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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance

Frequently Asked Questions

For access to Montgomery County District Courts, 191 East Jefferson Street, Rockville, MD 20850-2325 and 8552 Second Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20910-3405, see this Assistance with Special Needs for details.

To request an accommodation at the Circuit Court located at the Judicial Center, 50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850 (240-777-9400, TTY 240-777-9500) please refer to these general instructions from the Courts ( http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/circuitcourt/Court/Requests-for-Accommodation-Procedures.html) and make your request on the Courts’ Accommodation Request Form (English http://mdcourts.gov/courtforms/joint/ccdc049.pdf, Spanish http://mdcourts.gov/courtforms/joint/ccdc049bls.pdf) . The Court System’s own Frequently Asked Questions are at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/circuitcourt/Court/FAQs-Related-to-Requests-for-Accommodation.html. Regarding parking, see http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/circuitcourt/court/directions.html#_Handicapped_Parking.

Yes, Title III of the ADA covers “public accommodations. Public accommodations are private businesses, both for-profit and not-for-profit, whose operations affect commerce. Examples of the categories of places covered include hotels, restaurants, theaters, auditoriums, stores and shopping malls, service establishments (banks, beauty shops, repair shops, funeral homes, gas stations, professional offices, pharmacies, hospitals), public transportation terminals, museums, places of recreation (parks, zoos, gyms, pools, spas, golf courses), schools, and social service center establishments (such as day care centers, senior citizen centers, homeless shelters, food banks, adoption agencies).

You can start with the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, telephone (voice and TTY) 800-949-4232, local 301-217-0124. You can also contact the Department of Justice at www.ada.gov.

No, the ADA Compliance Team can only assist with complaints that involve County government programs, services and facilities. You can file a complaint with the following agencies:

  • The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, telephone 240-777-8450 (voice), 240-777-8480 (TTY);
  • The Equal Rights Center, 11 Dupont Circle NW, Washington DC 20036; telephone 202-234-3062, toll-free 866-719-4372;
  • The Maryland Disability Law Center, 1500 Union Avenue, Suite 2000, Baltimore, MD 21211; telephone 410-727-6352 ext. 0, toll-free 800-233-7201, TTY 410-235-5387; and
  • The Department of Justice ADA web site.

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a great resource. Contact them at askjan.org or by telephone at 1-800-526-7234 (TTY 1-800-781-9403).

You can file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, with a private attorney, or with a disability rights organization. Some resources are:

Yes. To assist small businesses in complying with the ADA, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code includes a Disabled Access Credit (Section 44) for businesses with 30 or fewer full-time employees or with total revenues of $1 million or less in the previous tax year. Eligible expenses may include the cost of undertaking barrier removal to provide accessibility, providing sign-language interpreters, or making material available in accessible formats such as Braille, audiotape, or large print. Section 190 of the IRS Code provides a tax deduction for businesses of all sizes for costs incurred in removing architectural barriers in existing facilities. The maximum deduction is $15,000 per year. This information is provided by the ADA National Network, Disability Law Handbook.

The most useful resources are these:

  • The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, telephone 240-777-8450 (voice), 240-777-8480 (TTY);
  • The Equal Rights Center, 11 Dupont Circle NW, Washington DC 20036; telephone 202-234-3062, toll-free 866-719-4372;
  • The Maryland Disability Law Center, 1500 Union Avenue, Suite 2000, Baltimore, MD 21211; telephone 410-727-6352 ext. 0, toll-free 800-233-7201, TTY 410-235-5387.

Yes. As long as the method of payment, such as the meter, the cashier or the payment kiosk, is accessible for people with disabilities you are required to pay. If the payment method is not, then you cannot be charged. For example, older parking meters are not accessible for many people with disabilities because the coin mechanism is too high to be reached by a person using a wheelchair and, the coin drop requires twisting to operate. Newer model meters are accessible as are many parking facilities with cashiers and payment kiosks.

Since 1988, the Fair Housing Act (originally passed in 1968) has prohibited housing discrimination based on disability. This prohibition involves design and construction requirements as well as requirements for reasonable accommodations. In Maryland, the Maryland Accessibility Code also applies to multi-family housing and has even more stringent construction requirements.

Yes. It is unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing to a person with a disability because of the disability. Landlords are required to make reasonable accommodations to their policies in order to provide equal housing opportunities to people with disabilities and to permit persons with disabilities to make reasonable accommodations to their units or to common areas. This information is provided by the ADA National Network, Disability Law Handbook.

An apartment complex that does not allow pets would have to modify that policy to allow an individual with a disability who uses a service animal, or an emotional support animal, to have the animal. A housing project that does not allow reserved parking places would have to modify that policy so that a person who uses a wheelchair or who has very limited mobility could park in a spot close to the apartment unit. This information is provided by the ADA National Network, Disability Law Handbook.

All multi-family housing is covered by the Fair Housing Act. The Commission on Common Ownership Communities may be able to assist you with resolving your problem with your condo association. You can also file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ADA National Network, Disability Law Handbook.

Maryland Relay is the a Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) provided by the State of Maryland and required by the ADA. It allows almost anyone in the world to communicate with individuals with speech or hearing loss through the telephone. TRS is for YOU if you are a hearing person wanting to communicate with deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled friends, or if you have a speech or hearing loss that makes using the telephone difficult.

Maryland Relay is for anyone who wants to communicate with someone who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, late-deafened, or speech disabled, and who uses a TTY (Text Telephone). The spoken words are relayed by an Operator (OPR) who types them, word for word, to the person on the other end of the line. Then the OPR speaks to the hearing person everything that the TTY user types back.

Maryland Relay can be used to accomplish just about any kind of call from ordering takeout to taking directions from the airport! Everything is in real-time and real easy. You may be eligible for free equipment.

Visit the Maryland Relay web site or call 1-800-526-7234 (voice or TTY).

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