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THE ADA INFORMER - QUARTERLY E-NEWSLETTER

July 2022


In This Issue:
  • Celebrating the 32nd Anniversary of the ADA!
    • Highlighting 32 Disability Focused Entities in Georgia
    • Senator Tom Harkin (Retired) Reflects on the Importance of the ADA
    • Ways You Can Celebrate!
  • Live without Limits! Celebrating People with Disabilities Living Life to the Fullest
  • Communicable Diseases Update
  • ADA and Disability-related Legal Updates
  • State of Georgia Agency ADA Coordinator Spotlight
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
    • ADA Title I - Employment
    • ADA Title II - State and Local Governments
      • State of Georgia Agency ADA Coordinators
  • Facilities Access Considerations – The ADA’s Impact on Accessible Design Standards
  • Accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
    • AccessGA
    • Georgia Tech hosts Exhibit: "Extension of Self: What it Means to be Human in a Digital World"
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Mental Health Wellness
    • Georgia Rolls out 9-8-8, the new number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline
    • July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
    • The U.S. Department of Justice Commemorates the Anniversary of Olmstead v. L.C.
  • ADA Training and Event Opportunities
  • October 2022 Issue of The ADA Informer – Sneak Peek!
Celebrating the 32nd Anniversary of the ADA!
Image Credit: ADA National Network (adata.org) 1-800-949-4232
The State ADA Coordinator's Office Highlights 32 Disability-Focused Entities in Georgia
The signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26th, 1990, by former President Georgia H.W. Bush increased the implementation of inclusion, full participation, and equal access for individuals with disabilities. In the 32 years since the ADA was passed, many disability-focused entities have provided much-needed programs, services, and activities to individuals with disabilities, their families, caregivers, and advocates.
 
In celebration of the 32nd Anniversary of the ADA, the State ADA Coordinator’s Office is highlighting 32 disability-focused entities in our great state of Georgia. The services provided by these entities range from employment-focused to recreational to support-centered and technology-based, as well as other areas of life.
 
We hope you take the time to learn more about these entities and their important work.

Thank you,
Stacey Valrie Peace
Stacey Valrie Peace, Esq.
State ADA Coordinator
(1) Advancing Employment is dedicated to building a community for inclusive employment in Georgia. It is here where individuals with disabilities, their families, service providers, and others interested in employment can learn and connect with one another.

(2) AID Atlanta Inc. has a mission to reduce new HIV infections and improve the quality of life of its members and the community by breaking barriers and building community.

(3) Animals Deserve Better-Dog Rescue | Paws for Life-Service Dog Training is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that through its Paws For Life program places service dogs with people who have disabilities, such as Autism, Diabetes, Hearing, Medical, Mobility, Psychiatric, PTSD, Seizures, TBI, and other unseen medical conditions such as Parkinson's, CP, MS or Narcolepsy.

(4) Arc of Georgia is a non-profit membership organization committed to all people with developmental disabilities and will work to develop programs, funding, and public policy that will assist them in realizing their goals of learning, living, working, worshiping, and playing in the community. Affiliated with the Arc of the United States, The Arc of Georgia is also committed to self-advocates and families with people who have a developmental disability.

(5) Atlanta Legal Aid Society has offered free civil legal aid for individuals with low income across metro Atlanta since 1924. With five neighborhood offices, three offices in Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospitals, three county courthouse projects, a variety of self-help clinics, and countless community education programs, Legal Aid lawyers and volunteers reach tens of thousands of people annually. More than 20,000 cases are represented by their staff of 75 attorneys and 1,200 volunteers every year.

(6) Avita Community Partners was formed by the 1993 Georgia State Legislature to serve persons experiencing the disabling effects of mental illness, developmental disabilities, and addictive diseases. Originally founded as Georgia Mountains Community Services (GMCS), Avita Community Partners seeks to promote safe, stable, and meaningful lives for citizens within a 13-county area of northeast Georgia. Their variety of services and programs are aimed at helping individuals, families, and communities minimize barriers and achieve their dreams.

