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President Obama and Secretary Perez Reflect Upon ADA25

To mark the 25th anniversary of the ADA on July 26, President Obama issued a proclamation in which he noted the law’s underlying premise that “all Americans have something to contribute to our country’s story and deserve every chance to achieve their full potential” and issued a call to action to address its promises not yet fulfilled, especially related to employment. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez also issued a statement marking the occasion, calling employment “the unfinished business of the ADA” and noting the department’s commitment to ensuring people with disabilities prepare for, find, and retain rewarding careers across every industry.

Senate Passes Hatch, Murray Bipartisan Resolution Commemorating Americans with Disabilities Act

The U.S. Senate has passed a bipartisan resolution from U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Patty Murray (D-WA) to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law on July 26, 1990. “The ADA is designed not only to protect, but also to advance, to accept, and to embrace,” said Senator Hatch. Senator Murray noted that “While we have made progress, we need to look to the future for ways we can build on the foundation of this historic and significant civil rights law to create a better future for all Americans.”

Secretary of Labor Addresses Disability Champions of Change

On July 27, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez addressed audience members at a White House “Champions of Change — Disability Advocacy Across Generations” event held as part of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. During the event, nine individuals were honored for their work to increase inclusion for people with disabilities at the community level, including in the workplace. Other speakers at the event included former MLB pitcher Jim Abbott, who was born with one hand, and current Seattle Seahawk player Derrick Coleman, who is deaf.

U.S. Department of Labor Celebrates a Month of ADA25

During the month of July, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in a variety of ways, from large events to blogs and tweets. In a July 25 blog, “Celebrating 25 Years of the ADA: a Month in Review,” DOL intern Meredith Ausenbaugh reflects on some of the department’s activities throughout July. Those activities are chronicled in the “What’s New” feature of DOL’s disability and employment history timeline, “Advancing Equal Access to Opportunity.”

Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities to Meet August 10, 2015 — Agenda Now Available

The Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the Committee) will hold its fifth meeting on August 10, 2015, by Webinar, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT. During the meeting, the Committee will discuss the draft of the interim report, and will vote on whether to approve the interim report. The agenda for the meeting is now available. Members of the public wishing to participate in the Webinar must register in advance, by July 31, 2015. Organizations or members of the public wishing to submit a written statement may do so by July 31, 2015. Instructions on submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register Notice.

WRP Awards Ceremony Honors Exemplary Interns

Four exemplary federal interns with disabilities were honored on July 28 at the annual Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Co-sponsored by ODEP and the Department of Defense, the WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers with qualified college students and recent graduates with disabilities seeking summer or permanent jobs. ODEP Acting Assistant Secretary Jennifer Sheehy spoke at the event, emphasizing the importance of internships for people with disabilities, to both employers and individuals alike.

VA Salutes 25 Years of the ADA

On July 29, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hosted an event in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at which ODEP Acting Assistant Secretary Jennifer Sheehy participated on a panel. In her remarks, Acting Assistant Secretary Sheehy emphasized that the ADA protects all Americans with disabilities, including service-connected disabilities, and talked about efforts to increase employment opportunities for veterans undertaken by ODEP and DOL at large, including the 2014 updates to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act.

Job Accommodation Network Releases Quarterly ENews

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has published its quarterly ENews online newsletter. ENews provides information on a variety of accommodation issues and legislative updates to promote the employment success of people with disabilities. The current issue includes a reflection on the 25th anniversary of the ADA, accommodations for the summer season, tech tips, and information on upcoming JAN training sessions. The newsletter also highlights a new JAN publication, “Effective Accommodation Practices: Educating the Workforce about the ADA & Accommodations.”

GettingHired to be Featured in August PEAT Talk — August 18, 2:00-2:30 PM EDT

The Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) will welcome Adam Streets, Senior Director of Global Marketing and Product Owner of GettingHired as the presenter for the August edition of its virtual speaker series, PEAT Talks, on Tuesday, August 18, 2:00-2:30 PM EDT. Streets will discuss how GettingHired supplies an accessible platform for job seekers with disabilities to search positions and connect with inclusive companies throughout the United States. In addition, he will share information on GettingHired’s feedback from job seekers about the online application process and the resulting recommendations for potential changes.

Office of National AIDS Policy Releases National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020

The Office of National AIDS Policy has released the “National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020.” This updated Strategy reflects the accomplishments and the lessons learned since the original Strategy was released in 2010. The updated Strategy capitalizes on the major scientific and policy advances of the last five years, increases focus on the populations most affected by HIV in the United States, and sets national prevention, care, and disparities goals for 2020.

Accessibility of Computers and Web Sites — Automated Personalization Computing Project

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has announced a new funding opportunity, the Accessibility of Computers and Web Sites through an Automated Personalization Computing Project (APCP), to create the infrastructure needed to make it easier for any person of any age with any disability to more easily use any web enabled device at school, at home, at work, or in the community. This funding opportunity, totaling up to $20 million over five years, will implement a pilot demonstration of automated personalization for individuals with disabilities who are using information and communication technologies. A pre-application webinar will be held on August 5, and applications are due by September 8.

Viscardi Achievement Awards Nominations Now Being Accepted

The Viscardi Center is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards. Bestowed annually, these awards honor exemplary leaders who have helped shape attitudes, raise awareness, and improve quality of life for people with disabilities. They are named in honor of the Center’s founder and one of the world’s foremost advocates for people with disabilities, Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., who himself wore prosthetic legs. This year’s selection committee is co-chaired by Robert Dole, former U.S. Senator, and Rosangela Berman Bieler, Chief, Disability Section — Program Division, UNICEF.