Newsletter: June 11, 2010

Northeast ADA Center June 11, 2010 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

Free Trainer Network Program in Ithaca, NY. August 10th-11th:
The DBTAC Northeast ADA Center is hosting a FREE two-day Train the Trainer program August 10-11th at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. This program is designed to certify participants as trainers in our ADA Trainer Network. You will learn how to implement our nine core ADA Trainer Network programs. You must participate in both days to become certified. Registration is limited to 50 people and deadline is July 26th. For more details or to register, go to: Questions can be directed to Barbara Sosna at 607-255-8660 or  Breakfast and lunch are provided but participants must pay for their own travel and/or lodging.

Debate over Eliminating "Retardation" from New York State Office Name:
New York State legislators and advocacy groups are still debating whether to remove "retardation" from the name of the state's chief caretaking agency, "Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities".  The term, once viewed as clinical and neutral, is now considered demeaning by many in the disability community. Last year, a proposal by Governor Paterson to change the office's name to the "Developmental Disabilities Services Office" was passed by the State Senate but then pulled because some advocates wanted to keep the original name. Assemblyman Peter M. Rivera, then chairman of the Mental Health Committee, said that "They felt there was a value to clarifying 'retardation.' 'Developmental disabilities' was not clarifying who you are talking about." Read more at:

What's New in the Rest of the Country:

DOJ Files Briefs in New Jersey and other States Supporting Olmstead Decision:
The Department of Justice has filed briefs in three separate cases in New Jersey, Florida, and Illinois as part of its continuing effort to enforce civil rights laws that require states to end discrimination against, and unnecessary segregation of, persons with disabilities. "As the Supreme Court determined in the landmark Olmstead decision, unjustified institutionalization violates the rights of individuals with disabilities and stigmatizes them as unworthy of participation in community life," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "Florida, Illinois and New Jersey can provide community-based services to people with disabilities, and the law requires them to do so." Read more at:

Judith Heumann New Special Advisor for International Disability Rights:
Judith Heumann, current Director of the Department on Disability Services for the District of Columbia and an international leader in the disability rights movement for over 30 years, will be joining the U.S. Department of State as their Special Advisor for International Disability Rights in fulfillment of the Obama-Clinton Pledge to sign and support the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Read more at:

Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced!
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has unveiled the theme for October's National Disability Employment Awareness Month: "Talent Has No Boundaries: Workforce Diversity INCLUDES Workers With Disabilities". Read more at:

USBLN Disability Supplier Program Featured in Business Law Today:
The US Business Leadership Network's (USBLN) Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP) has been featured in the most recent issue of Business Law Today.  The article, "Obtaining Disability-Owned Business Enterprise Certification-A Lawyer's Guide to Supplier Diversity," focuses on "the value of obtaining certification as a business owned by individuals with disabilities" and "what advice to provide to a business considering certification."  Business owners who have a disability can improve their potential contracting opportunities and get connected to a national network of professionals, disability advocates and other businesses owned by people with disabilities through the USBLN DSDP.  Read more at: docs/2010_USBLN_Business_Law_Today_5-24-10.pdf

EEOC's Release of the New GINA and ADA Regulations Faces Delay:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had previously said that new regulations for both the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the ADA would be issued this summer; however, EEOC Commissioners recently revealed that the addition of new members and general counsel is grounds for reexamination of the regulations before commissioners can vote on them. Publication of the ADA regulations will unlikely occur this summer because of the heavy regulatory load and the time it will take new appointees to familiarize themselves with the material in order to participate in the regulatory drafting process. GINA will likely experience the same delay.  

New Features and Training Available on the America's Heroes at Work Website:
America's Heroes at Work website has four new features and a new online training tool on traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and employment. The new features include a new tab for employers allowing them to easily access information like fact sheets, reference guides, and training tools; a section that highlights employer and veteran success stories; a "Stay Connected" feature that allows users to bookmark pages, share resources, join groups, and subscribe to the site's Newsletter; and an "En Español" page, which has translated many of the website's resources and additional sources from other networks. The one-hour web-based training module on TBI, PTSD, and employment is free, available anytime, and offers a certificate of completion. This training is aimed at educating HR professionals and managers about TBI and PTSD in the workplace and how employment plays a part in the recovery process.  Access the website's new features and online training at:

Latest Disability Rights Online News Now Available:
The May 2010 edition of the Department of Justice's Disability Rights Online News is now available. This is a bi-monthly update about the Civil Rights Division's activities in the area of enforcing disability rights. Read the news at:

ODEP Partner Provides Useful Tips on Making Recruiting Sites Accessible:
Late last year, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) signed a new Alliance Agreement. Now SHRM has published a comprehensive article about making the recruiting process, including employment websites, accessible to all. Read the article at:

European-U.S. Seminar on Employment of Persons with Disabilities:
Last November, the Brussels Seminar took place and further developed mutually beneficial information able to inform policy development in the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), as well as the European Commission Unit for Integration of People with Disabilities (ECUIPD).  This program was held against the backdrop of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and had senior government officers from both U.S. and EU exploring policy development areas of interest including policy and legislation on employment of persons with disabilities; information communications technology and assistive technology in employment; transitions from education to employment; and measuring employment of persons with disabilities. Read the Seminar report at:

May 2010 Disability Employment Statistics Released:
In May, the percentage of people with disabilities in the labor force was 22.3 compared to 70.1 of people without disabilities. The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 14.7 percent, compared with 9.1 percent for those without. Read all the statistics at:

White House Launches ADA 20th Anniversary Celebration:
On June 6th, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, kicked off the President's and White House's celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the ADA while delivering remarks to over 2,000 people from around the World at the VSA International Festival at the Kennedy Center. Valerie's remarks noted the significance of this historic landmark civil rights legislation, highlighted some of the President's initiatives thus far related to people with disabilities and previewed that senior administration officials will be commemorating this historic anniversary in the weeks to come with new policies and events. Read Valerie's complete remarks at:

AAPD 2010 Disability Mentoring Day will be October 20th:
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) 2010 Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) will be held nationally October 20th. This event connects nearly 20,000 students and job seekers with disabilities to thousands of employers in over 300 locations in the U.S. and 23 foreign countries. It is an opportunity for employers to recruit interns; tap a pool of potential future employees; demonstrate positive leadership in their communities; and attract positive media attention." For more information on how to participate, go to:

Opportunities for You!

FREE Person-Centered Planning Webinar June 17th:
The DBTAC-Northeast will offer it's next webinar, "Working With, Not On: Person-Centered Planning and Practice", on June 17th from 1:00-2:30pm EST, presented by Carol Blessing, LMSW, Extension Faculty with Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute. Person-centered planning is a process-oriented approach to empower people with disabilities to identify focus and direction for their life by focusing on their strengths and capacities. This program is designed to equip participants with an understanding of the vital role that person-centered planning plays in supporting people with disabilities to become fully contributing members within all aspects of life. A variety of easy-to-use tools for engaging people in person-centered thinking and planning will be introduced along with an orientation to a planning process. CRC credits can be offered. To register, go to:

USBLN Annual Conference & Expo September 19-22 in Chicago, Illinois:
The U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) will host its 13th Annual Conference & Expo September 19-22 in Chicago, Illinois. Entitled, "Aligning Disability with the Bottom Line: Talent, Market Share, and Supplier Diversity" it is the preeminent national employer-to-employer event that taps the vast economic potential of people with disabilities to enhance business productivity and profitability. This conference brings corporate, government, disability-owned businesses and BLN affiliates together to create workplaces, marketplaces, and supply chains where people with disabilities are fully included as professionals, customers and entrepreneurs. Early bird rate and registration deadline is July 15th. For more information or to register, go to:


Special Spotlight:  How is Our Region Celebrating the ADA Anniversary?

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we, the Northeast ADA Center want to help you advertise and promote how you are celebrating.  You are welcome to email with your event details for inclusion in future News Bulletins. Please provide as much information as possible regarding your activities.  

The Northeast ADA Center is holding a day-long event in Trenton, New Jersey on July 20th and Ithaca, New York on August 12th to commemorate the anniversary. Events will be held in Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands at a later date. The theme for our event is "Celebrate, Contemplate, and Collaborate!"  We hope to bring together individuals, businesses, employers, and service providers who are committed to disability inclusiveness to celebrate how far we have come in 20 years, contemplate where we need to go in the next 20 years, and collaborate with one another to achieve those goals!  Registration is now available online at:


See you in a few weeks!