Thursday, November 14, 2013
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in its ongoing effort to ensure equal access to air transportation for all travelers, is requiring airline websites and automated airport kiosks to be accessible to passengers with disabilities. In addition, DOT will allow airlines to choose between stowing wheelchairs in a cabin compartment on new aircraft or strapping them to a row of seats, an option that will ensure that two manual, folding wheelchairs can be transported at a time.
The new rules are part of DOT’s continuing implementation of the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986.
“All air travelers should be treated fairly when they fly, regardless of any disabilities they may have,” said Secretary Foxx. “These new rules build on our past work in ensuring that our air transportation system is accessible for everyone, while balancing both airlines’ and passengers’ need for flexibility.”
Under the new websites-and-kiosks rule, covered airlines are required within two years to make pages of their websites that contain core travel information and services accessible to persons with disabilities, and to make all of their web pages accessible within three years. Websites are required to meet the standards for accessibility contained in the widely accepted Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The requirement applies to U.S. and foreign airlines with websites marketing air transportation to U.S. consumers for travel within, to or from the United States.
The rule also requires ticket agents to disclose and offer web-based discount fares to customers unable to use their sites due to a disability starting within 180 days after the rule’s effective date. Airlines are already required to provide equivalent service for consumers who are unable to use inaccessible websites. Under the new rule, airlines must also offer equivalent service to passengers with disabilities who are unable to use their websites even if the websites meet the WCAG accessibility standards.
In addition, any automated kiosks installed at U.S. airports for services -- such as printing boarding passes and baggage tags --must be accessible to passengers with disabilities until at least 25 percent of all kiosks at each airport location are accessible. Even if no new kiosks are installed, 25 percent of kiosks at each airport location must be accessible within 10 years. The standards for accessible kiosks are based on those set by the U.S. Department of Justice for ATM and fare machines in its 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act rule as well as the Section 508 standards for self-contained closed products, such as copiers.
Friday, October 11, 2013
"The 50+ Workforce:
High Potentials You Might Be Overlooking"
Webcast Date: Friday, Oct. 18, 2013
Click here to view an introductory video from the webcast presenters:
This webcast explores what employers should know about a group that has been called the largest trained pool of future employees, and sheds light on challenges and opportunities faced by mature workers.
- Susanne Bruyère, ILR School associate dean, director of the Employment and Disability Institute, and professor of Disability Studies, will share recent research, including findings of an employer survey focused on mature workers;
- Linda Barrington, executive director of ILR’s Institute for Compensation Studies, studies employment and pay issues, and will offer perspectives on implications for maturing workers;
- Emily Allen, vice president of income impact, AARP Foundation, will talk about strategies to effectively engage the 50-plus workforce as a solution to worker and skill shortages.
For more information about upcoming webcasts, please contact Lori Biechele, Cornell University ILR School, 607-254-8941, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
The Department of Labor has issued new regulations ensuring that, effective January 1, 2015, most direct care workers will be entitled to receive federal minimum wage and overtime pay protections. Direct care workers are workers who provide home care services, such as certified nursing assistants, home health aides, personal care aides, caregivers, and companions. The rules are a response to the Supreme Court's 2007 decision in LONG ISLAND CARE AT HOME, LTD. v. COKE (No. 06-593) , 462 F. 3d 48 (2007), in which the Court upheld an exemption to wage and hour laws for many domestic workers.
DOL has set up an area within its website explaining the effect of the new rules on workers, employers, and individuals needing home care. Check out the new rules and the website here.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Via the Ocala (FL) Star-Banner:
Older people searching for jobs have long fought back stereotypes that they lack the speed, technology skills and dynamism of younger applicants. But as a wave of baby boomers seeks to stay on the job later in life, some employers are finding older workers are precisely what they need.
"There's no experience like experience," said David Mintz, CEO of dairy-free products maker Tofutti, where about one-third of the workers are over 50. "I can't put an ad saying, 'Older people wanted,' but there's no comparison."
Surveys consistently show older people believe they experience age discrimination on the job market, and although unemployment is lower among older workers, long-term unemployment is far higher. As the American population and its labor force reshape, though, with a larger chunk of older workers, some employers are slowly recognizing their skill and experience.
About 200 employers, from Google to AT&T to MetLife, have signed an AARP pledge recognizing the value of experienced workers and vowing to consider applicants 50 and older.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center on Applied Feminism seeks submissions for its Seventh Annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference. This year’s theme is “Applied Feminism and Health.” The conference will be held on March 6 and 7, 2014. For more information about the conference, please visit law.ubalt.edu/caf.
