Quotable – Claire Roy on Growth Attenuation #disability

Scalpel by Aesop“We are a stupid people, loathe to study and learn from our collective history. We have burned the witches, strung up the niggers, gassed the kykes, lobotomized the crazies, beat up the faggots all in the name of what was right and good. We look back now, in horror at our primitive ancestors’ sins, failing to remove the mote in our own eyes. Disability rights…especially the rights of those most severely affected…are the final frontier of civil rights action. Sadly, I suspect a few more generations of dehumanization of our most vulnerable will pass before any sort of serious political action will take place to bring about real change.

And mark my words, the day will come when we see growth attenuation for the misguided barbarism that it is. On that day, be I the age of Methuselah, I will stand up and point my finger vigorously and without qualms say “I told you so.” ”

- Claire Roy, Life with a Severely Disabled Child 

Disability News Update – February 20 – 26, 2012

Employment

USDA Expands Farming for Disabled Americans

Western Farm Press | February 22, 2012

Responding to the needs of a growing population of farmers and ranchers living with a disability, the USDA awarded 23 grants to organizations to help thousands of people with disabilities continue their chosen agricultural professions.

Read the article: USDA Expands Farming for Disabled Americans 

FTA Announces Availability of Veterans Transportation Grants
Applications due April 19, 2012

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced the availability of approximately $30 million to create or increase access to local and regional transportation resources that veterans and military families depend on to get to work, school and other destinations. The transit funding would boost access to jobs and training that America’s service members need and deserve.

The previous round of Veterans Transportation and Community Living grants, announced in November 2011, provided $34.6 million for 55 projects in 32 states and Guam. Demand for the program was strong, with the Department receiving 70 eligible proposals seeking $52 million in funding requests to create “one-click, one-call” transportation resource centers around the United States last year.

The second round of Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative grants, funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), will continue to help states and communities build or expand “one-click, one-call” centers that offer comprehensive information on local transportation options and other community services, with just a single phone call or click of the mouse.

The notice of funding availability for the program’s second round of grants was published in the Federal Register. Proposals are due on April 19, 2012. A list of the projects that have already been funded under the previous round is available here.
Additional information on the Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative, including how to apply, is available at www.fta.dot.gov/veterans.

Causes of the Chasm: Factors that Impact Employment Among Persons with Disabilities  A Mathematica Issue Forum and Webcast Presented by the Center for Studying Disability Policy (CSDP)

Approximately 17.5 million working-age people in the United States live with a disability. Just 33 percent of these individuals are employed, compared with 73 percent of those with no disability. Underlying this persistent gap is a wide range of employment rates by disability type and demographic characteristics, but little is systematically understood about which groups have fared relatively well and why. The variation of employment outcomes across subgroups represents an opportunity to identify the factors that may reduce the employment gap and help facilitate the development of more effective policies, programs, and services.

Please join us for a forum on Thursday, March 15, 2012, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. (EDT) at Mathematica’s Washington, DC, office 
Please register by 12:00 noon on Friday, March 9, for in-person attendance. All guests attending the in-person event will be required to sign in and present a photo ID.

To attend in person, click here. To attend via webinar, register here.         

Sheltered Workshops Offer Little Benefit, Studies Find by Michelle Diament

Disability Scoop | February 21, 2012 Sheltered workshops are significantly more costly, yet no more effective than supported, competitive employment at ensuring job prospects for individuals with disabilities, new research suggests.

Full Article 

Disability Community Calls for Greater Affirmative Action by Federal Contractors; Bazelon Center Leads Recommendations

Washington — February 23, 2012 — “Under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal contractors are required to take affirmative action in hiring people with disabilities,” stated Jennifer Mathis, deputy legal director for the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

“However, current regulations do not require contractors to have goals concerning the number of people with disabilities in their workforces, do not require contractors to collect data that would allow them to evaluate the effectiveness of affirmative action efforts, and rely almost exclusively on voluntary action on the part of the contractors,” explained Mathis.

In December, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) proposed changes to the rules regarding how federal contractors must implement and track nondiscrimination and affirmative action policies for people with disabilities. The proposed regulations would require large contractors to collect anonymous data about how many applicants and employees have disabilities and to ensure that people with disabilities comprise at least 7% of their workforce.

The Bazelon Center has spearheaded a coordinated disability community response to the proposed regulations, writing comments on behalf of 27 organizations and one individual. The Bazelon Center also coordinated efforts to draft and submit similar comments on behalf of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), with another 25 organizations signing on to that comment letter.

“Many additional organizations noted support for our comments or used them as a model for their own comments,” stated Mathis. “The comments express support for the proposed regulations and urge OFCCP to make them even stronger in three major ways.”

“First, while the 7% utilization goal for employees with disabilities is a start, a goal of 10% would be more appropriate and eminently achievable.

“Second, we urge OFCCP to include a separate goal for the employment of a more targeted group of individuals with disabilities who have historically had significantly lower employment rates than people with disabilities generally. For example, individuals with mental illnesses, individuals with intellectual disabilities, and blind individuals have experienced extremely low employment rates for years.

“Third, the comments also encourage OFCCP to clarify that contractors may not count toward their utilization goals individuals with disabilities in sheltered workshops with which the contractor has a subcontract; contractors may count only individuals hired into the contractor’s own workforce at regular wages.”

Read the full text of the Bazelon Center comments here. The CCD comments are available here.

Clemson Student Disability Services staff to present at international conferences

Posted February 20, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.

Full Post

Innovative Collaborations between Workforce Boards and Employers Helped Meet Local Needs

Government Accountability Office

Link

Republicans Continue Their Misguided Attack on Workers’ Rights

In addition to advancing regressive education policies, Washington Republicans continued their relentless and misguided attacks on workers’ rights last week. House and Senate Republicans announced that they are introducing legislation to block a recent National Labor Relations Board rule that reduces the amount of wasteful pre-election maneuvering used by some employers to delay or deny workers’ rights to a secret ballot election.

“Washington Republicans are once again pushing anti-worker special interest legislation instead of addressing the real problems facing our country’s economy,” Rep. Miller said in response. “If successful, this legislation simply encourages frivolous litigation to delay secret ballot elections or to frustrate workers’ right to organize. It does nothing to put Americans back to work.

The fact is, the NLRB’s reforms are just modest steps forward to help ensure that workers who want a secret ballot election get one without having to endure endless frivolous legal actions. It’s time that Washington Republicans end these special interest attacks and work with Democrats to put more Americans back to work.”

Link

Health

Board Releases Proposed Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment

Access Board | February 9, 2012

The Access Board has released for public comment accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment. Developed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the proposed standards address access for people with disabilities to examination tables and chairs, weight scales, mammography equipment, and other equipment used for diagnostic purposes. The standards are not final and are available for public comment for 120 days.

Read the article: Board Releases Proposed Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment

People with learning disabilities deserve a safe NHS

23 February, 2012

We need a national group to champion the care of people with learning disabilities, says Jim Blair

Individuals with learning disabilities are admitted more frequently to hospital compared with the general population. Mencap’s report in 2007, Death by Indifference, detailed the stories of six people with learning disabilities who Mencap and their families believed died unnecessarily in healthcare settings. The report focused on the care decisions taken suggesting that they were based on assumptions about learning disability and quality of life, and not on the life-saving interventions required.

Full Post

Health & Disability Advocates Lauds New Labor Dept. Proposal to Boost Federal Contractor Hiring of Qualified Workers with Disabilities

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

HDA’s Think Beyond the Label provides tools and resources to help employers recruit prospective job seekers with disabilities

(PRWEB) February 22, 2012

Chicago, Illinois: Health & Disability Advocates, the parent organization of Think Beyond the Label, a public-private partnership that connects businesses to jobs for people with disabilities across the U.S., strongly supports a proposed Department of Labor rule to require federal contractors and subcontractors to set a goal for hiring qualified people with disabilities to 7 percent of their workforce.

“For far too long, businesses have publicly stated their interest in hiring people with disabilities, but for a variety of reasons they have not acted on that interest,” says Barbara Otto, CEO of Health & Disability Advocates. “The proposed rule will provide further incentives for businesses to hire, and with proper guidance and enforcement, will facilitate the increased employment of qualified workers with disabilities.”

Full Release

As state closes mental disability centers, local agencies brace for flood of need

By: Bryan McKenzie | Lynchburg News and Advance Published: February 19, 2012 Updated: February 19, 2012 – 8:42 PM

Virginia will close its training centers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the next 10 years, putting more than 1,000 individuals into community-based programs that already have lengthy waiting lists for their services.

Residents in state institutions will return to their communities and to a system of group homes and day programs by 2021 as part of an agreement between the state and the U.S. Department of Justice. The agreement ends legal action against the state started by department. The agreement will phase out four of five state institutions, which currently house about 1,000 residents total.

The state has agreed to provide funding for more than 4,000 additional people to be treated by community services agencies by 2021. But officials admit that will not cover all of the need. Thousands of people across the state have qualified for care in community programs but are receiving minimal treatment because no state funding is available.

Full Article

Turning government data into private sector products is complicated business

By Joseph Marks 02/09/2012

The government launched its massive data set trove Data.gov in 2009 with a clear mission: to put information the government was gathering anyway into the hands of private sector and nonprofit Web and mobile app developers.

