Newsletter: January 12, 2009

Northeast ADA January 12, 2009 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

DBTAC Offering FREE Workshop for the Virgin Islands- Sign Up Now!

In the Virgin Islands, as elsewhere, people with disabilities continue to face significant barriers entering and remaining in the workforce. Despite this, many employers and businesses have found clear advantages in employing people with disabilities and in reaching customers with disabilities. The goal of this free workshop, entitled Reaching Employers: Promoting Disability Inclusive Workforce Strategies as a Source of Competitive Advantage, is to enable participants to create strong partnerships with employers/business leaders by building strategies for disability inclusiveness that contribute to organizational success and competitive advantage. Further we will examine how these strategies and best practices could be applied in the Virgin Islands. The program is six hours and includes a networking lunch. It will be offered on four different days during the week of February 23, 2009 on both St. Croix and St. Thomas, participants need only attend one day. For more information on the workshop and how to register, contact Barbara Sosna at either 1.800.949.4232 or


What's New in the Rest of the Country:

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Offers Resources on ADAAA:

While the ADA Amendments Act became effective January 1st, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has not yet completed the regulations for this law, therefore leaving us still uncertain about the ADAAA's implications.  As we continue to learn and understand this legislation, JAN has developed a publication and resource page regarding what information is currently available about the Act. The new publication is called JAN's Accommodation and Compliance Series: The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 and is available at: It will be periodically updated as additional information is made public.  JAN's additional ADAAA resources can be found at:

New Census Disability Statistics Released: 19% of Americans have a Disability:

On January 5th the U.S. Census Bureau released a report indicating that about 1 in 5 Americans- 19 percent- reported some level of disability in 2005, up from 18 percent reported in 2002. Other findings were: nearly 46 percent of people age 21-64 with a disability were employed compared to 84 percent of those in this age group without a disability and the median monthly earnings were $1,458 for people with a severe disability, $2,250 for people with a nonsevere disability, and $2,539 for those with no disability. For access to these and more statistics, go to:

Emergency Personnel to Train in Disability Issues:

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is partnering with the Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network (CEPIN) to develop an emergency management web-based training program. This self-paced training is meant to increase awareness about challenges those with disabilities face during disasters and examine the needs gaps in emergency plans. The pilot program will launch this Spring and hopes to encourage emergency managers to work directly with the disability community to address this need. Read more at:

American Council of the Blind (ACB) Launches Audio Description Project:

The ACB announced the establishment of its Audio Description Project (ADP). Audio description uses words that are clear and succinct to describe the visual image that is being displayed. For television, on film, videotape, and DVDs, description enhances the regular program audio, timed to occur only during the lapses between dialogue. Throughout 2009, the ADP plans to build awareness of audio description among the general public and potential users, those who are blind or have low vision. The ADP also plans to disseminate information, offer training, and encourage research on the efficacy of audio description.  Read more at:

CBS Evening News Features Supported Employment and Mental Illness:

On January 4th, CBS Evening News ran a two minute feature story, narrated by medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook, on the promise of supported employment for people with mental illness. To view the video, go to:

National Council on Disability (NCD) Monthly Bulletin for December, 2008:

The NCD is an independent federal agency composed of members appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. NCD provides advice to the President, Congress, and executive branch agencies to promote policies, programs, practices, and procedures that guarantee equal opportunity for all individuals with disabilities and to empower said individuals to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society. Their December Bulletin, which includes details about their recent receipt of a Congressional Award, is available at:

Don't Forget! Analog Switches to Digital Television this February:

On February 17, 2009, most television stations will switch from analog to digital broadcasting meaning that anyone who watches/hears TV using a set that has "rabbit ears" antennas must either buy a new digital TV, pay for TV (cable, satellite, or phone company), or get a converter box.  To learn how to make the switch, go to:


Opportunities for YOU:

FREE Webcast on Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders:

On Wednesday January 28th at 3:00pm EST, the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) will host a free 90 minute webcast entitled: Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The presentation will introduce SEDL's new resource for vocational rehabilitation (VR) and transition services for persons with autism and related disorders. You can earn 1.5 CRC continuing education units (CEUs) for participating in the webcast, from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). For more information on the webcast content, presenters, and how to register, go to:

Eighth International Conference on Occupational Stress & Health:

This year's conference is themed Work, Stress, and Health 2009 Global Concerns and Approaches, will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico November 5-8, 2009. Call for Proposals is going on now with submission deadline of March 16th. The conference is sponsored by the American Psychological Association, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Society for Occupational Health Psychology, and the University of Puerto Rico. For complete information, including how to submit a proposal, visit the conference website at:

The 2009 National ADA Symposium, "Revitalizing the ADA":

This year's annual ADA Symposium will be June 8th-10th at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.  The theme of the 2009 Symposium is Revitalizing the ADA. The passage of the ADA Amendments Act reaffirmed the American commitment to creating an accessible and inclusive society for people with disabilities and their families. In response, the 2009 National ADA Symposium will include several new features and has invited United States Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, sponsor of both the ADA and the ADA Amendments Act, to be the Keynote Speaker.  The National ADA Symposium is designed for ADA Coordinators, State and Local Government Officials, Design Professionals, the Building Industry, Employers, Human Resource Professionals, People with Disabilities and their Families, Service Providers and Advocates. The cost is $475 and registration deadline is April 30th.  For more information on the Symposium agenda and hotel accommodations, go to:


Special Spotlight: 2009 Brings New Information and Ideas about Employing People with Disabilities:

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has conducted a ground-breaking survey of employer actions and attitudes regarding the employment of people with disabilities. The 2008 Survey of Employer Perspectives on the Employment of People with Disabilities is the first of its magnitude, with responses representing more than 2.4 Million companies nationwide. The objective of this survey was to inform policy and practice as ODEP plans to use the data to formulate strategies for increasing employment opportunities for those with disabilities. The results reveal that a majority of large businesses hiring people with disabilities discover that costs for accommodations differ very little from those of the general employee population. Additionally, the survey showed that once an employer hires someone with a disability, they are much more likely to hire other people with disabilities.  To access the complete report, go to:

ODEP has also revised their Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities, including disabled veterans. It features video clips, research, and anecdotal information from businesses and industry leaders on how hiring people with disabilities improves an organization's bottom line across six themes: Return on Investment, Human Capital, Innovation, Marketing, Diversity, and Social Responsibility. To access this resource, go to:



See you in a few weeks!!!