THE TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK
In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act we
have developed a new ADA access kit we sell to offices, hotels, hospitals,
businesses that normally interact with deaf consumers.
The new "Simplicity ADA Access Kit" has among the e the TTY, Amplified
telephone, and VIDEOPHONE! Yes Videophones will soon be everywhere that has ADA
kits for the deaf and hard of hearing! 85% of businesses already have DSL
connection required for the videophones.
See my video announcing this new ADA kit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUmqR9F_vSQ and as soon as we get the deals to
obtain a decent supply of videophones, we will offer the new ADA access kit at
our ebay store.
Enforcement of the ADA will double real soon and I feel this be the calling sign
to double up the prices of our ADA kits on July 26, 2010 the 20th anniversary
date. Even the doubling of the prices still makes our ADA kits the cheapest
kits available and it goes far beyond the cheap price comparing to $7,000 to
$10,000 the going price for ADA settlements.
The OCDAC's beat goes on at the Orange County Fair starting this Friday!
Brought to you by the Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center
DO YOUR SHOPPING AT OUR WEBSTORE.
We have lots of new items and our webstore count stands at over 860 items. We
have fresh donations. We are creeping up tom the 900 item mark!
Lots of products for the deaf, and blind, and other disabilities. Remember your
parents, grand parents, brothers, sisters, family members, co-workers who need
adaptive equipment. Employers can shop here for equipment and accessories for
their hearing impaired workers.
Buy Here, Buy Now, Pay Less with our ADA kits! This includes long term savings
associated with ADA compliance. Prices of our ADA kits will double on July 26,
2010. Even the double pricing still makes our ADA kits the cheapest available.
Stop by http://stores.ebay.com/OCDAC-Adaptive-Equipment-and-More today to start
Rule Extends Disability Protections to Passenger Ships and Boats
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced the first federal rule to
specifically provide Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protections to people
with disabilities who travel on boats and ships. The action comes as the 20th
anniversary of the ADA approaches on July 26.
The rule applies to two categories of vessels: vessels operated by public
entities, such as public ferry systems, and vessels operated by private entities
primarily engaged in the business of transporting people, such as cruise ships.
The rule is meant ensure that vessel operators' policies do not discriminate
against passengers with disabilities. Under the rule, vessel operators cannot
charge extra for accessibility-related services to passengers, cannot require
passengers to furnish their own attendants, and cannot deny access to passengers
based on disability. Vessel operators will have to provide information to
passengers about the accessibility of their facilities and services and make a
knowledgeable person available to resolve accessibility concerns.
This rule does not establish physical accessibility standards for new
construction or alteration of vessels. The Access Board, an independent agency,
is currently developing proposed accessibility guidelines that the Department
would adopt in a subsequent rulemaking.
Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations will cover a third category of vessels
not covered by DOT's rules â€" those operated by private entities not primarily
engaged in the business of transporting people, such as fishing charters and
dinner cruise boats.
The new rule will become effective 120 days after it is published. There will be
a 90-day comment period concerning three issues: whether vessel operators should
be required to allow passengers with disabilities to bring emotional support
animals on board, requirements operators must follow concerning the use of
mobility aids, and the relationship of DOT and DOJ disability rules.
The rule is available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket
Brought to you by The Orange Deafie Blog
FACE TO FACE TIMES
Senate Holds Successful Hearing on Accessible Communications Technologies
On May 26, 2010, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology &
the Internet held a successful hearing entitled â€œInnovation and Inclusion: The
Americans with Disabilities Act at 20.â€ This hearing focused on the issues
raised by the "Equal Access to Communications in the 21st Century Act" (S.
3304). The witness on Panel 1 was Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA). On Panel 2, there
were four witnesses: Russell Harvard, Actor; Sgt. Brian Pearce (Ret.), U.S.
Army; Thomas Wlodkowski, Accessibility Director, AOL Inc.; Bobbie Beth Scoggins,
President of the National Association of the Deaf; and Walter McCormick,
President and Chief Executive Officer, US Telecom Association (USTA).
