E-Bulletin: January 16, 2024

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.

TU Collaborative Calendar: 20 Years of Inclusion

The Temple University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses (TU Collaborative) released the 2024 TU Collaborative Calendar, 20 Years of Inclusion: Celebrating 20 Years of the TU Collaborative. Each month, the calendar focuses on a different topic, from recreation to storytelling, and includes insights from research and practical strategies for engagement and reflection. Calendar users may sign up for monthly emails to receive related resources, discussion prompts, and reminders to help them stay connected throughout the year.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Check out these resources to learn more about how to recognize and combat human trafficking:

Truckers Against Trafficking’s Busing on the Lookout (BOTL) project offers free industry-specific training, toolkits, and posters for transportation workers.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) offers resources and information to combat human trafficking.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign offers educational materials for the public, law enforcement, and industry partners.

To report suspicious behavior, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733. Help end human trafficking!

AMC Apologizes to N.C. Civil Rights Leader Who Brought His Own Chair and Was Removed from Theater Screening ‘The Color Purple’

AMC Theatres apologized to a civil rights leader who was escorted out of a screening of “The Color Purple” because he brought his own chair, which he uses for an arthritic disability. 

Justice Department Publishes NPRM on Accessibility of Medical Diagnostic Equipment

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update the regulations for Title II of the ADA and establish requirements that state and local governments would have to follow to ensure the accessibility of medical diagnostic equipment.

A fact sheet from DOJ outlines the NPRM, which is open for public comments until February 12, 2024.

Justice Department Files Statement of Interest in Lawsuit Concerning Treatment for Gender Dysphoria in Correctional Settings

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a statement of interest in a lawsuit brought in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The lawsuit is challenging the denial of treatment for gender dysphoria in a correctional setting. The statement explains that gender dysphoria falls within the ADA’s definition of “disability,” and affirms that correctional institutions cannot deny medically appropriate care for people with this condition.

OMB Memo: Strengthening Digital Accessibility and the Management of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released updated guidance related to the implementation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires federal executive agencies to ensure access to websites, mobile applications, and other digital services. The guidance outlines steps that agencies can take to improve access for the public and federal employees.

Policy Statement on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs

The U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services issued this joint statement to highlight renewed commitment to ensuring children with disabilities are included in high-quality early childhood programs. The statement outlines legal obligations and opportunities to build partnerships and improve access at local, state, and national levels.

“The National Issue of Criminalizing Our Mentally Ill”

The mental health care system in the United States is dysfunctional, according to law enforcement and mental health care advocates.

“We’re the greatest country in the world, but we leave people behind and then we pretend like they don’t exist,” said Sheriff Tony Thompson of Iowa’s Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office.

“Overall Rates of Stroke Decreasing, but Racial Inequity Worsens for Black Americans, New Study Finds”

Although rates of strokes in the adult population have generally decreased over the last several decades, the racial inequity gap persists, according to a new study.

“Cancer Patients Face Frightening Delays in Treatment Approvals”

This article reports on study findings and personal experiences related to government or private insurance policies that require pre-authorization for medical tests, treatments, medications, and other health care services. Data suggest that delays and denials may sometimes be unnecessary, leading to anxiety, negative health outcomes, and financial consequences for those affected.

“More Adults Sought Help for ADHD During Pandemic, Contributing to Drug Shortages”

An increase in prescriptions to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), coupled with manufacturing problems, have contributed to shortages that are frustrating patients and doctors.

“The Biggest Assistive Technology and Accessibility Triumphs of 2023”

Last year saw both technological advancements and unwelcome changes, and the realm of digital accessibility has likewise seen “immense successes and unfortunate failures.”

“A Disability Advocate Preserves His Voice with iPhone”

This article highlights Apple’s new speech accessibility features.

“’Barbie’ Now Has ASL as an Option and the Reactions Are Beautiful”

The hit film “Barbie” became available to stream on Max with an additional feature: American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation.

Winter ADA Conference: Virtual

February 5 – 7, 2024
This virtual training offers multiple sessions on the ADA and disability-related issues. ASL Interpreters and Real-Time Captioning (CART) are provided for all sessions. Registration closes on January 26th.

Seeking Public Comments: NPRM on Accessibility of MDE

The U.S. Department of Justice published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Accessibility of Medical Diagnostic Equipment (MDE) of State and Local Government Entities. The public can submit comments until February 12, 2024.

Seeking Participants for Study on Parents with SMI

The Temple University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Community Living and Participation of People with Serious Mental Illness seeks participants for a study focused on helping parents with serious mental illnesses (SMI) participate in meaningful activities with their children. Participants must be 18 years or older; have a diagnosis of schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, or depression; and have a desire to engage in more meaningful family activities with their children.

Eligible participants will be asked to complete 3 research interviews of 90 minutes each and will receive a $20 gift card for each interview completed. Participants may also be enrolled in an online program to support them with ideas and make plans to participate in more recreation with their children.