Sunday, October 26, 2014

Firefighters and the Deaf Community - Enhancing Services

See http://www.fr-dat.com/assets/ListPage/ADA-Guide-for-Firefighters-and-EMS-Personnel-daef-HoH.pdf


Subscribe to our ADA Expertise Listserv and get information sent directly to your inbox. To subscribe, send an email to Marc Dubin, Esq., at mdubin@pobox.com. Include your name and contact information, and write "subscribe to ADA listserv."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Broward Mental Health Court Under Attack

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article1975453.html

"When it was conceived a decade ago, Broward County’s felony mental health court won widespread praise — and inspired imitators around the country — because of its groundbreaking approach to the handling of mentally ill defendants.

Howard Finkelstein, Broward County’s elected public defender, was one of its biggest advocates.
Now, Finkelstein has soured on the court, saying its mission has shifted from treating mentally ill individuals with compassion to patching up their mental well-being so they can be punished for behavior that was beyond their control when it happened. Finkelstein, whose office has more clients than anyone in Broward, wrote a letter in June to Broward Chief Judge Peter Weinstein, saying his office would no longer refer clients to the court."


OngoingTrainings at the CILSF, Using Skype

The Center for Independent Living of South Florida's Advocacy Program invites users of Skype to join us for ongoing trainings and discussions about issues affecting people with disabilities, including  federal civil rights prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disabilty and a variety of other topics, as set forth below.

The trainings will be held the first Tuesday of each month, from 10 am-11 am, starting Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014. Subject: Open Forum - Discuss Whatever Concerns You.

If you have ideas for other trainings and discussion topics, or have questions, write to Marc Dubin, Esq., Director of Advocacy, at mdubin@pobox.com, or call him at 1-305-896-3000.

If you have Skype, add Marc on your Skype account: Marc.Dubin. If you don't have access to a computer, join us at the CIL. Attend the meetings at the offices of the Center for Independent Living of South Florida the first Tuesday of each month. Our offices are located at 6660 Biscayne Blvd., in Miami. There is a bus stop out front, and free parking in back.

If you reside in Miami Dade County, contact Mary Fountain to become a consumer of the CIL, and to join our Disability Advocacy Council. Our services are free of charge.

Proposed Subjects:

Employment Discrimination - What do employers, applicants, and employees need to know about title I of the ADA and the EEOC?

Discrimination by state and local governments - Title II of the ADA

Discrimination by Places of Public Accommodation (businesses) - How businesses can avoid liability, and avoid lawsuits.

Managed Care in Florida 

Doctors and the Deaf Community - Rights and Responsibilities

Paratransit Services - What Concerns Do Riders Have About STS in Miami Dade County?

Voting and People with Disabilities - Why Are Voters with Disabilities Denied Accessible Restrooms at Some Polling Places?

Domestic Violence - What You Need To Know

Crime Victims with Disabilities

Police Departments and People with Disabilities - How To Enhance Services

Police Encounters and the Disability Community

The Rights of People with Disabilities to Serve on Juries

What is Section 504 of the Rehabilitiation Act of 1973, and How Is it Enforced?

How Do I File A Complaint with the Federal Government Alleging Discrimination?

What Is a "Drive-By Lawsuit", and How Can Businesses Avoid Being Sued?

What Are the Federal Civil Rights of People with Vision Disabilities Under the ADA and Section 504?

What Lawyers Need To Know About the ADA and Serving Clients with Disabilities.

 Trainings and discussions will be moderated by Marc Dubin, Esq. Marc served as a Senior Trial Attorney at the Justice Department from 1993-2005, in the Disability Rights Section of the Disability Rights Section, in Washington, DC, where he was responsible for nationwide enforcement of the ADA and Section 504 on behalf of the United States.




Thursday, October 16, 2014

EBOLA INFORMATION

EBOLA INFORMATION

 http://m.democracynow.org/tags/873
As Second Dallas Nurse Diagnosed with Ebola, Are U.S. Hospitals Failing Healthcare Workers? http://m.democracynow.org/stories/14711

Infected Workers, Slow Deployment, No Vaccines: Ebola Response Shows Pitfalls of Privatized Health    http://m.democracynow.org/stories/14712

Dr. Atul Gawande: Ebola is "Eminently Stoppable," But Global Response Has Been "Pathetic" http://m.democracynow.org/stories/14692

Continued at http://m.democracynow.org/tags/873

http://elitedaily.com/news/business/ebola-outbreak-fear-and-money/795623/ 
Follow The Money: How An Ebola Outbreak Would Make A Lot Of People Filthy Rich

http://hr.blr.com/HR-news/Discrimination/Communicable-Diseases/Ebola-in-the-workplacewhat-employers-should-know#
 Ebola In the Workplace – What Employers Should Know









Subscribe to our ADA Expertise Listserv and get information sent directly to your inbox. To subscribe, send an email to Marc Dubin, Esq., at mdubin@pobox.com. Include your name and contact information, and write "subscribe to ADA listserv."

