Every December 3, we celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a day set aside by the United Nations for us to support the equality, dignity, and participation of individuals with disabilities across society. This year, the theme is “Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The Role of Innovation in Fueling an Accessible and Equitable World” and is centered around employment, sports, and reducing inequality.
According to the World Health Organization, a disability is defined as an “interaction between a health condition and personal/environmental factors which causes challenges and barriers for a person’s ability to be included in society on an equal basis.” Persons with disabilities may require accessibility in public places, such as ramps, affordable healthcare, and specialized transportation. It is estimated that over 15% of the population has some type of disability.
At Feinberg & Waller, APC, we support diversity, inclusion, and the complete integration of persons with disabilities in our society.
People with disabilities may still have trouble accessing essential services and resources that can benefit them. Continue reading this blog to learn more about invaluable resources designed to help persons with disabilities.
While the Fair Housing Act is designed to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities when they want to obtain housing, many of these individuals struggle with finding affordable, accessible housing. In California, there are resources available to individuals with disabilities that can help them find housing, including the following:
Healthcare can be expensive for individuals with disabilities. California offers Medicaid coverage through Medi-Cal, a public insurance program designed to provide insurance coverage for persons with disabilities. While eligibility is primarily based on income level, persons with disabilities may also qualify for Medi-Cal coverage. Be sure to contact Medi-Cal to determine your eligibility and potential benefits.
Medical bills can pile up for people with disabilties, and if those disabilities prevent them from working, it can be challenging to try and pay them off. Nonprofit organizations such as the PAN Foundation work to provide funding for individuals with disabilities with large medical bills. In addition, those with disabilities that prevent them from working at all may be able to have that debt forgiven; in situations such as this, contact the provider directly to learn about your eligibility.
Federal and state law forbids employers and potential employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities; however, many persons with disabilities often struggle to find employment. The America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) aims to combat this by providing direct employment assistance to persons with disabilities. In addition to helping persons with disabilities find equal employment opportunities, the AJCC also offers the Disability Employment Accelerator Program (DEA), which is designed to provide career advancement opportunities for persons with disabilities as well as fund projects to help persons with disabilities gain, retain, and regain employment.
Protecting Your Rights
Persons with disabilities should be aware of their rights. If they feel their rights are being infringed upon by discrimination or lack of accessibility, resources are available to help them seek justice.