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 Please note that old newsletter issues may contain inactive links or outdated information.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.

October 31, 2017
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.

National Survey about Accessible Parking and Placard Abuse

This survey is for people with disabilities who use, or are eligible to use, accessible parking. The anonymous survey should take about 10-15 minutes to complete. The survey closes November 1, 2017.

October 31, 2017
National Disability Policy: 2017 Progress Report

This year’s report from the National Council on Disability (NOD) is organized around the intersection of disability and poverty. The Council, calling poverty “the common thread that continues to compound many of the core concerns for people with disabilities,” examines the reasons people with disabilities are often destined to live in poverty and experience high unemployment despite existing regulations and policies geared toward improving their lives.

The report includes an overview of several emerging and promising practices for achieving economic self-sufficiency, as well as recommendations for policymakers.

October 31, 2017
"Focus on Disability Employment this Month"

This article reminds employers that October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), is a good time to review policies to make sure disability inclusion efforts are addressed.

Apprenticeship and the American Dream

This blog post touts the benefits of apprenticeship programs for youth, including those with disabilities, and highlights the experience of Philadelphia native Derek Schwartz, who is working in a good job following his own apprenticeship.

Multiple Factors Affect Employment for Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions

This research brief examines the high unemployment rates for young people with mental health conditions and the various additional factors, such as gender, race, and education level, which can add to the challenges these young people face in finding and maintaining employment.

October 31, 2017
“Federal Court Declines to Overturn $780,000 Jury Verdict”

This article reports on a recent decision supporting a verdict in favor of an individual who applied for Social Security benefits, claiming she was too disabled to work, and simultaneously brought an ADA case against her employer. In such cases, individuals must explain the “apparent contradiction” between claims that they are qualified workers under the ADA, and yet eligible for Social Security benefits based on inability to work.

The court found the plaintiff had sufficiently explained her position in this case, noting that she was qualified and able to work as long as she was reasonably accommodated, but when her employer took away her accommodation, she became unable to work.

“12 Philly Restaurants Reach Compliance Agreements to Remove ADA Barriers”

Twelve Philadelphia area restaurants will be making a variety of changes to improve accessibility.

October 24, 2017

Volume 21, Number 3

ADA In Focus is published three times yearly by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center. It is also available by request in large print, Braille, audio CD, and computer disk. To obtain copies in other formats, contact us.

October 24, 2017
Community Spotlight:
Pittsburgh’s “Oakland For All”

Oakland For All - Beyond Accessible is an initiative promoting accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood. Oakland, home to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, is an urban area with a lively business district.

Oakland For All (OFA), founded in 2015 in honor of the 25th anniversary of the ADA, is facilitated by the Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) and the Oakland Transportation Management Association (OTMA). OFA is a collaboration of stakeholders, advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, universities, and businesses. Their mission statement is "Together, we are opening a pathway to a community without barriers." 

Georgia Petropoulus, Executive Director of the OBID, answered some questions recently about Oakland For All.

How did your organization get involved?