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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Uber Ride-Sharing Expanding Access for People with Disabilities - Including Wheelchairs in Chicago

July 20, 2017 - Today in Chicago Uber ride-sharing announced Expanding Access for People with Disabilities in Chicago, including wheelchairs. Uber is facing lawsuits across the country for lack of wheelchair accessibility. Uber is saying that app will have 65 wheelchair-accessible vehicles on the road. The service will be known as UberWAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle).

Uber's wheelchair accessible vehicles has been available in Chicago on a limited use only for riders who entered a special code, obtained through 'selected' Chicago Disability organizations. Which also demonstrates still in 2017 the lack of some of Chicago's disability community and organizations actually working for the benefit of all of the disability community.

With no doubt the Chicago UberWAV is in response to a lawsuit filed by Access Living, and a few of their employees in October 2016. As Uber is finally developing and implementing new solutions for service that will serve those with mobility devices. A press release from Uber is also posted below. The UberWAV story is far from over, and as updates and issues develop, more to come.
Jim Watkins, publisher
Ability Chicago Info

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Press Release by Marco McCottry, General Manager of Uber Chicago | July 20, 2017              

Push a button, get a ride. This simple concept has revolutionized how many of us think about mobility in cities around the world. At Uber, we believe that affordable, reliable transportation should be available at the push of a button for everyone, everywhere.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality for many people with disabilities. For those who require wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs), transportation options can be even more difficult. That’s why over the past year we have been working with disability advocates and accessibility organizations across Chicago to put together a new, collaborative blueprint for expanding accessibility options for all Chicagoans.

Beginning today, we are proud to announce the expansion of our UberWAV product in Chicago. UberWAV was previously available in Chicago for riders who entered in a special code. With today’s expansion, riders across Chicago can open their Uber app and tap a button on their smartphone to be connected with a wheelchair accessible vehicle. No code required. These vehicles are driven by drivers who are certified in WAV best practices and vehicle securement through third parties, such as the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO), or the Open Doors Organization. The WAV’s side-entry ramp enables a wheelchair user to ride safely and comfortably with up to three additional passengers, and fares will be the same as the affordable uberX option.

Although there is certainly more work to be done, we look forward to taking this next step toward improving access to mobility options throughout Chicago. Over the past six years, we have worked hard to enable driver partners to serve residents across every neighborhood, particularly in areas that were previously underserved by transportation.

Whether it’s getting to a doctor’s appointment or a trip to the grocery store, everyone should have access to safe, affordable, and reliable transportation. Developing and implementing new solutions to this ongoing mobility challenge is an issue we take very seriously, and we will be monitoring our progress and constantly refining the product based on feedback from riders and drivers over the next few months. As we head into the rest of 2017, we’re eager to continue working with leaders and advocates across the disability community to support everyone’s ability to push a button and get a ride.
Source: Uber press release

Previous posts on Uber: CLICK HERE
article @copyright Ability Chicago Info

Special Olympics 50th Anniversary in 2018, Announces Chicago as Location for the Global Celebration Events

July 20, 2017  -- Today, at Chicago's Soldier Field, the location of the first-ever Special Olympics Games, it was announced that Chicago will host the Special Olympics movement's 50th Anniversary global celebration events July 17 – 22, 2018. Mary Davis, Special Olympics International CEO, and Justice Anne Burke, who founded Special Olympics Chicago, announced the news along with other organizers of the upcoming events.

Special Olympics International, Special Olympics Illinois and Special Children's Charities have united to host nearly a week of exciting events to celebrate the past 50 years of Special Olympics and to launch the movement into the future.

YouTube published by Special Olympics

"The 50th Anniversary will be a pivotal moment for Special Olympics, as we aim to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities and as the leaders of inclusion through sport," shared Mary Davis. "We have spent the past 50 years breaking down barriers for our athletes and creating opportunities through sport, but we still have much more work to do. For our 50th Anniversary, we are inviting all to join us as we shape a more accepting and inclusive future."