Once that data was out, the White House imagined, developers would set about turning it into useful products–optimizing Census Bureau statistics for marketers; Commerce Department data for exporters; and Housing and Urban Development Department information for building contractors, mortgage brokers and insurance adjusters.

Full Article

We’re Sexy and We Know It! Webinar for Women with Disabilities

Join us on February 22nd for a Free Webinar on how to take charge of your sexuality and relationships.

3:00pm to 4:00pm EST

Part of the “From Within” series for women: An open and frank presentation which emphasizes how “you are not your disability” and how you can be a sexual and sensual being who can enjoy the “holy trilogy” of sex.

National Spinal Cord Injury Association’s (NSCIA) “From Within” Webinar Series for Women

Register

 

The Grassley Proposal: Outlining a New Vision for Ensuring Long-Term Supports and Services for People with Significant Disabilities

In an editorial published in The Hill on February 8th, U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) outlined major structural problems with Medicaid, and suggested a new conceptual framework for the provision of long term supports to people with disabilities in the future.

Grassley’s vision encompasses a growing frustration that individuals with disabilities, their families and practitioners of personalized supports have with constrained Medicaid supports that are too often entrenched in archaic models that convey an institutional bias and lack of individual choice. Growing trends in state Medicaid programs transitioning into managed care models are increasing the anxiety of the disability community that personalized supports geared toward optimizing and individual’s opportunities to live and work in the community are going to disappear.

READ THE FULL STORY

Unlawful Discrimination Based on Pregnancy and Caregiving Responsibilities Widespread Problem, Panelists Tell EEOC

AAPD News via HHS (2.15.12)

At a time when most pregnant women want and need to work, and more American workers struggle to balance work and family, discrimination against pregnant women and workers with caregiving responsibilities remains a significant problem, experts told the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at a public meeting today

Full Release

O’Malley, Advocates Participate in Developmental Disabilities Lobby Day

Posted on February 21, 2012  By KELSEY MILLER

ANNAPOLIS (September 21, 2012) — Gov. Martin O’Malley told advocates for the developmentally disabled Tuesday that his proposed budget provides more support for their needs, and that he’ll assure lost millions will be returned to the Developmental Disabilities Administration.

O’Malley spoke to the crowd at the annual Developmental Disabilities Lobby Day about his FY2013 budget priorities, which include an increase of $30 million in total funds for services from the previous year. That brings this year’s total funding to more than $837 million.

Full Post

D.C. class-action nursing-home lawsuit to go forward By Annys Shin

February 14, 2012 – The Washington Post

The District has lost an effort to have a federal judge throw out a class-action suit brought on behalf of nearly 3,000 nursing home residents.

Judge Ellen Huvelle on Tuesday rejected the city’s contention that it has complied with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) by providing services to nursing home residents who want to live in the community. The ADA requires states and local governments to provide services to people with disabilities in the most integrated setting possible.

Full Article

Disability advocates recount sterilizations’ without consent ny Barbara Miller

Updated February 15, 2012 09:04:17

Disability advocates have recounted distressing tales of disabled women who learn they have been sterilized years after the fact.

It comes as Federal Disability Commissioner Graeme Innes raised concerns about the increasing number of procedures being carried out without court approval.

Stella Young, editor of the ABC’s disability website Ramp Up, says she was almost sterilized as a young child.

“When I was four I was on holiday with my parents in Adelaide and I broke my leg while I was there and they took me to the hospital and they re-set my leg,” she told PM.

Full Article

ADAP Advocacy Association Praises President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget’s Commitment to Cash-Strapped AIDS Drug Assistance Program; Budget proposes $102 million increase to alleviate ADAP waiting lists

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 14, 2012) – The ADAP Advocacy Association, also known as aaa+, today praised President Barack Obama for his proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, and its commitment to shoring-up the cash-strapped AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP) under the Ryan White CARE Act. Nationwide, as of February 9th, there were 4,111 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in the United States being denied access to appropriate, timely care and treatment on ADAP waiting lists. President Obama is proposing an increase of $102 over the current fiscal year for ADAPs.

“On behalf of the thousands of patients who rely on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, but are being turned away from their life-saving medications, we’re extremely thankful for the President’s commitment to this vital safety-net program,” said Brandon M. Macsata, CEO of the ADAP Advocacy Association. “The ADAP Advocacy Association has been calling on the federal government to renew its commitment to ADAP because it has a proven Return on Investment to the taxpayers, as well as providing essential access to care and treatment for those patients who otherwise would not have it. The additional $102 million is a significant step in the right direction.”

Full Release

Office of Rural Health Policy Offers Funding Opportunity

The Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) is pleased to announce the release of the FY 2012 Public Access to Defibrillation Demonstration Project (PADDP) Grant Program (announcement number: HRSA-12-085). ORHP’s PADDP grant program supports projects that will increase public access to emergency medical devices and services. The purpose of this grant program is to 1.) purchase automated external defibrillators (AED) that have been approved, or cleared for marketing by the Food and Drug Administration; 2.) provide basic life training in automated external defibrillator usage through nationally recognized courses; 3.) provide information to community members about the public access defibrillation demonstration project to be funded with the grant; 4.) provide information to the local emergency medical services (EMS) system regarding the placement of AEDs in unique settings; and 5.) further develop strategies to improve access to AEDs in public places.

Applicants may propose funding for up to three (3) years. The maximum award is up to $100,000 per year. We expect to make up to three (3) awards. Eligible applicants must be a political subdivision of a State, a federally recognized Native American Tribe, or a Tribal organization.

Link to funding synopsis

Link to apply

The deadline to submit an application in grants.gov is March 19, 2012. ORHP strongly recommends that applicants submit their applications prior to the due date to avoid any technological problems. All applications have to be submitted electronically in www.grants.gov.

For further questions on this funding opportunity, please contact the program coordinator, Michele Gibson at 301-443-7320 or mpray@hrsa.gov

Health Resources from Reference Points, an activity of TATRA, a project of PACER Center

Transitions Checklist This checklist, developed by Healthy and Ready to Work Center, it is now part of the new National Health Care Transition Center toolkit. Available in English and Spanish, it helps a youth and their family assess and discuss their readiness for transition to adult health care.

Parent Engagement Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health “Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health,” a new resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, synthesizes research and best practices related to parent engagement in schools and describes strategies for connecting with parents, engaging parents in school health activities, and sustaining parent engagement.

Resources for Parents from the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) “Conversation Generation” is an online resource providing parents (and foster parents, guardians, and other parenting and caring adults) with knowledge and skills to help them begin and maintain two-way communication with adolescents about sex, sexuality, and relationships and tips for getting the conversation started. OAH was established through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 to coordinate adolescent health promotion and disease prevention programs and initiatives across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

New Family Guide: Integrating Mental Health and Pediatric Primary Care from NAMI From NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness designed this guide to help families navigate the integrated care landscape. It provides practical information for families on incorporating mental health care into primary care settings.

Also from NAMI: Online Fact Sheets on Childhood and Adolescent Health Conditions These and any more resources for families on mental health issues are available on the NAMI Web site: www.nami.org

Education

2012 National Transition Conference

From May 30 to June 1, join the New England TACE Center and the NIDRR-funded Transitions RRTC for Transitions 2012, a national conference focusing on college and careers for youth with disabilities. This conference brings together youth and young adults, families, educators, voc rehab and employment professionals, researchers, administrators, policy makers, and more to discuss the latest research and information in the field. The call for papers should be out now and registration opens in March. 

Obama’s Budget Leaves Funding Unclear for Disabled College Students Federal funding for a five-year program for students with intellectual disabilities is not guaranteed. By Katy Hopkins

February 14, 2012 RSS Feed Print President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2013 may signal a murky future for a fledgling program that helps students with intellectual disabilities go to college and succeed while enrolled.   

The Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) grant, a five-year plan started in fiscal year 2010, was intended to be the first widespread program to track and analyze best practices for getting students with intellectual disabilities to and through college. With federal funding of about $11 million a year, 27 institutions—including the University of Kentucky and the University of Delaware—created model programs with a particular focus on vocational training students need to succeed in the job market.

Full Article

Exquisite: Beauty Is Disability  

Exquisite: Beauty Is Disability strives to redefine the image of disability as another valued aspect of human diversity. Exquisite is a three part project, established by American University student leaders, Allie Cannington and Ki’tay Davidson. Exquisite will address beauty perception, body image, and sexuality in relation to disability through an education panel on ableism awareness, an one-day seminar for women with invisible and visible disabilities and an art gallery featuring the beauty of women with disabilities.

On March 27, 2012, there will be an education panel featuring disability activists and scholars on the issue of ableism and beauty perception of disability.

The following Saturday, March 31, 2012, there will be a one-day intensive workshop for 15-20 young women with all types of disabilities, ages 18-28. The program will feature prominent women in the disability community that will speak and lead group discussions, individualized reflections, and artistic expression. The sessions of the day will consist of disability identity and pride, disability and sexuality, and disability and body image. All portions of the day will conclude with a final art workshop, in which every woman will use a medium of choice to create a self portrait of internal beauty. With written permission, a professional photographer will be taking portraits of each woman to correspond to their art pieces. Overall, this one-day event will work to create a safe environment in which every attendee will work to begin or continue their journeys towards holistically seeing themselves as beautiful.

