1. A New Perspective on Disability Facts and Figures. In preparation for the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July, the U.S. Census Bureau released its collection of the most recent data pertaining to Americans with disabilities. The numbers are striking. Approximately 57 million Americans have a disability. Since this figure may be difficult to comprehend, let’s take a look at some facts for comparison: There are more people with disabilities living in America than the entire population of Canada or the Caribbean. The number of Americans with vision impairments is comparable to the entire population of Switzerland, and there are more Americans with hearing impairments than in all of Denmark, Paraguay or Hong Kong. If you take the population of Ireland and cut it in half, that’s roughly the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s or other neurocognitive disorders. Additionally, more Americans with disabilities require the assistance of others to perform basic activities of daily living than the entire population of Greece.
- Title I requires employers with 15 or more employees to treat qualified individuals with disabilities equally in all stages of employment. From the hiring process to full employment, this includes compensation, benefits, trainings, promotions and other aspects, such as offering reasonable accommodations to workers with disabilities. This section also restricts hiring managers from asking certain questions about an applicant’s disability during the hiring process or retaliating against someone for opposing discriminatory employment practices.
- Title II prohibits public entities like state or local government agencies from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. All programs and services, such as public transportation, recreational activities, courts and town meetings, should be available to people with disabilities. In addition, state and local government buildings must be accessible, and accommodations should be available to communicate effectively with those who have vision, speech or hearing disabilities.
- Title III requires public accommodations and commercial facilities to offer equal access and treatment, effective communication and removal of existing barriers for people with disabilities. Examples of such facilities include restaurants, retail stores, hotels, movie theaters, private schools, convention centers, doctors' offices, homeless shelters and recreational facilities. Any altered or newly constructed buildings must follow architectural and design standards to ensure accessibility. Additionally, classes and examinations for professional, educational or trade-related purposes, licensing and certifications should be accessible to people with disabilities or alternative arrangements must be offered.
- Under Title IV, telecommunications companies must establish telecommunications relay services for callers with hearing and speech disabilities.
- Title V includes various provisions that are not necessarily covered by other titles, but have been used to clarify the application of the law. For example, this section notes that the ADA does not invalidate or override any other federal, state or local laws that provide equal or greater protections for people with disabilities. It also defines conditions that are not covered under the term “disability,” as defined by the ADA.
3. Preserving Our History. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This quote, spoken by philosopher George Santayana, reflects the missions of both the ADA Legacy Project and the Disability Visibility Project. The ADA Legacy Project has a threefold mission: to preserve the history of the disability rights movement, celebrate the impact of legislation like the ADA and educate the public on improving inclusion and equal rights for those with disabilities. In partnership with StoryCorps, the aim of the Disability Visibility Project is to record the stories of those in the disability community. You can participate in the project until July 2015 by attending a recording session in the San Francisco Bay area, Chicago, Atlanta or one of the Mobile Tour locations. All stories will be archived by The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. You can also visit adalegacy.com to find ADA events or programs near you and prepare for the 25th anniversary of the ADA next year. There’s even a countdown calendar!
4. Job Accommodations enable people with disabilities to perform essential job functions, be productive and accomplish work tasks with greater ease and independence. Examples include modifications such as ergonomic desk chairs, reserved parking, flexible schedules, telecommuting, alternate workstations and periodic rest, food or bathroom breaks. According to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a free source of expert one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues, nearly 60 percent of the accommodations needed by workers with disabilities cost absolutely nothing, and only 36 percent of employers incurred a one-time cost of roughly $500. JAN's publication, the Employees' Practical Guide to Requesting and Negotiating Reasonable Accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) summarizes the provisions of the ADA, common accommodation issues and JAN's practical solutions for resolving them. For additional guidance on reasonable accommodations and enforcement, visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website.
