Archive for July, 2011

Arlington County Fair – ECNV Needs Your Help!

Arlington County Fair Logo. Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 8/10/11 – 8/14/11, 3501 South Second St., Arlington, VA 22204ECNV Needs YOU!!

Help Out & Have Fun Too!

What: Set up and staff ECNV booth at Arlington County Fair

Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 S. 2nd St.

When: Thu. Aug 11 – Sun., Aug 14, 2011 (Note: Earlier in August than last year!)

Set up 8/11 in the afternoon Staff Booth 8/11 (eve) thru 8/14 (5 pm)

2 hour slots — all days and times available

If you have questions or would like more information, call Doris at ECNV (703-525-3268) or email her at dorisr@ecnv.org.

THANKS!

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July 29, 2011 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

Happy Birthday to the ADA!

Tony Trott

“Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.” George H.W. Bush, July 26, 1990 at the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

The whole wall hasn’t tumbled down yet, and it may never completely be gone, but we have made progress over the past twenty-one years.  I am a person with a disability, so when I say “we” in the previous sentence it could certainly apply to Americans with disabilities.  However, after I typed that sentence I thought about whom that pronoun would apply to and whether or not I needed to explicitly define it.  I decided not to because every U.S. Citizen needs to realize that they are, indeed, part of and very necessary for, that progress that we have made. 

Of course, as the Americans with  Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law of empowerment and not entitlement, people with disabilities must learn how the ADA works, what it provides, and then be proactive when they need to apply it.   That last part can be tricky; the ADA can be misused a lot and those cases are the ones that get a lot of media attention.  However, the ADA, when applied properly, can, to paraphrase a quote from Chai Feldblum (Commissioner at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), ‘…can prevent wrongful and unlawful discrimination.’ 

That makes the ADA sound like one heck of a law; and it is.  There are countless people across the nation who have benefitted from it.  That can be something as simple as an employer providing voice-recognition software for an employee who does not have use of his or her hands, or a hotel providing a roll-in shower for those who need it. 

But some are surely thinking “I’m never going to need the ADA, so why should I bother with it?”  That argument really holds no water because anybody anywhere could become an individual with a disability at any time due to an accident.  Besides, following the ADA is just the right thing to do! 

Happy Birthday to the ADA!  May you continue to help people with disabilities realize their potential.

By Tony Trott, ECNV Peer Mentor & Editor

July 26, 2011 at 2:45 pm Leave a comment

From the Board President

Matt BarkleyOver 1 billion people, 15 percent of the world’s population or nearly one of every 7 people has a disability. These figures, according the “World Report on Disability,” a new international survey conducted by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, will continue to grow as the population ages.

The report also found that people with disabilities are three times more likely to go without adequate health care and are far more likely to be uneducated, isolated and unemployed. Those are the eye-opening findings from the report that are getting headlines, but to those of us who have disabilities, they are a reality that we live with every day.

When you dig a little deeper into the 350 page report, it also states that “Disability is part of the human condition. Almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in life,” and it goes on to say “a person’s environment has a huge impact on the experience and extent of disability. Inaccessible environments create disability by creating barriers to participation and inclusion.”

These statements aren’t the ones grabbing headlines, but they are the ones that ECNV works to overcome every day. The “disabling condition” isn’t the fact that we use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, service animals or sign language. Our “disabilities” come from the inaccessible environments, unaccommodating behaviors and misguided attitudes that continue to oppress us.

While the findings of the “World Report on Disability” put an international perspective on disability, the barriers facing people with disabilities are just as prominent, and as pressing, here in Northern Virginia as they are throughout the world. ECNV has recently made great strides in breaking down these barriers, but we couldn’t do it without you. As a valued ECNV member, you are our greatest asset in overcoming these obstacles and we thank you for your continued support.

By Matt Barkley, ECNV Board Presdient
Article from the ECNV Declaration (Summer 2011 Edition)

July 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm Leave a comment

Next White House Disability Monthly Call

telephoneIn order to help keep you more informed, we are hosting monthly calls to update you on various disability issues as well as to introduce you to persons who work on disability issues in the Federal government.

Our next call will be on Wednesday, July 27 at 1:00 PM Eastern.

The call will feature information on technology, Section 508 of the Rehab Act, independent agencies, emergency preparedness, employment, budgetary issues and other topics.

