Newsletter: January 11, 2011

Northeast ADA Center Jan. 11, 2011 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

ADA Standards for Design Training In Puerto Rico (PR) January 28th:
The Northeast ADA Center and United Spinal are offering training on January 28th from 9:00am-4:00pm at the San Juan Marriot Resort and Stellaris Casino in San Juan, PR. on the new 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Those that would benefit most from this training include architects, building owners and managers, and ADA Coordinators. Only 10 spots left for this training so register now at:

DOJ Settles with Puerto Rico Cosmetology School over HIV discrimination:
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has settled a disability discrimination suit with Modern Hairstyling Institute, Inc. in Bayamon, Puerto Rico over a complaint that the school denied an applicant enrollment because she was HIV-positive. DOJ said the Institute resolved the matter promptly and cooperatively. The school has made an offer of enrollment to the complainant and will stop requesting information about HIV/AIDS status from future applicants, as well as make monetary retribution. Read more at:


What's New in the Rest of the Country:

DOJ Seeks Comments on Accessible Equipment and Furniture by January 24th:
The Department of Justice is seeking public comment on the development of ADA regulations around equipment and furniture used in exercise facilities; guest rooms; nursing homes; medical settings; golf cars; ticket kiosks; and point-of-sale devices. Comments are due January 24th. More information can be found at:

DOJ Settles Disability Discrimination Case with Property Management Company for $125 Million:
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has settled a case with Warren Properties Inc., Warren Village (Mobile) Limited Partnership and Frank R. Warren for $125 million to settle allegations that they defendants violated the Fair Housing Act by refusing to grant the reasonable accommodation requests of a tenant with a mobility impairment. Warren Properties must pay the tenant financial compensation, fees and costs to the government, and hire a reasonable accommodation facilitator to handle these requests from more than 11,000 housing units in 85 of their properties in 15 states. This settlement is the largest ever obtained by the DOJ in an individual housing discrimination case. Read more at:

Supportive Integrated Housing Bill Passes in Senate and House:
The Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010 has passed the Senate and House of Representatives and is on its way to being signed by the President. This bill authorizes an innovative program promoting integrated housing opportunities for people with disabilities. It would create 3,500 to 5,000 new affordable and accessible units every year without increasing Section 811 appropriations. Read more about this legislation and advocates' responses at: For additional resources on how to find and access supportive housing information, visit this site: 

Handbook Provides Guidance on Non-Visible Disabilities in the Workplace:
Ernest & Young has published "Getting Support, Supporting Others: A Handbook for Working with Non-Visible Disabilities" as a resource for employees with disabilities, their co-workers and supervisors, and human resources to help understand issues of disability disclosure and how to handle interpersonal challenges that may arise:$FILE/Ext_DiverInclusive_NonVisDisHndk_KK0763.pdf 

Updates from the International Codes Council:
The International Codes Council serves as the publisher and convener for building accessibility standards. The Council has updated the current standard with new requirements. The new standards contain new and updated/clarified technical accessibility requirements for both new and existing facilities that affect things such as dwelling units, restrooms, recreational facilities, and variable message signs. More information on the new standard and how to buy the book is at:

Report Reveals Violent Crime Odds Double for People with Disabilities:
A report released on December 9th, 2010 by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics announced that, in 2008, people with disabilities experienced violent crime at twice the rate of those without disabilities. The study concluded that those with disabilities age 12 and older experienced crime at a rate of 40 cases per 1,000, while for those without a disability the rate was 21 per 1000. Individuals with cognitive impairments as well as women with disabilities were found more likely to be victims. The report also states that about 15 percent of victims with disabilities believed they were targeted because of their disability. Read more at: 

President Obama Announces Another National Council on Disability Nominee:
On December 20th, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Clyde E. Terry to the National Council on Disability.  Clyde E. Terry is the Chief Executive Officer of Granite State Independent Living in New Hampshire. Mr. Terry has been the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council and spearheaded a national coalition of disability organizations on election reform and accessibility for people with disabilities.  Read more at: 

National Youth-Driven Campaign Challenges Normalcy:
A group of 20 teenagers is leading a national campaign to challenge the typical idea of what "normal" is and redefine youth perceptions of inclusion. The "I am Norm" campaign targets middle school-aged children and uses online videos and social networking to generate buzz and dialogue around what it really means to be "normal". Endowed with a $25,000 grant, the youth-led and youth-driven group has developed educational materials and presented at professional conferences. Read more at:


Opportunities for You!

Submit Proposals for Independent Living (IL) Conference by January 14th:
The National Council on Independent Living seeks workshop proposals for their 2011 Annual Conference, "Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize", which will be July 13-16, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Topic suggestions for proposals include achieving independence for the IL program; learning and advancing the IL philosophy; best practices and innovation in core services; and recognizing and improving inclusion and cultural competence. Proposals are due electronically by 11:59pm EST on January 14th.  Learn more at:

Participate in a Disability Employment Study:
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine is conducting a Disability Employment Study. The purpose is to identify people with disabilities who are employed and find those factors that contribute to their successful work careers. To be eligible to participate you must be at least 18 years old; have a physical disability; be employed for at least 2 years at your current job; and work at least 20 hours a week at your job. The participation process includes completing a web-based survey twice in a 4-6 week time period. More information is available at:

Presentación del Libro: "La Visión de Un Ciego" en Puerto Rico:
La presentación del libro: "La Visión de Un Ciego" escrito por el Sr. Frank Pérez, se llevará a cabo el 20 de enero de 2011 a las 7:00 pm en el Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico,.  El autor es director de la Oficina del Procurador de las Personas con Impedimentos en el oeste de PR y fundador de la Asociación Nacional de Ciegos, Inc.  La actividad es abierta a todos los miembros del Colegio, así como a la comunidad en general. En su libro el Sr. Pérez narra los retos y experiencias que tuvo que enfrentar al quedarse ciego repentinamente por complicaciones de salud y las herramientas que ha utilizado para superarlos.

Assistive Technology Webinar Series Begins in January:
The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2011 Webinar Series will run from January through June. They cover a broad range of topics to help you enhance your knowledge of assistive technology and the skills needed to support the products and process. To find out the session schedule and topics, go to:


Special Spotlight-  Social Security:

One in four American households has someone who received Social Security benefits, totaling about 58 million people. About 8 million of those recipients are disabled workers and another 900,000 are adults who have been disabled since childhood. There have been multiple proposals recently to address the national deficit and many of those include proposed ways to change the current structure and payment of Social Security benefits. These changes could have major implications for the economic security of people with disabilities and their families. Read more below about some recent activity in the area of Social Security:

On December 13th, the American Association of People with Disabilities attended a briefing on Social Security held by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in which an overview of current Social Security disability programs and potential policy options was given. Read more at:, a leading provider of disability information and resources, has unveiled its Disabling Conditions Information pages. These pages have been created to provide disabled individuals with information pertaining to their specific medical condition and how that condition affects their Social Security Disability claim. Read more at



See you in a few weeks!