Good morning or afternoon, depending on where you happen to be calling from today. My name is Robin Jones and I am the coordinator for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) audio conference series. As you may know, or if you are new to the program, you know this is a collaborative of the ten regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers, also referred to as in some situations as ADA and Accessible Information Technology (IT) centers. This is the fourth in our reasonable accommodations series. We had three sessions before this, on various issues related to reasonable accommodations. For those of you that have been participating for all four sessions we will be offering a certificate of completion of this series. So if you are one of those individuals, make sure that your site coordinator sends in the information to the central ADA conference site coordinators. And we will make sure those certificates get out to you. Again these sessions are also available for credits for CRCC credits as well as SHRM credits as well, I can never remember all of those acronyms. So make sure you get your information in and we will get those certificates out to you. As a reminder we have three modes which people are participating in the program. We have individuals on the phone with us, individuals who are participating through streaming audio on the internet and individuals who are receiving this information from real time captioning via the internet. We will be going in a minute here to introduce our speaker. Then at that time, she will be presenting her information, you will then engage in a question and answer period. This program is being transcribed so that a copy of the transcript, as well as the audio recording will be available at the ada-audio.org website within a few business days if you want to go back and check on that particular information. So without further adieu, I think I will move forward with the session today. I will introduce our speaker, who is Andrea Haenlin-Mott. She is currently the project director of the Northeast ADA and IT center, which covers the states of New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, located at Cornell University within the Employment and Disability Institute. She has been with the center for the past 11 years. Prior to that, she was an ADA specialist with a center for independent living in Syracuse, New York. Her background is in political science as well as a Masters in Community Health. She has held a variety of different positions within the area of disability and has an extensive background in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Due to her unique location within the Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University, which has been instrumental in many of the resource materials developed specific to employment and being a prime resource to employers and to their multiple relationships with organizations such as human resource management, their involvement in the area of collective bargaining and unions, Andrea brings a unique perspective and information to us today, that hopefully will be useful to you. One of the reasons we came up with this program for this month or as part of the series, is because we are often faced with the situation where people are asking us questions, the ten regional centers, and are not always aware of the resources out there and how they might be able to be used and the capacity of the resources to assist them in responding to some of the questions. So what we asked Andrea to do for us today is provide us with an overview of the population resources available to employers. She will be going through that information in the next couple of minutes. Hopefully you have been able to download the materials for this session. There were three ways to access her PowerPoint presentation. One was a graphical depiction with screen shots of the various websites and resources out there. Then the other is a non-graphical, which has the hyperlinks to the various resources and a word document that is particularly has the listing with the hyper link in the accessible format, as well as the handout she prepared listing all of the equal opportunity resources in more detail. There are numerous documents there that can be helpful. So without further adieu, I am going to go ahead and turn over the session to Andrea.
Thanks very much, Robin. We have a lot of information to cover in a pretty short amount of time today. So I am going to jump right in and get started in talking about a lot of the resources. As Robin had described, I am with one of the ten regional centers funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in providing ADA technical training, assistance and materials on the ADA as well as accessible information technology. In talking about employment resources, you can do a search on Google or any other search engine and come up with literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of links and documents related to disability, employment, reasonable accommodation, and there is a lot of information out there. In order organize it today to make it useful, for you not only in our discussions today, but also the real key to our time today is to know where to go. It is essentially a tool kit so that you know, maybe there is some information that we will talk about that you are aware of or used in the past. Maybe there are things that are new to you. But essentially it is a resource kit or a tool kit for you to access when you are looking for a particular document or you are looking for some type of information, really something specific. The three areas that really are, when we talk about employment resources, I am following through on the PowerPoint slide, this is slide three, are federal resource. Now I am talk about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) document, that I will be referring to, that is a separate document that we have, as well as looking at some of the websites for the U.S. Department of Labor. Secondly, there are federally funded sources that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Labor, as well as the Department of Education has provided funding to organizations, such as Job Accommodation Network (JAN), the job accommodation network, such as Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers located at Cornell University and University of Illinois at Chicago and other post secondary institutions, as well as private not-for-profit organization and for profit businesses. I will be talking about rehabilitation research training centers that also provide a lot of documents on the research side of information that may be useful for folks. One thing we won''t have time to talk about but I wanted to identify is resources. Independent sources, those are attorneys, consultants, for profit businesses that develop this information. You may see it online in the form of policy guidance that has not been federally funded. Some types of documents related to individual lawsuits and individual, and documents from people that have, give their personal opinion about particular things. By no means, I say those are not, because they are not federal resources or federally funded sources, not valid information certainly. But in the interest of time today we are going to go through the federal resources as well as the federal funded resources. Some of the information, there are some folks that provided