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Watch Bipartisan Meeting on Health Reform: Febuary 25, 2010 at 10:00 EST
Tuesday, the White House released President Obama's health insurance reform proposal. It supposedly bridges the gap between the House and Senate bills, and includes ideas from both parties.
On Thursday February 25th, 2010 there is an open bipartisan meeting to discuss additional Republican and Democratic ideas for making our health care system work better for the American people.
Watch the meeting Live: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 10:00AM EST The meeting will open to the press and streamed at WhiteHouse.gov/live, and available here at the onecandream.com community. (Just click on Read more)
When: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 10:00AM EST
Where: The Blair House in Washington, DC
Watch: Right here at onecandream.com. To access the video click on the read more link below.
Note:This is a live video of the meeting and as such is not available until the meeting time. For more information about health care reform visit whitehouse.gov.
2010 video description of ADAPT and why anger is still essential.
2010 video description of ADAPT and why anger is still essential. ADAPT is working to end the Medicaid bias in the nation's Medicaid system. The current legislation is called the Community Choice Act. Video from years of ADAPT demonstrations.
There is an institutional bias in our society that has needlessly forced many people into nursing homes when other options such as in home personal care services would be cheaper. Having the choice to live in your own home and not a nursing home, is not just a quality of life issue. It is a life issue.
Jodi James understood that. A few years ago, when Jodi and I were meeting with Roland Sykes and discussing the problem of the institutional bias. She shared with everyone present how close she came to being forced into a nursing home. Jodi understood how fortunate she was to have avoided institutionalization.
At the time of her death, Jodi James was an active and respected member of her community. She touched the lives of many as the disability student services coordinator at a University. She was a supporter of onecandream.com member of ADAPT, and a wonderful advocate who cared first and foremost about ensuring that others had the opportunities she had. She was a tremendous asset to her community... I have to wonder how many assets we are loosing, and how many people are not reaching their fullest potential simply because of a systemic institutional bias that presumes the often more expensive nursing home care will be paid for, but does not make the same assumption that the often cheaper in home personal care services will be paid for.
I worked very closely with Jodi James to try and improve the situation for people with disabilities not just in my community, or even my state... but across the country. The Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council once condemned Jodi when she went to for going to an ADAPT action. They said she had an "AGENDA" though they never clarified what that meant.
I will tell you what Jodi's agenda was. Her agenda was to improve the quality of life for folks with disabilities like herself, and do what she could to ensure that none of us, herself included, would be stuck with no other options besides a nursing home.
That said, when people are not even given the choice to live in the community, (Which is what the Community Choice Act is all about), then it is not just the individual's quality of life that suffers -- we all do.
If Jodi James were here, she would tell you herself how important it is that people have the freedom of community choice. Jodi James was proud to be a member of ADAPT, and we here at onecandream feel privileged, proud, and honored she was on our team.
There are so many uses of art in our lives. In everything that we do, we incorporate it. It does not matter whether it is inspired by the many concepts of the past or if it has been altered by the ideas of today; still it does not fail to serve its many purposed in our lives. It is not even discriminating. The works of Van Gogh and Picasso are not the only statements of magnificence. It goes beyond formal and definite. Even the vague, the strange, the unique and the defaced can be an accepted work in this field.
The death of the Reverend Wade Blank on February 15, 1993, left a profound emptiness in the hearts of many people who loved and respected him. But any void in the disability rights movement is only momentary, for Blank left behind scores of human values, a keen analysis – and scores of skilled, committed leaders ready to carry the movement forward.
American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today (ADAPT) and its mother, the Atlantis Community in Denver, both embody the spiritual, organizational and strategic lessons Blank carried over from the 1960s black civil rights movement. He had been a Presbyterian minister, a War on Poverty field organizer and a disciple of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr., before becoming an orderly, then an assistant administrator, in a Denver nursing home.
Early in his career as a iconoclastic minister and civil rights worker, Blank developed the concept of a "liberated community" – a society where human beings could live in equality and develop the power to effect change. When, at the Heritage House nursing home, he found himself in the midst of a "community" of people with severe disabilities, whose only community structure was one of oppression – the confines of the institution – he took on the challenge of making the "liberated community" a reality.
