E-Bulletin March 6, 2018

March 6, 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

2017 Compendium of Disability Statistics Released

This annually released collection of disability statistics published by various federal agencies is intended to facilitate evidence-based decision making in disability policies and services. Statistics are available on a wide range of issues related to the population of people with disabilities, including employment, earnings, health, education, and more.

Report: America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis: Effects on People with Intellectual Disabilities, Families, Communities and the U.S. Economy

The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) released this report focused on the direct support professional (DSP) workforce, which plays a key role in supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities and their family members, often enabling them to maintain employment and community participation. The report describes the current state of the DSP workforce as a "crisis," noting that the average DSP worker’s wage is $10.72, most work two or three jobs, and the average annual DSP turnover rate is 45%.

“'Our Lives Are at Stake.' How Donald Trump Inadvertently Sparked a New Disability Rights Movement”

This article reports on “a new wave of activism” among people with disabilities concerned about recent shifts in federal policy.

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Employment News

Employment and Economic Advancement Resource Map

This list of national initiatives that can support individuals as they take steps toward establishing financial stability is available from the LEAD Center (formerly the National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities).

10 Tips for an Accessible Website

This new tip sheet from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) offers tips and resources for improving access to websites, which can expand opportunities for recruiting qualified job applicants as well as new customers.

“The Growing Acceptance of Autism in the Workplace”

This article highlights employers who are reaping the benefits of accommodating applicants and workers with autism.

“In Baltimore and Beyond, Parents are Creating Employment Opportunities for Adult Children with Autism”

This article highlights some of the creative strategies families, workforce development professionals, and employers are using to improve outcomes for individuals with autism.

Customized Employment and Guided Group Discovery

A new collection of Guided Group Discovery materials, including a Facilitator Manual, an accompanying PowerPoint slide deck, and a Participant Workbook, are designed to enable job seekers to find good jobs with employers who value their talents.

“Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: Where Do Things Stand?”

This article explores the tension between state and federal laws related to the use of medical marijuana, and how these laws can affect the application and interpretation of disability discrimination laws like the ADA.

"Opioids, Marijuana and Substance Abuse Issues Present both Familiar and Groundbreaking Challenges to Employers"

This article outlines a variety of issues that employers may face when dealing with workers who use drugs (legally or illegally), and offers tips on human resource management strategies that can help employers and employees alike.

“Prevention — and Intervention — Are Key to Fighting Drug Addiction at Work”

This article, noting that the “workplace is bearing much of the fallout of the current drug epidemic … with drug overdose as the fastest growing cause of death at work” and employers dealing with the human and financial costs of “chronic absenteeism, lateness, turnover, lost productivity and even crime caused by addiction,” urges employers to consider their policies and the programs they offer, from insurance benefits to employee assistance programs.

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Business News

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Accessibility and Design News

“Inclusive Mobility”

The comprehensive article explores collaborative, universal design approaches to public transit and streetscape design, and how they can make travel and mobility easier and safer for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians, including those with disabilities.

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Education and Transition News

Fact Sheet: “Preparing Youth in Special Education for Life After High School”

A decade long study (2003 – 2012) revealed that while high school youth participating in special education became more engaged in school and increased their use of school supports, they were less likely than in the past to take key steps needed to prepare for transition to adult life.

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Health and Wellness News

Report to Congress on the Management of TBI in Children

This report on traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report outlines the impact a TBI can have on children and their families, identifies gaps in care and opportunities for action to reduce gaps, and highlights key policy strategies to address the short- and long-term consequences of a TBI.

Even for Experienced Wheelchair Users, Learning New Techniques May Save Wrists, Arms, and Shoulders

A recent study suggests that wheelchair users, including long-time users, may benefit from training programs (in-person or web-based) to improve their techniques in transferring to and from their wheelchairs (e.g., into cars or onto beds).

Voices of Experience: Living with Spinal Cord Injury

The Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model System Center (MWRSCIS) is producing a 10-part video series focused on questions, issues, and concerns of hospitalized patients in the early days after SCI. The first two videos are available for preview on YouTube.

Rare Disorders Aren’t as Rare as You May Think

The National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) recognized worldwide Rare Disease Day on February 28 with information and resources in this post.

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Training, Events, and Opportunities to Participate

Cancer as a Disability:
Your Rights in the Workplace

March 15, 2018
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Conference Accessibility Initiative's Disability Ambassador Program

This initiative, a partnership between the World Institute on Disability (WID) and JPMorgan Chase & Co., works to make community development and policy conferences more accessible to and inclusive of people with disabilities. The project offers scholarships for people with disabilities to attend civil rights or community development conferences throughout the country; applicants for the Disability Ambassador program must be at least 18 years old and live in the United States.

SAMHSA Voice Awards Nominations Due March 16

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) honors people in recovery and their family members who are improving the lives of people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in communities across the country. The awards program also recognizes television and film productions that educate the public about behavioral health and show that recovery is real and possible through treatment and recovery supports. Nominations are due by March 16th.

2018 TechSAge Design Competition

This competition seeks to inspire talented college students from around the world to develop technology-enabled design solutions to meet the needs of older adults with disabilities facing everyday challenges in areas such as health at home, social connectedness, active lifestyles, and community mobility. Students may enter individually or in teams, and are encouraged to partner with an older adult to develop creative solutions. Applications must be submitted by March 25, 2018.

Employers: HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration

The Department of Labor is establishing this program under the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act, or HIRE Vets Act. This year’s demonstration is designed to conduct a test of the application, review, and award processes for the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, which will launch in 2019. Small, medium, and large employers are encouraged to apply by April 30, 2018; up to 300 will be recognized for their investments in recruiting, employing, and retaining our nation’s veterans.

2018 Student Research and Design Competition: Access and AAC

This competition is designed to stimulate research and development on Access and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), systems and tools to support individuals with disabilities who have complex communication needs. The competition is open to students from high school through graduate and post-graduate levels. Students can work with faculty on the project, but the submission should clearly reflect the work of the student or student team. Submissions are due by May 4, 2018.

Survey on Health Reform and Disability

This online survey is open to adults 18 to 64 years old with any type of disability and any type of health insurance. Responses are anonymous. Qualified participants may enter to win a $100 gift card.

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