New England ADA Center
April Newsletter

ADA Question of the Month - Do You Know the Answer?
Martini Glass Image Question : Is alcoholism covered under the ADA?

The answer is at the end of the newsletter.

Image: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Call to Action - Save the ADA! Risk of Major ADA Amendments Soon by the "ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017" - Join the Free Webinar Monday, May 1
Great Lakes ADA Center The Great Lakes ADA Center is sponsoring a Free Webinar about the pending changes to the ADA within Congress and calling on people to take action at the local level. Act now and share this with your colleagues and friends!

When:   Monday, May 1, 2017, 2:00 - 3:30 pm ET

IHCD and New England ADA Center Staff Attend Luncheon with U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren
US Senator Elizabeth Warren with New England ADA Center Staff On Monday, March 27, staff from the Institute for Human Centered Design and the New England ADA Center attended The New England Council's Congressional Roundtable Luncheon where U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about her legislative priorities and her anticipated approach to the Trump administration.

Photo: (back row L-R) Institute for Human Centered Design Executive Director Valerie Fletcher, Meghan Dufresne, New England ADA Center Project Director Oce Harrison, Stacy Hart, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Maggie Austen and Whitney Hill. Front Row: Colleen Flanagan from Easter Seals of Massachusetts. 

Massachusetts Municipal ADA Improvement Grant Program Announced - Awards up to $250,000
Massachusetts State Seal The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) has unveiled the Municipal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Improvement Grant Program.  Eligible applicants include any Massachusetts city, town, special purpose district and/or regional governmental organization.
Grants will support capital improvements specifically dedicated to improving programmatic access and/or removing barriers encountered by persons with disabilities.

Attend the Next Boston Community Forum on Disability Issues
Disability Symbols The next Boston Community Forum on Disability Issues will take place Wednesday, May 10, 2017 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. The location is just steps from the Park Street subway station at Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont Street, Boston, on the ground floor.

Massachusetts Office on Disability Call for Art
Mass Office on Disability Call for Art The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) will be accepting submissions for their 2017 Call for Art and juried art exhibition through August 1, 2017. 

Talented Massachusetts residents of all abilities who are 18 and over can submit an original work on the theme of "Breaking Barriers."

Learn more!

New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability and the Department of Corrections Remove Barriers to Access
New Hampshire Department of Corrections The New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability worked with the New Hampshire Department of Corrections (DOC) to identify barriers to access in one of their field offices. The DOC, under the leadership of Commissioner William Wren, has since purchased eleven additional assistive listening systems and developed a New Hampshire DOC Policy and Procedure Directive which ensures people with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in all programs and services available in a field office.

Image provided by the New Hampshire Department of Corrections.

Streamlined Bill on Pregnancy Accommodation Clears Vermont Senate
Vermont House Representative George W Till The Vermont State Senate has passed a revised version of a bill requiring employers to accommodate pregnant women in the workplace. The new version of H.136 gives pregnant women the same protections as workers with disabilities. The bill now moves back to the House.

Read the full story.

Photo: Bill sponsor Vermont House Representative George W. Till

Vermont Advocates Break Barriers at the State House During Disability Awareness Day
Robyn Lambert and Vermont Governor Phil Scott The Vermont Center for Independent Living and other members of the Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights held Disability Awareness Day at the Vermont State House in Montpelier on March 2. The event was a huge success. Almost 400 people gathered to help spread this message to lawmakers: "Break Barriers; Build Bridges."

Photo by Stephanie Monte. Robyn Lambert, a member of the Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights, and Gov. Phil Scott share a moment at Disability Awareness Day.

Maine AccessABLE Home Tax Credit Announced!
Maine Accessible Home Tax Credit The AccessABLE Home Tax Credit is a Maine income tax credit that is new for 2017 for qualified individuals for expenses paid for modifications to their residence to make it accessible. Requirements include qualified individuals with a physical disability or physical hardship who lives or will live at the residence and who earn less than $55,000.

New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability 2017 Governor's Accessibility Awards Nominee Search - Deadline May 15, 2017
New Hampshire State Seal The New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability (GCD) is looking for outstanding nominees for the September event where awards are presented by the Governor. The GCD is looking to honor programs, organizations, leaders, products, technology, advocates or legislative contributors who seek to make the Americans with Disabilities Act very real in a spectacular way.

Learn more.

News From Outside New England
Registration Open Until April 30 for the 2017 National ADA Symposium, May 14 - 17 in Chicago
The National ADA Symposium is the largest conference on the ADA! Eighty Breakout Sessions and Pre-Conference Sessions offer learning opportunities for everyone involved with the ADA. Visit for conference information and online registration.

Bipartisan Bill Would Make Hearing Aids Cheaper and More Accessible
Hearing Aid Looking to new technologies, legislation sponsored by Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa would supersede individual state rules and force over-the-counter hearing aids into the national market, potentially lowering cost and increasing accessibility.

Photo: Public domain.

Answer to the ADA Question of the Month

QuestionIs alcoholism covered under the ADA?

Answer: This question comes up most often in employment.  An individual with alcoholism is considered to have an ADA disability if the alcoholism substantially limits a major life activity. Common reasonable accommodations under the ADA include leave for rehabilitation or a modified work schedule for ongoing treatment.  However, someone with alcoholism who has poor work performance or violates the code of conduct policy (e.g., they show up late or are under the influence of alcohol at work) can be held to the same performance and conduct standards as people without disabilities. To learn more about 'who is protected' under the ADA, visit the ADA Title I Employment web course. It is a free and available 24/7.

For more ADA questions and answers, visit our web page.

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New England ADA Center, a project of the Institute for Human Centered Design