978-741-0077 Voice, information@ilcnsca.org, 27 Congress Street, Suite 107, Salem, MA 01970

INDEPENDENT TIMES

Volume XVI, Issue 2, Spring 2007

Message from Executive Director Mary Margaret Moore

Happy Spring!

I know that we had a mild winter but what was that March 16th storm all about?! Early daylight savings time is appreciated by me in the afternoon, still struggling with the dark mornings. I look forward, though, to a newly energized Congress and the "Together We Can" newly elected Governor Patrick. Despite budget constraints, deficits, uneasy stock market, slowly rising unemployment in MA, decreased housing market, I feel a new hopefulness in Washington DC and at our statehouse.

As the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL) Board Region I Representative, I recently attended our winter meeting in DC. NCIL held its first Congressional Meeting, well attended by many staff from Congress and disability advocates, in the Dirksen Building. As NCIL approaches its 25th Anniversary, there is much to celebrate. However, our largest victory still awaits us as we continue to fight to shift institutional bias. Check out the upcoming NCIL Conference on their web page at www.ncil.org.

Senator Kennedy staffer, Connie Garner, attended and spoke at the NCIL Congressional Meeting. She has been working for many years to increase options for independent living especially on a new bill soon to be filed by Senator Kennedy called Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act. Check of Senator Kennedy's web page for more on this bill. Rep. John Tierney's Aide, Stefanie Ackerman, met with me after the Congressional Meeting to understand independent living priorities and NCIL advocacy priorities. Congressman Tierney has been a key supporter of ILCNSCA. There was a positive atmosphere as I walked the halls of Congress. Staffers were smiling, something I have not seen during the prior three years. There were high expectations that bills would pass, such as CLASS, Community Choices, increased pay for PCA's, more housing options, etc.

During our visit with our state legislators on March 6, I also saw a different level of energy at our statehouse. Sen. Tom McGee spoke at the Grand Staircase along with other state Senators and Representatives in support of Independent Living. Senator McGee spoke passionately about the need for economic freedom through employment as a key component of Independent Living. MRC is facing a major shortfall in federal vocational rehabilitation funds due to a decrease in Massachusetts population, high per capita costs, and a lack of sufficient COLA during the prior three years. Access to public vocational rehabilitation services are at risk. Independent Living Services, especially funding for Independent Living Centers, are not keeping pace with inflation, cost of living, high health insurance rates, and demands. Yet our legislators listened to the dozen of us from ILCNSCA, and have set shifting the institutional bias as a priority. They are committed to the principles of Independent Living.

I hope all of you can attend our Legislative Breakfast on Friday, May 11, 2007 to hear directly from our legislators on their positions regarding creating options for us to live independently in our communities. As our Governor stated, "Together We Can." As I have always stated, "Together our Voices are Loud."

See you soon, MM

Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) Independent Living Day at the Statehouse

ILCNSCA participated at the Statehouse on March 6 for a day with our legislators. At the foot of the Grand Staircase the SILC had a variety of speakers, many legislators, who shared their support for the priorities of the SILC. Fifteen ILCNSCA representatives attended this gathering of over 400. Senator Tom McGee, Lynn, spoke of his support for persons with disabilities to obtain jobs. As a key member of the Workforce Development Committee, he identified his understanding of the need for economic independence through employment as key to independent living. ILCNSCA met with many of our legislators and will meet with more over the next few months. The SILC advocacy priorities for the '08 budget include:

1. Divert Medicaid money and related funding sources to a money-follows-the-person model, which in practicality means implementing regulations for the Equal Choice legislation which reflect consumer control and independent living choices.

2. Support a pay raise for PCAs in line with the recommendation of the Statewide Personal Assistance Coalition, which is requesting $13/hour. This is essential to maintaining a pool of attendants and ensuring quality services for the 15,000 people on the program in the state.

3. Support $1 million in new funding for supported living services and $500,000 new funding for Centers for Independent Living in the 4120-4000 account overseen by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. These monies are essential to securing successful community placements and eventual implementation of the 1115 waiver. $1.5 million new funding for 4120-4000 account of MRC.

