New England ADA Center

February Newsletter

Access Recreation Boston Announces Spring Conference

Access Recreation Boston Access Recreation Boston is hosting its third Spring Conference: Join us for a day of networking, learning and community building! Meet other professionals who understand the unique challenges and opportunities to providing recreation programs for people with disabilities. The conference will take place on Wednesday, March 25th at Special Olympics Massachusetts in Marlborough.

Registration is now open!

Submit an Activity Proposal for ADA 25 Boston and Be Part of the Fun - Deadline Extended to March 31!

Face Painting We want the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act to be a fun filled, family-friendly event that welcomes everyone to celebrate our accomplishments and heralds tomorrow.  For the festivities, we invite organizations interested in leading an inclusive activity from face painting to balloon art and so much more.  Activity forms are due by March 31, 2015. For more information about potential activities, contact Stacy Hart at or 1-800-949-4232.


Photo: Creative Commons. 

Donate to Support the ADA 25 Boston Celebration on Boston Common!

ADA 25 Boston You can help us kick off this event by making a donation to support the celebration on Wednesday, July 22 on the Boston Common. All of the proceeds will go to support the day and are tax-deductible. Please see our website for more details about getting involved and to review the sponsorships levels. For more information or questions about donating, please contact Katherine Blakeslee at 617-695-1225 x 224

Devices Give Blind Filmgoers More Oportunities to Experience the Oscars

Carl Richardson and his service dog Like a lot of movie buffs, Carl Richardson loves to take in the Oscar-nominated films during the run-up to the Academy Awards. But it can be frustrating because he's blind. He's able to follow the movie's story line when there's dialogue, but it's confusing when there's silence, or during action scenes.

This year, though, is different. Seven of the eight films nominated for best picture use so-called "descriptive" technology that makes them more accessible to the visually impaired, and Richardson is happily working his way through the Oscar contenders. Read the full story from the Boston Globe.


Photo by Aram Boghosian for the Boston Globe: Carl Richardson and his service dog at the AMC Loews Boston Common Theater.

Access Design Featured in Maine Home + Design

Jill Johanning as Pictured in Maine Home + Design In a feature that includes an interview with Alpha One's Jill Johanning, the February issue of Maine Home + Design gave Access Design the opportunity to discuss accessibility for all in architecture under the AIA Design Theory section. See more online including images of the accessible campus at Pine Tree Camp, a program of Pine Tree Society. 


Photo: Alpha One's Jill Johanning as pictured in Maine Home + Design.

Post-High-School Opportunities for Maine Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Maine Department of Labor The Maine Department of Labor's Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, part of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, invites students in grade six and higher, as well as their families, teachers and rehabilitation specialists, to a day-long program to help them plan for life and work after high school. The event is co-sponsored with the University of Southern Maine, the Iris Network and Catholic Charities of Maine. 


Read the full press release.  

State of Vermont Updates Grievance Procedure and names ADA Coordinators for Title I, II, and III

Vermont State SealThe State of Vermont recently updated its grievance procedure and named ADA Coordinators for Title I, II, and III. Vermont's ADA technical assistance provider, Vermont Center for Independent Living Center (VCIL) applauds the state's recommitment to the Americans with Disabilities Act during this 25th anniversary year. People with disabilities in Vermont should contact VCIL or the State if they are experiencing barriers to state employment, to state programs, services or facilities. 


Read more about the ADA/ADAAA Grievance Procedure

News From Outside New England

The National ADA Symposium is Open for Registration

National ADA Symposium The National ADA Symposium, the premiere conference on the Americans with Disabilities Act, is open for registration. Taking place May 10-13 in Atlanta, Georgia, the 19th annual ADA Symposium will offer an opening reception, keynote, 72 break-out sessions, advanced discussion groups, exhibits, and hands-on learning activities. Visit the Symposium web site.

Pledge to Support the Next 25 Years of the ADA and Beyond!

25 Years of the ADAJoin others in their commitment for another 25 years of the ADA and beyond!

Take 1 minute and Sign the Pledge

Act Now by Using your smart phone, tablet, or computer and visit

Section 508 Guidelines Get an Update Under Proposed Rule

U.S. Access Board The U.S. Access Board released its long-awaited proposed rule to update accessibility guidelines for federal information and communication technology (ICT) subject to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. It also provides similar updates for telecommunications equipment covered by Section 255 of the Communications Act. "The Board's proposal is responsive to widespread changes and innovations in the IT and communication industries," said Sachin Dev Pavithran, vice chairman of the Access Board, in a release. 


Read the full story. 

DOJ Settles Lawsuit Against Days Inn for Denying Vet with Service Animal

Days Inn The Department of Justice (DOJ) reached an agreement today to resolve a lawsuit it brought against Sairam Enterprises, Inc., the owner of the Days Inn Tulsa located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The proposed consent decree resolves a 2014 lawsuit that the Department filed against Sairam alleging that on July 31, 2010, it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it denied a room to a veteran and his family because the veteran uses a service dog.


Read the DOJ press release.

New U.S. Currency Reader Program Provides Free Currency Reader to U.S. Citizens who are Blind

Currency Reader In January 2015, the Bureau of Engraving launched the U.S. Currency Reader Program nationwide. The program provides a free currency reader device to all U.S. citizens or legal residents who are blind or visually impaired. The currency reader is a small, compact, hand-held device - about the size of a credit card and about one-half inch thick. 


Read the full story.

What Can Employers Learn from EEOC Charge Data?

Cornell University Employment and Disability Institute Researchers at the Employment and Disability Institute (EDI) looked at the relationship between employer characteristics and ADA discrimination charges. Understanding organizational risk factors is critical to developing a proactive approach to address disability discrimination in the workplace. Learn more about the EEOC charge data with the following resources:


Website Accessibility Issues Pose Legitimate Risks for the Financial Services Industry

The National Law Review While the year 2014 saw a variety of developments under Title III which targeted specific industries, one - relating to website accessibility - had potentially broader implications arguably impacting any entity covered by Title III, including financial services.


Read the full story.

Autism Speaks Putting New Focus On Adults

Autism Speaks After prioritizing the needs of children for years, the nation's largest autism advocacy organization is turning its attention to expanding housing options and supports for adults.


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.

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