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) and renewed attacks on reproductive health in the United States, the time is right to consider the relationship between feminism and health across multiple dimensions. This conference seeks to explore the intersections between feminist legal theory and physical, mental, public, and community health in the United States and abroad. Papers might explore the following questions: What impact has feminist legal theory had on women’s health policy and practice? How might feminist legal theory respond to the health challenges facing communities and individuals, as well as increase access to health care? What sort of support should society and law provide to ensure good health? How do law and feminist legal theory conceptualize the role of the state in relation to health rights and reproductive justice? What are the links between health, feminist legal theory, and sports? Are there rights to good health and what are their foundations? How do health needs and conceptions of rights vary across cultural, economic, religious, and other identities? What are the areas where health justice is needed and how might feminist legal theory help?
This conference will attempt to address these and other questions from the perspectives of activists, practitioners, and academics. The conference will provide an opportunity for participants and audience members to exchange ideas about the current state of feminist legal theories. We hope to deepen our understandings of how feminist legal theory relates to health and to move new insights into practice. In addition, the conference is designed to provide presenters with the opportunity to gain feedback on their papers.
The conference will begin the afternoon of Thursday, March 6, 2014, with a workshop for conference participants. This workshop will continue the annual tradition of involving all attendees as participants in an interactive discussion and reflection. On Friday, March 7, 2014, the conference will continue with a day of presentations by legal academics, practitioners and activists regarding current scholarship and/or legal work that explores the application of feminist legal theory to issues involving health. The conference will be open to the public and will feature a keynote speaker. Past keynote speakers have included Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Dr. Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sheryl WuDunn, and Senators Barbara Mikulski and Amy Klobuchar.
To submit a paper proposal, please submit an abstract by Friday, 5 p.m. on November 1, 2013, to email@example.com. It is essential that your abstract contain your full contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address where you can be reached. In the “Re” line, please state: CAF Conference 2014. Abstracts should be no longer than one page. We will notify presenters of selected papers in mid-November. We anticipate being able to have twelve paper presenters during the conference on Friday, March 7, 2014. About half the presenter slots will be reserved for authors who commit to publishing in the symposium volume of the University of Baltimore Law Review. Thus, please indicate at the bottom of your abstract whether you are submitting (1) solely to present or (2) to present and publish in the symposium volume. Authors who are interested in publishing in the Law Review will be strongly considered for publication. Regardless of whether or not you are publishing in the symposium volume, all working drafts of papers will be due no later than February, 14, 2014. Abstracts will be posted on the Center on Applied Feminism’s conference website to be shared with other participants and attendees.
We look forward to your submissions. If you have further questions, please contact Prof. Michele Gilman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And just a short note from the editor: Feminists were nowhere to be found when Congress was discussing the CLASS Act provisions of the ACA, nor when CLASS was repealed. Maybe someone can use this as an opportunity to point out the role that feminist organizations can play in assuring that women generally, or lower income women, do not get saddled with the obligations of "informal" (read: unpaid) and low-paid caregiving for older persons as our elderly population skyrockets.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Professor Israel Doron, thoughtful and prolific researcher from the University of Haifa, has an interesting new article analyzing 16 years of data from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on cases considering "elder rights."
While the total number of cases discovered (123) is fairly low, the outcomes largely favor the older adult, thus suggesting the potential importance of judicial remedies. The cases studied predate the 2010 adoption of Article 25 of the UN Charter on Human Rights that recognizes core rights for older persons and others.
An example of the cases is provided by Professor Doron: "A man born in June 1935 was employed by the English Post Office until he retired. In 1998, aged 62, he was in receipt of a pension. However, he was denied a ‘winter fuel payment’, a payment that under State Regulations would have been paid to him if he was a woman." The ECJ concluded the discriminatory treatment could not be justified as necessary to financial equilibrium of the social security system or to insure consistency in the benefit plans at issue.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Defining and Delivering “Disability-Competent Care”
The CMS Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office is facilitating a webinar series for interested providers and health care professionals, front-line staff with health plans and practices, and stakeholders to introduce and explore the many uses of the Disability-Competent Care (DCC) Model. The DCC model is a resource for providers, health plans, and healthcare organizations to enhance capacity to integrate care for adults with disabilities. Webinars will be tailored by audience and topic within this subject area.
