December14,2011

My Story: David Egan

Photograph of David Egan testifying before the Senate HELP committee

By Guest Blogger David Egan, Distribution Clerk at Booz Allen Hamilton and Advocate for People with Disabilities

I recently shared my story as a speaker at the Alliance for Full Participation Summit in November, and today, I would like to post some of my thoughts and experiences on Disability.Blog. My name is David Egan, and I have been an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton for 15 years. I believe that improving the employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities is a smart business decision and a social responsibility.

There are many people like me who are seeking to be valued members of our society. People with intellectual disabilities can succeed on the job. People with intellectual disabilities have dreams; we want to be included; we want to be a part of the community. We want employers to hire us, and we want to be useful members of our society – because, we want to show OUR ABILITIES and to contribute to the goals of the businesses we work for.

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December07,2011

AOTA’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week: For Seniors Seeking Assistance & Guidance

AOTA Older Driver Safety Awareness Week Logo - Living Life to Its Fullest Occupational Therapy
By Elin Schold Davis, OTR/L, CDRS, Project Coordinator for the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Older Driver Awareness Week

Through AOTA’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week (Dec. 5—9, 2011), The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) along with AAA, AARP, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and other organizations, are raising awareness of ways to keep seniors safe on the road for as long as possible, and of resources available to maintain independence if driving is no longer an option.

Driving is a very difficult activity that requires certain physical, visual and cognitive abilities. As people age, those abilities often change in subtle ways. For example, older drivers may find it more difficult to see while driving at night, so they reduce night driving and plan their trips primarily in daylight.

Most of us go to the doctor for regular physical check-ups. It’s also just as important to get a check-up for driving fitness. After all, for most of us, driving is our main way to stay connected to the community and is a key to our independence.

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December07,2011

Celebrating 25 Years of the Air Carrier Access Act

A photograph of a person in a wheelchair at an airport kiosk.
Reposted from Fast Lane, the Official Blog of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood

At the Department of Transportation (DOT), we are committed to improving access for everyone to our transportation systems, and ensuring that all passengers receive the respect they deserve before, during and after their trips. One of the most effective tools for pursuing these goals is the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), the landmark law that prohibits discrimination in air travel on the basis of disability.

Last month, representatives of the aviation industry, advocates for persons with disabilities and current and former government officials gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ACAA. This celebration was hosted jointly by the DOT, the Air Transport Association and the National Council on Disability.

The Air Carrier Access Act, enacted in 1986 and signed into law by President Reagan, is one of the most significant civil rights triumphs in our nation’s history.

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December05,2011

AOTA’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week: Starting the Conversation with a Parent or Loved One

By Guest Blogger Elin Schold Davis, OTR/L, CDRS, Project Coordinator for the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Older Driver Awareness Week

A Photograph of Older Adult's Hand Holding a Car Key
Why dedicate a week to older drivers? The concern for their safety and independence is greater now than at any other time in our history. More than 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day, a trend that is expected to continue for the next 19 years. And by the year 2040, one in five Americans will be 70 or older. 

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) along with AAA, AARP, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and other organizations are raising awareness of ways to keep seniors safe on the road for as long as possible. We are also working to let people know about resources to help seniors maintain their independence through mobility options.

AOTA’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is December 5-9, 2011, and it is our hope that during this time, families of older drivers will start conversations about important topics related to driving and older Americans, such as driving safety, when to stop driving and transportation options for seniors who can no longer drive safely.

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December02,2011

Celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities – December 3, 2011

Picture of Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, Department of State
By Guest Blogger, Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, Department of State

On the eve of December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, it is worth noting that 2011 also marks the 30th anniversary of the International Year of Persons with Disabilities. Much has happened to advance the rights, equality and inclusion of persons with disabilities since the International Year was adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 1981. International Decades of Disabled Persons have been adopted by the UN, the Asia Pacific region, the Americas and the African region, advancing activities to combat discrimination on the basis of disability.

In 1990, with its adoption of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the United States became the first country in the world to adopt national civil rights legislation unequivocally banning discrimination against persons with disabilities. A global pioneer, the ADA has inspired adoption of disability rights legislation around the world, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The CRPD is the first international treaty to comprehensively address the rights of persons with disabilities, and has unified the global community with a common language of disability rights.

In celebrating this year’s International Day, and in a spirit of reflection, the State Department is hosting a screening of the Independent Lens film, “Lives Worth Living.” This documentary charts the history and rise of the disability rights movement in the United States. It shows how far we have come in striving for a society where persons with disabilities can live their lives on their own terms, through access to education, employment, transportation, political participation and other fundamental spheres of life. It also demonstrates the power of unity, and how historically marginalized members of civil society can claim their place as agents of change in championing rights and freedoms, not only for themselves but for all people.

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