The Advocacy Newsletter of ILRCSF
Veterans with Disabilities and the
Americans with Disabilities Act
As many of you know, July 26th will mark the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. ILRCSF has a history of hosting a public celebration to mark this important day. This year's event is one we're especially excited about.
There are an estimated 3.4 million American military veterans living with disabilities related to their service for our country. Many veterans live with disabilities that are not clearly evident to us, including post-traumatic stress disorder, and other psychological disabilities. Unfortunately, it is all too common for military veterans to be disenfranchised from the wider community, and to be kept in "veteran silos."
The Americans with Disabilities Act (enacted in 1990) is the most significant and powerful law we have protecting the rights of people with disabilities - ALL people with disabilities, including veterans. By placing a sharp focus on veterans with disabilities at this year's ADA event , and giving the floor to vets to develop the program that they want to present, we hope to raise awareness regarding how significant an issue disability is for veterans, and how the ADA protects them.
"We've been working closely with San Francisco's veteran community for some time, now," says ILRCSF Executive Director Jessie Lorenz, "The Veterans' Art Guild meets in our conference room every Friday, and having them as part of the agency has been wonderful. When the Art Guild and representatives of the Veteran's Administration approached us about sponsoring an event, I was thrilled. The fact that our co-sponsor is an American Legion post (315,) and that this event is being held at the Veteran's Building are both icing on the cake. We're all about community building, and veterans are really important members of this community."
"Every stage of the planning of the event has been a true collaborative effort between the veteran community and ILRCSF," she explains, "When the vets expressed their desire to stage not only a literary reading, but an art exhibit, there was never any question about going in any other direction. When people come to this event, they'll experience art and writing created by military veterans with disabilities, presented in a way that they have chosen, in a space that is theirs - The Veteran's Building."
The July 26th event will be special for ILRCSF in more ways than one. The program includes the official announcement of the grantees for the 2012 Herb Levine Legacy Fund. "We received a wide array of applications, this year," says Jessie, "and it wasn't easy for the committee to make our choices. We're just thrilled that there are so many grassroots projects in development that address disability advocacy and awareness. This is a donor-generated fund, and I can't stress enough how much even the smallest donation to the Herb Levine Legacy Fund can make an impact. I'm looking forward to announcing the names of the projects we'll be funding for this round."
Veterans Telling Their Stories
A collaboration of
American Legion Post 315
The Veterans' Art Guild
The Veterans' Media Centers
Veterans For Peace
Thursday, July 26th, 5;30- 8:30pm
401 Van Ness, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA. 94102
FREE and open to the public
For more information, email Lana@ilrcsf.org
Veteran Success Center
Established by The American Legion War Memorial Society, The San Francisco Veteran Success/Resource Center is a truly valuable resource for the veteran community. Housed in the Veteran's Building (also known as the Veteran's War Memorial Building) , the Center's mission is :
To provide a friendly educational environment to Military Veterans where they may participate in and facilitate the successful transition to civilian society for themselves and others.
Among the resources available at the center is a bank of computers which have been recently acquired and made available to veterans who are preparing resumes, searching for employment, or working on other projects. The Center also hosts resume-writing workshops and other events.
For more information, call (415)926-5090, or check out their Facebook page
The G.I. Bill, And What It Means For You
Many men and women return to civilian life with an idea that the G.I. Bill can help them pursue and education, but with no information about what the G.I. Bill really is, or how it can work for them. New G.I. Bill is a user-friendly website that vets can use to find out about the post 9/11 changes to the Bill, get answers to their questions about how the Bill actually works an what it covers, and even calculate their own entitlements.
The Coming Home Project: Services for Returning Service Men and Women
The Coming Home Project
is a non-profit organization providing holistic services for veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, their families, and their service providers.
The continuum of services provides includes:
Veterans and Their Families
All Coming Home™ programs are free, confidential, and non-denominational. There is no particular political or religious belief or affiliation that is represented or required.
Small Business Assistance for Veterans
The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the SBA's Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative for veterans and members of the military community wanting to establish or expand small businesses. The SBA and its resource partners are focusing additional efforts on counseling and training to augment this loan initiative, making it more accessible and easy to use.
Eligible military community members include:
Active-duty service members eligible for the military's Transition Assistance Program
Reservists and National Guard members
Current spouses of any of the above
VETS: Connecting Veterans and Employers
The United States Department of Labor's VETS program proudly serves veterans & service Members, provide resources and expertise to assist and prepare them to:
- Obtain Meaningful Careers,
- Maximize Employment Opportunities, and
- Protect their Employment Rights.
