Disabilities

As the senior population grows in West Virginia, more of the state's elderly are living alone, with disability, and facing hunger. We focus on the cost of addressing these needs – and not addressing these needs. We also hear the latest updates from the West Virginia Legislature.

This week lawmakers debated tax breaks, sought remedies for a foster care system in crisis, passed a resolution calling for a convention of states and much more. Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by statehouse reporters to recap a week of legislative action.

The Axis 1 is an adaptive controller that was created by BlueTip Gaming. Adaptive controllers like this one help people with disabilities play video games.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


For people with disabilities, video games can help them feel more included and accepted in social circles. 

“In a video game, you don't know that I have a disability,” Mark Barlet, the founder of The AbleGamers Charity in Kearneysville, Jefferson County, explained. But not everyone with a disability can play video games with a traditional controller. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, video games can help who have disabilities feel more included and accepted among their peers in social circles. But not everyone with a disability can play video games with a traditional controller. As Liz McCormick reports, one nonprofit organization in Kearneysville, West Virginia, has been trying to change that.

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The West Virginia Autism Training Center based at Marshall University has expanded its programs to Shepherd.

Shepherd joins Concord University as the second campus-based satellite site for Marshall’s autism services program.

In West Virginia, a growing number of working-age adults are qualifying for federal disability benefits. But once they're receiving an SSI or SSDI check, they rarely return to work.

And that's leading to growing resentment across Appalachia of some people with disabilities.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

  West Virginia has increased the amount it spends to allow the disabled to live outside institutions in the years since a landmark Supreme Court ruling.

The 1999 decision said unnecessarily segregating people in mental hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions amounts to discrimination. Advocates for the mentally ill, older people and the disabled cite the ruling in arguing for home- or community-based care. The ruling has limitations. It says individuals should be "reasonably accommodated" and offers no guidance on allotting funds.