Community News - Archive

Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
E-Bulletin: Sept. 26, 2014

September 30, 2014 in Community News

Mid-Atlantic ADA CenterADA_center

September 26, 2014

Our E-Bulletin for September 26, 2014 is now posted online at:

Some news you’ll find in this issue:

  •  DOL: $8.4 Million to Improve Employment Opportunities
  • “Harkin Introduces Three Bills as Part of ‘Access for All’ Agenda for Americans with Disabilities”
  • “Understanding EEOC’s new guidance on pregnancy discrimination”
  • A Review of Community College-Employer Partnerships and Initiatives: Expanding Opportunities for Job Seekers with Disabilities
  • Disaster Planning and Response: Including People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • “Federal Legal Corner: Flexible Schedule as Reasonable Accommodation”
  • New Guide Offers Tips on 508 Compliance
  • DOJ Alleges Kent State Violated FHA by Refusing to Allow Emotional Support Animals in Student Housing
  • Nominations Sought for Participation in Advisory Committee on Competitive Integrated Employment


ADA In Focus Webinar Series

October 9, 2014 – 2:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern
The ADAAA and its affect on Section 503 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act
Rob Hodapp, Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
November 13, 2014 – 2:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

The ADA and Law Enforcement, there’s more to it than ramps
Michael Sullivan, Michael Sullivan ADA Consulting
There is no charge for these sessions. Click on the links for more information.


Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
A member of the ADA National NetworkTransCen, Inc.
401 N. Washington Street Suite 450
Rockville, Maryland 20850
1-800-949-4232 V/TTY
301-217-0124 V/TTY



Washington Post Reviews – ‘EL DEAFO’ by deaf Va. artist CECE BELL

September 24, 2014 in Community News



Washington Post
Comic Riffs
By Michael Cavna September 23

‘EL DEAFO’: With her first (and so funny) graphic novel,
deaf Va. artist CECE BELL hopes her tale will help others

IT IS A STORY Cece Bell knew she wanted to tell, and believed it was something she should share. But it took decades of discovery and experience, and then artistic growth and parenthood, to get to a place where she was ready to put it to paper.

At age 4, Bell suffered a brief bout with meningitis that left her “severely to profoundly deaf.” Soon she was wearing hearing aids, and a large Phonic Ear across her chest. As her life, too, began to change profoundly, she created an alter-ego – El Deafo! – who, amid a child’s sense of vulnerability and uncertainty, was determined to feel empowered by her being “different.”

Now, at age 43, Bell has introduced her superheroic self to the world in her emotionally truthful graphic-novel debut — titled, naturally, “El Deafo”(Amulet). As memoir, it is a work that demanded its own journey.

“I think the story was easier to tell, since I knew the material inside and out, and I’ve pretty much spent my whole life trying to make sense of some of the things that happened to me,” Bell tells The Post’s Comic Riffs (ahead of her appearance Wednesday morning at Washington’s Politics & Prose bookstore, and tomorrow afternoon at One More Page Books in Arlington, Va.) . “But the [five-year] execution of the book was probably the hardest project I’ve ever taken on in my life.

“I’ve said it so many times my throat hurts: I don’t see how the graphic novelists in this world make more than one of these things in one lifetime!”

Bell was born in Richmond, and “El Deafo” recounts her childhood growing up near Roanoke. Her Virginia roots run through her work in many ways, including the very illustration itself. She created the inviting art of “El Deafo” with Eisner-winning colorist David Lasky, whom she and her husband met while attending the College of William & Mary.

Washington Post Article

VBDP – NEWS – Fellowships, Survey Deadlines, more

September 24, 2014 in Community News


September 23, 2014


Survey Season-Open until Early October! Computer Monitor with Survey

People with disabilities, family members, concerned citizens, care providers, and policymakers-we need your help! Have you taken 10 minutes to fill out the Board’s survey? We want your input to know how we’re doing, so please take time to complete it online. The survey is available on the home page of (in the slider on the right) or by typing into your web browser. If you have trouble accessing the survey or need a printed copy, please dial 800-846-4464 or send an email to with your contact information so we can assist you.



