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Online Ordering and Food Delivery Urgent for 11 Million People with Disabilities on SNAP  

Los Angeles, California, May 14 – A group of entertainment professionals, in partnership with the disability advocacy nonprofit RespectAbility, have created a campaign to ensure that people who use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can do so through online delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new video featuring those who use wheelchairs, are blind and are immunocompromised from all over the country urges governors and the USDA to cut the red tape and allow SNAP users to order safely from home. [continue reading…]

15 States Deny Access to Safe Food Options for People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., May 14 – People with disabilities – including those who use wheelchairs, are blind and are immunocompromised – from all over the country created a video campaign to urge governors and the USDA to ensure that people who use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can do so through online delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nationwide, 11 million Americans with disabilities depend on SNAP, also called food stamps, to pay for groceries. Fifteen states have yet to ensure their high-risk residents can receive online grocery deliveries through SNAP, leading to millions of people with and without disabilities risking exposure to COVID-19 or going hungry. [continue reading…]

51% of Voters Want to Vote By Mail

Washington, D.C., May 13 – According to a new poll conducted by Democracy Corps on behalf of the Center for Voter Information, 81 percent of registered voters (84 percent of voters with disabilities) say they favor allowing people who use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to be able to order and pay for groceries and delivery online, so they don’t have to go into stores.

But 15 states have yet to ensure their high-risk residents can receive online grocery deliveries through SNAP (also known as food stamps), leading to millions of people with and without disabilities risking exposure to COVID-19 or going hungry. An additional 13 states have applied to the USDA and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. so that people with disabilities can use their food stamps to deliver groceries. However, they are in wait mode – living in fear and in need of safe access to food.

“Ensuring people can use SNAP to order food online to receive via delivery does not cost the government any more money,” said RespectAbility President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi. “It is heartening to see that this polling data showing that 81 percent of voters support this initiative is nonpartisan, with both Democrats and Republicans in support.” [continue reading…]

New Poll Shows 81% Voters Support Allowing SNAP Users to Order Groceries Online for Delivery

Washington, D.C., May 12 – Fifteen states have yet to ensure their high-risk residents can receive online grocery deliveries through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), leading to millions of people with and without disabilities risking exposure to COVID-19 or going hungry.

Nationwide, 11 million Americans with disabilities depend on SNAP, also called food stamps, to pay for groceries and provide for their families.

Since the start of the pandemic, 35 states have a taken a critical step to ensure that the people at the greatest risk from COVID-19 can safely order groceries online. In these states, beneficiaries who depend on SNAP to put food on the table can now order their groceries online and get it delivered to their homes.

However, 15 states have yet to act: Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia.

Yet, according to a new poll conducted by Democracy Corps on behalf of the Center for Voter Information, 81 percent of voters say they favor allowing people who use SNAP to be able to order and pay for groceries and delivery online, so they don’t have to go into stores.

Map of the United States color coded by status of online SNAP. Green and allowed: AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, ID, IA, KY, MO, NC, NE, NM, NV, NY, OR, RI, TX, TN, VT, WA, WI, WV. Yellow and waiting on approval: AR, CT, DE, GA, HI, LA, MD, MA, MN, NJ, OK, PA, WY. Red and no announcements: AK, IN, IL, KS, ME, MI, MS, MT, NH, ND, OH, SC, SD, UT, VA.

Status of Online SNAP as of May 12

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“Disability inclusion creates synergistic innovation in organizations, and the world in which we live.”

– Carla Boyd

Carla Boyd smiling headshot in front of a brick wallCarla Boyd, a faithful ally to people with disabilities, is the Arizona State Representative for RespectAbility’s Volunteer Corps.

She played an instrumental role in coordinating and facilitating RespectAbility’s Empowerment Training for Female College Students with Disabilities focused on advocacy skills and preparing attendees for civic engagement. The adult and student participants had great dialogue, Carla recalled, and they were grateful for the information they learned from the webinar. Carla currently is promoting RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program within her network of students and disability professionals. [continue reading…]

Act Now to Enable People Who Use SNAP (Food Stamps) to Get Food Delivered

Washington, D.C., May 7 – Since the start of the pandemic, 25 states have a taken a critical step to ensure that the people at the greatest risk from COVID-19 and who rely on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits can safely order groceries online – with 12 of them starting the process in recent weeks. The disability nonprofit RespectAbility congratulates leaders in twelve states that are now in the process for applying for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that would allow SNAP recipients to use their benefits for online grocery delivery via Walmart or Amazon.

