Newsletter: December 07, 2009

Northeast ADA December 7, 2009 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

Disability.gov List of Resources in Puerto Rico (PR):
The YAI Network National Institute for People with Disabilities, that has served people with disabilities and their families for over 50 years, is one of many agencies that serve our Puerto Rico (PR) constituents, in addition to NY, NJ, and Virgin Islands. Other PR specific resources listed on this Disability.gov page include PR Independent Living Centers, and Veterans facilities. For more information, go to:  http://www.disability.gov/state/puerto_rico/health

Department of Justice (DOJ) ADA Brief Regarding New York's Community Based Supported Housing Plan:
The DOJ has released a Memorandum of Law in support of Disability Advocates, Inc.'s remedial housing plan, and in opposition to Governor David Patterson's and others' proposed plan, to move persons from adult homes to community-based supported housing. These plans are based on the Court's earlier order requiring NY to make this move. To access a pdf or Word version of the DOJ's comments, go to:  http://www.ada.gov/briefs/adabrief.htm#newyorkolmstead

 

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

Free ODEP Popular Employer Resource Available Again:
The Office of Disability Employment Policy's (ODEP) resource, "Diversifying Your Workforce, A Four-Step Guide to Recruiting, Hiring, & Retaining Employees with Disabilities", is now available.  To order up to five free copies, go to: http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/rc/odep.htm

GettingHired Secures $3 million for Continued Growth:
GettingHired.com, the largest disability employment portal in the country, received additional funding from several companies for both continued growth and the final development and launch of a new return to work initiative that involves long term disability and workers' compensation insurance. GettingHired CEO stated he was "excited by the opportunity...to be in a position to support continued progress toward the goal of creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities."  For the full article, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gettinghired-announces-additional-funding-for-continued-growth-as-well-as-rd-of-new-product-for-long-term-disability-and-workers-comp-70403587.html

IBM Receives National Awards for Commitment to Disability Inclusiveness:
India's National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People has bestowed two awards on IBM for its commitment to creating an inclusive workplace especially for employees with disabilities. The National Award was given to recognize IBM's technology innovation, Spoken Web, which helps people with disabilities get the benefits of the Web through a parallel system to the Internet. The Helen Keller Award recognized IBM's policies and practices that promote equal employment opportunity for people with disabilities. To read more, go to: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/IBM-receives-national-award-for---Spoken-Web---technology/548935

Officemax Named Outstanding Distributor by AbilityOne:
OfficeMax, a leading supplier of office supplies and services, was recognized by the AbilityOne Program as their Top Seller and Outstanding Distributor for its ongoing commitment to promote products produced by AbilityOne vendors. OfficeMax was the first commercial distributor to do $100 million in sales with AbilityOne, a program that helps people with visual or other disabilities find jobs. To read more, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/officemax-named-outstanding-distributor-by-abilityone-for-promoting-nonprofit-agencies-that-employ-individuals-who-are-blind-or-disabled-78128637.html

National Public Radio (NPR) Discusses Job Crunch for People with Disabilities:
As large numbers of Americans face losing jobs, the unemployment rates continue to be higher among certain groups, including people with disabilities. "21 million out of 26 million people with disabilities are not even in the labor force," says Richard Horne, with the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. To hear the NPR piece and to read more on the job crunch and related issues, go to: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120852418

Google Plans to Facilitate Automatic Captioning for YouTube Videos:
With the growing use of YouTube videos on the internet more and more people have been realizing the importance of captioning their videos. However given that every minute 20 hours of video are uploaded, it can be very hard for every video owner to spend the time and effort needed to add captions to all of their videos. To  address that challenge, Google has combined their automatic speech recognition technology with the YouTube caption system to automatically generate the captions (auto-caps) for videos, representing a huge step forward for accessibility. See related articles at: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/automatic-captions-in-youtube.html and http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2009/11/google-launches-automated-youtube-captioning-aapd-applauds.html

Analysis Report of Self-Employment Outcomes within Vocational Rehabilitation:
This report, developed by START-UP/USA, provides a snapshot into the extent to which self-employment is occurring for individuals with disabilities within the Federal/State Vocational Rehabilitation system as an employment outcome. A copy of the report in PDF can be accessed by clicking on a link on disability.gov: http://www.disability.gov/employment/research_%26_statistics

