Friday, November 9, 2018

Three Links This Week

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three articles shared in this week’s NCCI social media. You can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:


New content is added every day.

This week - November 3-9 2018:

Three election-related pieces for people with disabilities.

Kurt Eichenwald, New York Times - October 15, 2018

A personal look at the critical link between health insurance stability and employment for people with disabilities.
Denise Broday, Forbes - November 2, 2018

Looking at companies that go out of their way to hire and fully include employees with disabilities.

Ami Hamrie, The Atlantic - November 6, 2018


Discusses the pros and cons of using “crowdsourcing” apps to map accessibility in cities and neighborhoods.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Three Links This Week

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three articles shared in this week’s NCCI social media. You can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ncciplattsburgh/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NCCIPlatts

New content is added every day.

This week - October 27 - November 2, 2018:

Three election-related pieces for people with disabilities.

1. Bravery
Allison Jonergin, NCCI Blog - October 28, 2018

Another NCCI blog guest post.


2. Things to consider as winter approaches
Sarah Levis, Haliburton Echo - October 10, 2018

This could have been written by someone here in the North Country!

3. The Invalid Corps: A Forgotten History of Disabled Veterans
Day Al-Mohamed

Website for a documentary that has just been completed, about a corps of Union Soldiers with disabilities in the Civil War. Here’s the trailer …

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Bravery

Allison Jonergin
Guest Blogger

Growing up, I had this dream, this hope, in my mind of the kind of person I’d be despite any struggles I might face.

I always hoped I’d be brave. 

Before I became sick, bravery used to mean something very different.

It meant standing up for ideals, helping the needy and always being the bigger person. It meant accomplishing what I set out to accomplish, no matter how hard I had to work. I thought there would be no hurdle I couldn’t overcome with enough dedication, commitment and willpower. 

I grew up reading books about ordinary boys and girls defeating monsters and becoming heroes, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be the heroine in my own story. 

But what do you do when the monsters go to bed with you, wake up with you, eat with you and weep with you? How do you continue to be brave, every single day, when the fight is no longer a battle culminating in a glorious victory, but an extended offensive of attrition warfare?

I’ve had to bury that dream, kiss goodbye those hopes, and console the sweet girl inside me who was innocent enough to believe she could take on the world’s problems when in reality I’m struggling just to manage my own.

Because even on my best days, I am still bound to this body, and all I know is pain: relentless, all-consuming, unforgiving pain. Then there’s the mental anguish, the exhaustion, discouragement, frustration and sadness to reckon with. Not to mention the laundry list of other symptoms that keep things interesting.

When you begin each day and sometimes each task with the prerequisite of having to talk yourself into fighting to live at all, it makes for a long day.

I am alone in this fight, and yet I am never free from my monsters’ grips. They slither into the most intimate parts of my life and make a home, reminding me my body is the battleground in a war I fight behind closed doors.

When I wake up in the middle of the night writhing in pain, when I cry upon waking at the thought of having to drag my tender body into the shower, when I sit on my bed and talk myself into taking my medicine, I am reminded that no one can take over fighting for me when I get tired. 

Pain is the loneliest company I’ve ever kept, but it’s loyal. Pain doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care what kind of day you’ve had or how much work you have left to do. 

And so I convince myself to carry on and forgive myself for the items I never seem to cross of my to-do list.

Let’s face it. I won’t change the world. 

On my worst days, I don’t even change my socks.

My disability took any last shred of hope I had that I would be brave enough to overcome my chronic illnesses and effect any real change in this world. My disability has forcibly flipped my priorities, leaving little to no energy for the dreamer in me who wanted to paint one small piece of the future.

And so I tiptoe over the graves of the dreams I’ve buried along the way, and I hope somehow I make that little girl inside me proud simply for having the courage to keep going.

Allison Jonergin is a SUNY Plattsburgh alumna and North Country native. She has fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and endometriosis. She also deals with irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression and migraines.

==========

This is part of a monthly series of guest blogs. Each month NCCI will choose up to 2 submitted blog posts from North Country writers on disability-related topics. This is a paid opportunity. Click here for more information.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Three Links This Week

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three articles shared in this week’s NCCI social media. You can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ncciplattsburgh/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NCCIPlatts

New content is added every day.

This week - October 20-26, 2018:

Three election-related pieces for people with disabilities.

1. Voting Resources
NCCI Blog - October 25, 2018

2. 2 Weeks Until Election Day: ENGAGE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!
American Association of People with Disabilities - October 23, 2018

3. Break down barriers to voting with these tools!
Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Voting Resources

"Vote" logo with wheelchair symbol

Election Day for the 2018 Midterm Election is Tuesday, November 6. Here are some more voting resources for people with disabilities:

Voting Rights Subcommittee - National Council on Independent Living

Disability Issues Guide - American Association of People with Disabilities


Voting Resources - Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Plain Language 2018 Voter Guide - Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law


Find Your Polling Place - National Association of Secretaries of State

Polling Site Accessibility Checklist - U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division



Election Polling and Forecasts - FiveThirtyEight.com

You can always contact us here at NCCI at 518-563-9058, for assistance related to voting.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Three Links This Week

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three articles shared in this week’s NCCI social media. You can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:


New content is added every day.

This week - October 13 - 19, 2018:

NCCI Blog - October 14, 2018

Via Norman Karp, Social Security figures and thresholds for 2019.

Tanya Marlow, The Guardian - October 11, 2018

Always a good reminder for parents …

Hannah Brown, Rooted In Rights - October 11, 2018

“Awareness” can be a slippery and rather empty idea when disability is concerned.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Social Security COLA Updates

Illustration of a green dollar sign and white puzzle pieces
Click here for a PDF document that lists the new Social Security Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2019. Here are just a couple of important numbers to notice for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. There will be a 2.8% increase in benefits this year. I will keep everyone up-to-date as soon as Medicare releases their numbers for 2019.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) threshold:

Non–blind: 2018: $1,180/m 2019: $1,220/m … increase of $40.
Blind: 2018: $1,970/m 2019: $2,040/m … increase of $70.

Trial Work Period(TWP) threshold:

2018: $850/m 2019: $880/m

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Federal Payment Standard:

Individual 2018: $750/m 2019: $771/m … increase of $21.
Couple: 2018: $1,125/m 2019: $1,157/m … increase of $32.

SSI Resource Limits:

Individual: 2018: $2,000 2019: No change.
Couple: 2018: $3,000 2019: No change.

The linked document goes into more detail about retirement, tax rates and other federal benefits. If anyone has any questions please don't hesitate to ask. You can call me at 518-563-9058 Ext. 110, or send me an email at: norman@ncci-online.com.