New England Prepares to Celebrate the 22nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act!
The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990. Celebrations will be taking place across New England in recognition of the 22nd anniversary of this landmark civil rights legislation. Information about some of the local events is listed below. We anticipate having additional announcements in next month's Access New England newsletter as well.
MASILC Announces Annual ADA Celebration at Dunn State Park
Dunn State Park is among the state's most accessible recreational areas, with swimming, kayaking, and trails. Join the fun July 26, 2012 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM and enjoy a relaxing day with accessible recreational opportunities, music, food, and great company! Read the event flyer.
|IHCD and the New England ADA Center to Host ADA 22nd Anniversary Commemoration Lunch and Learn Lecture |
Presenter Laurie Block, Founder of the online Disability History Museum, will speak on the topic of, "The Work of Change-Making: Generations of Disability Advocacy: 1820-1968."
The event will take place on July 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM at the accessible offices of the Institute for Human Centered Design which are located at 200 Portland Street in Boston, near the North Station MBTA station. American Sign Language Interpreters and CART provided. Food donated by CITY FEED and SUPPLY.
Space is limited. To register or for more information email Willa Crolius, IHCD's Coordinator of Public Programs, or call Willa at 617-695-1225, x 235 voice/tty. Lunch will be Donated by:
City Feed and Supply is a neighborhood grocery, café and deli. Their mission is to build community through service. They do this by providing healthy, local, specialty, fair trade and organic food options. They currently buy from over 30 New England Farms and carry over 600 local and regionally produced items. In these ways, they seek to make a positive impact on our community.
Governor Lynch to Present Governor's Accessibility Awards at the New Hampshire State House
Governor Lynch. RSzepan's photos via Getty Images.
The Governor's Accessibility Awards will be held on Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 10:00 A.M. in The Executive Council Chamber at the State House, 107 North Main Street, Concord, New Hampshire.
This annual event is held on the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act and gives special recognition to persons or organizations who did that which was over and above the requirements of the law to support opportunities or enhance the life or lives of people with disabilities.
Further information call the Governor's Commission on Disability at 603-271-2773 or 800-852-3405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boston's Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities Announces ADA Celebration on City Hall Plaza
Save the date! The City of Boston's Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilites announced that there will be an ADA anniversary celebration on Thursday, July 26, from 12:00 to 2:00 PM on City Hall Plaza. Call 617-635-3682 for additional information.
Stories from Around New England
IHCD Awarded New Design for Accessibility Cooperative Agreement by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded a new Cooperative Agreement for Design for Accessibility to the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD). This cultural accessibility initiative, jointly sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, will develop a comprehensive online technical assistance resource.
The new interactive resource will serve as the specialized and comprehensive source of accessibility information designed specifically for cultural organizations, State Arts Agencies and Regional Arts Organizations. IHCD will work closely with the NEA's Office of Accessibility's Project Director, Beth Bienvenue, Ph.D. on this exciting initiative.
Valerie Fletcher Delivers Keynote Address at National Association for Workforce Improvement (NAWI) Confernce
Valerie Fletcher, IHCD Executive Director and Principal Investigator on the New England ADA Center, delivered the lunchtime keynote at the NAWI conference in Boston. Entitled Human Centered Design: Transforming Learning + Working for the 21st Century, Ms. Fletcher presented data on 21st century demographic patterns and their relevance to how we think about learning and work. She suggested exploring new ways to think about design as a consequential framework necessary if everyone is to thrive in today's world and to consider a holistic approach to designing the physical, information, communication, policy and social environments. Urging the audience to consider the potential of creating 'facilitating' and 'enabling' places to learn and work, Ms. Fletcher stressed the potential to create places where learners and workers are not only more satisfied but deliver better performance.
MASILC Debuts Find An Independent Living Center Web Page
Massachusetts Statewide Independent Living Council recently added a helpful page: "Find a Center" to their website. The page has an alphabetized list of every single city and town (over 350) in Massachusetts. To find the MA Independent Living Center which services a particular town, simply click on the town. You will be brought to a page with basic information about the center. Navigate to the Find a Center page.
Scuffer Steak and Ale House Agrees to Comply with the ADA
As reported in the Burlington Free Press, another Burlington, Vermont area restaurant has reached agreement with the U.S. Justice department to bring its business into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Specifically, the Scuffer Steak and Ale House on the Church Street Marketplace has addressed compliance issues regarding its entrance, dining area and toilet rooms, and an exterior access problem will be fixed once the city of Burlington raises the level of a sidewalk in front of the restaurant later this summer. As reported previously in Access New England, Three Tomatoes Trattoria also recently began taking steps to comply with the ADA. Read more.
