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News & Topics in Our Community

Give $20 to support Disability Advocates in honor of Olmstead's 20 years

April 24, 2019

Blue filtered photo of a black woman smiling. Text: Honoring Olmstead 20. 1999-2019. Give $20 to support advocates with disabilities through the Teresa Favuzzi Mobilization Fund. Disability & Aging Capitol Action Day. Unity Through Diversity. #DisabilityAgingUnited Lois Curtis, Activist and Artist.Twenty years ago, the landmark US Supreme Court Decision of Olmstead v. L.C., declared that unjustified segregation of people with disabilities is against the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). With the fierce leadership of Lois Curtis & Elaine Wilson, Olmstead paved the way for people with disabilities to have greater access to community integration, independence, and community living.
 
Help the Disability Action Coalition carry out the legacy of Olmstead by supporting advocates with disabilities to travel and mobilize for this year’s Disability & Aging Capitol Action Day.  
 

DONATE $20 OR MORE TO THE TERESA FAVUZZI MOBILIZATION FUND
FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF OLMSTEAD & Share widely!

 
The Teresa Favuzzi Mobilization Fund also honors the legacy of Teresa Favuzzi, an Olmstead advocate and one of the founders of Disability Action Coalition and Disability Capitol Action Day. The fund covers travel costs for people with disabilities to participate, mobilize and show our collective power at our State Capitol.
 
For more information about this year’s program and events please visit the Disability Action Coalition website at www.DisabilityActionCoalition.org.

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Test Uber's New Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles in Select Cities and Share Your Experiences with NCIL

April 23, 2019

Uber has been working with MV Transportation to expand access to wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs). These are now available in: New York City; Boston; Philadelphia; Washington, DC; Chicago; San Francisco; and Los Angeles. They have also developed a feedback form for riders’ experiences, which can be found at: t.uber.com/wavfeedback. 
We would like to encourage those of you who are wheelchair users who are interested to try this service and send feedback us at lindsay@ncil.org. We are very interested in hearing about anything you’d like to share with us regarding your experiences. Please note that the information shared with us may be shared with Uber, but we will not provide any identifying information. 

Open this message in Word or plain text.

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CalFresh expanding for seniors and people with disabilities receiving SSI

April 16, 2019

Logo Text: Justice in Aging. Fighting Senior Poverty through Law
 

Due in part to advocacy from groups like Californians for SSI, the 2018-2019 state budget included a policy change allowing California seniors and people with disabilities who receive SSI to be eligible for CalFresh (SNAP) benefits starting June 1, 2019.

Access to federal SNAP nutrition assistance will increase food security for California’s low-income SSI seniors and people with disabilities, leading to fewer people being forced to choose between basics like food and medicine, and giving people more flexibility to direct money toward other needs such as finding and being able to afford housing. The expansion will be particularly important for seniors age 60 or older, who represent more than half of the over 1.2 million low-income Californians who receive SSI to help meet their basic needs.

Aging services providers can learn more details about this important and historic change in a fact sheet from Justice in Aging. The five-page fact sheet helps providers understand the details of the change in order to better support their clients. The fact sheet also includes information on CalFresh rules that will be particularly relevant for enrolling SSI seniors and people with disabilities this summer and beyond.

Read the fact sheet.

More info on CalFresh expansion in English and Spanish.
 

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Are you ready? May 23rd - Disability & Aging Capitol Action Day

April 15, 2019

Banner saying 2019: Disability & Aging Capitol Action Day; arms interlocked with Disability Action Coalition Logo. May 23, 2019 10am-3pm Cesar E. Chavez Plaza & State Capitol Sacramento, CA

People with disabilities
People with chronic illness
People with mental health conditions
People with pre-existing conditions
Older adults and seniors

We are everywhere.
In your family, in your school, in your workplace, in your local corner store.

Yet, too often, our needs, our dreams and our lives are not given the dignity that we all are worthy of.
Let 2019 be the year when all Californians have a stake in advancing the civil rights, independence and freedom for people with disabilities and older adults.

Join Disability Action Coalition and the California Alliance for Retired Americans on Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 10am-3pm for the first-ever Disability & Aging Capitol Action Day in Downtown Sacramento. The day includes a resource fair, educational rally, unity march and legislative meetings.

Grounded in cross-generational solidarity, we are mobilizing to the capitol, exercising our power, and informing California’s elected officials about what matters most.

 

We will be stronger with you alongside us. Will you join us?
 




 


For any questions, feel free to email californiadac.info@gmail.com!

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​YOUR STORY, YOUR VOICE: California Needs More Options

April 2, 2019

Are you or someone you know living with disabilities?
Are you or someone you know living with chronic illnesses?

Are you or someone you know living with a pre-existing condition?

If so, you most likely access or struggle to afford and access
LONG TERM SUPPORTS & SERVICES (LTSS) 
this means:


  • Access to daily living support, such as bathing, dressing, eating, grocery shopping, medications, wound care, paying bills, transportation, etc. 

  • The ability to modify your home to be more physically accessible

  • Having support to navigate what services exist

  • Access to assistive technology, such as durable medical equipment, a cpap machine, text-to-voice technology, and more. 


BUT, accessing what you need can be a challenge, especially:


  • If you do not qualify for Medi-Cal and are unable to afford out of pocket services.

  • If you had to spend all of your money and assets to qualify for Medi-Cal  

  • If you coordinate paid or unpaid caregivers and struggle to hire because of the care crisis


Do you resonate with any of these situations?
Do you believe that there must be more options available for long term supports and services (LTSS)?
We can only help to pave the way for more LTSS options through listening and honoring our stories - the stories of people with disabilities, of all ages! 


