Newsletter: May 21, 2014

Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin: May 21st, 2014


Updates from the Northeast ADA Center:


Northeast ADA Center Website Now Available in Spanish!

The Northeast ADA Center (NEADA) recently launched its updated website ( in English. We are now proud to introduce the Spanish version of our new and improve website! When you visit our website, you will see at the top of the homepage a button to click to be taken to the Spanish version. Right now we have several web pages in Spanish, and will be working over the next couple months to continuously translate the remaining webpages add information. Please keep checking back to find what new information and pages are available in Spanish. The entire website is scheduled to be fully translated by September, 2014. Thank you in advance for visiting and engaging with our updating website and we look forward to hearing your feedback! The direct link to the NEADA Spanish website is:!


What's New in Our Region:


NYC Theatres to Provide Listening Devices to Individuals with Hearing Loss

The New York State Attorney General announced, as part of settlement agreements, that three New York City theatres must offer assistive listening devices to individuals with hearing loss. These agreements, established with the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Atlantic Theater Company and the School of Visual Arts Theatre, confirm that the organizations will offer equal access to individuals with hearing loss, as prescribed by the ADA. To learn more, visit:


Medicaid Managed Care Forum: Engaging Disability Leadership Representatives

The National Council on Disability (NCD) is working together with federal agency representatives and disability leadership stakeholders to conduct a cross-disability stakeholder engagement with federal agency partners for the purpose of obtaining valuable input into both the planning and implementation of Medicaid managed care. Through the Medicaid Managed Care Forum, NCS hopes to

"facilitate input on experiences, preferences and desired outcomes for Medicaid managed care among disability leadership, federal and state agency representatives; health plans, and providers." This forum will be held on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 from 9:30am - 4:00pm in The City University of New York, 55 Lexington Ave, New York. To attend please RSVP:



What's New in the Rest of the Country:


Comments Sought on Proposed Changes to Service Animal Access in National Parks

The National Parks Service recently issued a proposed update to its regulations regarding service animals. The proposed changes would allow service dogs and miniature service horses, but not other species of service animals into National Parks. Though service animals are currently allowed within national parks, this update to the regulations is meant to adopt the ADA Title II and Title III new definition of a service animal. Additionally, the regulations call for requiring proof that service animals are vaccinated against diseases which can be transmitted to wildlife. The National Parks Service is seeking comments on the proposed regulations through June 17th. To learn more, visit:


At a Congressional Hearing, Disability Training Urged for Police
A U.S. Senate panel convened to discuss issues related to police interactions with individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness. At the panel hearing, the mother of a man with a developmental disability who died after an interaction with police at a movie theater testified of the incident. Additionally, she urged for police to receive proper training as studies suggest that police interaction with individuals with disability is often not pleasant and that approximately six in 10 prisoners serving time in state penitentiaries have some form of mental illness. Her son's ordeal brought national attention to the issue of police engagement with individuals who have developmental disabilities. The hearing highlighted the need for more funding in order to train police on how to better interact with individuals with developmental disabilities. To learn more, visit:


The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Gives Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities a Chance to Self-Identify

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has improved upon the enforcement of protections for individuals with disabilities through new guidelines touching upon self-identification and requests for accommodation. Under these new guidelines, federal contractors are required to provide multiple notices for the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to self-identify throughout the employment life cycle. This will ensure that employees feel comfortable to voluntarily self-identify when they are ready. These new guidelines hope to remedy the fact that many protected veterans and individuals with disabilities are often hesitant to self-identify at first, because of concerns about potential discriminations. To read more, visit:


Feds Impose Stiffer ADA Penalties

Announced in a final rule published in March in the Federal Register, the Federal Government has imposed higher fines for violations of the ADA. This increase in fine amount, accounts for inflation costs. For the first time in more than a decade, the fines that the federal government can impose for violations of the ADA are set to rise from the previous maximum civil penalty of $55,000 to $75,000, with subsequent fees possibly rising to $150,000 from $110,000. This ability to impose higher fines is now in effect for any violation that occurs after April 27, 2014.

