Americans With Disabilities Act Seeing Changes This Year

americans-with-disabilities-act-changesThe Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is seeing some large changes this year. From new requirements in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to new rulings by federal Judges, the ADA is finding more areas in which it holds enforcement. This means that many Americans will now be able to enjoy a full breadth of life that otherwise would have been difficult. These Americans will be able to find entertainment and safety with these changes.

Beginning with the Affordable Care Act, changes were made that required insurance companies to provide coverage to those with disabilities without annual and lifetime limits. Forbes reports:

“The ADA mandated nothing about existence of a meaningful market with accessible products and services needed by disabled people. The ACA finally stocks the shelves in our most important public market.”

This is describing how the insurance market must now accept those with disabilities and cannot limit their coverage. The Affordable Care Act strengthens the Americans with Disabilities Act by requiring insurance companies to fully cover those with disabilities so that they do not have to rely solely upon public services like Medicare and Medicaid.

This year also requires greater changes to hotels, recreation centers, and public clubs. These arenas will need to improve any of their swimming pools or spas to provide access to disabled Americans. Many are finding that placing in a lift is an excellent way to help those with mobility disabilities to be brought in and out of the pool or spa. This is an appropriate step as everyone has the right to enjoy wading or swimming in a pool during the hot summer.

Many think of the Americans with Disabilities Act only pertaining to physical structures. This year, federal Judges are reviewing cases to extend the scope of the ADA to include access to public websites. According to eWeek:

“The DOJ plans to ‘propose the scope of the obligation to provide accessibility when persons with disabilities attempt to access Websites of public accommodations, as well as propose the technical standards necessary to comply with the ADA,’ the DOJ agenda at stated.”

The idea behind this ruling is that public websites provide a service for all Americans. That the access to these sites is the same as accessing any other public area. These changes are most likely to aid those with visual impairments by adding a tool to read the text for these Americans. It may require that it be printable to braille printers also.

The changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act this year are great ideas. They help every American live their lives with certainty that they can accomplish anything set before them. These changes give them the freedom to enjoy life without worry about how they are going to interact.

Access Advocates helps Americans with Disabilities through consultation and other services when public buildings and structures do not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. If you are needing help, please contact us and we will provide you with all the support we can.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Leo Reynolds