5. The Rights of Pregnant Workers are generally protected by three laws: the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Although pregnancy is not considered a disability under the ADAAA, pregnancy-related impairments, such as gestational diabetes, severe nausea, sciatica or preeclampsia, may be recognized as a disability and could require an accommodation. Nursing mothers also have protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, 10 states and two cities have implemented laws requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy. These include Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas and West Virginia, in addition to New York City and Philadelphia. The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund’s interactive map details pregnancy discrimination laws, as well as breastfeeding and leave rights, in each state. An article from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “Accommodating Pregnant Employees,” highlights real-life situations and offers helpful suggestions on reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. If you feel you have been discriminated against, visit the EEOC’s Pregnancy Discrimination page, which provides contact and other useful information about how to file a complaint.
6. Does Your School Pass with Flying Colors? Students with disabilities attending post-secondary schools are protected from discrimination by both the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In accordance with these laws, a school must make its programs, including its extracurricular activities, accessible to students with disabilities in an integrated setting. This includes providing accessible architecture, such as classrooms and housing, accessible transportation and auxiliary aids and services, if requested. Examples of auxiliary aids include interpreters, electronic readers and talking calculators. A student must disclose his or her disability to the school in order to receive these accommodations; however, if no accommodations are needed, then students are not required to disclose this information. When choosing a school, students with disabilities should consider factors such as the type of services already in place, accommodations they will require and the school’s overall attitude and reputation towards providing accommodations. Students should talk to their school’s ADA coordinator, Section 504 coordinator or Disability Services coordinator for more information or if problems arise.
7. Get the 5-Star Accessibility Treatment. The ADA (i.e., Title III) requires all hotels and motels in the U.S. to make their facilities equally accessible to people with disabilities. There are two types of accessible guest rooms: those with “mobility” features and others with “communication” features. For guests with mobility impairments, roll-in showers and grab bars, lower counters and closet bars are a few of the structural features that should be offered. For guests who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, hotels and motels are required to provide rooms equipped with visual notification devices, telephone amplifiers and TDDs (Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf). According to the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, accessible guest rooms must be dispersed among different classes of guest rooms and provide choices in the type of guest rooms, number of beds and other amenities comparable to those offered to other guests. A fact sheet from the Northwest ADA Center, “Accessibility for People with Disabilities at Hotels and Places of Lodging,” gives an overview of the different elements accessible hotels should include. For more tips on finding an accessible hotel room, read the post, “Disability Travel...a Dream or a Reality?,” on Disability.Blog.
8. Accessible Public Transportation, such as buses, trains, subway systems, paratransit and ferries, makes it possible for people with disabilities to get to work, medical appointments and social activities in their communities. According to the U.S. Census 2009 American Community Survey, six percent of workers with disabilities age 16 and older use public transportation to commute to work. Common accessibility features include accessible parking, elevators, raised lettering and Braille signage, automatic doors, wheelchair turnstiles and lifts, public address systems, curb cuts, elevator status announcements and TDDs. Air travel is regulated under the Air Carrier Access Act, which prohibits domestic and foreign passenger airlines from discriminating against people with mental or physical disabilities. For additional information on transportation, read the May 2014 Disability Connection newsletter, “10 Things You Need to Know about Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” or read Easter Seals Project ACTION’s Glossary of Disability and Transit Terms.
9. Technology and the ADA. Let’s first discuss the difference between accessible technology and assistive technology. Accessible technology can be used by people with a wide range of abilities, whether they use assistive technology or not. Assistive technology allows individuals with disabilities to perform tasks or functions they might otherwise be unable to do. For example, someone with low vision may not be able to read a book without a video camera magnifier. Under the ADA, governments and public entities must provide devices temporarily to help individuals with disabilities access their programs and services. For example, a movie theater should loan you an assistive listening device if you have a hearing disability. The Assistive Technology, Accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act brochure from the ILR School at Cornell University explains more fully how assistive technology is covered under the ADA. If you are interested in learning more, the ADA Online Learning Center offers webinars on a variety of technology-related topics.
10. People You Should Know. The enactment of the ADA would not have happened without the hard work of these advocates and many others:
- Justin Dart, Jr., who is known as the “father” of the ADA, held public forums across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico at his own expense to converse with people with disabilities and advocate for their civil rights.
