Friday, July 20, 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 visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:


This week - July 14-20, 2018:

Alice Wong, Eater - July 19, 2018

A very personal perspective on plastic straws and accessibility.

Ari Ne’eman, People’s Policy Project - July 5, 2018

Making the case that support workers who assist people with disabilities should be better paid and more highly regarded than they are in today’s economy.

Andrew Pulrang, Center for Disability Rights Blog - July 19, 2018


Disability-related questions you can ask candidates for Congress.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

National Disability Voter Registration Week

Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power! RevUp! Make the Disability Vote Count!

Do you have a disability? Does someone in your family of voting age have a disability? Are you registered to vote? Are they registered to vote?

The deadline to register in New York State for the November 6, 2018 Midterm Election is October 12, 2018.

For more information or to register, call the North Country Center for Independence at 518-563-9058.


Important things to know about voting and people with disabilities:

  • People with any kind of disability can register to vote, as long as they are U.S. citizens of voting age, 18 or older. Cognitive or mental disabilities do not disqualify someone from voting, unless an individual been ruled legally ineligible. Election officials and poll workers alone cannot determine a disabled person’s eligibility to vote.
  • Disabled adults who are under legal guardianship may or may not be eligible to vote, depending on the terms of their guardianship. If you are not sure, you should find out. Guardianship terms can be changed if necessary to specifically allow an otherwise eligible person with disabilities who is under guardianship to vote.
  • Polling places should be physically accessible, and have voting mechanisms that are accessible to blind, visually impaired, and physically impaired people. Some disabled people may, if they choose, request a mail-in absentee ballot, but that does not lessen the obligation for polling sites to be accessible.
  • If transportation is an issue, and you want to vote, it’s best to make arrangements well ahead of election day.
  • You may be asked to provide identification at your polling site. A driver’s license, passport, or non-driver ID will suffice.
  • If you have any difficulty voting, or anyone tries to prevent you from voting, call your Board of Elections: Clinton Co. 518-565-4740, Essex Co. 518-873-3474, Franklin Co. 518-481-1663.
Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse of Rutgers University have been studying voting participation among people with disabilities over the last few elections. Their most recent report, looking at 2016 voting, included some key findings:

About 16 million Americans with disabilities voted in 2016.

68.3% of voting age people with disabilities were registered to vote in 2016, compared to 70.6% of non-disabled people, a 2.3% registration gap. 82% of registered disabled voters actually voted, compared with 88% of non-disabled registered voters, a 6% gap in voting participation.

Kruse and Schur found that while voting by disabled people increased from 2008 to 2012, the voting rate for people with disabilities actually went down in 2016.

Friday, July 13, 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 visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:


This week - July 7-13, 2018:

Karen Hitzelberger, Washington Post - July 12, 2018

A disability blogger writes in the Washington Post about why the movement to ban plastic straws is more than just a bad policy for disabled people, but kind of an outrage.

Sarah Levis, The Girl With The Cane - July 3, 2018

Another disability blogger from Canada takes on a deceptively simple topic … people who are openly mean to disabled people in public … and explains how there is more to it than just rudeness.

Reid Davenport, Through My Lens - July 12, 2018

A disabled comedy reflects on what it means as a disabled person to have a “sense of humor” about your disability. Why do we make self-deprecating jokes? Are they social ice-breakers, or self-sabotage? Maybe a little of both.

Friday, July 6, 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 visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:


This week - July 1-6, 2018:

National Council on Independent Living

American Association of People with Disabilities

Two updated guides on national disability issues. They can be helpful for preparing for the upcoming Midterm Election.

Anna Zivartz, Rooted In Rights - July 2, 2018


A personal story of parenting, disability, and acceptance.

Friday, June 29, 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 visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:


This week - June 23-29, 2018:

Callum Borchers, Washington Post - June 21, 2018

Charles Krauthammer, who passed away this June, was a well known political columnist, but his disability was less widely known. The writer of this article says that while he rarely spoke of his disability, his example did not go unnoticed by at least some disabled writers.

Marketplace, National Public Radio - June 22, 2018

A radio series on the economic forces that shape the disability experience.

Ari Ne’eman, Sometimes A Lion - June 25, 2018

The former head of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, (ASAN), discusses how disability issues affect his politics and voting decisions.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Three Links This Week

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

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


This week - June 16-22, 2018:

Gemma Tedrich, NCCI Blog - June 22, 2018

This is the first in a series of monthly guest posts on the NCCI blog. For more information on guest blogging, click here.

Carrie Ann Lucas, Disability3 - June 17, 2018

Discussing the weight of responsibility put on people with disabilities to arrange and justify their own accessibility.

Susan Senator, Psychology Today - June 14, 2018

A parent explores the nature of well-meaning condescension.

Living For The Small Things

Gemma Tedrich
Guest Blogger
My sophomore year of college was when I felt at my lowest. I had gone off my medication after becoming frustrated with the side effects and began drifting away from my friends. I dreaded calling my parents for fear I would upset them if I admitted how bad I felt, and getting to class felt impossible most days. My depression had drawn me into a dark place, and while I was familiar with the ups and downs that came with my mental illness, it felt at times I had nothing significant to keep me going in life. I was isolated from those who might give me support and unsure what I would be able to do with my degree when I got it, or if I would even be able to graduate. Everything felt uncertain and bleak. 
Guest blogging with picture of a white 3 dimensional stick figure holding writing with a giant penI remember sitting in my dorm room and pondering why I kept going. Why was it that I kept fighting through the pain I was feeling when everything felt like an uphill battle? It took me a good deal of thinking to answer this question, but when I did I laughed out loud. When It came right down to it, the reason I was alive was because my favorite web series hadn’t ended yet, and I wanted to see how turned out. 
It sounded ridiculous to admit it to myself, because what was keeping me alive wasn’t some sought after life goal like graduating or the support of someone I cared about. It was something small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It was just a web series. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much the small things in my life had been helping me. When deep in my depression, I couldn’t focus on the bigger picture of life. Yes, I wanted to graduate and get a great job doing somewhere that I loved, but those concepts felt so unreal and far away from me on days when even getting up out of bed or showering felt like an impossible task. But it was easy for me to look forward to show that I liked. It was something to look forward to that wasn’t a distant idea that would happen years from now. Maybe it was small, but it helped me look forward to being alive. 
The web series finally ended, but by then I had already made a short list of little things I was look forward to. There was a video game coming out in a couple of months that I really wanted to try, a local band was playing a show next week that I really wanted to see, the dining hall was having my favorite dish tomorrow and I couldn’t miss out on that. They were all small things, but they kept me going while I figured out what I needed to do to feel better. 
Eventually I told my parents what was going on. I started up on a new set of medication and realized that therapy was an important part of dealing with my depression. As I began to feel better I began to hang out with my friends more, and no longer being isolated helped my mood greatly. But I wouldn’t have gotten that far without those small things I looked forward to. It doesn’t matter how small it may be, or how ridiculous it may sound, if you have little things that you look forward to, make a list of them. They can help get you through tough times and make your day a bit better.

Gemma Tendrich is currently a student and SUNY Plattsburgh where she studies Writing Arts and Literature. Originally from New Jersey, Gemma now calls Plattsburgh New York home. She has experience living with depression and anxiety as well as a learning disability and tries to incorporate aspects of these experiences into what she writes.

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This is the first guest blog in what will be a monthly series. 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.