Ringler Radio is the result of collaboration between Ringler Associates and the Legal Talk Network (LTN) to deliver information in a revolutionary way.
According to the program's featured guest, Andrew J. Imparato, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), as a group, people with disabilities have yet to realize the promise of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related amendments. At the same time, their voice is becoming louder and more significant as the movements to empower disabled people grow.
"Our mission is to organize the disability community, defined broadly, so that we have more power politically, socially and economically. Our goal is to move people with disabilities to the middle class, and reduce the number of disabled people living below the poverty level. The disability community is currently 54 million or one of every six Americans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This group is three times more likely to live below the poverty level, and their average income is about half that of people without disabilities.
"Our largest federal programs often trap people outside the workforce and punish people when they try to work," said Imparato, who advocates the use of structured settlements as a model for change.
President Elect Obama stated that in his new administration he wants to empower people with disabilities, and that he supports the following legislation: full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and expanding college opportunities for students with disabilities; strongly supports the ADA Restoration Act to overturn those Supreme Court decisions that wrongly narrowed the ADA; supports the Community Choice and CLASS Acts.
Imparato added, "The new administration's stimulus package has a $14 billion increase in federal spending on special education, increases in funding for Medicaid, which is very important, right now, with a lot of states that are cutting back on their Medicaid programs, increases in funding for vocational rehabilitation, independent living, and for supplemental security income recipients.
"Our overall structure for providing support for people with disabilities needs to be reconfigured. The AAPD would like to see structured settlements used as a model for an alternative to public programs. The structured settlements industry provides injured parties with the opportunity to go out and build their lives, as opposed as to the current disincentives that keep many of them from participating in the workforce.
"Structured settlement annuities provide economic certainty for injured people with disabilities. Their settlement funds are guaranteed and tax free, and they make it possible for disabled people to get a college degree, buy a house, a car, and participate in the workforce knowing that their annuity payments will continue and are safe from dissipation. This is what structured settlements were designed to do in the first place - to help people with these kinds of problems.
"The AAPD would like to see the government provide this kind of support for people with long-term disabilities, whether or not their disabilities had liabilities attached," Imparato concluded.
Ringler Radio is the result of collaboration between Ringler Associates and the Legal Talk Network (LTN) to deliver information in a revolutionary way, specifically, a series of online radio shows and podcasts. Since 1975, its representatives have placed over 157,000 settlement annuities totaling approximately $21 billion. These structured settlements have guaranteed tax-free income to thousands of parties who chose to settle their personal injury cases with settlement annuities - ringlerassociates.com/ringlerradio/ringlerradio.asp
Imparato joined AAPD in 1999 as its first full-time President and CEO. Since 1995, the AAPD pursued political and economic empowerment of all people with disabilities through public policy advocacy and programs, fostering leadership development, mentoring and career exploration, voting and civic participation, and member benefits.