremony

April 12, 2016 in Community News, Disability Law

 

Voice of America
Chris Hannas
April 12, 2016 6:14 AM

A group of 13 deaf or hard-of-hearing attorneys will join the bar of the United States Supreme Court at a ceremony next week.

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association (DHHBA) said that will be the largest such group to be admitted to the Supreme Court bar at one time.

The April 19 ceremony will also be unique in that the attorneys will be allowed to use their mobile phones to read real-time transcription of the proceedings. Mobile phones and other electronic devices are normally banned from the courtroom.

“Our admission sets a precedent that will hopefully encourage others with disabilities to pursue a legal career and view the legal profession as being open to diverse backgrounds,” said Anat Maytal, DHHBA’s president and one of the attorneys being sworn in.

Read more . . . Deaf Attorneys

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Fight to Be Heard

March 29, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Disability Law

 

 

The New York Times

Lydia Callis wanted to get her mother a gym membership for Christmas last year. When she called to arrange a consultation, she mentioned that her mom (who lives in Arizona) is deaf and would need a sign-language interpreter for the session. The health club said it would not provide a signer. Ms. Callis — who became an Internet sensation during Hurricane Sandy as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s exuberant sign-language interpreter — told the club that it was actually required by law to do so. Still it refused, and Ms. Callis, who was calling from Manhattan, gave up.

Last year was the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, and yet this kind of scenario plays out regularly for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. While the broader culture has become accustomed to certain changes the law has engendered, particularly wheelchair access, the rights of the deaf have frequently been misunderstood or simply disregarded.

Read more  . . . Fight to Be Heard

 

Speaker – Steven Gordon • USDOJ – ADA and Healthcare for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patients – March 19th

March 11, 2016 in Community Events, Community News, Disability Law

SpeakerBanner16

ADA and Healthcare for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patients

Was held Saturday, March 19,2016

This was a well attended informational event, handouts and slides can be downloaded at bottom of page

Reuben I. Altizer Meeting Room
Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons
3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130 Fairfax, VA 22030

Presenter:
Steven Gordon, Assistant United States Attorney – USDOJ

Assistant United States Attorney Steven Gordon will discuss a health care provider’s obligation to provide effective communication to patients (and companions) who are deaf or hard of hearing . Ensuring equal access in health care settings is necessary to comply with Federal law.

Mr. Gordon has been with the Department of Justice since 1995 and many of his recent cases come under the Department of Justice’s Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative targeting enforcement efforts on a critical area for individuals with disabilities – access to medical services and facilities.

Mr. Gordon invites your questions and will discuss recent enforcement actions and settlements including those in Northern Virginia.

All programs are captioned and ASL interpreted
Programs are free and open to the public
Donations welcome

Handouts for this presentation:

 

Judge reverses awarding damages to deaf inmate

February 18, 2016 in Community News, Disability Law

 

 

WGRZ-TV CH2 • Buffalo, NY
February 18, 2016

WILMINGTON, Del. — A deaf former inmate of the Delaware Department of Correction was denied compensation for his claims the needs of his disability weren’t met in prison.

Superior Court Judge T. Henley Graves on Monday reversed a decision from the Delaware State Human Relations Commission that awarded Robert Ovens damages over claims his jailers didn’t meet his needs under the state’s equal accommodation law. Graves ruled — in agreement with a previous case — prisons are not places of public accommodation under that law.

That doesn’t sit right with Debra Patkin, an attorney with the National Association for the Deaf who reviewed this week’s ruling.

Read More  . . . deaf inmate

Court rules Hopkins wrongly rescinded job offer to deaf nurse

January 27, 2016 in Community News, Disability Law, Employment

 

 

The Baltimore Sun
by Meredith Cohn – 
Contact Reporter
January 25, 2016

Hopkins rescinded a job offer of deaf nurse because of the cost of full-time interpreters.

Johns Hopkins Hospital violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act when officials rescinded a job offer to a deaf nurse after she requested a sign-language interpreter, a U.S. District Court judge ruled last week.

