May 28, 2013

Disability News from around the country.

Wanting More and Finding Disability Justice Mia Mingus was recently honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for her efforts as an AAPI Women leader working in the area of disability justice. She is a writer, organizer, and member of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collaborative. In a blog posted on the White House website, she writes: “Most of my work takes the form of educating communities about disability because disability is something that we are taught to know very little about. Most of my work has been in political movements for social justice and queer and trans, people of color and feminist communities, with fellow activists and organizers, pushing them to respectfully integrate a disability justice analysis in to their work and lives. Most people only know about disability from a very individual and medical understanding and have not connected disability to their work for justice and liberation. For many significant and important reasons, disability has been very segregated from others social justice movements. I work to change that.” Read Mia’s full blog post at the following link: Agency News: The Secretary of the Department of Transportation Speaks at Gallaudet University’s 144th Commencement Address Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood delivers the commencement address at Gallaudet University Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood delivers the commencement address at Gallaudet University on Friday, May 17th. Photo Credit: Department of Transportation Fast Lane Blog Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood spoke at the 144th Commencement Address to the graduating class of Gallaudet University last Friday. This week, he reflected on the experience with a blog post: "At colleges and universities across America, a wave of commencements is underway. For thousands of students, crossing the threshold and becoming graduates is a moment when everything is possible. And for the Class of 2013 at Gallaudet University, a world leader in educating deaf and hard of hearing students, this is particularly true. Because the 144th graduating class at Gallaudet has already faced their share of adversity, and they have responded with their share of boldness." Continue reading at the following link: Agency News: U.S. Department of State Hosts EMPOWER Conference to Advance Disability Rights Worldwide The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs recently announced the first EMPOWER Conference on disability inclusive diplomacy. The EMPOWER program is a series of two-way exchanges aimed at bolstering the rights of persons with disabilities around the world. Persons with disabilities have the same rights as non-disabled persons, and must be provided access, opportunity, inclusion, and full participation on an equal basis with others. The conference will take place on Wednesday, May 22 in the George Marshall Center, starting at 8:45am. It will include 34 disability rights advocates from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Tajikistan, and Uganda who are here for one-month fellowships in cities across the United States. Learn more about the event and program at the following link: Agency News: Applications Now Available to Improve Education and Employment Outcomes for Low-Income Children with Disabilities The U.S. Department of Education has published a Notice in the Federal Register inviting applications for a new competitive grant program, Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE). PROMISE was proposed by the Obama Administration to improve the education and career outcomes of low income children with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The program is designed to serve children with disabilities, ages 14-16, who are receiving SSI and their families. For too long, the current system has not been effective in supporting child SSI recipients. Child SSI recipients who become adult SSI recipients continue to face many challenges, such as low educational attainment and employment rates. Read the full press release at the following link: Agency News: EEOC Issues Revised Publications on the Employment Rights of People with Specific Disabilities The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued four revised documents on protection against disability discrimination, pursuant to the goal of the agency's Strategic Plan to provide up-to-date guidance on the requirements of antidiscrimination laws. The documents address how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to applicants and employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities. These documents are available on the agency's website at "Disability Discrimination, The Question and Answer Series," Read the full press release at the following link: Agency News: Justice Department Reaches Fair Housing Settlement with Design Professional in Disability Lawsuit The Justice Department recently announced a settlement with the architects and civil engineers involved in the design and construction of multifamily housing complexes located in Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. The department’s lawsuit alleges that nine multifamily housing complexes with more than 800 units covered by the Fair Housing Act’s accessibility requirements were designed and built without required accessible features. Read more about the settlement at the following link: