McConnellsburg Area!!!!

Heather Smith - Monday, February 13, 2012


Hiring Immediately!!!





McConnellsburg and Fulton County areas, to assist individuals with daily living activities.  All shifts available.  Requires alternate weekends, diploma/GED, valid driver license, vehicle, and ability to pass background checks.  Apply online @ Community Resources for Independence 201 Lincoln Way West, Suite 109, McConnellsburg PA 17233, 1-866-998-0530.  EOE



Help is on the way?

Heather Smith - Monday, February 13, 2012

Special “passenger advocates” tasked with assisting those with disabilities during security screening could be an airport staple soon, if one lawmaker has his way.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said he plans to introduce legislation this week to require the Transportation Security Administration to appoint passenger advocates at every U.S. airport that could be requested by travelers with special needs as needed.

Schumer asked the TSA to institute passenger advocates in December after a number of complaints by older passengers and those with various special needs. However, the agency has not acted on the proposal, prompting Schumer to take a legislative route, he said.

“Passengers need an on-site point of contact who they can bring grievances to and who can advocate on their behalf when they feel they are being treated unfairly or inappropriately,” Schumer said.

Previously, TSA officials have declined to comment on the idea of offering passenger advocates, but said they have “customer service representatives at most major airports.”

What’s more, the agency recently implemented a toll-free hotline to assist passengers with disabilities.

A new phone number could make your next trip to the airport go a little bit smoother.

The Transportation Security Administration has a new toll-free hotline specifically for airline passengers with disabilities and special medical needs.

I've got your back!

Heather Smith - Monday, February 13, 2012

Some 150 disability advocates from across the country headed to the White House Friday for a day-long powwow with administration officials and they got a surprise visit — from the president himself.

The group of advocates included individuals with disabilities, their families and professionals affiliated with The Arc who were invited to meet with Obama administration officials.

The event was part of the White House Community Leaders Briefing Series, a weekly initiative designed to establish direct dialogue between local leaders and top federal officials.

President Barack Obama surprised the group by stepping in for a short, late-morning talk in the South Court Auditorium.

“I want you all to know that I’m going to keep fighting everyday for an America which lives up to our most basic values, not just for some, but for us all. But I need your help,” Obama told the group.

The president praised the advocates for speaking up last summer during a series of tough budget talks about the importance of Medicaid and said that continued advocacy of that kind is needed.

“People with disabilities deserve the chance to build a life for themselves in the communities where they choose to live,” Obama said, adding that he supports high education standards and employment opportunities for those with disabilities.

“I’ve got your back and I’m looking forward to working with you for many years to come,” he said.

In addition to Obama, the group also heard from top officials at the Justice Department and the Medicaid program, among others.

HBO Film Unveils Disability Caregiving

Heather Smith - Monday, February 13, 2012

A new documentary chronicling one woman’s experience as she assumes care of her sister with an intellectual disability is set to premiere on HBO later this month. The documentary "Raising Renee" is scheduled to premiere on HBO2 Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. ET.

The film, “Raising Renee,” follows Beverly McIver and her older sister, Renee, over a six-year period. An acclaimed painter with a flourishing career in the art world, McIver casually promised her mother that she would take care of Renee, who functions at the level of a third-grader, when her mother could not.

When McIver’s mother died in 2004, she followed through on her promise, moving Renee from their mother’s home in North Carolina to live with her in Arizona. Soon realizing that she needed help caring for Renee, McIver ultimately returned to North Carolina — a place she’d vowed never to live after leaving the segregation-filled environment of her youth.

The documentary, which premieres Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. ET on HBO2, follows the two sisters as they adapt to their new reality and confront the opportunity for Renee to live independently for the first time ever at age 50.

“Raising Renee” is just the latest film focusing on disability issues to appear on HBO. In recent years, the cable channel aired Monica & David, a documentary about the marriage of two young adults with Down syndrome, and produced a biopic of autism self-advocate Temple Grandin.

Burnt Out and Need a Break?

Heather Smith - Monday, February 06, 2012

In 2009, the “estimated economic value” of the unpaid contributions of family caregivers was a staggering $450 billion according to Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update, The Growing Contributions and Costs of Family Caregiving, a recent report from the AARP Public Policy Institute. This $450 billion figure represents a 20% increase over 2007’s $375 billion estimate. Reasons for this increase include:

  • 23% rise in the number of caregivers
  • 9% increase in the number of hours spent on care
  • $1-per-hour hike in the “wage” used to determine the value unpaid caregivers deliver

“Unpaid family caregivers are shouldering a majority of the burden of long-term-care in the U.S,” Tergesen concludes. With caregiver stress and even burnout being common concerns. Caregivers’ fatigue can cause serious patient safety concerns. What can be done to help families? Here are 3 ways you can help a family caregiver you know:

  • Organization! This is the one the best ways to most successfully mobilize the support that every family caregiver should have. Call a family meeting, set up and manage a schedule that everybody has access to. People are willing to pitch in, but it’s easier to commit if it is clear what they are committing to (and how often).
  • Communication! Family caregivers should have a means of remaining in communicationbecause, of course, this benefits the care recipient, but open communication promotes an environment in which family caregivers can be honest about how they’re feeling (mentally, physically, emotionally and otherwise). Remember: if the care recipient is completely reliant on the family caregivers, it is imperative that the family caregivers are well.
  • Break! One of the greatest benefits of mobilizing a “team” of family caregivers who can pitch in is the ability to take a break when necessary. Take whatever time you can for yourself to reduce the risk of illness and burnout.

