Biden, ABLE, Voice & Friends

Apr 29, 2024

Welcome to this week's news to bloom. Please use the links below to post, share and give us feedback. We want to grow, too.

"We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
 --Martin Luther King Jr.

Spotlight on caregiving.
Joe Biden recently unveiled plans to bolster the caregiving economy. It’s about time caregiving became a national issue! This is one of the least undersood issues in our country, but everyone faces it at some point. After all, we’re all aging and so are our loved ones. Waitlists clearly aren’t the answer, and policy makers need to make solving this situation more of a priority. You can help raise awareness of this country’s long-term care crisis for people with disabilities. This Forbes article is a well-intentioned and non-threatening way to start the conversation. 

Ready, willing and able.
Are you thinking about establishing an ABLE account? These savings opportunities offer an important financial planning option for young adults with disabilities, despite having received some criticism. Now available in 51 states, ABLE accounts can provide tax advantages to help people save money without jeopardizing their government benefits. Learn more here.

In other words.
It’s hard to really know how people with disabilities truly experience life. But it’s important to learn and avoid generalizing about this very diverse population. If someone you know wants to read about the life experiences of others with disabilities, or to share their own perspective, here are a few good places to start: Positive Exposure’s PEARLs program features the valuable voices of young bloggers sharing their thoughts on everyday issues to help promote inclusion. Youcann features essays by people with disabilities and their families, plus lots of other information to help people achieve their dreams. This very practical book by a young woman with autism offers accessible tips for achieving an independent and meaningful life. Join this virtual discussion on August 18 to hear from contributors of all abilities about “bodies, growing up and all the ways we find a home within ourselves.” Geared towards teens and young adults and great for families to watch together.

Friends forever.
Developing social connections and meaningful friendships can be very challenging for young adults with disabilities. As disability expert Angela Amado explains, a big focus in many service agencies is for individuals with disabilities to participate in community activities. Some of the most common are going to restaurants, shopping and the movies. Yet, when was the last time you made a new friend at any of those places? Instead, she recommends shifting our thinking from activities to people. When looking to help young adults with disabilities forge friendships, ask “Who are they going to get to know there?” Evaluate social opportunities based on this answer. And teach the importance of reciprocity, which is often especially difficult for young people with developmental disabilities. Here’s a really helpful tool, written by Amado and the University of Minnesota. For those who want friendship to bloom into something more, relationship coaches can provide guidance. The new Netflix series “Love on the Spectrum” addresses this, but navigating the subject is often tricky and harder during Covid-19. Let us know if you’ve seen it and what you think. We’re eager to learn more about this important topic.

The right fight.
Finding your voice can help you take a stand. And taking a stand can lead to much-needed improvements in your community. Speak up and speak out. And teach young adults with disabilities to do the same. This video can help parents, and this tool-kit is for adults with disabilities. Learn to bloom.

Interested in learning more about one-to-one coaching? Contact Kris for information on what this might look like for you, including outcomes, availability, fees and more.

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