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disability

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine speaks during a public inauguration ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Columbus.
Ty Greenlees / AP/Dayton Daily News, Pool

Gov. Mike DeWine has appointed the state's first-ever "Americans With Disabilities Act" coordinator to establish the state as a model employer of people with disabilities.

More than 500 people gathered at the Ohio Statehouse Thursday to pressure lawmakers to boost funding for support services for those with developmental disabilities.

The event was organized by the nonprofit group Bridge to Equality, which advocates for people with developmental disabilities.

Bridge to Equality CEO Mark Schlater says thousands of disabled people rely on aides known direct service professionals, or DSPs, to live their everyday lives.

An Ohio advocacy group began distributing placards to improve communication between law enforcement and deaf or hard-of-hearing drivers. 

One weekend in February, Justin Kelley, 33, made the biggest financial commitment of his life: He paid a friend to start custom-building an airboat. He had dreamed of owning one since an early age.

"That's my level playing ground. It's my freedom," Kelley says. Onshore, he uses a walker to get around and a wheelchair at work, because he has cerebral palsy. But on an airboat on a Florida lake? "To me it's the one place that, when I'm in that seat, you don't see that walker. You don't see the chair. ... It's my escape. It's my happy place."

The hashtag #AbledsAreWeird started with a childhood memory that occurred to writer and disability rights activist Imani Barbarin: She was in her community swimming pool when a man threw her crutch into the pool to "help her swim." Naturally, the crutch sank, and she had to fetch it from under water.

Editor's Note: If you're a Walmart greeter — or know someone who is — and would like to share your story with NPR, please reach out to us at tech@npr.org.

If you ask John Combs what his biggest worry is, he'll say: "How will I feed Red?"

Red is actually white. He's a labradoodle rescue, just tall enough for Combs to pet if he reaches over the armrest of his wheelchair. Combs, 42, has cerebral palsy. He has difficulty speaking. But he has no difficulty saying the line most Americans have heard at least once: "Welcome to Walmart!"

Disability Representation

Jan 25, 2019
Baby in crib
Paul Goyette / Wikimedia Commons

In central Ohio, minority representation within the special needs community is lacking.

One out of every four black people in central Ohio is affected by Down Syndrome, and only about twenty percent of those affected are engaged in the community at the Down Syndrome Association.

So why the lack of diversity, and how is this impacting minorities that have disabilities?

Today on All Sides, disability representation. 

John Minchillo / Associated Press

Nearly a quarter of all Ohio adults have some type of disability, and voting can be a difficult process for some of them. But there are things that are being done to make it easier for Ohioans with disabilities to cast ballots.

It was a hot day at the zoo when Jordan Carlson's son, who has motor-planning delays, got thirsty. "We went to the snack bar and found out they had a 'no straw' policy," Carlson says. "It was a hot day and he couldn't drink."

Pxhere

Federal law requires students with disabilities to spend as much time as possible in general education classrooms, but a study from Ohio State University has found that’s not happening in Ohio, or the rest of the country.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order on Friday that will emphasize the use of technology to assist Ohioans with disabilities when the state evaluates their needs. 

Adora Namigadde / WOSU

Jeremy Petrovich sits in a wheelchair at the base of a 44-foot wall. He slowly slips on black and green climbing shoes and pats chalk dust onto his hands.

Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry

Disability Rights Ohio released a report this week calling attention to Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry's violations of treatment standards and patient safety – including allegations of physical and sexual abuse.

Being a medical student or resident is hard enough, but what if you have a disability that adds to the challenge?

The Ohio State University

An Ohio State University survey shows that sexual assault of female students is more prevalent for students with disabilities than those without. The sexual misconduct survey taken last year mirrors some of the results of a recent national survey on college campuses.

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