Volume IX Issue 4, Summer 2001
From the Executive Director Mary Margaret Moore
Happy Summer. ILCNSCA looks forward to the end of the current fiscal year and the beginning of the 2002 fiscal year on July 1. Despite the efforts of Rep. Brad Hill and Rep. Tony Verga the ILCNSCA and the other ten independent living centers in MA will not be receiving any additional state funds in the new budget. We thank Rep. Hill and Rep. Verga for their support and hope that during the year if funds are found that we receive increased resources.
In the next column please read about the RASP, funded by a donation from the North Shore Self Help Association. Your participation in this grass roots access rights project is needed. We hope to expand the RASP to other public accommodations such as retail stores, entertainment facilities in the future.
We thank you who participated in the Consumer Satisfaction Survey this year. Jamie Flavin, Director of Services, has written a nice article on the results on page 3.
Hold the date of August 30, Thursday, from Noon to 3:00 to join us at the Annual ILCNSCA Summer Barbecue. This year it will be again at Winter Island, Salem in the City of Salem function hall. We expect that the accessibility concerns we identified last year will all be addressed by that time. City of Salem has been aggressively working on those problems. See page 6 for more information on this great event. Hope to see you there!
ILCNSCA Announces New Restaurant Accessibility Survey Project (R.A.S.P.)
ILCNSCA is seeking persons with disabilities who are interested in conducting restaurant accessibility surveys of North Shore and Cape Ann restaurants. ILCNSCA will train interested people on basic accessibility requirements according to accessibility regulations of the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (521 CMR). ILCNSCA will also train persons how to complete a Restaurant Survey Form, developed by ILCNSCA. To become a Surveyor for the Restaurant Accessibility Survey Project you must attend one training on either of the following dates: July 17, 2001 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., and July 19, 2001 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.. Trainings will be held at ILCNSCA main office on 27 Congress St., Suite 107 in Salem.
Persons who agree to conduct a Restaurant Survey Form will be presented with a gift certificate for the restaurant to be surveyed prior to the survey date. (Gift certificate amount to be determined by ILCNSCA, considering the dining cost for surveyor, one guest, and one PCA if needed) Survey results will be printed in the ILCNSCA's Independent Times newsletter, ILCNSCA's web page, and local media if applicable.
Project will be partially funded by a grant from the North Shore Self Help Association to ILCNSCA. The aim of the program is to promote interest in accessibility advocacy and to provide an affordable social/recreation opportunity for persons with disabilities in the community.
President Bush signs Executive Order to Keep Persons with Disabilities from being institutionalized
On June 18, 2001 President Bush put forth a Presidential Executive Order which supports the development of community based alternatives for individuals with disabilities. The Order is a response to the Supreme Court decision in the Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 which construed Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act to require States to place qualified individuals with disabilities in community settings, rather than in institutions.
The Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, Inc. (ILCNSCA) along with other state and national disability service and advocacy voices are excited about this Executive Order.
"As we approach the 11th birthday of the ADA we still are seeing many persons with disabilities having to lose their right to live in their own home. The Olmstead decision along with the President's Executive Order should start a process in Massachusetts to support more persons with disabilities to stay in their community. Maybe Massachusetts will provide more support for Personal Assistance Services so folks can stay in their home and not have to go to a nursing home. The ILCNSCA will be closely watching how the Massachusetts plan for this Executive Order unfolds." stated Mary Margaret Moore, Executive Director of the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, Inc.
We urge all persons with disabilities to watch how this Executive Order impacts us in Massachusetts. ILCNSCA will keep you posted on what we hear and ask that you let us know what you hear is happening on this. Contact us at email@example.com or call us at (978) 741-0077 V/TTY and ask for Shawn McDuff, Director of Access & Advocacy.
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Casey Martin, PGA Member
On May 29 the Supreme Court sided 7-2 in PGA Tour v. Martin with Casey Martin request to use a golf cart to participate PGA events. This ruling stated that his use of a cart would not fundamentally alter the nature of the competition. Tour officials had argued that walking the course was an essential feature of the game, and that the matter should apply to every golfer. Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, noted a lower courts' use of expert opinion that Martin's degenerative circulatory disorder required as much exertion, even with a cart, as other golfers endured walking the links.
