E-Bulletin October 12, 2021

October 12, 2021

We post our bi-weekly bulletin to keep you up to date on disability-related resources, news, and other items of interest. This information is being provided solely for non-commercial, nonprofit educational purposes, including news reporting and research. It is not intended for commercial purposes. Further, we understand that our readers generally read the articles and information online, at the websites provided in the hyperlinks, rather than relying solely on our synopses or copies. We are not responsible for the accessibility or the content of other websites. Please be aware that some links provided are time sensitive, and may become inactive at any time.

We include links to articles, editorials and opinion pieces, press releases, and other materials that represent diverse perspectives. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any products, services, sources, information, or opinions expressed in these materials.

Visit the Trainings section for more information on ADA and disability related trainings, meetings, and conferences.

General News

2021's Best & Worst Cities for People with Disabilities

This article provides the results of a WalletHub study comparing and ranking more than 180 most populated cities across 34 key indicators of “disability-friendliness.” States in the Mid-Atlantic region that were rated in the top twenty overall include Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Columbia, Maryland.

“Academia’s Ableist Culture Laid Bare”

Four leaders with disabilities share their thoughts on how to make laboratories and fieldwork more accessible and inclusive so scientific practice and research spaces and career pathways will be open to disabled students.

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Employment News

A Proclamation on National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2021

President Joseph R. Biden issued a proclamation commemorating October 2021 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The proclamation includes highlights of ongoing efforts to improve access to successful career paths for Americans with disabilities.

“Unemployment Rate Remains Double for People with Disabilities 18 Months into Pandemic”

The latest economic data show people with disabilities continue to experience an unemployment rate twice that of people without disabilities.

Virginia: “Project PEACE Aims to Support Employment of Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities”

A project led by Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education researchers has been awarded a $1.25 million grant to improve employment opportunities and outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Richmond and Colonial Heights, Virginia.

“Study: Just 1 out of 5 People with Disabilities Works from Home. Millions Still Do Not Have the Option”

A report by the Rutgers Program for Disability Research finds a disproportionate number of people with disabilities work in blue collar and retail jobs, where remote work is typically not an option.

“NOD Announces the 2021 Leading Disability Employers at Annual Forum”

The National Organization on Disability recognized 67 companies as 2021 NOD Leading Disability Employers. Now in its seventh year, the NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal recognizes companies for measuring and achieving strong talent outcomes for people with disabilities.

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Legal News

PA: “EEOC Sues Geisinger Health and Affiliates for Disability Discrimination and Retaliation”

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued Geisinger Health System and affiliates, charging that they discriminated against employees with disabilities by requiring them to compete for reassignment to new positions when reassignments were needed as reasonable accommodations, misrepresenting and manipulating employment opportunities to prevent employees with disabilities from obtaining accommodations, retaliating against employees who asked for accommodations or complained about discrimination, and otherwise interfering with employee rights under the ADA.

PA: “Excentia Human Services Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination”

The Pai Corporation, doing business as Excentia Human Services and as Excentia and S. June Smith Center, violated the ADA by refusing to hire a qualified candidate based on assumptions about her disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a recent lawsuit.

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Technology News

“Americans with Disabilities Less Likely to Own Some Digital Devices”

According to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults, those with disabilities are less likely to have a traditional computer or Smartphone than those without disabilities.

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Arts and Culture News

Musician and Disability Advocate Gaelynn Lea: Call-To-Action for Inclusivity

The experimental artist and public speaker Gaelynn Lea discusses disability culture, working with Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities (RAMPD), and upcoming creative projects.

“Helen Keller: New Film Looks at Her Career, Politics and Controversies”

This article provides a summary of the new documentary “Becoming Helen Keller” which examines the complex life and legacy of the renowned author, activist, lecturer, and human rights pioneer.

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Sports and Recreation News

“Paralympic Athlete Blake Leeper Wants to Show the Fitness Industry It's 'Easy' to 'Include Everybody'”

This article highlights Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper and his efforts to promote representation of people with disabilities in the fitness industry.

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IDEA News

Return to School Roadmap: U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance on IEP Development and Implementation During Pandemic

Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) are required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for many students with disabilities in K-12 schools. This new guidance interprets IDEA requirements in light of challenges brought on by COVID-19.

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Training, Events, and Opportunities to Participate

An Inclusive Talent Pipeline for American Businesses Prize Challenge: Final Grand Prize Event

October 19, 2021
2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Virtual event
Join the Administration for Community Living (ACL) for a National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebration and challenge competition grand prize event, as the finalists present their tested workforce pipeline models, which demonstrate unique program solutions for recruiting and retaining workers with disabilities.  

Arc of NoVA Event: Practice Police Stops

October 23, 2021
The Arc of Northern Virginia is partnering again with the Fairfax County Police and Emergency Services to offer the opportunity for people with disabilities and their loved ones to practice emergency situations, and also give officers a chance to learn directly from people with disabilities. Participants can engage in a practice police stop with real officers and/or a practice subject stop. Events will take place at several locations; all events are from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., other than the Sully Station stop, which is from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM): Call for Submissions

In honor of NDEAM, the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy and its two federally funded centers, the National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities and the Community Living Policy Center, are inviting blog or video blog submissions on working as a person with a disability. Submissions will be accepted through the end of October.

Survey: Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) Seeks Community Input on Five-Year Plan

MCDD will be submitting its five-year plan to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and seeks input from the public. The deadline to complete the survey is October 31, 2021.

Elevate: Campaign Training for People with Disabilities

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) announced a relaunch of “Elevate: Campaign Training for People with Disabilities in October and November 2021. In 2019, Elevate launched as the first and only campaign training program that specifically helps candidates with disabilities navigate access barriers to run a campaign.

The Practical Employer Video Series:
Job Applications and Interviews: How to Make Sure Your Process Is Accessible

Our new video offers practical tips for conducting effective job interviews so employers can identify and hire qualified candidates, including those with disabilities.

ADA National Network Launches 30th Anniversary Celebration

The ADA National Network (ADANN) is celebrating 30 years of providing training, technical assistance, and guidance on the ADA. Throughout the year, the ADANN will be highlighting its services, success stories, and vision for the next 30 years. Visit the ADANN to learn more and find your regional ADA Center.

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