September 2015 Newsletter

Meriden, CT Hotel Agrees to Make Changes to Comply with Americans with Disabilities Act

Comfort Inn and Suites

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that the U.S. Attorney's Office has reached a voluntary compliance agreement with the Comfort Inn & Suites of Meriden, Connecticut, to resolve allegations that the hotel was not being operated in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA").

Under federal law, private entities that own or operate "places of public accommodation," which includes hotels, are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. Read the Department of Justice press release.

Join the ADA Celebration in Somerville, MA on September 19!

City of Somerville seal

Save the Date! On Saturday, Sept. 19, the City of Somerville will host an event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). All community members are invited to the celebration, to be held in the Somerville High School Atrium from noon to 2 p.m. on Sept. 19. Refreshments will be served. Additional information to follow. For more information, contact ADA Coordinator, Betsy Allen, at BAllen@somervillema.gov, or 617-625-6600 ext. 2323. Learn more on the City of Somerville website.

Registration Now Open for the New SustainABILITY Workshop and the SustainABLE for Maine Design Awards 2015

Sustainable Maine Design Awards 2015

The New SustainABILITY Workshop will provide an overview of Accessible, Universal, Visitable, and Socially-sustainable design. With 10,000 people retiring each day, designers and owners fluent in the issues of minimum compliance and optimum performance have a competitive edge!

The Design Awards: For the 25th anniversary of the ADA, Alpha One and AIA Maine have collaborated to announce the SustainABLE for ME Maine Design Awards program. Projects will be recognized that demonstrate creative sensitivity toward the accessibility of all users and help create a more sustainable Maine.

The ADA 25th Anniversary workshop will be presented by Alpha One and AIA Maine on September 25, 2015 from 1 - 5 pm at Pine Tree Camp in Rome, Maine a Program of Pine Tree Society. The 2015 Maine Design Awards keynote and presentation to follow the workshop at 6 pm. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) available for AIA Maine Members.

Register online

Note: ASL Interpreters will be provided for the Design Awards Celebration. For accommodation requests please email Access Design or call 207 767-2189.

ADACC Sponsors Six Events Celebrating ADA 25 Across the State of Connecticut

Adaptive cycling in West Haven, CT

Celebrations of the 25th Anniversary of the ADA were held across Connecticut this summer with more planned into the fall. ADACC, the Connecticut affiliate of the New England ADA Center, provided sponsorship and support to six events. All provided an opportunity for participants to sign the ADA Pledge, and more than 500 pledges were signed!

West Haven/Milford Joint ADA 25 Committee co-hosted three events. The first was with the City of Milford. It opened with the singing of the National Anthem, and a Proclamation read by Milford Mayor Benjamin Blake. The Committee's second event was with the City of West Haven at the Savin Rock Conference Center during the popular Savin Rock Festival, attracting tens of thousands of folks where Mayor Edward M. O'Brien read a Proclamation. The Committee's third event was geared toward children, young folks, and their parents, and was held at Bodie's Place Boundless Playground in Milford. It featured a demonstration by the Gaylord Wheelchair Tennis Team.

The next event was one of two events hosted by the Connecticut Cross Disability Alliance. The second was an educational event with the City of New Haven that featured a walk/roll through of downtown New Haven.

Finally, the City of New Britain celebrated at their annual Abilities Walk and Roll. Participants in the one mile walk received T-Shirts and refreshments and, prior to a concert in the band shell, Mayor Erin Stewart, read a proclamation. Happy Anniversary ADA!

Photo: Adaptive Cycling at the ADA25 Event in West Haven, CT (photo credit Center for Disability Rights)

Rhode Island Governor's Commission of Disabilities Holds Public Forums and 'ADA: Know Your Rights' Trainings

Rhode Island state seal

The Rhode Island Governor's Commission on Disabilities (RIGCD) held their annual Public Forums on the Concerns of Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families the last week of July. All of the forums were successful, including an additional forum held in the middle of August to accommodate the needs of those with Electromagnetic Sensitivity and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. The RIGCD is currently working on a report based on transcripts from the forums, which should be up on their website, www.gcd.ri.gov, by the beginning of November.

The RIGCD has also been offering "The ADA:Know Your Rights" trainings throughout the state since mid-April. They also have been a huge success, with 10 trainings conducted between April-August, and an additional six scheduled for September and October. If you are interested in hosting a training, please contact Alyssa Gleason at Alyssa.Gleason@gcd.ri.gov or 401-462-0100.

News From Outside New England

Bill Would Increase Access To Special Needs Trusts

United States Capitol building

Legislation approved by the U.S. Senate this week may soon make it easier for people with disabilities to save money.

The bill known as the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act would allow individuals with disabilities to establish a special needs trust for themselves. Under current law, such trusts must be created by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian or a court. Learn more about the bill.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Awards $8 Million in Adaptive Sport Grants to Aid Disabled Veterans

Department of Veterans Affairs seal

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald announced the awarding of up to $8 million in grants to eligible recipients with experience managing large scale adaptive sports programs for disabled Veterans and disabled service members of the Armed Forces.

The VA is awarding the Grants to national governing bodies, which prepare high-level athletes for Paralympic competition; Veterans service organizations; city and regional municipalities; and other community groups to provide a wide range of adaptive sports opportunities for eligible Veterans and Servicemembers. The Grants will support sports ranging from rowing, cycling and skiing to golf, fly fishing and equestrian sports. Learn more about the VA grants.

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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