Many people in New York live with developmental disabilities. Unfortunately, many people in our state do not have a good understanding of these disabilities, leaving some either afraid or unsure of how to interact with those who have a developmental disability. Although this in itself is a problem that should be addressed, it can be especially problematic when people who are charged with protecting our communities don't know what to do. Fortunately, this may be changing soon in New York.
New York families who have children with disabilities know the importance of well-rounded special education programs in our schools. Depending on a student's disability, his or her learning can be severely limited in a traditional classroom setting. Special education programs give these children the opportunity they deserve to succeed in school. Fortunately, it seems that the current administration -- and many of our country's lawmakers -- agree.
New York residents who have disabilities or who have children with disabilities know the challenges that come with the territory. Whether it's in school, at work or in the grocery store, it often seems like people just don't understand the lives of these individuals. A new reality show, however, may help change that.
Some of our readers may have heard about some frightening reports about maltreatment and abuse at groups homes across the country. Reports in several states, including New York, exposed how people with developmental disabilities have been mistreated and abused in both public and private facilities. In too many cases, death was the result. Now, one U.S. senator is standing up for these individuals and asking the federal government to do the same.
Living with a disability is no easy feat, as many people in New York know. Not only is it often physically challenging, but many people find it emotionally challenging as well. That's how one New York man, who is now the commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities felt when a mountain biking accident left him paralyzed below the chest. He found life again, however, through sled hockey.
According to the New York Education Department, there are currently 400,000 students who have learning disabilities. Of those 400,000, one in five has a severe disability. In an effort to help these students finish high school, the Education Department has, in the past, offered an Individualized Education Program. The IEP, however, does not count as a high school diploma, meaning those students who want to go to college must pass the GED first.
On this blog, we often focus on the difficulties that come with having a disability and applying for Social Security disability benefits. Of course, those who live with a disability know them all too well. Sometimes, however, it's important to focus on positive things.