Disability Law - Archive

DOJ pushes rules for movie theaters on serving blind & deaf

July 29, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Disability Law

 

 

The Hill
By Benjamin Goad
Article Source

The Justice Department moved Friday to open up the nation’s cinemas to the visually and hearing impaired with a slate of draft regulations requiring movie theaters to offer closed captioning and audio description technology. 

“This proposed rule will allow all Americans, including those with disabilities, to fully participate in the moviegoing experience,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in unveiling the plan.

The DOJ’s bid to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act comes four years after the agency signaled plans to move forward with new regulations, drawing more than 1,000 public comments. 

The agency is seeking to require all theaters with digital screens to comply with the new regulations six months after the rule is finalized. The proposal asks for comment on whether a four year compliance date is appropriate for theaters with analog screens, or whether regulations for those movie houses should be shelved until a later date. 

Estimates of the costs of the rule fall somewhere between $177.8 million and $225.9 million over 15 years, the agency said. 

Under the rules, captions would be delivered directly to the seat in a manner only visible to only a requesting patron. Audio description, transmitted via a wireless headset, allows individuals who are blind or have low vision “a spoken narration of important visual elements of a movie, such as actions, settings, facial expressions, costumes and scene changes.”

The Justice Department stressed that the regulations would . . .

Read more: http://thehill.com/regulation/213330-doj-pushes-new-movie-theater-rules-for-blind-and-deaf#ixzz38sEAlSwj
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

Soon Federal contractors will have to employ people with disabilities.

July 29, 2014 in Disability Law

RespectAbilityNew
Hello!

Given all the troubles in the world, I hope you and yours are well!

Not only was this a very exciting week because President Obama signed WIOA, starting on January 1, 2015 all Federal contractors will need to follow Rule 503, which asks for 7% of their employees in all job categories to be people with disabilities. This is very good news on inclusion. So what are the rules? Go HERE to see.

If you want to hear a webinar on this go HERE.

Also, if you want to know what companies in your area get federal government grants, and thus need to follow the rule and have inclusive workforces, go to www.fedspending.org. You can get an easy to use list of all the companies who will be looking to hire and/or identify employees with disabilities!

All the best,

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
www.RespectAbilityUSA.org

P.S. Happy ADA Anniversary!

 

 

FCC Requires Closed Captioning Of IP-Delivered Video Clips

July 23, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Captioning / Relay, Community News, Disability Law

 

FCC MOVES TO ENSURE ONLINE VIDEO CLIPS ARE ACCESSIBLE TO AMERICANS WHO ARE DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING

News Release – July 11, 2014
Proposed Ruling Released – July 14,2014

New Rules Will Require Captioning of Certain Online Video Clips Beginning in 2016

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission today approved new rules that will require closed captioning of video clips that are posted online. The new rules further the purpose of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) by helping to ensure equal access to all forms of programming by individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing when they watch video content online.
Specifically, the rules extend the Commission’s IP closed captioning rules adopted in 2012, which cover full-length videos online, to video clips if the original programming was shown on television in the United States with captions. The new rules apply to video programming distributors that air programming – including broadcasters and cable and satellite distributors— on television and then post clips of that programming on their own website or via their own mobile app. The new rules do not extend to third party websites or apps. Compliance deadlines vary based on the type of video clip. Specifically, a deadline of:

  • January 1, 2016, will apply to “straight lift” clips, which contain a single excerpt of a captioned
    television program with the same video and audio that was presented on television;
  • January 1, 2017, will apply to “montages,” which occur when a single file contains multiple straight lift clips; and
  • July 1, 2017, will apply to video clips of live and near-live television programming, such as news
    or sporting events. Distributors will have a grace period of 12 hours after the associated live
    video programming was shown on television and eight hours after the associated near-live video
    programming was shown on television before the clip must be captioned online in order to give
    distributors flexibility to post time-sensitive clips online without delay.

Finally, the requirements do not apply to video clips that are in the distributor’s online library before the
applicable compliance deadline because compliance for this category of video clips is considered to be
economically burdensome.

The Commission also issued a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that asks for comment on
four related issues, including:

  • Application of the IP closed captioning rules to the provision of video clips by third party distributors not subject to today’s Order;
  • Whether to decrease or eliminate over time the grace periods that apply to video clips of live and near-live programming, as technological advancements facilitate the prompt online posting of such clips with captions;
  • Application of the IP closed captioning requirements to “mash-ups,” which are files that contain a combination of one or more video clips from captioned programming that has been shown on television along with other content (such as online-only content) that has not been shown on television with captions; and
  • Application of the IP closed captioning rules to “advance” video clips, which are those that are added to the distributor’s online library after the applicable compliance deadline but before the video programming is shown on television with captions, and which then remain online.

Action by the Commission July 11, 2014, by Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 14-97). Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel issuing separate statements. Commissioner Pai concurring and issuing statement. Commissioner O’Rielly approving in part and concurring in part and issuing statement.

—–



 

List of related documents, background information and announcements:

FCC July 11, 2014 News Release (PDF) 

iDeafnews announcement from NAD (ASL video with captions)

Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT)  announcement

FCC Commission Document FCC 14-97 Released July 14, 2014
SECOND ORDER ON RECONSIDERATION AND SECOND FURTHER NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

CEA Study Announcement - Arlington, VA – 06/05/2014 Change is in the Air: U.S. Households Viewing TV Programming only via the Internet are Poised to Surpass those Viewing only via Antenna

 

Hastings, MN – YMCA to provide interpreter for deaf couple

July 15, 2014 in Disability Law, Interpreting & Transliterating

 

 

StarTribune, Minneapolis, MN

Concession follows lawsuit filed over swim classes at Hastings YMCA.

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities has agreed to provide an American Sign Language interpreter for deaf parents Jacob and Calena Lingle so they can fully participate in their daughter Aria’s swim classes at the Hastings Y.

After trying to negotiate for a year, the Lingles and their daughter, now 2½, sued the YMCA earlier this month, alleging that its refusal to provide an adequate means for them to communicate violated state and federal laws.

A day after the lawsuit was filed June 12 in Hennepin County District Court, the Lingles received an e-mail from the Y saying an interpreter would be made available, but only for the first of the seven-session Seahorse classes.

The Lingles’ attorney, Rick Macpherson, of the Minnesota Disability Law Center, said Wednesday that he received an e-mail Monday from the Y’s attorney saying the organization had decided to provide an interpreter for all the classes.

While the lawsuit has not been settled, Macpherson said the Y proposed putting the litigation on hold while it develops a new policy and resolves the other issues in the case.

“The Lingles are fine with that arrangement,” Macpherson said. “The Y has said they plan to involve representatives from the deaf community in coming up with the policy.”

The Lingles will have a role in that and the policy must be acceptable to them before they decide to settle the lawsuit. Because the suit has been filed, a judge will have to approve a timetable for the negotiations, the attorney said. Those details have not been worked out yet.

“The clients are happy they will be able to participate in the rest of the classes,” Macpherson said. “They’re committed to doing whatever they can so that the policy is a good one and works for everybody. There are lots of ways to work out cost-effective ways of doing it.”

Jacob and Calena Lingle, 27 and 25 respectively, have been deaf since birth. Their daughter can hear; her first language was ASL.

The family vacations each year on Cass Lake in northern Minnesota and wanted Aria to be comfortable in the water so she could play with her 20 cousins.

Read more . . .

Aussies debate whether to allow deaf jurors

July 11, 2014 in Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Deaf News Today (Australia)
July 9, 2014

Article Source

Should Australian courts allow deaf citizens to serve on juries? That’s what a professor at the University of New South Wales is hoping to find out during a mock trial that will take place in Sydney. The topic became a national issue when a Queensland judge ruled a deaf woman could not sit on a jury. You can read about that here. Two of the 15 jurors in the mock trial will be deaf. Read more details about the study in the Guardian here. The deaf started sitting on juries in the U.S. 24 years ago.

July Updates: Deaf In Prison Receives 25,000+ Views

July 7, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Disability Law

 

 

#DeafInPrison Campaign updates & information on upcoming events in the Deaf Access to Justice Movement.