CRI is always there to give the family caregivers their much-needed break. Don't hestitate to contact CRI for more information today call 814-838-7222 or visit for more information.  Help is just around the corner.  Call today!




Doggies have disabilities too!!!

Heather Smith - Monday, February 06, 2012

An interesting Doggie Twist on Disability

If your dog has become injured or is experiencing a disability that affects his ability to walk, Eddie's Wheels has the answer.

Eddie Grinnell, owner of Eddie's Wheels, is a mechanical engineer by trade. After his companion Doberman, Buddha, was injured and became partially paralyzed in 1989, Grinnell (finding no other help available) invented his first attachable cart for his dog. Since then, Eddie's Wheel's has grown to manufacture carts, harnesses, and wheelchairs for dogs, which are used worldwide.

I had the opportunity to meet a few of Eddie Grinnell's dogs at his home in Shelburne, MA, all of whom have paralysis or loss of either their front or hind legs – and all of whom were energetic, healthy, and happy to trot around with their carts attached. Eddie and his wife Leslie, who has been working with disabled dogs for over 20 years, explained the modifications you might need in your home to accommodate a disabled dog.

Modifying Doorways for a Disabled Dog

"Everything we make will fit through a stand-sized door," said Eddie Grinnell. He added that even if the dog is very large, he modifies their standard design to be just narrow enough to fit through any door, so that you don't have to bring your dog in through the garage door. Even if you have raised thresholds or strips in your doorways, the dogs can go over them easily with the carts.

Naturally, just as you would for humans, you will want to have relatively clear paths for the dog. The dogs don't stay harnessed to the carts at all times, so you want to have a safe enclosed area for them when you are not home.

Setting Up Ramps for Disabled Dogs

Just like modifications for humans in wheelchairs, ramps of varying sizes can be built to accommodate your pet. Since the ramps are not attached to the dwelling, Eddie Grinnell said that you are not required to get a permit to build ramps for your pets.

According to Eddie Grinnell, there is a general formula to building ramps. If, for example, your steps have a 20 inch rise, you need to angle the ramp 1 inch per foot, creating a ramp that is 20 feet long. "Some dogs have really good upper-body strength and you might be able to get away with a ten-foot ramp," he said.

Eddie Grinnell said that a traction compound or strips of sandpaper that come with a sticky backing can be applied to the ramps to create better traction for the dogs.

If the dog only has minor difficulty walking, he recommended plastic or wooden steps (available at most large pet stores) to allow the pet to travel more easily around the house.

Managing Inclement Weather and Dogs on Wheels

Eddie Grinnell said that his carts are made to withstand wet weather and will not cause the dog any chafing. If you are dealing with snow, Leslie Grinnell said that they simply shovel the ramps and the dogs have no problem navigating a snowy surface. "We never use deicers. We don't put down salt; it'll hurt their pads. We just use sand," she said.

Dogs' Adjustment to Eddie's Wheels

Leslie Grinnell said that the carts allow the dog to "get back to a normal dog stance".

"If they can't walk, it's really easy. They just take off once you have the cart attached. If they can walk a little, then there may be a little more adjustment time," said Eddie Grinnell.

*** CRI does not provide services to animals! ***

Transplant Denial Outcry

Heather Smith - Monday, February 06, 2012

Parents see hope after transplant denial outcry

A 3-year-old girl whose parents claimed she was denied a kidney transplant at one of the nation's top children's hospitals because of her mental disability is now being considered for the procedure, her father said Tuesday.

Joseph Rivera said he and his wife, Chrissy, met with doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Friday and were told they are now willing to consider a transplant for their daughter, Amelia. The Stratford, N.J., family said doctors initially told them their daughter wasn't eligible for a transplant because of her quality of life and her mental condition.

"At this point, we're moving forward," Rivera said in an interview with The Associated Press. "They are allowing us at least to go through the process."

Rivera said his daughter will now have to go through screenings to see if she's a good transplant candidate. He and his wife will now be going in for tissue testing in March.

"We knew going in that it was a long process," Rivera said, adding that his daughter is a "healthy kid." ''She's doing great right now."

A hospital spokeswoman didn't immediately comment on the status of the case, which led to a public outcry after Chrissy Rivera wrote about it on her blog this month.

The hospital has said it "does not disqualify potential transplant candidates on the basis of intellectual abilities." It has also said it is "deeply committed" to providing the best possible medical care for all children, including those with disabilities.

Amelia Rivera, who goes by the nickname Mia, was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare genetic defect that can cause physical and mental disabilities. She will need a transplant in six months to a year.

