Disability News Service, Resources, Diversity, Americans with Disabilities Act; Local and National.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Limb Loss and Limb Difference Teddy Bears for Everybody

Vermont Teddy Bear is proud to announce their newest Bear to the Bears That Care program: Limb Loss & Limb Difference Bears. Working closely with the Amputee Coalition, Vermont Teddy Bear has created this collection of Bears to help those with limb loss and limb difference. “We are really proud of the whole Bears That Care program, and are very excited about this Bear and our partnership with the Amputee Coalition,” says Bill Shouldice, CEO of Vermont Teddy Bear Company.
The idea for the new Bears came from Teddy Bear Designer, Cassandra Clayton as she was brainstorming ways to could grow the Bears That Care program. “We are constantly thinking about how our Bears can touch more hearts and spread more love,” says Abby Temeles, Bear Brand Manager. “What we realized is that we wanted to have a line of Bears for every body.”

Limb Loss & Limb Difference Bears can be tailored to match the receiver, and 20% of every sale of these Bears is donated directly to the Amputee Coalition.

“Partnering to create these Bears That Care helps demonstrates that every body looks different – and that’s ok. We know kids (and bear-loving adults) will appreciate being able to choose a bear with limb loss, and we appreciate that the profits help support our nationwide programs,” says Karen Lundquist, Chief Communication Officer of the Amputee Coalition. “We look forward to a long, exciting partnership with Vermont Teddy Bear.”

The Limb Loss & Limb Difference Bears officially launch on Thursday, April 20th. You can see them on the Vermont Teddy Bear website at www.VermontTeddyBear.com. For more information on the program, or other Bears That Care, contact Bear Brand Manager Abby Temeles.
“Partnering to create these Bears That Care helps demonstrates that every body looks different – and that’s ok. We know kids (and bear-loving adults) will appreciate being able to choose a bear with limb loss, and we appreciate that the profits help support our nationwide programs,” says Karen Lundquist, Chief Communication Officer of the Amputee Coalition. “We look forward to a long, exciting partnership with Vermont Teddy Bear.”
The Limb Loss & Limb Difference Bears officially launch on Thursday, April 20th. You can see them on the Vermont Teddy Bear website at www.VermontTeddyBear.com. For more information on the program, or other Bears That Care, contact Bear Brand Manager Abby Temeles.

About Vermont Teddy Bear CompanySince 1981, Vermont Teddy Bear Company has been producing premium, handmade Teddy bears in their Vermont, USA facility. All Bears are guaranteed for life and are stuffed using 100% recycled materials. For more information about Vermont Teddy Bear, please visit www.vermontteddybear.com or call (800)829-2327 (BEAR). Please follow Vermont Teddy Bear on social media. Share your Teddy Bear story with #LoveIsInTheBEAR.

About the Amputee CoalitionSince 1986, the Amputee Coalition has been dedicated to reaching out and empowering people living with limb loss and limb difference by providing support, delivering education and advocating for the community. To find out more about programs like Youth Camp, Conference, and the National Limb Loss Resource Center, please visit www.Amputee-Coalition.org.
Source: Vermont Teddy Bear Company 4.17.2017

People with Disabilities Still Left Behind For Employment in America

Jordan Gallacher hasn't had a job in three years. Many employers reject him with a form letter or email, but one said outright: "We don't hire blind people."
article by Ananya Bhattacharya and Heather Long for CNN money | originally published July 26, 2015 

Gallacher, 28, is a computer expert. He has a bachelor's degree in management and entrepreneurship from Louisiana Tech University. Yet most employers don't give him a second glance when they learn he's blind, even though he is able to operate a computer just fine with a screen reader.

Gallacher is one of nearly 57 million disabled people in America.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), a civil rights act passed in 1990 to fight discrimination against the disabled.

Since its inception, much has changed for the better. Supermarket aisles are wider, schools have ramps, and public transportation is more accessible for the disabled.

But there's one thing that's deteriorated for them -- employment.

Show me the jobs: Employment for disabled Americans has actually fallen since 1990, and there's an even bigger gap between disabled and non-disabled jobs prospects today.

In the early 1990s, about half of disabled Americans were employed, according to Census data. Today that has fallen to just 41%. Some of the decline is due to an aging population. Older workers are more likely to have disabilities, especially physical ones.