"The torch that was lit here at Soldier Field 49 years ago today ignited a fire that will never die as long as we continue to celebrate the bravery of inspirational individuals - like Kevin O'Brien, Michael Cusack and others - who competed in 1968 and became examples, inspiring future Special Olympics athletes, here and around the world, to find the courage to enter the competition," added Justice Burke.

Events planned for July 2018 in Chicago include the first-ever Special Olympics Unified Football (Soccer) Cup, a tournament of 24 men's and women's teams comprised of people with and without intellectual disabilities from countries around the globe.

Also planned is a star-studded concert, establishment of a Special Olympics Eternal Flame of Hope monument to symbolize the ongoing drive towards creating inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, and a Change the Game Day event where the public is welcome to play unified and join in fun athletic competition with Special Olympics athletes at Soldier Field.

Also revealed today was a traveling 50th Anniversary Museum which, throughout 2018, will traverse the State of Illinois, sharing the history of Special Olympics. The travelling museum will visit Special Olympics Illinois competitions along with high-profile state, county and municipal events, educating its public on the history of Special Olympics, its impact socially through sport, and invite people to come to Chicago in July 2018 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. The community is welcome to donate items and memories to the museum.

Anyone interested in learning more can visit www.SpecialOlympics50.org

History of Special Olympics                                                                                                           
Eunice Kennedy Shriver

In the midst of all of the tumultuous unrest of 1968, an event was held at Soldier Field, in Chicago, Illinois on July 20. By its very nature, this was a revolutionary moment in time. The world witnessed for the first time a sports competition for people with intellectual disabilities from 26 states and Canada. It may come as a shock today to learn that many of the participants needed government pardons to leave the institutions in which they lived to travel to Chicago to compete. Eunice Kennedy Shriver led this community – who had been locked away and condemned to exist on the margins -- out of the shadows and into one of the largest stadiums in the U.S. It was their chance, their moment, to show the world what they could accomplish.

The first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago, a joint venture between the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation and the Chicago Park District. The advisory committee to the Chicago Special Olympics included Dr. William Freeberg, Southern Illinois University; Dr. Frank J. Hayden, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation; Dr. Arthur Peavy; William McFetridge, Anne McGlone Burke and Stephen Kelly of the Chicago Park District; and Olympic decathlon champion Rafer Johnson. Eunice Kennedy Shriver was honorary chairman. Dr. Hayden was also executive director of the Games.

About Special Olympics                                                                                                                  
Special Olympics is a global organization, with over 5 million athletes in 170 countries around the world, that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world. Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, solving the global injustice, isolation, intolerance and inactivity they face. Special Olympics Illinois provides opportunities for more than 22,500 of these athletes, more than 20,000 Young Athletes (ages 2 – 7 years old), 45,000 volunteers and thousands more people statewide through 18 Area programs in all 102 counties of the state. Special Children's Charities is the fundraising arm of Special Olympics in Chicago. In cooperation with the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools and Special Olympics Illinois, Special Children's Charities is committed to providing year-round sports training, recreational and social programs for the children and adults of Special Olympics in Chicago.

SOURCE Special Olympics http://www.SpecialOlympics50.org

2017 Consumer Action Handbook

Use the Consumer Action Handbook (CAH) to get help with consumer purchases, problems and complaints. Find consumer contacts at hundreds of companies and trade associations, local, state, and federal government agencies, national consumer organizations, and more!

To get the FREE 2017 Consumer Action Handbook click where it says ‘Order your free copy’, or download (pdf) for free!

Action Alert - AAPD! We're Not Out Of The Woods Yet On Republican Healthcare Attempts To Repeal and/or Replace!

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has shared the following Action Alert to help the disability community, family members, friends, advocates, etc. information on the continuing issues of the attempts to repeal and/or replace the nation's healthcare system we have. Please take a few moments to review the below information and resources. TY!
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AAPD - Power Logo

Action Alert!
We're not out of the woods yet on Healthcare


Please continue visiting, calling, tweeting, and emailing your Senators!

July 20, 2017

Thank you so much for all of your advocacy over the past few weeks to to protest the American Health Care Act and Better Care Reconciliation Act – together we sent the message loud and clear that we will not sit idly by as our healthcare and services are stripped away. Your advocacy made a difference!

Unfortunately, the Senate is still not listening. The effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and harm Medicaid is back again with two new versions.

The Senate’s “Better Care Reconciliation Act” (BCRA) and a new bill, the “Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act” (ORRA), are being readied for a vote next week. It is unclear which bill the Senate will move on at this point, but we expect a “motion to proceed” sometime next week — likely Tuesday or Wednesday. These bills are harmful to people with disabilities for many reasons.
  • The ORRA cuts taxes on the rich by removing health care from the poor and middle class
  • The ORRA would eliminate health care coverage for 32 million people by 2026; 17 million by next year (Congressional Budget Office)
  • The ORRA would increase health care plan premiums by at least 100%
  • The ORRA stops all Medicaid expansion at the end of 2019 (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)
  • The BCRA guts Medicaid by cutting over $700 billion
  • Both bills make it harder to provide home and community based services by eliminating the Community First Choice option for Medicaid
  • Both bills eliminate the protections against discrimination for pre-existing conditions
  • Both bills eliminate the requirement for essential health benefits (which include prescription drugs, mental health services, rehabilitative and habilitative services, and devices, and more)
Bar graph developed by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to highlight how ACA Repeal-Without-Replace Would Lead to 32 Million Losing Coverage and Individual Market Collapse. The increase in uninsured would be 17 million the first year after the bill is enacted, 27 million after three years, and 32 million by 2026. Premiums would increase by 25% the first year after the bill is enacted, by 50% after three years, and by 100% by 2026. The share of people living in areas with no individual market insurers would be 10% the first year after the bill is enacted, 50% after three years, and 75% by 2026.
Vertical bar graph produced by the Congressional Buget Office to show the Net Effects of the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017 on the Budget Deficit. The repeal of Medicaid expansion woudl cut Medicaid funding by $842 billion. Termination of subsidies for nongroup health insurance would decrease the budget deficit by $454 billion due to cutting tax credits and selected coverage provisions. Reduced collections of penalty payments from employers and uninsured peopel would add $210 billion to the budget deficit. Repeal of taxes on high-income people, the annual fee imposed on health insurers, and excise taxes enacted under the ACA would increase the budget deficit by $613 billion. Overall the ORRA would reduce the budget deficit by $473 billion.


Everyone needs to continue visiting, calling, tweeting, and emailing their Senators to tell them to vote no on the motion to proceed to consider these bills. All Senators must understand the damage this bill will do to the lives and liberty of people with disabilities and their families. We are grateful for all the advocacy you have already done – it has been effective. Please, keep it up!

Contact your Senators

The message is clear:

“Senator _____ must reject any bill that causes large coverage losses, ends the Medicaid expansion, caps and cuts the Medicaid program, or guts critical protections for people with health conditions.”
Focus on telling stories when you meet with, call, or contact your Senators. Write stories or record brief 60-90 second videos about you, your child, your parent, your relatives, or your friends who have a disability and need the support of Medicaid and health care. Include pictures. Share these stories on Facebook and Twitter and ask your friends and family to do the same. Our Senators need to see the human face of Medicaid.

The most effective outreach is to meet with your Senator (or their staff) in-person. When you do so, share your story of how access to health care and home and community-based services are important to you or your loved ones with disabilities. Those stories will particularly be impactful.

Contacting Congress allows you to easily search for your Senators and access information on their D.C. offices.  

