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Burton Blatt Institute Receives $6.2 Million Award from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for the Southeast ADA Center

Posted on Monday 10/17/2016
The Southeast ADA Center-sponsored Moneywise conference focusing on the ADA and financial inclusion of people with disabilities.

The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) has been awarded a five year, $6.23 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Administration on Community Living (ACL), National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) for the Southeast Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center.

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the Southeast ADA Center provides information, training and guidance about the ADA throughout the eight state Southeast region. BBI provides the Center with analyses of legal issues affecting the ADA as well as other resources such as “plain language” legal briefs written by Syracuse University College of Law students.

“For the past ten years, the Southeast ADA Center has provided leading-edge, accessible information on all aspects of the ADA,” said Peter Blanck, University Professor at Syracuse University College of Law and Chairman of BBI. “This grant, our third five-year commitment, enables BBI and the Southeast ADA Center to continue to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families by fostering ADA understanding and compliance.”

Pamela Williamson, project director of the Southeast ADA Center, said that “this grant continues the Southeast ADA Center’s partnership with an extensive network of dedicated partners at the national, state, and local levels.” Williamson notes that “over the past ten years, the Southeast ADA Center has developed creative, accessible, and low-cost ways, including the launch of an accessible online radio program, to disseminate information to a broad audience of partners and stakeholders.”

In addition to funding ongoing operations, the award will enable the Southeast ADA Center to conduct new research examining the accessibility of financial services, at physical and online sites, for people with disabilities. Several studies will examine financial accessibility as an aspect of community inclusion and participation. Michael Morris, BBI Executive Director, notes that “there is a critical need for information on how financial institutions provide accessible services for people with disabilities.” The Southeast ADA Center “will collaborate with individuals with disabilities, banks, and credit unions to gain a better understanding of gaps in accessibility. The research will help financial institutions address these issues and educate the public on possible solutions.”

“This program is just one example of the many important initiatives that the Burton Blatt Institute spearheads to advance the full participation of people with disabilities,” said College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “In addition to positively affecting numerous individuals and communities, the Institute provides many practical learning experiences for College of Law students who are interested in disability rights law.”

About the Southeast ADA Center

The Southeast ADA Center answers questions, and provides training and information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Center, based in Atlanta, Georgia, serves an eight-state geographic region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) and has network of partners in each state that includes Centers for Independent Living (CILs), individuals with and without disabilities, small and large employers and businesses, nonprofit organizations and universities, and state and local government agencies. The Center is one of ten regional ADA centers in the ADA National Network. For more information, visit: www.adasoutheast.org.

About the Burton Blatt Institute

The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University reaches around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, former dean of SU’s School of Education and a pioneering disability rights scholar, to better the lives of people with disabilities. BBI’s main offices are located in Syracuse, NY, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, GA.