Advocates noted the optimistic tone of Senator John Kerry's comments about the
COAT-sponsored bills passing this year. He said "all the testimonies today are
incredibly helpful" and that he "wants all the devices and services available to
everyone.â€ Senator Kerry chairs the subcommittee and co-sponsored introduction
of S. 3304, a bill similar to the â€œ21st Century Communications & Video Access
Actâ€ (HR 3101), introduced in the House. For the first time in any one
presentâ€™s memory, advocates noted how Senator Kerry held up the testimony of
one witness for a few minutes when the live online captioning broke down and
waited until it resumed before allowing the witness to continue. He also ensured
that Sgt Brian Pearce, who also has Traumatic Brain Injury, was provided enough
time to speak.
The first witness, Rep. Markey said that "industry exaggerates the costs and
burdens of accessibility" and fails to note the benefits of accessibility to
everyone. He used the example of captioning on TV, which allows people for whom
English is a Second Language to understand TV, and that also "allows guys to
multi-task in bars," a comment that generated much laughter in the hearing room.
He added that people with disabilities wait too long for accessible technology.
Markey said that the "wizardry of the wires is neither good nor bad but that we
need to animate them with human values, especially as our population ages." He
added that "H.R. 3101 brings existing disability laws up-to-date, making for
accessible, affordable and usable technologies for people with disabilities."
Panel 2 witness Sgt. Pearce (Ret.Army), whose vision and hearing were injured in
Iraq by a bomb explosion, said, "I just want to be able to do the things that
anyone else would do" and wondered "if inaccessible technology contributes to
current high unemployment, especially for vets like me going back to school."
He reported that he "can't find video description on TV" and "TV interfaces
should be accessible to those who lose vision and hearing." He noted also that
he "can't hear storm warnings on TV." In response to a question from Sen. Mark
Pryor he said he'd "been through several cell phones, none accessible." The
second consumer witness, Russell Harvard, pleaded with the committee to "Please
don't leave us behind as new digital technologies become available to the
general public." He also made the point that "easy-to-use captioning controls
are like volume controls for hearing people." AOL's Tom Wlodowski admitted to
frustration when the Internet is inaccessible and on behalf of industry, said
they want "flexibility is how accessibility is delivered". He made several
points about the need for "interoperability" with assistive technologies (AT)
and noted that "the cost of AT is prohibitive."
Bobbie Beth Scoggins of NAD signed her testimony, and said "S.3304 does a lot
for people who are deaf, people who are blind, people who are deaf-blind," but
she "wants advanced communications definition & undue burden standard as found
in H.R. 3101." She opined that "industry designs for younger people," and asked
for "the digital tools that allow for independence of people with disabilities."
Walter McCormick, from USTA, conveyed his opinion that "most problems had been
worked out with the legislation" and "it would not take much time to work out
the rest." He said that "S. 3304 leaves the FCC to decide what companies make
what products accessible [whereas] the HR 3101 definition is better." McCormick
added that "the compliance standard in H.R.3101 is better than in S.3304 and
that it corresponds to the standard included in the National Broadband Plan."
In response to a question from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), McCormick said USTA
"supports real time text and the aspirations of the consumers on panel" in
regard to making 9-1-1 emergency centers more up-to-date.
Over 100 people attended the hearing, many being people from industry as well as
a strong contingent of consumer representatives. Representatives were also
present from two federal agencies, the US Access Board and the FCC.
Both S. 3304 and HR 3101 are bills that would enact the accessible technologies
agenda of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT).
Brought to you by Modern Deaf Communication
MAXED OUT ON YOUR CREDIT CARDS @ NEED CHEAPER AUTO INSURANCE?
Get yourself an OCDAC credit card through a special program at
We get a $50 donation for each person who completes the signup, and uses the
FREE AUTO INSURANCE QUOTES
This brokerage http://oc.insure2.us has people familiar with deaf motorists.
THE FINGER BOWS
V.A. Is Easing Rules to Cover Stress Disorder
The government is preparing to issue new rules that will make it substantially
easier for veterans who have been found to have post-traumatic stress disorder
to receive disability benefits, a change that could affect hundreds of thousands
of veterans from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Story by Jeremy M.
Lange for The New York Times
The regulations from the Department of Veterans Affairs, which will take effect
as early as Monday and cost as much as $5 billion over several years according
to Congressional analysts, will essentially eliminate a requirement that
veterans document specific events like bomb blasts, firefights or mortar attacks
that might have caused P.T.S.D., an illness characterized by emotional numbness,
irritability and flashbacks.
