Category Archives: Disabilitiies

For those unexpected incidents – it’s better to have a plan. Do you have a plan?

Keystone 6

Several months ago, this site asked for volunteers for an emergency sheltering exercise; yesterday the Keystone 6 exercise became reality.

Everyone of us needs to know about life’s uncertainties, and the best way to grapple with uncertainty is to have a plan and to practice the plan.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMAs) “Plan & Prepare Webpage – This section of the site provides information on how you can plan and prepare to protect your family, property, and community from natural and manmade disasters is a start.

There are other resources right here at the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources | Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area Website.

  • We offer a 2 hour emergency preparedness planning workshop for FREE. The workshop, FEELING SAFE – BEING SAFE, provides tips and resources to help anyone develop a personal plan for emergency situations.

FSBS cover


“New Series of Maps: Disability in America”

“The Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural) has produced a new series of maps from their research called “Disability in America”.

These maps are based on demographic data collected through the American Community Survey and cover a variety of topics including disability rates, rates of particular types of disabilities, and other indicators for people with disabilities such as poverty and employment.

disability mapsOne of the maps available here:

SOURCE: The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) Friday Updates


NOW AVAILABLE: The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation

promise of assistive technology

“The U.S. Census Bureau has reported that 56.7 million Americans had some type of disability in 2010, which represents 18.7 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population included in the 2010 Survey of Income and Program Participation. The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) provides disability benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. As of December 2015, approximately 11 million individuals were SSDI beneficiaries, and about 8 million were SSI beneficiaries.

“SSA currently considers assistive devices in the nonmedical and medical areas of its program guidelines. During determinations of substantial gainful activity and income eligibility for SSI benefits, the reasonable cost of items, devices, or services applicants need to enable them to work with their impairment is subtracted from eligible earnings, even if those items or services are used for activities of daily living in addition to work. In addition, SSA considers assistive devices in its medical disability determination process and assessment of work capacity.

“The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation provides an analysis of selected assistive products and technologies, including wheeled and seated mobility devices, upper-extremity prostheses, and products and technologies selected by the committee that pertain to hearing and to communication and speech in adults.

SOURCE: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

“Alone and untrained, a mother becomes nurse for her daughter with disabilities” – The Boston Globe

“Noelia Ferreira wants her Abi, born with a rare genetic defect, to know comfort and joy and never an institution.”

Abi“At 6:30 in the morning, Noelia woke her daughter, changed her diaper, and gave her a sponge bath.” – Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

The yelp from the baby monitor startled Noelia Ferreira from a shallow sleep. It took five seconds, maybe, to bolt across the hallway to her daughter’s room, her movements in the dead of night fluid, automatic.

“Abi was lying on her side, her limbs outstretched and rigid in the clutch of another seizure. Noelia leaned in close so their faces were inches apart, her long hair falling around them like a curtain. She gripped Abi’s hands in hers.

“‘It’s OK,’ she promised, making her voice strong. ‘You’re OK now.’

“In sleep, Abi resembled any 15-year-old, with her unruly curls, smooth skin, and slender limbs. But a rare prenatal glitch — a missing piece of genetic code — had interfered with her development. Abi’s body didn’t work the way it should. She could not speak or walk. She was partly blind and deaf, and it was hard to know how much she understood. Her mother fed her through a tube.”

Click here to continue reading this Boston Globe article.


two (or more sides) to every story

A column in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster, “Within confusion in Washington, there are positive economic signs”, harshly states:

“Too many Americans, workforce dropouts, are sitting on the employment sidelines. The economic expansion we could achieve has the power of making employees out of these dropouts. This has the incredible additional benefit of reducing the number of Americans needing welfare-related supports such as Medicaid, SNAP and dozens of other poverty programs.”

and concludes, “Moving people from dependency to self-sustaining must be our achievable goal. Can there be an objection to this?

Simplistic, one-sided draconian commentary may be one side of the story. There are another side.

work requirementsThis article from The Conversation, “How welfare’s work requirements can deepen and prolong poverty: Rose’s story”, is another perspective. This side may represent the fate of a much larger population.



Need-to-know information about child abuse; elder abuse and abuse of adults with disabilities

An article in today’s Allentown’s Morning Call, highlights the increased number of child abuse reports in the Lehigh / Northampton counties area.

