About 1.1 million Americans are legally blind, meaning that, even with corrective lenses or surgery, they may not be able to clearly see the largest letter on a standard eye chart at 20 feet or they may only see what appears either in their central or peripheral vision, but not both. As a result, these individuals may have difficulty with job-related tasks. Compared with other disability groups, people who are legally blind are more likely to graduate from college.
People with psychiatric disabilities have conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression. These individuals may encounter stigmatizing attitudes or behaviors from people around them. Forms of such stigma may be overt, such as denying a job to a candidate with a psychiatric disability, or they may be less obvious, like moving away from a person with a psychiatric disability on a bus. These forms of stigma may discourage people with psychiatric disabilities from getting out and doing things in their communities.
The purpose of this Action Planning Guide is to support the community's efforts to plan for enhancing community participation among people with disabilities. We hope this guide will be useful to anyone interested in bringing about community change and improvement, but it may be particularly helpful for staff of Centers for Independent Living and other community-based organizations who will operate as facilitators of these processes.
Accessible and affordable housing can enable community living, maximize independence, and promote health for vulnerable populations. However, the United States faces a shortage of affordable and accessible housing for vulnerable low-income older adults and individuals living with disabilities. This shortage is expected to grow over the coming years given the population shifts leading to greater numbers of older adults and of individuals living with disabilities.
The LEAD Center will soon release a brief titled, “The ABLE Act and Employment: Strategies for Maximizing the Effectiveness of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act as a Tool for Financial Stability and Employment Outcomes of People with Disabilities.”