Filtering by Category: Disability in the News
Connecticut has been selected as one of four states in the country to participate in the fiscal year 2016
"I was born with Cerebral Palsy which left me with the inability to walk, talk or use my left hand. My parents always encouraged me to do everything possible with the one hand that was not severely affected, my right hand, and for this reason I refer to my art as “Right on Art.”
I have participated in a One Woman Art Show as well as shows with other artist. I won third prize in the amateur division of a national art program, and my work has been on display at the World Bank and Martin Luther King Library in Washington, D.C. and in Chicago.
You can also view two of my pieces of artwork on permanent display at the Connecticut Supreme Court in Hartford, CT:"
I hope you enjoy my art work as much as I enjoyed creating it."
Michelle's work is also available as printed note cards for sale on our website http://www.ecowastenot.org/cards/?category=MICHELLE+JOHNSON
The Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center at Columbia University is conducting a study to identify existing unmet medical needs for women over 18 years of age with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. The particular focus of this study is gynecological, reproductive and breast health care. The survey can be completed by an adult female with cerebral palsy or a parent, friend, caregiver, spouse/partner. This survey is part of a two-year project designed to not only determine what your needs or the patient’s needs are, but also to create a program to meet these needs. Designed according to your survey responses, this program will take place at Columbia University Medical Center. Participation in this survey is completely voluntary, each question is optional, and all information will remain confidential. Finally, if you choose to add your contact information, we will contact you to conduct an interview to further understand what your needs or the patient’s needs are beyond what this simple survey can capture. Feel free to contact Rachel Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
By Ananya Bhattacharya and Heather Long
Jordan Gallacher hasn't had a job in three years. Many employers reject him with a form letter or email, but one said outright: "We don't hire blind people."
Gallacher, 28, is a computer expert. He has a bachelor's degree in management and entrepreneurship from Louisiana Tech University. Yet most employers don't give him a second glance when they learn he's blind, even though he is able to operate a computer just fine with a screen reader.
Gallacher is one of nearly 57 million disabled people in America.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), a civil rights act passed in 1990 to fight discrimination against the disabled.
Since its inception, much has changed for the better. Supermarket aisles are wider, schools have ramps, and public transportation is more accessible for the disabled.
But there's one thing that's deteriorated for them -- employment.
Show me the jobs: Employment for disabled Americans has actually fallen since 1990, and there's an even bigger gap between disabled and non-disabled jobs prospects today.
In the early 1990s, about half of disabled Americans were employed, according to Census data. Today that has fallen to just 41%. Some of the decline is due to an aging population. Older workers are more likely to have disabilities, especially physical ones.
But it's telling that the employment rate of disabled Americans has dropped more than for the non-disabled.
The problems often start at an early age.
Basic barriers remain: While in high school, Gallacher had three teachers who he says didn't accommodate for his disability in their classes. He found similar problems when he entered college, which is why he transferred to Louisiana Tech from a different university that did not cater to his needs at all.
"As a mother of student with disability, I've seen how many schools don't have ramps that are usable. I am just stunned that there hasn't been more attention in our education system to these very obvious emblems of discrimination," said Susan Dooha, executive director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled, who herself suffers from a traumatic brain injury.
Being fully blind in the small town of Pearl River in Louisiana does not open up a lot of options for Gallacher. He says he might be the only disabled person in his town so people don't know how to deal with him.
The only jobs he's had are volunteering stints. He still lives with his parents and is grateful they support him financially.
"I'm always amazed at how many job applications I try to fill it out online but can't get any further because the rest of the offline application becomes inaccessible," said Gallacher. Many businesses no longer list Human Resources contact info, so he can't even call to seek help.
Low wage jobs: Even for those with jobs, the prospects remain bleak. Disabled persons earn significantly less than non-disabled, and the gap between annual earnings has widened since the early 1990s.
Disabled workers earn about $9,000 less a year than a non-disabled workers, according to Census data on median earnings. That gap was under $6,000 in the early 1990s.
A report by the Center for Independence of the Disabled found that the top job for non-disabled people is teaching. For the disabled, it's janitorial duties.
Positive change: "I think the best thing I've seen [since the ADA] is corporations beginning to pay attention to disability as element of diversity," said Dooha. "Reversing the thinking that they are a burden and instead thinking about them as having strength to bring to the workforce."