It all started when Blank came to Denver seeking a change. "The nursing home industry in Denver recruited its nursing home administrators from the ranks of ex-ministers," he recalled recently… A nursing home executive called Blank. "They said, ‘You’re young. You’re hip. Could you start a youth wing for us?’ So, I started a youth wing."
Hired by Heritage House in December 1971, Blank went to visit the residents the evening before he began his new job. "I remember for dinner that night we had baked potatoes, applesauce and scrambled eggs, and that was near Christmas. The place was like a morgue. The food was cold." Blank chatted with severely disabled individuals, some of whom would later become ADAPT organizers. "Little did I know," Blank recalled, "that I was to enter the most important moment of my life.
"I had 60 young people I recruited. Every morning at 7:30, they’d get dressed and get on a school bus, and go to a workshop and count fish hooks. Called it (a) work activities program."
At council meetings of the young people, the residents made simple requests, and an idealistic Blank tried to implement them. "I let them evaluate the nurses," he said. "They wanted co-ed living. They wanted to have pets. They wanted to have rock ‘n’ roll bands. So three years into this experiment, the nursing home is just like a college dorm on a crazy weekend all the time.
"I was trying to change it from inside, and I didn’t understand the monster I worked for," he recalled.
In 1975, Blank proposed "that we move a few of them out into apartments, and we let the aides and orderlies punch in at the nursing home, then go to the apartment and give them service." That idea got Blank fired. "The nursing home saw where I was going, and they couldn’t let me go in that direction."
Once Blank was fired, the nursing home erased all his reforms. "They came in and they took all the stereos and TVs out of everybody’s rooms, had the dog pound come by and get all the animals and in one day it went from everything I’d built for four years – to that."
But Blank wasn’t about to give up. Thinking to himself that he’d "recruited all these people to this hell," he decided simply to move them out "and do the care myself…
"Within the first six months, I’d moved 18 severely disabled people out. So now I was wed to the concept. You know, I couldn’t walk away from it."
That exodus laid the foundations for the Atlantis Community and its political-action offshoot, ADAPT. "We began t learn about power and what empowerment is, and how to use it," Blank said. While Atlantis was liberating people from nursing homes, ADAPT (which then stood for American Disabled for Accessible Public Transit) took on discrimination in Denver’s, and then the nation’s, bus systems. Using non-violent, direct-action tactics similar to King’s movement, ADAPTers made bold demands and achieved extraordinary results.
Social Security Adds 38 New Compassionate Allowance Conditions
For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Mark Lassiter, Press Officer
Social Security Adds 38 New Compassionate Allowance Conditions
Expansion Will Speed Benefits to Thousands of Americans with Disabilities
Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced that the
agency is adding 38 more conditions to its list of Compassionate Allowances.
This is the first expansion since the original list of 50 conditions - 25
rare diseases and 25 cancers - was announced in October 2008. The new
conditions range from adult brain disorders to rare diseases that primarily
affect children. The complete list of the new Compassionate Allowance
conditions is attached.
"The addition of these new conditions expands the scope of Compassionate
Allowances to a broader subgroup of conditions like early-onset Alzheimer's
disease," Commissioner Astrue said. "The expansion we are announcing today
means tens of thousands of Americans with devastating disabilities will now
get approved for benefits in a matter of days rather than months and years."
Note:Sharing this news from Social Security Administration. If you have
questions or concerns, please contact the SSA.
This is a great site for those wanting to learn more about website accessibility. Designing a functional accessible website is not always easy as there are many things to consider. This site is a great resource for anyone trying to improve website accessibility.
Note:A link to this website can also be accessed from the web links section of our website. If you know of a quality website that might be of interest to our visitors and you would like for us to consider including it in our directory, please submit the link to that site to our web link directory. Submitting a link to the directory does not guarantee inclusion.
Jean Ryan is the kind of New Yorker who makes everyone else feel lazy. She
has two master’s degrees and a black belt in tae kwon do. She serves on
her local community board. You know the type? Try this one: When she had
eye surgery two weeks ago, she refused sedation.
