Newsletter: March 27, 2009

Northeast ADA March 27, 2009 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

DBTAC-Northeast Seeks Your Feedback on our News Bulletin:

It has been six months since we revamped our electronic bi-weekly News Bulletin and now we want to know what you think!  We strive to ensure the services we offer are useful and effective.  Your feedback will go a long way toward helping us to produce worthy News Bulletins in the future.  Please take a few minutes to take our short ten-question, anonymous survey online at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=CY_2f2m4ZUSTA2_2f_2bCnMNhi0Q_3d_3d.  We will leave the survey up through the end of April.  Thank you in advance for helping us to better help you!

New York Prescription Saver Program Provides Discounts:

Effective April 1st, the New York Prescription Saver Program will provide enrolled individuals a pharmacy discount card which will offer discounts on prescription drugs to NY residents who have limited income.  NYS residents are eligible if they are not already receiving Medicaid and are either between the ages of 50-65 OR persons with a disability who have been determined disabled by the Social Security Administration. Eligible parties must also have an annual household income less than $35,000 for single people or $50,000 for married couples.  Savings will vary depending on the quantity, type and brand of the drug purchased but could be about 30-40% off the price of generic drugs, and at least 25% off the full retail price of brands.  To learn more about this Program or to access an enrollment application, go to:  http://nyprescriptionsaver.fhsc.com.

Abilities Expo will be held in Edison, New Jersey April 17-19th:

Abilities Expo, a leading trade show, is dedicated to providing Americans with disabilities, senior citizens, caregivers, families, healthcare professionals, and corporate ADA/Human Resources administrators with information and education on the latest, life-altering technologies, products and services. Under new management, this 3 day expo promises even more to offer. For further details, go to:   http://www.abilitiesexpo.com/.

 

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

U.S. Labor Department Creates Free Database for Employers of over 1,900 Job Candidates with Disabilities:

The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities, co-sponsored by the Labor Department's Office of Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense, have compiled a database available free of charge to employers nationwide. It consists of 1,921 pre-screened job candidates with disabilities seeking summer and regular employment opportunities in a wide variety of fields ranging from accounting and business to health care and law. This opportunity is available to federal, private sector, government, and non-profit employers. For the complete press release, and how to access and use the database, go to:  http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/odep/ODEP20090290.htm

Tax Return Preparation Assistance Available:

Trained community volunteers can help you prepare your taxes to make sure you take advantage of special credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled for which you may qualify. To locate the AARP Tax-Aide site near you call 1-888-227-7669.  For more information and to download documents related to these tax credits, go to:
http://www.disabilityinfo.gov/digov-public/public/DisplayPage.do?parentFolderId=50

New Podcast, "Empowering People with Disabilities under the Obama Administration":

Ringler Radio TM, the four-year-old online radio production arm of Ringler Associates®, the insurance industry's largest structured settlement firm, has released this podcast which includes Andrew J. Imparato, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities, as the featured guest. To read the full article and access the podcast, go to:  http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090310005264&newsLang=en

National Council on Disability (NCD) to Make Recommendations on Federal Employment of People with Disabilities:

The NCD will conduct a news conference on March 31st in Washington, DC. To highlight the release of a policy paper that examines the status of employment of people with disabilities in the Federal Government and makes recommendations for improving federal hiring and advancement of this population. This news conference is part of NCD's quarterly meeting and there are times designated to receive public comment via a toll-free call-in phone line. For more information on the meeting and how to participate in the public comment portion, go to:
http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/03-23-2009/0004993082&EDATE
.

United Airlines to Pay $850,000 for Disability Discrimination in Employment:

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), United Airlines has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit filed in Northern California that alleged United's overtime policy violated the ADA when it denied anyone placed on light or limited duty the opportunity to work overtime. United will pay $850,000 to a class of employees with disabilities and has agreed not to enforce this policy in the future.  To read more, go to: http://eeoc.gov/press/3-16-09.html.

