E-Bulletin November 10, 2020

November 10, 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

Resources for Veterans with Disabilities and Military Families

The Southeast ADA Center published this webpage to share information and resources, including webinars, guides, factsheets, and other publications related to employment, education, the rights of veterans with and without disabilities, and related topics.

United States flag flying: caption reads Veterans Day Honoring All Who Served

Federal Beneficiaries Have More Time to Register for an Economic Impact Payment

Federal beneficiaries who got their Economic Impact Payment but didn't register to receive a $500 supplemental payment per qualifying child can still register for this additional payment before 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 21, 2020.

Eligible people include those with qualifying children who receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement benefits and Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefits and didn't file a tax return in 2018 or 2019.

“Some People with Disabilities Say They Feel Like 'Second-Class Citizens' When They Try to Vote”

Voters with disabilities regularly face obstacles, ranging from the inconvenient to the impassable, when they try to vote. The coronavirus pandemic has made it unsafe for some to vote in person, but voting by mail is not always accessible. While there are some resources available to voters, many feel disenfranchised by the challenges.

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Employment News

Job Accommodation Network: “Accommodation and Compliance: Low Cost, High Impact”

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) posted the annual update of its report on the cost and benefits of providing workplace accommodations to employees with disabilities.

Research Brief: “Employment for Persons with a Disability: Analysis of Trends During COVID-19 Pandemic”

Researchers with the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) used labor force statistics from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) to explore two key aspects of occupations and industries that were associated with employment outcomes for people with and without disabilities since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic: whether it was possible to perform the job at home (i.e., telework), and whether the job required workers to be in close proximity with others (i.e., contact intensity).

“September 2020 COVID National Trends in Disability Employment Report Update: Americans with Disabilities Strive to Stay in Labor Market”

This article provides an update to the September 2020 National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD). As the pandemic persists, furloughs are converting to job losses for many workers, increasing the number of people actively looking for work, a trend that may reflect ongoing economic challenges.

“Memorandum of Understanding Effective Between Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Justice, and Department of Labor”

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) entered into a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the U.S. Department of Justice. The measure aims to promote interagency coordination in the enforcement of equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws, maximize efficiency, and eliminate duplication and inconsistency among the three agencies.

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Legal News

“Federal Court Upholds Enforcement of Grocery Store’s Face-Covering Policy over Customer Claims of Disability Discrimination”

A Pennsylvania district court denied a plaintiff’s application for a preliminary injunction to modify a grocery store chain’s policy requiring all customers to wear face masks or other face coverings. The court found that the policy did not discriminate against the plaintiff based on his disabilities.

Virginia: “Group Home Operator for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Agrees to Settle ADA Allegations”

United States Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger announced a settlement agreement under the ADA with Good Neighbor Homes, Inc. (GNHI), which operates more than 50 group homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities (I/DD) in Virginia, and is the largest group home operator in Virginia. The settlement agreement resolves allegations that GNHI failed to furnish sign language interpreting services during multiple complex and high stakes interactions with one of its residents, who is deaf.

“Fourth Circuit Says Employee Who Accepted Voluntary Transfer Cannot Maintain ADA Claims”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in a case that arose in Virginia, affirmed that when an employee voluntarily requests a transfer to a new job, and the employer agrees to it, the employee has not experienced an adverse employment action.

“Test Maker to Pay $16 Million for Divulging Students’ Disabilities”

ACT, Inc. agreed this month to settle a 2018 lawsuit brought by students who claimed that information about their disabilities was included on standardized test score reports sent to colleges, and that the information was also sold to various entities that do recruitment and marketing as part of the college admissions process.

Virginia: “U.S. Attorney Announces Establishment of Civil Rights Enforcement Unit”

U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger announced the establishment of a new Civil Rights Enforcement Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA). The new unit institutionalizes and expands EDVA’s existing Civil Rights Enforcement Program.

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Health and Wellness News

Mental Health America Report: Disability and Campus Mental Health

Mental Health America surveyed 471 college students who identified as having mental health disabilities, to find out about their academic experiences and needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of respondents said their needs have changed due to the pandemic, and many do not feel supported by their colleges.

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Arts and Culture News

“Warner Bros. Apologizes After ‘The Witches’ Sparks Backlash from People with Disabilities”

Warner Bros. has apologized after being criticized by people with disabilities over the depiction of Anne Hathaway’s character in “The Witches.” In the recent Robert Zemeckis-directed adaptation, Hathaway’s villainous character, known as the Grand Witch, has missing fingers. Advocates fear the portrayal can perpetuate stereotypes that disabilities are abnormal or scary.

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Travel News

Air Carrier Access Act: “A New Rule Means Some People with Wheelchairs Can't Fly on American Airlines”

A new policy from American Airlines, the largest airline in the United States, has placed a limit on the weight of a wheelchair. Now, many power wheelchairs are deemed too heavy to fly on smaller regional jets.

Research Study from Open Doors Organization: “Economic Impact of Disability Travel”

The Open Doors Organization (ODO) released key findings from its 2020 Market Study on Adult Travelers with Disabilities. The nationwide survey was conducted by The Harris Poll as a follow-up to ODO’s previous studies of 2002, 2005, and 2015. The new data show that the disability travel market has a greater economic impact on the travel industry than ever before.

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Architectural Barriers Act News

“Access Board Resolves 55 Architectural Barriers Act Cases Through Corrective Action in FY 2020”

The U.S. Access Board provided their annual compiled list of Architectural Barriers Act cases resolved through corrective action for fiscal year 2020 (October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020). Cases involved post offices, military and veterans’ facilities, recreation facilities, and other federal or federally funded facilities.

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Fair Housing Act News

HUD's Implementation of the Fair Housing Act's Disparate Impact Standard

A new rule amends the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2013 disparate impact standard regulation, revising the burden-shifting test for determining whether a given practice has an unjustified discriminatory effect.

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Training, Events, and Opportunities to Participate

Mid-Atlantic ADA Center Webinar:
Including People with PTSD: A Personal Perspective

November 23, 2020
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Virtual Event: The National Center for Disability Entrepreneurship at The Viscardi Center’s First-Ever PitchFest Competition for Founders with Disabilities

November 19, 2020
The Viscardi Center will host its first-ever National Center for Disability Entrepreneurship [NCDE] Virtual PitchFest Competition. This event features NCDE's 12 founders with disabilities from across the country, pitching to a panel of judges in a battle to win thousands of dollars in equity-free cash grants, as well as pro-bono mentoring and special prizes.

Virtual Conference: “Shaping New Technologies to Create a More Accessible World for People with Blindness and Visual Impairments”

December 2 – 3, 2020
Sight Tech Global is the first global, virtual conference dedicated to fostering discussion among technology pioneers on how rapid advances in AI and related technologies will fundamentally alter the landscape of assistive technology and accessibility. Registration for the event is free.

Financial Institutions and Accessibility – Person with a Disability Survey 2020

The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) and the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) invite people with disabilities to participate in a survey about financial institution services, and whether and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted financial accessibility for people with disabilities. The survey should take approximately 20-25 minutes to complete.

ADA Today Podcast

Check out our latest episodes:

Reassignment as a Reasonable Accommodation in Employment

COVID-19, Face Mask Policies, and Title II and Title III of the ADA

COVID-19 and College

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