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Fifth Freedom Wishes a Happy Retirement to Assistant Director Betty Beck

Fifth Freedom would like to bid a fond farewell to our longtime Assistant Director, Betty Beck. Her dedication and warm, sociable nature made her a valuable advocate and much loved figure in Indiana’s disability community. After more than fifteen years with Fifth Freedom, she is enjoying a well deserved retirement.

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NPR Series Discusses Sexual Assault against People With Intellectual Disabilities

Information courtesy of NPR, the Arc, and RespectAbility

NPR is airing a series of news stories on victims of sexual assault who have intellectual disabilities (ID). People with ID have one of the highest rates of sexual assault of any group in America, over seven times the rate of people without disabilities. “Abused And Betrayed: People With Intellectual Disabilities And An Epidemic Of Sexual Assault” runs until January 18, and includes interviews with staff and clients from several chapters of The Arc.

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Justice Department Scraps Americans with Disabilities Act Guidelines

Information courtesy of DisabilityScoop, the US Department of Justice

Back in December, President Trump issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to identify regulations for “repeal, replacement, or modification”. In response to the order, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that he is rescinding twenty-five guidance documents, including several related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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Fifth Freedom Welcomes New Office Manager Josh Zeimet

Fifth Freedom is proud to be starting the new year with a new office manager, Josh Zeimet! Josh has been with us for a while, first as an independent contractor helping us with accessibility assessments, and later working in the office as an Executive Assistant. His hard work and dedication to disability issues have earned him this well-deserved promotion.

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Sixty Percent of Polling Places Have Accessibility Issues

Information courtesy of the Government Accountability Office

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report on polling place accessibility. GAO examined 178 polling places during early in-person voting and on Election Day 2016, and found that 60% had at least one accessibility problem. The most common were steep ramps, lack of signs indicating accessible paths, and poor parking or path surfaces.  GAO examined voting stations at 137 of the polling places. Of the stations examined, 65% had accessibility issues that could prevent people with disabilities from voting privately and independently.

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