E-Bulletin January 8, 2019

January 8, 2019

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

Language Access and Effective Communication During Response and Recovery: A Checklist for Emergency Responders

This new publication includes recommendations, action steps, and effective practices to help ensure effective language access for people with sensory, communication, and print disabilities, as well as those who may not be proficient in English. The checklist also includes additional federal resources and tools for first responders.

Share the Air: Resources for Fragrance-Free Environments

A new toolkit includes information, sample policies and notices, and resources to help reduce exposure to the harmful chemicals found in many cleaning and personal hygiene products. While the toolkit is focused on post-secondary educational environments and events (it includes fact sheets for faculty, teaching assistants, and campus resources) it can be useful for a variety of organizations and businesses.

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Business News

“For Travelers with Mobility Issues, Here's How to Navigate Vacation Rental Properties”

This article offers tips to help ensure travelers with access needs can more effectively use vacation rental platforms (such as Airbnb and HomeAway) to rent properties that meet their needs.

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State and Local Government News

Maryland: “Why Police in Prince George’s County Are Being Trained with Improv”

This article reports on an innovative program that uses roleplaying to help law enforcement officers interact more effectively with individuals with disabilities, including those with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

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Employment News

CSG Launches Stay-At-Work/Return-to Work Toolkit

The Council of State Governments (CSG) launched the Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Toolkit to assist state officials in ensuring workers can remain in the workforce following injury or illness.

The resource outlines challenges, actionable policy options, best practices, and implementation strategies to facilitate positive outcomes at the state level. It also highlights a number of highly effective state programs that may serve as models for other states. 

EEOC: Don’t Confuse Qualifications Standards and Essential Functions

This article recaps a recent webinar presented by representatives of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Speaker Christopher Kuczynski said employers need to understand the distinctions between qualification standards (which are attributes such as educational attainments or experiences that are designed to help employers predict whether an individual will be able to perform a job), and “essential functions” (which are tasks that employees actually perform on the job). Confusion can lead to categorizing or describing jobs in ways that screen out qualified applicants with disabilities.

Diversity Dialogue: Vocational Rehabilitation Makes Employment Connections

This article features an interview with the Director of Business Relations for the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), and highlights vocational rehabilitation services, as well as employer initiatives, that promote employment of workers with disabilities.

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Legal News

The Cato Corporation Pays $3.5 Million to Settle EEOC Systemic Investigation

The Cato Corporation, a leading retailer of women's fashion and accessories, has agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve a nationwide, systemic investigation conducted jointly out of the Chicago and Philadelphia Offices of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC's investigation found that the company denied reasonable accommodations to certain pregnant employees or those with disabilities, made certain employees take unpaid leaves of absence, and/or terminated them because of their disabilities.

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Education and Transition News

The Ruderman White Paper: Ivy League Schools Fail Students with Mental Illness

The Ruderman Family Foundation’s White Paper on Mental Illness examines the practices of imposing leaves of absence on students who are experiencing mental illness. The report explores policies and practices among eight Ivy League universities, finding that involuntary leaves of absence are often imposed without consideration for accommodations that might enable students to remain in school.

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Technology News

2019 LiveWell RERC App Factory Development Awards Announced

The Information and Communication Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Community Living, Health, and Function (LiveWell RERC) has selected three new assistive technology apps for development and release in 2019. The apps offer solutions to a range of challenges that users with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities face, and help support community participation and management of health conditions.

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International News

Realization of the Sustainable Development Goals by, for, and with Persons with Disabilities

This report from the United Nations (UN) presents findings on efforts to include individuals with disabilities in worldwide development, and offers recommendations to make improvements.

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Training, Events, and Opportunities to Participate

The Intersection of ADA, FMLA, and Workers' Compensation

January 17, 2019
This webinar is designed to help employers understand obligations under laws that may affect employees taking time off from work.

Effective Communication in the Criminal Justice System: Lessons from Case Law

January 24, 2019
This webinar will review recent court cases and settlement agreements related to providing effective communication in the criminal justice system. Participants will also learn about best practices and practical strategies that law enforcement and corrections agencies can use to interact successfully with individuals with hearing, vision, and speech disabilities.

Seeking Adults with Disabilities for Interviews About Health Care Experiences

The Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL) seeks adults with disabilities for interviews about experiences accessing health insurance and health care services. Interview opportunities are open to adults 18 to 63 years old anywhere in the U.S. with any type of disability and/or chronic health condition. People of color and men are encouraged to participate. Interviews will last between 20 and 40 minutes and participants will be compensated for their time. Complete the online screening form, email healthsurvey@ku.edu, or call 855-556-6328 for more information.

ADANN Seeks Input on Serving Older People and Latinos/Hispanics with Disabilities

The ADA National Network (ADANN) is interested in how to better serve older people and Latinos / Hispanics with disabilities. The results of these assessments will help inform outreach to support people with disabilities in understanding their rights and awareness of services.

  • Older Person Service Providers Needs Assessment
    If you support older people with disabilities or medical challenges, we are seeking your input on how older people get and use information about their rights under the ADA.
  • Older Adults Needs Assessment
    We would like to better understand how to ensure older people with disabilities have information about their rights under the ADA. If you are an older person with a disability or an on-going health or medical concern that impacts your ability to participate in your community, we are looking for your input.
  • Latinos / Hispanics ADA Needs Assessment
    We would like to better understand how to reach and support Latinos / Hispanics with disabilities in understanding their rights under the ADA.
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