For decades, veterans have complained that finding such records was extremely
time consuming and sometimes impossible. And in the wars in Afghanistan and
Iraq, veterans groups assert that the current rules discriminate against tens of
thousands of service members â€" many of them women â€" who did not serve in
combat roles but nevertheless suffered traumatic experiences.
Under the new rule, which applies to veterans of all wars, the department will
grant compensation to those with P.T.S.D. if they can simply show that they
served in a war zone and in a job consistent with the events that they say
caused their conditions. They would not have to prove, for instance, that they
came under fire, served in a front-line unit or saw a friend killed.
The new rule would also allow compensation for service members who had good
reason to fear traumatic events, known as stressors, even if they did not
actually experience them.
There are concerns that the change will open the door to a flood of fraudulent
claims. But supporters of the rule say the veterans department will still review
all claims and thus be able to weed out the baseless ones.
â€œThis nation has a solemn obligation to the men and women who have honorably
served this country and suffer from the emotional and often devastating hidden
wounds of war,â€ the secretary of veterans affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, said in a
statement to The New York Times. â€œThis final regulation goes a long way to
ensure that veterans receive the benefits and services they need.â€
Though widely applauded by veteransâ€™ groups, the new rule is generating
criticism from some quarters because of its cost. Some mental health experts
also believe it will lead to economic dependency among younger veterans whose
conditions might be treatable.
Disability benefits include free physical and mental health care and monthly
checks ranging from a few hundred dollars to more than $2,000, depending on the
severity of the condition.
â€œI canâ€™t imagine anyone more worthy of public largess than a veteran,â€
said Dr. Sally Satel, a psychiatrist and fellow at the American Enterprise
Institute, a conservative policy group, who has written on P.T.S.D. â€œBut as a
clinician, it is destructive to give someone total and permanent disability when
they are in fact capable of working, even if it is not at full capacity. A job
is the most therapeutic thing there is.â€
But Rick Weidman, executive director for policy and government affairs at
Vietnam Veterans of America, said most veterans applied for disability not for
the monthly checks but because they wanted access to free health care.
â€œI know guys who are rated 100 percent disabled who keep coming back for
treatment not because they are worried about losing their compensation, but
because they want their life back,â€ Mr. Weidman said.
Mr. Weidman and other veteransâ€™ advocates said they were disappointed by one
provision of the new rule: It will require a final determination on a
veteranâ€™s case to be made by a psychiatrist or psychologist who works for the
The advocates assert that the rule will allow the department to sharply limit
approvals. They argue that private physicians should be allowed to make those
determinations as well.
But Tom Pamperin, associate deputy under secretary for policy and programs at
the veterans department, said the agency wanted to ensure that standards were
consistent for the assessments.
â€œV.A. and V.A.-contract clinicians go through a certification process,â€ Mr.
Pamperin said. â€œThey are well familiar with military life and can make an
assessment of whether the stressor is consistent with the veteransâ€™ duties and
place of service.â€
The new rule comes at a time when members of Congress and the veterans
department itself are moving to expand health benefits and disability
compensation for a variety of disorders linked to deployment. The projected
costs of those actions are generating some opposition, though probably not
enough to block any of the proposals.
The largest proposal would make it easier for Vietnam veterans with ischemic
heart disease, Parkinsonâ€™s disease and hairy-cell leukemia to receive
The rule, proposed last fall by the veterans department, would presume those
diseases were caused by exposure to Agent Orange, the chemical defoliant, if a
veteran could simply demonstrate that he had set foot in Vietnam during the war.
The rule, still under review, is projected to cost more than $42 billion over a
Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia and a Vietnam veteran, has asked that
Congress review the proposal before it takes effect. â€œI take a back seat to no
one in my concern for our veterans,â€ Mr. Webb said in a floor statement in
May. â€œBut I do think we need to have practical, proper procedures.â€
More than two million service members have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan since
2001, and by some estimates 20 percent or more of them will develop P.T.S.D.
More than 150,000 cases of P.T.S.D. have been diagnosed by the veterans health
system among veterans of the two wars, while thousands more have received
diagnoses from private doctors, said Paul Sullivan, executive director of
Veterans for Common Sense, an advocacy group.
