Newsletter: November 14, 2011

Northeast ADA Center November 14, 2011 News Bulletin


What's New in Our Region:


New Jersey (NJ) Honors Disability Employment Awareness Month:
NJ governor Chris Christie declared October Disability Employment Awareness month in NJ.  Governor Christie is advancing a philosophy that promotes an expectation of competitive employment for individuals with disabilities. Initiatives are underway to build upon public/private programs to help prepare individuals with disabilities for the workforce, such as DiscoverAbility NJ, the Department of Human Services' Division of Disability Services, and NJ's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Read more at:   

AT&T es demandada por la EEOC en PR:
Luego de intentar conseguir un acuerdo pre-litigio a través de sus procesos de conciliación, la EEOC presentó una demanda contra AT&T en el Tribunal de Distrito de Puerto Rico, alegando en la misma que AT&T no brindó acomodo razonable a un empleado de mucho tiempo luego de este quedar ciego por la diabetes.  Los acomodos que el solicitó le hubiesen permitido continuar trabajando como técnico de cambio (switch technician) utilizando programas de computadoras que le permiten a las personas ciegas utilizar programas y aplicaciones de computadora.  Para más información visite:   

NYC Mayor Believes Accessible Taxis Would Lead to Injuries and Lawsuits:
New York City's Mayor Bloomberg has stated that forcing all taxicabs to be wheelchair-accessible poses a number of problems such as these cabs being more expensive, not riding as smoothly as typical cabs, and having an inconvenient, large gap between the passengers and driver. Bloomberg suggests offering accessible taxis that people with disabilities can prearrange by phone, rather than hail at the time of need. His position has been met with opposition by many in the disability community. Read more on the ongoing accessible taxi debate in NYC at: and at:

 "Voices That Count" Conference Held in U.S. Virgin Islands:
The Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD) hosted the 8th Annual "Voices That Count" Conference in early November. This event brought individuals with disabilities and their family members, service providers, advocates and public officials together to discuss issues that affect people with disabilities. The keynote address was given by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Regional Disability Integration Specialist while several local officials addressed territorial emergency and disaster preparedness in a panel discussion. To learn more about VIUCEDD, contact their St. Thomas office at 340-693-1322 or the St. Croix office at 340-692-1919 or visit their website at:



What's New in the Rest of the Country:


More on National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM):
October was NDEAM and the theme was "Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities." The goal of this campaign was to raise awareness about what individuals with disabilities can contribute as well as to support state and local efforts to increase the hiring of workers with disabilities. Statistics show 21.1 percent of individuals with disabilities are in the workforce, compared to 69.7 percent of those without a disability. NDEAM is not meant to emphasize the legal obligations, but to encourage employers to consider the benefits of, and dispel their concerns about, hiring people with disabilities. Read more at:

Defense Department Expands Efforts to Hire People with Disabilities:
Through the federal Workforce Recruitment Program, the Defense Department hired more than 400 students and recent graduates with disabilities during the past fiscal year. Under the program, co-sponsored by the Defense Department's Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity and the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, about 90 volunteer recruiters from across the federal government visit more than 250 colleges and universities nationwide each year to interview students and recent graduates with disabilities.  The fiscal 2012 database will be available in early December. To read more, go to:  

Air Force Employment focuses on Individuals with Disabilities:
The Air Force plans to increase efforts in recruiting for positions at all levels, providing opportunities for students with disabilities, educating supervisors, improving retention rates, and identifying and eliminating barriers to employment.  These initiatives are in response to the presidential executive order that seeks to hire an additional 100,000 individuals with disabilities at all levels and occupations in the federal government over the next five years.  Read the entire article at:   

How Small Businesses Can Benefit from Hiring People with Disabilities:
While a large corporation typically has a human resources department and a mandate to create a diverse employment pool, it can be harder for a small company operating on thin margins. Under new reform, small businesses would qualify for $7,400 in annual tax credits, plus a tax deduction of $15,000 for money spent to improve access to their building. If they hire through an eligible program, they also save on recruitment, training, and accommodation costs, and can experience other benefits such as higher retention and productivity, improved customer loyalty, and access to new markets.  Learn more at:

Handbook Offers College Advice for Students with Autism:
A new guide released recently offers a step-by-step look at college life for those with autism. The handbook produced by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network is said to be the first-of-its-kind to be geared toward individuals with autism rather than parents or professionals. It was written by adults who have autism and offers tips ranging from accommodations in the classroom to dealing with roommates. It is available as a free download or in printed form for a fee. Read more at:


Paving the Way for Travelers with Disabilities
Despite the ADA's guarantee of equal treatment to people with disabilities, travelers with disabilities frequently face inadequate facilities and other obstacles, especially in foreign countries where regulations vary. Travelers therefore must take measures to plan ahead, contact service providers, confer with their doctors, and know their rights. Access the full list of tips and useful resources at:


Students with Disabilities Thrive with Accessible Audiobooks:
Learning Ally is an organization providing accessible audiobooks to more than 200,000 students, professionals, and veterans with visual and learning disabilities. Originally serving World War II veterans under the name "Recording for the Blind," the organization renamed itself in 2011 and now includes over 69,000 books with navigation and control features. Learning Ally provides individual memberships to students with a certified print disability, institutional memberships to schools, and services to private and public entities. Read more at:

ODEP October Edition of Business Sense:
The Office of Disability Employment Policy's October online newsletter, "Business Sense", is now available and entitled "Workforce Diversity Includes Disability":



Opportunities for You!


Register for Two Week Job Coaching Web Training:
The Training Resource Network is accepting registrations for its 20 hour Job Coaching web training to be held November 30th- December 13th.  It will cover key principles and hands-on tools for effective job design, instructional and behavioral support strategies, and the development of natural and co-worker supports for workers and youth with disabilities. Registration is $149. To learn more about the training and to register, go to:

2012 NYS Partners in Policymaking Applications due November 30th:
The New York State Partners in Policymaking is a leadership development program for individuals with developmental disabilities and family members designed to promote systems change through partnerships with legislators and policymakers.  Based on the national model of Partners in Policymaking, the program is a joint effort by Cornell University's Employment & Disability Institute and the Advocacy Center of Rochester, NY. Utilizing a blended distance-learning format, the 2012 program will combine new information with lessons learned from 2011. Program graduates become part of a larger network of Partners graduates at state and national levels. To learn more and to apply, go to:

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Webcast Series Begins November 8th:
The 2011/2012 JAN webcast series will focus on veteran issues, Autism, self-employment strategies, and the latest on best practices in accommodations and employment provisions of the ADA. All webcasts are free of charge and held once a month from 2:00-3:00pm EST. For the complete list of webcast topics, and to register, go to:



Special Spotlight-  Veterans with Disabilities:


November pays tribute to Veterans Day and we would like to take this opportunity to recognize the resources available for veterans, and efforts being made to reintegrate these former service men and women back into community and workplace life, particularly those with disabilities.


President Obama announces new initiatives to get veterans back to work:


Department of Labor's new Veterans initiatives designed to help military personnel receive training, find jobs, and transition back into civilian life:


ODEP's initiatives to help Veterans with disabilities understand employment services available to them as well as to help employers hire and support wounded warriors:


The Society for Human Resource Management helps Veterans return to work:



The contents of this News Bulletin were developed under a grant from the Department of Education, NIDRR grant number H133 A110020.  However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.