NCD Summit: Disability Policy as the ADA turns Twenty
On July 25-28, 2010, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the National Council on Disability (NCD) will be convening its National Summit on Disability Policy 2010: Living, Learning & Earning. Lainey Feingold will be participating in this historic gathering.
In this post you can read about
- The NCD and the goals of the 20th Anniversary Summit
- References to Structured Negotiations in NCD Position Papers
You can also read a Simplified Summary of this Document
What is the NCD and the NCD Summit?
The NCD is an independent federal agency charged with making recommendations to the President and Congress on issues affecting people with disabilities in the United States. The Summit, being held in Washington, D.C. over a three day period, is designed to recognize past disability policy achievements and, in the words of NCD Chair Jonathan Young, “take some aggressive and unconventional steps toward moving disability policy in new directions.”
Young took over as chairperson of the NCD this past March, along with seven other new Council members. The Council is comprised of 15 members who have been appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Read more about NCD members and staff. Young emphasized collaboration and relationship building - two hallmarks of Structured Negotiations — in both describing both his goals as new NCD chair and a principle of the Summit:
My primary objective is to build a solid foundation for NCD to carry its work into the future and that means being able to COORDINATE and COLLABORATE effectively across the Federal Government, with state and local governments, and with a variety of stakeholders within the disability community.
We are convinced that relationship-building and sharing of best practices is a critical part of the policy development process, because effective relationships and partnerships are typically as important as the merits of policy ideas themselves when it comes to implementing them.— Jonathan Young, Chair, National Council on Disability
The 2010 Summit has three principle objectives:
- Identify emerging and cross-cutting opportunities to enhance Living, Learning & Earning for people with disabilities
- Establish new mechanisms and build upon existing ones to improve coordination and implementation of disability policies, programs, and practices
- Energize collaborative networks to guide future development of disability policy
Structured Negotiations and NCD Policy Papers
One of the key functions of the National Council on Disability is to research critical disability policy issues and present findings and recommendations to Congress in the form of position papers. Structured Negotiations as developed by the Law Office of Lainey Feingold and co-counsel Linda Dardarian have been referenced in at least three position papers issued by the NCD. A complete listing of all NCD reports by year, back to 1984, can be found on the Newsroom page of the NCD website.
Self-Service Airline Kiosks
The NCD Position Paper on Access to Airline Self-Service Kiosk Systems, published in 2006, found that the blind community’s success with Talking ATMs was “instructive” when considering the need for accessible airline kiosks. The NCD paper, as with the upcoming NCD summit, recognized the value of collaboration and relationship building:
The remarkable fact is that the banking industry joined in the accessible-ATM effort without having been brought into court. Although litigation can be useful, the process is often tortuous as well as counter to eliciting timely cooperation. As Feingold observes: “Lawsuits can cause people to dig in their heels and inherently set up roadblocks to real communication. …their use must be carefully considered when technology is involved.” The reality is that technological advances can by far outpace legal ones. — NCD Position Paper on Airline Self-Service Kiosks
The United States Access Board referenced the NCD’s Self-Service Kiosk paper in it’s pending Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making regarding self-service kiosks.
ADA Best Practices
Structured Negotiations was also discussed in NCD’s 2007 report titled “Implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act: Challenges, Best Practices, and New Opportunities for Success“. After discussing some of the details of Structured Negotiations, the report recognized that as of 2007, the approach has been used “for more than 10 years and has a strong record of success in achieving corporate cooperation:”
Feingold and her co-counsel, Linda Dardarian, have achieved considerable success with the structured negotiation approach, having entered 22 binding settlement agreements to date with some of the biggest companies in the country, including American Express, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, and 7-Eleven. — NCD Position Paper on ADA Best Practices
The NCD 2007 ADA Implementation Report also referenced a series of best practices in ADA class action litigation developed by Lainey Feingold and Denver disability rights lawyer Amy Robertson.
Health Care Access
The use of Structured Negotiations to improve access for people with disabilities at UCSF Medical Center was cited in a 2009 NCD report titled “The Current State of Health Care for People with Disabilities” More information about the use of Structured Negotiations and health care access is available in the Health Care Access Category on this website.