The Inclusive Home Design Act (IHDA) Introduced:

This new legislation introduced March 10th by U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky will greatly increase the number of new homes built that are accessible to people with disabilities. It aims to do this by applying visitability standards which seek to create homes that are sustainable, affordable, and utilize a design approach that integrates accessibility features into newly-built homes.  Currently, 95 percent of new single-family homes and townhouses built with federal assistance fail to incorporate accessibility features. This legislation hopes to reverse a national trend that locks people with disabilities out of the housing market.  For more information on this Act and the visitability standards, go to:
http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2009/03/inclusive-home-design-act-introduced.html

Douglas Anderson Elected Chair of the Access Board:

Douglas Anderson, a member of the U.S. Access Board since 2003, was elected Chair on March 18th.  A former employee of the Great Lakes Disability & Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC), Anderson is a Partner at LCM Architects in Chicago where he assists both public and private entities in complying with the ADA accessibility standards and the Fair Housing Act. To read more, go to: http://www.access-board.gov/news/anderson-chair.htm.

Community Choice Act to be Introduced March 24th:

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) will introduce the Community Choice Act (CCA) in both houses of Congress on March 24th. The CCA will allow people with disabilities and elderly people to choose to stay in their own homes with attendant care instead of having to enter a nursing home or other institution due to the current system of coverage Medicaid offers.  The CCA is being introduced just before the 10th anniversary of the noted U.S. Supreme Court "Olmstead Decision", which declared forced institutionalization to be discrimination and reinforced the mandate in the ADA that government services must be delivered in the "most integrated setting."  To read more, go to: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2009/03/harkin-davis-to-introduce-cca-on-march-24.html


Opportunities for YOU:

Public Transportation Survey- Give your Feedback by March 31st:

In conjunction with a grant received from the Federal Transit Administration, Meeting the Challenge, Inc. is conducting a survey designed to collect information from people with disabilities regarding their experiences with public transportation. All people with disabilities are invited to participate and the survey will take about 5-15 minutes to complete. Information gathered will be used to determine what barriers still exist in public transportation for people with disabilities and will be used to create Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) technical assistance materials directed toward alleviating those barriers.  This is an on-line survey which can be accessed from this link:  http://mtcinc.transit.sgizmo.com.  If you do not have internet access, you can participate by calling Meeting the Challenge at 1-800-864-4264 (select menu choice #2), Monday through Friday between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM (MT), and a staff member will assist you with the survey by telephone. If you prefer a paper copy of the survey, one can be obtained by calling the same phone number.  Deadline for participating is March 31, 2009.

Enroll in a Creative Training Accelerating Talent (CTAT) Teletraining:

Teletrainings are provided via telephone with participants either following along with the session online or by using a printed copy of the presentation materials. All of the CTAT trainings are from 1:00-2:30pm Mountain Time and registration cost is $35 per phone line.  The March 31st teletraining addresses family concerns regarding traumatic brain injury.  April and May topics include grant writing, empowering youth, and depression in people with cognitive disabilities. To register, go to:  www.ctat-training.com.


Special Spotlight:  The 2009 National ADA Symposium:

 The National ADA Symposium is the most comprehensive conference available on the Americans with Disabilities Act and related disability laws!  This year's symposium, themed "Revitalizing the ADA", will be held June 8th-10th at Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.  This three-day event is designed for ADA Coordinators, state and local government officials, the building industry, design professionals, human resource professionals, employers, people with disabilities and their families, service providers and advocates. It offers an extensive session schedule on a variety of topics as well as two Professional Development Programs, one for ADA Coordinators and another for those involved in accessible design. Presenters for the 2009 ADA Symposium include representatives from the key federal agencies involved in implementing the ADA such as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Access Board, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  The Keynote Luncheon will feature United States Senator Tom Harkin, the leading sponsor of the ADA and ADA Amendments Act, as the Keynote Speaker. The cost is $475 and registration deadline is April 30th.  For more information, visit: http://www.adasymposium.org/.

General Programs will cover a wide range of topics including, among others, accessible design, transportation issues, reasonable accommodations, accessibility guidelines, fair housing, emergency preparedness, job descriptions analysis, legal issues, and updates from EEOC, DOJ, and Access Board. For a complete list and schedule of programs including descriptions, go to:
http://www.adasymposium.org/Sessions.html

For the online Registration form and Hotel information, go to:
http://www.regonline.com/Checkin.asp?EventId=670954

 

 

See you in a few weeks!!!