Newsletter: August 21, 2013

Northeast ADA News Bulletin August 2013 Boletín de Noticias del Centro ADA del Noreste: 21de agosto, 2013

What's New from the Northeast ADA Center:

Northeast ADA Center Prepares to Launch New Website

The Northeast ADA Center (NEADA) is in the process of revamping its website ( Over the past several months we have engaged in research efforts to determine how to improve the layout, usability and functionality of our website so our constituents can better benefit from the NEADA Center's resources and information. We plan to launch a new look and feel to the website on September 30th, but full development and completion of the revamp will take several more months. Therefore there will be some changes to the website's layout and features, which may take some getting used to.  As we go through this transition, we will always do our best to make sure the information you are used to seeing/finding remains available to you. Thank you in advance for your patience and we look forward to hearing your feedback about the new!


Register Now for our Free 2013 Webinars!

The Northeast ADA Center will be offering free monthly webinars on a variety of topics, including but not limited to worksite wellness and disability, disability disclosure in the workplace, and the intersections of territory laws and the ADA. Upcoming webinars include "Disability Disclosure in the Workplace: Recent Research on Current Practices & Challenges" on August 29th, and "New Regulations: Intersections and Crossroads: ADA and territorial laws and policies in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico" held on September 26th. To register, visit


Submit Your Difficult Accessibility Questions to be Included in our Webinar this September - "Accessibility Update:  Difficult 2010 ADA Standards Technical Requirements"

On September 19 from 2pm - 3:30pm, The Northeast ADA Center is teaming up with United Spinal Association's Accessibility Services program to host a free Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) training webinar on the "trickier" 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design technical requirements. As both United Spinal Association and the Northeast ADA Center provide technical assistance to the public on these technical requirements, we are providing a webinar devoted exclusively to addressing your burning ADA accessibility questions. To make sure we address your questions in the webinar, please email your questions to by 8/24/13. In the subject line, please indicate "webinar question."       


What's New in Our Region:


New Government Agency for People with Special Needs Unveiled

The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs manifested from legislation Governor Cuomo led last year to improve how New York State provides for people with special needs. Governor Cuomo was quoted asserting that, "The Justice Center will be dedicated to implementing the strongest protections in the nation for over one million New Yorkers with special needs." One important aspect of the Justice Center will be its statewide hotline and incidence reporting system which will include a staff of more than 70 trained professionals receiving claims of abuse and neglect 24 hours a day. To read more, visit


New Code of Conduct Introduced to Service Providers

Custodians of New York state agencies who work with people with special needs must now sign a new Code of Conduct. The new Code of Conduct explains the type of behavior and principles expected from the service providers and offers advice and direction to assist them as they serve people with special needs. The code was implemented as a feature of the Protection of People with Special Needs Act, which also established the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. For more information, visit


Settlement Reached between Justice Department and Erie County, New York

Erie County, New York was accused of discriminating against an employee with a disability. The Justice Department claimed that the county was in violation of the Americans with Disability Act when they would not promote a maintenance worker with monocular vision due to his lack of a commercial driver's license. The department found that the employee was in fact capable of completing all the necessary job duties that accompanied the promotion. Another discovery from the investigation was that there were other employees without a commercial driver's license who had been promoted to the position. For more information, visit


New Interpreter Course Offered to Open the Lines of Communication between the Deaf Community and Medical Field

The Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf will be hosting a course for 15 interpreters from 12 states on health care interpreting. The 15 interpreters selected were chosen out of a pool of 55 individuals. The course begins in Rochester, where the participants are introduced to the initial week of the course, after which they return home and complete the coursework online. This program intends to help its participants strengthen the communication between the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities and medical providers. For more information, visit


Agreement Reached between Town of Poestenkill, New York and Justice Department to Improve Accessibility for People with Disabilities

The Justice Department conducted an investigation after a complaint was filed against the Town of Poestenkill, which was accused of violating regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After the investigation was completed, an agreement was established under Project Civic Access, which is a Justice Department initiative to assure that cities, towns, and counties throughout the country are in accordance with the ADA. To read more, visit


Resort Hotel Association Holds Hospitality Conference; ADA Compliance is a Topic of Interest 

A presentation was given about ADA compliance in the hotel industry at an annual conference held by the Resort Hotel Association. Topics discussed were website accessibility, food allergies, room reservations, and other facets of what hoteliers and hospitality professionals face. To read more about the speech, visit


Agreement Reached to Ensure that Adult Home Residents with Mental Illness have the Option to Live Unsegregated in the Community

An agreement between the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, and adult home residents, who filed a complaint in regards to lack of other housing opportunities besides adult homes, was reached. The new settlement has established that residents with mental illness in adult homes will now be offered supported housing, which includes apartments throughout the community with residential support and services. The services provide aid in the process of community participation and help to develop independence for the former adult home residents. To read more, visit


What's New in the Rest of the Country:


