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Category: Advocacy

Why the Census Matters for People with Disabilities

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, and Public Awareness

From https://www.ndrn.org

Key Takeaways

The decennial census is the constitutionally mandated count of all residents of the United States.

  • Census data help direct more than $800 billion a year in federal funding, including for key programs that support and protect the rights of people with disabilities.
  • The Census Bureau considers people with disabilities hard to count. However, the bureau has taken steps to make participation more accessible.
  • Stakeholders can help ensure a fair and accurate count of people with disabilities. Community organizations can, for example, play a vital role as trusted partners in conducting effective outreach.

For the full text, please visit https://www.ndrn.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/People-with-Disabilities-Brief.pdf or see the embedded PDF below.

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Join Advocates across the Country Tomorrow to #StopTheShock

Posted in Advocacy, and Public Awareness

From NCIL:

Tomorrow, April 24, marks five years since the FDA’s hearing on the graduated electronic decelerator (GED) shock devices used at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC). They found the device to cause serious harm and a ban was recommended. Since then, proposed regulations have been published and promises have been made, but the ban still hasn’t been finalized. Decades of advocacy have gotten us this far, and we need to keep the pressure on the FDA to release the ban and #StopTheShock! NCIL is proud to support the Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s #WeAreStillWaiting Campaign and tomorrow’s Day of Action to speak out against the torture and abuse inflicted on our disabled siblings at the JRC. We hope you will join advocates around the country by taking action and demanding the FDA #StopTheShock. Let them know that #WeAreStillWaiting by taking action in one of the following ways:

  • Go to your local wait-in. Advocates at ASAN’s 10 wait-ins will come together to engage their communities in the fight to #StopTheShock. Wait-ins can involve anything from handing out flyers to writing letters.
  • If you can’t make a wait-in in person, join the virtual wait-in! They’ll be making calls, sending emails, and more throughout the day, with scripts and tips available.
  • Call or email the FDA and tell them to release the ban on electric shock devices.
  • Call or email your elected officials and tell them to sign a letter asking the FDA to #StopTheShock.
  • Use social media to spread the word and get your friends involved, and make sure to use the hashtags #WeAreStillWaiting and #StopTheShock! Check out ASAN’s social media kit (PDF) for more ideas. One way to get involved on social media is to take a selfie showing where you are waiting for the FDA to release the rule, and encourage your friends to join you.
  • Write an op-ed or letter to the editor for your local newspapers, and let your neighbors know what they can do to #StopTheShock.

Instruction in Self-Advocacy (ISA) Program

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Group, Outreach, Public Awareness, and Training

Northern WV Center for Independent Living in partnership with The WV Division of Rehabilitation Services will be hosting an Instruction in Self-Advocacy (ISA) Program in the months of June-August of 2019. This program will be completed in four-day periods, from 9am-3pm and held for consumers in and around the areas of Monongalia County, Randolph County, and Gilmer County.

This ISA program will meet the Pre-Employment Transition Service of Instruction in Self Advocacy. Students who participate in these programs will gain the skills necessary to be confident and self-directed self-advocates. NWVCIL will provide high quality instruction in self-advocacy as well as experiential opportunities for students to practice self-advocacy.

Qualifying consumer participants may earn up to $15.00 per hour of participation. For more information please contact Christine Wilcox, Transition Advocate at NWVCIL (304)296-6091 or email cwilcox@nwvcil.org.

Follow the event on Facebook for more information.

World Autism Awareness Day

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, and Public Awareness

From the UN:

“On World Autism Awareness Day, we speak out against discrimination, celebrate the diversity of our global community and strengthen our commitment to the full inclusion and participation of people with autism. Supporting them to achieve their full potential is a vital part of our efforts to uphold the core promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: to leave no one behind.”

Secretary-General António Guterres

2019 World Autism Awareness Day observance

“Assistive Technologies, Active Participation”

Tuesday, 2 April 2019, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
United Nations Headquarters, Conference Room 1

Autism awareness has grown worldwide in recent years. For the United Nations, the rights of persons with disabilities, including persons with autism, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), are an integral part of its mandate.

When world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, the international community reaffirmed its strong commitment to inclusive, accessible and sustainable development, and pledged that no one would be left behind. In this context, the participation of persons with autism as both agents and beneficiaries is essential for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For many people on the autism spectrum, access to affordable assistive technologies is a prerequisite to being able to exercise their basic human rights and participate fully in the life of their communities, and thereby contribute to the realization of the SDGs. Assistive technology can reduce or eliminate the barriers to their participation on an equal basis with others.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities acknowledges the instrumental role of assistive technologies in enabling persons with disabilities to exercise their rights and freedoms. It obliges States that are party to the Convention to promote availability and use of such technologies at an affordable cost, to facilitate access to them, and to undertake or promote research and development into new such technologies.

While technological advances are continuous, there are still major barriers to the use of assistive technologies, including high costs, lack of availability, lack of awareness of their potential, and a lack of training in their use. Available data indicates that, in several developing countries, more than 50% of the persons with disabilities who need assistive devices are not able to receive them.

