INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAII: What Are the Challenges Facing People with Disabilities?


>>DARYL: COMING UP NEXT ON
INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAII, WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FACING
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES? (MUSIC)>>DARYL: ALOHA AND WELCOME TO
INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAII. I’M DARYL HUFF FROM HAWAII
NEWS NOW. ACCORDING TO THE U.S. CENSUS,
ABOUT ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS LIVES WITH AT LEAST ONE
DISABILITY, AND ABOUT 150,000 PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES LIVE
IN HAWAI’I. DESPITE THE GAINS DUE TO THE
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OR ADA, ADVOCATES SAY MANY
OF THOSE WITH PHYSICAL AND INTELLECTUAL LIMITATIONS
STILL STRUGGLE AND FEEL ACCEPTED IN OUR COMMUNITY.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FACING PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES? WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU TONIGHT’S
CONVERSATION. CALL 973-1000 ON OAHU OR
800-238-4847 IF YOU’RE CALLING FROM A NEIGHBOR
ISLAND. YOU CAN ALSO WATCH INSIGHTS
STREAMED LIVE AT PBSHAWAII.ORG.
CLICK ON THE TITLE OF TONIGHT’S SHOW.
OR FIND US ON TWITTER AT PBS HAWAI’I.
SHERYL NELSON IS THE STATE WIDE DIRECTOR SILC, GOVERNOR
APPOINTED COUNCILMEMBERS WHO MOSTLY REPRESENT CONSUMERS.
ITS MISSION IS TO PROMOTE INDEPENDENT LIVING AND
INTEGRATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE
COMMUNITY. MS. NELSON IS ALSO A BUSINESS
OWNER AND PERSON WITH A LIFE LONG DISABILITY.
SCOTT NISHIMOTO IS VICE PRESIDENT OF ABILITIES
UNLIMITED, NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION WHICH SERVICES
ABOUT 250 PEOPLE WITH PHYSICAL AND INTELLECTUAL
DISABILITIES. ABILITIES UNLIMITED PROVIDES
DIRECT SERVICES SUCH AS SKILLS TRAINING, AND MONEY
MANAGEMENT, POINT OF DISCLOSURE, NISHIMOTO’S
BROTHER IS THE VICE PRESIDENT HERE AT PBS HAWAI’I.
FRANCINE WAI IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF DISABILITY AND
COMMUNICATION ACCESS BOARD, AN ORGANIZATION OVERSEEN BY
THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.
THE BOARD PROVIDES ADVICE AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON
LEGISLATION RELATING TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES,
ESTABLISHES DISABLED ACCESS GUIDELINES FOR PUBLIC
BUILDINGS, AND ISSUES THE RULES FOR COMMUNICATION
ACCESS SERVICE. ABRALEEN KELIINUI IS THE
PRIMARY ADVOCATE FOR HER 23-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER WHO HAS
AUTISM. MS. KELIINUI WORKS AT
LANAKILA PACIFIC TEACHING AND LEARNING CENTER WHICH IS A
PROGRAM THAT TEACHES BASIC LIFE SKILLS TO ADULTS WITH
DISABILITIES. LET ME START OFF WITH A BROAD
DEFINITIONAL QUESTION. IN THE STATISTICS, WE HEAR
THAT ONE IN FIVE HAS DISABILITIES IN THE CENSUS
ACROSS THE COUNTRY. BUT HERE, 150,000.
THAT’S ONLY ONE IN 10. FRANCINE WAI, WHAT IS THE
DISPARITY? DO WE HAVE A DEFINITIONAL DIFFERENTIAL.
>>ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IS THERE’S NO REAL DEFINITION OF
A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY WHEN IT IT COMES TO COUNTING.
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT TALKS ABOUT A PERSON WITH
A PHYSICAL OR MENTAL IMPAIRMENT THAT
SUBSTANTIALLY LIMITS ONE OR MORE MAJOR LIFE ACTIVITIES.
SO IT’S A CIVIL RIGHTS LEGISLATION.
UNLIKE A DISCREET CHARACTERISTIC OF SEX, AGE,
WHERE YOU CAN SAY YOU’RE EITHER ABOVE 55 OR BELOW 65 OR
YOU’RE EITHER FEMALE, WHATEVER, YOUR
CHARACTERISTIC, DISABILITY IS MUCH VAGUER, AND IT’S OFTEN
EITHER SELF-DEFINED AND THAT REALLY DEPENDS UPON WHETHER
AN INDIVIDUAL WANTS TO REVEAL THAT THEY HAVE A DISABILITY
BECAUSE THAT’S NOT ALWAYS A POSITIVE THING.
OR IT’S NUMERICAL COUNT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTUALLY
RECEIVING SERVICES.>>DARYL: LET ME ASK THIS
QUESTION OF ABRALEEN AS A PARENT OF CHILD WHO GREW UP
WITH A AUTISM. NOW A YOUNG ADULT.
DID YOU FEEL YOUR DAUGHTER WAS A PERSON WITH DISABILITY
WHILE SHE WAS GROWING UP?>>HONESTLY, NO.
CERTAIN THINGS THAT SHE COULD NOT DO, BUT I FELT THAT SHE’S
CAPABLE OF DOING OTHER THINGS.
I SEED OUT HER STRENGTH AND THOSE THAT I WORKED WITH,
WHETHER IT BE IN SCHOOL OR SKILLS TRAINER, I SHARED THAT
GOAL, TO SEEK OUT HER STRENGTHS, ON THAT, WHICH
ENCOURAGED HER TO DO BETTER, WHICH HELPED BUILD HER
SELF-ESTEEM, HER CONFIDENCE, WHICH HELPED HER TO EXCEL TO
COMPLETE SCHOOL AS WELL AS HER JOB TRAINING, THROUGH
LANAKILA PACIFIC. AND IT MAY LOOK TO SOMEONE AS
A DISABILITY. FOR ME AS A PARENT, IT WASN’T.
>>DARYL: BUT THAT DEFINITION OF DISABILITY WAS SOMETHING
THAT HELPED YOU IN ADVOCATING FOR HER BECAUSE SHE HAD
RIGHTS?>>YES.
>>DARYL: AND YOU HAD RIGHTS AS HER PARENT? EXACTLY.
I USED IT WHEN I NEEDED TO USE IT, BUT LOOKED AT STRENGTHS TO
HELP HER COMPLETE HER LEARNING LESSONS AS SHE WAS
PROGRESSING THROUGH SCHOOL. AND AS SHE RECEIVED TRAINING
FROM LANAKILA. WE HAVE TO BE SMART ABOUT IT.
WE CAN USE IT FOR OR AGAINST OUR CHILD.
AS PARENTS.>>DARYL: SHERYL, AS A PERSON
WHO HAS LIVED WITH A DISABILITY FOR YOUR LIFE,
THIS ISSUE OF DEFINITIONS, IT ALSO CAN BE CONSIDERED AN
ISSUE OF LABELING TOO. IS THAT IMPORTANT TO FOLKS
WITH DISABILITIES, TO AVOID LABELING AND JUST BE SPECIFIC
OR BE DIRECT OR JUST NOT WORRY ABOUT IT?
>>WELL, FOR ME, I PERSONALLY LIKE THE LABEL SHERYL.
AND I THINK THERE’S TOO MUCH LABELING.
THERE’S BEEN TOO MUCH ASSESSMENTS IN OUR LIFE.
WE’RE GOING TO ASSESS AND EVALUATE YOU BEFORE WE
INCLUDE YOU. AND I THINK THAT LIKE, FOR
EXAMPLE, I JUST GREW UP IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT TIME.
I GREW UP WHEN PEOPLE WERE LABELED AND PEOPLE HAD A HARD
TIME LOOKING AT PEOPLE’S DISABILITIES AS STRENGTHS AND
POSITIVES. AND NOW, PEOPLE HAVE AN
OPPORTUNITY FOR THAT TO HAPPEN, BUT IT DOESN’T ALWAYS
HAPPEN. THERE IS A LOT OF STIGMA
AROUND DISABILITY. THERE’S A LOT OF ATTITUDES
ABOUT, FOR EXAMPLE, I’M A PERSON WHO IS BLIND AND
THERE’S A LOT OF ATTITUDES ABOUT WHAT I SHOULD BE ABLE TO
DO AND WHAT I SHOULDN’T BE ABLE TO DO.
JUST THE OTHER DAY, I HAD SOMEBODY COME TO MY HOUSE AND
THEY WERE GOING TO FIX SOMETHING AND THEY WANTED TO
KNOW, WELL, WHO OWNS THE HOUSE.
I KEPT SAYING, WELL, THE BANK DOES, BUT I’M BUYING IT.
AND THEY JUST COULDN’T GET IT. THEY JUST WERE, YOU KNOW,
AMAZED THAT WELL, YOU’RE BLIND.
AND WHEN I WANTED TO CHOOSE A PAINT COLOR, THEY WERE
DISTRESSED. YEAH. OKAY.
>>THERE’S A LOT OF STIGMA AROUND DISABILITIES.
SO I CAN SEE MY STRENGTHS AND I CAN SHARE MY STRENGTHS, BUT
THE OTHER THING THAT PEOPLE AROUND ME CAN BE THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CLOSED DOOR OR AN OPPORTUNITY.
>>DARYL: THANK YOU. THAT’S A GOOD POINT.
