Disability Law - Archive

Advocates ignore juveniles’ safety and rehabilitation programs in D.C. courts

December 9, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law

 

 

Washington Post
By Lee F. Satterfield
December 5

Much attention has been paid recently to the use of safety restraints on juvenile offenders.

Those who oppose the use of these restraints ignore very real security issues, and they overlook the wide range of successful rehabilitation programs available to juveniles in this city through the court’s Social Services Division and elsewhere.

Safety is the court’s top priority.

I am chief judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. My top priority is the safety of the more than 10,000 people who walk through the front door of the courthouse each day: court staff, judicial officers, jurors, witnesses, parties to cases and the more than 60 youth who appear in our juvenile courts each day.

Judges in D.C. Superior Court’s Family Court work closely with the U.S. Marshals Service to ensure the safety of those in the courtroom because we have had incidents of restrained and unrestrained juveniles becoming aggressive in the courtroom and attempting to escape from the building.

This year, a respondent known to be volatile appeared at a hearing with a broken hand from having punched a wall at a city facility. The juvenile entered the courtroom with safety restraints on his hands and legs. Defense counsel requested that the hand restraints be removed so that the juvenile, who is hearing-impaired, could sign more easily. The judge denied the request, based on the juvenile’s propensity for violence. However, halfway through the hearing, staff removed some of the restraints. Soon thereafter, the juvenile went on a violent rampage, bucking and swinging his arms, trying to get to the judge. It took police and marshals quite a while to get the situation under control and contain him. In the process, the juvenile injured several people. This was an emotionally upsetting and chaotic experience for all who were present.

Read More  . . .

Hearing-impaired patron sues Hippodrome Theatre

December 4, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Captioning / Relay, Disability Law

 

 

The Baltimore Sun
By Mary Carole McCauley,

A Baltimore woman filed suit Monday in federal court asking a judge to order the France Merrick Performing Arts Center to provide open-captioned performances for its hearing-impaired patrons.

Jessica Gill is a lifelong lover of musical theater with a severe hearing disability who became frustrated and angry after her efforts to see the musical “Newsies” at the theater were stymied. The show opens Tuesday night and runs through Sunday.

She filed suit against the Key Brand Theatrical Group, which has a contract to operate the historic theater, the nonprofit Hippodrome Foundation and the Maryland Stadium Authority, which undertook a $62 million renovation of the former vaudeville palace in 2004.

The suit alleges that by refusing to provide the closed captioning that provides a running transcription of the dialogue and lyrics — similar to supertitles in opera — the venue violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the suit, Gill communicated back and forth with the Hippodrome’s staff from last January through July attempting to find a way to attend the show and follow the action on stage. She was told that the theater provides its hearing-impaired patrons with infrared hearing devices, audio descriptions and sign interpreters, but has made no provisions for open captioning.

Read entire article  . . .

Justice Department Reaches Settlement with Franciscan St. James Health to Stop Discrimination against Persons with Hearing Disabilities

December 4, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law

 

 

12/03/2014

The Justice Department announced today a settlement with Franciscan St. James Health (St. James), to ensure that patients and companions who are deaf or hard of hearing receive sign language interpreters and other services necessary to ensure effective communication, in compliance with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the agreement, St. James will pay $70,000 in damages to a patient who is deaf who was denied a sign language interpreter throughout her four day stay in the hospital. The settlement also requires that St. James provide auxiliary aids and services, including sign language interpreters, to people who are deaf or hard of hearing within prescribed time frames and free of charge; designate an ADA Administrator; utilize their grievance resolution systems to investigate disputes regarding effective communication with deaf and hard of hearing patients; post notices of their effective communication policy; and train hospital personnel on the effective communication reqwuirements of the ADA. The settlement is part of the Department’s Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative, a partnership of the Civil Rights Division and U. S. Attorney’s offices across the nation to ensure that people with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, who have HIV, or who have mobility disabilities, have equal access to medical services.

To find out more about this settlement agreement or about the ADA, please visit our ADA website at www.ada.gov.  For more information on the Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative visit www.ada.gov/usao-agreements. Those interested in finding out more about the ADA may also call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD).

Read full Press release

Read SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT 

EEOC Lawsuit Against FedEx Ground on behalf of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

November 20, 2014 in Disability Law, Transportation

 

 

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently filed a nationwide lawsuit against FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx Ground”) alleging that FedEx Ground discriminated against deaf or hard-of-hearing Package Handlers or applicants for the Package Handler position in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  EEOC alleges that FedEx Ground violated the ADA by, for example, failing to provide deaf or hard-of-hearing Package Handler applicants or employees with effective communication accommodations during the hiring process, in orientation and training, and for work-related meetings and communications.   You can find more information about this lawsuit at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/10-10-14.cfm.

