This document contains the 2016 California Building Code (CBC) accessibility provisions adopted by DSA and commentary on selected requirements. Commentary is included from the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and from DSA for provisions unique to California. Additionally, an expanded table of contents for Chapter 11B is provided at the beginning of the chapter.
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On September 25, 2008, President George W. Bush signed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) into law. The amendment broadened the definition of "disability", thereby extending the ADA's protections to a greater number of people.[43] The ADAAA also added to the ADA examples of "major life activities" including, but not limited to, "caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working" as well as the operation of several specified major bodily functions.[43] The act overturned a 1999 US Supreme Court case that held that an employee was not disabled if the impairment could be corrected by mitigating measures; it specifically provides that such impairment must be determined without considering such ameliorative measures. It also overturned the court restriction that an impairment which substantially limits one major life activity must also limit others to be considered a disability.[43] In 2008, the United States House Committee on Education and Labor stated that the amendment "makes it absolutely clear that the ADA is intended to provide broad coverage to protect anyone who faces discrimination on the basis of disability."[44] Thus the ADAAA led to broader coverage of impaired employees.
The text in the ADA did not originally mention websites since this technology was not widely used in 1990. But now that most businesses have a website, they need to make sure it’s accessible to everyone. Since we’re past the ruling date, all updated pages on your website are required to be at least grade A complaint, with grade AAA being the highest.
In June of 2003, the DOJ issued a document appropriately entitled, “Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities.” References were made to Section 508 accessibility Standards and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). By 2010, the DOJ issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), entitled “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Government Entities and Public Accommodations.” That document provides that, “Title III reaches the Web sites of entities that provide goods or services that fall within the 12 categories of ‘public accommodations’ as defined by the statute and regulations.” It also sought input on whether the DOJ should adopt “the WCAG 2.0’s Level AA Success Criteria as its standard for Web site accessibility for entities covered by Titles II and III of the ADA.”
In 2014, the DOJ filed a Complaint in Intervention on a pending case between the National Federation of the Blind and H & R Block. According to that Complaint, “the inaccessibility of H&R Block’s website prevents people with disabilities from independently preparing and filing taxes online, downloading tax preparation software, etc.” The settlement was broken down into two phases: Phase I- (to be completed by 01/2015) H&R Block shall ensure that www.hrblock.com and the Online Tax Preparation Product conform to, at minimum, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level A and AA Success Criteria (“WCAG 2.0 AA”). And Phase II- (to be completed by 01/2016) H&R Block shall ensure that its mobile applications conform to, at minimum, the WCAG 2.0 AA.
One of the first major ADA lawsuits, Paralyzed Veterans of America v. Ellerbe Becket Architects and Engineers (PVA 1996) was focused on the wheelchair accessibility of a stadium project that was still in the design phase, MCI Center (now known as Capital One Arena) in Washington, D.C. Previous to this case, which was filed only five years after the ADA was passed, the DOJ was unable or unwilling to provide clarification on the distribution requirements for accessible wheelchair locations in large assembly spaces. While Section 4.33.3 of ADAAG makes reference to lines of sight, no specific reference is made to seeing over standing patrons. The MCI Center, designed by Ellerbe Becket Architects & Engineers, was designed with too few wheelchair and companion seats, and the ones that were included did not provide sight lines that would enable the wheelchair user to view the playing area while the spectators in front of them were standing. This case[69][70] and another related case[71] established precedent on seat distribution and sight lines issues for ADA enforcement that continues to present day.
My 34 year old Deaf son went to the DMV to take his written driving test today for the 3rd time. Again he was not afforded a copy of the test to study again as he is deaf and “they don’t do that”. Why is it if you are hearing you can have a copy of the questions to study with if you fail, but if you are deaf or hearing impaired you do not have this right. This is discrimination at its worst. If he were an illegal alien who spoke only Spanish he would get a copy in Spanish, but because he is deaf and only reads English, he gets nothing. I want to know what folks think of that. We went to the Rancho Cucamonga, California DMV office on Hellman. I find this just the worst thing, he is being discriminated against.
In 2014, the DOJ filed a Complaint in Intervention on a pending case between the National Federation of the Blind and H & R Block. According to that Complaint, “the inaccessibility of H&R Block’s website prevents people with disabilities from independently preparing and filing taxes online, downloading tax preparation software, etc.” The settlement was broken down into two phases: Phase I- (to be completed by 01/2015) H&R Block shall ensure that www.hrblock.com and the Online Tax Preparation Product conform to, at minimum, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level A and AA Success Criteria (“WCAG 2.0 AA”). And Phase II- (to be completed by 01/2016) H&R Block shall ensure that its mobile applications conform to, at minimum, the WCAG 2.0 AA.

The CBC Chapter 11B accessibility requirements for EVCS do not distinguish between the different EVCS standards like those listed. However, building officials may view different types of service as separate facilities. Where different types of EVCS service are provided at a location, the code enforcement official must determine the applicability of Table 11B-228.3.2.1.
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) authorizes the United States Department of Justice to certify that state laws, local building codes, or similar ordinances meet or exceed the ADA Standards for Accessible Design for new construction and alterations. Title III applies to public accommodations and commercial facilities, which include most private businesses and non-profit service providers.
The question of ADA’s exact wording comes down to two issues: 1) whether the ADA applies to a website at all, and 2) if ADA applies only to websites that have a physical connection to goods and services available at a physical store or location, or if it applies to all websites even if they don’t have physical spaces. Courts are split on these issues but one thing is for certain: the tide is moving toward ADA compliance for websites, and the lack of specific legal wording prohibiting web discrimination has not stopped businesses from being sued.
If the lift encroaches into the City’s property (presuming they allow that), my concern is less regarding an ADA issue and more regarding a potential tripping hazard when the lift is down. WE have on occasion, when a temporary ramp is used to provide access over a single step, also used orange traffic cones to alert pedestrians about a potential tripping hazard.
The lack of regulations here has led to the absolute worst-case scenario. People with disabilities have not been served since most companies are unaware this is an issue. Most don’t even realize this is something they have to consider until they receive a demand letter. That has certainly been the case for some of my clients. This leads to a scramble to get compliant. Unfortunately, it can take up to a year to do so depending on the complexity of the site. Meanwhile, plaintiffs’ attorneys across the country are taking advantage of the confusion. More than 260 website accessibility lawsuits were filed in 2016, and significantly more were filed by the end of 2017. But these numbers do not even begin to cover the cases that are settled pre-litigation.
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