Newsletter: April 18, 2018

Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin: April 18th, 2018

Updates from the Northeast ADA Center:

Free Webinar-Effective Communication in the Medical Setting

Presented by Joe Zesski
May 23rd 2018 at 1:00pm ET

Talking about medical issues can be difficult in any context. When a patient is speaking with their medical care provider, a variety of challenges, barriers and misunderstandings could get in the way. In this webinar, we will discuss effective communication in the medical setting from both the patient with a disability and the medical provider perspective. We will also discuss best practices for creating a positive and clear exchange. To register go to: http://register.yangtaninstitute.org/register/index.cfm?event=6656

Attention Albany Region CDTA Riders!

The Yang Tan Institute on Disability and Employment (YTI) at Cornell University, with support from the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) has established the Transit Research & Accessibility Center (TRAC). TRAC includes an online training program to educate stakeholders about accessibility and usability requirements of public fixed route buses, and equip individuals to evaluate the accessibility and usability of bus trips using the TRACbus app on their smartphone. Data collected through TRAC will help to facilitate meaningful conversations between riders and the transit authority to determine where riders with disabilities experience difficulties and successes using the Capital District Transit Authority (CDTA) bus system.

How Can You Help?

We are looking for people with and without disabilities to be TRAC evaluators. Evaluators will:

(1) Complete a short online training to learn about fixed route bus accessibility and how to use the TRACbus smartphone app,

(2) Take an assigned Albany region bus trip with another evaluator

(3) Use the app to rate their trip


Online training begins late summer, 2018 and evaluations will begin fall, 2018. All evaluators must complete the online training prior to evaluating an assigned CDTA bus trip. Interested? - Please contact Jennifer Perry at jlp359@cornell.edu or 732.449.3621 and visit our FB page at https://www.facebook.com/The-Transit-Research-Accessibility-Center-TRAC-336551203511447/

What's New in Our Region:

Need Assistive Technology? The National Disability Institute Can Help!

Did you know the National Disability Institute (NDI) provides affordable loans to help people with disabilities purchase assistive technology to meet their needs? If you are a resident of seven downstate counties in New York or all of New Jersey, you may qualify! Assistive Technology includes products such as computer equipment, hearing aids, modified vehicles, scooters and wheelchairs, smart home technology and more. To learn more, contact Laurie Schaller at lschaller@ndi-inc.org or by phone at 202-449-9521. Visit NDI's website at https://www.realeconomicimpact.org/asset-development/assistive-technology-loan-program

MTA and NYCTA Sued over Accessibility Issues at Bronx Subway Station

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, has filed a lawsuit against the MTA and the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) because the agencies failed to make a subway station in the Bronx accessible to people with disabilities. U. S. Attorney Berman says the MTA violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not properly accommodating people with disabilities at the Middletown Road subway station on the 6 line. The station recently underwent a more than $27 million renovation, but the complaint says none of that money went towards an elevator. As a result, individuals with mobility disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs, are unable to access the station, the lawsuit said. To view the full article go to: http://abc7ny.com/traffic/mta-and-nycta-sued-over-disabled-access-at-bronx-subway-station/3212310/

Why Is It Getting Harder To Find Accessible Parking In NJ?

With the graying of America, there has been an increased need for accessible parking spaces, said Mary Ciccone, an attorney with the advocacy group Disability Rights New Jersey. The number of accessible parking placards in circulation in New Jersey has increased by 2.3 percent since January 2017, from 403,368 to 412,738, according to state figures. With people with disabilities already wasting countless hours searching for parking, experts say the situation is likely to get worse as disabilities increase in the general population and baby boomers move into their senior years. Meanwhile, government agencies are slow to react to the changing needs, and parking laws are not fully enforced. As accessible parking shortages grow, it may be time for expanded ADA standards to be adopted to more effectively meet these needs. To read more about this go to: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2018/03/26/why-getting-harder-find-handicapped-parking-nj/301156002/

Six Simple Tips for Smooth Travel with a Disability

As the summer travel season begins to wind up, the anxiety and worry that goes along with hectic plane connections and overbooked hotels can add to the frustration of a trip that is meant to allow you to relax and forget about the real world for a while. Travel can be a challenge for anyone, but for people with disabilities it can bring about its own unique sets of challenges. Shivani Vora of the New York Times says that traveling with a visible or invisible disability does not have to be difficult. A few simple tips can go a long way. To read more about this go to: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/05/travel/disability-travel-tips.html

New York State to Change Way Services for People with Disabilities are Coordinated

Families with children with disabilities and adults have some decisions to make in the coming weeks. New York State is replacing the Medicaid Service Coordination Program that has served the OPWDD population for decades, with one called Health Home Care Management. The intent of this replacement program is to create more comprehensive care that includes things like health care and mental health supports. Before the program goes into effect July 1, 2018, a family must choose whether to sign on with one of the six comprehensive agencies, or go with a more basic plan. To read more about this go to: https://wskg.org/news/nys-to-change-way-services-for-the-disabled-are-coordinated/ 

