Category Archives: Disabilitiies

“Is my life worth $1,000 a month? The reality of feeling undervalued by federal disability payments.” – PublicSource

ssdi“Sue Kerr receives $1,000 each month through Social Security Disability Insurance.” (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

First-person essay by Sue Kerr

“My personal income puts me at the federal poverty level, even though I have a graduate degree and more than 30 years of both paid and unpaid work experience. Because I am disabled and no longer able to do most paid work, I receive about $1,000 through Social Security Disability Insurance [SSDI].

“Our household income is higher, but I can’t help but wonder why my life is valued so low. Is it determined by some higher entity or karma? Is it a numerological message or is it just a confluence of being a woman, a disabled person and a queer person?

“According to the 2016 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, an estimated 10.4 million adults age 18 and older in the United States had a serious mental illness, including 2.4 million adults living below the poverty line. In 2018, 9% of white women were living in poverty, compared to 20% of Black women and 29% of all women with disabilities, according to the National Women’s Law Center. A recent report from the Williams Institute found that one in five LGBTQ persons live in poverty.”

Read this first person article in its entirety at PublicSource, click here.

“People born blind are mysteriously protected from schizophrenia” –

The possible explanations could help us better understand the condition.


by Shayla Love

“It was something Tom Pollak had heard whispers about—an odd factoid, referred to now and again, usually with bewilderment: No person who was born blind has ever been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

“Over the past 60-some years, scientists around the world have been writing about this mystery. They’ve analyzed past studies, combed the wards of psychiatric hospitals, and looked through agencies that treat blind people, trying to find a case.

“As time goes on, larger data sets have emerged: In 2018, a study led by a researcher named Vera Morgan at the University of Western Australia looked at nearly half a million children born between 1980 and 2001 and strengthened this negative association. Pollak, a psychiatrist and researcher at King’s College London, remembered checking in the mental health facility where he works after learning about it; he too was unable to find a single patient with congenital blindness who had schizophrenia.”

Click here to continue reading this fascinating article at

“‘He’s still Superman in our eyes’: Former Raiders, Penn State football player fights to live” – The York Daily Record

steve smithAbove (left), “Penn State’s Steve Smith (33) was a bulldozing fullback with a good set of wheels. But he believes playing arguably the game’s most brutal position led to head trauma and ALS that has all but paralyzed him for more than a decade. [Photo: Richard Drew, AP]; (right), Chie Smith helps her husband, Steve, use a computer controlled by eye movements. However, he struggles now to even communicate with that because of deteriorating health. He’s battled ALS for 15 years … the disease the former Penn State fullback believes was caused by years of head trauma from football. [Photo: Frank Bodani]

by Frank Bodani

“RICHARDSON, Texas — She leaned in close to ask him a question.

“One of the great Penn State football leaders looked up from his wheelchair. He cannot speak to his wife anymore.

“The best he can do is move his eyes from side to side for, ‘No.’

“A blink means, ‘Yes.’

“Only the rhythmic whoosh of air from his breathing machine cut the quiet.

“Finally, Steve Smith blinked. And then he smiled, slow and big.

“The fullback and captain of Penn State’s last national championship team has not walked or talked on his own — has not been able to even hold his wife’s hand — in more than a decade.

“‘Superman,’ as his Nittany Lion teammates once called him, cannot do anything for himself, despite an apparently clear mind.

“Even more, he fights on after renouncing the sport that shaped his entire life.”

Read this York Daily Record article in its entirety, click here.


WEBINAR: “Measuring home and community-based services for older adults and people with disabilities”

wellsky webinar

Register for this WEBINAR that will be held on February 5, 2020 at 2:00 pm eastern time.

Gain a deeper understanding of the factors that help older adults and people with disabilities maintain their independence, and to what degree publicly funded services are meeting those needs. This session examines a wealth of data to answer the questions:

  • What access does the aging and disabled community have to vital services like transportation, employment, and service coordination?
  • How do outcomes vary among programs funded by Medicaid, the Older Americans Act, and states?
  • Where can I go for data to guide the work of my agency?

