Newsletter: February 11, 2010

Northeast ADA February 11, 2010 News Bulletin

What’s New in Our Region:

DBTAC Changes Name to ADA National Network:
As part of the Disability & Business Technical Assistance Centers efforts to re-brand ourselves, improve our marketing and outreach strategies, and prepare for the 20 year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we have come to an agreement with our funder, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), to change our national name to “ADA National Network”. Our region, which serves New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, will now be called the “Northeast ADA Center”. The ADA National Network will continue to be the leader in providing reliable information, guidance, and training on the ADA, tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels.  If you have any questions, please contact us at 1.800.949.4232 or dbtacnortheast@cornell.edu.
 
What’s New in the Rest of the Country:

New National Ad Campaign Promoting Employment of People with Disabilities:
There is a new national advertising effort, “Think beyond the label”, financed by employment agencies and health and human services in 30 states, to encourage businesses to employ people with disabilities. The ad takes a light-hearted tack by offering humorous examples of employees with “differences” such as “fashion deficient” and “copy incapable” in an effort to urge us to think about whether a “label” actually correlates to productivity in the workplace. Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/business/media/29adco.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1264780933-s8CDasrqSTOajz1EmrwV3Q

Message from ODEP Assistant Secretary Martinez:
The Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Assistant Secretary, Kathleen Martinez, took an opportunity in a recent issue of ODEP’s Business Sense to share some ideas and initiatives that will shape ODEP’s work in 2010. To read her message, go to: http://www.dol.gov/odep/bsense/bsense0110.htm

White House Chief of Staff Signs Pledge to End the Use of the “R-Word”:
After week of intense scrutiny over his use of the word “retarded”, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has signed the Special Olympics pledge to end use of the “r-word”. Upon signing, Emanuel acknowledged “this is so important, and I’m glad to support it”. He has also promised that the Obama administration would review proposed federal legislation that would replace references to “mental retardation” with the term “intellectual disability” throughout federal law. To read more, go to:  http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2010/02/05/emanuel-signs-pledge/6915/

Former Head of ODEP Joins Getting Hired:
On February 2nd, it was announced that Neil Romano, prominent disability employment advocate and former Assistant Secretary of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, is now the Senior Advisor for GettingHired.com. GettingHired CEO Tom Capato, stated, “As the leading disability employment portal in the USA, we believe Neil’s experience and expertise in the field of disability employment will further refine our mission to promote the imperative of hiring qualified people with disabilities. Read the full article at: http://pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=323876&Itemid=95
   
ODEP Releases FREE Resource for Employers on Diversifying your Workforce:
The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has released “Diversifying Your Workforce, A Four-Step Reference Guide to Recruiting, Hiring, & Retaining Employees with Disabilities”. This employer’s guide provides information regarding various aspects of disability employment. To order free copies of this guide, go to: http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/rc/odep.htm.

Department of Labor (DOL) Shares Tools for America’s Job Seekers:
The DOL has announced the results of its Tools for America’s Job Seekers Challenge.  This was an effort to find out what people wanted out of online job tools. In January, more than 16,000 people voted for their favorite career sites and all participating tools are now posted on the DOL Web site so that job seekers can access job openings and career information. For the press release and most liked job boards, go to:  http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/eta20100146.htm

Largest Fair Housing Settlement for People with Disabilities Reached:
On January 14th, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and its associated member organizations reached an agreement with A.G. Spanos Companies to increase housing accessibility for people with disabilities. The agreement is the result of a 2007 case filed by NFHA charging that thousands of Spanos apartment units violated the Fair Housing Act. The NFHA noted that this is the largest fair housing settlement to date for people with disabilities. Read the full article at: http://www.civilrights.org/archives/2010/01/863-nfha-settlement.html.

