Archive for June, 2020


Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

published in the Republican July 2020

In 2019, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was 7.9 percent.  That number has probably worsened due to the pandemic since then.

In 2017, the Kessler Foundation conducted a study about employment and people with disabilities.  The study found that the most common barrier to employment of disabled people was the lack of health insurance or the risk of losing government benefits.

There are several steps that can be taken to help people with disabilities gain employment.  The most important one is to restructure government benefits so that people with disabilities can work without losing them.  Due to the restrictions, many people are afraid to work but find that they need to because the benefits are not enough to sustain a quality of living.

Another step that can be taken is to empower employers to hire people with disabilities.  For example, employers can take tax credits or deductions for hiring disabled workers.

There is also a need to end subminimum wage.  The perception of people with disabilities has changed over the decades, especially with the accessibility options for disabled people to succeed in the workplace.

Being employed is a big step in living independently in our own communities.  It helps build character, improve social skills and gain new experiences.


Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

published in the Republican July 2020

This week we are celebrating Independence Day.  Independence means something different to everybody, but for people with disabilities being independent is everything.

For people with disabilities, even the simple things such as having their own identity, making their own choices and being in control of their lives is what independence means to them.  The first step to being independent is accepting the disability, but not letting it define you.  There are many ways to minimize your disability by being your own advocate, focusing on the things that can be controlled and setting personal goals to overcome your disability.

The next step is to take advantage of the support services and accessibility options that are available to you.  Support can be found through disability organizations, family and friends.

Most importantly, discover your purpose and find activities that bring you happiness and fulfillment.  Volunteering can be an excellent way to achieve this goal.  Always be on the lookout for new experiences and hobbies to broaden your horizons.

You should always make your health a top priority.  Look for exercise activities that you enjoy.  Try to eat healthy food on a regular basis.  Manage your stress with relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation.


Monday, June 22nd, 2020

published June 2020 in the Republican

Former Vice President and possible Democratic nominee for President Joe Biden released a disability plan.  He is calling for more access to community-based services, competitive employment and for the government to acknowledge disability issues.

His goal is to bring to bring full equality to people with disabilities. Some of the issues that are covered in the plan are to increase SSI benefits, full funding for the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and increased support for direct care providers.

Biden also promises to back the legal rights of parents with disabilities.  He also will have the US Department of Justice review guardianship laws so that individuals are able to exercise self-determination.

Biden also plans to appoint a director of disability policy for the federal government.  This director’s objective will be to guarantee that people with disabilities will receive services.  Another purpose of this director will be to ensure that people with disabilities no longer have to wait decades for community-based services.

Joe Biden also released a plan for addressing the needs of disabled individuals during the pandemic.  He said, “For me, it all comes down to a simple truth: everyone is entitled to a life of dignity and opportunity.  And in a time of pandemic, when people with disabilities may be particularly vulnerable to this virus, we must redouble our efforts to ensure they have the resources and the protections they need for their health, well-being and independence.”

Five Disability Political Issues

Monday, June 8th, 2020

published in the Republican June 2020

Even though we are in a crazy time dealing with the pandemic and peaceful protests, we need to keep in mind that this is an election year. Sadly, a lot of times, politicians do not recognize disability issues.
There are five important issues that need to be considered for a candidate’s platform. The first one is work opportunities and benefits. Millions of people with disabilities want to enter the workforce. Unfortunately, many need other benefits to support themselves. Because of rules set up by Social Security, people often have a hard time balancing the two.
Long-term care is often an area of concern because many disabled individuals need help in their daily lives. The goal is to have funding to help people stay in their own homes and live independently in their own communities. This is an everyday worry, especially for families who want to make long-term care plans for their adult children.
Accessibility has always been a front-runner issue for people with disabilities. Even though the Americans With Disabilities Act has been in effect for thirty years, there is still much to be done to ensure accessibility. The ADA needs to be strengthened to avoid loopholes from developing and to block new legislation that weakens it.
To this day, parents and advocates are still fighting to get accommodations for children with disabilities in the school system. Many are concerned that there is not enough independent training of disabled students to enable them to transition into adulthood. Numerous advocates are calling for full funding of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.
We are now in a national crisis and many people are concerned with the safety of disabled people. There are flaws in the medical system for people with disabilities to receive equal care and support. Candidates need to take these issues seriously to draw in disabled voters.