The Human Rights of People with Disabilities Presented by Geoff Ames, April23, 2014 For the Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation Midyear Training Conference: Renewing Our Spirit
Disclaimer • Information, materials, and/or technical assistance are intended solely as informal guidance, and are neither a determination of your legal rights or responsibilities under the ADA, nor binding on any agency with enforcement responsibility under the ADA. • ADA Center authorized by NIDRR to provide information, materials, and technical assistance to individuals and entities that are covered by the ADA.
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ADA Center Functions • Technical Assistance / ADA Information • Referral & Networking with other Disability Organizations • Research • Training • Material Dissemination
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Meeting the Challenge, Inc. • Operates the Rocky Mountain ADA Center project • Generates materials and products that support accessibility • Offers customized implementation services • Provides training on various disability rights laws
MTC Implementation Services Providing customized solutions for: • Municipal Self Evaluations and Transition Plans • Municipal and County Facility and Program Accessibility • Commercial Facility Accessibility
Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons • Disabled persons have the inherent right to respect for their human dignity. • Disabled persons, whatever the origin, nature and seriousness of their handicaps and disabilities, have the same fundamental rights as their fellow-citizens of the same age, which implies first and foremost the right to enjoy a decent life, as normal and full as possible. • General Assembly of the United Nations, 9 December 1975
The Americans with Disabilities Act • Does not cover Native Americans. • Is this law necessary – as a law? • Ethically and morally? • Economically?
Fundamental Rights in the ADA • Employment opportunity based on qualifications • Nondiscriminatory application process • Hire, promote, fire – the most qualified • Negotiate reasonable accommodations for individuals who can perform essential job functions • Access to services, programs and activities of state and local governments • Access to public transportation
Fundamental Rights in the ADA • Access to the goods and services of places of public accommodation • Access to telecommunication services
Congress Acted to Establish and Protect the Rights to Access • Employment • Housing • Public accommodations • Education • Transportation • Communication • Recreation • Institutionalization • Health services • Voting • Access to public services
Disability Rights Movement • Took root in advocacy by and on behalf of individuals with disabilities who • Proclaimed the right to live independently • Demanded the right to ride public buses
The ADA and Native Americans • Though Native American Nations are not covered by the ADA – Native Americans with disabilities • Have the same civil rights. • Deserve to be treated with respect for their human dignity. • Which implies first and foremost the right to enjoy a decent life, as normal and full as possible.
Progress of Disability Rights • DOJ is currently demanding faster action in its settlement agreements with covered entities who have not complied with the ADA • DOJ has broadened its focus to include violations of the Fair Housing Act • DOT’s Federal Transit Administration just granted $145,000 to the Seneca Nation “to improve its existing transit service and ensure safe, accessible, and coordinated transportation services for tribal members”
Tribes Are Eligible for Research Grants • NIDRR through its Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is awarding grants to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities.
Native Americans with Disabilities • Native American Nations have embraced much of the intent of the ADA • U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilitiesprovides universal recognition of disability rights • Contributions of individuals with disabilities benefit the whole community
What Are the Next Steps? • Effective adoption of best practices • Complete a self-evaluation of policies, procedures, and practices to identify areas where individuals with disabilities might be excluded or have limited access to the benefits of services and programs • Complete a transition plan to identify structural barriers in buildings, facilities, and public rights-of-way • Assess transportation services to ensure that individuals with disabilities have comparable access
Making the World More Accessible • Seek input from people with disabilities to identify barriers to access • Take a proactive approach – don’t wait for complaints • Make public facilities, such as casinos and other hospitality venues accessible and inviting to people with disabilities • Address access issues for all disabilities – sensory, cognitive, and psychiatric, as well as mobility
Resources • National Council on Disability • http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2003/Aug12003 • Rocky Mountain ADA Center • http://adainformation.org/ • U.S. Department of Justice • http://www.ada.gov/ • 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design • http://www.ada.gov//regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAstandards.htm#2004
Contact Information: Geoff Ames Meeting the Challenge, Inc. Operating the Rocky Mountain ADA Center firstname.lastname@example.org www.adainformation.org ADA Center: 719-444-0268 (Voice/TTY) Direct Line: 719-433-7640 3630 Sinton Road, Ste. 103 Colorado Springs, CO 80907