By Guest Blogger Amy Scherer, Staff Attorney, National Disability Rights Network
There have been several important advancements that have enhanced the lives of people with a variety of disabilities and facilitated their further inclusion into society; including greater availability of wheelchair accessible housing, acceptance of service animals in public places and use of assistive technology allowing more independent access to public transportation.
In spite of this, one central area where people with disabilities continue to be left out in the cold involves employment. Unfortunately, the philosophy that some people are simply “too disabled” to be employed is still commonly believed. According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13.4 percent of people with disabilities are currently unemployed. The impact of this number is even more striking when compared to the 7.9 percent unemployment rate of people without disabilities. Similarly, based on 2013 data, only 20.3 percent of people with disabilities participate in the labor force as opposed to 68.9 percent of people without disabilities – a stunning 48.6 percent gap. This disparity is unacceptable.
Further complicating the situation is a particular section of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – known as 14(c) – that actually makes it legal to pay people with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage. In addition to receiving lower pay rates, people with disabilities are often placed in segregated environments where, except for aids or supervisors, they only interact with other people with disabilities.
READ MORE ABOUT WIOA Helps Individuals with Disabilities Pursue and Obtain Well-Paying Employment Opportunities
By Guest Blogger Wayne Connell, Founder and President, Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA)
A diabetic, a blind man and an amputee walk into a bar. The bartender says, “What is this – some kind of joke?”
Having a disability is no joke according to IDA Advisory Board Member and Neurohumorist expert, Karyn Buxman, RN, MSN. “But it can be a laughing matter. Pain, suffering, isolation, stress, depression, financial hardships – the problems can seem never ending. And to survive you need all the possible tools in your tool belt that you can find. One tool that is frequently overlooked is humor.”
“Science is affirming what we’ve suspected all along – laughter is good medicine. The benefits for you are so numerous that you are not going to want to wait for humor to happen by chance. You’ll want to be proactive and experience humor by choice. And the good news is, you don’t have to be funny. You just have to see funny,” says Karyn. “My mission is to improve global health and business through laughter and help heal the humor impaired.”
READ MORE ABOUT It’s Not a Laughing Matter
Categories: Emergency Preparedness
By Teresa Neal, Fire Program Specialist, U.S. Fire Administration
Each year, fire departments respond to more than 350,000 home fires. These fires cause nearly 2,500 deaths and billions of dollars in damages. Almost three out of five of these deaths happened in homes with no working smoke alarm.
In the place where you normally feel most safe, you are actually most at risk of dying in a fire. The good news is a working smoke alarm cuts the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
Your family has about three minutes to get out of your home if there is fire before the air is too toxic to survive. Three minutes is not very long, especially if you are awoken in the middle of the night. A smoke alarm provides an early warning of smoke in your home and alerts you to get out.
READ MORE ABOUT Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month