To read more, visit:


New Guide Provides Researchers with Strategies for Better Engaging College Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston has recently released a guide titled "See What I Mean: Participatory Action Research with College Students with Intellectual Disabilities." This guide is meant to serve as a resource for researchers who want to use Participatory Action Research methods to better understand the perspectives and experiences of college students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), which is increasingly important as more and more individuals with IDD have the tools and resources to attend college. This guide reviews how researchers can work to better engage college students with IDD at various stages of the research process from identifying relevant topics to the dissemination of research findings. To learn more, visit:




Ranking Names Best States for Disability Services

United Cerebral Palsy has released this year's ranking of all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the quality and quantity of services offered to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The factors used to determine the rankings included the state's method to encouraging independence and productivity, assurance of quality and safety, and promoting family unity.  Whereas previous years would show a concentration of high performing states in the Northeast and West parts of the country, this year's ranking demonstrates a shift, as the top states are now more equally distributed across the whole nation. Included in the top 10 states are: Michigan, Hawaii, Georgia, New York, South Carolina, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio and Missouri. To read more, visit:


U.S. Access Board Launches Online Guides to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA)

Two new web-based guides on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Standards and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards have been released by the U.S. Access Board. The online material features illustrated technical guides and animations to help clarify requirements of the ADA and ABA.  For example, the Guide to the ADA Standards specifically covers design requirements that apply to places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government facilities subject to the ADA in new construction, alterations, and additions. The Guide to the ABA Standards addresses similar standards that apply under the ABA to facilities that are designed, constructed, altered, or leased with federal funds. To read more, visit:   


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Wins Disability Discrimination Case against Ford Motor

In a recent ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided in favor of the EEOC in a disability discrimination lawsuit. The EEOC had accused Ford of violating the ADA by denying a former employee a reasonable accommodation to telework. Additionally, Ford fired the employee after their formal complaint with EEOC was filed. The district court ruled in favor of Ford, but the decision was later overturned by Court of Appeals. To read more visit:

Half of Americans with Disabilities are Physically Inactive

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the physical activity behaviors of working-age adults with disabilities has found that nearly half of adults in this group are physically inactive. This inactivity means that adults with disabilities in the study would have a 50% greater chance of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. The CDC recommends that all adults engage in about 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity per week.  In an effort to address the inactivity among individuals with disabilities, the CDC has also launched a website for health and wellness professionals on strategies for encouraging physical activity among their patients with disabilities. Read more at:


Opportunities for You!


Supporting Effective Transition Courses in Albany and Rochester, New York   

Individuals with disabilities must consider their opportunities in transitioning from school to adulthood, and information regarding supports and services to support this transition is vital. The New York State Consortium for Advancement of Supported Employment (CASE) is offering a one-day course, which will help participants understand the components of transition planning and their role in supporting the process. The variety of issues to be discussed in these sessions include strategies for supporting students effectively in the transition process as well as the roles played by stakeholders including schools, caseworkers and family members in a student's transition. This course will be held on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 from 8:30am - 4:30pm in East Rochester, NY and on Thursday, June 5, 2014 from 8:30am - 4:30pm in Albany, NY. To register visit: 


Play It Safe Video Contest
Youth interested in making a change in sports culture by teaching teammates, coaches, and parents how to recognize, address and properly treat sport-related concussions are invited to participate in this year's Play It Safe Video Contest. The contest is being hosted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC). Youths between the ages of 13 and 22 can submit a 30 to 60 second video aimed at educating the public on the topic of sports-related concussions. Winners will be awarded a $300 gift card for their submission. The deadline for entries is May 30th. To read more and to participate, visit:


2014 Southwest Conference on Disability

The 2014 Southwest Conference on Disability will be held on October 7-10, 2014 at the Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town. This year's conference will cover several themes, including: "Disability, Diversity and Social Justice: Looking to the Future through a Common Lens"; "Life after a Brain Injury: Pathways to Increasing Quality of Life"; and "Increasing the Quality of Life of Youth in Transition: Breaking Down Barriers". The early bird application deadline is September 7th, 2014 and the Scholarship Deadline is August 31st, 2014. Read more and register at:


Special Spotlight: May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

National Mental Health Awareness Month aims to bring increased attention to the issues faced by individuals with mental illness such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. It is estimated that one in five adults will experience a mental health condition, but that less than half will get the treatment that they need. Join us in recognizing National Mental Health Awareness Month by taking time to learn more about mental health issues and the various ways of supporting individuals with mental health conditions.

Presidential Proclamation -- National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2014 


Fact Sheet: Marking the Administration's Progress on Mental Health


May is National Mental Health Awareness Month


Mental Health America


Help for Veterans