Newsletter: September 18, 2019

Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin: September 18, 2019

Updates from the Northeast ADA Center:

Free Webinar - Access to Voting

September 25, 2019
12 PM EST - 1 PM EST
Presenter: Joe Zesski, Program Manager Northeast ADA

Participating in the electoral process is a fundamental right in the United States. Voters with disabilities should have equal access and an equal opportunity to exercise this right. Join the Northeast ADA for a webinar that will review how the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws are intended to ensure that people with disabilities can have their voices heard. It will also highlight recent Department of Justice enforcement activity regarding physical, electronic, and communication voting access. To register go to: http://register.yangtaninstitute.org/register/index.cfm?event=7368

What's New in Our Region:

Acting New Jersey Governor Oliver Signs Legislation Assisting Hard of Hearing Community

Acting Governor Sheila Y. Oliver signed S2044 and S2045 into law, establishing a "Deaf Student's Bill of Rights" and a Working Group on Deaf Education. Additionally, the legislation requires the Department of Education to develop a parent resource guide and for both the Department of Education and Department of Health to collect and report data for children who are deaf or hard of hearing children. "To ensure that every deaf student in New Jersey acquires the same high quality education as other students, I am proudly signing these two bills today establishing a Deaf Student's Bill of Rights along with other initiatives for research, advocacy, and parental guidance," said Acting Governor Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. "Governor Murphy and I believe that every child has the ability to excel, no matter what their challenges may be. We will work to help deaf students overcome their challenges by providing the resources and support they need to succeed in the classroom and in life." To read more about this go to: https://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/562019/approved/20190805b.shtml

Register Now: NJ Conference on Disability & Employment

Register now for the 2019 New Jersey Conference on Disability & Employment, a half-day event scheduled for October 23, 2019 at Middlesex County College in Edison. Hear from employers, educators, advocates and service providers on addressing challenges that face job seekers with disabilities in the state of New Jersey.

Keynote Speaker
Fred Maahs, Jr. - Former Comcast executive and nationally recognized disability leader and advocate. To register go to: https://www.disabilityandemployment.net/register/?mc_cid=4488e5c4dc&mc_eid=3e828b0d55

Recapping the Many Legal Developments Affecting Private Employers in New York and New Jersey, So Far, in 2019

There have been many significant developments in the first half of 2019 impacting private employers in New York and New Jersey. Federal, state, and local legislatures and agencies have been particularly busy in the employment arena, promulgating sweeping laws and regulations affecting a broad range of well-entrenched employment practices. For instance, New Jersey adopted prohibitions against non-disclosure provisions in settlement agreements resolving discrimination and harassment claims (with, as discussed in this GT Alert, New York expected to follow shortly), and New York enacted its Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. To read more about this go to: https://www.natlawreview.com/article/recapping-many-legal-developments-affecting-private-employers-new-york-and-new

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital to Pay $375,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, Inc., a private community healthcare system comprised of 2 hospitals, multiple specialty care centers, three residency programs, and 32 affiliated physician practices, will pay $375,000 to a class of employees and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced. The EEOC charged in its lawsuit that Tallahassee Memorial violated federal law by maintaining an inflexible 12-week maximum leave policy. The EEOC also alleged that when employees with disabilities requested additional leave beyond the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Tallahassee Memorial denied the requests, rather than engaging in an interactive process with each individual to determine if he or she could be accommodated. To read more about this go to: https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/9-29-19b.cfm

New Accessibility Specialists Join US Access Board Staff

The Board has hired four new Accessibility Specialists to serve in its Office of Technical and Information Services: Randall Duchesneau III, Sarah Presley, Joshua Schorr, and Bobby Stinnette. They will be responsible for providing technical assistance and training on accessibility, including the ADA and ABA Standards and the Board's standards for medical diagnostic equipment. Duchesneau was a founding member of the United Spinal Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter, an organization he led for four years. Before that, he served as Director of the National Leadership Program at RespectAbility, a non-profit organization that advances opportunities for people with disabilities. He has worked at General Electric and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and has provided real estate investment and transactional advisory services. He holds a master's degree in Public Health from Yale University. Presley was employed as a Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She previously worked at the DC Department on Disability Services as a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist and at the U.S. Census Bureau as a Survey Statistician. She served in the Peace Corps in Morocco as an English instructor at a school for students who are blind. She earned a master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from George Washington University. Schorr began working at the Board in 2010 as an animator and created the Board's popular animation series on the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards. The series includes animations on wheelchair maneuvering, doors, toilet and bathing facilities, parking, sales and service counters, signs, and protruding objects. He also helped illustrate and lay out technical bulletins on the standards and established the Board's YouTube channel. Stinnette joined the Board from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where he served in the Detroit area as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and assisted veterans in finding employment and provided disability counseling services. Prior to that, he was a counselor at Northern Virginia Community College and at the See Forever Foundation and an Upward Bound Counselor at the University of Maryland. He holds a master's degree in Counseling/ College Student Development from Eastern Michigan University.