things of their person opinion that may not supported by the federal documentation we will be talking about today. It is something to know when you are looking at documents, where is the resource or where are the resources coming from for that particular document, opinion or whatever it may be? First thing I will talk about is the EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They are, as the enforcement agency of the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, have an extensive amount of disability related documents that they have. Their website they have at eeoc.gov really has a plethora of information on that. I will refer folks to look at the resource document that they have; actually the EEOC has put together, that really has organized very well, all of their information that they have. I want to highlight and point out a couple things, that if you have not looked at this lately, you may not be aware these documents are available. The first one, the first category I wanted to talk about was ADA and particular impairments or disabilities. You can see, if you are looking at this particular thing, if you are not, follow through, follow my train of thought in looking at the information available about questions and answers related to individuals who are blind and have visual disabilities in the work place. That was issued in October of 2005. In July of 2005, another document, it has been a great resource for both employers, service providers, as well as the disable community, is questions and answers related to cancer in the work place and the ADA. They also have provided, within the last couple of years, documents on intellectual disabilities and accommodations in the work place as well as epilepsy in the work place. Diabetes is one other one that they have. And a few years back, provided a rather long enforcement guidance on the ADA and psychiatric disabilities in the work place. They have organized this document to look at analyzing qualified individuals with the disabilities, policy guidance on reasonable accommodation. Disability related inquiry and confidentiality is another category that they have. Some of the information is not relatively new but is more of an enforcement of what their policy is related to those particular areas. Another more recent document is the questions and answers related to associations provisions of the ADA. This is in the area that we don''t see applied as often as the other areas of the Americans with Disabilities Act coverage categories. That is a great document for parents with kids with disabilities, as well as others with associations with individuals with disables and how that category may apply to them: Job applicants, small businesses, contingent workers, how the ADA relates to other statutes. Food service health insurance mediation, as well as one document I think is worth some time to understand how the ADA is applied in state government, is a document, is the last thing I will talk about with the EEOC, it is a document they had put together. It is a final report on best practices for the employment of people with disables in state government. That is the last category on that particular page and I think it is rather extensive. They spent a lot of time looking at different states and how those particular states have provided accommodations, policies and procedures for individuals with different types of disables. The states that they had covered, four initial states, Florida, Maryland, Vermont and Washington, as well as five others, Kansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Utah. It is a good document to understand the specifics. It is long and comprehensive, but it is worthwhile for folks trying to understand how the policy implementations has happened at the state level. One other document, for those individuals that work with youth or employers who have youth employed in their organization, is the youth service webpage that the EEOC developed. It is a link: youth.eeco.gov. No www in front of that. It is a great web page that they have developed that talks about, not just disability in the context of these things, but other issues, particularly related to employment discrimination area that is relate to disability but also elements of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin or age. It is a great document for folks that are working with youth and it is something that, just to make sure that folks are educated as best they can be within that context. In the interest of time, I will push ahead and talk about the United States (US) Department of Labor and some of the websites that are available that they have. We have a couple of screen shots for those of you who are able to look at this just to see what the particular website looks like. But the Department of Labor, Office of Disability and Employment Policy, ODEP is the acronym for that particular division of the Department of Labor has an extensive website and has done an incredible job, I think. I utilize this particular website quite often in understanding some of the resources available for individuals as well employers. They categorized it into workforce, youth, employer, employment supports, as well as research available for youth and understanding. As many of these do, they have sort of what they call an in focus area or update so you can see the most recent things that are being done. It is one of those things, and the tool kit that you have developed in building your bookmarks, one of the ways that people do this is having bookmarks available, for perusal of this information. This is a good one to do and to peruse every few weeks, once a month if your time allows for it. But you can look at particular things and one thing they have got is keynote remarks that are delivered by A W Roy Gizzard from the Office of Disability and Employment Policies and his full transcript of a keynote that was given by him at the annual conference of the New Jersey chapter of the Association for Persons in Supported Employment. So you can take advantage and peruse that information that is available. They also have a newsroom for news releases and additional speeches that are available. A couple of the things I want to point out specifically is the division, the area of this particular website that has frequently asked questions, pretty extensive area for general questions. Questions for workers or job seekers with disabilities as well as employers, so they are able to see some of the information available. The other area I wanted to point out is the publications sections that has fact sheets on accommodations, disability asnd workplace culture, discrimination in the work place, emergency preparedness, employment laws and legal issues, employment options, job seeking and recruitment and retention, as well as tax issues. So you can see those particular areas within an extensive amount of information there. As well as for those of us that look at this all the time, it is the nice they put on particular things that are new. They will indicate what is new. So they have new statistics on the employment rate of people with disabilities as well as disability data resources that are available. One other federal initiative I wanted to talk to you about is the new freedom initiative. It is a website that is available at disabilityinfo.gov. The new freedom initiative, is more than that website, it is a project initiative created by President George W Bush, which directs federal agencies to create this disabilityinfo.gov as well as provide a variety of other publications and initiatives related to the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout the federal government, as well as other areas of the country. Trying to promote, by using the inclusion of people with disabilities and the federal government as the standard of providing that level of inclusion. So that disabilityinfo.gov is a great document or website that has a series of documents within it to be able to look at. One of the things that I think is important, is they have the hot topics area, as well as a subscription area that you can subscribe to their news letter that they get, so all you have to do is enter e-mail and they will send you a monthly news letter of information that is happening on an on going basis. It is supposed to be monthly. There is times I have gotten other things less frequently than on a monthly basis. I wanted to, I don''t think we can talk about resources available for individuals without talking about the social security administration. The website there has extensive information available for benefits for people with different types of disabilities and applying for benefits. One of the aspects of that is talking about how the whole process is available for people that are not only receiving social security benefits but also are working while trying to maintain and the projects and the programs that are available for individuals who are looking to no longer be on the benefit system in return to work or begin working and how the policy and procedure is conducted within the social security administration. One other website with an extensive amount of information is the vet success program. It is vetsuccess.gov that is a division of the department of veterans affairs and you can see if you access this particular web-site, it has an extensive amount of information that talks about reemployment, rapid access to employment for veterans, independent living services and employments for long term services available. And the five tracks to employment is that area they have and a whole series of information for on-line self help, for small business resource, for vocational educational counseling as well as partners. Terrific resources for individuals that are looking for information, good for both employers looking to participate in that process as well as individuals also. I will push ahead to the federally funded programs. There is a lot of information to cover with that. The two that have an extensive amount of information is the two that are funded by the U.S. Department of Labor that I will highlight. There are others, but these are the two, in the interest of time that we will have today to talk about. First is project EARN or earnworks.com. This is a large project that is managed and operated by Cherry Engineering Support Services, CESSI. That is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy. They have a lot of information that can help employers and employment service providers as well as job seekers in understanding issues that are related to recruiting, tools and resources, employer success stories as well as the business case for hiring people with different types of disabilities. This particular site, if you have not had the opportunity to access it, it is really worth a perusal to look at some of the information for employers. How project earn will work for you and how it provides an extensive amount of information related to job posting that are distributed to local employment service providers. They also provide screening and referral of candidates that meet the job requirement that the employer is looking for. There is an extra net program for members of the database that allows you to submit and edit job postings at any time. There is also consulting services that are available from project EARN within the context of that. But also job seekers that are looking for information resources. The network of service providers within that includes local service providers, as well as one stop organizations, professional organizations, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, as well as educational organizations. I would recommend you take a look at those. One other one I think a lot of people are familiar with, but I want to spend time going through it is the Job Accommodation Network, again, funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy within the U.S. Department of Labor. They have an extensive, extensive amount of resources. I don''t think any resource, when we are talking about ADA and employment is complete without referring to some information available through the job accommodation network. They have a series of portals available for both private employers and federal government employers and state and local governments. For individuals with disabilities and educational settings the resources are available in Spanish as well as. It is one of the things that we actually utilize quite often in our office, our particular ADA technical assistance center provides to organizations and individuals. It is a lot of information. The one thing I can say is they have a series of training series, as well as, the documents, I think are the most important thing that we utilize. If you are looking at information, and the one thing that I will go through here very, briefly is the portal for employers. If you click on that particular area you can see there is a new release from job accommodation network that talks about practical accommodation and compliance series guides. The first one is the Employers Practical Guide to Accommodation under the ADA. There is accommodation information, human resource information, legal information, as well as resources. It is a great document that can be utilized by, again, individuals with disabilities, as well as, employers. They have a variety of information and the one thing that I will just for the interest of going through this, click on emergency evacuation procedures for individuals with disabilities is one document they have in this particular thing. You can see if you click on that, it is a rather large document that talks about accommodation and issues for emergency evacuation for folks. They have some information here that relates to the individuals with sensory disabilities and how the employers may want to provide alerting device. Wireless communicators or vibrating paging devoice to alert individuals with hearing disables of the need to evacuate. They have a link from the job accommodations network searchable on-line accommodation resource. They call it SOAR. What it does is it links you to organizations that provide this paging, just by way of example, the paging products and services available. Go America, Motorola, Skytel communications and T-mobile are the ones related to that particular issue. The on-line resource allows for folks to look at a variety of things. For individuals who have respiratory impairments. You can click on the searchable on-line accommodation resource. It will provide you with information specifically related to that, as well as links and e-mails for more information about a particular product. That is one of the very few things that the job accommodation network provides. So there is a lot of information resources that would warrant your perusal to be able to look at that. I want to go on now to talk about NIDRR resources, that is the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the particular organization that funds our project on the Americans with Disabilities Act and has resources available. One thing I want to refer you to is the program directory by project type and documents available. The website is available from NARIC, National Rehabilitation Information Center. They provide all of the information for NIDRR projects. They have an official program directory that is organized by NIDRR funding priorities. This particular link is a great resource because it then will connect you to the first thing, is the disability and rehabilitation research projects then the rehabilitation and research centers. Some of their rehabilitation projects, the rehabilitation engineering research centers. We will talk about all of these things in a minute. This is one link that will connect you to a variety of resource that are available, as well as other information that is very helpful, searchable data bases, search tools, collections, rehab data connections available as well as publications available specifically from NARIC. It is a great resource to look at and to keep on your bookmarks or your employment tool kit so that you know where you might be able to look at things as they are coming up. It will allow you to get on a series of e-mail lists or mailing lists from these particular funding groups that, as they release new information, they can send that out to you and you can sign up as you do, as we talked about earlier, with some of the other documents, then you are receiving information in a timely way. So that NARIC research is a great one to start with. We will have to talk about our particular projects for the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers or the ADA and Accessible IT Centers, www.adata.org is a resource that connects you with all of the regional technical assistance centers. Great thing to have as bookmark as well as the ADAportal.org. And the ADA document portal is a project from the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers. As you can see with one of the screen shots, for those of out you able to look at this, or those of you that can''t the big issue with this is the searchable database. The sample screen shot that we have for you talks about the reasonable accommodation piece and what you can see if you did a search on reasonable accommodation from the ADA document portal. As you can see, for those of you who can, looking at the document that is come up from a reasonable accommodation search is 689 matching documents with a series of ten pages and we will refer you to a lot of the federal documents. The first three being from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Some documents we referred to before when we were going over the EEOC document or EEOC web-site and the document that is relate to that. The document portal can also be helpful in looking at a variety of things related to the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are categories of employment. There are some general ADA information and resources. There is additional collection that specifically relate to accessible information technology, transportation, fair housing, Air Carrier Access Act and the Help America Vote Act, or HAVA. There is some great resources from there and from that, if you have any particular technical assistance questions you can automatically link that into and it will be connected to your closest ADA technical assistance center that can answer you question. Because some of this may relate to local human rights law or building codes from a particular state that you happen to be in. Because I know just about every state has a human rights law that may be more stringent than the Americans with Disabilities Act. So in understanding some of the ADA elements from the federal perspective, how things relate in your particular state is something that the ADA technical assistance centers can relate to. So this ADA document portal can connect you to that so you can lock for the most pertinent information related to your area. One other document or website that will refer you to a series of documents is www.hrtips.org. It is a link to, it is a hyper link into a series of articles that you may or may not be familiar with that relate to disability and human resources management and understanding accommodations for people with a variety of types of disabilities. This is something that our employment disability institute at Cornell University has developed. We were the national materials development project on the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The series of presentation and information that is available from hrtips.org is all there. The interaction of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, definition of disability, injured workers, how ADA is interrelated with OSHA, Occupational Safety Health Administration, as well as our accommodation series, which a number of you may be familiar with, is providing accommodations for individuals with specific types of disabilities and I won''t go through every one of these, but the accommodations for individuals who have cancer, have brain injuries, blind or have visual disabilities or cognitive disabilities, diabetes, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury or other types of mobility disabilities. All of those are available on hrtips.org. And are great resource documents, for not only individuals with disabilities and HR managers but a great document for middle managers, or supervisors who may provide accommodations one-on-one for a particular individual and may not understand the specifics of what it means to have allergies. And when do allergies become a disability? Other people may experience it at different times of the year. When does that become a disability? What are the accommodations to provide to an individual with cognitive disabilities or epilepsy? A lot of times those things may be misunderstood in the work place or have the perception on accommodations for individuals with psychiatric or mental health disabilities. These are great documents to get a snapshot of things, certainly not to replace them one or one or the case by case determination and how everybody is different, but to get a sense of what it may be like to accommodate a person with that particular disability. The other aspect I wanted to talk about is for folks interested in the management of HR practice. Those documents are there to talk about diversity, mediation, reasonable accommodations what the HR perspective is on the implementation of the ADA and the employment process is last category on HR tips that talks about a variety of things including collective bargaining, health benefit plans, medical screening, training on the personnel side as well as pre-employment screening and testing aspects. It is a great length to useful information. If anybody is interested in those, you can get them off of the website or you can get that information from your Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center. HR tips also has all of these documents available or most of them, not every one of them, but most of them available in Spanish, as well. And so those, there is a Spanish version of all of that information available on that particular website. I will plug ahead and talk about the disability and rehabilitation research projects. There