Disability News Service, Resources, Diversity, Americans with Disabilities Act; Local and National.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

EEOC Releases Tools to Educate Young Workers about Workplace Discrimination | Sept 2012

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Youth@Work Video, Classroom Guides and Updated Web Page Part of National Outreach Effort to Teach Teens About Their Rights at Work

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today released a video and accompanying classroom guides to educate working-age students about sexual harassment and other forms of employment discrimination. These tools were developed as part of EEOC's Youth@Work, an effort to educate America's youth about their employment rights and responsibilities and help employers create positive work experiences for young adults. The tools are free to the public and will be posted online at www.youth.eeoc.gov under "free downloads." In addition, educators may request the video and classroom guides by e-mailing Youth.AtWork@eeoc.gov.

The video and the classroom guides provide a series of vignettes to help teenagers entering the work force understand some of the issues they may face. The vignettes show typical workplace settings for teens, such as a retail store and a fast food restaurant. The classroom guides help teachers and students identify illegal discrimination and harassment. EEOC will provide one copy of the video and one set of classroom guides per person, while supplies last.

"As young people enter the workforce, it is important that they understand their rights and know how to respond if they experience or witness unlawful discrimination or harassment," said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. "The EEOC is committed to ensuring that the promise of equal employment opportunity is meaningful for everyone, including members of the labor force who are especially vulnerable to discrimination and harassment."

The EEOC also updated its Youth@Work web page, which includes information about different types of job discrimination that young workers may encounter and suggests strategies they can use to prevent, and, if necessary, respond to such discrimination. The web page also includes an interactive tool called "Challenge Yourself!" that provides an opportunity for teens to test their knowledge by analyzing sample job discrimination scenarios.

The EEOC developed Youth@Work in 2004 to help educate teens about their rights and responsibilities at work and to help employers create positive work experiences for young adults. Since then, the federal agency has hosted nearly 6,600 Youth@Work events nationwide, reaching over 400,000 students, education professionals, and employers. Further information about Youth@Work is available online at http://www.youth.eeoc.gov/.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.


Oversight Concerns Raised Over Independent Living Centers | Sept 2012

As Posted by: Disability Scoop - article By MICHELLE DIAMENT | Sept 28, 2012

Oversight of the nation’s Centers for Independent Living is severely lacking, a new audit finds, calling into question how effective the centers are at helping people with disabilities integrate into the community.

In a report from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General, officials found that the agency’s Rehabilitation Services Administration is doing far too little to assess the effectiveness of the independent living centers it oversees across the country.

The Centers for Independent Living provide information and referral services, training to help those with special needs live independently, peer counseling and advocacy services. As of 2010, there were 337 federally-funded centers across the country, all of which are run predominantly by people with disabilities themselves.

Between October 2007 and September 2010, investigators found that the Rehabilitation Services Administration conducted just 40 onsite reviews, a fraction of the 153 that are mandated under the law. What’s more, the report found that the locations selected for the reviews were not chosen randomly as required.

More problems were uncovered when the inspector general selected 12 independent living centers in 11 states to assess. While each location provided all of the services required, investigators found that poor record keeping permeated centers, with inconsistent reports on funding and how many consumers were served.

“As a result of the inadequate monitoring and oversight, partially supported performance reports and inadequately documented files, (the Rehabilitation Services Administration) did not have sufficient, accurate information to provide required oversight of the grant programs at the CILs reviewed,” the inspector general wrote. “Appropriate oversight is essential to ensuring that the program goals are met.”

Officials at the Rehabilitation Services Administration acknowledged the problems and told the inspector general that staffing and funding issues make it “extremely difficult” to review the growing number of Centers for Independent Living.


FTA Issues New Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Guidance

The Federal Transit Administration has issued new guidance to help recipients of FTA grant funding better understand and comply with federal civil rights requirements and, separately, Environmental Justice principles. New guidance in the form of a revised circular is now available to help FTA funding recipients comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects people from discrimination based on race, color or national origin in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

The revised Title VI circular provides guidance to FTA funding recipients on how to comply with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Title VI regulations, which require careful evaluation of the impact of proposed service and fare changes on minority riders and the provision of language access to people with limited English proficiency.

Environmental Justice

FTA’s new Environmental Justice Circular, which became effective on August 15, 2012, is the first stand-alone guidance we’ve issued to address the intent of the 1994 Executive Order on Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations. The new circular is meant to ensure that FTA funding recipients avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on minority populations and low-income populations. FTA funding recipients are also required to incorporate EJ principles into transportation planning and decision-making processes as well as project-specific environmental reviews
Environmental Justice Policy Guidance For Federal Transit Administration Recipients:
Federal Register Volume 77, Issue 137 (July 17, 2012)

Summary: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the docket and on its Web site final guidance in the form of a Circular (hereinafter ``EJ Circular'') on incorporating environmental justice principles into plans, projects, and activities that receive funding from FTA. This final guidance provides recommendations to State Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, public transportation providers, and other recipients of FTA funds on how to fully engage environmental justice populations in the public transportation decision-making process; how to determine whether environmental justice populations would be subjected to disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects as a result of a transportation plan, project, or activity; and how to avoid, minimize, or mitigate these effects.

Circular 4703.1 is effective August 15, 2012
New Guidance on Title VI Civil Rights Requirements

The Federal Transit Administration has updated the Title VI Circular to 4702.1B. FTA’s revised circular provides guidance to grantees on how to comply with Title VI regulations, as well as to ensure grantees provide meaningful language access to persons who are limited English proficient. The circular provides specific compliance information for each type of grantee and provides comprehensive appendices including additional guidance and examples to ensure recipients understand the requirements.

FTA published a notice in the Federal Register on August 28, 2012 (77 FR 52116) addressing comments received during development of the Circular.

# For more information on the New Guidance visit the FTA at:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Illinois: EEOC Sues Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center for Disability ...

Social Service Agency Refused to Accommodate Long-Term Employee With Multiple Sclerosis And Denied Her Rehire, Federal Agency Charges

St. Louis, IL - An East St. Louis, IL, non-profit social service agency violated federal law by subjecting an employee to disability discrimination and retaliation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a discrimination lawsuit filed today. The EEOC charged that Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center (CBHC) refused to provide a reasonable accommodation to a disabled employee and then failed to rehire her after she was laid off because of her disability, and in retaliation for complaining about the lack of accommodation.

According to the EEOC's suit, Pamela Perry, a 23-year employee with CBHC, requested permission to wear athletic shoes to work in June 2002 because her disability, multiple sclerosis, caused numbness, pain and tingling in her feet. CBHC allowed her to wear athletic shoes until March 2010 when it disciplined her for wearing the shoes in violation of the dress code. Shortly thereafter, Perry made a written request for reasonable accommodation to help her complete paperwork required by her job. The MS made her hands and arms cramp and it had become increasingly difficult for her to complete paperwork in a timely fashion. Perry also again requested permission to wear athletic shoes. CBHC refused to meet with Perry to discuss possible accommodations and denied her requests. On Aug. 29, 2010, Perry wrote a letter to CBHC complaining about its refusal to accommodate her. When she was laid off on Aug. 31, 2010, she then applied for a vacant position that she had held previously for 11 years. CBHC instead hired a less qualified applicant, the EEOC said.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from refusing to provide applicants and employees with reasonable accommodations unless to do so would be an undue hardship. It also protects employees from retaliation based on the exercise of their right to request accommodation and their complaints about violations of the law. The EEOC filed suit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center of St. Clair County, Inc.) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Civil Action No. 3:12-cv-01031-WDS-SCW, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

"It is shocking that an organization like Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center, whose mission is to help those in need, would deny reasonable accommodation to a disabled 23-year employee and then refuse to rehire her in a job that she had performed in the past," said Barbara A. Seely, regional attorney of the EEOC's St. Louis District. "Employers may not cast off disabled employees who want to and can work with accommodations without running afoul of the law."

CBHC, a non-profit corporation that provides emotional, rehabilitative and social support services throughout the Illinois cities of East St. Louis, Belleville and Fairview Heights.

# as posted by 'infoZine' : http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/53236/

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New CMS Program to Increase Quality in Nursing Facilities in seven states | Sept 2012

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : September, 27, 2012

New Program to Increase Quality in Nursing Facilities
Seven Organizations Partnering with 145 Nursing Facilities Selected to Implement the Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced seven cooperative agreement awards partnering with 145 nursing facilities to implement the Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents. The initiative will test models to improve the quality of care and help reduce avoidable hospitalizations among nursing facility residents by funding organizations that provide enhanced on-site services and supports to nursing facility residents.

