Category Archives: Disabilitiies

“Am I Going Blind?” – The New York Times

going blindBen Wiseman

by Frank Bruni

“They say that death comes like a thief in the night. Lesser vandals have the same M.O. The affliction that stole my vision, or at least a big chunk of it, did so as I slept. I went to bed seeing the world one way. I woke up seeing it another.

“This was about four months ago, though it feels like an eternity. So much has happened since. I don’t mean all the tests and procedures: the vials upon vials of blood; the mapping of major arteries in my neck; the imaging of tiny vessels in my brain; the first injection of an experimental treatment (or, maybe, a placebo) into my right, dominant eye, where the damage occurred; then the second injection; and then, last week, the third.

“I mean the rest of it. I went to bed believing that I was more or less in control — that the unfinished business, unrealized dreams and other disappointments in my life were essentially failures of industry and imagination, and could probably be redeemed with a fierce enough effort. I woke up to the realization of how ludicrous that was.”

Click here to read this New York Times column about vision loss in its entirety.

going blind logo

Going Blind: Coming out of the dark about vision loss is a movie that looks at several of the leading contributors to vision loss and blindness and features conversations with real people with these issues. The movie is a good conversation starter and has been shown at senior centers, senior residences, libraries and retirement communities. Your Link partners’ network has the film and would like to offer to screen it with your organization, group or club. Contact the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area coordinator. Call or text: 717.380.9714. Email:

Millersville University’s slate of “accessible perfomances”

accessible performances

Download the above graphic as a .pdf format; click here: Accessible Performances Flier

Friday Wrap-Up, February 16, 2018 | 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.

2016 Disability Status Report

quick stat 1

The annual report from Cornell University provides a summary of the most recent demographic and economic statistics on the non-institutionalized population with disabilities. The report includes information about the population size and disability prevalence for various demographic subpopulations. Statistics related to employment, earnings, household income, veterans’ service-connected disability and health insurance are also included.

quick stat 2

disability status reportClick on the graphic or here to download the complete report as a .pdf format.


“How Voters With Disabilities Are Blocked From the Ballot Box” – StateLine

didsability votingA South Carolina voter, prevented from entering a polling place by her physical disability, receives assistance from a poll worker on the day of the state’s 2016 Democratic presidential primary. More people with disabilities are encountering barriers to voting, a problem that is being exacerbated by the widespread return to paper ballots.

PHOTO SOURCE: Gerald Herbert, The Associated Press
“For decades, Kathy Hoell has struggled to vote. Poll workers have told the 62-year-old Nebraskan, who uses a powered wheelchair and has a brain injury that causes her to speak in a strained and raspy voice, that she isn’t smart enough to cast a ballot. They have led her to stairs she couldn’t climb and prevented her from using an accessible voting machine because they hadn’t powered it on. ‘Basically,’ Hoell said, ‘I’m a second-class citizen.’

“The barriers Hoell has faced are not unusual for the more than 35 million voting-age Americans with disabilities.”

Continue reading this StateLine article, click here.

Oral health issues in aging & how to prevent them

dental 2

The good habits you developed as a child to help care for your teeth continue to be important throughout your life. But as we age, we become more likely to experience additional oral health issues.

Knowing what these problems are, what they look like, and what you can do to treat or prevent them can help you keep your teeth healthy.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can develop at any age, but older adults are more likely to experience it. The condition can put your gums at serious risk for infection and disease.

Gum disease is more than just an annoyance. It has been directly linked to an increased prevalence of heart disease, although a direct causation has not yet been found. If your gums aren’t healthy, it’s time to take notice.

Click here to continue reading this article at

ToothWisdomLogo is a project of Oral Health America and serves both seniors and their caregivers by teaching about oral health in aging and by connecting individuals with affordable dental clinics.

Oral Health America

Oral Health America (OHA) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Chicago, with a mission to change lives by connecting communities with resources that increase access to care, education, and advocacy for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable.

Find out more about OHA and our other programs at

The Wisdom Tooth Project®

Oral Health America’s older adult program, the Wisdom Tooth Project (WTP), focuses on improving the oral health outcomes of older adults, especially those 65 and older. is one of the strategies outlined within the larger program, and is tailored to older adults and their caregivers to connect them with educational and care resources.

To stay up-to-date about the Wisdom Tooth Project, sign up for our Wisdom Tooth Insider e-updates.


Friday Wrap-Up, January 26, 2018 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week 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.


What are the disability charactistics in Pennsylvania’s counties?


The Pennsylvania State Data Center report, DISABILITY CHARACTERISTICS IN PENNSYLVANIA COUNTIES (2012-2016) provides a snapshot of the disabilities affecting residents in Pennsylvania’s counties.

Ambulatory and cognitive disabilities are the most prevalent in the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources’ Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area.

Click here to see the report and hover your cursor over the county you want to see; the information will appear.

“In Their Own Words: People With Intellectual Disabilities Talk About Rape” – NPR

“Yes, it’s happened to me. It was a staff person. It started out where he was buying pop for me and candy for me at, it was called, the canteen. … Then one time he asked me to come down in the basement. He wanted to show me something. And I trusted him. That’s where that happened.” — Sam Maxwell, Meadville, Pa.

debbie-robinsonDebbie Robinson has been a leader and an advocate, in Pennsylvania and across the country, for people with disabilities. – Meg Anderson/NPR”

Editor’s note: This report includes descriptions of sexual assault.

“Somebody with an intellectual disability by definition has difficulty learning, reasoning or problem-solving.

“But many often think deeply about the things that affect them — and the things that isolate them, like sexual assault.

“As part of its investigation into the hidden epidemic of sexual violence faced by this group of Americans, NPR reached out to people with intellectual disabilities across the country to hear their voices, what they have to say about the sexual assaults they’ve survived, and how those experiences have affected their lives.”

Read this article in its entirety (and listen to their stories) at NPR here.

Better Hearing and Speech Month Award


hamilton relay letter

Hamilton Relay, contracted service provider for Pennsylvania, is currently seeking nominations for the 2018 Better Hearing and Speech Month Recognition Award.

Nominations are due April 2nd. Please read the above nomination information letter and click here to download the scholarship application.

Nominations are sought for individuals who are hard of hearing, late-deafened or have difficulty speaking and who have been a positive influence in Pennsylvania, demonstrating commitment to volunteerism, leadership, advocacy and enhancing the lives of those around them.

The award will be presented during Better Hearing and Speech Month in May.