What to do when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Impacts Case Settlements:
The Benefits of an Accessibility-Focused Case Evaluation

A White Paper by Michael Fiore

One of the likely unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that Special Need Trusts (SNT’s) may be impacted due to settlement criteria that can be based on past, present, and future medical needs.

Read the White Paper

Teleseminars on Disability, Diversity, and the Changing Workforce. One hour of learning that can change the way that you think.

Tech Update: Read an article about the implications of 32-bit and 64-bit processors for Assistive Technology Solutions.

Looking for qualified candidates with disabilities?
A Job Board for job seekers with disabilities and the businesses looking to hire them.

Key Factors that Assist Employers to Recruit, Interview, Hire and Retain People with Disabilities

Read the full report – PDF

Janet Fiore, The Sierra Group, was featured in Business Journal

Janet Fiore, The Sierra Group, was featured in this week’s Business Journal CEO Profile! In fact, she made the front page!! The article shares her life motto, yardstick of success & more. Check it out at: The Philadelphia Business Journal CEO Profile.

Janet was also recently featured on Executive Leaders Radio program! Read some insights into the woman behind The Sierra Group!

Access Achievement Award

Mayor Nutter and Janet Fiore

On October 21st, The Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities recognized Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group, with an Access Achievement Award for her work and dedication to people with disabilities.

Video of Janet Fiore's acceptance speech at the Philadelphia Mayor's Commission Access Achievement Award on October 21, 2011.

Sierra Group Foundation Liberty Academy & Philadelphia Business Journal

Philadelphia business Journal event

In conjunction with Disability Mentoring Day, The Academy had representatives at The Philadelphia Business Journal’s Best Places to Work event in October. For the first time, this event honored companies that hired people with disabilities.

U.S. Census Bureau released a new report entitled "Americans With Disabilities: 2010"

The U.S. Census Bureau released a new report entitled "Americans With Disabilities: 2010," which states that 56.7 million Americans or 1 in 5, has a disability, with more than half of these individuals reporting the disability as significant.

Included in the findings was that between 2005 and 2010, the number of individuals with disabilities increased at the same rate as the general population.

Read the "Americans With Disabilities: 2010 " in PDF format.

New reports and estimates on

  • 2009 Disability Status Reports for the US, all 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico (pdf & accessible HTML versions).
  • Spanish language versions of all 53 Disability Status Reports for 2008 and 2009.
  • Enhanced interactive disability statistics search tool now includes both 2008 and 2009 ACS estimates as well as 2010 CPS work limitation disability estimates.

EEOC Publishes ADAAA Final Regulations – Effective May 24, 2011

"The EEOC’s final regulations implementing the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) were published in the March 25, 2011 Federal Register. They become effective May 24, 2011. The major focus of the regulations is the definition of a disability."

"The Act and the new regulations will make it easier for individuals to claim protection under the law, as the definition of a disability is broadened and easier to meet. This will result in the need for employers to provide more accommodations, and will require employers to shift their focus from whether an individual has a disability to whether discrimination occurred." – EHS & Safety News America

Read the full article from EHS & Safety News America,EEOC Publishes ADAAA Final Regulations – Effective May 24, 2011.

Now Microsoft Wins with Accessible Recruiting

The Sierra Group thanks Suzanne Robitaille of for this article summarizing a few of the highlights from our teleseminar on "Accessible Recruiting, Part I".

Hiring a diverse workforce has many benefits, such as giving a company a more multicultural perspective that can enhance their product offerings. When hiring a candidate with a disability, however, there are a few extra steps a company can take to make sure the experience is accessible – and successful — for everyone.

Read the full article.

You can find out more about our teleseminars at and

The Sierra Group is proud to offer CART services (Communication Access Realtime Translation)

The Sierra Group is proud to offer CART services (Communication Access Realtime Translation) for all of our Teleseminar and Web-based training broadcasts. Check out a TV clip of one of our CART service providers (ACS) on the Chicago NBC Affilitate!

Revised ADA Regulations Implementing Title II and Title III take effect March 15, 2011

Revised regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) take effect on March 15, 2011. The regulations apply to the activities of more than 80,000 units of state and local government and more than seven million places of public accommodation, including stores, restaurants, museums, sporting arenas, movie theaters, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, hotels, jails and prisons, polling places and emergency preparedness shelters.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Announces Final Bipartisan Regulations ADA Amendments Act

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) final regulations to implement the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) have been released. Like the law they implement, the regulations simplify the determination of who has a “disability” and will make it easier for people to establish that they are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). EEOC has several fact sheets that explain the ADAAA, including Questions and Answers on the Final Rule Implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 and Questions and Answers for Small Businesses: The Final Rule Implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

Excerpt from the blog of Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President:

The ADAAA sent the message to the American people that individuals with disabilities must be full and equal members of our society. With the release of the EEOC’s regulations, employers across the country will have a clear set of guidelines and rules of the road to ensure equality for Americans with disabilities. This will help ensure civil rights protection for people with “invisible disabilities.” Moreover, the EEOC’s regulations restore the original intent of Congress to cover many disabilities that had been excluded by the courts such as multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, diabetes and many others, meaning that more people will be able to reach for the American dream.
Approximately 1 out of every 6 Americans lives with a disability. And millions more have a family member or friend who lives with a disability. Thanks to a bipartisan spirit, with these EEOC regulations, millions of people will be able to successfully put their American work ethic to use helping our businesses, our governments and our schools out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the global competition to win the future.

