Face Coverings and the ADA- Application under Title III

Tuesday, July 28, 2020



The Coronavirus pandemic has necessitated numerous alterations in the way that people live, work and function in the community. The implications of the virus are unprecedented in recent history and there was little guidance to turn to in terms of how people should respond and what the implications are. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) one of the major factors that leads to the spread of this highly contagious disease are water droplets generated during coughing, sneezing and everyday communication such as talking and signing. Research has shown that the use of Face Coverings significantly reduces the chance of exposure and thus, slows the spread of the virus.

Many states and local entities have implemented executive orders or mandates for the use of Face Coverings in both indoor and outdoor public spaces. While they often have exceptions for individuals of a certain age and/or medical condition unable to use a mask the requirements imposed by local businesses preclude people who are unable to use a face covering from entering the establishment or enjoying the benefits of the activity. There has been a lot of misinformation shared via social media, press and broadcast media regarding the use of face coverings.

The number of calls for technical assistance related to the use of Face Coverings to the ADA National Network have steadily risen over the past weeks as more mandates are issued and economies start to reopen. Join us for this session where we will discuss the application of the ADA to this issue as well as the various scenarios as they are playing out on the ground.

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Note: There were several technical issues associated with this session in terms of ensuring all accommodations were in place (Sign language, etc.). We apologize for the disruptions in the session that were created. This recording is the "raw" recording and made available to get this information out to people as soon as possible. Please note that we are in the process of editing this recording to remove the areas where technical problems occurred and adding an expanded Q&A session with the speakers to address the numerous questions that were not addressed during the session due to lack of time. We will will "repost" an edited version at a later date.

Thank you for your patience.


Peter Berg ADA Technical Assistance Coordinator, Great Lakes Center

Linda Clemon-Karp Training and Technical Assistance Specialist , Northwest ADA Center

Diego Demaya JD, Legal Specialist, Southwest ADA Center at ILRU