Newsletter: June 21, 2013

Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin - Boletín de Noticias del Centro del ADA del Noreste - June 21, 2013

What's New from the Northeast ADA Center:

Register for Upcoming Free Webinars

NEADA Center Holiday Closing and Limited Staffing:

Happy Fourth of July and Independence Day from the NEADA Center!  In honor of our country's birthday, the NEADA Center will be closed on Thursday July 4th. We will be open Friday July 5th, however we will be operating with limited staff.  Therefore our response time to technical assistance and other inquiries may be delayed until the following week of July 8th. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. We hope you all have an enjoyable holiday!

The Northeast ADA Center is Offering Several Webinars in June!

The Northeast ADA Center is offering several webinars in 2013 that focus on accessibility issues, new regulations, disability and wellness, diversity issues, and much more. Upcoming webinars include "Worksite Wellness, Leisure and Disability" on June 27th.  To learn more, and to register for any webinars, go to: http://www.northeastada.org/t-other.cfm#upcoming

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Now Available on Our Website

The Northeast ADA Center technical assistance team has updated its website to include frequently asked questions and answers on a variety of topics, in both English and Spanish. Topics covered include building design, communication, education, employment, housing, access issues, service animals, transportation, parking, and much more!  To read any FAQs, go to the following website and click on "Frequently Asked Questions" on the left sidebar to see the list of topics: http://www.northeastada.org/m-ta.cfm

What's New in Our Region:

Barred From Living Together, Newlyweds Offered Joint Placement

The case of a New York married couple with intellectual disabilities, which drew national attention has finally been resolved. The couple was married but their group homes would not allow them to move in together. This decision by the group homes prompted the couple to file a lawsuit as well as widespread criticism. The couple will be able to move into their new joint placement on July 1st.  To read more, visit: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2013/05/21/barred-newlyweds-placement/17998/

A Team of Academics Redesigns an Icon

An assistant professor of philosophy at Gordon College, along with a graduate student in design studies at Harvard University, has redesigned the common symbol of a blue-and-white stick figure in a wheelchair. The stick figure is portrayed in a more dynamic pose - leaning forward with active arms.  Additionally, the City of New York has agreed to use this logo throughout the city, as well as using a version of the logo - a stick figure hailing a cab - on a new line of taxis designed to accommodate people with disabilities.  To read more, visit: http://chronicle.com/article/New-York-City-Embraces-a/139355/

EEOC Files Class Genetic Information Discrimination Suit against Corning Rehabilitation Center

In the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Founders Pavilion, Inc., a Corning, N.Y. nursing and rehabilitation center, was charged with infringing federal law by requesting genetic data in the hiring process, in addition to violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  Founders allegedly performed post-offer, pre-employment medical assessments of applicants, and, as part of these assessments, Founders asked for family health related history information. These types of inquiries are in violation of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).  GINA prevents employers from demanding genetic information and using this information during the hiring process.  To read more, visit: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/5-16-13a.cfm

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

The Mental Health Provider's Role in a Client's Request for a Reasonable Accommodation at Work

The EEOC has recently released a fact sheet, which helps to clarify the role of mental health providers in the reasonable accommodation process. The fact sheet reviews the basics of reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The fact sheet also provides recommendations to mental health providers about how they can best assist their clients and employers with regard to the reasonable accommodation process. To read, more visit: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/ada_mental_health_provider.cfm

States get Ranked on Disability Services

The group United Cerebral Palsy has released its annual ranking report of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in relation to their services impacting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Specifically, the report looks at factors such as the states' records in promoting independence and productivity, ensuring quality and safety, among other factors. Based on the ranking, Arizona was the best state in terms of services for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities and Mississippi was the lowest ranked state. To read more, visit: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2013/05/02/states-ranked-disability/17855/

US Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy and Higher Education Recruitment Consortium Join Forces

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy has partnered with the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium to promote the employment of individuals with disabilities in higher education.  The alliance of these two organizations aims to promote the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of individuals with disabilities at colleges, universities, hospitals, research labs and other related organizations.  This partnership emerged as a result of last year's Higher Education Sector Summit, during which summit panelists and participants explored the reasons that individuals with disabilities are underrepresented among faculty and staff of institutions of higher education.  To read more, visit: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/odep/ODEP20130795.htm

US Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy announces theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month October 2013

Chosen by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, the theme of this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month is "Because We Are EQUAL to the Task."  This theme reflects the fact that individuals with disabilities have the education, training, experience and desire to attain success in the workplace.  A culmination of ODEP's year-long efforts to raise awareness about the importance of employing individuals with disabilities. National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a celebration of the many contributions of America's workers with disabilities.  To read more, visit: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/odep/ODEP20131020.htm

Vietnam Veterans' New Battle: Getting Disability Compensation

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, thousands of Vietnam veterans account for approximately 37% of the 865,000 veterans stuck in a backlog of compensation claims. This can be partially explained by the fact that Vietnam veterans are aging and becoming more prone to health problems, as well as the decreasing stigmatization of post-traumatic stress disorder.  Several afflictions common in older Americans, such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, are assumed to be service-related for Vietnam veterans because of likely exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange. Agent Orange is known to increase the risk of these conditions.  Significantly, the peak for disability claims from Vietnam veterans has not yet been reached.  To read more, visit: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/11/local/la-me-vietnam-benefits-20130512\

Opportunities for You!

Accessibility Update: Hotels and Resorts

This webinar will cover the 2010 ADA Standards scoping requirements for Places of Transient Lodging. Reviewing the types of occupancies that are required to comply with the 2010 ADA Standards for Places of Transient Lodging. Participants will learn about the 2010 ADA Standards Safe Harbor regulations and applicability to existing elements of hotels/resorts that are not being altered. Architects and design professionals, hotel resort owners and managers, hotel management personnel, property managers, ADA coordinators and disability advocates should all benefit from this webinar. The webinar will be held on June 20th from 2pm to 3:30pm EST. To register, visit: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/index.cfm?event=4248

On-Going Emergency Preparedness Webinar Series

National state, and local entities and communities are progressively planning emergency management and preparedness to confront disasters. Emergencies and disasters can be mainly concerning for individuals with disabilities. Successful outcomes for individuals with disabilities in disasters will depend on how inclusive the plans are. These free webinars will focus on key strategies and approaches at various levels (federal, state, and local) toward emergency management and preparedness and the inclusion of people with disabilities. The webinar will be held on June 26th at 2pm EST. To register, visit: www.adaconferences.org/Emergency

Special Spotlight: Individuals with Disabilities Abused During their Employment

The EEOC recently arrived at the largest verdict in the agency's history from a lawsuit, which it filed on behalf 32 men with intellectual disabilities. The lawsuit has received widespread national media attention. The men were based in Iowa, where they were employed by Henry's Turkey Service to process turkeys. For over two decades the men were severely mistreated by the company. The following links provide additional background and analysis of the court case.

Jury Awards $240 Million for Long-Term Abuse of Workers with Intellectual Disabilities

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/5-1-13b.cfm

Experts: $240M Judgment for Disabled Men 'Stunning'

http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/D2/20130501/NEWS/130501009/Experts-240M-judgment-disabled-men-stunning

Mentally Disabled Men, Abused at Work, Win in Court

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/jobs/INQ_Jobbing_Mentally-disabled-men-abused-at-work-win-in-court-.html

Turkey Factory Abused Disabled Workers for 20 Years

http://www.care2.com/causes/disabled-workers-win-hugevictory-against-turkey-company.html

A 'Wake-Up Call' To Protect Vulnerable Workers from Abuse

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/16/184491463/disabled-workers-victory-exposes-risks-to-most-vulnerable