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Wisconsin A D A Partnership Link Newsletter: Linking people, promoting access.
Vol.2, Issue 1
January 2006


This Month's Focus...
Also In this Issue...
Special Sections...
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FEEDBACK
  • We Welcome your feedback, please email your comments or article ideas to ada@eri-wi.org or for ADA technical assistance and guidance, contact: Great Lakes ADA Center 800-949-4232 (Voice/TTY) www.adagreatlakes.org.

Introduction to the ADA Wisconsin Partnership LINK Newsletter

The ADA Wisconsin Partnership is a coalition of people with disabilities, business and government that promotes full implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This newsletter will focus on specific topics, events, and issues affecting people with disabilities.

Link Focus:  This Month's Accessibility Topic.

How we get from place to place is a key factor in how are able to live our lives ... Access to adequate transportation lets us work, choose where to live, pursue an education, have access to health care, worship, shop, and participate in recreational activities. A national study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics in 2002 found that 6 million people with disabilities have difficulties obtaining the transportation they need. In putting together this edition of the LINK we found many transportation resources available that provide best practice ideas, mobility tips, federal and state government program information, laws and regulations around access to transportation, grant programs and more. Please let us know if you found this edition of the LINK helpful.

In the next LINK, we plan to address access to voting and legislative advocacy. If you have resources to share about this important topic, please send it to ada@eri-wi.org by March 15 for us to include in our March/April Edition of the LINK.

SAFETEA-LU Brings Dollars into Human Services Transportation

Bobbie Beson-Crone, WisDOT Human Service Transportation Coordination, Policy and Program Development

On August 10, 2005, a new transportation bill, Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) was signed by President Bush. The six-year bill (2004-2009) authorizes $286.4 billion for federal surface transportation programs of which $52.6 billion is authorized for transit programs. Two federal grant programs received funding that will increase transportation services to individuals with disabilities.

The "New Freedom Program" (Section 5317) is a new program for 2007. It will provide funding for new public transportation services and public transportation alternatives beyond those required by the Americans Disability Act (ADA) that assist individuals with disabilities with transportation, including transportation to and from jobs and employment support services. The Federal Transportation Administration is in the process of writing guidelines that will define the parameters of the program. Look for more on this program in Summer 2006.

The Elderly and Disabled Transportation Capital Assistance Program combines federal (Section 5310) and state (s.85.22) funds to provide capital funding for specialized transit vehicles used to serve the elderly and persons with disabilities. Funding is distributed through a competitive grant process and the grants cover 80% of the cost of eligible equipment, with the grantee paying 20%. SAFETEA-LU increased funding in the federal 5310 program by a substantial 16% in the first year.

SAFETEA-LU put teeth in human service coordination by requiring grantees of federal programs (5310, New Freedom, JARC) be part of a "locally developed coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan." All seventy-two counties in Wisconsin will have a one-day county meeting so federal program grantees can continue to receive funding for 2007 and comply with this federal requirement. At this one-day meeting participants will complete an assessment of human service transportation coordination using the United We Ride, Framework for Action: Building the Fully Coordinated Transportation System tool which involves writing an action plan to further coordination in the county or region. If your agency provides transportation as a service, or you're an advocate for people with disabilities, look for an invitation to attend your county public transit-human services transportation meeting to be part of the county action plan. The meetings will be held between in late Spring, wrapping up by September 30, 2006. For more information visit www.unitedweride.gov.

The bill, implementation information, and additional fact sheets specific to disability issues can be found on the Federal Transit Administration's Web page on SAFETEA-LU implementation.

New Year New Job?

The first of a new year often brings movement in the job market, with turnover of a calendar page coinciding with turnover in the workplace. A new resource developed for one-stop career center staff is useful to anyone interacting with and supporting job seekers with disabilities. Easter Seals Project ACTION and the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals have teamed up to offer a 10-page brochure titled, "But how do I get there?" Making the transportation link for job seekers with disabilities. Even if you don't work directly with job seekers, you may know somebody who does, so help us spread the word about this fine new tool.

