Disabilities

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

An 80-year-old New Hampshire legislator with a lung problem has been told not to bring his portable oxygen concentrator with him to the Statehouse.

The Valley News reports Rep. Ernie Bridge, a Republican from Unity, says he's required to be on a concentrator 24 hours a day after suffering a small "leak" in his lung in January.

Bridge says the House's sergeant-at-arms told him that the tank couldn't accompany him to his assigned seat because it could block the emergency route for other legislators.

Jack Rodolico

Lexi Gerkin is 14 years old. She has a number of complex disabilities and medical conditions, and she’s been without nursing for four months. And Lexi’s mother, Audrey Gerkin, is hopeful that higher pay rates for pediatric nurses will make it easier to find in-home care for her daughter.

Jack Rodolico

There is this monthly meeting that is typically as bureaucratic as it sounds: the Governor’s Commission on Medicaid Care Management. But last month, things were different. A group of mothers were there to testify with their children in tow. 

After months of scrutiny for abuse and neglect, this residential facility for people with brain injuries and developmental disabilities closed. We're following up on an investigation by NHPR and the radio program Reveal about the history of the center, its connections to similar facilities nationwide - and what this means for a vulnerable population.

 

This program was originally broadcast on 11/18/15.

Guests:

Special Broadcast: An NHPR and Reveal Investigation

Nov 11, 2015
Anna Vignet for Reveal

We're broadcasting this month's episode of Reveal, an investigative news program from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

You can hear the episode and read the accompanying story right here,

 

The federal government has denied Concord's request to use a modified wheelchair icon intended to empower and welcome people with disabilities.

The Accessible Icon Project began in 2010 in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a guerrilla art campaign. The wheelchair user depicted in the icon leans forward instead of straight up.

Concord sent a letter to the Federal Highway Administration in August asking permission to use the symbol on Main Street. The city received a $4.71 million grant for a Main Street project from the federal agency and needed their approval.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Another longtime New Hampshire advocate for people with disabilities is retiring. The Crotched Mountain Foundation announced Friday CEO and President Donald Shumway would step down early next year. In a statement, he said "After decades of focusing on all families, it is long overdue that I focus on being present in the lives of those I love."

H.A. Kimball

The way New Hampshire cares for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities has changed dramatically over the past 200 years.

The shifts in approach have been urged on by advances in drugs and science, legislative mandate, budget cuts, and the force of media and popular culture.

Just 25 years ago, New Hampshire was a national leader in caring for people with mental and physical disabilities. Today, the state ranks closer to the bottom, and New Hampshire is in the middle of a period of dramatic change.

Jacob Carozza/NHPR

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Governor Hassan is honoring New Hampshire residents who have improved the lives of disabled people in the state. The annual Governor's Accessibility Awards were given out at a Statehouse ceremony on Tuesday.

iamhenry / Flickr CC

Despite being the widest-ranging and most comprehensive piece of civil rights legislation in American history, the Americans with Disabilities Act doesn't enjoy the same historical treatment as other, better known civil rights landmarks. We speak with author Lennard J. Davis who has chronicled the surprising and compelling history of the law in his new book, Enabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest U.S. Minority its Rights.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

If a bakery does its work right, there will be something for every customer. Katie Johnson, the owner of From Scratch Baking Company in Wolfeboro, shows off her offerings: cases of peanut butter brownies, red velvet cupcakes, and salted chocolate cookies. 

Brady Carlson / NHPR.

Governor Maggie Hassan has signed into law a measure banning employers, in most cases, from paying workers with disabilities at a rate lower than the minimum wage.

Decades ago sub-minimum wages were considered a way to help individuals with disabilities find work. But advocates say those wages have been used to exploit workers instead.

Ze-ev Barkan via Flickr CC

New Hampshire will likely become the first state to repeal laws allowing employers to pay workers with disabilities at a rate lower than the minimum wage.

The bill passed this week by the House not only does away with a provision allowing employers to pay people with disabilities below minimum wage in most circumstances, but it also bans so-called sheltered workshops.  That’s when an organization sets up a workplace aimed at people with disabilities.

Jamie Gemmiti / Conway Daily Sun

The state has long worked to support people with disabilities in the least restrictive ways as possible, preferably right at home. But a small group still end up in institutions. Now though, one of these facilities is getting a hard look after reports of abuse.  We’ll discuss this system overall and where more oversight might be needed.

