Sunday, August 30, 2015

Housing for the Handicapped

A decent place in which to live is a right for everybody, including people with disabilities. Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (also known as the Fair Housing Act) states people are not supposed to face discrimination in renting, buying, or financing a home on the basis of disability as well as other factors. Renters with disabilities should not be afraid to ask their landlord if modifications can be made to make their apartment or home more accessible. For more information about fair housing, go to

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hurricane Preparation Tips

We're almost halfway through hurricane season, and there's a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean. So, now is the time for people with disabilities to think about how to prepare for hurricanes and other emergencies. First of all, you should gather information to help you make a plan. Then, discuss your plan with relatives and caregivers. Finally, assemble a kit with necessary items such as food and water, medications, and batteries. Review your plan, and maintain your kit on a regular basis. A disaster preparedness guide with more information is available at

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Bash for TASH

Founded 40 years ago under a different name, the Association for Severe Handicaps (TASH) is a disability advocacy group. The items on its national agenda are inclusive education, community living, employment, diversity and cultural competency, and human rights. Hosting an annual conference and regional conferences, TASH is active in 13 states and Washington, D.C., as well as other countries. For more information about this organization, go to

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Working for the CIA: A Possibility

In an effort to increase diversity, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is hiring people with disabilities. A BBC article (located at describes one employee's experience.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Living with an Invisible Disability

Julie McGovern, who has Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, recently shared an insulting one-word note someone left on her car parked in a handicap spot. McGovern doesn’t use a wheelchair or other assistive devices, so her disability isn’t obvious, leading someone to misjudge her. To read this story, go to|main5|dl12|sec3_lnk4%26pLid%3D1173448085.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Going Back to School

Since this is the time of year when children go back to school, today’s blog post is about exceptional student education (ESE) for those with disabilities. According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act as well as the ADA (please see my previous blog post for a description of the ADA), people with physical and/or mental impairments cannot be denied the opportunity to be educated. It is possible for children with disabilities to receive an education with understanding and flexibility from educators.

K-12 students with special needs and their parents must discuss with teachers the accommodations needed to make the educational experience productive and positive. One option is a 504 plan, which lists the items students with disabilities need to be at the same level with their non-disabled classmates. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP), an item from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, goes beyond the 504 plan by providing services to some students with disabilities, allowing them to receive instruction and take tests under different conditions if necessary. College students with disabilities can make their special needs known to professors by going to the disability services office at their school.

Students with disabilities should not feel embarrassed about the modifications being made for them; they’re simply being given a chance to succeed at school. I’m thankful for the education I received and for the teachers and other school employees who made it happen by following my IEP and college disability accommodations letter. For more information about the 504 plan and IEP, you can go to To read an article about the updated statistics of Americans with disabilities, go to