Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Disability Studies Program

WASHINGTON, DC-- Georgetown University is launching a new interdisciplinary disability studies (IDSP) program through the School of Continuing Studies and The Center for Child and Human Development, according to The Hoya, the University newspaper. The new program includes three tracks- developmental disabilities, early intervention, and mental health systems of care for children of youth. The new program is expected to begin in September 2010.

GU to Launch Disability Studies Program in 2010

Obama Proclamation on Awareness Month

President Barack Obama made the following comments recently for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, encouraging the Federal government to take a more proactive leadership role in employing persons with disabilities:

"My Administration is committed to ensuring that all Americans have the chance to fulfill their potential and contribute to our nation. …Across this country, millions of people with disabilities are working or want to work, and they should have access to the support and services they need to succeed. As the nation’s largest employer, the Federal Government and its contractors can lead the way by implementing effective employment policies and practices that increase opportunities and help workers achieve their full potential. We must also rededicate ourselves to fostering an inclusive work culture that welcomes the skills and talents of all qualified employees. That’s why I’ve asked the responsible agencies to develop new plans and policies to help increase employment across America for people with disabilities."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

T. Alan Hurwitz New Gallaudet President

Gallaudet University has selected T. Alan Hurwitz as its 10th president. Hurwitz is currently President of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Hurwitz is a longtime state and national level leader. While president of the National Association of the Deaf, he formed the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance, the National Association of the Deaf Youth Leadership position, and established the International Week of the Deaf in conjunction with World Federation of the Deaf, among other achievements. Hurwitz will take his new office at Gallaudet in January 2010, follwoing Robert Davila, Gallaudet President since 2007.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lynnae Ruttledge New RSA Commissioner

President Barack Obama has appointed Lynnae Ruttledge as the new RSA Commissioner. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Ms. Ruttledge has also worked in the public and non-profit sectors in Michigan, Oregon and Washington, working in critical areas including policy development, program management, independent living, workforce development, and business leadership networks.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hate Crime Protection for People with Disabilities Closer

WASHINGTON, DC— Hate crime protection for people with disabilities and others, including people who are gay or have a gender identity disorder, is one step closer to reality. In a highly controversial move, House and Senate negotiators agreed to attach the hate-crimes provision to the bill outlining the $680 billion Defense Department budget. The defense bill passed with 281 votes in favor and 131 Republicans and 15 Democrats in opposition. To see the exact results of the House vote, visit: http://politics.nytimes.com/congress/votes/111/house/1/770.

A recent Department of Justice report indicated people with disabilities are 50% more likely to experience violent crime than people without disabilities. About 20% of people with disabilities who have been targets of crime thought their disability was the reason criminal targeted them.

House Adds Hate Crimes Protections for People with Disabilities
House Votes to Expand Hate Crimes Definition
House Adds Hate Crimes Protections for People with Disabilitieshttp://www.disabilityscoop.com/2009/10/09/house-votes-hate-crimes/5734/

Monday, October 5, 2009

Seclusion and Restraint Survey

The Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion (APRAIS), a coalition of 17 national disability advocacy organizations, is conducting a survey of parents and guardians. Responses must be entered by October 12.

The survey investigates the extent to which restraint, seclusion and aversive procedures have been used with students with disabilities and special needs in public or private schools or in residential facilities. Plan 5-10 minutes to complete the survey.

To participate, go to: http://www.lifewithoutlimits.org/site/R?i=85dfJ8h0Hg1tmk8EVATKtw..

Legislative Updates

From the NRCA Capitol Insider:
Last week, the EEOC released draft regulations to implement employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). A 60-day public comment period is open before the regulations become final. The draft regulations can be found at: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-22840.pdf

The House approved the Medicare Premium Fairness Act, (H.R. 3631), a one year fix to avert a premium increase on Medicare Part B. Its $.2.8 billion cost will be offset by cuts to the Medicare Improvements Program.

Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the start of development of legislation to replace the No Child Left Behind Act. The Secretary expects public and school officials will provide input, but Congress is unlikely to consider reauthorization until next year.