- Dr. Fred Fay, who was a quadriplegic and prominent advocate for disability rights, won support for not only the ADA, but also the federal Architectural Barriers Act of 1968.
- Patrisha Wright, who is known as "the General" of the ADA, was also a driving force behind the Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1986 and amendments to the Fair Housing Act, which prevented landlords from discriminating against people with disabilities.
- Robert Burgdorf, Jr., a professor at the University of the District of Columbia, wrote the original version of the ADA that was introduced in Congress.
- Lex Frieden, the former director of the National Council on the Handicapped (now the National Council on Disability), helped craft the language of the ADA. The concept of “reasonable accommodation” stemmed from his experience in college when his classes were moved to a building that could better accommodate his wheelchair.
- Tony Coelho, a former Congressman, was the primary author and sponsor of the ADA. He stated the law was urgently needed to prevent the discrimination against individuals with disabilities that he experienced as a person with epilepsy.
- Senator Tom Harkin, whose brother is deaf, authored, sponsored and introduced the ADA to the Senate. He considers it to be his signature legislative achievement and continues to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities.
- Evan Kemp, Jr., a former chairman of the EEOC, worked closely with President George H.W. Bush during the ADA deliberations. He even wrote several of the President’s speeches for disability-related events.
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The P-12: Office of Special Education has developed resources to assist parents of children with disabilities to have a better understanding of the Common Core Learning Standards. These resources include a set of questions that parents can bring to the Committee on Special Education and to their child's teachers as well as definitions of common terms used.
In an effort to assist districts to better serve parents, translations of these resources are now available in Spanish, Korean, Russian, Chinese, and Haitian Creole at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/commoncore/instructionCCLS-parents-614.htm.
Please share as appropriate. Thank you.
New York State Education Department
P-12: Office of Special Education
89 Washington Avenue, Room 309 EB
Albany, NY 12234
Vickie Rubin, M.S. Ed. Phone - 716-880-3880
ECDC provides neutral information through our listserve, we do not endorse a particular approach or agency; we send information as an FYI only.
Early Childhood Direction Center
3131 SHERIDAN DRIVE, People Inc Building
AMHERST, NEW YORK 14226
(PEOPLE INC. BUILDING)
FAX: 716- 836-1252
The only acceptable R-word is “respect”.
The West Side Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. is looking for visually and hearing impaired tenants for their rebuilt, historic, apartments located at: WHITE'S LIVERY APARTMENTS, 428 Jersey St., Buffalo, NY 14213.
If interested, please call (716) 885-2344 ext. 21 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, you may scroll to bottom of this page and click on brochure and application.
AUTISM SERVICE, INC.
In-Home Clinical Services
For Children with Autism Living at Home with their Families
About the service
Autism Services, Inc. has recently redesigned their in-home clinical services program to focus strictly on behavior support and interventions. Although other clinical services are extremely beneficial to children on the spectrum, we have found that behavior services are what families truly need in the home environment. Through this program, a behavior clinician will come to the home to work with the parent and child on how to deal with difficult behaviors. Visits will take place at times that are most convenient for the family. Scheduling is flexible as we offer evenings and Saturday hours to meet the needs of the family.
The first appointment will be held with the parent or primary caregiver. At this time, the behavior clinician will gather information on the behaviors, discuss the expectations of the program, and answer any questions the family may have. The next two to three appointments will be the behavior clinician observing the child in their natural setting and gathering data on the problem behaviors. After the observations are complete, the clinician will give a recommendation to the family on the amount and duration of appointments that will be most beneficial for the child (for example, 3X per week, 2 hours per appointment). The visits will gradually fade as families begin to utilize new approaches to improve behaviors at home. Typically the service is provided for 6 months depending on need.
The behavior clinician will then develop an appropriate behavior plan with the family to use at home to better manage difficult behaviors. The clinician will assist the parents and caregivers with the implementation and modification of plans as needed.
In order for behavior modification to be successful, it is imperative that a team approach is taken. The behavior clinician will work with and gather information from the following:
The Child: The behavior clinician will take time in the beginning to get to know the child. This helps in developing appropriate behavior plans that will be most effective. One-on-one time spent together may include playing, talking, and/or engaging in activities based on the current behavior that is challenging.
