Newsletter: January 16, 2012

English Northeast ADA Center January 16, 2012 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

Deal Struck to Broaden Taxi Service in New York City (NYC):
In December, New York Governor Cuomo struck a deal with NYC Mayor Bloomberg that would expand taxi service in NYC by allowing livery cabs to be hailed on the street in parts of the city traditionally underserved by yellow cabs. This deal would also create 2,000 more wheelchair-accessible yellow cabs. Read more at: That same week, a federal judge ruled that new taxis in NYC must be wheelchair accessible. In his written ruling, he stated that the Taxi and Limousine Commission "can provide taxi medallions only for wheelchair-accessible vehicles until it produces a comprehensive plan to provide meaningful access to taxicab service for disabled passengers." Read more at:

Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and ADA Discrimination Case Dismissed:
A case against Jet Blue Airways, which alleged the airline violated the ACAA and the ADA regarding a traveler's need for a wheelchair accommodation when traveling between New York and Puerto Rico, was dismissed in both District Court and the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals stated that no private right of action exists for a violation of the ACAA, and that an air carrier cannot be held liable under Title III of the ADA for transportation services provided in airport terminals used primarily to facilitate air travel. Read more here:

What's New in the Rest of the Country:  

Social Security Launches Website for Spanish Speakers:
The Social Security Administration recently launched, an all-Spanish website for learning about and applying for Social Security retirement and Medicare benefits online.

New WRP Database Now Available from EARN:
The 2012 Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) database is now available nationwide and contains over 2,590 college students and recent graduates with disabilities from over 270 schools who are seeking summer or permanent employment. Federal agencies can register for their 2012 account login and password at: Private employers can complete the online request form at: EARN will also conduct a free webinar on WRP on January 26th from 2:00-3:00pm EST. Register at:

Obama Calls for Better Pay for Disability Caregivers:
In December, President Obama announced new rules proposed by the Department of Labor that would provide first-ever minimum wage and overtime protections for in-home care workers who assist people with disabilities. Learn more about the proposed changes concerning the in-home care industry and the Fair Labor Standards Act at:

Obama Signs Tax Credits into Law Benefiting Veterans:
In November, President Obama signed two new tax credits into law: the Returning Heroes Tax Credit that provides businesses with a credit of up to $5,600 for each unemployed veteran it hires, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit which offers businesses a credit of $9,600 for each veteran hired who has a service-connected disability. The law will also maintain the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) of up to $4,800 for veterans with service-connected disabilities. Read more at: Learn more about WOTC by watching the archive of EARN's webinar on the value of WOTC from the employer's perspective, available at:

Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation Special Anniversary Issue, Free Online:
The Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation Special 20th Anniversary issue, 35.3 is now available for free online. It includes commentaries from some of the most influential leaders in the field and a special section on Supported Employment and Social Relationships in the Workplace. This special issue on Supported Employment is available at:

U.S. Access Board Seeks Public Comments on Two Key Issues:
The Access Board has reopened the comment period on its proposed guidelines for Accessible Public Rights-of-Way until February 2, 2012. Additionally, it has released for public comment a revised draft of updated accessibility requirements for information and communication technology covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act. Read more about these items, and others, in the Access Board's latest online newsletter at:

ATMs Must Comply with ADA Come March 15th:
By March 15th, Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) in the United States must be in compliance with the latest rules under the ADA to ensure equal access for people with disabilities to public accommodations and technology. Read more at:

Federal Assistance Provided for Home Energy Costs:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is providing more than $845 million to states to help low-income households with their home energy costs. Under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, low-income households can get help paying for their home energy needs such as winter heating, summer cooling and home insulating to reduce energy costs. Read more at:   

Federal Disability Employment Across America Webinar Series:
The Office of Personnel Management, in partnership with the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program and the USDA TARGET Center, has developed a webinar series to assist federal agencies in implementing Executive Order 13548. View the webinar series at:

Practice Brief on "Engaging Youth in Work Experiences" Now Online:
NCWD/Youth's Practice Brief, "Engaging Youth in Work Experiences," is now available online. This brief is part of a new series of publications called Innovative Strategies Practice Briefs which highlight strategies for implementing specific practices that are used by promising exemplary programs recognized by NCWD/Youth for implementing innovative strategies. This brief describes the strategies and resources used by several successful youth programs to engage youth, including youth with disabilities, in work experiences. The work experiences described in this brief include internships, summer jobs, youth-run businesses/entrepreneurship, service projects and volunteer work, and part-time jobs. Access the brief at:

Report on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education:
The final report of the Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities has been released. This Commission, established by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, brought together individuals with disabilities and leaders and representatives from the government, publishing industry, higher education institutions, and accessible technology, to study the current state of accessible materials for students with disabilities in postsecondary education, and made recommendations to Congress for improving access to, and the distribution of, instructional materials in accessible formats. Read the press release and report at:

Unemployment Decreases in December, but Not for People with Disabilities:
Unemployment among those with disabilities rose to 13.5 percent in December, up from 13 percent in November. This occurred despite the fact that the economy added 200,000 new jobs in December and general unemployment declined to 8.5 percent. Access all the disability employment statistics at:

Opportunities for You!

Free Webcast on Disability Statistics from Federal Surveys on January 25th:
The Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research is hosting a free webcast, "What Counts? Latest Disability Statistics from Federal Surveys and Resources," on January 25th from 3:00-4:30pm EST. Register at:

Facility ADA Standards Webinar Series Begins January 31st:
The Mid-Atlantic ADA Center is presenting a three-part webinar series on  "Accessibility and the ADA: Facility Standards Update" focusing on the new 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design which become mandatory for use March 15th. Webinar dates are January 31st, February 7th, and February 14th from 2:00-3:30pm EST. Cost is $50 for the full series and it is approved for LU/HSW credits. Register at:

Register Now for the 2012 National ADA Symposium!
The National ADA Symposium, the most comprehensive conference available on the ADA, will be offered in two different locations in 2012. The first conference will be March 12-14th in Orlando, Florida and the second will be May 30-June 1st in Indianapolis, Indiana. Registration is $400. Learn more and register at:


Special Spotlight-  What's New with ODEP and Affiliates!

The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) focuses on disability within the context of DOL's work. The tagline of ODEP's website reads "Disability Policy. Employment Practice. Full Inclusion." This past fall marked a decade since Congress established ODEP. Read further to learn more about the essential work and contributions of ODEP and its partners toward improving the employment situation for Americans with disabilities.  

ODEP's 10th Anniversary Celebration:

The December Issue of ODEP's 'Business Sense' focusing on ten years of ODEP:

"Think Beyond the Label," a public-private partnership that works to increase employment for people with disabilities, launched an online jobs portal that connects job seekers with disabilities to employers that are actively seeking to hire them:

DOL's Employment and Training Administration and ODEP released a Joint Training and Employment Notice (TEN) on Transportation Services to provide successful strategies to the public workforce system for connecting individuals with transportation to jobs and training and to help businesses access a diverse workforce:

There are some new additions to ODEP's website. Technology is featured as an Employment Practice with resources on accessible and assistive technology available at: Also, a new topic page examining the employment barriers and issues experienced by women with disabilities is available at:

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN), a service of the National Technical Assistance, Policy, and Research Center for Employers on Employment of People with Disabilities funded to Cornell University by ODEP, recently signed an Alliance Agreement with the Disability Management Employer Coalition to provide information, guidance, and resources to facilitate the retention of workers with disabilities. For more information on these issues and about DMEC, visit: and

EARN has also begun a new feature in its monthly newsletter called "Spotlight" to recognize employers' successful practices for outreach, recruitment, hiring, and accommodating workers with disabilities, including efforts to employ veterans.  Employers can submit their effective practices to:


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.