As the dust settles from the 2012 elections, access to services and coverage appears to be more feasible for Florida families’ with disabilities. That’s not to say that there won’t still be a constant supply of bumps and potholes ahead, but we are on the move toward our destination of equitable and fair services. Find out more how the Affordable Care Act may impact your loved one.
We live our lives surrounded by labels. We see them in supermarkets, in advertisements, and we even use them subconsciously throughout the day. However, we never stop to realize the dangers of using labels… especially as they apply to people. The only “appropriate labels” are those that HELP people get appropriate treatments and therapies to improve, protect and enrich lives.
In recognition of the 22nd Anniversary of the ADA and its ground-breaking federal policy milestone, Sunrise is launching our “Crib Notes” Project. Contributors are asked to use ONLY SIX WORDS to describe what disability services means to them. (for example, how did it change one’s life, what does it allow a person the freedom to do, how do services impact family members and the general public?, etc…. how far do the “ripples of community inclusion” travel?) The idea is to get the conversation started and to better understand the intangible value of an inclusive life.
The apathy that allowed Homestead’s recent Foster Care Brothel “business” to flourish runs rampant through many state health and human service agencies. “Blanket” policy and procedures are created and only arbitrarily enforced with little thought to their true impact on human lives. For example, two weeks ago, APD Secretary Mike Hansen spoke at the Family Café Conference in Orlando and he applauded Florida’s Foster Care System while pitching his proposal that APD use Florida’s Foster Care System as the “model” for oversight. His statements are reflective of a much more pervasive issue… over-confidence and a lack of a historical perspective along with inadequate internal checks and balances.
“Duty of the State” was a term coined by FDR in his 1931 speech on “The duty of the State toward the citizen is the duty of the servant to its master…. One of the duties of the State is that of caring for those of its citizens who find themselves … unable to obtain even the necessities for mere existence without the aid of others…. To these citizens aid must be extended by government—not as a matter of charity but as a matter of Social Duty.” Florida appears to have forgotten this historic lesson on responsibility.
Sunrise affiliate, Resources for Independence of Virginia (RIVA), is excited to be part of the solution that will help Virginians with developmental disabilities become valued members of local communities across the state. RIVA shares Sunrise’s mission “to enable people to live valued lives in the community” and directly benefits from decades of experience implementing award-winning community inclusion models across the Eastern United States. U.S. District Court Judge John A. Gibney Jr. in Richmond, Virgina is expected to rule on a long-running case that would see four of the state’s five training centers closed and 1,000 people transition to community living. Expansion is on the horizon.
On Saturday, May 19th, Bank of America Volunteers in Broward County returned to Sunrise Opportunities North for their third round of beautification projects…. Mission: South Parking Lot!
We live in an era of instantaneous, global communications, as such the power and the meaning behind our words are more important than ever. While we have the right to free speech, speech is not entirely free. There are always consequences for what we say, whether or not we realize the impact of our words. Words can change us as individuals.
In the last few weeks, APD’s proposed Residential Fee Collection Rule has garnered much attention around the state. As currently written, the Residential Fee would require some clients to give the state excess cash benefits to manage the Agency’s budget. Share your thoughts on APD’s proposed Residential Fee Collection Rule here.
Eli Porter has shown us the exponential power of the internet as an effective tool for self-advocacy. Perhaps unexpected, he is a role-model. “The bar” for acceptable community inclusion has been forever raised. Going forward, inclusion must always be more than just “allowing people with intellectual disabilities to participate in an activity.”
Unlike the Santorums, most families with young children with developmental disabilities remain on the “margins of citizenship.” Sadly, many families with babies born with developmental disabilities have limited access to medical supports or the means to access basic health care for their child. Hopefully the Santorums will use their personal experience with Bella and frame it into a “teachable moment” for the entire country.
Within the greater disabilities community, “differently-abled” has a far broader meaning than competence. It focuses on the ABILITY of each person as opposed to what he/she may be lacking.
Summary: The final week of the session focused principally on appropriations for people interested in developmental disabilities. The Legislature adjourned sine die at 11:59 Friday night. Action during week 9: The Senate and House reached agreement on the General Appropriations Act (HB5001) and passed it late Friday night. For the Waiver, the results are shown [...]
Sunrise’s mission is to provide people with disabilities the assistance and support necessary to enable them to live valued lives in the community and Georgia is “the” state that made that mission possible. Georgia was the lead (along with 29 other states) on a legal appeal to a lawsuit filed by two women who were institutionalized even though their treatment providers said they were able to live in the community. The landmark decision in that case is now known as the 1999 Olmstead Act.
March 7th is the eight annual day of recognition for the Special Olympics’s “Spread the Word To End the Word” campaign. The initiative was launched in 2004 with the sole goal of eliminating the derogatory use of the “R-word”. The “R-word” being “retardation.” The phrase was originally introduced as a medical term with a very specific clinical connotation. But, it quickly went from a clinical description to a word of derision. The word’s pejorative forms, “retard” and “retarded” have been used widely in today’s society to degrade and insult people with and without intellectual disabilities. Sadly, when “retard” and “retarded” are used as synonyms for “dumb” or “stupid” by people without disabilities, it only reinforces painful stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities being less valued members of humanity.
For the past 14 years, American school children have celebrated the legacy and wonder of Dr. Seuss on his March 2nd birthday. On National Literacy Day, Seuss is revered as “the guy” who inspired multiple generations of independent readers with his fantasy-filled stories about imaginative heroes and heroines speaking on behalf of silent, often marginalized [...]
On a recent episode of Celebrity Apprentice, Penn Jillette was brought to tears when talking about his charity of choice, “Opportunity Village” in Las Vegas. The center provides services and supports to people with physical and intellectual challenges while teaching them the pre-vocational skills needed to obtain employment and live as independently as possible [...]
Developmental Disabilities Legislative Session Report #8 By Kingsley Ross firstname.lastname@example.org Summary: Week eight of the session continued to focus principally on appropriations for people interested in developmental disabilities. There is one week left in this session assuming the legislature adjourns on time. Action during week 8: The Senate and House began the appropriations conference process [...]
For the most part, we all want the same things in life. We want freedom and independence. We want respect. We want the chance to prosper and improve our “lot in life”. We want as few people suffering as possible. We want healthy and educated children. We want to feel safe and enjoy crime-free streets [...]
Judge William J. Brennan, Jr. once noted that “Congress acknowledged that society’s accumulated myths and fears about disability and disease are as handicapping as are the physical limitations that flow from actual impairment.” Since then, the Developmental Disabilities Act, section 102(8), defined “the term ‘developmental disability’ to mean a severe, chronic disability of an [...]