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ENews: Volume 10, Issue 3, Third Quarter, 2012

The JAN E-News is a quarterly online newsletter. Its purpose is to keep subscribers informed about low-cost and innovative accommodation approaches; the latest trends in assistive technologies; announcements of upcoming JAN presentations, media events, trainings, and Webcasts; and legislative and policy updates promoting the employment success of people with disabilities.

An e-mail announcement is sent to an opt-in list when a new issue is available. Please use the links at the end of this document to subscribe or unsubscribe.

Index

  1. ADA or ADAAA, You Say "Potato," I Say "Patato"
  2. HIV/AIDS and Employment
  3. Back to School
  4. A Look at Job Accommodations for the Court System
  5. August is National Breastfeeding Month
  6. National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2012: A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?
  7. Share the Campaign for Disability Employment's (CDE) "What can YOU do?" Video Contest Winning Videos
  8. JAN Releases New Resources
  9. E-vents
  10. JAN Exhibit and Training Schedule
  11. Subscribe to JAN Newsletter

1 - ADA or ADAAA, You Say "Potato," I Say "Patato"

ADAAA: Definition of Disability 'plus' ADA: Reasonable Accommodation and Nondiscrimination 'equals' ADA as Amended

Since the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) was passed in 2008, there has been confusion about whether it is still proper to refer to just the "ADA" or whether you must now use "ADAAA." The short answer is that both are correct, depending on what you are talking about.

The ADAAA only changed the definition of disability, so if you are discussing the current definition of disability, then it is appropriate to refer to the ADAAA. All the other parts of the ADA – e.g., reasonable accommodation and nondiscrimination – stayed the same, so if you are talking about those parts, it is appropriate to refer to just the ADA.

But what do you do when you are talking about all of it – the definition of disability, reasonable accommodation, and nondiscrimination? Some people simply continue to use "ADA" when talking about all the parts, but technically you should use "ADA as amended."

But even you do not get this right, the important thing is that you are talking about the ADA again!

- Linda Carter Batiste, J.D., Principal Consultant

2 - HIV/AIDS and Employment

The spotlight over the past week has been on the progress made in the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS at the AIDS 2012 Conference in Washington, D.C. From the sessions I attended, great strides have been made in treatment and prevention, but a cure is still decades away. It is interesting to note that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is stratified across the globe with women and children being infected in Africa, intravenous drug users in Eastern Europe, and men in the United States with particular concentrations in the South.

The implications of successful prevention and treatment are that people living with HIV/AIDS are living not just longer, but also are healthier. At the Conference, revealing statistics were presented. For instance, in the United States approximately 50% of people living with HIV/AIDS are age 50 or older. The careers of many of these individuals were sidelined by HIV/AIDS.

Fast forwarding a couple of decades, people who have survived the epidemic and whose careers were affected are now healthy enough to return to the workforce. Unfortunately, only a few sessions at the AIDS 2012 Conference reflected this fact. Levi Strauss & Co., whose headquarters was located at the epicenter of the epidemic (San Francisco), and Heineken shared a number of successful practices. Disclosure of one's HIV/AIDS status was a topic of discussion during the Conference.

Luckily ODEP, working with the National Working Positive Coalition, had the foresight to provide an outlet for those Conference participants who are mindful of the HIV/AIDS and employment trends and who wanted to move this forward. On Saturday, July 28, ODEP executed the Institute on HIV/AIDS and Employment for more than 100 people from various nations, but a primary focus of employment in the United States. The audience included our Assistant Secretary Kathleen Martinez, the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, the Director of the International Labour Organization's Program on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work, the President of the Global Network of People Living with HIV, the Public Health Commissioner from San Francisco, Levi Strauss & Co.'s Employee HIV/AIDS Program, and many others working in the field of HIV/AIDS including researchers and practitioners.

All agreed that this topic was timely and somewhat ahead of the curve in terms of organizers for the larger community. All, too, committed to work together to educate others about this trend as well as practical policies and practices towards better inclusion of people living with HIV/AIDS in the workplace.

Additional Information

- Lou Orslene, MPIA, MSW, JAN Co-Director

3 - Back to School

Unless you have been living with your head in the sand at your favorite beach, you are more than likely aware that the back-to-school season is upon us. If you have ventured into any retail store, the signs are hard to miss. Paper, markers, pens, pencils, lunch boxes, and other back-to-school paraphernalia are being marketed near the front of almost every retailer. Television commercials abound. If you are one of those educators who cannot wait to get back into the classroom, you have no doubt seen the marketing blitz and have welcomed it. Starting a new school year can be very exciting. But if you are an educator who is apprehensive because of difficulties in the classroom due to disabilities, you may not be quite as eager to get back into the daily grind. School supplies everywhere may cause a feeling of trepidation.

