FAQ FOR THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
WHAT IS TITLE II (LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT) OF THE ADA?
No qualified individual with a disability shall, because of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity. Public entities include any State or local government and any of its departments, agencies, or other instrumentalities.
WHAT IS REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION?
A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.
WHAT IS A DISABILITY UNDER THE ADA?
As defined by the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, learning, breathing, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, or working. The ADA covers those who have a disability; those who have a record of having a disability; and those who are regarded as having a disability, whether or not they have one.
WHAT IMPAIRMENTS WOULD GENERALLY NOT MEET THE DEFINITIONS OF DISABILITY?
Minor, non-chronic conditions of short duration, such as a sprain or the flu, generally would not be covered.
WHOM DO I CONTACT TO DISCUSS AN ADA ACCOMMODATION?
The ADA Coordinators' contact information is listed on each agency's website. The ADA Coordinator will accept requests made in person, in writing, or via telephone. It is preferable that your request be provided at least 5 days in advance. Each request should be as specific as possible.
However, as an additional resource you may also contact the Office of Equity and Civil Rights, Disabilities Division at 410-396-6152 or 410-396-3141 or via email by clicking here.
HOW WILL THE ACCOMMODATION REQUEST BE HANDLED?
The ADA Coordinator, or designee, will notify you if the city can provide the requested accommodation, or requires further information. The ADA Coordinator may also propose an alternative form of accommodation. If the city denies the requested accommodation and an alternative cannot be mutually agreed upon, you will be provided with a written explanation of the denial.
If my ADA request is denied, how do I file a grievance?
A grievance procedure has been established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
ARE SERVICE ANIMALS ALLOWED IN THE CITY BUILDINGS?
Service animals are welcome in public facilities. A service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.
A public entity shall not ask about the nature or extent of a disability, but, may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal:
- if the animal is required because of a disability, and
- what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.
A public entity must not make these inquiries when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision).
CAN THE CITY PHYSICALLY ASSIST THE PUBLIC OR PROVIDE WHEELCHAIRS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES?
The City is not required to provide to individuals with disabilities personal devices, such as wheelchairs; individually prescribed devices, such as prescription eyeglasses or hearing aids; readers for personal use or study; or services of a personal nature including assistance in eating, toileting, or dressing.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES OF VIRTUAL MEETING PLATFORMS?
- Microsoft Teams: Microsoft Teams Accessibility
- GoToMeeting: Accessibility Features
- Google Hangouts: Using Hangouts with a Screen Reader; Keyboard Shortcuts for Hangouts
- Google Meet: Google Meet Accessibility
- BlueJeans: Accessibility Features
Webex: Accessibility Features
Accessibility Features of Common Virtual Platforms
- Supports screen readers: Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, BlueJeans
- Supports ASL interpreters: Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams Can be used by ASL interpreters: Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams
- Sign language interpreter app: Google Hangouts
- Automatic closed-captioning: Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Google Hangouts, BlueJeans
- Spoken Feedback Tools: Google Meet, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams
- Live transcription: Zoom
- Automatic transcription: BlueJeans
- Spoken feedback tools: Google Hangouts
- Has keyboard shortcuts: Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, BlueJeans
Provides high contrast mode: Zoom, GoToMeeting
Has screen magnifiers and visual modifications: Google Hangouts, Zoom, Google Meets, GoToMeeting