New England ADA Center

June, 2014

Poetry Slam and Art Exhibition Celebrating the ADA's 24th Anniversary July 23, 2014

Poets who will read at poetry slam In honor of the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we are hosting an event that showcases artistic expression.  The featured artists with a disability will display their work through visual arts and spoken word of their poetry with a poetry slam!  We invite you to join us in celebrating the ADA by viewing the artwork and engaging in the power of the spoken word.


When: July 23, 2014. Refreshments will be served from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM, and the poetry slam will take place from 7:00 to 8:00 PM

Where: Institute for Human Centered Design, home of  the New England ADA Center, 200 Portland Street, First Floor, Boston, MA 02114

Please RSVP if you are interested in attending at 800-949-4232.


Photo: Top left to right, Mano Iyer, Colin Killick. Bottom left to right, Kythryne Aisling, Ekiwah Adler Belendez. 

VCIL and New England ADA Center Attend Vermont Chamber Business and Industry EXPO

Exhibit Table at 2014 Vermont Business and Industry EXPODavid West from the Boston office of the New England ADA Center recently joined coworkers from our Vermont state affiliate, the Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL), at the 2014 Vermont Chamber Business and Industry EXPO. Attendees included Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and more than 3,000 eager participants from across the state, allowing the New England ADA Center and VCIL to spread the word about the availability of our expert staff to provide information, guidance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Photo: The Vermont Center for Independent Living joins the New England ADA Center at the EXPO.
Show Me for Emergencies Mobile App Now Available for Free Download!

The Show Me App The Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management (OPEM) is pleased to announce the release of the first Massachusetts Department of Public Health mobile application, Show Me for Emergencies, an innovative, interactive app that will enhance communication between public health and emergency management personnel and volunteers and individuals with communication challenges across a variety of emergency settings.

Show Me for Emergencies is a free, downloadable mobile app available in both the iTunes and Google Play stores. One of the essential features of the app is that once it's downloaded to a user's device, the app does not need internet connectivity in order to access its content.

To read more about Show Me, visit: You can download the app from the iTunes store at:, and from the Google Play store at:

New England ADA Center's Oce Harrison Interviewed by the The Talking Information Center Network

Oce HarrisonRecently, Oce Harrison, Project Director for the New England ADA Center was interviewed on Talking Information Center's (TIC) Mission Possible Program. The Talking Information Center Network (TIC) provides broadcasting around the globe 24/7 intended for people who are blind. On the show, Oce talked about the role of the Americans with Disabilities Act Centers, and the Poetry Slam and Art Exhibit celebrating the 24th Anniversary of the ADA July 23rd at the Institute for Human Centered Design.

In July, TIC will begin a new feature 'ADA UPDATES' as part of their AM UPDATES every morning at 7:30 and again Tuesday's at noon during Mission Possible. To hear Oce's interview, visit Mission Possible.

Photo: Oce Harrison.
Rising Star In Rhode Island Refuses To Quit On Film Dream

Andrew PilkingtonAndrew Pilkington, 22, who was born with cerebral palsy, recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a 3.7 grade-point average, the award for excellence as a film media major, his own independent film production company, and applause from the West Coast for his crime movie, "Suburban Kings." Andrew also lent his skills to the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) when he helped prepare video materials for the 2011 Products and Technologies that Change People's Lives conference in Boston.


Read the full story.


Photo: Andrew Pilkington.

Don Brandon, Extraordinary Disability Advocate (1953 - 2014)

Don Brandon Don Juan Diego Tenorio Brandon passed away May 1, 2014, at the University of Washington Medical Center with loving family at his side. Don was a former Project Director for the Northwest ADA Center.

During the past 30 years, Don's career spanned many states and all accessibility disciplines. Just to mention a few: Don was the creator of B.O.L.T (Better Opportunities for Living Today) and director of Northwest ADA Center at the University of Washington. Don was the Interior outreach supervisor for Access Alaska when they first opened their office in Fairbanks. During the last decade, Don was the ADA technical advisor to all ADA technical advisors across many states. He really was the final guy you were always looking for when you needed ADA answers, interpretations and/or resolutions.


Read the full story.


Photo of Don Brandon from

Job Posting: University of New England Seeks Coordinator of the Office for Students with Disabilities

University of New England The University of New England is seeking a Coordinator of the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). The Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the provision of reasonable academic adjustments for students with disabilities in order to ensure their equal educational opportunity under federal and state law. The University of New England is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and welcomes female and minority candidates. For more information email


View the job listing online.

News From Around the Country
Archie Comic Book Adds Character With Disability

Archie Comics 656 Cover In an effort to better reflect modern life, comic book mainstay Archie and his pals are set to get their first-ever friend with a disability. Archie Comics said that a new character named Harper will join Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and Reggie in the fictional town of Riverdale. 


A cousin to series regular and posh socialite Veronica Lodge, Harper is described as a "spunky fashionista" with a "dynamic personality" who does not let her disability define her.


Read more.

Education Department Guidelines Explain Charter Schools' Obligations to Students with Disabilities

Department of Education Seal The U.S. Department of Education has released new guidelines confirming that federal civil rights laws that apply to public schools also apply to public charter schools. The new guidelines highlight public charter schools' obligations to provide a free, appropriate public education for students with disabilities. They also provide details about the need for public charter schools to avoid discrimination in admissions and disciplinary practices.


Read the full story.

HUD to Allow Alternative Accessibility Standard for Federally Funded Construction Projects

HUD Graphic The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced that it will allow developers of federally funded construction projects to use an alternative design standard to meet the accessibility requirements under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Developers may use the Americans with Disabilities Act 2010 Standards for accessible design in place of the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards for new construction or alterations to existing structures on or after May 23, 2014. 


Read the full story.

In Shift, Supreme Court Moves Away From 'Mental Retardation'

U.S. Supreme Court building A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling marked a major milestone in efforts to put an end to use of the term "mental retardation." For the first time ever, in the decision of Hall v. Florida, the nation's highest court used the term intellectual disability.


Read the full story.

Oregon State University Installs ADA Parking Sensors that can be Checked Via Mobile Devices

Accessible Parking Sensor Installation Visitors, students and staff at Oregon State University (OSU) looking for accessible parking spaces on campus can now use their mobile devices to check for space availability. OSU staff and a team from Streetline, Inc., installed the innovative sensor-based system in campus parking spaces that have been designated accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Read the full story.


Photo of accessible parking sensor installation at Oregon State University from LIFE@OSU.

EEOC Seeks Public Input on Regulations Requiring Federal Agencies to Be 'Model Employers' of Individuals with Disabilities

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is inviting public input on potential revisions to the regulations implementing Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a law that governs employment of individuals with disabilities by the federal government.


Before it publishes a proposed regulation, the Commission is issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that seeks comments from members of the public on what the amended regulations should say. The ANPRM is available on the Federal Register website. Comments must be submitted by 5:00 pm EDT on Monday, July 14, 2014.

CDC Study Finds High Mortality From Alzheimer's Disease

Centers for Disease Control and PreventionThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that, in 2010, Alzheimer's caused almost 84,000 deaths in the United States, a number derived from death certificates in which Alzheimer's was listed as the main cause. But, in reality, the new study said Alzheimer's was the underlying cause in more than 500,000 deaths in 2010 that were often attributed to conditions, such as pneumonia, caused by complications of Alzheimer's. Those numbers would catapult Alzheimer's from the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States to the third, behind heart disease and cancer.


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