De'VIA Deaf ARTActivists pose in front of the gates of Wende Correctional Instition in NY after providing an artist workshop at Wende Correctional Institution to kick of #DeafInPrison Campaign.
Packed house at HEARD's #DeafInPrison Screening Busboys and Poets ASL Poetry & Sign Songs, Washington, DC. Thanks to Jason "JT" Tozier for serving as HEARD spokesperson. "Powerful night!" say all present #ARTActivism #CommunityResponsibility 120 people! More photos to follow . . .   [Image Desc: Long room one piece of artwork covering the far wall. Many many people sit close together in a room looking toward big screen with "Deaf In Prison" playing]

#DeafInPrison Campaign Makes Waves

The Campaign has been a huge success thus far. The documentary received nearly 26,000 online views in just three days, and more than 600 people attended live viewings in California, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, and Washington, D.C.

Please take a few seconds to sign & share our petition to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting national standards for inclusion of and protection for deaf incarcerated people. The ASL version of the petition can be viewed here. 

 

Founder Talila "TL" Lewis in Florida with Mary Ellen, HEARD Advocate for our second eldest #DeafInPrison named Bud (90 years old) #Deaf #Nonagenarian #Prison #ASL  [Image Description: TL w black rimmed glasses and bright purple shirt and Mary Ellen w light rose rimmed glasses and a light blue shirt stand in front of red pier in St. Augustine, Florida. River, trees, grass, sidewalk in the background.] Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center Photo from today's viewing of #DeafInPrison. #Colorado #Advocates #Allies

Humble thanks to Facundo Element for their support of this Campaign and to the following organizations who hosted screenings:

ASLized!
ASL Poetry & Sign Songs (sponsored by HEARD)
Baird Farrelly Criminal Defense, PLLC
Civil Rights Education & Enforcement Center
Department of ASL-English Interpretation at Columbia College Chicago
Deaf Communication by Innovation
Deaf Counseling, Advocacy & Referral Agency
Facundo Element
Iglesia Martell Law Firm
Pinellas Public Library Cooperative’s Deaf Literacy Center

Want more informaiton on deaf prisoners?  Take a look at HEARD’s #DeafInPrison Fact Sheet in English or ASL.

Ready to take action?

Inspiration & ideas below . . .

Gallaudet University Highlights Intern Corinna Hill

Gallaudet University wrote this articlehighlighting our former intern Corinna Hill & our work to advance Deaf Access to Justice.

The article focuses on Corinna’s work with HEARD last semester, including organizing a community engagement campaign that identified legal needs of D.C.’s Deaf Community; planning and leading the Alternative Spring Break trip for ten Cornell University students, and testifying at the Maryland House of Delegates in support of the Deaf Culture Digital Library.

Corina is quoted as saying, “I grew up thinking that the prison system was fair, and now I realize it has flaws. . . . Innocent deaf Americans are sitting in prison.” Read More>>

Support the Deaf Prisoner Phone Justice Campaign

Right now, only six prisons across the nation have videophones. Even fewer have other features that would make telecommunications universally accessible for Deaf*/CODA/Speech Challenged persons.

The Federal Communications Commission has again invited HEARD’s founder to speak about issues important to these populations at its July 9th Workshop on Further Reform of Inmate Calling Services, from 9am-4:30pm (EST). The workshop is free and open to the public, & will be live streamed for those who can not attend in person. Please show support of equal access to telecommunications for all prisoners and their families by attending or sending in deaf/disability-related questions to each panel.

For more information on HEARD’s Deaf Prisoner Phone Justice Campaign, view HEARD’s timeline here.  For more information on this workshop, please visit the FCC’s event page here.

Sign our DOJ Petition

Seen and HEARD: Corinna Hill ’14 advocates for the rights of deaf people in prison

July 3, 2014 in Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

Gallaudet Website
Article Source

Several Gallaudet University students are working to improve the American justice system for the deaf by interning with Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD), a D.C.-based nonprofit organization.

