Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Celebrating Our Dedicated Staff!

There is no doubt about it, the team we have at The Choice Group works hard all year round!  With over 100 counselors and supporting staff throughout Virginia, you couldn't find a more dedicated crew to finding and retaining employment for people with disabilities.  That being said, we like to recognize those who continually give their best throughout the year!

Richmond Region

DaVonne Garner wins Rookie of the Year!

Angela Volkening (left) wins Employee of the Year for Richmond Region and Amy Wells (right) wins the Stretch Award!

Hampton Roads Region

In order from left to right: Amorita Clark wins the Advocate Award, Katherine Edwards is recognized with the Helping Hands Award, Ericka Neville (Manager), Rachel McGregor wins Employee of the Year for Hampton Roads, Robin Metcalf (President).

Central West/Charlottesville Region

In no particular order: Buddy Blatz, Carolyn Nicholson, Cherelle Grady, Heather Gilman, Kate Gaiepy, Michelle Gagnon, Romanayah Opincar, Tiffany Taylor, David Terrell, Dawn Scott (Manager), Chris Lavach (Vice President).  All team members were recognized for their ability to go beyond the call of duty for leadership and for growth!

Northwest Team

Rosemary Louk wins the Star Performer Award!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Now Hiring!

The Choice Group is now hiring for two positions! Join our hardworking and dedicated team in a rewarding job that assists people with disabilities in finding meaningful work throughout Virginia.

Workplace Assistants 
Would you be interested in helping someone be successful at their job? Do you know someone who is good with people and would like to provide some extra support to someone with a disability who is working? There is a new Medicaid Waiver service called “Workplace Assistance” that does just that. Workplace Assistance is for individuals with a disability who are working, who need more than typical job coaching services to maintain their job.  Services would include providing supports related to non-work skills needed for the individual to maintain their employment, supports to make and strengthen community connections, and/or safety supports to ensure the individual is healthy and safe at work.  The Workplace Assistant will be working directly with the Vocational Counselor and the individual to ensure the individual receives the support they need.

Human Resources Manager
The Choice Group seeks a highly competent Human Resources professional with a passion for people and an entrepreneurial spirit to establish an internal Human Resources office at our administrative headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. The ideal candidate will have an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and build relationships with our talented staff, encompassing up to 100 professionals supporting opportunity and dignity through employment for individuals with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

New ADA Rule for Movie Theaters

While not quite in time to enjoy all the Hollywood Holiday film releases, this new rule will take effect January 17th of next year, still a terrific time to catch those Oscar buzz movies!

Movie Theaters Target of New ADA Mandate
By: Shaun Heasley 
Dec 5, 2016

The Obama administration is implementing a new regulation that will require the nation’s movie theaters to do more to accommodate people with disabilities.

Under a final rule published in the Federal Register this month, theaters will be required to provide closed captioning and audio description for any digital movie that is distributed with such accessibility features.

Though the Americans with Disabilities Act has long mandated auxiliary aids and similar accommodations at public facilities, the U.S. Department of Justice said it moved to clarify the obligations of movie theaters in response to widespread complaints from the disability community about the lack of captioning and audio description at cinemas across the country.

The new regulation is more than six years in the making and since the Justice Department first signaled in 2010 that a rule would be forthcoming, the agency said it has received more than 1,500 comments on the issue.

“The disability community and movie theater industry provided comprehensive insight on this important regulation,” said Vanita Gupta, head of the agency’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department’s regulation establishes a nationally consistent standard and ensures that, in theaters across the country, people with hearing and vision disabilities can fully enjoy watching movies with their families and friends.”

To comply, theaters must make equipment available at a person’s seat so that captioning or audio description is only available to the individual who requests it. In addition, movie theaters are required to notify the public of the availability of such technology and have staff on hand to assist with the equipment.

Theaters that show only analog movies are exempt from the new mandate. There are also exceptions for circumstances in which complying with the regulation “would result in an undue burden or a fundamental alteration.”

The new rule will take effect Jan. 17, 2017 and movie theaters must be in compliance by June 2, 2018.

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