But Mr. Sullivan said records showed that the veterans department had approved
P.T.S.D. disability claims for only 78,000 veterans. That suggests, he said,
that many veterans with the disorder are having their compensation claims
rejected by claims processors. â€œThose statistics show a very serious problem
in how V.A. handles P.T.S.D. claims,â€ Mr. Sullivan said.
Representative John Hall, Democrat of New York and sponsor of legislation
similar to the new rule, said his office had handled dozens of cases involving
veterans who had trouble receiving disability compensation for P.T.S.D.,
including a Navy veteran from World War II who twice served on ships that sank
in the Pacific.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter whether you are an infantryman or a cook or a truck
driver,â€ Mr. Hall said. â€œAnyone is potentially at risk for post-traumatic
Brought to you by ASL News http://www.aslnews.com
Take a look and bookmark our new search page!
Http://www.deafadvocacy.org/search.html . It's a good source of information you
THE SOUR ORCHIDS
"Forced Institutionalization of People With Disabilities Is Illegal" - DOJ and
Federal Court Ruling.
The U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Fla., ruled this week that Michele
Haddad must be provided with services that will allow her to stay in her home.
Haddad, who has a spinal-cord injury caused by a motorcycle accident with a
drunk driver three years ago, was at risk of being forced into a nursing home
because of changes in her caregiver situation. Although the 49-year-old woman
has been on the waiting list for Medicaid community-based waiver services for
two years and had alerted the state of her need, she was told that the requested
services would only be available if she was admitted to a nursing home for 60
In Haddad v. Arnold, the plaintiff argued that she would suffer irreparable harm
if forced to enter a nursing home.
The court agreed, ordering the state to offer Haddad community-based services.
The reason: Segregating people with disabilities is a form of discrimination, as
found in Olmstead v. L.C. This landmark disability-rights decision determined
that isolating people with disabilities in institutional settings deprives them
of the opportunity to participate in their communities, interact with
individuals who don't have disabilities and make daily choices. The ruling also
acknowledged that unnecessary institutionalization stigmatizes people with
The Olmstead decision, which marks its 11th anniversary this week, is not the
first such case that the U.S Department of Justice has filed briefs. The DOJ is
involved in several other cases in Illinois and New Jersey, as part of its
mission to end discrimination against people with disabilities.
"In the Olmstead case, the court recognized that the unnecessary segregation of
individuals with disabilities stigmatizes those individuals as unworthy of
participation in community life," stated Assistant Attorney General for the
Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez. "By supporting Ms. Haddad in this case,
we seek to ensure that individuals with disabilities can receive services in the
most integrated setting appropriate, where they can participate in their
communities, interact with individuals who do not have disabilities and make
their own day-to-day choices."
The Department of Justice's involvement in these cases reinforce the Obama
administration's national efforts to protect the rights of all people.
"This work is a priority for the Civil Rights Division, and we are committed to
aggressive enforcement of Olmstead so that we can build upon progress made over
the last 11 years," said Perez earlier this week. "But our work is only one
piece of a larger, administration-wide effort to make the promise of Olmstead a
reality for individuals with disabilities nationwide. Real reform requires a
holistic approach. As a lifelong public servant, I recognize that the most
vexing problems a government faces are those that require unprecedented
interagency collaboration and coordination. The unnecessary and illegal
institutionalization of individuals with disabilities who would be better
served, and better able to contribute to their communities, if they were
provided services in integrated settings, is one of those problems."
Disability Advocates: Are there Michele Haddad's in your States?
Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues
Brought to you by the other Orange Deafie Blog at http://ocdac.wordpress.com/
COME TO OUR MEETUPS!
The Orange County American Sign Language Meetup Group -
http://asl.meetup.com/37/ - and the Orange County Deaf & Hearing
Impaired Meetup Group http://deaf.meetup.com/38/ meets each 3rd Fridays of the
We are currently pondering a new locations for all of our meetup events because
our competition appears to have hijacked the excitement, prestige, and normalcy
of our cherished monthly gatherings.
FROM THE BLOGSPHERE
Shane H. Feldman Is The Golden Train NAD Needs!
But they chose Howard A. Rosenblum. A poor example. Rosenblum's ties with
Protection and Advocacy entities is the big red flag the NAD CEO Search
Committee missed. Protection and Advocacy entities all have a poor record in
defending the rights of people with disabilities. I seen this with my own eyes
in the past 10 years already. This is going to be like a jet flying over the
Atlantic Ocean and someone turns the engines off half way across the ocean.
Howard A. Rosenblum is the type of person to do the same thing to NAD.
Shane H. Feldman is the golden train NAD needs to climb out of the fiscal mess
and lead the deaf communities to the promised land.
They're already missing the golden train with Howard A. Rosenblum as CEO!
What's the message coming out of this? "Train Go Sorry!"
Brought to you by the Hearing For Life Foundation Http://www.hear-for-life.org
DO YOU HAVE TINNITUS? ARE YOUR EARS RINGING ALOUD BY ITSELF? DO YOU WANT THAT
Tinnitus affects people with or without hearing loss.
Tinnitus is the ringing sensation that occurs in the ears. Severe tinnitus can
be painful and disable a person. Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center has two
people serving in a patient advocacy council. Orange County Deaf Advocacy
Center wants to help people retain their productivity by helping them manage
We are introducing a nutraceutical cocktail of Ginkgo Biloba, Zinc, and Garlic
to manage tinnitus (ringing) in the ears. New studies show that a combination
of these three working together helps manage tinnitus. We have the research
that suggest the cocktail helps manage tinnitus.
This cocktail doesn't create the flush reaction you get from using high dosage
of Niacin taken to manage tinnitus.
Tinnitus management kit contains Ginkgo Biloba, Zinc, Garlic, pill minders box,
carrying case, and 2 sets of ear plugs.
Kit is assembled by people with disabilities.
If you care about your ears, please shop through our paypal link below now
Tinnitus 2 month management kit $79.99 - Free Shipping On All Orders!
Refills each month $29.99 (Link will be mailed to you with your order)
The funds generated from this offering will be returned to the community in the
form of assisted housing, education, advocacy, free equipment, outreach, and
***These Statements have not been evaluated by the US FDA. This product is not
intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease. There is no guarantee this
will help you manage tinnitus. This may work on some people and this may not
work on some people too.
FROM THE VLOGSPHERE (VIDEO BLOGGING)
Jdeaf.com returns to the videoblogspheres with a loud flatulence (farting
sound). Sadly this cesspool of a website serves no one and does nothing but
bash at the deaf pillars over picky to nothing. As of date of this publication,
132 people with appetites for communal slime have signed up to be members of
this trashy website.
Brought to you by the Eye Fire Vlogs Http://eyefirevlogs.com
Please donate to Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center. We have a lot of work to
do on behalf of people with hearing and speech impairments and we have a
donation form ready for your use.
Donation form :
Thank you very much for the time youve taken to read this newsletter and
clicking on the donation link above.
FROM THE NEWSLETTER READERS
Now OCDAC is helping deaf people get low cost auto insurance. Unlike many
insurance networks, this one is very familiar with deaf people. Why dont you go
to the site and fill out the information to get free insurance quotes
Brought to you by Deaf Paradise Http://deafparadise.ning.com/
**** DISCLAIMER ****
The OCDAC Newsletter is designed to share information of interest to people with
disabilities, their friends, associates, and relatives and promote advocacy in
the disability community. Information circulated herein does not necessarily
express the views of The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center. The OCDAC
Newsletter is non-partisan. OCDAC Newsletter does not sell advertising space.
The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center is a community based organization that
puts people with disabilities first in their advocacy for equal opportunities in
safety, health, and productive living.
The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center provides services for disabled
individuals and their families in our community who need help in navigating the
social services maze. Every day people go without proper food, shelter, and
essential medical care every day due to a variety of factors including low
wages, job loss, injuries, illness, age, domestic violence, or divorce. While
all of us are susceptible to hard times, disabled individuals are at the most
risk. With the generous support of people like you, we are able to help many of
these families and individuals not only to meet essential daily needs, but to
work toward a brighter future with programs in job training, education,
counseling, elderly assistance, and temporary housing.
Feel free to forward this email message IN ITS ENTIRETY to anyone and any of
your personal mailing lists so we can get the important messages out far and
wide and encourage them to sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Our physical address is 2960 Main Street suite #102, Irvine California 92614 and
this email is in compliance with CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.