Entries by Regina Weiss, Director of External Communications

ICS to Launch New Disabilities Program

On April 1, Independence Care System will open the first and only “health home” in New York State specializing in helping people with physical disabilities stay healthy and independent, in their communities. A “health home” is not a place where people live; it is an organization that helps coordinate healthcare, social and community-based services, and […]

National MS Society names ICS a “Partner in Care”: Kudos for the ICS MS Program!

“When I see a newly-referred MS patient and she rolls into my office in a motorized wheelchair, clearly having suffered extensive disability due to this disease, I breathe a deep sigh of relief if she tells me she is an ICS member.” This sentiment was expressed by Dr. Stephen Krieger, a neurologist, professor, and expert […]

Do People with Disabilities Really Need an Airline Bill of Rights?

A law signed on October 5 to fund the Federal Aviation Administration for the coming five years includes provisions aimed at protecting air travel passengers with disabilities. They include: Penalties for bodily harm to passengers with disabilities Penalties for damage to wheelchairs or other mobility devices Creating an advisory committee to recommend consumer protection improvements, […]

Disability, Healthcare & Judge Kavanaugh

With protests reminiscent of those that surrounded the 1987 nomination of Robert Bork, Senate Judiciary hearings opened this Tuesday on the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. While it remains to be seen how the Kavanaugh nomination will fair compared to the campaign of opposition that ultimately kept Bork off the bench, the […]

NYC Has Strong Protections for People with Disabilities

The New York City Human Rights Commission (HRC) has just published a new document informing landlords, employers and places of public accommodation about disability discrimination – and how to avoid it. The 146 page document, called a “legal guidance” is the most extensive in the Commission’s history. At an event this past Tuesday, Commissioner Carmelyn […]

Behavioral Health & Disability

Untreated behavioral health problems can undermine anyone’s well-being. Mental and emotional problems often make a person’s medical condition worse. Anxiety or depression make them less able to function, to be engaged in their own care and healing, or to follow medical advice or instructions. Mental anguish can also make the physical pain from an illness […]

A Fresh Batch of Robocall Scams for 2018

As I read a recent article about automated phone calls – robocalls – flooding American’s cell phones and land lines, two words kept coming to mind: Wild West. Consider this: in April, Americans received 3.4 billion robocalls, which is an increase of more than 900 million per month over April of 2017 – many successfully […]

What is Disability Expertise?

“A lot of medical professionals just see me as a failure. People at ICS don’t. ICS should be the model for how care for people with severe disabilities is delivered.” ICS member Barbara Bobbi Linn. As has been said many times, ICS was created to fill a gap in care in New York City at […]

Why Multiple Sclerosis Specialized Care?

A number of years ago, in recognition of our expertise in supporting members who have multiple sclerosis, ICS was named a “Center of Excellence in Long Term Care” by the National MS Society. Of course, this made us proud, but even more significant, this recognition endorsed a very important idea: people with different disabilities have […]

People with Disabilities & the Debate over Guns

In a recent issue of Teen Vogue, journalist S.E. Smith explores the frequent exclusion of people with disabilities from the gun control debate in the United States. I found Smith’s piece as I searched for news on this topic, having read that a Texas chapter of ADAPT is surveying its members to learn how many […]

Disability Rights Advocate Alex Elegudin

Alex Elegudin is an attorney, President of Wheeling Forward and The Axis Project, and a leading disability rights advocate. This spring he completed a two-year stint at the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), where he worked to make yellow taxis and other for-hire vehicles more accessible to wheelchair users. We caught up […]

ICS Rehab engineer Bob Paradiso on assistive technology for independent living

ICS rehab engineer Bob Paradiso creates custom assistive technology for ICS members when needed.  However, in many cases inexpensive, easy-to-install, off-the-shelf items can allow older adults or those with disabilities to live more independently in their homes. With the push of a button or a simple voice command, even someone with extremely limited mobility can […]

Medicare’s Homecare Benefit: What You Need to Know

Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea that Medicare covers long-term home care services. I was under the impression that, at most, Medicare covered a few hours of homecare for a few days after someone comes home from a hospital stay. I was wrong about that and I’m not alone. I’ve read dozens […]

Deregulating Nursing Homes Leaves Patients at Risk

One of the last places anyone wants to find themselves is in a nursing home, but for many people who need long-term care services that are not available to them at home, or those who need to recover after a hospital stay, there is often no other choice. About 1.3 million Americans live in these […]

How the tax bill will hurt older Americans and people with disabilities

This past spring and summer saw a massive outpouring of opposition to repealing the Affordable Care Act. Together, millions of Americans, hundreds of consumer groups, and the entire healthcare industry stopped Congress in its tracks, sending Obamacare repeal down to defeat – not once, but twice. As I wrote in August, people with disabilities played […]

The ADA is at Risk

For the past 27 years, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has given people with disabilities the legal right to gain access to “public accommodations,” – places that are generally open to the public.  As a result, hard-fought lawsuits filed under Title III have opened vast areas of community life to millions […]

Dementia & Family Finance

A just-completed study carried out by the New York City Department for the Aging with help from community based organizations, including ICS, outlines some of the physical and emotional problems that afflict many family caregivers. These include depression, anxiety, stress, exhaustion, and higher rates of health problems like heart disease and obesity. “Caregiving can contribute […]

Homeless & Disabled in New York City

A settlement just reached in Butler v. The City of New York should make shelter services for homeless New Yorkers with disabilities more accessible over time. The settlement, which will take effect in mid-November, arose from a lawsuit against New York City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS). The plaintiffs are a number of New Yorkers […]

Police officers and older adults: Criminalizing Aging?

I recently learned that over a decade when arrests by police were generally falling, arrests of people over the age of 65 were moving in the opposite direction; they actually rose by 28 percent. What’s behind this surprising trend? The main factors seems to be insufficient training of law enforcement personnel, coupled with insufficient services […]

People with Disabilities Save Medicaid

Two days ago an opinion piece in The New York Times celebrated “The Americans who Saved Healthcare,” including citizens who attended town halls, community organizers, healthcare experts and elected officials. David Leonhardt’s feel-good piece captured a moment worth celebrating and as someone who has been deeply engaged in this battle, I enjoyed it. Still, I […]

Lawsuits Challenge Inaccessible NYC Subways

It won’t surprise any New Yorker who uses a wheelchair or who doesn’t have the ability to climb mountains of stairs, but two recently filed lawsuits made it official: New York has the least accessible subway system in the nation. We’ve all heard that, when it comes to accessibility, comparing New York’s subways with other […]

Have a Loved One with Dementia? CaringKind is All Around You.

At ICS we think a lot about the family members of the people we serve. We know that caring for a loved one with a disability or chronic health condition is no easy task. This is especially true for family members caring for loved ones with dementia, who may not be able to make decisions […]