Search By Tag: Self-Determination

By Sunrise Group on December 15, 2016

Inclusive Voices: "Rogue One" Is A Winner for Diversity

The greater disabilities community has long recognized that media images mold society's attitudes. For that reason, self-advocates continue to push for greater representation of people with disabilities on TV as well as on the big screen. However, diversity in mainstream entertainment all too often remains the exception rather than the rule. That is why Sunrise self-advocate and Blogger, Hector Leonardo, is excited about the upcoming premier of Rogue One. The self-described "Stars Wars fanatic" cannot wait to see a leading cast that consists of a female lead along with Hispanic, Asian,Anglo-Pakistani, and African-American main characters. And two of the main characters have disabilities! Like real life, all of the characters are comfortable with one other and they are united in their fight! Kudos Rogue One!!

By Sunrise Group on November 14, 2016

Inclusive Voices: Volunteer, Self-Advocate & Soccer Fan Celebrates #InclusionWorks

2016 marked 70 years of celebrating Disability Inclusion in the workplace. This year's theme was #InclusionWorks. Inclusion works because accommodations help employers realize the contributions of workers of all abilities.. Sunrise's newest volunteer, Hector Leonardo shares his story about his first week working at National Corporate Headquarters. Welcome aboard Hector!

By Sunrise Group on August 10, 2016

Disability History: The Hidden History of Eugenics

The first eugenics law in the United States was passed in Connecticut in 1895. Then in 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court decided, by a vote of 8 to 1, to uphold a state’s right to forcibly sterilize a person considered unfit to procreate. The case, known as Buck v. Bell, centered on a young woman named Carrie Buck, whom the state of Virginia had deemed to be “feeble-minded.” All told, as many as 70,000 Americans were forcibly sterilized during the 20th century. The victims of state-mandated sterilization included people like Buck who had been labeled “mentally deficient,” as well as those who who were deaf, blind and diseased. Who was Carrie Buck, and why must we never forget her legacy?

By Sunrise Group on July 13, 2016

Hillsborough County Launches A Culinary Class

With record breaking heat and humidity all across Florida, Sunrise Community of Hillsborough County has launched an indoor activity where student chefs can cool down while dialing up the heat in the kitchen. Program Coordinator, Wanda Simmons is teaching life skills through weekly cooking classes (for those we serve and staff alike.) The class is offered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Teaching cooking to persons with intellectual disabilities is an opportunity to not only increase independence, but also put basic academic skills to use in a functional way. Determining what is needed, obtaining the ingredients and following directions to put it together are all important steps. There are vital skills which are required in order to be independent throughout a person’s life. Congratulations Wanda for your contribution in making this class a part of our Creative curriculum!

By Sunrise Group on July 8, 2016

Coral Gables PALS "Giving Back" & Learning About South Florida Fauna

Coral Gables PALS have been loyal, dedicated volunteers on Sunrise beautification projects since 2012. They have contributed time, labor and skills to various Sunrise locations throughout Miami-Dade county from Miami Beach down to Homestead. In addition to our mission, Sunrise volunteers keep coming back because they learn a lot while giving back to their local community. No project was too big or too small for this dedicated team of volunteers. The end results of their work was breath-taking! Check out their photo album.

By Sunrise Group on July 5, 2016

ABLE United Opens in Florida

The ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act authorized states to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. In Florida, self-advocates and allies make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities every day. Thanks to a dedicated group of Sunrise advocates and others in the greater disabilities community, the ability to open an ABLE United account in the sunshine state is now a reality. ABLE United launched the first week of July. The site has a wealth of information and the tools needed to help make Floridians with disabilities aware of this new financial option. The tax-free account allows families to save like never before and empowers self-advocates to invest in their future. It’s a new day for Floridians with disabilities. Learn more about ABLE United accounts and how to start saving for a better life experience.

By Sunrise Group on June 22, 2016

Sunrise Celebrates Community Inclusion on the 17th Anniversary of Olmstead

ODAY IN DISABILITY HISTORY: On June 22, 1999, the Supreme Court issued its landmark “Olmstead v. L.C.” decision fundamentally changing the lives of Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson–who had both been languishing in an institution for years after their initial treatment ended. Lois and Elaine filed suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for release from the Georgia facility–and, in doing so, affirmed the constitutional right to self-determination not only for themselves, but also for other Americans with disabilities to live outside of institutions, opening avenues and increase opportunities to enhance our communities and our lives.

By Sunrise Group on June 9, 2016

Don’t Miss Sunrise Speakers at the 18th Annual Family Cafe in Orlando!

This year’s 18th Annual Family Cafe will once again include more than 160 breakout sessions on relevant topics, a series of engaging keynote events, an Exhibit Hall with dozens of booths, and plenty of opportunities for connecting with other families. Sunrise professionals from the northern and southern ends of the state will converge in Orlando to provide outreach and education designed to prevent abuse, neglect, and exploitation of people with disabilities as well as to empower self-advocates and allies with the tools of online advocacy. Come see us on Friday in Bayhill 20 at 4:30 p.m. for the latest and greatest on online advocacy and stop by Bayhill 29 the next morning at 11:00 a.m. to learn about the recently launched “Respect Every Ability” Campaign. See you there!

By Sunrise Group on June 6, 2016

Public Policy: Plan To End Subminimum Wage Stirs Debate

The presidential nominees’ call to raise the minimum wage for Americans with disabilities who earn pennies per hour has families and caregivers fiercely debating whether the real benefit of the jobs comes from pay or an intangible sense of self-worth. The lower pay, permitted by a policy in place since 1938, has been scrapped for federally contracted employees.. The issue, with shades of the national row over raising the minimum wage to $15, is hardly one of economics alone. It pits individuals’ capability and dignity against a business model built on a cheap labor pool. Sunrise supports the option that allows workers to choose from a wide array of employment options. Which side of the debate do you support?

By Sunrise Group on June 3, 2016

Inclusive Voices: Self-Advocates Take on Hollywood

Hollywood has a history of snubbing minority groups, but there’s been some incremental progress recently. Just look at “Master of None,” “Creed,” “Transparent,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Fresh Off the Boat.” Disabled characters, however, remain an anomaly, and when they do show up, they’re usually either tragic victims or sources of inspiration. That may be changing. Self-advocates are outraged at the new movie “Me Before You” for its disabled lead character who feels his life is no longer worth living. Going forward, there’s pressure for other writers to get it right. Next up is “Speechless,” a sitcom starring Minnie Driver as the mother of a disabled boy, and the movie “The Fundamentals of Caring,” in which Paul Rudd plays a young man’s caregiver. Thanks to the response to “Me Before You,” those projects face a new world, in which disability activists feel more empowered than ever to share their feelings.

By Sunrise Group on May 16, 2016

Sunrise Supports #REVUP – Making the Disability Vote Count

More than any time in recent memory, Americans with disabilities have the power to influence the outcome of the 2016 Primary and General Election. Elected leaders and political candidates are recognizing the 57 MILLION Americans with disabilities—from birth to advanced age—as a powerful, important constituency. Issues important to people with disabilities – like accessibility, community inclusion and aging in place – must be part of the platform for any candidate running for public office. Join Sunrise in support of the REVUP campaign to advocate for policies that allow people with disabilities to fully participate in the political process, including ensuring the accessibility of polling locations and through promoting the availability of accessible voting technology.

By Sunrise Group on April 26, 2016

MARYLAND: Disability Voter Guide Released

As voters head to the polls in Maryland today, RespectAbility released its Maryland Disability Voter Guide. Fully one-out-of-five voters have a disability, and 52 percent of likely voters have a loved one with a disability. According to the latest census, 35 million Americans with disabilities are of voting age. This means that voters with disabilities are now one of the largest groups of potential voters (called voting blocs) in American politics. Some have called the disability vote the “Sleeping Giant” of American politics. This is because people with disabilities have not voted in the same numbers as most Americans. If people with disabilities register and vote at the same rate as the rest of the nation, between 5 and 10 million more votes will be cast in the next Presidential election! Make your voices heard & VOTE TODAY Marylanders!

By Sunrise Group on January 18, 2016

Inclusive Voices: 10 Disability Awareness Lessons Learned From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

At one point in time people with apparent disabilities were prohibited to be seen in public in order to prevent sensitivities of people without disabilities. In 1970, Americans with disabilities were sterilized against their will. Today, most would cringe at the thought of treating people with disabilities in such a way. Resulting from Dr. King’s extraordinary efforts in the civil rights movement, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed on July 26, 1990. According to Arlene Mayerson, the act “adopted many of the strategies of the civil rights movement before it. Equal opportunities should be available to all shapes, sizes, ethnicity, disabled or able-bodied. The disability rights movement to this day can still be promoted and fought for by people with and without disabilities.

By Sunrise Group on January 13, 2016

What Does The Disability Integration Act Propose?

On December 18, 2015, U.S. Senator Charles Schmer (D-NY) filed S. 2427 before the 114th Congress. The Bill is known as the “Disability Integration Act of 2015.” Many are asking exactly what the proposal will do for people with disabilities. Basically, the bill would expand access to community living for millions of Americans. Known as the Disability Integration Act, the legislation would dramatically alter the status quo. Current law generally assures people with disabilities care in nursing homes and other institutional facilities if they need assistance with eating, bathing, housekeeping and other daily activities. Unfortunately, the availability of community-based services is often more limited and subject to long waiting lists. Schumer’s proposal would outlaw such waiting lists and prohibit caps on services as well as other measures like low pay that may restrict access to community living. Sunrise encourages everyone to ask their Congressmen to support this bill!

By Sunrise Group on January 8, 2016

Inclusive Voices: Life Lessons For A New Year

As we are into the second week of January in 2016, people are beginning to move beyond their New Year’s resolutions which are (thankfully) no longer clouding social media with pictures of squats, kale, inspirational quotes and goals. People everywhere are declaring that this year is going to be the year they do it: the year they lose the weight, the year they quit smoking, the year they run a marathon, the year they get a 4.0 GPA, the year their career takes off. But then somewhere as we approach February things start to drag. We find excuses not to go to the gym, we get too busy to take the time to work towards our goals, things become stressful and life happens. But what if instead of setting new goals, we started recognizing and appreciating all the new life lessons that we are carrying into the new year. One self-advocate and Sunbeam Writing Club member from Cape Coral shares his “Journey.”