Newsletter: October 17, 2013

Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin: October 16th, 2013


What's New from the Northeast ADA Center:


NEADA Center Launches New Website!

The Northeast ADA Center is pleased to announce a new look and feel to our website, At our website, you will find the latest news, learn about our upcoming events and training options, access our most significant resources for understanding the ADA and related disability issues, and be able to submit an ADA technical assistance question. You will also learn more about the ADA, local resources, employment, accessibility, and how to make change in your community and organization. We are very excited to share our new website with you, but please note that we are continuing to enhance and edit it, so we thank you for your patience as we finalize it.  We are currently working on creating a Spanish version of our website as well and hope to launch that within the next few months.  If you have any feedback or suggestions for continuing to enhance our website, don't hesitate to let us know!


New Webinar: Interacting with Individuals with Disabilities in Law Enforcement

Among the citizens that law enforcement may encounter everyday are individuals with disabilities, including both visible and non-visible disabilities. While law enforcement has their protocols and procedures for how to handle certain situations, respond to incidents, investigate situations and crimes, and conduct business, these may need to be adapted when engaging with individuals with a particular disability. This is to ensure that the interaction and/or service provided to the individual are equal and accessible. This online training is appropriate for anyone who works in a law enforcement capacity. It will provide participants with an understanding of law enforcement officer's obligations under the ADA as well as how to effectively interact with people with various forms of disability. This event will be held on October 30th from 1-2pm. To register, visit:


What's New in Our Region:


OMH Announces $32.5 U.S. Department of Education Award to Improve Education/Career Outcomes of Low Income Children with Disabilities

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) was recently awarded $32,500,000 by the U.S. Department of Education to implement the "Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) initiative. The nationwide initiative was proposed by the Obama Administration as a way to improve education and career outcomes for low income children with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). NYS PROMISE is intended to serve children with disabilities, ages 14-16, who are receiving SSI and their families. The initiative will be a five year collaborative statewide effort comprised of partners such as OMH,, Cornell University,  the New York State Education Department Office of Career and Continuing Education Services, and the Department of Labor, Workforce Development System, to name a few. To read more, visit:


Times Square Shooting: Experts Say Police Need Better Training to Deal with People Who Have a Mental Illness

On September 14th, two police officers confronted a man who was attempting to injure himself by walking in and out of traffic at a busy New York City (NYC) intersection. Upon the police officers confronting the man, he reached into his pocket, subsequently withdrawing his hand and making gun like gestures at the police officers. The officers then fired upon the man, but missed him and ended up hitting two bystanders. It is believed that the man's behavior was influenced by a mental illness, causing disability advocates to state that police need better training on dealing with mental illness. New York advocates such as the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill have been pushing to bring Crisis Intervention Teams to New York; these are teams of officers specially trained to deal with situations involving people with mental illnesses. However, up till now their efforts have been met with resistance from the NYC Police Department. To read more, visit:


What's New in the Rest of the Country:

Government Shutdown Devastating to Veterans

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) testified at a congressional hearing and highlighted the negative effects of the shutdown on veterans and troops. IAVA demands Congress restore death benefits for families of the fallen and continues to call for an end to the shutdown and is continually updating their FAQs online focused around how veteran's disability benefits and services are affected by the shutdown.  To read more, visit: Government shutdown FAQ. IAVA's full testimony can be found here.


Minimum Wage, Overtime Protections Extended to Direct Care Workers

The US Department of Labor recently announced the new rule, which effective January 1, 2015, extends minimum wage and overtime protection to direct care workers, many of whom serve people with disabilities in their homes. The types of workers who could benefit from the new regulations would include home health aides, personal care aides, and certified nursing assistants, totaling nearly two million workers. While direct care workers in some states already receive these protections from state laws, the new regulations extend the protections across the country. The new rule does not impact workers who are employed by individuals or their families for companionship or other such services. To read more about the new rule and its implications, visit:


Sequester Hits Special Education Like a 'Ton of Bricks'

The effect of the federal sequestration on special education has begun to be felt in some school districts around the country. Due to the way that most school budgets operate, they did not feel the impact of the sequester until the current school year. The sequestration meant that 5% of the funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was cut, this translated into an estimated loss of $579 in funding for school districts. The types of services and programs which the funding cuts affected range from speech and physical therapy services to resource rooms which provide students with extra help in a variety of areas such as math and organizational skills. To read more, visit:


NCD Hosts Tactile Currency Forum in Honor of Rehab Act 40th Anniversary

As part of its recognition of the 40th Anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the National Council on Disability recently hosted a forum on Tactile Currency. The forum, which was attended by representatives from the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Federal Reserve Board, and the U.S. Secret Service, featured discussions and presentations on the design, production, and distribution of tactile currency, as well as presentations that highlighted the best methods to implementing tactile currency in the United States. The significance of the efforts to spread tactile currency to the United States is highlighted by the growing numbers of people with visual disabilities present within the United States, whether due to the aging population or from recent combat engagements. To read more, visit:


Denial of Job for an HIV Positive Man gets Fast Food Restaurant Sued

A job applicant for a general management position filed suit against a Popeye's restaurant in Longview, TX because he was denied from being considered for a position due to being HIV positive. While interviewing for the position the applicant, who had previously been a fast food restaurant manager, disclosed that he left his prior position because he was HIV positive. He was then told that he could not work at the restaurant due to his condition, though HIV is not transmitted via contact with food. The lawsuit is part of an enforcement effort by the EEOC help to dispel some of the misconceptions about HIV that employers may have; in this case the misconceptions about HIV positive workers in the restaurant industry. To read more, visit:


Opportunities for You!

