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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Centralia, Illinois Man Michael E. Mays, Pleads Guilty To Health Care Fraud, false and fraudulent claims in the Home Services Program

The United States Attorneys Office - Southern District of Illinois

Oct. 29, 2013

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on October 29, 2013, Michael E. Mays, 53, of Centralia, IL, pled guilty to a two-count indictment charging that he engaged in a scheme to commit health care fraud and that he made false statements in connection with health care benefits. At his sentencing Mays will face up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 3 years of supervised release on the first count, and up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years of supervised release on the second count. Sentencing has been set for March 7, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. in United States District Court in East St. Louis, Illinois.

During his plea hearing, Mays, a beneficiary of the Illinois Home Services program, admitted that he had submitted, together with his personal assistant, false and fraudulent claims in regard to the hours of services performed by his personal assistant in the Home Services Program, a Medicaid Waiver Program designed to allow individuals to stay in their homes instead entering a nursing home.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General and the Illinois State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Quinley.

If you suspect or know of an individual or company that is not complying with healthcare laws or public aid programs, you may report this activity to the local office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General or call 1-800-447-8477.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

webinar (video) explaining The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

The United States signed the CRPD in 2009. On December 4, 2012 the United States Senate considered the ratification of the CRPD but fell 5 votes short of the super majority vote required. The media coverage of the Senate’s failure to ratify the disability treaty has been overwhelming and the CRPD’s Senate leaders remain committed to bringing the disability treaty up in the 113th Congress.
What is the “Disability Treaty?”
The Disability Treaty (known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,“CRPD”) is an international treaty that was inspired by U.S. leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities.
Why should the Senate vote for ratification?
The Senate needs to fight for the 57.8 million Americans with disabilities, 5.5 million disabled American veterans, and the 1 billion people with disabilities around the world and vote to ratify the CRPD.
Who supports ratification of the disability treaty?
Add your name or your organization to the list of supporters.
What is the urgency?
In December, the treaty fell only 5 votes short of ratification and had strong bi-partisan support. Now, the Senate is getting an opportunity that doesn’t come along often in Washington—a second chance to do the right thing and ratify the CRPD.

ALERT: Disability Treaty Hearing on November 5th is Confirmed! Make that call! Get Involved!!!

as shared by
United States International Council on Disabilities

Ithe CRPD Support logo with We support instead of I support  

November 5th at 2:30 pm
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room SD-419

You can RSVP for the hearing here!  This will help us ensure enough room capacity for all advocates!


The Marathon is almost over: the end is in sight!
NOW is the time to have our voices be heard! 

Chairman Menendez has scheduled the first of two Hearings on the CRPD on Nov 5th!

Senators Menendez and Corker and our target senators on the Foreign Relations Committee need to hear from everyone; they are logging all call and contacts made state by state. Our floor time depends on them hearing from you!  It is time for action NOW

Visit our new citizen action portal,www.disabilitytreaty.orgto contact our target Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee that need to hear from you!

Click the "We Support CRPD" icon above!  Share it everywhere!  Post it on your website, Facebook, and Twitter!  They need to hear from our movement now or we will not succeed.
Let them hear you now so that when Medicaid, Education and other issues come to the Hill they once again know the power of the disability movement!

It is time to show the Foreign Relations Committee the loud and diverse community supporting the treaty: disability, veterans, civil rights, faith, businesses, families and people with disabilities-everyone has a role in this fight. 

Invite your lists of friends and colleagues so we can show the Foreign Relations Committee that the community is behind this treaty! 

Join us in sending a message to the Foreign Relations Committee that we are watching them!  Thank you for your help!

Comcast Debuts New Accessibility Offerings During National Disability Awareness Month

October 28, 2013

Comcast Launches Dedicated Support for Customers with Disabilities and Opens New Accessibility Lab
Also Offers Special Xfinity On Demand Collection of Disability-Themed Programming

According to the U.S. Census, approximately one-third of American households have a member who has a disability. To better serve its customers, Comcast today announced it has created a dedicated accessibility customer support team and opened an accessibility product and development lab. These two key initiatives are examples of Comcast's commitment to meet the needs of customers with disabilities.

"Accessibility is the measure of how effectively people with disabilities can use and enjoy the programming, products and services we deliver and how successful we are at making these solutions available to the widest possible audience," said Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President of Accessibility for Comcast. "Comcast and my team are laser focused on developing new innovative solutions that enhance the user experience for these customers as well as utilizing these same technologies to ultimately enhance and improve how all of our customers interact with our services."