Joint Technical Assistance on Title II of the ADA Issued Regarding Curb Ramps

Technical Assistance guidance has been issued on requirements to provide curb ramps when streets, roads, or highways are altered through resurfacing by the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation. This technical assistance document reaffirms current Title II of the ADA regulations and standards of providing curb ramps when public passageways are changed. The document also answers the questions posed by public entities in regards to what qualifies as an alteration to various roadways and whether they require a curb ramp. To read more, visit


The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Supports Tom Perez's Senate Confirmation for the Position of Labor Secretary

The AAPD and other disability organizations' endorsements of Tom Perez were proven to be successful since he was confirmed for the position of Labor Secretary by the Senate. Perez has long been an ally of people with disabilities working towards ensuring greater opportunities and a more independent life. To find out more, visit 


Investigation Shows Many States Not Making Strides toward Guaranteeing Independent Living

A Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman, Tom Harken, has released a report showing that since the Americans with Disability Act's (ADA) inception and many states are not in accordance with the "integration mandate" of the ADA. The report showed an increasing number of Americans with disabilities restricted to nursing homes. The Committee's report does provide solutions under the ADA to allow people with disabilities to live independently. To read more about the report, visit


Claudia Gordon: New Disability Liaison to the White House

Claudia Gordon, Esq. has replaced Kareem Dale and now serves as the White House's new Public Engagement Advisor for the Disability Community in the Office of Public Engagement. Gordon's previous experience includes working at the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security. She was the first deaf African American woman to become an attorney. For more information, visit


The White House Commemorated the 23rd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

During the week of the 23rd anniversary of the ADA, President Obama, the White House, and various other federal Departments and entities held events to honor the champions of the disability community. The White House noted that strides have been made, but more still needs to be done.

To read more, visit


Opportunities for You!


American Sign Language Class

The Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Development Disabilities (VIUCEDD) will be offering a sign language class from September 9, 2013 to November 14, 2013. Beginner's Level I classes will be held Mondays and Wednesdays. Beginner's Level II classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays. In St. Thomas, the class will be from 5:30pm-7:15pm at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) in Room T114. In-person registration and payment is also available every Wednesday from 12:00pm-2:00pm at this location. In St. Croix, the class will be held from 5:30pm-7:15pm at the VIUCEDD Office, #1 Golden Grove (Located across from the Spice Grill). In-person registration and payment for this location is available Monday thru Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm. The cost of the course is $150.00 and to register online, visit For more information, contact 340-776-9200 ext. 2334 (STT) or 340-692-4266 (STX).


The Citizen-Centered Leadership Development Community of Practice (CCLD CoP) Course Offered

On August 26th, a 15 week leadership course in the field of disability services will begin. The course will include online weekly sessions and recorded interviews with experts such as John O'Brien, Jack Pearpoint, and Connie Ferrell. The Citizen-Centered Leadership Resource and Learning Center at the Employment & Disability Institute at Cornell University is sponsoring this course. To register, visit


Disability Program Manager - Basics

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will be conducting live training courses entitled Disability Program Managers. The purpose of the training is to assist agency management to meet their, "affirmative employment responsibilities to ensure employment opportunities for persons with disabilities." This two day class will be held on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 and Wednesday, August 28, 2013 and will cover the responsibilities that accompany the Disability Program Manager position.

For more information, visit


Cross-Agency Approaches to Advance the Use of Customized Employment and Self-Employment Strategies for Individuals with Disabilities

The LEAD Center is sponsoring a webinar to discuss means of coordinating resources among systems to reinforce the application of "Discovery, Customized Employment, & Self-Employment." This webinar will be held Wednesday, August 28, 2013 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm EDT, for more information visit


20th Annual Mid-Atlantic ADA Update Conference

The Mid-Atlantic ADA will be holding its 20th annual ADA Update on September 18th &19th, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel. This year's keynote speaker on September 18th will be Kirk M. Bauer, JD, the Executive Director of Disabled Sports USA. Credit hours are available. Representatives from the United States Access Board, U.S. Department of Justice, and other entities will be present. To register, visit


The Great Lakes ADA Center Archived webinars

The Great Lakes ADA Center offers archives of past webinars, which can be found on their website.  Topics include the 2010 ADA standards for accessible design, ADA TA training, creating accessible temporary events, fair housing and transportation. To view archived webinars, visit:


Special Spotlight: Changes to the Vocational Rehabilitation Act


The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee has agreed to changes of the Workforce Investment Act's (WIA) Vocational Rehabilitation Act. Some potential changes will impact the employment and economic well-being of individuals with disabilities. The bill could have a substantial effect upon the entities of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Rehabilitation Services Administration, and programs by Independent Living Centers that if implemented, will be moving to different governmental Departments. To read more about potential impacts visit the links provided below:


HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin's Statement on the Workforce Investment Act


Bipartisan Support for the WIA Reauthorization


Senate HELP Committee Approves Changes


Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on WIA