Newsletter: August 31, 2011

Northeast ADA Center August 31, 2011 News Bulletin

What's New in Our Region:

Free Disability Inclusiveness in the Workplace Webinar September 8th:
Dr. Hannah Rudstam of the Northeast ADA Center is presenting a free webinar on September 8th, 1:00-2:30pm EST, entitled "Reaching the Gatekeepers of Disability Inclusiveness in the Workplace: A Just-in-Time Approach for Mid-level Managers". This webinar will describe a new approach being taken by the Northeast ADA Center to enhance disability inclusiveness in the workplace by reaching mid-level managers. This webinar is ideally suited for human resource professionals, diversity professionals, people with disabilities, disability service providers, ADA Coordinators, state/local government professionals, career counselors, and anyone interested in disability and workplace issues. Register at:

Binghamton, NY Training on NYS and Federal Accessibility Requirements: 
On September 27th from 9:00am-1:00 pm, the Southern Tier Independence Center (STIC), in conjunction with United Spinal Association, will be hosting a training on the design and construction requirements found in the 2010 ADA Standards for accessible design and the requirements found in the Building Code of New York State. The presentation will include an overview of State & Federal accessibility requirements, new access standards & harmonization with federal laws, ADA/ABA Accessibility Guidelines, exterior & interior accessible routes, accessible parking, and other standards. Registration is $20 before September 20th and $25 after. You may also register the day of the event.  For more information and to register, contact STIC at (607) 724-2111.  

How Are You Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month? 
October has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This year's theme is "Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities," which promotes the valuable contributions people with disabilities make to America's workplaces and economy. The Northeast ADA Center would be happy to advertise any related events your agency, organization, or community may be hosting.  Please email and let us know the details and watch for it to be showcased in upcoming News Bulletins!  Learn more about NDEAM and order posters, available in English, Spanish, and other languages, at:


What's New in the Rest of the Country:

Assistant Secretary Testifies on Improving Disability Employment:
Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Office of Disability Employment Policy, testified in July before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to discuss the Department of Labor's (DOL) public and private partnership initiatives designed to connect people with disabilities and employment opportunities. Martinez testified that the DOL is taking concrete steps to increase employment outcomes in the private and public sectors. An example is the "Add Us In" Initiative, which aims to increase the ability of small and minority businesses to include people with disabilities in their workforces. Read more at: 

White House Seeks Suggestions for Topics for Disability Monthly Calls:
Each month, White House staff who work on disability-related policies host a public, live-captioned conference call to keep the public better informed about important developments on many different disability issues. These calls also connect you to leaders in the federal government who work on these issues. Over the past several months, monthly conference calls have featured discussions on accessibility, employment, education, technology, emergency preparedness, transportation, healthcare and the federal budget. The White House is now offering the opportunity for you to suggest topics you'd like discussed during these calls. Send in your ideas for discussion topics, as well as the federal officials you'd like to hear from on these subjects, by visiting

Report on Students with Disabilities at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Schools:
Recently, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released "Students with Disabilities at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions," a first look report on national estimates of students with disabilities at 2-year and 4-year Title IV eligible, degree-granting institutions for the 2008-09 academic year. The report describes findings from the Postsecondary Education Quick Information System survey and includes national data on services and accommodations provided to students with disabilities, institutional policies regarding these students, and various aspects of institutional accessibility including Universal Design and website accessibility. To learn more, download the report online.

Access Board Releases Rights-of-Way Guidelines for Public Comment:
The U.S. Access Board has issued proposed guidelines for accessible public rights-of-way that are available for public comment until November 23rd. The guidelines address access to newly built or altered streets and sidewalks and provide design criteria for pedestrian access routes, street crossings, curb ramps and blended transitions, on-street parking, street furniture, and other elements. See the full story.