Meeting the needs of persons with disabilities is of increasing importance as individuals live longer and the prevalence of adults with functional limitations and disabilities rises. With this in mind, this webinar will present the Disability-Competent Care model which is centered on the individual, delivered by an interdisciplinary team, and focused on achieving and supporting an individual’s maximum function. Providers serving adults with disabilities developed the care model.
This webinar series, and subsequent presentations geared toward specific audiences (e.g. front-line staff), will also seek the input from participants regarding how best to disseminate these and other Disability-Competent Care resources to healthcare professionals who connect with adults with disabilities at all points in the healthcare delivery process.
Please contact Laura.email@example.com or Kerry.Branick@cms.hhs.gov if you have questions in advance of this event.
The Disability-Competent Care model was developed by the Disability Practice Institute (DPI). DPI is founded by three plans: Commonwealth Care Alliance, Community Health Partnership, and Independence Care System. The Lewin Group, under contract with the CMS Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office, partnered with DPI to create the Leading Healthcare Practices and Training: Defining and Delivering Disability-Competent Care webinar series.
Interested participants are encouraged to pre-register for each webinar in the series here.
Participant Dial-in #: (866) 615-1886 Access Code: 301728
Date (first webinar): Wednesday September 4th, 2013
Time: 2 – 3PM EDT
All presentations will be recorded and available for download.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Following up on Becky's posting today on same-sex marriages and federal benefits, it is timely to report that another state, New Mexico, has taken a major step towards confirming marriage rights for same-sex couples.
On Monday, August 26, New Mexico District Court Judge Alan Malott granted mandatory injunctive relief in the state's most populous county (Bernalillo, surrounding the city of Albuquerque), ruling that New Mexico's Constitution prohibits discrimination in marriage licensing on the basis of sexual orientation. Last week a similar ruling in favor of same-sex marriages was issued in Santa Fe County's District Court.
News reports indicate that the Bernalillo County Clerk's office began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples today, August 27, 2013.
For those who might ask "why are these cases case reported on an Elder Law blog?," remember the lead plaintiff in U.S. v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675, decided June 26, 2013, was an older adult, challenging the adverse estate tax consequences of the IRS's refusal to recognize the validity of her marriage, following the death of her long-time partner.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
To learn more about the Department’s efforts to enforce the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. L.C. and about the Americans with Disabilities Act, go to www.ADA.gov
Monday, August 20, 2012
oting is easy, right? You simply show up. If the poll worker isn’t a neighbor, you might be asked for identification, but most anything will do. Then your name is checked off the list, and you vote.
Not so fast, James Madison. Over the past 18 months, state legislatures around the country have passed laws requiring voters to present government-issued IDs before they can cast a ballot. Some of the battles over the new requirements have moved from statehouses to courthouses.
The government-issued voter ID requirement is an obstacle for many older voters. — Photo by Corbis
Proponents of the laws say they are needed to fight voter fraud. Opponents say there is little evidence of voter impersonation. They say the laws not only raise unnecessary obstacles to exercising constitutional rights, but also disproportionately hamper certain segments of the population, including older voters.
Eighteen percent of voters over 65 lack a current, government-issued photo ID, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. If the most stringent photo-ID laws stand, hundreds of thousands of eligible citizens could be disenfranchised Election Day, Nov. 6.
AARP voiced its position on a number of voter ID bills, and has gone to court to challenge the laws, as have the League of Women Voters and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“AARP does not view these cases through a partisan lens at all,” says Daniel Kohrman, senior attorney for AARP Foundation Litigation. “We should not be a society where voters are forced to jump through so many hoops in order to vote, particularly if they’ve been voting for decade.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Cultural Competency/LGBT Issues for Medicare Beneficiaries
Scroll down to register now.
This webinar will focus on the topic of disparities in healthcare access and services experienced by LGBT people, identify certain advocacy tools available under the Medicare program and other federal laws to assist LGBT people in getting appropriate healthcare coverage and services, provide an update on the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards of the office of Minority of Health, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and offer suggestions on creating service environments that are welcoming of LBGT people.
Presenters: Deputy Director Brad Plebani and managing Attorney Alfred Chiplin.
The Seminar is June 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm ET, and will last one hour.
Cost is only $99.00 per site - so invite your friends!
No other organization will match our depth of information, insider knowledge, and practical tips.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Via United Cerebal Palsy:
Arizona’s Medicaid program provides the best services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to a national ranking released Wednesday.
