Oklahomans whose lives have been impacted by the violent storms can access immediate crisis counseling by calling the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-(800) 985-5990 or 1-(800) 846-8517 (TTY). The Helpline is available 24-hours, 7-days a week to help people who need crisis counseling after experiencing a natural or man-made disaster or tragedy. The Helpline connects callers to trained professionals and provides confidential, multilingual counseling, referrals and other needed support services.
Residents of counties affected by tornadoes may be eligible for several federal disaster aid programs. Assistance can be used for rental payments, home repairs and property replacement, unemployment, low-interest loans and crisis counseling. Register online or call 1-(800) 621-FEMA (3362) or by Web-enabled mobile device. Applicants who use TTY can call 1-(800) 462-7585 directly; for 711 or Video Relay Service users, call 1-(800) 621-3362.
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the National Council on Disability (NCD) has reported that housing is the biggest barrier to community integration and implementation of the Olmstead Act. Olmstead requires that states stop segregating of people with disabilities, which includes having housing in communities instead of institutions. NCD asked HUD to work with HUD-funded housing providers to make sure housing providers know their obligations under Olmstead.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Mental Health Surveillance Among Children—United States, 2005–2011", for the first time describes public efforts on monitoring children ages 3-17 who have specific mental disorders. The report finds that 13-20 percent of children living in the United States (up to one out of five children) experience a mental disorder in a given year with an estimated $247 billion spent on treatment.
A new study finds that children with autism see movement more quickly than other children. This extreme sensitivity to movement may explain why people with autism are so sensitive to noise and bright lights, and it may explain some of their social and behavioral issues. Also, this increased ability of people with autism to perceive motion is a hint that their brains may be subject to sensory overload.
The Putnam County Board of Education in Winfield, WV has agreed to settle a lawsuit for allegedly violating the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The school board fired an employee who had requested time off to care for a parent with a serious health condition. The board has since agreed to comply with the FMLA.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a Report and Order requiring wireless carriers and providers of interconnected text messaging to send a "bounce back" message to consumers who try to text 911 where text-to-911 is not available. The new requirement will help consumers who text 911 whether or not the 911 authorities received the text message. The bounce-back messaging capability will be implemented by June 13, 2013.
Join the Online Dialogue to Improve Transition from School to Work for Youth with Disabilities - May 13 - 27
Join the "Conversation for Change," the first-ever national online dialogue to help shape federal agency strategies for helping young people with disabilities successfully transition from school to work. From May 13 - May 27, 2013 you can provide input on what's working, what's not and where change is needed, with particular focus on how various federal laws and regulations affect youth with disabilities. Register to join the dialogue.
Read about Jeanette Tarqueno's love of adapted sports on the Office on Warrior Care Policy's blog. Tarqueno has a traumatic brain injury that she acquired while deployed in 2011. Within a few months, she was already competing in the 2012 Warrior Games.
If you receive Social Security disability benefits and want to make money through work, Social Security's Ticket to Work (TTW) program can help you find a job and become financially independent. Register for the free Work Incentives Seminar Event on May 22, 2013 from 3 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time. You'll hear about a person living with mental illness who found employment through TTW. Register online or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).
A new report finds that cancer patients who participate in the creative arts, such as music therapy, dance, art therapy and writing, may be able to better cope with cancer-related anxiety, depression and pain. Researchers looked at the effects of the creative arts on common problems associated with cancer, including anxiety, depression, pain, fatigue and quality of life, and found that the arts helped with all issues except fatigue.
Justice Department Reaches Settlement with Building Designers for Not Making Housing Complexes Accessible
The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement with the architects and civil engineers involved in the design and building of housing complexes in Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. The lawsuit alleges that the housing complexes violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act by not having accessible features for people with disabilities. The designers and builders of the housing complexes have agreed to get training on the FHA.
Health tip for parents of babies who may show early signs of communication delays. While newborns can't speak, they should be trying to communicate in different ways. Learn more about developmental delays and milestones that babies should achieve by their first birthday.
Rehab Center Charged with Discrimination for Requesting Family Health History from Applicants & Employees
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has charged the Founders Pavilion, Inc., of Corning, NY, with disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Founders allegedly violated the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act by asking for family medical history from job applicants and employees. The EEOC also alleged that Founders violated the ADA for refusing to provide an employee with reasonable accommodations and for firing mployees because of perceived disabilities.
Health & Disability Advocates will hold a free career fair for jobseekers with disabilities on May 21, 2013 from 1 - 4 p.m. Eastern Time. Jobseekers with disabilities will be able to "Get in Line" to chat with different employers nationwide who are actively recruiting people with disabilities. The chats will be text-based, similar to instant messaging-style chats. No audio or video will be part of the chat.
The National Disability Institute's LEAD Center will hold a webinar on May 29, 2013 from 3:00 – 4:30p.m, which will provide information on two best practices – Customized Employment and Customized Self Employment. Participants will learn how these practices can support job placement efforts for job seekers both with and without disabilities. Register online.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released four revised publications on protection against disability discrimination in the workplace. The publications address how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to job applicants and employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and intellectual disabilities. You can find these documents on the EEOC website under "Disability Discrimination, The Question and Answer Series."
Justice Department Signs Agreement with Stewart County, GA to Make Buildings, Programs & Services Accessible to People with Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Justice has signed an agreement with Stewart County, GA, to improve access to all aspects of community life for individuals with disabilities. The agreement is part of Project Civic Access, the department's effort to make sure that counties, cities and towns comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The county will make changes to the sheriff’s department, health department, senior center, municipal center, recreational vehicle park and polling places.
State Department Announces Sports Envoy Program Advancing Disability Rights & Inclusion in China - May 15 - 20
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced that it will be sending persons with disabilities as Sports Envoys to China May 15 – 20, 2013 to promote inclusion and equality in sports for persons with disabilities. The Sports Envoy program supports global promotion and practices that respect diversity in sports, and recognition that persons with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as people without disabilities.
New Funding for Health Centers Will Help Uninsured Sign Up for Affordable Health Coverage - Application Deadline May 31
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced $150 million in new funding to help more uninsured Americans enroll in new health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Funding will go to eligible community health centers to help consumers understand their coverage options, determine their eligibility and enroll in new affordable health insurance. The deadline for health centers to apply is May 31, 2013. Find a health center near you.