Find Transportation Resources Galore through Easter Seals Project Action

Project ACTION promotes cooperation between the transportation industry and the disability community to increase mobility for people with disabilities under the ADA and beyond. Project Action provides various resources, as well as training and technical assistance, in an effort to make the ADA work for everyone, everyday.

Information and resources are available Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (EST) at (800) 659-6428 (voice). You may call with questions about ADA rights and responsibilities, find resources, and help members of the disability and transportation communities address diverse accessibility issues. Here are a few of the free resources available on the Project Action Web Site:

  • The National Accessible Travelers Database (NATD)
    • The NATD stores information on accessible travel options in cities across the US. Entries include details on transit, paratransit, taxi, airport shuttles, and many other transportation services.
  • Buses and Trains for Everyone Web page
    • Buses and Trains for Everyone, a curriculum targeted to children in grades K-8, teaches concepts and skills needed to use public transportation. Its Web page provides numerous resources for teachers and students, including an online game, and the print and CD-ROM package can be ordered through the Clearinghouse.
  • Free Resources Offered from Easter Seals Project ACTION
    • Check out additional publications, resources, links and technical assistance and training information.

Visit the website for more information: http://projectaction.easterseals.com

Wisconsin Bus Lines get Funding for Accessibility

by Autumn Manz IndependenceFirst

The Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced its Over the Road Bus (OTRB) Accessibility Program selections who will receive funding to assist with the finances of complying with DOT's accessibility rules. The funding may be used for the cost of adding modifications and equipment, such as a wheelchair lift. The funds are also used for training in proper use and maintenance of equipment, boarding assistance, securement, handling and storage of mobility equipment, and sensitivity training.

In Wisconsin, Badger Coaches, Inc. of Madison will receive $117,495. Lamers Bus Lines Inc. of Green Bay will be awarded $62,175 and Van Galder Bus Company of Janesville $182,302. Wisconsin Coach Lines of Waukesha will receive $40,000. This funding will help make Wisconsin more appealing as a travel destination while providing people with disabilities more freedom when taking a trip. If you would like more information go to Bus Accessibility Program.

Assembly Bill 122

On January 12, 2006 a public hearing was held regarding Assembly Bill 122 that affects access for people with disabilities to special medical vehicle transportation funded by medical assistance. The bill eliminates the Medical Assistance (MA) requirement that all specialized motor vehicle (SMV) transportation services be provided in a vehicle equipped to accommodate a wheelchair. For more information go to status of AB 122.

Proposed Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrians Revised...

The US Access Board has released a second draft of its proposed accessibility guidelines for the public right-of-way. The Board's guidelines, which cover pedestrian access to sidewalks and streets, including crosswalks, curb ramps, street furnishings, pedestrian signals, parking, roundabouts, and other components of public rights-of-way, serve as the basis for Department of Justice and Department of Transportation standards. The Board is not seeking comments on the draft guidelines, but will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking at a future date and solicit comments at that time, prior to issuing a final rule. Go to http://www.access-board.gov/news/row-draft.htm

More Transportation RESOURCES

Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Toll Free Assistance Line

If you have any questions or concerns regarding public transportation for persons with disabilities, please contact the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Office of Civil Rights on our toll-free Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Assistance Line at 1-888-446-4511 [Voice].

United We Ride

The Federal Interagency Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility - United We Ride is the one-stop information resource on all federal programs funding human service transportation - www.unitedweride.gov

Wisconsin Employment Transportation Assistance Program

The Wisconsin Employment Transportation Assistance Program (WETAP) represents an effort to connect low-income workers with jobs through enhanced local transportation services. WETAP integrates local, state and federal funding into a single program and award process administered jointly by WisDOT and the state Department of Workforce Development. WETAP Application Materials.

Helpful Links:

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Did You Know?

