The Advocacy Newsletter of ILRCSF
|Exciting times at ILRCSF. This month's issue of DELA starts off with a feature about our brand new Device Lending Library, which will enable us to offer people with disabilities hands-on experience with some really great assistive technology. We're also gearing up in the Systems Change department, and getting ready for the Medicaid Matters rally, which you can read about, and which we hope you'll be on hand for. We want as many people as possible to join us, so please pass the word along and make plans to form a united front. This issue also includes information about an exciting scholarship opportunity for students with disabilites, a discount ticket service that can make getting out and about more affordable, and a blog that reviews Bay Area hiking trails for accessibility, and a free art exhibit at the SF Public Library that features art by people with disabilities. As always, we welcome feedback, suggestions, and notices about upcoming events, advocacy alerts, etc. So drop us a line at Lana@ilrcsf.org, with the word DELA in the subject field. We'd love to hear from you!|
ILRCSF's Device Lending Library
ILRCSF has had an Assistive Technology program for many years now. In the last year, our AT program has changed and grown to meet the changing needs of our consumers - especially consumers from under-served and under-represented communities.
The latest addition to our AT program is one we've been working on for a long time, and which we're very excited about. We've just launched a fully operational Device Lending Library (DLL.) Think of the public library but, instead of books, consumers can borrow all sorts of great devices that they can take home, try out, and use at their leisure for a month or more. Consumers test drive cars, so why shouldn't they be able to test drive other pieces of equipment that they think they may need or want to own, someday?
Deputy Director Diane Rovai, who had been trying for several years to establish a DLL at ILRCSF, is especially happy to be launching this program. "This has been on my mind for a long time, but the timing was never right until now." says Diane, "Our AT program is stronger than it's ever been. We have really enthusiatic staff who know a lot about the latest technology, and who are doing some great outreach work. The DLL will be one more service they'll be able to offer people with disabilities - the chance to take home a laptop, or an I-pad, or some other device, and try it out in real-life situations. Devices like these are only useful if they meet the needs of the people using them. The DLL will give our consumers the chance to decide for themselves if certain devices are right for them or not. It's the Independent Living philosophy in a nutshell."
Executive Director Jessie Lorenz, who decided to pursue funding from the Department of Rehabilitiation to establish the DLL, is equally enthusiatic: "AT makes a difference in my own life, every day, so I'm especially happy that ILRCSF will be able to make it easy for people to come in, talk about what it is they want to do, what barriers they've identified, and not just find out about different devices, but take them home and try them. This is exactly the sort of sevice that consumers today should expect from an Independent Living Center."
ILRCSF is a member of the AT Network which means that, even if we don't have a specific device a consumer needs, we can reach out to the network and find out if it's available from another member organization. If it is, we can arrange to have it shipped and loan it out from our DLL.
"We're already working with one consumer who needs to borrow a laptop while his is being repaired,"says Diane, "Thanks to the DLL, his work doesn't need to be put on hold. If he needed a laptop with specific accessibility software, we'd be able to meet that need, too. I think consumers are going to be pleasantly surprised when they find out the range of items we have available - from walking canes and portable ramps to hand-held GPS devices and computer tablets."
If you're interested in the Device Lending Library, contact Derek Zarda to make an appointment.
MY MEDICAID MATTERS!
RALLY IN SAN FRANCISCO
Wednesday, September 21 at Noon
Joseph Alioto Piazza, Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco
Medicaid (Medi-Cal) in California is being considered for substantial cuts by Congress and the Super Committee.
On September 21 more than 1,000 people with disabilities will gather in WASHINGTON, DC to say NO to these cuts!
(Sponsored by NCIL, AAPD and ADAPT)
Show the country that people from coast-to-coast are saying
MY MEDICAID MATTERS!
We'll be constructing a unity chain to show our unity, our strength, and our steadfast hope for the future. Help make this chain long and strong by bringing with you strips of paper with your name and/or your story that can be added to the chain. We'll have blank strips on hand, so that everyone can be included.
For more information contact Derek at ILRCSF,
Sponsored by: Independent Living Resource Center SF
Community Resources for Independent Living, Hayward
Marin Center for Independent Living
Silicon Valley Independent Living Center, San Jose
Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities,
Berkeley Center for Independent Living
Fall 2011 National Scholarship Competition for College Students with Disabilities
disABLEDperson, Inc. is excited to announce our Fall 2011 nationally based scholarship competition for college students with disabilities! This competition begins on August 15, 2011 and ends on October 15, 2011 for the award of $1000.00
In order to qualify, the student must be enrolled in a 2 or 4 year accredited college or university in the United States of America. They must be a full-time student and U.S. citizen (minimum of 12 credits for undergraduate, 9 credits for graduate). Unfortunately, we are not able to award scholarships to high school students or college students who are not attending classes full-time.
Upon winning, the student will prove disability through their Disability Student Services department. We define disability as described under the ADA: "A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such an individual." Must have a record of such an impairment or being
regarded as having such an impairment.
For full details, go to https://www.disabledperson.com/pages/108
Closing date is October 15, 2011, so checkout the guidelines and get your submission in ASAP.
Spend Less and Get Out More: Goldstar
Accessible Trails in the Bay Area
Everyone knows the truly great weather doesn't come to San Francisco until September/October. While much of the rest of the country is getting ready for a chilly Autumn, we're getting ready for the best time of the year to get out into the great outdoors. Wheelchair users are no exception.
