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National Council on Disability Monthly Bulletin for November 2007

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is the National Council on Disability's monthly bulletin for November 2007:

The Bulletin, which is free of charge and at NCD's award-winning Web site (, brings you the latest issues and news affecting people with disabilities. To subscribe to the NCD listserv, go to, click on Online mailing list archives, select NCD-NEWS-L, click on Join or leave the list, then complete the short subscription form. Please send your editorial comments to Bulletin editor Mark S. Quigley (

NCD Conducts Boston Meeting

NCD conducted its fall quarterly meeting November 29 - December 1 in Boston, MA. The meeting started with a welcome from Boston's commissioner of disability, Stephen Spinetto, and comments by Myra Berloff, director, Massachusetts Office on Disability.

NCD conducted a panel discussion on emergency preparedness. Speakers included Pat Pound, NCD vice chair; Marcia Brooks, The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH; Sharon Gamache and Lisa Braxton, The Center for High-Risk Outreach, National Fire Protection Association; and Myra Berloff, Massachusetts Office on Disability.

In 2003, NCD committed itself to evaluating government's developing role in the areas of homeland security, emergency preparedness, and disaster relief. This commitment occurred, in large measure, as a result of the man- made terrorist events of September 11, 2001, and the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. NCD's first evaluation findings were issued in April 2005 in the report, Saving Lives: Including People with Disabilities in Emergency Planning.


Under the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill (H.R. 5441) signed by President Bush on October 4, 2006, NCD was assigned key responsibilities for disability-related issues in homeland security.

NCD also conducted a panel discussion on accessibility and universal design on November 29. Speakers included Marylyn Howe, NCD board member and moderator; Deborah Buck, Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs; Larry Goldberg, The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH; Judy Brewer, World Wide Web Consortium, Web Accessibility Initiative; and Valerie Fletcher, Adaptive Environments.

In 2004, the National Council on Disability published Design for Inclusion: Creating a New Marketplace (, a report demonstrating how an accessible society can be accomplished through Universal Design. Universal design is a process to ensure that the built environment, including electronic and information technology, is inclusive, accessible, and usable by everyone, including people with disabilities. Incorporating universal design processes is one solution to accommodating people with disabilities that also improves the usability of the products for the rest of the population.

On November 30, NCD conducted a session on youth transition. Speakers included Julia Landau, senior attorney, Massachusetts Advocates for Children, and Dr. William Kiernan, director, and Debra Hart, staff, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts at Boston.

Later that day, NCD heard from Shelley Carson, Ph.D., representing the Veterans Administration, Department of Defense Post-Deployment Program.

On December 1, NCD Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) members Amy Doherty and Matt Cavedon both addressed NCD, presenting an update on the activities of YAC.

NCD Presents Congressional Testimony

On November 8, NCD chairperson John R. Vaughn submitted written testimony ( on employment to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP).

On November 15, Mr. Vaughn presented written testimony ( on the ADA Restoration Act to the Senate HELP Committee.

NCD Advisory Committees Update

International Watch

NCD's International Watch advisory committee met on November 1. Discussion included updates from the United States Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development on their current disability inclusion efforts, including the work being done to more fully incorporate disability within the United States Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. The discussion also included the latest countries to sign the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As the time of this writing, 118 countries have signed the Convention and 7 countries have ratified. Three countries have also ratified the Optional Protocol. The Convention will enter into force on the 30th day following the 20th ratification or accession. The Optional Protocol will enter into force on the 30th day following the 10th ratification or accession.


With its charter renewed until October 2009, NCD's YAC met on November 15, 2007, after welcoming seven new members, new officers (Amy Doherty-chair; Carly Fahey-vice chair; Matt Cavedon -Secretary), procedural workgroup leaders (Ari Ne'eman-Policy; Daman Wandke-Outreach and Networking), and mentors (Stephanie Orlando and Miranda Pelikan). The committee reported topics and issues of interest such as aversives and restraints, healthcare accessibility, expanding ways of gathering youth and young adult perspectives, and planning to make a new proposal to NCD about disability history awareness-raising. We welcome aboard in FY2008 Jesutine Breidenbach (MN), Brett Cunningham (OK), Paul Fogle (PA), Eddie Rea (CA), Nicole Schneider (FL), Nathan Turner (OH), and Bryan Ward (DE). YAC meets again on January 17, 2008, at 4:00 p.m. EST. Please e-mail your questions about YAC to Dr. Gerrie Hawkins (

Cultural Diversity

On November 15, NCD's Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee(CDAC) met under the leadership of Darrell Simmons, J.D., chair, and John Armendariz, vice chair. NCD's senior attorney advisor Joan Durocher addressed the committee with updates about ongoing and upcoming priorities for NCD's employment study team as background for potential involvement of interested advisory committee members. NCD executive director Mike Collins also addressed the committee, identifying additional NCD priorities (health care and the annual progress report to Congress). Future CDAC meetings will feature other NCD staff and CDAC members as discussion leaders on related issues affecting the populations represented. CDAC meeting dates are set for 2:30 p.m. EST, April 3 and July 10, 2008. Please e-mail CDAC questions to Mr. Stacey Brown (

NCD Staff Changes

NCD wishes a fond farewell to Mark Seifarth, NCD congressional liaison, who relocated back to his home state of Ohio and to Pamela O'Leary, NCD sign language interpreter, who retired and was returning to North Dakota.

Quarterly Meetings

NCD's winter quarterly meeting will be held January 28-January 30, 2008, at the New Orleans Marriott at the Convention Center, 859 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA.

This meeting is free of charge and open to the public. People with disabilities are encouraged to attend and participate in the daily public comment segments of the meeting. A toll-free line will be available during the public comment sessions for those who cannot attend but would like to address NCD. The agendas will be posted at prior to each meeting.

SOURCE National Council on Disability
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