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Wisconsin A D A Partnership Link Newsletter: Linking people, promoting access.
Vol.2, Issue 3
August 2006


This Month's Focus...
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  • 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.

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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: Accessible Travel

Each year, thousands of persons with disabilities travel the world with no destination being out of the realm of possibility... With the proper planning and attitude, travel can be rewarding and adventurous. Each person with a disability has his/her special needs. Individual countries have their own standards of accessibility for disabled travelers. Preparing before you go can often prevent difficulties and ensure that your planned destination will be accessible, safe and enjoyable. Please let us know if you found this edition of the LINK helpful: We Welcome Your Feedback.

Postcard of tropical shoreline: How to Succeed in a Growing Disability Market.

Traveling and Out to Visit You!
How to Succeed in a Growing Disability Market

By Tammy Liddicoat, ADA Wisconsin Partnership
For the Wisconsin Department of Tourism publication "Tourism Today"

According to the US Census Bureau, Americans with disabilities currently number 49.7 million, or 19.3 per cent of the population, and represent more than $1 trillion in aggregate income. It is estimated that one in five people has a disability. On top of that, the baby boomer generation is aging and the number of consumers aged 55-64 will swell from roughly 23 million in 2000 to 42 million in 2020. By 2030, 24% of the U.S. population will consist of people with disabilities.

These are big numbers and they have big implications for the travel industry. It's no wonder that the demand for accessible tourist destinations is on the rise. Travelers with disabilities are just as eager to dine in great restaurants, enjoy exciting attractions, and stay in top notch lodging facilities as everyone else. And it's not just the person with the disability spending money and choosing a venue they can access – many travel with families, co-workers and friends. They spend their collective leisure and travel dollars in places they can visit together. Read the entire article...

Postcard image of bull fighter. Travel Resources and Information

Toll-Free Hotline For Air Travelers With Disabilities

DOT operates a toll-free hotline to assist air travelers with disabilities. The hotline provides general information to consumers about the rights of air travelers with disabilities, respond to requests for printed consumer information, and assist air travelers with time-sensitive disability-related issues that need to be addressed in "real time." The line is staffed from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time, seven days a week. Air travelers who experience disability-related air travel service problems may call the hotline at 1-800-778-4838 (voice) or 1-800-455-9880 (TTY) to obtain assistance. As in the past, air travelers who would like DOT to investigate a complaint about a disability issue must submit their complaint in writing or via e-mail to: http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/ACAAcomplaint.htm

Access to Airline Self-Service Kiosk Systems

The National Council on Disability (NCD) has released an NCD Position Paper on Access to Airline Self-Service Kiosk Systems calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to adopt an updated Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) standard for accessible design applicable to these kiosk systems and that DOT then initiate settlement negotiations with covered air carriers and airports to bring their kiosk systems into full compliance. To read more about the position paper, go to www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2006/kiosk.htm.

U.S. Access Board Invites Comments on Guidelines for Passenger Vessels

The guidelines provide accessibility criteria for various types of vessels, including cruise and gaming ships, ferries, and excursion boats, among others. The latest version incorporates feedback received from the public in response to a previous draft released in November 2004. The Board received input from vessels operators and manufacturers, industry trade groups, disability groups, and others during an 8-month comment period and at three public hearings. The new draft, which includes revised text and a discussion of the changes, is available for comment until September 5, 2006. A notice published in the Federal Register provides instructions for submitting comments. Link to the Draft Guidelines: www.access-board.gov/pvaac/revised-draft.htm

Link to Federal Register Notice: www.access-board.gov/pvaac/noa-revised.htm

Sand Friendly Wheels

Image of sand friendly wheel chairThink of summer, and one of the first things that comes to mind is a trip to the beach, lake, or river, and a scrumptious barbeque under the hot summer sun. What probably doesn't come to mind would be seeing wheelchairs at the beach. Wheels and sand don't mix. Right? Wrong! There are several companies that make wheelchairs or wheelchair dollies specifically for the beach or grassy park. The key is to use wide, low-pressure wheels. The National Center on Accessibility's web site lists a variety of manufacturers that provide these specialty wheelchairs. For more information online, go to www.ncaonline.org/products/beach-wheelchairs/

WI Historic Guide offers Accessibility Information

The Wisconsin Heritage Traveler is a 64-page, full-color guide to historic Wisconsin. The guide features state historic sites, heritage tourism corridors and areas, museums, and a directory for the state's Heritage Tourism Sign Program. The guide includes information regarding accessibility for each site featured. This and other "Travel Wisconsin" guides can mailed to your door absolutely free by calling 1-800-432-8747.

Rent A Car (with Scooter!)

Avis Rent A Car has announced a new pilot program with Scootaround Inc. that will give customers the ability to rent a mobility scooter and have it waiting in the trunk of their next rental vehicle or delivered to the customer's location. The program rolls out at two of the nation's most frequented leisure and convention destinations – Las Vegas and Orlando. Avis is the first rental car company to offer mobility scooters combined with vehicle rentals. Visit www.scootaround.com/news for more information.

Pine Forest Lodge

Check out this lodge in Mercer, WI that is wheelchair accessible and intended to be a place for anyone, with or without a disability, to relax and participate in outdoor activities. Three of the 9 cabins are accessible and there are many adaptive aids for outdoor activities. Find out more at www.pineforestlodge.com.

Milwaukee Riverwalk

Kudos to the City of Milwaukee, IndependenceFirst and federal officials for reaching an agreement on a plan that will make the Milwaukee RiverWalk more accessible to people in wheelchairs or those with disabilities. The agreement will involve $1.5 million in modifications including the installation of five elevator lifts and three ramps. The agreement comes as a result of a complaint filed by IndependenceFirst, an organization always on the alert for ways to make public spaces more usable by those with disabilities.

Postcard image of Wisconsin Dells - More Travel Links

More Travel Links:

Able Trek Tours

2006 marks Able Trek Tours' 15th year of providing vacations for people with special needs. Vacations are designed to enlighten and expand each Traveler's view, to encourage Travelers to discover and pursue leisure interests, to increase Traveler's self confidence, and of course to HAVE FUN! Vacations are also designed to promote independence and choice, with safety as our number one priority. Visit them online at www.abletrektours.com.

Fishing Has No Boundaries

Fishing Has No Boundaries, Inc.(FHNB) is a non-profit organization whose goal is to open up the great outdoors for people with disabilities through the world of fishing.

A one day fishing event will be held on August 19 and 20 – no fishing license or experience needed for this weekend fishing event on Paradise Shores on Lake Holcombe. Contact David Lato at 1.800.227.3287 or lato@cilww.com for more information.

A one-day shore fishing event on September 30 in Milwaukee at the Summerfest grounds – Contact David Turiciano at 414-227-1251 or Turiciano@cf-law.com for more information. Mailing address for registration is FHNB Milwaukee Lake Michigan Chapter, Cook & Franke, S.C., David Turiciano, 660 East Mason Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202-3877 or visit them online at www.fhnbinc.org/

State Parks offer Accessible Outdoor Experiences

Cabins for people with disabilities There are seven cabins for people with disabilities in Wisconsin State Parks. There are rustic cabins at Copper Falls and Blue Mound state parks and cabins with more amenities at Mirror Lake, Buckhorn, High Cliff, and Potowatami state parks and Kettle Moraine State Forest--Southern Unit. Go to http://dnr.wi.gov/org/at/af/open/ for descriptions of the cabins, reservation information and a calendar of available dates.

Accessible Trails

Wisconsin state parks, forests, and trails have more than 650 miles of trails that are accessible to wheelchair users and others with mobility impairments. These trails provide access to interesting natural features, picnic areas, and other accessible facilities. See http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/access/actrails.html table for a list of many of the accessible trails, along with their length, challenge level, and surface.

Accessibile Deer Hunting

Wisconsin law provides for a variety of hunting, fishing, and recreational use permits designed to help people with disabilities enjoy the state's natural resources. Find out how you can sponsor and/or participate in a gun deer hunt for people with disabilities. The 2006 Disabled Deer Hunt will be held October 7-15, 2006. Hunter information and Sponsor applications (due September 1) are available at all Department of Natural Resources service centers or on the DNR Web site at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/hunt/deer/disap.htm.

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Out and About
Photo of Wisconsin State Fair Display at a rest area in Kenosha County.

Above: Photo of Wisconsin State Fair Display at the Kenosha County Rest Area / Welcome Center near Kenosha.


Traveler's Retreat: Wisconsin Rest Areas/Welcome Centers:

A collaborative effort providing a resting place, tourism information, and employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities.

An entire team of people work cooperatively behind the scenes to keep Wisconsin rest areas, clean, safe and in good working order. Local Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) provide the day-to-day maintenance at each rest area and many waysides. The CRP's provide employment and work skills training for people with disabilities who might otherwise have limited employment opportunities. Rehabilitation For Wisconsin (RFW), a private non-profit organization, is responsible for managing Wisconsin's Rest Area Maintenance Program. In rest areas located near the state lines, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism staff offer information and resources to travelers.

More About Wisconsin's Rest Area Maintenance Program:

  • Employs 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 annually.
  • The busiest rest area is on I-39/90 near Portage with an estimated 1.7 million visitors annually.

Find out more about the program online: www.rfw.org/RAM.htm

More About Wisconsin Welcome Centers:

Wisconsin Welcome Centers are located around the state on inbound highways and offer services and amenities to travelers such as picnic areas, weather information, exhibits, road conditions and highway maps. Each center features over 800 booklets and brochures on hundreds of Wisconsin travel destinations, attractions and events. Traveler favorites such as demonstrations, food tastings and special exhibits make the Welcome Centers the perfect starting point for a Wisconsin vacation.

For free guides and travel planning information, visit www.travelwisconsin.com, call 1-800-432-TRIP or stop by any of the state's ten Welcome Centers.

Wisconsin Citizens with Disabilities VoteGet Out the Vote Campaign Materials

The centerpiece of any election is the "Get Out the Vote" (GOTV) effort. It is, by far, the most effective way to get out the disability vote. Following are some resources for helping you to begin your GET OUT THE VOTE effort today!

Group Homes Lawsuit Settled

City eases site rules for people with disabilities
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The war has raged through the courts for decades. On one side, entrepreneurs and advocates fight to house people with disabilities in residential areas. On the other side, city officials and their constituents fear that too many group homes clustered together could be detrimental to neighborhoods. In Milwaukee at least, the battle appears to be over.

The city has agreed to settle a federal civil rights suit brought by operators of group homes for $194,000. As part of the settlement, the city has repealed an ordinance that forbids homes for people with disabilities from locating within 2,500 feet of each other. Under the now-invalid ordinance, homes could open within that distance only if the city's Board of Zoning Appeals granted a special use permit – which required a public meeting and a fee. The city didn't always grant the permits, and they were subject to review every year.

Now, group living facilities for up to eight people may open in areas zoned as single-family residential. Facilities for up to 16 people can open in areas zoned as multifamily residential. To read more about this story, go to Group Home Lawsuit (online) | Group Home Lawsuit (pdf)

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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.

It's a Wonderful Life: Aging with developmental disabilities conference.

Back by Popular Demand!! Rehabilitation for Wisconsin will once again host our It's a Wonderful Life! Aging with Developmental Disabilities Conference on September 14 and 15, 2006 at the Country Springs Hotel and Conference Center in Waukesha. This "special occasion" conference promotes program best practices, aging and disability issues, preventative health, family supports and service innovations. Attendees include staff and administrators of day service, vocational, independent living and residential programs serving people with developmental disabilities; families and consumers of disability services; and staff of state and county human service programs. Registration is now open for this event: Register Today - online with check, credit card or purchase order. Or download a PDF version of the registration form.

Sponsorship and exhibit opportunities still remain for any members interested in supporting the event! We had a fabulous turnout of attendees in 2004 and are hoping for nearly 300 attendees this year. Find out more about sponsorship and exhibit opportunities.

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.

Upcoming Seminar:
Traveling and Out to Visit You! How to Succeed in a Growing Disability Market Sponsored by Visit Milwaukee in partnership with the ADA Wisconsin Partnership

Thursday, September 21, 2006
8:00 am to noon
Midwest Express Center
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This seminar is intended for the hospitality industry and topics will include disability awareness and etiquette along with practical and inexpensive tips for making a business that welcomes tourists more inviting and welcoming to people with disabilities. Business owners will be featured who will discuss their experiences working with groups that involve people with disabilities, why this has been good for business and what they have learned along the way. More information coming soon at www.visitmilwaukee.org.

Our Adventure Continues: 2006 WI APSE Conference on Community Employment: October 4 to 6, 2006 at the Radisson Paper Valley, Appleton, WI.

Our Adventure Continues! Jump in with APSE October 4-6

Plan now to attend this conference in Wisconsin exclusively dedicated to creating and enhancing community jobs and employment supports for individuals with disabilities. The 2006 Wisconsin APSE Conference on Community Employment will be held October 4-6, 2006 at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton, Wisconsin. This year’s theme "Our Adventure Continues...Soar with Us!" demonstrates the challenges and rewards that continue to be the reason why we keep doing what we do. This training opportunity offers cutting edge information on employment support issues for people with psychiatric disabilities including a thought provoking pre-conference seminar with Dr. David Mays and unique keynote and training session by Laurie Ford.

Choose from fifteen new and different breakout sessions discussing trends in funding, creative marketing ideas and practical tools you can use NOW to do a better job for the people you are working with. Practice "Habits of Mind" with Diana Mann for working with students in transition and experience a rousing send off from Cheryl Sensenbrenner, the fearless spouse of Congressman Sensenbrenner. Be adventurous! Find out more about this useful training and networking event designed for professionals, students, consumers, advocates and others interested in furthering community employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities. For more information, go to www.wiapse.org or download registration brochure (pdf).

Wisconsin Assistive Technology Events:

Access to Devices and Technology for Sensory Impaired and Learning Disabled

Three locations around the state: Eau Claire, Appleton, Pewaukee. Conference Objectives: To increase practitioner knowledge regarding assessment, access, and operation of assistive technology. Program will include:

  1. Individual Assessment
  2. Orientation, Mobility and Low Vision
  3. Computer Access Options
  4. Hands-On Training on Assistive Technology

For more information, download a copy of the training brochure (pdf) or go to the Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative website: www.wati.org

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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