American With Disabilities Act

Essential Pittsburgh
3:38 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Caregiver Stress and Supportive Resources

Being a caregiver can be stressful at any age, but there are resources available to relieve some of the pressure for families.
Credit Donald Lee Pardue / Flickr

In an article for the Post–Gazette, freelance writer Tina Calabro chronicled a tragic murder-suicide that took place in the Mon Valley borough of Port Vue. The incident involved an elderly caregiver of a middle-aged son with developmental disabilities.

In December, 78 year old Richard Lipschok of Port Vue took the life of his 52 year old son before taking his own. The elder Lipschok’s wife died the year before, leaving him wondering how to care for his only son. Calabro thinks the notions of previous generations, where the mother of the family was expected to take care of children, caused part of Lipschok’s distress.

Calabro says cases like this are not as uncommon as they may seem, as a similar incident happened in Philadelphia last summer.

“This murder-suicide type thing happens fairly regularly, but it’s not what most people do. But, we do know that people struggle behind closed doors, that they are silently struggling, and what is the situation of these people and is our public system addressing their need for information and providing services?”

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:17 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Thousands of Disabled Workers Legally Paid Sub-Minimum Wage

Autumn Self, a 26-year-old blind woman, sorts papers at the Westmoreland County Blind Association in Greensburg. She's worked for below minimum wage there for six years. "I think this is the only job I could have," she said.
Credit Martha Rial / PublicSource

About 13,000 disabled Pennsylvania workers are being paid far below minimum wage, earning an average of $2.40 an hour in legal sub-minimum wages, according to a recent PublicSource article by Halle Stockton.

Does this practice provide opportunities for people who wouldn't otherwise have a job? Or does it exploit those who could work for minimum wage?

Stockton says these workers are legally paid sub-minimum wages and are supervised by mostly non-disabled workers. Stockton says the working conditions can range from work programs on beautiful campuses, to those of industrial settings.

No matter the conditions, however, Stockton says the pay is based on “pieces.”

“This is all piecework. You get paid for every box of paper you shred; you get paid twenty cents. Or every jewelry box, eleven cents. So, these supervisors are watching and recording that. This person completed three this hour, or completed four, and that’s what translates into your paycheck.”

Curtis Decker is the Executive Director of the National Disability Rights Network. He says people don’t apply for jobs they don’t have the skill set for. Decker does not approve of these sub-minimum wage programs but still believes people need the training so they can realize their greater potential.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:35 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Al Condeluci: A CLASS Act

Al Condeluci is being honored this year by the UCP for his work in CLASS.
Credit Community Living and Support Services

For many people, college is their first taste of independent living.

For more than 40 years, Al Condeluci, CEO and executive director of CLASS, the organization once known as United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), has made it his mission, to see that people with disabilities enjoy the freedom of living on their own.

This year he's being honored by the UCP as a community hero for all of his work.

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Community
2:35 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Nationwide, An Effort to Make Playgrounds More Accessible

Playground equipment at Armstrong Field in Pittsburgh's South Side. There is a growing movement across the country to build playgrounds that are designed to include children with disabilities.
Credit Michael Lynch / 90.5 WESA

There is a growing national movement, spurred at least in part by a federal mandate, to build playgrounds that are designed to include children with disabilities.

In 2011, the Department of Justice adopted revisions to the American With Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design. One of the changes by the Justice Department to the ADA involves playgrounds that are used by children ages 2 and older in a variety of public settings, including school yards.

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