Bill would shine light on neglected needs of minorities with disabilities

ANDREW KITCHENMAN | JULY 14, 2014
 
Advocate argues that disparities in access to healthcare require action from state government.
Jane Dunhamn at hearingJane Dunhamn, mother of a 44-year-old daughter born with significant disabilities, says the state needs to take action to close the gap in healthcare available to minorities with disabilities.

Communities of color have less access to healthcare, but they also have higher rates of certain disabilities. That combination presents serious challenges to minorities that are suffering from these disabilities. Yet little attention has been given to the problem, which advocates say stems from racism, whether conscious or unconscious.

As a result, the Legislature is considering a bill -- S-900 -- that will study the issue and make recommendations to the governor and the Legislature as to what can be done.
 
Jane Dunhamn has taken a leading role in supporting the bill. As the mother of a 44-year-old daughter born with significant disabilities, Dunhamn said she is concerned about the support that her daughter will receive when she can no longer help her.
 
Dunhamn told a legislative panel that the state must look to systematically address the role of racism and discrimination in solving chronic inequities. She argued that addressing these inequities would require “reinventing and disrupting policy and practice.”
 
She also said that mainstream disability-rights organizations and government agencies must actively work on these issues. 
“The disability community must learn to actively engage in a meaningful conversation about race, racism and, discrimination -- conscious and unconscious,” Dunhamn said.
 

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African American Slavery and Disability: Bodies, Property and Power in the Antebellum South, 1800-1860

New book by Dea H. Boster, Routledge, Mar 5, 2013 - Social Science - 198 pages - Disability is often mentioned in discussions of slave health, mistreatment and abuse, but constructs of how "able" and "disabled" bodies influenced the institution of slavery has gone largely overlooked.

Reflections On March on Washington 50th Anniversary

Barbara Johnson, Sandra Sermons, and Jane Dunhamn shares stories of their experiences at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington on August 24th, 2013. Listen to it by selecting THIS LINK.

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She is . . .

As I was heading home the other day, I was thinking about a situation I encountered a while ago when I landed back in the Washington, D.C., area after a trip.
 
I was hungry and saw that one of my favorite lunch spots had opened an outpost at the airport.

Disparity in treatment of PWD Commission -NJ bill expected to go to Governor

S116 (Rice / Ruiz / Tucker) - Establishes Disparity in Treatment of Persons with Disabilities in Underrepresented Communities Commission in DCA.

This bill is moving toward enactment. The Senate is expected to vote on amendments this week. Both houses voted and passed it last week, but the Senate is voting to approve some technical amendments.

Autism Speaks and National Black Church Initiative Seek to Reduce Age of Autism Diagnosis

Collaboration to address racial disparities, lower the age of diagnosis and improve access to services to improve outcomes for children with autism
 
New York, N.Y. (June 21, 2013) – Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, and the National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), today announced their new collaboration seeking to reduce the average age of diagnosis and to increase access to high-quality early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the African American community. The collaboration will be piloted in 150 churches in the greater Atlanta area as part of the Autism Speaks Early Access to Care initiative.
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