Joseph B. Espo, a lawyer for the nurse, Lauren Searls, called it an “important victory” that could send a message to other medical institutions about the capabilities of deaf workers.

Hopkins had told Searls it was a cost issue in a letter, but in its response to the lawsuit, officials called her employment both a financial hardship and a threat to patient safety, Espo said. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake rejected those arguments, he said.

Read More  . . . Deaf Nurse

Judge: Class-action status allowed in deaf inmates’ lawsuit

October 13, 2015 in Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

The State Journal-Register
By Sophia Tareen, The Associated Press
Oct 12, 2015

CHICAGO – Attorneys who brought a 2011 complaint alleging the Illinois Department of Corrections violated the constitutional rights of deaf inmates said Monday that the case is proceeding after a federal judge granted class-action status to the lawsuit.

The complaint alleges deaf and partially deaf prisoners have limited access to sign language interpreters, hearing aids and other accommodations at Illinois prisons. The result, attorneys say, is exclusion and isolation because the prisoners can’t communicate, effectively leaving them to miss religious services, hearings, court-mandated classes, doctors’ visits and, sometimes, emergency evacuations.

Both sides were negotiating a settlement, but attorney Alan Mills said talks broke down. Last week, Judge Marvin Aspen in Chicago granted class-action status  . . . Read More – deaf inmates

A deaf man’s jail ordeal in Arlington: ‘I felt stuck. I was stuck.’

October 1, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Disability Law

 

 


September 30

The way Abreham Zemedagegehu tells it, the six weeks he spent in the Arlington County, Va., jail nearly amounted to torture.

A deaf Ethio­pian immigrant with limited ability to speak or write English, Zemedagegehu says he missed two or three meals a week because he could not hear the announcement that it was time to eat. He says he went his entire stay without medication for back pain, struggled to communicate with jailers and was unable to make phone calls to friends outside.

In one particularly harrowing encounter, Zemedagegehu alleges, a jail staffer forced a needle into his arm — a tuberculosis test, he would later learn — after he refused to sign a medical consent form that he could not read.

“I felt stuck. I was stuck,” Zemedagegehu said, communicating in sign language through an interpreter. “There was no one to talk to me.”

Read more  . . . deaf man’s jail ordeal 

Recent Court Case Outcome Involving Deaf Prisoner

September 21, 2015 in Community News, Disability Law

 

WILLIAM PIERCE, – PLAINTIFF, v.s. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, – DEFENDANT.
September 11, 2015

 

When William Pierce, who is profoundly deaf, arrived at CTF to be taken into custody, prison officials took no steps whatsoever to evaluate his need for accommodation so that he would be able to have meaningful access to prison programs and services within the prison facility. They knew he was deaf, but instead of ascertaining what accommodations would be necessary for Pierce to communicate effectively in prison, they assumed that he could lipread and read the notes they wrote to him, even after he specifically requested an ASL interpreter.  The District insisted that the employees’ conduct with respect to accommodating Pierce’s deafness was entirely consistent with the law.  But the Court easily concluded that the District’s actions fell far short of what the law requires.   For details of the Courts Opinion and its outcome, see : https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2013cv0134-90

 

Deaf Queens Man Fights Back Against Truck Driving School

July 26, 2015 in Disability Law, Employment

 

 

Eyewitness News
Friday, July 24, 2015
By Rob Powers

He looks like anybody, starting a vehicle, going to work, getting on with life.

Only, this life, this story, is a little different.

Kenneth Frilando is deaf and his story is worth hearing. He claims the “Smith & Solomon School of Tractor Trailer Driving” in Linden, New Jersey won’t take him on as a student. He says he also has a New York commercial driver’s license, and a safety waiver, and now he’s filed suit.

“I need to break that door down because that’s not fair. Safety is the number one thing that I’m concerned with, but they’re just assuming that safety is out the window because the person can’t hear, that’s not the case,” Frilando said.

Read More  . .Watch Video  . Deaf Truck Driver