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 your shopping.
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 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 DOT-OST-2007-26829.
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." Senator Kerry chairs the subcommittee and co-sponsored introduction of S. 3304, a bill similar to the "21st Century Communications & Video Access Act" (HR 3101), introduced in the House. For the first time in any one present'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 http://www.cardpartner.com/enduser.aspx?AEID=D0974
We get a $50 donation for each person who completes the signup, and uses the card.
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 (many of them women) 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.
"This 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," the secretary of veterans affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, said in a statement to The New York Times. "This final regulation goes a long way to ensure that veterans receive the benefits and services they need."
Though widely applauded by veterans' 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.
"I can't imagine anyone more worthy of public largess than a veteran," 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. "But 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."
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.
"I 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," Mr. Weidman said.
Mr. Weidman and other veterans' advocates said they were disappointed by one provision of the new rule: It will require a final determination on a veteran's case to be made by a psychiatrist or psychologist who works for the veterans department.
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.
"V.A. and V.A.-contract clinicians go through a certification process," Mr. Pamperin said. "They are well familiar with military life and can make an assessment of whether the stressor is consistent with the veterans' duties and place of service."
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, Parkinson's disease and hairy-cell leukemia to receive benefits.
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 decade.
Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia and a Vietnam veteran, has asked that Congress review the proposal before it takes effect. "I take a back seat to no one in my concern for our veterans," Mr. Webb said in a floor statement in May. "But I do think we need to have practical, proper procedures."
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."Those statistics show a very serious problem in how V.A. handles P.T.S.D. claims," 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.
"It doesn't matter whether you are an infantryman or a cook or a truck driver," Mr. Hall said. "Anyone is potentially at risk for post-traumatic stress."
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 can use.
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 days.
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 disabilities.
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 month.
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 TO STOP?
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 tinnitus.
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 conference activities.
***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 http://oc.insure2.us/ today!
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.
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