August 2015 Newsletter

2,000 Gather on Boston Common to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the ADA!

Young girl at the ADA 25 Boston celebration

On July 22, two thousand people gathered on Boston Common to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Spearheaded by the New England ADA Center and the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), a day filled with information, fun and inspiration began with a festive march. There was also a dynamic roster of speakers and a diverse range of accessible games and activities.

See more pictures from ADA25Boston, and visit our website to learn more about the New England ADA Center!

New Hampshire GCD Celebrates ADA 25 With an Open House

Happy 25th Anniversary ADA written on a cake

On July 27th 2015 the New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability (GCD) hosted an open house in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by George H. W. Bush.

The GCD Open House had ten vendors from other state agencies and various nonprofit organizations displaying inside the GCD offices . There was also a great display outside of the office. The Ride Away Wheel Chair and Van Sales store had a great display featuring a 2015 Chevrolet Suburban retrofitted for wheel chair accessibility. The NH delegation also presented us with video messages to play for the guest.

Vermont Heads Outdoors to Celebrate the ADA's 25th Anniversary!

adaptive sailing

Vermont took advantage of its gentle mountains and calm waters and celebrated the 25th anniversary of the ADA outdoors this year! Vermont's Department of Tourism highlights accessible outdoor recreation opportunities and adaptive sports programs through a new portal: InclusiveVermont.com. The Vermont Center for Independent Living celebrated all month with a walk and roll at Waterbury Center State Park, a big picnic with the mayor at Burlington's North Beach Park, and adaptive kayaking at Shaftsbury State Park. An information fair and traveling exhibit on disability history were hosted in Rutland.

Executive Director of Disability Rights Vermont, Receives National Advocacy Award

Ed Paquin

Ed Paquin is the recipient of the National Council on Independent Living Region 1 Advocacy Award for his dedication to promoting the rights of people with disabilities and advancing the independent living movement in New England (which comprises NCIL's Region I). The award was presented on July 29 at a banquet in Washington, D.C.

Paquin said, "It was a real surprise and an honor to receive the NCIL Region I Advocacy Award. It has given me an opportunity to step back and think about how lucky I am to be able to work with some of the best people and organizations around to make the world a better place." Read the full press release!

Photo: Ed Paquin

News From Outside New England

New From the DOJ: Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA

Service dog

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has released a new technical assistance document addressing frequently asked questions regarding service animals and the ADA. This additional guidance is intended to be read in conjunction with the DOJ's previous July 2011 technical assistance on Revised ADA Requirements: Service Animals, which remains in full effect.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons.

Access Board Releases New Guidance on Accessibility

United States Access Board

The U.S. Access Board has released new chapters of its online guide to accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Architectural Barriers Act.

The chapters include information about requirements for accessible routes, including doors, ramps, elevators and exits. It also has an animated video on hazards that protruding objects pose to people with vision impairments. The guide includes illustrations, answers to common questions and recommendations for best practices. Read the Access Board's announcement!

Key Findings: Prevalence of Disability and Disability Type among Adults, United States - 2013 - People with Disabilities: Who are they and what do we know?

Group of people with various disabilities

During the last two decades, multiple national surveys measured disability in various ways because of substantial differences in the conceptualization and definition of disability. More recently, several national health surveys incorporated a recommended standard set of questions assessing functional types of disability.

In recognition of ADA's milestone anniversary, this issue of MMWR includes a report using the first data available on functional types of disability in a state-based health survey. This report presents the percentage of adults with any disability and with specific types of disabilities by state and key demographic characteristics (e.g., sex, age, race/ethnicity)

Each of us may experience a disability in our lifetime; 22% of adults have a disability today. Disability impacts all of us!

DOJ Reaches Landmark Agreement with Carnival Corporation to Make Its Cruise Ships Accessible

Carnival Cruise Lines

The Justice Department and Carnival Corp. announced a comprehensive, landmark settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to advance equal access for individuals with disabilities who travel on cruise ships.

Carnival Corp. is one of the largest cruise companies in the world, owning and operating several cruise lines. The settlement agreement addresses accessibility on 62 ships among the Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises brands and implements accessibility standards and policies to provide greater access on cruises that embark and disembark from U.S. waters or those of its territories. Read the DOJ's press release.

Register for the 22nd Annual Mid-Atlantic ADA Update Conference!

Mid Atlantic ADA Center

Online registration is open for the 22nd Annual Mid-Atlantic ADA Update Conference taking place in Baltimore, Maryland, September 17 - 18, 2015. Don't miss the region's leading conference on the ADA!

Learn the latest information with representatives from:

  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • United States Access Board
  • Federal Transportation Administration

Note: there will be a pre-conference session "ADA Overview" on Wednesday, September 16 from 1:00 - 4:30 PM at no additional charge!

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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