If accommodations are needed in the workplace because of a disability, now is probably a good time to consider what those needs might be. Accommodations that are put into place before the school year actually begins will go a long ways towards easing your mind and allowing you more confidence and success in the classroom. See examples of effective accommodation situations and solutions below.

A preschool teacher with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) could not get to work early enough to do his turn in the early bus schedule, but had no problems staying after school for the late bus duty. He asked for the accommodation of exchanging his early duties with another teacher who just preferred not to do the after-school duty. The accommodation was approved, allowing him to do two turns of the after-school duty in exchange for no early duty.

An elementary school principal was undergoing treatment for cancer that left him extremely fatigued. He asked for a rest period each day as an accommodation. The school district had no problem with the accommodation request, but they were uncomfortable with his idea of using a roll-away cot in his office. JAN suggested using a recliner in the corner of the office, so when not in use it looked and functioned as an ordinary chair, but would provide the principal the ability to put his feet up and recline for rest. The district was very pleased with the recliner solution.

A secondary music teacher with major depression asked for the accommodation of moving his classroom to a quieter location. There was an empty classroom in the basement of the building where there would be no classes on either side. The accommodation was granted. A walkie talkie was provided so the teacher could call the office if he needed assistance because there were no call buttons in the basement.

A college professor who had incurred a traumatic brain injury was accommodated by rescheduling departmental meetings and classes she taught to 11:00 in the morning, or later. She then used the uninterrupted morning hours to get her planning, reading, studying, and administrative duties done.

For more accommodation ideas, see JAN's Occupation and Industry Series: Accommodating Educators with Disabilities.

As you can see from the above examples, effective accommodations can be fairly simple, creative, and put smoothly into place. If you need accommodations to start out the new school year, consider contacting JAN. We can provide assistance with any step in the process. Once you have the needed accommodations in place, you can relax and look forward with excitement to that first day of school. Who knows? Maybe you will even get caught up in the school-supplies frenzy!

- Melanie Whetzel, M.A., Senior Consultant, Cognitive / Neurological Team

4 - A Look at Job Accommodations for the Court System

The court system is comprised of a variety of jobs, including judges and magistrates, attorneys, examiners and researchers, clerks, administrators, managers, investigators, jailers, bailiffs and law enforcement, social workers, and support staff. These jobs require specific knowledge, skills, and abilities. Many of these job tasks can be effectively accommodated even though they include a variety of cognitive, sensory, and mobility skills that have traditionally been completed without modification. Below are examples of real-life situations and solutions involving the court system with additional details about these occupations from O*NET (Occupational Information Network) OnLine at http://www.onetcenter.org.

Bailiffs

Situation/Solution: A bailiff had a learning disability and worked in the courtroom for part of his job and in an office with multiple occupants for the other part. The individual had difficulty switching from one environment to the other in a timely manner. The employer purchased an electronic organizer application that was linked to the bailiff's desktop computer. This provided him with access to his calendar via smartphone or desktop and enabled him to receive multiple cues throughout the day.

Want to know more about bailiffs? Access O*NET OnLine to learn:

Jailers/Correctional Officers

Situation/Solution: A jailer/correctional officer with diabetes requested a modified schedule that allowed him to have restroom breaks and eat and take insulin on time. The employer denied this request, but offered him a reassignment to another position where a flexible schedule was more feasible.

Want to know more about jailers/correctional officers? Access O*NET OnLine to learn:

Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers

Situation/Solution: An administrative law judge was injured in a car accident and had difficulty sitting for long periods due to neck and back-related limitations. The judge was provided an ergonomic chair for the courtroom and a sit/stand workstation for her office.

Want to know more about administrative law judges, adjudicators, and hearing officers? Access O*NET OnLine to learn:

Child, Family, and School Social Workers

Situation/Solution: A court-appointed social worker with vision loss had difficulty using her office computer and completing paperwork while outside the office. The employer purchased screen magnification software for the social worker's computer and a smartphone with a magnification application. In addition, the employer purchased a portable, lighted magnifier that the social worker could carry with her throughout work areas.

