Newsletter: December 22, 2010

Northeast ADA Center December 21, 2010 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

Happy Holidays from All of Us at the Northeast ADA Center!
We at the Northeast ADA Center wish all of you a joyous and peaceful holiday season and much happiness and good health in the new year!  Our primary office will be closed from December 24th through January 3rd but our Technical Assistance phone line will be staffed during that time except for weekends and Christmas Eve. All non-technical assistance matters will be addressed when we return January 3rd. Thank you and Happy New Year!

¡Felices Fiestas de Parte de Todos Nosotros en el Centro de la ADA del Noreste!
¡Nosotros en el Centro de la ADA del Noreste le deseamos a todos ustedes una temporada navideña llena de alegría y paz, así como mucha suerte y buena salud en el nuevo año!  Nuestra oficina principal estará cerrada desde el 24 de diciembre hasta el 3 de enero, pero nuestra línea telefónica de Asistencia Técnica estará disponible durante ese periodo, excepto los fines de semana y la víspera de Navidad.  Todos los asuntos no relacionados con asistencia técnica, se atenderán cuando regresemos del receso.  ¡Gracias y Feliz Año Nuevo!

Unidad Móvil del Departamento del Trabajo de Puerto Rico para Personas con Discapacidad:
El Departamento del Trabajo de Puerto Rico tiene disponible, como parte del Consejo de Desarrollo Ocupacional, tecnológica para personas con discapacidades para proveer servicios a todo PR. El propósito principal de esta unidad es ofrecer servicios integrados a las personas con discapacidades para que tengan acceso igual a las oportunidades de empleo.  Los equipos de asistencia tecnológica en la unidad facilitan a estas personas el realizar tareas que le ayudan en la búsqueda de trabajo.  La unidad cuenta con Internet, rampa y baños accesibles, así como estaciones de trabajo con terminales de computadoras diseñados específicamente para personas con baja vista. Además, cada terminal tiene instalado programas que permitirán que las personas ciegas escuchen la información que aparece en su pantalla mediante unos sintetizadores de voz y aparatos electrónicos que permiten ampliar documentos. Entre las responsabilidades principales de los "Navegadores" se encuentran: orientar al personal de los Centros de Gestión Única en cómo asistir personas con discapacidades; brindar acceso a programas que impactan la habilidad de esta población para obtener y retener empleo; y desarrollar contactos y colaborar con patronos para facilitar oportunidades de empleo para personas con impedimentos. Para más información puede comunicarse con la Sra. Yadiska Ramos al (787) 479 - 5216.

 

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

Employers Gain Access to Database to Recruit Workers with Disabilities
On December 7th, The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy made available the 2011 Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities database to assist federal and private-sector employers in identifying workers with disabilities. There are more than 2,200 candidates in this year's database who represent all academic backgrounds and are working toward, or recently earned, associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral and law degrees. Students have been interviewed by recruiters from various federal agencies and seek summer, regular or full-time positions. To read more, go to: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/odep/ODEP20101705.htm . To register and search for candidates federal officials can visit http://www.wrp.gov. Private-sector employers can search the program's database through ODEP's National Employer Assistance and Resource Network by making a toll-free telephone call to 866-327-6669 or filling out a request form at http://www.earnworks.com 

Congress Rejects Stimulus Payments for Social Security Recipients:
Congress voted down a bill to provide Social Security recipients a lump sum payment of $250 to compensate for another year without a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). The bill, which was included in President Obama's Stimulus in 2009, would provide $14 billion in relief. It was pointed out that the last COLA in 2009 was the highest in 27 years at 5.8 percent. COLA payments are tied to inflation, which has been low. Read more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/08/AR2010120803069.html

Latest Newsletter from the U.S. Access Board:
The November/December issue of the Access Board's newsletter, Access Currents, is now available. This edition's topics include FEMA's guidance on emergency shelter planning, public input on updated vehicle guidelines, an upcoming Section 508 Listening Session, and the Department of Justice's online editions of the its 2010 ADA Standards and its public hearings on rulemaking initiatives. Read all the articles at:  http://www.access-board.gov/news/Access%20Currents/nov-dec10.htm.

Latest from the Department of Justice (DOJ):
The DOJ has released its latest quarterly status report that covers its selected ADA activities between October-December, 2009: http://www.ada.gov/statrpt.htm.  Also the November 2010 issue of Disability Rights Online, a bi-monthly update about the Civil Rights Division's activities in the area of disability rights, is available and includes articles on campus accessibility, New York City rental property accessibility, an interstate bus company's plans to acquire accessible buses, courthouse accessibility, a new agreement about Hawaiian cruises, activity around the Olmstead decision, and many others:  http://www.ada.gov/disabilitynews.htm.