Lisbon Town Hall
The New England ADA Center and IHCD Lead Field-Based Training at Lisbon, New Hampshire Town Hall
On March 31, Josh Safdie, Director of IHCDstudio and a staff member of the New England ADA Center, joined town officials and staff from the office of the Governor's Commission on Disability to conduct a field-based training day in Lisbon, New Hampshire.
This was the first of a series of trainings that the ADA Center will be conducting over the next four years in all six New England states. The purpose of these field-based training days is to train participants on how to conduct a facility review and identify design-based or operational solutions that would improve accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The training days are composed of two parts: hands-on instruction on methods and strategies for an existing facility review in the morning, and participation in a group design "charrette" in the afternoon.
In Lisbon, the training group included several selectmen, town hall staff, and life safety professionals, as well as a parent of a child with a disability and several officials or professionals from nearby towns. Attendees received hands-on training in reviewing existing buildings, and then spent the remainder of the morning working in small groups to review the 19th century Lisbon Town Hall using the ADA Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal. In the afternoon, Mr. Safdie led a group discussion on prioritizing solutions to the problems that were identified, including physical renovations and programmatic strategies.
The next ADA Center field-based training day will take place in Pawtucket, RI. Additional trainings have already been scheduled later this summer and fall for Bethel, VT and New Britain, CT.
New Connecticut ADA Commissioner Attends ADACC May Meeting
The Board of Directors of the ADA Coalition of Connecticut (ADACC), which is the New England ADA Center state affiliate, invited the new state ADA coordinator to their May 23 meeting. Donald DeFronzo, who is also the Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services, attended along with his assistant.
The purpose of the meeting was to learn what Commissioner DeFronzo felt were his priorities as ADA Coordinator and how he was approaching his tasks. He said that he was starting with compliance within all state agencies and felt that good progress was being made.
Commissioner DeFronzo has also met with numerous disabilities focused organizations within the state and had what he felt was helpful dialogue. He feels he has learned much from ADA experts in Connecticut.
The meeting went very well and the Board of Directors of ADACC felt that they had a worthwhile discussion and established the beginning of a good working relationship with this new ADA Coordinator. All also felt it is essential that the Commissioner be clear about his responsibilities and responsive to the needs of people with disabilities in Connecticut.
Text provided by Lisa Caron.
Wheelchair Health in Motion (WHIM)
A group of citizens asked the New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability (GCD) for assistance in developing health and wellness services for wheelchair users that could be integrated into local community health clubs. The GCD saw this as an opportunity to empower citizens with mobility disabilities to work with state agencies, professionals and others to design a chair exercise program and provide peer leader ''train the trainer'' workshops. The result is the Wheelchair Health In Motion initiative or WHIM.
WHIM is a peer driven project. The goals of WHIM include:
- Increasing the social and physical wellness of chair users with their existing communities.
- Develop the resources to facilitate an accessible community health center that has appropriate and effect equipment for chair users,
- Develop a "train the trainer" manual to help teach peer leader chair users to conduct chair exercise programs. Once trained, peer leaders will implement an ongoing chair exercise program and coordinate wellness resources in their local community's health clubs and facilities.
This multi-year program will empower chair users to work within their local communities to address Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title II access to public facilities and Title III public accommodations requirements. A pilot chair exercise program conducted by trained peer leaders will begin June 12th. For more information please call the New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability at 1-800-852-3405.
Text provided by Jillian Shedd
Kathy Gips Speaks at Career One Stop Center in Cambridge
Kathy Gips, the Director of ADA Training and Technical Assistance at the New England ADA Center, conducted an ADA Employment workshop at Career Source in Cambridge, Massachusetts on June 6. Career Source is a member of the national One-Stop Career Center System which is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The New England ADA Center works with One Stop Centers in New England to ensure the inclusion of job seekers with disabilities. Human Resource personnel from private companies in the Cambridge area participated in the workshop.
Steven Bassett, IHCD's Accessible ICT Specialist and Social Media Coordinator, has compiled a list of this month's most popular stories from the New England ADA Center's Twitter feed. Click on the links below to learn more!
