Newsletter: October 27, 2010

Northeast ADA Center Oct. 27, 2010 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

New Museum in New York Dedicated to the History of People with Disabilities:
October 15th marked the grand opening of People Inc.'s Museum of disABILITY History and Training Center for Human Service Excellence in Amherst, NY.  According to People Inc. officials, this museum is the first and only free-standing facility in the country dedicated to the history of people with disabilities. The museum boasts permanent displays such as "Sports and Disabilities" and the "Evolution of Adaptive Equipment," as well as traveling displays including a feature on the Kennedy family's involvement with developmental disabilities. To read and learn more, go to:

New York (NY) Governor Vetoes Controversial Autism Insurance Bill:
A bill which would have required health insurance coverage of "evidence-based, peer-reviewed and clinically proven" autism treatments was struck down by NY Governor Paterson due to budget concerns. This bill received mixed support from disability advocates- some supported and lobbied for it while others were concerned that its requirements were too stringent. To read more, go to:

HUD Charges NY Landlord with Disability Discrimination:
On October 1st, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it will charge the owner and manager of an apartment complex in East Norwich, NY, with violating the Fair Housing Act by denying a resident with disabilities an accessible parking space he requested. The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to make reasonable accommodations when they are needed to allow persons with disabilities the opportunity to use and enjoy their homes. The HUD charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party elects to have the case heard in federal district court.  To read more, go to:

Deinstitutionalization Lawsuit Against NJ Continues:
The dispute continues over New Jersey's (NJ) delay of a plan to move people with developmental disabilities out of institutions and is now headed for a federal trial.  The plan was a response to a 1999 Supreme Court ruling known as Olmstead that says federal law protects the right of people with disabilities to live in "the most integrated setting' possible. Disability Rights New Jersey contends that confining these 1,850 people to institutions violates their rights under the ADA.  Read more at:

19na. Conferencia OPPI en Puerto Rico:
La Oficina del Procurador de las Personas con Impedimentos (OPPI) en Puerto Rico, llevará a cabo su 19na. Conferencia Anual enfocada en el tema de: "El Rol del Intercesor como Figura Central de la Protección y Defensa de los Derechos de las Personas con Impedimentos", el 17 de noviembre en el Hotel Ponce Hilton   Esta actividad es libre de costo.  Puede registrarse en el 1 (800) 981 - 4125 o (787) 725 - 4014 (TTY).


What's New in the Rest of the Country: 

No Cost of Living Increase in Social Security Benefits:
For the second year in a row, the nearly 54 million retirees and other Americans who receive Social Security benefits will not get any cost-of-living increase in 2011. The static Social Security payments are a side effect of the nation's low inflation. Consumer prices have risen slightly from a year ago but fall under the government rules for what would result in an increase being awarded. There is currently debate over offering a one-time $250 payment for each person on Social Security. The typical retiree receives a Social Security payment of nearly $1,200 per month, or roughly $14,400 a year. A $250 payment would amount to a 1.7 percent increase. Read the entire article at: 

What's New from the Department of Justice (DOJ):
There have been several recent postings to the DOJ's ADA related website including the latest edition of Disability Rights Online News, new Project Civic Access Settlement Agreements, and a notice of public hearings on four Advanced Notices of Proposed Rulemaking which seek public comment on regulations related to web accessibility, movie and video captioning and description, Next Generation 9-1-1 accessibility, and accessible equipment. To access this and other information, go to: 

U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) Launches Newsletter:
The USBLN, a partner of the Office of Disability Employment, recently launched its monthly newsletter, Biz2Biz, which is distributed nationally to its network of 5,000 businesses. You can access the newsletter at: 

New Program Expands Telephone Access for People with Speech Disabilities:
"Speech to Speech" (STS) is a form of relay service regulated by the Federal Communications Commission that provides communication assistants (CA) for people with difficulty being understood by the public by telephone. People with speech disabilities can dial toll free to reach a trained CA who then makes telephone calls for them and repeats their words exactly in a 3-way calling environment. Many STS users have Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy, ALS, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy or stroke. Other users stutter or have had a laryngectomy.  To try out STS or request information call 1-888-877-5302 or visit their website at  Read the full article at: 

Obama Signs Bill Replacing 'Mental Retardation' With 'Intellectual Disability':
On October 5th, Obama signed a bill requiring the federal government to replace the term "mental retardation" with "intellectual disability" in many areas of government, including federal health, education, and labor policy. Read more at: 

Obama Signs 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Law:
On October 8th President Obama signed the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act into law. According to Julius Genachowski, Federal Communications Commission Chairman, this act "is the most significant disability law in two decades...[it] will ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind and can share fully in the economic and social benefits of broadband". To read more, go to: 

HUD Provides Rental Assistance to 4,300 Persons with Disabilities:
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that thousands of non-elderly Americans with disabilities will receive housing assistance to enable them to access affordable housing.  Public housing authorities across the U.S. will distribute approximately 4,300 rental assistance vouchers to this population. The grants are part of the $40 million HUD made available last April to help public housing authorities across the country fund rental vouchers for non-elderly persons with disabilities. Vouchers will be broken between Category I which covers those with disabilities and their families and Category II which covers those currently living in nursing homes and other health care institutions.  For more details, go to: 

U.S. Access Board's Latest "Access Currents":
The September/October edition of the Access Board's online newsletter, Access Currents, is available and features information on the updated ADA regulations and standards, board related hearings and public meetings, and upcoming webinars:


Opportunities for You!

Free Webcast on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Spanish Speaking Individuals:
On November 10th from 2:00-2:45pm EST Juan Carlos Arango, PhD will present a free webcast on TBI in Spanish Speaking Individuals. He will offer an overview of research studies on this topic and provide information on issues faced by this population as well as offer directions for future research. The webcast will be delivered in Spanish and a transcript will be available in English. To register, go to: 

AAHD Student Scholarship Applications Due November 15th:
The American Association on Health and Disability is seeking applicants for its 2011 Scholarship. Applicants must have a documented disability, be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate school, and have a disability and health related major. Applications are due November 15th and are available at: 

35th Annual TASH Conference in December:
The TASH Conference is the largest and most progressive international conference advancing equity, opportunity and inclusion for people with disabilities. This year's conference, Embracing Difference ... It's Time!, will be held December 8th-11th in  Denver, Colorado. For more details and to register, go to: 

Free Webinar Series on the ADA and Transportation:
The ADA National Network has launched its free webinar series covering the recently released "Topic Guides on ADA Transportation". The Topic Guides, funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and developed by the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund and TranSystems Corporation, is a compilation of ADA, Department of Transportation, and FTA regulations and best operational practices for ADA compliance. The Topic Guides is available at: Each session will cover a different topic and be held on the second Tuesday of each month through April from 2:00-3:30pm EST. To register go to:   

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) 2010/2011 Webcast Series Has Begun:
JAN is launching its series of monthly Webcasts beginning October 25th. This year's series includes more sessions focusing on accommodation solutions in the workplace. Topics include employing Veterans with disabilities; creating customized employment for individuals with significant disabilities; return to work; accommodations for an aging workforce; accommodations for fibromyalgia; Website accessibility; accommodating allergies in the workplace; effective practices to hire and retain individuals with disabilities; and many more. For the complete schedule and to register, go to:


Special Spotlight:  National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

Thank you for celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) with us!  While this will be the last official Special Spotlight on this, we hope businesses, employers, government entities, advocates, service providers, and people with disabilities, will continue to hold improving disability employment at the top of their priority list in the months to come!  Below are more articles and resources on this topic:

National Council on Disability supports NDEAM:

Survey of Employers finds while they value disability employment, their hiring practices fall short:

Office of Disability Employment Policy NDEAM Activities:

September 2010 Disability Employment Statistics:

Enable America Reaches New Heights in Employment Programs:

Unemployment Trends Analyzed for Americans with Disabilities:

La "Campaña de Empleo para Personas con Discapacidad" lanzó un sitio micro de Internet en español y el Anuncio de Servicio Público (ASP) "Yo Puedo".  Visite:, para obtener recursos en español relacionados con empleo para personas con discapacidad y ver el ASP "Yo Puedo" en español. 

See you in a few weeks!