Posts filed under Volunteer Blog

Disability Activism and Intersectionality

Written by Ethan B. Ellis.

Intersectionality is a fancy word for groups that are discriminated against for more than one reason, like African-American women or Muslim immigrants with disabilities. Not only are their experiences qualitatively different than the experiences of members of the dominant culture who are excluded on the basis of one ‘unacceptable’ characteristic, they are often ignored or excluded in that group’s quest for social justice.

In this essay, I argue that the great majority of people with disabilities are the victims of intersectionality, that is, two or more social injustices and will not be fully included and equal until all of those injustices are eliminated from this society.

This leads logically to the conclusion that we must be a part of every battle for social equality and justice.

Posted on December 5, 2018 and filed under Volunteer Blog.

Do Our Votes Really Count? Re-Thinking the Political Participation of the Disability Movement

Written by Ethan B. Ellis.

I just completed an online survey asking my priorities for the newly elected majority in the House of Representatives. It was pretty long.

I could have checked off women’s rights and I did.

I could have checked off LGBQ rights and I did.

I could have checked off voting rights and I did.

I could have been for health care for all, campaign finance reform, a living wage, gun control, rebuilding our infrastructure, reducing income inequality, ending war and a whole lot more and I was - and am.

But there was no place check off disability rights on that agenda.

I also got hundreds of fundraising emails before the election. They all wanted my money and many used surveys to get it. I could be for everything good and against everything bad, but I COULDN’T BE FOR DISABILITY RIGHTS, MY OWN RIGHTS!

Posted on November 15, 2018 and filed under Voting, Advocacy, Volunteer Blog.

Talk's Over. VOTE!

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Written by Ethan B. Ellis.

Everybody’s made up their mind by now. The only question left is how many of us will vote.

I’m 84 but I will. I just got out of the hospital this week but I will. I have cerebral palsy but I will. I use an electric wheelchair but I will. My hands no longer can mark my ballot so my 12 year-old son will mark it for me and I will.

Why?

Because I want to keep my health insurance despite my pre-existing condition, because I want to avoid a having a limit put on how much health care my insurance will pay for during my lifetime.

Because I want my wife and son to be able to pay for Social Security and get it like I have.

Because I want them to have Medicare when they retire like I do.

Because I want them to have Medicaid if they need it.

Because I want my friends with disabilities to enjoy the rights I didn’t grow up with but helped win.

Because I want my son to to live in country where everyone is equal.

Because I want him to live in a country where rich people no longer pay politicians to make them richer and make poor people poorer.

Because I want him to live in a country where everyone gets the services they need regardless of what they cost.

Because I want him to live in a world where nobody goes hungry or thirsty and everyone breaths pure air and drinks clean water and no one is displaced or dies because of climate change.

Because I want our democracy back so his vote will count at least as much as mine .

I wasn’t born. yesterday. I know I won’t get these things just by voting this year but that’s the best tool available to me - and you - right now. After the election, we’ll have time to decide what we have to do next to win back our democracy and gain full equality but right now the vote is our best weapon. Let’s use it for ourselves and all who and what we hold dear.

See you at the polls.


DISCLAIMER: The views expressed by this author, are the views of the author only. The views expressed in this article do not represent the views of the Alliance Center for Independence/REV UP New Jersey, its staff or board. ACI and REV UP NJ are non-partisan, not for profit 501 (c) (3) organizations, and do not endorse any candidate for political office or political view point.

Posted on November 1, 2018 and filed under Voting, Advocacy, Volunteer Blog.

Home Improvements for Disabled Homeowners

Written By Patrick Young, Volunteer Blog Writer for ACI

Being a homeowner with a disability presents unique challenges. You want a living environment that supports your needs functionally, but you don’t want a home that feels institutional. Thanks to changes in the market, you can find homes that suit your mobility needs or modify an existing property for better accessibility.

Posted on September 19, 2018 and filed under Housing, Volunteer Blog.

Small Business Startups - Tips for Individuals with Disabilities

Written By Patrick Young, Volunteer Blog Writer for ACI

Starting a small business comes with a lot to think about; from where to get funding to how to find clients, there are so many details that it can easily become overwhelming if you don’t have a good plan in the beginning. Because there are so many different types of businesses you can pursue, there are just as many different ways to run them. Whether you want to have a storefront or work from the comfort of your own home, it’s imperative that you consider what will work best for you in the future, not just in the present.

This is especially true if you are living with a disability. Limited mobility, exhaustion, and stress-related health issues are just a few of the things you might face as a business owner, so it’s important to keep your health in mind and take care of yourself during the process. Finding the best fit for you may take some time, so be patient as you work through the details.

Read on for some great tips on how to start a business when you’re living with a disability.

Posted on August 9, 2018 and filed under Volunteer Blog.

Achieving an Accessible Home

Written By Patrick Young, Volunteer Blog Writer for ACI

Living with a disability is far more difficult without an accessible home. However, not everyone knows their options when it comes to finding an accessible place to live. If you have a disability and are in the market for a new home, this is what you need to know.

Posted on June 11, 2018 and filed under Volunteer Blog, Housing.

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits

Written By Eric Minghella, Volunteer Blog Writer for ACI

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits
If a medical condition has made it impossible for you to work and earn a living, you might be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two separate disability programs. These programs are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is a program for disabled workers, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which is for disabled workers but is not based on work history but on financial need. In most cases, those who have physical disabilities are more likely to be awarded SSDI while those with intellectual disabilities are more likely to receive SSI benefits.

Posted on February 15, 2018 and filed under Volunteer Blog.