ADA and Transportation Refresher and Update Donna Smith Director of Training Easter Seals Project ACTION December 11, 2013
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
Easter Seals Project ACTION • Funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration • Housed within Easter Seals Office of Public Affairs Since 1988
Our Mission To promote universal access to transportation for people with disabilities under federal law and beyond by partnering with transportation providers, people with disabilities and others through the provision of training, technical assistance, applied research, outreach and communication.
To contact us 800-659-6428 www.projectaction.org firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Who’s in the Audience? • O&M instructors? • Advocates? • Travel trainers? • Teachers/Rehabilitation counselors? • Transportation providers?
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 Requirement to make reasonable modification to policies and procedures 8
ADA Regulatory and Enforcement Authority • US DOJ • Title II public entities • Title III places of public accommodation and commercial facilities • US DOT • Title II Part B public transportation • Private transportation – taxicabs and motor coaches • Transit facilities
True or False Service animals such as birds or monkeys are still allowed under the ADA on public transportation.
True! The definition of a service animal has not changed under the Federal Transit Administration.
Two Different Definitions Under the ADA • DOJ revised definition under the ADA – applies to state and local government and places of public accommodation • DOT definition under the ADA – applies to transportation
DOJ Definition of a Service Animal Dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities • Guiding people who are blind • Alerting people who are deaf • Pulling a wheelchair • Alerting and protecting a person having a seizure • Reminding a person to take prescribed medications • Calming a person with PTSD • Other duties
DOJ Separate Provision • Recognizes miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities as service animals • Miniature horses are generally: • 24-34 inches measured at the shoulder • 70-100 pounds • Must be: • Housebroken • Under the owner’s control • Type, size and weight can be accommodated • Will not compromise safe operation of the facility
For More Information on DOJ Regulations • http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm • 800-514-0301 (Voice) • 800-514-0383 (TTY)
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
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
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
If There is a Problem • Speak to the person handling the animal • Explain the problem • Allow the person to take action • Follow policies regarding what to do when disruption occurs on the vehicle
True or False The only stop announcement required is the requested destination stop of the customer.
False! This is only 1 of 4 types of stop announcements required under the ADA.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
True or False The ADA requires that all wheelchairs and mobility devices be secured.
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
New Regulatory Language Transit providers must carry 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
Legitimate Safety Requirements include: • A wheelchair of such size that it would block an aisle • Too large to fully enter a rail car • Would block the vestibule • Would interfere with the safe evacuation of passengers in an emergency
Legitimate Safety Requirements • Do not apply to securement • Based on actual risks • Not on mere speculation, stereotypes or generalizations about people with disabilities or the devices they use for mobility purposes
Definition of “wheelchair” has been refined • Reference to “three- or four-wheeled devices” • Has been changed to “three- or more wheeled devices”
True or False Anyone can use the lift or ramp upon request.
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 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
True or False If the vehicle is full and a customer using a wheelchair is unable to board, the 30 minute rule applies.
False! • Rider must wait for the next vehicle • “Equal Opportunity Inconvenience” • No accommodation is required
True or False Under the ADA, customers must vacate priority seating when asked by the operator if a customer with a disability needs a seat.
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
True or False Motor coaches or over-the-road buses are required to be accessible to passengers with disabilities.
True! The ADA guarantees equal access to both public and private transportation services.
DOT Definition of Large and Small Operators • Determined by annual revenue • Large operator has gross annual transportation revenue equal to or exceeding $9.3 million • Small operator has a gross annual transportation revenue less than $9.3 million
Accessibility of Fleet • Large operators are expected to have accessible fleets • Replace inaccessible buses as they go out of service • Most should be close to 100% accessible by now
Accessibility of Fleets (cont.) • Small operators may request customers to give 48 hours notice if an accessible vehicle is needed • If the request is not made in advance, provider is still required to make a good faith effort to provide an accessible vehicle
General Guidelines for Serving Customers with Vision Disabilities • Identify yourself and ask how you may assist the passenger • Respond verbally when the customer gives information, so that she will know she has been heard • Remember to announce the customer’s stop • If handling a monetary transaction, count the customer’s change out loud
Emergencies Drivers who provide boarding assistance must be trained to assist a passenger safely and appropriately with moving to or from a bus seat or disembarking in case of emergency.
Rest Stops and Interline Service • On trips longer than 3 hours, drivers must provide a comfort stop on request if the coach has an inaccessible restroom • If a driver denies the rest stop request, he must explain why he is, in good faith, unable to fulfill the request