- Wording of termination letter, which mentioned employee's disability leave, was direct evidence of discrimination. http://ow.ly/bn0P6
"Direct evidence" is evidence that, if believed, leads to the conclusion that discrimination was at least one motivating factor in an adverse employment action. An employer's termination letter, stating that the employee was being terminated due to her inability to do her job during a medical leave, was "direct evidence" of discrimination sufficient to support summary judgment in her favor and against her employer. Coffman v. Robt. J. Young Co, Inc., No 3:10-cv-001052, MDTN, May 14, 2012.
- AT Webinar Series: August 14, - Accessibility of Web Authoring Tools http://ow.ly/98twm
- Town must meet ADA rules or lose federal road funding http://ow.ly/bn0iz
Zionsville must complete a study of current sidewalks and roads in order to meet requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
- "The Accessibility of the User Interface: ...are some products becoming less accessible to some users?" http://ow.ly/buPhw
- My Voice: Is medical board violating rights? http://ow.ly/buPhw
Does the Medical Board's application violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
Medical licensing boards are state governmental agencies charged with granting licenses to physicians to practice in the state. That charge includes finding physicians who threaten the safety of our citizens by the way their practicing methods. Protecting the health of the public is undoubtedly a compelling state interest.
Stories from Other States
|Amendment of ADA Title II and Title III Regulations Extends Compliance Date for Certain Requirements Related to Existing Pools and Spas
This final rule revises the Department of Justice regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act to extend until January 31, 2013, the compliance date for the
application of sections 242 and 1009 of the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design for existing pools and spas provided by state and local governments and by public accommodations.Read more
Also from the Department of Justice:
ADA Coordinator's Training Conference August 20-21, 2012 in Portland, Oregon
The ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program (ACTCP), in conjunction with the Great Plains ADA Center and the Northwest ADA Center, present the ADA Coordinator's Training Conference August 20-21, 2012 in Portland, Oregon.
This two day event will be held at the Ambridge Events Center in downtown Portland. The conference will offer a variety of sessions and include speakers from the Department of Justice, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other nationally recognized ADA experts.
Registration is open to the public. In addition, ACTCP participants will have an opportunity to obtain both foundation and elective level credits towards their program completion.
Early registration (prior to July 29th) will be $140. Registrations received after July 29th will be $175. Seating is limited to 150 attendees. Read more about this exciting training opportunity!
|U.S. Access Board Developing Access Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment
An evolving area of accessibility involves making sure that people with disabilities have equal access to medical care. A key component of achieving this goal is ensuring access to a thorough medical exam that may involve getting weighed, having a mammography and other test procedures. Too often the inaccessibility of medical diagnostic equipment creates a major barrier. Under both the ADA and the Health Care Reform Law, the U.S. Access Board is in the process of developing medical equipment design criteria. Comments can be submitted or viewed at the regulations.gov website. Read more.
US Labor Department Seeks Submissions for Disability Employment App Challenge
The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy announced the launch of its first disability-related application challenge, which is designed to generate innovative tools that will improve employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities.
Submissions should provide access to important data and resources; attract users with different skill sets and language preferences; be accessible (that is, compatible and interoperable with assistive technology commonly used by individuals with disabilities, such as screen reading and speech recognition software); and consider partnerships that will ensure sustainability of the app. In addition, they should be targeted toward a variety of audiences such as students, teachers, employers, career counselors and workforce professionals, as well as individuals with disabilities working or seeking work at all levels in a variety of salaried and hourly jobs.
Awards with cash prizes - totaling $10,000 - will be given to the top three submissions, including the grand prize Innovation Award, the second prize People's Choice Award, and the third prize Above and Beyond Accessibility Award. The winners will be featured prominently on ODEP's website, as well as at disability.gov and through other public outreach vehicles.
Contestants must register for the contest on the Challenge.gov website by creating an account at http://challenge.gov/users/login. Each registrant will receive a confirmation email and may then enter a submission via the "Post a Submission" tab at http://disability.challenge.gov. Submissions must be entered between May 23 at 12 a.m. EDT and Aug. 23 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Late entries will not be eligible for prizes.
|Senator Carlo Leone, co-chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee|
Tax Incentives Increase Veteran Hiring
A recent study released by the RAND Corporation found that the Work Opportunity Tax Credit increased employment among veterans with disabilities by two percentage points in 2007 and 2008, or approximately 32,000 jobs each year.
Congress has enacted two more measures providing tax credits for hiring veterans, including a second expansion of the WOTC in 2009 and the VOW to Hire Heroes Act passed in November 2011. Read more..