Newsletter: January 08, 2010

Northeast ADA January 8, 2010 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

Register for Virgin Islands ADA Train the Trainer Network by January 15th:
Cornell University's DBTAC-Northeast is providing our Virgin Islands constituents a FREE two day train-the-trainer program designed to certify participants as trainers in our ADA Trainer Network Program. You can participate January 25-26 at the Carambola Beach Resort on St. Croix OR January 28-29 at the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort on St. Thomas. For more information and to register online, go to:

New York (NY) Town Agrees to Improve Access for People with Disabilities:
The United States has entered a Voluntary Compliance Agreement with Lewisboro, NY to improve access to all aspects of civic life in Lewisboro for people with disabilities. This Agreement is the result of a complaint by a Lewisboro resident that civic facilities did not comply with the ADA and states that Lewisboro will have to make physical modifications, appoint ADA Coordinators, and modify certain policies. For complete details, go to:


What's New in the Rest of the Country:

DOL Announces Regulatory Agenda Addressing Disability Employment:
On December 7th, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced the Department of Labor's Regulatory Agenda that addresses the employment of veterans, and other individuals, with disabilities. This agenda includes anticipated revisions to the regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended (VEVRAA). These laws require Federal contractors to take affirmative action to employ individuals and veterans with disabilities. To access the fact sheets about these proposed changes, go to:

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Director to Lead Federal VR Program:
Lynnae Ruttledge, leader of Washington state's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), is going to be running the $4 billion federal VR program for the Obama administration. Ruttledge stated that, "I want to be a part of the economic recovery of the country. I want people with disabilities to be identified as part of the solution and not a part of the problem". As Washington's DVR leader, Ruttledge, who has both a physical and visual disability, worked to reduce DVR's waiting list from 14,000 to zero. Read the full article at:

New Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Communication Etiquette Fact Sheet:
JAN has released a "Real-Time Communication Etiquette for Communicating with Customers with Disabilities" fact sheet. It provides information on effective ways to communicate with people with speech, cognitive, fine motor, visual, and hearing impairments using non face-to-face methods of communication such as texting and instant messaging. Read the fact sheet at:

Social Security (SSA) Launches "Choose Work" Web Site:
The SSA has launched the Choose Work web site for people receiving Social Security disability benefits. The site includes short, informative videos, stories from people who explored the Ticket to Work incentive, and access to local resources for SSA disability beneficiaries who want to return to work. It also includes resources for service providers and employers who want to become a Ticket to Work Employment Network. Visit it at:

New Reference Guide on Universal Design for Workforce Development:
The National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult and the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth have created a reference guide, "Universal Design for the Workforce Development System", that shows how universal design strategies should be a part of all functions performed by public and private workforce development systems, including marketing, orientation, assessment, and service coordination and delivery. This link will open a PDF document: Universal Design for the Workforce Development System .

U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Appoints New Deputy Director:
Christine Griffin, former Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is the new Deputy Director of the OPM where she will play a key role in shaping and managing the Federal government's 1.9 million employees.  Griffin, a vocal advocate for a diverse Federal workforce and the rights of individuals with disabilities, launched the Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities (LEAD) Initiative in 2006 to address the low employment of people with severe disabilities in the Federal government. Read the press release at:,1499.aspx

Obama Appoints New Members to the National Council on Disability (NCD):
On December 16th, President Obama announced his intent to nominate eight individuals to the NCD. Nominees' backgrounds include working in Independent Living Centers, academia, and state legislatures. To read more about the nominees, go to:

Panel Discussion on Inclusion in the Green Talent Pipeline:
On December 16th, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Martinez and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment Training Administration (ETA) Fiala participated in a panel discussing strategies for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the green talent pipeline. To read Martinez' remarks, go to:

PowerPoint on What the ADAAA Means for One-Stops and Job Corps:
The U.S. Department of Labor's Civil Rights Center created this PowerPoint presentation describing the key changes that resulted from the ADA Amendments Act and what Equal Opportunity Officers in the One-Stop System and Job Corps should know:

National Council on Disability (NCD) December Bulletin:
This month's bulletin features information on the NCD's latest reports on housing and workforce infrastructure:


Opportunities for You!

Service Animals Audio-Conference January 19th:
On January 19th from 2:00-3:30pm EST the National Network of ADA Centers will present the "Service Animals: Unraveling the Differences and Best Practices" audio-conference. This session will address the definition of service animals and the rights of their owners under the ADA, Air Carrier Access Act, and the Fair Housing Act. Emotional support animals and model service animal policies for education and healthcare will also be discussed. Register at:

Seminar to Address Federal Funding of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services:
The Center for Studying Disability Policy will host the "Is a Makeover Needed for Federal Funding of Vocational Rehabilitation Services?" seminar on January 20th from 12:00 -1:30 p.m. EST in Washington, DC. Speakers will discuss variability in the funding and delivery of state VR services and options for changing the federal funding formula. Participants may attend in person or via Webinar. Register online at:

Free DBTAC Webinar with U.S. Access Board February 7th:
On February 7th from 2:30-4:00pm EST, the National Network of ADA Centers will hold the next session in their Accessibility Online Webinar series. The U.S. Access Board will provide a look at their rulemaking efforts, enforcement of the Architectural Barriers Act, research and training programs, and helpful resources and guidance on accessibility. Register at Questions can be directed to 877-232-1990 (V/TTY) or

Job Accommodation Network's (JAN) Federal Employer Webcast Series:
JAN is providing a series of webcasts for federal employers. Topics include best practices in disability employment and the reasonable accommodations process. All sessions will be from 2:00-3:30pm EST.  Register for any session at:

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2010 Accessibility Forum:
The ATIA 2010 Accessibility Forum will be held January 28-29, in Orlando, Florida.  This event is designed for those in government, educational, and corporate entities to understand the business case for providing accessible solutions for employees and clients. For more details and to register, go to:

National Evacuation Conference February 3-5, 2010 in New Orleans:
This February 3-5 conference in New Orleans will bring together the transportation and emergency management fields to discuss evacuation planning to accommodate people before, during, and after a major disaster. To register, go to:

Don't Forget These FREE Online Opportunities Provided by DBTAC:

•DBTAC-Northeast Web Accessibility Webinar Series-

•Employer Webinar Series on the inclusion of employees with disabilities-

•Accessible Technology Online Seminar Series for businesses-


Special Spotlight: DBTAC-Northeast Presents Next Steps Curriculum!

The DBTAC-Northeast ADA Center is pleased to announce the launch of our "Next Steps Curriculum", which will include both in person and webinar trainings. The first webinar will be "Women with Disabilities: Effects of Gender, Race, and Disability on Employment", to be held January 27th from 1:00-2:30pm EST free of charge! The presenter is DBTAC-Northeast Research Associate, Larry Featherston, Ph.D., C.R.C., C.V.E. He will provide information on the latest research on discrimination against women with disabilities in the workplace, focusing on wage discrimination. You can register by calling Barbara Sosna at 607-255-8660, or online at:

Call in information will be distributed via email the day before the event.

Watch for future Next Steps Webinars which will include topics such as strategies for jobseekers with disabilities preparing for the hiring process, transition, and service animals!


See you in a few weeks!