Disabled rights roundup

by Walter Olson on May 9, 2014

  • Blockbuster “web accessibility” issue, with potential for massive disruption of online life, continues to drag on without action in Washington despite urgings from academics; but at Ninth Circuit’s behest, California Supreme Court will decide whether state’s Disabled Persons Act covers websites [David Ettinger, Horwitz & Levy] More: Amy Alkon and commenters;
  • Federal district judge (E.D.N.Y.), suspecting foul play in multiple ADA filings, sends staff to investigate, but that’s a no-no as the Second Circuit reminds him [Josh Blackman]
  • Noting “continuing paranoia and obsession,” Vermont Supreme Court rebuffs bar applicant claiming discrimination on basis of mental illness [ABA Journal]
  • Just fine and dander: optician’s shop in suburban Detroit turns down worker’s request to bring service dog for generalized anxiety disorder, will pay $53,000 in settlement [EEOC]
  • Attack on “sheltered workshops” fits into multi-front effort to extend reach of federal wage-hour law: “Landmark DOJ settlement with RI provides road map to disability-law compliance for 49 other states” [ABA Journal]
  • Coalition politics counts: prominent disabled-rights groups [AAPD, DREDF, Bazelon Center, etc.] favor driving up cost of at-home attendants at expense of their own putative constituents [Benjamin Sachs, On Labor, on Harris v. Quinn amicus]
  • “Alcoholism and the ADA: Not as clear-cut as you think” [Dan Wisniewski, HR Morning, on Crosby v. F.W. Webb Co.] “Playing golf and having sex are major life activities under the ADA” [Eric B. Meyer]

{ 2 comments }

1 cecil 05.12.14 at 1:03 pm

Web accessibility comment
In reviewing the linked/prior articles… Have you really not heard of 508? It’s an amendment of the original 74 disabled rights act. It applies specifically to the fed and in particular to procurment practices of the fed.

2 Walter Olson 05.12.14 at 2:30 pm

Cecil — The Obama administration has been reviewing possible issuance of web accessibility regulations under the ADA (which applies to a very wide assortment of private entities, including nonprofits and publishers), rather than just under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the less well known law which focuses more narrowly on federal contractors and procurement practices. If you doubt it, here are two of many links from last year when the press reported on this initiative:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324373204578374483679498140

http://ncjolt.org/the-department-of-justice-may-soon-decide-if-the-americans-with-disabilities-act-applies-to-online-shopping-websites/

Likewise, the Areheart and Stein article I linked as an example of “urgings from academics” makes the case for coverage under the ADA, not sec. 508.

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