2011 Department of Labor (DOL) Budget Request Includes Disability:
On February 1st, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis outlined the president’s fiscal year 2011 budget request for the DOL. The budget requested $39 million for ODEP to increase workforce participation of people with disabilities by creating innovative partnerships that not only break down barriers to employment but to also better serve people with disabilities in the workforce system. To read the full article, and access more information on the budget, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/secretary-hilda-l-solis-presents-us-department-of-labor-budget-request-for-fiscal-year-2011-83270537.html

Obama’s Proposed Budget Seeks Funding Boost for Disability Programs:
President Obama has proposed a $3.8 trillion budget for the 2011 fiscal year that includes funding for various programs aimed at Americans with disabilities, such as autism research, special education, and community living.  To read more, go to: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2010/02/01/2011-budget/6810/

New Rules Requiring Parity in Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment:
On January 29th, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury jointly issued new rules which assure that consumers enrolled in group health plans and need treatment for mental health or substance use disorders do not face restriction to care by their group health insurance plans. To read more, go to: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/01/20100129a.html.

New American Indians with Disabilities Public Awareness Campaign Podcast:
The Disability Law Lowdown just posted a podcast, “American Indians with Disabilities Public Awareness Campaign”, a technology adoption model for individuals with disabilities from minority populations.  It features a discussion of assistive technology awareness and outreach “best practice”.  The podcast is available at www.DisabilityLawLowdown.com, as well as on iTunes.

January Disability Employment Statistics Released:
In January there were 21.8 percent of people with disabilities in the workforce while the unemployment rate was 15.2 percent. For all the statistics, go to: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t06.htm

Latest Job Accommodation Network (JAN) E-News Now Available:
JAN E-News is a quarterly online newsletter that keeps readers informed about accommodation approaches. This issue’s topics include Schedule A, Web site accessibility, diversifying the workforce, and mobility enhancing devices. Access all the E-News at: http://www.jan.wvu.edu/ENews/2010/Enews-V8-I1.htm

January Edition of Disability Rights Online:
The Department of Justice’s Disability Rights Online News is now available at: http://www.ada.gov/disabilitynews.htm

Opportunities for You!

FREE Webinar February 25th for Jobseekers with Disabilities:
The Northeast ADA Center is presenting the second webinar of their “Next Steps” series on February 25th from 1:00 – 2:30pm EST, entitled “There’s Good News and Bad News:  Current Hiring Trends and Techniques; Implications for Job Seekers with Disabilities”.  Despite nearly two decades of the ADA, job-seekers with disabilities continue to face discrimination in the hiring process.  This webinar will discuss ten current workplace and organizational trends that impact how hiring decisions are made about job seekers with disabilities.  Discussion will focus on the implications of these trends for job-seekers with disabilities and those professionals who support them in the hiring process. To register, go to:
http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/dbtac-hiringdisability.cfm

Web Course on Career Development March 3-16th:
The Training Resource Network (TRN) is accepting registrations for the popular Web Course: Career Development for Youth and Adults with Disabilities March 3rd-16th. This is a two-week, 20-hour web training on developing career goals through innovative vocational assessment, career development skills, and vocational profiling for youth and adults with disabilities. Topics will include principles of self-determination, the discovery process, and situational assessment. Self-employment, career exploration, and self-presentation will also be addressed. Registration is $149. To learn more and to register, go to: https://trn-store.com/drupal/node/918

26th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities in April:
The 26th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities, “Synergy: Together We Act”, will be held April 12-13th at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. For conference details and registration information, go to: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/

Special Spotlight: New Northeast ADA Center Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Affiliates!

The Northeast ADA Center is pleased to announce that our competitive request for proposals process has ended with the successful appointment of affiliates in Puerto Rico (PR) and the U.S. Virgin Islands (VI).

Movimiento para el Alcance de Vida Independiente (Movement to Reach an Independent Life) known as MAVI, located in San Juan, is our PR affiliate. MAVI (http://www.mavipr.org/) is the largest center for independent living in PR and serves 4 major regions of the Island through its network of satellite offices. MAVI’s mission is to promote the independent living philosophy among people with significant cross-disabilities. 

Our VI affiliate is the Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD) located on both the St. Thomas and St. Croix University of VI campuses. VIUCEDD’s mission is to enhance the quality of life of individuals with disabilities and their families and to provide them with the tools necessary for independence, productivity, and full inclusion into community life (http://www.uvi.edu/sites/uvi/Pages/VIUCEDD-Home.aspx?s=CO). 

Join us in welcoming MAVI and VIUCEDD to the Northeast ADA Center team!  Watch future News Bulletins’ Special Spotlight sections to learn more about each of these affiliates and how they can help our PR and VI constituents!