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SMG 3130.1

FDA STAFF MANUAL GUIDES, VOLUME III - GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

PERSONNEL

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION AND ACCESSIBILITY

ACCOMMODATION/ACCESSIBILITY AND SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ATTENDING FDA MEETINGS

Effective Date: 07/10/2007

[PDF Version]

  1. Purpose
  2. Authority
  3. Policy
  4. Definitions
  5. Responsibilities
  6. Accommodations at Meetings
  7. Effective Date
  8. History

1. PURPOSE 

This Guide publishes FDA's policy relating to accommodation/accessibility and services for persons with disabilities attending FDA sponsored meetings and events, and establishes the requirements and procedures for complying with this policy.

2. AUTHORITY 

Sections 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ( ADA) stipulates that public facilities must make reasonable modifications to avoid discrimination in their policies, practices and procedures. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires Federal Agencies to provide employees and members of the public who have disabilities access to electronic and information technology that is comparable to the access available to employees and members of the public who don’t have disabilities.

3. POLICY 

It is the policy of the Food and Drug Administration that all meetings be accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities.

4. DEFINITIONS 

The term "meetings" as used in this Guide includes conferences, seminars, workshops, advisory committee meetings etc., that are sponsored or cosponsored by FDA either directly or through grants, contracts, or funding mechanisms; meetings open to the public; internal staff meetings; group appointments; and any other scheduled gathering, including those that are webcast etc.. “Persons with disabilities” include visitors, employees and applicants for employment as well members of the general public.

5. RESPONSIBILITIES 

A. Sponsoring Office. The office or person organizing the meeting is responsible for obtaining any necessary services for persons with disabilities and ensuring access to facilities, programs and information. For all open meetings, the Sponsoring Office is responsible for arranging for sign language interpreters by contacting FDA’s OEEODM interpreting services manager at interpretering.services@oc.fda.gov well in advance of the meeting. For closed meetings, interpreters will be arranged for on an as requested basis. Additional recommendations include: 1) ensure that slides/Powerpoint presentations are in large print and contrasting colors for easier visibility; 2) have copies of the presentation available in hardcopy and be prepared to provide these in large print or Braille, if requested; 3) have reserved seating available at the front of the room for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing or visually impaired; 4) have accessible area throughout the room for persons using wheelchairs or scooters. The Sponsoring Office is also responsible for any funding that may be required in connection with providing reasonable accommodation other than for interpreting services.

B. Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Management. This office is responsible for providing assistance in obtaining necessary accommodations for disabled persons.

6. ACCOMMODATIONS AT MEETINGS 

A. All meetings sponsored by FDA should be held in facilities that are accessible to and usable by disabled persons. Every effort should be made to ensure that meeting facilities have:

1. Designated parking and assistance for persons with mobility impairments to and from parking areas if necessary;

2. Curb-cuts, ramps, and wide doorways to provide access for persons using wheelchairs/scooters;

3. Toilet facilities accessible to disabled persons;

4. Interpreters for persons who deaf and/or speech-impaired, readers and/or taped materials for persons who are blind, and assistance for persons who are mobility-impaired, if needed; and,

5. Rooms of ample size for persons in wheelchairs.

B. All advertisements, notices, posters and registration forms for meetings shall contain a statement:

“If you require reasonable accommodation to attend this meeting, please contact (include name and phone number of coordinator in sponsoring office) by date____ “

C. After a meeting has been announced, and if known in advance that some participants in the meeting have a disability, the person with a disability should be asked what assistance is needed (e.g., interpreters for the deaf, readers or audio cassettes for the blind and sight-impaired, parking for mobility-impaired, etc.) and the necessary arrangements made.

7. EFFECTIVE DATE 

The effective date of this guide is July 10, 2007.

8. Document History - SMG 3130.1, Accomodation/Accessibility and Services for Persons with Disabilities Attending FDA Meetings 

STATUS (I, R, C) DATE APPROVED LOCATION OF CHANGE HISTORY CONTACT APPROVING OFFICIAL
Revised 07/10/2007 N/a OEEODM, HF-15 Georgia Coffey, Director, OEEODM