For instance, Citi provide trainings specifically referring to consideration for persons with disabilities. Globally, Citi has five Persons with Disability Networks.
For the last four years, Citi has hosted the NYC Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) in New York city. The event promotes career development for students and job-seekers with disabilities through hands-on career exploration and ongoing mentoring relationships.
Dooha also commends tech innovations to remove barriers to participation for the disabled.
Companies stepping up: A healthy five-year-old boy in Charleston, South Carolina, came down with Meningococcal meningitis and his life changed.
Charles Rogers had his hands and legs below the knee amputated following the horrible disease. But Charles has graduated college and worked at Walmart (WMT) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for 12 years.
He recently drove to Atlanta and stayed at a hotel for six weeks for training after being promoted to assistant manager.
"Before I started working with Walmart, I got interviews but once the interview was over, there was no response," said Rogers. "Walmart actually gave me a chance."
Walmart is one of the leading employers of the disabled, and they offer training and resource groups for them.
The more employers encourage the disabled, the better. Customers in wheelchairs often approach Rogers in the store and ask him about his job and if the store is hiring.
"Being out there and working in the store is the best thing I can do to show other disabled people that they can do it too," Rogers said.
June 10, 2015
By Mike Epps
Wheelchair bound people obviously have it rough. Cities and neighborhoods are not built for those without the use of their legs. Sure, there are places that will have the occasional staircase accompanied by a ramp, but getting up those ramps with nothing but your arm strength is difficult. It is for this reason, that most people in wheelchairs usually need somebody to go with them wherever they go. A new wheelchair design might change that.
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Zurich University of the Arts tasked last year’s undergraduate students with an assignment to build a functional product they could sell using all the knowledge they had at hand.
Ten students originally came together to create a machine that could smoothly carry a camera up a flight of stairs. This concept quickly evolved into a wheelchair that could climb stairs. They came up with several different versions of this wheelchair design.
One was designed to have very large wheels that could climb stairs (the larger the wheels, the more a set of stairs became like a ramp). This design made for a pretty uncomfortable ride as each step climbed resulted in a slight jolt for the driver.
The second idea was drawn to have four rubber tracks on the side of the wheelchair. The rubber tracks would be tilted down to climb stairs, and move up to drive around. However, the four rubber tracks would be too heavy and complex to design.
They eventually decided to combine both designs and what they created is incredible. While on flat ground, the wheelchair will balance on two wheels like a Segway. To climb stairs, two rubber tracks extend from the bottom and ride up a set of stairs like a tank. There is also a set of small wheels in the back for stability when the chair goes from flat ground to stairs or vice versa. With the two large wheels, the set of small wheels, and the bottom tracks, this cool creation can also raise the individual seated up higher.
Originally, the project (now titled Scalevo was just to have a proof of concept, but now these young engineers intend to bring it to market some time in the near future. They even added a few features like a touchscreen navigational pad and even a backup camera and lights.
June 9, 2015
A new, national survey finds that the majority of people with disabilities want to be employed, but they often encounter barriers to work.
Overall, nearly 43 percent of individuals surveyed said they were currently working. Another 25 percent said they’d been previously employed and a handful of people said they hadn’t worked but were looking for a job.
Collectively, those behind the research said the figures show that nearly 69 percent of those with disabilities are “striving to work.”
The findings come from a telephone poll of more than 3,000 adults with disabilities across the country conducted by the University of New Hampshire for the Kessler Foundation, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that focuses on neurological disabilities.
For the survey, pollsters random-dialed over 117,000 landline and cellphone numbers across the country between October 2014 and April 2015 to reach households with at least one adult with a disability. In most cases, the individuals themselves were interviewed, but in 18 percent a proxy answered questions on behalf of a person with special needs.
People surveyed cited several barriers to obtaining employment including transportation, lack of proper education or training and assumptions from employers about their inability to perform the job.
What’s more, the findings suggest that obstacles persist for individuals who are employed, with lower pay than others doing similar work and negative attitudes from supervisors and coworkers cited as issues on the job.
“This clearly demonstrates that people with disabilities are ready and able to contribute their talents in the workforce,” said Rodger DeRose, who heads the Kessler Foundation. “Efforts need to focus on improving self-advocacy, supporting family members and friends in job search efforts and educating coworkers and supervisors.”
Accessibility is vital for folks needing assistance increasing their independence.