Sunday, September 28, 2014

New Closed-Captioning Glasses Help Deaf Go Out To The Movies

NPR: See
http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/05/12/183218751/new-closed-captioning-glasses-help-deaf-go-out-to-the-movies



Subscribe to our ADA Expertise Listserv and get information sent directly to your inbox. To subscribe, send an email to Marc Dubin, Esq., at mdubin@pobox.com. Include your name and contact information, and write "subscribe to ADA listserv."

Friday, September 19, 2014

Suspects with hearing loss need to have sign language interpreters provided - A Case in Point

In 2012, the Center for Independent Living of South Florida (CIL) received a complaint from an individual who alleged that a local police department had failed to provide him with a sign language interpreter at his arrest for domestic violence. He informed the CIL that when the police arrived at his home to investigate the crime, they arrived without a sign language interpreter, and sought to interview him and his wife. His wife is not deaf, and was able to talk to the officers to share with them what had happened. When the officers sought to interview the suspect, he asked them to provide them with a sign language interpreter, but they denied the request. Instead, they chose to use his 12 year old daughter to communicate with him.

He refused to allow the officers to communicate with him through his daughter, and repeatedly asked to have a sign language interpreter provided. His repeated requests were repeatedly denied, and the officers arrested him based on statements from his wife, and on observations of a bruise on his wife’s arm.

When the CIL later interviewed him, using a sign language interpreter, he revealed that had an interpreter been provided at the scene, he would have told the officers that he had thrown a DVD at his wife, but had not intended for it to hit her. The bruising observed by the officers was consistent with her having been struck by the DVD. In the absence of provision of the sign language interpreter, the police did not have the statement to use against him at trial.

Upon his arrest, he was taken to jail, and spent the night in jail. The next morning, he was brought before the court, but no sign language interpreter was provided, as the corrections department had failed to alert the court to the need for a sign language interpreter. As a result, the court was put into the difficult position of having to choose to place him back into lockup to await the arrival of a sign language interpreter, or to communicate with him without a sign language interpreter. She did her best to communicate with him, and released him.

The prosecutor’s office reviewed the case, and offered him a plea – pretrial intervention and a domestic violence counseling program. If he attended and successfully completed the program, the charges would be dismissed. Had he been able to make his statement to the police, admitting to having thrown the DVD at his wife, perhaps the plea offer would have involved probation and the domestic violence program. Had that been the case, then if he failed to attend and successfully complete the program, or recommitted while on probation, he could have been sent to jail for violating the terms of his probation.

He then sought to enter a domestic violence program and complete the terms of his plea. He asked the programs to provide him with a sign language interpreter so that he could participate. None of the programs that had contracts with the court agreed to provide him with an interpreter. He languished in limbo, unable to comply with the terms of his plea, unable to benefit from the counseling program, and unable to receive the benefits of the diversion program.

Negotiations ensued between the CIL and the programs, and eventually, a program agreed to provide a sign language interpreter, and he eventually completed the program and the case was dismissed. Other diversion programs continue to resist providing sign language interpreter services, a problem that is widespread across the nation.

The CIL also spoke with the police department which had arrested him. The CIL discovered that the police department had never appointed an ADA Coordinator, never entered into a contract with a sign language interpreter company, and never trained any of their officers about interacting with members of the deaf community. As a result of the CIL’s advocacy, the police department designated an ADA Coordinator, trained him and other officers about the ADA and Section 504 (federal civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability), and began the process of enhancing their relationship with members of the community with disabilities.

The CIL also spoke with the court’s ADA Coordinator, who agreed to enter into a contract for video remote interpreter services (VRI), available whenever needed and whenever an in-person sign language interpreter was delayed or unavailable. The Court found that the use of VR enhanced services to domestic violence victims seeking restraining orders, as well as cases involving emergency motions.

The denial of sign language interpreter services could have been pursued through litigation, and through complaints filed with the federal government, seeking enforcement of the ADA and of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

If you are a crime victim, witness, suspect, or incarcerated defendant  with a disability in Miami Dade County, and would like more information about crime victims with disabilities, and information about the ADA, please contact us. For more information about crime victims, witnesses, and suspects with disabilities, please visit www.thearc.org www.ada.gov, and www.cavnet.org.

Marc Dubin, Esq.
Director of Advocacy
Center for Independent Living of South Florida
mdubin@pobox.com
www.ADAadvocacyBlog.org

Marc formerly served as Special Counsel to the Office on Violence Against Women at the Justice Department (1994-1995) and as a Senior Trial Attorney at the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department from 1993-2005. In that capacity, he was responsible for nationwide enforcement of the ADA and of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 on behalf of the United States. He also founded and operates CAVNET (Communities Against Violence Network), a national victims’ rights network that shares information and resources among experts and advocates, across disciplines, addressing violence against women. Visit www.cavnet.org for more information.



Subscribe to our ADA Expertise Listserv and get information sent directly to your inbox. To subscribe, send an email to Marc Dubin, Esq., at mdubin@pobox.com. Include your name and contact information, and write "subscribe to ADA listserv."

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