Join an effort led by older adults, people with disabilities and homecare workers that seeks to create more options for Californians to live with dignity and access in their homes and communities. The California Aging and Disability Alliance is working to find a sustainable funding source to create a new program to help Californians pay for long-term supports and services (LTSS)/Long-term Care (LTC) as well as create hundreds of great homecare jobs. This program is being designed to support those seniors and people with disabilities who fall outside of IHSS, Regional Center and other public LTSS programs, and struggle to afford the supports they need to remain in their homes. 

If you have a story to share and want to get involved in this work, we’d love to hear from you! Please email allie@cfilc.org or text/voice-call at (916) 606 5300.

 

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The Right Straws Provide Access for People with Disabilities and Reduce Environmental Waste

February 11, 2019

Photo of colorful plastic straws(SACRAMENTO, CALIF.) – With support from Monterey Bay Aquarium and Central Coast Center for Independent Living, The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC)’s program, the Disability Organizing (DO) Network conducted the nation’s first study on the Disability community’s experiences with alternative straws, especially non-plastic straws.
Local advocates conducted user experience tests across the state and discovered that people with disabilities who need straws for eating and/or drinking have nuanced and diverse needs.
The study found that best alternatives for people with disabilities are (1) bendable, compostable plastic straws and (2) BPA-free bendable straws– both types need to be at least 8.25 inches long.
 “Having access to straws (historically plastic straws) allows people with disabilities can access independence, community integration and public life,” said Allie Cannington, Statewide Community Organizer at CFILC.
Although people with disabilities seek straws that are flexible, lightweight, durable for re-use and different temperatures, they want to find ways to reduce waste and conserve the environment.
“We’re grateful for the Disability community’s commitment to protecting our ocean and marine life from plastic pollution—in ways that work for them,” said Barbara Meister, public affairs director for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. “This report, and its findings, illustrate that all of us have a role to play in ocean conservation, and in ensuring access for all people. Through open dialogue and collaboration, we can advance both goals together.” 
“We are stronger together,” said Cannington. Californians do not have to choose between providing access to people with disabilities and reducing harm to the environment.”
Find more details on the Statewide Alternative Straw Research and Report and tips on Bridging Disability Access & Environmental Conservation are available at the Disability Organizing website: www.DOnetwork.org


# # #


About the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC)
The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) registered 501(c)(3) non-profit Corporation that increases access and equal opportunity for people with disabilities by building the capacity of Independent Living Centers throughout California. To learn more, please visit: cfilc.org

About the Disability Organizing (DO) Network
The Disability Organizing (DO) Network mobilizes California’s Disability community and allies to change systems for greater access, independence and equity for people with disabilities locally, statewide and nationally. The DOnetwork advances this work through community organizing, advocacy, education, leadership development and coalition building. The DOnetwork is a project of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, funded by the Department of rehabilitation and the State Independent Living Council’s State Plan for Independent Living.
To learn more, please visit: www.DOnetwork.org

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, February 11, 2019
Contact: Kyla Aquino Irving, (916) 325-1690 Ext. 304
 

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#DOnetwork Twitter Chat: Solidarity As Love (2/14)

January 29, 2019

Promo graphic for Solidarity as Love Twitter chat. Graphic reads: Disability Organizing Network in partnership with Disability Visibility Project. Solidarity is another word for love. February 14. 3:00PM Pacific. For more: disabilityorganizing.net. #DONetwork.

#DONetwork Twitter Chat 3:00pm - 4:00pm (PST)
 


In partnership with the Disability Organizing (DO) Network, the Disability Visibility Project® will host a Twitter chat on solidarity as a form of love. We are thrilled to have guest host writer and activist Mia Mingus join this conversation on how the disability community can be in solidarity with other movements and what we love about the communities we are a part of. We will reference a recent talk Mia Mingus gave at the 2018 Disability and Intersectionality Summit on disability justice and love: https://leavingevidence.wordpress.com/2018/11/03/disability-justice-is-simply-another-term-for-love
 




QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAT
 


Q1    Welcome! Please introduce yourself. If you want, share where you are Tweeting from or any links about you, your work, or advocacy #DOnetwork

Q2     It’s #ValentinesDay, what do you love about the disability community and other communities you are a part of? How does it feel when someone shows up or acts in solidarity with you? #DOnetwork

Q3     What does solidarity and love mean to you as a disabled person? How are they related? #DOnetwork

Q4     How can the Disability community in California (and beyond) improve the way it connects with and shows up for one another diverse Disabled ppl? #DOnetwork

Q5     How can the Disability community in California (and beyond) improve the way it connects with and shows up with different communities and movements? Why is this important? #DOnetwork

Q6     Where can the disability community show solidarity with other movements? How can we show up through our everyday actions and words? Please share some examples. #DOnetwork

Q7 Is access love? How can we expand the idea of access as a form of love instead of just a checklist, a ‘burden,’ or set of guidelines and laws? #DOnetwork

Q8 Show some love! Who do you want to shout-out? Feel free to name individuals, orgs, and groups! Tag them! #DOnetwork




ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS

The California Foundation for Independent Living Center (CFILC) facilitates the Disability Organizing (DO) Network, a statewide disability advocacy network of 28 Independent Living Centers and the communities they serve. In each center there is a full time staff person devoted to increasing civic participation through community organizing, education and advocacy around issues that affect the Disability Communities.
Website: https://disabilityorganizing.net/
Twitter: @DOnetworkorg

