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

Link 

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

Link

 ODEP News Brief – February 10, 2012

Link

 AAPD News – February 3, 2012

Link

 USICD News – February 2012

Link

 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

Link 

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

Post State of the Union Presidential Conversation Today at 5:30pm EST

Today’s the day, January 30th and at 5:30 pm EST the President will answer the public’s questions in a conversation – “Hang out with the President” streamed live on WhiteHouse.gov, YouTube.com/WhiteHouse and on the White House Google+ page.

There were a lot of issues brought up in the President’s State of the Union speech and a number that weren’t, disability being one of them.  The response from the community of advocates here in Washington, DC has been mixed and it is difficult to guage what the Administration’s response has been from the outside.  As such, I anticipate a significant disability presence that will be paying very close attention to:  1.  the questions chosen for the President, 2. the answers given and 3. any promises made.

From the White House website, so far, they have received more than 133,000 questions and more than 227,000 people have cast over 1.6 million votes.  What are the final issues that are at the forefront of the public consciousness?  We shall simply have to wait and see.

 

What would you ask President Obama? – This is your Opportunity to be Heard

PresidentObamaDeliversStateoftheUnioninHouseChamber-OfficialWhiteHousePhotobyPeteSouzaJust a quick update for Day in Washington readers.  In the wake of the State of the Union there was some heartburn over a visible lack of presence of a disability discussion (as well as a lack of closed captioning on the web video – I was told)

 Now that the State of the Union is over, what comes next?  Well, there’s an answer.  The White House has made available its advisors for interactive discussions with the public.  “Office Hours” if you will, although I imagine them quite different than those held by my undergraduate Chemistry professor.  Looking at the initial schedule, Disability didn’t seem to be on the agenda at all.  See below.   However, I did just receive an additional notice that yes there WOULD be a disability discussion on Friday, January 27, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern with Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy.  Just a few quick notes:

  • Ask your question on Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat
  • Kareem Dale will respond to your questions in real-time via Twitter
  • Follow the Q&A through the @WHLive Twitter account
  • If you miss the live session, the full Q&A will be posted on WhiteHouse.gov and Storify.com/WhiteHouse

If you have disability questions that fit within one of the other areas such as Education, Women, or Small Business, it has been advised that you bring up your question in those specific sections.  Again, hours below.  Make sure you take advantage of the opportunity and share your thoughts and questions.

Wednesday Office Hours Schedule

  • All Day: Josh Earnest, Principal Deputy Press Secretary, answers your questions on Twitter (@jearnest44)
  • 1:00 p.m.: Office Hours with Mark Zuckerman, Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council
  • 3:00 p.m.: Office Hours with Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44), White House Communications Director

Thursday Office Hours Schedule

  • 10:00 a.m. Veterans: Matt Flavin, White House Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy
  • 11:00 a.m. LGBT: Miriam Vogel, White House Senior Policy Advisor and Gautam Raghavan, White House Associate Director for Public Engagement
  • 12:00 p.m. Women: Racquel Russell, Special Assistant to the President for Mobility and Opportunity and Avra Siegel, White House Deputy Executive Director for the Council on Women and Girls
  • 1:00 p.m. Seniors: Jeanne Lambrew, Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy and Nick Papas, Assistant Press Secretary
  • 2:00 p.m. Latinos: Felicia Escobar, White House Senior Policy Advisor, Julie Rodriguez, White House Associate Director of Public Engagement and Luis Miranda, White House Director of Hispanic Media
  • 4:00 p.m. Small Business Owners: Christine Koronides, Senior Advisor for Economic Policy, National Economic Council
  • 5:00 p.m. African Americans: Danielle Gray, Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy
  • 6:00 p.m. Asian American Pacific Islanders: Chris Lu, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary
  • TBD Youth: Administration official to be announced

Friday Office Hours Schedule

  • 11:00 a.m. Foreign Policy: Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting
  • 12:00 p.m. Education: Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy
  • 1:00 p.m. Health: Jeanne Lambrew, Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy and Nick Papas, Assistant Press Secretary
  • 2:00 p.m. Energy: Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change and Dan Utech, Deputy Director for Energy Policy
  • 3:00 p.m. Consumer Protections: Brian Deese, Deputy Director National Economic Council
  • 4:00 pm The Economy: Jason Furman, Principal Deputy Director National Economic Council
  • 5:00 p.m. Job Opportunities: Portia Wu, Senior Policy Advisor for Mobility and Opportunity Policy
  • 6:00 p.m. Urban Issues: Racquel Russell, Special Assistant to the President for Mobility and Opportunity

Monday January 30

  • President Obama participates in a Google+ Hangout from the White House