Friday, March 27, 2015

Mental illness and the Police

Should police be expected to handle the arrest of violent suspects with mental illness differently?

When considering public safety, there is a fine line between individual rights and public safety at large. Right now, the United States Supreme Court is deciding whether the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) affords extra protection to people who have a mental illness and are being confronted by the police. Many in the disability community would say it does. But, playing devil’s advocate here, how far can we reasonably expect officers to go when their lives and the lives of the people around them is being threatened by a knife-wielder or gun-toter?

The ADA requires “reasonable accommodations” be made available for individuals with disabilities in order to access public services and programs. Do you think police officers should be required to give individuals “reasonable accommodations” when those individuals are presenting a serious threat? Or should violence be treated the same in all cases, whether or not the suspect has a mental illness?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Disability can happen to YOU!

We don't like to think about bad things happening to us personally but the likelihood of you becoming sick or injured and unable to work is higher than you probably imagined. The Personal Disability Quotient, or PDQ, will calculate your odds of eventually becoming disabled. If you do become disabled, you can be out of work for weeks, months or even years, and that can be disastrous to individuals and families. To find out your PDQ in just a few minutes, go here:


Disability Statistics

It happens more often than you'd imagine:

·         Just over 1 in 4 of today's 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire.
·         Over 37 million Americans are classified as disabled; about 12% of the total population. More than 50% of those disabled Americans are in their working years, from 18-64.
·         8.8 million disabled wage earners, over 5% of U.S. workers, were receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits at the end of 2012.
·         In December of 2012, there were over 2.5 million disabled workers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s receiving SSDI benefits.

Don’t think Social Security or Workers' Compensation will cover your expenses:
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·         65% of initial SSDI claim applications were denied in 2012.
·         Can your family live on $1,130 a month? That's the average monthly benefit paid by Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) at the end of 2012.
·         The average SSDI monthly benefit payment for males was $1,256
·         The average SSDI monthly benefit payment for females was $99316

At the end of 2012:
·         7.3% of SSDI recipients received less than $500 monthly.
·         46% received less than $1,000 per month.
·         93% received less than $2,000 per month.
·         Less than 5% of disabling accidents and illnesses are work related. The other 95% are not, meaning Workers' Compensation doesn't cover them.

For more information go to:


Forward RISE is a NYS nonprofit dedicated to the real inclusion of people with disabilities through forward-thinking workshops and rewarding, inclusive social events.  Forward RISE