Newsletter: November 09, 2010

Northeast ADA Center November 9, 2010 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

Free Webinar on Accessible IT and Websites November 22nd
On November 22nd from 1:00-2:30pm EST, the Northeast ADA Center will present their next monthly webinar, "Update on Accessible IT and Websites". Facilitated by Jared Smith of WebAIM and Wendy Strobel Gower, Northeast ADA Center, this webinar will explore current and emerging legal issues around website accessibility and provide technical updates. To register go to:

Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute Wins $4M Grant:
Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute (EDI) was funded a $4 million grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to fund research on how culture, policies and practices, leadership and work group dynamics affect the employment experiences of people with disabilities in both private and public sectors. The project hopes to create an online tool that will help employers assess their effectiveness in recruiting and retaining employees with disabilities as well as access information on best practices. Read more at:

Feria de Educación Especial en Puerto Rico el 18 de Noviembre:
El Recinto de Ponce de la Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico celebrará su 6ta Feria de Educación Especial el 18 de noviembre de 2010 de 8:30 am - 3:00 pm, en el Teatro Antonio Paoli.  El tema de este año es: "Fomentando la Comunicación Efectiva entre Padres y Maestros". El recurso será la Asociación de Padres de Niños con Impedimentos. Además, habrá demostraciones de intervenciones educativas en educación especial y la participación artística estelar de Luis José, quien es un jovencito con autismo y prodigio en el piano.  La actividad es libre de costo y abierta a toda la comunidad, especialmente maestros y padres de niños de educación especial. Para más información puede comunicarse al 787-590-2972.

Workshop Series in Plattsburgh, New York:
The North Country Center for Independence is holding two more free ADA related workshops at the Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce in Plattsburgh, NY. The final two workshops are "Tapping Into Talent" on November 15th and "Serving Customers with Disabilities" on December 7th, both from 10:00am-12:00pm.  To register, call (518) 891-2108 or email


What's New in the Rest of the Country: 

Department of Labor (DOL) Launches Veterans Hiring Toolkit for Employers:
The DOL recently launched a new free online toolkit to guide employers through the process for hiring veterans. The toolkit is designed to assist and educate employers who want to include veterans and wounded warriors in their recruitment and hiring initiatives. Developed as part of the department's "America's Heroes at Work" initiative, the Veterans Hiring Toolkit features a straightforward six-step process pinpointing helpful tools for a business to either design and implement a new veterans hiring initiative or improve an existing one.  Access the toolkit at:

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Monthly Labor Review Covers Disability:
The Monthly Labor Review is the principal journal of fact, analysis, and research from the Department of Labor's BLS. Each month BLS joins with private sector professionals and public sector specialists to provide research in a variety of fields. The October issue includes two articles on disability issues, specifically about the impact of the recession on workers with disabilities and occupational protections. Access the articles and entire issue at:

Norwegian Cruise Line to pay $100,000 for Alleged Disability Discrimination:
Norwegian Cruise Line has agreed to pay $100,000 to nine passengers with disabilities who reported being discriminated against on one of its ships.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) sued the line under the ADA on behalf of the cruisers, five of whom are deaf and reported not receiving auxiliary aids for communication and four of whom use wheelchairs and reported not getting accessible buses when needed or being charged extra. The cruise line has also agreed to establish an access desk to handle reasonable accommodation requests from passengers with disabilities before and during sailings, as well as provide ADA training to their staff.  Read more at:

Andrew Imparato Named New Disability Policy Director:
On October 28th, Andrew Imparato, current President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities, was hired as the Senior Counsel and Disability Policy Director to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Read more about HELP and Mr. Imparato at: 

Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) a Highlight:
On October 20th, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) hosted the 2010 DMD National Launch in Washington, D.C.  College students had the opportunity to interact and network with key Federal leaders and shadow federal officials at various job locations. Read more about this event at:

New ADA Standards Now Available in PDF:
The 2010 ADA Standards recently adopted are now available on the Access Board's website in PDF format:


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:

Teleseminar on Veterans with Disabilities and Employment November 18th:
"Driving Up Employment for Veterans with Disabilities", a free teleseminar, will be November 18th from 1:00-2:00pm EST. Hosted by the Sierra Group, a leading national authority on disability and employment practices, this seminar will feature guests from the Department of Labor and the Office of Disability Employment Policy discussing the re-employment of veterans with disabilities. To register go to:

Participate in Online Survey About Public Transit Buses:
The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Accessible Public Transportation, a partnership between the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and the IDEA Center at SUNY Buffalo, is currently recruiting individuals 18 and older to participate in an online survey that investigates user requirements for public transit buses. The survey includes questions on individuals' experiences getting on and off public buses, circulating inside of buses, understanding the communication and information systems of public buses, as well as issues concerning rider safety. The information collected from this study should help identify the aspects of using public buses that merit further research.  To take the brief survey, go to:

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. To register, go to:


Special Spotlight:  The Latest from the Federal Government:

There has been much activity and change at the federal level with the November elections. This spotlight will focus on some specific efforts the federal government and Obama Administration are making to improve the social, educational, and economic lives of people with disabilities of all ages:

A July executive order issued by President Obama sets a target of adding 100,000 people with disabilities to the federal work force over five years. Several agencies, including the Office of Personnel Management and the EEOC, are required to come up with model recruitment and hiring strategies:

To help federal managers in their efforts to fulfill Obama's executive order, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) convened a forum to identify the barriers to hiring individuals with disabilities and to establish best practices for overcoming these barriers. The GAO recommends creating a sense of accountability, keeping track of progress, training staff and creating a flexible work environment to foster this culture change.  Read more at:

In September, Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-Education-Health & Human Services, hosted a two-day summit on the state of Disability Employment Policy.  Disability policy experts, political leaders from Obama's Administration, and Congressional Committee staff engaged in working groups to discuss, and brainstorm how to combat, barriers to employment for people with disabilities. Future efforts are being planned as well. Read more at:

The Department of Education and the Obama Administration have engaged in efforts to address bullying in schools on the basis of identity. They have issued guidance to support educators in combating bullying, hosted a National Bullying Summit, launched anti-bullying campaigns nationally, and plan to host a conference to raise awareness and equip young people, parents, educators, coaches and other community leaders with tools to prevent bullying and harassment:


 See you in a few weeks!