are two of them that are of interest and have some great information related to employment. One is from the community, Institute for Community Inclusion of people with different types of disabilities. It is associated with the University of Massachusetts, Boston and the Children''s Hospital of Boston. They also have a variety of information that is specifically available from the funding source from NIDRR. They have some VR outcomes. The most recent publication is talking about vocational rehabilitation outcomes for people with spinal cord juries. It is more on the research side that may or may not be directly helpful for an individual employer, but great information understanding resources available. The other website I have highlighted is www.foremployers.com. This is a great resource that talks about-it is a division for the Institute of Community Inclusion. It is great for employers to understand hiring, accommodations and technology, some local resources and demographics and diversity aspects. A lot is specific to Massachusetts, but a lot of the resources they have available in this foremployers.com are usable in whatever state you happen to be from. I am going to go ahead to the rehabilitation research training centers. I have two listed on the, there is two listed specifically in the slide. The rehabilitation research training center, or RRTC, on employment policy that is our Employment and Disability Institute here at Cornell. There is also another one, the worksupport.com, that is the rehabilitation research training center that works on workplace support and job retention at Virginia Commonwealth University. There is two additional ones that we have that are available as well, they don''t have the same web presence but there are two additional employment policy rehabilitation research training centers. One is the Center of Approving Employment Outcomes at Hunter College of the City University of New York in New York City. And the second one is RRTC on Substance Abuse Disability and Employment at Wright State University in Kettering, Ohio. Those two specifically relate to the employment arena of accommodations for people with different types of disabilities; both can be reached through worksupport.com and the employment policy of ROTC. I wanted to talk about the Employment Policy Rehabilitation Research Training Center and specifically the publications that are available on that particular website. You can see it takes you to what we call the Digital Commons for our School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Specifically in looking at the Employment and Disability Institute, the information is organized by year and the title of the particular publication, as well as where that publication is located. As you can see, if you click on that, there is a series of documents that are there looking at long term poverty and disability and working age adults. The effect of labor market changes on the employment and program participation of people with different types of disabilities. Again, this is more of the research side of things but there are great resources for employers, as well as service providers in looking to see what the information, the most recent information is that is available. One other organization or division of NIDRR is the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERC). Specifically, there is the one on the work place rehabilitation engineering center, always trying to get these all straight. This particular center is located at the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access, CATEA, at the Georgia Institute of Technology. This particular RERC has an incredible amount of information available. They identify, design and develop devices and systems to help people with disabilities become more productive in the work place. The focus on this is universal design concepts, environments to be usable by all workers. Without needing a special adaptation or design for people with disabilities but something that will work for people with and without particular disabilities. As with the variety of other websites and documents that we referred to today, they have an extensive amount of information on their particular website, publications and events. They have annual conference that they have every year. The publications they have are quite extensive. They have white papers as well as press releases. And more academic conference papers, but also some additional things that can be very, very helpful and useful. The one document that I have used quite often is work place accommodation policy, ten key issues. It is a pretty extensive document that talks about the ten issues of accommodations for people with different types of disabilities: Specifically talking about equity and the cost of accommodations and integrations, civil rights of people with disabilities, collection of data, valid data concerning accommodations and integration. Outcome performance measures, transportation and telecommuting, emergency preparedness in homeland security, work place accessibility, useful design, environmental control, technology and education. It is a great document that can be helpful to understand some of the issues, specifically related to tele-work or telecommuting and how some of those issues have available both through the EEOC. There are facts on tele-work as a form of reasonable accommodation as well as some information on the new freedom initiative and how they are working on that particular area. That is a lot of information in a short period of time. One of the things I wanted to specifically highlight is how in all of these things you have to really try to build your tool kit and resources available. Sometimes it takes an extensive amount of time to be able to do that. I talked about a series of websites that are really the highlights. The ADA document portal, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, HR tips. Some of the other things are great to continually look at, as well as some of the organizations to look at on an on going basis. Department of Labor, Office of Disability and Employment Policy, Job Accommodation Network, Project EARN. EARNworks.com. Those are great to peruse on an on going basis as well. As well as sign up for resources that will be sent to you via e-mail from each of those organizations so that you are aware of new resources as they become available but also that when you have a question, something arises and you are look for additional information, the one thing is that connecting with you local ADA and IT center. The toll-free phone 1-800-949-4232 or reach each of the regional centers at ADATA.org so that you can look at this particular issue that you are facing. Whatever it may be and can talk to someone about maybe problem solving the particular issue or additional resources that you may not be aware of that can help in that particular process. At this time I have 3:00 on my clock and so I am going to conclude with that. And answer any questions. Robin if there is anything that I have missed that you are aware of or additional elements that you wanted to highlight.
No. Thank you. That is a lot of information. It is information that is tough, it is necessary but it is tough to go through, item by item kind of thing. So it is a detailed scenario. So hopefully everyone is with us at this time. Bobby, give instructions to folks on how to ask questions and we will go from there.
