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 A publication of the New England ADA Center                          December 2012

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November 2012 Unemployment Rate for People with Disabilities

People without disabilities:  7.1% 
People with disabilities:  12.7% 
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US Census Bureau ImageUS Population with a Disability Increases to 56.7 Million
US residents with a disability increased to 56.7 million people, though the percentage of the total population with a disability remains the same at 18.7%.  Aging of the population accounts for the increased total number.  Read a valuable set of new disability statistics from the US Census.
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"Planning for Life After Special Education" A Transition Services Manual Now Available Online
The Planning for Life After Special Education online Transition Services Manual is written for parents and students who are advocating for better transition services, including social, vocational and independent living skills. The text is written in an easy-to-understand format but also contains endnotes and an appendix with legal information for attorneys and experienced advocates. 
Written by the Northeastern University School of Law Legal Skills in Social Context program, the first edition of the Manual was edited by the Disability Law Center (DLC) in partnership with the Federation for Children with Special Needs, the Institute for Community Inclusion, and Massachusetts Advocates for Children. The second edition was revised and edited by the Disability Law Center. Access the manual online.
Massachusetts Office on Disability Go Pack
Massachusetts Office on Disability Awarded Honorable Mention For Their Work on Emergency Preparedness

The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) is proud to announce that its Personal Emergency Preparedness Program recently received an "Honorable Mention" in the Awareness to Action category from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) 2012 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. For the past five years, MOD has received federal funding through the state's Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to conduct community meetings throughout Massachusetts, bringing together people with disabilities, their local emergency planners, and first responders to discuss personal and community preparedness plans.

At these meetings, individuals learn about the critical importance of being personally prepared for an emergency. Go-packs are distributed to attendees with disabilities. The go-packs are filled with essential items that an individual may need during an emergency, such as a flashlight, a first aid kit, emergency blankets, ponchos, and food and water. The go-packs also contain a personal preparedness booklet that each individual is encouraged to fill out to assist them in their preparation efforts. Read the full story.

New Hampshire SILC Graphic New Hampshire Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) Publishes a Disabilities Resources Newsletter 
The New Hampshire Statewide Independent Living Council has assembled a diverse list of resources that may be of use to members of the disability community. The alphabetized list of topics includes everything from assistive technology and arthritis to transportation and veterans services. View the full newsletter list.
Plastow, New Hampshire Town Hall Ribbon Cutting Ribbon Cutting to Celebrate Accessible Parking Spaces at the Plaistow, New Hampshire Town Hall 
The Plaistow, New Hampshire Elder Affairs Committee, the New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability and interested residents all worked together to improve the accessible parking at the Plaistow Town Hall. The result is three accessible parallel parking spaces each of which has an access aisle and a pass through point that is protected for the driver. A sloped walkway leading to the accessible entrance at the Town Hall was also improved. A ribbon cutting took place on November 5, 2012 to celebrate the accessibility improvements.  
Marc Anthony Gallucci and Lisa Caron
Marc Anthony Gallucci and Lisa Caron.
ADA Coalition of Connecticut and the New England ADA Center Attend the Connecticut Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference 
Three representatives from the Connecticut Affiliate, the ADA Coalition of CT (ADACC), participated in the Annual Conference and Tradeshow of the Connecticut Recreation and Parks Association. The event was held at Mohegan Sun Casino Conference Center in Uncasville, Connecticut. Dianne Stone, a new ADACC Board member, and Lisa Caron, Project Director,  occupied an exhibitors booth along with David West from the New England ADA Center. Information about the ADA in general and how it pertains to aspects of recreation was distributed with explanations and questions answered.  Marc Anthony Gallucci, President of the ADACC Board, conducted one of the Conference's educational sessions about the ADA and its application to recreation and parks. The session was well attended as professionals in this field are very interested in learning about and understanding the new regulations regarding swimming pools and other changes.
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An accessible Public Boat Launch on Lake Winnipesaukee is about to Become a Reality


The long-held dream of a state-owned, easily accessible public boat launch on Lake Winnipesaukee is about to become a reality.

