So on Tuesday 20th June I had the pleasure of being invited by Ruh Global to the Global Business Disability Network meeting, with the International Labor Organisation and the United States Council for International Business. The meeting was attended by a series of inspirational speakers, sharing their wisdom of their own, personal disability inclusion wins and their innovative practices company wide. Some serious companies were represented – AT&T, Boeing, Cisco, Special Counsel, Adecco, L’Oreal – a wide range of sectors all with amazing stories to share combined with recognition of the mountain we still have to climb to achieve inclusion
I feel like I’ve just seen two wildly different-looking bookends of ways to improve aging in America. Last weekend, I attended the Spotlight Health program of the Aspen Ideas Festival (entrance fee: $2,000), where many of the nation’s leading minds gathered in chi-chi surroundings and expounded; I blogged about what I learned. Yesterday, I was a judge at Senior Planet’s free Hack Aging hackathon in a Manhattan room filled with folding tables, plastic cups and inspiring older men and women wearing sensible shoes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.” Many seniors choose to age in place so they can remain where they feel most comfortable.
Nonprofit charity AbleGamers has been helping gamers with disabilities get the technology they need to play since 2004. Now, the organization’s new AbleGamers Player Panels initiative wants to help games become even more accessible—from the inside. AbleGamers and the University of York created Player Panels to connect gamers with disabilities with developers and researchers who want to tap into their expertise. The idea stemmed from frequent calls from game companies looking for testers with disabilities, and from conversations with Xbox and PlayStation officials about how to advance more accessible gaming, AbleGamers COO Steve Spohn told PCWorld in a Skype interview.
I put the bite of warm baloney sandwich back into the lunch bag with the half-eaten apple, then put the bag back into the southeast corner of my briefcase, the one I needed for carrying my bulky Braille books to and from school. My stomach felt unsettled. A cool, high tone — the progressive substitute for a bell — had sounded. I needed to get to Room 3 before it sounded again.
In my mid-30s, I briefly dated a psychologist. I don’t remember much about him except that his preferred patient was a YAVIS: Young, Attractive, Verbal, Intelligent and Successful. The term was new to me. YAVIS problems, he told me, were more interesting. YAVIS patients had agency and choice and the resources to create a better life for themselves. It’s not that he didn’t feel compassion for people of modest means facing huge life challenges, he just didn’t want them in his practice.
The Senate’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare may be in a state of purgatory, but progressive activists would like to send it straight to hell. As the July 4th recess approaches, progressive political organizations like MoveOn, Our Revolution, Indivisible and CREDO, among others, are planning to keep up their momentum with peaceful protests at local Republican senators’ offices, floods of phone calls and even appearances at local Independence Day parades. “Republican senators have demonstrated that their number one goal in health care reform is avoiding any public interaction with their constituents,” Ben Wikler, the Washington director for the political advocacy group MoveOn told The Daily Beast in a phone interview.
If you knew of a cheap, non-toxic, readily available remedy for the widespread problem of depression in our aging parents, you’d want them to get it, right? No prescription needed, no gimmicks. Results are good for pretty much everyone. No issue with taking various medications. A recent study demonstrates the benefits. What could be that simple?
It goes by different names — “independent living,” “non-assisted living,” or the preferred “aging in place” – but these phrases mean the same thing: growing older without having to move to a healthcare environment. In fact, nearly 90% of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Even if they begin to need day-to-day assistance or ongoing health care during retirement, most (82%) would prefer to stay in their own homes.
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