Andrea, all of the information you gave today has a hyperlink or information on how to access any of these web-site?
Yes. I did not discuss anything that did not have a link to it. It is a lot of information to be able to talk about. The one thing I will highlight is, if there is additional information that is needed from the four Employment Policy Rehabilitation Research Training Centers, I would refer you to then NARIC site, naric.com. It is the National Rehabilitation Information Center, to look at those.
We found the answer in the handouts. I apologize.
You are ahead of things, then, aren''t you in. Okay, next question.
When so many people have gone now to electronic formats that we find, at the center and some of my colleagues report across the country they get fewer requests for the hard copy of these documents. Is it still feasible in most of these places to get hard copy or download from the web-site the actual copy or do they have to request them to be sent to them? Do you know?
That brings up a couple of important points. First of all, most of the, every website that I have referred to today are all accessible for people with different types of disabilities. They have information, again, we don''t want to highlight or promote any one site that the information would not be accessible for the individual to either download specifically or understand what information is there so they can request a hard copy. A lot of times people, at least in our experience, if they don''t have the availability to download the particular document off of their website, they can connect with the provider of that particular document, whoever generates it. For example, in our case, hrtips.org, all of those documents that we talk about, if they can''t access that, we will attach it via e-mail to them or send them a hard copy that is available. In some cases, depending on the organization, there may be nominal fee associated with that to cover the cost of the duplication and the postage, but for the most part, some organizations will be willing to do that. Especially in the interest for accessibility, if these the only means which the information is accessible to them.
Yeah because we are seeing that in federal case sites they are good to make sure they offer a PDF form if they are offering an HTML or alternative format. But I know some of the private sites and entities that are out there, still is a problematic issue.
Right. As you are well aware, there is a lot of private sites and private information, some are not accessible or provide their information in accessible format necessarily to individuals with a variety of accessibility needs. But also we can''t always agree with the content of the information that is there, whether or not it has been approved for legal sufficiency by the department of, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the U.S. Department of Education. Robin Jones. Yeah, that is something you talked briefly about. The issue that there are many other resource out there. For example, the society of human resource management has their own ADA tool kit and they publish articles on a regular basis in HR News and they are opinions that have been written by attorneys or other members of their association and such. But that does not necessarily mean that that is the legal or the agreed upon interpretation in some of those issues, is that correct?
Yes. And that is why I, just in the interest of our time today, as well as addressing that particular issue, going through all of that would have been complicated. Because some of the opinions may not necessary have a lot of support for or support behind.
That is definitely an issue, that is for sure. Are there any other questions?
Okay. I wasn''t sure if we would have enough questions to go for the whole session today because we are in a mode of this particular session to get out a lot of information. So not necessarily questions about the resources themselves.
Right. I think that probably the best way to address it is if folks do have questions about these things, have them connect with their local Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center to do that. Most of these resources that I referred to today are incredibly well-known to their technical assistance specialist and they might be able to help if issues arise relating to accessing the information we discussed today.
As a matter of, because we have time here, besides SHRM, what would be other resources of the private sector, while we can''t vouch for their legal sufficiency per se, have you identified there are some good sources of information out there?
Some of the, some attorney firms, some legal firms that have spent a significant time, both in litigating and, on the side of individuals with disabilities or defending employers have developed a series of things and again, these are large national firms, and I am blanking, I included them in a prior iteration of this. But it is a couple of firms or the LOP publications that develop the two documents, the Disability Compliance Bulletin and the...
You are talk about one that is published several times.
Right. That have done that. Those particular documents have helpful but there is legal firms that. But also there are attorney firms that publish things that is like those particular resource guides.
I want people to know they are Disability Compliance Bulletin and National Disability Rights Reporter
And those both come from an organization that if people are not aware of that that is a subscription service. The bulletin is published every two weeks that comes out in LRP publications. That comes out I guess in a newsletter format of several pages, usually 15-20 pages, sometimes longer. It is business basically a highlight of review of case law across the various circuits of the country on topics primarily focused in the area of Americans with Disabilities Act but they do tract, to a small degree, legislation in the area section 504 and areas FMLA and housing and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) too will have a small section because they have separate news letters that focus on some of those issues. But it is kind of a catch all type of a publication, but it does have a significant amount of ADA information. Again it is a subscription program so it can be rather costly for people on a regular basis.
I think its $200 or thereabouts per year.
