Archive for the ‘Ability’ Category

Disability-Rights Advocates Worry Politics Delays Workplace Rule

(Source: Bloomberg Businessweek)

Advocates for employees with disabilities said new guidelines on discrimination in the workplace from the U.S. Equal Employment Commission are being delayed by political opposition from business.

The agency abruptly deleted the proposal today from the agenda for a meeting, a week after business groups led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pressed the Obama administration to block the guidelines. (more…)

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Help for Entrepreneurs Who Have Disabilities

(Source: Chicago Tribune)

It is no secret that it is difficult for new small businesses to succeed.

Imagine the extra challenges faced by business owners with disabilities.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people with disabilities are almost twice as likely as the general population to be self-employed. They are also much more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. When they plan to establish a business, people with disabilities confront extra challenges, such as arranging for insurance and special furniture. They often lack the assets they need to start a business, as well as mentors and business contacts who understand the particular challenges they face. (more…)

A Cost of War: Soaring Disability Benefits for Veterans

(Source: CNN)

Charles Williams had planned to become a ROTC teacher after he left the military, but became a disabled veteran after an RPG attack in Afghanistan.

Charles Williams had planned to become a ROTC teacher after he left the military, but was wounded by an RPG attack in Afghanistan.

After more than a decade of continuous warfare, the cost of disability compensation for wounded veterans is surging to mammoth proportions.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs expects to spend $57 billion on disability benefits next year. That’s up 25% from $46 billion this year, and nearly quadruple the $15 billion spent in 2000, before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. (more…)

China’s Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng

(Source: BBC News)

Chen Guangcheng (file photo 2006)
Blind activist Chen Guangcheng exposed the harsher side of China’s family planning policies.

Blind since a young age and a self-taught legal activist, Chen Guangcheng rose to prominence for helping to expose harsh realities about China’s family planning policies.

His activism landed him in jail between 2006 and 2010 but even after he was released, Mr Chen and his family have been under virtual house arrest at his home in Shandong province.

He escaped from house arrest on 27 April 2012 and while his whereabouts remain unclear, the implication is that he is at a diplomatic mission in Beijing. (more…)

Social Security Tries to Reduce Backlog of Disability Cases

(Source: Sun Sentinel)

The Social Security Administration took a whack at a big backlog of applications for disability benefits in South Florida and the rest of the nation by declaring that more sick people will qualify automatically.

Almost 10,000 people in Broward and Palm Beach counties are waiting for hearings to decide whether they are disabled — third-highest in the nation, with an average wait of 368 days, according to Syracuse University. Over the years, some people have become destitute or died while waiting for hearings.

The SSA said its new policy adds 52 serious illnesses to a list of 113 conditions that make a person automatically eligible for disability, so he doesn’t get denied and have to wait in the backlog for a hearing date.

“This will be a big help for people who are very sick,” said former Social Security Judge Lyle Lieberman, now a Fort Lauderdale lawyer who handles disability cases. (more…)

Down Syndrome Student Fights to Keep Playing Sports

(Source: CNN)

After spending a Sunday afternoon with Eric Dompierre and his parents it’s clear that they’re extremely grateful that Eric has always been included.

Eric Dompierre has Down syndrome, but he’s been welcome to play sports with other kids in Ishpeming Michigan since he was in elementary school.

“We didn’t know how far he’d go, how many coaches would keep him on the team,” says Dean Dompierre, Eric’s father.

When he got to high school, Eric was invited to keep playing. Now he’s on both the Ishpeming High School football and basketball teams. He attends every practice and works out with the other players and if it’s appropriate he plays a few minutes at the end of the game. (more…)

Pressure to Reduce VA Disability Claims May Cause More Delays, Advocates Warn

(Source: The Washington Post)

With the Veterans Administration facing a growing backlog of more than 900,000 disability claims, advocates for veterans warned Wednesday that pressure by the VA to reduce the numbers will increase the number of mistakes it makes.

The number of pending claims before the VA stood at 903,000 this week, up 50,000 from January and an increase of about one-half million from three years ago, numbers driven by veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with complex injuries, and a policy change making it easier for Vietnam veterans to file Agent Orange-related claims.

“The tidal wave of claims coming in on VA is putting unprecedented demand on VA,” Paul Sullivan, representing the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates, told the House Veterans Affairs Committee at a hearing on the disability claims process. (more…)

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