The final portion of Exquisite will be an art gallery, held in mid April, open to the DC, Maryland, and Virginia communities that feature the workshop participants’ art and photographs. The gallery will spread awareness and truth that women with disabilities, of all types and of all backgrounds, are beautiful.

With meaningful goals at hand, we are reaching out to your academic institution to spread the knowledge of Exquisite, as well as to recruit potential workshop participants. The only requirements to register include being of the ages 18-28, identifying as a woman, and having some type of disability, invisible or visible. For more information, please reach Ki’tay Davidson and Allie Cannington at exquisite.disabilities@gmail.com or (202) 643-7245

Applications for New Awards – National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research–Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, etc.

AGENCY: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)–Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program–Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP)–Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (KTDRR Center)

Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2012.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133A-13.
DATES:
Applications Available: February 14, 2012.
Date of Pre-Application Meeting: March 6, 2012.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 16, 2012.

Full Text of Announcement: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-02-14/html/2012-3414.htm

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research–Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program

AGENCY: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of final priority.

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research–Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program–Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project–Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133A-13.

SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announces a priority for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program–Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) administered by the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). Specifically, this notice announces a priority for a center on knowledge translation for disability and rehabilitation research (KTDRR Center). The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for a competition in fiscal year (FY) 2012 and later years. We take this action to focus research attention on areas of national need.
DATES: Effective Date: This priority is effective March 15, 2012.

Full Text of Announcement: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-02-14/html/2012-3416.htm

Building Inclusive High School Communities

Series Available February 20 through March 20, 2012 — TASH invites you to learn about Building Inclusive High School Communities by participating in this exclusive webinar series featuring leading experts on inclusive education. Creating a truly inclusive high school can be an arduous and complex process, especially as schools already face the challenge of raising academic standards through rigor and high-stakes testing. But as the gateway to adult life, high school should embrace and support all students by creating opportunities for:

  • Self-advocacy
  • Differentiated instruction and Universal Design for Learning
  • Youth Engagement
  • Relationship building and social interactions
  • Engaging in preparation for the quality of life they deserve in the community

This series is intended for anyone interested in developing inclusive schools, including parents of middle and high school students, special and general education teachers, special services staff and directors, school administrators, inclusive facilitators and other personnel.

Download the webinar flyer or learn more online at www.tash.org/webinar 

Scholarship Opportunities – Disabiliy.gov 

Link

Technology

Windows 8 adds more features to help disabled users

February 15, 2012 2:26 PM – Sean Ludwig 

Microsoft will be adding new features to its upcoming Windows 8 operating system designed to help people with disabilities navigate and better use the OS, the company said in a blog post Tuesday.  

“Windows 8 is a product we design for an incredibly broad spectrum of people around the world,” wrote Microsoft Windows head Steven Sinofsky. “One of the areas where we have worked to deliver an even greater level of innovation is in ensuring that Windows 8, particularly the new Metro style experience, is accessible to everyone regardless of their physical abilities.”  

Microsoft will be adding features such as an updated version of Magnifier, which helps people with low vision. This product is actually in Windows 7, but the company admits there are still a few issues that need to be fixed with high contrast colors. You can see Magnifier in action above pin-pointing a certain part of the Windows 8 screen.  

Full Article

Smartphone app helps people with a disability access the city By Kent Sutherland

07:38 February 15, 2012  

How do you figure out how to pilot a wheelchair around your city? Around 10 percent or more of the population live with a disability, so chances are that you, or someone you know, has this problem. You can’t be certain if wheelchair access is available unless you laboriously phone ahead to inquire for every route and every destination. Some web information is available, but knowing where to find it and what search strings to use can be a real challenge. Enter the Ldn Access smartphone app, that helps people with disabilities easily find where there are step-free access ramps, usable toilet facilities, and other services for the disabled.  

Full Article  

AAPD’s Hearne Leadership Award Winners Announced – Advocate and Entrepreneur to be honored at March 21 Event 

Feb. 14, 2012, 2:09 p.m. EST   

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is pleased to announce Mark Barlet and Amber Smock as the winners of the prestigious 2012 Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award.   

Barlet, of Harper’s Ferry, WV and Smock, of Chicago, IL will be presented with their awards, which are given to emerging leaders within the national cross-disability community, at the 2012 AAPD Leadership Gala, an awards ceremony and dinner, on March 21, 2012 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, D.C. The two were chosen by a national advisory committee to receive $10,000 each to further their work in the disability community.   

AAPD’s Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award carries on the work of one of AAPD’s founders, Paul G. Hearne, a renowned leader in the national disability community and realizes his goal of cultivating emerging disability rights leaders.   

Full Release  

Technological Innovations in Transportation for People with Disabilities- February 23

This Federal Highway Administration report presents the results of a workshop on February 23, 2011 held to explore technological innovations in accessible transportation and to better understand the requirements of pedestrians and travelers with visual impairments or other mobility disabilities. The workshop brought together a panel of speakers made up of disability experts, academic professionals, transportation industry experts, and other professionals to discuss applications of technology for accessible transportation, identify knowledge gaps and opportunities, and highlight barriers to implementation.

Link
 

Abilities Expo, The Nation’s Largest Event for People With Disabilities and Their Caregivers, is Coming to Atlanta on February 17-19

Feb. 9, 2012, 9:06 a.m. EST 

ATLANTA, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — More than three thousand visitors–people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors, wounded veterans and healthcare professionals–are expected to attend Abilities Expo on Friday, February 17, through Sunday, February 19, 2012 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Admission is free and show hours are Friday 11 am to 5 pm, Saturday 11 am to 5 pm and Sunday 11 am to 4 pm.   

Abilities Expo has put together an impressive line-up of exhibits, workshops, celebrities, events and activities to appeal to people of all ages with the full spectrum of disabilities–including physical, learning, development and sensory disabilities. Complimentary loaner scooters and wheelchair repair will also be available onsite during show hours.   

“It is our privilege to provide this forum for the Community of people with disabilities in Atlanta to come together and gain access to life-enhancing technologies, education and resources,” said David Korse, president and CEO of Abilities Expo. “Between the adaptive events, the dynamic workshops and the thousands of products and services on display…this is a must-attend event for everyone in the Community.”

 Full Release

 

Legislative

From the White House

Helping People with Disabilities and the 2013 Budget

Posted by Francesca L. de Quesada on February 14, 2012 at 10:08 AM EST

President Obama laid out a blueprint in his State of the Union address for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.  The President released a budget that illustrates how we put that blueprint to work.

Yesterday in his message to Congress, the President explained that we are in a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get there. The Budget targets scarce federal resources to the areas critical to growing the economy and restoring middle-class security: education and skills for American workers, innovation and manufacturing, clean energy, and infrastructure. It is built around the idea that our country does best when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.

Full Article

Expanding Opportunities for People with Disabilities

We now face a make-or-break moment for the middle class and those trying to reach it. After decades of eroding middle-class security as those at the very top saw their incomes rise as never before and after a historic recession that plunged our economy into a crisis from which we are still fighting to recover, it is time to construct an economy that is built to last. The President’s 2013 Budget is built around the idea that our country does best when everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules. We must transform our economy from one focused on speculating, spending, and borrowing to one constructed on the solid foundation of educating, innovating, and building. That begins with putting the Nation on a path to living within our means – by cutting wasteful spending, asking all Americans to shoulder their fair share, and making tough choices on some things we cannot afford, while keeping the investments we need to grow the economy and create jobs. The Budget targets scarce federal resources to the areas critical to growing the economy and restoring middle-class security: education and skills for American workers, innovation and manufacturing, clean energy, and infrastructure. The Budget is a blueprint for how we can rebuild an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded.

To expand opportunities for people with disabilities, the 2013 Budget will:

Full Article

On the Hill

The Grassley Proposal: Outlining a New Vision for Ensuring Long-Term Supports and Services for People with Significant Disabilities

In an editorial published in The Hill on February 8th, U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) outlined major structural problems with Medicaid, and suggested a new conceptual framework for the provision of long term supports to people with disabilities in the future.

Grassley’s vision encompasses a growing frustration that individuals with disabilities, their families and practitioners of personalized supports have with constrained Medicaid supports that are too often entrenched in archaic models that convey an institutional bias and lack of individual choice. Growing trends in state Medicaid programs transitioning into managed care models are increasing the anxiety of the disability community that personalized supports geared toward optimizing and individual’s opportunities to live and work in the community are going to disappear.

READ THE FULL STORY

From the Federal Register

Education Department
 
NOTICES
Applications for New Awards:  
  Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program ,  
  8228–8233 [2012–3421]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

  National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, etc. ,  
  8223–8228 [2012–3414]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

Final Priority:  
  National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, etc. ,  
  8234–8236 [2012–3416]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

National Institutes of Health
 
Meetings:  
  8889 [2012–3445]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

  National Institute of Mental Health ,  
  8890 [2012–3428]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

  National Institute on Aging ,  
  8889–8890 [2012–3453]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

  National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders ,  
  8888 [2012–3544]

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  8887–8888 [2012–3569]

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Blogs and Social Media

Disability Advocates Press Case for ABLE with Congress

February 16, 2012 Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks joined with advocates from the nation’s other leading disability organizations today to make the case before Congress for ABLE—a bill that would allow families raising children with disabilities to save tax-free for their future needs. The briefing was organized by Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) all cosponsors of HR.3423, the House version of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. A panel of disability experts, including Stuart Spielman, senior policy counsel with Autism Speaks, addressed the briefing.

