Trains, Jobs, Houses & More

May 10, 2024

Despite news to the contrary, I’m choosing to believe that 2022 is off to a good start. In just two short weeks, for example, I’ve learned to enhance my relaxing skills and to focus on some basic self-improvements to help fight covid. Plus, the days are getting longer. Enough said.

I’ve also discovered some positive news in the world of disability rights, housing and employment (spotlighted below). And I’ve turned sad news into inspiration, keeping hope alive.

Here’s hoping your new year is moving in the right direction and that you enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Here’s hoping this newsletter helps in some small way.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

On the right track.

The U.S. Department of Justice last week announced that Amtrak has paid more than $2 million to over 1,500 people with disabilities who could not use their stations. The company’s violation of ADA laws included inaccessible parking, routes from accessible parking to buildings, building entrances, waiting areas, elevators, toilet rooms, signs, routes from buildings to passenger platforms, passenger platforms, passenger platform heights, and track crossings. Wow! No wonder we, and so many other families, have had so much trouble “enjoying the journey.”

Over the next nine years, Amtrak is required to complete designs to make at least 135 of its existing stations accessible, complete construction at 90 of those stations, and begin construction at 45 more.

If you believe that you or another person has been discriminated against by an entity covered by the ADA, you may file a complaint with the Disability Rights Section (DRS) in the Department of Justice. It’s not difficult, and it can create meaningful change.


Healthy living.

Earlier this month, I learned that Rhode Island based retailer CVS is committing millions of dollars to develop housing options for people with developmental disabilities and other underserved groups. (This is in addition to its work to provide more inclusive employment options in communities across the country.) The company recently announced it will invest more than $11 million to develop an apartment complex in Austin, TX, for people with physical, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, persons who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and youth aging out of foster care.

According to CVS, residents of the apartment complex will receive free supports from social service professionals professionals, including employment assistance, education, and help connecting with mental and physical health resources. “When people have access to high-quality, affordable housing, it puts them in a better position to take care of their health and manage chronic disease,” said a CVS Health spokesperson.

Can I get an Amen?

Home sweet home.

One Canadian couple is not waiting for companies like CVS to develop housing solutions in their community. Starting this month, they’ve opened their 5BR/2BA Kind Minds House to people who need extra support to achieve their dreams of independence. Volunteers will provide support with grocery shopping and meal prep, as well as housekeeping and social activities coordination. I love this “roll up your sleeves and get it done” approach to things. What do you think?

For your shopping list.

I just learned about We Be Jammin’ jams, salsas, salad dressings and other gourmet foods. Can’t wait to place my first order to benefit this growing business owned and operated by a young many with autism and his hard working family.

I also just stocked up on my new favorite snack chips by Stacy’s. The package graphics (complete with wheelchair) are almost as good as the brand’s Rise Project to empower female-owned businesses.

Time to expand your shopping list?


Dinner conversations.

As if his movies weren’t enough, actor and activist Sidney Poitier gave us many thoughtful quotes to expand our thinking and empower our young adults with disabilities. Below are two of my favorites, which can surely spark good conversations with people of all abilities:

“I am the me I choose to be.” 

“You don't have to become something you're not to be better than you were."

Sidney Poitier (1927-2022), R.I.P.

Please reach out if you want to explore the above thoughts as they relate to your own life and that of your loved one. My coaching practice provides a confidential space to do so, and I’d love to talk with you about how we might take the first step.

Thanks for being here and sharing your thoughts and ideas for future volumes of this free e-newsletter. The archive of issues includes curated news and information on topics such as employment, independent living, government supports, disabilitiy rights, sexuality, travel, recreation and more.

If this copy was forwarded to you, sign-up for your own copy below. And welcome to our community.

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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