VOLUME XII ISSUE 3 SPRING 2003
From the Executive Director Mary Margaret Moore
Happy Spring! As I return to the Center post-knee surgery recovery I am again struck by the precious value of life. One of our sisters, Tiffany Cespedes Park, was lost from our community during the winter. As an advocate for persons with disabilities and a former staff of ILCNSCA we miss her. The Center will miss her very much. Some of you have sent the Center donations in Tiffany's name. We will use your generous contributions to support the work for disability rights and access that we at the Center are continuing with love and sadness for Tiffany.
I have just had successful recovery over the past year and a half from left and now right total knee replacement. As I have returned to work, the Governor's Budget has been released and includes the reality that many others with disabilities are facing loss of health insurance, prescription medications, access to employment supports, career training, housing, personal care assistance, prosthetics and orthotics, eyeglass replacements, hearing aids, and a wide variety of other supports to live independently.
As we go to press we have scheduled on March 27 visits by the Center to our local legislators regarding the ‘04 state budget after the meeting of the MRC Rehabilitation Council at the statehouse. On April 1 at 11:30 AM at the statehouse there will be Rally for prevention of MassHealth cuts. The proposed cuts in the Governor's Budget, House 1, will freeze new enrollment in the CommonHealth program for children and adults with disabilities. This means that those with disabilities who have become employed and off Social Security as well as MassHealth will now be facing loss of needed health insurance to stay employed.
It will cut the Family Assistance program for income qualified children and parents and for all those with HIV regardless of income level. This could result in denial of coverage to approximately 3000 people.
It includes cuts to the Prescription Advantage Program so that 80,000 seniors and people with disabilities will lose their drug coverage on June 1 (unless the state can get matching funds from the federal government).
In addition up to 13,000 new applicants would not be able to qualify for MassHealth because of new asset and income rules that will be applied and by further restricting MassHealth eligibility for those who are offered employer-based insurance.
900 people will lose health coverage through the Fisherman's Partnership Health Plan. There are major increased co-payments and new fees for health services. Many of our consumers are saying they cannot afford to eat if they have to have treatment visits.
There are significant cuts to providers, and a $45M reduction in payment from the state to the Uncompensated Care Pool which pays hospital for medical services by those who are uninsured. Decreases in the Uncompensated Care Pool do not make sense when there will be more demand by uninsured citizens of the Commonwealth.
Your participation in letting our elected officials understand that these type of cuts will be hurtful to you and your loved ones is critical. Come with the Center on April 1 to the Rally at the statehouse. Write your legislators. Call them. Attend our May 9 Legislative Breakfast. Write them letters.
As we go to press we are not at war. The global and national economy is still sliding. President Bush is proposing tax cuts and slashing housing, healthcare, education, and his commitment to community alternatives to institutions under the Olmstead Supreme Court Decision of 1999.
Yet I look forward with compassion and hopefulness. As I explore the power of my new right knee I am thankful to have the support of my physician, Dr. Merrick Fisher, and my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Murzic, and my health insurer, Tufts HMO for this miracle. Salem Hospital and Shaughnessey Kaplan Rehab. along with the VNA in home therapy made my recovery smooth and quick. The Board and staff did a great job without me being on site for almost seven weeks. The calls, cards, flowers and prayers from all of you kept me doing my exercises rigorously. Thank you. I now walk without my cane most of the time. When the snow melts I will begin my regime for the 2004 Boston Marathon. I do want to walk the first four miles! I believe deeply and truly that we can make our world, the world, better for all by uniting respectfully and lovingly together.
New Peer Advocate
Hello, my name is Kerry-Lynne Jacobs, newly hired Peer Advocate, Access Specialist. Along with providing information and referral and comprehensive services to consumers, I am responsible for monitoring and advising the 20 municipalities of the North Shore and Cape Ann regarding ADA compliance when it comes to on-going and future projects in their cities/towns.
I am eager to share my own experiences as a person with multiple disabilities, including chronic degenerative disease and mobility disabilities, with consumers and the public. I hope my story may provide knowledge to my peers with similar situations to my own and decrease the attitudinal barriers from non-disabled community members. I want to help end the negative stereotypes that people with disabilities endure, and educate others that we are just as capable as everybody else in the world.