Full Post

Disabled America

Slate | February 22, 2012 By Matthew Yglesias

The U.S. government has two main programs that give money to nonelderly, nonworking adults. One is unemployment insurance, which you only get if you’re actively seeking a job, and the other is disability insurance, which you only get if you’re physically or mentally unable to work. In theory those should be hermetically sealed populations.

Read the blog: Disabled America

 

Sheltered Workshops Offer Little Benefit, Studies Find

Disability Scoop | February 21, 2012 By Michelle Diament

Sheltered workshops are significantly more costly, yet no more effective than supported, competitive employment at ensuring job prospects for individuals with disabilities, new research suggests.

Read the article: Sheltered Workshops Offer Little Benefit, Studies Find

UT Named One of America’s Most Disability-Friendly Colleges By Rose Cahalan in 40 Acres, Special on February 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Full Post

Minorities Show More Severe Signs Of Autism By Michelle Diament

Disability Scoop – February 23, 2012

Full Post

Book by Fred Pelka offers history of disability rights movement

By STEVE PFARRER Staff Writer – The Amherst Bulletin Friday, February 24, 2012

Today, most people don’t think twice about the accommodations that give people with disabilities greater access to the public sphere. Wheelchair lifts on buses and vans. Ramps and railings outside buildings and curb cuts on streets. Sign language interpreters in courtrooms. Children with physical or developmental disabilities in regular classrooms.

But 50 and 60 years ago – or even more recently – that was hardly the case. There were separate schools for children with disabilities, with grim, Dickensian names like Boston’s Industrial School for Crippled Children. People with mental illness were locked up in facilities more like jails than medical institutions. Using a wheelchair restricted access to most public buildings and transportation.

Full Article

Motor Impairments Core Feature Of Autism By Shaun Heasley

Disability Scoop – February 21, 2012

Kids with autism often have difficulty with everyday activities like running and writing. Now, researchers say they’ve linked these motor skills troubles with the presence of autism itself.  The finding reported in the journal Autism offers firm evidence that motor skills difficulty is related to autism, not something that simply runs in families, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis said.

Full Post

AAPD News February 21, 2012

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AAPD News – February 24, 2012

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Ed Labor Insider – 2.23.2012

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ePolicyWorks – This Week in the News

February 23, 2012

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ODEP News Brief – February 24, 2012

Link

Governor Rick Scott Proclaims The Month of March as Disabilities Awareness Month

The following is what is written on the document that was signed by Governor Rick Scott on February 20th 2012

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

WHEREAS, people born with developmental disabilities are a part of every community, socioeconomic class, religion and country; and

WHEREAS, developmental disabilities are natural parts of the human experience that should not diminish the rights of individuals to live independently, enjoy self-determination, make choices, contribute to communities, and experience the economic, political, social, cultural and educational mainstreams of society; and

WHEREAS, more than 40 million Americans have developmental disabilities, resulting in substantial limitations in self care, communications, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic self-sufficiency; and

WHEREAS, the State of Florida supports more than 50,00 citizens with developmental disabilities through services provided by state agencies, including the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Division of Blind Services and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation; and

WHEREAS, the State of Florida also works with dozens of partner organizations and thousands of private-sector and community providers to support those with developmental disabilities; and

WHEREAS, Florida provides citizens with developmental disabilities the opportunities and support to make informed choices, live in their communities, exercise their rights, pursue productive lives, contribute to their city, state and nation, and achieve full inclusion in society.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Scott, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby extend greetings and the beast wishes to all observing March 2012 as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

Link

Disability News Update – February 13, 2012

The Disability News Update is coordinated by the Lead On Update. The get weekly updates of disability happenings or to search by category, visit the Lead On Update at www.leadonupdate.wordpress.com

Upcoming Events

February 13 – March 9, 2012

Foundations of ASD: National Autism Online Training Series

Autism Spectrum Disorders are considered to be a lifelong neurological developmental disability which share many characteristics. With the number of individuals diagnosed with autism on the rise, there is a strong probability everyone will encounter someone with ASD either at work or daily life. This course will provide participants with an understanding of the primary characteristics of ASD, which include impairments in communication and social development and the presence of repetitive patterns of behavior. Secondary characteristics, including sensory processing differences and motor deficits will also be explored. The course will discuss the impact ASD has on the person as well as the family unit. The course will also provide an overview of learning styles, the history, cause, and early signs of ASD. Cost: $125 per individual, $500 for 5 individuals. Find out more & Register

 February 15, 2012

 Kaiser Event: Screening New PBS Doc on Regional Successes in U.S. Health Care

On Wednesday, February 15 at 12:00 p.m., the Kaiser Family Foundation will host an event featuring an upcoming PBS documentary with former Washington Post correspondent T.R. Reid – U.S. Health Care: The Good News – which explores efforts to provide low-cost, quality health care in the U.S. The film looks at variations in health spending across the country and showcases efficient health care delivery systems, like Grand Junction in Colorado and Group Health in Seattle, suggesting that these communities demonstrate that it is feasible to provide Americans with first-rate care while still controlling the cost.

The event will also feature a panel discussion, moderated by Kaiser’s Jackie Judd, to examine the issues raised in the documentary and the challenges, constraints and potential solutions for achieving affordable, effective health care in the U.S. Panelists will include:

  • T.R. Reid, former Washington Post correspondent
  • Dr. Elliott Fisher, Professor of Medicine and Director for Population Health & Policy, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice
  • Carol Beasley, Director of Strategic Projects, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • U.S. Health Care: The Good News will be available for broadcast by PBS member stations on Thursday, February 16, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Check local listings for the date and time in your area.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. ET
(A brownbag lunch will be provided at noon)

WHERE: Barbara Jordan Conference Center (Kaiser Family Foundation Office)
1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC (one block west of Metro Center)

RSVP: Please register online to attend this event.

Contact: For further information, please contact Erissa Scalera at (202) 347-5270

February 16, 2012

Assessment: What It Is…What It’s Not…and Why to Use It

2:00 p.m. Eastern

Presenter: Lisa Stern, Lisa Stern Consulting

Register

February 28, 2012

Talent Has No Boundaries Webinar – An Employers Guide to Recruiting and Retaining Individuals with Disabilities

Join the Department of Labor on February 28, 2012 from 1 — 2 p.m. to learn more about the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) from the experts!

  • Background on WRP’s mission;
  • How to use the WRP website to find talented employees;
  • How to provide efficient accommodations at your work site;
  • Business success stories that inform and inspire;
  • The tools and resources that are available within the Federal government to support and advance your employment efforts.

Register at wrpmarketing@dol.gov

March 1 – 2, 2012

Annual State of the Science Conference – Race, Ethnicity, and Disability: State of the Science Conference

VCU Project Empowerment, funded by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), invites you to attend Race, Ethnicity, and Disabilities: State of the Science Conference. Mark your calendar for this conference that will bring expert researchers and educators to present about the state of the science of disability research involving racial and ethnic minorities on March 1 and 2, 2012 at Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA.

For more information and Online Registration | Brochure | Registration Deadline is Feb 15.

March 4 – 7, 2012

SHRM Employment Law and Legislative Conference

Register

March 7, 2012

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Webcast: Best Practices in the Employment of People with Disabilities in the Federal Government

More Info

May 30 – June 1, 2012

National ADA Symposium  Sponsored by the ADA National Network and held in Indianapolis, IN.

For more information 

June 26 – 29, 2012

APSE 2012 National Conference – Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA

The 23rd Annual Conference theme says it all – Employment First: A Capitol Idea! And now is the time to focus our energies on ensuring all people with disabilities have meaningful opportunities to bring their talents to the workplace. The conference will open with Temple Grandin, author, professor at Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences, and international speaker on the topic of autism and employment. Dr. Grandin, named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2010, will present “Learning Skills and Obtaining Employment for People with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.”

More Information & Online Registration – Early Bird Registration Rates end on Mar 30 

July 12, 2012 

ADA Update” WEBINAR

2:00 – 3:00 PM ET  Webinar sponsored by JAN.

For more information

November 28 – December 1, 2012

 2012 TASH Conference, Long Beach California

Call for Proposals (Due April 5, 2012)

Blogs and Social Media

Autism Society Rocked By Suspected Fraud By Michelle Diament

February 9, 2012 – Disability Scoop

Full Post 

Disability and Domestic Violence by Laurie Crosby

Sat Feb 04, 2012 at 08:00 PM PST

The Daily Kos

Full Post 

A Chance to See Disabilities as Assets By PEGGY KLAUS

Published: February 4, 2012 – The New York Times

Full Post 

Broadway Adds More Autism-Friendly Shows By Shaun Heasley

February 8, 2012 – Disability Scoop

Full Post 

HBO To Air New Film Tackling Disability Caregiving By Michelle Diament

February 7, 2012 – Disability Scoop

Full Post

 Worksupport.com e-Newsletter – February 2012

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ODEP Business Sense – February, 2012 – What Can YOU Do? Show Us!

