A disability-friendly community asks its citizens to become creative problem-solvers. If some of us have a problem, we all have a problem. When we solve it for some, we can solve it for all. Disability Dialog is your invitation to weigh-in on key topics, and offer your ideas and/or suggestions for solutions—the more creative the better!
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It was my experience, as a person with disabilities who went to college, that career counselors and anyone involved in the job-seeking process tended to take for granted that everyone could move anywhere for a job or internship. It may have been partly because my disabilities are not easily visible, but even when I tried to explain the barriers to moving and traveling, everyone seemed to think I was just afraid to take a risk and step outside "the known." I realize not every non-disabled person can travel a long way for a summer internship, but I think those with disabilities, even if able to be in college and/or be employed probably face additional challenges and barriers to moving, especially if there are no friends or family in the new location and / or they don't know any medical providers or service providers. The more internships - in various fields, including government - that Toledo businesses and government agencies can offer, the more students will be able to get work experience without having to move or travel. (Also, career counselors and others at the university need to be educated about how disabilities like Asperger's, ADHD, and the other "hidden" ones affect employment.)
A teacher I am friends with on Facebook shared this story of a school casting a wheelchair-using girl (and her service dog) in The Wizard of Oz: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/NJ-High-School-Student-Who-Uses-a-Wheelchair-Stars-in-Wizard-of-Oz-Alongside-Her-Service-Dog-508087611.html?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_NYBrand&fbclid=IwAR3CZRGzk1yYXMWY011GrmZ6B9NU-t0QaPqctgD6n4exPhctCS0S--M3M44
My Wife is disabled and we find it hard to go out for dinner and a lot of other activities because of the lack of family restrooms she needs my help to transfer on and off the toilet.
Inclusive Education in All schools would make Toledo and the surrounding area stand out:)
If your organization, union or business wants to become involved in pushing the state of Ohio's government to fund public transportation more adequately, there is a new coalition called MOVE (Mobility and Opportunity for a Vibrant Economy) working on just that. The Ability Center is involved, and their advocates will have more information. Another contact is Amanda Woodrum who can be found through the web site of Policy Matters Ohio, a Columbus-based research institute.
I realize you're not talking here about access to basic medical care per se. That seems to be something not emphasized in the Disability Dialog. That may be because it may not be the most immediate need of the disability community, given that a significant number of people with disabilities qualify for Medicaid and/or Medicare. It is more difficult to make your case for those, however, when your disability is somewhat obscure or invisible - such as high-functioning autism. The Medicare for All Act of 2019 was just re-introduced into the House of Representatives. This link is from the web site of the Congresswoman who introduced it. https://jayapal.house.gov/medicare-for-all/ This bill would allow everyone in the US to have a public health care plan like Medicare. The following is from an email that the advocacy group Single-Payer Action Network of Ohio (SPAN Ohio) just sent out: "Long-term services and supports will be fully covered by the Medicare for All program.The legislation requires that the program presume that recipients of all ages and disabilities will receive long-term services and supports through home and community-based services unless the individual chooses otherwise." This plan would also completely eliminate the issue of people with disabilities having to limit how much they work in order to remain on Medicaid. And a lot of government time and money would be saved because people would no longer have to go through application processes to prove they have a disability in order to get Medicaid. And consider the added financial security for those working as HPC staff. BUT what I would like to see disability advocates do is come out in favor of this kind of bill but pitch it as, "You shouldn't have to have a disability to get public health insurance...the rest of the community shouldn't have to earn access to health care." I see this as opportunity to build relationships between the disability community and those who wouldn't normally consider themselves a part of it, through the disability community offering something that could improve everyone's quality of life. I have participated in discussions where it has been asked how much people not immediately affected by disability care about helping make the community more disability friendly. I would say, a reason why those people may seem not to care is, they are too busy surviving.