New Disability Rights Today podcast! Episode 8: Perez v Sturgis Public Schools

On March 21, 2023, the United States Supreme Court in Perez v. Sturgis Public Schools unanimously decided that individuals who have entered into a settlement resolving their claims under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), can also pursue claims for money damages against school districts under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) without exhausting the administrative process under IDEA. This decision reverses a decision made by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Continue Reading

New ADA Live podcast! Episode 117: ADA and Effective Communication in Health Care Settings with the Department of Justice

For people with hearing loss and deafness, communication barriers in health care result in the inability to understand critical health information. In the United States, about 1 in every 8 people of all ages has some form of hearing loss. Behind arthritis and heart disease, hearing loss is the third most common disability. (Source: Continue Reading

Michael Morris, BBI’s Senior Advisor, selected to be the recipient of the 2023 NARRTC Distinguished Service Award

Barry Whaley, Michael Morris & Nanette Goodman
Left to right: Barry Whaley, Michael Morris & Nanette Goodman at the annual conference of NARRTC on April 23rd

NARRTC, formerly known as the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, selected Michael Morris to be the recipient of the 2023 NARRTC Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award is made to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of disability through research , teaching, service , or advocacy. It is the highest recognition conferred by NARRTC. Mr. Morris serves as Senior Advisor to the Burton Blatt Institute. Continue Reading

Jonathan Martinis, BBI Senior Director for Law and Policy, quoted in historical Michigan guardianship case

In courts across the country, Martinis has successfully argued adults with disabilities don’t always need the extreme step of guardianship. He says they can use Supported Decision-Making instead. “My favorite question when it comes to guardianship, what else have you tried? Before we decide to take rights away, shouldn’t we ask that question? Rights are precious,” said Jonathan Martinis, the Senior Director for Law and Policy at the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. Continue Reading

Honoring the Life and Work of Judy Heumann

Source: Southeast ADA Center and the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University (BBI)

Judith “Judy” Heumann

Judy HeumanFew individuals in the disability rights and justice movement had the impact of our friend, colleague, and collaborator, Judy Heumann. The Southeast ADA Center, the Burton Blatt Institute, and the Disability Inclusive Employment Policy Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RIEP RRTC) join with disability rights organizations across the country and around the world in expressing our sorrow at her passing. Our thoughts are with Judy’s husband Jorge and with her family and friends in this difficult time. We have included below a list of memorials and remembrances of Judy, as well as links to our past collaborations with her, including her Section 504 at 50 interview and her guest episodes on our ADA Live! podcast. Continue Reading

New ADA Live podcast! Episode 115: Living Well with Kidney Disease

In recognition of National Kidney Month in March, learn about kidney disease and your health, kidney transplants, and kidney donors. Our guest is Dr. Frita McRae Fisher, M.D., a board-certified physician and nephrologist with Midtown Nephrology, P.C., in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Frita is also a member of the Georgia National Kidney Foundation Board of Directors.

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BBI Evaluates an Innovative Approach to Psychiatric Advanced Directives across Seven California Counties

The Orange County, California Health Care Agency has contracted with BBI to conduct a four – year evaluation of an innovative web-based platform supporting the availability and accessibility of Psychiatric Advanced Directives (“PADs”) used by persons with mental health challenges. PADs are a form of self-determination that results in the creation of a legal document specifying a person with mental health challenges’ preferences for treatment and support when they are unable to make their own decisions. Continue Reading

Isabel Torrence Joins the BBI Team as a Research Associate

Isabel TorrencIsabel Torrence, BA, has joined the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University a Research Associate. She will help implement BBI’s evaluation of new technology supporting access and use of psychiatric advanced directives (PADs) across seven California counties. Isabel has been a BBI Research Assistant since 2021 and she worked on projects related to Supported Decision Making for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Ms. Torrence has experience in conducting both human rights studies and research on equity and inclusion for people with disabilities that are particularly relevant to the California PADs evaluation.