Newsletter: June 28, 2012

Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin - June 28, 2012

What’s New in Our Region:

Mets May Add Quiet Section at Stadium for Families with Kids who are Autistic

In an effort to make their baseball stadium, Citi Field, friendlier to families with children who have autism, the New York Mets are considering adding a designated ‘quiet’ seating segment with lower volume public address announcements and without music or cheerleading. Read more at:


Star-Studded Ads Urge Disability Awareness

Billboards featuring celebrities such as Rob Lowe, Cindy Crawford, and Guy Fieri have been set up in the New York City area, New England, and California to encourage acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities. On each of the billboards, a celebrity is shown with a friend with this type of disability. The celebrities and their friends met through Best Buddies, which is a national nonprofit organization that promotes friendships between people with and without disabilities. To read more, visit:


Governor Cuomo and Legislative Leaders Announce Agreement on Legislation to Protect People with Special Needs and Disabilities

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, counting advocates and family supporters of those with special needs, have expressed their backing for the Governor’s Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. The bill, which will be voted on this week, puts into place the most robust standards and practices in the country to guard those with special needs or disabilities. This crucial legislation will implement more monitoring and avoiding of cases, as well as investigating and prosecuting reports of mistreatment and neglect. Read more at:


What’s New in the Rest of the Country:

Autism Research Could Be Set Back Years

Experts say that one-third of the world’s largest collection of brain tissue from people with autism has been damaged. At McLean Hospital, a freezer containing the brains failed and the brains thawed. Alarms that should have been activated when the temperature in the freezer increased did not go off. Experts are concerned that this could slow autism research by years. To read more about the freezer malfunction and the anticipated impact of the loss of brain tissue, visit: 


EEOC Issues New Guidance on Hiring and Managing Veterans with Disabilities

Recent veterans have high rates of disabilities. Because of this, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued two publications about the ADA. One publication is for veterans and one is for employers. The publications discuss different types of reasonable accommodations and encourage employers to keep an open mind when requests are made. Additionally, the publications also discuss the need for organizations to evaluate and process each specific reasonable accommodation request carefully.  To read more about the publications, visit:


A New Proposal Could Change Hiring Practices – And Lives

A new Department of Labor proposal could require federal contractors and subcontractors to adopt a 7 % hiring quota for qualified people with disabilities. This is significant because about 22% of America’s workforce is funded through federal contracts. One example of a successful program employing people with disabilities is Asbury Automotive Group’s Café Blends, which employs people with Asperger syndrome to run cafés at chosen dealerships. To read more about Café Blends, about the Department of Labor proposal, and about how employers can best support people with disabilities, visit: 


Schedule “A” Assists Young Adults with Disabilities Interested in Starting a Career with the Federal Government

Schedule A is a way for youth and young adults with disabilities to become employed for the federal government. If people meet the eligibility status and minimum qualifications for a job, they can be hired without competing with the general public. To read more about Schedule A and how to get a job with the federal government, visit:


“I Am the Workforce” Success Stories

Workers with disabilities shared their stories with Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, Kathy Martinez, for the “I Am the Workforce” initiative. The workers had taken part in the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) and are currently working in public service. Their stories will be used to inform employers about what people with disabilities can contribute to the workplace. To read more about this initiative and the WRP, visit:


ADA Accommodations: 10 Ways to Get the Interactive Process Right

At a BLR webinar, Stacie L. Caraway, an attorney in the law firm of Miller & Martin PLLC, explained 10 ways for employers to know if they are getting the interactive process right and meeting ADA requirements. The webinar was titled “Mastering the ADA Interactive Process: Accommodation Answers for HR” and covered topics such as essential elements of a job, reasonable accommodations, discipline issues, and performance expectations. To read more about the webinar, visit:


Opportunities for You!

US Department of Labor announces $2.5 million grant opportunity to manage, operate Job Accommodation Network

The U.S. Department of Labor publicized the availability of a $2.5 million grant to fund a cooperative agreement to administer and oversee the Job Accommodation Network, a national technical assistance center that enables the employment and retention of employees with disabilities. Applications are due July 18th and the full message for this grant opportunity, including applicant eligibility requirements, can be obtained at or


2012 Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD) Conference July 9th – 14th  

The annual international AHEAD conference brings together experts in the areas of higher education and disability for a week of information sharing, networking and theoretical and practical training. The conference is July 9th – 14th, in New Orleans, Louisiana. For more details or to register, go to:


Special Spotlight: June is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and advocates have proclaimed the month of June as PTSD Awareness Month to increase awareness about this condition. Over 228,000 Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans have been diagnosed at VA facilities. Untreated PTSD can have serious consequences for individuals. Bergmann & Moore have a list of resources about PTSD on their website at:


VA Continues PTSD Outreach with AboutFace Campaign

An online campaign called AboutFace will help teach veterans about the symptoms of PTSD and encourage them to seek treatment. Veterans can go to this website and see videos of veterans who have sought treatment for PTSD discussing their experiences. The campaign was organized by the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. To read more about AboutFace, visit:


Options Expand for Wounded as More Heal PTSD with Alternative Treatments

Alternative therapies are becoming more accepted for treatment of PTSD as initial research is suggesting they can be effective when combined with therapy and medication. Examples of alternative treatments include therapy animals, acupuncture, meditation, outdoor retreats, art therapy, music therapy, dietary supplements, bright light therapy, and yoga. To read more about alternative therapies for PTSD, visit:


Understanding PTSD: Adapt and Overcome

It can often be difficult for veterans to adjust to being home. Many experience symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress, but whether a veteran actually has PTSD depends on how long these symptoms last and how severe they are. Social support is very important for veterans after they return home. To read more about PTSD and about reintegration for veterans, 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.