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I am a writer and a filmmaker whose primary interests are stories, art and music. When I was hit by a car and became disabled in 1984, I became a member of America’s largest, poorest, and most ignored minority.

There are 52.6 million people with disabilities– 19.7% of America. [Disability Statistics Center] The model for health care in America focuses on acute disabilities. The acute model of illness and injury is based on an injury like a broken arm, which heals so its owner can return to work. This acute model disregards disabilities that are chronic and ongoing and will not be cured.

 

“1 in 5 Americans have some kind of disability and 1 in 10 have a severe disability. And with the population aging and the likelihood of having a disability increasing with age, the growth in the number of people with disabilities can be expected to accelerate in the coming decades.”  --The Bureau of the Census- December 1997.

 

 

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Opening sequence in 'When Billy Broke His Head'

Neil Marcus: playwright and actor

Person of the Week on Peter Jennings' ABC News