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July is Americans with Disabilities Month

July 26 will be the 32nd birthday of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)! The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was the first time there was federal legislation to provide civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, government services, public access/ accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications.

New York State has 3,725,215 adults with disabilities. This is equal to about 25 percent; approximately 1 in 4 adults have a disability. As people age, the chances of acquiring a disability increase but many older adults don’t view themselves as having a disability. If you have chronic conditions, like arthritis, that make it difficult to do daily tasks, you may qualify for protection under the ADA.

The following are examples of things that may qualify someone as having a disability:

Mobility: Moderate difficulty walking or climbing stairs

Cognition: Moderate difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

Independent living: Moderate difficulty doing errands alone, such as visiting a doctor’s office

Hearing: Deafness or moderate hearing loss

Vision: Blind or moderate difficulty seeing, even when wearing glasses

Self-care: Difficulty dressing or bathing on your own

There are resources to help if you or someone you know needs assistance due to a disability.

TRAID Centers: You can borrow equipment from IPADS to commodes and everything in between for FREE for individuals to try out, borrow in an emergency and for short and long term loans the same way you borrow a library book. https://www.justicecenter.ny.gov/traid-program or call 1(800) 624-4143.

The Equipment Loan Fund is a loan that can be used to purchase equipment that will improve the quality of your daily life. The Equipment Loan Fund allows you to borrow up to $4,000, with an interest rate of 4%, and can be used to purchase wheelchairs, wheelchair van lifts, ramps, and adaptive equipment. This is a New York State Program open to anyone with any kind of disability. Find more information at https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/nyscb/programs/equipment-loan-fund.php or call (518) 474-0197

The NY Connects program can provide Information and Assistance on available long-term services and supports options to individuals of all ages with disabilities, and caregivers. Information and Assistance is available in various ways including telephone, face-to-face meetings in the community, or email. NY Connects can be reached through the statewide telephone number (800-342-9871), which connects callers with local offices by county. There is also an online resource tool called the NY Connects Resource Directory at www.nyconnects.ny.gov. Locally, there are NY Connects programs located within the Office for Aging Services (OFAS) and the Southwestern Independent Living Center (SILC). You can reach NY Connects by phone at 716-753-4582, email: ccnyc@chqgov.com Southwestern Independent Living Center NY Connects at 716-661-3010 or 716-490-7561. We are here to help you!

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