ADA Amendments Act - What you NEED to know! READ this article by leading experts, Janet Fiore, CEO & Jill Fisher, Esq.

thumbnail of counterpoint articleThe July 2009 edition of Counterpoint, The Official Publication of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute features an article written by subject matter experts Janet Fiore, The Sierra Group, and Jill Fisher, Esquire, Zarwin, Baum, DeVito, Kaplan, Schaer, Toddy, P.C. Pennsylvania Defense Institute Counterpoint July 2009

This published article is a quick reference for any hiring manager, human resource or rehabilitation professional who needs a clear, factual update on the changes to this important piece of civil rights legislation. Fiore and Fisher consult and speak on this topic locally, regionally and nationally. Contact us for more information on a presentation or consultation.

Read the full article in PDF format. 372 K (opens in a new browser window)

ADA Amendments Act of 2008 Publications

The USBLN® is pleased to announce that Robert "Bobby" Silverstein, a principal with the Washington, D.C. law firm Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville, is available to provide consultations on the employment provisions of the final regulation implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. In addition to his law practice, he also serves as director of the Center for the Study and Advancement of Disability Policy. Prior to joining the law firm, Mr. Silverstein spent over ten years on Capitol Hill where he was staff director and chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy where he was the behind-the-scenes architect of 20 bills enacted into law including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Mr. Silverstein prepared the attached three documents for the USBLN® members. These highly informative publications include an "Overview of the EEOC Final Regulation Implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008," a detailed "Description and Analysis of EEOC's Final Regulation Implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008," and "Resource Materials for the ADA Amendments Act of 2008" that includes several important links.

ADA Amendments Act resource material - MS Word.

Description and Analysis of EEOC's final regulations implementation of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 - MS Word.

Overview of EEOC Final Regulation Implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 - MS Word

Veterans' Benefits Update: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Begins Pilot Programs to Speed Payments to Veterans with Disabilities

The VA has launched two pilot programs to find new ways to speed up the payment of VA compensation benefits to Veterans with disabilities connected to their military service. The "Quick Pay" (QP) Disability Program and the "Express Lane" (EL) Pilot are among more than 3 dozen VA initiatives exploring new ways to deliver benefits and improve service to Veterans.

Self Employment/Entrepreneurship Update: Home Based Businesses

What do Apple Computer, Hershey Chocolate, Mary Kay Cosmetics and the Ford Motor Company have in common? They all started out as home based businesses.  Find resources that will help you learn more about working out of your house, starting a home-based business and managing your business.

Many veterans with PTSD struggle to find supportive employment

Experts say simple accommodations can greatly improve their success in the workplace, but many employers are still wary of hiring those with mental disabilities.

Read the full LA Times article.

Military and Federal Employee Discounts

Many businesses offer military discounts; all you have to do is ask.

All Federal employees are able to get a 15% discount on their personal cell phones by calling their carrier and mentioning the "Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 - Discount to Federal Employees Past and Present."

More information on how to obtain Military and Federal Employee Discounts. 24 K (opens in a new browser window)

US Labor Department Helps Employers Understand Responsibilities under Disability Nondiscrimination Laws

New online tool helps further equality and full access for people with disabilities

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor unveiled a new tool to help America's employers ensure their employment policies and practices do not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities.

"Today, we made it easier for employers of all sizes to access the talents of the 36 million Americans with disabilities," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathleen Martinez. "By providing this interactive and easy-to-use online tool, both workers and employers can readily access and understand their rights and responsibilities under our federal disability nondiscrimination laws."

The online Disability Nondiscrimination Law Advisor, available at, helps employers quickly and simply determine which federal disability nondiscrimination laws apply to their business or organization and their responsibilities under them. It asks users to answer a few relevant questions in order to take into account relevant variables, such as nature of organization, size of staff and whether the business or organization receives federal financial assistance. Based on the responses provided, the advisor then generates a customized list of federal disability nondiscrimination laws that likely apply, along with easy-to-understand information about employers' responsibilities under them.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) Expands Compassionate Allowance

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it is adding 38 more conditions to its list of Compassionate Allowances. The new conditions range from adult brain disorders to rare diseases that primarily affect children. Compassionate Allowances are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that clearly qualify for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability benefits. It allows the agency to electronically target and make speedy decisions for the most obviously disabled individuals.


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