Corinna Hill

Gallaudet Student – Corinna Hill ’14

HEARD recently was featured in two episodes of Al Jazeera America series “America Tonight.” “Deaf In Prison” focused on the plight of deaf and hard of hearing inmates in prisons throughout the United States, and HEARD kicked off a #DeafinPrison social media campaign during which it promoted the Al Jazeera episodes on YouTube.

Corinna Hill, ’14, is one of the Gallaudet students who helped HEARD with its outreach efforts. “I grew up thinking that the prison system was fair, and now I realize it has flaws,” said Hill, a Boonsboro, Md., native who majored in history. “Innocent deaf Americans are sitting in prison.”

HEARD is a volunteer-run organization founded by American University law student Talila Lewis. After a semester-long externship with the D.C. Public Defense Service, Lewis set a mission: to improve communication accessibility for deaf prisoners and fight for those who have been wrongfully convicted.

“Only five prisons in the U.S. have videophones – Virginia, Vermont, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Maine,” Lewis said.

There also are numerous cases of allegedly innocent deaf Americans who have been imprisoned for years, unable to tell their story and without access to interpreters or even a TTY.

Read More . . .

Deaf man names Pacific Northwest University in discrimination suit

July 2, 2014 in Disability Law

 

By Donald W. Meyers / Yakima Herald-Republic
dmeyers@yakimaherald.com
Article Source 

YAKIMA, Wash. — A Utah man has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, claiming the school refused to allow him to study medicine because he is deaf.

In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Yakima, Zachary Featherstone said the Terrace Heights-based school violated federal and state anti-discrimination statutes, as well as breached a contract with him when it barred his enrollment. The suit seeks unspecified damages, a pledge against future discrimination and Featherstone’s enrollment in the university’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“It’s definitely been his lifelong dream to become a doctor, and he knows he can be successful at (PNWU) and as a doctor,” said Emily Teplin Fox, an attorney with Markowitz, Herbold, Glade and Mehlhaf in Portland, one of two law firms representing Featherstone in the suit. “They just need to give him a chance.”

Read more . . .

Senator Harkins’ Report: States Lagging On Community Living

May 29, 2014 in Community News, Disability Law

 

 

States are failing to meet their obligations to transition individuals with disabilities out of institutions and into community settings, a year-long investigation finds.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled more than a decade ago in a case known as Olmstead v. L.C. that unnecessarily segregating individuals with disabilities in institutions is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Nonetheless, a report set to be released Thursday by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee finds that the number of people with disabilities in nursing homes is on the rise and, as of 2010, just a dozen states devoted the majority of their Medicaid dollars to community-based care.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead was a landmark moment for the disability community,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs the committee. “Yet … 14 years later, many states are still not making a commitment to provide all individuals with disabilities the choice to live in their own homes and communities. This is amazing given that study after study has shown that home and community-based care is not only what people want, but is more cost-effective.”

Last year, Harkin asked officials from all 50 states to provide him with information about their progress in transitioning individuals with disabilities out of institutions. The report being issued this week details what the senator found.

Read more  . . 

Sen. Harkins to Introduce Bill to Improve Disability Services

May 29, 2014 in Community News, Disability Law

 

 

Disability Scoop
By
 

A key U.S. senator is looking to introduce legislation to dramatically expand access to community-based services for people with disabilities nationwide.

An aide for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, confirms to Disability Scoop that the veteran lawmaker is planning to introduce a bill this summer that would bolster the rights of people with disabilities to obtain the support they need in the communities where they live.

“(Harkin) is currently looking at developing legislation that would enhance community access, inclusion and support in order to ensure that all individuals with disabilities can receive home and community-based services and supports in their own towns, cities and neighborhoods throughout America,” Allison Preiss, a spokeswoman for the senator, told Disability Scoop.

Read More  . . .

Should Federal Judge Make Redbox DVD Obey ADA Demands?

May 22, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Disability Law

 

 

Categories: Court

Original Source - http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2014/05/redbox_dvd_lawsuit.php

California_jurisdiction

The success of Redbox Automated Retail DVD rentals is undeniable after capturing more than 33 percent of the national market, but one Orange County man believes the operation is callously discriminatory against deaf customers and he’s demanding compensation.