(7) Blaze Sports Georgia provides sports training, competitions, summer camps, and other sports and recreational opportunities for youth and adults who use wheelchairs, have a visual impairment, have an amputation, or who have a neurological disability such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida. Participant ages range, depending on the program, from 6 years through adulthood.

(8) Bobby Dodd Institute has a mission to empower people with differing abilities to maximize their potential by securing economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion within their communities.

(9) Brain Injury Association of Georgia has a mission to provide resources, education, advocacy, and support for persons and families affected by brain injury.

(10) Canine Assistants is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that places service and companion dogs with people who have mobility difficulties, type I diabetes, epilepsy, and other medical needs. They also place Facility Dogs who provide therapy and intervention services to children and adults. They provide a Disabilities Awareness Education Program and K-9 Kids Reading Program for school-age children as well as Animal Assisted Therapy and Interventions.

(11) Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (CIDI) (formerly AMAC) is a non-profit, membership-based organization that helps universities and K-12 educators, corporations, non-profits, and government institutions provide complete, timely, and efficient accessibility to the individuals with disabilities whom they serve. CIDI offers a range of products and services, all designed to maximize your accommodation dollars and ensure individuals with disabilities are served with quality products in a timely manner.

(12) Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) has a mission to empower people impacted by vision loss to live with independence and dignity.

(13) Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia works to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; and will prevent, control and cure epilepsy through services, education, advocacy, and research.

(14) FOCUS has a mission to help children who are medically fragile or have significant developmental and/or physical disabilities. FOCUS' comfort with hospital visits and support groups, offers hope through information and education, provides fun activities for parents and kids, and helps to make equipment available to children in need.

(15) Friends of Disabled Adults and Children is a statewide and national provider of home health care equipment-mobility aids and daily living devices for people with disabilities and the newly injured.

(16) Full Radius Dance has a mission to promote, advance, and enhance the modern dance form for persons with disabilities, dance artists, and the general community. They provide opportunities for children and adults with and without disabilities to experience a greater awareness of their artistic potential through dance, and their programs help to foster acceptance, understanding, and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the performing arts.

(17) Georgia Academy for the Blind was founded in 1852 to serve the needs of Georgia's students with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the Academy is committed to providing the highest quality of educational services to its students and families across the state. The Academy offers day and residential programs on its campus, as well as outreach services and professional learning opportunities. 

(18) Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO) is a private non-profit corporation. Its mission is to work with and for oppressed and vulnerable individuals in Georgia who are labeled as disabled or mentally ill to secure their protection and advocacy.

(19) Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GCDHH) has a mission to establish and maintain a network of statewide services for the deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, deaf-blind and other individuals and groups with whom they interact.

(20) Georgia Deaf Golfers Association has a mission to (a) welcome members and guests to be involved in their GDGA Tournament events; (b) to develop participation in local, regional, national, and deaf golf competition events; and (c) to provide social activities for deaf members and their friends.

(21) Georgia Emergency Preparedness Coalition for Individuals with Disabilities and Older Adults  (Coalition) is a key component in statewide preparedness efforts. It consists of stakeholder agencies throughout Georgia.

(22) Georgia E-Peachy News was created on May 29th, 1999 for Deaf, Hard of Hearing & Hearing people so that they have an additional option for events, workshops, meetings, and job updates in Georgia.

(23) Georgia Legal Services has a mission to provide access to justice and opportunities for Georgians with low incomes.

(24) Georgia Parent Support Network is dedicated to providing support, education, and advocacy for children and their families with mental illness, emotional disturbances, and behavioral differences.

