E-Bulletin September 3, 2019

September 3, 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.

Business News

"Welcoming Service Dogs to Your Museum"

This article, written by a museum professional, offers guidance on how to better accommodate service dogs in museums, archives, and collections facilities.

Slideshow: ADA Service Animal Requirements for Business

This new resource, a slideshow developed by the Great Plains ADA Center, provides a basic overview of the ADA service animal requirements for businesses. The slideshow is similar to a fact sheet, but it shares the information in a presentation format with images.

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State and Local Government News

"The Planned Closure of Pennsylvania's State Centers for People with Intellectual Disabilities Receives Mixed Reactions"

The Pennsylvania state Department of Human Services (DHS) announced it plans to close two of the remaining four centers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The closure of the Polk and White Haven State Centers will occur within the next three years, prompting mixed reactions and concerns within the community.

"Why Is There a Braille Message on My E-Scooter?"

As micromobility services expand, advocates have been pushing the industry to include company information that is available to the general public on the devices - such as a phone number or email address - in Braille, too. And more local governments are making it a requirement for companies. This is to help ensure that visually impaired residents have the tools they need to report problems such as abandoned scooters.

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Employment News

"New Program Trains People with Disabilities to Become Caregivers"

Demand for all types of health care aides is on the rise. A new program funded through the D.C. Department of Disability Services called “The DSP Academy” was launched earlier this year to help people with disabilities train to become Direct Service Providers. This program is part of an effort to help meet the caregiver shortage across the country.

New Courses for Working with Older Individuals Who Are Blind

The Older Individuals who are Blind Technical Assistance and Training Center (OIB-TAC) has made available a new set of on-line courses designed for staff who work with older individuals who are blind. The OIB-TAC, located at the National Research & Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (NRTC) at Mississippi University provides training and technical assistance to designated state agencies and others serving older individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

"Corporate Diversity Efforts Often Leave Out an Important Group: People with Disabilities"

This article urges businesses to, “…make an extra effort to connect with workers with disabilities, a ready, capable, and sizable workforce 20 million people strong.” It highlights the importance of disability inclusion in the workplace, as well as some of the obstacles faced by persons with disabilities in obtaining employment.

Working Works Public Service Announcement DVD and Discussion Guides

The Campaign for Disability Employment released a free DVD package to accompany its Working Works public service announcement (PSA). This resource includes an accessible, talking menu DVD with various versions of the PSA, along with three discussion guides to help spark conversations about stay-at-work/return-to-work issues among co-workers, employers, and healthcare professionals.

Taking Disability Into Account: Proactive Recruitment and Hiring Practices

Human Resource, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Diversity and Inclusion professionals can use a variety of innovative practices to help in hiring employees with disabilities. This new Employment Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) policy brief describes key elements of affirmative action programs, examples of how employers have implemented them, and the legal context that permits them to do so.

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Transportation News

"Ride-Hailing Revolution Leaves Some People with Disabilities Behind"

This news report and interview explores the ways that ride-sharing services may fall short in ensuring equal transportation to persons with disabilities.

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ADA Legal News

Wal-Mart Stores East, LP Will Pay $100,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

A Walmart Store in Northwest Washington will pay $100,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to resolve a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC.) The employer was charged with refusing to provide communications accommodations, such as access to sign language interpreters and closed-captioned training videos, to two deaf employees.

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Technology News

Harvard University Astronomy Lab Uses Sound-Based Device to Allow the Visually Impaired to Envision Stars

Staff at the Harvard University astronomy lab have made the mission of accessibility and inclusivity a top priority, pioneering tools and redesigning space to help people with disabilities experience the wonders of astronomy. Two of their newest inventions include a device that allows those with visual impairments to experience solar eclipses, and another to help them understand the differences between stars.

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Universal Design News

"American Society of Landscape Architects Publishes Guide to Universal Design"

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has published a guide to universal design meant to set the bar for universal accessibility in the landscape architecture realm beyond the largely quantitative requirements stipulated by the ADA. The full guide includes sections on applying the lessons of universal design to the design of neighborhoods, streets, parks and plazas, playgrounds, and gardens.

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FHA News

"How Fair Housing Can Affect Your Association"

Condominium and homeowners’ associations are covered by the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and have had discrimination charges filed, or threatened to be filed, against them for FHA violations. The writer of this article explains the importance of associations being able to identify and understand ways they might discriminate, and to take the necessary steps to prevent such claims from happening.

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Training, Events, and Opportunities to Participate

FCC Seeks Comment on Section 504 Accessibility of FCC Programs and Activities

Federal agencies are required to make their programs and activities accessible to people with disabilities in order to comply with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently released a Public Notice seeking comment on the accessibility of the FCC’s programs and activities. Comments should be submitted no later than October 21, 2019.

U.S. Access Board Releases Voluntary Guidelines for Onboard Wheelchairs for Public Comment

The U.S. Access Board has released for public comment advisory guidelines for wheelchairs used on commercial passenger aircraft during flight. These onboard wheelchairs are provided by air carriers as a means of facilitating the transfer of passengers with disabilities to aircraft lavatories since personal wheelchairs cannot be used in the cabin. Comments should be submitted no later than October 21, 2019.

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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