Mia Mingus is a writer, educator and community organizer for disability justice and transformative justice. She is a queer physically disabled korean transracial and transnational adoptee raised in the Caribbean. She works for community, interdependency and home for all of us, not just some of us, and longs for a world where disabled children can live free of violence, with dignity and love. As her work for liberation evolves and deepens, her roots remain firmly planted in ending sexual violence.
Read more about Mia and find her writings on her blog, Leaving Evidence.
Twitter: @MiaMingus
Instagram: @Mia.Mingus

The Disability Visibility Project® is a community partnership with StoryCorps and an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture founded by Alice Wong. Check out the Disability Visibility podcast for episodes about disability issues and culture: https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/podcast-2/
Website: https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/
Twitter: @DisVisibility

 


HOW TO PARTICIPATE


  1. Follow @DOnetworkorg and @DisVisibility for the latest information about the chat. 

  2. At the time of the chat, click on the ‘Latest’ tab for the hashtag #DOnetwork. This will show you the questions and everyone’s responses in real time. 

  3. Use the hashtag  #DOnetwork when you tweet. For example: your tweet in response to question (Q1), should follow this format: “A1 [your message] #DOnetwork”


​If you might be overwhelmed by the amount of tweets and only want to see the chat’s questions so you can respond to them, check @DisVisibility’s account.
 


MORE GUIDES





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#FreedomDay2019 - Join the Disability Organizing (DO) Network

January 9, 2019

The Disability Organizing (DO) Network is proud to partner with National ADAPT and National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) for #FreedomDay2019, a celebration of the reintroduction of the Disability Integration Act (DIA) into the 116th Congress on January 15, 2019 at 12PM PST. The Disability Organizing (DO) Network will be supporting local Disability groups to host their own Facebook watch parties and in person gatherings across California. If you are a California-based local independent living center, peer-run group, or a crew of Disabled friends and allies who want to educate one another and the wider community about the Disability Integration Act (DIA), there are many ways to get involved! 

Learn more about how you and/or your organization can host a watch party or in person gathering by joining the Disability Organizing (DO) Network #FreedomDay2019 call on Thursday, January 10 from 3-4PM PST. The call will be captioned.


  • Join Zoom Meeting - https://zoom.us/j/915215175 OR

  • Call in w/ +1 669 900 6833 Meeting ID: 915 215 175


Need help or have questions? Please contact the Disability Organizing (DO) Network, Statewide Community Organizer – Allie Cannington at allie@cfilc.org or text/call 916.606.5300!

#FreedomDay2019 #DisabilityFreedom #DIAtoday #DOnetwork 

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FREE Webinar: Assistive Technology (AT) Dec 19

December 18, 2018

It's not too late to register! (Spread the word.)
[4 people: one woman at a computer using a device to enlarge the screen; one man on a motorized scooter; one young woman using a computer for communication; one man using a sip & puff straw to control his computer. Text from post.]
WhatFREE Webinar on Assistive Technology (AT) Basics


  • Learn about how can tools and devices enhance your life and where to find those services.


WhenWednesday, December 19. 2018
Who should attend: Those new to disability, those who serve the disability community
Where: Online via Zoom Platform


***Please forward this email to your network and whomever would benefit.***

​Accommodations
If you need additional accommodation(s) to participate in an Ability Tools training or event, requests must be made ten business days prior to the training or event by emailing us at accommodations@abilitytools.org or contacting 1-800-390-2699 or 1-800-900-0706 TTY.

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CalABLE Goes Live December 18, 2018!

December 17, 2018

What is CalABLE?
CalABLE is a savings and investment plan offered by the state of California to individuals with disabilities. The CalABLE Program will officially launch on December 18, 2018. As of that date, CalABLE’s enrollment website at www.CalABLE.ca.gov will be accepting new enrollees. Instructions on how to enroll will also be easily located on the website.
Eligible individuals, family, friends and employers can contribute up to $15,000 a year without affecting the account beneficiary's public disability benefits. CalABLE account owners who work can contribute even more to their accounts. Best of all, earnings on qualified withdrawals from a CalABLE account are federal and California state tax-free.

KEY FACTS:


  • Earnings in a CalABLE account receive federal and California state tax-free treatment.

  • Withdrawals for qualified expenses are also tax-free.

  • Up to $15,000 a year can be deposited into a CalABLE account without affecting the beneficiary's public disability benefits.

  • Account owners/beneficiaries who are employed can contribute additional amounts above the $15,000 annual limit. For example, in 2018, eligible working individuals living in the 48 contiguous United States can contribute an amount equal to their current year gross income up to an additional $12,060.

  • If you receive SSI benefits, you can save as much as $100,000 in your account with no effect on federal and California state benefits.

  • California residents with a CalABLE account are protected from both creditors and repayment of medical assistance. Medi-Cal is prohibited from filing a claim to recover any payments after a beneficiary has died, giving individuals the full opportunity to leave a legacy for loved ones. Families can transfer money from a 529 College Savings Plan to an ABLE account (provided the transfer does not exceed the $15,000 maximum annual contribution).

  • An annual fee of $37 per year is deducted in monthly installments from each CalABLE account. There are also low fees on the underlying investment options plus a state administrative fee. Additional fees apply if you choose not to use certain online features, such as receiving paper statements. CalABLE is California's ABLE Plan, but any eligible individual in the U.S. may open a CalABLE account. Withdraw money when needed.