Want to know more about child, family, and school social workers? Access O*NET OnLine to learn:

For more information on situations and solutions for the court system, download JAN's Accommodating Employees in the Court System.

The O*NET program is the nation's primary source of occupational information. Central to the project is the O*NET database, containing information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors. The database is continually updated by surveying a broad range of workers from each occupation and is developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA) through a grant to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

- Beth Loy, Ph.D., Principal Consultant

5 - August is National Breastfeeding Month

Although not disability related, more and more JAN staff members are fielding questions about a woman's right to breastfeed in the workplace. With August being National Breastfeeding Month, now is a good time to address this issue.

The main question we get is whether employers have to provide accommodations for nursing mothers. JAN specializes in the ADA, which requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. To be entitled to accommodations under the ADA, a person has to meet the ADA definition of disability. The desire or need to nurse a baby does not meet this definition, so the ADA does not address breastfeeding in the workplace.

Even though the ADA does not apply to nursing mothers, other laws may require employers to accommodate nursing mothers. For example, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide "reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express the milk." Employers are also required to provide "a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk." For additional guidance on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, see http://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers.

In addition, employees seeking accommodations related to breastfeeding may be protected under state laws. For information on those laws visit JAN's Federal, State, and Local Resources Webpage and Civil Rights Directory/State Fair Employment Practice Agencies.

Even though there is no legal requirement under the ADA to accommodate nursing mothers in the workplace, JAN is always happy to provide accommodation ideas. Some ideas for nursing mothers include:

For additional resources, visit:

- Lisa Dorinzi, MA, Consultant, Motor Team

6 - National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2012: A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?

Reprinted from: http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?"

NDEAM's roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month." Upon its establishment in 2001, ODEP assumed responsibility for NDEAM and has worked to expand its reach and scope ever since.

Although led by ODEP, NDEAM's true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. Employers, schools and organizations of all sizes and in all communities are encouraged to participate in NDEAM, and ODEP offers several resources to help them do so. Activities range from simple, such as putting up a poster, to comprehensive, such as implementing a disability education program. Regardless, all play an important part in fostering a more inclusive America, one where every person is recognized for his or her abilities — every day of every month.

To get NDEAM resources, learn more about how your organization can participate, and learn more about previous observances, visit ODEP's Website.

7 - Share the Campaign for Disability Employment's (CDE) "What can YOU do?" Video Contest Winning Videos

The Campaign for Disability Employment’s 2012 “What can YOU do?” Video Contest challenged filmmakers to produce disability employment awareness videos that reflect the diversity of skills people with disabilities offer, challenge common misconceptions about disability and employment, and reinforce the “What can YOU do?” initiative’s core message that at work, it’s what people CAN do that matters. Winners were selected in three categories: employer, youth, and general public.

In the employer category, Adam Dylewski of Washington, D.C., and the Chemists with Disabilities Committee of the American Chemical Society (ACS) were recognized for their video, "Chemists with Disabilities: We All Can." The video, which features chemists with disabilities sharing the value and talent they bring to their industry, demonstrates ACS' leadership on the issue of disability employment and the benefits of fostering a work culture welcoming of the talents of all individuals, including workers with disabilities.

The youth category winner is Jake Johnson of Clarence, N.Y., for his video "What WILL You Do?" The video illustrates the importance of developing and reaching goals and believing in oneself.

Finally, in the general public category, the honor goes to Dylan Johanson of Rosendale, N.Y., for his video "Challenge Your Assumptions." The video shares the true story of Margaret, a school cafeteria employee who helped a child who was choking, potentially saving her life. Margaret is a hard-working and valued employee who has a disability.

Everyone is encouraged to view and share the winning videos in support of the CDE's mission to challenge negative perceptions about disability employment and increase knowledge and understanding of the skills and talents of people with disabilities. Visit the CDE’s YouTube Channel to view and share these videos and learn more about the CDE at WhatCanYouDoCampaign.org.

8 - JAN Releases New Resources

9 - E-vents

10 - JAN Exhibit and Training Schedule

Events of particular interest: Get the most up-to-date and comprehensive training on employing people with disabilities. To view the complete JAN travel schedule go to JAN-on-the-Road.

11 - Subscribe to JAN Newsletter

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This document was developed by the Job Accommodation Network, funded by a contract agreement from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (DOL079RP20426). The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Department of Labor. Nor does mention of tradenames, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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