Newsletter: March 26, 2010

Northeast ADA Center March 26, 2010 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

Apply by April 2nd to NYSILC, the New York State Independent Living Council:
NYSILC, www.nysilc.org, a council that helps develop the Federal three-year Statewide Plan for Independent Living, works on public policy, public awareness, technical assistance and training issues that impact Independent Living services and people with disabilities in New York. They are seeking candidates to fill interim volunteer positions, preferably applicants who are advocates or work with organizations that serve people with disabilities. To apply, send a brief statement of interest and resume to NYSILC at bradw@nysilc.org by Friday, April 2nd. Questions can be directed to Brad Williams at (518) 427-1060 (v/tty).

NYPD Enters Settlement Agreement with Department of Justice (DOJ):
The DOJ and New York City Police Department have entered into a settlement agreement resulting from allegations that NYPD employees, including police officers, violated Title II of the ADA by not effectively communicating with people with hearing impairments. Read more at: http://www.ada.gov/nypd.htm

United Spinal's 2010 Independence Expo in Long Island NY June 25-26th:
United Spinal's Independence Expo returns this year to Long Island, New York on June 25-26th at Suffolk County Community College's Sports & Exhibition Complex. These Expos have continued to grow in size and scope, bringing together a diverse group of consumers, family members, social service and health care professionals to share the latest in treatment strategies, adaptive equipment, lifestyle-enhancing information, and therapeutic breakthroughs. Register online and admission for you and two guests is free:  http://www.independenceexpo.org/


What's New in the Rest of the Country:

ODEP Publishes New Customized Employment Brochure:
For employers interested in exploring unique ways to increase productivity, profitability and efficiency, improve return-to-work outcomes, increase retention, lower turnover rates, and increase a more diverse and inclusive workforce, the Office of Disability Employment Policy has developed, "Customized Employment: Put It to Work for Your Business". This brochure showcases real employers who have put this form of Flexible Work Arrangements to work in their businesses: http://www.dol.gov/odep/documents/customized_employment_v3blue_508_FINAL.pdf

DOJ Releases Booklet for Returning Service Members with Disabilities:
The Department of Justice has released a 28-page booklet, entitled "ADA: Know Your Rights: Returning Service Members with Disabilities". This was designed to provide military service members who have been seriously wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom a basic understanding of their rights under the ADA and where to turn for additional information and assistance. Access the booklet at:  http://www.ada.gov/publicat.htm#servicemember

New Streaming Video About Ten Employment Myths:
"Ten Employment Myths" is a new 17 minute video for employers which uses a question-and-answer format to clearly explain the ADA and refute misconceptions and fears that employers may have about hiring people with disabilities. You can view the video at:  http://www.ada.gov/videogallery.htm#10_employmentmyths

U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) Announces New Board:
The USBLN is a national disability organization that serves as the collective voice of over 60 affiliates across the country, representing more than 5,000 employers.  It recognizes and supports best practices in the employment and advancement of people with disabilities; the preparedness for work of youth with disabilities; marketing to consumers with disabilities; and contracting with vendors with disabilities. USBLN's new 2010 Board of Directors includes members from AT&T, Ernst & Young, and Merck & Co. Inc. Read more at: http://www.usbln.org/

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Increases Social Networking Presence:
JAN, a leading resource in providing employers and employees with information on disability reasonable accommodations, has prided itself on using the latest of emerging technologies in the most accessible format possible to meet customers "where they are." Over a year ago, JAN entered the world of social networking to  build a community network of online users, thereby providing a space where users could quickly gain access to the latest employment and disability current events, videos, blogs, bookmarks, and Website hotspots. The secondary goal of these efforts in new media is to influence the accessibility of these online tools. Visit JAN online to learn more about their involvement with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Second Life, and others: http://www.jan.wvu.edu/topics/socialnets.htm

U.S. Access Board's Proposed Updates to Communication Standards Open for Public Comment:
The Access Board has released for public comment a draft of proposed updates to its standards and guidelines for information and communications technologies covered by Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Board is also proposing to supplement its ADA Accessibility Guidelines to address certain types of interactive transaction machines such as point-of-sales machines and self-service kiosks.  Read more at:  www.access-board.gov/news/ict-draft-rule.htm

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Makes Broadband Accessible:
The FCC's National Broadband Plan includes recommendations for expanding broadband's benefits to persons with disabilities. Some of the items that will be addressed are accessibility issues. The ultimate goal is to enable persons with disabilities to reap the full benefits of broadband. For more information, see: http://www.convergedigest.com/regulatory/regulatoryarticle.asp?ID=29879&ctgy

