Newsletter: September 17, 2014

Northeast ADA Center New Bulletin: September 17, 2014

Updates from the Northeast ADA Center:

10-20 - 10-21 ADA Coordinator Training Conference, Buffalo NY

The ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program (ACTCP), in cooperation with the Northeast ADA Center at Cornell University, presents the ADA Coordinator's Training Conference October 20-21, 2014 in Buffalo, NY. 

This 2 day event will be held at Hyatt Regency. The conference will offer a variety of sessions and feature speakers from the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Access-Board, and other nationally recognized ADA experts. Registration is open to the public. In addition, ACTCP members will have an opportunity to obtain both foundation and elective level credits towards their program completion.

Seating is very limited! To learn more about the program and to register, visit:

9-19-14 - Free Webinar - "Housing Issues for People with Disabilities: The ADA and other laws"

The shortage of accessible housing in the U.S., compiled with discrimination in the housing market, reduces the availability of housing for citizens with disabilities and complicates their experiences within their homes. This webinar will cover some of the housing issues confronted by individuals with disabilities, and the different disability laws that are designed to facilitate access to appropriate housing. This webinar will be on Friday, September 19th, from 02:00 to 03:30 PM ET. To register, please visit: 

What's New in Our Region:

NYC Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities Coordinating National Disability Mentoring Day - 10-15-14

On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities will once again serve as the local coordinator for National Disability Mentoring Day (DMD).  Beginning in 1999 as a White House initiative, DMD has become a large-scale national and international effort to promote career development for students and job seekers with disabilities through hands-on career exploration, on-site job shadowing and ongoing mentoring.  DMD is nationally hosted by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). To learn more, visit:

New York State Launches New Website to Assist Job Seekers with Disabilities

The online New York State Recruitment Resources Center will serve as the central online employment recruitment location for job seekers who are certified eligible for participation in Governor Cuomo's Program to Hire Persons and Veterans With Disabilities. The website enables job seekers to upload their resume and transcript, and also provides application information regarding disability certification, so that they can be best connected with employment opportunities at State agencies. Learn more about this program at:

Executive Order Signed in U.S. Virgin Islands to Promote the Employment of People with Disabilities in Government

Governor DeJongh signed Executive Order No. 469-2014, "To Advance Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities within the Government of the United States Virgin Islands." This new policy is taking aim at decreasing the stigmas associated with people with disabilities and increasing territory wide employment for this population. It is estimated that twenty percent of the territory's residents live with disabilities, and as a result have a higher rate of employment discrimination and a far higher rate of poverty than those without disabilities. Read more at:

NJ Disability Pride Parade & Celebration Coming to Trenton on 10-3-14

On October 3, 2014, the NJ Disability Pride Parade & Celebration will take place in downtown Trenton, NJ. This event is a grass-roots effort organized and hosted by the Alliance Center for Independence (ACI) with the support of the statewide disability community. Organizers expect over 500 people and organizations, representing a wide variety of disabilities, to march and roll from the State House to the post-parade celebration on E. Lafayette Street. Read more at:

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

EEOC Reports Rise in Federal Disability Employment According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's annual report on the federal workforce statistics for fiscal year 2011, the number of federal employees with targeted disabilities rose to 0.90% after a consecutive 10-year decline, followed by three years of holding steady at 0.88%.Targeted disabilities are considered the most severe impairments and include deafness, blindness, missing extremities, partial or complete paralysis, convulsive disorders, intellectual disabilities, mental illness, and distortion of the limb and/or spine. Read more at:

September Is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

The Resolution passed recently by Congress to dedicate September as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month seeks to bring awareness to the state of health care and treatment for people with spinal cord injuries, highlight the medical advances that have occurred and honor those living with a spinal cord injury. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) estimates that there are approximately 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injury each year in the U.S. The leading causes of spinal cord injury are motor vehicle accidents, falls, and acts of violence. To learn more about spinal cord injury statistics, visit the University of Alabama's National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) website at: For additional resources about spinal cord injury, you can visit the National Spinal Cord Injury Association's Website at

U.S. DOJ Reaches Settlement Agreement with the Louisiana Supreme Court

On August 14th, the Department of Justice announced that it has entered a settlement agreement under the ADA to protect the right of qualified bar applicants with mental health disabilities to have equal access to the legal profession.  The agreement prohibits the Louisiana Supreme Court from asking unnecessary and intrusive questions about bar applicants' mental health diagnosis or treatment.  The agreement also requires the Court to refrain from imposing unnecessary burdens on bar applicants with mental health disabilities, such as requests for medical records, compulsory medical examinations, or onerous monitoring and reporting requirements. For more information, or to review the agreement, visit