I've been in the Customer Service field for almost 2 decades. My working background includes such positions as volunteering as a Big Sister at Mass Hospital School, Program Coordinator at the American Red Cross as well as a certified HIV/Health Educator to name a few. I have two college degrees; an Associate's in Science and a Bachelor's in Liberal Studies. I have plans to obtain my Master's degree with a Major in Social Work and a Minor in Criminal Justice. Since I have begun my newest job opportunity as the ILCNSCA Peer Advocate, Access Specialist, it has been a tremendous learning experience.
I can be reached at 978-741-0077 v/tty or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If You Are A SSI/SSDI Recipient, You Can Benefit From Project Impact
On Thursday, March 6, 2003 ILCNSCA hosted a Vocational Rehabilitation/Independent Living Workshop entitled “SSI/SSDI and Work Incentives”. Eighteen individuals attended this informative workshop. Linda Muse, Benefits Specialist for the Statewide Employment Services Department at the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, facilitated the workshop which explored the complex rules for individuals receiving SSI and/or SSDI and work incentives. Linda works in the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) which has been awarded a grant through the Social Security Administration to assist the fulfillment of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999 (TTWIIA).
The grant program is Individual Members Planning and Assessing Choices Together or Project IMPACT, and is administered through the Statewide Employment Services Department,(SES) of MRC. Linda shared that the main objective of this project is to provide benefits planning, assistance and outreach for persons with disabilities who are interested in working or returning to work yet are afraid their SSI or SSDI benefits will be lost and thus other necessary supports lost, such as health insurance, housing, etc.
Linda is specially trained and available to develop an Individual Benefits Plan with any interested individuals. ILCNSCA encourages you to check out this excellent service. She will return in the Fall for another workshop at ILCNSCA. For more information and/or to initiate a referral to Project IMPACT, please call Jeanne Lyons, Peer Advocate at ILCNSCA 978-741-0077 v/tty or email at email@example.com
Study Looking For Participants Regarding Wheelchair Use And Injury In Transportation Accidents
Seeking individuals who use wheelchairs or scooters as their primary means of mobility to participate in a research study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh.
This study is designed to investigate different aspects of transportation use and the risk and nature of injuries to wheelchair users involved in motor vehicle accidents. However, it is not necessary to have been involved in an accident to participate.
Participants will be asked to answer a survey. This survey will take no longer than 1 hour to complete and will include questions about your wheelchair, use of transportation and any occurrence of motor vehicle accidents. Eligible subjects will receive $20.00 for their time and effort.
If interested, please contact Ashley Rotko, 200 Lothrop Street, Suite B-400, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, (412) 383-7047
Family Circle is a support, mentoring and resource program serving families whose children are severely, neurologically challenged. They send out monthly newsletters, offer monthly support groups, opportunity to join a parent-to-parent directory and will research information requested by families. Contact Patty Reardon, 1-781-551-0405 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In partnership with H.A.L.O. (Help A Little One) and Jewish Family & Childrens' Services of Greater Boston.
Work Investment Grant (WIG) Wrap Around Services
Are you almost ready to become employed or enter a training program but do not have the money for an alarm clock or other related item? The Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, Inc. (ILCNSCA) in conjunction with the North Shore Career Center (NSCC) has developed a program called the Work Investment Grant (WIG) Wrap Around Services Program. The WIG Wrap Around Services are designed to assist the North Shore Career Center customers with disabilities secure and maintain employment.
The services available, provided by a Department of Labor grant, include referral to a vendor and payment for purchase of things needed for you as a person with a disability to obtain a job or to start a job such as an alarm clock, a bed shaker, emergency auto repair, eyeglass repair, interview clothing, a short term job coach, a short term PCA, emergency temporary transportation, or other approved employment preparation related services.
To be eligible for the WIG Wrap Around Services you must be a NSCC customer who has a disability. Ask your NSCC counselor about these services and they will refer you and your service need to ILCNSCA. Then you will work with the ILCNSCA to obtain these additional services. For more information on the WIG Wrap Around Services Program please contact, Jeanne Lyons, Peer Advocate at ILCNSCA (978) 741-0077 v/tty extension 17 or email her at email@example.com or your NSCC counselor.
ILCNSCA continues to coordinate volunteer surveyors to conduct surveys of restaurants in the ILCNSCA service area. This is accomplished through the Restaurant Accessibility Survey Project (RASP) funded by the North Shore Self-Help Association.
The restaurants listed below were surveyed recently and are rated for accessibility in the following categories: external access, entry/exit, internal access, restrooms, service, and alternate communication means. Restaurant survey ratings range from a score 1 to 6 with 6 being the highest. We use the symbol below to identify the rating.
210 Andover Street, Peabody, MA There was HP parking near the beginning of the long gradually sloped walkway leading to the entrance. There were no railings on the walkway to hold on to and people with mobility issues who cannot walk long distances should be aware of that. The entrance had a doorway that allowed easy passage. The seating was accessible. The restroom was not fully accessible as there were no grab bars and the path of travel within the restroom was not easily maneuverable for a person using a wheelchair. They do offer menus in alternative formats of Braille as well as in large print. The Surveyor who conducted this restaurant survey thought that the experience was very pleasant and would recommend this restaurant to others. Rating: 5
147 Summit St. Peabody, MA
Offers handicapped parking but the spaces are not the closest spaces to the restaurant's entrance. There is no van accessible parking. The entrance is easy to maneuver through using a wheelchair but the door is heavy. There is an accessible unisex bathroom but the path to the bathroom is a difficult one. The soap and paper towels are out of reach. The surveyor was seated at an easily accessible table among the other patrons but felt that many other tables were not easily accessible as there was not enough space to pass between other tables with a wheelchair. The restaurant does have a Braille menu. They seemed to be a disability friendly restaurant with great service and delicious food. Rating 3
The Porthole Pub
Lynnway, Lynn, MA
There is HP parking and those spaces to the door; however, there were no access aisles or curb cuts and you must travel up a steep driveway to access ramp. Although there was a ramp, it did not have a gradual slope nor was there a 5x5 landing at its top and bottom; it did have smooth and continuous railings. The ramp is not easily accessible because it is on a hill and slopes down and then it slopes before getting to the door. The entrance door was difficult to open. The threshold was easy to get through and there was a vestibule that was big enough for wheelchair entry. Even though, the majority of tables were non-fixed, the non-smoking section has stairs so a person using a wheelchair can only sit in the smoking section. The entrance to the bathroom was narrow and hard to get through, and the accessible stall in the restroom only had one grab bar on the side wall and there should also be one grab bar on the back wall. The soap and paper towel dispensers were not reachable for a person using a wheelchair nor could the faucet be used with a closed fist. There were no Braille menus, large print menus or ASL on staff but Surveyor was communicated with directly. The food was great, the service was great but accessibility issues may limit visitation by patrons with disabilities. Rating: 1
Chili's Bar And Grill
10 Newbury St., Danvers, MA
There was ample HP parking directly in front of the door including 1 van accessible space. They had access aisles and curb cuts. There were two easily openable doors with a vestibule that provided easy access over a flat threshold. The entire restaurant is one level. There was not a majority of non-fixed (table) seating and in the bar there were no tables low enough for a person using a wheelchair. There were HP stalls in the restrooms, which were spacious. The grab bar on the side wall of the toilet in the ladies room was being repaired. There was a large print menu on order. No ASL interpreters worked there. The wait staff spoke directly to the Surveyor and provided good service. Management was very willing to make improvements where needed and ILCNSCA's Community Access Advocacy Team (CAAT) will follow up with Chili's. Rating: 3
Newbury St., Peabody, MA
There were plenty of HP parking spaces. They weren't the closest to the door but very close. The space seemed to be 8' wide. There was no van accessible space. The entrance door was wide enough for a wheelchair and easy to open with a flat threshold. There was a vestibule that could be entered by a wheelchair before you get to the next door. The majority of tables are non-fixed with easy maneuverability for people using wheelchairs. Seating for Surveyor with disability was integrated with the other patrons of the restaurant. The bathroom seemed good but the wall soap and paper towel dispensers were broken and just placed on the sink. There was a Braille menu but none in large print or on cassette. No ASL interpreters on staff either. Surveyor was communicated with directly and would recommend this restaurant. Rating: 4
The Village Restaurant
Main Street, Essex, MA
There were standard HP parking spaces that were located closest to the door with an access aisle; no van accessible HP parking space. There was plenty of space to get through the easily opened door and the vestibule after the first door. The restaurant is level thus no need for a ramp. There was plenty of non-fixed seating, which could be easily maneuvered through. The unisex accessible restroom was great as they had properly mounted grab bars and ample space. They had soap dispensers and towel dispensers that were accessible and faucets that could be used with a closed fist. The restaurant staff communicated directly with the Surveyor. There were no Braille menus, large print menus, menus on cassette or ASL interpreters. The restaurant was excellent which lead to a great recommendation. Rating: 5
On The Advocacy Front
ILCNSCA is supporting a housing bond bill, formally called An Act Authorizing the Funding of the Production and Modification of Housing for People with Disabilities. This Acts lead sponsors are Senator Steven Tolman and Representative Brian Goldberg. Presently there are 42 legislative co-sponsors and over 60 disability and housing organizations supporting this proposed bill. This proposed bond bill legislation refunds the Facilities Consolidation Fund (FCF) and the Home Modifications Loan Program (HMLP). The bill also calls for the establishment of a housing production program for persons with disabilities, including elders, who are institutionalized or at risk of being institutionalized but who are not eligible for housing developed with FCF funds.
