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Access Fairfax: News & Events for People with Disabilities 09-05-14


In this week’s edition:

  • Voters with Disabilities: Are You Ready for the November 2014 Election?

  • Therapeutic Recreation Program Expo

  • Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society Launches New Public Service Announcement

  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing to Distribute Free Currency Readers

  • Volunteer Sign Language Users Needed to Assist Older Adults, Adults with Disabilities

  • TPB Announces Enhanced Mobility Solicitation


Voters with Disabilities: Are You Ready for the November 2014 Election?

Big changes are coming to Fairfax County for the November 4, 2014 election, and they could impact YOU when you go to your polling place on Election Day.  NewPhoto Voter ID Requirements and a new voting system will be in place for the first time.  That’s why the Fairfax County Office of Elections and the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board are teaming up to invite you to come try out the accessible features of the new ES&S Express Vote machines and to get your new Virginia Voter Photo ID Card so you’ll be fully prepared for the next election.

When: Monday September 8 from 6-8:30 p.m.

  • 6-7:30p.m.—Voting Machine Testing and Voter Photo ID Card Distribution
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m.—Public Comment and Fairfax County Office of Elections presentation to the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board

Where:  Fairfax County Government Center
12000 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, Virginia 22035
Conference Rooms 2/3

This is YOUR opportunity to make sure that you won’t run into any barriers when you cast your ballot on Election Day, and to share your experiences as a voter with a disability with the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board and the Fairfax County Office of Elections, so don’t miss out!

For more information, or to request an ADA reasonable accommodation, contact Matthew Barkley at Voice: 703-324-5868, TTY: 703-449-1186 or


Therapeutic Recreation Program Expo

Come join Therapeutic Recreation Services for a Therapeutic Recreation Program Expo to learn about the recreation, leisure, and respite opportunities available for people with disabilities of all ages! Activities will be provided for children and teens while parents discover all of the exciting programs and services Therapeutic Recreation Services has to offer for residents of Fairfax County, Fairfax City and Falls Church City. For more information, call 703-324-4600.

September 13, 2014
10 a.m.- noon
James Lee Community Center (2855 Annandale Rd., Falls Church, VA)


Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society Launches New Public Service Announcement

As part of their alliance, the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) and the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) released a PSA to Major League Baseball clubs and their minor league affiliates. This PSA featuring Curtis Pride is part of a multi-year outreach initiative, "Ability Transcends Challenges," undertaken by PBATS to educate the public about the talents of people with disabilities in sports and in the workplace. In his own words, Pride, who is deaf and played 11 years in the major leagues, talks about being accepted for his talent. He urges everyone to give people with disabilities an opportunity to prove themselves.


Bureau of Engraving and Printing to Distribute Free Currency Readers

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is distributing free currency reader devices to people who are blind or visually impaired as part of an effort to improve access to printed money. BEP will begin a four-month pilot program in September 2 in partnership with the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) that will enable NLS patrons to pre-order the devices. NLS administers a free library program that circulates braille and audio materials to approximately 400,000 people through a national network of cooperating libraries. BEP will use this pilot phase to test ordering and distribution processes and to gauge demand.

A nationwide roll-out of the program will be initiated early next year. Starting on January 2, 2015, currency readers will be widely available to all U.S. citizens or persons legally residing in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired. To request a currency reader, those who are not NLS patrons must submit an application signed by a competent authority who can certify eligibility. For further information on the program or applying for a currency reader, visit BEP's website.


Volunteer Sign Language Users Needed to Assist Older Adults, Adults with Disabilities

The Fairfax Area Agency on Aging is seeking volunteers who use sign language to assist older adults and adults with disabilities in Reston, Herndon and Vienna with computer support, grocery shopping, and social visiting. Volunteer Solutions provides meaningful volunteer opportunities to improve the lives of older adults and adults with disabilities in Fairfax County.

Learn more.


TPB Announces Enhanced Mobility Solicitation

The Transportation Planning Board is pleased to announce the first grant solicitation under the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program. This new Federal Transit Administration program offers matching grants to qualifying agencies and projects to help meet gaps in transit service for people with disabilities and/or older adults.

$5.07 million in federal funding is available; applicants must identify the requisite matching funds of 50{31ab897a4370feb218155abc15d7b38f5bba01528a749bd66fe114ec092a63fc} for operating projects and 20{31ab897a4370feb218155abc15d7b38f5bba01528a749bd66fe114ec092a63fc} for capital projects or mobility management prior to applying for a grant.

For additional information and the online application:


ADA Question of the Week

Did the restaurant handle this situation correctly? Lois has a severe peanut allergy that puts her into anaphylactic shock.  She has a service dog who detects the presence of peanuts and alerts her. She attempts to take her service dog with her to a restaurant.  The restaurant tells her she cannot bring her dog into the restaurant unless she shows them some type of certification or doctor’s note.

Question from last week Are pregnant employees covered under Title I of the ADA?

Answer: In some circumstances, employees with pregnancy-related impairments may be covered by the ADA. Although pregnancy itself is not an impairment within the meaning of the ADA and thus is not a disability, pregnant workers and job applicants are not excluded from the ADA's protections. Changes to the definition of the term "disability" resulting from the enactment of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 make it much easier for individuals with pregnancy-related impairments to demonstrate that they have disabilities and are thus entitled to the ADA's protection.

Pregnancy-related impairments are disabilities if they substantially limit one or more major life activities or substantially limited major life activities in the past. Major life activities that may be affected by pregnancy-related impairments include walking, standing, and lifting, as well as major bodily functions such as the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. The term disability should be construed broadly, and the determination of whether someone has a disability should not demand extensive analysis. An impairment does not have to prevent, or severely or significantly restrict, performance of a major life activity to be considered substantially limiting, and impairments of short duration that are sufficiently limiting can be disabilities.

The ADA also covers pregnant workers who are regarded as having disabilities. An employer regards a pregnant worker as having a disability if it takes an adverse action against her (e.g., refuses to hire or terminates her) because of an actual or perceived pregnancy-related impairment, unless the employer can demonstrate that the impairment is transitory (lasting or expected to last for six months or less) and minor.

Thanks to Doris Ray, Sheri Abrams, and Don Kissinger for responding!

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The articles above are included for information purposes and do not represent Fairfax County Government’s opinion or endorsement.

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