Family with Laptop

 Health Survey Open until Oct. 3

The Virginia Dept. of Health (VDH) is conducting a needs assessment study for women, children, and families in Virginia. If you have children with special health care needs, please take a few minutes to complete the VDH online survey.



Transportation Survey Open until October 10

iRide Van

Getting around the Commonwealth can be a challenge for people with disabilities. How do you travel now? How would you like to travel in the future? Give your opinion now and you can help guide Virginia’s transportation in the future.



It’s Here-Your Comprehensive Resource!

2014 Disability AssessmentFor those engaged in understanding and improving Virginia’s supports and services for individuals with developmental and other disabilities, the Board’s 2014 Assessment of the Disability Service System in Virginia is an essential reference, with data and descriptions of many of the programs and services administered, funded, provided, or licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Note: This year there are two separate volumes-Volume 1 is a 68-page document, Key Findings and Board Recommendations, plus the 500 page Volume 2, available online as an accessible PDF file (preferred distribution method). Both documents are available on CD upon request at 800-846-4464 or send an email to if unable to access online.


Fellowship Program Applications Open until October 30 glasses-man-portrait.jpg

The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation is seeking professionals, family members, or people with disabilities who are working or volunteering in the field of inclusive services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). The purpose of the one-year fellowship is to prepare both early career and seasoned leaders to excel in the public policy arena in their home state or nationally. Applications are accepted online until 5:00 pm EST October 30, 2014. If you have questions, please contact Steven M. Eidelman.

Keeping Virginians informed about disability services and issues is one of our most important responsibilities! Thank you for sharing this information.

VBPD does not share your contact information without your permission. The Board shares your concern about privacy and unwanted correspondence, especially junk e-mail. We limit our communications to information you need to be more knowledgeable about issues affecting people with disabilities.




The Mid-Atlantic Deaf & HH Festival – Exhibitors Information

September 22, 2014 in Community News



September 12, 2014

Dear Prospective Exhibitors,

The Mid-Atlantic Deaf & HH Festival is fast approaching and I wanted to send out a friendly reminder to make sure and reserve your booth early so you receive the “Early Bird Special Price”.  The Early Bird Special has been extended and the new deadline is September 30, 2014.

This is a great way to showcase your business or organization and make new business contacts, launch your new products and sell your products and services.

Space is limited and exhibit contracts are on a first-come, first-serve basis.   Don’t miss out!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at:


VP: 623-208-7648


Wayne Berke, Chair

Download Event flyer

Doenload 1-dayMaryland DeafFestival 2014ExhibitionContract


The Vermont Association of the Deaf – Press Release

September 22, 2014 in Community News



For Immediate Release Sept 20, 2014

The Vermont Association of the Deaf invites you to come to the “VERMONT DEAF RIGHTS, Save Austine School and Services Rally” at the State House on Saturday September 27, 2014 12:30 to 5pm at the Statehouse in Montpelier VT.

We want the State to take over the Austine School property and make it a State School for the Deaf. The Austine School for the Deaf in Brattleboro has provided over 100 years of quality education and prepared students for life after graduation. This past spring the school’s Board of Trustees voted to close its doors. In the past two weeks the Board of Trustees also voted to cease operations of its other programs which are vital to the quality of life for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Vermonters.

Deaf and hard of hearing children in Vermont are now scattered all over Vermont. They are isolated in their public schools, and often are the only student who use sign language or have no access to sign language at all. Learning is severely limited when a student needs to watch an interpreter every day, and has no one to sign to or talk with. The Austine School provides a community of learners where everyone can sign and speak to each other. Teaching and learning at Austine is language rich, barrier-free, and unfiltered. The Austine School and its Outreach program provided consultation to public school districts across the state to ensure that their students were receiving appropriate access to education. That service is gone. Those Deaf children are left behind. This will have a negative impact on education and employment opportunities and general well-being of Deaf Vermonters and come at an additional cost to the state.

