Welcome to our latest installment of noteworthy disability-themed articles! In addition, as a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest.
In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer an array of services. The Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of AT information and equipment.
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Disability in the News (Mostly in New Jersey, the Population We Serve)
New Jersey lawmakers advance a bipartisan bill to examine, address the “loneliness epidemic.”
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $3 million for affordable housing in New Jersey, which will also assist residents with disabilities in the state.
Informative, Positive, Noteworthy (or All Three!)
Greta Thunberg earned Time’s coveted Person of the Year. The challenges her Asperger’s present aside, she has drawn on her talents and strengths to lead the world to a better, more sustainable future.
“After eight and a half years together, a little under four of them as a married couple, my husband decided that he no longer wanted a wife with a disability,” writes Brenda Arrredondo, on her forced journey from dependence to independence, in this powerful New York Times article.
What could be better than holiday gifts? Gifts that support artisans and entrepreneurs with disabilities! Advocate and author Emily Ladau presents the 2019 Disability Holiday Gift Guide on her blog, “Words I Wheel By.”
Losing part of a leg did not stop this New Jersey Soul Food chef.
For Parents of a Child with a Disability (Parenting)
“Does your kid think your smart speaker is just another family member?” Four in 10 parents report they own a home assistant. When children interact with these smart speakers, how much is child’s play and how much is an addiction?
In this New York Times essay on parenting, a mom who needs a wheelchair for most of her mobility discusses how it has made her a better parent. “Because I can walk short distances, strangers judge me for using a wheelchair. But it allows me to be the parent my active toddler needs.”
Advocacy and Self-advocacy
Disability advocate and writer Andrew Pulrang notes, “For people with disabilities, asking for help carries hidden costs.”
We honor two disability advocates who passed recently:
- Marilyn Saviola, disability rights advocate, passed away. She was 74. Marilyn “joined the battle for the rights of people with disabilities in the late 1960s, when it was still relatively new.” According to her obituary, she “spent much of her adult life advocating for people with disabilities, pushing for the removal of both the physical barriers and the attitudes that hinder people like her from fully participating in society” We appreciate all she has done for the disability community!
- As the parent of a foster son with a disability, Eleanor Elkin, 103, of Philadelphia, advocate for the rights of the others like him. Eleanor was known around the world for speaking out on the need for the education and self-determination of people with disabilities, along with their acceptance and inclusion, rather than pity.
Blind YouTube star Molly Burke doesn’t want a cure—she wants a voice.
Lydia Brown, disability rights advocate and self-advocate wrote in the Washington Post: “Autistic young people deserve serious respect and attention—not dismissal as the pawns of others.”
From BBC News: In the world of fashion, “They think disability is almost worse than being dead.”
College for Students with a Disability
An NPR segment discusses how student loan borrowers with disabilities have not been receiving the help they were promised.
Disability Rights, Accessibility
From Forbes magazine: “Why Is Accessibility Still a Problem? What Can We Do About It?” Noted disability advocate and writer Andrew Pulrang breaks down the answers in three categories and offers valuable resources.
Article in Salon: The physics (and economics, and politics) of wheelchairs on planes. “Flying can be stressful, painful, or simply impossible for wheelchair users. Critics say it doesn’t have to be.” So, “Why can’t passengers use their own on board?”
Employment for People with Disabilities
A Princeton eatery gives those with intellectual and developmental disabilities a place to have a career.
A New Jersey coffee shop aims to change how people with disabilities are employed.
We revisit this important article from Forbes: “Why Underemployment Plagues People with Disabilities Even in a Strong Economy.”
This short New York Times article offers on how to teach a child braille. There are fairly simple steps a parent can take.
An important new resource for educational leaders has been published, Forward Together: A School Leader’s Guide to Creating Inclusive School. It’s available online here.
The Arts and People with Disabilities
The hero of Netflix’s Atypical loves to draw. Meet the artist with autism behind his work.
Before you post a negative review of this accommodation on TripAdvisor, know that the annoying inaccessibility features are deliberate. Using his talent as a disability-awareness tool, an artist who uses a wheelchair designed a hotel room that’s difficult to stay in. This unusual hotel was featured by the BBC.
Fashion, Beauty, and Glamour: Inclusion of People with Disabilities
We take a look back to the establishment of #ShowUs, an archive of more than 5,000 stock photos of models who have a disability. Until then, the problem had been twofold: disabled models felt and were underrepresented and publishers were using the few stock photos over and over again, in effect creating visual stereotypes of this population.
Notable Research on Disability
A child’s environment exerts a strong influence on the severity of their autism, a study of identical twins suggests.
Rutgers University has undertaken a major study aimed at improving health equity in New Jersey.
Rethinking repetitive behaviors in autism: Once seen as not socially appropriate behavior, stimming is gaining acceptance. Awareness of the benefits these actions offer autistic individuals in their quest to participate fully in society is increasing. “It’s important [for researchers] to recognize that it’s the way autistic people move through our world and engage with it,” says Raya, one of the subjects of this article. “It’s part of the way we learn and process information, and it’s a way we express our feelings and communicate.”
People with a Disability in the Community (Disability Rights and Acceptance; Inclusion)
“Eye Set On Tokyo”: A Cranford, New Jersey, Parathlete has her eye on the Olympics. Her cerebral palsy is simply part of who she is.
He has a disability. She doesn’t. To change how the world sees them as a couple, they launched a vlog, “Squirmy and Grubs,” and became a YouTube sensation. Shane has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare disorder in which one’s muscles deteriorate. He is also the author of a book, Laughing at My Nightmare.