The Facilities Consolidation Program provides permanent, deferred payment mortgage loans for up to 50% of the total development costs for provision of community-based housing serving Departments of Mental Health and Mental Retardation clients. The principles that guide development of the housing include: consumer choice, range of housing options, integration into the community, flexibility, and quality housing product. The development of this housing has allowed the Departments to consolidate state facilities, resulting in significant cost savings to the Commonwealth. $100 million has been requested.
The Home Modification Program provides loans for access modifications such as ramps and bathroom alterations. The program has assisted over 300 elders, adults with disabilities and children with disabilities to remain in or return to their own homes rather than having to live away from family in a nursing facility. These loans, averaging $20,800 in one-time expenditures, have saved an estimated $43,800 to $127,750 per person annually in nursing facility costs. Recapitalization of this fund at $25 million has been requested.
The Community-Based Housing Program will provide loan funds for the development of community-based housing for people with disabilities including elders who are living in institutions or at risk of being institutionalized. Modeled after the FCF Program, this housing is targeted to those not eligible for FCF-funded housing including people of all ages with disabilities. The request is for bond funds in the amount of $25 million dollars.
The purpose of this act is to preserve the dignity and independence of many people with significant disabilities as well as elders to live in the community and not be isolated in institutional settings. Community based care and services now assist many who formerly were institutionalized. Such community based care and services are not only more cost effective, they are morally right and promote a higher quality of life than costly institutions. Research on individuals in Massachusetts has shown savings of between $15,000 and $80,000 annually per person. Morally and now legally under the U. S. Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. LC states must offer people with disabilities, including elders, the opportunity to receive services in the community, where possible.
ILCNSCA is waiting for the date when public hearings will be held on this bill and will look for advocacy support from consumers and supporters when that happens. If these programs have affected or could affect your independence and you want to work with ILCNSCA to advocate for passage of this bill, contact Shawn McDuff at 978-741-0077 v/tty extension 14 or by email at Smcduff@ilcnsca.org.
Together we can make a difference!
EEOC Sues Mcdonald's Restaurant For Disability Bias Against Employee With Facial Disfigurement
NORTHPORT, Ala. — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the filing of an employment discrimination lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Civil Rights Act of 1991 against R.P.H. Management, Inc., doing business as McDonald's restaurant in Northport, Alabama. The suit says that McDonald's discriminated against Samantha Robichaud when it denied her the opportunity for promotion to a management position and constructively discharged her due to a cosmetic disfigurement known as Sturge Weber Syndrome.
Ms. Robichaud, who has a "Port Wine Stain" covering a significant portion of her face, began her employment with McDonald's as a cook. Her acceptance of that position was premised upon the assurance that she would have the opportunity for promotion to management. In order to be eligible for a management position, an employee must show proficiency in handling several areas of the restaurant, including the front counter serving customers. Ms. Robichaud was removed from the front counter because of her appearance. Ms. Robichaud was later constructively discharged when she was told that she would never be promoted to a management position because of her appearance.
"All I ever wanted was a shot at the American dream," Ms. Robichaud said. "McDonald's took that away from me."
The suit (EEOC vs.R.P.H. Management, Inc., d/b/a McDonald's, Civil Action No.03-RRA-502-J) is before Magistrate Judge Robert R. Armstrong, Jr. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The EEOC's Birmingham District Office filed the suit after the agency investigated the charge, determined it was meritorious, and exhausted its conciliation efforts to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement with the company.