But it's telling that the employment rate of disabled Americans has dropped more than for the non-disabled.

The problems often start at an early age.

Basic barriers remain: While in high school, Gallacher had three teachers who he says didn't accommodate for his disability in their classes. He found similar problems when he entered college, which is why he transferred to Louisiana Tech from a different university that did not cater to his needs at all.

"As a mother of student with disability, I've seen how many schools don't have ramps that are usable. I am just stunned that there hasn't been more attention in our education system to these very obvious emblems of discrimination," said Susan Dooha, executive director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled, who herself suffers from a traumatic brain injury.

Being fully blind in the small town of Pearl River in Louisiana does not open up a lot of options for Gallacher. He says he might be the only disabled person in his town so people don't know how to deal with him.

The only jobs he's had are volunteering stints. He still lives with his parents and is grateful they support him financially.

"I'm always amazed at how many job applications I try to fill it out online but can't get any further because the rest of the offline application becomes inaccessible," said Gallacher. Many businesses no longer list Human Resources contact info, so he can't even call to seek help.

Low wage jobs: Even for those with jobs, the prospects remain bleak. Disabled persons earn significantly less than non-disabled, and the gap between annual earnings has widened since the early 1990s.

Disabled workers earn about $9,000 less a year than a non-disabled workers, according to Census data on median earnings. That gap was under $6,000 in the early 1990s.

A report by the Center for Independence of the Disabled found that the top job for non-disabled people is teaching. For the disabled, it's janitorial duties.

It often takes individual companies changing their policies to really make a difference. Some large companies like Citigroup (C) and Google (GOOG) are going the extra mile to include the disabled.

Positive change: "I think the best thing I've seen [since the ADA] is corporations beginning to pay attention to disability as element of diversity," said Dooha. "Reversing the thinking that they are a burden and instead thinking about them as having strength to bring to the workforce."

For instance, Citi provide trainings specifically referring to consideration for persons with disabilities. Globally, Citi has five Persons with Disability Networks.

For the last four years, Citi has hosted the NYC Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) in New York city. The event promotes career development for students and job-seekers with disabilities through hands-on career exploration and ongoing mentoring relationships.

Dooha also commends tech innovations to remove barriers to participation for the disabled.

Companies stepping up:
A healthy five-year-old boy in Charleston, South Carolina, came down with Meningococcal meningitis and his life changed.

Charles Rogers had his hands and legs below the knee amputated following the horrible disease. But Charles has graduated college and worked at Walmart (WMT) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for 12 years.

He recently drove to Atlanta and stayed at a hotel for six weeks for training after being promoted to assistant manager.

"Before I started working with Walmart, I got interviews but once the interview was over, there was no response," said Rogers. "Walmart actually gave me a chance."

Walmart is one of the leading employers of the disabled, and they offer training and resource groups for them.

The more employers encourage the disabled, the better. Customers in wheelchairs often approach Rogers in the store and ask him about his job and if the store is hiring.

"Being out there and working in the store is the best thing I can do to show other disabled people that they can do it too," Rogers said.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/26/news/economy/americans-with-disabilities-act-problems-remain/CNNMoney (New York)First published July 26, 2015

City of Chicago Agrees to Finally Make Polling Places Disabled Accessible

Chicago election officials say hundreds of polling places will need modifications or have to be moved to make them accessible to the disabled.
CHICAGO (AP) - April 20, 2017 - Chicago election officials say hundreds of polling places will need modifications or have to be moved to make them accessible to the disabled.
The changes are part of a settlement that the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago announced Thursday. The agreement says that the board must make every polling site accessible to the disabled by the Nov. 6, 2018 election.
The Department of Justice says it reviewed more than 100 polling places in Chicago and found many have architectural barriers that make them inaccessible for voters who have mobility or vision impairments. Under Illinois and federal law all polling places must be accessible to the disabled.
The election board says it has partnered with the disability-advocacy group Equip for Equality to plan the changes.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

National Low Income Housing Coalition 2017 Advocates Guide is Available

Every year, the National Low Income Housing Coalition publishes the Advocates’ Guide to Housing and Community Development Policy to educate advocates of all kinds about the programs and policies that make housing affordable to low income people across America. Whether you are a new employee at a housing agency, a student in an urban planning program, or a seasoned affordable housing advocate looking for a refresher on key programs, this book will give you the overview of housing programs and advocacy tools you need to be a leader in the affordable housing movement.

