Falling through the cracks: Center pushes for act to protect disabled adults

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FARMINGTON — Advocates for people with disabilities are pushing adoption of a new Navajo law to protect the tribe’s disabled population.The Native American Disability Law Center in Farmington is working on its third draft in as many years of a resolution that would address a gap in resources for adults with disabilities.

“There has never been an adult protection act on the Navajo Nation,” said Therese Yanan, executive director of the Native American Disability Law Center. “They have a children’s code, which covers children up to age 18, and they have an elderly protection act for people over 55. But people between 19 and 54 have no statutory protection.”

American Indians are more likely to report disabilities than the general population, according to United States census statistics. In a 2006 survey, 8 percent of American Indian children ages 5 through 15 reported a disability, compared to 6.3 percent of the general population. The gap widens as the population ages, with 20 percent of American Indians ages 16 to 64 reporting a disability, compared to 12.3 percent of the general population.

http://www.daily-times.com/ci_11457415

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