The New England ADA Center serves Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Since 1996, the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) has operated the New England ADA Center. The Center meets increasingly complex challenges of providing information, guidance and training across the region. We have over 23 years of expertise providing ADA services and an awareness of the challenges in implementing the law, including reframing the big vision that the ADA is for all of us!
The Americans with Disabilities Act, Addiction and Recovery
Many people in recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders do not know that addiction is considered a disability and that they have civil rights and protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To increase knowledge about rights, the New England ADA Center developed a webinar, Addiction, Recovery and the ADA, and partnered with the ADA National Network to create a factsheet, the ADA, Addiction and Recovery. These products have been used and distributed at local, regional, and national trainings such as: Learn to Cope, Massachusetts Organization for Addiction and Recovery (MOAR), the Mid-Atlantic ADA Updates Conference, and the National Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC). In addition, the New England ADA Center devoted our ADA 29 celebration to a panel discussion on current and future legal trend – ADA 29th Anniversary: The Forefront of Disability Rights for Addiction and Recovery. The panel featured Gregory Dorchak, U.S. Attorney, Civil Rights Unit U.S. Attorney’s Office, MA, Maryanne Frangules, Executive Director of MA Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR), and Oce Harrison, Ed.D., Project Director of the New England ADA Center.
Results from the Identifying Challenges to Implementing the ADA Survey for Cities and Towns in New England
In the first study of its kind, the New England ADA Center identifies challenges that municipalities face to implementing the ADA. The results show that only 7% of municipalities in New England are in full compliance. This implicates that compliance is very low in New England and may well be a national problem. Of the municipalities’ ADA administrative requirements, the self-evaluation and transition plans were the least likely to be completed. Of the services programs and activities, accessible websites were the least likely to be completed. While these statistics may seem bleak, the reasons stated for partial implementation – a lack of knowledge as to what the ADA requires, and a lack of personnel – provide a silver lining of hope because it is the mission of the ADA Center to increase knowledge about how to implement the ADA. For a New England state by state analysis, read our White Paper.
ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities
Since its creation, the ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities continues to be an invaluable resource for the ongoing improvement to physical access to buildings located across the country. The checklist has been used to review every type of facility such as a college campus in the Midwest, career centers in the South, and municipal buildings in New England.