Disability Rights

A class photo of fifth graders from the late 60s in front of the U.S. flag. There is an even split of Black and white students, mostly grouped in clumps. In the front row, four girls have their legs crossed.
Courtesy of Janet Perez

How do visually impaired students learn best in a virtual classroom? That is Janet Perez’s job to figure out this year. She is the instructional and assistive technology facilitator at the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh. Though she is sighted, Perez has plenty of feedback for web designers to make online learning more accessible (including some flaws on WUNC’s website). 

Photo of Mia Ives-Rublee with her dog Vezzini
Chris Riggs / Courtesy Mia Ives-Rublee

Mia Ives-Rublee grew up surrounded by adults who were worried about her well-being. She has Osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic bone disorder more commonly known as brittle bone disease, and uses a wheelchair to get around. 

Terry Helvie outside of her rental in Hamlet. She stayed there with her children while her house was being repaired.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

 

Goose Creek Island is no more than 9 square miles. It's reachable only by a small bridge over a narrow offshoot of the Pamlico River. The island is dotted with only a few homes. But that's a good thing for Terry Helvie who lives on the island with her two adult children. Both her son and daughter have developmental disabilities. Her son Logan can make a racket at times, but that's OK on the sparsely populated island.

ananda bennett
Lynn Hey / WUNC

  Ananda Bennett’s story about how she became a quadriplegic still makes her laugh.

“I love this story so much,” she said.

It started as a normal day for the then 11-year-old. Her mom picked her and her brother up from school and they went to run errands. Then Bennett felt a sharp pain between her shoulder blades. By the time her mom returned to the car, it was a scene out of a movie.

An image of a UNC student
Tia Holmes

This week, Tia Holmes began her first days at college. She is an incoming first-year this fall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is already planning to major in computer science.

But her passion does not stem solely from computers. Since she was in middle school, Holmes has been working to promote inclusion and acceptance of people with disabilities across the country.

Holmes was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy as a child. The disability affects her speech and movement, but not her drive to spread her message.

Haben Girma was the first deaf-blind student to graduate from Harvard Law.
Harvard Law

At the age of 15, Haben Girma had danced, skied, kayaked and traveled to Mali. And although that’s a lot for any young person to experience, Haben was doing so while deaf and blind.

Haben Girma was the first deaf-blind student to graduate from Harvard Law.
Harvard Law

At the age of 15, Haben Girma had danced, skied, kayaked and traveled to Mali. And although that’s a lot for any young person to experience, Haben was doing so while deaf and blind.

  

Lawsuit Over Cuts for People with Disabilities

Jun 1, 2011

Starting today, people with disabilities who have been getting supported to live at home will start losing their services. That's why Disability Rights North Carolina filed a federal lawsuit to stop the state service cuts from going into effect. 

Disability Rights head Vicki Smith says the cuts affect about 4,000 people around the state who need help with only 2 activities of daily living - such toileting or bathing - to stay at home.  Smith says if the cuts happen, these people will be likely to end up in institutions if they don't have family members available to help