The issues over how doctors determine eligibility for kidney transplants are complex and there is no federally mandated policy on who can have a transplant and who can't, according to Dr. Robert S. Gaston, president of the American Society of Transplantation and medical director of the kidney transplant program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Gaston said, however, that he had not heard of a cognitive deficit alone being considered as a factor in a transplant case. More often, the factors considered involve whether the patient has problems that would make surgery risky or whether they have a caregiver who will make sure that they take the needed medications.

"People who have a committed caregiver, a parent who is going to make sure they have the medications ... those produce the very best outcomes in kidney transplantations," he said.

Arthur Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics, said transplant teams are often looking at candidates who have a broad array of problems — prone to seizures, distorted body, hearts or livers that are likely to fail. But sometimes, he said, parents only hear them say mental disability.

Caplan, who spoke generally and wasn't commenting specifically on the Rivera case, said he didn't think mental impairment should be a factor in determining whether a patient is a good transplant candidate unless it's an "enormously severe impairment" that results in a permanently unconscious or minimally conscious person.


NJ Neglect Case

Heather Smith - Monday, February 06, 2012

Sentencing in NJ Neglect Case

A former caseworker and a private caretaker were sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for neglecting three women in a case that led to a state review of the conditions for developmentally disabled residents and calls for a new law.

Former caseworker Bridget Grimes and sponsor home provider Debra Sloan pleaded guilty last year, avoiding trials.

The 55-year-old Grimes had pleaded guilty to official misconduct, neglect of a disabled person and theft. Sloan had pleaded guilty to neglect of a disabled person and theft. Both were also charged initially with aggravated assault, but those charges were dropped in negotiated plea bargains.

The 57-year-old Sloan had a $51,000 per year contract to care for Erin Germaine, Tara O'Leary and Lydia Joy Perry in Hunterdon County's Alexandria Township.

The three women were removed in September 2008 after a relative of O'Leary's reported that the 28-year-old woman was dangerously thin and unwashed. O'Leary, a 4-foot-11 woman who had weighed 97 pounds the year before, was by then less than 50 pounds.

Germaine had also lost about half her body weight.

Both were hospitalized. Germaine recovered, but O'Leary died within months.

Authorities say Sloan made Perry serve as a caretaker of O'Leary. Perry died in 2009 at age 68.

Sloan spent money allocated for use for the women as if it were her own, authorities said.

Hunterdon County prosecutor Anthony Kearns said in a statement that developmentally disabled people are among the most vulnerable people in society. "It is our duty and obligation to ensure their protection," he said. "It is my hope that these convictions remind all who interact and serve this population to treat them with the utmost care and respect."

After the woman's conditions were made known, New Jersey's Department of Human Services ordered reviews of the conditions of more than 1,200 developmentally disabled adults living in private homes run by contractors with state contracts.

And lawmakers introduced a bill known as Tara's Law, designed to increase protections for developmentally disabled adults. The law hasn't been adopted.

At Thursday's sentencing hearings, relatives of the victims read statements about their loved ones and what happened to them.

Janet Fandel, Perry's niece, told the judge: "Most people treat their dogs better than the defendant treated my aunt."



Employment Outlook Not Favorable

Heather Smith - Monday, February 06, 2012

Unkind job picture for people with disabilities

As unemployment ticked down again in January, new data shows that Americans with disabilities struggled to reap the benefits of an improving job market.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday that unemployment among Americans with disabilities dropped to 12.9 percent in January, down from 13.5 percent at the end of last year.

However, the gains appear to be the result — at least in part — of fewer people with disabilities looking for work. In fact, the number of people within this group who were employed declined in January, as did the number considered part of the labor force, meaning that they were working or seeking a job.

Meanwhile, the labor market experienced unexpected growth, with the economy adding 243,000 jobs and unemployment among the general population dropping to 8.3 percent.

The Labor Department began tracking employment among people with disabilities in October 2008. There is not yet enough data compiled to establish seasonal trends among this population, so statistics for this group are not seasonally adjusted.

Data on people with disabilities covers those over the age of 16 who do not live in institutions. The first employment report specific to this population was made available in February 2009. Now, reports are released monthly.

Proposed White House Disability Tour

Heather Smith - Monday, February 06, 2012

White House Nationwide Disability Tour

Obama's administration officials are planning to fan out across the country starting this spring for a series of regional White House conferences to address disability issues.

In a conference call last week with leaders from several disability organizations, White House officials laid out preliminary plans for the events, according to those who participated in the call.

The regional meetings are expected to be held starting in mid-March, with some scheduled into the summer in:

Columbus, Ohio

Austin, Texas

  • Los Angeles
  • Denver
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Minneapolis
  • Orlando, Fla
  • Kansas City, Mo

Exact details on who from the administration will be hosting the conferences and precisely what will be on the agenda were not revealed to advocates.

“I think it’s about showing what they’ve accomplished and letting folks at the regional level know where they can go for resources,” said Chris Thomson, vice president of corporate affairs and general counsel at United Cerebral Palsy, who was on the call. “It’s a little unclear, but I definitely think it’s an opportunity for people to express their concerns.”

A White House spokesman declined to comment on the plans.

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