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 ODEP News Brief – February 10, 2012

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 AAPD News – February 3, 2012

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 USICD News – February 2012

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 Social media aids diplomacy, disaster response By Joseph Marks

02/03/2012 – Nextgov

Full Post 

The Voice – Official Newsletter of the Special Needs Alliance

February 2012 – Vol. 6 Issue 3

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Raising the Floor Newsletter – February 2012

Link

 Seeding Change – A Newsletter of the NTAR Leadership Center

Issue 18: February 2012

Link

 VA kicks off Wi-Fi buy, plans national rollout By Bob Brewin

02/08/2012 – Nextgov

Full Post

Technology

Kindle Fire – An Accessibility Device for the Disabled by Charlotte Gerber, About.com Guide  

January 31, 2012

Full Post

Funding Opportunity: Effective Communication Solicitation  

The National Council on Disability is interested in evaluating effective communication for Americans with disabilities before, during, and after emergencies.  

Since 2005, NCD has noted in multiple publications the need for research and evidence-based knowledge to support national efforts on emergency management and disability.  As a result of this work, NCD was given responsibilities regarding emergency management in the Post-Katrina Emergency Reform Act (PKEMRA).  As part of these responsibilities, NCD recently participated in two events that illustrated the need to place additional emphasis on effective communication.  In September 2011, NCD held an all-day meeting with FEMA’s Regional Disability Integration Specialists, where the agencies discussed the current state of emergency management as well as barriers and facilitators to the inclusion of people with disabilities.  Also in September 2011, NCD cosponsored FEMA’s Getting Real II conference, which highlighted promising practices in inclusive emergency management.  During both meetings, issues related to effective communication were raised as a critical area needing attention.

Effective communication throughout all phases of emergency management (preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation) must be fully accessible to all people with disabilities.  NCD is interested in examining the accessibility of communication before, during, and after emergencies for people with sensory disabilities (deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low-vision, deaf-blind, and speech disabilities) as well as people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and people with psychiatric disabilities.  NCD will document successful practices and identify facilitators and barriers to providing effective emergency-related communication.  Through this study, NCD will aim to educate emergency planners, as well as state and local officials, about how to provide effective communication to all people with disabilities before, during, and after emergencies.

A key piece of this research will include a thorough examination of the current state of affairs concerning the accessibility of emergency-related communication.  This analysis must address all phases of emergency management and be cross-disability and demonstrate sensitivity to diversity matters/issues that can impact outreach and response.  The research must include what is occurring in this area on both the national and state level.

For full notice of funding opportunity, go to:

http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/research/Effective_Communication_Pre-solicitation_Notice

Want an iPad? Pentagon CIO thinks you should be able to have one.

By Bob Brewin – 02/08/2012 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Teri Takai, the Defense Department’s chief information officer, kicked off a speech at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Cyberspace Symposium on Wednesday by asking, “Everyone wants an iPad, right?” and then implied quick deployment of tablet computers and smartphones across the department without defining the timeline.  

Full Article  

Pick Your Avatar By Brittany Ballenstedt

February 13, 2012 – Government Executive  

Federal cybersecurity workers might not be far from being able to access top-notch training directly from their computer desktops.  

Robert Hollingsworth, director of the security engineering and computer security training division at the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security Training Center, told Wired Workplace on Thursday that State and the Homeland Security Department have begun training federal cyber pros using virtual worlds, where each user has an avatar and is walked through different cyber scenarios  

Full Article

Education

ABA Joins Disability Advocates in Pressuring Law School Admission Council by Karen Sloan

The National Law Journal  – February 9, 2012 

The American Bar Association has sent a message to the Law School Admission Council that it’s not happy with that group’s handling of requests for special accommodations by takers of the Law School Admission Test. 

The ABA’s House of Delegates voted unanimously on Monday to adopt a resolution urging the council to “ensure that the exam reflects what the exam is designed to measure, and not the test taker’s disability.” The vote came during the ABA’s midyear meeting in New Orleans. 

Full Article 

UC Regents Hit With Disability Lawsuit by Laura Martin

Monday February 06, 2012 – 3:51PM – The Guardian  

Alexander Stern, a fourth-year student at UCSB, is suing the University of California after he was unable to receive a job at the university due to his disability. The lawsuit Alexander Stern V. Regents of University of California prevents disabled students under the Disabled Students Program from receiving university jobs.

In response to Stern’s lawsuit, UCSB officials announced that the DSP has modified its policies to aid disabled students in receiving jobs.

“As of January 26, student clients of DSP will join all other undergraduate and graduate students in being able to immediately access the department’s online applications for the student note-taker and test-proctor positions at DSP,” UCSB News Director George Foulsham said in a statement.  

According to a Jan. 25 article in The Bottom Line, Stern said that the director of the Disabled Students Program Gary White claims that hiring an individual with disabilities creates additional liabilities and his job is to minimize potential liabilities. 

Although the 1990 American Disabilities Act made job discrimination against individuals with disabilities illegal, Stern claims that the university application process does not inquire about the skills of a disabled individual.  

Full Article 

Individualized Learning Plans NCWD/Youth launches new webpage on Individualized Learning Plans

NCWD/Youth’s new webpage on Individualized Learning Plans features various publications and resources for understanding and using Individualized Learning Plans. The web page includes information about the latest research, policies, and practices. An Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) is a tool that students in secondary school use – with support from school counselors and parents – to define their personal interests and goals related to their career and postsecondary education and to plan what courses to take and what activities to participate in during high school to further their interests and achieve their goals. For more information and resources, visit the ILP webpage.

Health

New Guidance on State Option to Put Dual-Eligibles Into Managed Care 

Last week, the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office and the Center for Medicare, parts of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), released more detailed guidance to private insurance plan sponsors about the capitated financial alignment demonstration. This demonstration attempts to integrate financing and care for dually eligible individuals, or people with both Medicare and Medicaid. Under this demonstration, which was initially announced in July 2011, interested private insurance plans will enter into three-way contracts with federal and state governments. Those dual-eligibles subject to the demonstration will receive both Medicare and Medicaid coverage from private plans, including for long-term care services and supports. The demonstration is required to produce reduced Medicare and Medicaid spending, without adversely affecting—and ideally improving—the quality of care that dual-eligibles receive.

The memo generally describes how CMS and states will determine prospective capitated payments, as well as the adequacy of plans’ provider networks. In addition, the memo includes timelines for both the approval of state demonstrations and the selection of participating plans. CMS anticipates that for this demonstration, beneficiaries who are affected will have effective plan enrollment dates of January 1, 2013. As a result, many key deadlines will occur in 2012: states will have to submit their demonstration proposals, insurance plans will have to submit their letters of intent and plan models, and CMS will have to review and approve both. The memo also sets forth key programmatic area requirements, explaining existing federal requirements for plans under Medicare and Medicaid, as well as pre-established or preferred requirements for the new demonstration. Many of the requirements under the demonstration are hybrids of the existing Medicare and Medicaid requirements, though some will be negotiated through the CMS approval process.

According to the memo, 26 states are still exploring the capitated financial alignment demonstration. 

Read CMS’ guidance to “Organizations Interested in Offering Capitated Financial Alignment Demonstration Plans.” 

69-Time Gold Medalist and Multi-Sport Wheelchair Athlete Named Spokesperson for National Mobility Awareness Month

Feb. 7, 2012, 3:22 p.m. EST – PRNewswire 

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Mike Savicki, a quadriplegic triathlete, has been named spokesperson for National Mobility Awareness Month, the new May celebration encouraging people with disabilities to live active, mobile lifestyles. The goal is to develop awareness for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles as well as the many other transportation solutions that can improve the quality of life for veterans, seniors and those with disabilities. Savicki is a proud partner along with such sponsors as the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), Toyota, SanTan Honda Superstore in Chandler, Ariz. and Chrysler LLC.  

Full Release  

Advocates File Lawsuit Against NH’s Failing Mental Health Care System  

Concord, N.H. – February 9, 2012 – Advocates from the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the Disabilities Rights Center, the Center for Public Representation and Devine, Millimet & Branch, PA, filed a class-action complaint today on behalf of New Hampshire residents with serious mental illnesses who are or are at risk of being institutionalized in state-run facilities due to the state’s failure to provide community-based mental health services.  

Over the last twenty years, New Hampshire has favored funding costly institutions over providing the community-based services and supports people with mental disabilities need to enjoy a full life in the community like anyone else.   

“The vast majority of people with serious mental illnesses or intellectual disabilities can lead fulfilling lives in their communities, provided they have the community services and supports they need to succeed,” said Ira Burnim, legal director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. “Living independently, maintaining meaningful relationships and having gainful employment should be the goal for people with mental disabilities.”  

State officials have failed to provide treatment in the most integrated setting possible, say advocates, and are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) provisions of the Nursing Home Reform Act. The complaint calls for New Hampshire to expand services with proven success rates, including mobile crisis services, assertive community treatment, supportive housing and supported employment.   

Advocates filed a complaint after New Hampshire failed to respond to an April 2011 finding from the United States Department of Justice that New Hampshire’s state mental health system is in violation of the ADA.  In November 2010, advocates sent a letter to two of the complaint’s defendants, Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and Administrator Erik Rivera of the New Hampshire Bureau of Behavioral Health, describing the state’s violations and seeking negotiations. The complaint was filed when negotiations reached an impasse.   

