Newsletter: March 27, 2012

Northeast ADA Center March 27, 2012 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

Webinar on 2010 ADA Standards of Design and Virgin Islands Building Codes!
The last in the series of free webinars presented by the Northeast ADA Center and United Spinal on the intersection of the 2010 ADA Standards of Design and state building code accessibility requirements will be this Friday March 30th for the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Register at: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/dbtacnortheast/m-events.cfm?CurrentDate=03/09/12#Activity_3744

Free ADA Standards for Design & New York State (NYS) Codes Training:
On April 18th, United Spinal will present a four hour training program on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and how they differ from the accessibility requirements found in the 2010 NYS Building Code. This free event will be held at the Southern Tier Independence Center in Binghamton, NY.  To register, go to: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/ADADesignAccessibility-2012-04-18.cfm

Cornell Project Aims to Increase Graduation Rate of Students Who Are Deaf:
Cornell University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Camden County College in New Jersey have received $1.6 million from the National Science Foundation's Research in Disability Education program to implement a computer-based program- a virtual academic community to begin in fall 2013- to support students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in an effort to improve graduation rates of these students. This virtual academic community will give students access to real-time interpreting and captioning for STEM courses and provide virtual tutoring and mentoring. Read more at: http://cornellsun.com/node/49567.

Court Revives Suit Over New York State (NYS) Prison Medical Care:
A lawsuit by a former inmate against the NYS Department of Corrections was recently revived. In the lawsuit, the inmate claimed that he was denied medication needed to treat his Hepatitis C, because of his history of drug abuse. The court that revived the suit wants the lower court to elaborate on why it dismissed the case, as well as to examine the impact of the ADA Amendments Act on the suit. Read more at: http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2012/03_-_March/Court_revives_suit_over_NY_prison_medical_care/

News in Sign Language from Puerto Rico:
In Signs Foundation, a nonprofit organization, has developed a sign language news program in Puerto Rico. This news program is published on Sundays through the Internet and it reviews the most relevant news of the week, so that the Deaf community in Puerto Rico can be well informed. For more information or to contribute to the news program please contact: fundacionensenas@gmail.com. You may watch the news program by visiting its YouTube or Facebook pages at: www.youtube.com/user/ETVpt1 and www.facebook.com/FES.ETV#!/FES.ETV.

 

What's New in the Rest of the Country: 

ADA Requirements for Swimming Pools Extended Until May 15th!
The 2010 ADA Standards of Accessible Design went into effect March 15th for new construction and alterations to Title II and Title III covered entities. However the requirements for existing swimming pools were extended for 60 days. The Department of Justice is also issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking with a 15-day comment period on a possible six-month extension in order to allow additional time to address misunderstandings regarding compliance with these requirements. To read more, go to: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/March/12-crt-328.html  

EEOC Issues Revised Employers Guide on Veterans and the ADA:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a new guide for employers which describes how the ADA applies to recruiting, hiring, and accommodating veterans with disabilities, and provides information on laws and regulations related to recruiting and hiring veterans with disabilities. Access the guide at: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/ada_veterans_employers.cfm

Walgreens Expands Efforts to Employ People with Disabilities:
The national retailer Walgreens has adopted an initiative to expand the employment of people with disabilities into retail stores. This move follows its program to increase the number of persons with disabilities working in its distribution centers. The initiative is currently in place in six states, including New York. Read more at: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2012/03/12/walgreens-employees-disabilities/15164/

DePaul Industries Releases Disability Employment Statistics for 2011:
DePaul industries, named one of Oregon's top 100 countries to work for, recently released its employment statistics, which showed a 21% increase in the number of hours worked by people with disabilities, in 2011. DePaul Industries, which is a $30 million dollar outsourcing firm, has had a long history of integrating people with disabilities into its business. For more information, go to: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/depaul-industries-releases-disability-employment-statistics-for-2011-2012-03-05

Tyson Foods Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit:
To settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in May 2010, Tyson Foods will pay $35,000 and institute new assessment procedures after allegedly violating the ADA when it refused to hire a former employee with epilepsy. Tyson's refusal was due to the employee's failure to pass a questionable new medical evaluation requirement for job applicants with epilepsy. Read more at: http://eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/2-23-12.cfm   

Employer to Pay $96,000 for Termination Based on Perceived Disability:
The United Parcel Service (UPS) was charged with violating the ADA and California's Fair Employment Housing Act when it terminated an employee based on perceived disability. UPS was ordered to pay $96,170 in damages, including $10,000 in administrative fines to the state. Read more at: http://hr.blr.com/HR-news/Discrimination/Disabilities-ADA/nt3-FEHC-Orders-Employer-Pay-96K-Termination-Perce/  

Family Video to Pay $70,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit:
The chain Family Video agreed to settle an EEOC suit brought by a former employee with major depression and social anxiety disorder. The employee claimed he was harassed because of his conditions and then fired once he complained about the harassment. The settlement also requires Family Video to hire a coordinator to provide training and follow up on discrimination complaints. For more information, go to: http://eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-14-12a.cfm 

Helping People with Disabilities and the 2013 Budget:
A blog from the White House outlines the ways in which the new federal budget will provide new opportunities to people with disabilities. For example, the budget will "encourage workforce innovation to improve outcomes for people with disabilities." Read more at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/02/14/helping-people-disabilities-and-2013-budget  

Debate Over Department of Labor's Push to Hire Persons with Disabilities:
Employers and business groups are trying to stop a Department of Labor plan that requires firms that contract or subcontract with the federal government to have people with disabilities make up 7% of their work force. Companies that fail to comply with the quota could have their contracts revoked. Employers have sent in complaints, including issues around the ADA and hiring processes. Read more at:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204520204577251303726662194.html 

Report Shows Adults with Disabilities are More Likely to Be Victimized:
Adults with disabilities are more likely to be victims of violence than those without disabilities, according to a new report that reviewed 26 studies of 21,500 people with disabilities from seven countries. For example, those with disabilities experience physical or sexual attacks at one-and-a-half times the rate of their typically developing peers. Read more at: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2012/02/28/adults-disabilities-victim/15083/ 

Video on Toll-Free Numbers for Video Relay Service (VRS) & IP Relay Service:
This video in American Sign Language describes new Federal Communication Commission (FCC) rules on the use of local telephone numbers for VRS and IP Relay so people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing have access to toll-free telephone numbers. To access the video, and learn more information about the FCC's ten-digit numbering requirements, go to:  http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/use-toll-free-numbers-video-and-ip-relay-service

 

Opportunities for You!

Free Webinar on Recruiting and Hiring Tools This Thursday:
The Employer Assistance & Resource Network will present a free webinar, "Creating Linkages for Effective Recruitment of Employees with Disabilities" on March 29th at 2:00pm ET.  Participants will learn about recruitment and outreach resources and hear from a large federal contractor about the value of establishing national and local linkages for tapping into the underutilized talent of persons with disabilities. Register at: http://www.askearn.com/webinar_registration_2012-03-29.cfm.

Access Board Accepting Applications for Advisory Panel on Medical Equipment:
The U.S. Access Board is organizing an advisory committee to advance its development of new standards for medical diagnostic equipment and seeks applications from interested parties to serve as committee members by April 27th. This committee will provide assistance to the Board in finalizing standards for diagnostic equipment it released for public comment in February. For application instructions, go to: http://www.access-board.gov/mde/committee-notice.htm. Comments on the proposed standards will be accepted until June 8th and directions for submitting comments are at: http://www.access-board.gov/mde/nprm.htm.

Don't Forget to Register for the National ADA Symposium in Indiana!
The National ADA Symposium, the most comprehensive conference available on the ADA, will be offered again May 30-June 1st in Indianapolis, Indiana and will feature specialized program tracks related to building design/building code and recreational accessibility. Registration is $400. Learn more and register at: www.adasymposium.org

 

Special Spotlight-  What is New from the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP):

ODEP, a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), focuses on disability within the context of DOL's work. The tagline of ODEP's website reads "Disability Policy. Employment Practice. Full Inclusion." Read further to learn more about the essential work and contributions of ODEP and its partners. 

ODEP Paper on the Accessible Technology in the Workplace Initiative: http://www.dol.gov/odep/pdf/20120224FDIA-ICT-StrategicPlans.pdf

Building an Inclusive Workforce: A Four-Step Reference Guide to Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Employees with Disabilities" desktop flip guide: http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/20100727.pdf

ODEP Signs Alliance Agreement with the Assistive Technology Industry Association to promote effective policies and practices regarding assistive technology and information and communications technology accessibility to advance the employment of people with disabilities: http://www.dol.gov/_sec/newsletter/2012/20120315.htm#odep

ODEP's March Edition of the Business Sense Newsletter: http://www.dol.gov/odep/BusinessSense/2012/bsense0312.htm

Job Accommodation Network, a service of ODEP, releases fact sheet, "Start with JAN: Resources for Small Businesses" which provides links and resources related to job accommodations and the ADA for small businesses: View and download "Start with JAN: Resources for Small Businesses"

The Employer Assistance & Resource Network (EARN), which is funded through a cooperative agreement with ODEP, recently conducted a webinar, "A Tour of EARN Services", that provided an overview of its services. View the webinar archive at: http://askearn.org/m-archive.cfm