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Massachusetts Office On Disability Blog

Author Archives: Rita DiNunzio

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Commonwealth Disability Mentoring Week 2018 posted on May 29

The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) and the Human Resources Division (HRD) are partnering to host a second annual “Disability Mentoring Week (DMW),” a chance for people with disabilities to access and explore career development opportunities within state government. During DMW, mentees with disabilities are matched with workplace mentors according to expressed career interests. Mentees participate in a career exploration experience and make connections with mentors and other personnel. Employers gain increased awareness and understanding of how people with disabilities can be involved in their candidate recruitment processes.

Accessible Routes in Play Areas posted on May 27

This post will cover the accessible route requirements for play areas.  Specifically, I want to take a look at the requirements for the provision of an accessible route to and around the play equipment as laid out under the 2006 revision of the Massachusetts Architectural   …Continue Reading Accessible Routes in Play Areas

5 Ways to Improve Event Accessibility

5 Ways to Improve Event Accessibility posted on May 25

Participation in civic and social events is an important part of community life. Public and private entities with obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have an obligation to ensure that events and meetings open to the public are accessible to anyone who may want to attend. Here we outline a few basic steps entities can take to improve access.

Aging and Disability in New England

Aging and Disability in New England posted on Feb 25

A study to identify the profile of people with disabilities in New England reveals that New England has the largest percentage of Baby Boomers in the United States. This and other findings are highlighted in the slideshow, ‘Aging, Disability and the Americans with Disabilities Act’ and a research report, ‘An Examination of Disability in New England: A Demographic Study’ (2018)’ both by the New England ADA Center.

Lupus Awareness Month posted on Feb 21

Massachusetts General Law recognizes May as Lupus Awareness Month. Although Lupus affects approximately 1.5 million Americans, challenges remain regarding awareness and accurate knowledge about the disease.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Effective April 1st posted on Feb 20

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“the Act”), issued January 23, 2018, amends the Massachusetts law prohibiting discrimination in employment, M.G.L. c. 151B, §4, enforced by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). The Act, effective on April 1, 2018, expressly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions and requires employers to accommodate pregnant workers.

Massachusetts Architectural Access Board Process 101 posted on Feb 20

An important aspect of promoting independence for people with disabilities is physical access to public buildings. In Massachusetts, the Architectural Access Board (AAB) develops and enforces regulations designed to make public buildings accessible to, functional for, and safe for use by persons with disabilities. Section 521 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), enforced by the AAB, is the state building code that outlines the requirements for accessibility in buildings that are open to the public. 521 CMR also establishes a process for members of the public who wish to file a complaint about a noncompliant building.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day in Massachusetts posted on Feb 14

February 14th is recognized as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day under Massachusetts General law. The primary purpose of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day is to raise awareness of Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) which, according to the American Heart Association, is the most common birth defect, affecting more than 40,000 babies born in the United States each year.

Tax Incentives for Employers and Businesses for Creating Disability Access

Tax Incentives for Employers and Businesses for Creating Disability Access posted on Feb 6

Attention businesses and employers: Did you know there are tax credits and deductions available to employ persons with disabilities and to make accessibility improvements?

The vast majority of businesses and employers have distinct obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure equal employment opportunities and to remove accessibility barriers for persons with disabilities. Not only are Americans with disabilities contributing members of the workforce and valuable customers, but there are also incentives in the form of tax credits and deductions for meeting ADA obligations.

April is Autism Awareness Month posted on Feb 2

Massachusetts General Law dedicates April to raising awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which is estimated to be the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Please share this post to help promote greater awareness and understanding of ASD and the resources that are available.