SCOTT NISHIMOTO, YOUR ORGANIZATION TRAINS PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES AND HELPS THEM BE INDEPENDENT AND SO ON.
HOW MUCH OF WHAT YOU DO IS ABOUT GETTING PAST THESE
STIGMAS, HELPING THEM RECOGNIZE THEIR STRENGTH AND
FEEL CONFIDENT?>>I THINK ONE OF THE BIGGEST
CHALLENGES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IS THIS SOMEWHAT
NEGATIVE PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.
WE CAN DO ALL WE CAN AS A SERVICE PROVIDER TO PROVIDE
THEM WITH THE RIGHT TRAINING AND PLACE THEM IN THE RIGHT
JOB, BUT ULTIMATELY IF THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY DOESN’T
ACCEPT AND WELCOME THEM, IT’S KIND OF ALL IN VAIN.
SO WE SEE THAT KIND OF, WE FEEL LIKE, CLIENT IS REALLY READY
FOR WORK, BUT JUST NOT REALLY EMPLOYERS OUT THERE WILLING
TO TAKE A CHANCE ON THEM.>>DARYL: HOW DO YOU PREPARE
FOR THAT.>>? FOR THE LET-DOWN?
>>DARYL: YES.>>I DON’T KNOW IF WE PREPARE
THEM FOR THAT I THINK WE GO INTO A LOT OF INTAKE SAYING
DON’T EXPECT TO FIND A JOB RIGHT OFF THE BAT.
IT’S GOING TO TAKE TIME, EVEN WHEN I WAS LOOKING FOR A JOB
STRAIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, TOOK ME A WHILE.
>>DARYL: TAKES CONNECTIONINGS.
>>YES. WE TELL THEM, MAYBE NOW IS
IT’S NOT THE TIME TO BE REALLY, REALLY PICKY.
IF YOU’RE ONLY LOOKING FOR A JOB WITHIN ONE MILE OF YOUR
HOUSE, JAPANESE RESTAURANT WORKING 8 HOURS PER WEEK,
DAYTIME, PROBABLY NOT GOING TO GET A JOB.
>>WOULDN’T YOU SAY THAT TO ANYBODY?
>>SURE. YEAH.
>>IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE THAT PICKY, YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE
SOME DISAPPOINTMENTS. GET BACK TO MY ORIGINAL SORT
OF GROUNDLING WITH FRANCINE. WHAT IS THE CHANCES THAT ANY
ONE IS GOING TO END UP BEING A PERSON WITH DISABILITY?
DISABILITY SOMETHING YOU’RE BORN WITH OR DO MOST PEOPLE
COME TO THEM LATER IN LIFE? I’M THINKING WITH AGING
POPULATION, DIABETIC POPULATION, MANY, MANY PEOPLE
ARE GOING TO END UP WITH SOME KIND OF DISABILITY.
>>THAT’S VERY TRUE. YOU STARTED OUT ASKING A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT NUMBERS AND THE PERCENTAGE.
THERE IS ONE SURVEY THAT’S DONE NATIONALLY.
CALLED AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY.
THEY CAME UP WITH A NUMBER BASED UPON WHAT PEOPLED OF
10.2%, NONINSTITUTIONALLIZED POPULATION.
SO WITH THAT, WHEN YOU EXTRAPOLATE IT TO HAWAI’I,
THE LATEST NUMBERS IN 2011, CAME UP WITH ABOUT 138,000
PEOPLE. AND THEY DIDN’T COUNT ANYBODY
WHO WAS IN AN INSTITUTION, ANY KIND OF LONG TERM CARE
FACILITY, NURSING HOME. WHEN YOU ADD ALL OF THOSE
INDIVIDUALS, YOU’RE REALLY, TALKING 150 TO 160,000
PEOPLE. BUT WHEN YOU BREAK IT DOWN BY
AGE, IT SHOWED THAT AS YOU GOT OLDER, FOR PEOPLE THAT WERE,
FOR INSTANCE, 75 AND OLDER, THE RATE AT WHICH PEOPLE
IDENTIFIED THEMSELVES AS HAVING A DISABILITY ROSE TO
ALMOST 50 PERCENT.>>DARYL: SCOTT, IN YOUR
ORGANIZATION, DO YOU SEE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE COMING TO
YOU WHO HAVE BECOME DISABLED LATER IN THEIR LIFE?
>>WE DON’T SEE A LOT. I’D SAY ABOUT 95% OF OUR
POPULATION HAS DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES.
OTHER 5, MAYBE THEY CAME AFTER THAT, A STROKE OR CAR ACCIDENT
OR DIABETES OR MENTAL ILLNESS THAT HAPPENED LATER IN LIFE.
>>DARYL: YOU TOLD ME EARLIER THAT YOU DON’T GET TOO MANY
VETERANS. IS THAT BECAUSE THEY’RE STILL MOSTLY IN THE
VA?>>I DON’T REALLY KNOW THE
ANSWER TO THAT. I THINK MOST OF THEM ARE
WITHIN THE VA SYSTEM. WE GET A VET EVERY NOW AND
THEN, BUT FOR THE MOST PART, THE VA HAS THEIR EMPLOYMENT
SERVICES AND WE HAVE OURS FOR THE REST OF THE POPULATION.
IT’S PRETTY SEPARATE.>>DARYL: AT THE BEGINNING OF
THIS PROGRAM, WE TALKED ABOUT THIS 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, AND SHERYL, LET ME ASK
YOU FIRST OF ALL, HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED FOR PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES SINCE THAT LAW WAS PASSED AND IN THE TIME
SINCE? IS IT REALLY DRAMATICICALLY BETTER OR IS
IT STILL GOT SO FAR TO GO, YOU HARDLY NOTICE A DIFFERENCE?
>>I THINK IT DEPENDS ON WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT.
I THINK THE PUBLIC HAS AN AWARENESS OF CURB CUTS AND
AWARENESS OF BRAILLE IN AN ELEVATOR.
BEYOND THAT, PEOPLE DON’T HAVE IN MY OPINION, LARGE
AWARENESS. CURB CUTS, SOMEBODY USING A
WHEELCHAIR AND PUSHING A CART AND SOMEBODY WHO DOESN’T WANT
TO WALK UP THE STEP UP ON THE CURB,.
>>DARYL: OR ME AND MY BIKE.>>YEAH.
IT BENEFITS A LOT OF PEOPLE. IN THE BEGINNING, I THINK
PEOPLE SAW IT, OH, MY GOSH, WE HAVE DO THAT.
I THINK IT’S BROUGHT A PHYSICAL AWARENESS AND I ALSO
THINK THAT THE WARENESS, IT’S GOOD, BUT I SEE THE ADA AS
HAVING LAID A REALLY GOOD FOUNDATION AND IT’S THE
BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS AND AGENCIES AND SO ON AND SO
ON THAT REALLY ARE GOING TO MAKE THE ADA WORK.
IT’S NOT THE ADA ITSELF. BECAUSE IT IS CIVIL RIGHTS
LAW. AND HOW I INTERFACE WITH MY
PERSONAL DISABILITY AND THEN THE NEXT PERSON DOES AND
INTERACT WITH DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS AROUND ME, IT’S
ALL VERY DIFFERENT. YOU KNOW, SO MY EXPECTATION,
YOU KNOW, WHEN I GO INTO AN ELEVATOR, FOR ME, BY BY THE
TIME I FIND THE FLOOR I’M GOING TO, I’VE BEEN UP AND
DOWN FIVE OR SIX TIMES BECAUSE THERE’S NO STANDARD LAYOUT
FOR THE BRAILLE. THE BRAILLE DOESN’T OFTEN GET
CHECKED, SO QUITE OFTEN, IT’S WRONG.
>>DARYL: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A PLACE
LIKE THAT? DO YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT
IT IF YOU PUSHED IT?>>WHAT I DO IS I SAY, HEY,
WHAT FLOOR IS THIS? WHOEVER I’M WITH.
I DO WHAT’S EASIEST RIGHT THEN IN THE MOMENT.
SOMETIMES IT’S EASY — I MEAN, OF COURSE IF I’M IN AN
ELEVATOR ALONE, I LOOK FOR THE BUTTONS.
SOMEONE STANDING CLOSER TO THE ELEVATOR EX-I ASK THEM.
IF I’M STANDING CLOSER TO THE ELEVATOR, I HOPE THAT THEY’LL
ASK ME. OFTEN, THEY DON’T.
THEY REACH AROUND ME OR THEY DON’T ASK ME, COULD YOU PUSH
6.>>DARYL: OKAY.
AND THEN ABRALEEN, FOR YOUR DAUGHTER, AND FOR THE PEOPLE
YOU’RE WORKING WITH NOW, DO YOU THINK THAT THE ADA AND
OTHER RIGHTS WITH PEOPLE OR DISABILITIES HAVE MADE A BIG
DIFFERENCE?>>I THINK IT HAS HELPED TO
SOME EXTENT. WHAT SHERYL WAS SHARE,
THERE’S MORE THAT CAN BE DONE. SO MUCH MORE THAT CAN BE DONE.
LIKE WHAT SCOTT WAS SHARING ABOUT THE COMMUNITY, THE
BUSINESSES, AWARENESS, AND THEN ALLOWING US AS FOR
LANAKILA TLC TO BE OUT THERE, NOT THAT THEY DON’T ALLOW US,
BUT WE GO OUT THERE TO SHOW THE COMMUNITY THAT WE’RE HERE.
REGARDLESS OF WHAT DISABILITY IS, WHAT DISABILITY THEY
HAVE, OR WHAT LABEL THEY MAY THINK, WE’RE HERE.
WE’RE INDIVIDUALS. WE DESERVE, WE HAVE THE RIGHT
JUST LIKE ANYBODY ELSE TO BE OUT IN OUR COMMUNITY, TO BE
SEEN, TO BE HEARD, AND IT’S ABOUT TIME THAT OUR COMMUNITY
WAKE UP AND SEE THAT THIS IS — WE ARE PART OF THE
COMMUNITY. WE WILL ALWAYS BE PART OF THE
COMMUNITY. AWARENESS, GETTING
BUSINESSES, HAVING DISABILITY TRAINING, TO
UNDERSTAND SO THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO TAKE IN INDIVIDUALS
WITH DISABILITIES.>>DARYL: LET ME ASK FRANCINE
WAI. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MAJOR
CHANGES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE COURSE OF
THE 25 YEARS SINCE ADA WAS PASSED?
>>I THINK THERE’S NO QUESTION THAT WHAT THE GENERAL PUBLIC
SEES ARE THE PHYSICAL CHANGES IN THE ENVIRONMENT.
THE CURB RAMPS, THE ACCESSIBLE RESTROOMS.
AND THEN THEY ALSO, AS SHERYL SAID, THEY SEE ALTERNATE
FORMATS, WHAT WE WOULD CALL AUXILIARY AIDS.
GREATER LANGUAGE OF SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS, MORE
SERVICE ANIMALS AROUND. SO CERTAINLY MORE ACCESSIBLE
PARKING.>>DARYL: CLOSE CAPTIONING ON
TELEVISION.>>YES.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK IS IMPORTANT FOR THE GENERAL
PUBLIC TO REMEMBER IS THAT THE ADA IS SORT OF THE
COMPREHENSIVE OVERALL GRAND DADDY OF CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS FOR
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, BUT WE ALSO HAVE MANY OTHER LAWS.
WE HAVE THE I.D.E.A., EDUCATION FOR INDIVIDUALS
WITH DISABILITIES, EDUCATION FOR SCHOOL.
WE HAVE FAIR HOUSING ACT FOR HOUSING.
WE HAVE AIR CARRIER ACT. WE HAVE A LOT OF DIFFERENT
LAWS THAT SUPPORT THE WAY LIFE HAS BECOME MORE ACCESSIBLE
FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. AND I REALLY THINK WE HAVE
REALLY GREAT LAWS. WHAT WE DON’T HAVE ARE TWO
THINGS. WE DON’T HAVE A LOT OF
ENFORCEMENT OF THOSE LAWS. AND WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY
THAT HAS COME TO THE INFRASTRUCTURE, BY
INFRASTRUCTURE, I DON’T MEAN JUST THE BUILDINGS AND
FACILITIES. BUT I ALSO MEAN THE
INFRASTRUCTURE TO PAY FOR SERVICES SUCH AS SIGN
LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS, TO PAY FOR COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES
THAT THE ADA HAS FLOURISHED.>>DARYL: SCOTT, YOUR CLIENTS,
WHAT ARE THE MAIN BARRIERS THEY TALK ABOUT OTHER THAN
EMPLOYMENT, WE CAN TALK MORE ABOUT EMPLOYMENT, BUT JUST
THE PHYSICAL OR OTHER BARRIERS THAT ARE OUT THERE.
WHAT DO THEY COMPLAIN ABOUT THE MOST? WHAT THINGS ARE
THEY STILL HAVING TROUBLE WITH?
>>I WOULD SAY ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IS THIS
KIND OF NAVIGATING THROUGH THE SYSTEM AND IT CAN BE
REALLY EASY IF YOU’RE A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY TO FALL
THROUGH THE CRACKS OF THE SYSTEM.
WE GET SOME CLIENTS WHO COME IN TO US, 35, 40 YEARS OLD, ASK
THEM, OH, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING SINCE YOU GRADUATED?
15, 20 YEARS AGO. AND THEY SAY, OH, I DIDN’T
KNOW WE HAD THESE SERVICES OUT THERE.
I DIDN’T KNOW THAT SSI EXISTED.
I DIDN’T KNOW THERE ARE RESOURCES FOR PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES. THEN WE ALSO SEE THAT OUR
OFFICE IS VERY CLOSE TO HOMELESS SHELTERS.
SO WE SEE A LOT OF INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE HOMELESS AND A LOT OF
THEM HAVE UNDIAGNOSED MENTAL ILLNESS.
SO THAT’S ANOTHER POPULATION THAT IS KIND OF SLIPPED
THROUGH THE CRACKS. MAYBE IF THEY HAD SOME
SERVICES OR KNEW ABOUT THE SERVICES, THEN LIFE WOULD BE
A LITTLE BETTER FOR THEM.>>DARYL: THAT’S A POINT THAT
LANI FROM MANOA WRITES. WHAT ARE SOME MODERN
CHALLENGES FACING TODAY’S DISABILITY COMMUNITY.
SHERYL, WHAT ARE YOU HEARING FROM YOUR OTHER FRIENDS AND
DISABLED COMMUNITY ABOUT THOSE KIND OF CHALLENGES?
WHAT ARE THE MODERN CHALLENGES?
>>I THINKED THE MODERN CHALLENGES, WELL, FOR
EXAMPLE, I THINK EMPLOYMENT. WHEN PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
ARE SEEING AT ALL LEVELS OF JOBS, FROM THE CEO TO THE
ACCOUNTANT TO ALL LEVELS, THAT’S THE OPPORTUNITY FOR
PEOPLE TO WORK WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND THEN
ONLY THEN WILL ATTITUDES CHANGE ABOUT DISABILITY.
WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, JUST TELL THIS SHORT STORY, I
STARTED TO DO TO PUBLIC SCHOOL IN MY JUNIOR YEAR.
I WENT TO THE HOSPITAL TO VOLUNTEER BECAUSE I FIGURED
IF I VOLUNTEERED, I WOULD BE ABLE TO GET A JOB.
THEY ASKED ME WHAT I WANT TO DO. I WANT TO TALK TO POEM
AND BRING NOW YOU AVES. I’M NOT REALLY SHY AND
BRINGING FLOWERS SEEMED REALLY FUN.
THEY PUT ME IN THE BASEMENT AND THEY HAD ME COUNTING
WHATEVER, TOGETHER IN GROUPS OF FOUR.
AND I WAS THE ONLY ONE IN THE BASEMENT.
THERE WASN’T EVEN ANYBODY ELSE DOWN THERE.
AND IT TOOK ME A WHILE TO REALIZE THAT THE REASON THEY
PUT ME THERE IS BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ME
AND THEY DIDN’T WANT ME TO TALK TO PEOPLE AND BRING FLO
FLOWERS. I THOUGHT I WAS DOING AN
IMPORTANT JOB. BUT I REALIZE LATER THAT THEY
DIDN’T REALLY WANT ME THERE. SO I THINK THAT THE ATTITUDES
IN EMPLOYMENT WILL CHANGE WHEN THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES. THAT’S ONE OF THE UNFORTUNATE
SIDES OF THE ADA, THE EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS AREN’T
REALLY MUCH BETTER, IN SOME WAYS, WORSE SINCE THE ADA
PASSED. BUT I STILL BELIEVE THAT’S ADA
IS A GREAT FOUNDATION FOR OUR FUTURE.
>>DARYL: FRANCINE, YOU MENTIONED LACK OF
ENFORCEMENT. WE WERE TALKING EARLIER ABOUT
SOME OF THE STORIES THAT WE HAD DONE IN THE PAST ABOUT
LAWSUITS. GREAT MANY LAWSUITS.
IS THAT STILL PRIMARILY THE ONLY WAY PEOPLE CAN GET THIS
DONE IS TO THREATEN TO HAVE A LAWSUIT OR GET A LAWYER? I
IMAGINE IT’S NOT CHEAP TO GET A LAWYER EITHER.
WELL, I DON’T KNOW THAT I WANT TO SPEAK TO HOW MUCH IT COSTS
TO GET A LAWYER. BUT WE DO HAVE AGENCIES, THE
HAWAI’I DISABILITY RIGHTS CENTER, HAWAI’I CIVIL RIGHTS
COMMISSION, THAT CAN PROVIDE A VENUE FOR AN INDIVIDUAL.
THEIR BACKLOG IS TERRIBLE. I MEAN, THEY’RE UNDERSTAFFED,
SO WE REALLY, WE DON’T PROCESS THE COMPLAINTS FAST ENOUGH.
AND EVEN IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT SOMETHING SUCH AS THE
ACCESSIBLE PARKING PROGRAM, WE HAVE GREAT STALLS OUT THERE
FOR ACCESSIBLE PARKING BUT WE DON’T HAVE GOOD ENFORCEMENT
OF IT, SO WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH POLICE.
>>THAT’S A REAL SIMPLE EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING THAT
PEOPLE CAN RECOGNIZE. I’M NOT SAYING THAT THE PEOPLE
WHO DO ENFORCEMENT AREN’T DOING A GOOD JOB, BUT WE HAVE
A LONG WAITING LIST AND A BACKLOG OF COMPLAINTS.
