Newsletter: April 30, 2012

Northeast ADA Center April 30, 2012 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

Free ADA Standards for Accessible Design and NYC Building Code Training:
The United Spinal Association, with support from the Northeast ADA Center, will conduct a free training on May 11th from 9:00am-1:00pm at Bulova Corporate Center in East Elmhurst, New York, on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and the 2008 New York City Construction Code's Accessibility Requirements for Commercial Occupancies, and how they differ. To register, go to:  http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/NEADA-training-2012-05-11.cfm.

Northeast ADA Center's Ten Points for Veterans with Disabilities to Consider:
The Northeast ADA Center, at the Cornell University ILR School's Employment & Disability Institute, created a fact sheet entitled "Ten Points for Veterans to Consider When Returning to Work with a Disability". This document highlights what veterans should keep in mind when reentering the workforce, including issues around disclosure and workplace accommodations. Access the fact sheet at: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/dbtacnortheast/docs/vets/Vets_Disabilities_Brief.pdf

Online Resource for People with Disabilities Launches:
"Our Ability" has launched OurAbility.com 2.0 (www.ourability.com), an online resource for people with disabilities to allow them to build community, and mentor and connect with one another. Our Ability plans to add "Our Community", a social network where individuals can communicate, search for jobs, and upload video stories. Our Ability is also hoping to be a resource to the business community recruiting qualified talent. If you think Our Ability will be a benefit to your organization, please contact President John Robinson at 518-429-9256 or john.robinson@ourability.com.

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

SHRM Releases Articles on Disability Employment Topics:
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has partnered with the Employment & Disability Institute, within Cornell University's ILR School, to conduct studies on private sector best practices regarding disability employment issues. It has also provided Senate testimony on this topic. Read more at:  http://www.shrm.org/about/news/Pages/KeepingDisabledWorking.aspx and http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/Diversity/Articles/Pages/disabilityemploymentpracticesvary.aspx

DOJ Settles ADA Effective Communication Lawsuit Against Iowa Hospital:
Trinity Health Systems and the Department of Justice announced a settlement resolving an ADA lawsuit claiming the hospital failed to provide individuals who are deaf with sign language interpreters. The Iowa hospital must provide personnel training about the ADA, communication to the hearing impaired, and pay $198,000 to aggrieved individuals and a $20,000 civil penalty. Read more at: http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/235708-doj-settles-ada-allegations-against-iowa-hospital

Department of Labor (DOL) Announces Grants for Disability Employment:
The DOL has announced there will be approximately $20 million of grants available to fund cooperative agreements that will improve educational, training, and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. According to Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, "These grants are a wise investment in America's greatest resource, our nation's workers. The mission of the programs awarded...will be to improve services for people with disabilities so they can more easily and effectively participate in the workforce." Read the DOL press release at: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ETA20120611.htm

New Federal Administration for Community Living Formed:
On April 16th, the Obama Administration, along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced the creation of a the Administration for Community Living (ACL). The ACL has brought together the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability, and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities into a single agency. The goal of the agency will be to increase access to community supports and achieve full community participation for people with disabilities and seniors. Read the press release at: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/04/20120416a.html  

National Council on Disability (NCD) Welcomes New Member:
The NCD, an independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on the policies and programs that affect the lives of people with disabilities, welcomes Stephanie Orlando as to the agency. Orlando is the Director of YOUTH POWER! of Families Together in New York State and was previously the Chairperson of the NCD Youth Advisory Committee. Read more at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/national-council-on-disability-welcomes-newest-member-stephanie-orlando-2012-04-12

Company Looking to Outsource to Individuals with Autism:
Software and design firm Square One, among other companies engaged in software-testing, is launching a pilot program to design a software-testing training program for people with autism. The company proposes outsourcing the detail-oriented work to individuals with these disabilities rather than overseas.  Read more here: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-27/outsourcing-to-the-autistic-rather-than-to-india

Report Indicates Most Federal Funds Go to Sheltered Workshops:
A report released from the National Disability Rights Network finds that most government funds go to sheltered workshops even though many federal policies favor community-based employment for people with disabilities. The report is the second in little more than a year from the National Disability Rights Network calling for an end to sheltered workshops. To read more and access the report, go to: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2012/04/04/most-dollars-workshops/15318/

