Americans with Disabilities

Kalim Bhatti / The Philadelphia Inquirer

Eight years ago, as the state was still recovering from the fallout of a severe economic recession, lawmakers in Harrisburg cut $84 million that counties used to fund programs for people with intellectual disabilities, mental health challenges, and other needs.

PA Internet News Service

By the end of 2016, Pennsylvanians should be able to set aside money in tax-exempt savings accounts to spend on the wide range of expenses brought on by disabilities.

The new Pennsylvania Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, also called ABLE, allows family members to contribute up to $14,000 total per year into an “ABLE account,” which is modeled after the Section 529 accounts that parents can use to set aside pre-tax savings for their children’s college bills.

ICAN Talk Clinic Provides Services For Those Without Speech

Jul 28, 2015
Brad Flickinger / flickr

Minimally verbal and non-verbal individuals with disabilities are especially vulnerable to barriers to all sorts of basic services because they can't talk and advocate for themselves. The ICAN Talk Clinic in downtown Pittsburgh specializes in serving this population. We'll look at their work with Speech-Language Pathologist Evelyn Meinert and Dr. Katya Hill, Director of the ICAN Talk Clinic.

The Americans with Disabilities Act marks its 25th anniversary this month, and a Pennsylvania lawmaker says a bill of rights for those with disabilities is “long overdue.”

Legislation filed by State Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery, Philadelphia) would institute a bill of rights, promising people with disabilities the necessary support to live as independently and actively within their communities as possible, including making their own decisions on living arrangements and other support services.

Rebecca Devereaux / 90.5 WESA

Josie Badger says people with disabilities have significant roles to play for next generation by being active participants in society and role models for other with disabilities. Josie, along with three other panelists, participated in a live forum hosted by 90.5 WESA and Essential Pittsburgh in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Increasing Accessibility Through the Arts

Jul 15, 2015
David Wilson / flickr

Our special look at the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act concludes with a discussion of accessibility to the arts for individuals with disabilities. Earlier this year the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, for the second year in a row, received an NEA Arts Works Grant. The support provided by the NEA is helping to fund and increasing accessibility to the arts for people with disabilities. Here to tell us more about the initiative is Anne Mulgrave, manager of grants and accessibility for the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

Join us this evening beginning at 7 p.m. on 90.5 WESA for a live community forum on our city and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Improving Life For People With Disabilities

Jul 15, 2015
HERL / University of Pittsburgh

The Human Engineering Research Laboratories, also known as HERL, is located on the University of Pittsburgh campus is working to improve the lives of people with disabilities. What innovative designs and concepts are in the works? HERL Director Rory Cooper shares some of the technology they have in the works.

Join us this evening beginning at 7 p.m. on 90.5 WESA for a live community forum on our city and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Senator Tom Harkin Reflects on the ADA, 25 Years Later

Jul 15, 2015
LCCR & LCCREF / flickr

The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted by the U.S. Congress 25 years ago this month. Former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin authored what became the final ADA Bill and was its chief sponsor in the Senate, He joins us to discuss what led up to the passage of the ADA, how the law has changed life for people with disabilities, and what more needs to be done.

Join us this evening beginning at 7 p.m. on 90.5 WESA for a live community forum on our city and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Jul 15, 2015
Max Barners / flickr

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1990.  Today's Essential Pittsburgh explores the progress the country has made and what still remains to be accomplished. We'll hear from from those who continue to work on policy, advocate for equal rights and create technology to assist people with disabilities. 

Life Before the ADA

  From parking lots to street corners to access ramps, accommodations for people with disabilities are an everyday part of our lives. However, it wasn’t that long ago when these devices were first taken into consideration. Joining us for a look at what life was like before passage of the ADA is associate dean at Pitt's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Katherine Seelman and Jeff Parker, who along with Ms. Seelman is a member of the city/county task force on disabilities.