Campaign for Disability Employment Now on Facebook and LinkedIn:
The Office of Disability Employment Policy's Campaign for Disability Employment has officially launched its Facebook Fan Page and LinkedIn Group.  To learn more about this campaign and to access them on Facebook and LinkedIn, go to: http://www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org/

National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Praises Google's Automatic Captions:
The NAD applauds Google's decision to roll out auto-captioning for YouTube. All YouTube videos in English that have a clear audio track can be automatically captioned. Now Google has made turning on captions much easier by allowing YouTube account holders to set up closed captions to be "on" for all videos they view. Google also plans to provide the universal "CC" icon on the video player whenever possible. Read more at: http://www.nad.org/news/2010/3/nad-commends-google-roll-out-automatic-captions

Latest "Enforcing the ADA Status Report" from Department of Justice (DOJ):
The Department of Justice April-September 2009 "Enforcing the ADA Status Report" is now available. It covers ADA related litigation, settlement agreements, and other settlements that took place during this time frame. Access the report at: http://www.ada.gov/statrpt.htm

U.S. Access Board's Latest Access Currents:
The January-February edition of the Access Board's electronic newsletter, Access Currents, is now available and includes information on the proposed regulations for 508 Standards and online training opportunities:  http://www.access-board.gov/news/Access%20Currents/Jan-Feb10.htm

 

Opportunities for You!

April 8th Webinar: Providing Accessibility for Employees and Customers:
The Southeast ADA Center is continuing its free webinar series with "Corporate Strategy: Providing Accessibility for Employees and Customers" on April 8th from 1:30-3:00pm EDT. Kathy West-Evans, Director of Business Relations with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, is the presenter and she will speak on how businesses can create a competitive edge and avoid litigation by providing the same level of customer service to all customers including individuals with disabilities. For more information and to register, go to: http://sedbtac.org/webinars/eventTemplate.php?eventid=528

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Webinar Series & Conference Call for Presentations:
The ATIA 2010 Webinar series will continue through May 5th and covers a broad range of topics to enhance knowledge of assistive technology and how to assess products. Each webinar is 4:00-5:30pm EDT and presented by national leaders in their field. The next session on cognitive support technology will be March 31st. To register, go to: http://www.atia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3628.  Also ATIA has issued a combined call for presentations for its October 2010 event in Chicago and its January 2011 event in Orlando. May 19th is the deadline to submit for one or both: https://www.goeshow.com/atia/abstract/2010/abstract_submission.cfm

21st Annual APSE National Conference June 8-10th:
APSE, originally known as the Association for Persons in Supported Employment, is hosting its annual conference, themed "Employment First: Not Just a Slogan", June 8-10th in Atlanta, Georgia.  Early registration deadline is April 15th. For conference and registration details, go to: http://www.apse.org/training/lead.cfm


Special Spotlight:  Census 2010!

Held every 10 years, the census is a nationwide head count of every person residing in the United States. The census influences the distribution of billions of federal dollars each year for programs in education, health care, economic development, and more. In 2007, it helped to guide the distribution of roughly $15 billion in services geared specifically toward people with disabilities. Additionally, census data is used to distribute funds for housing for people with disabilities, job training programs for veterans, public transportation and mass transit services for people with disabilities, special education, and much more. Beyond that, the census also affects the political power of people with disabilities by influencing their voting access.  Therefore it's more important than ever that Americans with disabilities are counted in the 2010 census!

According to the National Council on Disability, nearly one-third of households in America have at least one member with a disability. During the last two censuses, the Census Bureau missed counting millions of people, mostly minorities and low-income people. Undercounting certain populations may reduce federal funding for hospitals, education, and child care. People with disabilities have a lot at stake in the census as individuals with disabilities are significantly more likely to live in poverty than the rest of the population and many rely on programs whose funding is directly or indirectly allocated based on census data.

Organizations that serve and advocate for people with disabilities can make a big difference by helping their clients and constituents understand the importance of the census and by helping individuals who have questions or need assistance completing the census form. Census forms will be distributed to households in mid-March. Forms are available in Braille. Help on filling out the forms is available through a toll-free telephone assistance line (1-866-872-6868) and TDD (1-866-783-2010).  For more information, go to:  http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/03/the-census-and-the-disability-community---we-count.html

 

See you in a few weeks!