To USE: If you would like to print the guide, you will have better results if you save the pdfs to your desktop, open the pdf in Acrobat Reader, and print from Acrobat. To download Acrobat Reader, click here: https://get.adobe.com/reader/
To purchase a copy, please visit http://nlihc.org/library/publications-order.
For more on the National Low Income Housing Coalition, visit: http://nlihc.org/

National Resource Directory website for Wounded Warriors, Service Members, Veterans, and All Who Support Them

The National Resource Directory (NRD) is a resource website that connects wounded warriors, Service Members, Veterans, their families, and caregivers to programs and services that support them.
It provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. Visitors can find information on a variety of topics that supply an abudance of vetted resources. For help finding resources on the site, visit the How to Use this Site section of the NRD. Please see below for some of the major categories.

The NRD is a partnership among the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs. Information contained within the NRD is from federal, state and local government agencies; Veteran and military service organizations; non-profit and community-based organizations; academic institutions and professional associations that provide assistance to wounded warriors and their families.

Chicago “Community Health Counts” Study Finds Huge Disparities Based on Race, Neighborhood

Chicago - A three-year health study of nine city neighborhoods found large disparities among racial and ethnic groups in areas including physical and mental health, food insecurity and encounters with the criminal-justice system.

Chicago Sun-Times article by Maudlyne Ihejirika | on March 23, 2017           
Funded by a $1 million Chicago Community Trust grant, the study, titled “Community Health Counts,” is believed the largest community-driven, face-to-face health survey ever conducted in Chicago.

It is being released by the Sinai Urban Health Institute.

“The data paint a stark and complex picture of health and wellness in many Chicago communities, varied by race, income and ethnicity,” said Dr. Sharon Homan, president of the Sinai Urban Health Institute. “To develop meaningful interventions to improve health, we must first understand the constellation of social factors that impact people and families within each community.”

The study focused on seven disadvantaged Southwest and West Side communities served by Sinai Health Systems. Those are: the predominantly Hispanic Gage Park, Humboldt Park and South Lawndale neighborhoods; predominantly black North Lawndale and West Englewood; Chicago Lawn, about evenly split between black and Hispanic residents; and a portion of West Town that is pretty evenly white and Hispanic.

Researchers then added the predominantly Hispanic Hermosa neighborhood and predominantly white Norwood Park for added diversity and comparison.

Working with advisory committees that were established in all nine communities, researchers surveyed more than 1,900 residents with more than 500 questions related to health and wellness, and found some staggering race- and neighborhood-based statistics.

Data on criminal justice encounters, for example, surely will impact current debates around the root causes of crime, criminal justice reform and mass incarceration. The study found more than half of adult males in North Lawndale and West Englewood have been arrested, as have nearly half of adult males in Humboldt Park and Chicago Lawn. At least 25 percent of males in all nine neighborhoods had been arrested.

Across all nine neighborhoods, 41 percent of non-Hispanic black males had been convicted of crimes, compared to 20 percent of white males. And in all but two neighborhoods, at least 24 percent of males had convictions for crimes.

The percent of families in all nine neighborhoods that struggle to put food on the table is nearly three times the national average. In Humboldt Park, South Lawndale and Gage Park, nearly half the households grapple with food insecurity, compared to 13 percent nationwide. Across all neighborhoods, 41 percent of black households faced food insecurity, as well as 30 percent of Hispanics and 14 percent of whites.

“You can get health information at the city level on a lot of topics, from things like birth and death certificates, and hospitalization data. But information on disease prevalence, health behaviors like diet and physical activity, and social factors that influence health — like food insecurity, encounters with the criminal justice system and homelessness — you need local data,” Maureen Benjamins, a Sinai senior researcher and the study’s co-principal investigator, told the Sun-Times on Wednesday.

“City level information typically isn’t available on this type of data, and when it is, it hides these differences in community areas that are so obvious in our findings,” Benjamins added.

The three-year study, begun in 2013, also found large numbers of residents in those communities rate their health as fair or poor — from 21 percent in West Town to 44 percent in South Lawndale; nationally, just 12 percent rate their health as fair or poor. Large numbers in the nine neighborhoods report forgoing needed medical treatment, from surgery to medication and eyeglasses, due to cost — despite the increased access to care wrought by the Affordable Care Act and state Medicaid expansion.

In the area of mental health, there were significant disparities in the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder and domestic violence. The prevalence of PTSD symptoms was 27 percent in Humboldt Park, 25 percent in North Lawndale, 19 percent in Hermosa, 18 percent in Gage Park, and 17 percent in West Town and Chicago Lawn. PTSD was highest among Puerto Ricans (34 percent) and blacks (20 percent).

And in Humboldt Park, North Lawndale, and West Englewood, 1 in 3 women overall reported being victims of domestic violence, which was found to be a significant issue among all race/ethnic groups. It was highest among Puerto Rican women, of whom 4 in 10 said they had been victims; it was lowest among Mexican women (1 in 6).

Other health measures where race and neighborhood disparities were seen include smoking, diabetes, obesity, asthma, premature births, and whether people felt safe in their neighborhood. The Sinai Urban Health Institute is working with the community advisory committees to distribute the data, help organizations better understand risk factors in their communities, then develop meaningful approaches and solutions.

“There is nothing more basic and essential to human happiness than health and well being — conditions determined by both an individual’s circumstance and behavior,” said Chicago Community Trust President Terry Mazany. “The large disparities that exist between neighborhoods only miles apart should be troubling — and, at the same time, offer opportunities for solutions.”

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

10-year-old Boy with Autism Arrested at Florida School, Mom Video Taped

The arrest of a 10-year-old autistic Florida boy was filmed by his mother who complained that he was treated far too harshly by authorities.

Luanne Haygood told multiple news outlets that her son (John) was arrested April 12 at his school in Okeechobee, Florida, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) west of West Palm Beach. The arrest stemmed from an October incident last fall in which the boy was accused of kicking and scratching an educational assistant, a felony.

The video Haygood shot shows an emotional encounter in which the boy repeats that he doesn't like to be touched as an officer puts handcuffs on him. The boy spent the night in a juvenile facility.

The officers said they weren't aware of his autism, even though the video shows the mother Luanne Haygood told them during the arrest.

The Associated Press | April 19, 2017


Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/article145599964.html#storylink=cpy
10 year old John has an upcoming court date in May.
The Okeechobee County school district issued a statement:
It has been district procedure to invite students in to take the Florida Standards Assessment. The district would not invite someone to one of our campuses for the sole purpose to arrest.
The district routinely assists students by providing services from our board certified behavioral analyst, licensed mental health counselors, school social workers, and psychologists. As a team, these individuals develop interventions, conduct assessments, and offer support both at school and in the home in order to assist students and families.
The district is unable to provide specific information as to both current and past incidents regarding this or any other student due to educational laws and rules. It is our hope that we can continue to work with all families to help their students improve both behaviorally and academically.

ADAPT in Chicago - Disability Rights Movement Defending Healthcare Continues

CHICAGO – As part of their ongoing battle for visibility, disability rights advocates here are organizing against policies that they see as existential threats to the affordable housing and healthcare they depend on.

 ADAPT and allies on foot and in wheelchairs marching through the streets of downtown Chicago | photo: Susan Aarup / ADAPT / April 2017

solid article by MICHELLE ZACARIAS for PEOPLES WORLD | April 18, 2017        
Like the rest of the 20 million people threatened by Trump’s promised repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), those within the disabled community are fearful of losing their insurance. However, their worries go beyond just paying the doctor’s bill. Reliant on components of their health coverage to navigate life and go about their daily tasks, members of the community feel particularly vulnerable.

Though the vote to repeal ACA was called off after Republican leaders and the White House failed to garner sufficient support for their proposed replacement, the fight to defend healthcare is far from over. Last week, ADAPT – Chicago, local affiliate of a national grassroots organization that focuses on disability rights and engages in nonviolent direct action, gathered at Federal Plaza. They were rallying in response to state budget restrictions brought in by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner that have led to limited funding for disabled populations.

Rauner’s pattern of cuts at the state level is matched with the lackluster job done by the city of Chicago in addressing the developmental and physical needs of members of the disabled community – particularly those with less visible disabilities. Mayor Rahm Emanuel came under fire in 2013 for closing down a number of mental health facilities in an attempt to balance the city budget. All of the shuttered clinics were located in predominantly low-income neighborhoods, many central to the Logan Square area.

Among the featured speakers at the Federal Plaza event were a number of ADAPT members and other disability activists who spoke on a variety of issues faced by the community. Organizers sought to represent a cross-section of the disabled community; Black, Latino and Latina, immigrants, queer siblings, women, and individuals with varying types of disabilities took the stage.

Michelle Garcia, a long-time advocate for undocumented residents, addressed the intersections of undocumented struggles within the disabled community. “The human rights of individuals with disability who are undocumented are undermined and violated,” she said. “They do not get equal access to services like healthcare, housing, employment, and education.”

Jacob Record from the Trans Liberation Collective shared a narrative all too common among members of disabled trans communities, especially those with chronic illness. They highlighted the personal difficulties they had experienced navigating the healthcare system after coming out as transgender. Record also spoke on the importance of “affirming and affordable healthcare services” in a society that stigmatizes both trans and disabled bodies.

Other speakers joined in stressing the importance of intersectional dialogue in the community. Veronica Lozano, an ADAPT member who identifies as a Queer disabled Latina, talked about similarly important facets of identity. “Whenever we have the chance to speak for our community, we have to ask ourselves: who is not at the table?” Lozano reiterated the need to open up dialogue about the experiences that people with disabilities face in medical settings. She discussed the intrusive procedures, violence, and trauma that is enacted upon people with disabilities because they are so often objectified in the medical field.

A study done in March of 2017 by the Ruderman Family Foundation reported high rates of murder and violence committed against people with disabilities (PWD) by those supposedly responsible for their care. “Approximately once a week, a person with a disability is murdered by a family member or caregiver,” according to the report. The data indicated that not only were PWD being murdered at a higher rate and having their deaths masqueraded as “mercy killings,” but that the persons committing such murders received disproportionately shorter jail sentences compared to those whose victims did not have a disability.

For disability rights advocates like Lozano, this situation speaks to the larger issue of how society values disabled bodies. It also perpetuates the idea that a person with a disability does not deserve to live the entirety of their life, simply due to the hardships they may face. “We are seen as an experiment, mere objects that can be told what we need,” Lozano said. “It is very important to find spaces that are able to help us get that story out.”

A start to finding solutions to many of the issues that were addressed at the rally is the development of powerful and effectively organized communities. Disability movements have long worked under the constraints of smaller numbers, as they have suffered erasure in the broader activist movement. Recent administrative policies, however, have allowed them to step out from out of the shadows and fight back. With more battles to tackle, ADAPT and other members of the disabled community continue to push for more accessible housing, healthcare, and means of survival.
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New Illinois Project Reviewing of U.S. Supporting Refugees with Disabilities & Employment System

When refugees enter the U.S., they often turn to social service organizations — such as refugee resettlement agencies, voluntary agencies, and mutual aid associations — to connect with job opportunities. But refugees who have a disability are faced with a different scenario.

Mansha Mirza speaks with community members, people who have disabilities and refugees during a project community meeting this semester. photo

