Jewish Disability Awareness Month Wrap Up
Though the calendar (and my still-perfect bracket) means that it’s March, the weather here in Washington is much closer to May. Either way, February, Jewish Disability Awareness Month, has again come to a close. Here at the RAC we helped put together a briefing for congressional staff on the future of Medicaid and its importance for people with disabilities. We wrote about the intersection of transportation and people with disabilities and reflected on what our Jewish tradition has to say on the subject. We also published some new resources to accompany our ones, all of which are available here.
Jewish Disability Awareness Month offers us all an opportunity to reflect upon how we, both as individuals and as a Jewish community, can work to better meet the needs of people with disabilities. Whether in supporting programs like Medicaid that provide critical services such as long-term care, or in helping our congregations become more welcoming places for people with disabilities, JDAM offers a period of earnest reflection in a key area.
Yet the rights and needs of people with disabilities demand more than just a simple month’s discussion. Students and children with disabilities are especially vulnerable. For example, a new study has found that in schools across the country, 70 percent of the students who are strapped down or otherwise physically restrained each year are students with disabilities. Currently, there are no federal minimum standards governing the use of seclusion and restraints to protect all students, especially those with disabilities. But a solution is out there, and it is on these kinds of issues and legislation that our voices are needed.
We at the RAC will continue to work for the rights of people with disabilities—no matter what month it is. Join us today!