Engage your Senators through Social Media

Tweet your Senators and use the hashtags #SaveMedicaid, #NoCutsNoCaps, #ProtectOurCare, #ADAPTandRESIST, #KeepAmericaCovered, and/or #CoverageMatters

Sample Tweets:

  • [insert your Senator’s Twitter handle] Over 10 million people with disabilities rely on #Medicaid for healthcare coverage. Please – #ProtectOurCare & #SaveMedicaid.
  • [insert your Senator’s Twitter handle] Don’t allow insurers to discriminate against people w/ disabilities because of pre-existing conditions. #ProtectOurCare
  • [insert your Senator’s Twitter handle] The #BCRA is a threat the life, liberty, and independence of people with disabilities. #ProtectOurCare #SaveMedicaid
  • [insert your Senator’s Twitter handle] Medicaid provides essential services to millions of people with disabilities. #SaveMedicaid #NoCutsNoCaps
  • [insert your Senator’s Twitter handle] Repeal without a replacement is not an option! #SaveMedicaid #NoCutsNoCaps #ProtectOurCare
States to Target:
  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
Please be sure to thank Senators Capito (R-WV), Collins (R-ME), and Murkowski (R-AK) for their commitment to not vote for a repeal bill without a replacement.

Contact your Governors

While Senators have the most direct influence on the legislative future of the BCRA and ORRA, contacting Governors is another great way to put additional pressure on Senators. You can find contact information for governors here.

Social Media Graphics:

You are welcome to use any of the graphics below as part of your social media outreach. Thank you to SuMo Design Workshop for pulling these together!


A photo of disability advocates marching in Washington, DC with the Capitol Building in the background. The top right corner of the image reads "#SaveMedicaid #NoCutsNoCaps #ADAPTandRESIST Call your Senators Now! 202-224-3121" and includes the AAPD logo.
A photo of disability advocates marching in Washington, DC with the Capitol Building in the background. The top right corner of the image reads "#SaveMedicaid #NoCutsNoCaps #ADAPTandRESIST Call your Senators Now! 202-224-3121" and includes the AAPD logo.
A photo of disability advocates marching in Washington, DC with the Capitol Building in the background. Two advocates are holding a sign that reads "America for ALL" At the top of the image is a box with "#SaveMedicaid" in the middle. The bottom of the image reads "Call your Senators Now! 202-224-3121"
A photo of disability advocates marching in Washington, DC with the Capitol Building in the background. The top right of the image reads "#SaveMedicad #ADAPTandRESIST" and includes the AAPD logo. The text in the center of the image reads "Vote as if your life depends on it, because it does" - Justin Dart Call your Senator: 202-224-3121 Tell them to VOTE NO! on #TrumpCare"

Additional Resources and Analyses


Previous AAPD Healthcare Action Alerts

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities.
Copyright © 2017 American Association of People with Disabilities, All rights reserved. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Global Paint Supplier 'PPG' Fired Employee Because of Seizure Disorder, Federal Agency Charges

PPG Industries Sued By EEOC For Disability Discrimination

July 14, 2017 - Pittsburgh-based global paint supply company PPG Industries, Inc. violated federal law by terminating an employee with a disability after he suffered seizures which led to medical restrictions, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, the employee worked in the Ferndale, Mich., plant of the Revocoat company. The employee was placed on a six-month medical restriction prohibiting him from driving and operating heavy machinery because of his having suffered seizures. After that, the company put him on a medical leave of absence. While out on his medical leave, PPG Industries purchased Revocoat. The employee communicated with PPG's human resources director and provided him with updated medical information. However, the HR director refused to provide any accommodations, and fired the employee. Thereafter, the Ferndale plant was closed.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After attempting to reach a pre-litigation resolution through its conciliation process, the EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of Michigan (EEOC v. PPG Industries, Inc., Case No. 2:17-cv-12304). The EEOC is seeking monetary relief for the employee and an injunction prohibiting PPG from engaging in this type of conduct in the future.