VETS has a toll-free number:
1-866-4-USA-DOL (TTY: 1-877-889-5627)
Returning Vets as Students:
SF City College Welcomes You
Are you a veteran who's considering higher education? If you're looking at City College, you should know about a program they've set up specifically with military veterans in mind.
The mission of the City College of San Francisco Veterans Educational Transition Services (VETS) center is to serve veteran students with the highest level of efficiency and dedication in order to enhance the success of transition from military life into careers through education.
The vision of the CCSF VETS center is to effectively deliver support services for veteran students through educational and career planning, as well as other essential services, referrals, and partnerships with the community, while providing assistance to obtain educational benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill. VETS center believes that providing efficient services to veteran students at CCSF will ensure a positive transition and increase the veteran student's success into careers through education. VETS center, in collaboration with the Veteran's Alliance Club and the Veteran Resource Center, can ensure an effective implementation of a comprehensive array of services and opportunity to build their own community.
The Center Includes:
- Student study area/ lounge
- Academic counselors
- Certifying officials
- VA psychologists
For more information:
Phone: (415) 239-3486
or check out their website, which includes valuable links to student loan and GI Bill information and application forms
Economic Empowerment Summer Series
Do you have a disability? Are you interested in:
- Achieving greater economic empowerment?
- Developing skills for handling your own finances?
- Starting a small business, and/or taking steps to get off government benefits and return to workforce?
Then ILRCSF's Summer Series of free workshops is for you! Scheduled topics, led by guest speakers who are leaders in their fields, include:
- Basic personal budgeting
- Understanding credit, debt, and money management
- Resume writing and Job Search skills
- Starting and running a small business
Additional topics to be announced
For information on specific dates and topics, call ILRCSF at (415)543-6222.
Space is limited, so registration is required.
ILRCSF is wheelchair accessible, and reasonable accommodations (including ASL interpretation) are available upon advanced request. ILRCSF is a scent-free office- please do not wear any scented products, including perfume, aftershave, hairspray, etc.
The National Survey on Abuse of People with Disabilities is closing July 31, 2012. We are short by 300 surveys of our goal. Can you please make sure to take the survey right away (only takes about 3-4
> minutes) and then send to all your contacts?
Therapists, teachers, anyone who works with victims of abuse and other crimes; anyone who serves the public; anyone with connections to people with disabilities (agencies, organizations, social workers, mental health practitioners), family members, people with disabilities.
Respond to the Survey
Please help us out! Be a part of the solution! THANK YOU.
Please forward THIS MESSAGE to all your contacts.
Options Counseling: A Great First Step For Returning Veterans
Men and women returning from military duty have many decisions to make. ILRCSF is all about supporting people as they make informed decisions about their own lives. This is true of all the consumers we work with.
For returning veterans with disabilities who are trying to take the first steps towards re-entering civilian life, Options Counseling has a lot to offer. If you're a returning vet with a disability of any kind who wants to go to school, pursue a career, explore options for housing, find out about assistive technology or make any other big decisions in life, ILRCSF's Options Counseling service is a great place to start.
Options Counseling helps consumers make educated, informed choices surrounding their current and/or future long-term services and support needs. ILRCSF offers options counseling - at no cost to consumers - and can help people with disabilities take control of their own futures. This is what Independent Living is all about.
Options Counseling is a 100% free service.
To find out more about options counseling, and how it can help you achieve and maintain independence, call:
(415) 543-6222 Ext. 110
ILRCSF Economic Empowerment Workshops:
Benefits and Work Incentives
ILRCSF has a dedicated staff member who focuses on Economic Empowerment. She provides information, support and advocacy regarding benefits and eligibility, work incentive programs, and emergency rental assistance programs.
Our Economic Empowerment specialist works one-to-one with many consumers on specific topics and goals. We recommend, though, that consumers interested in Economic Empowerment services start out by attending one of her workshops, which focus on Basic Benefits and How Employment Effects SSDI and SSI Benefits.
All workshops are on Thursdays at 9:30am.
Please call our main number for a current schedule:
NOTE: ILRCSF is wheelchair accessible and provides reasonable accommodations upon advanced 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 workshops, one-to-one services, multi-cultural outreach, advocacy and systems change work, the Herb Levine Legacy Fund, and this newsletter. Please consider making a donation to help us keep offering information, support and advocacy to people with disabilities.
Tax deductible donations may be sent to:
649 Mission Street, 3rd Floor,
San Francisco, CA 94105
You can find out more about ILRCSF by following us on the Internet: