Proposed changes to Americans with Disabilities Act could affect local governments
Some proposed changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are aimed directly at state and local governments and could amend the definitions of discrimination in the use of government services and facilities. However, according to the National Association of Counties (NACo), a Safe Harbor Provision would exempt public entities that had previously brought existing facilities into compliance with early ADA standards from having to further modify those facilities to comply with small changes to the standards.
Some of the proposed changes cover the definitions of a person with a disability, service animals, a wheelchair and other mobility devices, and video interpreting services, according to NACo. For example, a person is currently defined as disabled if their condition “substantially limits” his or her ability to participate in various activities. Under the proposed changes, the definition would apply to conditions that “materially restrict” ability.
The Safe Harbor Provision would apply to services and facilities that are in compliance with the scope and technical specifications in either the 1991 Standards or the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. More information on the changes is available at http://www.naco.org/CountyNewsTemplate.cfm?template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=28323, or by contacting NACo Director of Research Jacqueline Byers at email@example.com or Associate Legislative Director Marlina Sanz at firstname.lastname@example.org.