While the administration continues to implement health reform, the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to consider several challenges to that law with much more at stake than just health care. The second session of the 112th Congress is also underway. The House has passed a bill to repeal health reform’s long-term care services and supports program. Appropriators defend funding for mental health and criminal justice programs. And the debate over education reform intensifies.  

Also in this issue of The Reporter, the Supreme Court and the administration consider “disparate impact” discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.    

Read this issue of The Reporter…

Employment

Section 503 Comment Period Extended

US Labor Department extends comment period on proposed rule to improve employment opportunities for workers with disabilities

Feb. 7, 2012, 1:45 p.m. EST – PR NewsWire  

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Interested parties may submit comments through Feb. 21  

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has announced a 14-day extension of the comment period for its proposed rule to revise regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which obligates most federal contractors and subcontractors to ensure equal employment opportunity for qualified workers with disabilities

Full release  

Comment on Improving Opportunities for Workers with Disabilities

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has extended the comment period for its proposed rule requiring federal contractors to set a hiring goal of having 7 percent of their employees be qualified workers with disabilities. Interested parties now have until Tuesday, Feb. 21, to analyze the issues raised in the proposal and to provide their comments.

Read the News Release

Submit Comments 

US Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy releases comprehensive soft skills curriculum for young workers

Feb. 9, 2012, 5:25 p.m. EST – PRNewswire  

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced the release of “Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success,” a collection of career development exercises and activities designed to help sharpen the communication and other “soft” skills of young workers, including those with disabilities.  

ODEP’s curriculum, which covers communication, networking, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking and professionalism, is based on the results of a survey of prominent businesses to determine what they believe to be the most important competencies and skills for young workers. According to recent surveys, nearly three-quarters of employers indicated high school graduates were deficient in such basic skills as punctuality, verbal communication and working productively with others. Businesses across the nation have identified soft skills as crucial to the hiring and employment success of all workers.  

Full Release  

Keeping employees could be tougher than attracting them, officials say By Amanda Palleschi

Government Executive – February 7, 2012  

Although recent figures suggest that fewer college students plan to enter government service than in prior years, federal officials say holding on to new hires is perhaps a bigger human capital challenge.

Speaking at an event sponsored by Government Executive, chief human capital officers at the Education and Veteran Affairs departments said the numbers from a National Association of Colleges and Employers survey released earlier this week are “disconcerting” — and both are still seeing plenty of interest and resumes from younger applicants .  

“Secretary Arne Duncan is prone to say he’s amazed, as he talks to stakeholders and does speaking engagements, there are so many that enjoy the mission of the Department of Education and want to get in,” said Robert Buggs, chief human capital officer at Education. “And then when we look at our employee surveys, it appears that there are too many who say they want to leave.”  

Full Article  

2012 Student Database Launched

The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities database now has information for employers on 2,700 job seekers, including 153 veterans with disabilities. On Tuesday, nearly 400 federal hiring managers, recruiters and HR specialists attended an event hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture designed to showcase the database. Among the speakers was Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Policy Kathy Martinez. “WRP provides a pipeline for agencies to bring people with disabilities on board both today and for years to come,” said Martinez in a call-to-action, urging federal agencies to actively hire candidates from the database. A webinar for federal employers will be held on Feb. 28 from 1 – 2 p.m. EST.

Buck Stops With Managers on Hiring By Tom Shoop

February 7, 2012 – Government Executive FedBlog  

At a Government Executive Leadership Briefing this morning, two chief human capital officers at major agencies had a fairly blunt message for federal managers: Get with the program on hiring reform. Asked what was the biggest impediment at this stage to meeting or beating the Obama administration’s goal of driving average time to hire down to 80 days, both John Sepulveda of Veterans Affairs and Robert Buggs of Education pointed the finger at the managers who are ultimately responsible for deciding who they want to add to their teams.  

Full Article  

OPM Proposes Changes in Disability Appointments 

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is proposing to amend its regulations pertaining to the appointment of persons with disabilities. The proposed changes eliminate the requirement that an applicant supply a certification of job readiness and provide clarification on appointments under this authority. In addition, OPM is cognizant of a change in terminology as evinced, for example in “Rosa’s Law,” which Congress enacted in October of 2010. Although Rosa’s Law is not applicable here, it has prompted us to reconsider our own use of terminology, and we propose to substitute the phrase “intellectual disability” for the phrase “mental retardation” throughout this Part, without any change in the intended coverage.

OPM will consider comments received on or before April 9, 2012.  

Click here for today’s FEDERAL REGISTER notice.

Telework Failures By Brittany Ballenstedt

February 6, 2012 – Government Executive  

A major hurdle for federal agencies implementing a 2010 telework law is simply determining which roles and jobs can be completed while working remotely, according to a recent survey by the Congressional Research Service.  

The survey — requested by Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and John Sarbanes, D-Md. — found that even as some agencies have a high percentage of desk jobs, many have a fairly prohibitive telework eligibility and low rates of telework participation.  

The Veterans Affairs Department, for example, has classified 87.5 percent of employees as ineligible to telework and failed to provide CRS any detailed information to justify having such high rates of ineligibility. The Homeland Security Department also has classified 70 percent of employees as ineligible for remote work, with an average of just 0.016 percent of employees teleworking during the average pay period, CRS found  

Full Article  

Forum Number 18: Causes of the Chasm: Factors That Impact Employment Among Persons with Disabilities

Thursday, March 15, 2012 • 12:00-1:30 p.m. (rescheduled from February 16)
Mathematica’s Washington, DC, office

Speakers:
John O’Neill, Professor, Hunter College
Lucie Schmidt, Associate Professor, Williams College
Purvi Sevak, Associate Professor, Hunter College
Frank Martin, Researcher, Mathematica  

Register to attend:Register Now (lunch will be provided)
or Via Webinar

More Info

Extra

Nike Prosthetic Leg Shoes – The Daily What

Nike Prosthetic Leg Shoes of the Day: Nike is tapping into a new market with a shoe specifically designed for runners with prosthetic legs.

The Nike Sole is designed to fit Össur running blades, like the ones worn by Olympian Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius. It was created in collaboration with triathlete Sarah Reinertsen, the first woman on a prosthetic leg to finish the Ironman World Championships.

It has an outsole and a midsole, like a traditional running shoe, to provide running blade users with a better grip and a more natural stride. The shoe grips the carbon fiber blade using an anchor and a rubber strip.

Full Post

Google HUD Glasses – The Daily What

Google HUD Glasses of the Day: Google is working on a pair of computer-enhanced glasses with a heads-up display (HUD) in one lens, according to a leak obtained by 9to5google.

The glasses are said to have a small front-facing camera to identify objects, take photos, and perhaps work with augmented-reality apps. They’re controlled by head tilts and nods, and the system is said to be surprisingly easy once a user gets accustomed to it.

Read More

Disability News Update – February 6, 2012

 The Weekly Disability News Update is a product of the Lead On Update — your point for the weekly news made by and affecting the disability community. For archived news and more links to disability information, visit the Lead on Update at http://leadonupdate.wordpress.com.

Upcoming Events

 

February 9, 2012

Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee (VPAAC)

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. 

FCC Headquarters,445 12th Street, SW, Washington,DC 20554 (closest Metro: Smithsonian). Additional accommodation requests can be made to fcc504@fcc.gov.   The meeting will also be web-cast with open captions at www.fcc.gov/live.  

 

March 4 – 7, 2012

SHRM Employment Law and Legislative Conference

Register

From the White House:     

Federal Support for the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program Memorandum For the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

THE WHITE HOUSE – Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release January 20, 2012 

Thousands of Americans who are blind have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit that helps define our Nation as a land of opportunity. Through the Federal Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program administered by the Department of Education, talented and creative individuals who are blind have acquired the management training and business skills necessary to realize the American dream — a lifetime of economic opportunity, independence, and self-sufficiency for themselves and their families.

For 75 years, blind business managers have successfully operated food services and commercial ventures at Federal, State, and private buildings and locations nationwide. We honor and celebrate this program’s historic achievements. We also trust that the Randolph-Sheppard Program will continue to be a leading model for providing high-quality entrepreneurial opportunities for blind individuals. From a simple snack shop, to tourist services at the Hoover Dam, to full food-services operations at military installations, blind entrepreneurs have provided exceptional customer service to Federal and State employees, the Armed Forces, and the general public. With proven ability, they have challenged preconceived notions about disability.

The Randolph-Sheppard Act (20 U.S.C. 107 et seq.) created the Vending Facility Program requiring qualified blind individuals be given a priority to operate vending facilities on Federal properties. This program is responsible today for providing entrepreneurial opportunities for over 2,500 individuals who are blind. In turn, these business managers have hired thousands of workers, many of whom are individuals with disabilities. Every American, including persons with disabilities, deserves the opportunity to succeed without limits, earn equal pay for equal jobs, and aspire to full-time, career-oriented employment.

Continued support and cooperation are needed from executive departments, agencies, and offices (agencies) to extend the Randolph-Sheppard priority to qualified blind managers through the State licensing agencies that implement the program. Therefore, I direct all agencies that have property management responsibilities to ensure that agency officials, when pursuing the establishment and operation of vending facilities (including cafeterias and military dining facilities) as defined in 20 U.S.C. 107e, issue permits and contracts in compliance with the Randolph-Sheppard Program and consistent with existing regulations and law. I further direct the Secretary of Education, through the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, to submit a report to the President on agencies’ implementation of the Randolph-Sheppard Program not later than 1 year from the date of this memorandum.