nice article by Christy Levy for UIC NEWS | April 18, 2017
“If a refugee with a disability comes through the door, they connect them with Social Security income and leave it at that,” said Mansha Mirza, co-principal investigator and assistant professor of occupational therapy.
A new UIC initiative that has partners on the east and west sides of campus, along with several community partners that represent the refugee, disability, and employer sectors, is working to change that scenario by helping refugees who have disabilities find employment opportunities in Illinois. Partners of Refugees in Illinois Disability Employment (PRIDE) — the first initiative of its kind across the nation — examines refugee status and disability status in the context of employment and career paths.
Funded by a three-year grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), the project aims to help link refugees who have disabilities with job and entrepreneurship opportunities.
“We are excited to be partnering with refugees with disabilities and allies from a wide range of sectors who support the vision of this project, which is to support job-seeking refugees with disabilities,” said Rooshey Hasnain, principal investigator of PRIDE and clinical assistant professor of disability and human development and rehabilitation sciences.
The initiative will provide support to at least 50 refugees who have disabilities in the Chicago area, said Mirza, project co-investigator. Participants will engage in educational activities and workshops to learn about their rights as people with disabilities, Mirza said. They will then be connected with community organizations that can help them find employment opportunities.
“We’re really trying to be comprehensive but also practical in terms of what could be the most useful tools for refugees to obtain employment or career paths,” Hasnain said. “The experience of the refugee is very different from somebody who is native-born, even though they may have parents who
immigrated here.
“Some refugees are coming to their second, third or fourth country,” she said. “There could be complex trauma involved — war-related experiences. Those are factors we have to keep in mind. Language is a huge barrier, too.”
Some refugees who previously had professional careers — like physicians, lawyers or accountants — may not be able to find similar positions as they resettle because of different credentialing requirements in the U.S., Hasnain said.
“Many of these individuals have been disabled in their home country or became disabled as they were exiting and fleeing through their second country,” she said.
Participants will also learn how to start their own businesses through entrepreneurship workshops led by faculty in the College of Business Administration and Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.
Entrepreneurship can help refugees break through some of the employment barriers that they face, said Maija Renko, a partner on the project.
“They might have been professionals in their home countries but in an environment where they don’t speak the language, starting their own business may be something that makes sense at that point,” said Renko, associate professor of entrepreneurship.
Participants will receive training on how to start their own business and consultation on how to make their startups successful, Renko said. The project will also provide start-up funds to qualified participants who want to start their own business, Mirza said.
“We know from history the typical career path of people who immigrate,” Renko said. “Entrepreneurship is a typical part and it’s great that it’s a focus of this project. It’s not only about finding employment, but creating your own employment.”
The project hopes to partner with corporations in the future to provide more workforce opportunities for participants, Hasnain said.
Other UIC partners include faculty in the department of disability and human development, the Great Lakes ADA Center and the UIC Assistive Technology Unit.
Community partners include Asian Human Services, the Division of Rehabilitation Services of the Illinois Department of Human Services, Refugee One, Heartland Human Care Services, the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Access Living, Upwardly Global, Career and Business Services, and the Rogers Park Chambers of Commerce, among others.
“We need to break through these stereotypes — the disability stereotype, the immigration stereotype and the refugee stereotype — and provide refugees with disabilities that same access to opportunities that refugees without disabilities are gaining,” Hasnain said.

Veterans Affairs (VA) Adopts New Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs sealThe U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will adopt new accessibility standards issued by the U.S. Access Board to ensure access to medical diagnostic equipment (MDE) at its health care facilities. Under an agreement governing aquistions, the VA will require that new equipment meet the MDE standards which were published in January. The VA's health care nework, the largest integrated health care system in the U.S., includes 152 medical centers, nearly 800 community-based outpatient clinics, and over 125 nursing home care units.
Access to MDE has been problematic for people with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids. The Board's standards provide design criteria for examination tables and chairs, including those used for dental or optical exams, weight scales, radiological equipment, mammography equipment and other equipment used for diagnostic purposes by health professionals.
"The Board applauds the VA for its initiative and leadership in advancing access to health care for all veterans, including those with disabilities," stated David M. Capozzi, the Board's Executive Director.
The MDE standards, as issued by the Board, are not mandatory unless adopted by a federal agency. The VA's use of these standards will help it meet responsibilities under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act which requires access to federally funded programs and services. Other entities, including health care providers and state and local governments, can voluntarily adopt and apply the standards as well.
For further information on the MDE standards, visit the U.S. Access Board's website or contact Earlene Sesker at sesker@access-board.gov, (202) 272-0022 (v), or (202) 272-0091 (TTY). Questions about the new VA aquistion policy should be directed to Laurence Meyer at Laurence.Meyer@va.gov.
SOURCE: press releses

Monday, April 17, 2017

Disability Jobs Report Webinar Series May 5th: "Employment of People with Disabilities in an Evolving Policy Environment"

nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar Series

Season Two Episode 4 of the nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar Series, detailing findings of the latest Jobs Report release, announcements from the Disability Employment field, and a guest presentation on "Employment of People with Disabilities in an Evolving Policy Environment" by John Tschida the Policy Strategist at AUCD.