The State of Vermont needs to step up to the plate and ensure that those children and families get the support they deserve by establishing an independent agency within the state that operates the Austine School and its services to Deaf and hard of hearing babies and students.

This event coincides with the International Deaf Awareness Day. Come and celebrate our rights to equal communication, education and opportunities.


Download VermontSOS PDF Flyer


September 19, 2014 in Community News



American Association On Health and Disability

Deadline:  Nov. 15, 2014

AAHD is accepting applications for the AAHD Scholarship Program (2014-2015) which supports students with disabilities pursuing higher education in a field related to disability and health.  Preference is given to students who plan to pursue undergraduate/graduate studies in the field of public health, behavioral health, epidemiology, health promotion, disability studies, to include disability policy and disability research. Scholarships are limited to under $1,000. Scholarships are competitive each year. Please visit the AAHD website at to download application. 

Deadline for submission is November 15, 2014.   Please circulate this opportunity throughout your networks.

For information, please contact Maria Manolatos, AAHD Scholarship Coordinator, at

American Association on Health and Disability
110 N. Washington Street, Suite 328-J

Rockville, MD 20833



Seahawk in Silence – Derrick Coleman

September 19, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



K5 Western Washington’s Home Team
September 11, 2014
Article Source

SEATTLE—The Seattle Seahawks play in arguably the loudest stadium in the world. Yet one Seahawk can’t hear the crowd.

Running back Derrick Coleman scored a key touchdown in the Seahawks’ season-opening win against the Packers. The fans went crazy. But Derrick only saw the cheers.

“I could feel it in my body, but my ears didn’t really catch it all. My body did though.”

He lost most of his hearing from a childhood disease at age 3.

“When people tell me I can’t do something, it just makes me want to do.”

He is one of the few hearing-impaired athletes to make it to the NFL. He may be the only one to make it on offense, where hearing can be critical as quarterback Russell Wilson often changes a play with his voice.

“So he knows straight up OK y’know look at me. Or you don’t have to look at me, just face me.”

Like he has most of his life, Derrick figures out a way to make it work. He wears hearing aids in both ears. But they don’t work well with the noise of the game. So he plays mostly in silence. He says that’s a good thing.

“My disability is actually an advantage over everybody else. Now they’re tryin’ to hear the play. They really gotta focus. All I gotta do is look at ‘em and talk.”


Deborah Rehmat: Gradual hearing loss – “It’s more about not being able to understand”

September 19, 2014 in Community News



The Limping Chicken
September 17, 2014
Article Source

“It’s not really so much about not being able to hear – it’s more about not being able to understand”.

My father and I were talking on the phone when he made this remark about progressive hearing loss – something we talk about a lot these days.

He has worn hearing aids for decades and now aged 90 his loss of hearing is what he describes as ‘significant’.

My mother (at 92) has recently started to wear a hearing aid in one ear, and for the first time is experiencing for herself the unpleasant surprise of amplified sound and the ways in which a hearing aid can make things both better and worse.

“The cutlery is so loud!” she says. “It drowns out everything else!” and we laugh about it, as if the knives and forks had a life of their own, but my father has struggled with this amplification of sound for years and it’s really not funny.

Everyday background noises that most of us hardly notice – like the running tap Moira Dancer described in her post here recently – can suddenly turn into a terrifying blast of sound that can either drive you crazy or scare you witless.

Read more  . . .

Nation’s highest court gets “looped,” joining many other prominent institutions

September 19, 2014 in Community News, Technology



Hearing News Watch

WASHINGTON, DC—Following ancient custom, the United States Supreme Court will begin its next term on the first Monday in October. However, when the nine justices hear their first case on October 6, there will be something new in the courtroom that will assist hearing aid wearers present in following the proceedings: a hearing loop system, installed this summer.

The new induction listening system, which is in addition to the High Court’s existing FM and infra-red listening devices, transmits sound through an electromagnetic signal that can be picked up by the telecoil of a hearing aid or cochlear implant.

Who will take advantage of the hearing loop? According to Kathy Arberg, the Supreme Court’s public information officer, the new system is intended for use by court visitors. But, she added, it will also be available to attorneys appearing before the court.

Will any of the justices be availing themselves of the hearing loop. Arberg did not say, a reticence in keeping with the tradition of the justices to keep their personal lives private. However, given that the average age of the nine current justices is 68.4 years and that four are over 75, it’s a good bet that some of them are—or, at least, should be—wearing hearing aids. So, they too will take advantage of the new system.


The looping installation at the Supreme Court didn’t just happen; it was the product of active advocacy. Last December, Richard Williams, a retired attorney who serves on the board of theSarasota, Florida, chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), contacted the management of the Supreme Court, urging that a hearing loop be installed.

Read More  . . .


Fairfax County Volunteer Opportunities for Older Adults

September 19, 2014 in Community News



Volunteers who are deaf or hard of hearing and/or fluent in American Sign Language are needed in Reston, Herndon and Vienna for assistance with computers, grocery shopping, and social visiting.

For these and other volunteer opportunities, call 703-324-5406, TTY 711 or visit and click on Volunteer Solutions.

Going Blind and Deaf, One Woman Turns to Spinning

September 17, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Sep 15, 2014
By Locke Hughes

Faced with what Rebecca Alexander has gone through, most people couldn’t be blamed for giving up on exercise. At age 12, Alexander found out she was going blind due to a rare genetic disorder. Then, at 18, she suffered a fall from a second-story window, and her formerly athletic body was confined to a wheelchair for five months. Soon after that, she learned she was losing her hearing as well.

But Alexander hasn’t let these obstacles slow her down: At 35, she’s a psychotherapist with two masters degrees, a spin instructor, and an endurance racer living in New York City. In her new book, Not Fade Away: a Memoir of Senses Lost and Found, Rebecca writes about handling her disability with courage and positivity. Here, she tells us more about how fitness helps her cope with her day-to-day reality and the important lessons that anyone can take away from her experiences.

Read Interview by Shape

The top of my do-over list includes showing my ears a little love

September 17, 2014 in Community News


 — or at least some respect

Deseret News

 September 9, 2014
Updated: September 10, 2014

Sitting quietly beside my daughter on an old stump in a canyon where we’d gone rambling recently, I listened with joy to the warble of a bird and the babble of the water nearby.

One of my great pleasures is the fact that those sounds — and the ticking of a watch — are unimpaired by a pretty devastating hearing loss. If you’re going to be left with remnants, those are lovely.

Then my teenager spoke, the words mostly unintelligible, and I was reminded of precisely how much I have given up with decades of casual disregard for my ears. The fact that my hearing loss is most likely self-inflicted just increases the misery.

If you have kids, pay attention and talk to them about this early and often. Because hearing aids are a lovely tool and I am very grateful for mine. But this is one do-over I’d embrace in a heartbeat, were it possible. Artificial hearing cannot compare with the real thing. If you’ve got it, take care of it.

I didn’t.

When I was in high school, I went to a ton of football games to root for good old Idaho Falls High. Screaming, it seems, was not optional. Hearing protection should not have been, either.

A few years later, as a young reporter, I reviewed concerts. And for at least a decade, it never occurred to me that I could hear the concert pretty much unimpaired even if I wore ear plugs, which would have been a dandy notion. The most I’d have lost is some of the shrill shrieks and whistles that are so many audiences’ contribution to a musical occasion.

Read More  . . .

Morris man has an idea: a wristband to show if someone is hearing-impaired

September 17, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



The North Jefferson News
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
By Melanie Patterson
Article Source

A Morris man is doing his part to help veterans with hearing problems be better understood.

David Wright, who lost part of his hearing due to military injuries, knows how it feels to experience embarrassment and frustration as a result of having hearing impairment. He said others feel the same way.

Wright, a member of VFW Kelly Ingram Post 668 in Birmingham, had a simple idea: provide wrist bands to individuals so they can quickly and inconspicuously show to others that they are having a hard time hearing what is being said.

The VFW post has ordered sand-colored plastic wrist bands that state, “Hearing Impaired,” on them. Wright said VFW Post 668 Commander Henry Brown Jr. is fully supporting the program and approved spending the funds for it.

