Free Webinar on Statistics of Disability

Parents, Grandparents, Guardians,

If you want to know how things are going in the world of disability in the US, this is your chance to get the latest and greatest of reports.  Cornell University has been in our corner for years, and after intensive research, surveys, etc., there is a new report on disability status coming out and you can get your copy.  This is their entire announcement.  Read on!
\\”Disability Status Report
Free Webinar  – Register now!

Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute (EDI) will host a free online webinar on April 1 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT to present the findings of the 2012 Disability Status Report.  This presentation will explore the Census Bureau’s December 2013 release of data from the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) related to disability and employment, education, poverty, household income and labor earnings.

WHO: Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute
WHAT: Free Online Webinar on Disability Statistics
WHEN: Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT
WHY: Cornell University researchers will present the latest information and issues associated with disability statistics and the circumstances that people with disabilities face.
WHERE: To register online for this free webinar, please go to: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/index.cfm?event=4794

Cornell research found that in 2012, 33.5 percent of working-age (21-64) people with disabilities were employed, compared with the 76.3 percent of people without disabilities. Moreover, researchers found that 28.4 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities lived in poverty, compared to 12.4 percent of those without disabilities. These dramatic discrepancies are longstanding and continue to separate Americans with disabilities from their peers without disabilities. The relevance of these statistics to the process of developing and maintaining policies that relate to people with disabilities in the United States cannot be overstated.

Event will be captioned for people with hearing impairments.

The Cornell University Disability Status Reports is produced and funded by the Employment and Disability Institute at the Cornell University ILR School. This effort originated as a product of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Demographics and Statistics (StatsRRTC) funded to the Employment and Disability Institute in the ILR School at Cornell University by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (grant No. H133B031111).”

Why should we be concerned with the statistics about disability?  Because our place, our child’s place, is within those numbers.  They help explain why things are as they are and sometimes they point the way to solutions.   We don’t like to know that our children face 76.3% risk of unemployment due to disability, but if we know that, we also know that we MUST advocate ferociously for schools to meet our children’s education and vocational needs.  The only “default” for adults with no employment skills is unemployment and poverty; statistics like these light our fire!

Casualties

Disabilities come in all flavors and sizes, enter our lives at different times of life, and always leave a bitter taste in our mouths.  There is little good anyone can find in any disability, especially if the disability is severe.  As parents we have to find ways to cope with our new understandings of life.

1.  That we are not as much in control as we thought.  We don’t control the boy/girl gender of our offspring, and that’s not just at birth.  it includes when they tell us they have gender identity disorder and want to transgender.

2.  Still no control when we find the strategies that work for others don’t work for us.  Every case is unique, so what works for others may bring us hope but it may not bring the success we hoped for.  Enter the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

3.  No control exists when our children discover they are not us and they start deciding things for themselves–and not the way we would have decided at all.  In fact, they’re self-destructing and there’s nothing we can do about it.  Sometimes all we can do is step back and let consequences teach what we could not.

4.  And less control when society steps in and offers its critique of our parenting skills, the quality of our work (the success or non-success of our child), and the perceived social value of the individual who has the disability.  Social critique is often worth the paper its written on, and don’t forget that.  No paper?  That’s exactly what I mean.  You do the work and something must result.  Society can praise or critique all it wants, but until it steps in and helps us, it doesn’t get the right to shred us if the results aren’t stellar.

It probably isn’t possible to measure the full impact of one individual’s disability.  It affects the individual and everyone who knows him.  When Office for Civil Rights says that bullying studies show 50% of the targets of bullying are people with disabilities, that’s a damning statement.  It’s not saying we eat our young, but it’s uncomfortably close to that.  We’re raising a generation that contains far too many members who feel it’s okay to demean and hurt others, and too many adults sit around and watch saying “Boys will be boys.”  Sorry folks, the last time I checked, being boys did not automatically include being bullies.  The best boys will not be bullies, and guess what–girls bully too.  Their bullying is more likely to be the mentally and emotionally abusive behavior.  If it’s your child people say is the bully, you are your child’s best hope for a better future if you don’t allow the child to dominate you, too.

What did that paragraph just say?  That disabilities present too tempting a target for bullies to ignore and that no bullying behavior is “normal” enough to ignore.  The remedy is control.  Our schools and our families must find ways to teach discipline to both the bullies and the victims, disabled or not.  If we engage that challenge, we may someday have control over something that today is raging out of control.

So there is your challenge.  If your child’s disability involves impulsivity and your child is aggressive enough to be considered a bully, your challenge is to teach your child different perceptions and strength of character so he or she doesn’t feel a need to behave in bullying ways.  If your child is being bullied, you need to find ways to boost self-esteem and social skills so bullies don’t think at first glance that here is a handy target, let’s go play with it.  Just in the way one walks, others can tell if we feel confident or not, and confidence radiates strength unattractive to bullies.

Our own future lies in how we teach our children to be themselves and how to be with others successfully.  Schools are developing anti-bullying measures, programs, etc.  But until we recognize bullying in all its forms, we can’t get rid of it.  I have an idea that the definition of bullying should include “any behavior that makes another feel intimidated, smaller, less valuable, or less capable.”  That would include both physical and verbal interactions.  Find what works, whether your child is the bully or the bullied, and at least two futures will be better due to your intervention.

Here are two resources for dealing with bullying.

PACER National Bullying Center  http://www.pacer.org/bullying

Anti-Bullying information collection  http://www.eyesonbullying.org/websites.html