Bellevue, Washington-based Redbox has illegally “failed to provide equal access to their DVD and Blu-ray and video streaming services by refusing to make available closed captioned text for the deaf and hard of hearing–a feature that is necessary for such individuals to understand the audio portion of the video content,” according to Francis Jancik’s lawsuit.

In Jancik’s view, Redbox’s self-service, DVD rental kiosks are “places of public accommodation” and therefore fall under the requirements of The California Disabled Persons Act, the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act and The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

The problem with Redbox for the deaf is that “it is difficult, if not impossible” to know in advance which movies include closed captioning, according to the lawsuit.As examples of what Jancik sees as unfair business practices, his lawsuit includes Redbox advertisements for Assault on Wall Street and The Adventures of Mickey Matson: Cooperhead Treasure; both ads erroneously claim closed caption service.

Read More  . . .

Action Alert: CRPD Fish Day– Ratify the CRPD!

May 9, 2014 in Community News, Disability Law

Can’t view this message? Read it online.

power up heading.JPG

CALL YOUR SENATORS. RATIFY THE DISABILITY TREATY!

fish.jpg

The United States Senate has ratified FOUR international treaties to protect fish, but still has not come together to ratify the Disability Treaty. It is time for the U.S. Senate ratify the Disability Treaty to protect the rights of people with disabilities around the world.

We need YOU to take action! Call your Senators and send the image above to them via Twitter and Facebook! 

AAPD mission

American Association of People with Disabilities
2013 H Street NW, 5th Floor | Washington, DC 20006

 

Proposal Would Allow Service Animals In National Parks

May 1, 2014 in Community News, Disability Law

By Cheri Carlson, Ventura County Star/MCT  4/29/2014

Service dogs, and in some cases miniature horses, may be welcome in national parks, even when other animals are not.

That’s according to a National Park Service proposal to update regulations regarding service animals.

Officials are seeking public comment through June 17 on the proposed regulations.

The National Park Service “protects park resources and visitors by regulating pets and other domestic animals within park areas,” the agency says.

While service animals are allowed in parks now, the regulations have not been updated in some time. Officials said the agency proposed changes to provide “the broadest possible” accessibility to those with disabilities.

The regulations would define a service animal as a dog or a miniature horse trained to perform tasks directly related to a person’s disability.

A dog used solely for comfort or emotional support would not be considered a service animal and would be subject to regulations governing pets, the proposed rule states.

For the rest of the story: http://bit.ly/1nMD7gQ

Action Alert- Amend Social Security Act to cover Hearing Aids Under Medicare

May 1, 2014 in Community News, Disability Law

ACTION ALERT!

Congressman Cartwright Sponsors Bill to Cover Hearing Aids Under Medicare

Congressman Cartwright has sponsored a bill, The Help Extend Auditory Relief (HEAR) Act — HR 3015, to amend the Social Security Act to cover hearing aids under Medicare:

  • Include Medicare coverage for hearing rehabilitation services, including a comprehensive audiology assessment to determine if a hearing aid is appropriate, a threshold test to determine audio acuity, and various services associated with fitting, adjusting, and using hearing aids.
  • Include Medicare coverage for hearing aids, defined as any wearable instrument or device for compensating for hearing loss.

NVRC encourages you to contact the member of Congress who represents your district to request that he support this bill. For more information about the bill and how your representation can become a cosponsor, contact Brian Payne at 202-225-5546 or brian.payne@mail.house.gov.

For information on contacting your representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Thanks to Janice S Lintz

Know Your Deaf Rights: What to Do When Dealing With the Police

May 1, 2014 in Community News, Disability Law

Being stopped by the police is difficult for everyone.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, the experience can be worse.aclu

Marlee Matlin On Deaf And Police Interaction

The ACLU has teamed up with Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin, who is deaf and the wife of a police officer, and advocacy group Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD) on an American Sign Language video to ensure deaf people know their rights when interacting with law enforcement.

WATCH VIDEO - https://www.aclu.org/know-your-deaf-rights-what-do-when-dealing-police