Newsletter: September 19, 2008

Northeast ADA September 19, 2008 News Bulletin

What's New in the Northeast:

Deaf Awareness Week Celebration Going on Now in Rochester, NY!

This year's annual Rochester Deaf Awareness Week, hosted by the Rochester Recreation Club for the Deaf, is September 21-27th.  The theme is "Together, We Can..." and it's a celebration of Deaf culture designed to raise awareness of the Deaf Community.  Read more at:  http://www.dischmedia.com/daw/calendar.php.

Select NYC Hotels Engage in ADA Compliance Reviews!

In 2005 the U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of NY began a limited review of certain hotels in NYC to determine their level of ADA compliance. Read the Settlement Agreements of two recent reviews:

Muse Hotel, New York:  http://www.ada.gov/musehotelnyc.htm

Marriott Marquis, New York:  http://www.ada.gov/hmctimes.htm

ADA Lawsuit Filed Against Princeton University in New Jersey!

Advocates for Disabled Americans (AFDA) and four individual plaintiffs have sued Princeton claiming it is violating the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. The complaint says that Princeton does not meet accessibility requirements and architectural standards for building access which has resulted in lack of access and emotional distress for the plaintiffs.  Princeton states that it is "attentive" to their legal obligations regarding equal access to their programs and will provide accommodations upon request however they have never been contacted by any of the plaintiffs regarding access difficulties. Read more at: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2008/09/11/21328/.

 

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

The Senate and House of Representatives Have Both Passed the ADA Amendments Act!

The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent on September 11th and sent it back to the House, which passed it on September 17th.  It now goes onto the White House where President Bush is anticipated to sign it next week.  Read more at:

Senate Passes the ADA Amendments Act: http://www.civilrights.org/library/features/024-senate-adaaa.html

House Clears Measure to Clarify Disability Law: http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5&docID=cqmidday-000002953258

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

This year's theme as announced by the U.S. Secretary of Labor is America's People, American's Talent...America's Strength!  Read more at: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/odep/odep20080993.htm

New Website for Employers Hiring Veterans with Brain Injuries and Stress!

The Department of Labor launched America's Heroes at Work, an online resource to assist employers in hiring veterans who have traumatic brain injuries (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), two conditions that can be common among vets returning from this particular war. This program, managed jointly by DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy and Veterans' Employment and Training Service, is "a comprehensive Web site" that "educates employers, human resources professionals, and the workforce system" in how to help veterans return to work. It provides information about TBI and PTSD, job coaching and mentoring programs, and suggestions for workplace accommodations. Read more at: http://www.AmericasHeroesAtWork.gov

ODEP and Major League Baseball Throw a PITCH Together!

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy together with Major League Baseball is launching the PITCH (Proving Individuals with Talent Can Help) campaign to encourage businesses to hire individuals with disabilities.  Jim Abbott, a former Major League pitcher with a physical disability, will serve as the campaign's spokesman. The campaign will include awareness raising announcements and activities through media and appearances at Major League ballparks during September and October.  Read more at: 

http://www.qsrmagazine.com/articles/news/story.phtml?id=7216

New EEOC Publication Aimed at Promoting the Hiring and Advancement of People with Disabilities in the Federal Government!

This U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission publication highlights regulations around federal agencies' procedures for hiring qualified individuals with severe disabilities, requirements regarding reasonable accommodations, and a detailed question and answer guide. To learn more, and to access the question and answer guide directly, go to: http://www.eeoc.gov/press/8-26-08.html.

EEOC Helps Address Performance and Conduct Issues!

This latest publication reviews ADA requirements and gives guidance on both the role of reasonable accommodations and how and when performance and conduct standards should be applied to employees with disabilities. It also addresses issues around attendance, dress codes, medical inquiries, and drug and alcohol use. Read more at:  http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/performance-conduct.html.

Federal Judge Rules ADA Indeed Applies to Airports and Airlines!