4. Support integrated housing for people with disabilities. Without a broader view of service provision, we will be supporting community initiatives that may fail because there are inadequate affordable and accessible housing options. Specific programs needing more support include the Community Based Housing Program, the Alternative Housing Voucher Program, and the Home Modifications Program.

Add your voice to ILCNSCA and the Statewide Independent Living Council by contacting your state legislator, come with us to the Statehouse for the SILC IL Lunch with our Legislators on May 9, and/or attend the ILCNSCA May 11 Legislative Breakfast.

Legislative Breakfast 2007

March 27, 2007

Dear Members and Supporters of ILCNSCA:

You are cordially invited to the 20th Annual Legislative Breakfast of the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann Inc. The breakfast will be held on May 11, 2007 with registration at 8:30 AM and the program will begin promptly at 9:00 AM. to 11:30 AM at the Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites, Pickering Wharf, Salem MA. Continental breakfast will be served. The topic this year is "Creating Options: For us to live independently in our Communities."

This annual event enables you to witness and honor those that you nominate and we select for receipt of independent living awards. It is an opportunity for you hear what your legislator is doing to insure that government funding in fiscal year ‘08 meets our needs for independent living services and supports. Representative John Keenan and Senator Tom McGee will be co-hosting the program. All of our state and federal legislators have been invited to attend and will be also given the opportunity to speak.

Please take a few moments to review the Award descriptions on page two of this insert. We encourage you to complete and submit an Award Nomination form (page 5) along with your RSVP (page 6). Cut out and send to ILCNSCA by April 27. Thank you.

This site is wheelchair accessible. We hope you will be able to join us at this annual event.

Sincerely,
Mary Margaret Moore, Executive Director

And The Award Goes To...

Every year ILCNSCA recognizes outstanding achievement and contributions made by individuals and businesses making a difference in the lives of people living with disabilities. Please let us know of someone you feel deserves recognition!

The Leavitt Award : This award is considered a lifetime achievement award. This award is given in memory of Bernice Leavitt, one of the Center's founders, to an individual with a disability who lives or works on the North Shore or Cape Ann, who by his/her actions and accomplishments, has done the most to promote the ideals of the Independent Living.

The ILCNSCA Advocate of the Year : The ILCNSCA Advocate of the Year Award is given to an individual with a disability on the North Shore or Cape Ann who, by his/her actions and accomplishments, has done the most to promote the ideals of the Independent Living Philosophy. The nominee should be a dynamic advocate who lives or works on the North Shore, Cape Ann, or is a service recipient.

The Youth Leadership Award : The Youth Leadership Award is given annually to a youth with a disability (under 25 years of age) who has done the most to promote Independent Living ideals on the North Shore or Cape Ann. This individual must possess strong leadership skills or potential, and live on the North Shore, Cape Ann, or be a service recipient.

Distinguished Employer of the Year Award : This award is given annually to an employer who has done the most to promote independent living ideals through the employment of a cross- disability population on the North Shore and Cape Ann. Nominee's) must employ and actively recruit, individuals with all types of disabilities.

Family Support Award : This award, to be first awarded in 2007, is given to a person who provides the family support to an individual with a disability to live fully and independently. Family is defined as those chosen by the individual with the disability, either due to blood or relationship ties.

ILCNSCA Upcoming Events

Please refrain from wearing scents or scented clothing to all ILCNSCA events. All events held at ILCNSCA's main office, unless otherwise noted. All communication accomodations must be communicated to staff two weeks prior to event.

ILCNSCA Board Meetings
Held the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30PM at ILCNSCA.
For more information, contact Executive Director, Mary Margaret Moore at 978-741-0077 x.10 or email to mmmoore@ilcnsca.org.

Workshops

Housing Workshop Forum I
Thursday, April 12 from 2:00-4:00 PM
Beverly Cooperative Bank Community Room
73 Lafayette Street , Salem, MA 01970
Affordable, available, accessible housing in Salem.
Carol MacGown from SHA & Nina Cohen Salem Harbor CDC to present.
RSVP to Jillian O'Brien x.17 by April 5.

Housing Workshop Forum II
Tuesday, May 15 from 2:00-4:00 PM
Beverly Cooperative Bank Community Room
73 Lafayette Street , Salem, MA 01970
Housing Rights in Salem
RSVP to Maria Solomos x.25 by May 8.