In addition to launching these initiatives, Comcast is making a collection of programming featuring disability related themes available to all Xfinity TV customers on Xfinity On Demand, Xfinity.com/TV and the Xfinity TV Player app through November 8th.

Dedicated Customer Support for People with Disabilities

Closed captioning, video description, accessible billing services and operating web and mobile interfaces with screen reader software are especially important for people with disabilities. Now, customers can contact a dedicated support team of 22 agents specially trained on all things related to Comcast accessibility, in the new Comcast Accessibility Center of Excellence for help with these and other general support issues.

Customers can access the center directly by calling 855-270-0379 seven days a week between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. (ET). Customers can also contact an Accessibility Center of Excellence representative via chat (https://www.comcastsupport.com/ChatEntry/Default.aspx?Trouble.Accessibility%7Cform).

National Disability Awareness Xfinity On Demand Collection
Comcast has gathered a collection of programming including award-winning movies, biographical films, documentaries, TV shows and interviews across Xfinity On Demand, Xfinity.com/TV and on the Xfinity TV Player app that positively portray people living with disabilities.

Programming highlights include movies like Children of a Lesser God, High Ground, I Am Sam, Mr. Holland's Opus and Radio; TV shows including CSI (CBS), Friday Night Lights (Xfinity Streampix), Glee (FOX), Grey's Anatomy (ABC), The Michael J Fox Show (NBC), Parenthood (NBC), Project Runway (Lifetime), Push Girls (Sundance) and Switched at Birth (Xfinity Streampix); as well as specials including Bio: Heather Mills (Bio Channel), Lives Worth Living (PBS), Moto X (ESPN) and multiple interviews with Paralympic athletes (NBC Sports) and interviews conducted by Xfinity TV with blind adventurer Erik Weihenmeyer (http://www.touchthetop.com) and more.

Additional programming content can be found at http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/microsites/disabilities

The Comcast Accessibility Product and Development Lab

The Comcast Accessibility Lab is both a working lab for the development of accessible products and features and a showcase of assistive technologies used by people with disabilities to interact with mainstream mobile, online and desktop user interfaces. Comcast is also using the lab for focus groups and usability testing with key communities of people with disabilities to learn more about how customers can use its services as well as to help educate its employees about accessibility. Co-located with Comcast Labs in Philadelphia, the space brings together cutting-edge solutions such as cable TV's first talking program guide (http://corporate.comcast.com/comcast-voices/a-pictures-worth-a-thousand-words) that the Company plans to launch in 2014.

For more information and an overview of Comcast's accessible products and services please visit

About Comcast Cable:
Comcast Cable is the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company. 
Visit http://www.comcastcorporation.com for more information. CONTACT: Comcast Corporation

Jenni Moyer, 215-286-3311


Sen. McCain questions TSA on treatment of disabled passengers

By Keith Laing, The Hill, Oct. 29, 2013

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is questioning the Transportation Security Administration on its treatment of disabled passengers at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. 
Seizing on recent reports in the Arizona Republic newspaper about disabled passengers in Phoenix alleged being singled out for increased security screening, McCain demanded answers from TSA Administrator John Pistole.

"The Arizona Republic recently reported on an 'intolerable situation' where many passengers with disabilities at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona have complained of 'invasive' searches by the Transportation Security Administration," McCain wrote. 

"At Sky Harbor, passengers with disabilities are filing formal complaints about TSA procedures at a rate of more than two and a half times the national average," the long-time Arizona senator continued. "I write to ask you to explain the alleged wrongful actions of TSA personnel at Sky Harbor and review TSA’s screening policies for passengers with disabilities to ensure that security protocols meet contemporary threats and respect the dignity of travelers."
McCain cited examples of the TSA's alleged mistreatment of disabled passengers at the Phoenix airport.

"In June, an 82-year-old wheelchair-bound woman reportedly went through the security line at Sky Harbor to board a flight to London and set off a metal detector," he wrote. "She apparently explained to the TSA agent on duty that she had survived a battle with breast cancer and, as a result, had a prosthesis.  

"Ignoring her explanation, however, TSA agents reportedly brought the elderly woman to a back room where they ordered her to remove her blouse, bra, and prosthesis for examination," McCain continued. "Only after this search – which her granddaughter described as 'degrading' and 'invasive' – was she allowed to finally board her flight." 

