Disability Minute Segment Archive

Produced by people with disabilities at Chicago Lighthouse Media and airing on WBBM Newsradio 105.9 FM.

 

Air Date: November 28, 2021

Sensory Friendly Clothing


Finding the right clothing can make you feel confident and comfortable. I’m Ben Chargot with the Disability Minute.

For people with Sensory Processing Disorders, clothing can be uncomfortable, distracting, and intolerable. Chicago entrepreneur Dina Lewis, who makes a line of sensory safe clothing for kids called Minor Details, says she looks to eliminate features that may be triggering.

“The fabric has to be extremely soft. What we do is we made our neck lines wide enough that they easily go over heads. We eliminated tags completely. Our seams are as flat a seam as you can get, which is a huge trigger for a lot of kids.”

The result is clothing that is fashionable, sensory friendly, and something they want to wear. In addition, adaptive clothing promotes independence and self- esteem.

Produced by people with disabilities at the Chicago Lighthouse. Ben Chargot for NewsRadio 1059 WBBM.

For more information, click here.

 

Air Date: November 21, 2021

Family Gatherings: finding comfort for people with sensory disabilities

Holiday gatherings can be stressful for people with sensory processing disorders. How can you make your guests feel more comfortable? I’m Maureen Reid with “The Disability minute”

Sensory disabilities, such as Autism, occur when a person has difficulty processing sensory information. For some, large gatherings can mean an overwhelming number of stimuli, leading to possible outbursts.

Deborah Vance from The Answer Incorporated, an autism support agency, made this recommendation. “The first thing I would suggest is for the parent that has a child that is living with Autism to have a conversation with the family members as it relates to their child’s triggers, some of the things that they like and dislike.”.

It also helps to plan ahead. Provide familiar activities and food that might put them at ease. Also, consider having a quiet room or area where guests can regroup without judgment.

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. Maureen Reid for NewsRadio 1059 WBBM.

For more information, click here.

 

Air Date: November 14, 2021

A Break from Student Loans for People with Disabilities

People with disabilities who are burdened with student debt may soon be getting some relief. I’m Maureen Reid with “The Disability Minute.”

In August, the U.S. Department of Education announced it would discharge more than 5-point-8 BILLION dollars in federal student loans for people who have been recognized as having a “total and permanent disability” The Department will use Social Security Administration data to determine relief.

“If you have a review period of once every five to seven years; that will trigger for the Department of Education, that you are entitled to now an automatic discharge of your outstanding Federal student loans under the total and permanent disability program.” That’s Alex Elson with the National Student Legal Defense Network.

Wondering if you qualify? The Department of Education will be informing people whether their loans were discharged in the coming weeks.

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. Maureen Reid for NewsRadio 1059 WBBM.

For more information, click here. 

 

Air Date: November 7, 2021

Veterans Return to Civilian Life

Transitioning to civilian life can be challenging for all Veterans, especially for those who may have acquired a disability. I’m Sandy Murillo with “The Disability Minute.”

For Veterans with disabilities, returning home can be difficult. Many parts of their pre-service life may now be inaccessible, and friends and families may be uncomfortable or even unaccepting.

“They may have to adjust to coping with that disability day in and day out.” That’s Catherine Cornell, Attorney with The Veterans Practice, Limited.

For Veterans with disabilities who are struggling with the transition to civilian life, there are resources available. One such option is Illinois Joining Forces, which connects Veterans with local assistance organizations. Their phone number is 8-3-3-INFO-I-J-F.

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. Sandy Murillo for NewsRadio 1059 WBBM.

For more information click here. & here.

 

Air Date: October 31, 2021

Born for Business 

People with disabilities are often over looked in the job market, and start their own businesses instead. I’m Ben Chargot with the disability minute.

People with disabilities are drawn to entrepreneurship because they often can’t find opportunities in traditional work environments, either because of false perceptions or a lack of understanding by potential employers. Jonathan Murray is the producer of The Real World, Born This Way, and most recently, Born for Business, a program currently streaming on Peacock showcasing four entrepreneurs with disabilities.

Murray says these individuals see their business as a way to be included in society.

“They want to participate fully. They want to participate in employment and in their communities. They don’t want someone to just hand them a check.”

Produced by people with disabilities at the Chicago Lighthouse. Ben Chargot for news radio 1059 WBBM.

For more information click here.

 

Air Date: October 24, 2021

Scary, Wacky or Quirky: Adaptive Halloween Costumes

Halloween is fast approaching. Where can people with disabilities find inclusive and accessible costumes? I’m Ben Chargot with The Disability Minute.

Not everyone with a disability needs or wants a specialized Halloween costume, but for those that do, the options are increasing. Adaptive costumes are created with features like opened backs to simplify getting dressed for people with limited mobility, hidden pockets and access ports for medical equipment, and designs that incorporate devices like wheelchairs and canes.

