New England ADA Center

April, 2014
New England ADA Center State Affiliates Meet in Boston

New England ADA Center State Affiliates The New England ADA Center State Affiliates met in Boston to share ADA work and resources. State Affiliates are dedicated and knowledgeable as well as experienced in explaining  the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Get to know your local New England ADA Center State Affiliate!


Photo: Standing left to right: Kim Brittenham, VT, RI Fire Captain Christopher Degrave, Jeff Dougan, MA, and Charles Saia, NH. Sitting left to right: Diane Stone, CT, Jill Johanning, ME, and Michael Coe, NH,

Call for Poets and Artists with Disabilities for Poetry Slam and Art Exhibition - Submission Deadline Extended to May 15th!

Artist's Pen and Painter's Pallet In honor of the 24th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we are proud to host an exhibition of artist with disabilities as well as hold a poetry slam with poets or spoken word artists with disabilities at the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD). The call is open to artists and poets of all ages who are living in New England and have a disability. The exhibition and poetry slam will take place at the Institute for Human Centered Design, 200 Portland St. Boston from June 26th through July 28th. The submission deadline has been extended to May 15, 2014.


Learn more about the poetry slam and submit your poetry here.

Learn more about the art exhibition and submit your art here

Introductory Architecture Plan Reading Workshop - May 21 in Concord, New Hampshire

Architectural scale ruler Architectural designer Meghan Dufresne, LEED AP from the New England ADA Center will give a 3-hour introductory workshop on reading architectural floor plans and understanding accessibility issues.

The workshop, co-sponsored by the New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability and the New England ADA Center, will train people to understand, interpret, and measure sets of architectural drawings, and determine primary accessibility issues according to the Americans with Disabilities Act and state laws.

This event is free and open to the public. The target audience is individuals with disabilities, family members, area agency advocates, city officials, legal officials, builders, and contractors.

Where: New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability 
121 South Fruit Street, Room 116 Concord, NH 03301


When: May 21, 1:00pm-4:00pm

For more information and to reserve a spot please contact Meghan Dufresne by 5/15/14 at 617-695-1225, x230 or email 
Youth Advisory Board Meets at New England ADA Center

New England ADA Center's Youth Advisory Board

The New England ADA Center held the inaugural
 gathering of its Youth Advisory Board (YAB) on Saturday, March 22nd at the Center's Boston headquarters.


ADA Trainer, Information and Outreach Specialist Stacy Hart facilitated the exchange of ideas with youth with disabilities aged 16 to 25 from around New England. The YAB members discussed strategies to exchange information with each other and the broader youth disability community on a diverse range of topic including first jobs, succeeding in college and independent living.


Photo: New England ADA Center Youth Advisory Board.

Rhode Island to Become Model for Desegregating Sheltered Workshops

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee A groundbreaking settlement that will move disabled Rhode Islanders from segregated settings that isolated them for decades into the work force and the community at large. The Department of Justice announced the consent agreement and the 10-year plan that arises from it.

"Today's agreement will make Rhode Island a national leader in the movement to bring people with disabilities out of segregated work settings and into typical jobs in the community at a competitive pay," said acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division.


Read the full story and see the press release from the Department of Justice.


Photo from the Providence Journal: Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee speaks about the agreement.

Mental health Advocate Robert E. Davidson Dies

Robert E. Davidson Robert E. Davidson of Norwich, Connecticut, who served for 14 years as the voice for the agency that calls itself "the citizen's voice in mental health policy" in eastern Connecticut died after a months-long battle with brain cancer at age 65.


Davidson served as executive director of the Eastern Regional Mental Health Board Inc. from 1999 to his retirement in December due to his illness. With a doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1980, Davidson had a lifelong career advocating equally for services and respect for people with mental illness both in the Midwest and in Connecticut.


Read the full story.


Photo from The Day: Robert E. Davidson.

Maine Department of Labor Launches Data Dashboard on Maine Workers with Disabilities

Paul LePage, Governor of Maine. The Maine Department of Labor's Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and Center for Workforce Research and Information have launched a new webpage, Maine Workers with Disabilities. The webpage,, updates the data contained in the report, "Snapshot 2012: Maine Workers with Disabilities."

"Workers with disabilities play an important role in our workforce," said Maine Governor Paul R. LePage. "We are working collaboratively across the departments of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services to provide an employment-first approach. We want to make sure that everyone who wants to work has access to the assistance and training that will help them find work. This data will help our efforts be more effective and ensure that Mainers are afforded the benefits a job provides-not just the financial benefits, but the improved self-esteem and ties to the community that make work rewarding both personally and professionally."


Photo: Maine Governor Paul LaPage.

Join the 2014 Disability Legislative Leadership Workshop - April 25 in Concord, New Hampshire Hampshire

New Hampshire State SealThe Governor's Commission on Disability and the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire present: 


2014 Disability Legislative Leadership Workshop 
April 25, 2014, 8:30 am - 3:00 pm 
Legislative Office Building, Room 206-208 
Concord, NH 03301 Brain


This informative workshop will inform the audience of the legislative process and how a bill becomes law.  The importance of advocacy and communicating with legislators will be addressed with lunch being provided.  All this ending with a statehouse tour. Please call Ellen Edgerly at 332-9891 or e-mail at  

The Institute for Human Centered Design is Headed to Russia!

Lise Capet, Willa Crolius and Stacy HartThe Institute for Human Centered Design's Lise Capet, Willa Crolius and Stacy Hart will be giving a five-day training on inclusive education in Russia as part of a grant awarded to IHCD by the US State Department.