The next nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar will take place on Friday, May 5, 2017 at 12 noon EST. Learn more about the April Jobs Report and how it fits into longer term employment trends, hear about programs and research across the country addressing employment and disability, and listen to experts in the field.
Register for the nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar
About the nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar
The Employment Policy & Measurement Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (EPM-RRTC) at the University of New Hampshire, in partnership with Kessler Foundation and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) have launched a monthly webinar. On the first Friday of every month, corresponding with the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, we will be offering a live broadcast via Zoom Webinar to share the results of the latest nTIDE findings. In addition, we will provide news and updates from the field of Disability Employment, as well as host an invited panelist who will discuss current disability related findings and events. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #nTIDElearn.
SOURCE: press release 

U.S. Access Board Webinar May 4th: Accessible Fitness Facilities and Exercise Equipment

laptop with Access Board sealThe next webinar in the U.S. Access Board's free monthly series will take place May 4, 2017 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will cover requirements in the ADA and ABA Standards for exercise equipment and other features and amenities of health clubs and fitness facilities. This session will review provisions for exercise equipment, toilet and bathing facilities, locker rooms, and other elements and spaces.
Visit www.accessibilityonline.org for more information or to register for the webinar. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during the webinar. Webinar attendees can earn continuing education credits. The webinar series is hosted by the ADA National Network in cooperation with the Board. Archived copies of previous Board webinars are available on the site.
SOURCE: press release 

American Association of People with Disabilities 2017 Media Scholarships (8) - Apply by June, 19, 2017

NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship

Thanks to a generous contribution from NBCUniversal, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is proud to offer the NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship.
In 2017 the NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship will offer eight (8) scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities who are interested in pursuing a career in the communications, media, or entertainment industry. Each recipient will receive $5,625 to help cover the cost of education at their current college or university.

Apply for the 2017 NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship

Applications due by June 19, 2017

Former Congressman Tony Coelho

This scholarship has been named in honor of Tony Coelho, a former United States Representative from California and the primary author and sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Coelho was elected to Congress in 1978 and served for six terms until 1989. During his terms, Coelho authored the original ADA, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. By 1994, the U.S. Census Bureau reported 800,000 more people with severe disabilities were employed than when the ADA was first enacted, in large part thanks to the work of Coelho, his successors, and predecessors.

From 1994 to 2001, after being appointed by President Bill Clinton, Coelho served as Chairman of the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. He also worked as the Vice Chair of the National Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities. In 1998, Clinton appointed Coelho as the United States Commissioner General at the 1998 World Expo in Portugal. Clinton also appointed Coelho as Co-Chair to the U.S. Census Monitoring Board, a position he held until his appointment as general chairman of the Gore Presidential Campaign.

From June 2009 to June 2011, Coelho served as the Chairman of AAPD.

Scholarship Application Process Eligibility

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student and plan to be enrolled during the fall semester.
  • Self-identify as an individual with any type of disability.
  • Students must be interested in pursuing a career in the communications, media, or entertainment industry – all majors are welcome to apply.
  • While you do not need to be a US citizen to be eligible for this scholarship, you must currently be attending a college or university in the United States.
Please note: You will not be required to disclose your specific disability; however, your application for this scholarship will signify that you consider yourself a person with a disability. This scholarship is run specifically for students with disabilities by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).
Applicants chosen to receive an NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship release all information contained in their application for use on the AAPD website and in public press releases, including releases to the program funders and potential employees.

Apply (HERE) for the 2017 NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship

Applications due by June 19, 2017
Please contact scholarship@aapd.com or 202-521-4316 with any questions or concerns.
SOURCE: AAPD Press Release

"Live On" Movement A Suicide Prevention Campaign Geared Toward People with Disabilities

The Center for Disability Rights announces the launch of "Live On,"
The "Live On" Movement is a disability-led project for people with disabilities to see how worthwhile life is. Life can be hard sometimes, and this is even more true for people living with disabilities. Young people with disabilities face bullying, youth and adults with disabilities can be forced into nursing facilities, and plenty of people and businesses still discriminate against us every day. Whether you were born with your disability, your disability has slowly progressed as you grew older, or you suddenly acquired your disability, the challenges you face are real. But you can get through them!

Some people do not think they can get through the challenges they face, and some people may think there’s no way to live a happy, fulfilling life with a disability, but we know that’s not true. The Live On Movement was created to show people with disabilities the incredible lives they can lead, and all they need to do right now is choose to Live On.

The mission of the Live On Movement is to show disabled people everywhere that life is worth living and to connect people with the resources they need to Live On.

From a dedicated website, resources, YouTube Channel, and of course support. The "Live On" movement is another positive step of Disability Pride & Awareness, Please share this information!