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Updated September 8, 2020

UH agrees to resolve web accessibility issues

HOUSTON — The University of Houston (UH) has reached an agreement regarding web accessibility under Title II of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Web accessibility for people with disabilities in higher education is of critical importance, particularly in light of the increased reliance on the use of technology and web-based platforms as an integral part of its educational services, programs, and activities.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office initiated a compliance review in November 2016 to determine whether the school’s website and online course offerings were accessible to individuals with disabilities and in compliance with the ADA. The review evaluated the accessibility of the university’s primary learning management system to ensure students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in programs. Audits uncovered multiple issues inconsistent with ADA accessibility and adversely impact the ability of individuals with disabilities to participate in the UH educational programs, services and activities.

UH is one of the largest schools in Texas. It is a Carnegie-designated tier one university with over 46,000 students. UH fully cooperated with this compliance review and has proactively and voluntarily taken steps to resolve the issues and increase accessibility.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Karpati and Keith Edward Wyatt handled this investigation.

EEOC Updates COVID-19 Technical Assistance Publication

Comprehensive Guide Compiles Resources to Address Common Workplace Questions

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) posted an updated technical assistance document, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws (WYSK),” which incorporates information from other agency resources and modifies two existing Q&As in order to create a user-friendly comprehensive guide that addresses common questions about COVID-19 and federal equal employment opportunity laws for employers, advocates, and workers.

The updated WYSK adds 18 questions and answers that have been adapted from two other EEOC technical assistance resources: “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act” and a March 27, 2020 publicly available EEOC webinar

.  These newly incorporated Q&As are identified on the WYSK with a parenthetical that lists today’s date and provides the source from which it was adapted.

In addition, the EEOC updated two existing WYSK Q&As in order to provide helpful clarifications that reinforce prior EEOC statements about COVID-19 and the EEO laws.  First, in the updated “A.6.,” the EEOC more fully explains its existing position about employers administering COVID-19 tests before permitting employees to enter the workplace.  Second, in the updated “D.8.,” the EEOC clarifies its existing position on employers’ authority to invite employees not currently in the workplace to request disability accommodation in advance of their expected return if they choose to do so.      

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

Updated June 30, 2020

The Department of Justice Warns of Inaccurate Flyers and Postings Regarding the Use of Face Masks and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband reiterated that cards and other documents bearing the Department of Justice seal and claiming that individuals are exempt from face mask requirements are fraudulent.

Inaccurate flyers or other postings have been circulating on the web and via social media channels regarding the use of face masks and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these notices included use of the Department of Justice seal and ADA phone number.

As the Department has stated in a previous alert, the Department did not issue and does not endorse them in any way. The public should not rely on the information contained in these postings.

The ADA does not provide a blanket exemption to people with disabilities from complying with legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operations.
The public can visit ADA.gov or call the ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) and 800-514-0383 (TTY) for more information.