Community Access Monitor Training
Wednesday & Thursday, May 16 & 17, 9:00-4:00 PM
Beverly Public Library
32 Essex Street , Beverly, MA 01915
Community Access Monitors play an essential role in encouraging access improvements. Through this training program, you will gain the knowledge and skills you need to become an effective accessibility advocate.
RSVP to Shawn McDuff x.14 by May 9.

What Should I do to Prepare for a Weather or other Emergency?
Thursday, June 7, 2:00-3:30 PM
Beverly Cooperative Bank Community Room
73 Lafayette Street , Salem, MA 01970
Are you a person with a disability who needs to develop a personal emergency plan to cope with weather emergencies?
RSVP to Shawn McDuff x.14 by May 31.

Need assistance completing the Universal Housing Application?
On-going workshop held the 1st Wednesday of each month from 2:00-4:00 PM.
ILCNSCA staff will be available to meet in small groups with persons with disabilities to provide assistance with completion of the Universal Housing application.
Please RSVP Shawn McDuff x.12 to reserve a spot either for the 2:00-3:00PM group or the 3:00-4:00PM group.

Social Events

Bowling Event!
Friday, April 20, 11:00–12:30 PM (Meet there)
Andy's Sunnyside Bowladrome
176 Water St. , Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 774-1983
The cost for a person with a disability is $5.00. Cost for a PCA to bowl is $5.00. Persons without a disability pay full price directly to Sunnyside Bowladrome on that day. Space is limited.
Please RSVP to Marj Nagle x.12 by April 9.

A Luncheon at Fantasy Island
Friday, June 22, 11:30AM—1:00 PM
Fantasy Island Restaurant
516 Loring Avenue, Salem, MA
The cost will be $3.00 for a person with a disability and $3.00 for their PCA (if needed). The cost for a person without a disability will be $6.00. All reservations need to be prepaid via cash or check made payable to ILCNSCA & received at ILCNSCA by May 3, 2007.
RSVP to Jillian O'Brien x.17 by May 3.

Groups

Community Access Advocacy Team (CAAT)
On-going group held the 1st Tuesday of each month from 2:00-4:00 PM.
Volunteers work to remove and/or mitigate cultural and attitudinal barriers and increase access in the community. New members welcome!
For more information about CAAT, contact Shawn McDuff x.14.

Restaurant Accessibility Survey Project (RASP)
On-going group held 2nd Wednesday of each month from 2:00-4:00 PM.
Volunteers work to promote awareness and improved access to selected North Shore and Cape Ann restaurants. New members welcome!
For more information about RASP, contact Shawn McDuff x.14.
Sponsored in part by donation from North Shore Self help Association and Salem Five Charitable Foundation.

Peer Support Group
On-going group held the 3rd Tuesday of each Month from 2:00-3:30 PM.
Share your successes and challenges to living independently with a disability. Join us!
RSVP to Marj Nagle x.12.

Advocacy— Be Heard!

SILC IL Lunch with Our Legislators Day
Wednesday, May 9, 9:30 AM—4:00 PM
Hall of Flags, State House
Come talk to your legislators regarding:
Providing additional services to underserved populations throughout the Commonwealth, eliminating the list of consumers waiting for services at centers, providing for additional staff at each center to help divert people from costly institutions and instead receive supports and services in the communities which they reside.
Lunch and transportation will be provided.
RSVP to Shawn McDuff x.14 by April 30.
What should you do: Call your legislators today and set a time to visit with them in their offices between 1:00PM - 2:30PM at the State House.

Save the Date!

Get Credit Smart
June 12, 19, 26, July 3, 10—ILCNSCA

Annual BBQ
August 10, 2007— Winter Island

Red Sox vs. Orioles
September 1, 2007— Fenway Park

ADRC Conference
September 28, 2007— Holiday Inn Peabody

ILCNSA's 20th Annual Meeting & Roast Benefit
October 17, 2007—Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites

Restaurant Accessibility Survey Project (RASP) Updates

Jade Pacific
101 Lynnfield Street , Lynn, MA 01904
781-598-9569

Handicapped Parking- There were no handicapped parking spaces.