EEOC Wins Disability Discrimination Suit Against the Cash Store:
In one of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's first disability discrimination lawsuits taken to trial concerning bipolar disorder, Cottonwood Financial in Texas must pay $56,500 for violating the ADA and the Washington Law Against Discrimination when it fired an employee due to his bipolar disorder. Read more here: http://thejobmouse.com/2012/03/29/eeoc-wins-disability-discrimination-suit-against-payday-lender-%C2%91the-cash-store%C2%92/

Home Health Care Business Settles Disability Discrimination Suit with EEOC:
Ohio-based home health care services provider, Personal Touch Home Care, will pay $35,000 and furnish other remedial relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). EEOC alleged that Personal Touch violated the ADA when it fired an employee because of her disabilities. Read more here: http://eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/4-2-12.cfm 

Disability.gov Blog on Making Websites Accessible:
The Disability.gov team has posted a multi-part series to help others learn about the importance of website accessibility and best practices. To read part I and II of the series, go to: http://usodep.blogs.govdelivery.com/2012/04/17/a-look-behind-the-scenes-part-ii-the-website-accessibility-information-gap/

American Indian Disability Summit Held in April:
The 8th annual American Indian Disability Summit took place April 6th in Arizona. Themed, "Gathering Native Voices to Transition Individuals with Disabilities Towards Employment and Recreation", the summit's mission was to facilitate outreach, training, and technical assistance for American Indians with disabilities. Read more at: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/04/12/american-indian-disability-summit-to-boldly-go-where-everyone-else-has-gone-before-107904


Opportunities for You!

Free Webinars on Pool Regulations in May:
The Department of Justice will provide free webinars for Title III and Title II entities on the accessible pool entry requirements of the revised 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. On May 2nd from 2:30-3:45pm EDT, the webinar will address pool access provisions for existing pools of Title III public accommodations. On May 9th from 2:30-3:45pm EDT the webinar will address how the pool access provisions apply to Title II existing pools. Registration is limited and on first come, first serve basis. Register at: http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/webinar_pools.htm

Survey on Transportation for People with Disabilities:
The Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund is conducting research on what factors are most important to riders with disabilities when deciding which transit mode to use. The confidential survey results will be part of a national study with the goal of developing strategies to improve bus and transit systems for travelers with disabilities. Take the survey at: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/882523/TransitChoices

Webinar May 8th on "Skills to Pay the Bills" Soft Skills Curriculum:
The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy recently released Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success, a wide-ranging collection of activities and exercises to help youth, including youth with disabilities, develop and sharpen their soft skills during career development. This Webinar will introduce the curriculum, explain the different methods for  delivery, and demonstrate some of the engaging and unique activities. Register at: https://www.workforce3one.org/view/5001207435068469185/info


Special Spotlight-  The Patricia "Pat" Figueroa, Jr. Sponsorship in New York State (NYS):

The Patricio "Pat" Figueroa, Jr. Sponsorship offers funding for young adults with disabilities to attend leadership trainings. This sponsorship, supported by the State Plan, is named in honor of Patricio "Pat" Figueroa, Jr., a recognized leader and advocate of people with disabilities. In 1978, Pat founded the first Center for Independent Living in NYS- the Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York. The network has since grown to over forty centers. He was the co-founder of the 504 Democratic Club and publisher of the national disability newspaper, Independence Today. Pat helped train and mentor numerous individuals over the years. For young advocates looking to become future leaders, he is someone to look up to as they learn and strive to reach their ultimate goals.

The New York State Independent Living Council, Inc. (NYSILC) is looking to outreach to young adults with disabilities (age 18-28) with demonstrated leadership potential. Any young adult with a disability from NYS interested in applying for a sponsorship should complete the entire application (See NYSILC website, www.nysilc.org) and email it back to joea@nysilc.org. Electronic format is preferable, since it allows equal access for NYSILC members to easily review the information.

It is expected that sponsorships of up to $250 each will be awarded based on cost and need. Recipients will be asked to provide documentation via a NYSILC reimbursement form and complete a follow up questionnaire to summarize their experience. Council members will make their decisions based on the availability of applications received, a first come first served basis, and on need, while attempting to maximize the resources and representing as many young leaders throughout the State as possible.

If you have any questions related to the application, contact the NYSILC office at (518) 427-1060 (Voice/TTY), 1 (877) 397-4126 (Toll Free NYS Only), (518) 427-1139 Fax, or bradw@nysilc.org.