"Federal law prohibits employers from denying workers with disabilities a reasonable accommodation," explained EEOC Trial Attorney Nedra Campbell. "In this case, PPG could have considered a temporary change in duties or a six-month medical leave to coincide with this man's medical restrictions. When employers flatly refuse to even explore such measures, the EEOC will step in to make things right."

According to its website (www.ppg.com), PPG Industries, Inc. (NYSE:PPG) is a global paint supplier. It is a Fortune 200 company that has locations throughout the United States and abroad.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

source: EEOC press release

ADAPT Health-Care Protesters Plead NOT GUILTY To Charges, After Action at Senator Gardner’s Denver Office

July 18, 2017 - The ADAPT protesters arrested after a nearly 58-hour sit-in at Sen. Cory Gardner’s Denver office, where they tried to pressure him to vote no on the Senate health care bill, on Tuesday entered not-guilty pleas.

ADAPT claiming First Amendment rights were violated!

John Leyba, The Denver Post
ADAPT protesters Lonnie Smith, left, and Dawn Russell are wheeled out after getting arrested from Senator Corey Gardner’s office on June 29, 2017 downtown Denver. The protesters some in wheelchairs were taken out and loaded in to Denver Sheriffs vans to be processed. Protesters were chanting “Rather go to jail than to die without medicaid” and free our people”. / photo: John Leyba, The Denver Post
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Nine of the protesters were arrested while still in the Republican’s office. Another was arrested while protesting downstairs. All were charged with trespassing while some had additional charges of interfering with police.

The protesters, many who have disabilities, entered Gardner’s waiting room the morning of June 27 and stayed there until police arrested them the evening of June 29. Gardner’s office initially allowed the protesters to stay, keeping staff on duty to assist them. Gardner’s staff eventually called Denver police, saying management of the office building at 17th and Lawrence streets told them the protest was in violation of Gardner’s lease.

ADAPT protesters were previously arrested in January on charges of trespassing while trying to access Gardner’s office, which is inside a privately owned building. Building management did not allow the group of 18 up the elevator to Gardner’s floor.

The group, working with the attorney David Lane, is fighting that arrest in court as well, arguing that the private entity violated the protesters’ First Amendment right to freely assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances.

Article by DANIKA WORTHINGTONThe Denver Post                                                               

ADAPT protesters Dawn Russell, left, and Lonnie Smith are loaded into the Denver Sheriffs van after getting arrested from Senator Corey Gardner's office on June 29, 2017 downtown Denver. Protesters were chanting "Rather go to jail than to die without medicaid" and free our people". / photo: John Leyba, The Denver Post

10 Things to Know about the ADA (part 2)

In the Spirit of the Anniversary of the ADA - July 26th, 1990, we are reposting information of history, informative of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (within the post there are many links, if any are no longer working, or outdated info, please let us know so we can update TY.)

as shared and originally published by Disability.gov ...

10 Things to Know about the ADA and Beyond
July 26, 2016 was the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For more information on how this groundbreaking law changed the lives of Americans with disabilities, and how Disability.gov is celebrating ADA26,. And be sure to check out Disability.gov’s “26 Days of the ADA: A to Z” on Twitter.
  1. Talkin’ ‘bout the ADA Generation. Young people with disabilities are often called the “ADA Generation” because they were born or grew up after the ADA became a law. Laws such as the ADA exist thanks to the leadership of dedicated disability rights advocates, including Justin Dart, Jr., Ed Roberts and Judith Heumann. These individuals are positive role models that youth with disabilities should know about as they become the next generation of disability leaders. Justin Dart, Jr., called the “father of the ADA,” traveled around the U.S. gathering stories from people with disabilities about the discrimination they faced. These accounts directly impacted the creation of the ADA. Ed Roberts helped create the Independent Living Movement, formed the first Center for Independent Living and co-founded the World Institute on Disability with Judith Heumann. Heumann assisted with the passing of the ADA, served as the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and is now the State Department’s Special Advisor for International Disability Rights. Young people with disabilities who wish to follow in the footsteps of these leaders can start by reading these self-advocacy guides.
  1. The ADA & Service Animals. Many people with disabilities use service animals to help them with daily activities so they can live as independently as possible. The definition of a service animal is a dog that has been trained to assist a person with a disability in completing tasks that are directly related to their disability. This ADA National Network guide explains that emotional support, therapy, comfort or companion animals aren’t considered service animals and aren’t protected under the ADA. Service animals can be used in the workplace as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Businesses and organizations that serve the public, such as restaurants, hotels and retail stores, can’t refuse to serve a customer with a service animal, and neither can taxi drivers. Under the Air Carrier Access Act, people with disabilities are legally permitted to travel with service animals. The Transportation Security Administration has information about security screenings procedures for people with disabilities, including those using a service dog. It’s important that both travelers and transportation operators understand the rights of people traveling with a service animal.
  1. Getting from Point A to Point D (& Back to Point A). Title II of the ADA protects people with disabilities against discrimination on all modes of public transportation services operated by state and local governments. In addition, the ADA applies to rail transit systems. The ADA doesn’t apply to air travel, which is instead covered under the Air Carrier Access Act. Under the ADA, the U.S. Department of Transportation provides paratransit services, which are door-to-door transportation services that eligible customers can use to travel within a specific area if they’re unable to use traditional “fixed-route” public transportation. The Amputee Coalition has afact sheet about paratransit that includes information on eligibility requirements. Read the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center’s tips for using ADA paratransit services or the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund’s guide, “ADA Paratransit Eligibility: How to Make Your Case” to learn more. If you believe you’ve been discriminated against because of your disability while using public transportation services, you can file a complaint with the Federal Transit Administration.
  1. What the ADA Means for Small Businesses. Small business owners may need help understanding how the ADA applies to them. The two areas of the law that primary affect small businesses are Title I, which includes protections for employees and jobseekers with disabilities, and Title III, which prohibits discrimination against customers with disabilities by private businesses of any size, commercial facilities and other “public accommodations.” This can include movie theaters, hotels, grocery stores and sports arenas. The ADA requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide “reasonable accommodations” for employees with disabilities, unless doing so would cause undue hardship. The Job Accommodation Network has more information on reasonable accommodations, including average costs. Business owners can take an online course about how to be welcoming to customers with disabilities. Learn about ADA regulations related to service animals in places of business. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) offer detailed information about how the ADA applies to small businesses. For more information, read “Small Business and the ADA: Getting it Right.”
  1. Protecting Your Right to Vote. All Americans with disabilities should be able to vote independently and accessibly. The ADA is one of several laws protecting those rights. These laws help ensure polling place accessibility and the availability of alternative voting methods and voting aids for voters with disabilities. The recently updated “ADA Checklist for Polling Places” has information about making polling places accessible. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission offers resources for voters with disabilities, including helpful tips and a video about polling place accessibility. Learn about the American Association of People with Disabilities’ REV UP voting initiative. The Arc’s voting toolkit includes voting resources and a blog post about how guardianship impacts voting rights. For more information, visit DOJ’s voting section or contact your state’s voting commission or board of elections. Learn how to file a complaint if you feel your voting rights have been violated. Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (687-8683) to report voting issues or concerns.