>>DARYL: LET ME ASK ABRALEEN. IS YOUR OWN DAUGHTER, DOES SHE
HAVE A JOB AND IS SHE CONCERNED ABOUT HER ABILITY
TO GET WORK?>>SHE DOES HAVE A JOB.
SHE’S WORKING AT HICKAM AS A MESS HALL ATTENDANT.
I AM HER TRANSPORTATION GETTING TO WORK.
SHE STARTS WORK 6:00 IN THE MORNING.
FROM WAIMANALO. I TAKE HER.
I’M CONCERNED ABOUT HER TRANSPORTATION COMING HOME.
SHE CATCHES THE BUS ON HER OWN COMING HOME.
SHE DOESN’T DRIVE.>>DARYL: IS THAT AN ISSUE,
MAYBE SCOTT, IS TRANSPORTATION A HUMUNGOUS
ISSUE?>>YES.
HUGE. WE ACTUALLY HAVE A TRAVEL
TRAINING PROGRAM THAT SPECIFICALLY FOCUS ON THIS
ISSUE WHERE WE HELP PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES TO NAVIGATE
THE PUBLIC BUS SYSTEM. BUT NOT EVERYBODY CAN CATCH
THE BUS. A LOT OF THEM HAVE TO RELY ON
HANDI-VAN AND I MEAN, THAT’S FOR ANOTHER SHOW.
>>DARYL: IT JUST GOT TO TOUCH ON THAT A LITTLE BIT.
RICHARD SAYS, HAWAI’I AREA RAPID TRANSIT TOOK
200 MILLION. I DON’T THINK THIS IS QUITE
FACTUALLY CORRECT. I’LL BE CAREFUL ABOUT THIS.
BUT THERE WAS A, HAWAI’I AIR RAPID TRANSIT TOOK
200 MILLION. HANDI-VAN PROGRAM WAS FORCED
TO GIVE IT BACK. HAVE THEY RETURNED THIS MONEY
BACK? YOU FOLKS AREN’T REALLY INVOLVED WITH HART.
BUT HANDI-VAN, GIVE ME A QUICK ASSESSMENT OF HOW HANDI-VAN
WORKING OUT. SHERYL, YOU HAVE SOMEONE DRIVING YOU, I
SAW TODAY, TONIGHT. MY FRIEND CAME WITH ME
TONIGHT, BUT YOU KNOW, I TAKE THE BUS.
I’LL TAKE THE BUS OR I’LL TAKE HANDI-VAN SOMETIMES.
IT JUST DEPENDS ON WHAT I’M DOING.
AND WHERE I’M GOING. AND YOU KNOW, HOW FAST OR
SLOW. MAYBE I NEED OR WANT TO GET
THERE. AND I WAS JUST GOING TO SAY,
I FIND I’VE GOTTEN, WHEN I WAS IN MY 20’S, OUT OF COLLEGE AND
I WAS MORE IDEALISTIC. COME ON, I TELL ALL MY
FRIENDS, I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH, GROWING UP, YOU CAN DO
THIS! YOU CAN GET A JOB!
NOW, I’M MUCH OLDER THAN THAT AND I UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE
GIVE UP SOMETIMES BECAUSE IF IF YOU’VE BEEN DISCRIMINATED
AGAINST OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND YOU TRY TO KEEP
TRYING TO SWING AT THE BALL AND KEEP MISSING THE BALL,
SOME PEOPLE DON’T HAVE THE WILL OR STAMINA TO KEEP
FIGHTING. THEY JUST YOU KNOW, ARE LIKE,
YOU KNOW, IT’S TOO MUCH WORK. AND I FIND MYSELF AS I’VE
GOTTEN OLDER NOT AS WILLING TO GO TO A NEW SOCIAL SITUATION
AND FEEL LIKE A PIECE OF FURNITURE THAT’S IN THE
SOCIAL SITUATION. AND THERE ARE TIMES WHEN JUST
WHEN I THINK I’M GOING TO BE INCLUDED, I’LL BE EXCLUDED,
I’LL THINK IT’S GOING TO GO WELL, AND THEN ALL OF A
SUDDEN, I’LL BE TOTE TOLD, YOU CAN’T DO THIS BECAUSE YOU’RE
BLIND. AND IT’S WHEN YOU’RE NOT
EXPECTING IT THAT IT HURTS THE MOST.
MOST OF THE TIME, I’M SORT OF SOMEWHAT EXPECTING IT, BUT
SOMETIMES YOU JUST DON’T EXPECT THAT.
YOU JUST WANT TO GO AND DO SOMETHING AND HAVE IT BE JUST
EASY LIKE IT IS FOR YOUR FRIENDS.
>>DARYL: LET ME ASK ABRALEEN. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU’VE SEEN
WITH YOUR DAUGHTER WHERE JUST WHEN YOU THINK THAT SHE’S
DOING WELL, SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN THAT DISCOURAGES HER?
>>IT HAS HAPPENED AND IT’S HAPPENED, SOMETHING HAPPENED
AT WORK AND IT DISCOURAGED HER.
IT UP SET ME BUT I WENT AND TALKED TO THE SUPERVISOR.
I AGREE WITH SHERYL. I HAVE THESE HIGH HOPES FOR MY
KID, AND WHEN I HEAR PEOPLE, WHETHER IT’S AT WORK, OR ON
THE BUS, YOU KNOW, I GET UP SET AND ALWAYS HAVE TO EXPLAIN TO
HER, AND WHEN SHE TRAVELS ON THE BUS, SAFETY IS AN ISSUE.
SHE’S A FEMALE. AND HER TRAVELING RIDE IS HOUR
TO AN HOUR-AND-A-HALF.>>DARYL: WHY DOESN’T SHE USE
HANDI-VAN?>>I HAD ASKED HER, AND THAT’S
ONE THING, WITH MY DAUGHTER AND I, WE TALK A LOT AND
EXAMPLE EXPLAIN, BREAK IT DOWN FOR HER.
I ASKED HER, WHY NOT DO A HANDI-VAN? SHE DIDN’T WANT
TO. I KEEP TRYING TO.
I THINK SHE UNDERSTANDS THE DIFFERENCE.
>>DARYL: THERE’S A STIGMA ISSUE?
>>I THINK SOMEHOW, SHE UNDERSTAND THAT.
I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE UNDERSTOOD THAT.
SHE RECOGNIZED. I TRY TO IT WOULD HELP ME A
GREATLY. BUT SHE DOESN’T WANT TO DO IT.
>>DARYL: INTERESTING.>>I DON’T WANT TO BE A TRIGGER
TO HOW THE REST OF HER WORKDAY WILL BE.
>>DARYL: RIGHT.>>SO WE CHOOSE OUR BATTLES.
>>HANDI-VAN IS A REQUIRED SERVICE.
IT’S WHAT WE CALL PARATRANSIT.
SO ANY METROPOLITAN AREA THAT RUNS A FIXED ROUTE LIKE THE
BUS IS REQUIRED TO HAVE HANDI-VAN.
>>DARYL: WHAT STANDARDS ARE THEY EXPECTED TO MEET AND ARE
THEY ANYWHERE NEAR THE STANDARDS THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO
MEET, COULD PROBABLY DO A WHOLE SHOW ON THAT.
>>DARYL: WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE ADA AND IT’S SOMETHING
THAT I’VE ALSO HEARD PEOPLE SAY, THIS IS NOT TO BANG ON THE
HANDI-VAN, I’VE HEARD PEOPLE SAY, YOU KNOW, TAKE A CAB
INSTEAD OR GET RELATIVE TO THE DRIVE THEM INSTEAD.
BUT THEORETICALLY, UNDER ADA, IT SHOULD BE THERE.
>>THEIR ON TIME PERFORMANCE IS PROBABLY THE MOST
COMPLAINED ABOUT ASPECT OF THE SERVICE.
AND HANDI-VAN IS A REALLY GOOD EXAMPLE OF A SERVICE THAT HAS
BEEN UNDERFUNDED AND WHERE IT NEEDS MORE MONEY.
>>DARYL: IS THERE A RISK THAT THE GOVERNMENT CAN GET SUED
BECAUSE OF THIS?>>HANDI-VAN IS ALREADY
EMBROILED IN QUITE A FEW COMPLAINT.
>>DARYL: HOW DOES THAT WORK THEN? IF THEY GET ENOUGH
COMPLAINTS, GET A LAWSUIT, ULTIMATELY THE FEDERAL COURTS
STEP IN AND START RUNNING IT?>>I WAS GOING TO SAY, I THINK
WE SHOULD JUST STAY AWAY FROM HOW HANDI-VAN.
>>I BROUGHT IT UP.>>DARYL: TRANSPORTATION IS A
HUGE ISSUE. IT’S AN ISSUE FOR EMPLOYMENT.
IT’S AN ISSUE FOR PEEL FEELING INDEPENDENT.
ISSUE OF CONFIDENCE, RIGHT?>>I THINK TRANSPORTATION,
HOUSING AND EMPLOYMENT ARE THREE HUGE ISSUES FOR PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES. I THINK IT’S GOOD, I’M SORRY
I DON’T REMEMBER YOUR NAME, BUT YOUR DAUGHTER, I THINK
IT’S REALLY AWESOME THAT YOU’RE LETTING HER MAKE THE
CHOICE. EVEN IF IT’S NOT A CHOICE THAT
YOU’RE THE MOST COMFORTABLE WITH.
