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Keeping pace with the world of disability, one blog-post at a time.

As ADA Turns 26, PWD Write On!

July 26, 2016

Toddrcr-logo-hz-wt-100ay is July 26, 2016 — An extraordinary day in our history.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on this day 26 years ago and that’s reason to celebrate; to reflect; and to look with hope and determination toward a future where disability rights are fully recognized and revered as civil rights — human rights to be preserved and protected without hesitation or breach.

Indeed, on that hot summer day in 1990, George H.W. Bush signed into law the most comprehensive legislation ever crafted in the name of equal rights for people with disabilities.  And yet, more than a quarter of a century later, despite the advances made, the journey to true equality is far from complete.  26 years post-ADA, the unemployment rate among people with disabilities soars above that of people without disabilities; healthcare settings remain fraught with inaccessible equipment and facilities; moms and dads with disabilities often face the threat of losing their children or are denied the right to adopt; and cities and municipalities repeatedly fail when it comes to integrated disaster planning and access to the vote.

What a trip it’s been, and still, we have miles to go before we can rest. Yet, as discouraged and exhausted as we may find ourselves at times, we need only look to the countless people with disabilities who are boldly using the power of the written word to proclaim the victory of the ADA and to keep alive the message of its vast potential to take us beyond the limitations of today.  In their writing there is solace, sustenance and the will to press on.

Here are a few ADA-inspired selections well worth the read:



Hofstra presents VOICE Day — October 3, 2014

September 19, 2014

Long Island businesses to celebrate NDEAM

September 20, 2013

It’s that time of year again.  National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).  In an effort to recognize companies that understand and embrace the importance of integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities, the Long Island  Working Partnership will hold its annual awards ceremony on October 11, 2013 at Carlyle on the Green in Bethpage, New York.

Check out details here.

Govs called to action on employment of PWD

August 9, 2013

Wrapping up his chairmanship of the  National Governors Association (NGA), Deleware Governor Jack Markell  has released a report challenging governors across the US to up their game when it comes to getting people with disabilities into the workforce.  And there is little room left for excuses.

The Executive Summary’s opening  statement empowers governors to introduce businesses to “[this] often-ignored talent pool…” and goes on to arm them with facts to enlighten  industry leaders who lament the lack of candidates with skills:1

  • Of the estimated 54 million Americans living with a disability, 20 percent are employed or seekingemployment, compared to almost 70 percent of Americans without a disability.2
  • People with disabilities bring valuable skills to the workforce. For example, more than 600,000 scientists and engineers currently employed in the United States have disabilities.3
  • Some of the top innovators in the United States have disabilities, including the cef executive officers ofFord Motor Company, Apple, Xerox, and Turner Television.4
  • As of 2011, an estimated 204,189 civilian federal government employees, or approximately 11 percent, had disabilities—as do thousands of state employees across the country.5

Will your state’s governor step up to the plate? 


PWD: NPR coverage misrepresents disability

March 29, 2013

In a recent post on his blog, Planet of the Blind, Steven Kuusisto adeptly schools NPR reporter Chana Joffe-Walt about the realities of disability and unemployment.  Unfit to Write About Disability suggests that the Public Radio story, Unfit For Work, misrepresents the disability experience by limiting its coverage to a medicalized view of what it means to live and work (or try to work) as a person with a disability.

Joffe-Walt hasn’t done her homework, a matter that may be inapparent to many of NPR’s readers,… [Her] arguments depend on pathos rather than facts. Joffe-Walt fails to address the biggest fact in the room, that disability is a social construction even more than a medical category, and in turn the artificial architectural and physical constraints marshaled against people with disabilities are both products of history and the industrial revolution.

Organizations across the community of people with disabilities are responding, too.   The Citizens Consortium for People with Disabilities (CCD) released a detailed sign-on letter to express collective outrage over coverage that “fails to tell the whole story and perpetuates dangerous myths about Social Security Disability programs and the people they help.”

 Check out the Action Alert calling for PWD to insist that NPR cover disability with accuracy and hard facts.