Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), providing for equal access for persons with disabilities in places of public accommodation, has made the country far more accessible.  Yet, given its highly technical (and often ambiguous) design, plaintiffs’ firms and disability rights advocates file claims over unlawful barriers and technical violations against even the most conscientious places of public accommodation (e.g., hotels, restaurants, theaters, convention centers, stores, service establishments, healthcare facilities, transportation depots, libraries, recreation places, schools, etc.). Fortunately for companies, Title III limits liability to injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees for prevailing parties and creates opportunities to moot – or even foreclose – claims by eliminating barriers promptly or through a comprehensive remediation plan.

 

Who Is Protected Under the ADA?

 

 

The ADA protects individuals with a wide range of disabilities, defining a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The law also covers health impairments that require special education or related services. Some of the most common disabilities and impairments include:

 

Hearing impairments -  A hearing impairment is any type of hearing loss that keeps someone from completely receiving sounds through their ears. When a hearing impairment limits your ability to perform a major life activity, you are protected under ADA.

 

Vision impairments - Vision impairment may be defined as a loss of visual acuity or a loss of visual field. For people with vision impairments, small objects and standard written materials may be difficult to see.

Mobility impairments - Many types of conditions can impact mobility, including paralysis, stroke, muscular dystrophy, and spinal cord injury. Mobility impairments may require the use of walkers, wheelchairs, or canes, or limit the use of hands and upper extremities.

Learning disabilities - Learning disabilities are conditions that may make it difficult to acquire and use listening, speaking, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. Examples of learning disabilities include dyslexia, dyspraxia, and dyscalculia.

Special conditions - This includes people with certain conditions and illnesses—such as pregnancy or cancer—that require special schedules and considerations.

Individuals with these and other types of disabilities in Florida may be protected from discrimination by the ADA in all programs, activities, and services of public entities. If you were denied access to employment, business, education, or government services because of physical barriers violating the ADA, don’t let unjust prejudice prevail.

 

Our firm has allied with clients facing disability discrimination, working tirelessly to defend their rights and prevent this type of unacceptable discriminatory practice from happening again in the future. Our knowledge of the law and commitment to justice will be integral in proving that you were discriminated against.

What Constitutes an ADA Violation?

The ADA guarantees people with disabilities equal opportunities in four major areas: employment, public accommodations, transportation, and housing. When a discriminatory barrier prevents access for a disabled person to one of these things, it may qualify as an ADA violation.

Employment violations. The ADA prohibits both public and private employers from discriminating against an individual with a disability in any aspect of work or employment, including:

  • Hiring

  • Job assignments

  • Evaluations

  • Promotions

  • Firings

  • Public accommodation violations

Under the ADA, all entities that are open to the public—such as restaurants, sidewalks, stores, and restrooms—must be accessible to people with disabilities. Common examples of accommodation violations include:

  • Failure to install a wheelchair ramp

  • Lack of handicap parking spots

  • Lack of handrails

  • Inadequate handicap accommodations in restrooms

  • Problematic elevators, escalators, or walkways

  • Transportation violations

 

Under ADA, public transportation services should be made reliable and accessible to disabled passengers. Common public transportation violations include:

 

Failure to install ramps, handicap seating, and other necessary handicap accommodations.

Requiring special charges for disabled passengers.

Harassment or behavior that discourages use of public transportation services.

Housing violations. The ADA prohibits discrimination in housing based on disability. This type of discrimination could include:

  • Discrimination in the sale, rental, and other housing transactions based on disability

  • Discrimination based on disability in services, programs, and activities provided by public entities

  • Failure to design facilities that are accessible and usable to people with disabilities

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of a disability, you should speak with a disabilities attorney. Our attorneys are experienced in handling ADA violation claims and can help you understand your civil rights and seek remedies to any unjust disability discrimination you may be facing.

What Are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines?

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are a set of technical standards developed through an open, collaborative process involving both individuals and organizations around the world.  Its goal is to provide a single, shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. The WCAG 2.0 AA standards also have been incorporated into an ISO standard by the International Organization for Standardization, but the ISO standard is not law.

 

What does Complying with WCAG 2.0 AA Entail?

 

The WCAG 2.0 AA Guidelines provide specific technical guidance on the design of websites to promote access to individuals with a disability.  In general, the WCAG 2.0 AA Guidelines ask owners of websites to:

 

  •  Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need,   such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.

  •  Provide alternatives for time-based media.

  •  Create content that can be presented in different ways (e.g., with a simpler layout) without losing   information or structure.

  •  Make it easier for users to see and hear content by, among other things, separating foreground from background.

  •  Make all functionality available from a keyboard, provide users with sufficient time to read and use   content, not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures and provide ways to help users   navigate, find content and determine where they are on the website.

  •  Make text content readable and understandable to web navigation tools.

  •  Make web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.

  •  Maximize compatibility with assistive technologies on user computers and devices.

If you have had your rights violated under the ADA act, contact our office today to have your case handled with confidence and diligence.

© 2020 by Polo|Pimentel Law, P.A. 

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