"ADA Live!" Beyond Yellow Ribbons: Veterans with Disabilities Returning to Work

Produced by the Southeast ADA Center, ADA Live! is a free monthly radio show, broadcasted nationally on the first Wednesday of each month on the internet.  Visit to learn more and listen to archives if you miss one! The next live broadcast will be presented by Wendy Strobel Gower, director of the Northeast ADA Center at Cornell University on November 6th. this broadcast will focus on several key issues for returning veterans with disabilities to work. Since 2001, about 2.5 million men and women have served in the U.S. military. One-third of these service members served more than once. About half of all returning veterans have some level of service-connected disability. For many veterans, the transition to civilian life means learning to live with a disability. Today's "yellow ribbon" spirit has resulted in better services, protections and treatments for veterans with disabilities. However, many veterans, especially those with disabilities, still face significant barriers in their transition to civilian life.

This internet radio broadcast will be held on November 6th from 1-1:30pm EST. To tune in, visit:


Innovative Research on Employer Practices: Improving Employment for People with Disabilities

At this state of the science conference to be held on Oct. 22-23 in Washington, D.C. Cornell University researchers will present their findings on Employer Practices and their Role in Increasing the Rate and Quality of Employment for People with Disabilities, and discuss critical issues such as institutional barriers to employment, with commentary from public and private sector stakeholders. Patricia Shiu, director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) will be the keynote speaker on Day 1. To register, visit:


1st Annual Symposium on Emergency Planning With People with Disabilities

The events of Hurricane Sandy highlighted the importance of emergency planning for people with disabilities. For people with disabilities and their families, this event will provide valuable information on how to plan for disasters given individuals particular needs and what to do when emergency situations occur. The event will include a keynote speech from Marcie Roth, who is the director of FEMA's Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, as well as feature presentations from other emergency planners. This event will be held on Tuesday, October 29th from 8am - 11am at The Lighthouse, 111 E 59th St, New York NY 10022. For more information contact, Jennifer Santiago at 718-515-2800 ext. 111 or


The 50+ Workforce: High Potentials You Might Be Overlooking

One in five American workers is age 55 or older. Almost half of the American workforce will be 45 or older in the next decade.  Do employers fully realize the roles highly experienced workers can play and the value they can provide? Are 50+ workers prepared to extend their careers another decade or two? This free webcast explores what employers should know about a group that has been called the largest trained pool of future employees, and sheds light on challenges and opportunities faced by mature workers.



  • Susanne Bruyère, ILR School associate dean, director of the Employment and Disability Institute, and professor of Disability Studies, will share recent research, including findings of an employer survey focused on mature workers;
  • Linda Barrington, executive director of ILR's Institute for Compensation Studies, studies employment and pay issues, and will offer perspectives on implications for maturing workers;
  • Emily Allen, vice president of impact programs-income, AARP Foundation, will talk about strategies to effectively engage the 50+ workforce as a solution to worker and skill shortages.


This webcast will be held on Friday, October 18th from 12pm - 1pm. To register, visit:


New York Disability Vote Network

The New York Disability Vote Network (NYDVN) is currently soliciting voter information for a voting initiative targeted towards people with disabilities. The NYDVN hopes to mobilize people with disabilities in New York State in order to be able to enact positive changes for disability related issues at the state level.  Members of the Network will receive information that can help to inform them as they go to the ballot box.  For more information and to join the Network, contact Jessica Thurber at


The Tenth Annual Voices That Count Conference in U.S. Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD) will be hosting the 10th annual Voices That Count Conference entitled "Promoting Inclusion, Dignity and Equality," with sessions in late October on St. Thomas and St. Croix. The conference will allow people with disabilities as well as their families the opportunity to interact with elected official and members of government agencies in order to discuss issues affecting people with disabilities and their families on the Virgin Islands. The events should help to better inform elected officials and government agencies in order to facilitate change for people with disabilities and their families. The conference will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the UVI Administration and Conference Center on St. Thomas. The St. Croix session will follow on Thursday, Oct. 31, in the Great Hall on UVI's Albert A. Sheen Campus. Both sessions will run from 8:30am - 3:30pm. To register online visit:


Special Spotlight:  National Disability Employment Awareness Month


October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The goal of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is to help highlight the contributions of Americans with disabilities to the American workforce. The theme for this year's month is "Because We Are EQUAL to the Task." The Office of Disability and Employment Policy encourages people and organizations all across the country to participate in the month, and help to make America and the workforce more inclusive of persons with disabilities. The following links provide more information on NDEAM and ways that people can get involved throughout the month.


National Disability Employment Awareness Month


US Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy announces theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month October 2013


Presidential Proclamation -- National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2013


Southwest Airlines Recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month