5 Reasons That This Autism Mom Backs Hillary Clinton (With 100% Conviction)

There is so much at stake for our country on November 8th—and for me, as a mom of a thirteen-year-old son with severe autism and intellectual disabilities, I will enter the voting booth knowing that the outcome of this election affects the policy that will be in place when my son transitions from the protection of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that will last through age 21 to the time when he becomes an adult in need of housing, job coaching and ongoing therapy supports that are not mandated by a national law. In Pennsylvania, where we live, there is currently a waiting list of over 13,000 people with intellectual disabilities in our state who need supports. While we push our son to learn as many life skills as possible, it is also clear that he will need supports for his entire life. While my husband and I are pro-active about planning for our son’s future, we are also keenly aware that we need public policy that honors the dignity of and provides supports for people with disabilities in order for our son to have the meaningful life that we dream of for him.

 The author with her daughter and sister-in-law at her local Clinton campaign office. Courtesy of Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

Announcing the 2016 Ruderman Best in Business Award Winners

For the second year, the Ruderman Family Foundation has partnered with The Jewish Week Media Group to select exemplary companies that train, hire and support employees with disabilities for the Ruderman Best in Business Award.

Starting at the end of March 2016, we embarked on a social media campaign to solicit nominees for companies across America that train, support and hire people with disabilities. Over an eight-week period, nominations came in from employers, advocates, customers and people with disabilities, explaining why their nominee should receive this honor. 

Ruderman "Best in Business" Award 2016. Courtesy of the Ruderman Family Foundation

Gov. Markell: America’s Jewish Governor, Standing Up For Disabilities

While there are multiple Jews in Congress and the Senate, only one Jew serves at the chief executive of their state: Governor Jack Markell of Delaware. He is term-limited, so sadly his tenure in this office will end soon. He is a major hero in public life, so it’s worth your time to look at his expansive contributions.

The author and other RespectAbility board members with Gov. Markell. Courtesy of Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi

Independence Days: 25 Years Of The Americans With Disabilities Act

Here in the U.S., we are about to celebrate Independence Day.  I’m from Philadelphia so July 4 is especially meaningful to me: After all, it was in the City of Brotherly Love that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. 

July is another celebration of American freedom. July 26 is the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Americans With Disabilities Act, the ADA. The ADA has been widely recognized as the Civil Rights Act for people with disabilities. It's a recognition by our nation that people with disabilities are to be treated with respect and dignity.

Steven Eidelman

Ugandan Jews Connect With Queens

D'vora Biderman shares her love for Abayudaya, Uganda’s Jewish community, with her synagogue in Jamaica Estates.

06/11/2015 - 20:00
Editorial Intern

The kids of Young Israel of Jamaica Estates in Queens have found new friends in Abayudaya, Uganda’s Jewish community, thanks to a congregant who cares deeply for both.

Jamaica Estates native D’vora Biderman visited the collection of villages in Eastern Uganda upon graduating from NYU with a degree in dental hygiene to volunteer her services through the ADA Foundation’s Abayudaya Dental Expedition. She chose that particular program because it accommodated her observance of Shabbat and kashrut, and in her time there discovered a vibrant Jewish community complete with synagogues, Jewish schools and even a post-high school yeshiva for continued learning.

D'vora Biderman (second from right) with residents of Uganda's Abayudaya Jewish community. Courtesy of D'vora Biderman

People With Disabilities (And Their Families) Have Dreams, Too

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his inspiring “I have a Dream” speech in August, 1963 the civil rights movement for people of color had come of age.  I have listened to recordings of the speech too many times to count.  It inspires every time.  And it is emblazoned on our collective psyche. We all know the story of Rosa Parks, an African-American woman who refused, in 1955, to give up her seat on a public bus and move to the back so that a white person would be able to sit where she had been sitting.

The Book Of Life And Prosperity: Employment In The Disability Community

On Shabbat and holidays, we refrain from praying to God about financial concerns.  We concentrate instead on the spiritual dimension of our lives.

Rabbi Michael Levy

Window On Washington: How You Can Help Your Governor

Today in Milwaukee, governors from across the country will meet for the National Governors Association summer meeting, and I am thrilled to tell you that they share our goal of of empowering people with disabilities to achieve the American dream by working in a real job for a real wage.

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi and Donn Weinberg of RespectAbilityUSA

Tell The Senate To Ratify The UN Convention On Disability Rights

Our sage, Hillel, asks, “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?” (Ethics of the Fathers 1:14)

This summer’s U.S. legislative season will give us Jews with disabilities, in fact all Americans with disabilities, the opportunity to respond fully to the last two of Hillel’s three questions.

Rabbi Lynne Landsberg

In Memory Of My Son, A Plea And A Plan To Make Synagogues Wheelchair-Accessible

Today, April 12, marks the 6-year anniversary of my son’s passing. Nathaniel was 21 yrs old when he died from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) a progressive deteriorative condition that caused him to spend most of his life using a wheelchair.

Shelley Cohen
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