Monday, January 30, 2023

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Massachusetts could restrict police use of facial recognition technology, Wyoming mulls more health coverage for workers, and a report finds low salary contributes to social workers leaving the field.

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Civil rights activists push for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act following the killing of Tyre Nichols, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he can reach a deal with President Biden on the debt ceiling, and election experts say 2023 could shape voting rights across the country.

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"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Disability Rights Champion Spotlights Need for Accessible Housing, Voting

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022   

It is Developmental Disability Awareness Month, and groups are spotlighting housing and voting as two major areas of concern.

To mark International Women's Day, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities held a virtual event Tuesday.

Tameka Citchen-Spruce, a disability justice advocate and former Ms. Wheelchair Michigan 2006 who spoke at the event, said it is crucial to make sure every polling place has a working voting machine for people who cannot fill out a paper ballot. And while the affordable housing crisis affects many in Michigan, she said there are additional factors if you are living with a disability.

"Finding accessible and affordable housing, as everyone knows, is a tremendous challenge, particularly when you have a physical disability; use a wheelchair, like myself," Citchen-Spruce explained.

Nationwide, roughly 57 million Americans live with some form of disability, and about 180,000 Michiganders have a developmental disability.

Citchen-Spruce is a filmmaker in addition to being an activist, and she said advocating for disability rights and storytelling go hand in hand.

"I think it's so important, because we need representation in the media," Citchen-Spruce asserted. "People need a reflection of themselves and their stories matter. And so that's why, alongside my disability advocacy, I think it's so important to create representation and tell stories."

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed March to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Michigan. She said the state Department of Health and Human Services encourages residents to recognize Michigan's advances, but also to acknowledge the work is not yet done to ensure full inclusion of people with disabilities.


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