We are attempting to reach deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals nationwide who may have applied for, or worked as, a Package Handler with FedEx Ground and who may be covered by the lawsuit.  We would appreciate your assistance in circulating information about this lawsuit to your members, including by posting about it on your website and including it in newsletters, e-mails, or other communications with your members.  In notifying your members about this lawsuit, we ask that you include the following link – http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/litigation/fedex.cfm – which contains an ASL informational video about the lawsuit.  Persons who think they are covered by the lawsuit should contact the EEOC by e-mailing fedexgroundlawsuit@eeoc.gov or by leaving a message, through Video Relay Service, at 215-440-2670.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank You.
___________________________

Thomas D. Rethage, Jr.
Senior Trial Attorney
U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission
801 Market St., Suite 1300
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3127
Ph: 215.440.2683
Fax: 215.440.2848

 

 

VAD Sponsored Legislative Training on Sat, Nov 15

October 2, 2014 in Community Events, Disability Law

 

 

Virginia Association of the Deaf and Gallaudet University Regional Center – Southeast is sponsoring a Legislative Training event on Saturday, November 15th.

Light breakfast and lunch will be provided by VAD
* First come, first served up to 40 participants
* Participants will receive Certificate of Attendance NAD Legislative Training

Workshop will be held at:
VA Dept. for Aging and Rehabilitative Services 8004 Franklin Farms Drive Henrico, VA 23229

 

Register today or before November 1st to book one of the 40 available seats! 

See attachment for more information.

Download PDF Attachment

—-

Sent by Virginia Association of the Deaf, Inc.

 

Rally Friday Sept 12th for Deaf and Hard of Hearing to serve in U.S. military

September 11, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law

Advocacy Alert -

Come to the Rally To Celebrate Legislation Supporting a Department of Defense Demonstration Program For the Accession to Active Duty of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals

September 12, 2014 Friday
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Assembling at Lafayette Park at the northern lawn of the White House

Directions and Route of Rally

Rally Information

COMMISSION CADET NOLAN NOW WEBSITE

Mom-To-Be Sues To Have Accommodations In Delivery Room

September 5, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law

 

 

Disability Scoop
By September 2, 2014
Article in Disability Scoop

Sometime this month or next, Cheylla Silva will be admitted to Baptist Hospital in Miami to give birth to her second child. The delivery will be high-risk: Silva suffers from high blood pressure and other complications.

Silva is hoping the delivery goes smoothly because if there are serious problems, she might be at a loss to communicate with her doctors and nurses. Silva is profoundly deaf, and, for months, Baptist administrators have refused to provide her with an American sign language interpreter, she says.

Late last week, Silva filed an emergency motion in federal court, asking U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams to order Baptist to provide the interpreter, arguing the hospital’s refusal to do so violates the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, a landmark civil rights law signed by then-President George Bush in 1990.

Baptist’s obligation, the suit says, “is to ensure that deaf patients be provided an equal opportunity to participate in their care and treatment.”

“One of the essential elements of personal dignity,” the pleading adds, “is the ability to obtain the necessary information to make an adequate and informed choice about one’s own medical treatment. Medical treatment and childbirth are some of the most intense and important experiences for a person.”

Through a telephonic interpreter, Silva said her experiences at Baptist, which is near where she lives, have frequently been frustrating. “Can you imagine going to a doctor’s office and not being able to understand what they are talking about? And it’s about your care. How would you feel?”

Read more . . . →

26-Year-Old Deaf-Blind Lawyer Sues Scribd For Alleged Discrimination

August 28, 2014 in Disability Law

 

Business Insider
COREY ADWAR
AUG. 20, 2014

A deaf-blind attorney who made Business Insider’s 2013 list of the 20 most impressive Harvard Law students is now fighting for the rights of blind readers in a lawsuit against digital subscription reading service Scribd, seeking equal access for the blind. 

Haben Girma made Business Insider’s 2013 list for her work advocating on behalf of people with disabilities. Now, at 26, she is continuing her efforts as a Skadden Fellowship Attorney with the nonprofit law firm Disability Rights Advocates. There, Girma is representing the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and blind Vermont mother Heidi Viens in a lawsuit against Scribd for allegedly depriving blind readers access to its online services in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/haben-girma-sues-scribd-2014-8

 

 

 
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/haben-girma-sues-scribd-2014-8#ixzz3BhNLnPDi

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Baltimore to Prevent Disability Discrimination

August 28, 2014 in Disability Law

 

Justice News, Department of Justice
Article Source

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Justice Department Reaches Agreement with the City of Baltimore
to Prevent Disability Discrimination

City of Baltimore to Pay $65,000 in Damages and Adopt New Policies and Procedures

The Justice Department today announced that it has reached an agreement with the city of Baltimore, Maryland, to end hiring practices that discriminate against people with disabilities.  The agreement, filed as a consent decree along with a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, resolves allegations by the department that the city engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Title I of the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of disability in various aspects of employment, including hiring.