Individual cleans a mirror at a Wisconsin rest area.Did you know that over 400 individuals with a disability are employed at Wisconsin rest areas? Wisconsin 's Rest Area Maintenance (RAM) Program has been in existence since 1987. Services at the roadside sites include cleaning the buildings, shoveling snow from the walks, mowing the grounds, and tending the flower beds. They also perform minor repair and painting projects as necessary. Overall, they keep the facilities in tip-top shape! Crew members also frequently assist travelers in distress. Following are some statistics about the program. For more information, go to www.rfw.org/ram.htm

  • Employed over 400 individuals with a disability.
  • 39 individuals moved to other jobs in their community due to the work experience and training they received by working at RAM Program sites.
  • These employment opportunities have allowed people to achieve greater independence and self-sufficiency within their communities.
  • Over 23 million people stop at Wisconsin Rest Areas.
  • The busiest rest area is on I-39/90 near Portage with an estimated 1.7 million visitors annually.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) owns these sites and acts as the program administrator. WisDOT contracts with Rehabilitation for Wisconsin, Inc. (RFW) to provide program management services. WisDOT also contracts with 25 Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) to provide the custodial care and landscape maintenance services at these roadside sites.

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Out and About

Day at the DMV

By: Diana Sullivan, Disability Rights Specialist, IndependenceFirst

Jackie went to the DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles) to renew her disabled parking permit. A staff member noticed that Jackie came into the building using a scooter. He checked her driver's license to see if there were any restrictions listed on her license and found none. Jackie was told by the DMV staff that she would be required to re-take the written and road test in order to prove her competency to drive; and to determine if there would be restrictions placed on her license. He gave her a Medical Examination Report form and asked her to have her physician fill it out and return it to the WisDot (Wisconsin Department of Transportation).

This came as a surprise to Jackie as she has a spotless driving record and her disability did not affect her driving. This "surprise" requirement to re-take driving tests affects many people today. Sometimes people feel singled out. They think they are being forced to be re-tested just because they have a disability. To read this entire article, go to: A Day at the DMV.

Illegally Parking in Handicapped Spots

From the Rock County Gazette

Are more people illegally parking in handicapped spots? A recent article in the Rock County Gazette documented just such a trend in Rock County in 2005. The number of disabled parking violations written in Rock County leaped 270 percent in 2005. The article indicated some of the primary misuses and misunderstandings by motorists:

Primary violations include:

  • Parking on the access aisle-the space with the zebra stripes next to a handicapped stall. Access aisles are not parking stalls and are intended to give room for the disabled who use wheelchairs, walkers or vans with wheelchair lifts room to enter and exit their vehicles.
  • Not displaying the blue or red special identification card on the rearview mirror.
  • Parking in the space if the disabled person approved for the parking privileges does not exit or enter the vehicle.
  • Lending the card to someone else.

Although the state Department of Transportation gives literature to those who apply for or are approved for special parking privileges, more education is needed. During fall 2004, literature outlining the laws of disabled parking were provided to several support groups, such as Women with Disabilities and Multiple Sclerosis, in addition to senior centers in the county. For more information, go to Disabled parking violations up sharply.

Moving up and about at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

If you like to keep up with what's going on at DVR, note these leadership staff changes ... Manuel Lugo, former director of the Bureau of Consumer Services, has been appointed Deputy Administrator. Mike Greco, former Director of Workforce Development Area (WDA) 10 in Madison is now the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Services. James Bond, former Director of WDA 11 (Rock County and surrounding area) is the new Director of the Bureau of Management Services, a position previously held by Jerry Guenther, now the HR Director for the Department of Workforce Development.

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Upcoming Events

2006 ADA Audio Conference Series is Underway

The ADA Audio Conference Series provides in-depth information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Accessible Information Technology and other related topics. The Audio Conference Series offers a monthly 90-minute, subject-specific session with an interactive opportunity for questions and answers. Each session is delivered via telephone, real-time streaming text and audio via the Internet. Sessions are held monthly and scheduled from 1:00-2:00PM CST (90 minutes), and require pre-registration. Visit www.ada-audio.org for the schedule of training sessions and how to register.