Opportunities for You!

Free Webinar Series (Part 4 of 8): Seeing Community and Building Connections with an Employment Lens

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019
2:30 PM EDT - 4:00 PM EDT

The Southeast ADA Center, Georgia APSE, and the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (WISE) are working together to build awareness of Employment First. "Advancing Equal Employment Opportunities and Creating Inclusive Workplaces" is an eight-part webinar series from April 2019 - February 2020 that will feature a variety of topics for supported employment providers, vocational rehabilitation professionals, self-advocates, and families. Each webinar will embrace APSE's vision, mission and values, and provide tools and resources that can be used to advance equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Please join us for the fourth webinar in this eight-part series. To register go to: https://syracuseuniversity.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9vFyxbWAe1Ks8WV

Free Broadcast-ADA Live! Do You Want a Job or a Career? Reflections on National Disability Employer Awareness Month (NDEAM)

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019
1:00 PM EDT - 1:30 PM EDT

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), and the theme for 2019 is "The Right Talent, Right Now." The U.S. Department of Labor states this year's theme emphasizes the essential role that people with disabilities play in America's economic success, especially in an era when historically low unemployment and global competition are creating a high demand for skilled talent. In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) (link is external), our guest on ADA Live! will be Liz Weintraub, Senior Advocacy Specialist with the Association for University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). Liz is also a graduate of the Georgia Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (GaLEND) interdisciplinary training program at the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University. Ms. Weintraub will discuss her personnel career path, the challenges she has overcome, and the role that both advocacy and self-advocacy have played in her career success. She will share her work at the AUCD, including her popular video series "Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy For All." She will also share her thoughts on why the unemployment rate remains high for people with disabilities, and the importance of thinking about a "career" versus a "job."

To Listen to the Broadcast:

2019 Fall ADA Coordinator Conference - Charlotte, NC

Monday, October 14th, 2019 to Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Embassy Suites Charlotte-Concord Golf Resort & Spa, 5400 John Q. Hammons Dr. NW, Concord, NC 28027 This two-day training offers over 20 breakout sessions, a pre-conference session, an optional evening session and a general session lead by presenters from the U.S. Access Board, the National Network of ADA Centers, and other nationally recognized ADA experts. Registration is open to the public. Take this opportunity to expand your knowledge on the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is also a great way to earn credits towards the ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program (ACTCP) and the Title III Business Certificate.

Seating is limited to the first 200 registrants.
We strive to provide the highest quality of sessions. This means limiting the room size so that attendees can benefit from a more personalized setting. Doing this also means limiting our numbers and sometimes having to turn away potential attendees.

Registration includes access to your session selections and lunch both days (Monday and Tuesday).

  • Register: $310 per person through August 30.
  • Late Registration: $360 per person beginning August 31.

There will be an additional $30 charge to attend the ADA Basics Pre-Conference session.

Registration closes: September 30 or when the maximum of 200 registrants is reached.

To register go to: http://www.cvent.com/events/2019-fall-ada-coordinators-training/event-summary-bf133f49995f4446baadf67e94e0acaa.aspx

Special Spotlight:

Are you ready for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)?

Held every October, NDEAM is a fitting time to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The 2019 NDEAM theme will be "The Right Talent, Right Now."

NDEAM is led by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), but its true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. The Campaign for Disability Employment encourages organizations of all sizes and in all industries to participate in NDEAM.

For specific ideas on supporting NDEAM, visit the website https://www.dol.gov/ndeam. Suggestions range from simple, such as putting up a poster, to comprehensive, such as implementing a disability education program. However you choose to take part, you'll be playing an important role in fostering a more inclusive workforce, one where every person is recognized for his or her abilities-every day of every month.