White House Announces Disability Advocacy Champions of Change Competition — Deadline June 18

The White House is seeking nominations for the White House Champions of Change for Disability Advocacy award. The Champions of Change program recognizes the efforts of individuals across the country who are taking action to create and foster change in their communities. Nominees for the award can be both long-time local disability rights advocates and young leaders with disabilities who are dedicated to disability advocacy and advancing the legacy of the ADA for the next 25 years to come. Nominations are due by midnight EDT on June 18. On the nomination form, the Theme of Service should be selected as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

PEAT Initiative Launches “PEAT Talks” Virtual Speakers Series — June 18, 2:00-2:30 PM EDT

The ODEP-funded Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) has announced a new virtual speaker series to showcase organizations and individuals whose work is advancing accessible technology in the workplace. Held the third Thursday of every month at 2:00 PM ET, the “PEAT Talks” series will feature energetic and interactive online discussions highlighting a spectrum of cutting-edge accessible technology work. The first “PEAT Talk,” scheduled for Thursday, June 18, will welcome Neil Giacobbi, Executive Director of Public Affairs at AT&T who will be speaking about the AT&T NYU Connect Ability Challenge, a three-month global software development competition designed to create new innovations that improve the lives of people living with disabilities. The coming months will bring an esteemed line-up of “PEAT Talks” speakers who will each deliver a 10- to 15- minute talk and then field questions from attendees.

LEAD Center Updates Application for Self-guided Discovery Training and Technical Assistance — Deadline June 15

The LEAD Center is distributing updated instructions about applying for Self-guided Discovery training and technical assistance. The deadline for applications is June 15. The presentation slides and transcript from a webinar about the program are now available. If you have any questions, please contact LEAD Center Project Director Rebecca Salon at rsalon@ndi-inc.org or LEAD Center Project Coordinator Brittany Taylor at btaylor@ndi-inc.org.

EARN Releases June 11 Newsletter

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network’s (EARN) latest newsletter was released on June 11, featuring information on PTSD Awareness Month, an EARN web resource on the ADA and workplace safety, the schedule for America’s Disability Rights Museum on Wheels, and more. EARN is a service of the National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center for Employers on the Employment of People with Disabilities, which is funded by ODEP under a cooperative agreement with The Viscardi Center.

CFPB Launches ROADS to Financial Independence Initiative

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced a new initiative, ROADS (Reach Outcomes. Achieve Dreams. Succeed) to Financial Independence, to provide financial counseling services to people with disabilities who are working or transitioning into the workforce. The initiative will integrate financial counseling services into employment, independent living, and other support services programs. Participants will receive financial tools and training tailored to their needs. ROADS to Financial Independence will operate in six communities through 19 participating organizations. These communities are in Austin, Texas; Birmingham Alabama; Finger Lakes, New York; Seattle, Washington; and throughout the state of Delaware and the Greater Washington, DC Metro Area.

Small Business Administration Boosts Access to Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Entrepreneurs

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled a dedicated new communications service that allows deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to communicate with the agency directly in American Sign Language (ASL), rather than through typed text or other third-party intermediary services. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet launched the customer service initiative on June 10, alongside Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz, President of Gallaudet University. The service is part of the SBA’s continued efforts to make services and programs more accessible to all communities.

DOJ Releases “ADA Update: A Primer for State and Local Governments”

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has published a new technical assistance document, “ADA Update: A Primer for State and Local Governments,” to help State and local government officials understand how title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to their programs, activities, and services. This 16-page illustrated guide addresses general nondiscrimination requirements, such as provisions relating to program accessibility, service animals, communicating with people with disabilities, wheelchairs and other power-driven mobility devices, and policies and procedures. The document also addresses how the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design apply to the built environment, including existing buildings and facilities, new construction, and alterations.

EEOC to Host 18th Annual EXamining Conflicts in Employment Laws (EXCEL) Training Conference

The EXamining Conflicts in Employment Laws (EXCEL) Conference is sponsored by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Training Institute. EXCEL is a national training conference for federal and private sector Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) managers, supervisors, practitioners, Human Resource (HR) professionals, attorneys, and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) specialists, and will be held in Washington, DC, on August 10-13. The theme of this year’s conference, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the EEOC, is “The EEOC @ 50: Building on a Legacy, Looking to Future Innovation.”