Family Members: The more effort parents and caregivers put into this service, the more effective the interventions will be. The behavior clinician will work directly with family members to give them the tools they need to make changes at home.
The Child’s Providers: The behavior clinician will maintain communication with the child’s providers as needed and/or requested. These may include the child’s physician, psychologist, service coordinator, teacher, or any other individual that may help contribute to behavior plans.
If you have any questions, would like additional information, or if you have a family who would benefit from the service, please contact:
In-Home Clinical Support Coordinator
Autism Services, Inc.
716-631-5777 ext 330
For Referral for In-Home Clinical Support Services form, (to be completed by Service Coordinator), scroll down to bottom.
STABLE HOMES-A KEY TO INDEPENDENT LIVING
The age of a home can lead to high maintenance demands and is associated with risk factors such as exposures to lead, asthma triggers, safety hazards and mental health stressors.
A program designed by Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. and Learning Disabilities Association of WNY, was established to respond to this situation. It provides individuals with developmental disabilities, who are at a high-risk of being negatively affected by health hazards in their home, with grants for necessary home improvements and repairs to ensure that their home remains healthy and sustainable.
Please contact Jennifer Steimer of Learning Disabilities Associates at (716)874-7200, ext. 159 for more information.
BORNHAVA MEN’S FORUM
The men’s forum is open to fathers and male caregivers of children with special needs. The forum meets in the evening once a month throughout the school calendar year at Bornhava, 25 Chateau Terrace, Amherst, New York.
The group has been meeting monthly for several years. Approximately twelve fathers have participated in the group, with an average attendance of seven or eight men, fathers of birth to five year olds. It has been a great success. There are ongoing discussions about coping with the handicapping conditions – the stresses, challenges, and rewards of being a father/male caregiver of a child with special needs. There are also many practical discussions about what people are doing for their kids and how to access additional services.
The group is facilitated by a licensed psychologist, Donald Crawford, PhD.
Contact: Ellen Crawford @ 839-1655
The TRAID-In Equipment Exchange Program is a statewide service that connects individuals with disabilities, searching for an affordable means to acquire needed devices, with people who have devices they wish to sell or donate. Call the NYS Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities at 800-624-4143 or email at email@example.com and ask for the TRAID-IN Equipment Exchange Program to list, at no cost, devices being sought or devices that are available.
SAVE THE DATES:
“Stepping Beyond Illness” Presentation Features Author Stephen Nawotniak
at Museum of disABILITY History
The Museum of disABILITY History will welcome Stephen Nawotniak, author of Handbook for Healthy Living with a Mood Disorder, as its next featured presenter for its Dialogues on disABILITY Speaker Series. The presentation entitled, “Stepping Beyond Illness,” will be held on Friday, October 3, at 7 p.m., at 3826 Main Street, Buffalo. Nawotniak will share his personal story and how some activities from his book can support a person in designing a desired quality of life. A review on “The Acceptance Ladder” (a tool in the book), along with a question and answer session will be included.
In 2012, Nawotniak was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a week-long hospitalization for severe depression. He has been coping with the symptoms and is currently in the process of recovery. In his book, Nawotniak offers an experienced-based sharing of skills and tools that have worked for him. Relying on his expertise as a licensed occupational therapist, he focuses on constructing a meaningful quality of life using skills that are effective and important for everybody while addressing and accommodating the needs unique to bipolar disorder.
The presentation is geared towards individuals with a mental health diagnosis and their friends and family, mental health and medical professionals and college students.
The Dialogues on disABILITY event is $5 for adults and $2.50 for seniors, students and human service employees and free for members of the Museum of disABILITY History. The event fee includes admission to the gallery space of the Museum of disABILITY History. For more information or to register, call 716-629-3626.
Doug Farley, Director
Museum of disABILITY History (People, Inc.)
3826 Main Street
Buffalo NY 14226
You have received this email for the Museum of disABILITY History.
Please use this link to RSVP for Friday, October 3 at 7 pm.