E-Bulletin January 5, 2021

January 5, 2021

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

Celebrating the Life of the Honorable Richard Thornburgh

This article remembers former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Attorney General Richard “Dick” Thornburgh, a champion in the disability rights movement, who played a crucial role in the passage of the ADA. Mr. Thornburgh died on December 31, 2020.

“Lawmakers Introduce Federal Legislation to Prevent Organ Transplant Discrimination”

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) highlights the introduction of the Charlotte Woodward Organ Transplant Discrimination Prevention Act to uphold the rights of qualified organ transplant candidates who have a disability. Introduced by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Katie Porter (D-CA), the Act prohibits discrimination against individuals based on their disability when seeking an organ transplant. If passed, this legislation would uphold and enforce rights established in the ADA.

Opinion: “We Need a New Court System for People with Intellectual Disabilities Who Get into Trouble”

This article illustrates the ways that the criminal justice system is not typically equipped to handle the issues of people with intellectual disabilities and mental health challenges, and urges the establishment of a new, specialized court with professionals trained to meet the needs of these vulnerable populations.

“MacKenzie Scott Announces Philanthropic Gifts to Hundreds of National Nonprofits, Including Easterseals”

Author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced gifts to nonprofits, including Easterseals, to support life-changing services for Americans with disabilities. In total, 384 organizations will benefit from the donations.

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Employment News

“NationalTrends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) COVID Update November 2020: Surge Takes Its Toll on Jobseekers with Disabilities”

According to a recent update issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD), following months of decline, furloughs increased for people with disabilities in November while continuing to decline for workers without disabilities.

“An Employer’s Guide to Implementing Disability Accommodations in 2021”

This article provides answers to a few of the most common questions employers have about reasonable accommodations, and how to incorporate them in 2021.

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Legal News

“ADA Complainants Argue that Zoom Cannot Charge for Video Conference Closed Captioning”

Two plaintiffs have filed a nationwide class action complaint against Zoom Video Communications, Inc. for its alleged failure to make its conferencing services accessible to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The complaint alleges that the company’s policy of charging $200.00 per hour or more for captioning violates the ADA and prevents individuals with hearing disabilities from effectively using the conferencing service.

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Sports and Recreation News

“8 Pieces of Adaptive Outdoor Gear That Redefine Accessibility”

Recently, a wave of innovative technologies and designs has rendered the outdoors more accessible than ever. This article offers a glimpse at some of today's many adaptive-gear options.

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Arts and Culture News

Opinion: “On Screen and on Stage, Disability Continues To Be Depicted in Outdated, Cliched Ways”

This article highlights the ways that the “vast majority of characters with disabilities, whether they're played by actors with disabilities or not, continue to represent the same outdated tropes.”

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Training, Events, and Opportunities to Participate

Workshop: “Practice Traffic Stops”

January 12 and January 14, 2021

The Arc of Northern Virginia partnered with Fairfax Police, School Board Member Rachna Sizemore Heizer, and Supervisor Lusk to create this workshop, which will provide a non-confrontational opportunity for people with disabilities to learn how to behave if pulled over by a police officer, and an opportunity for officers to gain awareness of drivers with developmental disabilities.

People learning to drive and licensed drivers are welcome. Participants will need to bring a vehicle. A driver may bring a support person, but everyone will stay in their cars and wear masks at all times.

Mid-Atlantic ADA Center Webinar:

Making the Connection: Aging, Transportation, and the ADA
January 26, 2021
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Access Board Announces Schedule for Public Forum on Inclusive Design of Autonomous Vehicles

In Spring 2021, the U.S. Access Board, in partnership with other federal agencies, will host a series of virtual meetings on making autonomous vehicles (AVs) accessible to all passengers, including those with disabilities. The four-part series will provide an open forum where members of the public and stakeholders can discuss considerations, challenges, and solutions in designing inclusive AVs. The sessions are free and open to the public.

  • Accessibility for Passengers with Mobility Disabilities: Entering and Exiting Vehicles
    March 10, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)
  • Accessibility for Passengers with Mobility Disabilities: Maneuvering and Securement in Vehicles
    March 24, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)
  • Communication Accessibility for Passengers with Sensory or Cognitive Disabilities
    April 7, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)
  • Findings, Recommendations, Future Research, and Suggested Next Steps
    April 21, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)

Survey: Impact of COVID-19 on Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury

The New York Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model System Center at Mount Sinai and the Northern New Jersey TBI System Center are conducting a survey to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals who have sustained a TBI.

The brief survey is open to individuals over the age of 18 who have sustained a TBI, and asks how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their physical health, well-being, and mental health. Participants may enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

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