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The ADA and Transportation Rights and Responsibilities

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  1. The ADA and TransportationRights and Responsibilities Donna Smith Director of Training Easter Seals Project ACTION August 1, 2014

  2. Easter Seals Transportation Group Multiple projects focusing on: • Accessible transportation for people with disabilities • Transportation for older adults • Veterans’ transportation concerns • School transition programs and travel skills for students • Mobility management

  3. To contact us 800-659-6428

  4. Please Note • Easter Seals Project ACTION is a technical assistance center that strives to provide accurate information on the ADA • What we provide is technical assistance and not legal advice

  5. Who’s in the Audience? • O&M instructors? • Travel Trainers? • Teachers? • Counselors?

  6. The Concept of Why • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” • By Simon Sinek • TED Talk (18 minutes) •

  7. At the Heart of the ADA • A barrier-free world • Equal treatment, equal opportunity • Valuing each person on their abilities

  8. Justin Dart, JR. 1930 - 2002 • I propose a revolution of empowerment: a revolution that will empower every 21st century American to live his or her potential for self-determination, productivity and quality of life. • 1996 speech before the National Council on Disability

  9. Justin Dart, JR.1930 – 2002 (cont) • With government protecting, empowering wave after wave of oppressed people, America produced the greatest prosperity, the greatest quality of life in human history. • When people with disabilities are empowered, America will be enriched again.

  10. ADA Basics The ADA is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities Regulations pertaining to transportation intended to create an equal travel environment Builds on and extends requirements under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 11

  11. Fixed Route Transportation 12

  12. True or False Service animals such as birds or monkeys are still allowed under the ADA on public transportation.

  13. True! The definition of a service animal has not changed under the Federal Transit Administration.

  14. Two Different Definitions Under the ADA • DOJ revised definition under the ADA – restricts definition to dogs and miniature horses • DOT definition under the ADA – does not make such restrictions and applies to transportation

  15. DOT Definition of a Service Animal “Any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability” Including, but not limited to: Guiding individuals with impaired vision Alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds Providing minimal protection or rescue work Pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items 16

  16. Determining Service Animal Status No national certification process for identifying service animals Transportation providers can not ask for: A certificate Identification card Note from a physician The animal to wear a vest or other identifying gear No limitation on the type of animal 17

  17. Determining Service Animal Status • A transportation provider can ask: • Is that a service animal? • Is that a pet? • What tasks does the animal perform? • Must rely on the answer provided by the customer • Can not ask for a demonstration

  18. If There is a Problem • The operator should: • Speak to the person handling the animal • Explain the problem • Allow the person to take action • Follow policies regarding what to do when a disruption occurs on the vehicle

  19. If There is a Problem • The customer should: • Discuss the situation calmly • Participate in finding a solution • Take corrective action as appropriate • Ask guide dog school for advice

  20. True or False The only stop announcement required is the requested destination stop of the customer.

  21. False! This is only 1 of 4 types of stop announcements required under the ADA.

  22. When to Announce Stops • At transfer points with other fixed routes • Transfers between modes must be announced as well • If a route branches, customers especially need that information at transfer points

  23. When to Announce Stops cont’d 2. At other major intersections and destination points • ADA provides no specific criteria for “major” points • Your local policy will dictate which stops must be announced • Going above and beyond is helpful to all passengers

  24. When to Announce Stops cont’d 3. At intervals along a route sufficient to permit individuals with visual disabilities to be oriented to their location • Especially important in a rural system • Intervals can be by time or distance • Helpful if they are by known landmarks or areas of interest

  25. When to Announce Stops cont’d 4. At the request of a person with a disability • Keep in mind that a rider with a hearing impairment may use a stop request card • Any passenger could make a stop request

  26. Route Identification • If a stop is served by more than one route, operator must make sure a route identification announcement is made at the stop for waiting passengers • Operators must know the other routes well enough to provide travel instructions • Announcement must be loud enough for individuals to hear clearly

  27. Flag Stop Service • Must set policy and procedure to assist passengers with disabilities to board • Possible assistance could include: • Providing a flag or other product readily recognizable by operators • Telephone/dispatch contact to alert operators • More vigilance and awareness of operators to recognize potential riders along the route

  28. True or False Anyone can use the lift or ramp upon request.

  29. True! • Lifts are for the use of anyone who asks for them • Need not be a person using a wheelchair • Can’t ask why it is needed • Should be deployed upon request

  30. True or False Under the ADA, a vehicle operator can require a passenger using the priority seating area to change seats if a person with a disability boards the bus.

  31. False! • Must designate priority seating for seniors and people with disabilities • Must have adequate signage • Can’t require someone to move because they may have a hidden disability

  32. True or False • An agency has a policy that operators will not handle money from customers • Under the ADA, a reasonable modification to this policy would be to make an exception so operators can assist a customer with a disability to use the farebox

  33. True! • Assisting with fare is a reasonable modification • An alternative modification would be allowing that customer to ride for free • FTA is developing guidance on reasonable modification

  34. True or False The ADA requires that all wheelchairs and mobility devices be secured.

  35. False! • ADA requires that vehicles be equipped for securement • Transit provider sets policy for use of securement • If a mobility device can’t be secured, customer is allowed to ride anyway • Lap belts and shoulder harnesses can only be required if all passengers are required to wear them

  36. New Regulatory Language Transit providers must transport a customer using a wheelchair: • If the lift (or ramp) and vehicle can physically accommodate them • Unless doing so is inconsistent with legitimate safety requirements

  37. 30 Minute Rule • If the lift or ramp is not working • Rider can wait for next vehicle if scheduled arrival is 30 minutes or less • Operator must contact supervisor to arrange for a ride if headway is longer than 30 minutes

  38. True or False If the vehicle is full and a customer using a wheelchair is unable to board, the 30 minute rule applies.

  39. False! • Rider must wait for the next vehicle • “Equal Opportunity Inconvenience” • No accommodation is required

  40. ADA Complementary Paratransit

  41. ADA Complementary Paratransit • Required by law to complement fixed-route transit • Has specific regulations under the ADA Photo courtesy of TARC

  42. Other Paratransit Service • Often funded through human service programs • Serves specific populations • Operates without regard to fixed-route transit • Has unique eligibility requirements depending on the funder

  43. What Does Complementary Mean? • Hours of service • Service area • Length of trip

  44. True or False All people with documented disabilities are eligible for ADA Complementary Paratransit service.

  45. False! Three categories of eligibility: • Category 1: includes persons with disabilities that are unable to use accessible fixed route service • Category 2: includes persons with disabilities that have the ability to use the accessible fixed route services, but the service available is not accessible • Category 3: includes persons with disabilities that are unable to travel to or from a station or a bus stop

  46. Types of Eligibility • Unconditional: Not reasonable for individual to use fixed-route services for any trips under all conditions • Conditional: Individual is able to use fixed-route services under certain conditions • Temporary: For an individual whose disability is temporary or functional abilities are expected to change

  47. True or False A customer can be required to travel with a personal care attendant if that is what is needed for independent mobility.

  48. False! The vehicle operator is required to assist customers who either request or need help with the securement, ramp, or lift. If a customer needs assistance with aspects of riding beyond the accessibility equipment, it can be recommended that he ride with a PCA. If he refuses, then he can be denied the trip because the operator cannot provide additional services.

  49. Personal Care Attendant (PCA) • Ride for free • May be a family member • Take the same trip as the person they are assisting