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BUT WHEELCHAIRS CAN'T SOLVE SOME PROBLEMS
. . . which physically challenged men and women face every day Nedstat Counter

Prominent 'celebrity' advocate Christopher Reeve is helping sensitize today's society to the urgency of spinal cord research, but meantime working to assure today's disabled full access to opportunities for work and play.



Resources are everywhere, and in a wide variety of forms:  

Rahman Davoodi
of the University of Southern California maintains an extensive set of links to web-based information on spinal cord research and related issues. . .
 And Canadian John Wellings, who masquerades as Hillbilly Hank, provides a down-to-earth look at one man's life in a wheelchair, in his website Paraplegic Pandemonium

Unfortunately for today's wheelchair users, there's more to it than a miracle 'cure' in the medical sense, as profoundly welcome as that would be:

While they wait for a scientific breakthrough, the physically challenged bear a disproportionately large share of the burden of unemployment, even in a time of general prosperity...

The problem is complex:
it's a devilish mix of
uninformed public attitudes
('the disabled can't do the job')
and legal disincentives
which have punished those who work by removing their medical safety net -- until the new work incentives improvement act,signed into law by President Clinton in late 1999.

RECOMMENDED READING
A
Louis Harris poll, released by the National Organization on Disability, provides statistical insights into the gaps that divide so-called "able-bodied" America and people with disabilities who share their same dreams and talents.

   


The AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT 
is now more than 10 years old

. . .
but the job isn't finished. Access comes a day at a time, one issue at a time.


Law Extends Coverage To
'The Working Disabled'


WASHINGTON, December 18, 1999 (AP) -- President Clinton today signed a law letting millions of disabled Americans retain their government- funded health coverage when they take a job. Fear of losing Medicare and Medicaid benefits is a major barrier keeping disabled people from seeking employment. About 9 million disabled adults receive Medicare and Medicaid. Income above a certain level disqualifies people from the federal programs. The new law provides $150 million in grants to encourage states to let disabled workers buy into Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor. It also creates a $250 million Medicaid buy-in demonstration for people who are not so severely disabled that they cannot work. It extends, for 4 1/2 years, Medicare coverage for those in the disability insurance system who return to work. Disability beneficiaries returning to the work force would get a voucher for purchasing health care services--either private or government.

Disabled shoppers sue
Federated, Macy’s

MIAMI, December 23, 1999 (AP) — Department store aisles packed with merchandise are supposed to increase sales, but disabled people who say the crowding keeps them from shopping at some Macy’s stores have filed a lawsuit. It follows an October decision by a federal judge in San Francisco who ordered a Macy’s store there to improve accessibility.Among other accessibility requirements, the Americans with Disability Act requires main store aisles to be 36 inches wide.  

Yankees, NYC Settle 
Disabled Bias Suit

NEW YORK, December 13, 1999 (Reuters) - The New York Yankees agreed on Monday to settle a federal discrimination suit by vastly increasing the amount of seating for wheelchair-bound fans and providing a choice of ticket prices to the disabled. Prior to the settlement, 44 pairs of wheelchair and companion seating locations were provided at Yankee Stadium, which seats more than 50,000. Under the accord, the number of these locations will be increased to 400 pairs and will be dispersed throughout the lower levels of the stadium
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is a valuable collection of timely news and opinion on a wide variety of disability issues, and links to dozens of websites.

is an enterprising websource of info about disability research, advocacy, and activism in the field of spinal cord injury.


is an Atlanta site devoted to home design, to making private residences 'visitable' by the disabled.  Lots of good ideas, and political action, too.


and its companion webzine, wemedia.com, cover the entire spectrum of disabilities, from mobility to hearing to sight . . . and sometimes gets exercised about disability rights, too.


Hand controls, curb cuts, and lightweight chairs don't help much when employers won't consider hiring a disabled but fully able worker.


The visibility of wheelchair sportsmen like
John Davis of Vail, Colorado, above, aided by the work of competitive wheelchair designer John Castellano, will help erase many misconceptions about people with disabilities. But often it takes legislation and active advocacy to make wider opportunities happen.


is a disability activist group that opposes assisted suicide for the disabled, and takes 'dead' aim at Dr. Kervorkian. Read about their movement, founded by Chicago's Diane Coleman, and see what you think.


-- Mike Thompson in the Detroit Free-Press

 





We can't stop until everyone is invited to the dance!
 

 

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