Posted: Fri, 07/24/2015 - 06:58 | Posted by: Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi | The New Normal
Bobby and Lynne Silverman were honored at the White House. Courtesy of Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi

It’s the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Jews played a major role in this landmark civil rights legislation for people with disabilities. However, their story remains largely untold. All of these Jews have been and continue to be heroes to the civil rights of people with disabilities in our nation. While they don’t have the title of “Rabbi,” each of them is a model of Jewish values in action. A new book, Enabling Acts, details the complete ADA history, which includes people from a variety of backgrounds.

Posted: Thu, 07/23/2015 - 07:06 | Posted by: Sharon Shapiro-Lacks | The New Normal

Editor's Note: Over the next week, we will sharing a number of different voices reflecting on the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Be sure to follow and share!

Jubilation was in the air on July 26th 1990 when President George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “And today, America welcomes into the mainstream of life all of our fellow citizens with disabilities. We embrace you for your abilities and for your disabilities, for our similarities and indeed for our differences, for your past courage and your future dreams,” President Bush asserted.

At last we were recognized as a part of the fabric of American society, history, and potential. 

Posted: Sun, 07/19/2015 - 13:57 | Posted by: Randi C. Friedman | The New Normal

Most people who are hard or hearing or deaf do well in conversation with one or two people in a quiet room. They wear hearing aids to amplify sound waves coming into the ear; or they use cochlear implants, which bring sound directly into the hearing center in the brain. At celebrations, where there are more people, music, shuffling chairs and clinking tableware, much of the conversation is lost. By the time they locate the sound, turn their head to read the lips or otherwise catch what one person said, a person with hearing loss misses what the second or third individual has said. While communication is fine in the first setting, the communication breakdown in the second setting can be confusing. Family members and the person with hearing loss themselves may not realize what is happening or know how to restore the social bond.

Posted: Thu, 07/16/2015 - 10:33 | Posted by: Rabbi Michael Levy | The New Normal
Rabbi Michael Levy

Competition and the possibility of victory can awaken the American “can-do” spirit in us all. We rightly support initiatives for people with disabilities to compete in athletic events.  Everyone should have the opportunity to strive (and even struggle) to achieve his or her “personal best.”

The Sports Dilemma

The parents of some children with disabilities face a dilemma every summer. If they send their children an integrated camp, the children may actually be segregated when it comes to the portion of each day devoted to athletic activity. 

Posted: Tue, 07/14/2015 - 14:03 | Posted by: Frances Victory | The New Normal
Dr. Frances Victory

Lately it seems like I get most of my news from scrolling my Facebook newsfeed. Recently I came across an article about California’s Governor signing a law mandating that children be vaccinated before starting school.

The SB 277 law states that as of January 2016, children entering kindergarten or 7th grade must be vaccinated. If the child does not have his or her shots before the 2016-2017 school year, then he or she will not be allowed to enter any public or private school.

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