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National Disability Employment Awareness Month and the Title and Real Estate Industries
By Barbara Pronin
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), so we thought we would highlight some existing resources and what the title and real estate industries are doing to meet the needs of Americans with disabilities.
 
According to a recent report from the CDC, 26% of adults in the U.S. live with a disability*, with ambulatory disability as the most prevalent form. With that in mind, home modification will continue to play a growing role in real estate transactions. It’s likely that there will be a growing need for resources to match this need for making homes more accessible. Here are a few grants that are currently available for home modification: As most business owners know, the American Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted into law in 1990, requires all businesses with public accommodations to make adaptations for people with disabilities. Brick and mortar businesses, for example, are expected to provide such things as entry/exit ramps and doors wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.

Because websites were not common in 1990, they were not included in the original ADA legislation.  In 2010, the Department of Justice issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking stating it would amend the language of the ADA to ensure accessibility to websites for individuals with disabilities.  In other words, businesses with public accommodation - which includes all businesses that are not private clubs - would be required to design and maintain websites that are accessible to the blind, the hard-of-hearing, and those who must navigate by voice, screen readers, or other assistive technologies. In 2017, however, the Department of Justice rescinded that Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Later, the World Wide Web Consortium, an international organization which develops standards for the Internet, published a set of recommendations, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) for making websites more accessible for people with disabilities. In response, all of the websites in the TRG Family of Companies are now WCAG Compliant, by means of a recent launch of the Userway plugin. These website enhancements include improved look and feel, alt text and better color contrast. Further efforts are being made to implement additional user tools, including screen readers, the ability to increase font size and navigate the site using a keyboard.

As your title partner, we remain committed to providing the best service for our customers and adapting the way we do business so we can accommodate people with various needs. If you have any questions, please contact your title officer.

*Source: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/infographic-disability-impacts-all.html

Barbara Pronin is an award-winning writer based in Orange County, Calif. A former news editor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism and corporate communications, she has specialized in real estate topics for over a decade.

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