GUESTS:

Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center, Effingham, NH.

A new state report documents systemic neglect and abuse at a residential facility for people with disabilities in Effingham.

Now the state will determine if the facility can keep its doors open. But the state may simply be ill-equipped to stop these kinds of problems before they happen.

Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center, Effingham.

A report due out Monday could determine the future of a facility for people with disabilities. But some advocates are already concerned about how that report was written.

In September, the Disability Rights Center alleged the death of one resident at Lakeview Neurorehabilition Center in Effingham was indicative of a wide pattern of neglect, abuse and isolation.

"There were pervasive problems with clients not being appropriately monitored, clients being injured," says Karen Rosenberg. "Yet the [Department of Health and Human Services] took no action."

James Brady passed away earlier this week.

The former White House Press Secretary was also Vice Chair of the National Brain Injury Association. He came to NH for a technology expo focusing on new technology for people living with disabilities in 1995, not long after that he spoke with NHPR’s Laura Kiernan on our Perspectives program.

courtesy of Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics

 

For amputees who use prosthetic limbs, winter weather can pose a range of challenges.

Gun Store / Flickr Creative Commons

A new bill would prohibit gun sales to some with mental illness. Supporters say it’s a common sense public safety measure. But there has been fierce opposition from some gun-rights groups, and from advocates who say the mentally ill are being unfairly singled out and are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence.

GUESTS:

Milestone Management / Flickr

The Granite United Way's 2-1-1 New Hampshire service is a directory assistance of services available in the state. It puts those in need in touch with the services that can help.

Cassie called 2-1-1 for help with disability rights when she ran into trouble with her housing arrangement. Her landlord had issued an eviction notice after she acquired a dog, because her lease forbids pets from the building. But Cassie's dog isn't a pet; she's a psychiatric service dog that provided therapeutic assistance.

Franz Nicolay

Brianna Hammon was in the second grade when she was first restrained and secluded, strapped into a bolted down chair, in a segregated classroom for physically disabled students.  Now in her late twenties, Brianna told her story with the help of a speech-generating device at the 2012 TASH Summit in Long Beach, California – one of five testimonies that were recorded for the new film “Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories”.  The film’s director is Dan Habib - former photo editor for the Concord Monitor, now filmmaker-in-residence at the institute on disability at the University of New Hampshire. 

Granite United Way's 2-1-1 Connects People and Services

Apr 27, 2013
Milestone Management / Flickr

The Granite United Way's 2-1-1 New Hampshire service is a directory assistance of services available in the state. It puts those in need in touch with the services that can help.

Cassie called 2-1-1 for help with disability rights when she ran into trouble with her housing arrangement. Her landlord had issued an eviction notice after she acquired a dog, because her lease forbids pets from the building. But Cassie's dog isn't a pet; she's a psychiatric service dog that provided therapeutic assistance.

Scrumshus via Wikimedia Commons

This week the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRDP) was narrowly rejected on the Senate floor.  The treaty, negotiated during the Bush administration, has already been ratified by126 other nations—including China, Russia, and Iran. 


Courtesy Photo

News Update at 2:54 p.m. Wed. May 9:  The Executive Council has passed a $2.3 billion contract that will overhaul the state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid Managed care could significantly shake up service for some 140,000 N.H. residents. HHS officials believe this reform is critical. More details to follow on this evening's All Things Considered.

Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a sprawling facility of offices, residential buildings and therapy rooms set between a noisy boulevard and a golf course.

Some 400 people with developmental disabilities live at Fairview. And while minor scratches and bruises are not uncommon for these patients, over the years, the center has seen scores of serious injuries and even deaths.

Fairview is one of five state-run developmental centers in California — homes for people with developmental disabilities who are unable to care for themselves.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/fastlizard4/5391914387/in/photostream/" target=:blank">FastLizard4</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

Fascinating article from Popular Science today on an effort to use lasers to build a hearing system more accurate and expansive than the cochlear implant. The infrared lasers would more accurately stimulate the nerves in the ear, meaning a fuller, clearer perception of sound. 

The Here's What's Awesome mailbox is full of interesting pieces on wheelchair technology these days, starting with the Action Trackchair. It's an off-road wheelchair with treads - treads! - capable of negotiating sand, snow, and hiking trails. And, as the company's promo video points out, you can have it painted in camouflage colors for serious action.