Olmstead Celebrates 15th Anniversary on June 22

Historic Supreme Court Decision Eliminated Segregation of People with Disabilities and Ushered in Era of Community Living

One of the most historic legal decisions affecting the civil rights of people with disabilities will celebrate its 15th anniversary this month. On June 22, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered the landmark decision in the Olmstead v. L.C. case, requiring states to eliminate the segregation of people with disabilities and ensure people with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.

The groundbreaking decision has not only helped plaintiff Lois Curtis of Georgia and thousands of people with disabilities leave institutions and live in the community, but also continues to be applied beyond community living to employment and services and supports.  The recent settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the state of Rhode Island cited a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Olmstead in the segregation of people with disabilities through the state’s reliance on sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs.

Celebrate the Olmstead decision and learn more about how it has helped many people with disabilities live life in the community on their own terms through the following events and resources:

Celebrations:

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will host a joint Olmstead 15th anniversary celebration on Friday, June 20 from 1-2:30 p.m. Eastern in Washington, DC, featuring three panels of speakers on the past, present and future of Olmstead as well as the premiere of a video sharing stories of people with disabilities who’s lives changed as a result of the decision. HHS will carry the event live at http://www.hhs.gov/live/.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), in coordination with NDI's LEAD Center, will present an Olmstead Anniversary webinar event on July 16th from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern. Reserve your spot now and stay tuned to www.leadcenter.org/webinars for more information in the coming weeks.

Resources:

Check in with National Disability Institute on its website, Twitter and Facebook for the latest Olmstead anniversary news. Also, visit NDI’s LEAD Center blog for an upcoming post featuring an interview with an Olmstead pioneer.

Resources for Real Economic Impact

Benefits 

Summer Youth Employment and Student Earned Income Exclusion

If you are a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient, and you are under age 22 and regularly attending high school or college, the Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) work incentive can provide an opportunity for you to try working while maintaining some, if not all of your SSI cash benefits.  Using SEIE, a student can earn up to $1,750/month in earnings before any reduction of SSI cash benefits occurs.  Learn more: SSA Spotlight on Student Earned Income Exclusion.

Employment 

Section 503: New Regulations Improve Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Recently, the requirements described in the Section 503 final rule went into effect. Section 503 regulations detail federal contractors' obligations regarding the marketing, hiring, recruitment and support of workers with disabilities. For jobseekers with disabilities, these rules present expanded opportunities to become part of the inclusive federal contractor workforces nationwide. Learn more by viewing NDI's LEAD Center webinar, "Section 503: Connecting Job Seekers with Disabilities and Federal Contractors through the Workforce Development System".

Taxes and Tax Preparation 

People-First Language

Are you updating your training materials for the 2015 Tax Season?  If so, remember to include information on using People First Language when speaking to or about people with disabilities. It is important to put the person first and not their disability. Download NDI’s People First Language Effective Strategy Handout for examples of commonly used negative phrases and their more appropriate, affirmative counter parts.

Financial Education 

Creating an Inclusive Environment for Your Financial Education Program

NDI’s Creating an Inclusive Environment for Your Financial Education Program checklist will help your organization remove barriers to participation for individuals with disabilities and create a more inclusive environment. Creating an inclusive environment starts with the actions and attitudes of staff, setting high expectations for a barrier-free environment which encourages everyone to take a solution-oriented approach to individual differences.

Asset Development 

CASE STUDY: Individual Development Accounts

Individual Development Accounts (IDA) are an ideal savings option for persons with disabilities who are receiving a means-tested public benefit.  Federally matched IDAs allow an individual to save for one of three asset-building goals:  home ownership, small business capital or education.  NDI’s IDA Case Study “Samuel's Story” provides an example of how an IDA made Samuel’s dream a reality. Download “Samuel’s Story”.

Public Policy 

Bipartisan WIA Reauthorization Bill Will Improve Training and Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Recently, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced an agreement to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, a law that had sunset in 2003. This legislative compromise will make critically needed investments in our nation’s employment services, workforce development, vocational rehabilitation and adult education programs. Among the legislation’s provisions is language prioritizing competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities.

Read more about the WIA Reauthorization Bill in the May Issue of NDI’s Washington Insider Newsletter

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Issue 5 - June 2014 

In This Issue

Olmstead Celebrates 15th Anniversary on June 22

Benefits: Summer Youth Employment and Student Earned Income Exclusion

Employment: Section 503: New Regulations Improve Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Tax Preparation: People-First Language

Financial Education: Creating an Inclusive Environment for Your Financial Education Program

Asset Development: CASE STUDY: Individual Development Accounts

Public Policy: Bipartisan WIA Reauthorization Bill Will Improve Training and Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Program Spotlight:  Building Economic Strength Together (B.E.S.T.) Project - Washington, D.C.

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Program Spotlight 

Building Economic Strength Together (B.E.S.T.) Project - Washington, D.C.

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:nakia:Desktop:image001.jpgThe B.E.S.T. Project is funded by the District of Columbia Developmental Disabilities Council to provide training on financial capability strategies for persons with developmental disabilities.  The B.E.S.T. Project Washington, D.C. provided training to:

  • Service Professionals:  Two “train the trainer” sessions were provided for teachers, transition specialists, service providers and other professionals who work with students and adults with developmental disabilities in the District of Columbia.  This training focused on how to implement the curriculum into their service delivery model..
  • Self Advocates:  Self advocates attended a series of trainings using modules from NDI’s curriculum to improve their ability to access affordable financial services, manage their money, and practice positive financial behaviors.
  • Students with Disabilities:  Pupils received a series of trainings on “Steps to Achieve My American Dream.” In addition, students attended a field trip to the U.S .Bureau of Engraving and Printing to build their familiarity with and understanding of money and how it is made. 

Learn more about the B.E.S.T. Washington , D.C. project

 

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Upcoming Events 

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