MOD Blog

Massachusetts Office On Disability Blog

Author Archives: Evan C. Bjorklund

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Commonwealth Disability Mentoring Week 2018 posted on Mar 25

In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October of 2018, MOD and the Commonwealth’s Human Resources Division (HRD), partnered to host the second annual “Disability Mentoring Week (DMW).” DMW was an opportunity for people with disabilities to explore career opportunities with the Commonwealth.   …Continue Reading Commonwealth Disability Mentoring Week 2018

Fourth Annual Disability Summit 2018 posted on Mar 4

On October 5, 2018 the Massachusetts Office on Disability welcomed approximately 350 guests to the agency’s fourth annual Disability Summit. Held at the Partners Healthcare Assembly Row Branch, the Summit was designed to inspire state and local agencies, non-profit organizations, attendees, advocates, and individuals with   …Continue Reading Fourth Annual Disability Summit 2018

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.

Updates on Web Accessibility

Updates on Web Accessibility posted on Dec 15

When last we wrote on this topic in spring of 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) was set to issue proposed regulations on web information and services for state and local governments. In a turn of events, the DOJ instead issued a rare Supplemental Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SANPRM) in “order to solicit public comment on various issues relating to the potential application of such technical requirements to the websites of Title II entities and to obtain information for preparing a regulatory impact analysis.”

Web Accessibility Requirements for State and Local Government Web Content

Web Accessibility Requirements for State and Local Government Web Content posted on Mar 24

We celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 2015. As we look to the future, an increasingly important area to address is web accessibility. Since the passing of the ADA, the internet has dramatically changed the way that government entities   …Continue Reading Web Accessibility Requirements for State and Local Government Web Content

Recent Amendment to Open Meeting Law Allows Remote Participation for Commissions on Disability

Recent Amendment to Open Meeting Law Allows Remote Participation for Commissions on Disability posted on Sep 30

One of the mandates of MOD is to provide technical and legal assistance to Executive Branch agencies and local Commissions on Disability (CODs). So we endeavor to apprise them of significant changes to disability related laws. CODs advise and assist municipal officials and employees in ensuring compliance with state and federal laws and regulations that impact persons with disabilities. Recently, the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, which guides how public meetings must operate, was amended to aid CODs.

Governor Baker Improves Access to Public Records with New Procedures

Governor Baker Improves Access to Public Records with New Procedures posted on Aug 6

On July 30, 2015 Governor Baker announced new administration-wide procedures in regard to public records requests, in order to improve access to government records and information. These new procedures will serve to increase access to all members of the public, including persons with disabilities, which is in alignment with our office’s statutory mandate to ensure access in all aspects of life.

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

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

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.