Kris Burbank Launches Disability e-News

Apr 29, 2024

We hope this e-newsletter becomes a valuable weekly addition to your in-box: curated news and info on a variety of subjects to help young adults with disabilities bloom and grow.
Stay current on news that matters to you and those you care for. Find answers to life's important questions. Gather insights and ideas to help you navigate the journey, both now and later.
No matter what life holds, your "normal" is whatever you make it. Another Normal helps cut through the clutter so you can enjoy figuring it out along the way.

"We may not be able to prepare the future for our children,
but we can at least prepare our children for the future."

--Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Covid concerns.
Families of people with disabilities have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus. This includes siblings of people with special needs, as well as individuals with disabilities themselves. Connecticut DDS Commissioner Jordan Scheff recently conducted a virtual meeting to review what the Department is doing during the pandemic and how COVID19 is impacting DDS budgets and services. Sponsored by the ARC of Connecticut, this review is one of several online opportunities to learn more about how the pandemic is impacting services.
 NEXT for Autism recently posted helpful perspective on how being socially uncomfortable due to social distancing can help people without autism develop compassion and empathy for those who are not neurotypical. Another sliver lining of this global health crisis: long-overdue recognition of work-from-home benefits. With any luck, employers will use this situation to make meaningful changes in policy and hiring practices, resulting in increased job opportunities for people with disabilities.
As the country starts to open up, challenges will persist for families with special needs. Surround yourself with people who understand and can support your desire to be extra-cautious.

Persistence pays off.
Extensive lobbying efforts by Connecticut residents paid off recently when Governor Ned Lamont issued an executive order allowing people with disabilities to be accompanied by someone to assist them during hospital stays. As a representative from the Office for Civil Rights told reporters, “Our civil rights laws are not suspended by an emergency. How we treat our most vulnerable people is a reflection of our national character.”

Home is where the heart is.
Many adults with disabilities yearn to live on their own, but how? Parents and young adults can find the entire process scary and overwhelming. But don’t let that stop you. Intentional communities are forming throughout the U.S. and around the globe to meet the special needs of individuals and their families who long to take this step. Many best practices can be identified and replicated, if shared. Here’s an interesting approach in the UK and another amazing effort underway outside Washington, DC. Some communities are really being creative in an effort to meet the increasing demand for housing options.
 Together For Choice is a nonprofit organization that supports the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities to choose how and where they want to live, regardless of ability. Very collaborative and an excellent resource.

Google gets it.
Move over, Siri. Tech giant Google last month rolled out several Android upgrades to make the operating system more accessible for those with disabilities. These include new voice, transcription and sound apps. Google has also added a new filter on its Maps feature that allows users to filter search results for wheelchair-accessible places. Before heading out, turn on “Accessible Places” in your settings to see if your destination has accessible restrooms, parking, elevators and more. This is a game-changer.

School's not over yet.

A US District Court judge ruled this month that the Connecticut State Board of Education violates the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by graduating special education students at the age of 21. While there’s more to play out here, this appears to be good news for many young adults with disabilities and their families.

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.

Contact Kris

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