ILCNSCA Consumer Satisfaction Survey
By Jamie Flavin
We would like to thank all of our consumers who took the time to participate in our annual consumer satisfaction survey. This survey is sent out each year by all the Independent Living Centers (ILC's) in Massachusetts per federal and state requirements of ILC's. This is your opportunity to formally let us know how we are doing in providing accessible, respectful, helpful and relevant independent living services.
In February, 2001 we sent out to all of you who received our comprehensive services during federal fiscal year October 1, 1999 through September 30, 2000 the 4 sided 2 page survey. 11% were completed and returned to us. One of our volunteer's compiled the return data for our submission of aggregate information to Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) in late March, 2001. All surveys were and are confidential and available in alternate format.
The following is a sample of some of the responses we received.
To the question, "Were you satisfied (happy) with the services you received?" 54% responded "Very Good", 22% responded "Good", 11% responded "Don't Know or Not Applicable", 8% responded "Fair", 5% responded "Poor", and 0% did not respond.
For the question, "Were the services accessible (open) to you?" 56% responded "Very Good", 19% responded "Good", 11% responded "Don't Know or Not Applicable", 6% responded "Fair", 6% responded "Poor", and 11% did not respond.
When asked the question, "Did the staff you worked with treat you with respect?" 62% responded "Very Good", 13% responded "Good", 10% responded "Don't Know or Not Applicable", 3% responded "Fair", 8% responded "Poor", and 5% did not respond.
And to the question, "Did the services listed below help you to live better or more independently? (The example being Information & Referral)" 51% responded "Very Good", 14% responded "Good", 14% responded "Don't Know or Not Applicable", 3% responded "Fair", 6% responded "Poor", and 11% did not respond.
Overall the Center received a majority of Very good and Good ratings on all of the twenty five items in the MRC mandated survey. Numerous additional comments, primarily extolling particular staff members, were also written by you on those surveys. We will use your feedback to us to maintain and improve our independent living services. Thank you for your participation in this important quality assurance activity of the Center.
If you have any questions about the results of this survey or would like a copy of the entire results please contact Jamie Flavin, Director of Services at (978) 741-0077 V/TTY.
Support Group for Women Regarding Substance Abuse, Mental Illness and Trauma
WELL Recovery gives women an opportunity to get together and support one another in all aspects of their recovery from substance abuse, mental illness and trauma. Vinfen and the Institute for Health and Recovery (the co-creators of WELL Recovery) have come together to create a peer-led mutual help format that has an integrated approach. That is, the group is run on the principle that a person's addiction, mental illness, and trauma need to be discussed together, for each plays off the other. Without understanding their lives from each of these perspectives, women may not receive the full benefits of being in recovery.
A WELL Recovery support group is held every Tuesday from 3:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. at the Peabody Community Life Center, 79 Central Street, Peabody. For more information call Suzanne Garverich (617) 661-3991 x131.
Access Art by Art Daignault
All Americans who are registered to vote have the civil right to vote in an election. Although this is true, many voting locations are not accessible to people with disabilities. The National Voter Independence Project conducted a voter accessibility survey in the both the 1998 Congressional and the 2000 Presidential elections. The survey yielded the following conclusion: "There has been little or no improvement in the two years since the first of these surveys of voters with disabilities was conducted in 1998."
Massachusetts conducted a voter accessibility survey in late 1999 and early 2000 with all cities/towns. Of the nineteen cities/towns that the ILCNSCA serves, nine cities/towns responded to the survey from the Secretary of States Office. From my review of these survey results, I noted that there were some access barriers involving parking, building entrances, signage and alternative formats.
If you encountered any access issues at your polling facility and would like information, advice or support to advocate for accessibility to your polling place, contact Art Daignault at the ILCNSCA at (978) 741-0077 V/TTY. ILCNSCA also has voter registration forms for persons not registered to vote. We encourage all people with disabilities to vote
The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) notified the ILCNSCA that on April 5, 2001, the Attorney General's office reached a settlement agreement with all CVS Pharmacies in Massachusetts, requiring all stores to improve accessibility for shoppers with disabilities. One of the main access violations included aisles that were less than three feet wide, the required width for passage by those using wheelchairs.
To insure that this agreement is adhered to by CVS, MOD is seeking individuals to help monitor the CVS stores for any access violations. Duties of a monitor include visiting a CVS store, completing an accessibility checklist and returning it to MOD. The checklist is available at the ILCNSCA.
ILCNSCA is interested in hearing from you regarding any access issue you are encountering. We are committed to working with individuals, businesses and municipalities in the 19 cities/towns in our service area to increase accessibility for everyone. If you or someone you know has an accessibility issue, Access Art, alias Art Daignault, would like to hear from you.
For further information about Access Art articles, contact Art Daignault by phone at (978) 741-0077 V/TTY or by e-mail at Adaignault@ilcnsca.org.
Vocational Readiness/ Independent Living News
By Jeanne Lyons
VR/IL Workshop Review
The ILCNSCA held a Vocational Readiness-Independent Living Workshop on May 3, 2001 entitled "Ticket to Work". Greg Levis and Laurel Crommett, from the Salem Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission Office, came to the Center to share information and answer questions on the topic. They brought some hand outs on the Ticket to Work to share with participants. If there are any individuals who are currently receiving SSI/ SSDI and are looking for information on the Ticket to Work Program, you can call a toll free number at 1-866-968-7842 Voice or 1-866-833-2967 TTY or visit the Social Security Administration website: www.ssa.gov/work.
Spring Social Events
By Rebecca Hutchinson and Jeanne Lyons
On Easter Sunday, April 15, 2001, Jeanne Lyons and six friends of the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, inc. (ILCNSCA) attended the Boston Celtics basketball game at the Fleet Center. The seats were located in the promenade section, which is on the ninth floor of the Fleet Center. The Boston Celtics hosted the New Jersey Nets and won the game. The final score was Boston Celtics, 95 and New Jersey Nets, 88. a great time was had by everyone. This event was partially supported by a grant from the Clipper Ship Foundation to the ILCNSCA.
On Sunday morning, May 6, 2001 the ILCNSCA sponsored a Jazz Brunch Buffet at Nathaniel's Restaurant at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem. Twelve of ILCNSCA participants enjoyed live entertainment provided by Mexie and a delicious assortment of brunch items. The desserts at the end were what put the frosting on the cake! The staff of Nathaniel's was courteous and helpful to all of the ILCNSCA group. All that attended expressed that it was a pleasant and enjoyable brunch. This event was partially funded by a grant from the Clippership Foundation to the ILCNSCA.
Job Opening at ILCNSCA
Full time Peer Advocate at North Shore and Cape Ann branch office, $8.50 - $10.00/ hr.
Computer literacy required, and a dedication to the Independent Living philosophy. Bilingual English/Spanish preferred. Benefits offered.
Please send cover letter and resume to: ILCNSCA, Attn: MMM, 27 Congress Street, Suite 107, Salem, MA 01970 . We are committed to hiring minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. EOE/AA
MassTran Specialized Transportation
For All Of Your Corporate, Luxury, Airport and Wheelchair Travel Needs.
Call: 1-800-768-1110 or 781-581-8382
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 IX Issue 4, Summer 2001
Publisher: Mary Margaret Moore Editor: Shawn J. McDuff Contributors: Art Daignault, Jamie Flavin, Donna Garber, Rebecca Hutchinson, Jeanne Lyons, Andrew H. Martensson, Diane McIntyre, Kathy O'Brien, Elaine O'Donnell. The INDEPENDENT TIMES, is a Quarterly newsletter of the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann Inc. (ILCNSCA), 27 Congress St., Suite 107, Salem, MA 01970. Tel: (978) 741-0077 V/TTY, Toll Free Tel: (888) 751-0077 V/TTY, Fax: (978) 741-1133. Email: ILCNSCA@aol.com. We also have a Cape Ann Branch at Addison-Gilbert Hospital, Room 4, 298 Washington Street in Gloucester, Monday and Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM. Tel: (978) 283-4000 ext. 366 V/TTY. INDEPENDENT TIMES is published quarterly and welcomes the submission of articles, press releases, original cartoons, and advertisements. 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 on 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 New England ADA Technical Assistance Center.