Autism CARES Act Signed by President Obama

On August 10th, President Obama signed a reauthorization of the nation's primary autism legislation. The law calls for $260 million annually through 2019 for autism research, prevalence tracking, screening, professional training and other initiatives. The measure known as the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act, or Autism CARES, renews the former Combating Autism Act.  The Act also requires leadership from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to supervise autism research, services and support activities. Read more at:

ABLE Act One Step Closer to Reality

The ABLE Act, if enacted, would allow Americans with disabilities and their families or caretakers the opportunity to create a tax-exempt savings account. An ABLE account would function much like a Roth IRA or a 529 Savings account. The money set aside in an ABLE account would not count as an asset when calculating SSI, SSDI or Medicaid eligibility. Set aside funds can be used toward specific expenses including healthcare, education, housing, transportation, employment support and general welfare. On July 31st, the House Ways and Means Committee voted unanimously to report the ABLE Act out of Committee, bringing it one step closer to an up or down vote by the entire U.S. House of Representatives. Read more at:

Latest Issue of U.S. Access Board's Newsletter, Access Currents, Now Available

The July/August issue of the Access Board's newsletter features several topics, including a new technical guide to outdoor developed areas; the new DOJ Proposed Rule for movie theatre captioning and audio descriptions and the new FCC Rule to promote text to 911 availability. Read more news from the Access Board at:

Opportunities for You!

9-18-14 -Free Webinar on Increasing Self-Identification in the Workplace

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) will sponsor the "Creating an Inclusive Culture: Increasing Self-Identification" webinar on September 18th from 1:00-2:00pm ET. Attendees will learn about emerging practices from private-sector companies for encouraging people with disabilities to self-identify; get tips and tools for hiring managers; and learn strategies for fostering connections with disability organizations. HRCI credits will be available to participants. To register or learn more, please visit:

9-22-14 - Free Webinar on Encouraging Disability Disclosure

EARN will also sponsor the "Do Ask, Do Tell: Encouraging Disability Self-ID in an Inclusive Workplace" webinar on September 22nd from 12:00-1:00pm ET. Attendees will learn how employers can build an inclusive workplace where employees feel safe disclosing that they have a disability, while also meeting the new federal requirements for government contractors. HRCI credits will be available to participants. To register or learn more, please visit:

9-23-14 - Free Webinar: Culturally Competent Emergency Preparedness for the Developmentally Disabled

The NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is offering a free webinar on Culturally Competent Emergency Preparedness for the Developmentally Disabled on Tuesday, September 23rd from 1:00-2:00 PM ET. To learn more about the webinar or to download the flyer, visit:

Special Spotlight:  The Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) Becomes Law

President Barack Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law on July 22nd, 2014. One of the major goals of the Act is to provide additional opportunities for those searching for work, including increasing educational and job training resources for employment. WIOA seeks to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the necessary job skills to enable them to fully participate in the competitive business job market, and also seeks to provide young people with disabilities with the support they need to be successful in today's job market. American Job Centers, where services are provided, will have to certify that they have assessed both physical and programmatic accessibility at the Job Centers. Additionally, WOIA now includes individuals with disabilities in the definition of individuals with barriers to employment. In terms of increasing job readiness, the Act mandates that state vocational rehabilitation agencies work with schools to provide transition services to all students with disabilities and requires that the agencies allocate at least 15 percent of their federal funding toward such transition efforts.

WIOA directs local boards covered by the Act to promote proven practices in programmatic and physical accessibility, develop strategies for using technology to better meet the needs of people with barriers to employment, and annually assess physical and programmatic accessibility. Local boards may also set up a committee to carry out non-discrimination operational issues and provide training for staff on effectively providing services to people with disabilities. At the Federal level, WIOA requires that the Secretary of Labor establish an advisory committee dedicated to increasing competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities.

WIOA will become effective on July 1, 2015; however several provisions in the Act have different effective dates. For more information on the Act, please see the resources below.

The Department of Labor WIOA website:

White House Press Release of President Obama Signing WIOA:

From the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education:

Obama Signs Law Limiting Sheltered Workshop Eligibility - from Disabilityscoop at: