Monday, March 22, 2021

Disability Scoop Reports Stimulus Checks for Non-Dependent Adults with DD

Important reporting from Disability Scoop! Disability Scoop notes that, "For the first time since the start of the pandemic, stimulus checks are going out to many people with disabilities regardless of whether they’re considered dependents. The COVID-19 relief bill known as at the American Rescue Plan that was signed into law earlier this month includes $1,400 direct payments to individuals earning less than $75,000 per year, with phased amounts for those making up to $80,000 annually". 

Check out the story at:


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Resource Reminder: The New York Times Disability Collection

The New York Times Disability section resource aggregates NYT local, national, and international news, commentary, editorials, and archived stories related to disabilities: 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Supreme Court Voter Purge Decision Potentially Devastating for People with Disabilities

Although Federal laws prohibit states from removing people from voting rolls “by reason of the person’s failure to vote”, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the state of Ohio’s ability to do just that with a close 5 -4 decision.

Ohio will cut people from voting rolls if they skip elections and fail to respond to state official notices. Under the process, Election officials send notices to anyone who fails to cast a ballot during a two-year period. People who do not respond to the notice and don't vote over the next four years, including in two more federal elections, are dropped as registered voters. Chris Carson, President of the League of Women Voters of the United States, says "This decision will fuel the fire of voter suppressors...” noting that the "right to vote is not 'use it or lose it’”.

Many different individuals are likely to have their voting rights damaged by the new ruling, and people with disabilities, who often face significant barriers to voting to begin with, seem greatly at risk. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) notes that 1 in 5 eligible to voters has a disability, yet limited/poor community accessibility and polling place access issues can make it difficult to impossible for people with disabilities to cast votes in elections at all levels.

The Pew Charitable Trusts (an evidence-based, non-partisan analysis group) reports that issues with non-functioning accessible voting machines, poorly training poll workers, and physical barriers such as stairs and uneven/unpaved surfaces are among the most common issues. Pew has also noted, “The proliferation of voter ID laws may compound the problem since people with disabilities are less likely to drive and to carry a photo ID.” 

Aspects of a person’s disability itself may create additional barriers; for instance, a person who requires multiple hospitalizations over time may easily miss several elections as well as miss any notices sent to a home mailing address; likewise, caregivers and other assistants may toss such notices as ‘junk mail’.

Although the ADA requires accessible polling locations and processes, many people with disabilities are thwarted nonetheless. The U.S. Government Accountability Office recently found pervasive barriers exist at most U.S. polling stations—more than 80% of locations were partially or wholly inaccessible during the 2016 Presidential election! It is not difficult to imagine many Ohioans with disabilities—and voters with disabilities everywhere— getting turned away at polling places. That is, if they can even access the necessary transportation services to get there in the first place.