E-Bulletin November 14, 2017

November 14, 2017

We post our bi-weekly bulletin to keep you up to date on disability-related resources, news, and other items of interest. This information is being provided solely for non-commercial, nonprofit educational purposes, including news reporting and research. It is not intended for commercial purposes. Further, we understand that our readers generally read the articles and information online, at the websites provided in the hyperlinks, rather than relying solely on our synopses or copies. We are not responsible for the accessibility or the content of other websites. Please be aware that some links provided are time sensitive, and may become inactive at any time.

We include links to articles, editorials and opinion pieces, press releases, and other materials that represent diverse perspectives. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any products, services, sources, information, or opinions expressed in these materials.

Visit the Trainings section for more information on ADA and disability related trainings, meetings, and conferences.

General News

“Saluting Those Who Served”

The National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) observed Veteran’s Day by posting this collection of resources and research findings related to veterans with disabilities.

“The GOP’s Tax Bill Is a War on Disabled People”

This opinion piece outlines the writer’s concerns about the Republicans’ tax proposals, including the elimination of tax credits and deductions for out-of-pocket medical expenses and equipment.

Former Senator Tom Harkin Given 2017 Dole Leadership Prize

As he was honored with the 2017 Dole Leadership Prize, former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin said the kind of relationship he had with former Senator Bob Dole was sorely missing in the Washington, D.C. of today.

WID E3: Employment and Economic Empowerment

This new resource from the World Institute on Disability (WID) is designed to support increased economic participation and self-sufficiency for people with disabilities.

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Employment News

EEOC Launches Online Services for Inquiries, Appointments and Discrimination Charges

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) launched an EEOC Public Portal to enable individuals to submit inquiries or requests for intake interviews, file a charge, update contact information, agree to mediate a charge, upload documents, receive documents and messages related to a charge, and check on the status of a charge.

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Federal Employment News

Mentoring Toolkit

This new resource is designed for federal agencies and others interested in how mentoring can support the recruitment, placement, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in the workforce.

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Transportation News

Enhancing Airport Wayfinding for Aging Travelers and Persons with Disabilities

This new guidebook is designed to help airport operators and planners assist aging travelers and those with disabilities navigate airports using pedestrian wayfinding systems. The guidebook also includes a “Wayfinding Accessibility Audit Checklist,” suggestions for apps and web-based information systems, and information on compliance with federal and international regulations and standards.

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Business News

“Disability Suits over Website Access Surge”

This article reports on the growing number of lawsuits that allege violations of Title III of the ADA because of websites that are difficult for people with disabilities to navigate.

CUNA Pushes for Clarity on ADA Application to Websites

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is calling for more specific regulations and guidance on how businesses can ensure access to their websites and reduce lawsuits.

“How PR Firms Must Navigate Website Compliance Under The Americans With Disabilities Act”

This article outlines strategies that can help public relations firms improve the accessibility of website content they develop for clients.

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Design and Accessibility News

Accessible Shared Streets: Notable Practices and Considerations for Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities

This new publication from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) focuses on shared streets – where pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicles mix – and offers ideas, strategies, and lessons learned about designs that improve accessibility for pedestrians with vision disabilities.

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ADA Legal News

Philadelphia Parking Garages Improve Access

This article reports on a recent review by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania that resulted in accessibility improvements at several Philadelphia Parking Authority garages.

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ACAA: Expanded Disability Training Materials

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has several modular programs on the rights and responsibilities of individuals and airlines under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). These programs can be used to assist individuals with disabilities and to supplement the training and education of airline employees and contractors.

The recently expanded collection includes the "Assistive Device Stowage, Damage, and Delay Interactive Guide," describing various assistive devices and how to properly handle, stow, load, and return them to passengers, and the "Seating Accommodation Interactive Guide," describing the types of seating accommodations available on aircraft, seating accommodation methods used by airlines, and seating accommodation eligibility.

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Technology News

Digital Accessibility: “7 Principles of Inclusive Design That Put People First”

This article outlines principles for making digital products inclusive and accessible for employees and potential employees, as well as customers with disabilities.

Research Brief: Accessibility, Usability, and Design of Wearables and Wirelessly Connected Devices

This brief, which draws on findings from a review of representative applications and examples of currently available wearable and connected technologies, explores the potential impact of inclusive design principles on future device development.

BrailleBlaster: A New Choice in Braille Transcription Software

BrailleBlaster is a braille transcription program developed by the American Printing House for the Blind. The program, designed to help ensure that every student has their braille textbooks on the first day of class, takes advantage of the rich markup contained in NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) files to automate basic formatting and make advanced tasks quicker and easier.

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Health and Wellness News

“Blink Fitness Celebrates Members with Disabilities in New Social Media Campaign to Demonstrate All Bodies Are Able Bodies”

This press release highlights a new awareness campaign from Blink Fitness, a company with gym locations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and California. The company’s “All Bodies Are Able Bodies” campaign features members with disabilities sharing what having a disability means to them, how it has positively impacted their lives, and how they push themselves to be better, stronger, and happier through exercise.

For People with Recent Spinal Cord Injuries, Pneumonia and Pressure Ulcers May Be Connected

Researchers analyzed data and identified a possible link between pneumonia and pressure ulcers of the skin for people who have experienced spinal cord injuries. Researchers speculate that the risk of pressure ulcers may increase with pneumonia because it weakens the immune system, reduces the oxygen supply to the skin due to breathing difficulty, and limits mobility due to exhaustion.

“How Resilience Training Can Help People With MS”

This article reports on recent research that indicates resilience training can benefit individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). According to experts, resilience is “not a trait you either have or don’t have,” but a skill that can be developed.

Hot Topic Module: Changes in Memory After Traumatic Brain Injury

This new resource includes videos, fact sheets, and a slideshow designed to help traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors and their families understand and cope with changes in memory that may occur after TBI.

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Training, Events, and Opportunities to Participate

Surveys Seek Input on ADA Information Needs

The Northeast ADA Center is conducting three surveys to identify the ADA information needs of older adults and members of the Hispanic/Latino community with disabilities. One survey is open to adults age 60 or older with disabilities or ongoing health concerns, a second survey is open to service providers who support these older adults, and a third survey is open to members of the Hispanic/Latino community with disabilities (available in English and Spanish).

Seeking Participants for Study of Reasonable Accommodation Within Small Employers

The Northeast ADA Regional Center is seeking participants for a research study on reasonable accommodation policies and practices within small employers (15-500 employees). The study is open to individuals who work for small employers, including those in leadership roles who have responsibility for implementing accommodation processes within their companies. Participants will be interviewed by phone and will receive a $50 gift card at the end of their participation. Findings will be used to develop resources to support small employers in this area. For more information or to be screened for participation, contact Vicki Chang.

Survey on Service Animals and Assistance Animals

If you are a U.S. resident at least 18 years old who uses a service animal or other animal that assists with your disability, or a parent of a child who uses such an animal, the Southwest ADA Center invites you to complete this anonymous survey about experiences accessing public places with your animal.

Employers: Registration Open for 2018 Disability Equality Index

The Disability Equality Index (DEI), a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN), offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective score on their disability inclusion policies and practices. The DEI is intended to recognize companies’ successful inclusion strategies, as well as identify opportunities for continued improvement. Registration for the 2018 DEI is open until January 12, 2018.

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