News items will help keep you up to date on disability related developments, resources, and other emerging issues. 

You can access the current and recent issues of the Center's ADA In Focus newsletter under the news menu above. The ADA In Focus newsletter is published three times each year. You can also contact our office at (800) 949-4232 Voice/TTY to request a hard copy, accessible formats, or go to the newsletter page to read current or past newsletter issues online. Please note that old newsletter issues may contain inactive links or outdated information.

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Hot Topics

October 12, 2015

The Survey of Riders with Disabilities on the Accessibility of Public Transportation is designed to improve understanding of the accessibility of public transportation for people with disabilities, and to gather evidence to support improvements. We want to hear about the experiences of riders with disabilities in using public surface or subway transportation, such as fixed route bus systems, ADA complementary paratransit, rapid rail (subway-type), light rail (streetcar-type), or other public transportation options.

The online survey is available in either English or Spanish (look for the drop-down box in the upper right hand corner to select Spanish).

Alternatively, the survey may be completed by phone, in either English or Spanish. To complete the survey by phone in English, please contact the research team at 312-996-9655. To complete the survey by phone in Spanish, please contact Ancel Montenelli at 312-413-1439. Please mention that you are calling about the ADA transportation survey.

The study is being conducted by the ADA Participatory Action Research Consortium (ADA-PARC), a collaborative research project of seven ADA Regional Centers, including our own Mid-Atlantic Center.

October 5, 2015

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published its ADA Circular to provide guidance for transit agencies. The document explains ADA requirements in detail, using real-world examples of good practices to help ensure accessible services for passengers with disabilities. The Circular also provides illustrations of common accessibility problems and solutions, information about accessible vehicles, rail cars, and vessels covered by the FTA’s rules, and a variety of sample policies and forms, such as a checklist for newly constructed or altered transportation facilities, and sample paratransit eligibility determination letters.

April 18, 2017
PneuChair: Air-Powered Wheelchair Is Lightweight and Waterproof

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) have created a new wheelchair design that’s powered by compressed air.

April 18, 2017
Aging with a Disability Factsheet: How to Bounce Back

The latest in the Aging Well with a Disability Factsheet Series offers information and resources on how to build resilience – the ability to bounce back and keep going after a stressful experience.

People with Serious Mental Illness May Be at Higher Risk for Obesity and Diabetes

Recent research found that individuals with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were significantly more likely to experience obesity and/or diabetes.

April 18, 2017
Guidelines for Successful Transition of People with Mental or Substance Use Disorders from Jail and Prison: Implementation Guide

This publication from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides behavioral health, correctional, and community stakeholders with examples of successful strategies for transitioning people with mental or substance use disorders from institutional correctional settings into the community.

April 18, 2017
EARN: 501 Info Center

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) developed a new section of its website to offer information on recent updates to regulations implementing Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 501 addresses employment for individuals with disabilities in federal agencies. The new “Info Center” includes a primer on the regulatory changes, a fact sheet and policy brief, frequently asked questions, and more.

April 18, 2017
Disability Counts Data Finder

The Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural) at the University of Montana developed this resource to provide a one-stop shop for downloading disability data for every county across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

“What Is Autistic Self-Advocacy?”

April is Autism Awareness Month, a great time to learn about the self-advocacy movement in the autism community, which seeks acceptance of neurodiversity.

“Friendlier Skies: Airlines Are Making Travel Easier for People with Autism”

This article reports on programs and initiatives that aim to make traveling easier for individuals with autism and/or other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

April 18, 2017
Business Challenge: Accessible Websites, Kiosks, and Other Technologies

A number of recent articles have focused on the issues, both legal and practical, surrounding the accessibility of websites, vending machines, kiosks, and other technologies being used by businesses to provide goods and services to customers.

  • “Websites, Kiosks, and Other Self-Service Equipment in Franchising: Legal Pitfalls Posed by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act”
  • “ADA Regs for Kiosks Being Defined by Lawsuits, Not Legislation”
  • “Is That Kiosk ADA Compliant? Who Knows?”