HOW TO ACCESS?
Just log into your account and request a withdrawal amount. The withdrawal can be sent to your bank electronically or you can request a paper check for a small fee.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Individuals with a disability that occurred before age 26 are eligible to open a CalABLE account.
If you meet this age of onset requirement, and receive benefits under SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and/or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), you are automatically eligible to open a CalABLE account.
If you are not a recipient of SSI and/or SSDI, but still meet the age of onset requirement, you could still be eligible if you meet Social Security’s definition and criteria regarding significant functional limitations and receive a letter of certification from a licensed physician.
While CalABLE is California’s ABLE Plan, any eligible individual in the country can open an account.

For more information, please visit: www.CalABLE.ca.gov

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​CFILC Statement on Restraints & Seclusion

December 12, 2018

​It’s been nearly a week since news outlets began reporting on the devastating tragedy of a disabled student who lost his life while at school in El Dorado Hills, California. Restraining a human being, a student, to the point of death or for any reason is unacceptable.  We, the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC), are deeply saddened and dismayed to learn about the death of Max Benson, a student with autism from Guiding Hands School on November 28. The information circulating about the incident reminds us that our advocacy to end restraints and seclusion needs to be prioritized.  
 
CFILC, a membership organization of 22 Independent Living Centers, we believe that all students should be provided with care, dignity and respect. Restraint and seclusion is not the answer. AB 2657 (Weber), sponsored by Disability Rights California (DRC) and passed by Governor Brown this year is another step towards ending such horrible practices. CFILC applauds DRC for it’s efforts and will continue to work towards eliminating restraints and seclusion to keep all students safe in school. 
 
CFILC stands in solidarity with the Benson’s family, survivors of seclusion and restraint, and our larger disability rights community.

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Celebrating Our Global Disability Community Today 🌎♿🙌

December 3, 2018

A message from CFILC Statewide Community Organizer Allie Cannington
Image of disability icons and a map of the world with icons of diverse person-icon art displaying different disabilities. CFILC logo. Text: International Day of People with Disabilities. December 3.

I believe that one of the pervasive functions of ableism, the oppression against people with disabilities, is that is isolates us from each other.
 
International Day of People with Disabilities is a reminder that we are not alone and that we are connected; connected beyond bars, borders and oceans. 
 
International Day of People with Disabilities is a reminder that we, Disabled people, are everywhere - on every continent, in every city, remote town and village – our people have and will continue to exist, persist and resist injustice.
 
International Day of People with Disabilities is a call to action that we, people with disabilities, can reach out, connect, and grow stronger together.
 
International Day of People with Disabilities is a honoring of the global independent living and disability rights movement.
 
The first official independent living center may have started in Berkeley, but there are now independent living centers across the world - from the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Pakistan, Nepal, Cambodia, Taiwan, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, just to name a few.
 
Every disabled person, local disability community and independent living center has endless wisdom to share with one another.
 
One billion strong, we are here.
 



Personal Note: Thank you to all individuals who connected me to the larger global independent living and disability rights movements. I have learned some of my deepest lessons of disability rights, love and justice through connecting with disability activists beyond the US – from Syria, Australia and to Japan. This is not a complete list but I thank – Yoshiko and Justin Dart, Judy Heumann, Masami, Tommy, Japan Independent Living Center, Satio, Stella Young, The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), YO! Disabled & Proud, Victor Pineda and all those who journeyed with me.

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CFILC Welcomes Allie Cannington as the New Statewide Community Organizer

November 14, 2018

Closeup photo of a woman smiling, wearing eyeglasses. She is wearing an olive green blazer with a black tee shirt that reads "ADA 25"The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) is excited to announce that Allie Cannington has joined our staff as the Statewide Community Organizer. Allie will be running the Disability Organizing (DO) Network program and will facilitate calls to action for the California Disability Communities and allies, through community organizing, advocacy, education, leadership development and coalition building to effect systems change in local, state and national issues.

Learn more about her in the CFILC Staff Page.

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A message from Yoshiko Dart

November 6, 2018

Beloved Colleagues in Justice:
I love you! Justin loved you and continues to love you!

Thank you for your important contributions to humanity every day!

Justin was a long time disability/human rights advocate.

He and I fought for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, fought for health care for all Americans including those with preexisting conditions, and supported mental health parity, integrated employment and inclusive education and many more.

Today I need your help to get your friends, family, and other people you know to vote in this election.

Turnout will determine who will win this election. The disability community must focus our energy on turning out voters throughout the USA by millions.

We must vote for candidates that support disability/human rights and services.

Shall we do it, or remain as an ignored, powerless minority?

We are indeed a magnificent majority!

Colleagues, you/we have the power! Let us use it! Now is the time.

If we don’t, we have nobody else to blame, but ourselves.
 
Join me at the polls to vote on November 6th!
Justin and I love you!

Together we have overcome. Together we shall overcome. We believe in you!

Lead On!! Lead On!!

Thank you!
Yoshiko Dart

Help us spread the word:Use the sample social media posts below to help us spread the word about the importance of voting today.

