E-Bulletin January 23, 2018

January 23, 2018

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

Resources to Support Your New Year’s Resolutions

The National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) offers this collection of resources to help you make positive changes in your life as we start a new year.

“Parents with Disabilities Face an Uphill Battle to Keep Their Children”

This article reports on the disproportionate level of involvement with child welfare systems experienced by parents with all types of disabilities.

Gallaudet University: New Agreement Offers Undergraduate Students an Edge in Gaining Acceptance as Peace Corps Volunteers

Gallaudet University and the Peace Corps signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to establish a University undergraduate program designed to foster students’ interest in the Peace Corps’ mission and develop skills needed in the Corps.

"A Few Things to Know About ASL"

This short video, produced by NPR in collaboration with Gallaudet University, features individuals talking about their language, American Sign Language (ASL).

“Bringing Captioning into the 21st Century”

This writer urges media content creators and event facilitators to include captioning, noting that more people than ever use and rely on it.

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Employment News

Guide to Financial Incentives for Employers

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) offer this guide to federal and state tax incentives that can help employers capitalize on the skills and talents of workers with disabilities.

“Here’s the Evidence: A Policymaker’s Guide to Evidence-Based Disability Policy”

The author of this piece says the way to reduce reliance on disability-based Social Security benefits is through “early interventions” — services and other supports designed to help people become financially self-sufficient before they become dependent on disability benefits — targeted to two populations: (1) workers whose continued self-sufficiency is threatened by injury or illness, and (2) youth with disabilities as they transition to working age.

Self-Employment for Workers with Psychiatric Disabilities:
New Research Briefs and Resources

A new series of research briefs highlights the results of a survey of self-employed individuals with psychiatric disabilities.

More research and resources for entrepreneurship are available from the Reclaiming Employment project.

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ADA Legal News

Volvo Group North America to Pay $70,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Volvo Group North America, LLC, will pay $70,000 and furnish other relief to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Volvo made a conditional job offer at its Hagerstown, Maryland, facility to a qualified applicant who was a recovering drug addict enrolled in a supervised medication-assisted treatment program. During his post-offer physical examination, the applicant explained that he was taking medically prescribed suboxone. The EEOC alleged the company withdrew the job offer without any individualized assessment to determine whether the suboxone would affect job performance.

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Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) News

Delta Airlines: New Documentation Requirements for Service or Emotional Support Animals

Delta Airlines will begin requiring passengers to submit veterinary health forms, signed by licensed veterinary health professionals, showing that service or emotional support animals have current vaccinations for rabies and distemper.

Additionally, a form signed by a licensed medical or mental health professional certifying an individual’s mental health disability, and a self-certification form attesting that the animal has been trained to behave in a public setting will be required from passengers traveling with emotional support animals.

Forms can be downloaded from the airline’s website, and must be uploaded at least 48 hours in advance of a flight.

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Social Security News

“For Some Receiving Disability Benefits, the Desire to Work Will Never Cease”

This article features profiles of individuals who receive disability-based benefits and continue to engage in work activities such as part-time or volunteer jobs.

“SSI Backlog: Thousands Around Philly Waiting More than Two Years for Disability Hearing”

This article reports on the backlog of pending appeals for disability-based Social Security benefits, which the Social Security Administration has called a “public service crisis.”

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Health and Wellness News

New Factsheet: Healthy Eating and Healthy Aging

This new factsheet, offering tips on building healthy eating habits, joins the Aging Well with a Physical Disability series.

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Training, Events, and Opportunities to Participate

ADA in Focus Webinar:
Committment to Digital Accessibility: Best Practices for Inclusive Technology

January 17, 2018
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Digital accessibility is a civil right: the right to participate in all that is offered on websites, mobile applications, and through other technologies. Join Lainey Feingold, one of the country’s leading disability rights lawyers, for a lively presentation on digital accessibility basics. How do people with disabilities use technology? What barriers stand in their way? What best practices have emerged from legal developments and from organizational champions? Learn the tools you need to help make 2018 a year of great digital inclusion for people with disabilities.

FCC Seeking Comment on Effective Communications During 2017 Hurricane Season

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeks public comment on the resiliency of the communications infrastructure, the effectiveness of emergency communications, and government and industry responses to the 2017 hurricane season, which devastated many communities and the communications networks that serve them. The FCC seeks information to better understand how well communication access was maintained (for those with or without disabilities) and what lessons may be learned for the future.

Find the Public Notice in Word or PDF. The deadline to submit comments is January 22, 2018.

Integrated Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Services and Outcomes Research

Applications are being accepted for this two-year fellowship, designed for professionals with an MD or PhD who wish to gain expertise in health services and outcomes research. Applications are due by February 1, 2018.

The Mobility Unlimited Challenge

The Mobility Unlimited Challenge, sponsored by the Toyota Mobility Foundation, in partnership with Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre, is seeking teams from around the world to create game-changing technology that will help radically improve the mobility and independence of people with paralysis. The Challenge will reward the development of personal mobility devices incorporating intelligent systems.

The multi-year challenge will make several awards to develop technologies, culminating in one final award of $1 million in 2020. The deadline to apply for the first round of awards is February 7, 2018.

Ambassadors for the challenge include Paralympian Tatyana McFadden, who began her quest to become “the fastest woman in the world” when she and her family challenged her Maryland high school to make track and field programs more inclusive. The McFadden’s efforts eventually led to Maryland’s Fitness and Athletic Equity Law for Students with Disabilities.

An opinion piece by Ms. McFadden, “Technology Has Changed Our World, but Hasn't Done Enough for People with Disabilities,” urges innovators to participate in the Mobility Unlimited Challenge.

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