Nearly two-thirds of nursing facility residents are enrolled in Medicaid, and most are also enrolled in Medicare. These Medicare-Medicaid enrollees are among the most fragile and chronically ill individuals served by the programs. Research found that approximately 45 percent of hospitalizations among Medicare-Medicaid enrollees receiving either Medicare skilled nursing facility services or Medicaid nursing facility services could have been avoided. Total costs for these potentially avoidable hospitalizations for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees for 2011 were estimated to be between $7 and 8 billion.

“We are excited about this partnership and the programs these seven organizations are putting in place to work with nursing facilities to ensure the best possible care for their residents.” said Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “We view this initiative and the enhanced level of collaboration it will generate among a variety of providers as the key to reducing costly and avoidable hospitalizations for this population that often has the most complex health care needs.”

Through the Initiative, CMS will partner with seven organizations to improve care for long-stay nursing facility residents. These organizations will collaborate with nursing facilities and State Medicaid programs to provide better quality of care in nursing facilities.

Implementation of the initiative will begin later this year at 145 nursing facilities in seven states in partnership with the following organizations:

Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation (Alabama)

Alegent Health (Nebraska)

The Curators of the University of Missouri (Missouri)

Greater New York Hospital Foundation, Inc. (New York)

HealthInsight of Nevada (Nevada)

Indiana University (Indiana)

UPMC Community Provider Services (Pennsylvania)
All selected organizations will have on-site staff to partner with the existing nursing facility staff to provide preventive services as well as improve assessments and management of medical conditions. Participants will also work toward more seamless beneficiary transitions of care, and leverage use of emerging technologies, among many other activities. Each model will be subject to a rigorous external evaluation.

The Initiative will be run collaboratively by the CMS Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, both created by the Affordable Care Act to improve health care quality and reduce costs in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. CMS issued a Request for Applications on March 15, 2012. More information about this initiative is available at: http://innovations.cms.gov/initiatives/rahnfr/.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ga. Woman (dialysis patient) Slammed for Using Food Stamps by Store Manager | Sept 2012

Is a $15 gift card enough to compensate for public humiliation at your local grocery store? According to one Georgia woman, the answer is absolutely not.

Cindy Nerger, 28, who relies on food stamps to feed her family, said she was brought to tears after being embarrassed by a manager at a Kroger store in Warner Robbins, Ga.

"He said, 'Excuse me for working for a living and not relying on food stamps like you,'" Nerger said the manager told her.

The man's comment came after Nerger and two other store employees disagreed over whether her total purchase was eligible for food stamps - the employees had insisted that roughly $10 of her bill was not covered. She said the manager ultimately told the employees to "just give it to her."

After Nerger then stressed that she had been right all along, the man made his "working for a living" remark, she said.

"I turned around and realized how many people heard him and how many saw that happened and I was so embarrassed… I started crying," she said.

In a statement to ABCNews.com, a Kroger spokesman said, "We deeply regret our customer's experience. The comments made were not reflective of our company's policy. We value all of our customers. Please know that we have taken immediate steps to make sure something like this never happens again."

The spokesman did not reply to a follow-up message asking for more information, but a local Georgia television station reported that Kroger had transferred the manager at the center of the controversy to another store.

Nerger said the reason she and her family - she is married with a daughter - must rely on food stamps is because her husband's carpentry business isn't profitable enough to support the family.

Meanwhile, Nerger must devote 12 hours every night to a dialysis treatment to combat her kidney disease, which she's struggled with since the age of 11. She's been on a kidney transplant list for five years and hopes that someday, after a successful transplant, she can become a working member of society. She would like to attend college to major in child psychology.

"There's just so much stigmatism put on people on food stamps. They're just some losers who don't want to work. That isn't the case in every situation," she said.
Nerger's account of her run-in with a Kroger manager went viral after she posted it to her Facebook page, prompting friends to encourage her to post a message to a local television station. The station ended up contacting her and doing a story.

Kroger, meanwhile, responded to a complaint Nerger passed on through the store's national customer service line by apologizing and offering her a $15 gift card. Nerger said she rejected the offer because she doesn't plan on shopping at Kroger again.

What she wants, she said, is an apology directly from the manager, whom she also believes should be demoted from his job and trained how to treat customers properly.
She stopped short of saying the man should lose his job.
"I didn't want anybody to be in the food stamp line with me," she said.

Article By Alice Gomstyn | ABC News | Sept 26, 2012

'Adaptive Driving' Financial Assistance Options | Sept 2012

By Guest Blogger Chris Miller, Director of Interactive Marketing, The Mobility Resource

Americans love their wheels. Whether it’s a leisurely drive through a beautiful countryside, hitting the highway for a quick get-away or simply going to work, people look forward to the freedom of mobility. Many individuals with disabilities, however, require varying types of vehicle adaptions to enjoy that sense of freedom. Unfortunately, they often face prohibitive costs when it comes to purchasing the proper equipment for their transportation needs.

The good news is that funding assistance to purchase new adaptive vehicles or to retrofit existing vehicles is becoming increasingly available. Through these programs, people with disabilities have access to rebates and incentives for new vehicles adapted for their specific needs. In some cases, assistance is available for adaptive equipment installed through upfitters – vehicle modifiers or adaptive equipment installers – who will ensure vehicles are adjusted to suit individual needs and are compliant with federal and state guidelines. Adaptations can include driving devices and equipment, hoists and carriers, seat modifications and power seats, ramps and running boards and other necessary equipment.

Whether you prefer vans or sedans, trucks, SUVs or crossovers, there are a variety of government programs and automaker rebates, as well as private and association-based funds, that can make adaptive mobility equipment more accessible and affordable.

Government Programs

Government Programs

Medicaid: Medicaid is a jointly administered federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. Medicaid benefits differ by each state, but Medicaid usually offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare. Most state Medicaid agencies do not have an exclusive list of covered medical equipment. Instead, any medical equipment, including newer technologies, is approved on a case-by-case basis when a request for funding is presented through a prior approval process. After being placed on a Medicaid Waiver list, Medicaid may pay for adaptive equipment. A list of Medicaid state offices is available at http://www.medicaid.gov/

Medicare: Medicare is a federal program, but Medicare health plans are offered through private companies that contract with Medicare to provide Part A and Part B benefits to people enrolled in Medicare. Part A is hospital insurance, while Part B covers doctors and outpatient services, and some medical devices based on medical necessity. In some instances Medicare will pay for adaptive equipment following a specialty evaluation performed by a qualified practitioner. For more information, call 1-800-633-4227.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI eligibility and payment amounts are based on income and other resources. SSI offers a Plan to Achieve Self-Support program, or PASS, which helps those with disabilities pay for items or services needed to achieve a specific employment goal – to ultimately return to work. For more information, visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/pass.htm.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Often sales-tax exemptions on equipment purchases and other out-of-pocket costs can qualify for tax deductions as medical expenses. If an adaptation qualifies as a medical necessity, it can be deducted from federal taxes. Contact a tax adviser or get literature from the IRS that outlines the tax code for medical equipment by calling 1-800-829-1040 and asking for publications with extensions 3966, 907 and 502.

State Programs

Some State Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab) Agencies may be able to assist with the costs associated with purchasing an adaptive vehicle (or adding adaptive equipment to an existing one) if the vehicle is necessary in order for a person to get to and from work. For more information, contact your state’s department of vocational rehabilitation.

Many nonprofit organizations offer programs that provide assistance paying for adaptive vehicles or vehicle modifications, especially if the vehicle is necessary in order to meet an individual’s work-related transportation needs. These programs include Pennsylvania’s “Ways to Work” program and Otsego County, NY’s “Wheels to Work” program. To learn more, visit Disability.gov or read the fact sheet, “Car Ownership Programs for Low-Income Earners”.

State Assistive Technology Loan Programs may also be able to provide assistance to help pay for modifications to your vehicle. Contact your state’s program for more information.

Your local Center for Independent Living (CIL) can provide additional information on programs that may be available in your state.

For Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a grant enabling veterans and service members to purchase a new or used automobile to accommodate certain disabilities that resulted from an injury or disease incurred or aggravated during active military service. There are two components of the grant, each requiring a separate form, but some veterans could be eligible for both:

An automobile grant is paid directly to the seller of the automobile for up to $11,000 and is available once in the service member’s lifetime. Veterans who qualify for the automobile grant may also qualify for the adaptive equipment grant.
An adaptive equipment grant includes, but is not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats and special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into and out of the vehicle. The adaptive equipment grant may be paid more than once, and it may be paid to either the seller or the veteran.
For more information on this program, call 1-800-827-1000 or read the VA’s “Automobile and Special Adaptive Equipment Grants” fact sheet.