Read more . . . →

Coverage For Bone-Anchored Hearing Devices To End ?

August 21, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

AG Bell Learn

Thursday, August 21, 2014 / ListeningandSpokenLanguage.org

On July 11, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule that would reclassify bone-anchored implants (i.e., osseointegrated hearing implants) from a prosthetic device to a hearing aid. This would effectively end Medicare reimbursement, since hearing aids are not covered under Medicare.

If the rule is adopted, it will affect thousands of people who do not benefit from hearing aids and people who need to replace or update their bone-anchored implant. The proposed changes threaten to eliminate what may be the best—and only—option for individuals with microtia, atresia, conductive hearing losses and single-sided deafness. Click here and here for more background and information.

There are only 10 days left to submit comments to CMS on the proposed rule! The comment period ends on September 2, and the final ruling by CMS is expected sometime around November 1. Click here to submit comments. Click here for guidance on comment submission for professionals, candidates, recipients, caregivers and supporters.

 

Petition to have Medicare cover hearing aids under HR 3150

August 14, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Disability Law, Technology

 

 

Petition To Pass HR 3150

We need Congress to pass HR 3150 so that hearing aids are covered by Medicare.

To be delivered to The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate

We need Congress to pass HR 3150 so that hearing aids are covered by Medicare.

PETITION BACKGROUND

Hearing aids should not be the new status symbol for the rich. The right to hear is a civil or human right.


Thanks to Janice Schacter Lintz, Chair, Hearing Access Program

Deaf advocacy groups to Verizon: Don’t kill net neutrality on our behalf

July 31, 2014 in Disability Law, Technology

 

 

Verizon claimed Internet fast lanes will help deaf, blind, and disabled.

ars technica
by Jon Brodkin
July 22 2014
Article Source

No company has lobbied more fiercely against network neutrality than Verizon, which filed the lawsuit that overturned the FCC’s rules prohibiting ISPs from blocking and discriminating against Web content. But the absence of net neutrality rules isn’t just good for Verizon—it’s also good for the blind, deaf, and disabled, Verizon claims.

That’s what Verizon lobbyists said in talks with congressional staffers, according to a Mother Jones report last month. “Three Hill sources tell Mother Jones that Verizon lobbyists have cited the needs of blind, deaf, and disabled people to try to convince congressional staffers and their bosses to get on board with the fast lane idea,” the report said. With “fast lanes,” Web services—including those designed for the blind, deaf, and disabled—could be prioritized in exchange for payment.

Now, advocacy groups for deaf people have filed comments with the FCC saying they don’t agree with Verizon’s position.

“We also take this opportunity to express our concern over the reported contentions of at least one broadband provider that the Commission should facilitate ‘fast lanes’—essentially permitting paid prioritization—for the sake of accessibility,” the groups wrote . . .

Read more 

NDI Report Finds Adults with Disabilities Continue to be Economically Shortchanged

July 31, 2014 in Disability Law, Research

NDI

NDI REPORT FINDS ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES CONTINUE TO BE ECONOMICALLY SHORTCHANGED DESPITE ADA’S GUARANTEE

As the U.S. celebrates the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, a first-of-its-kind report shows people with disabilities are less financially stable than people without disabilities

(Washington, D.C. – July 22, 2014) – A new report released today from National Disability Institute (NDI) shows 24 years after the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law and guaranteed all individuals with disabilities the opportunity to achieve “economic self-sufficiency,”people with disabilities are less financially stable than people without disabilities.

Based on data collected from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s 2012 National Financial Capability Study released last year, this groundbreaking report highlights for the first time a nationwide snapshot of the financial capability and financial wellness of adults with disabilities.

National Disability Institute’s report, Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities – Findings from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation 2012 National Financial Capability Study,analyzed data from 1,363 of the more than 25,000 respondents to the National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) self-identifying as “permanently sick, disabled or unable to work.” While the report analyzes one segment of people with disabilities, the results provide an important lens on the financial capability of many Americans with disabilities. According to U.S. Census data, nearly one in three people with disabilities in the United States live in poverty, a figure nearly double the national poverty rate.

Read more . . . →

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!