E-Bulletin March 30, 2021

March 30, 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

State and County Maps Provide Statistics on Disability

Mathematica’s Center for Studying Disability Policy recently created interactive state disability maps that reveal important patterns in state- and county-level prevalence of disability among working-age adults across the United States, as well as how that prevalence compares with Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) participation rates.

“People with Disabilities Are Experiencing Barriers to Covid-19 Vaccination”

This article highlights the challenges that people with disabilities are reporting with accessing COVID-19 vaccine appointments and sites. It also provides guidance on how accessibility may be improved. 

12 Things Disabled People Want Their Nondisabled Friends to Know

This article lists 12 suggestions provided by people with disabilities after being asked to share what they wished people without disabilities knew or understood.

“Living with a Disability Is Very Expensive – Even with Government Assistance”

Using data from four nationally representative surveys, this article provides an estimate of the extra costs associated with living with a disability for Americans ages 18 to 69 years old.

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Business News

“Tommy Hilfiger Ramps up Adaptive Fashion. Who’s Next?”

Mainstream brands have been slow to embrace adaptive design, but Tommy Hilfiger has stood apart, and has proof it’s working.

Starbucks Offers Aira, Creating Accessible Experience for Customers Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

Starbucks, in partnership with San Diego-based Aira Tech Corp, now offers the Aira service for free in all U.S. stores. Through a smartphone app, Aira connects people who are blind or have low-vision to trained visual interpreters who provide visual information.

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Employment News

“Accommodating Employees with COVID-19-Related Symptoms”

This recent article from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers guidance on ways to accommodate employees who are experiencing long-terms effects of COVID-19.

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Legal News

DC Court Denies Uber’s Motion to Dismiss ADA Discrimination Complaint

A judge in the District of Columbia District Court recently issued an opinion denying Uber Technologies' motion to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit brought under the ADA and the District of Columbia Human Rights Act (DCHRA).

3rd Circuit Denies Appeal, Refuses to Revive Worker's ADA Suit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (covering Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and the Virgin Islands) refused to revive a suit from a medical assistant who was not allowed to return to work after taking leave for cancer treatment, saying the clinic that employed her was justified in firing her after she ran out of medical leave.

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Education News

“Disability Disclosure in the Classroom”

A professor shares her thoughts about the potential benefits and drawbacks of disclosing her disabilities to her students.

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Health and Wellness News

New Mental Health Resources from the National Institute of Mental Health

The National Institute of Mental Health now has a resource page with brochures and fact sheets on mental health disorders and related topics for patients and their families, health professionals, and the public.

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Arts and Culture News

“Disability Rights Film ‘Crip Camp’ Nominated for Oscar”

"Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution" has been nominated for an Academy Award in the category of best documentary feature. The film, produced by former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, offers a look at the emergence of the disability rights movement.

“The Fight to Make ‘Sound of Metal’”

This article highlights the roadblocks to the making of “Sound of Metal,” a film drama about a heavy metal drummer with a history of addiction who becomes deaf, then struggles to reassemble his life.

“Interpreting Our Disabled Heritage: Disability and the National Park Service”

This blog post reflects on the process of writing an annotated bibliography on American disability for the National Park Service (NPS) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, nationwide protests against police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement. The bibliography was developed as part of an effort to embrace the culture and history of people with disabilities represented in national parks, historic sites, monuments, and battlefields.

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Training, Events, and Opportunities to Participate

Access Technology in the Workplace Study

The National Research and Training Center (NRTC) on Blindness and Low Vision is recruiting people with blindness or low vision to be part of a five-year study about the use of mainstream and assistive technology (AT), together referred to as access technology. Interested participants must complete a screening survey online.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Outcome Measures Interviews

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Home and Community-Based Outcomes Measures (RTC/OM) is recruiting participants for a field study to test measures of how well home and community-based services (HCBS) are helping people with a variety of disabilities live the lives they want.

Dingell, Hassan, Casey, Brown Release Draft Proposal for HCBS Access Act, Seek Stakeholder Feedback

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released a discussion draft of the HCBS Access Act and are seeking stakeholder feedback. The proposal seeks to mandate home and community-based services (HCBS) under the Medicaid program and create national, minimum requirements for these services.

2021 ADA National Network ADA State of the Science Virtual Conference

April 13-15, 2021
To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the ADA, this year’s conference will highlight research related to successes and challenges in fulfilling the promise of the ADA. Each day of the virtual conference will feature a keynote speaker and research presentations focusing on a unique theme. 

2021 National Survey on Health and Disability

The Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL) is conducting this survey to understand how access to health care and insurance, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, may be affecting the lives of people with disabilities. The survey is open to U.S. adults over 18 years old, with any disability and any type of health care coverage, including no coverage. For more information, call 855-556-6328 (Voice/TTY) or email healthsurvey@ku.edu. Participants will have a chance to win a $100 gift card. The survey closes April 30th, 2021.

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.

  • 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)

“The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Announces 2nd Annual Reeve Summit 2021: Where Care, Cure and Community Connect”

April 27 - 29, 2021
This VIRTUAL event will touch on topics and themes relevant to the paralysis community, bringing together health professionals, advocates, community members and caregivers to brainstorm a future for people with disabilities defined by access, inclusion and innovation.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Older Adults Home Modification Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $30 million in grant funds and training resources to non-federal entities to establish the Older Adults Home Modification Grant Program. State and local government agencies and nonprofit organization may apply for funds to implement programs that make home modifications and limited repairs to help older, low-income homeowners "age in place." The application deadline is May 4, 2021.

“Office of Civil Rights Seeks Information on Addressing Disability Discrimination in Health Care and Child Welfare Contexts”

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Request for Information (RFI) on disability discrimination in health care and child welfare contexts, especially in relation to organ transplantation, life-saving or life-sustaining care, health care value assessments, crisis standards of care at state or provider levels, suicide prevention and treatment, availability of auxiliary aids and accessible medical equipment, and discrimination against parents and prospective parents with disabilities involved with the child welfare system.

ADA National Network Launches 30th Anniversary Celebration

The ADA National Network (ADANN) is celebrating 30 years of providing training, technical assistance, and guidance on the ADA. Throughout the year, the ADANN will be highlighting its services, success stories, and vision for the next 30 years. Visit the ADANN to learn more and find your regional ADA Center.

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