Advanced Rulings for Access in 2011

Greetings all

The modification of the Department of Justice’s ADA for 2010 and the introduction of the new California Building Code of 2010 effective as of Jan 1, 2011 has given all of us a pause. But that’s our issue and not yours. Keeping on top of accessibility issues is a full time job, but that’s why we are here.

Of some interest to many of you may be forth coming issues with accessibility. The Department of Justice has been busy with new legislation seeking to more solidly define the scoping requirements for access for the disabled. This has been long in coming. People with special needs have special needs — and it’s hard for many of us, even those of us in the health industry to understand what it’s actually like to have needs different from your average patient. The health industry has been very slow to adapt to 21st century standards when it comes to providing adequate health care for the disabled. Often times, health care facilities may not have a gurney for disabled patients — those that do often don’t have staff who know how to use a gurney or how to treat a patient. This can endanger a patient’s life, making for an uncomfortable situation where a patient may find themselves in the hands of staff who don’t know how to treat them. No one wants to feel like they are a piece of meat, or to lose control over how or where they can be taken.

I write this by way of example. Here is a webpage: Notice of Advanced Hearings on Proposed Rulings.

On this page is covered are laws regarding Web Information and Services (what is to be accessible and how), standards for movie captioning for the deaf and video description for the blind, standards for future 9-1-1 issues and standards for the accessibility of equipment and furniture. This last one is especially important for business owners as items covered include:

    • Medical Equipment and Furniture

Electronic and Information Technology such as ticket kiosks
and point-of-sale devices

Beds in Accessible Guest Rooms and Sleeping Rooms

Exercise Equipment and Furniture

Accessible Golf Cars

Beds in Nursing Homes and Other Care Facilities

What’s significant about putting this online is that often you business owners out there, complain that you don’t get a say in these laws. They get passed and you don’t know about them or who decided these issues. I think many business owners think that a bunch of disabled people sit around with law makers and try and make trouble for business owners. This isn’t true, these discussions need to be balanced. Many disabled individuals are as much ‘in the dark’ as your common business administrator about these things. That’s why these discussions are public. Everyone involved needs to come to the table.

Here is your chance to be ‘in’ on the discussion. Take advantage of the transparency of government! We get blind-sighted by these things when we have tunnel vision in running our business. A business isn’t really about just offering a good or service, it’s about interfacing with society. How do you handle customers, how do you meet the needs of the public, how does the public come in and become a customer…

It’s so important to not forget: what your business means to others is as important as what others mean to your business.

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