Today is Election Day! Let's #REVUP and Get Out the DISABILITY VOTE! #DisabilityVote18
 
"VOTE as if your life depends on it - because it does!"
#REVUP #DisabilityVote18


​Tired of being ignored?
Tired of others making decisions for you?
Tired of attacks on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
Then go vote!
#REVUP #DisabilityVote18

 

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Free Webinar: Breaking Barriers to Voting

October 15, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018
10:00 a.m. PDT, 12:00 p.m. CDT, 1:00 p.m. EDT
90 minutes


CLICK HERE to register in advance

About The Webinar

Join this collaborative webinar hosted by the DOnetwork and the REV UP Campaign to learn more about barriers to voting. The webinar will explore polling place accessibility, poll worker training, how to navigate voting barriers, vote by mail accessibility, and knowing your rights as a disabled voter. Participants will also have a chance to ask questions. Webinar presenters include Disability Rights DC, Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities (South Carolina), Disability Rights Oregon, and Disability Rights Iowa.
 
The REV UP Campaign, launched by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2016, is a nonpartisan initiative that coordinates with national, state, and local disability organizations to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. The Campaign focuses on voter registration, education, access, and engagement. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power! Learn more at www.aapd.com/REVUP.


Presenters
Zach Baldwin, American Association for People with Disabilities
Kristina Majewski, Disability Rights DC
Maggie Knowles, Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities - South Carolina
Esther Harlow, Disability Rights Oregon
Mark Leaman, Disability Rights Iowa
 

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***URGENT*** EVV Stakeholder Forum November 7, 2018

October 5, 2018

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) Stakeholder Open Door Forum


November 7, 2018
1:00 pm -3:00 pm Eastern Time
Conference Call Only
 
CMS will be hosting a national call on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 from 1-3pm ET to solicit stakeholder feedback on Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) implementation.  This opportunity is in keeping with the Sense of Congress language in H.R. 6042, indicating that CMS should “convene at least one public meeting in 2018 for the purpose of soliciting ongoing feedback from Medicaid stakeholders on guidance issued May 16, 2018 regarding electronic visit verification”. 
 
During the call, CMS will address information submitted in advance through the previously established EVV mailbox (EVV@cms.hhs.gov) and will provide an opportunity for individuals to offer additional feedback at that time as well. As such, CMS encourages stakeholders to submit feedback to EVV@cms.hhs.gov by October 26, 2018. *Please include “November 7 Stakeholder Call Feedback” in the subject line of the email.
 
Please see https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/hcbs/guidance/electronic-visit-verification/index.html for a number of resources, including the statutory language requiring EVV usage, and implementation materials issued by CMS to-date based on that statute.  We look forward to hearing from you!
 
EVV Open Door Forum Participation Instructions:
Participant Dial-In Number: 1-(800)-837-1935
Conference ID: 33979177
 
*Please note – In an effort to reach as many stakeholders as possible, a transcript and audio recording will be posted to the Podcast and Transcripts website at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/PodcastAndTranscripts.html for downloading. There will also be two business days of the Encore presentation for those who were unable to join the call.
For automatic emails of Open Door Forum schedule updates (E-Mailing list subscriptions) and to view Frequently Asked Questions please visit our website at http://www.cms.gov/OpenDoorForums/.
Thank you for your interest in CMS Open Door Forums.
 
Note: TTY Communications Relay Services are available for the Hearing Impaired. For TTY services dial 7-1-1 or 1-800-855-2880. A Relay Communications Assistant will help.

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Get Engaged: Disability Vote 2018 Free Webinars

September 19, 2018

The DOnetwork is partnering with the REV UP Campaign and respected electoral campaign professionals to bring you engaging webinars on voting during this 2018 midterm election season.  Check out these webinars below and CLICK HERE to register in advance.
 
Access Barriers to Voter Education
Presented by National Council on Independent Living & Center for Disability Empowerment
September 21, 2018
11:00 a.m. PT
1:00 p.m. CT
2:00 p.m. ET
Join this collaborative webinar hosted by the DOnetwork and the REV UP Campaign to learn more about barriers to accessing election information, including information on candidates and the issues. The webinar will explore how political campaigns, hosts of candidate forums, and election officials can make their materials and information more accessible to people with disabilities. Webinar presenters include the National Council on Independent Living and the Center for Disability Empowerment.

 
Polling and Research on Senior and Disabled Voters for the 2018 Election
Presented by Celinda Lake, Lake Research Partners
September 24, 2018
12:00 p.m. PT
2:00 p.m. CT
3:00 p.m. ET
Celinda Lake, President of Lake Research Partners, will be sharing findings around voters with disabilities and seniors as an important segment of the electorate. It is clear that in this political moment it is vital to engage every demographic and understanding their voting patterns is necessary to do this well. People with disabilities and seniors must be well represented in the U.S. political system in order to have a representative democracy. Seniors and people with disabilities are beginning to engage in patterns of voting more Democratically in recent years and it is important to know how to engage their politics and discuss which issues are important to them. Her talk will focus on publicly available polling, as well as her own insight into these demographics - including the generic congressional ballot, President Trump's job approval, and voting in the 2018 election.

 
Breaking Barriers to Voting
Presented by Zach Baldwin (AAPD), Kristina Majewski (Disability Rights DC), Maggie Knowles (Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities - South Carolina), Esther Harlow (Disability Rights Oregon), Mark Leaman (Disability Rights Iowa)
October 18, 2018
10:00 a.m. PT
12:00 p.m. CT
1:00 p.m. ET
The webinar will explore polling place accessibility, poll worker training, how to navigate voting barriers, vote by mail accessibility, and knowing your rights as a disabled voter. Participants will also have a chance to ask questions. Webinar presenters include Disability Rights DC, Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities (South Carolina), Disability Rights Oregon, and Disability Rights Iowa.

 
The REV UP Campaign, launched by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2016, is a nonpartisan initiative that coordinates with national, state, and local disability organizations to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. The Campaign focuses on voter registration, education, access, and engagement. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power! Learn more at www.aapd.com/REVUP.
 