“With new laws expanding the number of people who must report suspected abuse or neglect, and new provisions for jailing those who fail to forward a suspicion, the number of child abuse reports has increased more than 50 percent statewide in two years, according to the state Department of Human Services.”

“The Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) requires the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to annually report to the governor and General Assembly on child abuse in the commonwealth. The report provides information on the efforts to protect and help children who were reported as victims of suspected abuse and neglect.”

child protective2016 Annual Child Protective Services Report

child protective 2A page from the report shows the substantiated child abuse reports by county across the commonwealth.

This 2016 article – “Officials: Pa. elder abuse up; resources aren’t”“Officials: Pa. elder abuse up; resources aren’t” – notes, “County officials and advocates for the elderly nationwide argue that protective resources are wanting even though elder abuse is more common than child abuse.”


Child Abuse:

To report child abuse call 1-800-932-0313. Mandated reporters can report online.

Learn more about protecting Pennsylvania’s children from abuse and neglect.

ELDER ABUSE & Adults with Disabilities Abuse:

To report abuse of elderly individuals or adults with disabilities call the Protective Services Hotline: 1-800-490-8505.

Learn more about reporting elder abuse and abuse of adults with disabilities.




Friday Wrap-Up, July 28, 2017 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

“The hidden extra costs of living with a disability” – The Conversation

living with a disabilityA woman is escorted from protest opposing cuts to Medicaid in front of Senator Mitch McConnell’s office on Capitol Hill on June 22, 2017. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

“Disability is often incorrectly assumed to be rare. However, global estimates suggest than one in seven adults has some form of disability.

“The term ‘disability’ covers a number of functional limitations – physical, sensory, mental and intellectual. These can range from mild to severe and might affect someone at any time across the lifespan, from an infant born with an intellectual impairment to an older adult who becomes unable to walk or see.

“What is perhaps less well-known is that studies consistently show that people with disabilities are disproportionately poor. They are more likely to become poor and, when poor, are more likely to stay that way, because of barriers to getting an education, finding decent work and participating in civic life. Taken together, these barriers significantly and adversely impact their standard of living.

“However, a new body of research reveals another major barrier, previously missing from most studies: People living with disabilities also face extra costs of living.”

Continue reading this article at The Conversation, click here.

Today is the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act


July 26, 2017 marks the 27th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Celebrations of the signing of the ADA by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990 are taking place across the nation.

The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA and ADAAA also assure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.

“Nearly 37 million people in our country have a disability and nearly 25% of today’s 20 year olds will experience disability in their lifetime. Since 1991, the 10 regional ADA Centers in the ADA National Network have provided free, confidential and accurate information, resources and training on the ADA to businesses, employers, state and local governments, people with disabilities and their families, advocates, and veterans across the United States,” said Barry Whaley, Director of the Southeast ADA Center.

Through the outreach, training and technical assistance the ADA National Network has done to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA, people with disabilities have better access to businesses, buildings, employment, state and local government programs and services, and increasing opportunities for equal and full participation in civic and community life. (SOURCE: news release

“For people with disabilities, the unemployment rate is still pretty high” – MARKETPLACE

Economy Adds More Jobs Than Expected In April“Linda Wright (C), 57, attends a job conference for unemployed people with disabilities at Manchester Community College in Manchester, Connecticut. – Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images”


“If you’re a person with a disability, you’re much likelier to have a harder time finding employment.

“According to the Department of Labor, in 2016, the unemployment rate for the general population was 4.6 percent. But for people with disabilities? It was stuck around 10.5 percent. That’s about where it was in 2015, too, meaning that despite the ebb and flow of the labor market, employment prospects didn’t change too much for people with disabilities.

“‘I don’t really see the employment rate for people with a significant disability going up. It just seems to have plateaued,’ said Greg Thompson, the executive director of the Personal Assistance Services Council in Los Angeles. ‘And unfortunately there’s a lot of disincentive for somebody with a significant disability to return to work because they lose all their benefits.’

“Thompson was injured in a water skiing accident in 1977, when he became quadriplegic. After his injury, he went through rehabilitation at Rancho Los Amigos in Los Angeles.”

Click here to continue reading this MARKETPLACE article.