 

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

Google Introduces Wheelchair Accessible Navigation for Maps

Google has recently introduced a wheelchair-friendly navigation feature on its maps application that will provide optimal transit routes "to make getting around easier for those with mobility needs." The search giant announced that its widely used digital map program would now provide users with wheelchair accessible routes that list train and bus services that are the most accommodating for travelers or commuters using wheelchairs. To read more about this go to: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/378591-google-introduces-wheelchair-accessible-navigation-for-maps

March 2018 Jobs Report: Americans with Disabilities Reach Two Year Milestone

Americans with disabilities reached a milestone in March, as the major economic indicators showed increases for the 24th consecutive month, according to the March National Trends in Disability Employment - Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD). The strengthening economy underscores the value of diversity in the workplace. As hiring increases, preparing for the workplace is more important than ever for people with disabilities. Jobseekers with skills and experience gain employment more readily. The labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities increased from 32.3 percent in March 2017 to 34.8 percent in March 2018 (up 2.5 percent), while for working-age people without disabilities, the labor force participation rate increased slightly from 76.6 percent in March 2017 to 76.7 percent in March 2018 (up 0.1 percent; 0.1 percentage points). The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the population that is working or actively looking for work. To read more about this go to: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/kf-nm2040618.php

Georgia Company Settles Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Georgia-based Capstone Logistics LLC will pay $50,000 and provide significant equitable relief as settlement for a federal disability and discrimination lawsuit filed by the US. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A deaf man applied for a position at the manufacturing and distribution company's Jessup, Md. warehouse. When the man came for an interview with the site manager, the meeting was canceled as the site manager said they would reschedule so that human resources and an interpreter could be present. The interview was then never rescheduled. According to the suit, the deaf man later received a text message from the site manager saying, "We have determined that there is no job that we can offer that would be safe for you." The EEOC charges that Capstone never asked the applicant about his ability to perform any essential functions of a warehouse position, with or without reasonable accommodation, which would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. To read more about this go to: https://www.abc2news.com/news/region/baltimore-city/georgia-company-settles-disability-discrimination-lawsuit

 

Opportunities for You!

Free Webinar-Recreation Snapshot Series

Join us for three 30-minute sessions presented by U.S. Access Board Accessibility Specialist, Bill Botten.
Let's Jump In: Swimming Pools and Spas

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
2:00 - 2:30 PM Eastern

This is the first in a series of three recreational facility webinars. Bill Botten from the U.S. Access Board will provide a thirty-minute overview of the minimum scoping and technical requirements for newly constructed and altered swimming pools required to comply with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.
For more information and to register visit: http://www.adainfo.org/training/Swimming-Pools-Spas

Save the Dates!
Play Areas
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
2:00 - 2:30 PM Eastern

Sports Facilities
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
2:00 - 2:30 PM Eastern

Free Webinar-Recreation Facilities - A Refresher

Thursday, May 03, 2018, 02:30pm - 04:00pm ET, Presenter: Bill Botten
This session will provide a refresher on the requirements common to both the ADA and ABA for recreation facilities. The presenter will provide an overview of the criteria for accessible recreation facilities, including play areas, swimming pools, sports facilities, fishing piers, boating facilities, golf courses, and amusement rides.

Registration: https://www.accessibilityonline.org/ao/session/?id=110659

2018 National ADA Symposium

June 17-20, 2018 Pittsburgh, PA Wyndham Grand Hotel
The National ADA Symposium is an annual conference on the Americans with Disabilities Act. This four day event is made up of pre-conference session options, keynote, break-out sessions, advanced discussion groups, exhibits, and hands-on learning activities. For more information and to register go to: http://www.cvent.com/events/2018-national-ada-symposium/event-summary-97515cba9a4941cc971ab0bd741539ec.aspx

Special Spotlight:

April is National Autism Awareness Month- Information from the Autism Society and Resources for Stakeholders

"Nearly a quarter century ago, the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life. This year the Autism Society wants to go beyond simply promoting autism awareness to encouraging friends and collaborators to become partners in movement toward acceptance and appreciation. Let us embrace a new perspective. For over 50 years, we have worked in communities (both large and small) to ensure our actions, through our services and programming supported all individuals living with autism. Let us expand this work to focus on the rest of us - ensuring acceptance and inclusion in schools and communities that result in true appreciation of the unique aspects of all people. We want to get one-step closer to a society where those with ASDs are truly valued for their unique talents and gifts. Join us in celebration for 2018 National Autism Awareness Month! National Autism Awareness Month represents an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year." To learn more go to: http://www.autism-society.org/get-involved/national-autism-awareness-month/