Often the barrier to medical care isn’t the disability but a health system poorly equipped to handle it: a lack of transportation, accessible medical equipment and safe methods of transfer. These structural problems can be compounded by cultural ones: stigma, communication challenges and inadequate training for clinicians and staff. Read the full article in the New York Times.

ALBANY - New York's highest court rejected the argument Thursday that mentally competent, terminally ill patients have a constitutional right to physician-assisted suicide, upholding lower court rulings. Read full article in the New York Law Journal.

Paulina Ruiz, 26, is a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) permit. She also has cerebral palsy. Read the full story by Fernando Hurtado on Circa.org.

Houston: A Holocaust survivor waded waist-deep in flood water. Dozens of people were trapped in a 14-story residence for seniors. Adisabled man sat alone at home, without the aide who usually helps him, watching the water rise and unsure if anyone would come...read more from the New York Times...

Recognizing lifelong achievements of peers who have made a positive impact on people with disabilities

The New York State Independent Living Council, Inc. (NYSILC) is proud to announce the creation of the NYS Disability Rights Hall of Fame.

NYSILC will induct up to 5 peers who have made achievements in the area(s) of improving public policy and programs/services, advancing new knowledge and/or concepts, eliminating barriers, and promoting a positive image for people with disabilities.  In October, look for details about the inductee nomination process.

Join us for the 1st Annual NYS Disability Rights Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony and Dinner on April 26, 2018 from 5:30-8:30pm at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, NY.  Enjoy delicious fare and the company of friends while you celebrate the accomplishments of the very first inductees!

Proceeds from the event will help to sustain the awards ceremony and dinner in the future, and will also support both the Pat Figueroa Jr. Young Adult Scholarships and the Leadership Development and Civic Engagement Program (LDCEP).

Details about the Disability Rights Hall of Fame and how to buy tickets will be available soon on the NYSILC website.

New York State Independent Living Center (NYSILC)

111 Washington Avenue ∙ Albany, NY 12210

www.nysilc.org ∙ (518) 427-1060

Click HERE to donate. 

Greetings, Friends:
Thanks to you, Portlight Strategies and the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies Hurricane Harvey Disability Hotline have been able to offer emergency assistance to hundreds of people with disabilities since late last week. 

We have been working closely with the Houston Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, disability organizations, TX state government, the FEMA Regional Disability Integration Specialist and Partnership member organizations from across the country. Portlight has also joined forces with the Cajun Navy to optimize our shared commitment to rescuing people and with Trach Mommas to begin the process of getting disability supplies to people who need them to maintain their health and independence. We are also partnering with Anthem, and appreciate their generous assistance for our hotline and disaster relief efforts. 

Weather reports indicate that hurricane Harvey is heading back into the gulf, gathering additional strength, and returning to batter the coast again, with even more catastrophic flooding stretching across Texas and into Louisiana. Prolonged heavy rain is forecasted for the flooded areas for another three days, with as much as 50" accumulation in many areas . The National Weather Service tweeted that “this event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced” even before today's updated forecast.

Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies Hurricane Harvey Disability Hotline (800) 626-4959 has received hundreds of urgent requests for assistance for people with disabilities and older adults. We are preparing for the magnitude of requests for assistance to grow as people with disabilities and their families begin to rebuild their lives. We are rallying stakeholders on a daily basis, working together to help get people to safety, provide for any immediate needs they may have for disability related accommodations, durable medical equipment and other assistive technology, responding to evacuation and sheltering issues and problem-solving for a variety of immediate disability accessibility issues. 

Portlight Strategies and the Partnership are providing technical assistance and guidance to prevent disaster survivors from being turned away from shelters, denied sign language interpreters, denied their civil rights, inappropriate institutionalization and experiencing many of the same issues as in past disasters. 

WE NEED YOUR HELP!! We hope you'll consider supporting Portlight and the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies Hurricane Harvey Disability Hotline. Please share this email with friends and family who may also want to help.

The days ahead will require a tremendous effort to support children and adults with disabilities to maintain their health and independence. Portlight has been leading disability inclusive disaster response and recovery initiatives for many years and we are more capable than ever before to make a real difference for disaster survivors with disabilities. 
Your support directly helps disaster survivors calling our hotline for disability related urgent assistance. Nothing we do is possible without you, and as always, we're eternally grateful for your continued support!!!

Thank you. 
Portlight Strategies