November Disability Employment Statistics Released:
In November, the percentage of people with disabilities in the labor force was 21.5 and the unemployment rate was 14.1 percent, declining slightly from last month. Read more statistics at: http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsdisability.htm

National Council on Disability (NCD) October and November Bulletins:
Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month, health care recommendations, and emergency management are among the topics covered in the NCD's latest editions which can be accessed by clicking on b1009.htm and b1109.htm at: http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/bulletins/2009/

EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Settled with Hospital Employer:
St. John Health System, Inc. in Texas will pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission based on a charge that the hospital violated the ADA by not reasonably accommodating a hearing-impaired employee. St. John also agreed to provide disability discrimination training to management and supervisors, and to report reasonable accommodation requests to the EEOC for the next three years.  For the full article, go to: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=17&articleid=20091118_11_0_StJohn898978


Opportunities for You!

FREE Web Accessibility Webinar Series:
The DBTAC-Northeast is providing a series of web accessibility workshops. This webinar series will offer training on topics critical to creating dynamic and accessible web sites for colleges and universities. For more information and to register, go to: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/dbtac-webinar.cfm

FREE Employer Webinar Series Begins December 10th:
The DBTAC National Network of ADA Centers is providing employers with a free webinar series to enhance awareness of the practical methods of increasing diversity in the workplace through the inclusion of employees with disabilities. The first session, "Corporate and Organizational Strategy: Utilizing National Resources to Attract and Retain Employees with Disabilities", is December 10th at 1:30pm EST for 1.5 hours- deadline to register is December 9th). For the full schedule and to register, go to: http://sedbtac.org/webinars/index.php#content

Federal Employer Winter Webcast Series:
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is providing a series of webcasts for federal employers on topics such as hiring, best practices in employment of people with disabilities, and the reasonable accommodation process. All sessions will be at 2:00pm EST for 1.5 hours and the first will be held January 6th.  To register for any of them, go to: http://www.jan.wvu.edu/webcast/RegisterFed/index.htm

FREE Accessible Technology Online Seminar Series:
The Great Lakes and Pacific DBTAC ADA Centers, on behalf of the National Network of ADA Centers, are hosting a free Accessible Technology online series, especially geared for businesses. Each session is 60 minutes in length and will be held from 1:00-2:00pm CST on dates specified.  Topics include social networking sites for people with disabilities; best practices for developing and disseminating electronic documents; assistive technology; the business case for accessibility; and accessible website videos. To register for these free webinars, go to:  http://www.ada-audio.org/Webinar/AccessibleTechnology/Schedule/

Intern with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD):
The AAPD is searching for college students with disabilities, who are interested in government, politics, law, leadership, or information technology, to apply for a 2010 summer internship in Washington, D.C. Interns receive a living stipend, accessible housing, and travel to and from D.C.  Applications are due January 8th! For more details and applications, go to: http://www.aapd.com/AAPDInternship/

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2010 Accessibility Forum:
The ATIA 2010 Accessibility Forum will be held January 28-29, in Orlando, Florida.  This event is designed to help large corporations, government agencies and educational institutions understand the business case for providing accessible solutions for employees and clients. Participants will see the latest technology from 125+ leading assistive technology manufacturers and service providers. For more details to register, go to: https://www.atia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=3368

 

Special Spotlight: Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

On November 21st, Title II of GINA took effect. GINA is a federal law that prohibits discrimination by health insurers and employers based on individuals' genetic information. Genetic information would include both a person's family medical history and the results of genetic tests to determine whether someone is at increased risk of acquiring a certain condition in the future. The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury have responsibility for issuing regulations for Title I of GINA, which addresses the use of genetic information in health insurance. But Title II is related to employment and is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  EEOC's Acting Vice Chair Christine Griffin said, "Title II of GINA is an ideal complement to the ADA Amendments Act. With both laws now effective, American workers are protected if they experience discrimination because of their disability or because of impairments they may develop." The EEOC is charged with issuing regulations implementing Title II of GINA. The final regulations are currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget and will be issued as soon as the review process is concluded.  See links below for more information on GINA:

EEOC Website page on GINA: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/genetic.cfm

The Mainstreet Business Journal article, "EEOC Expands ADA: GINA": http://mainstreetbusinessjournal.com/articleview.php?articlesid=4818

 More information about Title I provisions relating to health coverage: The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008: Information for Researchers and Health Care Professionals

 

See you in a few weeks!!!