Newsletter: September 12, 2012

Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin - Sept. 12, 2012

What's New in Our Region:

Voting Accessibility Fact Sheets

Election 2012 is upon us and the Northeast ADA Center has created the following Voting Accessibility Fact Sheet to help you understand what the various regulations and requirements are around the rights of voters with disabilities and the responsibilities of polling sites to provide physical and programmatic access to citizens with disabilities. To read the Spanish or English fact sheet, visit:  http://www.northeastada.org/r-voting.cfm

NY allows online voter registration through DMV

New York is joining 13 states in permitting voters to register online thus to solve voter turnout issues and to save money. This initiative increases the ability for voters to register in languages other than English. Gov. Andrew Cuomo states that the  initiative will overcoming the present barriers that prevented many New Yorkers, like persons with mobility disabilities, from voting. Cuomo says registering to vote in person or by mail is overwhelming  and costly.

To read more, visit: http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/dmv-new-york/6pFuPRddCkKtlesbsk0Fwg.cspx

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

DOJ Settlement Agreement with North Carolina

The state of North Carolina recently entered into a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice over ongoing ADA Olmstead investigations. The settlement will ensure that people with mental illnesses are being housed in the least restrictive setting possible. For example, this settlement ensures that individuals with disabilities, when appropriate, are integrated into their communities instead of being institutionalized. The agreement also contained provisions for supported employment programs for individuals with mental illnesses. To read more, visit http://www.ada.gov/olmstead/olmstead_cases_list2.htm#usparty

To Boost Veteran Employment, VA Uses Online Career Center

In an effort to increase employment options for veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs has implemented a new online career service center. The tool helps veterans to overcome the challenges of translating their military experiences and skills into resumes that could be understood by the civilian world. The online system has seen significant usage since its debut. To read more, visit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/to-improve-veteran-employment-va-uses-online-career-center/2012/07/13/gJQALhVtmW_story.html

Disability Report Demonstrates Great Strides in Hiring People with Disabilities

A report from the Office of Personnel Management details the progress that the federal government is making towards achieving President Obama's 2010 federal goal of "hiring 100,000 people with disabilities by 2015." The report shows the positive strides the government has made toward this goal,  and also breaks down its  hiring statistics to illustrate the gains in the hiring  people with disabilities. To read more about the report, visit:  www.opm.gov/news/disability-report-demonstrates-great-strides-in-hiring-people-with-disabilities,1757.aspx

DOL and Developers at Work-Innovating for Tomorrow's Workforce

The Department of Labor has announced the results of its Disability Employment App Challenge. The challenge sought to spur the creation of technologies to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. The contest helped to facilitate conversations about the benefits of technology for people with disabilities, and the development of some innovative applications.

To read more, visit: http://social.dol.gov/blog/dol-and-developers-at-work%E2%80%94innovating-for-tomorrows-workforce

Wellness Program Did Not Violate ADA, Appellate Court Rules

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit recently affirmed a federal district court ruling, Seff v. Broward County Florida, involving medical screenings as part of an employer's wellness program. The courts held that the screenings, which were non-voluntary and not business related, did not violate the ADA.  Part of the reasoning used to decide the case was that the wellness program was essential to assessing the risks involved in implementing benefit programs. To read more about the case, visit: http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/wellness-program-did-not-violate-ada-ap-00079/

Opportunities for You!

Emergency Preparedness topic of Institute's upcoming webinar

In acknowledgment of September as "National Emergency Preparedness Month," the Institute on Disabilities will sponsor a webinar entitled Are You Ready? Emergency Preparedness, Assistive Technology and Persons with Functional and Access Needs. The webinar will provide information on the role of assistive technology (AT) reuse and emergency readiness in preparing consumers who have a variation of needs (including access and functionality) for disasters and emergencies. The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, September 13 at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. To register visit: http://disabilities.temple.edu/news/topstories/201208/ePrep201208.shtml

Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State (NYS) Annual Conference

The 2012 Cerebral Palsy (CP) of NYS Annual Conference will be held October 22 - 24 at the Saratoga Hilton Hotel, and the adjacent City Center, in Saratoga Springs, NY. This year's Conference will again feature nationwide known and highly regarded speakers leading more than three dozen workshops and educational sessions. There will be an exhibition of artwork made by individuals with disabilities from CP of NYS Affiliates, a film presentation and discussion by the well-known travelling Sprout Film Festival, the CP of NYS Annual Awards Banquet and the Staff Recognition Dinner. To register visit: http://cpofnys.lpstaging.net/Affiliates_Services/TrainingConferences/2012CPofNYSannualconference.aspx

2012 USBLN 15th Annual Conference

The 2012 USBLN Annual Conference & Expo is the preeminent national business-to-business occasion that taps into the massive economic potential of the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities. This conference unites corporations, governmental entities, disability-owned businesses and BLN affiliates to generate environments where individuals with disabilities are fully included as professionals, customers and entrepreneurs. The conference runs from October 1st to October 4th. To register visit: http://usblnannualconference.org/index.html

New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services: Keeping the Integrity in Integration

The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) Annual Conference is commonly regarded as one of the country's finest training opportunities promoting the recovery, rehabilitation and rights of individuals with psychiatric disabilities. NYAPRS joins with associates from across the state and country to deliver an unprecedented program advancing the transformation of our state and local mental health service and support systems.  The conference will be held September 19-21 in Kerhonkson, NY. To register visit: http://www.nyaprs.org/conferences/annual-conference/index.cfm

Special Spotlight: September is National Emergency Preparedness Month!

Emergencies can occur at any time and often strike without warning. Therefore, emergency preparedness is an important part of ensuring the safety of families and individuals. The importance of well thought out emergency planning is especially important when an individual or a family member has a disability or medical condition that would require specific needs or considerations in an emergency. The links below will provide practical tips and advice on preparing for emergencies:

President Obama's Presidential Proclamation- National Preparedness Month 2012

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/31/presidential-proclamation-national-preparedness-month-2012   

Northeast ADA Center resources on emergency preparedness and how to maintain business continuity in emergencies

http://www.northeastada.org/r-emergency.cfm

FEMA's website on emergency preparedness

http://www.ready.gov/

Resolve to be Ready 2012 Toolkit: 

http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/2012_R2BR.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on emergency preparedness

http://www.cdc.gov/features/beready/