She and her husband moved to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn , in 1972, counting on the
R train to get to Manhattan galleries and museums and plays and
Then Ms. Ryan developed neuropathy in her legs and feet. Now she uses a
motorized wheelchair, which pretty much rules out the subway. There’s an
express bus near her home, but the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s
proposed cutbacks include curtailing it on weekends. Car services are out,
since her chair cannot be folded up and thrown into a trunk. So Ms. Ryan,
65, increasingly relies on Access-a-Ride, the vans that provide
door-to-door transportation for disabled people, for $2.25 — the same as
for a subway or a bus.
Judges Laugh at Arguements that Theaters Aren't Bound by the ADA
Banner Day in Court for People with Hearing Loss
...The Arizona Attorney General's Office sued the Harkins theater chain, claiming that the business violated both ADA and Arizona state law by failing to show captioned and described movies. The AG was not suggesting that the theaters themselves had to provide the captions or descriptions, but only that they need to install the equipment necessary to show the captions and descriptions provided by the studios.
The theaters took the position that ADA does not regulate the contents of their products or services, and that they offer non-captioned movies. "We have the right to choose what services we provide, and that is our choice," said the attorney for the theaters. "We let everyone come into our theaters and see our (non-captioned) movies, and that is what ADA requires us to do."
The AG's office, on the other hand, said that captions are the kind of "auxiliary aid and service" that the ADA requires to enable people with hearing and vision losses to gain the "full enjoyment" of the businesses' offerings.
The judges basically said flat-out that they thought the theater argument is preposterous. Alex Kozinski, the chief judge, said, "What if we took the position that this building is a building with steps, and if someone in a wheelchair wants to come in, they can find somebody to carry them?"
Kozinksi went on, "Actually, that case happened, and some lawyer argued that being able to crawl up the steps was good enough. Today, people are laughing at that argument, and I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years, people are laughing at your argument."
The attorney didn't back down. And the judges started laughing.
"Captions just let them enjoy the same movie that everybody else sees," Kozinski said. "I don't know why you don't want to do this."
Kozinski went on to say that at best, it's only a matter of time before movie theaters have to comply. "You are going to lose," he said. "You might not even lose this case, but you will lose someday. Why don't you get out ahead and do the right thing instead of being jerks?"
Nor were the judges impressed with any argument about cost. I asked for CART for the hearing, which was provided. "That wasn't in our budget," Kozinski said, "but we pulled it together in a day. With what theaters are doing with 3D, the cost of this (providing equipment to show captions) is just a drop in the bucket."...
ADA Pioneer Justin Dart Memorialized in a Giant Hero Puppet.
To commemorate the extraordinary life of Justin Dart, widely recognized as the “father of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” the Detroit-based Matrix Theatre Company is creating a giant street puppet in his likeness for use in demonstrations and parades.
The ADA became the law of the land on July 26, 1990 through the tireless efforts of trailblazers like Dart, and the puppet will ready in time to mark the 20th anniversary of this landmark legislation. The Dart puppet will make its debut during the U.S. Social Forum, an event held in Detroit on June 22-26 which brings people together to solve global and ecological crises, and will be featured in Chicago ’s 7th Annual Disability Pride Parade on July 24.
The Matrix Theatre Company “uses the transformative power of theatre to change lives, build community and foster social justice,” and has a tradition of calling for a united community effort to see their puppet projects to fruition. Once the $7,500 is raised and the tribute is completed, the Dart puppet will join the Matrix ranks of puppet activists like Martin Luther King, Ceaser Chavez and Mother Jones.
"If the giant Justin Dart puppet is used to communicate his cry for everyone to 'Lead the Revolution of Individual Empowerment' particularly to youth with disabilities, it would be awesome, and extremely meaningful and valuable," said Yoshiko Dart, his wife.
Justin Whitlock Dart, Jr. was born on August 29, 1930 in Chicago . He contracted polio at the age of 18 and, as a result, spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Also called “the godfather of the disabilities rights movement,” Dart lead the movement for more than three decades and was a staunch advocate for human rights. In fact, his first foray into social activism was during college when he organized a pro-integration student group at the whites-only University of Houston.
He made name for himself on the national stage, receiving five presidential appointments and numerous honors including the Hubert Humphrey Award of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest award that can be bestowed on a civilian. A brilliant entrepreneur, he began and ran several highly successful companies and devoted much of his wealth to further causes of social justice, calling himself “a little PAC for empowerment.”
