20 06 2008

Collaboration Leads to Revised ADA Bill

The proposed law will expand narrow court interpretations that have restricted ADA coverage in the workplace for people with disabilities. It is expected to increase the overall number of disabled people able to request reasonable accommodations, but should not have a significant impact on ADA employment policies already in place.

by Tom Starner

June 19, 2008

Human Resource Executive Online


Since becoming federal law in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act has had a major impact on the U.S. workplace. The problem is, whatever the ADA’s net effect has been on employment and the working disabled in general, subsequent legal decisions have led to as much frustration as success.


20 06 2008

Police request help in case of electric bike stolen from disabled man

From staff reports

16 June 2008

Ventura County Star


Camarillo police are asking for the public’s help in the case of an electric bicycle stolen from a disabled man last week.

The $2,500 electric bicycle was parked near the front of the Target store at 209 W. Ventura Blvd. in Camarillo when it was stolen about 2:20 p.m. June 12, police said in a statement Tuesday night. The bicycle, an 18-inch Tidal Force M-750 High Performance unit, had a lock on it, but it was not attached to a stationary object.

Surveillance video showed a heavy set woman casing the area then carrying the 80-pound bicycle to a 2-door sedan in front of the store, putting it on a bike rack attached to the rear of the sedan and driving away, police said.

The electric bicycle’s owner, who asked to remain anonymous, is a disabled man who is unable to drive. The bicycle is his primary method of transportation.

Police are asking anyone with information about the theft to call Det. M. Luna at 388-5116.

To give an anonymous tip, call Crime Stoppers at 494-TALK. Tipsters who give information that leads to an arrest and criminal complaint against a suspect could receive up to $1,000 cash.

18 06 2008

Police: Spilled salad led O.D. Heck aide to assault client

Two others aides charged with not intervening

June 17, 2008

by J. Jude Hazard

Daily Gazette Reporter

Schenectady, N. Y.


Mechanicville — The O.D. Heck Developmental Facility aide accused of assaulting a developmentally disabled client outside a McDonald’s restaurant earlier this month has been charged with misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person.

Christina Brandon, 46, of 482 5th Ave., Troy, voluntarily appeared in City Court this afternoon to face the charges. She is accused of punching a female patient in the upper right side of her chest after the patient spilled her food as aides and clients sat in a van outside the restaurant on June 5.

The punch caused a purple-colored bruise, according to court records.

A witness statement given to police claims Brandon was heard yelling at the victim, “You spilled my [expletive] salad.”

Two of the aides present for the alleged assault and who police said failed to intervene, Natalie Richardson, 49, of 25 Swan St., Schenectady, and Dranae Washington, 37, of 227 Elm St., Schenectady, were charged today with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person.

Police have not yet been able to contact the fourth aide present during the incident, Sharon Butler. Mechanicville Police Chief Joseph Waldron said he does not believe Butler is attempting to evade police.

The attorney representing Brandon, Sanford Finkel, declined comment after today’s court appearance. Glen Brownell, the attorney for Washington, also declined comment. Richardson appeared without an attorney and was unavailable for comment.

All three women were processed and released without bail. Their next court appearances are scheduled for July 1.

18 06 2008

Ylitornio killer left farewell letter for his remaining three children

Gun licences not subject to age restrictions

Helsingin Sanomat

18 June 2008


The 88-year-old veteran who shot and killed his two mentally disabled adult daughters, his wife, and finally himself on Sunday also had three other children, for whom he left a farewell note.

According to police, the letter was found in the man’s home and its content deals with family matters. The motive for the killings cannot directly be deduced from the letter.

The man shot his victims with a Russian-made handgun and himself with a sawn-off shotgun.

The man did not have a licence for the Russian revolver, which he had presumably brought back as a souvenir from the Second World War. The firearm certificates for the shotgun were in order.
The tragedy started on Sunday afternoon, when the old man killed his 49-year-old disabled twin daughters at his home.

The daughters lived in a nursing home and visited their parents during the weekends.

According to the police, the victims had been shot in the head from close range. One of the women had been killed on the bed, the other one on the sofa. There were no signs of struggle.

After having killed his daughters, the old man drove to the Ylitornio Health Centre, where his 82-year-old wife was a bed patient.

According to police, the man fired one or two shots in the health centre. His wife was hit in the head and was subsequently rushed to the Oulu University Hospital by a medical helicopter. She later died of her injuries.
With the wife in the same room there was also another patient, who presumably saw the incident.

The police were alerted to the shooting at the health centre at 14.45 on Sunday afternoon. A unit arrived at the scene within three minutes, but the man had already left.