Automakers Rebate Programs

A number of automobile makers are stepping up to provide persons with disabilities a wide range of rebates and incentive programs. Many of these programs cover not only new and leased vehicles, but also third-party adaptive equipment installation. Below is an overview of some programs from auto manufacturers offering rebates or reimbursements for people who require adaptive equipment.

Daimler Chrysler Corporation: buy or lease any new 2010, 2011 or 2012 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram or Fiat vehicle from a participating dealership or FIAT studio, and Chrysler will provide cash reimbursement to help reduce the cost of installing the adaptive driver or passenger equipment on the vehicle. Leased vehicles must be leased for a minimum of 12 months to be eligible.

Ford Motor Company: the Ford Mobility Motoring adaptive equipment reimbursement offers up to $1,000, or up to $200 for alert hearing devices, lumbar support or running boards and is available on any new Ford or Lincoln vehicle purchased or leased from a U.S. Ford or Lincoln dealer during the program period. Maximum reimbursement per vehicle is $1,000. Major structural vehicle modifications to accommodate the installation of wheelchair lift or ramp must be completed by a Ford Authorized Qualified Vehicle Modifier to be eligible for reimbursement.

General Motors Corporation: through the GM Mobility Reimbursement Program, new vehicle purchasers/lessees who install eligible adaptive mobility equipment on their new Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicles can receive up to a $1,000 reimbursement for the cost of the equipment. Also, you can get two extra years of standard OnStar® service at no additional cost on all 2011–2013 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles equipped with OnStar.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen will provide up to $1,000 toward the purchase and installation of lift equipment, carriers, hand controls, pedal extensions or other assistance equipment on any eligible model of new and unused Volkswagen models.

Audi: Audi offers $1,500 in assistance for hand controls or other approved assistance devices to anyone who purchases or leases a new Audi or CPO Audi vehicle. Contact an adaptive equipment retailer of your choice for information concerning the purchase and installation of such equipment. All payments will be made directly to the Audi owner approximately four weeks after submission to Audi.

Toyota: the Toyota Mobility Assistance Program provides cash reimbursement of up to $1,000 of the cost of any aftermarket adaptive equipment or conversion, for drivers and/or passengers, when installed on any eligible purchased or leased new Toyota vehicle within 12 months of vehicle purchase or lease. The cash reimbursement will be provided for the exact cost to purchase and install qualifying adaptive driving or passenger equipment for transporting persons with physical disabilities. The program also applies to purchasers of the Toyota Factory Installed Auto Access Seat, where the full $1,000 cash reimbursement will be paid directly to you. Only vehicles sold or leased and delivered to a retail customer by an authorized Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. dealer are eligible under this program.

And the list goes on…

In addition to those above, there are myriad funding opportunities available through trade organizations, nonprofit entities and other private sources. The most comprehensive listing of these entities can be found at The Mobility Resource handicap van financial aid directory (The Mobility Resource does not sponsor or endorse any organizations exclusively). Search for assistance by state by visiting http://www.themobilityresource.com/financial-aid/financial-aid-map-portal.

For anyone who enjoys the freedom of mobility and requires vehicle modifications or adaptive products, seeking out the appropriate funding opportunities for your individual needs might take a little time, but it could pay off in years of comfortable mobility.

Chris Miller is the director of interactive marketing for The Mobility Resource. Born with a mild case of muscular dystrophy, he is an advocate for disability rights and mobility freedom. His team has worked closely with several government agencies, non-profits and associations to make it easier for people with physical disabilities to acquire mobility freedom. A graduate of The University of Akron, he holds a bachelor of arts in public relations and organizational communication.

Chris will be attending the National Forum on Disability Issues with his team on September 28 and will serve as a member of the media panel. During this event, teams from both presidential campaigns will discuss their plans for issues surrounding the disability community. Do you have a question for a candidate? Please send it to cmiller@themobilityresource.com.

AS Posted by Disability.gov blog:
# http://usodep.blogs.govdelivery.com/2012/09/26/adaptive-driving/

Disability History should be on the school curriculum | article

Teaching children how disabled people were treated in the past could reduce discrimination

From "The Guardian" | article by Sarah Ismail | Sept 26, 2012

Did you know that during the Holocaust, the Nazis ran a euthanasia programme, known as T4, that began as a way of cleansing Germany of "undesirable" disabled children?

In mainstream secondary school history lessons about the Holocaust, no teacher ever told me this. The only clue I got about the Nazis attitude towards disabled people was when I was told that in a concentration camp, I would have been sent straight to the gas chambers, because I couldn't have done any physical work.

Considering everything I had been told about the Nazis, I wasn't surprised. I do wish the T4 programme had been mentioned at school, though. Because no teacher ever hesitated to tell me that the Holocaust was about killing Jewish people.

Did you know anything about how disabled slaves were treated? I had never even thought about this until I heard a speech about it last year. Yet when my teachers told me about the slave trade, they never hesitated to tell me it was about white people owning black people who were made to work in their houses for free.

Did you know that King George VI had a very serious stammer? I didn't, until I watched The King's Speech. Yet no history teacher ever hesitated to tell me that King George VI was the father of the present Queen, Elizabeth II.

Did you know that Prince Philip's mother was born deaf? I didn't, until I watched a very good recent documentary about her life, The Queen's Mother In Law. This programme also revealed that she had severe mental health issues.

After the possible discovery of the skeleton of King Richard III and the revelation that he had scoliosis (curvature of the spine), I was informed by someone who has read Shakespeare's play Richard III that his disability is mentioned often throughout the script, but I had never been told about it in a history lesson.

This made me realise that mainstream secondary schools teach children hardly anything about the disability links in history. As a disabled person, I believe that this should change.

Just as lessons about the Holocaust were aimed at reducing religious discrimination, just as lessons about slavery were aimed at reducing racial discrimination, I believe that teaching children how disabled people were treated in important periods of history, or that historical figures were disabled, might just reduce disability discrimination, or maybe even disability hate crimes, in the future.

That's why I have recently launched a campaign called Old Is Gold to get disability links taught in history lessons in schools. I have started up an e-petition on the government website. If it gets enough support, I hope the idea might get debated in parliament.

If this campaign interests you, you can also follow it on Facebook at Teach Disability Links in History Lessons – Old is Gold.

This article is published by Guardian Professional. Join the social care network to receive regular emails and exclusive offers.

If you know of an important historical figure who was disabled, please leave a comment below.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Museum Day in USA, free admission - Sept 29, 2012 - Museum Day Ticket Link, info.

In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for free

View the list of 2012 participating museums:

Only an official Museum Day Live! ticket is eligible for free entry. Official tickets can be found here on the Museum Day Live! Website.

One ticket per household, for two people.

A ticket will gain entry to only one of the participating museums, excluding parking and special events and exhibits.

If museum reaches capacity, museum has the right to limit the number of guests until space becomes available.

Check with the Museum for Accessibility related questions.

In Illinois participating museums are:

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

Adler Planetarium

Aurora Regional Fire Museum

Balzekas Museum of Lithaunian Culture

Barrington History Museum

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

Clarke House Museum

DuSable Museum of African American History

French Heritage Museum

Glessner House Museum

Graue Mill and Museum
Oak Brook

Great Lakes Naval Museum
Great Lakes

Hinsdale History Museum

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

Illinois State Museum

Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery

International Museum of Surgical Science

Intuit The Center for Intuitive and Ousider Art

Joliet Area Historical Museum

Kankakee County Museum

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Kline Creek Farm
West Chicago

Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion

Lincoln Heritage Museum

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art

Loyola University Museum of Art

Mayslake Peabody Estate
Oak Brook

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

National Great Rivers Museum
East Alton

National Hellenic Museum

National Veterans Art Museum

Parkland Art Gallery

Smart Museum of Art

Spurlock Museum

Swedish American Museum

Wabash County Museum
Mt. Carmel

William M. Staerkel Planetarium

Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Glen Ellyn

Fed Lawsuit - Recreational Camp in Illinois refusal to administer Epilepsy medicine | Sept 2012

Recreational organization in Crystal Lake discriminates by refusing to use anti-seizure drug, lawsuit alleges

Submitted by Courthouse News on Sep 25, 2012

CHICAGO (CN) - Epileptic children cannot participate in a camp program for the disabled because its organizers bar rectally administered medication, the United States claims.

The Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association (NISRA) "discriminates against individuals with epilepsy on the basis of disability, by denying them an equal opportunity to participate in the recreational programs NISRA provides because it refuses to administer a potentially lifesaving anti-seizure medication," according to the federal complaint filed by Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro.

NISRA is an intergovernmental organization that provides recreation programs for children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities, such as camping trips and sports programs. These programs are generally hosted at one of 13 park district facilities in northern Illinois.

Staff members are expected to administer medications to program attendees and to be on-call for any medical emergency. They regularly administer epinephrine shots for children with severe allergies, dispense asthma medication, and feed children with gastrostomy feeding tubes, the complaint says.