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Free Webinar: Breaking Barriers to Voting

September 11, 2018

October 18, 2018
10:00 a.m. PT
12:00 p.m. CT
1:00 p.m. ET

Presenters

Zach Baldwin, AAPD
Kristina Majewski, Disability Rights DC
Maggie Knowles, Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities (South Carolina)
Esther Harlow, Disability Rights Oregon
Mark Leaman, Disability Rights Iowa

About the Webinar

Join this collaborative webinar hosted by the DOnetwork and the REV UP Campaign to learn more about barriers to voting. The webinar will explore polling place accessibility, poll worker training, how to navigate voting barriers, vote by mail accessibility, and knowing your rights as a disabled voter. Participants will also have a chance to ask questions. Webinar presenters include Disability Rights DC, Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities (South Carolina), Disability Rights Oregon, and Disability Rights Iowa.

The REV UP Campaign, launched by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2016, is a nonpartisan initiative that coordinates with national, state, and local disability organizations to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. The Campaign focuses on voter registration, education, access, and engagement. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power! Learn more at www.aapd.com/REVUP.

CLICK HERE to register in advance

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Free Webinar: Polling and Research on Senior and Disabled Voters for the 2018 Election

September 7, 2018

Polling and Research on Senior and Disabled Voters for the 2018 Election
Monday, September 24, 2018
12:00 p.m. PT
2:00 p.m. CT
3:00 p.m. ET

CLICK HERE to register in advance

About the Webinar

Celinda Lake, President of Lake Research Partners, will be sharing findings around voters with disabilities and seniors as an important segment of the electorate. It is clear that in this political moment it is vital to engage every demographic and understanding their voting patterns is necessary to do this well. People with disabilities and seniors must be well represented in the U.S. political system in order to have a representative democracy. Seniors and people with disabilities are beginning to engage in patterns of voting more Democratically in recent years and it is important to know how to engage their politics and discuss which issues are important to them. Her talk will focus on publicly available polling, as well as her own insight into these demographics – including the generic congressional ballot, President Trump’s job approval, and voting in the 2018 election.  


About the Presenter
Celinda Lake picture, she is sitting at a desk


Celinda Lake is a prominent pollster and political strategist for progressives. She currently serves as President of Lake Research Partners. Lake’s polling and strategic advice has helped candidates such as Jon Tester, Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Governor Bob Wise defeat incumbent Republicans and her expertise guided Senator Mark Begich to victory, making him the first Senate candidate in Alaska to oust the incumbent in 50 years. She has focused on women candidates and women's concerns, having worked for Speaker Pelosi, Governor Janet Napolitano, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Mayor Annise Parker, and over a dozen women to the House and Senate . Celinda worked for the largest independent expenditure to take back the House and has been a key player in campaigns launched by progressive groups such as the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, Vote Vets, HRC, and EMILY's List. Lake co-authored the book What Women Really Want with Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, which examines the way women are changing the political landscape in America, and she also served as pollster for Senator Joe Biden's 2008 presidential bid. She worked with innovative message projects that helped redefine language on the economy, inequality, big money in politics, climate change, public schools, teachers, and criminal justice reform.


 

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Tammy Duckworth: Brett Kavanaugh Would Put Businesses Ahead of Americans With Disabilities on the Supreme Court

September 7, 2018

TIME Magazine

By TAMMY DUCKWORTH 
September 5, 2018


When I first woke up at Walter Reed in November 2004, I had no idea that I was disabled.

I had no idea that, in the blink of an eye, I had lost both my legs when a grenade tore through the helicopter I was piloting just north of Baghdad.

It took me days to recognize the reality of my disability, months to learn how to walk again and years to get used to the constant, hammering pain that’s still there, even when I’m just sitting down.

Despite it all, I consider myself pretty lucky — not only because of the fantastic medical team that helped me recover and the VA care I still receive today, but also because I am an American with disabilities, which means the Americans with Disabilities Act is in place to safeguard the basic rights I rely on to lead a full life. The rights that activists with disabilities fought so hard for, for so long. That they left their wheelchairs and crawled up the Capitol steps for. The rights that thankfully, finally, got enshrined into law in 1990.

That isn’t to say there aren’t still struggles, and we still have a long way to go to achieve true equality. Nearly three decades after the ADA became law, far too many public places continue to be inaccessible and difficult to navigate. On every issue — including transportation, housing, education, health care and employment opportunities — we’re still working hard toward the goal of ensuring that Americans with disabilities are able to live independently in their communities.

But even so, it’s hard to imagine the exhaustion and frustration that Americans with disabilities must’ve felt every day in the years before the ADA became law — when our country openly and unabashedly discriminated against our entire community.

And I worry that rather than making progress, the hellish, relentless discrimination of pre-ADA America could become a reality once again for me and for millions of other people with disabilities if Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Judge Kavanaugh has shown us what he believes about disabled Americans. In Tarlow v. D.C., he ruled that those with mental disabilities shouldn’t have the right to make medical decisions about their own bodies. In Baloch v. Kempthorne, he declared that businesses’ profits are more important than our health. And in Johnson v. Interstate Management Company, he decided that it’s okay for employers to discriminate against us, too.

The cases are different, the plaintiffs change, but one fact remains the same: Judge Kavanaugh’s rulings make clear that he’s just not concerned whether we’re able to go to school, get decent health care, eat at a restaurant like anyone else or even earn a livable wage.

