MOD Blog

Massachusetts Office On Disability Blog

Monthly Archives: July 2015

New Disability Data Helps Inform Posted on Jul 31

New Disability Data Helps Inform

As part of the acknowledgment of the importance of the 25th year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published findings on the Prevalence of Disability and Disability Type Among Adults in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Federal Highway Administration Does Not Support “Dynamic” Symbol of Accessibility Posted on Jul 28

Federal Highway Administration Does Not Support “Dynamic” Symbol of Accessibility

A new, “dynamic” design featuring the image of a person with a disability actively engaged in forward motion has been proposed. Advocates for this symbol argue that the International Symbol is outdated, portraying people with disabilities as passive and dependent on wheelchairs. Although many places and institutions are already using the active symbol, no alternative to the International Symbol has been formally adopted. In May 2015, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released an official interpretation of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) on alternative designs of the accessibility symbol.

Emotional Support Animal Vs. Service Animal: The Facts Posted on Jul 22

Emotional Support Animal Vs. Service Animal: The Facts

Last week, we highlighted some new guidance on service animals from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). In this second post in our series on service animals, we will aim to clear up confusion surrounding the different categories of animals that assist persons with disabilities. MOD consistently gets calls from individuals who benefit from the assistance or company of an animal. Callers often refer to any animal that mitigates or relieves their disability limitations as a “service animal.” However, technically not all animals that benefit a person with a disability are service animals. Service animals are specifically defined by and are subject to different laws than other animals that provide companionship and or emotional support to persons with disabilities.

U.S. Department of Justice Releases New Service Animal FAQ Posted on Jul 15

U.S. Department of Justice Releases New Service Animal FAQ

The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) regularly responds to service animal related questions from the public. So, we are pleased to share a new update with you. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) published new, comprehensive guidance entitled “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Service Animals and the ADA” on July 13, 2015. The FAQ addresses the application of the law in areas that were previously unclear and is unique in that it is the first guidance to discuss specific questions asked by the public about service animals. Here are some highlights that our staff consider particularly noteworthy.

Accessible Outdoor Recreation in Massachusetts Posted on Jul 10

Accessible Outdoor Recreation in Massachusetts

Summer is the time for people of all abilities to enjoy the outdoors. There are numerous programs and sites that offer a variety of accessible outdoor recreation activities throughout the Commonwealth.

Focus On: Client Services Posted on Jul 8

Focus On: Client Services

Consistent with MOD’s mission, the Client Services Unit seeks to eliminate barriers through the provision of information and by providing technical assistance and advocacy on disability related denial of service and discrimination issues. Client Services staff provide tailored responses to questions from the public. Individuals   …Continue Reading Focus On: Client Services