Video of meeting of Senator Tom Harkin and Kristin Gillibrand with individuals with disabilities. While this was indeed a positive engagement, many disability advocates asked Harkin and Gillibrand why there were no people of color with disabilities represented in the conversation. What do you think? Was the panel inclusive enough?
“Close to 40 percent of our members say they want to continue working past traditional retirement age … And we know that people who continue to work or even volunteer can live longer than people who don’t.”
The Arc, the nation’s largest civil rights organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), which was founded by parents and family members who rejected institutions and fought for decades to close them, released the following statement on President Trump’s comments about creating new institutions for people with mental health needs. “The Arc and our constituents are all too familiar with calls to reopen the institutions of the past, where people with all different disabilities were imprisoned against their wills and subject to horrific torture and abuse. For nearly 70 years, The Arc has focused on advocating for deinstitutionalization to ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and other disabilities, can live meaningful, independent lives in the communities of their choice among their families and peers, with accompanying supports and services.
Practicing self-care isn’t about staying at a bougie hotel for the weekend, purchasing an all-new wardrobe, or opting for two desserts instead of one. The art is much more internally nourishing than that, and one that takes some time to get the hang of given our propensity to put others before ourselves.
One medical expert says Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump are part of the population known as ‘superagers.’
In the U.S. there is a reluctance to embrace inclusion in the workplace—but a new global generation isn’t having it. Meet the change-makers from across the country who are leading the way: As part of his role as a marketer, Bryan Stromer has gotten to travel internationally and regularly attends conferences. He describes Cerebral Palsy as a part of his identity. “When people see me coming down the hall, they can immediately see that I walk differently.” says Stromer. He uses humor as a way to help break down the stigma that having a visible disability can sometimes create. If someone is struggling to describe him, he says, I tell them it’s totally fine to use the word disability. Really, just say the word disability,” he says. “If someone has already written me off because of the way I walk, it gives me the opportunity to prove them wrong and exceed their expectations, while also hopefully redefining how they think about disability.”
‘We’re used to hearing certain types of stories about disability. Mine isn’t one of them.’ | MamaMia
It wasn’t until I met proud disabled people that I discovered I could be proud of myself, too.
For most of my life, I had only known disability and disability identity through the media, or the lens of those teaching me. These people were able-bodied, neurotypical teachers, teacher aides and physiotherapists who mostly knew disability from working with children with disability, not from experiencing it themselves. Their messaging echoed that of mainstream media; disability is a bad thing, something to be pitied and ashamed of. Everything must be done to ‘overcome’ it.
Traveling with a disability can be a nightmare—wheelchairs are routinely damaged in transit, for starters, and passengers can often be stranded after landing when airport staff due to collect them never appear. Traveling with invisible disabilities, however, has a separate set of issues. Whether you have chronic pain or MS, cognitive or hearing difficulties, arthritis or are simply post-surgery and unable to lift, travel—air travel, in particular—poses specific challenges: long lines at passport control; steps up to or down from the aircraft; interminable walks to the gate. Not to mention the scramble that is the boarding process. Often, it becomes too much before you’ve even reached your destination—compounded by the fact that travelers with an invisible disability are sometimes met with skepticism over their needs from passengers and staff alike.
To truly move the conversation forward and embrace the disability narrative as a tool for leadership and business strategy it is critical to have a greater awareness of where we are now in terms of re-contextualizing its meaning and giving it a new set of values that it has never been associated with before. The modern definition of disability has been marked by an evolution of thought from two very distinct archetypes beginning with the medical model and evolving to the more current definition through what is often referred to as the social model of disability. These models have laid the groundwork for how society has defined disability and one may argue limited its potential.
A new paper challenges concepts used in the mental health field that view people through lenses of abnormality and pathology. The authors – Thomas Dirth and Glenn Adams – draw on disability studies and decolonial analyses to legitimize and normalize diverse ways of being a person. They reconceptualize disability as a historically oppressed minority identity and move pathology outside of the person and locate it in the sociopolitical, economic, and environmental forces that shape them.
Step therapy, also known as a “fail-first” protocol, forces people to try and “fail” cheaper drug alternatives as an attempt to cut costs for insurers. But experts say it’s a physically, mentally, and financially exhausting process for patients.
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