  1. How Do I Work & Care for a Family Member? The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires applicable employers to allow their employees to take unpaid leave for family and medical reasons, while still keeping their job. Under FMLA, an employee can take leave for up to 12 weeks within a 12-month period for the following reasons: a serious health condition; to care for a family member with a serious health condition; the birth and care of a newborn; or the adoption of a child or placement of a child from foster care with the employee. “Family” under FMLA includes your spouse, parents and children. Children older than 18 are also included under FMLA if they’re unable to take care of themselves and require assistance because of a disability. Qualification for leave also extends to military families when Service Members are on active duty. The National Partnership for Women and Families compiled this guide to help people understand their rights and responsibilities under the FMLA. Visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) website to learn more about how FMLA works, how to determine if you’re eligible and the process for taking leave.
  1. A Bright IDEA for Education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was enacted in 1975 to ensure that all children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education. The IDEA provides services for infants and toddlers from birth to age 2 (part C) and children and youth ages 3 – 21 (part B). The act includes provisions for early intervention services, which help babies with disabilities or developmental delays get the supports they need to meet developmental milestones. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, contact your pediatrician for a developmental evaluation. Find early intervention services in your state. For school-age children, IDEA covers special education servicesclassroom accommodations and supports and school-to-work transition. Every student who receives special education services must have an individualized education program, which contains goals for the student and spells out the services that will be provided. These goals and services are decided by a team of educators, the parents and the child. Contact your local Parent Center for more information on the IDEA, special education services and the rights of parents of children with disabilities.
  1. Strengthening America’s Workforce through the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity ActTwo years ago this month, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law. WIOA helps modernize and streamline America’s public workforce system, and ensure that jobseekers, including people with disabilities, have access to employment, education and job training services. In June, DOL and the U.S. Department of Education released final rules for implementing WIOA. DOL’s Employment and Training Administration offers guidance to help workforce development agenciesAmerican Job Centers and youth programs implement the law. Read this fact sheet or watch a video to learn more. WIOA also makes changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These changes ensure that federal contractors and subcontractors don’t discriminate against job applicants or employees with disabilities. DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has resources, including a checklist and answers to frequently asked questions, to help federal contractors make sure their recruiting, hiring and employment practices comply with Section 503. Find a list of organizations and programs that can help federal contractors recruit and hire qualified workers with disabilities.
  1. GINA Prevents Discrimination. Some people have genetic differences that affect their chances of developing certain diseases or disorders. As scientists learn more about the profound impact these differences have on health, more and more tests are being developed to help prevent disease and treat patients. But what if your DNA was used to discriminate against you? The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), is a federal law put into place to prevent people from being treated unfairly because of their genetics. The law makes it illegal for health insurers and employers to refuse service or otherwise discriminate against a person because of their genetic makeup. It’s important to note that GINA doesn’t cover life insurance, disability insurance and long-term care insurance. Before GINA came into effect, several states had passed laws against genetic discrimination, but those laws varied widely. Since GINA is a federal law, it sets a minimum standard of protection that must be met in all 50 states, but doesn’t weaken the protections provided by state laws.
  1. Olmstead for Community Living. Since the ADA was signed into law, there have been several legal cases regarding certain aspects of the law that have greatly impacted the lives of people with disabilities. One such case was Olmstead v. L.C., known as “Olmstead.” In that case, the Supreme Court of the United States found that the ADA prohibits the unnecessary segregation or institutionalization of people with disabilities. Olmstead requires states to ensure that people with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting possible, including home and community-based settings. The case was brought by two women from Georgia who were receiving services at state-run institutions, even though it had been determined that they could have just as easily gotten treatment in home or community-based settings. After a series of appeals, the Supreme Court issued their groundbreaking ruling in July 1999. Olmstead has moved federal, state and local authorities to expand community-based services for people with disabilities. If you or a loved one needs help moving from a nursing home into the community, contact your local Center for Independent Living. Learn how to file a complainabout violations of the ADA’s “integration mandate.”
For more information on the ADA and other disability rights laws, visit Disability.gov’s Guide to Disability Rights Laws or Disability.gov’s Civil Rights section. Don’t forget to like Disability.gov on Facebook, follow us on Twitter  and use #DisabilityConnection to talk to us about this newsletter. You can also read Disability.Blog for insightful tips and information from experts in the community.
For more on disability resources from  Disability.gov.
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