The Americans with Disabilities Act Celebrates 25 Years

Throughout the year and on the ADA Anniversary - July 26, celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in your workplaces, schools and communities. While much progress has been made, much remains to be done.

The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities like those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA and ADAAA also assure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.

To celebrate this 25th milestone, the ADA National Network and its ten regional ADA Centers across the United States offer an ADA Anniversary Tool Kit for use by the public and the media through the ADA Anniversary website(ADAanniversary.org).

In Wisconsin, a number of events recognizing the anniversary are planned, you can find out more about these events and how the ADA impacts Wisconsin citizens by visting the Wisconsin ADA Stories website.


 

The Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers booklet

Your ADA Questions Answered: www.adata.org

The ADA National Network is pleased to announce the availability of a resource known as “The Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers booklet”.   This document is designed to provide answers to some of the most often asked questions about the ADA.  Produced collaboratively by the 10 regional members of the ADA National Network, the information in this booklet has been adapted from “The Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers” document produced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, October 2008 version.   It is available on-line in HTML format with an option to download/print a PDF version at:  www.adata.org


New Resource Guide for Dislocated Workers Who Have a Disability

Are you suddenly jobless? Do you have a disability?

Losing a job as a result of a business closure or workforce reduction can make for scary times – loss of income, benefits, security and confidence. For a person with a disability (or possible disability), dealing with these changes may be even scarier. Following is a resource guide that provides information about choices, options, and opportunities for dislocated workers with disabilities.


We Came Together: Wisconsin Reflects on 20 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA Wisconsin Partnership celebrates 20 years of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA Wisconsin Partnership, through funding provided by the DBTAC Great Lakes ADA Center, released a video “We Came Together: Wisconsin Reflects on 20 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act”.

Here is the YouTube link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayu2xSZoK0A

The title was inspired by the idea that it took ALL disability groups coming together with a united message, to ensure the passage the ADA.

The video features overlapping clips from interviews with several disability advocates who, alongside hundreds of others in Wisconsin, played a part to advance civil rights for people with disabilities, promote the passage of the ADA and ensure ongoing awareness of ADA implementation.

Thank you to Maureen Arcand, Ellen Daly, Cleo Eliason, Dan Johnson, Michelle Martini, Dick Pomo, Sandy Popp and Arvilla Rank for participating in this project and sharing their insights.

Please take a few minutes to celebrate this special anniversary and forward this link to others who may be interested!


Arranging Accessible Business Meetings for People with Disabilities

A publication by the U.S.Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section provides helpful information on how to evaluate the accessibility of a meeting site for people with disabilities including resources and tips on room set-up, presentation of meeting content, parking and providing auxiliary aids and services. Download it at http://www.ada.gov/business/accessiblemtg.htm.

The Office of Disability Policy (ODEP) within the US Department of Labor announced that the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has Released a Pandemic Flu Fact Sheet.

ODEP's Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has just released a new fact sheet, "Considering the Needs of Employees with Disabilities During a Pandemic Flu Outbreak." Covering Critical Questions, Telework, and General Considerations, it also offers links to valuable resources you can use immediately. This fact sheet is now available on the JAN Website at:
http://www.jan.wvu.edu/topics/panflu.htm

Planning Accessible Meetings

The US Department of Justice has issued a new publication in their “Expanding Your Market” series titled: "Accessible Information Exchange: Meeting on a Level Playing Field". This publication focuses on planning and conducting meetings and events that are accessible to people with disabilities. This publication is available on-line at: http://www.ada.gov/business/accessiblemtg.htm

Report on Employer Hiring Actions and Attitudes

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) today released findings of the most extensive survey in history of employers' actions and attitudes toward employing people with disabilities. The report is available at www.dol.gov/odep.

CESSI, a division of Axiom Resource Management Inc., conducted the survey of 3,797 companies, which statistically represent more than 2.4 million companies nationwide. This survey found that a majority of large businesses are hiring people with disabilities and discovering that costs for accommodations differ very little from those for the general employee population. Additionally, the survey showed that once an employer hires one person with a disability, it is much more likely that employer will hire other people with disabilities.

More ADA In The Headlines:

In the Headlines is a site dedicated to using technically advanced news agents to search for the latest news stories from several credible and well respected publications. The articles posted will cover a variety of topics related to the Americans with Disabilities Act. We update our news stories multiple times daily and post the 5 most recently published stories on a per state basis. Please keep in the mind that the site is as up to date as new stories are published.

ADA Business Connections Website

The U.S. Department of Justice has posted a new fact sheet to the ADA Business Connections portion of its web site. The document titled, "Expanding Your Market: Accessibility Benefits Older Adult Customers," outlines how compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes good business sense. The new fact sheet highlights the benefits of increasing accessibility in order to meet the needs of individuals who are aging. For more information go to http://www.ada.gov/business.htm.

Technical Assistance Desk:

Question: What type of tax breaks are there for businesses trying to comply with the requirements of the ADA?

Answer: In order to assist businesses with complying with the ADA, Section 44 of the IRS Code allows a tax credit for small businesses and Section 190 of the IRS Code allows a tax deduction for all businesses.

The tax credit is available to businesses that have total revenues of $1,000,000 or less in the previous tax year or 30 or fewer full-time employees. This credit can cover 50% of the eligible access expenditures in a year up to $10,250 (maximum credit of $5000). The tax credit can be used to offset the cost of undertaking barrier removal and alterations to improve accessibility; providing accessible formats such as Braille, large print and audio tape; making available a sign language interpreter or a reader for customers or employees, and for purchasing certain adaptive equipment.

The tax deduction is available to all businesses with a maximum deduction of $15,000 per year. The tax deduction can be claimed for expenses incurred in barrier removal and alterations. It is not available for new construction.

For additional information and materials on the ADA contact the DBTAC Great Lakes ADA Center by calling 800-949-4232 (V/TTY) or use the online contact form.

Voting Resources

Citizens with Disabilities Vote!Voting is a constitutional right and responsibility of citizenship. It is an important way to help select the national, state and local officials who make laws, design programs and decide how tax dollars are spent. For information on voting in Wisconsin for individuals with disabilities, download a copy at the Voting in Wisconsin: A Guide for Citizens with Disabilities in multiple formats:

The information in this publication is based on current Wisconsin election laws and is believed to be accurate. Questions on specific interpretations of the law should be referred to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

Disability Rights Online News

Disability Rights Online News is a bi-monthly update about the Civil Rights Division's activities in the area of disability rights. The Division enforces laws prohibiting discrimination based on disability in employment, housing, access to businesses serving the public, access to government programs and services including voting and public transportation, and unconstitutional conditions in institutions of confinement.

To view the latest newsletter, visit: http://www.ada.gov/newsltr0805.htm

Get Technical Assistance for ADA

The Great Lakes ADA Center has experienced Technical Assistance Specialists who are available to provide in-depth answers to questions concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines, and Accessible Information Technology (IT) by telephone or email. They also provide a variety of professional consultation services such as reviewing plans for new and existing facilities, proofing language used in employer policies, examining documents related to programmatic accessibility required by government entities, and recommending strategies to improve the accessibility of web sites.

The Specialists also conduct trainings that are tailored to address the specific needs of audiences with varying levels of knowledge about the ADA and IT. In addition, the Center has expanded its role to include activities that promote the acquisition and use of accessible information technology in education settings. The Great Lakes ADA Center E & IT Initiative provides technical assistance aimed at encouraging the incorporation of accessible information technology in K-12 and post secondary school settings.

For more information about the services provided by the Technical Assistance Specialist contact the Great Lakes ADA Center at (800) 949-4232 (V/TTY).

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