Well, I am. And I’m going to fight as hard as I can these next few weeks to make sure that our next Supreme Court justice isn’t someone who thinks we’re less worthy of our rights than able-bodied Americans.

But I can’t do it alone, which is why I’m so lucky to have the disability community at my side, pushing to expand access and protect our rights against attacks from Donald Trump, the Republicans and Judge Kavanaugh.

The disability community proved the power that it wields during last year’s fight to protect the Affordable Care Act. It proved that power again when it helped me lead a group of 43 Senators to block Republican efforts to roll back ADA protections and reward businesses who’ve failed to comply with the law after nearly 30 years.

And when it comes to Judge Kavanaugh, we need to show that same strength 10 times over.

Because it’s not “just” our health care on the line in this fight — though that’s at stake too, as his record suggests that he’d vote to take away protections for people with pre-existing conditions.


Our civil and voting rights are also on the line, as cases rise through the courts that would make it harder for Americans with disabilities to participate in the democratic process and vote.

Women’s rights are on the line, as the judge has previously sided against expanding health care access to more women—and would likely be the deciding vote to repeal or roll back Roe v. Wade, putting the government in between women and their doctors.

Immigrants’ rights are on the line. As are LGBTQ rights. As is our economic security and our kids’ future. Our public schools and our planet, too.

Every issue is a disability issue, because our community — at 60 million strong — is beautifully diverse. That’s a gift, but also a responsibility. Because it means we have to fight for every American with disabilities, whether they’re undocumented or disenfranchised or sick and in need of care. No matter what.

Truthfully, this confirmation process isn’t really about whether some judge can sit in fancy robes in a courtroom in D.C. This is about our most basic rights. And there are only a few weeks left to stop a confirmation that could change our lives forever.

So from this moment until the final vote is cast, I’m going to be fighting right alongside every other activist with a disability. Working together. Speaking as one. Proving the power of a community that only grows stronger every time someone like Brett Kavanaugh tries to strip us of our rights.

 

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Webinar: Access Barriers to Voter Education Materials

September 5, 2018

September 21, 2018 | 2pm ET

Join this collaborative webinar hosted by the DOnetwork and the REV UP Campaign to learn more about barriers to accessing election information, including information on candidates and the issues. CLICK HERE to register today!

The webinar will explore how political campaigns, hosts of candidate forums, and election officials can make their materials and information more accessible to people with disabilities. Webinar presenters include the National Council on Independent Living and the Center for Disability Empowerment.

The REV UP Campaign, launched by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2016, is a nonpartisan initiative that coordinates with national, state, and local disability organizations to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. The Campaign focuses on voter registration, education, access, and engagement. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power! Learn more at www.aapd.com/REVUP.

Read More at Article Source
Free Webinar: Registering to Vote and Accessibility Barriers

August 17, 2018

Join this collaborative webinar hosted by the DOnetwork and the REV UP Campaign to learn more about registering to vote and related accessibility barriers. The webinar will explore how to conduct accessibility voter registration drives, voter ID laws, and common accessibility barriers that people with disabilities may encounter during the registration process. Webinar presenters include the League of Women Voters, VoteRiders, and Disability Rights California.

The REV UP Campaign, launched by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2016, is a nonpartisan initiative that coordinates with national, state, and local disability organizations to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. The Campaign focuses on voter registration, education, access, and engagement. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power! Learn more at www.aapd.com/REVUP.

CLICK HERE to register in advance.

Read More at Article Source
Join the convo: DOnetwork Twitter Chat 8/15

August 8, 2018

Graphic with white background and text that reads DO Network Twitter Chat in partnership with the Disability Visibility Project® - California Disability Issues and Organizing Strategies, August 15, 2018, 3-4 pm Pacific, For more: https://disabilityorganizing.net/. Above is a blue bird icon for Twitter with a speech bubble with an icon of person in a wheelchair and an illustration of the bear on the California Flag with a speech bubble of a hashtag. Below is #DONetwork
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Reminder, the Disability Organizing (DO) Network and the Disability Visibility Project® are hosting a series of Twitter chats for Californians with disabilities about civic participation, community organizing, and disability rights.

Join us for our first Twitter chat about current disability issues on Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 3-4 pm Pacific.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE


  1. Follow @DOnetworkorg and @DisVisibility for the latest information about the chat.

  2. At the time of the chat, click on the 'Latest' tab for the hashtag #DOnetwork. This will show you the questions and everyone's responses in real time.
    OR
    Check @DisVisibility's account every 5-6 minutes for the next question.

  3. Be sure to respond to questions specifically. For example, if you're answering question 1 or Q1, respond with A1 before you include your text. (And please be sure to use #DOnetwork or we won't be able to track your response.)


MORE INFORMATION


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It's time for people with disabilities to get paid their fair share

August 2, 2018

BY NEIL ROMANO, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR —  07/31/18 04:31 PM EDT 46
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL


Since when is a little discrimination with some segregation OK under the law in America?

How do you feel about some of your fellow Americans making pennies on the dollar for their work? Does American-made using underpaid workers seem patriotic? Some of our citizens are making far less than a minimum wage and it’s perfectly legal in America today — until we say, “no more.”It happens more than most realize due to an archaic provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act called 14(c), which recently turned 80 years old. 

Since 1938, 14(c) permits employers to obtain a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor and pay people with disabilities in their workforce less than the minimum wage. 

