Newsletter: September 28, 2010

Northeast ADA Center Sept. 28, 2010 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

New Jersey Seeks to Dismiss Lawsuit Regarding Disability Discrimination:
New Jersey is contesting that it does not have the financial resources to move 1,850 people with developmental disabilities out of institutions in the next five years. Therefore the lawsuit demanding that they move these people should be dismissed, according to the state's attorney. However an attorney from the Department of Justice's Civil Rights division argues that "It's $70,000 cheaper to serve a person in the community...the state would save money". Read more at: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/nj_appeals_for_dismissal_of_la.html

NYSCQCAPD "This May Happen in Your Community" Education Series:
The New York State Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities has created a new educational series entitled "This May Happen in Your Community" to educate the public about physical accessibility and disability rights issues that the Commission often receives questions or complaints about, such as accessible parking, polling sites, and service and/or emotional support dogs. Access the information at: http://cqc.ny.gov/advocacy/training-and-technical-assistance/may-happen-your-community.

Workshop Series in Plattsburgh, New York:
The North Country Center for Independence is providing a series of ADA related workshops at the Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce in Plattsburgh, NY. The next one, "Disability Awareness and Understanding the ADA", will be October 19th from 10:00am-12:00pm and is free of charge.  To register, contact Norman L. Karp, ADA Trainer, at (518) 891-2108 or Norman@ncci-online.com.


What's New in the Rest of the Country:

New ADA Regulations Published!
On September 15th the Department of Justice's revised ADA regulations were published in the Federal Register. These regulations involve Title II and Title III of the ADA. The final rules take effect on March 15, 2011. Links to the HTML and PDF versions of these regulations and fact sheets are available at: http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/ADAregs2010.htm

EEOC Files Trio of New Cases under ADAAA:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has recently filed three new disability discrimination cases, with charges based on the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). The cases allege discrimination in the workplace against qualified individuals with diabetes, cancer, and severe arthritis. Read more about the background of each case at: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/9-9-10a.cfm

President Obama Appoints New Members to the U.S. Access Board:
Karen L. Braitmayer, a registered architect and principal with an architectural consulting firm that focuses on accessibility and accessible design, and Howard A. Rosenblum, a senior attorney at Equip for Equality, a nonprofit organization responsible for implementing the Protection and Advocacy System in Illinois, have both been appointed as members of the U.S. Access Board. This Board is an independent Federal agency that provides leadership in accessible design under the ADA and other laws.

HHS Anuncia un Nuevo Sitio de Internet en Español:
El Departamento Federal de Servicios Humanos y Salud (HHS por sus siglas en inglés) ha anunciado un nuevo sitio en Internet: CuidadodeSalud.gov, el primer sitio en línea de su tipo en español, para ayudar a los consumidores a tomar el control del cuidado de su salud, conectándolos con información nueva y recursos para ayudarlos a acceder a una cobertura de cuidado de salud asequible y de calidad. CuidadodeSalud.gov es un sitio asociado de HealthCare.gov, y tiene información específica para personas con discapacidad en la sección de: PersonasconIncapacidad

HHS Website Now in Spanish:
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has announced a new website, CuidadodeSalud.gov, the first website of its kind in Spanish, to help consumers take control of their health care by connecting them to information and resources to access quality, affordable health care coverage. Information specifically for people with disabilities can be found in the Personas con Incapacidad section of the site.

Manpower Recognized by USBLN for Diversity Efforts:
The U.S. Business Leadership Network has selected Manpower, Inc. as the recipient of the 2010 Lead Employer of the Year award, recognizing both the company's reputation in diversity leadership and "commitment to disability leadership in the communities they serve". The USBLN supports best practices in the employment and advancement of people with disabilities. Read more at: http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2010/09/20/daily61.html.

ODEP Renews Alliance with USBLN:
Before an audience of more than 400 private and government employers, disability-owned businesses, and representatives of U.S. Business Leadership Network's (USBLN) local and state affiliates, Kathleen Martinez, assistant secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy signed a new two-year alliance agreement with John Kemp, executive director of the USBLN in Chicago. To read more about the Alliance, go to: http://www.dol.gov/odep/index.htm.

Five State Benefits' Websites Inaccessible to People with Disabilities:
The National Center for Law and Economic Justice has recently released a report, "The Closed Digital Door: State Public Benefits Agencies' Failure to Make Websites Accessible to People with Disabilities and Usable for Everyone", that found five states, including New York, that have agency websites that are not accessible to persons with disabilities using assistive technology. To read more and to access the full report, go to: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/09/the-closed-digital-door-state-benefits-websites-inaccessible-to-pwd.html

AirTran Fined for Violating Rules Protecting Air Travelers with Disabilities:
The U.S. Department of Transportation has assessed a $500,000 civil penalty on AirTran Airways for its violation of the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 by refusing to provide boarding assistance to persons with mobility disabilities and not providing adequate responses to complaints from passengers. To read more about how the money may be allocated and to access the consent order, go to: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/09/dot-fines-airtran-airways-for-violating-rights-of-travelers-with-disabilities.html