Ann Seick is a wheelchair user and a lover of the great outdoors. She's developed an up-to-date (as of June 2011) website that discusses hiking trails in the Bay Area, and rates them regarding accessibility. Searching for specific trails is made easy my an alphabetical index.
If you're a wheelchair user who wants to explore the Bay Area wilderness, or if you'd like to explore with a friend who uses a wheelchair, Ms. Seick's website is a great place to start finding out about the areas many options.
San Francisco Bay Area Wheelchair Accessible Trails
Being Productive Doesn't Mean We Don't Need Support - Sign the Petition!
Currently, under SSI 1619, an individual with a disability may work and remain eligible for Medi-Cal (or Medi-Aid), which pays for life-sustaining devices such as ventilators.
In California, Medi-Cal eligibility also allows for In-Home Support Services which provides the money to hire personal assistants to do housekeeping and assist with daily personal needs. These services enable an individual with a disability to hold a job, shattering negative stereotypes surrounding people with disabilities.
The problem is that under SSI 1619, fellowships - along with scholarships and grants - are defined as "unearned income." That means that if a person takes a fellowship, scholarship, or grant, she will become ineligible for SSI 1619. In effect, the current law keeps many people with disabilities from working by saying, "Ok, since you received a $5,000 scholarship or grant to pursue your education/work on a book...you NO LONGER NEED VITAL SERVICES. That $5,000 is your annual income and should cover your housing, food, health and other costs for a year. You no longer need IHSS!"
Advocates are urging the Federal Government to correct this issue that continues to hinder scholars, artists, and people with disabilities from achieving further prominence in their fields due to income restrictions. In order to make the world more accessible to all Americans, we ask Congress and President Obama to add fellowships, scholarships, and grants to the Longmore Amendment.
If you know anyone with a disability, think about how the existing statute hinders their personal growth, prevents them from moving forward, and deprives all of us of the great things they might be doing if only they didn't have to worry about vital services being cut just because they've received a grant or scholarship.
Please Sign the Petition to Enable Folks with Disabilites to Receive Scholarships Without Fear
Library for the Blind and Print Disabled of the San
Francisco Public Library in association with LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired presents
Unique Views of Life : The Exhibit
July 20 - December 31, 2011
Koret Display Case
Main Library, Lower Level
Through paintings, photographs and drawings of Urbsters (Urban Monsters), Artist John Ross Quevedo and Independent Artist Richard Chapman help viewers understand how people with vision impairments see the world.
This exhibit is presented in honor of the 21st Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
All programs at the Library are free.
Supported by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library
Main Library 100 Larkin St. (at Grove)
Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco
Community Computer Program
Need a quiet place and a computer to:
- do some school research?
- order groceries?
- look for housing?
- catch up with emails and social networking?
- type up your resume?
Schedule computer time at ILRCSF's Accessible Consumer Computer Kiosk
Call 415-543-6222. Ask for an Assistive Tech Educator.
Half hour/one hour slots available from 9am to 4:30pm. Please, no drop-ins. Computer is only available for persons with disabilities.
This is not a training session. If you have questions or need support around your computer tasks, you can pre-arrange a more personalized session with an AT Educator.
The development of this accessible workstation was made possible by a grant from AT&T, and with the expertise of The Center for Accessible Technology.
ILRCSF is wheelchair accessible and provides reasonable accommodations on request, including ASL interpreters and print information in alternative formats. ILRCSF is a scent-free office in order to be fully accessible to all people with disabilities. Please do not wear any scented products including perfumes, aftershave, hairspray, etc. to any meetings, groups, or workshops held at or by ILRCSF. If you are wearing scents, you will not be able to remain in the office.
ILRCSF Benefits Workshop Schedule
ILRCSF offers two different workshops on benefits:
1. Basic Benefits Overview
2. How Employment Affects your Benefits - for those on SSDI &/or SSI
All workshops are on Thursdays at 9:30am. However, only one topic - basic benefits or employment -- is covered each Thursday. Please attend the workshop that best suits you. For example, if you need information about applying for SSDI, SSI, Medi-Cal or other benefits, come to the Basic Benefits Overview workshop. If, on the other hand, you already receive SSDI or SSI and are considering going to work, come to the workshop entitled How Employment Affects Your Benefits. At this Employment Workshop you will learn how to use work incentives to keep some of your benefits as you transition into a job, as well as how to use the PASS program, and Ticket to Work. To hear the schedule of upcoming workshops, call 415-543-6222 ext. 155.
How Work Affects Your Benefits - for those on SSI &/or SSDI
Basic Benefits Overview
How Work Affects Your Benefits - for those on SSI &/or SSDI
NOTE: ILRCSF is wheelchair accessible and provides reasonable accommodations upon request. In order to be fully accessible to all people with disabilities, ours is a scent-free office.
When visiting ILRCSF, please do not wear any scented products, including perfumes, aftershave, hairspray, etc.
The Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization. Donations from the public support our mission to ensure that people with disabilities are full social and economic partners both within their families and within a fully accessible community.
Tax deductible donations may be sent to:
649 Mission Street, 3rd Floor,
San Francisco, CA 94105