Newsletter: May 16, 2011

Northeast ADA Center May 16, 2011 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region: 

Title II and Title III New Regulation Fact Sheets Now Available!
The Northeast ADA Center, in collaboration with the National Network of ADA Centers, has created a series of nine fact sheets that highlight and summarize the details of the new Title II and Title III regulations. The topics of these fact sheets include an overview of the new regulations and of the 2010 standards of design, effective communication, exams and courses, lodging, service animals, ticketing, wheelchairs and other power driven mobility devices, and correctional facilities. English and Spanish versions will be available on our website soon. In the meantime, call 1.800.949.4232 to obtain the English versions of these fact sheets via email or U.S. mail today! 


What's New in the Rest of the Country:
 

New Rule to Improve Employment of Veterans:
The Department of Labor recently announced a rule that seeks to strengthen the affirmative action of veterans within the workplace under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Act of 1974 (VEVRAA), which also works to protect veterans with disabilities. The goal is to employ more veterans, a group that has had historically low employment rates. This proposed rule clarifies mandatory job listing requirements, under which a contractor must provide job vacancy and contact information for each of its locations to an appropriate employment service delivery system. The rule proposes requiring contractors to engage in at least three specified types of outreach and recruitment efforts each year. In addition, it would require that all applicants be invited to self-identify as a "protected veteran" before they are offered a job. The rule also proposes increasing data collection and requiring contractors to establish hiring benchmarks to help measure the effectiveness of their affirmative action efforts. Read more at: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ofccp/OFCCP20110567.htm

EEOC Underestimates Impact of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA):
In its final regulations, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) noted that it previously underestimated the number of workers who would be affected by the ADAAA. EEOC now estimates that between 12 and 38.4 million people may be impacted, an increase from its original estimate of 8.2 million. EEOC also increased the range of estimated costs associated with the rising need for accommodations to between $60 and $183 million. Read more at: http://www.industryweek.com/articles/eeoc_underestimates_impact_of_ada_amendments_act_24380.aspx?SectionID=1 

Chamber of Commerce and Senator Promote Hiring People with Disabilities:
The U.S. Business Leadership Network hosted a conference in April to highlight employer best practices around hiring and accommodating workers with disabilities. Keynote speaker, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) said adults with disabilities are leaving the labor force more than ten times the rate of adults without disabilities and he urged businesses to increase the number of Americans in the workforce to 6 million by 2015. In this commentary Tom Donohue, the President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce talks about his support of this goal and why: http://www.uschambermagazine.com/article/workers-with-disabilities-an-untapped-resource. 

DiversityInc Survey Suggests Top Ten Companies for People with Disabilities:
Information collected as part of the 2011 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity survey helped to determine the top ten employers for people with disabilities. These companies were shown to have made a concerted effort to recruit, retain and promote people with disabilities and to create an inclusive corporate culture for people with both obvious and hidden disabilities. IBM topped the list at number one. Learn about the other companies and the overall survey at: http://www.diversityinc.com/article/8389/The-DiversityInc-Top-10-Companies-for-People-with-Disabilities

Fact Sheets on the Reasonable Accommodation Interactive Process:
When determining accommodations, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recommends an "interactive process," in which employers and employees with disabilities work together to find a solution. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) recently released fact sheets that outline this process for employers in both the private and Federal sector. The private sector factsheet is at: http://askjan.org/media/interactiveprocessfact.doc and the Federal sector factsheet is at: http://askjan.org/media/fedinteractiveprocessfact.doc. 

Theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month Announced:
The theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, held in October, will be "Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities." This theme was chosen to honor the contributions of workers with disabilities and to remind people that this population represents a highly skilled pool of talent that can offer employers a competitive advantage and high return on investment.  Read more at: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/odep/ODEP20110609.htm 

Section 811 and Housing for Low Income People with Disabilities:
The Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010, a piece of legislation crafted to help people with disabilities to live independently, was the focal point of a recent meeting with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This Act includes "Project Rental Assistance", a new program that updates the "Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program" and provides capital advances to non-profit organizations to develop rental housing that offers disability support services.  Read more at: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2011/04/new-housing-program-for-pwd-takes-shape.html 

Latest E-News from Job Accommodation Network (JAN):
The latest JAN E-News is now available and includes information on topics such as the ADAAA EEOC regulations, hepatitis awareness month, material lifting devices, and the reasonable accommodation interactive process. Access all the news at: http://AskJAN.org/enews/2011/Enews-V9-I2.htm 

OPM Guide on Telework in the Federal Government:
This guide book from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is a 41 page PDF document that explains telework -a flexible work arrangement that allows employees to do their jobs at an approved worksite. Telework may be used as a reasonable accommodation for an individual with a disability who may require, or prefer, to work at home. 

Web-based Program Helps Youth with Autism Learn Job Skills:
JobTIPS is a free, Web-based program that helps youth with Autism or other disabilities develop and maintain skills needed for successful employment. The site offers resources for educators, job coaches, clinicians and transition coordinators who support individuals with Autism as they transition out of high school and into vocational education or other post-secondary activities. To learn more, click here. 

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Survey:
HUD released its biannual survey compiling the responses of persons with disabilities about "worst case housing" in an effort to address these problems and help guide the necessary funds toward correcting them. However, many say that the survey is not extensive enough because it neglects people with disabilities living in nursing homes and mental institutions. Read more at: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/2011/04/worst-case-housing-needs-of-pwds.html 

April 2011 Disability Employment Statistics:
For the first time in three months, the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities dropped a little from 15.6 percent in March to 14.5 percent in April. Read all the statistics at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t06.htm

 

Opportunities for You! 

Audio-Conference on the New ADA Regulations for Ticketing TOMORROW:
The Great Lakes ADA Center is providing an audio-conference on May 17th with speakers from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and United Spinal Association to discuss the new 2010 ADA Ticketing regulations. To access more information and to register, go to:  http://www.ada-audio.org/Schedule/ 

Presentation on the new EEOC ADAAA Regulations June 3rd:
The Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University, in collaboration with the American Association of People with Disabilities, is presenting a program on June 3rd from 10:00am-12:00pm EDT on "Implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act: the EEOC Regulations". Speakers will be from the EEOC, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Epilepsy Foundation. You can attend in person at the Cornell University Government Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. or via a free Webinar. Please indicate on your registration whether you'll be attending in person or via webinar.  To learn more and to register, go to: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/policyforum.cfm

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 Department of Justice (DOJ):

DOJ recently participated in two related settlement agreements involving the accessibility of the Law School Admission Council's (LSAC) online application service, which is used by law schools nationwide for their application processes.  As a result of these agreements, LSAC's online application service, and the online application process of the nation's law schools, will be accessible to individuals who are blind.  The settlement agreements are now available

DOJ's Civil Rights Division has written a letter to all states' Attorney Generals regarding the illegal exclusion of individuals with HIV/AIDS from occupational training and state licensing:  http://www.ada.gov/ta_ag-letters.htm

The April-June 2010 edition of "Enforcing the ADA: A Status Report from the DOJ", released by its' Civil Rights Division to reflect the DOJ's ADA activities during this time period, is now available at: April - June 2010 issue of Enforcing the ADA.  

There have also been some recent settlement agreements and ADA briefs which are available at: http://www.ada.gov/new.htm

  

See you in a few weeks!