While his personal crusade came to an end on June 21, 2002 at the age of 71 from congestive heart failure related to complications of post-polio syndrome, his legacy lives on. He left us with this challenge, “I call for solidarity among all who love justice, all who love life, to create a revolution that will empower every single human being to govern his or her life, to govern the society and to be fully productive of life quality for self and for all people.
Wear your heart on your sleeve on 1/20/10:
*Get as many people as you can acquainted with Annie's message and ask them to wear a button or temporary tattoo that day
*Wear your favorite 3E Love t-shirt or hoodie to work and school
*Change your profile pic to the International Symbol of Acceptance
So on January 20th, wear your heart on your sleeve! The symbol is a great conversation starter.... what's YOUR story? Tell someone. Embrace diversity, Educate your community, Empower each other, Love Life.
Kaney O'Neill knows she has limiits as a mother. The 31-year-old Des Plaines woman cannot walk, move her fingers independently or feel anything from the chest down. A decade ago, O'Neill was a Navy airman apprentice when she was knocked from a balcony during Hurricane Floyd, leaving her a quadriplegic.
When she discovered she was pregnant last December, she felt fear and joy, a journey the Tribune chronicled in August. She quickly embraced the opportunity to raise a child, feeling she had the money and family support to make up for her paralysis.
David Trais, her ex-boyfriend and the 49-year-old father of their now 5-month-old son, disagreed that she was up to the challenge.
In September, Trais sued O'Neill for full custody, charging that his former girlfriend is "not a fit and proper person" to care for their son, Aidan James O'Neill.
In court documents, Trais said O'Neill's disability "greatly limits her ability to care for the minor, or even wake up if the minor is distressed."
O'Neill counters that she always has another able-bodied adult on hand for Aidan -- be it her full-time caretaker, live-in brother or her mother. Even before she gave birth to Aidan, O'Neill said, she never went more than a few hours by herself.
The custody case, expected back before Cook County Judge Patricia Logue next month, raises profound questions about what rights disabled parents have to care for their own children.
Ella Callow, the director of legal programs for the National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families, said disabled parents are incorrectly "perceived as unable to perform to standard."
"No judge wants to be the judge who sends a child home when the child gets hurt," said Callow, of the Berkeley, Calif.-based advocacy group.
Callow said the bias against disabled parents is such that judges tend to grant custody to an able-bodied partner "even if they have a history that might usually be a heavy mark against them -- not having been in the child's life, a history of violence, etc."
Trais declined to comment to the Tribune when reached by phone. His attorney did not return repeated calls for comment.
But Howard LeVine, a Tinley Park attorney not affiliated with the case, said Trais' concerns are legitimate and may hold legal weight.
"Certainly, I sympathize with the mom, but assuming both parties are equal (in other respects), isn't the child obviously better off with the father?"
LeVine, who has specialized in divorce and custody cases for the last 40 years, pointed out that O'Neill would likely not be able to teach her son to write, paint or play ball. "What's the effect on the child -- feeling sorry for the mother and becoming the parent?"
On a recent morning, O'Neill's caretaker, Sasha Davidiuk, propped Aidan on a pillow in O'Neill's lap and O'Neill held her son. She has full use of her biceps muscles.
When his bottle fell from his mouth, or tipped the wrong way, Davidiuk stepped in to reposition it.
The two worked in tandem, with Davidiuk heading up duties that require manual dexterity -- like changing diapers -- and O'Neill focused more on emotional engagement. When Aidan burst into tears, for example, O'Neill was the one to sooth him with a soft rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."
In addition to Davidiuk, O'Neill's brother, an ex-Marine, lives in an apartment attached to her home. O'Neill's mother helps on weekends and the family keeps Pele, a yellow lab service dog, who can open doors, turn on lights and pick up stuffed animals.
Her immaculate, one-story home is filled with photos of Aidan. Her son's room, painted sherbet green and decorated with cheerful zoo animals, has a specially modified changing table and crib that allows for O'Neill's wheelchair.
Not Home: a documentary about kids in nursing facilities
Anonymous writes "Not Home: a documentary about kids living in Georgia nursing facilities is a feature-length documentary that investigates the history and current trends of the long-term institutionalization of children in the United States.