E-Bulletin August 4, 2020

August 4, 2020

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

“Are Communities in the United States Planning for Pedestrians with Disabilities? Findings from a Systematic Evaluation of Local Government Barrier Removal Plans”

Cities with many pedestrian barriers can inhibit community mobility, access to services, and social participation for people with disabilities. This article features highlights from a recent study of cities’ plans to improve accessibility for pedestrians with disabilities. A review of 401 cities revealed a small minority had adequate plans, and among those reporting barriers, an average of 65% of curb ramps and 48% of sidewalks were not accessible

Results of a School Accessibility Survey by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released this report on a national survey of school districts. Findings reveal that two-thirds of U.S public school districts have school buildings that are inaccessible to people with disabilities.

2020 Drive for Inclusion Report Card

BraunAbility, a global mobility vehicle company, recently published the first in a series of annual report cards summarizing the responses from both the disability community and the general population about the state of accessibility and inclusion of individuals with mobility disabilities in the United States.

ADA: 30th Anniversary

July 26, 2020 marked the 30th Anniversary of the signing of the ADA. A number of articles and opinion pieces offered various perspectives on the history and impact of this important piece of civil rights legislation.

Visit our ADA Anniversary page for more information about events, social media campaigns, films, exhibits, articles, and more as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ADA all year long!

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Employment News

“Invisible Disabilities Top of Mind for Employers amid Return to Work”

This article explores employer concerns around accommodating employees with high risk underlying health conditions and mental health disabilities returning to workplaces in the midst of the current pandemic.

“Do’s and Don’ts for Employers Confronted with Employee Mental Health Issues”

This article offers advice on how employers can balance the needs of their businesses with their ADA obligations to accommodate employees with mental health disabilities.

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Legal News

Norfolk Southern to Pay $2.5 Million to Settle Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Systemic Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Norfolk Southern Corporation and Norfolk Southern Railway Company (Norfolk Southern) will pay $2.5 million dollars to 37 workers and furnish significant non-monetary relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the lawsuit, Norfolk Southern’s medical department disqualified workers from employment based on a range of actual or perceived disabilities, without proper consideration of how their conditions might actually affect their ability to perform their jobs safely.

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Health and Wellness News

Study: Most Important Job for Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD Is Interrupting Anxiety Episodes

This article offers the details of a study by researchers at Purdue University, which found that of all the tasks service dogs perform for their veteran owners with PTSD, disrupting anxiety was the most helpful.

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Arts and Culture News

“The Smithsonian’s Director of Accessibility Explains an Inclusive Reopening Strategy as the ADA Turns 30”

This article provides information on how the reopening strategy for the Smithsonian is being used as an opportunity to improve and maintain the accessibility of the museums.

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Training, Events, and Opportunities to Participate

Webinar:
Where Do I File a Complaint? A Quick Review of ADA Enforcement Options

August 11, 2020
12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Join us for a brief overview of how ADA enforcement works and how to file charges of discrimination.

ADA Today Podcast

Check out our latest episode on "COVID-19 and "College" to learn more about how the pandemic is affecting students with disabilities and post-secondary education institutions.

ACL Seeks Input for Strategic Framework for Action

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) seeks input from stakeholders on the “Strategic Framework for Action: State Opportunities to Integrate Services and Improve Outcomes for Older Adults and People with Disabilities.” The Framework aims to support states' efforts to address the holistic needs of older adults and people with disabilities through program coordination and integration with health care financing, and to support partnerships across healthcare and social service organizations. Feedback may be submitted via email to ACLFramework@acl.hhs.gov by August 31, 2020.

The National Down Syndrome Society and Voya Cares to Provide $55,000 in Grants for Entrepreneurs with Down Syndrome

Three $10,000 grants and one $25,000 grant will be awarded this October, in celebration of Down Syndrome Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Eligible individuals with Down syndrome who have innovative business ideas can apply for a “Go Orange” grant. Recipients will be chosen based on the creativity of their business plan, their goals for the future of their business, and the impact they are making in their communities. All applications must be submitted by August 31, 2020.

Center for Disability-Inclusive Community Development Announces First Annual Inclusive Community Development Awards

The Center for Disability-Inclusive Community Development (CDICD) announced its first Annual Inclusive Community Development Awards Program. The purpose is to raise the visibility of financial institutions' and community-based organizations' activities that support low- and moderate-income (LMI) individuals with disabilities in improving their financial stability. The submission deadline is September 7, 2020.

MENTAL Health Innovation Challenge Seeks Tech Solutions to Social Isolation

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have launched the MENTAL Health Innovation Challenge to develop a social engagement clearinghouse.

MENTAL stands for Mobilizing and Empowering the Nation and Technology to Address Loneliness and social isolation. The goal is to develop a platform that increases awareness of, access to, and use of social engagement technologies and programming to help curtail the impact of loneliness and social isolation for people with disabilities, older adults, and other groups. The deadline for participation is September 8, 2020.

U.S. Department of Transportation Inclusive Design Challenge

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the opening of Stage I of the Inclusive Design Challenge. The Challenge seeks innovative design solutions that can enable people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities to use automated vehicles. Stage I concept proposals are due October 30, 2020.

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