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By Sunrise Group on January 20, 2016

Sunrise Celebrates IDOA! #WearYourHeartOnYourSleeve

With an estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide, equal inclusion in the community should seem like a natural part of daily life. Unfortunately, many people still face barriers and do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation. It is important to focus on the ability and not on the disability of an individual. The first step is acceptance of the fact that disabilities are in deed a natural part of life. A disability may impact any person from and background at any stage in their life. People will disabilities still make contributions and should enjoy active participation in any community. Join Sunrise in celebrating acceptance and IDOA!

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 15, 2016

ABLE Accounts May Be Available Sooner Than Expected

DID YOU KNOW? Tucked inside a tax bill approved by lawmakers in December 2015 is a provision that will permit individuals with disabilities to open new accounts established under the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act in any state, regardless of where they reside. Despite federal passage of the ABLE Act in 2014, states had to approve their own legislation and develop mechanisms to regulate and administer the new accounts before letting consumers take advantage. As of December 2015, only 35 states had approved such legislation. The December 2015 change means that people with disabilities across the country will be able to open ABLE accounts when the first state programs are up and running which could happen as soon as February or March. Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Nebraska are widely expected to be among the first to make ABLE programs available.

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 11, 2016

Sunrise In The News: Spotlight on Greeneville, Tennessee

Leaders at the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities have produced a booklet educating residents of East Tennessee about the success of community inclusion and its benefits to the community. DIDD wrote “These homes provide a safe, structured, permanent place in which people with disabilities can live, When a society is able to provide for the basic needs of its people, ultimately, everyone benefits.” Sunrise Community of Tennessee is Greeneville is a very successful working model that continues to help Tennesseeans with intellectual disabilities transition out of institutional care settings into local communities. Job very well done #TeamTennessee!

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.”