FAQ: Miscellaneous

Question:

I am on Social Security and Medicaid and have questions, can you answer them?

Answer:

The Northeast ADA Center's primary focus is the ADA. If you have questions regarding Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, we may be able to provide you appropriate referrals and their contact information. The phone number for Social Security Administration is 1.800.772.1213.  For information on your state Medicaid program, visit www.medicaid.gov.  

Question:

I work at a private country club- do we have to adhere to the ADA?

Answer:

Private clubs are exempt from Title III of the ADA.  The ADA recognizes an entity as a private club if it is a private club under title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, private clubs lose their exemption when they make themselves open to the public and available to nonmembers.  For example, if a private club rents their space out to a day care center that is open to the public and children of nonmembers, the club must follow Title III obligations with respect to that day care center only. 

Question:

Do religious organizations and churches have to comply with the ADA?

Answer:

Religious entities are exempt from Title III of the ADA. They may be subject to employment obligations of Title I if they have 15 or more employees. The ADA defines a religious entity as any religious organization, or entity controlled by a religious organization, which includes places of worship. The scope of the exemption covers all activities, whether religious or secular. For example, if a religious group operates a day care center for members and nonmembers, it would still not be required to adhere to the ADA obligations.  If the religious entity rents out their space to a private business, then the tenant business would have to comply with Title III, but the religious entity would still remain exempt.

Question:

How does the ADA affect workers' compensation programs?

Answer:

The ADA and workers' compensation use different definitions of "disability."  Only injured workers who meet the ADA's definition of an "individual with a disability" will be considered disabled under the ADA, regardless of whether they satisfy criteria for receiving benefits under workers' compensation or other disability laws. A worker also must be "qualified" (with or without reasonable accommodation) to be protected by the ADA. Work-related injuries do not always cause physical or mental impairments severe enough to "substantially limit" a major life activity. Also, many on-the-job injuries cause temporary impairments which heal in a short period of time with little or no long-term impact. Therefore, some injured workers who qualify for benefits under workers' compensation or other disability benefits laws may not be protected by the ADA. An employer must consider work-related injuries on a case-by-case basis to know if a worker is protected by the ADA. (This is an excerpt from the National Network of ADA Centers website. Visit www.adata.org for more information on this topic).

Question:

I use a Segway for my mobility disability. Does the ADA consider that the same as a wheelchair?

Answer:

For the most part, yes.  A Segway would be considered an "other power-driven mobility device" (OPDMD) according to the revised ADA regulations which took effect March 15, 2010. An OPDMD is any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines that is used by an individual with a mobility disability to get around, regardless of whether the device was originally designed for this purpose.  Public and private entities must make reasonable modifications in their policies to allow individuals to use OPDMDs unless this presents a legitimate safety risk.  For more information, read our Fact Sheet on "Wheelchairs and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices" at: NEADAFactSheetWheelchairs.pdf.

Question:

I have been discriminated against because of my disability and need a lawyer, where can I find one?

Answer:

The Northeast ADA Center does not provide direct attorney referrals.  The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP).  There is a P&A/CAP agency in every state and U.S. territory as well as one serving the Native American population in the four corners region.  Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally-based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.  To find your local Protection and Advocacy agency and Client Assistance Program in each state, go to - http://www.ndrn.org/index.php. Each state or territory may also have lawyers who are willing to provide services pro bono (free of charge) or who specialize in disability rights. While we cannot make any direct referrals, we might be able to assist you in searching online for an agency you can contact.