Based on federal data from the Department of Health and Human Services, the NPR reported in their December 9, 2010 story, A New Nursing Home Population: The Young, that "young people ages 31 to 64 now make up 14 percent of the nursing home population. That's up from 10 percent just 10 years ago." Even more unsettling is that this group, referred to as the "working-age," has been the fastest-growing population in nursing homes over the same 10 year period. While the Health and Human Services report does not speculate as to why this trend is occurring, the NPR story suggests that it may have to do with budget cuts: "According to a study by the AARP Public Policy Institute, the cost of attendant care is about a third the cost of providing care in a nursing home or institution. But there's an upfront cost to states to hire the case managers and aides, find the housing, and pay for other things that make this home-based care work. So as states face record budget gaps, the programs that help people live at home are cut."
To read more about this issue and to see how others are fighting for their right to remain in their homes, visit NPR: A New Nursing Home Population: The Young.
You may also want to check out the NPR News Investigation Home Or Nursing Home: America's Empty Promise To Give The Elderly And Disabled A Choice.
I am Norm is an online campaign, spearheaded by a group of teens in conjuction with Inclusive Schools Week, that encourages youth to embrace the differences we all possess and promotes the inclusion of youth with disabilities in all facets of life. The campaign features videos from students throughout the US that challenge misguided perceptions of disability, offers a toolkit to be used by educators and youth groups, and provides opportunities to discuss inclusion. The website also suggests ways in which more youth can get involved in the campaign and provides links to other websites that promote inclusion. Visit iamnorm.org to get involved.
The Epilepsy Foundation would like to put a copy of the Get Seizure Smart! quiz into as many hands as possible. By taking the quiz, a person will learn more about epilepsy and what to do if someone has a seizure. If every person with epilepsy distributed 100 copies of the quiz, we'd reach every person in America!!! All you have to do is print the quiz, make copies and ask people to hand them out.
Will you help distribute the quiz in your town? Here are five ways you can help reach people in your town:
1. Ask your local school to give a copy of the quiz to every teacher, administrator and student.
2. Ask your local fire/police/EMT station to give one to every person on the force.
3. Give a copy to every person at your church, synagogue or club (Rotary, Knights of Columbus).
4. Put one in the mailbox of every person who lives on your block.
5. Ask a business (pizza parlor, grocery store) to put one in every bag that leaves the store.
Thank you and please feel free to contact the Epilepsy Foundation if you have any questions.
Since 1997 the month of November has been proclaimed by the President as National Family Caregivers Month. The National Family Caregivers Association coordinates National Family Caregivers Month as a time to:
Now is a great time to connect with other caregivers to share your frustrations and triumphs. Check out the Association's Family Caregiver Forum today!
Six months after the signing of the landmark Affordable Care Act, several key provisions have already gone into effect.
Additionally, insurers are now unable to continue unfair practices that limit coverage and eligibiliy, including:
For more on all of the provisions that have gone into effect, visit HealthCare.gov: A New Day for American Consumers.
RareArtist.org, an online art gallery displaying works from individuals affected by a rare disease, is holding it's 2nd Annual Every Life Art Contest. The contest is open to any child (aged 5 and up) or adult who has been affected by a rare disease. Paintings, traditional or digital photography, printmaking, etchings, mixed media and digitally created works, will be accepted. Two Grand Prizes will be awarded in each age group: Children 5-11, $100 Visa Gift Card; Teens 12-17, $250 Visa Gift Card, Adults 18+, $500 Visa Gift Card. Entries must be received by January 7, 2011. For additional details, visit rareartist.org.
Seteve Gold, a renowned disability advocate, recently brought to light the vast disparities young and aged people with physical disabiliites (A/D) experience when it comes to receiving care in the community versus their peers with intellectual/developmental disabilities (ID/DD). In FY 2009, on average, states allocated 65% of their ID/DD Medicaid Long Term Care Expenditures towards community settings versus just 33% of their A/D Medicaid Long Term Care Expenditures. For more, check out the article Comparing Olmstead Implementation Among Disabilities.
On Wednesday, October 20th the American Association of People with Disabilities will be hosting Disability Mentoring Day. This national event matches students and young jobseekers with disabilities to professionals in their career of choice and provides opportunities for hands-on career exploration, on-site job shadowing, and ongoing mentoring, leading to internship and employment opportunities. DMD activities vary from one city to the next and could include career days, field trips, onsite job shadowing, and career fairs. To learn more about the Mentoring Day activities in your area, contact your local coordinator by visiting the DMD website via disabilitymentor.net.
The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 significantly changed the landscape for people with disabilities. The younger generation of people with disabilities had access to opportunities that the pre-ADA generation never dreamed of. In turn, the ADA generation never had to endure eugenics, ableism, low expectations, and a complete lack of access, experienced by their predecessors. In an effort to document this legacy and record what it is like for young people with disabilities to grow up in this day and age, Voices of the ADA Generation will be publishing a book-length anthology. Part One of the anthology will explore how the new generation experiences the age old challenges, affording a chance to assess how far we have really come, while Part Two will focus on how young people with disabilities define struggle as it relates to their disability.
If you are a young person (aged 13-30) with a disability consider sharing your story. They are seeking creative and compelling, non-fiction essays that capture your experience as a member of the new generation of young people with disabilities. Submissions should range from 2,000 to 5,000 words and should include your address, phone number, e-mail address and a short bio. Proposals are due by January 15, 2011 and should be submitted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about this project, read Call for Proposals: Disability in America: Voices of a New Generation.
RareArtist.org is an online showcase of artists affected by a rare disease. With more than 25 million Americans affected by some 7000 rare diseases, the site is intended to bring awareness to the rare disease community. Visit rareartist.org to view exceptional works of art by artists of all ages, to upload your own art and share your story, or to send FREE e-cards of your favorite art.
During the week of August 16th, ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer, followed a family as they begin to plan the future of their teenage son with Autism. Recognizing the need for continued support after they are gone, the parents enlist the help of close friends and neighbors in devising a plan that will ensure their son continues to receive the support he needs. In essence, they are building a network of individuals that will take on the role of caregiver over the lifespan of their son. Segments are available for viewing on the World News website.
Under the recently passed Affordable Care Act, the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program has been extended to provide states an additional $2.25 billion for fiscal years 2012-2016 to help people move out of institutions and expand access to home and community based services. A number of states have still not applied for these critical funds, including: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming If your state is among them, contact your Governor's office and encourage them to apply. To learn more about MFP and what benefits it could bring to those with disabilities in your state, review the Invitation to Apply for FY2011 - Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Grant Demonstration.
On July 26th, the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, President Obama signed an Executive Order that directs several federal agencies to develop model recruitment and hiring strategies to increase the employment of people with disabilities within the government. The order also mandates training programs on the employment of individuals with disabilities for human resources personnel and hiring managers. Read the President's July 26th Remarks.
TASH, a disability rights organizaion, hosted a Congressional Briefing concerning the employment of people with disabilities on July 29th. The briefing featured 5 nationally-regarded speakers who discussed critical areas affecting the employment of people with disabilities, including:
Videos of the briefing are available on You Tube and can be accessed via the TASH wbsite: http://www.tash.org/.
The ARC, a national disability organization whose mission is to promote and protect the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has recently issued a survey to "capture the perceptions of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities of all ages,and their families, on issues concerning disability support needs across the life spectrum." If you are an individual with an intellectual disability or a family member, please consider sharing your insight by completing the online survey, available by visiting http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TheArcFinds2010.
It is likely that you have already received your 2010 Census form in the mail. While it is important for every household to participate, it is even more important for households that include an individual with a disability. The census directly affects the funding many agencies receive, as well as federally funded programs that support people with disabilities in the community. It is estimated that for every 100 people not counted, a community risks losing an estimated $1.2 million over the next decade for federally funded programs including: Medicaid and maternal and child health programs, transit programs, public housing assistance, Community Development Block Grants, Head Start, Title 1 education funds and grants for special and vocational education. To learn more about the 2010 Census, visit 2010.census.gov.
