The Southeast ADA Center serves Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Our region includes large urban centers, such as Atlanta, Georgia and Miami, Florida, as well as the very rural areas of northern Mississippi and eastern Kentucky. In order to meet the varied needs of stakeholders throughout our diverse region, the Southeast ADA Center funds an eight-state Affiliate Network to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA through outreach, training and dissemination of accurate ADA information to individuals, businesses, employers, professionals and state and local governments within each state. The Affiliate Network consists of state and local groups and organizations that represent the interests of individuals with disabilities and family members. Our Center provides financial support, technical assistance and training to help our State Affiliates promote voluntary ADA compliance throughout each state.
WADA ADA Live!
ADA Live!, the Center’s internet-based radio station, airs from 1:00 - 1:30 pm ET on the first Wednesday of each month. ADA Live! reaches an average of 700 listeners each month, providing accurate information delivered by regional and national experts. Listeners can post questions and download resources for each of the 27 shows to date at www.adalive.org, a fully accessible and interactive website.
Trained volunteers and staff from two state affiliates, Disability Rights and Resources (Alabama) and LIFE of Mississippi, have conducted nearly 250 ADA accessibility site surveys of local businesses and government facilities. In 2015, Disability Rights and Resources also conducted a survey of accessible parking at Birmingham businesses. The most common problems were a lack of signage at parking spaces and failure to identify the closest accessible entrance. The purpose of these surveys is to encourage voluntary removal of barriers and facilitate the inclusion of individuals with disabilities as they move from institutions such as group and nursing homes back into the community. To date, 30 percent of the entities surveyed have made accessibility changes.
Two North Carolina state affiliates, the Alliance of Disability Advocates and the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities, worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities to create and pilot a publication called The Leader’s Guide: Starting the Conversation with A Business. This guide can help community groups made up of individuals with disabilities successfully work with businesses to make one or two readily achievable changes that would improve accessibility. State affiliates in Tennessee and Mississippi have also piloted this tool. Surveyed sites are using this information to make the suggested access changes.
Access to Voting
The Southeast ADA Center’s Tennessee state affiliate, the Tennessee Disability Coalition, collaborated with the Tennessee Secretary of State and Disability Rights Tennessee to develop a video called Accessible Elections for Tennessee Voters. It demonstrates an accessible polling place and voting process for Tennesseans with all types of disabilities. This resource for election officials, poll workers, and the disability community is posted on the Tennessee Disability Coalition's website. The video was shown at the June 8, 2015 Annual Meeting of the Association of County Election Officials.
ADA Training for Veterans
The southeastern region of the U.S. has 82 military bases and is home to nearly 30 percent of all veterans. Approximately 25 percent of the veterans from the current wars have a service-connected disability.
Two Southeast ADA Center state affiliates, MLM Associates, Inc. (Kentucky) and Boley Centers, Inc. (Florida), worked with military and veterans groups to identify the specific needs of this population and provide them information about the ADA.
MLM Associates trained National Guard troops at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and developed a publication, Guide for Veterans: Know Your Employment Rights Under the ADA.
In Florida, Boley Centers, Inc. provided ADA and employment training for homeless veterans who are seeking jobs. Nearly three-quarters of the veterans who participated in the training are now successfully employed. Participants reported that “learning I did not have to reveal my disability” and “understanding what accommodation I could ask for” were key benefits from the trainings.1
Parent to Parent (P2P) of Georgia is the Center’s newest State affiliate. Its mission is supporting families and individuals with disabilities from birth to age 26.
In 2014, P2P collaborated with the Southeast ADA Center in the delivery of two webinars:
- “ADA Basics” (215 registered)
- The Southeast ADA Center collaborated with the Mid-Atlantic, Pacific and Northeast ADA Centers to create a four-part ADA Basics webinar series, in English and Spanish.
- “Youth Transition to Employment” (161 registered)
- Participants joined from across the country.
- In 2015, P2P also focused on embedding ADA information in their train-the-trainer workshops which had 30 participants from across the state of Georgia.
ADA Training and Information
“ADA Basic Building Blocks”, one of four fully accessible online courses developed and maintained by the Southeast ADA Center, is used by state and local governments in several states to provide accurate, on-demand training for all staff. Users include the City of Jacksonville, Florida; New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families; Volusia County (FL) Division of Corrections; State of Alaska Department of Administration; and the South Florida Workforce. Kansas Works and the Seminole County (FL) 911 use the online course, “At Your Service: Welcoming Customers with Disabilities”, for ongoing staff training.