McCain said the TSA need to provide an explanation for the allegations that have been lodged against its workers in Phoenix. 
"It is unfortunate that TSA subjects seniors, wounded veterans and passengers with special medical needs to excessive searches," he wrote. "I am sure you would agree that no 82 year-old woman should ever have go through such a process in order to board an airplane.  Of course, TSA has to strike a balance between privacy and security, but in the case of passengers with disabilities, that common-sense balance seems to be eluding TSA’s screeners at Sky Harbor."
TSA officials defended the searches.
“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) strives to treat every passenger with dignity and respect. During the screening process, if an anomaly is detected, secondary screening is required to ensure the passenger does not have threat items, such as explosives concealed under clothing. A passenger should not be asked to remove or lift any article of clothing to reveal a sensitive body area or to remove a prosthetic," the agency said in a statement to The Hill.

“TSA works with numerous groups including breast cancer organizations to continuously refine and enhance our procedures to improve the passenger experience while also ensuring the safety of the traveling public.”

Illinois Trio Arrested for Alleged Role in $12 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme - Oct 2013

Justice News Banner
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Illinois Man Arrested for Alleged Role in $12 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

A Rockford, Ill., man was arrested today in connection with an indictment charging three Chicago-area residents for their roles in an alleged $12 million health care fraud scheme.  

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon of the Northern District of Illinois, Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Shields Jr. of the FBI’s Chicago Office, and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement. 

According to the 10-count indictment returned on Oct. 23, 2013, and unsealed today, Rick E. Brown, 56, and two other individuals allegedly participated in a Medicare fraud scheme operating out of a home visiting physician practice, Medicall Physicians Group Ltd., in Schaumburg, Ill., that billed for services that Medicall never provided.  Medicare allegedly paid the company approximately $4.7 million for fraudulently reported services from January 2007 to December 2011. 

Brown and an alleged co-conspirator, Roger A. Lucero, 62, of Elmhurst, Ill., are charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and health care fraud.  The two men and another defendant, Mary C. Talaga, 53, of Elmwood Park, Ill., are also charged with making false statements relating to health care matters.  

According to the indictment, Lucero and Brown owned and operated Medicall, and Talaga submitted the company’s bills to Medicare.  The indictment alleges that Brown instructed employees to bill Medicare for patient oversight and other services that were never provided, and Lucero created backdated records in an effort to conceal the fraudulent billings.  Talaga is alleged to have billed Medicare for these services even though she knew they had not been documented, a practice that required her to fabricate the information submitted to Medicare. 

The charges of health care fraud conspiracy and health care fraud each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  The charges of false statements relating to health care matters carry a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
An indictment is merely a charge and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

The investigation is being conducted jointly by the FBI and HHS-OIG and brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Brooke Harper of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.  

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,500 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5 billion.  In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov


Toys"R"Us Will Pay $35,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit; Retailer Refused to Accommodate or Hire Deaf Applicant

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


Toys"R"Us Will Pay $35,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Retailer Refused to Accommodate or Hire Deaf Applicant, Federal Agency Said
BALTIMORE - Toys"R"Us, Inc., one of the world's largest retailers of toys and juvenile products, will pay $35,000 and provide significant equitable relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.
According to the EEOC's suit, after Shakirra Thomas applied for a team member position at the retailer's Columbia, Md., store, Toys"R"Us contacted her and requested that she attend a group interview.  The EEOC said that when Thomas's mother told Toys"R"Us that Thomas was deaf and requested that it provide an interpreter for the interview, the retailer said that Thomas would have to provide her own interpreter for the interview.  Thomas communicates by using American Sign Language, reading lips and through the written word.  
According to the lawsuit, Thomas's mother interpreted for her during a group interview, but the retailer refused to hire Thomas despite her qualifications and ability to perform the team member position, with or without a reasonable accommodation.
Disability discrimination in employment violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which provides that employers provide reasonable accommodations where necessary to individuals with disabilities, including to applicants.  The EEOC first attempted to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process before filing suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division (EEOC v. Toys"R"Us-Delaware, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-00756-CCB).  
"This settlement should remind all employers that, absent an undue hardship, the ADA requires providing a reasonable accommodation to job applicants and employees who request one," said EEOC District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. of the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office.  "Hiring decisions should be made based on an individual's qualifications and not because of a disability." 
In addition to the $35,000 in monetary relief to Thomas, the three-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit enjoins Toys"R"Us from future discrimination on the basis of disability.  Toys"R"Us will provide training on the ADA, including non-discriminatory interviewing and hiring practices, to managers and supervisors at its Columbia store and at 24 other stores in Maryland and Pennsylvania.  The retailer will also post a notice regarding the resolution of the lawsuit.   
EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, "We are pleased that Toys"R"Us worked with us to resolve this lawsuit.  This settlement, including the extensive training provisions, should protect applicants and employees from disability discrimination."  
According to its website, http://www.toysrusinc.com, Toys"R"Us, Inc. employs approximately 70,000 people worldwide.
The Philadelphia District Office of the EEOC oversees Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio.  
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the agency is available at its website,  www.eeoc.gov

