Journalist Jeffrey Bendix reports on a study that finds disabled physicians are often mistreated more than their fellow colleagues. Read more
How Do People with Disabilities Feel About Abortion? New Poll Sheds Light for the First Time
The new poll suggests that the opinions of Americans with disabilities are largely similar to the opinions of non-disabled Americans. Read more here.
When Schools Call Police on Kids
A Center for Public Integrity analysis of U.S. Department of Education data found that school policing disproportionately affects students with disabilities, among other minority groups. Read the full story here.
Mishandling mental health crises to blame for spike in officer-involved shootings
What accounts for the sharp increase in the number of officer-involved shootings in Phoenix last year? A lack of mental health resources, according to a report released by the National Police Foundation on Friday. The report, which was commissioned by the city of Phoenix as a response to last year’s spike in incidences of officer-involved shootings, points to a number of underlying causes for the uptick. That police officers are fielding a growing number of 911 calls involving people with mental health issues is one of them.
Phoenix police officers who were interviewed for the study said they felt unprepared to respond to these kind of situations. Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams added that law enforcement officers shouldn’t be the first (or only) line of help available to people who are experiencing a mental health crisis and that many of the calls her department receives could be rerouted to alternative resources.
Read the Cronkite News story online. You can also download a copy of the National Police Foundation’s 72-page report here.
New law requires airlines to disclose how many wheelchairs they break
Beginning in January 2019, airline passengers can search the U.S. Department of Transportation website to determine an airlines’ track record of handling wheelchairs and other mobility devices. A new law sponsored by U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., requires air carriers to be more transparent, obliging them to provide monthly reports that are publicly accessible and which detail the number of wheelchairs, checked bags, and motorized scooters lost, broke, or mishandled during flights.
The law was actually passed two years ago, but the Department of Transportation delayed its implementation until Duckworth–a veteran and wheelchair user herself–urged U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao to force airlines to make the data — which they already collect each month — available to the public.
Click here to access the article on the Chicago Tribune’s website.
Rates of unemployment due to disability finally declining after years of upward trend
Former U.S. Treasury economist Ernie Tedeschi wrote a guest column for the New York Times analyzing recent labor force employment data. Tedeschi sourced his information from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and discovered promising signs that people with disabilities are returning to the labor force. Check out Tedeschi’s full report in NYT and readers’ comments about why the trend is occurring.
NPR investigates ‘epidemic of sexual assault’ against people with intellectual disabilities
Starting January 8th National Public Radio (NPR) began broadcasting a multi-part investigative series about an “epidemic of sexual assault” experienced by people with intellectual disabilities. Titled “Abused and Betrayed” (#AbusedandBetrayed), the investigation examines over 150 cases of assault and relies on previously unpublished data collected by the Justice Department. NPR’s team of reporters, led by Joe Shapiro, discovered the rate of assault is seven times higher than for people without disabilities. Each chapter in the 5-part series features a print story, photographs and a radio broadcast. Below is an excerpt from the first story in the excellent report.
“NPR reviewed hundreds of cases of sexual assault against people with intellectual disabilities. We looked at state and federal data, including those new numbers we obtained from the Justice Department. We read court records. We followed media accounts and put together a database of 150 assaults so serious that they garnered rare local and national media attention. We talked to victims, their guardians, family, staff and friends.
We found that there is an epidemic of sexual abuse against people with intellectual disabilities. These crimes go mostly unrecognized, unprosecuted and unpunished. A frequent result was that the abuser was free to abuse again. The survivor is often re-victimized multiple times.”
Diabetes-related amputations increased rapidly in San Diego
Investigative data journalists at iNewsSource.org in San Diego released a surprising report about the dramatic increase in amputation surgeries resulting from diabetes. The investigation found “Statewide, lower-limb amputations increased by more than 31 percent from 2010 to 2016 when adjusted for population change. In San Diego County, the increase was more than twice that: 66.4 percent.” Click here to read the full story written by Cheryl Clark.
Also, click here to read iNewsSource.org’s Data Director Brandon Quester explain their methodology for the investigation.
Pakistan Fails to Include Disability in Census Questions
The Express Tribune reports that the Pakistani government is doing little to collect statistics on people with disabilities living in the country. Read more
Getting Accurate Data on People with Disabilities
The U.K. has set out to collect accurate data on its citizens with disabilities. So how is the government doing it? Read more