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

INDEPENDENT TIMES

VOLUME XVII ISSUE 1 SPRING 2008

From the Executive Director Mary Margaret Moore

Happy Spring! ILCNSCA had a wonderful winter. After celebrating our 20th Anniversary Annual meeting and Roast Benefit of Rep. Ted Speliotis, in late Fall ILCNSCA welcomed four new Board members elected by our membership at the meeting. These Board members are: Teresa Arnold, Erin McGaffigan, Rob Park and Stephen Reynolds. ILCNSCA raised $4500 at the Roast Benefit. Thank you, Representative Ted Speliotis for your work on this fundraiser for ILCNSCA. The Board, staff of Rep. Speliotis, roasters Sen. Fred Berry, Rep. John Keenan, Chair of House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Robert A. DeLeo, Executive Director of Mass Film Office Nicholas Paleologus, Bill Allen of the Disability Policy Consortium, Mike Gilleberto, City of Worcester and former aide to Rep. Ted Speliotis, and Paul Lanzikos, Executive Director of North Shore Elder Services, coordinated this major fundraiser for ILCNSCA. Thank you all.

Over the winter ILCNSCA increased its efforts to advocate for full implementation of Community First. We increased our outreach to nursing homes and shelters to meet with residents who have let us know they want to live more independently and return to community living. We have assisted 10 individuals during the first three quarters of this fiscal year to move back to the community.

ILCNSCA continued to work closely with state government to design options for eliminating the current services bias which still gives preference for services to be offered in nursing homes yet cannot yet be always funded for the individual to stay at home.

Despite our commitment and work with other ILCs and advocates to truly have Community options available first instead of nursing home placement, the Commonwealth's strategy to file a waiver to our state plan for Medicaid funds to be used for Community First is still stuck. We all know that there is a deficit in our state revenues. We all know that costs are going up, just check out the food prices and of course the price for home heating and gasoline. Yet redeploying funding from nursing homes to community alternatives has been the priority for Massachusetts since the 1999 Olmstead Supreme Court decision. Work on a Medicaid waiver has been ongoing for almost four years. Our legislature passed unanimously in June of 2007 the Equal Choice bill, calling for giving all citizens a choice of nursing home care or community services and supports. Governor Deval Patrick has made Community First and the Medicaid waiver to fund it a high priority in his administration.

I urge all ILCNSCA supporters and members to let your state legislators know that you want full funding of Community First. The House and Senate are now voting on the Budget for fiscal year '09 which begins July 1. Come to our Legislative Breakfast on May 9 titled Community First: Successes and Next Steps, and speak directly to our legislators. At any moment you may need the level of care for long term services and supports. Do you want those services provided in you home or in a nursing home? Let all of us insure that we have that choice. Speak out for Community First or you may not have a choice.

See you soon, MM

PCA Union Formed and In Collective Bargaining

One key support for Community First is consumer directed Personal Care Assistance provided by Personal Care Attendant workers. In November 2007, Massachusetts PCAs voted in the largest union election in New England history. Ninety-four percent of ballots were in favor of joining with 1199SEIU, part of the Service Employees International Union, the largest and most effective union for healthcare workers in the United States.

The next step to improve PCA jobs is to bargain a contract guaranteeing higher wages and benefits. In December, thousands of PCAs came to bargaining input sessions and sent back bargaining surveys explaining which improvements were most important to them. Based on survey results, the top three priorities were pay raises, health insurance, and paid days off. A committee of PCAs from across Massachusetts have begun the process of bargaining a contract with the consumer-led PCA Quality Home Care Workforce Council. During bargaining sessions, the PCA bargaining committee has been negotiating improvements in wages, health insurance and paid time off.

Please keep an eye on the results of this collective bargaining. Shawn McDuff of ILCNSCA is our point person on this. If you have any questions, call Shawn at 978-741-0077 x.140 or send him an email at Smcduff@ilcnsca.org with PCA question in the subject line.

Emergency Preparedness

We now are in Hurricane season again. Do you have your 'Go Kit' organized in case you have to evacuate? Do you know where and how you will evacuate? Do you know your local communities plan and personnel who will be making the decision on evacuation, shelter locations, access to food and water? These were a few of the issues discussed at the Emergency Preparedness workshop held on April 15 at the Beverly Cooperative Bank in Salem. The Massachusetts Office of Disability along with ILCNSCA and presenters from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) shared their suggestions for Individual Preparedness, communication and preplanning with local emergency planners and first responders.

The audience was comprised of persons with disabilities, fire and police first responders, Board of Health planners, community social services agencies. Mass Office of Disability, under a federal grant, was able to distribute starter 'Go Kit' bags and Tips for First Responders to Work with People with Disabilities. ILCNSCA will continue to offer workshops on Individual Preparedness and to encourage local Emergency Planners to work with our community in their planning and training.

If you would like more information on this topic please let ILCNSCA know and/or reserve September 19 for the ADRC of GNS Conference on Emergency Preparedness.

Legislative Breakfast 2008

Dear Members and Supporters of ILCNSCA:

You are cordially invited to the 21st Annual Legislative Breakfast of the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann Inc. The breakfast will be held on May 9, 2008 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. Plated breakfast will be served at 9:00 AM. The topic this year is "Community First: Successes and Next Steps".

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 '09 meets our needs for independent living services and supports. Representative Mary Grant ( Beverly) and Senator Tom McGee ( Lynn) will be our legislative co-hosts of 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 May 2. Thank you.

This site is wheelchair accessible. We will have CART and have requested ASL interpreters. 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.

To nominate an individual or employer, please use nomination form on next page and submit with RVSP by May 2, 2008. Board Members, staff, or any of their relatives are ineligible to receive awards.

Workshops

Community Access Monitor Training
Wednesday & Thursday, May 7 & 8, 9:00-4:00 PM
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
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.140 by May 1.
Sponsored by Mass Office of Disability, Salem Disability Commission, and ILCNSCA.

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.120 to reserve a spot either for the 2:00-3:00PM group or the 3:00-4:00PM group.

Transportation Forum by MRC State Rehabilitation Council Transportation Taskforce
Thursday, July 17, 2008 from 1:30—4:00 PM at ILCNSCA main office.
Share your successes and struggles with ADA transportation services on North Shore and Cape Ann.
The Ride and CATA will be invited to hear your thoughts
The SRC Transportation Taskforce will take you input back to the Council for review and action.
Please attend anytime between 1:30 and 4:00 to give you input, ask your questions.

Social Events

Community Sing with ILCNSCA Staff Sarah Smith
Tuesday, May 6, 7:30 –9:00 PM, Cornerstone Bookstore, 45 Lafayette St, Salem, MA (Meet there).
Be a part of the Cornerstone Books commitment to providing interesting, safe, fun, accessible events with music and camaraderie. Join in with the chorus and be part of connecting with others!
Suggested donation is $1.00 for beverage and snack.
Please RSVP to Shannon McCue x.160 by May 2.

Jazz Brunch Buffet
Join us for a brunch buffet with live Jazz on Sunday, June 22, 2008, 11:15 AM to 1:00 PM at Nathaniel's, Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square West, Salem
Suggested donation is $15.00 for person with disability and for PCA, $30.00 for person without a disability.
Space limited so please RSVP and send in donation by June 16th.
Call ILCNSCA to make your reservation by June 16th!

Groups

Community Access Advocacy Team (CAAT)
On-going group held the 1st Tuesday of May, July, September, November 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.140.

Restaurant Accessibility Survey Project (RASP)

On-going group held 2nd Wednesday of June, August, October, December 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 Jillian O'Brien x.170.
Sponsored in part by donations 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.120.

Advocacy - Be Heard!

ILCNSCA 21st Legislative Breakfast, May 9, 2008 with registration at 8:30 AM, event begins at 9:00 AM at Salem Waterfront Hotel, Pickering Wharf, Salem, MA.

Community First: Successes and Next Steps

Senator Tom McGee and Representative Mary Grant, legislative co-hosts.
ILCNSCA Awards.

Save the Date!

Annual BBQ
August 15, 2008— Winter Island
Function Hall, Salem, MA
Noon to 2:00 PM

ADRC Conference
September 19, 2008— Salem Waterfront Hotel
Emergency Preparedness
9:00 AM-4:00 PM

ILCNSCA 21st Annual Meeting and Board Member Elections
October 15, 2008—ILCNSCA Main Office
5:30 –7:00 PM

ILCNSCA 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting And Roast Benefit Of Rep. Ted Speliotis

Sponsors

North Shore Community College Salem Five
1 Ferncroft Rd 210 Essex Street
Danvers , MA Salem, MA 01970

CORD 1199 SEIU
1019 Iyannough Rd. #4 United Health Care Workers East
Hyannis , MA 02601 150 Mr. Vernon St. Suite 300
Boston, MA 02125

Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, Inc. Elder Service Plan of the North Shore, Inc.
1010 Harrison Ave 37 Friend Street
Boston , MA 02119 Salem, MA 01970
45 Congress St.
Salem , MA 01970

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission F.D. Mason Company
27 Wormwood St . 6 South Pine St.
6th Floor Salem, MA 01970
Boston , MA 02210-1616

Assistive Technology Survey Needs Your Ideas!

The MassMATCH Assistive Technology (AT) Act Program is looking for your input concerning the assistive technology needs of people with disabilities in Massachusetts. In 2006, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) piloted a survey which resulted in responses from 433 people. Those responses helped the Assistive Technology Advisory Council and MRC decide how best to use the AT Act grant funds. Since that time MRC has used the survey information and thus has opened two demonstration and device loan centers, collaborated on the development of a regional AT exchange program, developed an AT list serve, conducted trainings, funded AT expos and many more activities. A web site regarding AT has also been launched at www.massmatch.org.

Your input is again needed to see if the community of people with disabilities, educators, employers, health professionals and others are aware of and are using these new AT services and programs. MRC has posted an on-line survey that you can complete and forward on to others. There are also hard copy versions of the survey in English, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Khmer and Chinese. Please contact ILCNSCA, 978-741-0077 if you would like assistance to complete survey. There are also paper copies at the ILCNSCA office if you choose to have one sent to you. The on line survey can be found at http://webapps.ehs.state.ma.us/mrcassttechsurvey/survey.aspx.

Digital Television Switch

In February 2009 the Digital Television Transition will take effect. In other words if you still use antennas or "rabbit ears" you will be out of luck because all free over the-air analog signals will become non-existent. In 2005, Congress passed the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act, which mandates the switch from analog to digital TV in order to free up more frequencies for police, fire and emergency radio transmissions. If you have an analog television you will have to purchase a converter box that will convert analog signals to digital and this will cost anywhere from fifty to seventy dollars. However, converter box coupons are currently available through a number of means and there are no income guidelines for eligibility. Options to apply for a coupon are as follows:

  • Apply online at www.dtv2009.gov
  • Call 888-388-2009, TTY 877-530-2634
  • Mail an application to: P.O. Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000
  • Fax an application to 877-388-4632

Masonry In Action: H.E.L.P (Hospital Equipment Loan Program)

The Masonry in Action's Hospital Equipment Loan Program (HELP) lends hospital equipment to those in need free of charge. Donations of equipment and money are accepted as well. Requirements for lending the equipment are need and willingness to promptly return the equipment when no longer needed. The only restrictions are that equipment be used for home use only and may not be used in nursing homes. Equipment cannot be transferred to another person until it is returned to HELP and is duly recorded by HELP volunteers as being transferred to another party. Some of the equipment that is available are: canes, four-prong canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, tub seats, Hoya lift, exercise bikes (for rehab only), toilet supports, etc. For more information please call 781-322-1052 or go to the Malden Masonic building rear entrance located 123 Exchange St., Saturdays ONLY 9:00 a.m. to Noon.

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

Join with us to erase the barriers to Independent Living!

Position Title: Front Desk Volunteer

Skilled in answering telephone, entering data, and organizing resources. May also provide reasonable accommodations assistance to staff. Must be good listener, computer literate and enjoy working as part of team. Sense of humor and reliability will be greatly appreciated.

Complete volunteer job description with duties and qualifications along with application and CORI forms can be obtained by calling Kathy O'Brien at 978-741-0077 x.110 v or email to: kobrien@ilcnsca.org.

Send resume and cover letter to: Kathy O'Brien, ILCNSCA, 27 Congress Street, #107 , Salem, MA 01970 as soon as possible!

INDEPENDENT TIMES VOLUME XVII ISSUE 1, Spring 2008

PUBLISHER: Mary Margaret Moore CONTRIBUTORS: Shawn McDuff, Kathy O'Brien, Shawn McDuff. 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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