(25) Georgia Radio Reading Service (GaRRS) is the State’s only radio reading service and is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 1980. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for every Georgian who is blind, living with a visual impairment or has difficulty with access to the printed word. Through sub-channel radio transmission and streaming on the internet, more than 200 volunteer readers from across Georgia deliver approximately 150 different broadcasts each month including cover-to-cover readings of magazines, newspapers, and books, population-specific programming (Seniors, Veterans, and Hispanic/Latino News), public service announcements and information regarding community-support programs. GaRRS programs are broadcast 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

(26) Georgia Relay is for everyone, including people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled.  Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Georgia Relay allows Georgians to easily keep in touch by phone - and often - with their business associates, friends, and families.

(27) Georgia School for the Deaf was established in 1846 and offers high-quality educational and extracurricular activities that prepare its graduates for further academic, social, and career success. This is achieved in a fully-accessible American Sign Language (ASL)/English bilingual environment, which recognizes ASL users as a distinct cultural and linguistic group. This fosters positive self-acceptance and self-esteem, affording each student the ability to effectively navigate the world they encounter beyond their K-12 experience. As part of this lifelong learning philosophy, all staff and students consistently strive to improve their use of both ASL and written English.

(28) Marcus Autism Center is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a charitable, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The Center's mission is to provide information, services, and programs to people with developmental disabilities and their families, as well as those who live and work with them.

(29) Shepherd Center is located in Atlanta, Georgia and is one of the nation's leading rehabilitation hospitals. They specialize in the treatment of people with spinal cord injuries, acquired brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and other neurological conditions.

(30) Southeast ADA Center is located in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as the regional office for an extended network of State and Local Affiliates from eight (8) states in the U.S. Southeast Region for information, training, technical assistance, and materials related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

(31) Statewide Independent Living Council of Georgia, Inc. has a mission to provide equal participation for people with disabilities within their communities.

(32) Tools for Life increases access to appropriate assistive technology devices and assistive technology services for all Georgians with disabilities so they can live, learn, work, and play independently in communities of their choice.
On my mind

Senator Tom Harkin (Retired) Reflects on the Importance of the ADA

The words of Senator Tom Harkin (Retired) regarding the 30th Anniversary of the ADA still ring true today as we prepare to celebrate the 32nd Anniversary of this pivotal civil rights law, ADA 30 | The Harkin Institute (drake.edu). According to the Harkin Institute’s website, Senator Harkin was tapped by Senator Ted Kennedy to craft legislation to protect the civil rights of the millions of Americans with physical and mental disabilities, People with Disabilities | The Harkin Institute (drake.edu).

The State ADA Coordinator’s Office’s team thanks Senator Harkin and his team for their remarkable work with the realization of the ADA and its Amendments Act.
ADA 30th Anniversary Message by Senator Tom Harkin (Retired)
Senator Tom Harkin (Retired)
Ways You Can Celebrate the 32nd Anniversary of the ADA!
Click here for the ADA Anniversary Tool Kit

Live Without Limits!
Celebrating People with Disabilities Living Life to the Fullest

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recognizes the importance of independent living and self-sufficiency. We celebrate the 32nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which reminds us of the date that we embraced equal access and opportunities for all persons living with disabilities. We celebrate the right to live without limits and the individuals who inspire us to be the best we can be! In the videos and article below, you will witness individuals living with disabilities while living their lives to the fullest.

Read and watch Kelsey Norris' story about her Miss Georgia pageant experience:
7 Extraordinary People Living Without Limbs | BORN DIFFERENT
Please press "CC" for closed captioning

Communicable Diseases Update

Communicable Disease Prevention image on the left showing three gloved hands holding vials of the COVID-19 vaccine, and on the right, a vial of MonkeyPox vaccine and a syringe.

ADA and Disability-related Legal Updates

A depiction of the balance of justice symbol and a gavel on a stand - Legal Updates Picture

State of Georgia Agency ADA Coordinator Spotlight

Artica Gaston, Director of Administrative Services and ADA Coordinator,
Georgia Department of Natural Resources


Artica Gaston
 
Years of service with the State of Georgia – 17+ years

Years of service as Director of Administrative Services and ADA Coordinator for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources – 6 years
 
What do you enjoy most about being an ADA Coordinator?
"I enjoy the challenge of ensuring opportunities to access hunting, fishing, hiking, and other recreational opportunities for Georgia citizens of all abilities."

