Newsletter: August 25, 2010

Northeast ADA Center August 25, 2010 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

We Need 52 More Signatures for 2010 by 2010 Campaign!
The National ADA Network is sponsoring a 2010 by 2010 campaign. We are asking people to sign a proclamation to promote accessibility for people with disabilities.  The Northeast Region needs just 52 more signatures to reach our goal!  We would like to encourage you to sign up and get leaders in your community, such as Universities, agencies, advocates, and government entities to sign.  For more details and to sign on, go to: http://www.2010anniversary.org/

Free Webinar on the Intersection of NYS Law and the ADA Sept. 23rd:
The Northeast ADA Center's next webinar, "Intersections & Crossroads: New York State (NYS) Human Rights Law and the ADA", will be September 23rd from 1:00-2:30pm EDT. Facilitated by John Herrion, Director of Disability Rights at the NYS Division of Human Rights and LaWanda Cook, Northeast ADA Center, this webinar will review and compare how disability is addressed under these two laws across several areas of life, including employment and housing. To register, go to:   http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/dbtac-NextSteps-Sept2010.cfm

New Jersey (NJ) Beach Becomes Accessible:
After several years, wheelchair-accessible improvements are completed at NJ's Trenton Avenue Beach, and nearly completed at the Grant Street Beach. Of the $1 million in costs, about $700,000 is coming from a state Department of Community Affairs grant. Improvements include wooden walkways to the water, decks with fixed seating, and showers with nozzles at different heights. Read more at: http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/communities/lower_capemay/article_1c7ddd18-a99a-11df-9b93-001cc4c002e0.html

EEOC Sues NJ Princeton Healthcare System for Disability Discrimination:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has charged the New Jersey Princeton HealthCare System, which operates a hospital and provides other health care services, with violating the ADA by failing to reasonably accommodate the needs of its employees who needed medical leave, and then firing them because of their disabilities. The EEOC attests that Princeton's leave policies do not provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with a disability. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. Read more at:  http://eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/8-11-10.cfm

Lawsuit Filed Regarding Inaccessible Polling Sites in New York City (NYC):
The United Spinal Association and Disabled in Action have filed a lawsuit alleging that the Board of Elections in NYC discriminates against registered voters with disabilities by failing to ensure polling places are accessible, a violation of Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  To read the press release, go to: http://www.dralegal.org/downloads/cases/NY-Poll/NEWS_RELEASE.doc

 

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

DOL Announces $22 million in Grant Funds for Disability Employment:
The Department of Labor announced a solicitation for grant applications for approximately $22 million to fund programs that will improve educational, training, and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Funds will be awarded to state workforce agencies, which will collaborate with workforce investment boards and local areas. To read the press release and access the grant application, go to: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/eta20101096.htm

Toolkit Allows for Testing Buildings for ADA compliance:
Denis Anson, director of research for the Assistive Technology Research Institute at Misericordia University in Pennsylvania has developed a "tool kit" for non-experts to measure whether public facilities are in compliance with the ADA. The ADA-Compliance Assessment Toolkit comes in two parts: a physical kit with assessment instruments and a website which defines the features of an accessible usable environment and provides "just in time" instruction on how to use the tools. Read more at: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-07/djc-taa071910.php 

U.S. Senate Passes 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act:
On August 5th, the Senate unanimously voted for passage of the "Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010" (S. 3304). S. 3304 will require captioned television programs to be captioned when delivered over the Internet, up to $10 million per year allocated for communications equipment used by individuals who are deaf-blind and it will require an accessible connection to Internet services that are built-in to mobile telephone devices, such as smart phones. Read more at: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/08/victory-senate-unanimously-passes-technology-access-bill-.html 

College Web Pages Are 'Widely Inaccessible' to People with Disabilities:
A recent study backed by the National Science Foundation, "Web Accessibility: A Longitudinal Study of College and University Home Pages in the Northwestern U.S.", found that accessibility remains "strikingly low". While more college Web sites are including basic accessibility features, like adding alternative text to images so a student who is blind can use their screen reader, some of those gains have been offset by emerging technologies that are inaccessible. For example, a person who can not maneuver a mouse will often be stymied by a Web site that requires users to hover their mouse over a page element to trigger a sub-menu. The study found a "significant decrease" in accessibility for keyboard users who need to access features without a mouse. In 2005, 78 percent of pages were fully keyboard-accessible but in 2009 that number dropped to 65 percent. This report comes at a time when federal authorities are paying more attention to colleges' use of inaccessible technology. Read more at: http://chronicle.com/blogPost/College-Web-Pages-Widely/26188/ 

Transportation to Work Toolkit Now Available:
The Community Transportation Association of America and the Federal Transit Administration, with funding from the DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy, have created a new Transportation to Work Toolkit for employers. It provides information for company executives and human resource professionals on how to assist employees in achieving a timely, cost-efficient commute that promotes productivity and job satisfaction. Resources include information on tax incentives, transportation strategies, and accessible transportation. To learn more visit: http://web1.ctaa.org/webmodules/webarticles/anmviewer.asp?a=1916&z=75

Web based Training for Employers about Veterans with TBI and PTSD:
America's Heroes at Work, a Department of Labor program that "addresses the employment challenges of returning Service Members and Veterans living with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)," has introduced a new, interactive web-based training resource, "TBI, PTSD and Employment". The tool provides human resource professionals with basic clinical information and scenario-based learning to increase employers' understanding of PTSD and TBI and provide strategies for accommodating returning service members. To learn more, visit: http://www.americasheroesatwork.gov/ 

SSA's Ticket to Work Program Supports Disability Employment:
The Social Security Administration's (SSA) Ticket to Work Program offers supports to Americans with disabilities who want to work by funding the providers that help the job seekers find employment. This program is for both working age individuals with disabilities who are receiving SSI or SSDI and would like to work as well as professionals and agencies committed to helping people with disabilities explore employment without losing their SSA benefits. To learn more about this program, register for related events, or watch an online seminar about Ticket to Work, go to: www.choosework.net

Summary Report for ODEP's "A New Day: We're Listening Sessions":
In January the Office of Disability Employment Policy initiated a series of six Listening Sessions to collect information and opinions about best practices and key issues to be addressed by Federal workforce systems regarding employment issues related to people with disabilities. A summary report of the key issues raised and recommendations provided by stakeholders during these sessions has now been released. To access the report and to view listening session webcasts, go to:  http://www.dol.gov/odep/disabilitylistening.htm 

New ADA Transportation Guides Now Available:
The Topic Guides on ADA Transportation is a series that brings together ADA requirements and the Department of Transportation's ADA regulations, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) determinations, and operational practices. Funded by the FTA and developed by the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund and TranSystems Corporation, the series covers equipment maintenance, paratransit, stop announcement and route identification. Access the series of topic guides at: http://dredf.org/ADAtg/index.shtml

Senate Passes Bill to Remove 'Mental Retardation' From Law:
Senators unanimously approved legislation to replace the term "mental retardation" with "intellectual disability" in some areas of federal government. Under the measure, individuals with disabilities would retain the same rights they currently have, but the terminology would be swapped as laws and documents come up for revision over the next several years. The measure is not expected to incur any cost. Read more at: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2010/08/10/rosas-law-clears-senate/9703/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=August+10%2C+2010%3A&utm_source=YMLP&utm_term

Accessible Air Travel Information from United Spinal:
The United Spinal Association released a new document about accessible air travel for people who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids.  It includes information about the Air Carrier Access Act, tips for transferring and lifting a passenger, security screening and procedures for filing complaints. Access the document at:  http://www.disability.gov/transportation/accessible_transportation/air

Latest Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Electronic News:
This issue of JAN's quarterly online newsletter covers topics in the workplace such as dealing with hygiene problems, conduct issues, confidentiality and travel accommodations for hidden disabilities, and voice disorders. Read the e-news at: http://askjan.org/ENews/2010/Enews-V8-I3.htm 

Department of Justice (DOJ) Latest Disability Rights Online:
The DOJ's Civil Rights Division's bi-monthly online news updates readers on the Division's activities in the area of disability rights. This issue covers topics such as Olmstead Decision activity, service animals in housing, and new Project Civic Access settlements.  Access the news at: http://www.ada.gov/disabilitynews.htm

Latest Issue of "Access Currents":
The latest issue of the U.S. Access Board's electronic news, Access Currents, is now available and includes information on the updated DOJ regulations, proposed updates to the ADA guidelines for buses and vans, improving section 508 compliance, and rulemaking on classroom acoustics. Read all the news at: http://www.access-board.gov/news/Access%20Currents/July-Aug10.htm

Opportunities for You!

Free Webinar on the Updated ADA Regulations and Standards Sept. 2nd:
The U.S. Access Board and Department of Justice (DOJ) will conduct a free webinar on September 2, 1:30 to 4:00 (EDT) on the updated ADA regulations and accessibility standards.  DOJ representatives will highlight what is new in the revised title II and title III regulations, including requirements for existing facilities.  Access Board staff will review major changes in the new ADA standards which are based on accessibility guidelines established by the Board.  A significant portion of the program will be reserved for an open question and answer session with the presenters.  To register, go to: www.accessibilityonline.org.  Upcoming Access Board webinars will cover accessible routes (October 7), airport terminals (November 4), and play areas (December 2).  Further information is posted on the Access Board's website at www.access-board.gov/webinars.htm.

Free Webinar on How to Develop Your Talent Pipeline August 26th:
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) will host a free webinar August 26th from 1:30-3:00pm EDT on how to integrate students with disabilities into mentorship and internship programs, connect to local and national resources, and find out about tools a business can use. To register, go to: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/EarnWorks_Webinar_8-26-2010.cfm

Southwest Conference on Disability- Early Bird Registration Ends Sept. 6th:
The 2010 Southwest Conference on Disability will be October 6-8 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Early Bird registration rate is $190 for the entire conference and ends September 6th. For more information on conference events, the daily schedule, and how to register, go to: http://cdd.unm.edu/swconf/index.asp

 

Special Spotlight: Next Steps Programs and Webinars:

The Northeast ADA Center has a new collection of training programs to offer, several of which are being delivered via Webinar as well!  Our "Next Steps" programs are designed to delve deeper into specific disability and ADA related issues. You can view our entire Next Steps catalog, which features over 20 new programs, and request one of these trainings, by visiting our website at: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/dbtacnortheast/t-next-step.cfm

We are also offering monthly Webinars on some of these Next Step programs, free of charge. The complete list of remaining 2010 webinars, as well as registration information, can be found at: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/dbtacnortheast/t-other.cfm.  We hope you will take advantage of these unique training opportunities!

 

See you in a few weeks!