This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

The Secretary of Education is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA

Full Text

 

Blogs & Social Media: 

The Voice™, the Official Newsletter of SNA

January, 2012 – Vol 6, Issue 2 

Link

 

New Definition of Autism Will Exclude Many, Study Suggests

via the New York Times (01.19.12):

Full Post

 

Feds Crack Down On Schools Skirting Disabilities Act

By Michelle Diament

January 20, 2012

Full Post

Disability Rights: Sheltered Workshops Are Today’s Institutions

by Kristina Chew

January 26, 2012

1:11 pm

Full Post

 

DOT slaps Spirit Airlines with $100,000 fine for disability violations

by: Arlene Satchell January 27th, 2012 | 2:06 PM

Full Post

 

Teens With Autism Avoid Email, Social Media

By Shaun Heasley

January 27, 2012

Full Post

 

The Need to Believe in the Ability of Disability

Posted: 02/ 1/2012 4:49 pm

Full Post

 

White House Plans Nine-City Disability Tour

By Michelle Diament

February 2, 2012

Full Post

 

Sheltered Workshops for Developmentally Disabled Should be Revisited

New Jersey Newsroom | January 30, 2012

By Salvatore Pizzuro

Full Article

 

Employment:      

Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis Announces Proposed Rule-making to Implement Statutory Amendments to Family and Medical Leave Act

U.S. Department of Labor | January 30, 2012

 The proposed language would extend the entitlement of military caregiver leave to family members of veterans for up to five years after leaving the military. At this time, the law only covers family members of “currently serving” service members. Additionally, the proposal expands the military family leave provisions of the FMLA by extending qualifying exigency leave to employees whose family members serve in the regular armed forces. Currently, the law only covers families of National Guard members and reservists.

Read the article: Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis Announces Proposed Rulemaking to Implement Statutory Amendments to Family and Medical Leave Act

 

Assistant Secretary Martinez Meets With Disability Employment Leaders at Kessler Foundation

U.S. Politics Today | January 28, 2012

Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), came to Kessler Foundation on Friday to learn more about employment programs supported by the Foundation and share her view on strategies for optimal employment policies for individuals with disabilities. Her visit follows Kessler Foundation’s announcement of $2.7 million in grant funding to disability employment initiatives across the nation.

Read the article: Assistant Secretary Martinez Meets With Disability Employment Leaders at Kessler Foundation

 

UNH research: US hospitality industry often reluctant to hire people with disabilities

DURHAM, N.H. – People with disabilities trying to find employment in the U.S. hospitality industry face employers who are often reluctant to hire them because of preconceived notions that they cannot do the job and that they are more costly to employ that people without disabilities, according to new research from the University of New Hampshire.

UNH researchers Andrew Houtenville, associate professor of economics and research director of the UNH Institute on Disability, and Valentini Kalargyrou, assistant professor of hospitality management, analyzed data from 320 hospitality companies in the United States, and found similar concerns and challenges regarding employment of people with disabilities. The researchers used the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Employer’s Survey as their data source.

Full Article

 

Director of Administration Position Opening at NCD

Job Title: Director of Administration

Agency: National Council on Disability

Job Announcement Number: WA-583331-MJ

SALARY RANGE: $105,211.00 to $155,500.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD: Monday, January 30, 2012 to Monday, February 13, 2012 SERIES & GRADE:

GS-0341-14/15

POSITION INFORMATION: Full Time – Permanent

PROMOTION POTENTIAL: 15

DUTY LOCATIONS: 1 vacancy(s) – Washington DC Metro Area, DC United States WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: United States Citizens

JOB SUMMARY: The Director of Administration is the supervisory administrative officer for the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent Federal agency, subject to the provisions of Title 5 U.S.C. and established by the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1978, and the Rehabilitation Amendments of 1984 (PL 221), dated February 22, 1984. The NCD staff supports the Council, which is comprised of 15 members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Council’s principal purpose is to develop recommendations to use in advising the President, the Congress, federal entities, the states, and occasionally international entities on policies and programs that promote full inclusion, independence, and equal opportunity for people with disabilities.

 

KEY REQUIREMENTS

•           U.S. Citizenship Required

•           A one-year supervisory/managerial probationary period may be required.

•           Must successfully complete a background investigation prior to employment

•           Travel and Relocation expenses will not be paid.

•           Must provide latest SF-50 if applicable

DUTIES: As the Supervisory Administrative Officer you will:

• Provide, secure and/or negotiate for the services needed to manage and run the administrative operations of an independent Federal agency.  These services may include budget preparation and funds management, human resources, management analysis, procurement, contract administration, property management, space management, security administration, travel, meeting management, reports management, data base management and data mining. 

• Develop budget estimates and justifications; assure that funds, either appropriated or gifted in accordance with the NCD authorizing statute, are tracked and that expenditures are appropriate and align with Council goals and priorities as well as NCD by-laws and the annual operating budget.

• Serve as a liaison with the servicing human resource specialist to find solutions to management problems arising from changes in organizational workload or priorities which impact jobs and employees. 

• Advise on and negotiate contracts, agreements and cooperative arrangements with other government agencies at the Federal and State levels, universities or private organizations.

• Supervise a permanent staff, in addition to contractor personnel and staff members on temporary assignment to meet short-term program needs and exercises a full range of supervisory responsibilities including, but not limited to, planning and assigning work, evaluating work performance and recommending performance awards; advising and instructing employees on work methods and strategies; overseeing and approving the hiring of personnel; hearing and resolving complaints; and creating and implementing ways to eliminate or reduce significant bottlenecks and barriers to production, promote team building, or improve business practices. 

• Recommend selections for subordinate supervisory positions and for work leader, group leader, or project director positions responsible for coordinating the work of others. 

• Provide oversight to assure that Council member meetings; NCD staff meetings; and, meetings between Council members, stakeholders and NCD staff, as applicable, meet all Federal, state and local requirements for accessibility and support the specific needs of attendees with disabilities.  Also perform special assignments, studies or projects that are of a confidential or sensitive nature for the Executive Director that involve changes in managerial policies, practices, methods, procedures and/or organizational structures.

About the National Council on Disability: NCD is a small, independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. NCD is comprised of a team of fifteen Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees, an Executive Director appointed by the Chairman, and eleven, full-time professional staff members.  Staff members work on a wide array of interesting subjects.  We offer both flexible work schedules and an opportunity for challenging and interesting work.

Link to full description: http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/307529400

 ODEP News Brief – January 27, 2012

Link

 ODEP News Brief – February 3, 2012

Link

JAN e-News: Volume 10, Issue 1, First Quarter 2012

Link

 

Technology:    

NASA to hire more STEM students with disabilities

To Prospective NASA Student Interns with Disabilities,

NASA is looking to increase the number of students with disabilities pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers through our internship programs. We have a two-percent hiring goal. Students can apply for summer internships now! The deadline for submitting applications is February 1, 2012. They can register for an account and look for internships anytime at the One Stop Shopping Initiative (OSSI): Student On-Line Application for Recruiting interns, fellows and scholars (SOLAR) at http://intern.nasa.gov/ . Summer 2012 internships run for ten weeks from early June through early/mid August. NASA internships are also offered during Spring, Fall and Year Long Sessions.

In order to be eligible to apply, students must be accepted as freshmen at an accredited institution of higher learning, i.e., a college or university at the time of the internship. This is what we call a rising freshman. NASA has internships for rising freshmen through doctoral students in STEM fields. A minimum GPA of 2.8 is required to apply; however, applicants must understand that the competition for internships is keen. The age limits for interns are eighteen years and up.

Internships are available at all NASA centers nationwide. Students can submit a completed application whether they apply to an opportunity or not. However, applying to opportunities has the advantage of allowing applicants to be considered by mentors who work in disciplines of interest and at a particular center. For example, an opportunity having to do with the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) will be at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland because SDO is located there. Not applying to an opportunity means that prospective interns will be hoping that a mentor happens to read their applications rather than directing their applications to mentors in fields and at centers of interest.

Students, who are selected for summer internships will receive an offer letter by E-mail sometime after February 1, 2012. They will then have five days to either accept or reject the offer through their OSSI:SOLAR account. The offer will automatically expire after five days if no action is taken.

Please see the below attached recruitment letter, the recruitment flier, and the instructions for how to use the on-line application system.  Also, please feel free to contact me for more information or help with applying.

Please feel free to contact me for more information or help with applying.

Kenneth A. Silberman, Esq.

U.S. Supreme Court, Maryland, & Patent Bars B.A., M.Eng., J.D.

NASA Engineer & Registered Patent Attorney Education Office Code 160 NASA/GSFC Mailstop 160 Bldg. 28 Rm. N165 Greenbelt, MD  20771, USA

More Info

Contact

 

TSA Helpline for Travelers with Disabilities

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the launch of TSA Cares today, a new helpline number designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical
conditions, prior to getting to the airport. Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787 2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.

“TSA Cares provides passengers with disabilities and medical needs another resource to use before they fly, so they know what to expect when going through the screening process,” said TSA Administrator John Pistole. “This additional level of personal communication helps ensure that even those who do not travel often are aware of our screening policies before they arrive at the airport.”

