The Business & Disability Bulletin

disability is our business

In This Issue
Updated Guidance on ADA Issues
Save the Date!
Job Applicants with Certificates of Completions Instead of Diplomas or GEDs
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Updated Guidance on ADA Issues


The Department of Justice has published two new technical assistance documents to help state and local governments and businesses and non-profit organizations understand how the rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to them.


Janet Brode on Segway

Wheelchairs, Mobility Aids, and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices provides guidance on the department's 2010 regulations regarding the use of wheelchairs and mobility aids, as well as other types  of less-traditional powered mobility devices. The document defines such devices, includes factors that should be considered when deciding whether a power-driven mobility device can be accommodated in a particular setting, and highlights staff training considerations.


Effective Communication provides guidance on the 2010 regulations' provisions relating to communicating effectively with people who have vision, hearing, or speech impairments. The publication defines auxiliary aids and services including real-time captioning and video relay services.  It offers sample solutions to effective communication in a variety of settings and addresses how to proceed when providing an aid or service would result in undue burden on the covered entity.  

Ensuring Effective Communication for all Employees 
Ensuring Effective Communication 
for all Employees

In this 1 � minute video a manager shares his experience in learning a lesson about the importance of effective communication.

 Save the Date!


Free Workshop: There is No Grandfather Clause in the ADA: Readily Achievable Barrier Removal


Speaker: Peter Berg, Great Lakes ADA Center, 

University of Illinois - Chicago

 adults at training

     June 26, 2014

     2:00 - 4:00 pm


     The Groves Center

     7017 Elm Valley Drive

     Kalamazoo, MI 49009


This training and discussion is open to local government, business and non-profit employees who want to understand how the Readily Achievable Barrier Removal standard applies to them and to learn the basics of creating and implementing a Transition Plan to come in to compliance with the ADA.  A great training to help you prepare for the 25th Anniversary of the ADA in 2015!


Reserve your seat now:  Contact Joanne Johnson at johnsonj@dnswm.org or (269) 982-7761. 

Job Applicants with Certificates of Completion Instead of Diplomas or GEDs

Do your job applications ask this question:
  • Do you have a High School Diploma, GED, or Certificate of Completion?  Yes    No 
You may be missing out on some very good employees by not including Certificate of Completion on your application. A person who has earned a Certificate of Completion must technically answer "no" if your application only asks if applicants have a High School Diploma or GED.  That 'no' answer can lead to false assumptions about an applicant's commitment to their education or their abilities, as students with Certificates of Completion have completed their K-12 education, some even receiving post-secondary education including college classes.

Are you asking yourself, What is a Certificate of Completion? A Certificate of Completion is not an academic credential. There are no state course or grade requirements for receiving a Certificate of Completion.  It is given by schools when students can not meet all the requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

Unfortunately, many students receiving special education services are 'steered' toward the goal of getting a Certificate of Completion instead of a diploma as early as the 8th grade. Many parents (and even some teachers) do not understand what the impact of that choice is and so do not even try to have accommodations put in place to see if their child/student could actually meet the Michigan Merit Curriculum standards.

The EEOC issued a letter in 2011 about how the ADA applies to high school diploma requirements. This is an important issue to educate yourself about.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions about the Certificate of Completion - mcgowenm@dnswm.org or Michele at (269) 345-1516


The Business & Disability Bulletin is a free electronic newsletter for business leaders and human resource professionals in Southwest Michigan who believe in the value of an inclusive workforce and in creating a welcoming customer environment.


This newsletter is published bi-annually by Disability Network Southwest Michigan. Previous editions of this newsletter can be found at http://www.dnswm.org/index.php/publications/the-business-a-disability-bulletin.