Please tell us about a couple of ADA-related "wins" or initiatives within the Georgia Department of Natural Resources:
  • Continuing internal education for representatives of the division.
  • Partnering with the Aimee Copeland Foundation to provide all-terrain wheelchairs across the state to increase accessibility to Georgia’s state parks and wildlife management areas.

To learn more about our featured State of Georgia Agency ADA Coordinator, Artica Gaston, please see her bio below:
Artica Gaston leads the Georgia Department of Natural Resources administrative operations, with the responsibility for the integrity of financial information of the agency, information technology, engineering and construction, and real estate. She has 17+ years of experience working with the State of Georgia.  Prior to her career at DNR, Artica served as an Accountant for the Georgia Secretary of State and East Georgia State College. Artica holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Business Administration, specializing in Finance, both from Georgia Southern University.

“It has been a pleasure to serve with Artica over the past years. She is confident, intelligent, dedicated, and committed to the art of understanding and implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I have witnessed Artica address citizen concerns with swift and cordial action to ensure that the programs, activities, and services of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources align with the ADA. The ADA is in better practice in Georgia because of Artica’s service! We appreciate the work Artica has done and continues to do for the State of Georgia!” - Cheryl Ann Frazier, Assistant State ADA Coordinator.
 
A spotlight with confetti streaming down with a gold background
Are you proud of the work you are doing as a State of Georgia Agency ADA Coordinator? Would you like us to spotlight you in The ADA Informer?  If so, please contact the State ADA Coordinator’s Office at:
 
Office: 404- 657-7313
TTY: 404-657-9993
Email:  Group.GeorgiaADA@gsfic.ga.gov
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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Portion of a keyboard, book with glasses on top, and a stack of white paper with the title ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act is pictured.

ADA Title I - Employment

ADA Title II - State and Local Governments

State of Georgia Agency ADA Coordinators We share space with some amazing State of Georgia Agency ADA Coordinators. If you need to contact a Georgia agency regarding ADA matters, please feel free to reach the Agency ADA Coordinators by clicking on this link State of Georgia Agency ADA Coordinators | State of Georgia ADA Coordinator's Office for contact information.

Facilities Access Considerations - The ADA's Impact on Accessible Design Standards

The cover of the DOJ 2010 ADA StandardsThe ADA as a civil rights law has many facets and one of them is the built environment.  To speak to that reality the ADA Standards for Accessible Design were developed, initially in 1991 and then updated in 2010.  These are enforceable standards under Titles II and III and are used for determining minimal compliance in new construction, alterations, and the overarching ADA obligations of program access and readily achievable barrier removal in the built environment.  Federally these are enforced retroactively, but each State has a form of minimal compliance that aligns with these minimal federal requirements, which typically is enforced proactively.

High contrast grey bordered panel with eleven various sized ADA-related images, including the first (from lest to right) and largest of President George H.W. Bush signing the original ADA legislation and three other individual disability images and six detail drawing images from the DOJ 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, with the ADA.gov website address in the lower right hand corner.

Some of the most helpful elements of these Standards are contained in the most basic of details commonly known as the “building blocks” of the Standards.  They are also helpful for individuals without disabilities. 

For example:
U.S. Access Board graphic image showing individual with sight limitation using a cane, showing dimensional details of ADA section 307 Protruding Object compliance.307 Protruding Objects requirements help prevent people who regularly use their phones while going from one place to another from running into items in circulation.
 




309 Operable Parts requirements help all of us use elements in our daily life like door handles, pulls and toilet room accessories with ease, without confined space, out of reach, or hard-to-operate limitations.

U.S. Access Board graphic image of a Ramp identifying ten elements of section 405 ADA Standards for Ramp compliance.405 Ramps allow individuals with carts, strollers, or mobility devices to gain access to elevated spaces.
 

Accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Shapes with various symbols including the words Accessible and ICT and a person in the background with his finger touching one of the shapes
The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Use of Software, Algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence to Assess Job Applicants and Employees | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (eeoc.gov)

AccessGA

AccessGA Logo
AccessGA is a collaborative project of the State ADA Coordinator’s Office – Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission, the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Inclusive Design & Innovation (CIDI), and the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA). AccessGA’s purpose is to support State of Georgia agencies with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility, promoting equal and timely access for employees and customers with a wide range of disabilities.

Free AccessGA Project Virtual Training on Aug. 17th, 2022, from 10AM to 11:30 AM, entitled: Creating Accessible Word, PowerPoint, and PDF Documents

Registration closes on August 3rd, 2022!

This training is intended for State and local government employees in Georgia who have responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
 
If you are interested in attending this training session, please contact:

State ADA Coordinator’s Office
Phone: 404-657-7313
Email: Group.GeorgiaADA@gsfic.ga.gov
 

Extension of Self: What it Means to be Human in a Digital World

Extension of Self - What it means to be human in a digital world logo
Georgia Tech is hosting an exhibit that will run from August 8th, 2022 through October 14th, 2022 in the Price Gilbert Library Gallery. 

Experience a group exhibit of six artists and researchers working at the innovative intersection of art, science, technology and accessibility.
  These six artists are questioning what it means to be human in a digital world. Each piece is interactive and encourages the visitor to question our relationship with technology. The exhibit, Extension of Self: What it Means to be Human in a Digital World, will run from August 8 to October 14, 2022 in the Price Gilbert Library Gallery, 686-704 Cherry St NW Atlanta GA 30313. This exhibit is one of two exhibits made possible through generous sponsorship from Microsoft, Georgia Tech's Center for 21st Century Universities, the College of Computing, and the Library. Stay tuned to our social media and website for more information! Please join us for the artist talk and reception on Thursday, September 15, 4 - 8 p.m. Important Dates:
  • August 8 - October 14, 2022 (9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mon - Sun) Exhibition Open to the Public
  • September 15, 2022 4 - 8 p.m. Artist Talk and Reception - Please RSVP
Parking:
  • Visitor Area 1: North Avenue is the nearest parking lot to the library with ramps and flat pathways. There are other visitor lots available around campus. Parking at GT is $2/hour. 
Assistance Needed?
  • Please reach out to Birney Robert at brobert@cc.gatech.edu if you need any additional accommodations. 
  • A braille program will be provided in the gallery.
  • The artist talk on September 15 will be recorded, transcribed and uploaded onto the website.

Emergency Preparedness

August is Extreme Heat Safety Month!

Extreme Heat Infographic from Ready.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Heat and People with Chronic Medical Conditions Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): How to Stay Cool in Extreme Heat Video

A picture of the USA with most of it covered in red to show high heat indexes
Ready.gov: Extreme Heat Preparedness Information

September is National Preparedness Month!

September is National Preparedness Month Graphic
For more information, please visit: https://www.ready.gov/september
View of a big hurricane from space
 

Mental Health Wellness

9-8-8 National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Line Poster

ADA Training and Event Opportunities

Rectangular block with the word Training in the center with arrows pointing away to several bubbles with the words, Advising, Motivations, Goal, Education, Instruction, Learning, Knowledge, Mentor, Skills, Coach, Teaching, Ability, and Development.

 
ADA National Network Logo
Mid-Atlantic ADA Center Logo
Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
Job Accommodation Network
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

The October 2022 issue of The ADA Informer will focus on National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

We hope you are enjoying The ADA Informer - Quarterly E-Newsletter.  Please share this E-newsletter with someone who could benefit from this information by using the buttons below:
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For more information about the State of Georgia ADA Coordinator's Office:
visit our website or email us.
Copyright © 2022 State of Georgia ADA Coordinator's Office, All rights reserved.


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