President Obama Announces Nominee to National Council on Disability:
On December 1st, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Janice Lehrer-Stein to the National Council on Disability.  Janice Lehrer-Stein, who is legally blind, is a former labor and employment discrimination litigator in Washington, DC and San Francisco, California.  She is a National Trustee of the Foundation Fighting Blindness and a member of the Board of Directors of Disability Rights Advocates, a non-profit law firm that seeks to improve access and secure the civil rights of individuals with disabilities.  Read more at:http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2010/12/president-obama-announces-nominee-for-national-council-on-disability.html 

Aging and Disability Resource Centers Guide Consumers:
Since 2003, the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have given grants to states to develop Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs). The ADRC program's purpose is to help people of all ages, disabilities, and income levels more easily access long-term services and supports through single points of entry, make more efficient use of care options, and maximize the services available. As of October, 325 ADRC sites are in operation in 45 states and territories. For more information on the ADRCs, their functions and implementation, grants, and state and federal evaluation efforts, visit: http://www.nhpf.org/library/background-papers/BP81_ADRCs_11-19-10.pdf


Opportunities for You!

Presentación del Libro: "La Visión de Un Ciego" en Puerto Rico:
La presentación del libro: "La Visión de Un Ciego" escrito por el Sr. Frank Pérez, se llevará a cabo el 20 de enero de 2011 a las 7:00 pm en el Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico,.  El autor es director de la Oficina del Procurador de las Personas con Impedimentos en el oeste de PR y fundador de la Asociación Nacional de Ciegos, Inc.  La actividad es abierta a todos los miembros del Colegio, así como a la comunidad en general. En su libro el Sr. Pérez narra los retos y experiencias que tuvo que enfrentar al quedarse ciego repentinamente por complicaciones de salud y las herramientas que ha utilizado para superarlos.

AAPD Internship Programs- Apply through January!
The American Association of People with Disabilities has year-round internships and a summer Congressional internship for college students with disabilities available in Washington, D.C. The application process is open through January at: http://www.aapd.com/site/c.pvI1IkNWJqE/b.6388937/k.63DF/AAPD_Internship_Programs.htm

2011 National ADA Symposium Registration Has Begun:
The annual ADA Symposium will be May 8-11, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada and will consist of many breakout sessions, trainings, events, and the ADA Coordinator Training Program. Presenters are from key federal agencies and the International Codes Council.  To learn more and to register, go to: www.adasymposium.org.

JAN Federal Employer Winter Webcast Series Begins in January:
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) will offer three free Webcast sessions beginning in January for federal employers covering the hiring of people with disabilities in the Federal government, the reasonable accommodation process, the ADA Amendments Act, the new Executive Order on hiring people with disabilities, and Schedule A. Federal disability program managers, EEO representatives, hiring managers, supervisors, selective placement coordinators, and others who hire or manage workers in the Federal government should participate. Register early because attendance is capped: http://AskJAN.org/webcast/indexfed.htm

Submit Proposals for Independent Living (IL) Conference by January 14th:
The National Council on Independent Living seeks workshop proposals for their 2011 Annual Conference, "Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize", which will be July 13-16, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Topic suggestions for proposals include achieving independence for the IL program; learning and advancing the IL philosophy; best practices and innovation in core services; and recognizing and improving inclusion and cultural competence. Proposals are due electronically by 11:59pm EST on January 14th.  Learn more at: http://www.ncil.org/conference/2011RFP.html

 

Special Spotlight: EEOC Resolves Disability Lawsuits Faster:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says it is resolving employee charges filed under federal civil rights laws almost as quickly as they are being filed- a definite change from previous years. The EEOC began fiscal year 2010 with a backlog of about 12,000 charges. Despite receiving a record-breaking number of new charges filed in fiscal year 2010- 99,922 charges- the EEOC was able to keep the backlog from growing thanks to increased congressional funding for hiring and training and becoming fully staffed recently.  The EEOC also obtained more than $319 million for individuals who were discriminated against, the highest total obtained through administrative enforcement in the EEOC's history.  For more information on the EEOC's progress, as well as recent disability related resolutions, read this press release and the below cases.

Innershore Enterprises/Marlow 6 Theater to pay $20,000 for allegedly firing a concession stand employee because of her HIV disability:  http://eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/11-22-10b.cfm

Callaro's restaurant to pay $10,000 to employee after allegedly forcing the employee to resign because she was associated with a HIV-positive family member and subsequently "regarded as" having a disability by the employer:  http://eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/11-22-10a.cfm

ILA Corporation, a national waste removal firm, will pay $95,000 to settle a suit that charged the company fired an employee because of their dyslexia disability even though the employee performed the essential functions of the job: http://ohsonline.com/articles/2010/12/02/waste-removal-company-settles-disability-discrimination-suit.aspx?admgarea=news

 

See you next year!