New England ADA Center

February, 2014

The ADA National Network Launches New Informational Website

ADA National Network The ADA National Network has launched a new, user-friendly national website at adata.orgThe ADA National Network provides information, guidance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels.


The new website allows visitors to explore resources about the ADA by audience and topic, to learn about the services offered by the ADA National Network, and to locate their regional ADA Center.


Visit the new website at!


Seeking Youth with Disabilities (16-25) from New England for a Youth Advisory Board (YAB)
Youth Advisory Board The New England ADA Center wants to help young people understand their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they apply to college or to their first job!

When students leave high school, they become responsible for identifying and securing the assistance they need to succeed. However, much of the time, students with disabilities are not taught about their rights, advocating for their needs, or requesting accommodations. 
Let's talk about rights and ways to teach them to others!!!

WHEN:     Saturday, March 22, 2014 @ 12:30PM -3:30PM
WHERE:   Institute for Human Centered Design
                  200 Portland St. Boston MA

Please contact Stacy Hart at 800-949-4232 or if you are interested in learning more about this opportunity. Lunch will be provided.

City of Boston Now Accepting Applications for the Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities

Seal of City of Boston The City is currently seeking applications from people with disabilities that reflect the diverse needs of Boston's neighborhoods and communities. Members will be appointed by the Mayor and serve in a volunteer capacity for a term of three years. Applicants must be residents of the City of Boston. 


Letters of interest are due by Apri 1, 2014, and should be sent to the attention of: Commissioner Kristen McCosh, Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities. Any questions can be directed to Kristen McCosh at or by phone at 617-635-3682


For more information, visit:


New England ADA Ceneter Participates in Seminar about Accessibility and Historic Buildings in Vermont Building Codes

Kathy GipsOn January 15 Kathy Gips, Director of Training for the New England ADA Center, presented at a workshop on the ADA and historic preservation. The workshop covered how the ADA intersects with historic preservation (there is no grandfathering), what's new in the current ADA Standards and issues specific to the Vermont Access Code. The afternoon focused on six real life complex design plans for integrating accessibility into existing facilities. The event was sponsored by Build Safe Vermont.


 Photo: Kathy Gips.


Samsung and The Carroll Center for the Blind Team Up to Test Television Accessibility

Carroll Center for the Blind The Carroll Center for the Blind, a Newton, Massachusetts rehabilitation training facility that in 1984 offered the country's first computer classes for individuals who are blind, is now helping businesses, government agencies and educational institutions improve the accessibility of their websites and products for persons with disabilities.


Samsung contracted with The Carroll Center to perform important usability testing for a new product still in development. The Carroll Center thoroughly tested the products and provided feedback about the accessibility features Samsung plans to incorporate into some television and remote models for 2014 and 2015.


Read the full story.


Harvard Business Review: Why I Hired an Executive with a Mental Illness

Harvard Business Review Rob Lachenauer, CEO and a co-founder of Banyan Family Business Advisors, writes about why he hired a job candidate who disclosed a mental illness.

"Businesses don't have a great track record with the mentally ill. Today, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, some 60% to 80% of people with mental illness are unemployed. In part, this is the crippling nature of the disease. But a large part of the problem that we have in hiring people who have some mental disorder is that we lack the sophisticated vocabulary to talk and act regarding these illnesses."

Read the full story.


Are Medical Marijuana Users in Rhode Island Risking Their Jobs?

Medical Mariluana Rhode Island is one of only a handful of states to extend employment protections to medical marijuana users. But the impact of workplace policies on medical marijuana remains murky for many. Are patients really protected?

Read the full story.


National News
2014 Advocates in Disability Award Program Now Accepting Applications - Deadline April 11

HSC Foundatoin The Advocates in Disability Award (ADA) program awards a young adult with a disability between the ages of 14 and 26 who is committed to positively affecting the lives of people with disabilities and their families. The recipient will be awarded $3,000 in recognition of his or her disability advocacy and up to an additional $7,000 in support for a project to benefit the disability community. Application deadline is April 11, 2014.


Learn more about the application process.


Children's Books Lauded For Highlighting Disabilities

Schneider Family Book Awards Alongside the famed Caldecott and Newbery awards for children's literature, three books are being honored for focusing on the disability experience.
The books - which include stories of a wounded soldier, a princess with a deformed foot and a look at medical experimentation by Nazi doctors - were named winners of the Schneider Family Book Awards.


Read the full story.


Nine Broadway Theaters Agree To Boost Accessibility

Broadway Street Sign in New York City Nine Broadway theaters will eliminate more than 500 accessibility barriers in their restrooms, concession counters, waiting areas and box offices under an agreement to address violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The theaters will also provide a total of 70 wheelchair-accessible seating locations and offer 134 aisle seats for individuals who can transfer to a traditional seat. Under the settlement, priority will be given to people with disabilities for tickets in both seating areas.

Read the full story.


How Colleges Flunk Mental Health

Newsweek Dozens of current or recent students with mental health disabilities at colleges and universities across the country - large and small, private and public - told Newsweek they were punished for seeking help: kicked out of campus housing with nowhere else to go, abruptly forced to withdraw from school and even involuntarily committed to psychiatric wards.


Read the full story.


Feds Clarify How To Apply For Autism Tracking Devices

DOJ's Bureau of Justice Assistance After announcing that the federal government will pay for tracking devices for kids with autism, officials are offering more details about how families can access the technology. Police departments nationwide will be able to make the tracking devices available to children in their communities who are at risk of wandering using money available through the Justice Department's Byrne grant program, officials at the federal agency said.


Read the full story.


NIH Study to Look at New Ways to Improve Asthma Therapy for African-Americans

National Institutes of Health The National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers will enroll approximately 500 African-American individuals who have asthma to assess how they react to therapies and find out how genetics may affect the response to various asthma treatments. The study will help determine the best approach to asthma management for African-Americans.


Learn more about the study.


Minimum Wage Executive Order Includes Workers with Disabilities

White House Graphic The White House announced the details of the executive order that will raise the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10/hour. Notably, the order will cover individuals with disabilities that currently work in contracts under 14(c) certificates. 


The announcement reads: "Under current law, workers whose productivity is affected because of their disabilities may be paid less than the wage paid to others doing the same job under certain specialized certificate programs. Under this Executive Order, all individuals working under service or concessions contracts with the federal government will be covered by the same $10.10 per hour minimum wage protections."


Read the White House announcement.


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New England ADA Center, a project of the Institute for Human Centered Design

The New England ADA Center is a member of the ADA National Network funded by US Department of Education through National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research Grant # H133A110028.

Institute for Human Centered Design / New England ADA Center | 200 Portland Street | Boston | MA | 02114