E-Bulletin: March 12, 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.

“Why Black Disabled History Matters”

February is Black History Month, and Dikko Yusuf reminds us that “Black disabled history is an aspect of Black history, which informs world history.” This article recognizes the achievements of Black disabled leaders, which may help inform systems change for current and future generations of disabled people around the world. 

March: Brain Injury Awareness Month

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) leads the nation in observing Brain Injury Awareness Month, and this year the Association has a new awareness campaign, advocacy initiatives, events, fundraising opportunities, new publications, and more.

Additionally, a special issue of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation spotlights research related to traumatic Brain injury (TBI) and chronic pain. The preface and selected articles are available free.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) and partners work together to create a social media campaign that highlights the many ways in which people with and without disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities.

Check out these additional articles:

A blog post from the Administration for Community Living (ACL), which highlights the progress made and barriers that remain in creating inclusive communities.

The National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) collected information on how competitive integrated employment can lead to employment success for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Ensuring Students With Disabilities Can Access Your Workplace and Thrive Once There

This article features an interview with Dr. Susanne M. Bruyère, professor of disability studies and academic director of the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University. Dr. Bruyère urges employers to include disability in their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, and outlines a number of positive strategies employers can use to improve the “mutual benefit” of employing workers with disabilities.

“Overcoming Poverty and Addiction, He Passed the Bar Exam. Then His Prescription Got in the Way.”

This article recounts the story of a man who believed he was discriminated against due to his use of medication to treat opioid use disorder, and outlines efforts by advocates working to combat the “interference with people’s medication [that] happens regularly in the criminal legal system and child welfare system, as well as employment, housing and even health care settings.”

“U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Releases New Resources on Students with Disabilities”

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released new resources for students, parents and families, and schools, addressing civil rights of students with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 504 prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities by institutions that accept federal financial assistance, which includes almost all public schools and public and private institutions of higher education.

The new resources address common medical conditions that may be considered disabilities under Section 504: asthma, diabetes, food allergies, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). These resources, which are applicable to all levels of education, explain when these medical conditions trigger protections under Section 504, what kind of modifications an educational institution may need to make to accommodate students, and what an institution may need to do to remedy past discrimination.

Virginia: Annandale High School Music Teacher Wins 2024 GRAMMY Music Educator Award

Annandale High School music teacher and Orchestra Director Annie Ray, whose work with children with disabilities has drawn praise, is the winner of the 2024 GRAMMY Music Educator Award.

Ray thanked her colleagues for their support and student Kevin Juramillo for inspiring Crescendo Orchestra, which serves students with severe developmental or intellectual disabilities.

“Most of all I want to thank my students to whom this award actually belongs,” she said.

Factsheet: Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Figures at a Glance

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) released this factsheet, with information on nearly 37,000 people with traumatic spinal cord injuries.

Gallaudet: “Staff, Faculty Featured in New York Times Article”

This article reminds us that spoken English and American Sign Language can’t be translated verbatim. Languages have their unique jokes, puns, and “wordplay.”

Webinar: Intentional Inclusion: Creating Workplaces Where People with Disabilities Thrive

March 20, 2024
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern
This webinar will offer strategies for creating a workplace culture that is welcoming and affirming to applicants and employees with disabilities, helping employers benefit from a wider pool of talent, skills, and creative business solutions.

Request for Information on Rehabilitation Research Plan

The National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published is requesting input on the development of the next NIH Research Plan on Rehabilitation. NCMRR seeks guidance from the community of stakeholders in several areas, including potential priorities and emerging areas of science that will impact research on rehabilitation. Comments must be submitted by March 29th.

DOT Issues NPRM to Ensure Safe Accommodations for Airline Passengers Who Use Wheelchairs

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would expand the rights and protections of airline passengers who use wheelchairs and strengthen DOT’s rule implementing the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). The DOT proposes to mandate annual, hands-on training for airline staff and contractors who physically assist passengers and who handle passengers’ wheelchairs; allow passengers to choose the company that will repair or replace their wheelchairs if they are mishandled (with the airline covering the costs); and clarify that airlines must provide prompt, safe, and dignified assistance to all passengers. The deadline for filing comments will be 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

ConnectionsRX: A Study on Community Participation for Young Adults with Serious Mental Illnesses

This study seeks participants between the ages of 18 and 30 who have a diagnosis of a serious mental illness (bipolar disorder, major depression, or a schizophrenia spectrum disorder), understand English, have cell phone access, and are willing to participate in a social media peer support group and a distance-based community participation intervention.