BUT YOU’RE GIVING HER THE RIGHT TO MAKE THAT CHOICE FOR
HERSELF.>>I HAD CALLED INQUIRED ABOUT
THE HANDI-VAN. IT’S NOT LIKE, OH, CAN MY
DAUGHTER JUST TAKE YOUR VAN. THEY GO THROUGH A PROCESS AND
MY DAUGHTER IS ABLE TO CATCH THE BUS TO RECOGNIZE WHICH
BUS, THE ROUTE. BUT IT WAS THROUGH TRAINING,
I WOULD TAKE HER ON A BUS ROUTE.
HAVE HER GO ON THE BUS AND I TELL HER, THREE BUS STOPS
LATER, I’LL BE THERE, BECAUSE IF SHE’S NOT GETTING OFF,
GUESS WHAT MIME AT THE NEXT BUS STOP PULLING HER OFF SO
THAT WE CAN CORRECT THIS. REPETITIVE PRACTICE.
AND HAVING HER TO LOOK AT THE STREET NAMES AND THE
BUILDINGS TO BE FAMILIAR WITH.
>>DARYL: I CAN IMAGINE AS A PARENT, BEING TERRIFIED.
>>I’M A SINGLE PARENT AND I HAVE TO WORK.
SO WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER AS A TEAM REGARDLESS OF YOUR
DISABILITY. EARLIER, YOU TALKED ABOUT
LABELS. FIRST, SIX YEARS OLD
RECOGNITION DYING NOTIONED PDDNOS, THEN HIGH FUNCTIONING
AUTISTIC. THEN AUTISTIC.
THEN ASPERGERS, NOW WE’RE BACK AT AUTISTIC.
IT DON’T MATTER, IT DOESN’T MATTER, THAT’S MY DAUGHTER
FIRST AND FOREMOST. THAT’S MY DAUGHTER.
WHATEVER DSM-V WANT TO CALL IT, OR ANYBODY ELSE WANTS TO
CALL IT, THAT’S MY DAUGHTER.>>DARYL: LET ME INTERRUPT FOR
A MOMENT. I’VE GOT TO READDRESS OUR
AUDIENCE AND REMIND US THAT TONIGHT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
THE CHALLENGES FACING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.
PLEASE CALL, E-MAIL POUR TWEET YOUR QUESTIONS AND
COMMENTS. CALL 973-1000 IF YOU LIVE ON
OAHU. 800-238-4847 IF YOU’RE
CALLING FROM A NEIGHBOR ISLAND.
LET ME BOUNCE SOME OF THESE. WE’RE GETTING QUITE A FEW
CALLS. ALWAYS GREAT.
I AM KALIA FROM WAIKIKI. PARAPLEGIC AND DUAL AMPUTEE.
I WOULD LIKE TO PRAISE THE CUTOUT CURBS AND HANDI-VAN.
I AM VERY THANKFUL FOR THEM. GOOD PLUG FOR THE HANDI-VAN.
>>WHEN HANDI-VAN IN THIS CITY PREDATED THE ADA, AND SO IT
HAD ITS OWN ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA, AND ONE OF THE
THINGS IT DID WAS TO ACTUALLY BE MORE GENEROUS THAN WHAT THE
ADA REQUIRED IN TERMS OF WHO’S ALLOWED TO TAKE HANDI-VAN.
SO PART OF THEIR PROCESS OVER THE YEARS HAS BEEN TO
STREAMLINE THEIR ELIGIBILITY PROCESS.
SO HANDIVAN HAS PROVIDED A VALUABLE SERVICE TO BE
COMMENDED FOR THE CITY FOR STARTING SOMETHING THAT
WASN’T REQUIRED BEFORE THE ADA.
NOW, THAT THERE’S AN OVERLAY OF REQUIREMENTS, THEN THEY’VE
GOT TO MATCH FUNDING AND THEY’RE DOING A LOT OF THINGS,
I THINK, CREATIVITY TO BUY MORE HANDIVANS TO KEEP THEM
MAINTAINED AND TO WORK WITH AGENCIES AND A PILOT PROGRAM
SUCH AS, I THINK, GOODWILL, ARC, TO PROVIDE THEIR OWN
TRANSPORTATION AND RELIEVE THE SYSTEM.
BUT IT’S REALLY DIFFICULT BECAUSE YOU CANNOT HAVE
ACCESS TO THE THEATRES, THE MOVIE IT’S, THE RESTAURANTS,
UNLESS YOU CAN GET THERE. AND IF THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN GET
THERE WITHOUT DRIVING YOURSELF IS PUBLIC
TRANSPORTATION, THEN WE’RE REALLY LOOKING AT AN ENTIRE
TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM WITH A GROWING POPULATION.
>>DARYL: I WAS DOING A LITTLE RESEARCH.
I SAW AN ARTICLE, HAWAI’I’S TAXI RATES ARE THE HIGHEST IN
THE NATION. SCOTT, DO FOLKS FIND THAT TAXI
SYSTEM AT ALL HELPFUL?>>
>>I HAD A RECENT CLIENT WHO’S BEEN USING UBER QUITE A BIT.
I’M AN UBER USER. CHEAPER THAN THE TAXI MORE
EXPENSIVE THAN THE HANDIVAN. BUT TIMELY.
>>DARYL: SOMEBODY SAID SEE TECHNOLOGY COMBINED WITH
TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS. LET’S TALK ABOUT EMPLOYMENT.
NOW, WE DID TALK ABOUT IT EARLIER, AND IT SOUNDS LIKE
THAT’S REALLY KIND OF A HUGE ISSUE.
WE AM A CALLER COME IN SAY, ON THE MAINLAND, MANY BIG
NATIONAL COMPANIES, FOR EXAMPLE, PEPSI, WAL-MART,
CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISABLED PEOPLE.
WHAT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES EXIST IN
HAWAI’I FOR DISABLED ESPECIALLY AUTISTIC FOLK.
HOW HARD WAS IT FOR YOUR DAUGHTER TO FIND A JOB?
>>AFTER SHE GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL, WE WENT TO
LANAKILA PACIFIC TO RECEIVE JOB TRAINING.
IT’S THROUGH LANAKILA THAT SHE’S NOW WORKING AT HICKAM AS
A MESS ATTENDANT. IT HAS CROSSED MY MIND IF
THERE’S ANYTHING ELSE OUT THERE THAT WOULD ALLOW HER TO
THE SAME BENEFITS AS ANYONE ELSE.
YOU KNOW, 80 HOURS, BENEFITS, RETIREMENT,.
I REALLY DON’T KNOW. , DARYL.
I MEAN, I NEED TO DO MY HOMEWORK AN SEE IF THERE’S
ANYTHING ELSE THAT SHE CAN DO BESIDES THAT.
>>DARYL: SHERYL, LET ME ASK YOU, WHAT KIND OF THINGS ARE
TALKED ABOUT AS THE BEST WAY TO INCENTIVIZE OR FORCE
EMPLOYERS TO DO BETTER AT THIS?
>>WELL, THERE ARE TAX INCENTIVES, AND.
>>DARYL: EX-EXISTING THINGS?>>YES.
I REALLY, YOU KNOW, I PERSONALLY THINK THAT WHEN,
FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN I INTERVIEW FOR A JOB, OR INTERVIEWED FOR
A JOB, OR WHEN I NOW AS A BUSINESS OWNER, HIRE PEOPLE,
I HIRE PEOPLE BASED ON MORE BASED ON ATTITUDE AND THEN I
CAN TEACH SKILLS. BUT THE ATTITUDE OF WANTING TO
WORK OR NOT FEELING REALLY ENTITLED, YOU KNOW, WELL, THE
WORLD OWES ME THIS, I THINK IT IS A REAL POSITIVE THING NO
MATTER WHO I’M HIRING. AND I THINK THAT THERE IS SO
MANY LAYERS TO EMPLOYMENT.>>DARYL: IT SOUNDS LIKE WHAT
YOU’RE SAYING, IT’S THE ATTITUDE OF THE HIRING PERSON
THAT’S REALLY MAKES THE DIFFERENCE, NOT SO MUCH SOME
EXTRINSIC PRESSURE ON A COMPANY.
IT’S THE ATTITUDE OF THE PERSON THAT, OR THE COMPANY
THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE HIRED INTO.
YOU KNOW, IF IT’S A WELCOMING COMPANY, IT MAKES A HUGE
DIFFERENCE OR WHEN I GOT A JOB WHEN I MOVED TO HONOLULU, I
WORKED IN THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS, AND THE WOMAN WHO
HIRED ME AT THAT TIME, YOU KNOW, SHE SAID I DON’T KNOW
HOW IT’S GOING TO WORK, SO YOU SEEM CONFIDENT, SO WHAT THE
HECK. THAT MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.
I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TVRS IT WAS GOING TO WORK EITHER, BUT I
KNEW I SHOULD HAVE THE SAME CHANCE TO SUCCEED AND/OR
FAIL. AND NOT BE EXPECTED TO FAIL,
SO I KNEW I NEEDED TO WORK REALLY HARD, TO SUCCEED, AND
YOU KNOW, WHEN I FIRST WALKED UP TO A TABLE, THE WHOLE GROUP
I WORKED WITH WERE ALL LIKE, HUH, YOU KNOW, HOLDING THEIR
BREATH, IS SHE GOING TO DROP THE WATER ON THE CUSTOMERS OR
WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO GO WRONG.
