According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as much as two percent of the general population here in the U.S. suffers from fibromyalgia. For those unfamiliar with the condition, it is defined by the Mayo Clinic as a disorder characterized by everything from chronic pain and fatigue to sleep difficulties and mood issues.
The U.S. Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee recently published a rather eye-opening report outlining how a series of barriers have served to keep at least one out of every three disabled people living in poverty.
The unfortunate reality for many families with disabled children is that money to cover basic living expenses is sometimes hard to come by. That's because a parent might have to stay home to provide for their disabled child's needs, either cutting the household income in half or removing the sole source of income altogether.
Other than osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia is considered to be one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions, according to WebMD. Recent statistics suggest that more than 12 million Americans suffer from this debilitating disease which carries with it such symptoms as anxiety, depression, widespread pain, decreased pain threshold or tender joints, and incapacitating fatigue. As a result, many sufferers of this disease find it hard to live from day to day and often are unable to work as a result.
For athletes in the state of Texas, there is nothing more exhilarating than pushing yourself to do something better, faster or stronger. Constantly testing your limits and always improving on your skills are key to any athletes' success and as some would say, there is no better way of testing this than by participating in an athletic competition.
One of the most dominant reasons for the continuing unfair, marginalizing treatment of disabled persons in America is the lack of understanding and empathy that more able-bodied persons have for those with a debilitating condition. This disconnect, which often is most obvious between policymakers and everyday people, is at the root of access, benefits (such as Social Security Disability), and treatment faltering both here in Texas and across the nation.
For those Americans who have suffered the tragic, frequently life-changing onset of a disability, almost every aspect of everyday life can become riddled with new, unforeseen difficulties. Important matters such as caring for family members, fulfilling job duties, and maintaining a positive quality of life are often of primary concern in such cases.
For a working family the challenges of caring for one or more members with a disability are potent and myriad. From medical bills to the strain a serious injury or disease can put on the very love that bonds a household together, disabilities of any kind can become a factor that must be accounted for and overcome in nearly every aspect of life. Such aspects can be as simple as the need to keep everyone fed.
As the country adapts and continues to grow in its awareness, accommodation, and treatment of disabling ailments and injuries, it appears inevitable that the lines demarcating what is a "disability" and what is not will shift at an ever-quickening pace. Now, with the Americans with Disabilities Act more than two decades old, the recognition and protection of newly understood conditions is a frequent issue in courts both in Texas and across all of America.
Title IX, the landmark legislation that called for mandatory gender equality in high school and collegiate sports, has for decades had a defining impact on the nature of sports programs and team dynamics across the nation's schools. Now, a new directive from the federal Education Department appears poised to have the same landmark effect for those students with disabilities.