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Walk to End Alzheimer's This September

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the largest national event aimed to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in all 50 states in more than 600 communities, this event rallies volunteers of all ages to become activists in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

You can help raise awareness by participating in a free local event near you!  

At the Walk events, you can learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and the support programs and services offered by your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter. You can also get involved with the cause through advocacy initiatives and clinical trial participation.

You can find a walk near you by visiting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s homepage and entering your zip code. 

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National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities: Advocating and Educating to Remove Barriers to Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

By Karen J. McCulloh, RN, BS, and Beth Marks, PhD, RN

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The National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2003 in the state of Illinois. As a grass roots organization established by nurses with disabilities, NOND’s mission is to promote equity for people with disabilities and chronic health conditions in nursing through education and advocacy by:

  • promoting best practices in education and employment
  • providing resources to individuals, nursing and disability organizations, disability services professionals, healthcare professionals, educational and healthcare institutions
  • influencing the provision of culturally responsive nursing practice, and
  • creating systemic improvements in education and employment.
     

Through NOND, we are challenging the stereotypes and myths about people with disabilities who want to become nurses or have become disabled after earning their license and want to return to or remain in the workforce.

To enter healthcare educational programs, candidates must be academically qualified.  Some students may take courses ahead of time to be better prepared for consideration for admission.  After admission, the greatest challenge for students with disabilities may be obtaining reasonable accommodations that can assist them in their success as they move forward through a program. 

Participation in the labor force by people with disabilities is 21 percent compared to 69 percent of their non-disabled peers without disabilities. To increase participation, NOND supports the legal changes made in the last 30 years to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Learning about your civil rights and responsibilities should begin prior to entering a health care educational program or returning to work as a nurse with a disability. Visit www.NOND.org and learn more about your rights and how to advocate.

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In September We Recognize Suicide Prevention

One suicide occurs every 40 seconds, claiming 1 million lives worldwide each year. This includes 300,000 Americans, making suicide the third leading cause of death for people age 15 through 24 and the second leading cause for people age 24 through 35. According to the CDC, there is no single cause of suicide, but risk factors can include a history of depression or mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse, physical illness, family history, and feeling alone.Suicide prevention logo

You can participate in activities to help combat this issue.  The American Association of Suicidology sponsors National Suicide Prevention Week, September 8-14, as part of the recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, sponsored by the  International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

If you are working and struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, your employer’s Human Resources department may be able to provide confidential assistance to employees dealing with these issues.

Suicide is preventable. You can Learn the warning signs and risk factors for suicide.  If you or someone you know is in a suicidal crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK).

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Your Value to the American Workforce

Labor Day marked more than just the end of summer and the start of school for some of us. On this day we honored and celebrated the contributions American workers have made to strengthen and move this nation forward.

When this holiday originated in the late 1800s, most of the protections American workers benefit from today did not exist. Many people worked longer hours under unsafe conditions, and children as young as five worked in mills, factories and mines. President Grover Cleveland commemorated Labor Day as a federal holiday in 1887. Learn more about the history of Labor Day on the Department of Labor site.

While people with disabilities are a part of the American workforce and have added to the nation’s growth, employment hurdles have often been greatest for people with disabilities.  

Labor Day serves as a reminder of the value of work for yourself, your family, and your community:


“The basic bargain of America is that no matter who you are, where you come from or what you look like, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it.”

Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez

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Money Mondays: 4 Ways to Obtain Assistive Technology

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Assistive technology (AT) broadens the everyday possibilities for people with disabilities, especially in the workplace. For example, adapted keyboards make it easier for individuals who may not have use of one of their limbs to type and use the computer, while screen reader programs help people who are blind or have low vision access information.

From voice recognition software to hand tools with accessible features (e.g. hammers, measuring instruments), you can learn more about how AT can help you in the workplace in this fact sheet from AbleData.

We know that AT can sometimes be expensive. The good thing is there are a number of ways to help you get the AT you may need. Learn about some of these options:
 

  1. Health Insurance: If you have a medical need for assistive technology, such as a wheelchair, scooter, walker, crutches or a prosthetic device, your health insurance (including Medicare and Medicaid) may help cover the cost. You will need to get a prescription from your  doctor and make sure the device is considered “Durable Medical Equipment” by your insurer.

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April is Occupational Therapy Month: How OT Can Help You Reach Your Goals

By Stephanie Yamkovenko

Last month, a new Department of Labor rule went into effect that requires federal contractors to employ a minimum of 7% of employees with disabilities, in an effort to address the high jobless rates among people with disabilities. Contractors that have 50 or more employees or more than $50,000 in government work have to comply—this includes companies such as Boeing, Dell, and AT&T as well as 40,000 others.

As the companies prepare to comply with the new rule, people with disabilities may soon find more employment opportunities available for them.

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)’s members can help people with disabilities prepare to enter the workforce or participate in other meaningful activities and occupations to promote independence. AOTA is celebrating Occupational Therapy Month this April to promote the distinct value that the profession brings to people with a variety of disabilities (physical, developmental, cognitive, etc.). Below are a few examples of how occupational therapy can help people with disabilities.

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Now More Than Ever: Celebrating Family Caregivers

November is “National Family Caregivers Month,” recognizing those who support people with disabilities or elderly people in their families. This year, the theme is “Family Caregivers – Now More Than Ever!”

According to the Caregiver Action Network, 39% of adult Americans are caring for a loved one who is sick or has a disability, which is an increase from 30% in 2010. As the number of family caregivers increases each year, it is important to take time to recognize and support our caregivers. If you know a person who serves that role to another, we encourage you to take time to say “thank you” in a special way this month. Caregivers can be an important part of a Ticket to Work participant’s employment team, providing support at home that helps ensure success at work.

This month reminds us that people who give of their time and talent to help others may also need care themselves. Visit these websites for more information and support resources:

Also, check out the Disability.gov Disability Connection: 10 Things You Need to Know about Caregiving post.

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Honoring Our Nation's Heroes

During the month of November, we take time to honor Veterans. Earlier this year, the Ticket to Work program provided an information series for Veterans about helping overcome financial, employment and health challenges after completing service. In case you missed them, we’ve listed links to the informational series below:

Blogs

  • Post-traumatic stress (PTSD) – Learn more about the signs and symptoms of this disorder. Also, find support and resources for Veterans and people who suffer from PTSD.

Money Mondays

Ticket Talk Podcasts

  • Catching up with Robert Statam – Meet Robert, a veteran who successfully used his Ticket to Work to improve his quality of life.
  • Army Major Jeff Hall Overcomes PTSD – Hear Major Hall’s story about two deployments and their impact on his mental health and  career. Learn about how he regained his wellness and overcame PTSD.

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