“The main purpose is for people to identify hearing impaired people in public,” Wright said. “We need to let people know we are hearing impaired, and they need to treat us respectfully. They need to help us at the level we need help.”

Wright said that going into public places can be a nightmare for people with hearing impairments.

“If you go into a noisy place, sometimes it’s actually better to turn your hearing aids off so you can just hear the sounds closest to you. Sometimes hearing aids frustrate a person because they transmit everything,” he said.

Wright said some hearing impaired people do not hear all frequencies, so they often catch only part of what is being said.

He added that he has lost friends because “people will drift away from you” if they are continually having to repeat themselves.

Read More  . . .


5 Unhealthy Habits That Can Cause Hearing Loss

September 17, 2014 in Community News



Hearing Aid Company of Texas
SEPTEMBER 10, 2014
Original Article

You may not think your overall health has anything to do with your hearing, but it’s true. Your hearing is intricately interwoven with the overall functionality of your body and vice versa. Many studies has been done that link hearing with conditions in various parts of the body, illustrating that many of these adverse affects are connected to an unhealthy habit of some sort. Perhaps you don’t even realize that what you’re doing is harming your hearing. The good news is, if you’re aware of what’s going on, you do something to lessen your risk and exposure to hearing damage.

Loud Noises

Many people love to attend rock concerts, but the truth is, the extremely loud noises these events produce can damage your hearing. Each pulse of the speakers can bring on temporary and long-term damage to your ears, so never sit close to the speakers when at a concert. Instead, sit or stand in the back. Concerts aren’t the only thing that expose you to loud noises. This can involve hiking up the volume on the TV or video games to dangerous levels. These negative habits can have a bad effect on your hearing.

Listening to an MP3 Player

Many people, especially young people, like to drown out the noise of everyday life with their MP3 players. They pop in some ear buds and listen to their favorite tunes, whether on the subway or in a lecture hall. However, the loud volumes produced by such actions can lead to significant hearing damage over time. When you do this, you are basically sending a large amount of sound directly into your inner ear where it cannot diffuse properly. When all that energy crashes against your eardrum, you can experience hearing loss.

Sedentary Lifestyle

A real threat to young and old in this country and others is obesity. This can develop through a sedentary lifestyle that does not include proper exercise and eating the right foods. While obesity poses many health dangers for people, one of the biggest is the possibility of developing diabetes, which leads to poor circulation throughout the body. People with poor circulation are at a greater risk of hearing loss. One way to guard against this is to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.


Smoking is detrimental to many areas of your health, most notably your lungs and breathing, but did you know it’s also bad for your hearing? While you may not readily make the connection between smoking and hearing, this bad habit definitely poses a significant threat due to the chemicals in the cigarettes that can damage the vibration sensors in the ears. This makes it harder for the ear to pick up on small sounds, posing far-reaching impacts.

Failure to Visit Your Doctor

If you don’t go to the doctor on a regular basis, you could be missing out on opportunities to evaluate your hearing. Your doctor can pick up on hearing losses and treat them successfully if caught early. You have to do your part and see your doctor yearly so he or she can track any possible changes. Your doctor will not only assess your hearing risk but will advise you on how to improve your lifestyle and lower your risk of hearing loss.

Original Article


HLAA Opposes CMS’ Proposed Rules on Bone-Anchored Hearing Devices

September 17, 2014 in Community News


HLAA Website
Wed, 09/10/2014

September 2, 2014, Hearing Loss Association of America filed comments with CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) in opposition to the proposed roll back of rules that would disallow Medicare coverage for bone-anchored hearing devices. We argued that these devices should be considered prosthetic devices under the rules, and that the coverage should include both osseointegrated devices and any innovations that are developed to help those who cannot successfully use hearing aids, such as dental-anchored conductive devices.

These proposed rules could hurt many people who would benefit from bone anchored devices, and those people who are already have these devices who may no longer be able to afford to have them repaired or upgraded. It’s not clear where people who could use these devices will turn if the CMS proposed rules are adopted.

[Read more]