Newsletter: April 28, 2010

Northeast ADA April 28, 2010 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

New Jersey's Princeton University Enters Settlement Agreement with DOJ:
Princeton University and the Department of Justice have entered into a settlement agreement resulting from complaints alleging that the University violated the ADA Title III and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by using an electronic book reader that was not accessible to students with visual impairments, in a classroom setting. Princeton has agreed not to use inaccessible electronic book readers anymore. Read the Letter of Resolution at: http://www.ada.gov/princeton.htm

New York City Able-Ride Service Cuts Delayed Thanks to Disability Advocates:
A U.S. District Court Judge issued a temporary restraining order on April 9th to prevent the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) from terminating their Able-Ride service, a shared ride service for people with disabilities. In March, the MTA announced that it would be limiting its Able-Ride services to save money, which sparked several disability advocacy groups to file a lawsuit against MTA. Read more at: http://www.antonnews.com/threevillagetimes/news/7346-mtas-able-ride-cuts-delayed-after-disabilities-advocates-file-lawsuit.html

 

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

Disability Advocate, Chai Feldblum, Sworn in as EEOC Commissioner:
On April 7th, Chai Feldblum was sworn in as a Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Feldblum has worked with the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and the Epilepsy Foundation, as well as played a leading role in drafting and passing both the ADA and the ADA Amendments Act.  To read more, go to: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/04/disability-advocate-chai-feldblum-sworn-in-at-eeoc.html

$40 Million in Housing Vouchers Available to People with Disabilities:
As part of President Obama's "Year of Community Living" initiative, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) collaborated to provide housing support for non-elderly persons with disabilities to live independently in their communities rather than in institutional settings. HUD is offering approximately $40 million to public housing authorities across the country to fund over 5,000 Housing Choice Vouchers for non-elderly persons with disabilities. HHS will use its network of state Medicaid agencies and human service organizations to link eligible individuals to local housing agencies who will administer voucher distribution. Read more at: http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100407006655&newsLang=en

Assistant Attorney General Perez Says DOJ Committed to ADA Enforcement:
Thomas Perez spoke recently at a Disability Law Symposium about the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division's dedication towards various groups that are affected by the Civil Rights movement, including people with disabilities. He touched specifically on the need to keep technology accessible to people with disabilities. Read more here: http://www.mainjustice.com/2010/04/15/perez-says-doj-is-committed-to-ada-enforcement/

Department of Justice (DOJ) Pushes for Internet Accessibility:
Samuel R. Bagenstos, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, told a House Judiciary panel his Division will continue to push for internet accessibility for people with disabilities. He said that the Division has worked to "ensure that websites for state and local governments and public accommodations comply with the ADA and are accessible by assistive technologies". Read Bagenstos' full remarks at: http://www.mainjustice.com/2010/04/22/civil-rights-division-pushes-for-internet-accessibility/

Disability Employment Listening Sessions Now Archived:
Earlier this year, the Office of Disability Employment Policy Assistant Secretary Martinez and federal partners held a series of listening sessions throughout the country that focused on disability employment issues. The reports and webcasts for each session are now available at: http://www.dol.gov/odep/disabilitylistening.htm

Healthcare Legislation Offers Mixed Bag for People with Disabilities:
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 have been landmark legislation, with huge effects on people with disabilities. Unfortunately, there are still 1.7 million people waiting for Social Security Disability Insurance who need continuous access to affordable healthcare coverage. Read more about how this law affects them and others with disabilities at: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/04/healthcare-legislation-offers-mixed-bag-for-people-with-disabilities.html

Latest "Access Currents" from U.S. Access Board:
The March/April edition of the Access Board's online newsletter, Access Currents, is now available. This edition features information on the Board setting standards for medical equipment; the FCC's plan to address and improve accessibility; and the U.S. Postal Service improving access to post offices around the country. Read more at:  http://www.access-board.gov/news/Access%20Currents/Mar-Apr10.htm

New Study Exposes Violent Crime Victimization of People with Disabilities:
The Department of Justice has released a national study that reveals people with cognitive disabilities have a higher rate of being a victims of a violent crime than people without disabilities: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/04/new-study-exposes-violent-crime-victimization-of-pwd.html

U.S. Access Board Issues Draft Rule for Section 508 & Seeks Public Comments:
The Access Board has issued the draft rule for Section 508, "Draft Information & Communication Technology Standards and Guidelines" referred to as the ICT rules. This is about updating standards for electronic and information technology and telecommunications accessibility guidelines for governmental purchases. This would also affect accessibility guidelines for self-serve machines used for ticketing, ordering food in restaurants, boarding passes, and other things. The Board seeks public comments on these draft standards by June 12th. After the Board reviews comments, it will issue a proposed rule followed by a final rule. To access the draft standards, go to: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/04/for-jfa-access-board-seeks-feedback-on-draft-technology-access-guidelines.html

Latest Issue of Disability Rights Online News from Department of Justice (DOJ):
Disability Rights Online News is a bi-monthly update about the DOJ Civil Rights Division's activities in the area of disability rights. This issue includes, among other things, information about a lawsuit involving a RV resort that discriminated against a family with a HIV positive child; universities that agreed to only use accessible electronic book readers; retrofitting housing complexes to be accessible; and a settlement agreement with a California sheriff's office regarding effective communication. Read all of the news at:  http://www.ada.gov/newsltr0310.pdf

 

Opportunities for You!

DBTAC Northeast Disability IS Diversity Webinar May 21st:
The Northeast ADA Center presents its fifth Next Steps webinar, "Disability IS Diversity:  Including America's Largest Diversity Population in Diversity Planning and Practice" on May 21st from 1:00-2:30pm EDT, presented by Hannah Rudstam, Ph.D., Senior Extenstion Faculty with the DBTAC Northeast. This webinar will discuss strategies for including people with disabilities in workplace diversity initiatives. Register online at www.northeastada.org.  CRC credits are available and call in information will be distributed via email the day before the event.

Update on Project Civic Access Webinar with Department of Justice May 6th:
The Southwest ADA Center with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Disability Rights Section, will present "An Update on Project Civic Access" webinar Thursday May 6th at 3:00pm EST. They will review enforcement activities undertaken by Project Civic Access, a DOJ effort to ensure that counties, cities, towns, and villages, comply with the ADA by eliminating physical and communication barriers. Recent settlement agreements and best practices for state and local government will also be discussed. To access the webcast, go to: http://ilru.org/html/training/webcasts/calendar.html

Forum on Federal Contractors and Disability Affirmative Action May 19th:
On May 19th from 10:00am-12:00pm EST, speakers from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Office of Disability Employment Policy, and Powers, Pyles, Sutter, & Verville, PC, with facilitation by Cornell University's Employment & Disability Institute, will offer a Policy Forum, "New Directions for Federal Contractors and Disability Affirmative Action" at the Cornell University Government Affairs Office in Washington, DC. This can be accessed live or via webinar. To register, go to: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/policyforum.cfm.

Summer Workshops for Adults who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing:
The Rochester Institute of Technology National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) will be offering a series of summer workshops, the Deaf Initiative in Technology (DiiT), to provide a variety of technical and business-based training workshops in sign language to adults who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. All workshops are held at RIT/NTID in Rochester, New York. Register by June 1st to receive a discount: http://www.rit.edu/ntid/ics/diit/

Project ACTION seeks Training and Technical Assistance Specialist:
One of the United We Ride national Technical Assistance Centers, Washington, DC-based Easter Seals Project ACTION (ESPA), has a position open for a Training and Technical Assistance Specialist. This person will coordinate project-related research, develop and deliver training, and collaborate with organizations to publicize ESPA services, training, and products. To learn how to apply, go to: http://projectaction.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=ESPA_job_opportunities.  

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Last Webinar & Conference:
The ATIA 2010 Webinar series will conclude on May 5th with "Creating Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes" from 4:00-5:30pm EDT. 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

United Spinal's 2010 Independence Expo in Long Island, NY June 25-26th:
United Spinal's Independence Expo will be June 25-26th at Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, New York. These Expos bring 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/

 

Special Spotlight:  Countdown to the 20th Anniversary of the ADA!

On July 26th we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This landmark piece of civil rights legislation opened many doors for Americans with disabilities, both literally and figuratively!  The Northeast ADA Center would like to hear from you how the ADA has impacted your life and what you hope to see and experience in the next 20 years of the ADA. Please submit your comments and stories to us at dbtacnortheast@cornell.edu with the email subject being "ADA Anniversary" and we will highlight your stories and thoughts throughout our June and July News Bulletins!  For other news and information on the ADA anniversary, read below:

On April 17th, Disability.gov launched "100 Days to the ADA", a countdown to the 20th anniversary. Read the daily entries on this blog at:  http://blog.govdelivery.com/usodep/2010/04/countdown-100-days-to-the-ada.html

How YOU can join the celebration:  http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/04/countdown-to-the-ada.html

How you can share what your community is doing to mark the anniversary, as well as see what others are doing around the country:  http://www.disability.gov/group/show/14

How the American Association of People with Disabilities is celebrating:  http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/03/join-us-in-celebrating-20-years-of-the-ada.html

 

  

See you in a few weeks!