To find out more information on the audio conferences or to register, please go to: http://www.ada-audio.org/. For more information on hosting a site for one or more of these audio conferences please contact Tammy Liddicoat, ADA WI Partnership, tliddicoat@charter.net or 608-334-8105.

On-line Course on Universal Design of Web Resources

The Great Lakes ADA and Accessible IT Center in collaboration with the Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana are pleased to announce the availability of an on-line course addressing Universal Design of Web Resources beginning February 14th.

More information can be found at:
http://cita.rehab.uiuc.edu/courses/2006-02-REHAB711NC/

Registration Information:
http://cita.rehab.uiuc.edu/courses/2006-02-REHAB711NC/reg.php

Professional Development Seminars and Upcoming Conferences...

Rehabilitation For Wisconsin, Inc. (RFW) is pleased to offer individuals involved in the rehabilitation community professional development seminars (PDS) and the upcoming Rehabilitation and Transition Conference. These events include a lively blend of presentations, interactive activities, discussions on ethics and professional boundaries, best practices, and strategies for balancing competing principles, values, and priorities. The next seminar for 2006 is fast approaching, find out about these events by visiting http://www.rfw.org/RFW/TrainingandEd.htm.

"Pride and Possibilities" Autism Society of Wisconsin 2006 Annual Statewide Conference

April 27th - 29th at the Four Points by Sheraton Milwaukee Airport. Keynote Presenters will be:

  • Jerry Newport
  • James Williams
  • Brenda Smith Myles
  • Liane Willey

More information and Early Bird Registration materials can be obtained on the ASW website, www.asw4autism.org, or by calling the office at 920-553-0278, toll free 888-428-8476. Information will also be published in our November newsletter, coming out shortly.

RSA Region V CRP-RCEP at Illinois Online Training

Employment Provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act

February 13 - March 27, 2006

Cost: $95.00 per course. Sign up for both courses and receive a $10.00 discount. Reduced rates of $85.00 for three or more participants from each agency.CRCs and CEUs available!

For more information and/or to register, please visit http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/illinoisrcep/whatsnew.htm or contact Betty Taylor at 217-333-2325 or ertaylor@uiuc.edu.

Toolkit for Rural Community Coordinated Transportation Services

The National Transit Institute, in cooperation with the Transportation Research Board and the American Public Transportation Association, will be hosting a free 90-minute "T-Class" beginning 2:00 p.m. EST on Feb.

The discussion will examine strategies and practices used to coordinate rural transportation services and identify model processes used for local coordination efforts in rural communities. For more information, go to http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.asp?CourseNumber=ID412

Free and Helpful ADA Publications

Stock Up Today!The Americans with Disabilities Act can be a complicated law, but here are many concise and easy to understand booklets to keep in your lobby, share with local employers or government staff, or have available for your own staff. Just of few of the free and handy booklets include:

  • The ADA: Your Employment Rights as an Individual With a Disability (published by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
  • The ADA: Your Responsibilities as an Employer (published by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
  • The Americans With Disabilities Act: Questions and Answers (published by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Justice)
  • Department of Justice: ADA Guide for Small Businesses (published by the U.S. Department of Justice)
  • Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal for Existing Facilities (published by NIDRR)
  • Planning Guide for Accessible Events (published by the Center for Universal Design)

If you would like to receive some of these publications to have available in your organization, contact RFW at rfw@rfw.org or 608-244-5310 with the title and quantity and we will have them shipped to your location. Or download the following order form: ADA Publications Order Form (Microsoft WORD version) or the ADA Publications Order Form (pdf version).

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ABOUT US: The ADA Wisconsin Partnership is part of a six-state consortium established by the Great Lakes ADA Center which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The ADA Wisconsin Partnership is managed by Employment Resources Inc.

We welcome your feedback. Submit your comments or article ideas by emailing ada@eri-wi.org.

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