Happy Holidays from Disruptive Women!

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Congress Passes ABLE Act: Major Victory for Persons with Disabilities and Their Families

Congratulations to one of our 2015 Disruptive Women to Watch Madeleine Will for all her work on this legislation and on behalf of persons with disabilities. 

(Washington, D.C. – Dec. 17, 2014) – Last night, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 by a vote of 76 to 16. First introduced in 2006, and subsequent sessions of Congress, the ABLE Act will allow people with disabilities (with an age of onset up to 26 years old) and their families the opportunity to create a tax-exempt savings account that can be used for maintaining health, independence and quality of life.

“Today marks a new day in our country’s understanding and support of people with disabilities and their families,” Michael Morris, National Disability Institute (NDI) Executive Director, said. “A major victory for the disability community, ABLE, for the very first time in our country’s policy on disability, recognizes that there are added costs to living with a disability.” He continued. “For far too long, federally imposed asset limits to remain eligible for critical public benefits have served as a roadblock toward greater financial independence for the millions of individuals living with a disability.”  (more…)

It’s Holiday Party Time: Are You and Your Guests Safe?

Terri Prof Headshot 0412This month many of us will enjoy festive holiday parties.  Maybe you will be the one hosting the party.   You’ve probably got an image in your head about what the party looks like, who is there and what you will serve.  Perhaps champagne toasts or eggnog will be involved.  Maybe you know that some of your guests will even share a couple of joints. Have you thought about how people will get home safely after your party?  In addition to all of the holiday events in December, there will also be nearly 30 deaths due to alcohol or drug related car crashes every day.

While you may not be the one driving home from your party impaired by alcohol or drugs, your gathering could become one of the statistics and, unintentionally, part of the problem.  News and coverage about alcohol related or drug related accidents focus, rightly, on the victims whose lives are irrevocably changed and the loss their family members suffer.  But how would you feel if you were in any way responsible for a death or severe injury?  What if you were the one driving the car home from someone else’s party?  Would you be able to forgive yourself?  I don’t think I would.  Unfortunately, the victims probably wouldn’t be able to forgive you either. (more…)

Dis-Ease in America: Crisis in Caring

Patricia Lee Stotter

After reading that Gillibrand’s bill to take adjudication for rape out of the chain of command was not passed…again…following the failure of Speier’s STOP act before that…listening  to the helicopters circling over my home in New York keeping an eye from above on marchers demonstrating their rage over the unconscionable deaths of unarmed young black men by police…I am looking around to find something I recognize…did I just wake up in 1965? in Selma?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a Latin phrase found in the work of the Roman poet Juvenal from his Satires (Satire VI, lines 347–8). It is literally translated as “Who will guard the guards themselves?”. It is now commonly used to refer to the problem of controlling the actions of persons in positions of power, an issue discussed by Plato in The Republic. (more…)

An Unwelcome Guest: Living with Chronic Pain

Janice Lynch Schuster

When you have lived with chronic pain for a while you come to know exactly what to do when it shows up in your life–nostrils flared, clamoring to be let in, so noisy you can’t turn him away. Whenever he (or she) shows up, you blame yourself for his appearance. Did you let stress habits way with you? Did you not sleep well or long enough? Did you walk too fast, too long, too soon? Did you eat something you shouldn’t have, or forget to take something you should? The more you fret over what you’ve done that you could’ve done differently the more pain makes its presence known.

You know what you need to do, but taking a break or slowing down in a society that demands that we all be-do-have more, can seem almost treasonous. (more…)

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