Newsletter: July 30, 2012

Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin - Jul 30, 2012

What's New in Our Region:

Appeals Court Rules Worker with Disability Cannot Sue for Discrimination
A bank did not discriminate when it terminated an employee with a disability after the employee's lawyer wrote a letter threatening the bank with legal action, a New York Appeals' court ruled in a 3-2 decision. The letter from the employee was sent in response to a letter from the bank asking if the employee planned to return to work. The majority wrote that the employee's letter prevented an interactive process from happening by forcing the bank to either grant an indefinite leave of absence or risk facing a lawsuit. However, the two dissenting judges believed that the letter was meant to tell the bank that the employee did not want to abandon his job and was not meant to threaten the bank with legal action. To read more, visit:

Access to Worksite Wellness Survey for Employees with Disabilities (AWWSED)
A survey on employees with disabilities' access to worksite wellness resources is being conducted by Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute. Worksite wellness resources include services and initiatives available through the employer that enhance employees' health and/or promote healthy behaviors. To take the survey, visit:

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

People with Disabilities Still Suffer Discrimination in Hiring
People with disabilities continue to face barriers to employment such as encountering discrimination when looking for a job. While 59% of people of working age without disabilities are employed, only 1 out of 5 working-age people with disabilities are employed. However, some companies are committed to including people with disabilities in their workforce and have successfully employed many people with disabilities. To read more, visit:
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee
The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee was reapproved by the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011 and meetings reconvened on July 10th. The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee was responsible for developing a plan for autism research in 2009 and has updated this plan every year since. Significant progress has been made as a result of autism research, and many new interventions and services are available that did not exist in the past. However, there are also many areas where progress is needed. To read more about this Committee and the progress that has been made in autism research and services, visit:
Access Board Will Lead in Developing Guidance on Accessible Drug Labels
A provision of the new Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in mid-July, will help to make prescription drug labels more accessible. As part of the new law, the Access Board will assemble a group of stakeholders to create best practices for making prescription drug labels more accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. The group will comprise of representatives from advocacy groups as well as industry representatives and will work with the National Council on Disability to educate the public about best practices. To read more about the Act, visit:
Helping People with Disabilities Find Employment
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an investigation of programs designed to help people with disabilities find employment. Forty-five federal programs were identified. However, the GAO concluded that there was insufficient monitoring of the effectiveness of the programs. Read more at:
Disability Rights a Focus in Senate
Two separate hearings were held in July on disability rights issues. One committee considered ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The other committee debated legislation to control the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. This was the first time that either of these issues was considered in the Senate. To read more about the Senate hearings, visit:

More Than 1 in 4 Kids with Disabilities Abused
A global analysis of 17 studies revealed that about 1 in 4 children with disabilities have been abused. The analysis looked at studies involving more than 18,000 children in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Spain, and Israel. Another study from earlier this year reported that adults with disabilities were also more likely to be victims of violence. To read more about the analysis, visit:
ediONLINE Series 7 Certificate in Benefits Planning - Fall Semester 2012
During the fall semester in 2012, the Employment and Disability Institute (EDI) will offer the Series 7 Certificate in Benefits Planning from the ediONLINE virtual classroom. The program is the only scientifically based certification process in the United States for Work Incentive Practitioners. The program consists of 17 webinars leading up to a certification examination. Some of the topics covered include the Social Security Administration and its work incentive programming, TANF, housing, Veterans Benefits, and Workers Compensation. To read more about Series 7 Certificate in Benefits Planning, go to and click on ediONLINE. 
ediONLINE Series - Advanced Issues for the Work Incentive Practitioner
EDI is offering an advanced series for Work Incentive Practitioners. Some of the topics in the series include Overpayment and Economic Self-Sufficiency, Representative Payment, Work Incentives and Planning for Individuals with Blindness, and Advanced IRWE and Subsidies. The series has been approved by Cornell University as meeting continuing education requirements for those with a Certificate in Benefits Planning. To read more about the advanced series, go to and click on ediONLINE. 
Special Spotlight:  ADA 22nd Anniversary!!
Message from the Northeast ADA Center Director, Wendy Strobel Gower: 
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been in place for 22 years and while we have seen marked improvements in some aspects of the law, we are still struggling to ensure its full implementation. The ADA has its champions, for example people like Senator Harkin continue to push policy makers to make disability employment a priority.  There are also thousands of champions for the law who work to improve ADA implementation in their own communities.   An important goal for the Northeast ADA Center is to support the individuals, allies and agencies who promote important disability related changes in their local communities.  We want to be a resource for individuals with disabilities, independent living centers, vocational rehabilitation counselors, business people and business owners, and state and local government officials who want to improve implementation of the ADA in their local communities. Let us know how we can help you by calling 800.949.4232.
Wendy Strobel Gower

White House Observes ADA Anniversary
To commemorate the 22nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the White House observed the event by hosting discussions on the state of disability policy. Senior Advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, as well as other senior administration officials spoke on the issues.  There was a panel discussion with administration officials who discussed technology, education, community living, civil rights, employment and emergency preparedness-among other topics.
The event was hosted on Thursday, July 26, at 8:00 a.m. ET. To learn how the White House observed the anniversary by live stream, which provided live captioning, visit:   
Celebrating 22 Years of the ADA
On July 26, 2012, the ADA National Network celebrated the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Individuals can view the 2012 ADA Anniversary Toolkit and share the ADA Anniversary e-Postcard. To read more, visit:

Opportunities for You!

Accessible Detention and Correctional Facilities Webinar August 2nd:
Safety features can present difficulties when designing accessible detention and correctional facilities. Technical requirements addressing these issues are in the 2010 ADA Accessibility Standards and the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards; both of which address features in holding cells and housing cells. This webinar, to be held August 2nd from 2:30-4:00pm ET, will focus on applicable provisions for these facilities along with some extra requirements established by the Department of Justice. To register, go to:

Webinar on How to Create Accessible Webinars September 6th:  
Webinar access for persons with disabilities, including those who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or have low vision, must be provided. This applies whether you are partaking in a webinar or offering information through one. The Access Board and the Great Lakes ADA Center has worked collectively to offer a monthly webinar series and develop some technical assistance to assist others in ensuring webinar accessibility. This webinar, to be held September 6th from 2:30-4:00pm ET, will examine the use of interactive features, captioning, audio connections, and other features as it concerns those who are developing webinars as well as those who are developing webinar platforms. To register, visit:

ADA Anniversary Resources
To celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA National Network provided an ADA Anniversary Toolkit on their website. The toolkit included information about ADA findings, purpose, and history, ADA resources, Olmstead resources, tips for writing a news release, and information. To read more, visit: