Designation of two new national monuments works to protect integrity of Native American lands
- President Obama designated two new national monuments, placing more than 1.6 million acres of land under federal stewardship and protecting the areas from development and looting.
- The Bears Ears National Monument comprises 1.35 million acres in southeast Utah, which includes more than 100,000 Native American cultural and archaeological sites and will be jointly managed by federal and indigenous leaders.
- The Gold Butte National Monument, located in southern Nevada, encompasses 300,000 acres that include sites of Native petroglyphs and critical habitats.
“Two New National Monuments Created in Utah and Nevada” (Scientific American | December 2016)
“Obama Designates Two New National Monuments, Protecting 1.65 Million Acres” (The New York Times | December 2016)
“Obama Designates Two New National Monuments, Protecting 1.65 Million Acres” (EcoWatch | December 2016)
(Image Credit: UIG/Getty Images, via Scientific American)
The Growing Workforce Inclusion of the U.S. Autism Community
Companies like EY, Microsoft, and HP Enterprises have begun launching new neurodiversity initiatives at their firms, with a particular focus on recruiting people on the autism spectrum. The new outreach is welcome by advocates for the autism community, which faces a 58% unemployment rate despite having skills in high demand by employers in the knowledge economy. The Atlantic features an overview of industry efforts at inclusion, including innovation in recruiting, training, and management processes to ensure the successful identification and integration of people on the spectrum into organizations.
“Why Some Companies Are Trying to Hire More People on the Autism Spectrum” (The Atlantic | December 2016)
“Work in progress: An inside look at autism’s job boom” (Spectrum | July 2016)
“Changing Employers’ Perceptions, One Autistic Worker at a Time” (Inc. | May 2015)
(Image Credit: via The Atlantic)
Seeking Justice for Prisoners with Disabilities in the U.S.
Source: Disability Rights Washington YouTube
The failure of prisons to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, ruled applicable to prisons in 1998, has created a quagmire within the criminal justice system: although people with disabilities are incarcerated at rates far higher than their demographic proportion and comprise nearly a third of the total prison population, they are funneled into systems that refuse to follow the law when it comes to adapting their protocols and facilities to those disabilities. Beyond the mass incarceration of people with disabilities, once incarcerated, disabled people face longer sentencing, solitary confinement, inaccessible vocational training, poor education administration, and limited medical access, exacerbating the negative effects of physical and mental illnesses and creating cycles of re-marginalization and inadequate preparation for release.
VICE News examines the impact of incarceration on people with disabilities and attempts to advocate on their behalf given the numerous conflicts of interest present in the reporting and petitioning process.
“Punished Twice” (VICE News)
“Making Hard Time Harder” (The AVID Prison Project, June 2016)
“Disabled Behind Bars: The Mass Incarceration of People With Disabilities in America’s Jails and Prisons” (The Center for American Progress)
Know Your Rights: Legal Rights of Disabled Prisoners (The American Civil Liberties Union)