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Florida ADA News


Issue Number 2       April 1, 2000

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 The Social Security Public Forums

YOUR Public Input on TWWIIA Regulations

Social Security Public Forums on the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA) are in full swing. Federal Policy-State Opportunities: Models and Strategies for an Inclusive Workforce MARCH 30 -- Phoenix, AZ will host the next Social Security Public Forum for Region IX: AZ, CA, HA, NV, Guam, Siapan, and American Samoa. APRIL 6 -- New York City hosts the one after that for Region II -- NY, NJ, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Registration is free for the all day forum focused on the work incentives Act, the One Stop Centers from the Workforce Investment Act and Medicaid buy-ins for workers with disabilities. Contact Rona Harper at CESSI for free registration details: Phone 703-448-6155, ext. 210 or email her at:

The Phoenix, AZ Public Forum Agenda is at the end of this post for your information. Public Input -- TWWIIA Regulations The Social Security Office of Employment Support Programs (OESP) is drafting the regulations for provisions in the new work incentives Act, the Ticket program, CDR medical review protections, the Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Program, etc. Social Security wants community input. You can send your comments on how these regulations should read. You are encouraged to write and E-mail them to: Or Mail, Or Fax to: SSA Office of Employment Support Programs 107 Altmeyer Building 6401 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD 21235 Phone: Reggie Sajauskas at (410) 965-5381 Fax: (410) 966-8597 SUGGESTION: Send one topic per email or letter so that Social Security routes your input to the staff writing regulations for that provision.

The Social Security website address for TWWIIA is: Community website for TWWIIA Factsheet and policy briefs:
PHOENIX ARIZONA AGENDA - MARCH 30 Federal Policy-State Opportunities: Models and Strategies for an Inclusive Workforce March 30, 2000 Crowne Plaza North Phoenix Metro Center Phoenix, AZ 8:00 - 8:30 am Registration and Continental Breakfast 8:30 - 8:40 am Welcome Diane Blackman, Executive Officer, Assistant Regional Commissioner, Management and Operations Support Region IX, Social Security Administration 8:40 - 9:45 am Keynote Presentations Bryon MacDonald, Moderator and Introductions, National Community Advocate and Chair of Social Security Subcommittee of the National Council on Independent Living Keynotes: "Putting the Puzzle Together" Susan Daniels, Ph.D. Deputy Commissioner, Disability and Income Security Programs Social Security Administration "You Complete the Puzzle" Connie Garner Senior Disability Policy Advisor, Senator Edward Kennedy's Office Social Security Administration's Deputy Commissioner for Disability and Income Security Programs and the lead Congressional staff from Senator Kennedy's office will team up to provide a comprehensive review of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 (TWWIIA), as well as initiate a discussion regarding the collaboration required to provide effective employment services for people with disabilities. 9:45 - 10:00 am Break 10:00 - 11:30 am Panel I: Building an Inclusive Workforce Panelists knowledgeable in local implementation of the Workforce Investment Act, TWWIIA, and vocational rehabilitation will discuss how all of these programs can successfully integrate to help people with disabilities return to work. Susan Webb Moderator President, Webb Transitions, Inc. · Ken McGill, Associate Commissioner, Office of Employment Support Programs, SSA · Treva Roanhorse, Director, Navajo Office of Special Ed and Rehabilitative Services 11:30 - 11:40 am Break 11:40 - 12:40 pm Luncheon Discussion on Regional Collaboration Activities Box lunch and informal discussions with regional representatives from Federal agencies. Julie Clark Moderator and Introductions-Representative of the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities · Administrator, Employment and Training Administration, Region IX, Department of Labor · Fredric Schroeder Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration within the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Rehabilitation Services Administration, Department of Education · Diane Blackman, Executive Officer, Office of the Assistant Regional Commissioner, Management and Operations Support 12:40 - 12:50 pm Break 12:50 - 2:20 pm Panel II: Health Care: State Opportunities This panel will provide an update of states' status regarding innovative health care options for people with disabilities pursuing employment. Panelists representing different State models and the advocacy communities in those states will provide useful information regarding cost estimation and State systems design and coordination. Paul Gowan, Moderator Executive Director of the Phoenix DD Council and the SILC Liaison · Joe Razes, Program Manager of Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group, HCFA · State Medicaid Director Representative, Department of Health Services-Joe Confirms · Barbara Otto, Executive Director, SSI Coalition For A Responsible Safety Net, Chicago, IL 2:20 - 2:35 pm Break 2:35 - 4:05 pm Seven Concurrent State Breakout Sessions (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam, Siapan, American Samoa, and Federally Recognized Indian Tribes) Participants will have an opportunity to discuss the specific State issues and circumstances facing people with disabilities who want to work. Sessions will allow for discussion of the different models and strategies presented throughout the day and will focus specifically on what kind of models best fit each state's needs and objectives. State officials and local leaders in the disability community will lead discussion. Possible Discussion Items: Workforce Investment Act/One Stops Implications of PASS and Workforce Investment Boards other SSA Work Incentives Work Incentives Counseling Medicaid Waivers and Options Vocational Rehabilitation Personal Assistant Services Implications of WIIA Personal Care Services 4:05 - 4:45 pm Report Back: State Discussion Leaders 4:45 - 4:50 pm Wrap-up Diane Blackman, Executive Officer, Assistant Regional Commissioner, Management and Operations Support, Region IX, Social Security Administration