Children and adults with epilepsy are also qualified to attend NISRA events, and "NISRA staff are specifically trained on how to respond to seizures pursuant to NISRA's seizure management policy," according to the complaint. "Participants with a history of seizures must submit seizure plan in which their doctor describes the type of seizure(s) they experience, the medications they currently take, and the protocol to follow in the case of a seizure."

Since 2008, however, NISRA has changed its policy so that staff may no longer administer Diastat, a rectally administered gel "that is used to stop seizures, thereby preventing brain damage or death that could result in seizures persist."

M.M., a 17-year-old with epilepsy and an IQ of 69, is supposed to take Diastat "upon the onset of a tonic-clonic seizure," according to the complaint.

The teen attended NISRA's summer camp in 2011 without suffering a seizure, but she has experienced several seizures since then, and her parents are allegedly worried about sending her back because of NISRA's policy against Diastat.

"M.M. desperately wants to participate in future NISRA summer camps, because it is the only summer camp available to her," the complaint states. "Given the recent onset of her prolonged seizures, however, NISRA's continued refusal to administer Diastat makes M.M.'s participation in any NISRA camp or program very risky to her health."

N.R. is an 8-year-old girl diagnosed with epilepsy, whose doctor also prescribed Diastat for prolonged seizures. As in M.M.'s case, N.R's "parents remain concerned about what will happen if N.R. needs Diastat at camp and cannot get it," according to the complaint.

Shapiro his lawsuit is calling for a "a reasonable modification" to NISRA policies in asking it "to administer a life-saving medication to participants with epilepsy who need it so that they may enjoy the same services, programs, and activities as other individuals with and without disabilities."

The United States seeks an injunction requiring NISRA to administer Diastat to participants in its programs as medically required.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Johnson and Harpreet Chahal.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Double amputee in wheelchair shot and killed by Houston officer at group home | Sept 22, 2012

HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston police officer shot and killed a one-armed, one-legged man in a wheelchair Saturday inside a group home after police say the double amputee threatened the officer and aggressively waved a metal object that turned out to be a pen.

Police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said the man cornered the officer in his wheelchair and was making threats while trying to stab the officer with the pen. At the time, the officer did not know what the metal object was that the man was waving, Silva said.

She said the man came “within inches to a foot” of the officer and did not follow instructions to calm down and remain still.

“Fearing for his partner’s safety and his own safety, he discharged his weapon,” Silva told The Associated Press.

Police did not immediately release the name of the man who was killed. They had been called to the home after a caretaker there called and reported that the man in wheelchair was causing a disturbance.

The owner of the group home, John Garcia, told the Houston Chronicle that the man had a history of mental illness and had been living at the house about 18 months. Garcia said the man had told him that he lost a leg above the knee and all of one arm when he was hit by a train.

“He sometimes would go off a bit, but you just ignore it,” Garcia told the newspaper.

Silva identified the officer as Matthew Jacob Marin, a five-year veteran of the department. He was immediately placed on three-day administrative leave, which is standard in all shootings involving officers.

Houston police records indicate that Marin also fatally shot a suspect in 2009. Investigators at the time said Marin came upon a man stabbing his neighbor to death at an apartment complex and opened fired when the suspect refused to drop the knife.

On Saturday, Marin and his partner arrived at the group home around 2:30 a.m. Silva said there were several people at the house at the time. The caretaker who called police waited on the porch while the officers went inside, she said.

“It was close quarters in the area of the house,” Silva said. “The officer was forced into an area where he had no way to get out.”

By Associated Press

Sunday, September 23, 2012

City of Chicago Offers Free Medallion To Cabbie Who Wins Award For Service To Disabled | Sept 2012

CHICAGO (CBS2) — The City of Chicago is offering a major reward to cabdrivers who serve disabled passengers – a free medallion.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, the city is soliciting nominations for this year’s Taxicab Driver Excellence Award, and says those who have seen a driver go above and beyond in service to passengers – both able-bodied and disabled – should suggest that person.

The winner will receive a taxi medallion, which is worth, on average, $320,000.

The Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection says there are currently 6,665 active cab license holders in Chicago.

To be eligible for the contest, drivers must be in compliance with city laws, and have been driving a licensed Chicago taxi cab for at least three consecutive years. They also must have proof that they have driven a wheelchair-accessible cab for at least 250 days within the last year, and served wheelchair-bound passengers at least twice per 12-hour shift.

Drivers cannot be nominated by themselves, relatives, or current medallion holders. The winner of the medallion must put it on a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

Reporting Nancy Harty - CBS2 Chicago


Illinois Program for 'medically fragile' kids holds on despite cuts threat

Article by By Pam Adams | GateHouse News Service

MARQUETTE HEIGHTS —  [Sept 23, 2012] The little boy jumping in the middle of the bed, screeching out his favorite song, “Play that Funky Music White Boy,” has congenital central hypoventilation syndrome, a gene mutation that causes his body to forget to breathe.

“There’s maybe 600 known cases worldwide,” said his father, Bill Thompson.

The rare disease is also the reason 5-year-old Alex has had a tube sprouting from his windpipe since he was 6 weeks old and a bedroom that doubles as a hospital room.

But right now, it is not the rarity of Alex’s disease that concerns his parents. It’s Illinois’ effort to reduce wide-ranging Medicaid costs, his father says, at the expense of children like Alex who rely on medical technology and round-the-clock nursing care to live at home.

Bill and Holly Thompson are among some 500 families throughout the state who depend on what’s called the MFTD waiver, or the Medically Fragile and Technology-Dependent Waiver program.

With the waiver, their children are eligible for Medicaid regardless of parental income. Without it, parents can’t afford the round-the-clock nursing care — at an average cost of $188,000 a year — their children require to avoid institutionalization.

Fighting the changes

MFTD-waiver families have popped up as one of the most vociferous grass-roots groups fighting specific changes in the state’s Medicaid reform package.

So far, families have played a role in blocking state plans to shift more of the costs to families, impose income eligibility caps and change standard-of-care definitions. They’ve cornered Julie Hamos, head of the state Department of Healthcare and Family Services, at public forums and filed a lawsuit to stop the changes.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stepped in, asking state officials to request a deadline extension so federal officials would have time to review the changes. An initial Sept. 1 deadline has been extended 90 days.

“About 100 families are on Facebook every night talking about strategies (and) which legislators we’ve harassed lately,” Thompson said.

Harassing legislators is nothing compared to sacrifices the Thompsons have made since Alex was born.

His tracheostomy tube is his airway, and he practically began life on one in a neonatal intensive-care unit. He was on a ventilator to keep him breathing his first few years. He’s still on one at night. His parents rely on private nurses at night and when Alex goes to school.

Both parents learned to suction the tube to prevent clogging and replace it if it comes out. Their 15-year-old daughter, Allie, also learned to care for her brother. If Alex pulls the tube from his neck, they’ve got 10 seconds to get it back in.

Concerted effort

When Holly Thompson’s maternity leave was up, Bill Thompson, 48, quit his job for a year. “I didn’t trust the nurse,” he said.

When Holly, 38, was laid off, they held onto $700-a-month COBRA payments. They both eventually took lower-paying jobs, mainly so they could be with Alex. Even so, they saved for Allie’s college education, though private nurses became part of their routine.

“I never dreamed there would be a cost I couldn’t take care of with my insurance or money I had saved,” Holly Thompson said. “The waiver program was a Godsend for us.”

If the MFTD waiver took effect as state officials intended, the Thompsons would pay 5 percent of their income, about $386 a month, to maintain the nurses.

But to the MFTD families, the income cap and changes in care standards are more worrisome than sharing costs. Families that earn above 500 percent of the official federal poverty level would not be eligible for the waiver. That’s about $95,000 for a family of three.

“Some people might say that’s a pretty good income,” said Larry Joseph, director of the fiscal policy center at Chicago-based Voices for Illinois Children. “But not when nursing costs average $188,000 a year.”

Families no longer eligible for the waiver would face huge out-of-pocket expenses with no transition plan. Some say they’d have to quit their jobs, work part time or divorce to make sure their children get the proper care. Or their children might be forced to move into a nursing home, which would cost Medicaid three times as much as the waiver program.

The Thompsons take Alex’s boisterous rendition of his favorite song in stride. Bill Thompson joins him on a few bars.

“Where he is today is because of concerted effort,” Bill Thompson said.
“We worked with him, and the nurses worked with him also. There’s no way they could do that in a hospital or a nursing home.”


How to File a Video Description Complaint with the FCC | Sept 2012

As Posted by American Council of the Blind.

Video Described Television Programming: the Rules

FCC rules require local TV station affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC located in the top 25 TV markets (http://www.stationindex.com/tv/tv-markets) to provide 50 hours per calendar quarter (about 4 hours per week) of video-described prime time and/or children's programming. Live or near-live events may but are not required to provide video description.

Schedule of video described programming (https://docs.google.com/document/d/12HN-8UeDWGj1Y_NjHQxAsEwYjqNxq3sYHrgL5zrw3F8/edit?pli=1)
Local TV stations in markets smaller than the top 25 also may provide video description but are not required to do so. Check with your local TV stations.

Many Public Broadcasting System (PBS) stations also provide video description on a number of programs. Check with your local PBS station.

The requirement to provide video description is extended to local TV station affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC located in the top 60 television markets beginning July 1, 2015 (http://www.stationindex.com/tv/tv-markets).

The top 5 non-broadcast networks - Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, TBS, TNT, and USA - must provide 50 hours per calendar quarter (about 4 hours per week) of video-described prime time and/or children's programming.

Subscription TV systems (offered over cable, satellite or the telephone network, including, but not limited to, Comcast, AT&T U-verse, Dish Network, DIRECTV) with 50,000 or more subscribers must carry video description.

Subscription TV systems with fewer than 50,000 subscribers also may provide video description but are not required to do so. Check with your subscription TV provider

If, after reading these FCC requirements for video description of television programming, you wish to file a complaint, use the information that follows as a guide in composing that complaint.

How to File a Video Description Complaint

is a step by step guide for filing complaints regarding the new video description requirements with the Federal Communications Commission, (FCC). Before filing a complaint you should make every attempt to work with your cable or satellite provider to resolve the situation to your satisfaction. You should keep records of your attempts to resolve the inability to receive descriptions and include that information in your complaint.

Prepare your complaint including the following information.

First Name and Last Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City, State, Zip Code:
Telephone Number:
E-mail Address:

Your preferred format or method of response to the complaint by the Commission
and defendant is: (Choices are: Letter; Internet E-mail; ASCII Text; Audio-Cassette Recording; braille; Facsimile (fax); Telephone (Voice); TRS (designate form of TRS and appropriate contact information); TTY.

Your complaint is about Video Description (audio narrated descriptions of a TV program's key visual elements)

1. Provide the name, address and telephone number (if known) of the company(s) involved in your complaint:

City, State, Zip Code:
Telephone number (if known):

2. Provide the following:

a. Television station call sign and network name (if applicable), or channel name (e.g., "WZUF, CBC," "WZUE-TV," "Sportingchannel West"):
b. Channel Number (e.g., "13"):
c. Station or subscription TV provider system location: City, County, State.
d. If you pay to receive television programming, name and type of subscription service (e.g., Comcast; DIRECTV; Dish Network):
f. Name of program(s) involved:

3. Provide a narrative for your complaint and include the resolution you are seeking.

What to Include in Your Narrative

Include enough information to demonstrate that the video programming distributor has violated or is violating the FCC’s video description rules, such as the name of the program or show; the date and time when it was shown; and a detailed description of the video description problem, including specifics about the frequency and type of problem (e.g., video description available during only part of the program or missing in its entirety – but remember that not all programming must be video described under the FCC’s rules).

Tell the FCC what specific relief or satisfaction is being requested;

Include any additional information that may assist in processing your complaint.

File your complaint

E-mail your complaint to dro@fcc.gov.
Mail your complaint to:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554.

Use the Disability Access Complaint Form 2000C at https://esupport.fcc.gov/ccmsforms/form2000!formSelection.action.
File your complaint by phone (888-225-5322)

Copyright © 2012 American Council of the Blind All content made available in publications, in any media on any web site domains administered by ACB, or as a broadcast or podcast on ACB Radio, archived or not, is considered to be the property of the American Council of the Blind. Those responsible for creative content may allow their materials to appear elsewhere with prior notification to the ACB national office and with appropriate attribution.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New Ticket to Work Website! - Social Security Administration | Sept 2012

By Guest Blogger Bob Williams, Associate Commissioner for the Social Security Administration’s Office of Employment Support Programs

I’m pleased to announce the redesigned Ticket to Work website! The new portal, www.socialsecurity.gov/work, is your entry point to program information, resources and news about our employment support programs.

We provide many ways to connect with the Ticket to Work program! People who receive Social Security disability benefits and want to work, or are already working, can find the following resources on the site:

Real Success Stories from people who used their Ticket to go to work and improve their life.
A Find Help tool to search for service providers who can help you explore your employment and earnings options.
Employment Network (EN) report cards to help you choose the EN that best fits your needs.
The Choose Work blog, featuring news about our programs and other employment topics.
FREE monthly Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) webinars and access to past webinars for viewing anytime.
Easy access to Social Security’s Ticket to Work Help Line, social media and email updates.
The website also offers:

Access to information and resources for Ticket to Work service providers.
Access to information about Social Security’s Office of Employment Support Programs, which administers the Ticket to Work program.
Socialsecurity.gov/work, the Ticket Help Line and WISE webinars (both live and archived) allow you access to information when you want it and how you want it, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I urge you to visit the website, call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD) or email us at support@chooseworkttw.net today! As always, if you are seeking one-on-one assistance, contact the Ticket Help Line to speak with knowledgeable representatives who can answer your questions and help you get started.

We believe these tools will enable you and other beneficiaries like you to better access the information, resources and supports you need to make more informed choices about how you can go to work, increase your earnings and perhaps one day leave cash benefits behind for a better, more secure life.

Bob Williams is the Associate Commissioner for the Social Security Administration’s Office of Employment Support Programs. Previously, he was the Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and later headed the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Disability, Aging and Long Term Care Policy.

# As posted by Disability.gov :

Disabilities in Movies Month (Oct) at Turner Classic Movies

Turner Classic Movies will dedicate the month of October to exploring the ways people with disabilities have been portrayed in film. On behalf of Inclusion in the Arts, Lawrence Carter-Long will join TCM host Robert Osborne for The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film. The special month-long exploration will air Tuesdays in October, beginning Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. (ET).

TCM makes today’s announcement to coincide with the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) on July 26. And in a first for TCM, all films will be presented with both closed captioning and audio description (via secondary audio) for audience members with auditory and visual disabilities.

The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film features more than 20 films ranging from the 1920s to the 1980s. Each night’s collection will explore particular aspects, themes, or types of disability, such as blindness, deafness and psychiatric or intellectual disabilities. In addition, one evening of programming will focus on newly disabled veterans returning home from war.

TCM’s exploration of disability in cinema includes many Oscar-winning and nominated films, such as An Affair to Remember (1957), in which Deborah Kerr’s romantic rendezvous with Cary Grant is nearly derailed by a paralyzing accident; A Patch of Blue (1965), with Elizabeth Hartman as a blind white girl who falls in love with a black man, played by Sidney Poitier; Butterflies Are Free (1972), starring Edward Albert as a blind man attempting to break free from his over-protective mother; and Gaby: A True Story (1987), the powerful tale of a girl with cerebral palsy trying to gain independence as an artist; Johnny Belinda (1948), starring Jane Wyman as a “deaf-mute” forced to defy expectations; The Miracle Worker (1962), starring Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan and Patty Duke as Helen Keller; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), with Jack Nicholson as a patient in a mental institution and Louise Fletcher as the infamous Nurse Ratched; The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), the post-War drama starring Fredric March, Myrna Loy and real-life disabled veteran Harold Russell; and Charly (1968), with Cliff Robertson as an intellectually disabled man who questions the limits of science after being turned into a genius.

The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film also features several lesser-known classics ripe for rediscovery, including the atmospheric Val Lewton chiller Bedlam (1946), the intriguing blind-detective mystery Eyes in the Night (1942); A Child is Waiting (1963), with Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland; the British family drama Mandy (1953); and a bravura performance by wheelchair user Susan Peters in Sign of the Ram (1948).

Each year since 2006, TCM has dedicated one month toward examining how different cultural and ethnic groups have been portrayed in the movies. Several of the programming events have centered on Race and Hollywood, with explorations on how the movies have portrayed African-Americans in 2005, Asians in 2008, Latinos in 2009, Native Americans in 2010 and Arabs in 2011. TCM looked at Hollywood’s depiction of gay and lesbian characters, issues and themes in 2007.

“The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film is a valuable opportunity to take a deeper look at the movies we all know and love, to see them from a different perspective and to learn what they have to say about us as a society,” said Osborne. “We are very proud to be working with Inclusion in the Arts on this important exploration. And we are especially glad to have Lawrence Carter-Long of the National Council on Disability with us to provide fascinating, historical background and thought-provoking insight on how cinematic portrayals of disability have evolved over time.”

“From returning veterans learning to renegotiate both the assumptions and environments once taken for granted to the rise of independent living, Hollywood depictions of disability have alternately echoed and influenced life outside the movie theater,” said Carter-Long, who curated the series. “Twenty-two years after the passage of the ADA and over a century since Thomas Edison filmed ‘The Fake Beggar,’ TCM and Inclusion in the Arts provide an unprecedented overview of how cinematic projections of isolation and inspiration have played out on the silver screen – and in our lives. When screened together, everything from The Miracle Worker to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest reveals another layer where what you think you know is only the beginning.”

About Lawrence Carter-Long
Widely recognized for his expertise in the arts, access and media, Lawrence Carter-Long is a sought-after media spokesperson on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from medical ethics to media representation of disability. His numerous media appearances have included The New York Times, NBC’s Today Show, CNN, NPR and the BBC, among others. He was a co-host and producer on The Largest Minority Radio Show on WBAI-FM from 2006-2011.

While recognized for his media work, Carter-Long is perhaps best known as the founder and curator of the disTHIS! Film Series, presented in partnership with New York University’s Center for the Study of Disability from 2006 until 2010. The groundbreaking monthly film series brought new audiences and attention to cinematic representation of disability by showcasing edgy, provocative and unconventional portrayals across the disability spectrum with the promise of “No handkerchief necessary; no heroism required.” He was a member of the steering committee of the ReelAbilities: Disabilities Film Festival from 2007-2010 and selected the Emerging Disabled Filmmaker Apprenticeships for the American Film Institute/Silverdocs and VSA Arts from 2009-2011.

For his advocacy, Carter-Long was awarded the Frieda Zames Advocacy Award by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2009 and the Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities in 2010. In May 2011, Carter-Long moved to Washington, D.C. to work as the public affairs specialist for the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency that recommends federal disability policy to the President, Congress and other federal agencies.


TCM Schedule 2012 Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30:

Tuesday, Oct. 2

8 p.m. – An Affair to Remember (1957)

10:15 p.m. – A Patch of Blue (1965)

12:15 a.m. – Butterflies are Free (1972)

2:15 a.m. – Gaby: A True Story (1987)

4:15 a.m. – Sign of the Ram (1948)

Tuesday, Oct. 9

8 p.m. – Lucky Star (1929)

9:45 p.m. – Bright Victory (1951)

11:45 p.m. – Reach for the Sky (1956)

2:15 a.m. – The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Tuesday, Oct. 16

8 p.m. – Eyes in the Night (1942)

9:30 p.m. – 23 Paces to Baker Street (1956)

11:30 p.m. – Johnny Belinda (1948)

1:30 a.m. – The Miracle Worker (1962)

Tuesday, Oct. 23

8 p.m. – A Child is Waiting (1963)

10 p.m. – Mandy (1953)

Midnight – Of Mice and Men (1939)

2 a.m. – Charly (1968)

Tuesday, Oct. 30

8 p.m. – The Unknown (1927)

9:15 p.m. – Freaks (1932)

10:30 p.m. – Bedlam (1946)

Midnight – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

All times Eastern.

Schedule subject to change

Friday, September 21, 2012

One-legged Soccer Player "Nico" Calabria Scores Amazing Goal!

Let's not beat around the bush: What Nicolai "Nico" Calabria pulled off Wednesday in Massachusetts has to be one of the greatest goals ever scored. That's not because of the arc of his shot or the power of his header. It's because Nico Calabria only has one leg, and he scored one of the most acrobatic goals of the season in an able-bodied, varsity soccer game.

YouTube Published on Sep 20, 2012 by Ray Pavlik

Calabria is a high school senior who competes for the Concord-Carlisle (Mass.) High soccer team. He was the captain of the junior varsity squad as a junior. He is also a wrestler for the Patriots. He does all these things with just one leg, which is about as remarkable an achievement as one can come across.
On the soccer pitch, Calabria motors up and down the field on crutches. Incredibly, the don't seem to keep him out of the action much, either, because Calabria can really move on his two crutches, as he showed with his celebration after his recent goal during C-C's 9-0 victory against Newton (Mass.) South High.

How he managed to score that goal, however, is more remarkable still. Balancing on his crutches, Calabria positioned himself in the penalty box for an oncoming Concord-Carlisle corner. As the ball floated in, Calabria was in position to get his boot on the ball, if he could get it high enough to make contact.
What followed next was incredible, with Calabria swinging his leg as if he was attempting an overhead volley. He made contact with the inswinging corner with his leg over his head like a full scissor kick, and the ball sailed into the net with ease.

Even if you've already watched the goal above once, go back and check it out again. It's well worth it. It would easily qualify as one of the top goals of the week if Calabria had taken the shot with both of his lower limbs, let alone scoring it with one.

That Calabria has even made it to the Concord-Carlisle varsity soccer team is a major accomplishment. The Patriots are among the strongest teams in the Dual County League (DCL) each year, and the DCL hosts some of the best boys soccer in the Boston area. Suffice it to say, Concord-Carlisle doesn't need Calabria on the field just to make up the numbers. He's there on his own merit.

Though he is still in high school, Calabria is already a member of the U.S. national amputee soccer team. His bio on that team's website claims that he has been a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres show and has been profiled on National Public Radio's All Things Considered.

Based on what he accomplishes on the field, Calabria deserves all that attention and more. Yet his accomplishments aren't limited to soccer and wrestling, either; Calabria also summited Mt. Kilamanjaro, reaching the top of the mountain at age 13.

That expedition may have set the stage for Calabria's future triumphs, but it certainly didn't stop him. Now the high school senior can comfortably look back and realize that he's succeeding in things that some able-bodied athletes could only dream about.

Article By Cameron Smith | Prep Rally

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chicago Meeting to Discuss Issues Impacting Persons With Vision Impairments or Blindness : Oct 10, 2012 at Equip for Equality

Meeting to Discuss Issues Impacting Persons With Vision Impairments or Blindness October 10, 2012, 10:30am-Noon, 20 N. Michigan, Suite 300, Chicago, IL

Equip for Equality (EFE) will be hosting a meeting on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, to discuss legal issues impacting persons with vision impairments or blindness in Illinois. The purpose of the meeting is to solicit input from the blind community on what issues are important in order to provide guidance to EFE on case acceptance and proactive initiatives. The meeting will take place from 10:30 a.m. until noon at EFE's offices at 20 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 300, Chicago, Illinois 60602. Barry Taylor and Amy Peterson will participate on behalf of Equip for Equality. This meeting is open to the public and all interested persons are encouraged to attend. Please call Cecille Escartin at (312) 895-7346 (voice) or (800) 610-2779 (TTY) or write cecille@equipforequality.org to reserve your space or request an accommodation. Accommodations should be requested two weeks in advance if possible.

Scent-Free Note: Please do not wear any perfumes or scented products to Equip for Equality events to ensure an accessible environment for people with chemical sensitivity.


Illinois Fugitive Dr. Juan Rios Admits Engaging in health care Frauds

Press Release : September 18, 2012
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

Fugitive for 13 Years Pleads Guilty

Dr. Juan Rios Admits Engaging in Frauds

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on September 18, 2012, Dr. Juan Rios, 65, who was extradited from Peru, pled guilty in federal district court to one count of health care fraud, three counts of mail fraud, and one count of failure to appear. Rios was first indicted in December 1999. Additional charges were brought after Rios fled to Peru shortly after his indictment, forfeiting a $350,000 in cash that he had posted as bond on the original charges. At his sentencing, Rios faces up to 35 years of imprisonment and fines of up to $1.5 million, three years of mandatory supervised release, and a special assessment of $500. Sentencing has been set for January 4, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. in United States District Court in East St. Louis, Illinois.

In court today, Rios admitted fleeing the United States after he was indicted. He acknowledged that, as a Southern Illinois physician in the mid to late 1990s, he defrauded several insurance companies of over $400,000. Rios, who had medical offices in Collinsville and Bethalto, also admitted that he had submitted false bills for medical treatment and services that were not provided to his patients, while at the same time fraudulently receiving over $250,000 in personal disability payments.

The investigation was conducted by the Southern Illinois Health Care Fraud Task Force, with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the U.S. Department of Human Services-Office of Inspector General, and the Illinois State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ranley R. Killian and Michael J. Quinley.


HIV Patient Assistance Program Speeds Up Application Process for Medication | Sept 2012

News Release : September 12, 2012
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Common application for HIV patient assistance program expedites application process for lifesaving drugs

The Common Patient Assistance Program Application (CPAPA), announced by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the International AIDS Conference in July, went into effect today. This single common application allows uninsured individuals living with HIV to use one application to apply for multiple assistance programs that together provide an entire course of antiretroviral therapy.

The application is a result of a public private partnership between HHS' Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) and seven leading pharmaceutical companies and foundations, and their HIV patient assistance programs: Abbott Laboratories, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Merck and ViiV Healthcare. In addition, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors assisted in the development and implementation of the application.

“The last thing someone living with HIV wants to think about is filling out another form,” Secretary Sebelius said. “This application streamlines and simplifies the process, reduces barriers to medication access, and speeds access to lifesaving drugs.”

Patient Assistance Programs provide free or discounted medication to qualifying patients who cannot afford it themselves. These programs serve an estimated 30,000 or more patients a year across the country, and this initiative will aim to expand access to these programs.

The application is in response to suggestions by advocates and providers in the field to greatly simplify the process of applying to different programs. Prior to the development of the common application, individuals living with HIV or his/her provider had to fill out multiple sets of paperwork because they were taking complicated, multi-drug regimens that many times involve multiple companies with varying application forms.

This initiative aligns with the goals of the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy by increasing access to lifesaving drugs for eligible patients, and by helping more patients receive effective treatment for HIV.

The application can be found at http://hab.hrsa.gov/patientassistance/index.html.


Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.

You can follow HHS on Twitter @HHSgov and sign up for HHS Email Updates.

Last revised: September 12, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Illinois Nurse’s Assistant Krisann Henderson is accused of stealing from her patients over five years | Sept 19, 2012

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS2 - Chicago) — A nurse’s assistant from Arlington Heights is accused of stealing more than $25,000 in jewelry from her patients.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, a 35-karat aquamarine broach a 10-karat gold tennis bracelet with 35 round diamonds and a pearl necklace are among the items that 42-year-old nurse’s assistant Krisann Henderson is accused of stealing from her patients over five years.

The patients she targeted were mentally or physically impaired.

“It was pretty disturbing because of the level of theft, and from whom the things were being stolen,” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. “These were people she was supposed to be watching and caring for. Instead, she stole from at least two or three of them so far, and we anticipate there’ll be more people coming forward.”

Henderson’s alleged thefts were discovered by sheriff’s police after a man told authorities his wife’s jewelry was missing back in January 2010. But the man’s wife was in the hospital at the time and could not talk to police, according to a news release.

The man’s wife went on to contact officers for several months with the names of caregivers who had been working in her home. It turned out that one caregiver, Henderson, had been a regular customer at the Arlington Heights Jewelry and Loan store, where she had been pawning the stolen items, the release said.

Six pieces are still missing and three have been recovered, sheriff’s police said.

Bond for Henderson was set at $5,000 Monday, sheriff’s police said.

Dart says he wants to know if someone in a managerial position over Henderson should have noticed something earlier.

He says anyone who thinks he or she might have been a victim should call the Sheriff’s Police Investigation Section, (708) 865-4896.




Chicago, IL – The Rehabilitation Instituste of Chicago (RIC), the nation’s #1 rehabilitation hospital ranked by U.S. News and World Report, is pleased to announce its Fourth Annual SkyRise Chicago 2012, taking place on Sunday, November 4, 2012 from 7 a.m. to noon, is open for registration! The one of a kind event is the planet’s tallest indoor stair climb providing two modes of participation: climbing up Willis Tower’s 103 flights of stairs or hand-cycling the equivalent distance and elevation. All proceeds from the event will support RIC’s quality clinical care and cutting-edge research that advance ability for more than 50,000 adults and children around the world each year.

Each participant, with the exception of elite climbers, will have the option to participate as an individual or as part of a team. Stair climbers will ascend 2,109 steps, to reach a breathtaking finish line experience from the iconic Skydeck Chicago, offering panoramic views of up to four states and featuring the glass-floored balconies of The Ledge. Hand-cyclists will use stationary hand-cycles mathematically calibrated to match the resistance and distance necessary to ascend the Willis Tower’s 103 floors.

The registration fee for SkyRise Chicago is $50, plus a $100 individual fundraising minimum, in which participants receive a SkyRise Chicago T-shirt, swag bag, finisher's medal and after-race refreshments. Team registration is also available; XXX, XXX, XXX, among others organizations have comprised teams this year. Last year, nearly 3,000 participants from 39 states and five countries raised more than $1 million in support of RIC.

RIC believes everyone can soar to great heights, and participants’ fundraising support will fuel RIC’s cutting-edge patient care and innovative research, offering thousands of adults and children the greatest hope for the future. For more information or to register or SkyRise Chicago 2012, please visit www.skyrisechicago.org

For press inquiries, please contact kimberly@haysgrace.com or Lindsay@haysgrace.com


About The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago:
The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is the nation’s #1 ranked provider of comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care to patients from around the world and is the leader in research and development of the cutting-edge treatments and technologies in its field. Through aggressive medical protocols, RIC guides the patient care process toward a better outcome.
RIC holds an unparalleled market distinction with a record seven multi-year, multi-million dollar federal research designations awarded and funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Education’s National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research in the areas of spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, neurological rehabilitation, outcomes research and rehabilitation engineering research. RIC operates its 165-bed, current flagship hospital in downtown Chicago, as well as a network of more than 30 sites of care distributed throughout the Midwestern region, through which it delivers inpatient, day rehabilitation and outpatient services.

Founded in 1954, RIC has been designated the “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. RIC sets the standard of care in the post-acute market through its innovative applied research and discovery programs, particularly in the areas of neuroscience, bionic medicine, musculoskeletal medicine and technology transfer. For more information, go to www.ric.org.

About Willis Tower
Willis Tower is the premier corporate office building in Chicago, offering more than 4.5 million square feet of office and retail space. Located in Chicago's West Loop at 233 S. Wacker Drive, the skyscraper is easily accessible from the commuter rail stations, highways and all forms of public transportation. Standing 1,450 feet and 110 stories tall, Willis Tower is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and an integral part of Chicago's culture. Originally opened in September 1973, it is home to more than 100 different companies, including prominent financial services firms, law firms and insurance companies. Willis Tower boasts spectacular vistas of Chicago, with views that can reach nearly 50 miles on a clear day. Willis Tower also boasts a tremendous infrastructure system, which includes enormous telecommunications capacity and unsurpassed electrical capacity and reliability. The Skydeck at Willis Tower on the 103rd floor attracts more than 1.3 million visitors per year.

EEOC Sues Supermarket Chain for Not Providing Accommodation to Employee with Bipolar Disorder | Sept 2012

Press Release | 9-18-12

EEOC Sues King Soopers for Discriminating Against Employee with Bipolar Disorder

Supermarket Chain Failed to Accommodate and Fired Long-Time Employee After She Tried to Use Medical Leave to Manage Her Condition, Federal Agency Charged

DENVER - Dillon Companies, which does business in Colorado as King Soopers, Inc., a large retail food company, refused to accommodate and unlawfully fired a receptionist at its company headquarters because of her bipolar condition, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Denver.

According to the EEOC's suit (EEOC v. Dillon Companies, Inc., d/b/a King Soopers, Inc. 12-cv-02458-REB-KMT, King Soopers refused to accommodate Kelly Ferris's need for sufficient time off to manage her bipolarism. Hired as a receptionist in 2003, Ferris worked at King Soopers' headquarters on Tejon Street in Denver for five years before she was discharged while on medical leave. Ferris requested use of the company's 18-month medical leave policy, explaining that she needed the time to manage a flare-up in her disability, but during her fifth month of company leave,King Soopers fired her for failing to report to work without permission.

Disability discrimination violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to engage in an interactive process with employees in good faith, exploring what accommodations for a disability are possible. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks monetary damages on behalf of Ferris, training on anti-discrimination laws, an injunction, posting of anti-discrimination notices at the work site and other injunctive relief.

Under the ADA, medical leave constitutes a reasonable accommodation. The length of leave is considered reasonable if it coincides with leave already required by federal or state laws or which is available under a company's general leave policies. An employer discriminates against a disabled employee if the employer fails to provide her with the same length of leave it provides the rest of its work force, and does so because of her disability.

"Bipolar disorder and other psychiatric conditions have long been misunderstood in society," said EEOC Phoenix Regional Attorney Mary Jo O'Neill. "Employees who have bipolar disorder are frequently subject to unfair stereotypes about their ability to work. That's why the EEOC filed this lawsuit."

Denver EEOC Field Director Nancy Sienko added, "Employees with bipolar disorder and other psychiatric disabilities are productive members of the work force when afforded equal opportunity to be so, especially when employers comply with their duty under the ADA to provide reasonable accommodation such as time off, and eliminate stereotypes from the workplace."

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.


IHSA, Swimmers with Disabilities reach deal over lawsuit to Compete | Sept 2012

Agreement Allows Mary Kate Callahan and Other Swimmers with
Disabilities to Compete in the 2012 Season

By DAVID MERCER | The Associated Press | Posted Sep 18, 2012

CHAMPAIGN -- An advocacy group and a disabled high school swimmer said Tuesday that they have reached a settlement with the organization that oversees high school sports in Illinois that will allow a 16-year-old student and other disabled swimmers to compete this year.

The agreement follows a lawsuit filed by Equip for Equality on behalf of Mary Kate Callahan of LaGrange and by the Illinois attorney general's office. The advocacy group says discussions continue about access to track and field events, but the attorney general's office says it's still pursuing its legal action.

Equip for Equality said in a Tuesday news release that the agreement with the Illinois High School Association will allow disabled swimmers to compete in the 50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke.

"Equip for Equality is pleased that the parties have been able to reach an agreement so that Mary Kate and other swimmers with disabilities will have the opportunity to participate in this year's high school season and post season meets, including the State Finals," the group said in a statement.

"We appreciate the time and resources that Equip for Equality dedicated in the development of this new IHSA program," IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman said.

Attorney general's spokeswoman Natalie Bauer, however, said the agreement resolves only some of the issue.

"This is a good initial step to allow Mary Kate and others to swim this fall, but it still leaves open a tremendous number of outstanding issues that need to be addressed - all the other sports teams and the question of how disabled athletes can earn points for their team," Bauer said.

Mary Kate is paralyzed from the waist down after contracting a neurological disorder called transverse myelitis as an infant. She swims using her arms and shoulders.

She sued the IHSA in May, noting that while her school, Fenwick High School in in suburban Oak Park, lets her compete in local swimming meets, she can't win points for her team and didn't have the option of competing in separate categories for disabled swimmers.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Living Only on Social Security, The Monthly Tightwire Act | article

The Tightwire Act of Living Only on Social Security

By PAUL SULLIVAN | New York Times – Wed, Sep 12, 2012

LIVING on an inflexible budget, one that teeters on the brink of poverty, is not what most people equate with retirement. But that is pretty much what anyone who lives solely on Social Security can expect.

According to the Social Security Administration, 23 percent of married couples and 46 percent of single people receive 90 percent or more of their income from Social Security. Furthermore, 53 percent of married couples and 74 percent of unmarried people receive half of their income or more from the program.

Such statistics represent a group of people forever trying to make ends meet at a time when their health may be declining, their friends dying and their ability to do things not what it used to be. According to a report by AARP, the lobby for people older than 50, three out of five families headed by a retiree over 65 had no retirement savings.

“It gets hard for a lot of people to imagine getting along on just the Social Security check, but obviously millions of people are doing it,” said David Certner, legislative policy director for AARP. “They’re really living month to month and relying on that check. Some people have a paid-off home, but they’re still dealing with upkeep, insurance, taxes, plus utilities and health care.”
With an average monthly payment of $1,200 per individual (the actual amount is determined from one’s earnings record), nobody is getting rich on Social Security; that’s $14,400 a year, not much above the federal individual poverty line of $10,890, and payments aren’t adjusted by regional differences in the cost of living.

Modest as that average income is, someone would need about $300,000 to buy an equivalent annuity with a built-in cost-of-living increase, Mr. Certner said. Few retirees have savings like that.
Sue Ann Flatley, who lives outside Tampa, is an example of what it is like to live almost entirely on Social Security with no savings and no house to sell if need be. Ms. Flatley, 72, stayed home when her children were young, but then worked for 30 years before retiring as a certified nursing assistant at age 65.

Divorced with three children in their 40s, Ms. Flatley receives $890 a month in Social Security. Her rent, in subsidized housing, is $128 a month. She has two bills, one from a clothing store credit card, the other from medical expenses from a hip replacement, that she is working to pay down at $50 to $100 a month. Then there are her regular expenses, like phone, cable, electricity and trash collection bills.

“I have to be really careful with my check,” she said. “Usually every other month I can go to the grocery store and spend $130 to $150. I buy a lot of freezer things. I’ve been a diabetic for five years, and I can’t eat a lot of things.”

She says that it is the unexpected expenses that are difficult to manage. In August, she had to pay $72 to get new license plates for her car and $28 to change the address on her driver’s license. “I would have been all right if I didn’t have to buy the tags on my car,” she said.
Ms. Flatley is part of one of the most vulnerable groups: older single women. According to an AARP report, women are more likely to live in poverty in retirement than men across all ethnic and racial groups.

Another typical situation is the one Greta Morrison, a former insurance claims administrator, found herself in a few years back. She had a paid-off house 12 miles from downtown Indianapolis. But she never had more than $4,000 in the bank, and her $1,100 a month Social Security and $200 pension from the Travelers Insurance Company did not cover her expenses.

“I was cash-poor and dirt rich,” she said. “I was having to use my home equity loan to pay for home expenses, my taxes, my nursing home insurance.”

Mrs. Morrison, 81, sold the house this year and rented an apartment in St. Petersburg, Fla., to be closer to one of her daughters. Her son, 52, is unemployed and lives with her.

“Money is a definite concern every time I break a twenty,” Mrs. Morrison said. “I can’t be cavalier about money. I don’t eat out, but I had a lot of years of eating out. I don’t subscribe to a lot of magazines. I don’t buy clothes, but I don’t go anywhere I need them.”

Yet selling the home was a great relief, she said, even though such a step is undoubtedly traumatic for others in her situation. When all the bills were settled, she put $130,000 in the bank. After years of struggling, she rented a condo on Snell Isle, a nice neighborhood in St. Petersburg, that consumes most of her Social Security check.

“I make it now because I sold my home,” she said. “My apartment costs more than I can afford, but at 81, I figured why not?”

She is, in effect, making a classic retirement bet — that she will die before the money from her house runs out.

Retired married couples have to make that calculation for two people, but they have a financial advantage on those who are single or widowed, Mr. Certner said. It is not just two Social Security checks, but the economies of scale that come from sharing all the expenses.

Karl Steven Forister, who lives with his wife, Phyllis, in Renton, Wash., just south of Seattle, said that between their two Social Security checks, which total $3,000 a month, and extra money they earn doing background checks from their computer at home, they get by.

There was a time, though, when Mr. Forister seemed to be someone who would have an easy retirement. He worked at the company that became U.S. West Communications as a human resource representative, eventually rising to a position where he traveled the country to recruit people.
Then in 1990, the company offered early retirement and he took it, at age 50, as a lump-sum payment. First he had a heart attack and then, in 1994, his wife of 33 years divorced him after meeting someone else, he said. She got half of everything they owned together, including his pension payout.

At that time, his luck with investing wasn’t much better. “You remember the dot-com bust?” he asked. “I survived it, but it was costly.”

Today, the Foristers live in a house subsidized by the Senior Housing Assistance Group, a nonprofit group in the Puget Sound area. They can walk to a senior center run by the city of Renton, and there he works on art projects and they both exercise at no charge. They walk to a Safeway to buy food, and once a month they drive to a Sam’s Club to stock up on larger purchases.

Their big expenses, he said, are rent, co-payments for health care and food. He said that two years ago when their car broke down, Mrs. Forister’s mother, who was then 91, moved into a retirement home and gave them her 1993 Maxima, which still runs well.

“I’m probably too goofy to know any better, but life is pretty good,” he said. “I don’t have to mow the lawn. I don’t have to repair anything. I think we’re very fortunate.”

Others see Social Security as a way to keep going, perhaps in a simpler way. James Leonard Park, an eccentric former Methodist minister who retired in 1968 at age 27 with $5,000 in the bank, has taken this approach to another level. Until he started collecting Social Security at 65, he lived a bohemian life in Minneapolis on about $2,000 a year. Most of that came from teaching adult education classes on voluntary simplicity, though he said he has written 15 books.
“That was enough to keep body and soul together,” said Mr. Park, 71. “I’ve never had a very expensive social life.” (He posts his expenses online.)

Social Security for him is only $138 a month because he paid so little into the system. But through Supplemental Security Income, which he said he qualified for because of his low income, he receives an extra $496.67. He said the $7,600 he gets a year is like a big raise.
“I’m very thankful to all the taxpayers of the United States who provide this Social Security benefit to me,” he said. “I think of it as an annual income for life.”

Still, in Mr. Park’s case he had the advantage of a father who worked as a doctor leaving him a small inheritance. He used it and money that came from a city program to buy a 1,000-square-foot condominium that is paid off. He said it is worth $140,000.

Those truly getting by on just Social Security, like Ms. Flatley, are not so lucky. They are renters who live month to month and hand-to-mouth.

“I’m doing well with my expenses, but it’s a struggle,” she said. “When there’s a birthday you want to buy a gift or a gift card, but you can’t do that.”