Cindy Powell's Blog – July 2011 Archive (22)

Equal Opportunity Laughter

 While using a walker, a Colorado Springs resident approached his local comedy club stage. The man's mobility device catapulted as he fell on the stage. There was obvious tension in the audience. Following this mishap, how could the audience possibly laugh at this comedian's jokes?

 

It was 1991, the first time I had the pleasure of seeing standup comedian Chris Fonseca's live routine. 1991 was also the year after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 28, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

The Aging Workforce

The likelihood of acquiring a disability significantly increases with age. Though only 8% of children under 14 years old disclose a disability, 74% of people over 80 report a disability.

 

Fifty eight percent of those over 80 years old have one or more severe disabilities. Thirty five percent of the 80+ population require assistance in meeting their personal needs.

According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, more than 35 million Americans are over age 65. That…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 13, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency management must be accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. It is essential that state and local government (Title II) and private (Title III) entities prepare for protecting people with disabilities in the event of emergencies and disasters.

Emergency management should include:

  •   Advance planning
  •   Disaster-related benefits
  •   Evacuation
  •   Medical services
  •   Notification
  •   Shelters and…
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Added by Cindy Powell on July 13, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Rosa's Law: No More R-word

"What you call people is how you treat them," were 13-year-old Nick Marcellino's insightful words.  While testifying before the Maryland General Assembly, Nick spoke about his younger sister, Rosa.

In 2009 Nick and his family learned that Rosa, who has Down's Syndrome, was referred to as "retarded" at school. Nick's heartfelt testimony continued:  "What you call my sister is how you will treat her. If you believe she's 'retarded' it invites taunting and stigma. It also invites…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Government and the ADA

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all state and local government programs, activities, benefits and services. Federal government entities are required to comply with the Rehabilitation Act, rather than the ADA. Title II also covers public transportation.

State and local government entities must eliminate eligibility criteria that screen out people with disabilities. For example,…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Using a Sign Language Interpreter

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires effective communication, which means that people with disabilities and their companions completely understand whatever is written or spoken. The ADA also requires that people who do not have disabilities fully understand communication by people with disabilities and their companions. Companions include family members, friends or associates of a person with a disability.

There are a wide range of…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Statewide Independent Living Councils

Section 705 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandated that each State establish and maintain a Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). Council members are appointed by their State's Governor.

People with a broad range of disabilities who are not employed by a State agency or Center for Independent Living (CIL) must comprise the majority of the SILC. Statewide representation and Council members who are knowledgeable about independent living is…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Service Animals

A service animal is a dog, or sometimes a miniature horse, that is individually trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. No other species of animals may be considered as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

 

The work performed by a service animal must be directly related to an individual's disability. In addition to service animals used for navigation by some individuals who are blind or low…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Help America Vote Act

In October 2002 Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), after access deficiencies for voters with disabilities were identified during the 2000 Presidential Election.



Effective January 1, 2006, HAVA made it mandatory that every polling place be accessible.  State and local government grants became available to assist in making polling places accessible. HAVA requirements include:

  • Polling places must have an accessible, clearly-marked…
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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Private Businesses and the ADA

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), private businesses, including nonprofit organizations, are referred to as public accommodations or Title III entities.  There are twelve general categories that cover businesses like:

restaurants                  hotels                             theaters                        zoos

doctors' offices           gas stations                    retail stores                 health clubs…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Good Access is Good Business

Marketing to people with disabilities, their families and friends is profitable to businesses. According to the 2004 National Organization on Disability/Harris Interactive Poll of Americans with Disabilities, people with disabilities have $220 billion annual discretionary income, the highest buying power of any traditionally underrepresented group. 

 

The largest minority group in the nation is the more than one in five Americans with a disability 30% of the nation’s families…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Businesses and ADA Effective Communication

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Titles I and III require effective communication; whereas, ADA Title II refers to the same obligation as equally effective communication.  This short article focuses on Title III: private businesses, also known as public accommodations.

 

Examples of public accommodations include restaurants, theaters, doctors' offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, day care centers,…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Employment and Disabilities

High unemployment continues to plague the disability community. According to the 2007 Disability Status Report, 80% of adults without disabilities were employed.  However, only 37% of 18-to-64-year old people with disabilities worked full or part-time.

 

35 years of studies have revealed that:

  • Over 90% of employees with disabilities rated…
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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Disability Laws

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)of 1990 protects people with disabilities from discrimination in employment, state and local government, private businesses, transportation and telecommunications. In addition to the ADA, other Federal civil rights laws ensure equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

 

The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 prohibits discrimination by air carriers that provide regularly scheduled fee…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Disability Etiquette

Disability Etiquette

By Cindy Powell

 

56.7 million people with disabilities comprise the largest American minority group. This is the only minority group that anyone can join, as a result of accident, illness or injury.

 

The longer we live, the more likely we will acquire a disability. While 6.5% of people under 20 years of age have disabilities, 75% of people over 80 years old have at least one disability.

 

One…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Auxiliary Aids and Services

People with disabilities that affect hearing, seeing, speaking, reading, writing, or understanding might communicate differently than people who do not have disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that people with disabilities and their companions completely understand whatever is written or spoken. The ADA also requires that people who do not have disabilities fully understand communication by people with disabilities and their…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

ADA Effective Communication in the Workplace

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Titles I and III require effective communication; whereas, ADA Title II refers to the same obligation as equally effective communication.  This short article focuses on Title I, the employment portion of the ADA.

 

Private employers with fifteen or more employees, or state/local government employers, regardless of number of employees, have the obligation to provide accommodations that enable individuals to perform their job…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments

ADA Tax Incentives

Many business owners and employers are not aware of valuable tax incentives that assist with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. Three Federal tax incentives are described below. States might offer additional incentives.

 

Disabled Access Credit

 

Small businesses that have 30 or fewer employees, or less than $1,000,000 in gross receipts from the previous year, may take an annual tax credit for making their businesses…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments

ADA Surcharges and Personal Services

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which of the following are legal?

1)     A local government agency charges a man who is blind for the cost of providing him with the town’s directory of services in Braille.

2)     A school district charges a woman who is deaf for the cost of a providing a sign language interpreter at a school board meeting she attended.

3)     A public transportation system requires that a passenger who…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments

History of the ADA

History of the ADA

By Cindy Powell

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the most comprehensive civil rights law protecting people with disabilities.  Prior to the passage of the ADA, several civil rights laws provided limited protection for people with disabilities.

1968: Architectural Barriers Act was the first federal law addressing civil rights for people with disabilities.…

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Added by Cindy Powell on July 7, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments

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