In addition, major retailers like Target and Party City have these costumes readily available, so kids and parents don’t have to stress about finding them. As Target’s chief design officer Julie Guggemos said in a company blog post: “Everyone deserves to feel included and celebrated.”

Produced by people with disabilities at the Chicago Lighthouse, Ben Chargot for News Radio 1059 WBBM.

For more information click here. 

 

Air Date: October 17, 2021
Equal Pay for People with Disabilities

Illinois recently took a major step forward in closing the wage gap for workers with disabilities. What happened and why is this important? I’m Sandy Murillo with “The Disability Minute.”

A federal law dating back to the 1930s allows companies to pay employees with disabilities wages well below the minimum wage. As a result, people with disabilities on average earn 87-cents for every dollar earned by those without disabilities.

On October fourth, Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker signed an executive order barring vendors doing business with the state from paying employees with disabilities sub-minimum wages. The order applies to new and existing contracts.

Governor Pritzker said this is the right thing to do. “People with disabilities deserve equal treatment with others who are working.”

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. Sandy Murillo for NewsRadio 1059 WBBM.

To listen to the full interview with Governor J.B. Pritzker, click here.

 

Air Date: October 10, 2021
Respite Care Services

It often goes unsaid that providing round-the-clock care for someone with a disability can be physically and emotionally draining. For caregivers who feel overwhelmed, there are resources available. I’m Sandy Murillo with “The Disability Minute.”

Respite care helps caregivers take a break, care for themselves, and emotionally recharge. Often publicly subsidized, respite care can take many forms, ranging from in-home care and specialized day programs, to overnight camps.

“The benefit of getting out of the home is important,” says Maggie Lyons from the Illinois Respite Coalition. “Individuals that are caring for someone don’t really realize how stressed they are. You don’t think you need to reach out to anybody.”

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. Sandy Murillo for NewsRadio 780 and 105.9FM.

For more information click here.

 

Air Date: October 3, 2021
The Benefits of Inclusive Employment

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Why should companies hire people with disabilities? I’m Maureen Reid with “The Disability Minute.”

As a job counselor with The Chicago Lighthouse, I help people with disabilities find employment. Even when they have advanced degrees or extensive vocational training, many clients have difficulty landing a job in their field. Employers may be concerned about the cost of providing accommodations or worry about a possible disruption to the workplace. However, quantitative studies and anecdotal evidence show that including staff with disabilities has both practical and emotional benefits.

“Employees with disabilities, we find, are innovators. They’re creative, out-of-the-box thinkers.” Dawn Rose is the Director of Planning and Human Capital at Northwestern Medicine. “We also know employees with disabilities are really dedicated and committed to reliably working in their roles.”

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. I’m Maureen Reid for NewsRadio 780 and 105.9 FM.

For more information click here.

 

Air Date: September 26, 2021
Mitigating Diabetes’s Disabling Effects

Type-2 Diabetes is a growing health concern in the U.S., and its long-term effects can lead to several disabling conditions. But there are ways to prevent this disease and its effects. I’m Sandy Murillo with “The Disability Minute.”

According to the CDC, one in three adults are at risk for diabetes, especially those who are overweight, or have a family history of the disease. For those at-risk, Lucia Flores, of the Illinois Public Health Institute, offers these tips.

“Eating raw, whole fruits. Drinking more water. In terms of incorporating physical activity, the recommendations are 30 minutes five days a week.”

Resources like Chicago CARES to Prevent Diabetes offer additional information that can help prevent and manage diabetes.

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. Sandy Murillo for NewsRadio 780 and 105.9 FM.

For more information click here.

 

Air Date: September 19, 2021
Making Convenience Accessible

More industries are relying on self-service technology, so what can be done to make sure everyone can serve themselves? I’m Ben Chargot with the disability minute.

Self-checkouts in grocery stores and touch-screen fast-food ordering kiosks make the retail experience more convenient – and faster – for many consumers. But many of these options are neither accessible nor intuitive for people with visual impairments.

Integrated screen readers can provide audio guides for touch screens. According to Ray Campbell, Senior Accessibility Analyst for United Airlines, one way to encourage businesses to incorporate this technology is by acknowledging those that already do.

“We complain enough, and I think it’s just as important that we also commend those that are doing the right thing. I think it’s important that not only do we commend companies for doing that, but that we use those things.”

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. Ben Chargot for NewsRadio 1059 WBBM.

 

Air Date: September 12, 2021
Long-Haul COVID Relief Under the A.D.A.

Recently, President Biden indicated that people living with long-term health complications from COVID may be entitled to protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Why? And what may qualify? I’m Maureen Reid with “The Disability Minute.”

While contracting COVID itself does not qualify for protections under the ADA, those who have “long-haul COVID” symptoms such as Brain Fog and difficulty breathing may ask for certain accommodations.

A student who has difficulty concentrating may ask for extended test times. Or, a customer who has difficulty standing for long periods of times may request that a place be held in line while they sit.

Wondering if you qualify? The civil rights divisions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice are offering guidance on their websites.

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. I’m Maureen Reid for NewsRadio 780 and 105.9FM.

For more information click here.

 

Air Date: September 5, 2021
CPS’s IEP Backlog Leaves Students with Disabilities Hanging

Chicago Public Schools has resumed full-time, in-person instruction for the first time in more than a year. How has this long break affected children with special needs? I’m Sandy Murillo with “The Disability Minute.”

According to Chalkbeat.org, more than 17-hundred C-P-S students with special needs could not get their Individualized Education Programs reissued during the last school year. Those programs are legal documents guaranteeing resources and supports. Amanda Klemas, an attorney with Equip for Equality, says the district should create a plan to ensure these students get the services they need.

“We’re sort of leaving our most-vulnerable students hanging, and so we need to figure out a way to correct that so that they’re not put at a major disadvantage as they’re continuing to move through their education.”

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. Sandy Murillo for Newsradio 1059 WBBM.

For more information, click here.

 

Air Date: August 29, 2021
Media Representation Matters

How does media representation impact the perception of people with disabilities? I’m Ben Chargot with “The Disability Minute.”

The way people with disabilities are portrayed on screen can either support negative stereotypes or debunk them. A 2018 study evaluating 280 network and streaming television shows found disability “almost always portrayed as an undesirable, depressing and limiting state.”

“Most people in the world don’t know any blind people, and so these representations on tv and the movies are often many people’s only encounter and engagement with disability.” That’s Andrew Leland, who has published several articles on the topic.

There may be some progress. Earlier this year, 80 Hollywood stars and industry figures signed an open letter calling for disability representation in all forms of media.

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. Ben Chargot for NewsRadio 780 and 105.9 FM.

 

Air Date: August 22, 2021
Is working from home a reasonable accommodation?

Like others, people with disabilities have benefitted from working remotely during the pandemic.  Whether they can continue to do so is not guaranteed. I’m Sandy Murillo with “The Disability Minute.”

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace. While there is no concrete definition of what that means, Peter Berg, of the Great Lakes ADA Center, says accommodations must be directly related to job duties and performance.

“They’re not obligated to provide the specific accommodation an employee requests. Nor are they required to provide what amounts to a preference.”

“An employee with a disability may prefer to work from home because they like it, but that’s not the basis for an accommodation.”

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. I’m Sandy Murillo for NewsRadio 780 and 105.9 FM.

For more information, click here.

 

Air Date: August 15, 2021
Don’t call me inspirational

Have you ever wondered if you’re saying the wrong thing? I’m Maureen Reid with “The Disability Minute.”

Let’s face it, language is confusing. Meanings change, and what may have been acceptable once may be out of favor now. On top of that, preferred terms often differ from person to person.

For example, as someone who is blind, I don’t like being called inspirational because I take the bus to work. Life with a disability is my normal. Being someone’s inspiration makes me feel like they have lower expectations because of my disability, even if they mean well.

Others, however, may not mind “inspirational.” In most cases, it comes down to personal preference.

So, how can you know what language to use around people with disabilities? In my experience, it always helps to ask.

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. I’m Maureen Reid for NewsRadio 780 and 105.9 FM.

 

Air Date: August 8, 2021
Clinical Trial shaping the future of vision technology

How are three local organizations continuing Chicago’s spirit of innovation to help people with disabilities? I’m Maureen Reid with The Disability Minute.

The Chicago Lighthouse, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and Rush ​University Medical Center have launched a clinical trial that may help people who are completely blind regain some light perception. The Intracortical Visual Prosthesis, or ICVP, is a group of wireless implants that are approximately the size of a pencil eraser that connect directly to the brain’s visual cortex.

The ICVP will not restore normal vision, but it is a step in that direction. Principal Investigator Dr. Philip Troyk likens trial participants to John Glenn paving the way for Neil Armstrong. “Much like the astronauts, the experiences that they tell us will help us shape the technology for future recipients and future systems.”

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. I’m Maureen Reid for NewsRadio 780 and 105.9 FM.

For more information, click here.

 

Air Date: August 1, 2021
Accessibility Rocks!

With music festivals across Chicago back on the calendar, how can attendees with disabilities get the most out of their experience? I’m Ben Chargot with “The Disability Minute.”

To start things off right, most big festivals like Lollapalooza, Riot Fest, and Pitchfork have designated drop-off and pick-up areas for people with disabilities and entrances that are less crowded or allow early entry.

Once you’re inside, staff at access and information booths can answer questions, provide assistance, and hook you up with a wristband to enter accessible viewing areas.

Space in these viewing areas is limited, so you’ll want to arrive early. Sign Language interpreters will also be available at most stages, but it is unclear whether they can interpret mumblecore. Enjoy the show!

Produced by people with disabilities at The Chicago Lighthouse. I’m Ben Chargot for NewsRadio 780 and 105.9 FM.

For more information, click here.


For more information, please contact:
Angela D’Antonio
(312)447-3246
angela.dantonio@chicagolighthouse.org

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