Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The R-word is just as cruel and offensive as any other slur. As the mother of a child with Down syndrome, I ask that you help us change the conversation and help eliminate the demeaning use of the R-word from today’s popular youth vernacular and replace it with respect.
Spread the Word to End the Word™ is an awareness campaign by the Special Olympics, and Best Buddies to raise the consciousness of society about the derogatory use of the R-word and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word. Join the Partners In Learning family today by stopping by 2386 Robin Rd, Salisbury, NC 28144 to sign the pledge.
Friday, February 28, 2014
I ask you all to take a few minutes to educate yourself on an Act currently at the committee level in Congress that will greatly affect the lives of individuals with disabilities. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2013 (S. 313/H.R.647) was introduced in the 113th Congress by a bipartisan, bicameral set of Congressional Champions including Sens. Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX).
This Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. Currently there are very specific and rigid rules about how much assets an individual may have without jeopardizing his or her Medicaid and Social Security. To be eligible to receive these benefits based on disability, applicant may not have more than $2,000 in assets. This includes cash, money in a checking or savings account, cash value in life insurance policies (over $1,500), stocks and bonds, household goods and personal effects (over $2,000), motor vehicles (except for one), and real estate (other than the home in which a claimant resides).
Imagine what it would be like to make sure that all your assets equal below $2,000. If you work, you won't make enough money to support yourself, so you opt not to work though you would like to do so. Your family also can't save money for you unless they put it is someone else's name or open a special needs trust, which is costly and has even more restrictions in how it is used.
This system makes it so that adults with disabilities must live off Social Security Disability Income and can't hold a meaningful job that allows them to contribute to their community. The limits on asset also prevent individuals from saving money for their future or even choosing to do something as common place as buy a car or pay for a vacation.
The Able Act would allow families like ours to save money in this special account so that Cooper may live the life of his choosing. Such and account would supplement SSDI while still keeping him eligible for Medicaid, allowing him to contribute to supporting himself.
What can you do?
Sign the petition supporting the act.
Watch and share this video by Lauren Potter.
Share information on your social networks so others know whey this is so important.
Friday, February 21, 2014
We are one month away from World Down Syndrome Day. This day takes place on March 21. This date represents the three copies of chromosome 21, which is unique to people with Down syndrome. The aim of World Down Syndrome Day is to promote awareness and understanding, seek support, and to achieve dignity and equal rights for people with Down syndrome.
In honor of this day we ask Coopie, Inc family, friends and local businesses to show their support by wearing jeans to represent their support and respect for individuals with Down syndrome. Mark your calendars and e-mail me if you plan to participate!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I had the privilege of writing this piece for Salisbury LIfe Magazine. World Down Syndrome Day is in about one month away and they featured this column in their March issue which just released. It will also be published in their Ballantyne, Matthews and Harrisburg issues as well. Join us in celebrating this special day.
Click here to read the column.