“RISE OF THE DANCEFLUENCER | These L.A. dancers show how the internet is helping nontraditional talent break into the industry” – The Los Angeles Times

“These L.A. dancers show how the internet is helping nontraditional talent break into the industry”

by Makeda Easter

“Amanda LaCount got the type of Instagram message most dancers could only dream of: an invitation to audition for a secret project with Parris Goebel, a choreographer for Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez and Nicki Minaj. Although the 18-year-old LaCount didn’t know many details, she knew it had to be big.

Only after auditioning in L.A. and booking the job did she learn that she would be performing for pop goddess and fashion mogul Rihanna.

Read this article in its entirety at The Los Angeles Times.


Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) Offers Funding for Tablet Technology

tablet technology

Did you know that PATF offers partial grants for tablet technology to our Mini-Loan borrowers? That’s right — if you’re a Pennsylvanian with a disability planning to use a PATF Mini-Loan to pay for a tablet (for example, an iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Amazon Fire, etc.) we can provide a grant to offset the cost by up to 50% of the loan ($500 at most).

These loans also offer an opportunity to build credit, with 0% interest and no fees. Borrowers of ANY income level are eligible.

Please note: PATF does not extend grants only. If a loan applicant meets eligibility guidelines, PATF may be able to offer a partial grant in conjunction with a Mini-Loan.

Save money, build credit, and most importantly, get the assistive technology you need! Contact us for details.


American Girl Introduces Doll With Disability

american girl dollJoss Kendrick, who has congenital hearing loss, is American Girl’s 2020 Girl of the Year. (American Girl)

by Shaun Heasley

“With a new doll, the iconic American Girl lineup is for the first time telling the story of a girl with a developmental disability.

“The brand’s 2020 Girl of the Year has congenital hearing loss. Named Joss Kendrick, the character is deaf in her left ear but can hear a little in her right ear using a hearing aid.

“While American Girl has previously featured issues like stuttering and offered accessories including a wheelchair, hearing aids, service dogs and arm crutches, Joss is the brand’s first character to have a physical disability as part of her story, according to Julie Parks, a spokeswoman for American Girl.”

Click here to read this article at Disability Now.

“Careers & Degrees in Healthcare: A Guide for Students with Disabilities”

person in front of laptop

Healthcare can be a great career path for individuals with disabilities as they can provide valuable perspectives and experiences that directly benefit patients. However, they also face many unique challenges in school and later as professionals, and it can be difficult to know where to turn for quality information.

To help, EduMed produced a comprehensive guidebook that addresses these challenges, gives students career recommendations that accommodate their disabilities, helps explain their rights under the ADA, and much more. You can read the entire guide at the link below.

Careers & Degrees in Healthcare: Guide for Students with Disabilities

EduMed knows that higher education can be the ticket to a rewarding career in medical and health. We also know that every student needs different things when it comes to education, whether a fully online program to maximize flexibility or help finding and securing financial aid or scholarships. To get students moving in the right direction, we work with hundreds of healthcare and higher education experts to provide well-researched and user-friendly content, from detailed school rankings of schools and programs to interviews with online program leaders at colleges and universities across the country. Learn how EduMed can help you succeed.

SOURCE: provided

If you’re a person with a disability | Help test a voting system for use in Pennsylvania

help test a voting system

Deaf and Hard of Heating Directory of Resources and Services

resource directory

Directory of Services & Resources

This searchable directory has over 20 categories to allow you to quickly narrow your search by topic. Some categories include, captioning, sign language, and summer camps. If you would like to see your organization listed or need your existing listing updated, please utilize the available directory listing addition and change request forms below. Note: This directory contains an “interpreter referral agency” category, but does not list interpreters. To search for a registered interpreter, please visit our interpreter search database.