In September 2018, the UN Secretary-General launched a new Strategy on New Technologies, which aims to define how the United Nations system will support the use of these technologies to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The Strategy is also intended to facilitate the alignment of these technologies with the values enshrined in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the norms and standards of International Law, including the CRPD and other human rights conventions. These values include equality and equity, inclusion and transparency. Design and use of new technologies, according to the Strategy, should be guided by a rights-based and ethical perspective.

In the context of the Secretary-General’s Strategy, the 2019 World Autism Awareness Day observance at UN Headquarters in New York will focus on leveraging the use of assistive technologies for persons with autism as a tool in removing the barriers to their full social, economic and political participation in society, and in promoting equality, equity and inclusion. Topics to be addressed through discussions with self-advocates and experts include:

  • The Internet and digital communities: Leveling the playing field
  • Independent living: Smart home technology and more
  • Education and employment: Communication and executive functioning
  • Telemedicine: Opening the doors to healthcare
  • The right to be heard: Political participation and advocacy

In 2008, The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day.

Taken from the UN Website.

DIA Co-Sponsors Needed!

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, and Public Awareness

From NCIL and edited for WV voters:

We need to immediately secure members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee as co-sponsors on the Disability Integration Act – DIA (H.R. 555) in order to achieve movement on this bill in the 116th Congress.

Rep. McKinley sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, so please reach out to them right away. Tell them, “Please co-sponsor DIA (H.R. 555) today!” Then ask your family, friends, co-workers, and other community members to call and email as well.

This is the committee that will work the DIA in the House. They are in charge of the first part of the process of eventually bringing this bill to a full vote in the House of Representatives.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has 55 members: 31 Democrats (we need 19 more) and 24 Republicans (we need 23 more).

Contacting Your Legislators
Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for Representative McKinley’s office or contact your Representative’s office directly at (202) 225-4172.

Once connected, ask to speak with a staff member who handles civil rights. Make sure you give them your name and identify that you are a constituent. Tell the staff member, “Please tell Representative McKinley that I want them to co-sponsor the Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555) today!”

You can tell your story and use the talking points provided. Tell them to contact Amy Bos in Representative Jim Sensenbrenner’s office at 202-225-5101 or amy.bos@mail.house.gov to sign on as a co-sponsor today! This may take multiple calls and emails.

You can also call, email, and post to social media. Hashtags: #DIA#DIAToday #DisabilityFreedom.

NWVCIL at Disability Advocacy Day

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

NWVCIL took Charleston by storm to advocate for inclusivity and barrier removal.

Posted by NWVCIL on Thursday, February 7, 2019

NWVCIL took Charleston by storm to advocate for inclusivity and barrier removal. Check out our Facebook page for pictures!

Ed Roberts’ Day

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, and Public Awareness

Remembering a pioneer of disability rights on Ed Roberts’ Day.

Ed Roberts (1939-1995) was an American activist and a pioneering leader in the disability rights movement. He was the first student with severe disabilities to attend the University of Berkeley, California. In 1976, newly elected Governor Jerry Brown appointed Roberts Director of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation — the same agency that had once labelled him too severely disabled to work. Later, he helped found the World Institute on Disability. The following is a compilation of several of Roberts’ most famous speeches. As you read, take notes on Roberts’ tone, use of humor, and central ideas.

I contracted polio when I was fourteen. I had a serious fever, and within 24 hours, I was paralyzed and in an iron lung.1 Within earshot, my mother asked the doctor whether I would live or die.“You should hope he dies, because if he lives, he’ll be no more than a vegetable for the rest of his life. How would you like to live in an iron lung 24 hours a day?” So I decided to be an artichoke… a little prickly on the outside but with a big heart. You know, the vegetables of the world are uniting, and we’re not going away!

The transition was hard. I was on oxygen for a while. I had terrible acne and nobody could understand why it was so bad; when they stopped the oxygen my acne went away. I was so young… I had to deal with heavy-duty issues at a young age. I remember one night, it was a war going on in my body. I was making all kinds of noises, guns, explosions, planes, tanks… a nurse came in and asked me what was wrong. “It’s a war,” I told her. I was fighting for my own life. At that time, portable ventilators had not been invented.Everyone made the outlook bleak.

I decided that I wanted to die. I was fourteen years old. Now, it’s very hard to kill yourself in a hospital with everything set up to save your life. But the mind is a powerful thing. I stopped eating.They started to force feed me. It was really demeaning. I dropped to 54 pounds.

My last special duty nurse left, and the next day I decided I wanted to live. You see, that was a big turning point. Up until then, these nurses were available and doing things for me around the clock — I didn’t have to make any decisions for myself because they were always there. When they all finally left, that’s when I realized that I could have a life, despite what everyone was saying. I could make choices, and that is freedom. I started to eat again.

To read more, please visit CommonLit.org