>>DARYL: YOU WAITED TABLES? U YES.
>>DARYL: I DON’T KNOW WHY I SAY THAT WITH ANY SURPRISE.
NOW THAT I’VE MET YOU AND SEEN HOW COMPETENT YOU ARE.
>>THAT WAS WAY BACK IN THE DAY.
30, OH, MY GOSH, 30 PLUS YEARS AGO.
>>DARYL: GIVE A SHOUT OUT. I’VE NOT A CALLER HERE,
CATHERINE POINTS OUT GOODWILL HAWAI’I OFFERS TRAINING AND
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES TO INDIVIDUALS WITH INDIVIDUALS
WITH DISABILITIES. THAT’S THEIR MISSION.
SURE THEY DO A GREAT JOB. WHAT ABOUT PRIVATE SECTOR
EMPLOYERS THAT YOU’VE WORKED WITH.
GIVE ME A COUPLE OF KUDO IT’S TO A COUPLE OF COMPANIES.
>>THERE’S A COUPLE.>>THERE’S A LOT.
DEAN’S DRIVE-IN KANEOHE. THEY’VE BEEN GREAT.
HIRED A BUNCH OF OUR CLIENTS AS DISH WASHERS AND BACK OF
THE HOUSE FOOD PREP. LANAKILA PACIFIC, THEY’VE
BEEN A GREAT EMPLOYER. THEY HAVE THOSE ABILITY ONE
CONTRACTS WHERE 75% OF THE WORKFORCE HAS TO BE PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES. IT’S BEEN GREAT WORKING WITH
THEM. SAFEWAY HAS ALWAYS BEEN GOOD
TO US. SOME OF THE SMALLER
BUSINESSES LIKE CAKE WORKS, THEY MAKE MACARONS AND
WEDDING CAKES, HAVE BEEN VERY SUPPORTIVE.
>>DARYL: CAN YOU FIND JOBS FOR THE PEOPLE YOU TRAIN?
>>YEAH, I MEAN, WE’VE BEEN PRETTY SUCCESSFUL IN THE LAST
FEW YEARS. EVERY YEAR, WE PLACE MAYBE 30
TO 50 OF OUR CLIENTS IN JOBS. I THINK WE SHOULD EMPHASIZE
LESS ON THE PLACEMENT BUT MORE ON LIKE THE LONG TERM REHAB,
WE CALL IT. IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO JUST PLACE
SOMEBODY A JOB. WE’VE GOT TO GET THEM A JOB
THAT THEY LIKE ENOUGH TO KEEP, JOB THAT’S SUPPORTIVE ENOUGH
TO ACTUALLY THRIVE ON THE JOB.>>DARYL: FRANCINE, HOW IS THE
EMPLOYMENT SCENE FROM YOUR ANGLE?
>>WELL, I WANT TO GO BACK TO ONE THING SHERYL SAID A LITTLE
WHILE AGO ABOUT THE EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS NOT
BEING VERY GOOD. THAT’S TRUE.
WHEN YOU TAKE A LOOK AT HOW FAR WE’VE COME AND ONE OF THE
THINGS IS THAT THE ADA IS NOT AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION LAW.
IT’S A NONDISCRIMINATION LAW. AND ABRALEEN’S DAUGHTER WORKS
IN THE FEDERAL SETTING. FEDERAL FACILITIES ARE ONE OF
THE BEST EMPLOYERS BECAUSE THEY DO HAVE AFFIRMATIVE
ACTION GOALS THAT THEY’RE TRYING TO MEET.
WHEN YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THE EMPLOYMENT ARENA, WHAT YOU’RE
FINDING IS WE’RE NOT DOING, WE HAVEN’T REALLY IMPROVED IN
THE WAY THAT WE ARE GETTING PEOPLE JOBS.
WHERE THE ADA HAS BEEN THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ARE PEOPLE
WHO ARE ALREADY ON THE JOB AND FOR WHATEVER REASON, THEY
HAVE A LIFE CRISIS OR THEY DEVELOP A DISABILITY OR THEY
BECOME DISABLED AS A RESULT OF A STROKE ONCE THEY’RE ON THE
JOB, SO THE EMPLOYER ALREADY HAS A HISTORY OF WORKING WITH
THEM AND THE PROCESS OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS
FOR AN INDIVIDUAL ONCE THEY ARE ALREADY THERE, HAS BEEN
PROBABLY THE BEST SUCCESS OF EMPLOYMENT.
BUT THAT DIDN’T GET THEM THE JOB IN THE FIRST PLACE.
GETTING IN THE DOOR IS HARD.>>DARYL: LET ME ASK THE PANEL.
IS THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION TYPE LEGISLATION SOMETHING
THAT IS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO DO THIS? DO YOU THINK THIS IS
A VERY DIFFICULT THING TO GET THROUGH OR DO YOU THINK JUST
TIME AND EXPOSURE TO MORE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WILL
MOVE THE EMPLOYMENT WORLD? WHAT DO YOU ANY?
>>I THINK-SHALL WHAT DO YOU THINK.
>>I THINK AS PARENTS, OUR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
THEY HAVE BENEFITS AS DOES I AND SO FORTH.
I COME ACROSS PARENTS. I’M ONE OF THEM THAT WE CHOSE
BETWEEN CONTINUING OUR BENEFITS OR WORKING.
WE CHOSE TO WORK. WE LOST OUR SSI.
WE HAD TO PAY BACK SSI. AND I THINK A LOT OF PARENTS
WHOSE CHILDREN ARE –>>DARYL: SSI IS SOCIAL
SECURITY DISABILITY PAYMENTS?
>>YEAH. IT’S SOMETHING WE’RE THERE.
YEAH. IN ORDER FOR US TO GET
EMPLOYMENT, WE STILL NEED SOME BENEFITS.
NOT GIVE US — INCENTIVE?>>EXACTLY.
YOU CHOOSE. IT’S NOT FAIR BUT WE’RE
ALREADY STARTING BELOW.>>DARYL: YOU’RE STARTING WITH
BARRIERS.>>EXACTLY.
IT’S REALLY HARD. WE WANT TO PUSH OUR CHILDREN
TO WORK AND ALL, BUT AS A PARENT, THE BENEFITS HELP US.
BUT WHEN WE HAVE TO CHOOSE, THAT’S ANOTHER WHOLE
DIFFERENT ISSUE TOO, DARYL.>>DARYL: LINING UP THE SHOWS
WITH.>>IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR
SSI, THAT ALSO COMES WITH HEALTH CARE BENEFITS TOO.
YOUR MEDICAL CARE, AND IT MAY BE VERY DIFFICULT FOR
SOMEBODY TO GO, I MEAN, THEY’RE WILLING TO GIVE
UP BALANCE OFF THE WAGES, BUT TO LOSE THAT MEDICAL CARE AND
THEN TO HAVE TO GO BACK IN THE QUEUE OF WAITING, IS A REAL
DISINCENTIVE.>>MALIA: LITERALLY GET
SCRATCHED OFF LIST IF YOU START WORKING?
>>WELL, IT’S NOT COMPLETELY SCRATCHED OFF THE LIST.
BUT THERE YOU HAVE LIMITS ON WHAT IS THE AMOUNT OF HOURS.
BUT AS WE ALL KNOW, IF YOU GET AN ENTRY LEVEL JOB, IT’S NOT
A LIVING WAGE HERE. WHETHER YOU HAVE A DISABILITY
OR NOT. SO MANY OF THE JOBS COME IN AT
AN ENTRY LEVEL AND YOU THINK, DO I GIVE WAGE JOB AND DO I
GIVE MY HEALTH CARE BENEFITS UP.
>>DARYL: SEVEN DOLLARS AN HOUR FOR HIGH DEDUCTIBLE
HEALTH POLICY.>>THAT’S RIGHT.
IT’S REALLY A TRADEOFF. SO THERE ARE A LOT
OF — THERE’S A PROGRAM THAT PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT
CALLED MEDICAID BUY-IN. SO THAT AS YOU BEGIN TO EARN
MORE, YOU CAN GRADUALLY PHASE OUT, THAT YOU CAN STILL BUY
INTO THE MEDICAID PORTION BECAUSE THAT’S THE PART THAT
MOST PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF LOSING.
>>DARYL: LET ME ASK SCOTT. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT
IDEA? YOU’VE SEEN PEOPLE LEAVE YOUR PROGRAM AND TRY AND
FIND WORK AND BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST.
DOES THAT HAPPEN?>>ON THE JOB?
>>DARYL: OR JUST BECAUSE OF THEIR DISABILITY, LIKE PEOPLE
ARE JUST SAYING, I’M NOT GOING TO HIRE YOU FOR REALLY NO GOOD
REASON OTHER THAN THAT.>>I DON’T KNOW IF THEY
ACTUALLY SAY THAT. BUT.