Look and Listen for Signs of Hearing Loss During May, Better Hearing and Speech Month

An estimated 28 million Americans have a hearing loss that can be treated. You could be one of them. May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, a good time to take stock of your own hearing and seek help if you have a problem. You have a hearing loss if you: * frequently ask people to repeat themselves * often turn your ear toward a sound to hear it better * understand people better when you wear your glasses or look directly at their faces * lose your place in group conversations * keep the volume on your radio or TV at a level that others say is too loud * have pain or ringing in your ears People who see themselves in these statements should see an audiologist for a hearing test. Most kinds of hearing loss can be helped, but it's important that people monitor their hearing regularly and visit an audiologist when they have a hearing problem. Hearing loss often occurs slowly. Some sounds remain clear (often low-pitched sounds, such as the bass line in music), whereas others seem fuzzy (frequently women's and children's high-pitched voices). Hearing loss has many causes, including exposure to loud noise. The most common hearing loss is associated with aging. Forty-two percent of people with hearing loss are 65 or older. Even a very slight hearing loss can have an impact on your daily life. Hearing loss is treatable and there is no reason for anyone to miss all the important sounds of life.

In celebration of 20 years of reaching out to people of all ages with hearing loss, SHHH (Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc.), the nation's largest consumer organization for people who are hard of hearing, is setting out to encourage people nationwide to have their hearing screened. Throughout May, Better Hearing and Speech Month, audiologists, in conjunction with SHHH local chapters, will conduct free hearing screenings and hold other special events to remind everyone that now is the best time to listen to sound advice about hearing. In fact, on May 6, 2000, people can receive free hearing screenings in selected communities throughout the United States. Sites will be announced by March 31, 2000 and posted by state on the SHHH website which is located at: Once you realize you have a hearing loss and deal with the physical issues of treatment and obtaining hearing aids, the emotional impact of losing one of the major senses needs to be addressed. This is where an advocacy and support group like SHHH can be a lifeline to you and your family. And lets face it; your family is just as involved in your hearing loss as you are because interpersonal communication is one of the key issues in your relationships. SHHH has 12,000 National members and 9,000 chapter members in all 50 states. As the voice for hard of hearing people, SHHH strives to improve the quality of hard of hearing people's lives through education, advocacy, and self-help. SHHH has an impact on national policy for improved rights, services, research and public awareness. SHHH Florida, Inc. (also known as FLASHHH) is the state liaison between the national office of SHHH and the chapter affiliates. Its mission is to help people cope with hearing loss and is accomplished by sharing self-help strategies, by education about available services and goods, and by advocacy and community outreach activities. SHHH Florida, Inc. does not sell services or equipment. The local chapters of SHHH are located in the following communities: Boca Raton, Delray, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Gulfport, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach, Pensacola, Pompano Beach, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, Tallahassee and Tampa. It is at the local level of SHHH that you can learn the coping strategies to manage your hearing loss. You can find out about the very latest technologies that can benefit your particular hearing loss and you can alleviate that feeling of isolation, that no one knows what you're going through. If you have additional questions about any information contained in this article, please contact Joan Camezon by email at: or by mail at 4814 Kestral Park Circle, Sarasota, FL 34231.

Joan Camezon, an Internet researcher and demographer, also serves on the Board of Trustees for SHHH Florida, Inc. and is a member of SHHH Sarasota.

Continental fined over disabled air passengers

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) - Continental Airlines Inc. will pay a
$50,000 fine for violating laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination
against passengers with disabilities, federal regulators said Wednesday.

Under a settlement approved by a Department of Transportation (DOT)
Administrative Law Judge, Continental will also refrain from similar
violations in the future.

The government had originally sought a $250,000 fine.

The charges were filed in August last year by DOT after complaints were
filed by air travelers about inadequate assistance to wheelchair-dependent
passengers on Continental flights during 1997 and 1998.

In addition, the government obtained records of complaints received by
Continental of disabled passengers being left for long periods aboard
aircraft or in terminal areas.

Continental spokesman Dave Messing said the airline believed there was no
pattern of discrimination but had elected to settle the case rather than
pursue costly and time-consuming litigation.

``We have extensive procedures for dealing with disabled passengers,''
Messing said. ``They are a very important group of passengers to us.''

Copyright: 2000 Reuters News Service


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Updated: April 1, 2000
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