ADA - General

I am hosting an event at a hotel. Who is responsible for providing wheelchair access to the stage?

Both the hotel and the public entity or private business renting the hotel meeting space have responsibilities under the ADA to ensure that everyone regardless of disability has an equal opportunity to enjoy the services and facilities offered by your event.

If the hotel provides temporary stages or raised platforms, they must make these temporary elements accessible to people with disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue administrative or financial burden.

We are providing meals at our conference. An attendee said she has food allergies. Do we need to have a special meal prepared for her?

In order to be viewed as a disability under the ADA, an impairment must substantially limit one or more major life activities. An individual's major life activities of respiratory or neurological functioning may be substantially limited by allergies or sensitivity to a degree that he or she is a person with a disability.  For example this may include an individual with severe nut allergies, the symptoms of which may include difficulty swallowing and breathing.

What are some things employers can do?

  • For more information on this, go to the Making Work Happen website [makingworkhappen.com] and find the employer’s a tutorial on veterans with disabilities in the workplace.
  • Consider the workplace climate and culture.  Is there a climate of trust and openness around disability and accommodation?  What actually happens to people with disabilities when they come forward with an accommodation request?  Is there a quick and effective response?  Or is this the first road to termination?  What happens to people with d

Are returning vets with disabilities covered by the ADA?

  • Returning veterans with disabilities are not automatically covered under the ADA.  Their disability must meet the ADA’s definition of disability:  A mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. 
  • In most cases, however, disabilities such as PTSD, TBI or depression would be covered under the ADA.
  • There are two EEOC documenst which can help clarify these issues. 

Why is the disability rate higher among Gulf War era II vets than among vets from previous engagements?

  • Greater awareness. Clearly, we have an enhanced capability to diagnose and report vets with conditions such as PTSD and TBI.
  • Earlier generations of vets may not have had these diagnoses.
  • More dangerous combat conditions. The engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan were dangerous and stressful, often with little predictability of where attacks would come from and who the enemy was.

How many vets will be returning?

  • It’s hard to predict exactly, but it’s estimated that over the next decade, there will be about 1.6 million veterans returning from active service.
  • Since 2001, 2.5 million service members have been deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan—Vets who served since Sept 2001 are called “Gulf War Era II” vets.
  • Among Gulf War II vets, more than a third of these were deployed more than once and nearly 400,000 were deployed three or more times.

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