Access Currents: November/ December 2012

 

Marc D. Guthrie President Appoints Members to the Access Board
President Barack Obama recently appointed two new members to the U.S. Access Board.

Marc D. Guthrie of Newark, Ohio is the Director of Development and Advocacy for the American Council of the Blind of Ohio and an at-large member of the Newark City Council. He previously served as a member of the Access Board from 1996 to 2005 and as Executive Director of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Ohio from 1995 to 2001. Elected offices in Ohio previously held by Guthrie include President of the Newark City Council, Heath City Councilman, County Commissioner in Licking County, and State Representative from the 77th House District for six terms. As a state legislator, Guthrie authored Ohio's early intervention law for pre-school age children with disabilities.

Sachin Dev PavithranSachin Dev Pavithran of Logan, Utah is Program Director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program at Utah State University's Center for Persons with Disabilities, a position he has held since 2011. Before serving as Program Director, he served in a variety of other roles at the Center, including Program Coordinator and Disability Policy Analyst, since joining in 2002. Pavithran has more than 12 years of experience as a consultant on disability policy and developing and training users of assistive technology and accessible websites. He serves on the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs National Board, the Utah State Rehabilitation Council, the Research and Development Committee of the National Federation of the Blind, and the National Multicultural Council of the Association of University Centers for Disabilities.

The Board is comprised of 13 members from the public appointed by the President and representatives from 12 Federal departments. The new members succeed Neil Melick of West Palm Beach, Florida and Gary Talbot of Wilmington, Delaware.


Neil Melick Joins Access Board Staff Neil K. MelickNeil K. Melick has joined the staff of the Access Board where he will help oversee the agency's administrative operations and supervise staff within the Executive Director's Office.

Melick previously served as a member to the Board, a position he was appointed to by the President in 2007. Formerly of West Palm Beach, Florida, he served as the Assistant City Administrator for West Palm Beach and before that headed the city's Construction Services Department for 13 years. He was a Florida Licensed Building Codes Administrator and International Certified Building Official and previously chaired the Florida Accessibility Advisory Council and served on the Florida Building Commission's Accessibility Technical Advisory Committee.

 


Board Advisory Committee on Medical Diagnostic Equipment to Meet in January
The Access Board's Medical Diagnostic Equipment Accessibility Standards Advisory Committee will hold its next meeting January 22 and 23 at the Board's Conference Center at 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, D.C. Committee meetings are open to the public. The Board chartered this committee to advance its development of new accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment which it proposed for public comment earlier this year.

The meeting agenda and other details will be posted on the Board's website. Those interested in this rulemaking and the work of the committee can sign up to receive further updates.


Upcoming Board Webinars
The next scheduled webinars in the Board's free monthly series will cover accessible amusement rides (January 3) and accessible means of egress (February 7). The webinars, which are scheduled from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET), are made available in cooperation with the national network of ADA Centers. For more information, including registration instructions, visit www.accessibilityonline.org. Archived copies of previous webinars can be accessed on this site.


Deadline Reached for Full Accessibility of Fixed-Route Bus Fleets busBus fleets of private sector carriers that provide fixed-route service must now be fully accessible under a deadline set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in its ADA rules. DOT's regulations require that all over-the-road buses, which are those types of buses that have an elevated passenger deck over a baggage compartment, in a Class I carrier's fleet be accessible by October 29, 2012 according to guidelines developed by the U.S. Access Board in cooperation with DOT in 1998. DOT's rules effectively allowed a 14-year timeframe for all buses of a fleet to be retrofitted or replaced for compliance by this date. The rule applies to those carriers with gross transportation revenues of $9.3 million or more.

In advance of the deadline, DOT received requests from bus companies for additional time to equip and configure remaining buses in their fleets. DOT did not grant any extensions in view of the long-term compliance time frame. However, DOT, continued to make funding available to transit providers to support the purchase and installation of wheelchair lifts and related equipment. Since issuing its rules for over-the-road buses, DOT has provided a total of $100 million to over 400 private sector bus operators and funded installation of approximately 2,500 wheelchair lifts. DOT's ADA regulations also address access to public transit buses which were implemented prior to those for over-the-road buses.

For more information, visit DOT's website. Accessibility concerns or complaints related to over-the-road bus service should be directed to DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov or (888) 368-7238.


DOL and DOD Launch New Employee Recruitment Database
The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Department of Defense's Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity have launched a recruitment database for employers seeking a diverse workforce that includes employees with disabilities. The 2013 Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) database contains profiles of postsecondary students and recent graduates with disabilities, including veterans, representing a wide variety of academic backgrounds and degree levels. Candidates who are seeking summer employment as well as recent graduates looking for regular full-time positions have been interviewed and pre-screened by federal recruiters.

Over 20 federal government agencies regularly utilize the WRP as a recruiting source, with more than 6,500 students obtaining federal employment since 1995. Federal employers can access the new online database online at https://wrp.gov. Private sector employers can access the WRP through the Labor Department's National Employer Assistance and Resource Network athttp://www.AskEARN.org or (855) 275-3276.


Access Currents is a free newsletter issued by the Access Board every other month by mail and e-mail. Send questions or comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (800) 872-2253 ext. 0026 (voice) or (800) 993-2822 (TTY). Mailing address: 1331 F Street, N.W., Suite 1000; Washington, D.C. 20004-1111.