MOD Blog

Massachusetts Office On Disability Blog

Category Archives: Access

Massachusetts School District Uses Robot to Meet ADA Obligations Posted on May 22

Recently, The United States Attorney’s Office, Civil Rights Unit (MA) entered into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement with Hudson Public School District (MA) on the topic of “telepresence” through robotic assistive technology. The U.S. Attorney’s Office cites the duty to ensure effective communication for the District’s students under the ADA. Specifically, the Agreement addresses the use of services and auxiliary aids that can assist a student to benefit from school, and allow the District to meet its effective communication obligation.

2018 Disability Placard Abuse Prevention Week Begins This Weekend Posted on May 4

2018 Disability Placard Abuse Prevention Week Begins This Weekend

The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is once again inviting all police departments to participate in a Placard Abuse Prevention Week beginning this weekend. The RMV participates on a disability parking abuse task force charged with exploring and implementing ways to reduce instances of disabled parking placard abuse across the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts Architectural Access Board Process 101 Posted on Feb 20

An important aspect of promoting independence for people with disabilities is physical access to public buildings. In Massachusetts, the Architectural Access Board (AAB) develops and enforces regulations designed to make public buildings accessible to, functional for, and safe for use by persons with disabilities. Section 521 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), enforced by the AAB, is the state building code that outlines the requirements for accessibility in buildings that are open to the public. 521 CMR also establishes a process for members of the public who wish to file a complaint about a noncompliant building.

Requirements for Accessible Saunas and Steam Rooms: Americans with Disabilities Act Design Standards, Massachusetts Architectural Access Board Regulations Posted on Dec 29

Requirements for Accessible Saunas and Steam Rooms: Americans with Disabilities Act Design Standards, Massachusetts Architectural Access Board Regulations

Saunas and steam rooms found at spas, health clubs, and other areas are used for a variety of reasons including health, stress relief, and relaxation. To understand the accessibility requirements for saunas and steam rooms, we need to look at the 1991 and 2010 ADA Design Standards (ADADS) and the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board’s rules and regulations (MAAB) to determine the applicability and the most stringent requirement.

Massachusetts Governor Signs Legislation Increasing Penalties for Disability Parking Fraud and Abuse Posted on Dec 1

Massachusetts Governor Signs Legislation Increasing Penalties for Disability Parking Fraud and Abuse

On Monday November 27th 2017 Governor Charlie Baker ceremonially signed into law new legislation that increases the current penalties for fraudulent use of disability parking credentials. Joined by members of the Senate, House, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Inspector General, as well as representatives from the Massachusetts Office on Disability, the new legislation aims to protect those who truly need accessible parking.

Americans with Disabilities Act and Disability Rights Laws Training Offerings by Massachusetts Office on Disability Posted on May 23

Americans with Disabilities Act and Disability Rights Laws Training Offerings by Massachusetts Office on Disability

Are you a state agency, municipal government, employer or business? If so, you have important obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar Massachusetts laws to your employees, customers, visitors, and the general public who are persons with disabilities. MOD can help to provide training for you and your staff these requirements.

Education goes a long way in avoiding violations that can result in lengthy and costly consequences for your organization. Further, compliance with the ADA and similar laws ensures that persons with disabilities who are qualified employees, valued customers, and members of our communities have equal access to the programs, services, and opportunities available to everyone else.

Requirements for Ramp Dimensions under the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board Regulations and the Americans with Disabilities Act Design Standards Posted on Apr 25

Requirements for Ramp Dimensions under the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board Regulations and the Americans with Disabilities Act Design Standards

This post is a follow–up to our recent post on ramp slope requirements. This post will guide you through additional obligations for width, handrails, length and landings under the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board’s (MAAB) rules and regulations and the Americans with Disabilities Act Design Standards (ADA Design Standards).

Municipal Americans with Disabilities Act Grant Program Now Accepting Applications Posted on Apr 18

Municipal Americans with Disabilities Act Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) is pleased to announce the opening of the Municipal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Improvement Grant Program application and selection process. These grants will support capital improvements specifically dedicated to improving programmatic access for persons with disabilities.

Eligible applicants include any Massachusetts city, town, special purpose district and/or regional governmental organization. Grants of up to $250,000 will be awarded to successful applicants to remove barriers and to create and improve accessible features in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth. Examples of eligible projects include the addition of features such as ramps, elevators, power lifts, signage, communication access devices, and curb cuts.

Tax Incentives for Employers & Businesses for Creating Disability Access Posted on Apr 10

Tax Incentives for Employers & Businesses for Creating Disability Access

Attention Businesses and employers: Did you know there are tax credits and deductions available to employ persons with disabilities and to make accessibility improvements?

The vast majority of businesses and employers have distinct obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure equal employment opportunities and to remove accessibility barriers for persons with disabilities. Not only are Americans with disabilities contributing members of the workforce and valuable customers, but there are also incentives in the form of tax credits and deductions for meeting ADA obligations.

Requirements for Compliant Ramp Slopes Under ADA Design Standards and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board Regulations Posted on Dec 27

Requirements for Compliant Ramp Slopes Under ADA Design Standards and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board Regulations

Safe and effective ramps are essential to ensuring the independence of individuals who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices. This post will discuss ramp running slope and ramp cross slope requirements that make ramps usable and accessible. We will also clarify the specific differences in the slope requirements and obligations between the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board’s (MAAB) rules and regulations and the Americans with Disabilities Design Standards (ADA Design Standards).