This continues for years, if not decades, and sometimes, in working conditions not subject to Occupational and Health Safety administration regulations — because they’re supposedly “training programs” and not actually jobs (though these employers often fulfill business contracts based on labor these Americans provide). Today approximately 164,000 Americans with disabilities receive sub-minimum wages.

During the almost two decades I have worked to see an end to 14(c), I’ve become increasingly convinced that we need to invest into people and not just sustain broken programs. I have visited many locations across America where 14(c) is utilized, and as a former assistant Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush, I got an even closer look at its effect on people's lives.

While we often talk about 14(c) by the number of years it has been in place, I tend to think of it in terms of the lives that have been wasted, potential that has been lost, and the hopes and dreams of individuals that were never realized — all because of low expectations of others.

Defenders of this provision argue that workers with disabilities are not as productive and need assistance learning job skills to become more competitive in a “normal” job down the road. But its operation is far less altruistic than it may sound.

Not only do egregious abuses occasionally come to light — such as people being paid in gift cards or food rather than money, but there are also more common outcomes that should churn every American’s stomach.

Truly, in a political environment with demand for results, it is amazing that such a program persists. Without aggressive lobbying, this program would be only a memory of ineffectiveness and failure to yield a return on investment.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services states, “Prevocational services should be designed to create a path to integrated community-based employment for which an individual is compensated at or above the minimum wage...”

Nonprofit service providers holding 14(c) certificates, receiving Medicaid funds for training people for work should never be more than a stepping stone to competitive integrated employment. Yet, in a 2001 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, only five percent of people ever left these supposed training grounds. That’s a 95-percent failure rate in mission!

What’s more, compared to alternative models with records of success, research shows 14(c) training placements yield higher costs over time per person and notably, lower wages; whereas individuals who utilized supported employment services as an alternative to 14(c) had lower costs over time per person and higher wages.

Those statistics don’t leave much room to argue the continuation of 14(c) based on results.

Letting this provision persist is a 100-percent failure rate of national policy, given our nation’s progress and goals for people with disabilities. We can no longer afford an economy that leaves an entire group of people unemployed or underutilized. And I would have to believe this broken program is abhorrent to this administration that is fighting to get Americans real work.

In 1938, there were no federally protected civil rights for people with disabilities, nor even a right to a public education. However, since that time, society and people with disabilities have come to expect far more out of their lives than past public policies allowed. And employment should be no exception.

The continuation of 14(c) says that people with disabilities are a black hole for society — that they’re not capable of doing much, that they don’t warrant investment, and that they aren’t going anywhere. A self-advocate with Down syndrome who has spoken poignantly against 14(c) said that the “sub-minimum” in “sub-minimum wages” communicates “subhuman” to people, and who wants to be thought of as subhuman?

Although I have little patience for well-paid lobbyists defending the continued practice of paying people with disabilities pennies an hour, I have great compassion for the families who have loved ones with disabilities affected by 14(c) and are scared at what changes may entail for them.

These families made choices I believe they sincerely thought were best at the time, and they should never be vilified. They should take heart seeing what is possible with a better policy. A small handful of states and a larger number of individual providers have begun making changes away from the 14(c) work model to alternative models with records of success.

Melwood, one of the largest employers of people with disabilities on the East Coast, used to be one of the many nonprofits using the 14(c) model. During a leadership change at Melwood in 2013, new President and CEO, Cari DeSantis, recognized the incompatibility of 14(c) with the organization’s vision of full inclusion of people with disabilities.

Following a three-year transition celebrated by its employees and their families, Melwood completely relinquished its 14(c) certificate in 2016, noting that the financial cost of discontinuing the discriminatory practice was not only manageable, but was also a prudent investment in its mission. Today, Melwood’s financial position is the strongest it has ever been and it is employing more people with disabilities than ever before.

Many of the fully-transitioned providers like Melwood — and families who have experienced the changes — are excited to help others do the same and have marveled at the blossoming of talent and effort of people with disabilities who are finally helped to explore their strengths and interests (rather than be relegated to piece work whether they like it or not) and transition to real jobs — just like the 14(c) program intended but has largely failed to deliver.

So long as it remains legal to pay people with disabilities less than the minimum wage, little pressure exists to invest in alternate models. If paying our fellow Americans with disabilities pennies an hour under the auspices of “training” (that seemingly never ends) continues, our federal policy message to them will remain that despite the passage of civil rights laws, despite the advancements in the education of people with disabilities, and despite our national march towards equality for all human beings, people with disabilities will never be viewed as inherently equal and deserving of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.   

It’s far past time to do better than that. It’s time to phase out 14(c) of the FLSA.

Neil Romano is the chairman of the National Council on Disability.TAGS DISABILITIES

 

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Happy 28th Birthday for the ADA!

July 31, 2018

"The promise of the ADA is that ALL people with disabilities will be fully equal, fully productive, fully prosperous and fully welcome participants in the mainstream." - Justin Dart JR, Father of the American with Disabilities Act

"We're going to develop leadership, that has a fundamental difference, and that is, it's inclusive. It believes in people, and in our strengths together. And we are going to change our society." - Ed Roberts, Father of the Independent Living Movement https://cfilc.org/donate/

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Welcome to the Disability Organizing Network (DOnetwork) website! The DOnetwork calls to action the California Disability Communities and allies, through community organizing, advocacy, education, leadership development and coalition building to effect systems change in local, state and national issues.

The CFILC Disability Organizing Network is a statewide disability advocacy network of 28 Independent Living Centers and the communities they serve. In each center there is a full time staff person devoted to increasing civic participation through community organizing, education and advocacy around issues that affect the Disability Communities.