The [AT] Connects Blog

Youth Discussion Guide for the Campaign for Disability Employment’s “I Can” PSA

Posted By Anne Long | Nov 27, 2013

The Campaign for Disability Employment has released a new discussion guide to accompany its “Because” public service announcement (PSA).  The “Because” PSA has a simple but important message—that youth with disabilities, like all youth, should grow up expecting to work and succeed. Parents, teachers and other adults in their lives should reinforce this expectation as often as possible.  

Don't Mush the Sandwich

Posted By Anne Long | Nov 27, 2013

By The Johns Hopkins University School of Education Center for Technology in Education

While this might sound like homespun culinary wisdom, for Dr. Therese Willkomm it is a guiding principle.  As Director of Assistive Technology at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability, Willkomm wants to teach everyone to be able to craft extraordinary solutions for individuals with disabilities using nothing more than low cost materials, everyday tools and common sense.

USBLN® Section 503 (Affirmative Action) Regulations Webinar Series

Posted By Anne Long | Nov 21, 2013
Webinar #5:


Date: December 12, 2013
Time: 1:00pm - 2:30pm EST
ModeratorRobert "Bobby" Silverstein, Principal - Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC

Fee: $75 per person / per webinar

Register Now

Registration deadline: December 9, 2013 by 5:00 pm EST.

Webinar description: Assessing your organization's current disability employment practices is an important first step in determining the additional strategies needed to help satisfy Federal compliance requirements and enhance the overall corporate culture. Businesses that review their practices and standards can more easily determine whether they facilitate or impede the hiring and advancement of qualified persons with disabilities. In this webinar, you will learn how to assess your company's disability program, accommodations processes, disclosure, and self-identification policies and how to incorporate best practices into your company's diversity initiative through the use of the USBLN®'s Gold Standard initiative.

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About Robert "Bobby" Silverstein:  [Bio]

Webinars will be captioned and any presentation materials will be sent in advance of each webinar. For additional accessibility and reasonable accommodation needs or questions, please contact Mylene Padolina at

This event is being conducted in collaboration with the ADA National Network.


Posted By Anne Long | Nov 12, 2013

Nikki Zimmerman

Founder, The Out of Step Tool

Check out the premiere of the newest tool in the Out of Step toolbox: TOOST Radio, a show discussing issues people with disabilities face in the workforce and beyond. Tune in 
for a fresh perspective, valuable resources and a dose of inspiration! Our first feature discussion: Should a person with a disability disclose it to an employer?

Please take a listen:

TIP:  You can respond to this message by clicking on Reply to Nikki

Reed Group Releases Findings of ADA Accommodation Practices Survey

Posted By Anne Long | Nov 06, 2013

Reed Group Releases Findings of ADA Accommodation Practices Survey

Despite being in place for more than two decades, ADA compliance requirements still confuse employers


October 25, 2013

WESTMINSTER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Reed Group, the recognized leader in managing employee absence, today released the primary findings of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accommodation Practices Survey.

“We’re asked about the ADA often enough that we felt it was worth digging into the areas where employers are having trouble administering the Act”

Conducted between April and July 2013 in partnership with Spring Consulting Group, the survey included a total of 270 employers of all sizes from across the United States. A number of key issues identified were experienced consistently by employers of all sizes.

“We’re asked about the ADA often enough that we felt it was worth digging into the areas where employers are having trouble administering the Act,” said Kevin Curry, Senior Vice President and National Practice Leader of Reed Group. “The resulting white paper offers information that employers can use to stay compliant with the ADA and gain a better understanding of what’s required.”

The survey explored the challenges employers encounter while administering the ADA and ADA Amendments Acts (ADAAA), the relationship of ADA leave to other leaves of absence, and administrative best practices.

Key takeaways from the survey:

  • 70 percent of respondents said recognizing when an employer can deny an ADA leave request is either difficult or extremely difficult.
  • 87 percent of employers are providing temporary light duty as an accommodation, even though that is rarely required under the law.
  • Half of survey respondents have difficulty or extreme difficulty determining whether or not an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on their business.
  • In general, employers report difficulty interpreting the ADA.

The survey also identified the types of accommodations that employers report implementing frequently, such as work schedule adjustments, as well as those that pose a greater challenge to handle successfully, such as job restructuring.

For a full report on the survey results, and information on how to better comply with ADA regulations download the white paper:

About Reed Group

Reed Group, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, is the recognized leader in helping organizations reduce the cost, compliance risk and complexity of employee absence. Our products and services address FMLA, ADA, state and other leave laws, workers' compensation, and short- and long-term disability programs. Headquartered in Westminster, Colorado, Reed Group has been a trusted partner to employers, insurers, TPAs, government organizations, attorneys, and health care providers for over 35 years. Reed Group's world-class team of clinical and absence management experts help organizations deploy Reed Group products and services to improve employee health and productivity. For more information, visit

About Spring Consulting Group

Spring Consulting Group (@SpringsInsight) is a leading professional services firm whose core focus is developing integrated and innovative solutions in the areas of employee benefits, risk management and wealth strategies. In Spring’s capacity as a consultant to employers of all sizes, they routinely work with clients to design, establish and continually improve absence and leave management programs, conduct RFP processes, and provide implementation leadership, facilitation, and support. Spring is the proud winner of the prestigious Business Insurance Magazine Innovation Award as well as awards from Risk & Insurance Magazine for Top Employee Benefits Consultant, Risk Innovator and Power Broker. Spring also possesses four U.S. patents for benefit funding solutions. More information about Spring Consulting Group can be found at:


For Reed Group
Amanda Kowalski, 720-833-5924

Source:!  (Long URL and may appear on more than one line in this message.  Copy and paste the entire URL into your browser)

Industry Leaders Join Pilot Program To Enhance Disability Inclusion Benchmarking Tool

Posted By Anne Long | Nov 06, 2013


For Immediate Release
November 4, 2013

Contact: Colin Schwartz
Phone:  202-521-4309

WASHINGTON, DC (November 4, 2013) -- The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) are pleased to announce that many of America’s leading companies have signed up to take part in the pilot launch of the Disability Equality IndexSM (DEISM). AAPD and the USBLN® sought the participation of 35 companies, and the maximum number joined well ahead of the November 15, 2013 deadline. The pilot phase will refine the DEISM survey prior to the 2014 launch of the first Annual DEISM survey.

Companies participating in the pilot represent a broad range of industry sectors. These include Aerospace, Agriculture, Consumer Products, Entertainment, Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical, Professional Services, Retail, Technology, and Telecommunications.

The DEISM is a national transparent benchmarking tool that will offer major businesses the opportunity to receive an objective score on their disability inclusion policies and practices, and identify avenues for continued improvement. In addition, the tool is intended to help build a company’s reputation as an employer of choice, which could advance talent acquisition. Furthermore, the DEISM will provide useful information to people with disabilities.

For more information on the DEISM please visit our FAQ: (DOC | PDF)

About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) 
The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation's largest disability rights organization. AAPD promotes equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. AAPD’s members, including people with disabilities and family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site:

About the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) 
The US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) is a national non-profit that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. The USBLN® serves as the collective voice of over 50 Business Leadership Network affiliates across the United States, representing over 5,000 businesses. Additionally, the USBLN® Disability Supplier Diversity Program® (DSDP) is the nation’s leading third party certification program for disability-owned businesses, including businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.


About AAPD

The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation's largest disability rights organization. We promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Our members, including people with disabilities and our family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site: