The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world hard. Life came to a screeching halt, and for almost two years everything we did, like how we work, our interactions, and even getting food and common household staples became challenges.
For the disability community, life became even harder and the world even narrower. Many with sensory conditions found themselves unable to wear masks and shop. People saw their services shuttered and their hard-won skill progression erode.
Senator Stephen Sweeney (primary sponsor) and Senator Troy Singleton have put forward a bill in the New Jersey legislature that would increase direct support professional (DSP) wages in the state.
As the bill’s “statement” makes clear, DSP wages are becoming unsustainable at their current levels as the cost of living rises. See below:
“At an average starting salary of $12 per hour, DSP wages are not competitive, with an increasing number of retailers paying $15 to $18 per hour and New Jersey’s minimum wage on a path to $15 per hour for entry-level jobs that are far less demanding. To compound the issue, there is a growing DSP shortage that is threatening the safety and health of individuals with I/DD living in community settings.”
When you read a piece from Keah Brown, you realize a few things. The first is that she is a tremendously talented writer. The second is that she has a unique perspective that brings to life stories and experiences that need to be shared. We were privileged enough to interview her to discuss her thoughts surrounding media, negative body-images, and disability.
A War of Words: “Politically Correct” vs “Plain Speaking”
Political Correction for the Politically Incorrect Labels
When it comes to the community of persons with disabilities and special needs, labels are a hot topic. We use certain words to describe individuals or ourselves. Unfortunately, words have the power to hurt feelings and limit expectations. We’d rather those words NOT be used to label us. On the other hand,
The New Jersey gubernatorial race is in full swing and voting will take place this November 7th. We reached out to all the current candidates (as of May 12, 2017) to find out their stances on issues that are important to people with disabilities and special needs and their families, living in New Jersey. We wanted to share these statements with you, our readers, to ensure you know each candidate’s stance on the issues facing the disability community.
With the federal government proposing sweeping changes to public policies that could have a direct impact on state services for people with disabilities and special needs, it has never been more important to elect a strong leader for New Jersey. Easterseals has advocated for and provided services to people with disabilities and their families for nearly 100 years, helping them to live, learn, work, and play in their communities. That’s why we have gathered these statements for your careful review, as they will help you make an informed decision when entering the voting booth this November.
Click on the photos of your candidate to read the statement they provided. (DISCLAIMER: This does not represent every NJ gubernatorial candidate currently running, as not all gave statements in response to our call.)
Candidates are presented in alphabetical order as not to show any preferential treatment towards any one candidate.
Our latest blog topic comes to us from Hinkle, Fingles, Prior, & Fischer, a Jersey-based law firm that represents people with disabilities and their families in the tri-state area. They detailed a landmark decision handed down by the Supreme Court that affects how Individual Education Plans (IEP’s) are deemed “appropriate.”
As IEP’s begin to be set, we want to make sure you stay up-to-date on all the important issues so you’re able to effectively advocate for your loved ones.
The word disability inspires a wide variety of images. Wheelchairs. Prosthetics. White-tipped canes. The problem with these images, however, is that they only represent a fraction of this diverse and nuanced concept. So, what’s the alternative?