"By filing this lawsuit, the EEOC is demonstrating its commitment to enforcing laws established to prevent disability-based discrimination," said Cynthia G. Pierre, District Director of the EEOC's Birmingham District Office. "Ms. Robichaud is a very brave individual who came to the EEOC for assistance when she believed she was being judged not by her performance but because of a medical condition that affects how she looks. This is the first lawsuit EEOC has filed in Alabama involving facial disfigurement, but we believe it is important to educate employers that the ADA requires a focus on what people can do, not how they are perceived."
Charles E. Guerrier, Regional Attorney for the EEOC's Birmingham office, said: "Unfortunately, myths, fears and stereotypes continue to operate in the workplace to deny full employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities. One of the worst types of discrimination occurs when an individual with a cosmetic disfigurement is denied a job because of the unjustified belief that customers will be offended simply by seeing that person. The opportunity to make a living and succeed in the workplace is not restricted to models and movie stars but is the promise held out to every person with talent, skills and ambition. Ms. Robichaud is a qualified individual who deserved better."
Further information about the Commission is available on the agency's Web site at www.eeoc.gov.
Text from March 7, 2003 EEOC Press Release shared with ILCNSCA by NE ADA & Accessible IT Center.
Fun Event To Support NLS
Neighborhood Legal Services, which serves low-income persons throughout the North Shore, is holding its first fund-raiser on Saturday, April 26, 2003 with a Roast and Toast of John J. Ford, well-known and long-time elder law attorney. The evening will feature a silent auction, a cash bar and full dinner buffet and the Roast program, all starting at 6:00 p.m. at Jimmy's Allenhurst in Danvers, MA.
Tickets are available for $31 on-line or by contacting Corine Reardon at NLS 781- 599-7730, ext. 229 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Seats are limited, so order by April 15 th ! If you have an item you would like to donate for the silent auction or if you would like to place an ad in the testimonial book contact NLS. For more information, see the NLS website at www.neighborhoodlaw.org and click on the picture of John at the Red Sox game.
We hope to see you there!
Come Get Some Exercise And Play Some Wheelchair Basketball!!
You don't have to be good or know the rules, you will learn and get some cardio while you do. It's a new program on Sunday afternoons right off 128.
WHEN: Every Sunday
WHERE: Sterling YMCA in Beverly MA, Essex St.
COST: Free (at moment)
DIRECTIONS: Exit 18 off 128 from north take left, driveway is 1/4 mile down road on Right, From south take right, driveway is 1/4 mile down the road.
RSVP and Questions, call Amy Baudistel 978-922-0990 X129
**Bring an extra chair if you have one to let the A.B.'s join us.
April 1, 2003 Statehouse Rally To Prevent Cuts In Masshealth
Remember the Mass Health Rally at Statehouse on December 4, 2002 to protest MassHealth funding cuts and proposed additional funding cuts to necessary health services for persons with disabilities to live in the community? Next Rally is April 1 at Statehouse, 11:30 to 1:30 on MassHealth cuts in 04 Budget. Be there as cuts more devastating that we knew back in December. Contact your elected state legislators and thank them for their past support, tell them your personal story, and work with us and them to protect necessary survival independent living supports and services. Health Care for All is needed now!
Important Legislative Breakfast Information
Keep May 9, 2003 8:00 To 11:00 AM Available For You To Attend This Great and Important Event at the Hawthorne Hotel In Salem, Ma. For More Information And To RSVP Call ILCNSCA @ 978-741-0077 v/tty.
NEW RESOURCE FOR DISABILITY AWARENESS WITH BUSINESSES AND SCHOOLS
Thomas J. Muxie Consultant/ Presenter
Accessing the Future with advocacy and education
5 Forest Street Peabody, MA 01960
Phone/ Fax: 978- 532- 5270
MASSTRAN SPECIALIZED TRANSPORTATION
For All Of Your Corporate, Luxury, Airport And Wheelchair Travel Needs.
1-800-768-1110 or 978-531-0956
Tell them you saw their ad in Independent Times!!
Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann
ILCNSCA follows the federal standards as an independent living center (ILC). We are unique in the arena of human service agencies as all ILC's are consumer controlled and community based. Persons with disabilities control agency decision-making and operations. Fifty percent or more of the Board of Directors must be persons with disabilities as must also be the Executive Director and any staff responsible for direct services. Directors and staff provide leadership and also serve as role models of successful Independent Living (IL) for others to follow. ILCNSCA provides direct services to empower individuals with the essential skills and self-confidence to achieve their IL goals. It also seeks positive change in the broader community to ensure rights and opportunities for participation in all areas of life and the freedom to pursue dreams.
Programs and Services
ILCNSCA serves the following cities and towns of the North Shore and Cape Ann: Beverly, Danvers, Essex, Gloucester, Hamilton, Ipswich, Lynn, Lynnfield, Manchester, Marblehead, Melrose, Middleton, Nahant, North Reading, Peabody, Reading, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Saugus, Stoneham, Swampscott, Topsfield, Wakefield and Wenham. In keeping with federal standards for ILCs, the ILCNSCA offers the requisites of Independent Living Skills Training, Peer Counseling, Information and Referral, and Advocacy. Peer Support Groups, Social/Recreation activities, topical Workshops, and Community Access Advocacy Groups are also offered.
Information and Referral (I&R;)
The Center provides information continuously to individuals with disabilities, their families and friends and representatives of human service agencies and cities and towns regarding services throughout the North Shore and Cape Ann Service Area. I&R; keeps people informed about IL possibilities, expands awareness about the mission and activities of the Center, and reinforces the fundamental IL principle of participation in already available services in the mainstream to the fullest extent.
Independent Living Skills Training
IL Skills teach a person with a disability all of the essential skills necessary to function in today's complex society. Topics covered include household maintenance, meal preparation, nutrition, health maintenance, emergency medical procedure, housing search, landlord/tenant relations, financial management, transportation, civil rights, individual advocacy, and Personal Assistance management for those who will need assistance to meet daily needs which the nature of their disabilities prohibits them from doing. Working with a Peer Guide, a Consumer will determine his/her own goals for independent living, which will in turn determine the skill areas for training. The Consumer will then master these skills through a combination of visits with the Peer Guide, written practice, homework and actual hands-on experience at the market, on the bus, in a social setting or at a relevant community setting.
For success in IL, it is necessary to have confidence, to understand how to cope with being "out there" in society and being constantly viewed as "different." Family issues, sexual identification, as a man or woman with a disability, and assertiveness in social and business situations are common areas of concern. The same Peer Guide providing IL Skills will also assist the consumer on these personal issues. Learning to cope with challenges is equally important for success in Independent Living as any practical skills training.
Advocacy and Education
The Center brings together its Members and acts in collaboration with other organizations such as the Massachusetts Statewide Independent Living Council, Independent Living Centers, and social justice organizations to eliminate barriers to full social participation by individuals with disabilities in society. Advocacy may take any one of several forms including information in the Center's newsletter, technical assistance on laws and regulations to other organizations to assist them to take informed, appropriate individual or group action to improve access to their activities and services, or education of elected and appointed local and state officials on rights and benefits of participation by persons with disabilities.
INDEPENDENT TIMES VOLUME XII ISSUE 3, SPRING 2003
PUBLISHER: Mary Margaret Moore. CONTRIBUTORS: Shawn McDuff, Elaine O’Donnell, Jeanne Lyons, Zoyla Galice, Kerry-Lynne Jacobs Amy Baudistel. The INDEPENDENT TIMES is a quarterly newsletter of the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, Inc. (ILCNSCA), 27 Congress Street, Suite 107, Salem, MA 01970. Telephone: (978) 741-0077 V/TTY, Toll Free Telephone: (888) 751-0077 V/TTY, Fax: (978) 741-1133. EMAIL address: Information@ilcnsca.org. We also have a Cape Ann branch office at Addision-Gilbert Hospital, Room 4, 298 Washington Street, Gloucester, MA 01930. Telephone: (978)283-4000, ext. 366 V/TTY. INDEPENDENT TIMES welcomes the submission of articles, press releases, personal success stories that relate to independent living. Advertisements are also welcome. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit or reject material submitted to accommodate space or other concerns. Unsolicited material not accompanied by a self addressed stamped envelope will not be returned. ILCNSCA’s philosophy is based upon the belief that people with disabilities can lead more independent lives when given the opportunity. We also believe that such an opportunity is a human right. This newsletter is partially funded by a grant from the New England ADA & Accessible IT Technical Assistance Center.