Dollar General Stores to Pay $47,500 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


Dollar General Stores to Pay $47,500 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Muncie Store Failed to Accommodate and Then Demoted Employee Because of His Dyslexia, Federal Agency Charged
INDIANAPOLIS - Dolgencorp, LLC, d/b/a Dollar General Store in Muncie, will pay $47,500 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Dollar General failed to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee's disability and demoted him because of his disability, dyslexia. Specifically, the employee was required to take a series of computer based training followed by a written test. The employee asked for help reading the test due to his dyslexia. His request was denied. He was told he could not have any assistance, and that if he did not complete the training and take the test he would be demoted. When he refused to do so without accommodation, he was demoted to a lesser-paid position with reduced hours.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. Dolgencorp, LLC, d/b/a Dollar General Store, Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-00755-SEB-DKL, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The company agreed to pay the employee $47,500. Pursuant to the terms of the consent decree settling the suit, of this amount, $40 was designated as back-pay damages. The remaining amount of $47,460 was designated as compensatory damages. Dollar General also agreed to provide training to all of its store managers in the district explaining the requirements of the ADA and the interactive accommodation process; to post a notice informing employees that federal law prohibits discrimination; and to report to the EEOC over a two-year period how it has responded to all requests for reasonable accommodations.
"In this case, the employee wanted to work and performed well," said Laurie A. Young, regional attorney of the EEOC's Indianapolis District Office. "Dollar General however, did not engage in the interactive accommodation process with him. We are satisfied, based on the settlement, that the public interest has been served. We are confident that the injunctive relief obtained will prevent the recurrence of this type of situation."
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site atwww.eeoc.gov. The Indianapolis District Office oversees Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and parts of Ohio.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Three former Orbit Medical Inc employees have pleaded guilty for allegedly engaging in a $20 million Medicare fraud scheme

Former Owner of Salt Lake City Medical Equipment Supply Company Indicted in and Three Company Employees Plead Guilty to Roles in Medicare Fraud Scheme

U.S. Department of JusticeOctober 24, 2013
  • Office of Public Affairs(202) 514-2007/TDD (202)514-1888
WASHINGTON—A former owner of a Salt Lake City medical equipment supply company has been indicted and three former company employees have pleaded guilty for allegedly engaging in a $20 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney David B. Barlow of the District of Utah, Special Agent in Charge Mary Rook of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Gerry Roy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Kansas City Regional Office, and Special Agent in Charge Janice M. Flores of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Southwest Field Office made the announcement.
Jacob Kilgore, 34, of Fruit Heights, Utah, was indicted in the District of Utah on three counts of health care fraud, three counts of false statements relating to health care matters, and three counts of wire fraud.
According to court documents, Kilgore was the co-owner, vice president, and regional sales manager of Orbit Medical Inc. (Orbit), a durable medical equipment supplier located in Salt Lake City specializing in power wheelchairs. From approximately September 2008 through June 2011, Kilgore allegedly directed a scheme to defraud Medicare by submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for power wheelchairs. Court documents allege that Kilgore and others falsified medical records—including power wheelchair prescriptions and chart notes obtained from physicians—to make it appear that beneficiaries qualified to receive power wheelchairs when they did not and that the claims otherwise met all Medicare requirements. Kilgore and others then used these falsified documents to support false and fraudulent claims from Orbit to Medicare.
Additionally, former Orbit sales representatives Morgan Workman, 35, of Farmington, Utah; David Evans, 29, of South Jordan, Utah; and Hunter Hartman, 29, of Ladera Ranch, California, have each pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit health care fraud, based on the same alleged scheme to defraud Medicare. They are awaiting sentencing.
The scheme allegedly resulted in more than $20 million in claims from Orbit to Medicare for power wheelchairs, of which Medicare paid more than $15 million.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG, and DCIS. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Niall M. O’Donnell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Y. Hirata of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah.
This content has been reproduced from its original source.