Yeah you know if people want to do that, but it is a good resource. Also I know that for people who are trying to track case law, I know that some of the sources that are available, for example looking for court cases; Cornell University''s Law School has a very good annotated listing of all the case law court cases. So if you are trying to track a particular court case law about the ADA, you can go to their website and do that. Its much easier to navigate and much more accessible than the information on the U.S Supreme Court''s website. So that is an option as well and that resource can be found under a Google search for Cornell University Law School. If you have a pen or pencil and want to write down the URL for that, it would be www.law.cornell.edu/supct/index.html. That will get you there, but a Google search will as well, but it is an excellent resource to track those things. I know that some of the disability organizations also have resources on their websites that could be useful and helpful. They have got summaries of specific areas and they have also got the things they have been involved in, some of the position papers they may have been involved in certain topics. One example would be the National Disability Rights Network, which was formerly known as the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Agencies, NAPAS. They have changed their name in the past couple of months to now be the National Disability Rights Network. Their website is www.napas.org and they have several documents on their website, that again, is primarily geared towards litigation and the activity that the variety of Protection and Advocacy Agencies across the country have been involved in. But I think it still remains a good resource for information about what might be going on or what might have gone on in the specific areas. If you are specifically looking for things related to the ADA and of course there has been quite a bit of employment litigation in the ADA.
Just specifically related to that, one other group is the Disability Law Research Project. That is one of the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers that covered the southeast area and obviously deal with a variety of other things, as well. They can be reached through that www.adata.org. Looking at the southwest region, did I say southeast? It is the southwest region. They are located at the Baylor College of Medicine but also within TIRR. Right?
Yeah, Texas Institute of Rehabilitation Research (TIRR), yeah the Disability Law Research Project. They have several fact sheets and things they have published and make available as well out there. That is another good resource.
Yes. And the National Council on Independent Living and other disability groups have a variety of things that they are always publishing on ADA related types of activities and implementations, but not anything
Exactly, specific to employment.
That is the tough thing. There are tons of resources out there. It is not always possible to hunt it down to the employment sector.
Again many of the things that we are talking about will become extensions of their websites that you might go to these other resources because many of them might have weblinks or resource pages that will lead you to other organizations for further information as well.
One of the things I found in pulling these things together in some type of organized fashion is that they have a lot of loops. One refers to another and then it will refer back. You will see NARIC refers to a variety of organization that then refer to the same things. It is good because it affirms the information as valid, as well as probably the most current information that is available.
I agree. One of the other things, I know is sometimes people have other questions, as far as resources, we have an online question, which is different in the area of resources but this person was asking the question of where does someone locate a specific resource in their community. For example, job coaches as a resource in beyond to how we think of I resources in this context, of document and materials that might assist an employer of reaching their obligations and such, but resources are in many forms and ways. The difference, I think you can chime in if you want to again, this is a question about job coaches and how does one locate one and who pays for the as a resource that might be available. Just for those that are not familiar about job coaches, it is a form of support from the employment arena that may be available to someone through various programs that is may be federally funded or funded by the state or some local entity it is which are often used to assist someone who may be new to a job and needing additional support to learn that job. Sometimes this is an individual with intellectual or other types of disablities where the job coach might be a form of a person who is hired to assist that person one-on-one in becoming oriented with the job or learning specific skills of the job. I think in most states the primary source of funding for job coaches is through the Department of Rehab Services at the state level. There are many agencies who have job coaches and that may have job coaches available that one can arrange for private pay if an employer would desire to do that if an employee would need that or it would be advantageous for an employee to have that. It is a specific and unique type of resource that, in some situations can be appropriately used in the employment context.
One other resource related to that is APSE, Association of Persons in Supported Employment. Which again, job coaches is an element of supported employment. There are certainly other aspects of supported employment. www.apse.org It will get you to a state by state breakdown of the information available so you can click on the state and that connects you once you are able to do that, to the local area.
So to find things in your own area. Just to repeat that it is www.apse.org. That is the Association for People in Supported Employment.
Great, thank you. Were there any other questions before we cut it short for the day.
We will be with you in a second here. OK my name is Brian with Deaf Institute in Cincinnati. We work with deaf people and others with cognitive disabilities and with the deaf, English is a second language. What I am trying to find out, is there a website that would simply explain the rights under ADA for people who either have English as a second language or for people with cognitive disabilities?
Well, to address the issue of individuals with cognitive disabilities and you are specifically talking about the employment settings right?
I am talking about ADA issues in general.
Oh, in general.
Okay. There is a lot of misconception going on in the deaf community of what their rights are and what they are not.
Right. Okay. Specifically related to ADA in general, I think it probably would be best to send them to ADA .gov, don''t you think? The Department of Justice.
Well, ADA.gov as far as a resource. It has a few specific fact sheets related to understanding issues related to deaf and hard of hearing population. They just came out with a new resource of law enforcement specific to deaf and hard of hearing. They have one for lodging and information specific to lodging industry relating to accommodating individuals in that industry and such. It is tough to find real specific resources that address a specific disability group.
