Newsletter: April 29, 2011

Northeast ADA Center April 29, 2011 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

El Departamento de Justicia Federal Presenta una Demanda Al Amparo de la ADA contra el Departamento de Justicia de PR:
El Departamento de Justicia Federal (DJF) presentó una demanda contra el Departamento de Justicia de Puerto Rico (DJPR) por discrimen laboral bajo el Título I de la Ley de Americanos con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés), al no proveeR un acomodo razonable a una empleada que utiliza silla de ruedas.  La empleada fue reubicada en un edificio de difícil acceso, donde no podía estacionar su vehículo, entrar o utilizar las facilidades sanitarias, sin asistencia.  Esta es la primera demanda presentada por el DJF en Puerto Rico al amparo de la ADA.  Anteriormente el DJF había firmado 3 acuerdos, en casos que no llegaron a la etapa judicial, bajo el Título II y III de la ADA.  Para más información en inglés visite: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/April/11-crt-476.html

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Files ADA Lawsuit Against Puerto Rico:
The DOJ filed a lawsuit against the Puerto Rico Department of Justice (PRDOJ) for employment discrimination under Title I of the ADA, by failing to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee who uses a wheelchair. The employee was relocated to an inaccessible building where she could not park her vehicle, enter, or use the restroom facilities without assistance. This is the first lawsuit filed by DOJ in PR under the ADA. The DOJ had previously signed 3 settlement agreements in cases that never reached the trial stage, under Title II and III of the ADA. For more information visit: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/April/11-crt-476.html

New Jersey (NJ) to Host 2014 National Games for the Special Olympics:
Princeton, N.J. will be the site of the 2014 Special Olympics, where more than 3500 athletes with disabilities are expected to compete in 14 sports.  New Jersey was chosen for both its location and history of supporting the Special Olympics. Read more at: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2011/03/15/new-jersey-special-olympics/12580/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=March+15%2C+2011%3A+News+from+Disability+Scoop&utm_source=YMLP&utm_term=

 

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

What's New from the Department of Justice:
The Department of Justice Civil Rights Division has released several updates, including the new issue of Disability Rights Online News, two ADA briefs, four settlement agreements, and a new issue of Enforcing the ADA: A Status Report have been added, and are now available. 

Microsoft Launches Accessibility Tools and Training:
The Microsoft Accessibility Group in Trustworthy Computing has released the Microsoft Accessibility Tools & Training.  Designed for business decision-makers and IT personnel, these resources can help developers create technology products, services and websites that are more accessible to people with disabilities. Training courses and resource materials are available online and on CD with the printed guides. Accessibility Guides for businesses and for government organizations are available at: www.microsoft.com/enable/business/.  The training courses are also available free-of-charge online at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/accessibility.   

HUD Settles Disability Discrimination Suit with Charles Schwab Bank:
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that Charles Schwab Bank has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle allegations that it refused to accept a loan application from a relative acting as power of attorney for a woman with disabilities. The power of attorney stated that the bank said it "did not accept powers of attorney for 'incapacitated borrowers'". Charles Schwab has agreed to pay the borrower, her relative, and make a donation on the borrower's behalf, as well as update their policies and website appropriately. Read more at: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2011/04/housing-discrimination-charles-schwab-settles-with-hud.html

AAPD Salutes President Considering People with Disabilities in Fiscal Policy:
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) released a statement following President Obama's fiscal policy speech in which it applauded the President for making quality of life issues for people with disabilities an important part of his remarks. AAPD cited Obama's commitment to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security specifically. Read more at: http://www.aapd.com/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=pvI1IkNWJqE&b=6727221&ct=9353409¬oc=1 

FCC Establishes First National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program:
By an order issued April 6th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set up a new National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program as a pilot program. This will provide for the specialized and over-the-counter equipment and support services that deaf-blind individuals need to access the Internet. The program is funded with $10 million per year from the national relay services fund. This is the first of several FCC Orders expected this year to implement the 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act of 2010. Read more at: http://www.aapd.com/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=pvI1IkNWJqE&b=6727221&ct=9342457¬oc=1

 March 2011 Disability Employment Statistics:
In March, the percentage of people with disabilities in the labor force was 21.0 compared to 69.7 of persons with no disability. The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 15.6 percent, compared with 8.9 percent for those without. Read all the statistics at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t06.htm

Latest Access Currents from U.S. Access Board:
The March/April issue of the Access Board's online publication, "Access Currents", features information on public rights-of-way guidelines; access to shared use of paths; 2010 ADA Standards; and both the new chair and the new technical assistance coordinator of the Access Board. Read all the news at:  http://www.access-board.gov/news/Access%20Currents/Mar-Apr11.htm

 

Opportunities for You!

Free Disability IS Diversity Webinar May 5th:
On May 5th, 1:00-2:30pm EST, the DBTAC Northeast ADA Center's Director of Training, Hannah Rudstam, PhD, will present a free webinar, "Disability IS Diversity: Testing a New Approach to Reach Employers".  The ADA has existed over 20 years, yet the economic and employment conditions of people with disabilities have not significantly changed. Employers' knowledge about the ADA is largely not being translated into actions to improve the working lives of people with disabilities. This webinar will explore both this gap between knowing and doing, and an intervention designed to bridge this gap, which is based on building collaborations, forging strategic partnerships and offering blended learning. Findings from a study of the impacts of this intervention will also be reported.  Disability researchers, human resource and diversity professionals, disability service providers, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to participate. Register at: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/dbtac-Diversity-May2011.cfm

5ta. Conferencia Anual de APNI:
La Asociación de Padres de Niños con Impedimentos (APNI), llevará a cabo su 5ta. Conferencia Anual el 12 de mayo de 2011 de 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM en el Hotel Embassy Suites, en Isla Verde, Puerto Rico.  El tema de la Conferencia será  "El Bullying No Es Cosa De Niños, Es Asunto De Todos: Aprende a Identificarlo, Manejarlo y Prevenirlo".  Para más información puede comunicarse al: (787) 763-4665 o a apniinc@gmail.com.

TACE Center Webinars in May:
The Southeast Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center, a partnership of the DBTAC Southeast ADA Center and Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, have several webinars planned in May on topics such as customized job development, recruiting people with disabilities into the Vocational Rehabilitation field, Autism, and creating workplace partners through work experience. To learn more and to register, go to: http://tacesoutheast.org/webinars/

 

Special Spotlight- What's New from the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP):

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is committed to improving the country's efforts toward increasing the percentage of people with disabilities in the workforce and community living. ODEP is constantly implementing new partnerships and initiatives to achieve that goal. Read below to learn more about what ODEP and others are doing to increase disability employment and be a model for other federal, state, and private employers in this area!

ODEP and the Partnership for Public Service join forces to increase federal hiring of people with disabilities:  http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/odep/ODEP20110447.htm

ODEP's partner USBLN and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce release new disability inclusion publication for employers, "Leading Practices on Disability Inclusion": http://usbln.org/leading_practices_on_disability_inclusion.html

ODEP publishes study confirming workers with disabilities meet or exceed the job performance of co-workers without disabilities: http://www.dol.gov/odep/categories/workforce/workforce.htm#ready

ODEP now publishes monthly updates to the national employment rate of youth with disabilities: http://www.dol.gov/odep/categories/youth/youthemployment.htm

DOL's HIV/AIDS employment roundtable discusses ways to improve employment for people living with HIV/AIDS: http://www.dol.gov/_sec/newsletter/2011/20110414.htm#odep

ODEP's Alliance with the National Association of Governors' Committees on People with Disabilities results in new toolkit for establishing state disability history legislation: http://www.dol.gov/odep/alliances/roadmap.pdf

  

See you in a few weeks!