From the health centre the man fled back home by car. Police followed him there, a distance of around 10 kilometres, and shortly afterwards the officers heard a single gunshot from the house.

Police officers then found the man and his daughters dead inside the building.

Before the man killed himself the police managed to reach him briefly by telephone but the man terminated the call quickly.

The police are looking into the incident as a triple murder. According to the local chief of police Seppo Kinnunen, the shooter’s actions were showed specific intent, and presented little danger to outsiders.
When interviewed, the locals have described the man as extrovert, helpful and “very family-oriented”.

The motive for the killings remains unclear.
The licence to bear arms cannot be cancelled on grounds of the advanced age of the permit holder, explains superintendent Liisa Timonen of the Ministry of the Interior Lottery and Gun Control Unit. A successful applicant’s licence to bear arms is usually granted “until further notice”.

The permit can be revoked by the police, if the person commits a violent crime, a drug offence, or a firearms offence.

A negligent way of life, mental health problems, and memory illnesses also affect the granting of a gun licence.

With regard to supervision, proactiveness is called for from the authorities. Doctors, for one, are not obligated to inform the police if, say, a gun licence holder’s health has weakened.

The law on firearm licences will be revised within the next two years to comply with EU directives.

18 06 2008

Businesses Face Push to Expand Disabled Access

by Elizabeth Williamson and Kris Maher

17 June 2008

The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. is moving on two fronts this week to expand businesses’ obligations to accommodate disabled people, in a legislative and regulatory push that risks a backlash from millions of businesses worried about costs.

On Wednesday, two House committees will finish crafting a bill that broadens the population entitled to employment rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, reversing Supreme Court decisions narrowing it. The bill could come to a vote before the July 4 recess, if lawmakers reach agreement. Also this week, the Bush administration will begin seeking public comment on 1,000 pages of proposed rules — covering issues …

17 06 2008

Deputies: Man Tied Disabled Girlfriend To Wheelchair

Woman’s 8-Year-Old Daughter Escapes Unharmed

16 June 2008



Madison, N.C. — A man who tied his disabled girlfriend to her wheelchair Saturday afternoon at a home in Madison, N.C., was arrested after the woman’s 8-year-old daughter escaped and called 911, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Dean Venable said.

Police said 34-year-old Darlene Brown had left to visit relatives, but returned to find her boyfriend of 10 years, 46-year-old Thomas Pruitt, drinking alcohol and upset with her.

Deputies said the two got into a verbal argument, then Pruitt tied her to the chair with a pair of underwear and kicked her after she fell over trying to escape.

Deputies said when they arrived at the home they found Brown partially naked, lying face down on the porch.

“She was attempting to break away when she fell over,” Venable said.

A K-9 unit was brought in to assist in the search for Pruitt, who was located a short time later.

He was charged with communicating threats, kidnapping, assault on a female, assault by strangulation, resisting a public officer, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was also charged with interfering with emergency communication after deputies said he had destroyed the couple’s telephone.

Venable said Brown’s daughter, who was not injured, was able to call 911 from a neighbor’s house.

Pruitt is being held in the Rockingham County Jail on a $150,000 bond.

Venable said deputies had responded to the couple’s home earlier in the evening but found no evidence that any crimes had been committed.

17 06 2008

Disabled man robbed in town centre by thug

16 June 2008

by Dave Burke

Dunstable Today


Police appeal for information after West Street attack

A man with cerebral palsy was grabbed and robbed in the centre of Dunstable by a cowardly thief brandishing a bottle of whiskey.

Although a Good Samaritan managed to retrieve the man’s stolen wallet, police are appealing for any information which can help catch the robber, who they fear may continue to prey on vulnerable victims.

The attack happened outside the HSBC bank in West Street at 11:20pm on Friday, June 6.

The victim, who is in his 40s, was grabbed from behind and dragged by his attacker, banging his head on nearby iron railings.

His wallet was stolen, but a pub doorman bravely chased the robber along High Street North and retrieved it. The thief managed to jump into a cab and escape.

The disabled man suffered a concussion as a result of the terrifying ordeal.

His attacker is described as black or mixed race, aged about 20, around 5ft 5ins tall and dishevelled looking. He was wearing a black tea-cosy style hat, a dirty beige jacket, dark trousers with side pockets and a gold neck chain. The thief was carrying a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.

This week PC Jenny Buckley, investigating, said: “Although the doorman managed to get the property back, it is important we apprehend the offender, who deliberately targeted a vulnerable victim.

“It is a very busy junction and we would urge anyone with information, or recognises the offender from the description, to get in touch.”

Anyone who can help police should contact PC Buckley, in confidence, on 01234 841212, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.