The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
In 1990 Congress enacted this law with the intention of it to ‘‘provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities’’. The act was amended in 2008, which retains the basic definition of "disability" as:
- an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- having a record of such an impairment; or
- being regarded as having such an impairment, but states that the definition should be interpreted broadly. You can read the entire act here.
The ADA requires that each state in the country comply with this act.
All events occurring at UMass Boston must be made accessible to all participants. All descriptive materials, including advertisements, web pages, invitations, pre-recorded telephone announcements, and so forth must contain an ADA Request for Accommodations statement such as the one below:
- The event planner must submit a web request form to have their event added to the list on the ADA events site. Be sure to provide the name of your event and contact person who will receive the requests.
- Requests will automatically be sent to you, and a copy of the request will be sent to the ADA Compliance Officer.
- Contact the requestor to confirm receipt and get detailed information about their request.
- Consult with the ADA Compliance Officer about how best to fulfill the request.
- Confirm with guest that request will/won't be fulfilled.
- Contact web services once your event is over to have your event name removed from the pull-down list, or state the end date on the web request form.
Please be aware that it is the responsibility of the event planner to track and fulfill the requests received—it is not the responsibility of the ADA compliance officer. Lori Corcoran currently serves as the ADA compliance officer and can assist with the proper planning of your event. She can be reached at 617.287.6587 or firstname.lastname@example.org. As stated, she can assist with your planning, however, if someone is in need of an accommodation (large print program, deaf interpreter, gluten-free meal, etc) it is the event planner's responsibility to arrange and pay for those requests. Please be aware that the university is not responsible for fulfilling all requests—some are out of the realm of what the ADA requires, and the ADA compliance officer can assist with determining what the university should and should not be providing.
Interpreting Services for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing*:
- Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (online request form)
- UMass Boston Ross Center (they can give suggestions or names of the interpreters used for classes)
*Please note that this is not a free service - you must pay for an interpreter
Materials in Alternative Format:
- Contact the staff editor/designer that created your print materials in the Division of Government Relations and Public Affairs.
- Contact your caterer as soon as you are aware of this request. You may want to include some gluten-free, nut-free, and vegetarian options to your menu, even if you don't have any specific requests.