Thirty years after President Reagan first declared March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, how far have we come in ensuring the human and civil rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD), and how far do we still have to go? In recognition of March 2017 as DD Awareness Month, Sharon Lewis offers her insight on how we have engaged individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their families and what we should be doing in the future.
The World Health Organization reports that more than 300 million people currently live with depression, but nearly half of them aren’t getting the help they need. Depression is now the leading cause of disability and poor health worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement Friday. By their estimates, more than 300 million people live with the condition—an 18 percent increase since 2005. But nearly half of these people don’t get the treatment they need. “These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to rethink their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency it deserves,” Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, said in the statement.
When it comes to caring for an aging parent or spouse, many want to help their loved one stay independent as long as possible. Nearly 90% of people over 65 want to stay at home as long as they are able, according to a research report by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the AARP Public Policy Institute.
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin on ‘Grace and Frankie,’ aging in Hollywood and female sexuality | The Washington Post
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin have had decades to study for their roles as confidantes on Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie.” They’ve been friends since the late 1970s, and they collaborated on 1980’s “9 to 5” with Dolly Parton. As Grace and Frankie, Fonda and Tomlin play women in their 70s whose husbands, Robert and Sol (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston), have left them to marry each other. Grace and Frankie start out as rivals, but eventually become roommates, besties and business partners. The third season, now streaming, shows them selling vibrators designed for older women.
Often, battles over rights take place with a feverish public intensity, as we saw in January when crowds jammed the streets of Washington, D.C., for the Women’s March on Washington — and when attorneys hunkered down at airports to help those left in limbo by President Donald Trump’s travel ban. At other times, though, these battles are covert, proceeding almost unnoticed. Consider, for instance, the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, which the Department of Health and Human Services administers each year to gather data about older adults who receive services — such as family caregiver support, home-delivered meals, and transportation — under the Older Americans Act. The federal government then uses the survey results to allocate some $2 billion in senior services. Yet a key data point is missing from the 2017 draft: HHS has removed the question inviting respondents to disclose their sexuality. For many older LGBTQ Americans, this question boils down to life-or-death care.
The Supreme Court tightened its rules on capital punishment again Tuesday, ruling that Texas — the nation’s leader in executions — cannot use a decades-old definition of intellectual disability to determine who lives and who dies. The 5-3 decision was another in a series of high court rulings intended to eliminate differences in how states decide who is disabled — and therefore ineligible for the death penalty under a 2002 precedent — and who is not.
When you see a parent with a child who has a cognitive and/or physical disability at your supermarket, playground or synagogue, how do you react? Do you look away or make eye contact? Do you smile and say hello—or move away from them quickly?
Disabled or Just Desperate? Rural Americans Turn to Disabiltiy as Jobs Dry Up | The Washington Post
He hadn’t had a full-time job in a year. He was skipping meals to save money. He wore jeans torn open in the front and back. His body didn’t work like it once had. He limped in the days, and in the nights, his hands would swell and go numb, a reminder of years spent hammering nails. His right shoulder felt like it was starting to go, too. But did all of this pain mean he was disabled? Or was he just desperate?
Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a story titled, “Disabled or Just Desperate? Rural Americans Turn to Disability as Jobs Dry Up.” That painted a bleak picture of rural America. But rather than digging into what’s driving widespread unemployment and poor health in struggling rural counties, the article cherry picks one of the counties with the highest rates of disability benefit receipt to create a dystopian portrait where Social Security Disability Benefits represent out of control government spending riddled with rampant abuse.
Now, thanks to an unusual program that is training immigrants to become emergency medical technicians, she is preparing to make better use of her medical background and, she hopes, work her way up to becoming a physician assistant if not, someday, a doctor.
Our first indication of where this president’s idle promises were headed came in January, after his administration quietly removed all mention of LGBT rights from the White House website, not to mention deleting the Office of National AIDS Policy page. Then, when the administration and congressional leadership unveiled their so-called American Health Care Act — which would rob millions of older Americans of health insurance — HIV and other critical health needs of LGBT communities were never even mentioned. The thread running through these early actions was erasure — making LGBT people invisible in the eyes of the federal government.
Yadi Mark, who uses a wheelchair, frequently travels and loves sailing the open sea. She will embark on her 16th cruise this summer with her husband, children and grandkids.
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