What Are We Talking About?

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DisAbility and Social Networking

What are we talking about?

This week, I twirled through countless links and videos in order to find interesting, inspiring and factual pieces for your viewing pleasure.

1. On December 4th, the U.S. Senate rejected an international disability rights treaty, a surprise due to the strong support from disability advocacy groups.

Supporters were unable to secure the two-thirds majority of senators that was needed in order to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights with Persons with Disabilities.

The treaty calls for greater support in the community and a better standard of living for people with disabilities worldwide. The treaty had become controversial in the Senate; maybe believe that ratifying the treaty would require changes to U.S. law, but on the contrary, it would have meant that Americans with disabilities would have the same protections abroad as they do here at home.

“This treaty is not about changing America, but about America changing the world,” said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who was the treaty’s head supporter. Supporters of the treaty in Congress say that they have plans to bring it up for a vote again in the next Congress.

Although the U.S. signed the convention in 2009, the Senate must approve it in order to make participation official. Found on Disability Scoop Facebook page.

2. Children at Ministry St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Wisconsin got a delightful surprise when Batman, Spider-Man and Captain America appeared outside of their windows, twisting and turning in mid-air. After the performance, the children got to the meet the superheroes in the flesh. Well, more like in costume.

For those who couldn’t make the trip outside, the heroes came inside or used an iPad to talk to those whose rooms they weren’t allowed to enter. The people behind the act are employees of Brite-Way/Tim’s Maintenance, which is a local window cleaning business. It’s nice to hear such cute stories of winter cheer! Found on BabyCenter.com’s Blog.

3. For the third month in a row, the rate for unemployment for Americans with disabilities has gone down. It has dropped down from 12.9 to 12.7 percent, which shows improvement, but the rate may have changed in part because some people with disabilities have stopped looking for work for whatever reason.

Unemployment has continued to affect those with disabilities more than the rest of the population. General unemployment has reached 7.7 percent. The Labor Department began to track unemployment among people with disabilities in October 2008. The data on people with disabilities covers those over the age of 16 who do not live in institutions. Found on Disability Scoop Facebook page.

4. Philadelphia International Airport has recently collaborated with autism specialists, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA), The Gray Center, and participating airlines at PHL to develop the Airport Autism Access Program.

The program provides opportunities for children with autism and their families to become familiar with traveling through PHL. You can find more information on PHL’s webpage. Found on Center for Leadership in Disability Facebook page.