U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh is allowing a lawsuit filed against Northwest Airlines under the ADA to continue despite the airline's request for dismissal on grounds that the ADA does not apply to airport service. Read more at: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080904/BIZ/809040354/1001/BIZ

The Financial State of Americans with Disabilities in the 21st Century!

The National Council on Disability (NCD) has submitted a groundbreaking report, The State of 21st Century Financial Incentives for Americans with Disabilities, that  addresses economic equality issues and financial incentives affecting people of all abilities, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. It presents research findings in important areas of people's lives and suggests strategies for securing employment and daily living benefits.  Read more at:  http://www.ncd.gov/.

 

Election 2008 News:

This section will highlight important issues and information related to the 2008 Election that can or do impact the disability community. 

Accessible Voting!

Federal law requires that people with disabilities be able to access polling places on election day.  Exceptions are only allowed if all potential polling sites have been deemed unable to be made accessible and in these cases, voters with disabilities must be either reassigned to another accessible polling place or provided another way to vote.  All states should be providing alternative voting methods or disability related accommodations.  Read more at:

http://www.aapd-dc.org/dvpmain/dvpindex.php
Website for the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Disability Vote Project, a nationally-recognized program that works in a nonpartisan manner to eliminate barriers to voting and to increase political participation for those with disabilities.  

http://www.napas.org/issues/voting/
National Disability Rights Network Protection and Advocacy for Voting Access website that contains information on the Help America Vote Act and general voting/election resources related to disabilities.

How Accessible are the Websites of Candidates?

Unfortunately, as of September 3, 2008, not very!  Read more at:

Presidential Campaign Websites Fail Accessibility & Usability Tests: http://www.icdri.org/WebAccess/Pres08/PResidentialPR08.htm

Presidential Homepages Violate Speed and Accessibility Guidelines: http://www.optimizationweek.com/reviews/president/

Where the Presidential Candidates Stand!

The AAPD has also created this website to help you track the presidential candidates' disability record throughout the election period: http://www.aapd-dc.org/News/election/peac2008.php

 

Opportunities For YOU:

2008 Cerebral Palsy of NYS Annual Conference!

Held October 20th-22nd at the Desmond Hotel & Conference Center in Albany NY. This year's theme is Real people. Realizing potential and the full conference brochure and registration information are available online at www.cpofnys.org.  Questions? Contact the Cerebral Palsy Association of NYS at (518) 436-0178.

New FREE Internet Course!

Ready, Willing, and Able, Assisting People with Disabilities During Disasters is a free, professional, 2 hour, introductory, online training course for health workers, disaster preparedness workers, and emergency response staff. The course is offered through TRAIN, a project of the Public Health Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Course number is 1010882. Register at: https://www.train.org/DesktopModules/eLearning/CourseDetails/CourseDetailsForm.aspx?tabid=62&CourseID=1010882

7th Annual Northeastern US Conference on disAbility!

The Edward R. Leahy Jr. Endowment 7th Annual Northeastern US Conference on disability will be October 8th and 9th at the Patrick & Margaret DeNaples Center at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.  The theme of the conference is Veterans, Vocations, and Values: Rehabilitation Rallies for Results and it is for anyone who is interested in improving the quality of life for veterans with disabilities. Sessions will focus on employment, education, health, and others. Registration deadline is October 1st and costs vary. Register online at:  https://web2.scranton.edu/forms/disability_conference-registration.html.

National Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo!

17th Annual event is November 19th-21st in Las Vegas and will feature breakout sessions, keynote speakers, entertainment, and the nation's largest workers' comp Expo showcasing over 250 vendors!  Register early to receive early bird rates!  For more info and to register go to:  http://www.wcconference.com/.

 

Special Spotlight: Beijing 2008 Paralympics

Although the games are over, the experience has left a lasting impression on competitors and fans all over the world.  Read more about the Games and see a collection of photos at:  http://en.paralympic.beijing2008.cn/.

 

 

See you in a few weeks!!!