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 A publication of the New England ADA Center                          November 2012

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New England ADA Center Staff and State Affiliates
New England ADA Center and State Affiliate staff.
New England ADA Center State Affiliates Meet in Boston 


On Wednesday, October 10, 2012, New England ADA Center State Affiliates met in Boston. Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont State Affiliates reviewed accomplishments and challenges from the previous year and planed for the future. Some of the discussion topics included emergency preparedness for people with disabilities, key challenges in each region and opportunities for collaboration.  

Jonathan Beer, Director, Blind Artists Society.
Jonathan Beer, Director, Blind Artists Society.
Compass Readings:  A Networking and Mentoring Event for Artists With Disabilities in Maine


VSA Arts, the international organization on arts and disability, ceased operating in Maine last year, leaving a population of talented artists without the infrastructure that assisted them to create and share their work. Compass Readings, funded in part by a grant from the Tarjan Center at UCLA, seeks to begin addressing the loss of representation within the arts community for these artists. 

The Maine Arts Commission and Alpha One, Maine's Independent Living Center, invited artists with disabilities, arts venues, and galleries to the networking and mentoring event on October 23rd in Freeport, Maine. The event included opportunities for artists with disabilities to acquire new skills to pursue their art professionally, attend workshops, to meet gallery owners, performing arts presenters, and new mentors from the community. Read the full story.
Pete Diminico receives appreciation from VCIL at dedication ceremony October 12, 2012.

Bristol, Vermont Gets a New Accessible Fishing Platform!


New Haven Anglers, Bristol Conservation Commission and locals teamed up to design (with some technical assistance from VCIL's Community Access Program), raise funds privately and through a state recreation grant, and build a beautiful universally designed fishing platform this year.  Pete Diminico is the person to thank for this great spot on the river! The Chuck Baser Memorial Fishing Platform would not exist without his dedication and leadership.

Gary Snyder photo.
Gary Snyder
VCIL Member Forces Brattleboro, Vermont Post Office to Fix Its Ramp 
VCIL board member Gary Snyder convinced his local postmaster to make long-needed surface repairs to the broken concrete at his Brattleboro post office. Months of phone calls crisscrossing the state and regional postal service system, and then finally, one threat of a federal complaint, resulted in action. Thanks Gary!  
Oce Harrison, Marc Anthony Gallucci and son Noah.
Oce Harrison at Annual ADACC Meeting with Marc Anthony Gallucci and his son Noah..
American with Disabilities Act Coalition of Connecticut Holds its 19th Annual Meeting


New England ADA Center Project Director Oce Harrison and Americans with Disabilities Act Coalition of Connecticut (ADACC) Board President Mark Anthony Gallucci were among the attendees at the ADACC's 2012 Annual Meeting in Meriden, Connecticut. This year's honorees included Tom Behrendt, Alyssa Beit, Molly Cole, Candace Low and CW Resources Inc. 

Oce Harrison, Project Director, New England ADA Center and Christine Rancourt Bruzzi, RI Governor's Commission on Disability.
Oce Harrison, Project Director, New England ADA Center and Christine Rancourt Bruzzi, RI Governor's Commission on Disability.
CVS Caremark Celebrates Disability Employment Awareness Month


The New England ADA Center and State Affiliate, RI Governor's Commission on Disability were two of 18 organizations providing resources to employees at CVS Caremark's Headquarters in Woonsocket, RI. CVS boasts 200,000 employees and 7,300 stores nation-wide.

Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice Enters into a Settlement Agreement with the City of North Adams Massachusetts
On October 16, 2012, the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement with the City of North Adams, Massachusetts, under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

The Department of Justice initiated a compliance review of the City of North Adams in response to a complaint that the police station was physically inaccessible. The compliance review is part of Project Civic Access, a Departmental initiative to ensure greater access for persons with disabilities to state and local government programs, services, activities, and facilities. An on-site survey of the City's buildings, programs, and services was conducted in November 2010. Read the settlement agreement.
New England Council Annual Dinner Photo.
Pictured left to right: Jennifer Otitigbe, Eli Wolff, Oce Harrison and Christopher Hart.
New England ADA Center Attends the New England Council's Annual Dinner 
Members of the New England ADA Center's staff attended the annual dinner of the New England Council, the nation's oldest regional business organization. Featured speakers included Abigail P. Johnson, President, Fidelity Financial Services, David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, The Honorable John Larson, United States Representative from Connecticut's 1st Congressional District and Robert K. Sheridan, President & CEO, Savings Bank Life Insurance (SBLI).  
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Stories from Other States 

U.S. Department of Labor Seal October 2012 Unemployment Rate for People with Disabilities  
   The Unemployment Rate
   People with disabilities:  12.9%
   People without disabilities:  7.3%
Credible, consistent data on the employment status of people with disabilities is critical to shaping disability employment policy.

Reflecting this, in 2008, after several years of research and testing, Office of Disability Employment Policy sponsored the addition of new questions to the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) to gauge the employment status of people with disabilities. Prior to this time, many conflicting numbers were available from various sources, all using different definitions of disability and methods of data collection.

This historic achievement was the outcome of close collaboration with DOL's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), several other Federal agencies, and disability experts and advocates. January 2009 marked the first month for which official government data on disability employment were available. Today, these data are updated monthly, providing citizens and policymakers with reliable and accurate information on a topic of importance to America's workforce and economy. 
 Read more about disability employment statistics from the Office of Disability Employment Policy.

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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.