>>BETTER NOT.>>THEY DON’T ACTUALLY SAY
THAT. THEY’RE CAREFUL WITH THEIR
WORDS. WE HAVE HAD CLIENTS IN THE
PAST WHO, I FEEL LIKE THEY HAD TO HAVE ALL THE EXPERIENCE,
HAVE THE QUALIFICATIONS, HAVE THE PHYSICAL ABILITY TO DO THE
JOB, BUT FOR SOME REASON, THIS EMPLOYER JUST A LITTLE, GUY
LOOKS KIND OF FUNNY OR SOUNDS KIND OF FUNNY, SOMETHING MUST
BE WRONG WITH THIS HIM. CAN I REALLY TRUST THIS GUY TO
DO THE JOB? WE DO SEE THAT.>>DARYL: SO SHERYL, LET ME ASK
YOU. WHAT DO YOU THINK, IF YOU WERE
GOING TO WRITE A LAW RIGHT NOW IN TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT, WHAT
WOULD YOU WANT THAT LAW TO SAY?
>>THAT’S COMPLICATED. I WOULD SAY THAT, I MEAN, I
TEND TO BE SORT OF IDEALISTIC IN MY POINTS OF VIEW
SOMETIMES. SO I GUESS I WOULD WANT THE LAW
TO SAY, I WOULD WANT, IF YOU’RE ASKING ME HOW CAN WE
GET MORE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE
WORKFORCE, I THINK COMPANIES THAT ARE SUCCESSFUL AT HIRING
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, FOR EXAMPLE, COULD ADVERTISE, WE
SUPPORT DIVERSITY. AND MAYBE THERE COULD BE
TELEVISION AND RADIO AND ALL KINDS OF SLOTS.
I’VE HEARD SOME ON THE RADIO BEFORE.
I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE LAW WOULD SAY THAT I WOULD WRITE
EXACTLY, BUT YOU KNOW, THERE’S A COMPANY CALLED JUST
ONE CHANCE, AND BASICALLY, WHAT THEY’RE SAYING IS JUST
GIVE ME A CHANCE. AND THE WAY I LOOK AT IT IS
GIVE ME A CHANCE, OR US A CHANCE, GIVE ME A CHANCE TO
SUCCEED AND GIVE ME A CHANCE TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO FAIL.
BECAUSE IN FAILURE, OR NOT BEING SUCCESSFUL, I’LL LEARN
SOMETHING. JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE.
BUT DON’T PUT EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IN MY LIFE ON MY
DISABILITY. SHE COULDN’T DO IT BECAUSE
SHE’S BLIND OR SHE, WHATEVER, BECAUSE SHE’S BLIND.
>>DARYL: LET ME ASK FRANCINE.>>WE CAN WRITE A LAW TOO.
LET’S WRITE IT TOGETHER.>>DARYL: YOU GUYS ACTUALLY
THAT’S PART OF YOUR JOB. BUT WHAT I WONDER ABOUT, IS IT
LEGAL TODAY FOR AN EMPLOYER TO SAY, YOU KNOW, I JUST DON’T
THINK MY GUTS TELLS ME THAT YOUR DISABILITY IS NOT GOING
TO MAKE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THIS JOB.
CAN YOU DO THAT?>>NO.
>>DARYL: DON’T LAUGH. I DON’T KNOW.
>>NO, THAT WOULD BE A DISCRIMINATORY STATEMENT TO
MAKE ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY.
>>DARYL: BUT WHAT IF SOMEONE, YOU KNOW, USE SHERYL AS AN
EXAMPLE. WHAT IF THAT RESTAURANT OWNER
SAID, A BLIND PERSON CAN’T WAIT ON TABLES.
>>WELL, AT THE TIME, THERE WAS NO, WERE NO LAWS THAT
PROTECTED A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY.
SO THEY COULD SAY WHATEVER THEY WANTED TO.
AND THEY DID. AT THE TIME WHEN I WAS MUCH
YOUNGER, PEOPLE SAID, AND PEOPLE STILL CAN IMPLY IT, BUT
ARE SMARTER ABOUT, THEY DON’T SAY IT OUT LOUD, BUT SOMETIMES
YOU KNOW THAT’S WHAT THEY MEAN.
>>DARYL: LET ME, GO AHEAD.>>FRANCINE MENTIONED EARLIER
THAT THE ADA HELPS THOSE WHO ALREADY HAVE JOBS, KEEPS THEM
SAFE. BUT FOR THOSE WHO ARE ENTERING
THE WORKFORCE, SOMETIMES IT CAN ACTUALLY DISSUADE
EMPLOYERS FROM HIRING JUST BECAUSE THEY KNOW, THIS
PERSON HAS A DISABILITY. I’M GOING TO HAVE TO PROVIDE
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS AND WHILE THEY MAY NOT SAY IT
TO YOU, I’M NOT GOING TO HIRE YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE A
DISABILITY, THEY COULD BE THINKING IT AND JUST DECIDE TO
GO WITH ANOTHER APPLICANT.>>DARYL: I DID HAVE THE
EXPERIENCE PRIOR EMPLOYER WHERE THEY DECIDED, WELL,
AFFIRMATIVELY SEEK DISABLED EMPLOYEES, AND THEY ASKED
EXPERT CONSULTANT TO COME AND LOOK AT THE WORKPLACE.
AND THEY HAD TO MAKE SOME, DO A COUPLE REALLY SMALL THINGS.
DO YOU THAT’S INTIMIDATING FACTOR, FRANCINE, THAT
EMPLOYERS ARE AFRAID TO TAKE ON DISABLED EMPLOYEES WITH
DISABILITIES BECAUSE THEY’RE AFRAID OF ALL OF THE STUFF
THEY MIGHT HAVE TO DO?>>I THINK THAT’S A LITTLE BIT
OF A FACTOR. BUT I THINK IT’S REALLY A
MATTER OF IGNORANCE WHEN IT COMES TO EMPLOYMENT.
AND I’M STILL GOING TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE MY
OWN LAW HERE. I’M GOING TO GO RIGHT BACK.
BUT YOU KNOW, YOU ASKED ABOUT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION.
I WOULD THINK THAT ONE OF THE BEST THINGS WE COULD DO WOULD
BE TO CREATE SOME INCENTIVES FOR EMPLOYERS SO THAT THEY GOT
THROUGH THE INITIAL HURDLE OR THE INITIAL FEAR FACTOR
BECAUSE WHETHER OR NOT IT’S A TAX INCENTIVE OR, SAY,
UNDERWRITE THE COST OF INDIVIDUAL’S WAGES FOR THE
FIRST SIX MONTHS OR HOWEVER, AS OPPOSED TO AFFIRMATIVE
ACTION WHERE YOU ARE, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, THERE’S
PROS AND CONS ABOUT THAT, BUT IN MANY WAYS, YOU REDUCE
PEOPLE TO JUST NUMBERS. OH, I’VE GOT TO GET ONE MORE
RACIALLY DIVERSE PERSON.>>DARYL: START THE WHOLE
PROCESS OF LABELING AGAIN.>>IDENTIFY ONE MORE WOMAN.
IF PEOPLE APPROACH IT THAT WAY, I THINK YOU ULTIMATELY
ARE DOOMED TO HAVE A NEGATIVE ATTITUDE OVER THE LONG RUN.
I WOULD RATHER PEOPLE AGGRESSIVELY SAY, I WOULD
LIKE TO DIVERSIFY MY WORKFORCE AND IF IF THE
GOVERNMENT COULD PROVIDE ME SOME SUPPORT AND INCENTIVE
ALONG THE WAY, THEN I’M WILLING TO TAKE THE PLUNGE AND
BE A LITTLE BIT MORE RESPONSIVE.
>>DARYL: SCOTT?>>WE HAVE A STATE-FUNDED
PROGRAM BY DRF CALLED WORK LIFE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
WHERE WE ACTUALLY COVER WAGES OF PARTICIPANTS FOR THE FIRST
SIX WEEKS UP TO 19 HOURS. ON PAPER, THIS INDIVIDUAL IS
ABILITIES UNLIMITED EMPLOYEE, SO WE COVER WAGES
AND LIABILITY. IN PRACTICE, THIS PERSON IS AN
EMPLOYEE OF SAFEWAY.>>DARYL: IT HELPS GET THEIR
FOOT IN THE DOOR AND TAKE SOME. RISK AWAY FROM THE
EMPLOYER.>>BACK DOOR ENTRY INTO THE
JOB.>>DARYL: LAST COUPLE OF
QUESTIONS ABOUT EMPLOYMENT ISSUES.
YOU MENTIONED STATE DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHAB.
BUDGET CUTS CAUSE THE VOCATIONAL REHAB TO STOP
TAKING REFERRALS FOR SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT,
DEPARTMENT HAS NOT RETURNED TO THE PRE-CUT LEVEL.
THEN ANOTHER ONE IS GENERALIZED QUESTION ABOUT IS
THERE ENOUGH PROPER EDUCATION OF TRAINING AVAILABLE.
I MEAN, IS THERE, PLENTY OF RESOURCES OUT THERE? I DON’T
KNOW, ABRALEEN, HAVE YOU GONE THROUGH THIS PROCESS?
>>FOR OUR SITUATION, OUR RESOURCES WAS LANAKILA AND WE
HAVE RESOURCES FOR US. IT IS THE BUSINESSES WHO NEED
THE RESOURCES, THE SUPPORT. WE WELCOME THEM TO OPEN THEIR
DOORS, OPEN THEIR ARMS OUT TO OUR POPULATION, BUT NO ONE
WANTS TO STEP UP AND SAY, HEY, LET ME BE THE FIRST HOTEL, OR
WHATEVER ORGANIZATION, BUSINESS, TO WANT TO LEARN
MORE ABOUT DISABILITIES. ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS ASK.
