Newsletter: April 27, 2009

Northeast ADA April 27, 2009 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

New Yankee Stadium a Model of Accessibility:
The new Yankee Stadium was unveiled on April 14th, revealing a new state of the art facility that goes beyond what is mandated by the ADA. The new stadium offers nearly 1,500 wheelchair-accessible seats and 530 companion seats that are dispersed equally as well as wheelchair lifts that are implemented in both dugouts to allow direct access to the benches and field. It will also have free assistive listening devices, game materials printed in large print or in Braille, and continue to accommodate service animals. Team president Randy Levine stated, "...[all fans] should have the exact experience as everybody else".  Read the complete article at:  http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090414&content_id=4266690&vkey=ne

Verizon Improves Services to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing in New Jersey:
The Verizon Center for Customers with Disabilities provides services that allow customers who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate directly via Web cameras or videophones with representatives who are proficient in using American Sign Language. This customer service support was first made available in 2007 and now exists in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island. As of April 8th, it is also available in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The addition of these three states is the latest expansion of Verizon's customer service support that provides a range of services to people who have physical and cognitive disabilities. Read more at:  http://sev.prnewswire.com/telecommunications/20090408/NY9624208042009-1.html.

Cazenovia, NY Subway Restaurant Sued for Inaccessibility:
Jeanne Keefe, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair, is suing a Cazenovia Subway restaurant with the help of the Syracuse University College of Law Disability Rights Clinic. The suit alleges that the restaurant is in violation of the ADA by its lack of accessibility. The director of the Disability Rights Clinic, Michael Schwartz, states that the accessibility problem is not restricted to Subway and is a problem that the college has been working to mediate with the business district for years. Read more at:   http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/cazenovia_woman_who_uses_wheel.html.

Virgin Islands Market Reaches Settlement Agreement Over Service Animals:
The World Fresh Market, LLC d/b/a Pueblo has reached a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice in response to a complaint filed under the ADA Title III. The complaint arose when the Market allegedly told a customer who was accompanied by a service animal to leave the store. Per the settlement, the Market has agreed to modify its policies to allow patrons with service animals to shop at the store.  To read the full agreement, go to:  http://www.ada.gov/worldmarket.htm.

 

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Releases Report on Using Accessible Technology (AT) to Enhance Employment of Those with Disabilities: 
This report, Roadmaps II, looks at the issue of AT and employment from the perspective of AT service providers and disability stakeholders who work directly to assist individuals with disabilities. It follows the January 2008 release of Roadmaps I, a report developed by participants in the 2007 Business Dialogue on Accessible Technology and Disability Employment for how best to enhance the hiring, retention, and advancement of persons with disabilities and others through accessible technology.  For more details and to access both reports, go to: http://www.dol.gov/odep/categories/employment_supports/roadmaps.htm

National Council on Disability (NCD) Recommends How to Create More Federal Jobs for People with Disabilities:
The National Council on Disability made ten recommendations- five to the Office of Personnel Management, four to Congress, and one to job seekers- to create more federal jobs for people with disabilities. Recommendations to the Office of Personnel Management range from conducting a marketing campaign to recruit  applicants with disabilities to developing a model program for hiring, retaining, and advancing people with disabilities. Recommendations for Congress include, among others, requesting the Government Accountability Office to both examine  employment for people with disabilities and to study the effectiveness of the preference system for veterans with disabilities. The council further recommends job seekers to investigate employment opportunities in agencies that have critical hiring needs or have shown a commitment to hiring people with disabilities. Read more at:  http://www.examiner.com/x-7061-St-Louis-Disabled-Workers-Examiner~y2009m4d18-National-Council-on-Disability-makes-recommendation-to-create-more-federal-jobs.

American Airlines and American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) to Honor Best TV Commercial for Positive Portrayal of Disabilities: 
American Airlines is partnering with AAPD to create an award honoring the best U.S. television commercials that feature positive portrayals of people with disabilities. The contest will begin in July and run for several weeks. The final winner will receive free advertising airtime on the American Airlines inflight entertainment system. Will Ris, American's Senior Vice President- Government Affairs and member of AAPD's Board of Directors, stated "We want to acknowledge creative companies who are supporting people with disabilities and understand the business value of inclusive advertising".  Read more at: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2009/03/american-airlines-and-aapd-to-honor-positive-portrayals-of-disability-.html.

NCD Addresses Technology Issues in Annual Progress Report:
The National Council on Disability (NCD) released National Disability Policy: A Progress Report, which discusses the progress disability policy made during the previous year and makes recommendations to address ongoing needs. This year's report makes 17 key recommendations and an overall recommendation for a new, integrated approach to disability policy within the federal government. The NCD recaps the need to make a federal requirement for full accessibility of public Web sites, an issue that surfaced after the passing of the ADA in 1990. The report also stresses policy changes in assistive technology and makes similar suggestions to the FCC and Access Board.  To access the report, go to: http://www.ncd.gov.

Indianapolis, Indiana Wins Annual Accessible America Award: 
Indianapolis was awarded $25,000 as the winner of the eighth annual Accessible America Competition. The competition was sponsored by a grant from American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and administered by the National Organization on Disability (NOD). Winning cities are selected based on their commitment to offering citizens with disabilities full and equal opportunities in the community, including access to jobs, education, voting, and services. Stated Governor Tom Ridge, Chairman of NOD, "...Indianapolis exemplifies a successful model of enriched civic life that encourages full participation of all citizens, including those with disabilities".  Read more at: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2009/04/indianapolis-2009-most-disabilityfriendly-city.html.

 

Opportunities for YOU:

Survey on Barriers to Wheeled Mobility Users in the Community: 
People who rely on wheeled mobility devices to get around their communities confront a variety of obstacles that may make it difficult for them participate in everyday activities.  Researchers at CATEA (Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access) want to learn more about these barriers and how they impact people who use mobility devices in their ability to participate fully in community life.  They invite anyone who uses a wheelchair or scooter to complete an on-line survey about barriers in your communities that may hinder you as you go about your daily activities. The survey will take approximately 20 minutes and can be accessed at:  http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/110379/mobilitybarriers.  If you would prefer to take this survey over the phone, please contact Dr. Claire Yang at hsiang-yu.yang@coa.gatech.edu or call 404-894-4960. 

Registration Ends April 30th for 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. The cost is $475 and registration deadline is April 30th.  For more information and to register, visit:    http://www.adasymposium.org/.

 

Special Spotlight:  New Director of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office on Disability Announced:
On April 16th Henry Claypool was announced as the next HHS Director of Office on Disability. Mr. Claypool has 25 years of experience developing and implementing disability policy at the federal, state, and local level as well as personal experience as an individual with a disability. Mr. Claypool sustained a spinal injury more than 25 years ago and has received Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income which helped him obtain his college degree. He then worked for a Center for Independent Living followed by Director of Disability Services in a University setting. Mr. Claypool has advised the federal government on disability policy for several years, was named New Mobility magazine's Person of the Year in 2004, and currently he serves as the Policy Director at Independence Care System, a managed long-term care provider in our DBTAC region's very own New York City! 

As the Office of Disability's Director, Mr. Claypool will serve as the primary advisor to the HHS Secretary on disability policy and oversee the implementation of all HHS programs and initiatives pertaining to Americans with disabilities.  HHS Chief of Staff Laura Petrou stated, "Henry Claypool is uniquely prepared to expand and improve services that will empower more Americans with disabilities".  On his appointment, Mr. Claypool said, "I am honored to have the opportunity to serve President Obama and the American people as we work together to make certain that Americans with disabilities have access to the services and supports they need to lead fulfilling lives...my commitment to working on behalf of Americans with disabilities is a deeply personal one".

Full HHS Press Release:  http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2009pres/04/20090415a.html

More information on the appointment:  http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2009/04/claypool-announced-as-hhs-director-of-office-on-disability.html

Mr. Claypool's biography from the Office of Disability Web site:  http://www.hhs.gov/od/about/stafflist.html

New Mobility magazine, "Person of the Year Henry Claypool" (January 2005): http://www.newmobility.com/articleViewIE.cfm?id=959&srch=Attendant%20Services

 

See you in a few weeks!!!