House Approves Bill Removing 'Mental Retardation' from Law:
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill last week to replace 'mental retardation' with "intellectual disability" in many areas of federal law including health, education, and labor policy. The legislation now goes to President Obama for approval. White House officials say he intends to sign it. Read more at: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2010/09/23/house-approves-rosas-law/10346/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=September+24%2C+2010%3A+News+from+DS&utm_source=YMLP&utm_term

Social Security Proposes Shift Away From 'Mental Retardation':
Similar to other governmental agencies nationwide, the Social Security Administration has proposed to start replacing the term "Mental Retardation" with "Intellectual Disability" through a notice posted last month. Read more here: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2010/09/07/social-security-r-word/10084/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=September+7%2C+2010%3A+News+from+Disability+Scoop&utm_source=YMLP&utm_term

National Council on Disability (NCD) September Newsletter:
This edition of the NCD newsletter summarizes the National Disability Policy Summit held in July: http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/bulletins/2010/n0910.htm

 

Opportunities for You!

Early Bird Rate Ends Thursday for Employment and Disability Conference:
The 29th Annual Perspectives on Employment of Persons with Disabilities Conference is December 8-10th in Bethesda, Maryland. This offers the opportunity to learn from and network with federal colleagues and hear from key officials and experts knowledgeable in disability employment issues in the federal sector. Registration is $450 until September 30th then increases to $475. Learn more at: http://www.dol.gov/odep/index.htm

Free Webinar Series on the ADA and Transportation Begins October 12th:
The ADA National Network has announced a free 7 session webinar series covering the recently released "Topic Guides on ADA Transportation". The Topic Guides, funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and developed by the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund and TranSystems Corporation, is a compilation of ADA, Department of Transportation, and FTA regulations and best operational practices for ADA compliance. The Topic Guides is available at: http://www.dredf.org/ADAtg/index.shtml. The series sessions will be held on the second Tuesday of each month from October through April from 2:00-3:30pm EST and each session will cover a different topic in the Guides. To register go to: www.adaconferences.org.  

Upcoming U.S. Access Board Webinars:
The U.S. Access Board has several upcoming webinars which will be offered free of charge. Topics will be: 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.

AAPD Leadership Award Applications due October 1st:
The American Association of People with Disabilities has launched their national search for emerging leaders with disabilities who exemplify leadership, advocacy, and dedication to and for the broader disability community to receive the 2011 Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards. Two individuals will each receive $10,000 to help them continue their progress and further connect their work with the national outreach of AAPD, as well as star in a short documentary film about their work and have an opportunity to attend the AAPD Leadership Gala in Washington, D.C. in March.  Applications are due October 1st.  To access more information and the application, go to: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/08/apply-now-aapd-is-now-accepting-hearne-leadership-award-applications.html

 

Special Spotlight:  Disability and Employment:

We are continuing our focus on disability in the employment setting given that October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  The percentage of Americans with disabilities in the workforce continues to be extremely low compared to Americans without disabilities. However there are businesses, employers, and government entities that recognize that employing quality people is imperative for business survival and success, and that making workplaces attractive, and accommodating, to people with disabilities- the largest minority in our country- can help ensure success in the workplace for all.  Below are several articles and resources on this topic:

ODEP's National Disability Employment Awareness Month poster reflecting this year's theme, Talent has no boundaries, is now available. Posters can be downloaded in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French, Navajo, and Lakota or you can order free hard copy versions in English and Spanish: http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/ndeam2010poster.htm

ODEP has added three new Briefs to their publications library on the earned income tax credit, integrating technology and training to promote soft skills mastery, and teaching soft skills through workplace simulations: http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/publicat.htm#odepbriefs

La "Campaña de Empleo para Personas con Discapacidad" lanzó un sitio micro de Internet en español y el Anuncio de Servicio Público (ASP) "Yo Puedo".  Visite: www.ustedquepuedehacer.org, para obtener recursos en español relacionados con empleo para personas con discapacidad y ver el ASP "Yo Puedo" en español. 

Advancing Disability Employment: A Labor Day Call-to-Action from Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez:  http://social.dol.gov/blog/advancing-disability-employment-%E2%80%93-a-labor-day-call-to-action/

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis comments on data about labor force participation for persons with disabilities: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/odep/ODEP20101204.htm

AAPD comments Secretary Solis for the focus on disability employment: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/08/press-release-aapd-commends-secretary-of-labor-for-focusing-attention-on-disability-employment-issue.html

Washington Post article on new statistics regarding workers with disabilities: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2010/08/new_statistics_on_disabled_wor.html

Wall Street Journal article about people with disabilities facing higher jobless rate: http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052748704540904575451751896763276-lMyQjAxMTAwMDIwNjEyNDYyWj.html

  

See you in a few weeks!