However, nineteen states have yet to act or publicly announce any plans to ensure their constituents can receive online grocery deliveries through SNAP. Instead, millions of people with and without disabilities have to risk exposure to COVID-19 or go hungry.

States that have yet to act include: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia.

Map of the United States color coded by status of online SNAP. Green and allowed: AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, ID, IA, KY, MO, NC, NE, NV, NY, OR, TX, TN, VT, WA, WV Yellow and waiting on approval: AR, GA, HI, LA, MD, MA, MN, NJ, OK, PA, WI, WY Red and no announcements: AK, CT, DE, IN, IL, KS, ME, MI, MS, MT, NH, NM, ND, OH, RI, SC, SD, UT, VA [continue reading…]

The American Sign Language word for COVID-19 mimics the virus' appearance, with fingers forming the spikes, or coronas, the virus is known for. Photo credit: NCDHHS.

The American Sign Language word for COVID-19 mimics the virus’ appearance, with fingers forming the spikes, or coronas, the virus is known for. Photo credit: NCDHHS.

Washington, D.C., May 6 – As the access needs for people with disabilities increase during COVID-19 communications, one program – being led by a person who is deaf himself – is providing a free hotline bringing the deaf community information on the pandemic in both American Sign Language and English. In order to help spread information and curb misinformation, a team of deaf agents fluent in ASL have been trained to provide information about coronavirus.

“Equal access to information for our community is a societal imperative each and every day, but especially right now as we all strive to cope with this health pandemic,” said Craig Radford, the Director of Strategy and Business Development for Connect Direct, which is behind the new hotline through Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), the largest deaf-led social impact nonprofit in the United States. [continue reading…]

Characters with Disabilities More Likely to Be Rescued or Die, But Those in the Workforce Portrayed Positively in Family Films

Historic high for leading characters with disabilities. 8% of family films in 2019 featured a lead with a disabilityLos Angeles, California, May 4 – When it comes to showing people with disabilities on TV, they are almost never seen, and when they are, it is in a negative light, limiting opportunities for people with disabilities everywhere. However, a new study found the family film industry brings a continued historic high for leading characters with disabilities. In fact, eight percent of family films in both 2018 and 2019 featured a lead with a disability. This is jump up from just one percent from most of the last decade and shows that the increased representation is being sustained from one year to the next. While this number is still not representative of people with a disability in the U.S. – as one-in-five people in the U.S. live with a disability today, it is a step in the right direction.

“Media is one of the most immediate and impactful ways to influence our views on societal norms and has the power to eradicate intersectional gender inequality in our global cultures,” said Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. “If our audiences can see themselves positively portrayed onscreen, it can reinforce the message that they matter. And also, it can influence their long-term views throughout their lives.”

The study, See Jane 2020 Film, was conducted by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and USC Viterbi School of Engineering. It evaluated the 100 top-grossing live action and animated family films (rated G, PG or PG-13) of 2019. These films included a total of 2,991 characters, including 122 leading/co-leading characters, 1,032 supporting characters and 1,837 minor characters. [continue reading…]

In 16 states, people with disabilities now can use SNAP to eat safely while other states leave people with disabilities at risk

Washington, D.C., May 1 – In 16 states, people with disabilities and other recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) no longer have to choose between risking exposure to COVID-19 or getting food from the grocery store. Thanks to an administrative change, millions of Americans now can access online grocery deliveries through Amazon Fresh and Walmart.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a simple action like going to the grocery store to put food on the table means potentially risking exposure to the coronavirus. This is especially the case for those who are blind or use wheelchairs or other mobility devices for whom maintaining six feet of distance may be impossible. The answer for many American households has been to turn to online grocery deliveries. For many of the 11 million Americans with disabilities who rely on SNAP for their basic nutrition, however, that option has been unavailable, leaving them to shop in person despite the higher risk they face. [continue reading…]

Andrea Dalzell wearing scrubs smiling.New York City, April 28 – Andrea Dalzell RN, BSN, was told that she would never be able to become a nurse due to her disability. Today, she is one of a few registered nurses who use a wheelchair. Currently she is working in one of the hardest hit areas of COVID-19 today – the New York metro area.

Dalzell is a disability advocate and represented her home state as Ms. Wheelchair New York in 2015. She studied biology and neuroscience in college while earning her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Dalzell was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis at the age of five and began using a wheelchair full-time at the age of 12.

Dalzell shares first-hand about her journey to becoming a nurse, why it’s important for people with disabilities to be in the medical industry, and advice for wheelchair users in the current climate of COVID-19. [continue reading…]

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