WE’D BE MORE THAN WILLING TO HELP THEM OUT, TO EDUCATE
THEM.>>DARYL: SO SHERYL, YOUR OWN
THOUGHTS ON THAT?>>WELL, I THINK THERE’S A LOT
OF YOU KNOW, IF I HIRE A PERSON, YOU KNOW, WITH A
DISABILITY, IN PEOPLE’S MINDS, IT’S BEEN A LOT OF
TIMES, THAT IT’S MORE RISK INVOLVED.
BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS WHEN YOU HAVE A BUNCH OF
APPLICATIONS, YOU HAVE A BUNCH OF PAPER IN FRONT OF YOU
THAT ARE APPLICATIONS, ANYBODY, EVERYBODY IS AT
EQUAL RISK. YOU DON’T KNOW IF THE PERSON,
YOU KNOW, JOHNNY SMITH OR JOE SHMOE, OR WHOEVER, YOU DON’T
KNOW THEM, SO IT’S NO MORE OF A RISK TO — IT WOULD PROBABLY
BE A RISK TO HIRE ME AS THE BUS DRIVER, BUT I’M NOT GOING TO
APPLY FOR A JOB THAT I DON’T HAVE SKILLS.
>>DARYL: THE BIGGEST DISABILITY THAT WOULD HURT AN
EMPLOYER IS EMPLOYEE IS LAZY. I MEAN, HARD WORKING PERSON
WOULD BE BETTER TO HAVE REGARDLESS.
>>EMPLOYERS DO HAVE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR JOBS,
WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY APPROPRIATE FOR MANY JOBS YOU
HAVE TO HAVE EITHER CERTAIN DEGREE OR CERTAIN SKILL SET.
AND YOU KNOW, THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WITHOUT DISABILITIES
WHO APPLY FOR JOBS THAT THEY’RE NOT QUALIFIED FOR.
AND I SEE THAT ALL THE TIME. SO PART OF IT IS BEING ABLE TO
DO A BETTER MATCH WITH AN EMPLOYER THAT IS RECEPTIVE TO
HIRING SOMEBODY WITH A DISABILITY.
>>DARYL: LET ME MOVE TO ANOTHER AREA THAT WAS TOUCHED
ON BY ONE OF OUR, BUDGET CUT IT’S ISSUE.
ANOTHER CALLER HAS ASKED, PERSON DOESN’T KNOW WHERE TO
GO FOR HELP. HOW DO YOU GET HELP? ANOTHER
ONE WROTE, THEY CAN’T FIND A DOCTOR FOR THEIR DISABLED
PSYCHIATRIST FOR A PERSON WHO HAS INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
BECAUSE THERE’S NO DOCTORS ON THEIR HEALTH PLAN.
SHORTAGE OF DOCTORS IN MEDICAID AND MEDICARE.
IS THE GOVERNMENT SYSTEM ROBUST ENOUGH, DO YOU THINK,
TO TAKE CARE OF FOLKS WITH DISABILITIES?
>>NO. YOU KNOW, THE SYSTEM, YOU
KNOW, IS HAVING BUS SYSTEM, GOVERNMENT, IS HAVING MANY
PROBLEMS WITH FINANCING, AND YOU REALLY CAN’T ATTRIBUTE IT
TO THE ADA NECESSARILY. WE SIMPLY HAVE A GOVERNMENT
SYSTEM THAT IS MAYBE UNSUSTAINABLE IN SOME OF IS
FINANCING. BUT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
HOMELESS POPULATION WHICH HAS A LOT OF PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES. WE DON’T HAVE MONEY TO SUPPORT
THAT.>>DARYL: FRANK FROM SALT
LAKE. WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH
HOMELESS PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS? I SAW A STATISTIC
ABOUT THE NUMBER.>>DON’T WANT TO USE IT
BECAUSE THESE STATISTICS TEND TO BE FLUID.
VERY LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ARE IN
HOMELESS POPULATION.>>THAT’S TRUE.
YEAH. WE HAVE CLOSED WAIMANO AND
HAVE NOT HAD THE SAME AMOUNT OF SUPPORT IN THE COMMUNITY
FOR COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES.
SO THERE’S NO QUESTION THAT ALMOST EVERY ASPECT OF OUR
SOCIETY, WHETHER IT’S EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT,
TRANSPORTATION, HOUSING, WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH RESOURCES
FINANCIAL, AND INFRASTRUCTURE FOR MANY
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.>>DARYL: I THINK ABRALEEN,
YOUR STORY IS YOU HAD ADVOCATED A RETURN.
>>YES.>>DARYL: WHAT’S IT LIKE.
>>UP AND DOWN STRUGGLES. I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE
DOING THIS, BUT YOU DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO.
AND THAT’S ALL IT IS. YOU ADVOCATE AND IT DOESN’T
END. EVEN AFTER SHE GRADUATED,
EVEN NOW, ADVOCATE, ADVOCATE. IT’S NEVER ENDING.
IN THE MEANTIME, TEACHING HER TO ADVOCATE FOR HERSELF, AND
THAT’S IMPORTANT BECAUSE SHE’S NOW BEING ABLE TO VOICE
WHAT SHE LIKES WHAT SHE DOESN’T LIKE, IF SHE DOESN’T
UNDERSTAND SOMETHING, SHE’S ABLE TO ASK.
IT’S ONGOING.>>DARYL: SHERYL, YOUR
THOUGHTS ABOUT HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO GET WHAT PEOPLE
SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO?>>WELL, FOR ME, HAVING A
DISABILITY IS JUST, IT’S MY — IT’S NORMAL.
IT’S, SO I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT ADVOCACY, THE FIRST TIME I HAD
TO DO SOMETHING WAS IN PUBLIC SCHOOL, I WENT TO GET SOME
PAPER. THEY SENT US TO THE OFFICE TO
GET SOME PAPER. AND THIS WOMAN, AT THAT TIME,
IF YOU HAD A CERTAIN DISABILITY, YOU WENT TO A
TARGETED SCHOOL. SO THE OFFICE PERSON WAS
SAYING, YOU KNOW, THOSE DARN BLIND KIDS, I WISH THEY WOULD
GO SOMEWHERE ELSE, BUT SHE HAD HER BACK TO ME, SO WHEN SHE
TURNED AROUND AND SHE SAID, OH,, OOPS, CAN I HELP YOU?
AND I SAID, YES, I WOULD LIKE SOME PAPER.
TYPING PAPER. AND SHE SAID, WELL, I DIDN’T
MEAN IT. AND SHE PATTED MY ARM.
SO I GRABBED HER ARM AND PATTED IT AND SAID, WELL, IT
SOUNDED LIKE YOU DID TO ME. AND THAT WAS MY FIRST
REAL — IT WAS LIKE, OH, I SAID SOMETHING I SHOULDN’T
HAVE SAID.>>DARYL: I HAVE INTERRUPT YOU
SHERYL BECAUSE WE’VE GOT ABOUT A MINUTE-AND-A-HALF.
I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE FOLKS A BITE ON THIS ONE QUESTION.
WHAT CAN WE, MAILE FROM AINA HAINA SAID, WHAT CAN WE
AS THE PUBLIC DO TO HELP PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES?
LET ME START WITH ABRALEEN. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
>>YOU KNOW, BE OPEN MINDED. NONJUDGMENTAL.
JUST TALK TO THEM. ASK HOW ARE YOU DOING? IT’S
REALLY BASIC. IT’S REALLY BASIC.
GET TO KNOW. THAT’S FROM MY PERSPECTIVE AS
A PARENT. JUST BE OPEN MINDED.
AND LEARN.>>DARYL: SHERYL, WHAT DO YOU
ANY? IF YOU COULD GET THE PUBLIC TO DO ONE THING, WHAT
WOULD IT BE?>>TO WELCOME PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES, EMBRACE US AS WHOLE PEOPLE, RATHER THAN
THINKING WE’RE BROKEN AND NEED TO BE FIXED.
FRANCINE?>>I WOULD SAY THE SAME THING.
I HAVE A SISTER WITH A SEVERE DISABILITY, MULTIPLE
DISABILITIES, AND IT WOULD BE JUST WELCOME, I MEAN, JUST
IT’S NOT A MATTER OF SAYING, TAKE A CHANCE, IT’S JUST MAYBE
THROW YOUR PRECONCEPTIONS OUT THE WINDOW FOR A LITTLE WHILE.
>>I AGREE. CHANGE OF ATTITUDE.
PEOPLE ARE TOO QUICK TO JUDGE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND
JUST ASSUME THAT THEY’RE SUBHUMAN.
>>DARYL: YOU’VE SEEN SO MANY OF THEM GROW.
>>YEAH.>>DARYL: WE’RE GOING TO TALK
ABOUT NEXT WEEKS SHOW. FOR MANY OF HAWAI’I’S VETERAN
IT’S, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION BENEFITS AND
SERVICES CAN BE A KEY TO A PRODUCTIVE CIVILIAN LIFE.
SOME VETERANS STILL FIND IT DIFFICULT TO GET ACCESS TO
BENEFITS INCLUDING HEALTH CARE, HOUSING AND EMPLOYMENT.
WHAT IS STANDING BETWEEN HAWAII VETERANS AND FULL USE
OF THEIR VA BENEFITS AND SERVICES? THAT’S NEXT TIME
ON INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAII. I’M DARYL HUFF.
MAHALO TO OUR PANEL AND A HUI HO.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *