Newsletter: May 27, 2010

May 27, 2010 Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

Settlement Agreement between Princeton University and Student with Disability:
A settlement has been reached between Princeton University in New Jersey and a student with learning disabilities who alleged she wasn't given enough time to take exams. The agreement grants the student double time on exams as a temporary accommodation while the school reviews its disability services and recommends best practices in serving students with disabilities in the future. For more, go to: http://www.centraljersey.com/articles/2010/05/17/topstory/doc4bf1c09f90e36652218379.txt

NYS Assembly Passes Legislation Honoring Disability Awareness Day:
The New York State (NYS) Assembly passed a comprehensive package of legislation that would provide greater protection and accessibility under NYS law. The measures were taken up in honor of Legislative Disabilties Awareness Day. The eighteen-bill package includes measures to bring NYS law into congruence with the ADA, make polling places more accessible, improve accessibility of gas stations and automated teller machines, and institute anti-discrimination measures.

New Task Force on Health Care Professions for Deaf and Hard of Hearing:
Last week, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-Fairport, NY), a long-time supporter of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, announced the formation of a Task Force to increase job opportunities in the health care field for people with this disability. This task force is made up of individuals from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, the National Center on Deaf Health Research, and Rochester General Health Systems, all based in Rochester, NY., and Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., who will develop educational programs and  opportunities for people with hearing disabilities to enter health care professions. They will begin their work this summer and complete their charge within 18 months, resulting in recommendations in education, access, and social policy.

New Handicap Meter Parking Penalty Waiver for non-NYC Residents:
In 2007 a law permitting handicap meter parking penalty waivers was passed in New York State, except for use within New York City (NYC). Now people with disabilities living outside NYC who are issued a new Meter Permit Waiver by New York State may use them within NYC as well. Note that NYC does not issue the waivers. Questions can be directed to the NYS Department of Transportation.

New York City (NYC) Moves to Integrate Students with Disabilities Better:
NYC's public school system has announced it intends to include more students with disabilties in neighborhood schools instead of segregating them in certain schools with special education programs. They will begin this year with over 250 schools and hope that by 2011, all 1,500 schools will enroll "all but the most severely disabled students". Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/29/education/29schools.html?hpw

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced!
The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has unveiled the theme for October's National Disability Employment Awareness Month: "Talent Has No Boundaries: Workforce Diversity INCLUDES Workers With Disabilities". This theme, which exemplifies Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis' commitment to "good jobs for everyone", serves to inform the public that people with disabilities represent a diverse and vibrant talent pool for employment.  Read more at: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/odep/ODEP20100630.htm

Guidance on Accessible Medical Care for People with Mobility Disabilities:
The Department of Justice has created a new technical assistance publication, Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities, which provides guidance to medical professionals on the ADA's requirement to provide accessible health care to individuals with these disabilities. The 19-page publication includes an overview of ADA requirements, commonly asked questions, and illustrative examples of accessible facilities, medical equipment, and exam rooms. Access the guide at: http://www.ada.gov/medcare_ta.htm

Top Military Leader Visits the Job Accommodation Network (JAN):
Top U.S. Military leader Admiral Michael G. Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited JAN recently as part of his tour to promote successful reintegration of returning veterans into communities across the country. To read about the visit, go to: http://www.dol.gov/odep/programs/job.htm

New Captioning Organization for Sports and Entertainment Venues:
"Coast 2 Coast Captioning", co-founded by highly seasoned captioners in the industry, will now provide Communication Access Realtime Technology (CART) and captioning services to sports and entertainment stadiums, arenas, conference centers, and other public venues, nationwide. Coast 2 Coast works closely with organizations to adhere to the ADA's guidelines for making public places accessible to people with hearing disabilities. To read more, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/coast-2-coast-captioning-launches-to-offer-captioning--for-deaf-and-hard-of-hearing-at-sports-and-entertainment-venues-94097439.html

AAPD 2010 Disability Mentoring Day will be October 20th
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) announced that the 2010 Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) will be held nationally October 20th. Each year, DMD connects nearly 20,000 students and job seekers with disabilities to thousands of employers in over 300 locations in the U.S. and 23 foreign countries. AAPD says DMD is an opportunity for employers to "recruit interns; tap a pool of potential future employees; learn more about the experience of disability; develop lasting relationships with disability community leaders; demonstrate positive leadership in their communities; and attract positive media attention." For more information on how to participate, go to: http://www.disabilitymentor.net/.

WAMC Radio Stories on Students with Disabilities in Science Fields:
WAMC Northeast Public Radio is a non-commercial, public supported radio network on the northeast coast. It is currently producing a radio series, "Access to Advancement", funded by the National Science Foundation Research in Disabilities Education program, to shed light on the opportunities for, and achievements of, women with disabilities in science fields. Eight stories are now available for listening online at: www.womeninscience.org.

People with Disabilities Offer Market Opportunity to Travel Industry:
Despite fewer, crowded flights and more delays, the disabled travel market is growing. A Harris poll estimated that people with disabilities spent $13.6 billion on 31 million trips last year. This total could grow, providing travel agents with a marketing opportunity since travelers with disabilities remain an important segment of the travel market. Online resources, and organizations such as the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH), are abundant now, arming agents and travelers with disabilities with needed services. Jani Nayar, executive coordinator of SATH, states, "Disabled travelers don't need charity, they need service. And the travel industry needs to know that providing these services is good business". Read more at: http://www.travelagentcentral.com/home-based/traveling-handicapped-people/disabled-travel-market-offers-opportunity-21149

 

Opportunities for You!

Save the Date- Free Trainer Network Program in Ithaca, NY. August 10th-11th:
The DBTAC Northeast ADA Center is hosting a free two-day Train the Trainer program August 10-11th at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. This program is designed to certify participants as trainers in our ADA Trainer Network. Be watching future News Bulletins and at our website www.northeastada.org for details about registration, which should become active in June.

FREE Person-Centered Planning Webinar June 17th:
The DBTAC-Northeast will offer it's next webinar, "Working With, Not On: Person-Centered Planning and Practice", on June 17th from 1:00-2:30pm EST, presented by Carol Blessing, LMSW, Extension Faculty with Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute. Person-centered planning is a process-oriented approach to empower people with disabilities to identify focus and direction for their life by focusing on their strengths and capacities. This program is designed to equip participants with an understanding of the vital role that person-centered planning plays in supporting people with disabilities to become fully contributing members within all aspects of life. A variety of easy-to-use tools for engaging people in person-centered thinking and planning will be introduced along with an orientation to a planning process. CRC credits can be offered. To register, go to: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/dbtac-NextSteps-webinars.cfm

NYS Agency Seeks to Establish Technology-Related Assistance Regional Offices: 
Through the Request for Proposals (RFP) process, the Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities is seeking to establish 12 statewide regional offices to provide services under the federally and state funded Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRAID) Program. TRAID's mission is to increase access to assistive technology (AT) devices and services for persons with disabilities. Each contractor will be responsible for operating both a regional center that will provide AT related services to consumers, family members, service providers, and educators, and an equipment loan program for children. RFP's are due June 4th. For more details, call 1.800.624.4143 or go to: http://www.cqcapd.state.ny.us/time_limited/Contract%20Availability%202010.htm

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 and professionals to share the latest in treatment strategies, adaptive equipment, lifestyle-enhancing information, and therapeutic breakthroughs. Register at: http://www.independenceexpo.org/

USBLN Annual Conference & Expo September 19-22 in Chicago, Illinois: 
The U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) will host its 13th Annual Conference & Expo September 19-22 in Chicago, Illinois. Entitled, "Aligning Disability with the Bottom Line: Talent, Market Share, and Supplier Diversity" it is the preeminent national employer-to-employer event that taps the vast economic potential of people with disabilities to enhance business productivity and profitability. This conference brings corporate, government, disability-owned businesses and BLN affiliates together to create workplaces, marketplaces, and supply chains where people with disabilities are fully included as professionals, customers and entrepreneurs. Early bird rate and registration deadline is July 15th. For more information or to register, go to:  www.usblnannualconference.org.

 

Special Spotlight:  How is Our Region Celebrating the ADA Anniversary?

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we, the Northeast ADA Center want to help you advertise and promote how you are celebrating.  You are welcome to send your event details to us at dbtacnortheast@cornell.edu for inclusion in future News Bulletins. Please provide as much information as possible regarding your activities.  

The Northeast ADA Center is holding a day-long event in Trenton, New Jersey on July 20th and Ithaca, New York on August 12th to commemorate the anniversary. Events will be held in Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands at a later date. The theme for our event is "Celebrate, Contemplate, and Collaborate!".  We hope to bring together individuals, businesses, employers, and service providers who are committed to disability inclusiveness to celebrate how far we have come in 20 years, contemplate where we need to go in the next 20 years, and collaborate with one another to achieve those goals!  Registration will be available on our website shortly for these events at www.northeastada.org.  Be watching!

 

See you in a few weeks!