Latest News from Job Accommodation Network (JAN):
The latest JAN E-News includes information on mitigating measures, workplace accommodations for heat sensitivity, material lifting devices, Twitter accessibility, accommodations for employees with hearing aids, and more. Read all the news at:

Unemployment for People with Disabilities Remained High in July:
While the unemployment rate for Americans without disabilities dropped slightly in July, the rate for those with disabilities was 16.8 percent. This is .4 percent higher than a year ago and equates to about 50,000 people. Read more at:

Latest News from the U.S. Access Board:
The July/August edition of the Access Board's newsletter, "Access Currents", is now available and includes information on the rights-of-way guidelines, an upcoming webinar on Section 508 to be held tomorrow, Fair Housing Accessibility First, an upcoming virtual forum on improving access to federal information technology to be held September 8th, and others. Read the news at:

Disability Rights Online News Now Available:
The new issue of Disability Rights Online News, the bi-monthly update about the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division's activities in the area of disability rights, is now available. Access the new issue of Online News.

Opportunities for You!

2011 Southwest Conference on Disability- Register Early by September 6th:
The 2011 Southwest Conference on Disability, "Inclusion: How We All Fit Together", will be held October 4-7th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Early bird registration cost $195 until September 6th, then rises to $245. For more information, go to:

Provide Comments about Airlines and Mobility Devices by September 13th:
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is interested in capturing data about the number of mobility devices being handled by airlines, and how incidents of damage to the equipment should be reported, in order to more fully understand the magnitude of the problems experienced by travelers who use mobility devices. The DOT plans to publish the data, which would increase public awareness, provide passengers with disabilities a means by which to compare the overall mishandled devices rates by carrier and create an added incentive for air carriers to treat these mobility devices with greater care. Comments are due by September 13th.  To learn more and about how to submit comments, go to:

Free Webinar on Making Online Applications Accessible September 15th:
On September 15th from 1:30-3:00pm ET, the Southeast ADA Center will provide a free webinar on how to make online applications fully accessible. Register by September 14th at:


Special Spotlight-  Youth with Disabilities:

As the school year starts up again, we'd like to provide some information that may be helpful to our youth and students with disabilities, as well as the teachers and families who support them throughout their school years and in their transition to further schooling and/or work.

The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) Info Brief, Helping Youth Develop Soft Skills for Job Success: Tips for Parents and Families, provides guidance on ways to help young people prepare for job success by working with them to develop soft skills. "Soft Skills" are common sense skills that are important in all aspects of life and have been identified by employers as particularly important for success at work. Read the brief in Spanish, Ayudando a los jóvenes a Desarrollar Habilidades Sociales para tener Éxito en el Trabajo: Consejos para los Padres y las Familias.

The "Youth Transition Toolkit: A Guide for Young People with Disabilities Transitioning to Adulthood" is now available online from Talent Knows No Limits, a public information campaign of the California Health Incentives Improvement Project.  Developed in partnership with young people, the toolkit is a how-to guide on preparing for transition to adulthood and making choices about their own health care, education, employment, finances, independent living, and social activities. The toolkit was developed with funding from a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  To learn more, visit the Youth Transition Toolkit website.

NCWD/Youth has released a podcast series for parents and families, "Helping Youth Develop Soft Skills for Job Success". There are four podcasts that focus on communication, interpersonal, and lifelong learning skills and they provide ideas on activities that can be done at home or included in a student's Individualized Education Plan to ensure s/he develops skills needed for job success before completing high school. Learn more and listen to the podcasts.

NCWD/Youth published two new profiles of youth organizations and programs implementing innovative strategies to improve services to youth with disabilities throughout the workforce system by making available information on quality workforce development programs and practices.  The newest Innovative Strategies Profiles are: Minnesota's Pathways to Employment (PTE), an initiative of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and First Jobs Academy (FJA), a program of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy's International Year of Youth blog series features posts about youth in the employment arena and DOL's numerous activities that relate to youth. The August blog posts are:


See you in a few weeks!