Newsletter: June 14, 2012

Northeast ADA Center June 15, 2012 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PADD) Program Priorities
The Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, overseer of the New York's Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PADD) program, calls for public input on the recommended priorities for the October 2012 through September 2013 program year. To provide your recommendations, visit:

Disability-focused resource groups improve inclusion: ILR research
According to researchers at the Employment and Disability Institute in the Industrial and Labor Relations School at Cornell University and the Society for Human Resource Management, disability-focused employee networks are key to keeping and promoting employees with disabilities.  The research revealed that employee affinity groups are "very effective," according to 54 percent of human resource experts surveyed.  The research was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. To read more about the findings of this research, visit:

Service Animal Access Denied - Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Do private entities and taxi drivers have the right to refuse an individual with a seeing-eye dog access to their goods and services? According to the ADA, the answer is "No"!. But a 16-year-old male in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, who is legally blind, says it is a frequent occurrence for him and his seeing-eye dog Hallie to be denied access. Local news performed an investigation and recorded the incidences of this 16-year-old male experiencing discrimination  first hand. To view this investigation via YouTube, visit:


What's New in the Rest of the Country:

Walgreens Launches National Initiative to Help Create More Job Opportunities for People with Disabilities
Walgreens has launched an in-store training program for people with disabilities called the Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative (REDI). The four-week program teaches retail and customer service proficiencies to individuals with disabilities to prepare them for employment in Walgreens or other retail settings. Sixty-six percent of those who have completed the REDI program so far have been recommended for hire. To read more about the Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative (REDI), visit:

FCC Seeking Nominations for the Second Annual Chairman's Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman's AAA)
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is accepting nominations for the Chairman's AAA through July 31, 2012. The awards recognize innovations that advance accessibility. Nominations will be accepted in seven categories including Education: College/University, Deaf-Blind Solutions, Video Programming Device Solutions, Geo-location Solutions, Mobile Apps, Consumer Empowerment Information, and Civic Participation Solutions. To read more about the Chairman's AAA, visit:

Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) "What can YOU do?" Video Contest 2012 Winners Announced
The 2012 winners for the Campaign for Disability Employment's "What can YOU do?" Video Contest have been announced.  The contest encouraged people to make videos raising awareness about people with disabilities and employment. Winners were selected in the categories of Employer, General Public, and Youth with one winner chosen in each category. The winners are Adam Dylewski and the American Chemical Society's Chemists with Disabilities Committee (Washington, D.C.) in the Employer category, Dylan Johanson in the General Public category, and Jake Johnson in the Youth category. To read more about the video contest, visit:

More Needed to Oversee Efforts to Meet Federal Government Hiring Goals
Executive Order 13548 was signed by the President in July 2010. The executive order committed the federal government to becoming a model employer of people with disabilities. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report about what selected agencies have done to implement the executive order and what the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Department of Labor had also done to oversee the implementation of the executive order. The GAO recommended that the OPM include information about deficiencies in agencies' disability hiring plans in their reports to the President; that the development of mandatory training programs for hiring managers and human resource personnel about employment of people with disabilities be expedited; and that the OPM look into whether the data on progress toward meeting the executive order's goals is accurate. To read more, visit:


Opportunities for You!  

CER Conference Available as a Free Live Webcast!
Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) is a vital national initiative that will have a substantial impact on decision-making concerning interventions that impacts the health, function, and quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Join this free, live webcast for the exclusive opportunity to hear leading professionals discuss disability related comparative effectiveness research. The actual conference will be held at Boston University on June 22nd. For more details or to register, visit:  

Society of Human Resources Management Annual Conference in June
This conference showcases HR innovations and includes keynote speakers for a well-rounded experience. The conference also will contain sessions addressing disability issues such as the ADA and creating an inclusive work environment. The conference is June 24-27th in Atlanta, Georgia. For more details call 800.283.7476 or register at: 

"Hiring Individuals with Disabilities: An Employer's Perspective" Webinar
On June 28th, Lori Golden, who leads Ernst & Young's "AccessAbilities," the company's effort around constructing an enabling environment for individuals with disabilities, will share her firm's methods in hiring and providing accommodations during the interview and after hire. Marian Vessels, the Director for Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, will offer an overview of obligations for employers to reflect on when recruiting, interviewing and accommodating individuals with disabilities under the ADAAA. For more details, visit:

EARN Webinar: Strategies for Increasing Self-Identification for Candidates and Employees with Disabilities on June 28th
This webinar on June 28th will present strategies for creating environments where applicants and employees are comfortable with disclosing their disabilities thereby allowing organizations to represent more accurately both the composition of their workforce and their efforts toward diversity and inclusion. For more details, visit:


Special Spotlight: Veterans with Disabilities


Businesses Backing Vets: How Companies Are Putting Veterans to Work
Veterans who have served on active duty since September 11th, 2001 have a much higher unemployment rate than non-veterans. Many companies are taking steps to address this. Prudential, which has a whole division for assisting veterans, is an example of such a company. The author of the article speaks to Prudential's Vice President of External Affairs about what can be done to support veterans and assist them transition to the civilian workforce. To read more about what companies can do to help veterans, visit:

DOL, VA to Help Jobless Veterans Learn New Skills
The Departments of Labor and Veterans Affairs are starting a new program that will retrain veterans who are unemployed. The program, called the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, will retrain 99,000 veterans. Once the training is over, the DOL will help participants find employment. To read more about the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, visit:

WellPoint Promotes Employment of America's Wounded Warriors and Veterans
WellPoint has joined Hero Health Hire, a coalition of corporations, associations, and hospitals committed to helping wounded warriors and veterans find employment in the health care industry. Hero Health Hire helps wounded warriors and veterans in their transition to the civilian workforce and works to remove barriers to employment. Hero Health Hire will have its second annual summit in Washington, D.C. in September 2012. To read more, visit:



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.