The annual list produced by United Cerebral Palsy compares services and quality of life for people with disabilities all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Arizona, Michigan, California, New Hampshire and Vermont came in at the top of the list this year. Meanwhile, for the sixth year in a row, Mississippi was dead last, with Illinois, Arkansas and Texas rounding out the low performers. (Find out where your state stands »)
The analysis looks at a number of factors including the way people with disabilities live and participate in their communities in each state, how satisfied people are with their lives and how easily they are able to access services and supports. The latest ranking is based primarily on data from 2010, the most recent available. Even though some states outperformed others in the ranking, those behind the report caution that all states have room for improvement. They point out that 268,000 Americans with disabilities are currently on waiting lists for Medicaid waivers which would allow them to receive home and community based services. On a positive note, however, the analysis found that in 36 states at least 80 percent of residents with developmental disabilities are now being served in the community.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The National Survey on Abuse of People with Disabilities was released on May 1, 2012. In just over two weeks, 2,300 people have taken the survey.
To Take the Survey Now
The purpose of the survey is to seek input from the public, especially from persons with disabilities or those who interact with them, such as family members, caregivers, service providers, and advocates. Our intention is not to create a scientific research project, but rather a robust survey, the results of which may be used for research, education, and advocacy.
The survey, which takes just a few minutes to complete, gathers information about actual incidents of abuse as well as attitudes regarding the adequacy and effectiveness, or not, of official responses to such victimization.
The results will be shared with those who shape public policy and fund abuse-response programs (legislators), those who investigate and prosecute complaints of abuse (law enforcement), those who promote more effective protection and response systems (nonprofit advocacy groups), and most importantly, people with disabilities and their families.
After you take the survey, please forward it to your friends, family members, and colleagues. Mention it in your newsletter. Share it with your groups or listserv.
sexual, and emotional abuse of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
Our mission is to identify ways to reduce the risk of abuse, to promote healing for victims, and to seek justice for those who have been victimized.
The areas in which we take action include: public awareness, education and training, policy development, law enforcement, and professional consulting.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization have recently published Guidelines for Mainstreaming the Needs of Older Persons in Disaster Situations in the Caribbean: A Contribution to World Health Day 2012 Aging and Health.
This publication offers a series of directives that aid in incorporating into risk management processes and programs the concerns and other questions for consideration at different levels of working with and relating to this group of persons. The goal is to aid them in maintaining the highest possible level of health and functional capacity in emergency and disaster situations.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
NEW CLE PROGRAM!
Register for the latest CLE specialty program from the American Bar Association.
Spousal and Domestic Partner Issues in Pensions and Retirement Income
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Eastern
1.5 CLE credits requested
Webinar & Teleconference
This program is essential for elder law, estate planning, family law and general practitioners.
In just 90 minutes, you will:
- Learn about spousal and domestic rights in traditional defined benefit pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s, and Social Security retirement benefits
- Understand distribution elections and beneficiary designations
- Increase your knowledge of special issues that same-sex couples now face in other defined contribution plans
2 easy ways to learn more and register
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Assistant Director of Advocacy—Public Benefits
Maryland Legal Aid Bureau is hiring an Assistant Director of Advocacy (“ADA”) to provide leadership, support, and mentoring to staff on direct representation of low-income clients and will spearhead systemic, statewide advocacy related to public benefits and employment. The ADA will work closely with advocates in Legal Aid’s 13 offices, providing consultation and support on casework and keeping staff apprised of relevant changes in policy and law relative to public benefits and employment.
The ADA will identify systemic barriers experienced by clients across the state, develop strategies to address those barriers (litigation, policy, other), and work in collaboration with Legal Aid staff and other organizations to implement those strategies and monitor the outcomes. Systemic advocacy undertaken by the ADA includes serving as lead and co-counsel on complex litigation, appellate advocacy, permissible legislative work, community education, and collaborative work with community organizations and other legal services providers. The ADA also will supervise Legal Aid’s Migrant Farmworker Program.
The ADA must be familiar with legal services practice, the legal needs of low income persons, have in-depth knowledge of publicly funded cash and in-kind assistance programs and law (such as SSI, SSD, UI, SNAP, TCA and TDAP), have substantial litigation or administrative law practice experience, and have demonstrated an aggressive and innovative approach to advocacy. A working knowledge of employment law and issues facing low-income workers is highly desirable. The ADA must also have a commitment to staff development, including hands-on involvement in formal and informal training. The ADA must demonstrate an ability to supervise staff and otherwise meet all of the qualifications of a senior level manager for Legal Aid.
The ADA must have a law degree, plus a minimum of 5 years experience as an attorney. Prior supervisory experience in a legal services or similar program is highly desirable. Excellent interpersonal, mentoring and communication skills (oral and written) are required, as is a mastery of basic computer skills. The ADA must be admitted to the Maryland Bar or eligible and willing to take the first available Maryland Bar examination. Salary is a minimum of $68,150+, depending on experience. Interested applicants may apply by submitting cover letter and resume at www.mdlab.org or by e-mailing same to Cheryl Hystad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community - A Field Guide
Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community A Field Guide
A new field guide from the Joint Commission urges US hospitals to create a more welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment that contributes to improved health care quality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients and their families. The field guide features a compilation of strategies, practice examples, resources, and testimonials designed to help hospitals in their efforts to improve communication and provide more patient-centered care to their LGBT patients. The guide, Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community, was developed with support from the California Endowment and is available for free download
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Faculty members increasingly claim discrimination on the basis of disability in connection with adverse employment decisions. Disability claims can arise in the context of employment, tenure, and promotion decisions. To what extent have the elimination of mandatory retirement, the difficulty of measuring faculty performance, force/cost reduction initiatives and a shaky economy combined to fuel this trend? The law has become complex, and the risks of being out of compliance are accelerating. Join us as a leading national expert in disability law guides you to develop better practices for your institution.
This webinar will cover:
- The definition of disability
- How to determine if a faculty member is or remains "qualified" for disability law purposes
- What are reasonable accommodations
- Setting proper expectations for faculty performance and productivity
- Good practices in disability law procedures
- Good practices for documentation
- Recent regulatory/statutory changes and developments, including the 2008 amendments
- Important recent judicial decisions
- What may be coming next in the evolution of disability law and faculty employment
- The uniqueness of academic employment requires regulators and the courts to tailor disability law to higher education
Thursday, June 23, 2011
In a continuation of the Obama Administration's effort to extend rights to same sex couples, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new State Medicaid Director Letter 11-006 (SMDL). There are currently federal protections against homelessness and financial ruin that apply to heterosexual couples. The SMDL sets out steps that states are permitted to take to extend these protections to same-sex spouses and domestic partners of individuals receiving Medicaid long-term care services. The SMDL, dated June 10, 2011, was written by Cindy Mann, Director of the Center for Medicaid, CHIP and Survey & Certification, CMS to all State Medicaid Directors. A copy is available at
The SMDL addresses provisions of Medicaid law having to do with the placement of liens against real property, the imposition of penalties for transferring assets without receiving fair market value and the recovery of property from a deceased Medicaid beneficiary's estate. It does not address provisions that allow a spouse receiving Medicaid for long-term care services to give a portion of his or her income to the non-Medicaid spouse to protect against impoverishment.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
In 2010, the Administration on Aging (AoA) released its “Toolkit for Serving Diverse Communities” to assist aging network providers and their partners in building capacity to successfully serve an increasingly diverse population of seniors and their caregivers. The Toolkit consists of a four-step process and a questionnaire that helps professionals, volunteers, and grassroots advocates with every stage of program planning, implementation, and service delivery for older adult communities, their families and caregivers.
To assist aging services legal providers in improving their outreach efforts and provision of culturally competent services, AoA is presenting a Webinar entitled A Toolkit for Serving Diverse Communities. This Webinar will be of value to OAA Title IIIB legal providers, Legal Assistance Developers, senior legal helplines, and to AoA grantees involved in the Model Approaches and Pension Counseling Programs, as they deal with challenges in targeting and reaching out to culturally diverse populations that are most in need of critical legal services.
- Carol Crecy, Director, Office of Outreach & Consumer Information, AoA
- Barbara Dieker, Director, Office of Elder Rights, AoA
- Valerie Soroka, Aging Services Program Specialist, AoA
- Margaret Schaefer, ElderAccessLine Attorney, Legal Aid of Nebraska
- Jessica Hiemenz, Training Coordinator, NCLC
This Webinar will provide an overview of:
1. The cultural competency concepts which are the underpinnings of the AoA Diversity Toolkit;
2. How the toolkit can be used for program planning and development, monitoring and assessment;
3. How the toolkit can be used in a variety of settings by legal providers to enhance the delivery of services to diverse populations;
4. A View from the Field: Nebraska’s “Tips to Increase Cultural Competency when Working with Clients”
Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging. This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center