Disabilities At Work is a national effort aimed at encouraging businesses to open their doors to the millions of consumers and employees with disabilities. In support of this effort, Disabilities At Work will be launching an Internet Radio Show to air every Wednesday at 12 noon (EST) on the Voice America Business Channel, starting on Wednesday, April 14th. The show will spotlight businesses that go Ã¢â‚¬Å“beyond compliance" in finding and hiring qualified people with disabilities, or who support people with disabilities through philanthropy or in other ways. The show will feature corporate VIPs, successful service providers, educators, people with disabilities who have interesting stories, authors, researchers, government officials, elected representatives, and celebrities who have reasons to be involved.
To learn more, visit Disabilities at Work online at www.DisabilitiesAtWork.org.
A new report, issued by the National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with the AARP, provides a comprehensive portrait of family careigivers in America. For the first time ever this report also provides statistics on caring for children with special needs. Among the key findings:
A number of proposals have been developed by policymakers in an effort to ease the burden of caregiving. The most popular among family caregivers is the availability of a $3000 caregiver tax credit. Another popular proposal is a voucher program which allows the care recipient to provide the caregiver a minimum wage payment for some of their hours. Other proposals include respite services to provide a break from caregiving and a partially paid leave of absence from work.
The report can be downloaded from the AARP website by visiting http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/il/caregiving_09_es.pdf.
ADAPT has recently launched a national campaign to protect the rights of Americans with disabilities when it comes to choice in long term care. Despite the Supreme Court's ruling 11 years ago that care must be provided in the community, states continue to allocate the majority of their Medicaid dollars to nursing home care. The federal government is doing nothing to correct the actions of the states, forcing thousands of individuals into nursing homes. In an effort to mobilize the Obama administration to enforce the law, ADAPT is calling on the disability community to participate in a three-prong national campaign:
The campaign's progress can be tracked by visiting www.defendingourfreedom2010.blogspot.com.
The Social Security Administration has developed a new website dedicated to their Ticket to Work Program for individuals with disabilities. The Ticket to Work program provides a voucher that eligible individuals with disbilities can use to pay for employment-related services. This program has been largely underutilized and is simply waiting for you to tap into it. If you are currently receiving Social Security Disability Benefits and are interested in going to work, check out the Choose Work website at www.choosework.net.
Think Beyond the Label has a simple goal - to raise awareness that hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense. Many employers continue to be "scared off" by the prospect of hiring an individual with a disability. This campaign aims to educate employers on available hiring incentives and to connect employers to qualified candidates with disabilities. Their website features a Business Case for hiring individuals with disabilities, a Tax Incentives Tip Sheet and Best Practices for finding qualified workers.
Get your reality check by visiting www.thinkbeyondthelabel.com.
The National Countil on Disability has recently issued The State of Housing in America in the 21st Century: A Disability Perspective. This report looks at the state of housing for people with disabilities with the intent to provide recommendations that can improve housing opportunities. The report found that affordability continues to be a major factor in the availability of housing for people with disabilities and that existing laws are doing little to increase the supply of accessible, affordable housing. The report also provides evidence of what can be effective in meeting the range of housing needs among a diverse group of consumers with disabilities. This includes best and promising practices drawn from real examples, and lessons learned from experts working on housing issues and policy. To read this report in its entirety, visit www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2010/NCD_Housing_Report508.pdf.
Under a new law that changes what counts as income, more Medicare beneficiaries could qualify for Extra Help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs. More specifically, it eliminates the cash value of life insurance from counting as a resource. Second, it eliminates the assistance people receive from others to pay for household expenses, such as food, rent, mortgage or utilities, from counting as income. Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for Extra Help could save an estimated $3,900 per year. To qualify, a person must be on Medicare, have limited income and resources, and reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. To learn if you qualify, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp.
Despite the 1999 Supreme Court Olmstead decision, which held that unnecessary institutionalization is discrimination against people with disabilities, and an overwhelming desire among the aged and individuals with disabilities to receive care in their home, Medicaid is continuing to spend two-thirds of long-term care dollars on institutional care. In FY 2008, only 4 states, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington, spent more for community care versus nursing home care.
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