Entrances/Ramps- There was a ramp with a gradual slope leading to an accessible entrance. There was a level landing at the top and bottom of the ramp. The doorway was wide and easy to open.

Seating & Tables- The path of travel appeared to be 3 feet wide. A person using a wheelchair could easily maneuver between tables. There was an adequate amount of wheelchair accessible seating and it was located near other patrons. There was enough knee space under the tables for a person using a wheelchair.

Restrooms-The accessible restrooms featured grab bars on the side and in back of the toilets. The grab bars were mounted level at approximately 36 inches above the floor. The path of travel to the grab bars was easily accessible. A person using a wheelchair could easily maneuver into the stall and close the door for privacy. The soap and paper towel dispensers were within reach for a person using a wheelchair. The faucet handles on the sink were easy to open and close.

Communication- The restaurant did not offer menus in Braille, large print or on cassette. There were not any staff that could understand American Sign Language (ASL).

Service- The restaurant staff communicated with Surveyor directly and sincerely.

Rating- 4 Points were given for Entrances/Ramps, Seating & Tables, Restrooms and Service.

Date of Survey- December 2006

Rizzo's
178 Lynn Street , Peabody, MA 01960
978-531-2118

Handicapped Parking- There was no handicapped parking space for this restaurant.

Entrances/Ramps- The ground level entrance was wide enough for a person using a wheelchair to enter and the door is easy to open. The entrance vestibule did not have ample room for a person using a wheelchair to enter the first door completely and then open the second door.

Seating & Tables- The path of travel appeared to be 3 feet wide. A person using a wheelchair could easily maneuver between tables. There were few wheelchair accessible tables. There was not enough knee space under the tables for a person using a wheelchair.

Restrooms- The restrooms were not accessible. The restrooms featured no grab bars on the side and in back of the toilets and necessities were hard to reach and utilize for a person with a disability.

Communication- The restaurant did not offer menus in Braille, large print or on cassette. There were no staff members that could understand American Sign Language (ASL) and were certified ASL interpreters.

Service- The restaurant staff communicated with Surveyor directly and sincerely.

Comments- Surveyor would not recommend this restaurant to people with disabilities based on the fact that there is no handicapped parking and the restrooms were inaccessible.

Rating- 2 Points were given for Entrances/Ramps and Service.

Date of Survey- November 2006

Local Resource for BALANCE Service Dogs

After 30 years of providing animals for TV, movies and print ads in the Boston area under the name of "Animal Episodes" (http://www.animalepisodes.com/), we have refocused our farm to be a breeding and training facility for large dogs. Once the dogs are certified, they are donated to people who need help with balance and mobility.

We have gone through the complicated procedure of proving our capabilities to the national organization of trainers called Assistance Dog International (http://www.adionline.org/).

Our volunteer staff have graduated ten "BALANCE Service Dogs" by having them pass the national public access test. The dogs are then out there working with people who need assistance with stability. For example, people with MS often have balance issues and these dogs can provide them with confidence and safety. We give priority to veterans and their families.

The farm is just north of Topsfield center- a right off Route 97 -and wind 1/2 mile around Hood pond to #37 Boxford Rd. We do allow visitors in controlled situations. Please email us for visiting hours and RSVP at Animalep@aol.com. We are a farm with all the perils of a farm. We are not what some might say wheelchair accessible but we are golf cart accessible and if you can transfer to a golf cart, you can access most of the farm. Our wheelchair guests have no problem accessing our covered outdoor picnic area by golf cart. And.... it is bring your own refreshments. For more info: http://www.servicedogproject.org/.

What's the 511?

The 511 will be a customer driven multi-modal traveler information service available across the United States, accessed via telephones and other personal communications devices, and realized through locally deployed inter-operable systems, enabling safer, more reliable and efficient transportation system.

The 511 will provide telephone services for travelers, providing real-time information about work zones, traffic incidents and other causes for congestion. These services will allow travelers to make more informed decisions about their travel routes or modes and increase safety by helping motorists avoid areas with congestion or incidents. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation petitioned the Federal Communications Commission in 1999 for a three-digit dialing code for travel information and was assigned 511 in 2000. In 2001, the Cincinnati, OH, area became the first location in the country to use 511 for travel information. Approximately half of the country currently has 511 access; by 2010, it will be available nationwide. Massachusetts has applied for funds through Federal-aid highway funding, as well as state funds. Massachusetts is expected to go live with its 511 system in 2007.

Callers access the system by dialing 511 from any telephone. They hear a menu of available information on highways and public transit and indicate their choices by using the telephone's touchpad, or, for systems with voice recognition technology, by voice. Some 511 systems offer premium services such as personal routing instructions or reservation services, which may involve additional charges.

The most commonly available category on information on 511 is related to traffic; every operational system features information on the covered area's highways but the depth of coverage varies. Some regions cover every Interstate, major primary roads and arterials, while other only Interstates. Information provided can range from exception reporting of conditions to data as discrete as congestion and travel times within corridors.

Systems that have converted existing telephone numbers to 511 have experienced a 300 to 500 percent in call volume. A study showed that 45 percent of travelers who received information from the San Francisco Travel Advisory Telephone System changed their travel plans, compared to 25 percent of travelers altering their plans based on television or radio broadcasts.

For more information, visit www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/511

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.

Peer Counseling

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.

ILCNSCA Job Opening

Independent Living Receptionist
Employment Classification: Regular Part Time
Salary: $11.00 per hour to start.
Hours: 16 hours per week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
Benefits: No benefits, as less than 17.5 hours per week
Complete job description with duties and qualifications on our web page, www.ilcnsca.org, or can be obtained by calling ILCNSCA at 978-741-0077 x.11.
Send resume and cover letter to: Kathy O’Brien, ILCNSCA, 27 Congress Street, #107 , Salem, MA 01970 as soon as possible!

Information and Database Management Specialist
Full Time position
$13.00/hour
Contact Kathy O'Brien at 978-741-0077 x.11 for job description and then follow up with cover letter and resume to Kathy O'Brien via email to kobrien@ilcnsca.org

Web Page Volunteer Position
Once a week for 2-4 hours
Assist with ILCNSCA Web Page updates and design. Learn how to make web pages fully accessible, including use of Dreamweaver software.
Contact Kathy O'Brien at 978-741-0077 x.11 or email to kobrien@ilcnsca.org for Volunteer Application and CORI Release form.

ILCNSCA is an EEO/AA employer.

Volume XVI, Issue 2, Spring 2007

PUBLISHER: Mary Margaret Moore CONTRIBUTORS: Shawn McDuff, Kathy O'Brien, Donna Garber, Ashley Speicher, Megan Coughlin (photos). The INDEPENDENT TIMES is a newsletter of the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, Inc. (ILCNSCA), main office located at 27 Congress Street, Suite 107, Salem, MA 01970. Telephone: (978) 741-0077 V, (978) 745-1735 TTY, Toll Free: (888) 751-0077 V, Fax: (978) 741-1133. EMAIL: Information@ilcnsca.org.

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 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. ILCNSCA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. ILCNSCA serves any person of any age with any type of disability and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, family status or disability. ILCNSCA receives federal and state funds, private grants, donations, and memberships. ILCNSCA is funded in part by the City of Salem Department of Planning & Community Development, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. ILCNSCA has 501 (C) (3) federal and state tax exempt status as a charitable non-profit corporation. ILCNSCA meets the federal standards and assurances of independent living centers. This newsletter is partially funded by a grant from the New England ADA & Accessible IT Technical Assistance Center. This publication is also available at our accessible web site: www.ilcnsca.org Para mas informacion llamar 978-741-0077.

Services and avvocacy for an independent life

Towns We Serve

  • Beverly
  • Danvers
  • Essex
  • Gloucester
  • Hamilton
  • Ipswich
  • Lynn
  • Lynnfield
  • Manchester By-The-Sea
  • Marblehead
  • Melrose
  • Middleton
  • Nahant
  • North Reading
  • Peabody
  • Reading
  • Rockport
  • Rowley
  • Salem
  • Saugus
  • Stoneham
  • Swampscott
  • Topsfield
  • Wakefield
  • Wenham


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