Newsletter: February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010 Northeast ADA Center News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

DBTAC Changes Name to ADA National Network: 
As part of the Disability & Business Technical Assistance Centers efforts to re-brand ourselves, improve our marketing and outreach strategies, and prepare for the 20 year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we have come to an agreement with our funder, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), to change our national name to "ADA National Network". Our region, now called the "Northeast ADA Center", will continue to provide New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands reliable information, guidance, and training on the ADA, tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals.  If you have any questions, please contact us at 1.800.949.4232 or


What's New in the Rest of the Country:

What the 2010 Census Means for People with Disabilities:
As the U.S. Census prepares for its 2010 count, it becomes increasingly important that people with disabilities have the knowledge and resources they need to take part. Historically Americans with disabilities have been underrepresented in the census, due to various reasons including the higher rate of unemployment and institutionalization among this population. Advocates are working to educate the disability population about the process so they can realize the impact their involvement can have on determining how funds are allocated.  For example, the census impacts Medicare, Medicaid, and Supplemental Security Income programs and distributes funds and develops programs under several laws that directly impact people with disabilities and the elderly. To learn more, read the following two articles:  and

Martinez Speaks Out for Employment of People with Disabilities at Forum:
Kathy Martinez, the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, spoke about the country's need to improve employment of people with disabilities at the Enable America's annual Disability Employment Forum in February. Martinez told employers, service providers, community organizations, and people with disabilities that hiring people with disabilities is "the necessary thing to do for the growth of our economy". To read the press release, go to:

New Federal Jobs Web Portal for Veterans:
In January the federal government launched the web site, Feds Hire Vets, as part of the Obama administration's veterans hiring initiative. The site provides guidance for veterans, transitioning service members, and their families on federal hiring processes and special hiring authorities designed for veterans. This includes practical information on applying for federal jobs and opportunities for education and training. In addition, the site provides information for federal hiring managers and human resources practitioners to guide them through the process of recruiting and hiring veterans. Visit the web site at:

New Legal E-Bulletin on the Statute of Limitations on New Construction:
The National Network of ADA Centers has released a new legal E-Bulletin,, analyzing a case that places limits on the time a person has to file a complaint against a public entity for not building curb ramps and sidewalks in compliance with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. The court held that the claim has to be filed within two years after the inaccessible construction took place, regardless of when the barrier was encountered.

National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Awards
The NFB has awarded the Gold Level NFB-NVA Certification to for their efforts to improve Web accessibility and ensure customers with visual impairments have equal access to its Web site. To read more, go to:

Music Legend Stevie Wonder will Receive Disability Related Award:
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is awarding its first AAPD Image Award to legendary musician and recently appointed UN Messenger of Peace, Stevie Wonder, at the 2010 AAPD Leadership Gala on March 10th. "Stevie Wonder is a global leader who has used his extraordinary talents to be an ambassador for civil rights and social justice," said Andrew J. Imparato, President and CEO of AAPD. "We're thrilled to be able to recognize his achievements with this inaugural award". For more information about this award and the Gala, go to:

National Council on Disability (NCD) January Bulletin:
This month's bulletin features information on emergency planning, the National Summit on Disability Policy, and the NCD's latest reports on Housing and Workforce Infrastructure. Access the bulletin at:

Self-Advocacy for High School Students with Disabilities Podcast:
The Disability Law Lowdown has posted a podcast about self-advocacy for high school students with disabilities. The podcast discusses information about how to plan for the future by taking an active role in IEP meetings and post-secondary transition planning. The podcast is available at:


Opportunities for You!

Assistive Technology Webinar Series Begins March 16th:
The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2010 Webinar series will cover a broad range of topics to enhance knowledge of assistive technology and the evaluation skills needed to assess products. Each webinar will run 1.5 hours and is being presented by national leaders in their field. The first session, "Transitions and AT: Strategies for Ensuring Continuity in New Environments" will be Tuesday March 16th from 4:00-5:30pm EST and costs $49.  For a list of all webinars and to register, go to:

Web Course on Career Development March 3-16th:
The Training Resource Network (TRN) is accepting registrations for the popular Web Course: Career Development for Youth and Adults with Disabilities March 3rd-16th. This is a two-week, 20-hour web training on developing career goals through innovative vocational assessment, career development skills, and vocational profiling for youth and adults with disabilities. Topics will include principles of self-determination, the discovery process, and situational assessment. Self-employment, career exploration, and self-presentation will also be addressed. Registration is $149. To learn more and to register, go to:

26th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities in April:
The 26th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities, "Synergy: Together We Act", will be held April 12-13th at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. For conference details and registration information, go to:

21st Annual APSE National Conference June 8-10th:
APSE, originally known as the Association for Persons in Supported Employment, is hosting its annual conference, themed "Employment First: Not Just a Slogan", June 8-10th in Atlanta, Georgia.  Early registration deadline is April 15th. For conference and registration details, go to:


Special Spotlight: Northeast ADA Center's Virgin Islands Affiliate!

The new Northeast ADA Center's VI affiliate is the Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD). The Northeast ADA Center has had the privilege of working with VIUCEDD on several training collaborations thus far and we're very excited to continue this relationship in a more formal capacity.  Read below for more details and comments from Gerri Hanna, Assistant Director of VIUCEDD:

VIUCEDD was established in October 1994 and is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.  VIUCEDD envisions a Virgin Islands community where all persons with disabilities are fully integrated to lead independent and productive lives.  The Center operates on both the St. Thomas and St. Croix island campuses at the University of the Virgin Islands, which is a historically black university, fully accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the Middle States Association. 

Since its inception, VIUCEDD has been involved in systems change initiatives on behalf of individuals with disabilities and their families in the USVI.  A major focus of the VIUCEDD has been on capacity building by responding to community training needs and ensuring the involvement of people with disabilities and their family members in all aspects of the community.  For the past 16 years, VIUCEDD has addressed key issues through interdisciplinary training, community outreach, and research and information dissemination.  VIUCEDD, with University support, designed the first interdisciplinary program, the Early Childhood Inclusive Education Program, offering Associate and Bachelor's degrees in early childhood education.  The Center also hosts an annual "The Voices that Count Conference: A Call to Action" for people with disabilities, non-profit service providers and advocates to come together and "voice" issues that are critical to providing accessibility, employment, education, and health services to Virgin Islanders.    Each year this conference impacts the election process of government officials and legislators that support disability issues.

VIUCEDD collaborates with over 15 national and local organizations to provide ADA trainings, parent empowerment workshops, advocacy training, autism awareness and technical assistance to public schools on inclusive classroom evidence based practice and positive behavior and intervention supports.

The Center also houses the Virgin Islands Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities and provides low interest bank loans to purchase assistive technology devices and services.  

VIUCEDD is excited to be part of the Northeast ADA Center's affiliate program.  VIUCEDD hopes that with this affiliation, the Virgin Islands can continue to provide trainings and public awareness, and increase employment and services to Virgin Islanders with disabilities, hopefully impacting the business and private community as well as governmental initiatives now underway. Visit VIUCEDD at:

Join the Northeast ADA Center in welcoming VIUCEDD to our team!  Stay Tuned for our next News Bulletin when we shine our Special Spotlight on our Puerto Rico affiliate, MAVI!  


See you in a few weeks!