On Monday, July 26, 2010, which was the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new final regulations regarding service animals and the use of Segways (mobility devices). 

Dogs and miniature horses individually trained to mitigate the effects of a disability are now the only animals that qualify as service animals.

The rules also now require entities to allow individuals with disabilities to use Segways wherever pedestrians and wheelchairs are permitted, unless it would fundamentally alter the entity’s services or pose a threat to safety.

At the same time, Justice announced its intentions to regulate the Web, 911 services and movie captioning to make them more accessible to disabled individuals. Though it gave no date for publication, the department issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) concerning the new regulations. It also opened a public commentary period.

Entities that accept federal funding have long been required to make their Web sites accessible to the handicapped under Section 508 of the 1974 Rehabilitation Act; now the new rules will extend some form of those standards to all Web sites.

New rules implementing the ADA’s Title I employment provisions were also expected from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) this month but have been delayed.

Personnel Concepts will continue to monitor developments concerning the implementation of the ADA and keep you advised here and on the parent Web site, PersonnelConcepts.com.

Please visit our Web section on Harassment and Discrimination for our array of fine products for implementing the ADA and other such laws.