as a sidenote Orbit Medical (in Northeastern Illinois) is a medical supplier that I am very familiar with, and I would not recommend to anyone due to personnel experiences. Jim at Ability Chicago 

WEBINAR: Accessible Parking for People with Disabilities – Changes in the Law - Fri. NOV 1, 2013

Join us on your computer or mobile device on Friday, November 1st from 2pm – 4pm for this FREE presentation brought to you by ICED, the Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities. 

This webinar will include the following speakers and accessible parking experts:
• Rocco J. Claps, Director, Illinois Department of Human Rights
• William Bogdan, Office of Illinois Secretary of State
• Judith N. Levitan and Michelle Harden, Office of Attorney General Disability Rights Bureau

Instructions on how to sign-on to your computer will be provided after you have registered.

TO REGISTER, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL: Susan.Allen@Illinois.gov with your contact information.
Include Webinar on your subject heading.

Captioning will be provided. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Susan via phone at (217) 785-5119 (Voice), or 866-740-3953 (TTY) at least 72 hours prior to the date of training. E-mail messages can be sent to: Susan.Allen@illinois.gov.

For assistance on making this event invitation accessible, please go to the following links to find out how to: 1 - Use Facebook with Screen Readers and Assistive Technology:https://www.facebook.com/help/141636465971794
2 - Find out more about Facebook Accessibility: https://www.facebook.com/accessibility

WHO IS ICED:The Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities (ICED) was created by law to address the needs of state employees with Disabilities. ICED is co-chaired by is Director Rocco J. Claps of the Illinois Department of Human Rights and Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler of the Illinois Department of Human Services. ICED has 5 agency members and 4 employee members appointed by the Governor. 

Chicago's 'Lookingglass Theatre' offering a Touch Tour and Audio Description for performances, Accessibility info

Lookingglass Theatre 


Accessibility at Lookingglass

Accessible Seating
Lookingglass Theatre ground floor and balcony seats are accessible for all patrons who use a wheelchair or scooter, or patrons who cannot walk stairs. Please contact the box office at 312.337.0665 for more information.

Assistive Listening Devices
Lightweight assistive listening devices are available for every mainstage performance at the box office free of charge. A form of ID is required as a deposit. 

Large Print Programs
Large print programs are available in electronic form or hard copy at the box office. If you would like a copy in advance of your visit to the theatre, please call the box office at 312.337.0665.

Audio Description/Touch Tour
Each subscription production features one performance with audio description. This service allows patrons with vision loss to hear a verbal description of the design elements, actor movements, and other elements not conveyed through sound. For the 2013-2014 season, audio described performances will take place on:
Sunday, October 27, 2013, 3pm - The North China Lover
Sunday, January 19, 2014, 3pm - The Little Prince
Sunday, May 18, 2014, 3pm - In the Garden
Available at 1:30pm before the audio described performances, Touch Tours are teactile explorations of scenic, costume, and property design, led by our audience services staff. Please RSVP for the touch tour when you purchase your tickets by calling the box office at 312.337.0665. Access discounts are available. You can also purchase a discounted season subscription with audio description here.

Open Captioning
Each subscription production features one performance with opening captioning. At captioned performances, text is displayed in line-of-sight on an electronic LED board showing what the actors are saying and other sound effects on stage. For the 2013-2014 season, open captioned performances will take place on:
Sunday, November 3, 2013, 3pm - The North China Lover
Sunday, January 26, 2014, 3pm - The Little Prince
Sunday, June 8, 2014, 3pm - In the Garden
To buy tickets online, please select the "Open Caption Line-of-sight" section and enter the discount code CAPTION for the access discount. You can also purchase a discounted season subscription with open captioning here

Partial support for open captioning provided by Theatre Development Fund

Group SalesGroup Sale purchases are available for accessible performances, including special rates for educational institutions and no per ticket handling fees. Contact groupsales@lookingglasstheatre.org or call 312.337.0665 x0 

Monday, October 28, 2013

After London Paralympics are disabled people invisible again? - article BBC news

BBC News

After Paralympics are disabled people invisible again?

U.S. Access Board’s Advisory Committee on Rail Vehicles to Hold First Meeting - Nov. 13 &14, 2013

    The Rail Vehicles Access Advisory Committee, which the Board organized in 2013, will develop consensus recommendations for the Board’s use in updating sections of the guidelines that cover vehicles of fixed guideway systems, including rapid, light, commuter, intercity, and high speed rail.

    The Access Board's Rail Vehicles Access Advisory Committee will hold its first meeting November 13 and 14 in Washington, D.C. The Board organized this committee in May to assist the Board in reviewing and updating its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles. The committee will develop recommendations on updates to sections of the guidelines covering transportation vehicles that operate on fixed guideway systems, including rapid, light, commuter, intercity, and high speed rail. This meeting was originally scheduled for mid-October but was postponed due to the federal government shutdown.
    The agenda for the meeting includes:
    • initial remarks and introduction of committee members
    • consideration of the committee's charter and operating procedures
    • discussion of administrative issues (including dates of future committee meetings and consideration of adding additional committee members)
    • discussion of issues for potential consideration by the committee.
    Committee meetings are open to the public, and interested persons can attend and communicate their views on issues of interest during designated public comment periods on each day of the meeting. Organizations or persons not on the committee may also have the opportunity to participate in any subcommittees formed by the committee.

    For further information, visit the Board's website or contact Paul Beatty at rvaac@access-board.gov, (202) 272-0012 (v), or (202) 272-0072 (TTY).
    Rail Vehicles Access Advisory Committee Meeting
    November 13 (10:00 – 5:00) and November 14 (9:00 – 3:00)
    Access Board Conference Center
    1331 F Street, NW, Suite 800
    Washington, D.C.
     Note: An assistive listening system, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), and sign language interpreters will be provided. Call-in information and a CART web streaming link will be posted on the Access Board’s Rail Vehicles Access Advisory Committee website page at www.access-board.gov/rvaac. For the comfort of all participants and to promote a fragrance-free environment, attendees are requested not to use perfume, cologne, or other fragrances.

    for the U.S, Access Board: http://www.access-board.gov/


    ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress and Medicaid: Group Homes and Institutions are Not Community Living

    as shared by Autistic Self Advocacy Network ...

    Tell Congress and Medicaid: Group Homes and Institutions are Not Community Living

    What does "community" mean to you? For some people, this question doesn't mean much. But for the hundreds of thousands of Americans receiving Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), the meaning of community has huge implications.
    In 2010, the State of Missouri tried to use Medicaid funds that were intended to serve people with disabilities in the community to build group homes on the same property as an institution. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rightly  refused to allow Missouri to use Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) funding for this plan, as the purpose of HCBS funding is to help people avoid institutionalization, not to fund placements that segregate people from their communities.
    As a disability rights organization committed to advancing equal access and inclusion for all people with disabilities, ASAN belives strongly that anything that segregates people with disabilities from our communities is not community.
    CMS has been trying to implement strong minimum standards for HCBS settings, to prevent what almost happened in Missouri from happening again.  CMS has proposed regulations that would prevent HCBS dollars from going to institutions, settings that are on the grounds of an institution, settings that are segregated on the basis of disability, and settings that have the characteristics of an institution, such as lack of privacy or rules about when people can eat and sleep. This is a significant opportunity for the disability community to support a real minimum standard for the meaning of community living.
    We need your help to make these standards a reality. CMS will issue a final rule by the end of 2013. Unfortunately, the institution, nursing home, and sheltered workshop industries have already written to CMS and Congress opposing any standards for how and where HCBS dollars are used. We need our community to write in to tell Congress and CMS that:
    • Community living cannot occur on the grounds of an institution or in settings that operate like institutions, denying people privacy and imposing rules that limit personal freedom and choice.
    • Community supports do not involve the use of sheltered workshops and other facility-based settings that separate and congregate people on the basis of disability.
    HCBS funding should be used to support people with disabilities living in typical housing that they control, located in existing communities, alongside neighbors with and without disabilities.
    HCBS funding should be used for supported employment and community involvement - not for sheltered workshops or segregated day service settings.  
    Here's what you can do:
    • Don't hesitate to add your thoughts about what community living means to you. 
    • Send a copy of this advocacy alert to your friends and colleagues encouraging them to write in too - the more people who write in, the stronger our position will be. Help us get the word out!
    This is a critical opportunity to have our voices heard. Now is the time to speak up and speak loudly about the importance of these new regulations. 

    PO Box 66122 | Washington, DC 20035 US