The National Center for Learning Disabilities reports that only 68 percent of students with specific learning disabilities graduated from high school in 2011. The NCLD is offering a copy of their report, Diplomas at Risk: A Critical Look at the Graduation Rate of Students with Learning Disabilities to individuals who register here: NCLD website.
Registrants will also have access to the Diplomas at Risk webinar. The information contained in the report and webinar is for parents, educators and policymakers.
There is another new co-sponsor for H.R. 831: Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013 (sponsored by Rep. Gregg Harper [R-MS3] according to GovTrack.us on May 10, 2013:
Rep. Glenn Thompson [R-PA5]
He joins other co-sponsors:
- Rep. Robert Brady [D-PA1]
- Rep. Elijah Cummings [D-MD7]
- Rep. Diana DeGette [D-CO1]
- Rep. Jeff Fortenberry [R-NE1]
- Rep. Ed Perlmutter [D-CO7]
- Rep. Mark Takano [D-CA41]
- Rep. Steven Horsford [D-NV4]
May is Lupus Awareness Month, and today is World Lupus Day. According to the Lupus Foundation, five million people worldwide are affected by the disease. It has no known cause or cure.
The Lupus foundation is asking individuals affected by the disease to share their stories. They are urging individuals with lupus and their loved ones to share in their own words how lupus has affected their lives. "Individuals can submit their stories through the website, Lupus Voices Across America, at lupusvoices.org. The public also can show their support and help solve the cruel mystery by signing a petition that asks Congress to fund more lupus research efforts. The petition is available online at lupus.org/petition.
For a complete list of activities around the world, and to download resources to help raise understanding of lupus, visit the World Lupus Day website, www.worldlupusday.org.
Learn about Lupus and ADA here: Lupus and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Music has been noted for centuries as being a wonderful way to soothe the soul. Music allows for creativity, movement and personal expression in a way that no other therapy can. People of all ages and abilities can enjoy music in a variety of ways, and it can be used to stimulate, as well as to calm.
According to Kasey Stewart, vocal coach and music faculty member at Elmira College, "Research has shown that music with a strong beat can stimulate brainwaves to resonate in sync with the beat, with faster beats bringing sharper concentration and more alert thinking, and a slower tempo promoting a calm, meditative state. Research has also shown that the change in brainwave activity levels brought on by music can also enable the brain to shift speeds more easily on its own as needed, which means that music can bring lasting benefits to your state of mind, even after you've stopped listening."
The benefits of music therapy are many. Have you considered using it during your healing journey, or someone you care for? Learn more about music therapy in the following About.com articles:
The call for nominations for the 3rd Annual Best Mom on Wheels contest opened yesterday on May 1. Nominations must be submitted on ChristopherReeve.org/BestMom no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on May 14. Voting for the 10 finalists will take place from May 20 to May 30, and the winner will be announced on or around June 3.
Edna Escher-Gaston, 62, of Swarthmore, Penn., was named the winner of the 2012 Best Mom on Wheels contest. Escher-Gaston is a mother and grandmother, one of the initial signers of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and a cofounder of the Barrier Awareness of Delaware County.
A new hotline for women veterans has been recently launched. Veterans, their families and their caregivers, can all access this hotline at the following number: 1-855-VA-WOMEN (829-6636).
According to the VA, there were approximately 360,000 women using VA health care in 2012. Over 15 percent of active service members are women.
Callers to the hotline will receive information from specially trained operators who can answer questions about VA benefits, eligibility and health care, as well as assisting with emergency situations such as homelessness, domestic abuse and suicidal behavior.
" In May of 2000, Florida Disabled Anglers (FDA) was created because of the need for such an organization in Central Florida to enable persons with disabilities the opportunity to participate in a quality fishing event on a regular basis throughout the year. From the first tournament that witnessed 3 disabled anglers, we have grown in size and popularity to several times as many anglers participating in the tournament trail. FDA is still in the growing stages, and there is room for anyone wishing to join our family for a lot of fun and great fellowship."
Check out their link here: Florida Disabled Anglers
Other articles about outdoor sports on Disability here:
According to the ADAPT Action Report, activists blocked the entrance to the People's House at the 17th Street entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. on Monday, April 22, 2013. They held up a report card with failing grades for President Obama on leadership, engagement and integrity in dealing with the disabled community. They crossed a barricade and police line and in turn, 41 ADAPT activists were promptly arrested.
According to ADAPT organizer Josue Rodriguez of Memphis, "The President has not taken the initiative to proactively champion community living or the innovative Medicaid programs that could make it a reality. In nearly every way, President Obama and his administration have failed to live up to the promises about community living that he made during his presidential campaigns."
Tim Wheat of Boulder ADAPT wrote "A major source of the frustration by the disability community is the progress made on the "companion exemption" that is part of the Department of Labor's regulations regarding personal assistants employment. The problem is that the "progress" was made without the disability community. Department was directly mandated to "fully involve" the disability community in making the regulations; however, the Department of Labor met with unions and providers and ignored people with disabilities. ADAPT demands that the Administration recall Executive Order 13563 from the Office of Management and Budget to involve people with disabilities.
Along with keeping his promises to the Disability Community, ADAPT also demands the President effectively engage the Disability Community by hiring people with disabilities for the Office of Public Engagement and the Domestic Policy Council."
It is disturbing that this administration has turned a blind eye to the disabled community, especially in light of the creation of "Obama Care". They are intent on creating policies that affect the disabled community, but neglect to actually interact with them in a meaningful way to get their input on these policies. This recent incident only shows more contempt from the administration, in addition to shamefully not allowing citizens access to their house on Pennsylvania Avenue. By blockading themselves in the White House, the administration can effectively ignore the voices of the citizens. Apparently the community organizing skills the President brought to the White House don't include discussions with the differently-abled.
The fact that this story was largely ignored by the mainstream media shows that the disabled community is not even on their radar, if it ever was.
While many beneficiaries would love a total overhaul of the SSI program, the National Council on Disabilities urged the following in their letter to the President of the United States, dated April 17, 2013:
"We urge you to incorporate common-sense program reforms to SSI designed to improve beneficiary well-being and enhance the ability of SSI beneficiaries to participate in the workforce. We encourage consideration of the policy issues below for inclusion in any future deficit reduction effort:
- Raise the SSI asset limit, currently set at $2,000 since 1989, to $10,000 and index it to inflation going forward;
- Raise the income offsets for SSI beneficiaries and index them to inflation going forward;
- Eliminate asset limits for participants in work incentive programs, such as 1619b and the Medicaid Buy-In, who are accessing SSI primarily for the purposes of receiving Medicaid benefits rather than utilizing the program for income support;
- Establish a National Medicaid Buy-In program to allow for greater workforce mobility for working people with disabilities who may wish to change jobs across state lines."
The asset limit, in particular, would allow beneficiaries to save some of the money they receive to purchase more expensive mobility items and/or to save as a hedge against inflation or unexpected emergencies. In addition, raising income offsets that are indexed to inflation would allow them to make more money and therefore not need food stamps, heating programs and other government programs. Finally, though not included in the SSI suggested reforms, the government Student Loan Program should work with the SSDI program to establish eligibility for student loan forgiveness so that the beneficiaries don't have to prove to two government agencies that they are indeed disabled.