Important changes to the ADA Title II and Title III regulations are in effect starting March 15, 2011. Title II applies to state and local governments. Title III applies to the private sector: stores, hotels, day care centers, non-profit organizations, medical providers, etc. Most of the changes in the two regulations are the same.
What are the changes?
The definition of service animals now only includes dogs. Other animals, whether wild or domestic, do not qualify as service animals. Dogs must be individually trained to do work or perform tasks. Dogs that are not trained to perform tasks that mitigate the effects of a disability, including dogs that are used purely for emotional support, are not service animals. The regulations also clarify that the animal must be under the handler’s control at all times, that the handler is responsible for the animal’s care and what questions can and can’t be asked a person indicates his or her dog is a service animal.
Although not under the definition of service animals, the regulations permit the use of trained miniature horses as alternatives to dogs, where appropriate. Assessment factors to determine appropriateness of the use of miniature horses include the type, size, and weight of the miniature horse; whether the facility can accommodate these features; whether the handler has sufficient control of the miniature horse; whether the miniature horse is housebroken; and whether the miniature horse’s presence in a specific facility compromises legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation.
Wheelchairs and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices:
The regulations distinguish wheelchairs and “other power-driven mobility devices” (OPDMDs). OPDMDs are mobility devices not designed for people with disabilities, but which are often used by people with disabilities (such as the Segway). Wheelchairs must be permitted in all areas open to pedestrian use. OPDMDs must be permitted unless their use would fundamentally alter programs, services, or activities; create a direct threat or create a safety hazard.
Ticketing (tickets to sporting events, concerts, theater, etc.):
Tickets for accessible seating must be available to purchase during the same hours; during the same stages of ticket sales (pre-sales, promotions, lotteries, wait-lists, and general sales) and through the same methods of distribution (phone, in person, internet, third party) as tickets for non-accessible seating. The regulations also include requirements concerning information about the location and availability of accessible seating, hold and release of accessible seating to persons with out disabilities, prevention of the fraudulent purchase of accessible seating, and the ability to purchase multiple tickets when buying accessible seating.
The regulations include video remote interpreting (VRI) services as a type of auxiliary aid that may be used to provide effective communication. To ensure that VRI is effective, the regulations include performance standards for VRI and requires training for users of the technology. The regulations state that a minor child may not be used to interpret or facilitate communication except under emergency situations.
More ADA Title II and Title III regulations changes go into effect next year on March 15, 2012.
Additional information about Title II changes is available here
Additional information about Title III changes is available here
Please contact the Northeast ADA Center with questions by sending an email or call 800-949-4232 voice/TTY.