Front Page Blog

Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 08:25

By Betsy Tewey, Vice President

July 2015 is bookended by two celebrations of independence in America – the Fourth of July holiday and the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). At New Editions we consult on disability research and policy, we actively recruit and hire individuals with disabilities, and we promote diversity, so issues of civil rights, equal opportunity and freedom of choice are always on our minds. To observe the ADA anniversary, a group of New Editions employees reflected on the impact of the ADA in their lives. 

Overall, there was a strong sense that the ADA has been successful in promoting the civil rights of people with disabilities. However, this sense of progress was tempered by stories of uneven access and opportunity in daily activities. Here is the range of experiences and opinions our employees shared.

Community Living. Community living improvements and challenges were mentioned by many...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 10:54

By Stephanie Mensh, Senior Analyst

Our lives have become dependent on instant communication. We spend every waking hour talking and texting, so it is hard to imagine a scenario in which you suddenly lose the ability to speak, write, and comprehend what you hear and read. This is called “aphasia” – the loss of language – and most often it is a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or other neurological condition. Aphasia is not a well-known condition, possibly because our fast-paced, communication-driven culture does not recognize individuals who cannot speak up. Personally, I only learned about aphasia when my husband had a severe stroke resulting in significant loss of his language.

June is National Aphasia Awareness Month, an annual observance meant to build awareness around a relatively unknown condition. Approximately one million people in the United States are living with aphasia, making Aphasia more common than Parkinson’s disease, cerebral...

Friday, June 5, 2015 - 15:20

By Kristen Smith, Senior Accessibility Technician

A recent Washington Post article by Richard A. Lovett has the cautionary title “Desk jobs can be killers, literally.” Since most of America's jobs are sedentary, ergonomics is becoming a necessity. 

Ergonomics is the study of people in the workplace, with a focus on designing the workplace to best fit the employee. Ergonomics often centers on reducing repetitive motions that can lead to repetitive stress injuries (RSI), or creating a workplace to eliminate overuse of muscles and poor posture which can lead to workplace musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD). The most common RSI’s and WMSDs include: 

  • carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, and arthritis;
  • back and neck injury/pain; and
  • tears, sprains, and strains (to include joints and eyesight).

Many employees start using a workstation as is, without knowing how to properly adjust a monitor or correct a keyboard position. This...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 10:55

By Jane Rath, Vice President

New Editions has been recognized with three awards for our diversity and inclusion. As a government contractor specializing in health, disability and vulnerable populations, we work side-by-side with our government partners to create a more inclusive environment – through information technology and systems that are accessible, programs that are inclusive, training managers and supporting programs that promote independence, community integration and inclusivity. In April, the Federal Employees with Disabilities (FEDs) President asked me to speak at the 2015 New Perspectives National Training Program about how we achieve our success. I looked at our numbers for this event:

Because we actively recruit and hire diverse employees:

  • 23% have self-identified as having a disability – spanning mobility, sensory, cognitive and hidden disabilities
  • 27% identify themselves as being a minority
  • 27%...
Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 08:22

By Chris Law, PhD, Senior Accessibility Analyst

In a recent industry show-and-tell, Paul Schroeder of the American Foundation of the Blind gave us all a good chuckle when he said “I didn’t realize 508 referred to the number of weeks it would take to get the standards updated!”

February 2015 saw the publication of the (third) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by the Access Board. The document updates Section 508 standards that cover the accessibility of electronic and information technology within the federal government and updates Section 255 guidelines that cover access to telecommunications and apply to providers and equipment manufacturers. Collectively, this is known as the “Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Refresh.” The goal is to respond to changes in technologies, industry trends and to ensure consistency in...

Friday, April 24, 2015 - 10:43

By Angelica P. Herrera-Venson, DrPH, MPH

Senior Research Analyst


As we celebrate National Minority Health and Health Disparities month, it is important to reflect on the events that shaped the movement and the potential for new initiatives to influence serious change. While significant progress has been made in some areas; in others, it has remained stagnant.


Efforts to address health disparities can be traced to the early 1900s, stemming from research by African-American scientist, W. E. B. Du Bois. His research indicated that higher mortality in African-Americans was due to their poor social and environmental conditions, rather than the prevailing myth of racial inferiority.1 

The Negro Health Improvement Week in 1915 was among the first federal activities focused on the public health needs of African Americans. In 1980, the Office of Research on...

Monday, April 6, 2015 - 12:50

By Anna Lenhart, MPH, Project Manager

What is public health? Not getting polio. Buckling your seat belt. Not inhaling secondhand smoke. Laying your sleeping infant on her back. Getting a glass of water without worrying it will make you sick. Putting on a bike helmet. Decreased infant mortality rates. Increased safety in the workplace. The past contributions and ongoing work of the public health community touch our lives every day, through the things we see and do, and more importantly – through the things we no longer see and do.

Today, April 6, is the first day of the 20th annual National Public Health Week (NPHW). Started in 1985, NPHW takes place each year during the first week of April to recognize the important contributions public health has made to our nation in the past and highlights issues important to creating a healthy future. This year’s theme is Healthiest Nation 2030 – a unique challenge calling upon every...

Monday, March 30, 2015 - 13:37

Photo by Sue Eitel

By: Martin Hayes

There is an abundance of global evidence demonstrating the serious harm associated with the placement of children in residential care institutions, such as orphanages. Residential institutions consistently fail to meet children’s developmental needs for attachment, acculturation and social integration. Extended periods of time in residential care, particularly for younger children, may stunt brain development.

The overall aim of USAID’s Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF) is to reduce the number of children outside of family care by supporting community and family capacities to care for children and by strengthening national child protection systems to better regulate residential child care institutions and to provide adequate services for children to stay in family care. DCOF currently supports...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 09:12

By Cherie Takemoto, MPA, Project Manager

Because my son has a disability and works, he also must file a tax return. Last year I helped him file his returns for the first time. We began by using the IRS Free File option for people earning less than $60,000. By selecting the “Help me find Free File software” I was able to find a “name-brand” software that we used to auto-file his Federal return and his state return. Although we did not use them, I discovered that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also provides accessible tax forms and offers free tax preparation...

Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 12:02

By The New Editions Conference Team

Accessibility is a required and important part of every meeting planning process. Our population is growing older and attendees may have limitations due to aging. Individuals with disabilities are increasingly part of every community and organization. By making meetings accessible, you help create an inclusive environment and provide a greater opportunity for all attendees to participate and interact. New Editions’ conference team has planned and conducted accessible meetings for over 15 years. With “conference season” approaching, we share a few tips to help you plan inclusive meetings.


Even if you don’t know in advance whether any of the attendees will need disability-related accommodations, you should still budget for them. Include costs for sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices, captioning, and printing material in alternate formats such as Braille and large print. Keep...