Since its inception, TSA has provided information to all travelers through its TSA Contact Center and Customer Service Managers in airports nationwide. TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances or their loved ones who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying.

When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance, either with information about screening that is relevant to the passenger’s specific disability or medical condition, or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA. TSA recommends that passengers call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel so that TSA Cares has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager located at the airport when necessary.

Every person and item must be screened before entering the secure area of an airport and the manner in which the screening is conducted will depend on the passenger’s abilities and any specific equipment brought to the security checkpoint.

TSA strives to provide the highest level of security while ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity and respect. The agency works regularly with a broad coalition of disability and medical condition advocacy groups to help understand their needs and adapt screening procedures accordingly. TSA holds quarterly meetings with this coalition to inform them about current training and screening procedures used in airports. TSA recently hosted a teleconference with members of these groups to announce the long-standing plans to implement TSA Cares for travelers and inform them of the upcoming launch.

All travelers may ask to speak to a TSA supervisor if questions about screening procedures arise while at the security checkpoint. The hours of operation for the TSA Cares helpline are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST, excluding federal holidays. After hours, travelers can find information about traveling with disabilities and medical needs on TSA’s website.

All travelers can contact TSA using Talk To TSA, a web-based tool that allows passengers to reach out to an airport Customer Service Manager directly, and the TSA Contact Center, 1 866-289-9673 and TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov, where travelers can ask questions, provide suggestions and file complaints. Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov

Please see the below links and press release regarding a new service from the TSA for travel.

http://www.tsa.gov/press/releases/2011/1222.shtm

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/disabilityandmedicalneeds/tsa_cares.shtm

Effective Communication Before, During, and After Emergencies

The National Council on Disability is interested in evaluating effective communication for Americans with disabilities before, during, and after emergencies. Effective communication throughout all phases of emergency management (preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation) must be fully accessible to all people with disabilities.  NCD will document successful practices and identify facilitators and barriers to providing effective emergency-related communication.  A key piece of this research will include a thorough examination of the current state of affairs concerning the accessibility of emergency-related communication.  This analysis must address all phases of emergency management and be cross-disability and demonstrate sensitivity to diversity matters/issues that can impact outreach and response.  The research must include what is occurring in this area on both the national and state level. The estimated contract period is 10 months. 

NCD will distribute its Effective Communication study Notice of Funding Opportunity to interested parties on February 8, 2012.  NCD will expect interested parties to submit their responses by March 7, 2012.  Copies of the Notice of Funding Opportunity will be available on grants.gov and ncd.gov and may be requested by mail or picked up at NCD on or after the issue date of February 8, 2012.

For more information, contact Robyn Powell, rpowell@ncd.gov, 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850, Washington, D.C. 20004; 202 272-2004 or 202-272-2074 TTY.

Direct Link 

Assessment: What It Is…What It’s Not…and Why to Use It

February 16, 2012 2:00 p.m. Eastern

Presenter: Lisa Stern, Lisa Stern Consulting

Register 

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Webcast: Best Practices in the Employment of People with Disabilities in the Federal Government

March 7, 2012

More Info

 

Education:    

Department of Education Issues ADA Amendments Act Dear Colleague Letter to Provide Guidance Under Amended Legal Standards

January 19, 2012

Contact:  Press Office, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov

 The Department of Education’s (Department) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today issued a Dear Colleague letter concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (Amendments Act). The letter and accompanying Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) provide additional guidance on the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) in elementary and secondary schools, given the changes to those laws made by the Amendments Act.

 “We must continue to take steps to enable every child, regardless of disability, to reach their full potential,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “This guidance reiterates the Department’s commitment to ensure that educational opportunity is provided free from disability discrimination.”

 The Amendments Act, effective Jan. 1, 2009, amends the ADA, as well as the Rehabilitation Act. The Amendments Act broadened the meaning of disability and, in most cases, shifts the inquiry away from the question of whether a student has a disability as defined by the ADA and Section 504, and toward school districts’ actions and obligations to ensure equal education opportunities.

 Full Article

 

Department of Education Issues ADA Amendments Act Dear Colleague Letter to Provide Guidance Under Amended Legal Standards

From REFERENCE POINTS — an activity of TATRA, a project of PACER Center

 The Department of Education’s (Department) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Dear Colleague letter concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (Amendments Act) yesterday, January 19th.  The letter and accompanying Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) provide additional guidance on the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) in elementary and secondary schools, given the changes to those laws made by the Amendments Act.

The Dear Colleague letter and FAQ discuss the obligations of school districts, such as the requirement to evaluate students for disability and provide a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities, as well as the changes made by the Amendments Act.

 To review the Dear Colleague Letter

The FAQs

Source

 

Health:     

VA struggling with disability backlog

By Steve Vogel, Published: January 29 | Updated: Monday, January 30, 12:00 AM

 The Department of Veterans Affairs is facing a growing backlog of disability claims, fueled by veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and a policy change making it easier for Vietnam veterans to file Agent Orange-related claims.

The number of pending claims before the VA stood at 853,831 on Friday, an increase of nearly 100,000 from last year and nearly 500,000 from three years ago.

“Nearly 1 million veterans today are stuck in the backlog and more than half wait at least half a year to find out if their claim has been processed,” said Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Although the VA has processed nearly a million claims over the past year, another 1.3 million new claims were filed during the same period.

Of the approximately 2.2 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, 624,000 have filed disability claims and many more are expected. In addition, more than 200,000 Vietnam War veterans have filed claims based on new regulations adopted in 2010 making it easier to get compensation for health problems caused by exposure to defoliants such as Agent Orange.

Full Article

 

CLASS Act Repeal Passes House

Politico | February 1, 2012

The Republican-led House on Wednesday voted to repeal a financially troubled part of the 2010 health care law that was designed to provide affordable long-term care insurance. The House vote comes months after the Obama administration suspended the Community Living Assistance Services and Support program, known as the CLASS Act.

Read the article: CLASS Act Repeal Passes House 

Virginia to transform system of caring for developmentally disabled

By Anita Kumar, Thursday, January 26, 10:06 AM

RICHMOND — Virginia will close four state institutions for the developmentally disabled and move thousands of people to their own homes, their family’s houses or group homes as part of a massive settlement announced Thursday with the U.S. Justice Department.

The agreement follows a scathing federal report of the training centers, which found the state harmed residents by keeping them in large institutions instead of providing smaller, community-based homes.

Full Article

 

On the Hill:

H.R. 1173, The Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011

Detailed Summary: H.R. 1173 would repeal the CLASS program.

Status of the Legislation: Latest Major Action: 1/24/2012: Rules Committee Resolution H. Res. 522 Reported to House. Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 1173 with 1 hour of general debate. Motion to recommit with or without installowed. Measure will be considered read. Specified amendments are in order. The resolution makes in order the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on Energy and Commerce now printed in the bill for the purpose of amendment.

Full Bill

 

From the Federal Register: 

Presidential Documents
 
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS
Randolph–Sheppard Vending Facility Program; Federal Support (Memorandum of January 20, 2012) ,  
3915–3918 [2012–1750]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

 
 
PROCLAMATIONS
Special Observances:  
  American Heart Month (Proc. 8775) ,  
  5373–5374 [2012–2592]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

  National African American History Month (Proc. 8776) ,  
  5375–5376 [2012–2616]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

  National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (Proc. 8777) ,  
  5377–5378 [2012–2634]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

 

Just for Fun:

 Eye Controlled Arcade Game

Link

 

Requiring Closed Captioning on the Internet!

CaptioningbyGoogleLast week, the Federal Communicatons Commission released a Report and Order adopting rules to implement certain closed captioning provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).

The details and why this is a big deal? They’re requiring that all video programming that is shown on television with closed captions be closed captioned when delivered on the Internet. These rules will be phased in over a two-year period.  As more and more media is making the transition to not only digital format, but digital distribution and playback (via the web), it is critical that these accessibility options are not stripped from them.

Related to that is an additional part of the new rule.  The above paragraph is talking about content and keeping the captioning attached.  This second part addresses the physical equipment – set-top boxes, tablets, televisions etc.  This “hardware” have to include built-in closed caption decoder circuitry or capability to display closed-captioned video programming.  Granted, there is the “readily achievable” caveat included for devices with screens smaller than 13 inches.  But what I think is positive, is that once this is standard practice, I think we’ll see it on many more devices regardles of size. The “no more excuses” date? January 1, 2014. So any new devices created or imported after that date must allow for playback that includes closed captioning.

Closed captioning has been around for so long I think we have forgotten how pervasive it is, and don’t really think of it so much as a disability accommodation.  English language learners use it; we see it in bars and airports and doctors’ offices; even the gym. However, closed captioning is, at its heart, an access issue – access to information. In the last few years, the lack of captioning online has had a significant impact on access for individuals with disabilities to videos played on the Internet. It was painfully obvious to see programming transferred to this new medium, but the accessibility did not.   The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act addressed this in the law.  This FCC report and rule for implementation is the first step of taking this from paper to practice.  So, as a community, it’s a great week to take a moment and celebrate the promise of the future.  Have no doubt, there’ll be more battles relating to implementation, but for today, it’s a wonderful win.

For those of you who would like to read it (and I encourage you to do so), the full Report and Order:

Word – http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0113/FCC-12-9A1.doc

PDF – http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0113/FCC-12-9A1.pdf