ADA Title II and Title III Regulations Fact Sheet Series
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has amended its regulations implementing Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which apply to public/state and local government entities and private businesses/public accommodations, respectively. These revised regulations took effect on March 15, 2011, with some exceptions. Fact Sheets in this series are available on each of these topics.
Summary of Changes
- Companions with disabilities must be provided with effective communication.
- Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) services are now considered an auxiliary aid that may be used to provide effective communication.
- A covered entity shall not rely on an adult or minor child accompanying an individual with a disability to provide interpreting services except in an emergency or if the individual who is deaf wants the accompanying adult to interpret if appropriate.
- A qualified reader is an individual who is able to read effectively, accurately and impartially using any specialized vocabulary.
- If an entity requires documentation of disability before granting an accommodation request, then the documentation requirement needs to be reasonable and limited to the need for the modification, accommodation, or auxiliary aid or service requested.
- Prior modifications received in similar situations should be granted considerable weight.
- A covered entity must respond in a timely manner to requests for modifications.
- Effective March 15, 2012, these regulations will impact the definition of place of lodging, reservation processes, information provided through reservation systems regarding accessible features, holding accessible guest rooms, third party reservation providers and scoping for accessible guest rooms.
- Service Animal is now defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.
- Other animals, whether wild or domestic, do not qualify as service animals.
- Reasonable modifications in policies must also be made to allow individuals with disabilities to use miniature horses, with some restrictions, if they have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities.
- Guidance is now provided on the sale of tickets for accessible seating, information covered entities must provide about accessible seating, ticket prices, options for purchasing multiple tickets, hold and release of tickets for accessible seating, ticket transfer, the secondary ticket market, and prevention of fraud.
- Wheelchairs must be permitted in all areas open to pedestrian use.
- OPDMDs - any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel or other engines, used by individuals with disabilities as their mobility device of choice, whether designed primarily for use by individuals with disabilities or not (such as the Segway® PT), must be permitted unless the covered entity can demonstrate that such use would fundamentally alter its business/operations, create a direct threat, or create a safety hazard.
- Qualified inmates or detainees with disabilities shall not be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of, the services, programs or activities of a public entity in the most integrated setting appropriate.
- Requires three percent of newly constructed or altered cells to be accessible.
- DOJ has adopted revised ADA design standards. On March 15, 2012, compliance with the 2010 Standards will be required for new construction and alterations. In the period between September 15, 2010 and March 15, 2012, covered entities may choose between the 1991 Standards or the 2010 Standards. Note: Title II entities can also choose the Uniform Federal Accessibiity Standards (UFAS).
- "Safe Harbor": facilities that were built or altered in compliance with the 1991 Standards or the UFAS do not have to be brought into compliance with the 2010 Standards unless the facility undergoes an alteration on or after March 15, 2012. The safe harbor provisions do not apply to those elements in existing facilities that are subject to supplemental requirements (i.e., elements for which there are neither technical nor scoping specifications in the 1991 Standards).
- New construction projects must meet minimum standards with very few exceptions; alterations are also subject to strict requirements. The 2010 regulations include a "safe harbor" for features that already comply with the 1991 standards, but may not meet the new 2010 standards.
- One of every six accessible parking spaces, or fraction thereof, must be "van-accessible." These spaces must connect to the shortest possible accessible route to the building entrance or facility.
- Certain types of medical facilities need more accessible parking; hospital outpatient facilities need 10%, and rehabilitation facilities need 20% of patient/visitor parking to be accessible.