The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990

September 22, 2011
10:00 am to 11:00 am EST
Call In Number 1-866-740-1260 / Pass code 2262493
(please use same pass code when accessing the web at
Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence
To provide an overview of requirements for certified
domestic violence centers in preparation for DCF monitoring
visits that will be begin on October 1st, 2011.
The information presented in this webinar or on these slides
is NOT intended as legal advice. If you should have specific
questions about your Center’s policies or practices, or
specific areas of the laws being discussed in this
presentation, please seek legal guidance or counsel.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Title VI, Civil Act of 1964
Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972
Section 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as
Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended
Titles VII and VIII of the Public Health Services Act
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981
National Origin
Disability status
Sex (gender)
Military status
Genetic information
New categories that have been added by some municipalities,
counties, states or other entities:
Sexual orientation
Gender identity
As a recipient of Federal financial assistance, centers are
required to adhere to these laws.
Centers should have policy and practices that prohibit or
prevent discrimination in determining eligibility, provision,
or termination of services based on factors listed on the
previous two slides.
Centers should identify and focus policy and practices on
addressing these issues in “essential services.”
Centers should also clearly display information about who to
contact, and how, if a participant or employee believe they
have been discriminated against.
Centers should clearly display the three required posters.
We will look at some specific provisions of accessibility
based on the ADA, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Settlement
Agreement, and the LEP requirement. But, first there are
some general considerations:
Age – pertains to 40 years old and older.
Sex (gender) – does not have to be in the same facility,
screening should be based on issues other than gender.
National Origin – Limited English proficiency is an issue
related to this – will be addressed specifically.
Race – should be addressed in policy.
Color – should be addressed in policy.
Religion – should be addressed in policy.
Intake services (accessing services)
Safety Planning
Information and Referral Services
Counseling Services
Service Management
Emergency Shelter for 24 hours or more
Hotline Services
Child Assessments
Community Education
Professional Training
Termination of services
Shelter rules
Education documents used frequently
Support group materials
Can a single policy address both employment and service
It depends on your scheme of policies – the policy needs to
be clear and easily accessible.
If you have separate employment policies from service
policies, it should be stated in both places.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Physical or mental impairment that “substantially” limits
one or more major life activities.
 In 2008, Congress amended the ADA to make it easier to
meet this test – so “substantially” no longer means
“severe” or even “significant.”
Major life activities include: seeing, hearing, walking,
breathing, manual tasks, working, etc.
 In 2008 amendments, “major life activities” also includes
“major bodily functions,” (such as the immune system,
digestive system, etc.) making it easier to prove that one
has a disability.
Requires government facilities to be accessible to persons
with disabilities or who are Deaf.
All newly constructed government buildings and alterations
to existing buildings, must ensure accessibility to individuals
with disabilities or who are Deaf.
Both the courts and law enforcement are prohibited from
discrimination on the basis of disability under Title II of the
Public accommodations are privately run businesses that are
open to the public, other than private clubs and religious
Social service centers are considered public accommodations
(day care centers, shelters, welfare offices).
Are prohibited from discriminating against persons with
disabilities or persons who are Deaf.
Must make reasonable modifications or provide auxiliary
aids and services to enable persons with disabilities or
persons who are Deaf to use and benefit from the services
provided by the public accommodation.
Other reasonable modifications are wheelchair ramps,
blinking alarms, speech in elevators, and information in
Under 2010 DOJ regulations: cannot require a person who is
Deaf to bring their own interpreter or require a person’s
friend/relative to interpret (unless emergency situation).
The ADA requires telephone relay services to promote
effective communication between Deaf and hearing persons
Other effective communication tools for people who are
Deaf and hard of hearing include: TTY, sign language
interpretation, and assistive devices.
Programs and services may need to be modified in order to
accommodate survivors with disabilities or survivors who
are Deaf. Accommodations must include:
 Offering ASL interpreters
 Creating materials in alternative formats
 Modified evacuation plans; signage and alarm systems
 Allowing guide and service animals
Not required to make modifications that are an “undue
burden” or that “fundamentally alter” the nature of the
services provided by the public accommodation.
Required to remove physical barriers whenever such
removals are “readily achievable” (can be carried out
without much difficulty or expense).
Domestic violence residential and non-residential programs
are considered to be places of public accommodation.
ADA does not cover private residences. However, if a
domestic violence organization or shelter is located in a
home (former private house, apartment) that location is
covered by the ADA.
Since domestic violence centers are considered public
accommodations under the ADA, each center should have a
policy regarding the following issues……
Accessible shelters, satellite offices, community-based
programming (i.e. support groups)
Service animals access/caregiver access
Accessible hotline and website/outreach materials
Sensitive and non-discriminatory intake procedures
Medication policies
Resident meals; medically prescribed diets
Shelter policies/procedures/operations
Certified domestic violence centers must adhere to the
Settlement Agreement requirements.
Accordingly, programs must:
 Designate a “point person” or a “single point of contact”
who is responsible for coordinating compliance with DCF.
The “single point of contact” must:
 Track and report on all requests for services from Deaf
Complete the self-assessment form developed by DCF
(weighing in on the shelter’s compliance efforts).
Collect feedback forms and complaint forms from Deaf
Interpreter Requests:
 Non-scheduled:
 If it is an emergency, must occur within 2 hours.
 If it is a non-emergency, must occur by the next
business day.
 Scheduled: must occur at the scheduled time.
Friends or family members should never be required to
interpret, except in life-threatening situations.
If the nature of the communication is deemed “nonessential”
 interpreter need not necessarily be provided
 on a case-by-case basis, if effective communication can be
achieved, program staff could instead opt to
communicate through hand-written notes, etc.
If the communication is “essential”
 interpreter must be provided in a timely manner unless
declined by participant; if declined, the participant must
sign a waiver form.
Limited English Proficiency
Executive Order 13166 “Improving services to Persons with
Limited English Proficiency” was created to enhance access
to services funded by Federal Assistance .
Requires “meaningful access” to essential services:
interpretation and translation.
Must have a policy that addresses the following:
- Identifies essential services
- Identifies vital documents and ensure that they are
translated into regularly encountered language (defined by
population – often seen as 5%)
- Includes documents on your web site
- Requires oral interpretation is available
LEP Resources:
Each center must have the three DCF approved signs:
1) Regarding people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
2) Regarding people with limited English proficiency
3) regarding non-discrimination
These posters can be found and printed out on the following
All centers are required to follow EEO policies that prohibit
discrimination against persons based on specific ptotected
classes (covered on previous slides) in:
- recruitment
- hiring
- compensation
- evaluation
- corrective actions/disciplinary actions
- terminations
Required to prohibit Harassment based on any protected
Required to have a specific Sexual Harassment policy.
Required to notify the office of Civil Rights if you are subject
to a finding of discrimination by a state court or a federal or
state administrative agency.
Policies must be in place that prohibit discrimination.
You must provide clear information to all employees about
who and how to file a complaint.
Policies must be in place that prohibit retaliation for making
a complaint or otherwise trying to seek remedy for a
complaint of discrimination.
Three exemptions to the requirement for an EEOP
- Contract for less than $25,000
- Fewer than 50 employees
- Private nonprofit organizations
Exempt organizations must have on file a Certificate of
All levels of government are required to have an EEOP.
Maggie Cveticanin-Doucette
Domestic Violence, Disability Compliance and Later in Life
Email: [email protected]
Sandy Barnett, V.P. of Administration/COO
[email protected]
Phone: (850) 425-2749

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