I am not so much concerned about addressing a specific disability group, as I am a way to address it in a simple English format the needs to these people to help them avoid confusion as they are reading this thing. Because English is their second language and because of others who have cognitive disabilities that may want to find out, well what can I do and what are my rights here. But this English is too deep for me. All these words are complicated. Is there a simple format of basic explanation that will be visually understood by people by people with English as a second language?
That is a good question. There are bits of good information, basic information about the ADA and one''s rights under the ADA provided by some entities that may be relevant here. ARC U.S. has created basic, under the three titles, Title I, Title II and Title III, information to assist individuals with cognitive impairments to understand their rights. When language becomes a barrier or it is a barrier when we talk about the ADA, because we use terminology that is not necessarily familiar to many people. Because the terminology was created by the ADA but is not necessarily wel-known in the normal vocabulary so I would say that the U.S. ARC has probably some of the best simplified information that has been created about the ADA. Gallaudet did a couple nice pieces after ADA was passed that was done under a grant or funds they had from the U.S. Department of Justice that was specifically tailored towards assisting people to understand what their rights are. It was written in a simplified language. Unfortunately, they no longer disseminate that information because their contract or funding ended but many of us in your regional ADA Centers certainly still have these documents available that can be useful still to assist people in understanding the rights. Again, they were written in a more simplified format. When you ask the feds to do anything like that they make the argument that it loses its "legal meaning" when you start to take the words out and it weakens the "legal force," so they are reticent to do anything in a simplified version of any shape or form have not done of you much of that at all. But there have been organizations that have like Gallaudet has and U.S. ARC has done some stuff that is available on their website. That might be useful in that situation. We encourage you to contact your regional center because many of us have done training in that area and put together our own fact sheets that might also be useful.
While you were talking, I got on the website of www.THEARC.org/publications. There is a lot of their information here and a lot of that stuff specifically related. The Americans with Disabilities Act and working by the ARC and was involved with the Great Lakes Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center that specifically relates to employment but for people with cognitive disabilities in an easy to read language to explain the basics of Title I of the ADA and what to do if discrimination occurs. All of the publications, it is www.THEARC.org/publications has a variety of documents available and some of them related to the ADA but a variety of other things that might be good information for folks.
Any other questions?
Hi this is the captioner asking a question for Matt in Indiana. He wants to know, is the ADA Portal an attempt to bring all those different resources and websites that is accessible at one point? What two websites and resources do you use everyday in your work?
The ADA portal is an attempt that to take that and make it a one stop shop resource for folks to be able to do that. For specifically me, the one I use every day at work is eeoc.gov. I am on that web-site all of the time. I use it on an ongoing basis. The other one I use often for resources to pull together for training programs as well to send out is the Job Accommodation Network website. Those two are the ones I use on an ongoing basis. Robin?
I would say that is probably the two most frequently used ones in our office by our staff. But the one comment I make about the ADA portal so people understand, it is only a compilation and catalogue of the federal documents that is relate to the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It does not pull every resource, like the RERC and things that are federally funded together, it is primarily the issue of the technical assistance manuals and the enforcement guidances and the settlement agreements and things of that nature that have been done by EEOC and the Department of Justice. It has links and will search other resources such as Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for housing information and FMLA, Department of Labor and such. But the search engine itself is driven and cataloged according to the EEOC documents and technical assistance manuals, and the Department of Justice Title II and III documents and the settlement agreements and technical assistance manuals. You don''t have to go to each to fine them. If you go to Department of Justice (DOJ)''s website and search for terms you will get a lot of stuff that is not necessarily relevant and you will spend a lot of time going through it. The Centers through our collaborations and working with Meeting the Challenge, Rocky Mountain Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC) have gone through and coded each of the documents and the key resources so they make the search more relevant.
Are there other questions?
Well, I think we will go ahead and conclude this session today and thank Andrea for her time and wealth of information as it relates to the program today. I know it was a tough one with so much information to be given about the different things and the constraints that are part of that. I want to remind people that a transcript of the program as well as the recording will be up at www.ADA-audio.org website. The audio recording will be up in the next couple days and the transcript will be up within the next week. It will take a few days to edit the transcript before we can get it up. I want to remind people that next month start ours two part series on the built environment. Our first program, which will be May 16th, will be shifting gears away from employment into other areas for the next couple of sessions. The built environment session to be held in May is creating accessible play areas. Talking about the state of the science, what is going on in the area of accessibility as it relates to playgrounds and play areas. Our speaker is Jennifer Skulski, who is a Director of Special Projects at the National Center on Accessibility at Indiana University so I invite you to join us again next month for that session as we switch gears a little bit. For those of you that are interested and only got involved in these four sessions on reasonable accommodation but don''t really know what the other sessions are, I invite you to visit the www.ada-audio.org website to get the program that will be offered for the remainder of this year through September of 2006. I thank everyone for your time today and I hope you found this information useful and valuable. Thank you Andrea for your time and effort.
Good bye everybody.