The team, working with Perspektiva, an NGO based in Moscow, will present on universal design for learning practices, inclusive technology, policy, individual education planning, and transition planning.

Photo: IHCD's Lise Capet, Willa Crolius and Stacy Hart.
New England ADA Center and IHCD Thank Chris Hart for 14 Years of Service

Chris Hart After 14 years at the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), Chris Hart, IHCD's Director of Urban and Transportation Projects, is moving on to new endeavors. A national leader in the area of accessible transportation and member of the U.S. Access Board, Chris has lent his intellect, effort and irrepressible spirit to IHCD and the New England ADA Center in innumerable ways.
Chris will continue his work advancing access for all at the local, regional, national and international levels. We all wish Chris the very best, anticipate hearing of his continued success, and look forward to collaborating with him whenever possible.
Photo: Chris Hart at a transportation museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
National News
Are You Disabled? Your Boss Needs to Know

Wall Street Journal Nearly a quarter of the U.S. workforce will soon have to answer a personal question from the boss: Are you disabled? The regulations that recently went into effect require for the first time that federal contractors-a group that includes Boeing Co., Dell Inc. and AT&T Inc., among some 40,000 others-ask their employees if they have a disability.


Those that don't employ a minimum of 7% disabled workers, or can't prove they are taking steps to achieve that goal, could face penalties and, in the most extreme cases, the loss of their contracts, according to a government official. The target applies to contractors with 50 or more employees or more than $50,000 in government work.


Read the full story from the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. Access Board Launches Online Guides to the ADA and ABA Standards

Us access board logo The U.S. Access Board has new online guides about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards. The illustrated guides explain the requirements of the ADA and ABA standards, answer common questions and include recommendations for best practices. The first installment of the guides covers the first three chapters of the standards. Guides covering other sections of the standards will be released at a later date.


Read more and access the new guides online.

CVS to Add Talking Prescription Drug Labels

CVS Pharmacy CVS Pharmacy announced that it is providing ScripTalk talking prescription labels to customers with visual impairments ordering through The new CVS initiative will ensure that customers who are blind can access the critical health and safety information provided in a standard print prescription label.

The U.S. Access Board Working Group's Final Report Regarding Best Practices for Making Prescription Drug Container Label Information Accessible to Persons who are Blind or Visually-Impaired is referenced in the agreement that led to this announcement.

Federal Accessibility Specialist Job Postings Announced - Deadline for Applications is April 21, 2014

United States Department of Justice New federal accessibility specialist job postings with the Department of Justice are available online. The deadline for applications is April 21, 2014. 


Job Title: Supervisory Accessibility Specialist
Department: Department Of Justice
Agency: Offices, Boards and Divisions

Job Announcement Number: 14-CRD-004 (MPP)

Read the full job posting.


Job Title: Supervisory Accessibility Specialist
Department: Department Of Justice
Agency: Offices, Boards and Divisions

Job Announcement Number: 14-CRD-004 (DEU) 


Read the full job posting.

Trauma-Informed Care: Changing the fundamental question from "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?"

National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health Trauma Informed Care is a national effort to help treat children and others who have been exposed to extreme situations. It begins by fundamentally altering the perspective of care from "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?"


Soon a comprehensive Web-based, video-enhanced resource tool will be available to assist all those interested in advancing the Trauma Informed Care approach. The resource tool will include video interviews, supporting white papers, key resources, and links to help understand, build and enhance a trauma-informed workforce with eight online modules.


View the project flyer and watch an informational video.

Accessible Communications for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Offenders - A Free Webinar Presented by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center

Accessible Hearing GraphicOn May 1, 2014, join an engaging session as representatives from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Corrections discuss strategies to provide an inclusive communication environment for deaf and hard of hearing offenders. Learn the methods they used to provide these services within the corrections environment to comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

Real-time captioning will be provided for this webinar.



  • Eric Aldridge, Assistant Warden of Operations at Powhatan Correctional Center
  • Barry Marano, ADA Coordinator for all Deaf and Hearing Impaired Offenders at Powhatan Correctional Center.

To register visit:

Trail Surface Material Study Complete

Accessible Trail A study sponsored by the U.S. Access Board on the accessibility of trail surface materials was recently completed by the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) at Indiana University. The project assessed the firmness and stability of 11 different types of natural aggregate and treated soil surfaces over a four-year period to determine their effectiveness after exposure to the elements, freeze and thaw cycles, and other factors. The research indicates that several types of surface materials tested, when installed according to the study's protocols, maintained a consistently firm and stable surface.

Read more about the National Trail Surfaces Study.  

VA Makes Specially Adaptive Housing Grant Eligibility Automatic for Veterans and Service members Living with ALS

Veteran's Affairs Veterans and active-duty military personnel with service-connected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, are now presumed medically eligible for grants up to almost $68,000 to adapt their homes, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced.


Read the full story.

Most VA Websites Still Inaccessible to Blind Vets

Veteran's Affairs More than a year after waivers temporarily exempted the Department of Veterans Affairs from laws mandating its websites be accessible to blind and vision-impaired veterans, the agency is still lagging behind, veterans' advocates say.

"The fact of the matter [is] the electronic health records of the blind veterans, as well as the websites the blind veteran population must navigate, are still not ... compliant [with the Americans With Disabilities Act]," Blinded Veterans Association spokesman Glenn Minney said.


Read the full story.

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New England ADA Center, a project of the Institute for Human Centered Design

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.

Institute for Human Centered Design / New England ADA Center | 200 Portland Street | Boston | MA | 02114