The state will pay $1 million to purchase the facility on eight-tenths of an acre from Downing Brothers, Inc. Glenn Normandeau, Fish and Game Department executive director, said the public should be able to use the facility this winter for ice fishing.

"This is great for the people of New Hampshire," said District 2 Councilor Dan St. Hilaire, R-Concord. "The people of New Hampshire will be able to put a boat into Lake Winnipesaukee without having to own a $5 million lakefront home." Read the full story from the Union Leader.
Sybil Feldman with Karen Schneiderman and John Hockenberry
Sybil Feldman (right) with Karen Schneiderman and John Hockenberry at the ADA 20th Anniversary Celebration in Boston.
Passing of civil rights champion Sybil Feldman
Sybil Feldman died the evening before Thanksgiving, November 21 of major respiratory complications that developed after a struggle with pneumonia. A number of close friends were with her bedside at Boston Medical Center when she passed. She was 72 years old.

Sybil was a fighter for disability justice, a woman with cerebral palsy who as a child was sent to the Fernald School, an institution for people with disabilities known for human rights abuses and not providing positive education. Sybil fought to get out and could always recite down to the day how long she was there, which was just over 23 years. She said unflinchingly she hated every second of it. Ultimately she lived in her own apartment with the support of personal care attendants, establishing many friendships and carving out a strong niche as an advocate for independent living, Olmstead compliance, and the dignity and rights of people with disabilities. Read the full story

Image of 5 runners all using the 'cheetah' prosthetic leg. IHCD's Inclusive Sports Initiative Launches #HOWCOOLISTHAT


The Inclusive Sport Initiative at the Institute of Human Centered-Design (IHCD) is pleased to announce a new social media campaign, #HOWCOOLISTHAT

This campaign will use social media to address mainstream media coverage of disability sports in the United States and worldwide.

The most watched Paralympic Games in the History, London 2012, was broadcast to 3.8 billion people in over 115 countries. The USA, one of the biggest sporting nations in the world and third most successful country in the London 2012 Paralympics, didn't have any live broadcast of any of London 2012 events. This made us think about the leadership position of the United States and all countries in ensuring the visibility of athletes with disabilities.

Mainstream media has shown its power in helping create role models, change perceptions of people with disabilities and inspiring other to take part in sports.

The goal of our campaign is to capture videos and pictures of people's reactions, feelings and thoughts as they watch disability sport videos. Read more about this story. 

City of Somerville, Massachusetts  Seal IHCD gains contract withe the City of Somerville, Massachusetts


The Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) is pleased to announce that the City of Somerville, Massachusetts has awarded a contract to IHCD to complete an Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan update. Somerville is the most densely populated municipality in New England and home to more artists than any city other than New York. Somerville is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the nation.

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Stories from Other States 

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Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Releases Archived Webcast on Veterans' Issues

The Job Accommodation Network's November 13th Webcast on "Veterans' Issues" is now archived and available for viewing. Listed below is the link to the Webcast along with links to two JAN publications discussed during the event: "Accommodating Service Members and Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" and "Accommodation and Compliance Series: Employees with Brain Injuries".
Fighter Jet from Operation Desert Storm Nearly Half of the 700,000 Deployed from 1990 to 1991 for the Gulf War Have Filed Disability Claims
The New York Times has reported that nearly half of the 700,000 service members who were deployed in 1990 and 1991 for the gulf war have filed disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and more than 85 percent of the claimants have been granted benefits. Read the full story.
EEOC Seal Employers' Duties Under ADA When Injury Affects Ability to Perform Discussed by EEOC Commissioner
The Americans with Disabilities Act is an "inadvertent leave law" so employers considering workers' leave requests must be aware that a qualified employee with a disability may be entitled to leave as a reasonable accommodation after exhausting Family and Medical Leave Act leave, EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum told an American Bar Association meeting. Read more about this story.

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The New England ADA Center is a member of the ADA National Network funded by US Department of Education through National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research Grant # H133A110028.