Newsletter: August 20, 2012

Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin - August 20, 2012

What's New in Our Region:

ADA Vocational Program Closes with Ceremony

At the closing ceremony for the Americans with Disabilities Act Vocational Summer Program, youth with various disabilities gave PowerPoint presentations regarding themselves and professional aspirations. The program was supported by the Virgin Islands Department of Labor. The six-weeks summer program was intended to help youth with disabilities learn how to find a job, hold a job, interview, and make career choices. To learn more about the program, visit:

Use of Response to Intervention When Determining if a Student in Grades K-4 Has a Learning Disability in Reading

New York State Education Department delivered a memorandum reiterating that all school districts in New York State must have a Response to Intervention framework established to assess pupils in grades kindergarten through grade four to determine whether a learning disability (LD) in the area of reading exists. To read more about the ruling, visit:


What's New in the Rest of the Country: 

Former 700-Pound Man Receives Disability Discrimination Claim

A former employee for a military vehicle manufacturing company, who was fired from his job in 2009, has won a $55,000 disability claim. The man weighed up to 680 pounds during his employment tenure at BAE Systems Tactical Vehicle Systems.  According to the lawsuit his employer terminated him because of his weight and never discussed with him whether he needed any accommodations. To read more about the lawsuit, visit:

10 Great Cities for People with Physical Disabilities

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation have ranked 100 large cities in the United States based on accessibility and quality of life for people who use wheelchairs. Some of the factors they observed included accessible transit, accessible fitness and recreation centers, climate, air quality, and amount of physicians and rehab specialists. They also considered the age of the cities, the cities' spending and eligibility requirements for Medicaid, and whether there were large quantities of individuals with physical disabilities in the cities who were able to get jobs. To read more about the cities that were at the top of the list, visit:

A Call to Focus on Finding Jobs for those with Disabilities

During the recent recession, the number of people with disabilities who were employed fell five times more than the employment for people without disabilities. However, in spite of this, some believe that there are reasons to be optimistic about employment opportunities of individuals with disabilities in the future. Some of these reasons include the fact that young people with disabilities who grew up in integrated settings expect to be able to find employment, and also the fact that more individuals with disabilities are being hired by the government and private employers. To read more about the employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, visit:

Banner Health Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit for $255,000

Banner Health, a non-profit health care system, has been charged with not accommodating an employee with a disability and breaking a mediation agreement.  A worker with an intellectual disability was ignored when he made requests for reasonable accommodations. Because of this, a mediation agreement was reached in which Banner Health agreed to discuss any arrangements with regards to the worker's employment with his brother, who had his power of attorney.  However, when the worker made an additional request for an accommodation, the company declined without discourse regarding the situation with his brother, and ultimately fired the employee. Banner Health has been ordered to pay $255,000 to the man's Special Needs Trust and to implement training and policies on disability discrimination. To read more about the lawsuit, visit:


Opportunities for You!

Survey: Rental Housing Search and Occupancy Experiences of OIF & OEF Veterans with Disabilities

Veterans with military associated disabilities who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and who searched for accessible rental housing or lived in rental housing are invited to participate in a research study to bring awareness to their rental housing search and occupancy experiences. If you are interested in participating in this research study, please cut and paste the following link to your internet browser to access the electronic version of this study:     

Participants have until Friday, September 7, 2012 to complete the survey. For participating in this study, you have the opportunity to enter into a drawing to win 1 of 4 money orders in the amount of $50.00! If you have any questions regarding this research, contact: Luz Semeah via phone or email at (561) 603-2350 or

Conference: United Spinal's 2012 Independence Expo

August 24th through the 25th, the United Spinal Association is sponsoring the 2012 Independence Expo. Imagine having access to the most valuable resources and innovative products available to improve your independence and achieve your goals. The Independence Expo provides new and exciting opportunities for individuals with disabilities and the aging to live full and satisfying lives. From contemporary consumer workshops and exhibits, to interactive shows and friendly staff and professionals, the Expo has become the premier annual event you can't afford to miss. To register visit:

Webinar: Don't Know Much About the Affordable Care Act? A Webinar for Women with Disabilities

Join this webinar on Aug 22nd to understand the implications of the brand new law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as it relates to women with disabilities. This webinar will focus on programs, benefits, and rights under the ACA that will be of great interest to women living with disabilities. Additionally, this webinar promises to provide useful info on 1) Preventive Services, 2) Medicare Benefits, 3) Reducing Health Disparities, and 4) Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan and Anti-discrimination Provisions. This webinar is sponsored by the American Association on Health and Disability and the United Spinal Association. To register visit:


Special Spotlight:

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Accessibility and inclusion of individuals with disabilities are essential rights recognized by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and are not only objectives, but also vital for the enjoyment of other rights of individuals with disabilities. CRPD is an agreement by nations throughout the world to ensure that individuals with disabilities and individuals without disabilities are treated equally. This international agreement will guide governments on what to do to make sure everyone, including individuals with disabilities, can enjoy their rights. The CRPD strives to empower individuals with disabilities to live independently and participate entirely in all facets of life and development. The CRPD calls upon nations to take the right measures to guarantee that individuals with disabilities have access to all aspects of society on an equal basis with others, as well as to identify and eradicate obstacles to accessibility.

For more on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

It's About Ability: An explanation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Tell Your U.S. Senators to Ratify the CRPD  

United Spinal Calls for Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Treaty: Defending ADA Values Globally

Convention and Optional Protocol Signatures and Ratifications

Website Providing information on the CRPD and important dates & events

UN Treaty Mischief on Disabilities