I would encourage you to call in about five minutes early due to the large volume of callers.

The conference call information is below.

Dial in for listeners: (866) 298-7926
Title: White House Disability Call (use instead of code)
Date of Call: 07/27/2011
Start Time: 1:00 PM Eastern (dial in 5 minutes early)

This call is off the record and not for press purposes.

For live captioning, at the start time of the event, please login by clicking on the link below. Please only use this feature if you are deaf or hard of hearing.

http://www.fedrcc.us//Enter.aspx?EventID=1745291&CustomerID=321

This call is open to everyone, and we strongly urge and ask that you distribute this email broadly to your networks and listservs so that everyone has the opportunity to learn this valuable information. 

If you received this email as a forward but would like to be added to the White House Disability Group email distribution list, please visit our website at http://www.whitehouse.gov/disability-issues-contact and fill out the contact us form in the disabilities section or you can email us at disability@who.eop.gov and provide your full name, city, state, and organization.

Credit to the White House Disability Group

July 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm Leave a comment

Recharging the Batteries

Judy and Tony chattingI attended the 2011 National Council on Independent Living Conference last week in Washington, DC. It always serves well as a recharge for my batteries! Yes, it can be a drag having to get up a bit earlier than usual (especially on Saturday!), but just being with so many other people who care about and advocate for many of the same things as I do, always makes getting up early worth it!

When I get to the hotel, I usually get a latte to start my day and then look around at the people. It never ceases to amaze me that I see so many people I recognize from previous years but whose names I do not know; as I said, that amazes me but it makes me feel good about the disability community because it lets me know that there are a lot of other people advocating for similar issues as me and they are still actively engaged in that advocacy.

At the same time, I see individuals who of course I know. It’s a good feeling to look around the room and realize, “Hey, I’m in the same room with Judy Heumann, Yoshiko Dart, Mark Derry and Marca Bristo! I must be doing something right!”

One of the highlights is always the advocacy day on Capitol Hill…the day when we, as American citizens, go and speak to those people who represent us in the halls of Congress and we advocate for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters who, for many different reasons, cannot be with us. And members of Congress and their staffs aren’t the only ones’ whose disability awareness is hopefully raised by seeing hundreds of advocates on the Hill. Because it was an absolutely gorgeous day, there were many tourists seeing the sites that day and I’m sure that it must have raised some disability awareness for them as well. I’m sure there were quite a few younger children who had no real experience with people using wheelchairs or scooters, and just by our presence on the Hill, we helped to show them, firsthand, that people with disabilities are people who are capable!

ECNV staff, Congressmen Moran and Connolly

Thinking back on last week, I feel really positive about my experiences. My batteries have been recharged!

By Tony Trott, ECNV Peer Mentor & Editor

July 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm 2 comments

Free Federal Job Search Workshop

SkillSource Group - Northern Virginia Workforce GroupThe Obama Administration is hiring for over 600,000 positions over the next three years. Would you like to be selected for one of these positions?

Learn from a former GS-15 HR Manager from the Office of Personnel Management about the Federal application process and understand how to create Federal application materials that will set you apart from the competition.

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Date/ Time / Location:
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
10 am
Lake Anne SkillSource Center
11484 Washington Plaza West, Suite 110
Reston, VA 20190

Register by calling: 703-787-4974

July 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm Leave a comment

Job Accommodation Request Survey

Individuals with disabilities who need job accommodations are being sought for a study by researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park. The purpose of this study is to examine factors related to requests for job accommodations.

You are invited to share your perceptions on factors related to an accommodation request by answering a few questions about yourself, your organization, and your abilities and emotions in the process. This survey will take about 20~30 minutes.

The first 100 participants completing the survey will have a 1-in-4 chance of winning a $25 gift certificate; the rest of the respondents completing the survey will have a 1-in-4 chance of winning a $10 gift certificate. Moreover, you will be assisting service providers and employers to learn more about how to improve the job accommodation process for persons with disabilities.

If you have any questions about the research study or need alternative survey format, please contact Shengli Dong at 301-405-9126 or by e-mail at yerliang@umd.edu

The survey can be accessed at the following link. If the link does not work, copy and paste it into your browser:

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/526326/Job-Accommodation-Request-Survey

July 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm 1 comment

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