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Back Home in Indiana Alliance Winter Newsletter

Information courtesy of Back Home in Indiana Alliance

The Back Home in Indiana Alliance works to train teams of people with disabilities and other advocates to increase Indiana’s supply of affordable, accessible and integrated housing. If you are interested in housing issues, their latest newsletter is not to be missed!

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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program – Statewide

Information courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service

You may be eligible for free assistance with filing your taxes and applying for the Earned Income Tax Credit with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). VITA volunteers are certified and trained by the Internal Revenue Service and can help you prepare a basic return.  VITA is for people with income under $54,000, people with disabilities, seniors, and others who need special help. To find the VITA location nearest you, call 1-800-906-9887 or visit https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/ . Be sure to check dates and hours of operation.

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Suicide Rate Reaches Fifty-Year High – What Can Be Done?

Information courtesy of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US suicide rate has reached a fifty-year high. In 2017, there were 47,173 deaths due to suicide, a 3.7% increase over 2016.  Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Men die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women. The highest suicide rate was among adults between 45 and 54 years old. In the CDC report, the most common factors contributing to suicide included:

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Justice Department Scraps Americans with Disabilities Act Guidelines

Information courtesy of DisabilityScoop, the US Department of Justice

Back in December, President Trump issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to identify regulations for “repeal, replacement, or modification”. In response to the order, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that he is rescinding twenty-five guidance documents, including several related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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Sixty Percent of Polling Places Have Accessibility Issues

Information courtesy of the Government Accountability Office

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report on polling place accessibility. GAO examined 178 polling places during early in-person voting and on Election Day 2016, and found that 60% had at least one accessibility problem. The most common were steep ramps, lack of signs indicating accessible paths, and poor parking or path surfaces.  GAO examined voting stations at 137 of the polling places. Of the stations examined, 65% had accessibility issues that could prevent people with disabilities from voting privately and independently.

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