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

INDEPENDENT TIMES

VOLUME XI ISSUE 2, WINTER 2003

From the Executive Director Mary Margaret Moore

We have a new Governor coming to office with a new team in January, 2003. The revenues nationally and statewide for federal and state budgets are less than what has been committed to cover costs. The global economy is fragile. Major corporations have closed or are laying off workers. Medium and small businesses are having to tighten their belts or close. The economic future is uncertain. Many believe we are on the brink of sending more troops to the Middle East. Major human services cuts have been made by our outgoing Acting Governor to address the shrinking revenues. Many voters in the November Massachusetts election voted to do away with the state income tax. We are living in a very serious time.

I call on all of you to contact your elected local, state and federal officials. I ask that you first thank them for their efforts of the past. Their efforts have funded the initial development of a community based human services system as well as set in motion our expectations for high quality, accessible, affordable and available community supports so we can live at home. Now they and us, or rather we, are needing to collaborate to solve the economic constraints that threaten the continuation of necessary survival supports for many of us.

Secondly, I urge you to let them know, through your personal story the impact any funding cuts may have on your life. On December 4th I visited the statehouse to attend the rally to restore and prevent any further MassHealth cuts. Two ILCNSCA supporters went with me, Tom Muxie and Andrew Martensson. We gave our support to the 1000 of us gathered in the Rotunda demanding restoration of MassHealth services that were cut. Mr. Charlie Carr, NILP, stated that 'These cuts are immoral.' Testimony from various persons with disabilities was given, describing the personal impact of the cuts. All present united in visiting our legislators, advocating for increased housing, restoration of access to health services and demanding that the campaign promise of Governor-elect Romney not to disrupt human services be enacted.

The three of us with a videographer who asked to come along then visited with six of our elected state legislators. Sen. Tarr (Cape Ann) and Rep. Hill (Hamilton, Ipswich, Wenham, Manchester by the Sea) were trying to find ways to save on prescription medication costs by state formulary changes to more generic drugs as well as looking into how to cut medical billing costs. Rep. Verga (Cape Ann) urged us to tell our stories so the general public understands the importance of using tax revenues for independent living supports. Sen. Berry's aide (Beverly, Danvers, Peabody, Salem) spoke eloquently with us regarding the dismal revenues and the up-coming financial constraints and reassured us that we are a team looking for answers together. Rep. Ruane (Salem) reiterated his dismay with the decreasing revenue figures and the increasing costs. Rep. Falzone (Lynn, Lynnfield, Saugus) and his aide also committed themselves to working hard with all of us and their colleagues to find new solutions.

At each visit Tom, Andrew and I told our stories, about how any loss of PCA or shifts to an all generic medication formulary would not be good, would be harmful. Each legislator appreciated the sharing. I stressed that we need to have a discussion on holding untouchable from budget cuts any support necessary for basic survival, such as housing, personal care, medication, health services, home health supports, job supports, assistive technology for basic communication. They all were supportive and willing to work with us and others to address the issues.

I shared with each legislator that Massachusetts is still working on its mandated Olmstead plan. The planning group, called together by Acting Governor Swift and comprised of staff from various state human services agencies and disability advocates, completed their work in the Spring. Final Committee reports were released as appendices to the Commonwealth's Phase One Plan Enhancing Community based Services. Internal government meetings are working on the next Phase.

Most IL Centers and the Statewide Independent Living Center (SILC) are not directly part of this next Phase planning, and the SILC is endorsing a People's Olmstead Plan drawn from the committee reports, written by the disability advocate committee cochairs, and edited by the SILC. This plan will be a first draft for presentation to Governor Romney's administration from the disability community. The second draft will include financial projections in a business plan format. I promised to give that plan to each of our legislators after it is presented to Governor Romney in January and they were very positive.

So, what next. Please remember that even in tough times together we do make a difference. Your voice added to the voices of your family, friends, and the Center's is very loud. Combined with collaborative groups like Health Care for All, SILC, IL Centers, other supporters of independent living, we will be heard. Check out Action Alerts on www.ilcnsca.org and www.masilc.org. Politely let your neighbors and friends know their voice is needed to support our legislators to fund basic IL supports. Repeat often, no more cuts. Please write or call your elected officials frequently in 2003. Join with ILCNSCA in being heard.

On a brighter note, we have just received word from the City of Salem of award of $5000 to the Center under the Community Development Block Grant funding. This will be the third year we have received funding for our Housing Education Program for Salem residents. We appreciate the City of Salem continued support. Thank you.

And, on December 18, 2002 ILCNSCA received a $1000 donation from the Salem Five Cents Saving Bank. This is the first time Salem Five Cents Savings Bank has funded ILCNSCA and we are very pleased. Thank you Salem Five!!!

On a personal note, I have successfully recovered from my left knee replacement of last January. With approval from health care team, I am taking them up on the offer to replace my right knee this January. So, please send me healing light and positive thoughts on January 13, 2003 at 7:30 AM. My vision for this surgery recovery is similar to my last knee surgery: All will go smoothly and I will be pain free and recovering quickly. Kathy O'Brien will be leading the ILCNSCA during my recuperation. I will be out of the office for approximately six weeks. Kathy and the staff will be superbly managing while I am out. I appreciate their support and the Board's encouragement for me to take on a second knee replacement.

After 35 years of coping with arthritic knees that do not move well I look forward to less pain and more mobility. My goal is to walk at least 4 miles in the 2004 Boston Marathon. Perhaps we can have an ILCNSCA Relay group? More on that later, just keep it in mind. See you all at the May 9 Legislative Breakfast and Happy Winter 2003.

ILCNSCA Annual Meeting

by Elaine O'Donnell, Director of Services

The Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann is proud to announce the results of their Annual Meeting Board elections, held October 16, 2002 by the membership. Pat Barry, of Gloucester, Harvey Cohen of Peabody, and Lori Fonseca of Marblehead were all elected as new Board members. New Board officers were elected at the Board meeting held later that evening. Gregg Murray Saugus was elected as the new Board President, replacing Sheila Casey who had been President for the two prior fiscal years and is leaving the Board. Judith Rodgers of Salem was re-elected as Vice President, Janet Foley of Lynn was re-elected as Clerk, and John Litchman of Marblehead was elected as Treasurer. The new Executive Officers will work with the newly elected Board members and continuing Board members, Jean Deschene of Salem and Debbie Wilde of Peabody, to lead and oversee the ILCNSCA disability rights advocacy and service provision. Over 50% of the ILCNSCA Board members are persons with disabilities, fulfilling the federal criteria for independent living centers being consumer controlled.

ILCNSCA Consumer Satisfaction Survey

Every year, by the end of January, the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann distributes a Consumer Satisfaction Survey to individuals that we have served during the past fiscal year. This survey is confidential and helps us to hear from you on how well we are performing and how satisfied you are with the Center's services. We aggregate this data and share these results with our state and federal funding agencies. We analyze this information internally and make changes in how we then provide our services.

Last year the survey responses conveyed to us that overall you, our customers, were very satisfied with the services you received. You also were very satisfied with the type of information available to you from the Center. You rated us very highly that the Center holds meetings and social events that you can use, that the staff treats you with respect, and that you are able to provide your input to us to serve you better.

Watch for this consumer satisfaction survey that will be arriving in your mailbox soon. Your feedback is important and will help us to provide better services to you in the future. It also lets our state and federal funding agencies know how well tax dollars are being spent from your perspective.

If you would like an copy of the survey results from last year, please contact me, Elaine O'Donnell, at 978-741-0077 x.12 v/tty.

Another Access Success On The North Shore And Cape Ann!!

On September 30, 2002, ILCNSCA volunteer and Community Access Advocacy Team Member Tom Muxie of Peabody attended a playground dedication ceremony held by the Beverly School for the Deaf, recognizing the opening of the newly constructed accessible playground for children of all abilities in the North Shore area. On behalf of ILCNSCA, Tom presented the Beverly School for the Deaf a certificate of appreciation for the extraordinary efforts of everyone involved in raising the funds to build the 'Touch the Sky' playground.

The 'Touch the Sky' playground, located at the Beverly School for the Deaf campus on Overlook Ave. in Beverly, is open to the public and can be used Monday-Friday 3 PM to dusk and weekends dawn to dusk. It is the only playground of its kind in this area and enables integration of disabled children with their peers in a recreational setting. For more information about the playground, contact Pamela McGrath, Director of Development at the Beverly School for the Deaf at (978) 927-7070 or by email at pmcgrath@beverlyschoolforthedeaf.org.

ILCNSCA Hosting Two Exciting Workshops For SSI/SSDI Recipients!

On December 17,1999, President Clinton signed into law the historic Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA) of 1999. SSI/SSDI recipients will have gotten "Tickets" in the mail in the last several months. This is an actual ticket that the Social Security administration (SSA) has developed that individuals can take to an Employment Network. An Employment Network is a provider of services who has agreed with SSA to assist Ticket holders to reenter the workforce by provision of information and support to find a job. The SSA has also issued two additional grants to assist SSI/SSDI recipients to use these Tickets. ILCNSCA will be hosting two Workshops this winter on these additional grants concerning use of 'Tickets'.

On January 2 nd the workshop is Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The Disability Law Center, the Protection and Advocacy Agency for Massachusetts has received a SSA grant to educate and advocate for individuals on SSI and or SSDI who have received or are about to receive tickets. The presenter will be Linda Landry, Staff Attorney, at the Disability Law Center, Inc. Linda will be explaining the Work Incentives of both the SSI and SSDI Programs in the TWWIIA.

On February 6 th the second workshop, Social Security and Work Incentives, will be held. The presenter of this workshop will be Linda Muise, Benefits Specialist, at the Statewide Employment Services, of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). Linda will be talking about one of the grants through MRC called Individual Members Planning and Assessing Choices Together, or Project IMPACT. If you are on SSI or SSDI and want to know how earnings from employment could affect your current benefits, Linda Muise is the key person to meet with and explore your options. She can give you accurate and understandable information regarding safeguards to entitlement benefits during your initial return to employment. She will develop with you an individual benefits impact plan factoring in wages and shifts in your current benefits. At the workshop Linda will make appointments with interested individuals for development plans at another time.

To RSVP for either Workshop call Jeanne Lyons at (978) 741-0077 or email her at Jlyons@ilcnsca.org. These workshops are funded under a contract between MRC and ILCNSCA for Vocational Rehabilitation Independent Living Skills.

Danvers State Memorial Ceremony

On September 25, 2002 there was a special ceremony at the Danvers State Hospital to recognize numerous patients who were buried in unmarked graves. These graves will be maintained and acknowledged in perpetuity as a result of advocacy by NILP and the National Empowerment Center. Over 200 services providers, elected officials, families and friends of the deceased took part in this ceremony. With the sale of the closed Danvers State Hospital grounds these gravesites were at risk of being forgotten and the people buried there were at risk of being deprived of remembrance.

ILCNSCA attended the ceremony with representation by Elaine O'Donnell, Director of Services, and Andrew Martensson, unpaid staff of the Center. Andrew spoke to many during the gathering about his time at Danvers State Hospital and the stigma he fights from being labeled mentally ill. Thank you to all who worked on this advocacy campaign and congratulations on this success. We will remember!

Working And Staying Active

by Shawn McDuff and Paul Campbell

Working and Staying Active describes the life of Paul Campbell of Beverly, one of ILCNSCA's volunteers. Paul, who had a stroke 5 years ago, began seeking a new job in April 2002 after he lost his job at Goodwill Thrift Shop in Peabody where he had been working for two years. Paul contacted ILCNSCA to inquire about services to support him to find employment. ILCNSCA gave him referrals to the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and the Cerebral Palsy of Eastern MA's Supported Work Program and supported Paul to conduct his own job search. After discussing with ILCNSCA his skill set and his employment desire to again work in retail Paul then submitted applications to available retail employers. He highlighted his experience in customer service and cashiering.

Concurrent with receiving ILCNSCA services, Paul continued volunteering at North Shore Medical Center and Children's Hospital and also began volunteering at the Center. He has been a member of our Restaurant Accessibility Survey Project and the Community Access Advocacy Team. He may have been the voice you have heard answering ILCNSCA telephones as he fulfills the Information and Reception role one afternoon per week. His pleasant personality and excellent customer service skills are role models for Fortune 500 companies!

After much job searching, hard work and lots of patience, Paul achieved his goal of returning to paid employment in November 2002. His new employer is WalMart in Danvers. While awaiting his first paycheck, Paul needed and received assistance through ILCNSCA's North Shore Self Help Association Fund to assist him to purchase a new shirt and pants for the job as well as funding for tickets for The MBTA "Ride" to provide him transportation during the first few weeks of employment. Even with a varied work schedule to handle Paul continues to maintain his volunteer and advocacy work with ILCNSCA; his schedule is filled over 50 hours per week.

Why does he stay so busy? Paul states, "I don't want to stay home and watch TV all day, I want to get out and be productive. Some people choose to stay home, but I would just think about my disability. Working allows me to contribute to society, and give back to society what was given to me. In my job, I treat others the way I was treated at ILCNSCA." We wish Paul good luck with his job at WalMart and thank him for his connection with ILCNSCA and dedication to accessibility advocacy. We acknowledge Paul as an example of the power of independent living philosophy and consumer control.

Masshealth Update

Prescription Advocacy Results

On September 5, 2002, Shawn McDuff, ILCNSCA's Director of Access & Advocacy along with ILCNSCA volunteers Andrew Martensson, Tom Muxie and other supporters attended a public hearing conducted by the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy to advocate for protecting MassHealth consumers ability to fill prescriptions at local pharmacies. ILCNSCA presented the following message, strengthened by a petition signed by nearly 200 concerned citizens that reads as follows:

"We, the people of the State of Massachusetts agree that the level of reimbursement from the state to Massachusetts pharmacies for prescription drugs must be maintained at a rate that ensures that all MassHealth recipients continue to receive prescription services from local pharmacies in Massachusetts. This access to local filling of prescriptions is vital to all MassHealth recipients and if discontinued or disrupted MassHealth recipients would be faced with choosing between food/ shelter and their health."

This advocacy was spawned by the State deciding earlier this past summer to lower the reimbursement rate for pharmacies filling MassHealth prescriptions, causing major pharmacy chains like CVS, Brooks and Walgreens to threaten to discontinue filling MassHealth prescriptions because they felt they would not be able to cover their costs. The Center and our concerned consumers and members decided to take action to defeat this potentially devastating decision.

The end result was positive for MassHealth consumers as well as the pharmacies. There was a compromise in that the prescription reimbursement rate was increased to a few percent lower than the previous rate, plus the pharmacies will receive a higher dispensing fee to make up the difference and even the overall reimbursement to an acceptable level. CVS, Brooks and Walgreens decided to accept the new rate and continue filling MassHealth prescriptions.

Upcoming Changes Needing further Advocacy

On January 1, 2003, the pharmacy co-payment for MassHealth members will be raised from 50 cents to $2.00. Information about the pharmacy co-payment increase can be found at a frequently asked questions page through MassHealth's web site at www.state.ma.us/dma/questions/ faq/pharmacy.html. You can also get there through a link on ILCNSCA's web site at www.ilcnsca.org. Also, adult MassHealth recipients will no longer be able to get eyeglasses, dentures, prosthetics, orthotics or chiropractic therapy.

On April 1, 2003, 50,000 very low-income adults will lose their health coverage under MassHealth Basic. They will be forced to rely on hospital emergency departments and will go without much of the care they need, such as prescription drugs and physician visits.

ILCNSCA is not just accepting these changes as we have our Community Access Advocacy Team (CAAT) following these issues closely and ready for more advocacy. ILCNSCA's Executive Director and CAAT volunteers attended the December 4, rally and vigil at the State House, joining others including the Boston Center for Independent Living and Health Care for All. If you are interested in joining our advocacy campaigns through CAAT, contact Shawn McDuff at (978) 741- 0077 V/TTY or Smcduff@ilcnsca.org. We need to join together to have our voice heard.

WHAT IS SECTION 8?

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is one of the most important federal housing programs available to assist people with disabilities, many of whom live with limited income, to live independently in the community and to have full community integration. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is a housing subsidy program administrated through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Housing Authorities in many cities and towns as well as Regional Administering Agencies in Massachusetts locally administer Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Programs and make subsidy vouchers, Housing Choice Vouchers, available to persons of low income. This program requires people to pay a portion of their monthly rent payments and the Housing Choice Vouchers covers roughly 60-70% of rental costs up to an allowable level depending on where you live.

To obtain this support one starts with completion of an application for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher when Housing Authorities inform the community by public notice that they have vouchers available or want to add applicants to a waiting list. ILCNSCA informs any person with a disability who lives or wants to live in the North Shore and Cape Ann area of the availability for vouchers upon request.

When one receives a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher it can be used in any municipality statewide where a housing rental is found and accepted by the landlord. There is a time limit on when this voucher must be used and if no available unit is obtained within this time period, the voucher expires. To obtain more information related to this housing subsidy contact your local Housing Authority or ILCNSCA.

Update On Housing

ILCNSCA continues to help folks obtain available, affordable, accessible housing. In addition to receiving one to one support, ILCNSCA assists consumers with how to acquire housing, how to insure it meets a person's budgetary ability, how to complete all paperwork required, knowledge of rights to housing and reasonable accommodation, and listings of available housing through individual housing searches via the Housing Registry. ILCNSCA also works with other agencies to obtain increased access to Section 8 vouchers.

Since April 2002, ILCNSCA has worked with the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development (LHAND). Through the concerted cooperation of the LHAND with ILCNSCA there now 10 LHAND Section 8 vouchers that have been specifically identified for qualified ILCNSCA consumers. LHAND is now in the process of completing their review of referred ILCNSCA consumers and will soon issue Section 8 Vouchers directly to some ILCNSCA consumers.

Last summer ILCNSCA was informed that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) had received Section 8 vouchers and we agreed to provide the technical support to ILCNSCA qualified consumers to assist them to obtain these Section 8 vouchers as well. This process is close to completion for MRC Section 8 vouchers through the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership and is waiting for closure on our referrals to Community Teamwork Inc.

ILCNSCA wishes to thank the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development for their extraordinary efforts to meet the needs of ILCNSCA consumers through this venture. ILCNSCA also thanks MRC for its efforts to obtain Section 8 vouchers for Independent Living Center consumers. Together we are making a difference for persons with disabilities to have access to a basic survival resource, housing.

RASP Update

ILCNSCA continues 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, rest-rooms, service, and alternate communication means. Restaurant survey ratings range from a score 1 to 6 with 6 being the highest.

Jumbalaya Restaurant
174 Sylvan St. Danvers, MA

Offers three handicapped parking spaces but there is only one sign. There is no van accessible space. The restaurant's entrance door is difficult to open but once inside maneuverability using a wheelchair is easy. There is a usable ramp providing decent access but it may be slightly steeper than code. Access to the seating areas as well as the overall maneuverability in the restaurant is good. There are accessible men and women's bathrooms but there are obstacles to enter the bathrooms and the soap and paper towel dispensers are out of reach. They have menus in Braille and do not have ASL certified interpreters. The surveyor who conducted this restaurant survey thought that the wait staff was friendly and that the res-taurant had great food. Rating: 4

The Continental
Route 1, Saugus, MA

There are 5 handicapped parking spaces located in the front of the parking lot nearest the door. All spaces have access aisles but no van accessible space. Parking lot is large and flat which made for easy access from all spaces. The front entrance is level but the doors are heavy. The seating area offers one completely accessible room and one area that is non-accessible. The bathrooms on the first floor are somewhat accessible but people with very limited mobility would probably have problems and need to use the more accessible unisex bathroom on the second floor that is elevator accessible. There are no Braille menus or ASL certified employees. This is an expensive fine dining restaurant. Rating: 2

If you are interested in being a part of the RASP contact Shawn McDuff at 978-741- 0077 x.14 v/tty. Next RASP meeting is January 15 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM at ILCNSCA.

Study Volunteers Wanted

Are you 18 years old or older? Do you have cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, amputation, or any type of physical disability? Do you have Internet Access? Are you interested in finding ways to increase your health and well being? To participate please go to web page http:/www.disability-health.info Study participants will be paid a nominal fee.

Americans With Disabilities Act: Assistance At Self-Serve Gas Stations

People with disabilities may find it difficult or impossible to use the controls, hose, or nozzle of a self-serve gas pump. As a result, at stations that offer both self and full service, people with disabilities might have no choice but to purchase the more expensive gas from a full-serve pump. At locations with only self-serve pumps, they might be unable to purchase gas at all.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires self-serve gas stations to provide equal access to their customers with disabilities. If necessary to provide access, gas stations must -

  • Provide refueling assistance upon the request of an individual with a disability. A service station or convenience store is not required to provide such service at any time that it is operating on a remote control basis with a single employee, but is encouraged to do so, if feasible.
  • Let patrons know (e.g., through appropriate signs) that customers with disabilities can obtain refueling assistance by either honking or otherwise signaling an employee.
  • Provide the refueling assistance without any charge beyond the self-serve price.

If you have additional questions concerning the ADA, you may call the Department of Justice's ADA Information Line at (800) 514- 0301 (voice) or (800) 514-0383 (TTY) or access the ADA Home Page at: www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm

U.S. Department of Justice, May 1999.

Submitted by anonymous supporter of ILCNSCA.

Partnership Helps Disabled Take Out A Loan

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), one of the largest cross-disability organizations in the country, has formed a first-of-its kind formal partnership with a financial institution to provide affordable financial services to members of the disabled community. AAPD's agreement with Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU), in Marlborough, MA, is intended to give its members equal access to basic financial services. When AAPD surveyed their members they found that the majority complained that they had trouble getting loans from most financial institutions to purchase necessities such as wheelchairs, to retrofit their cars, etc.

Most banks, and financial credit unions, reject persons with disabilities because they are perceived as "high risk". Because so many disabled persons live below the poverty level, most banks choose not to take the risk of giving out loans of any size. After meeting with various financial providers over a two-year period, DCU took the lead and has already written more than $3 million on loans to AAPD members. For more information contact Mariana Nork, AAPD, (202) 955-6114 web site: www.aapd-dc.org

Reprinted from Report on Disability Programs Vol. 25 No. 21

Accessible Winter Recreation

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management (MDEM) would like to announce various activities, such as, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, hiking, kick sledding, ice skating and skiing, at various locations in Massachusetts State operated locations during the months of Jan.-Mar. 2003. For a list of all activities, dates and times, call the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, Inc. at 978- 741-0077 v/tty. We will send to you the list we received from MDEM.

What Is Assistive Technology?

Assistive Technology is devices and/or methods that are used to compensate for functional limitations and to increase mobility, communication and overall correspondence. Assistive Technology can be as simple as a walking cane or as sophisticated as a voice activated device.

Some benefits of Assistive Technology that people can experience are as follows: gain increased ability to function independently, enhance the ability to communicate, improve self-esteem, access the Interment and email, improve self-advocacy, less reliance on state funded programs, more educational opportunities and increased potential for employment. For more information, contact the ILCNSCA @ 978-741-0077 and speak to a Peer Advocate to find out if you may be eligible for Assistive Technology services.

Taken from the Assistive Technology Solutions brochure at Class Inc.

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Get Great Deals And Help ILCNSCA To Raise Funds Purchase An Entertainment 2003 Book

The Entertainment Book 2003 is packed with hundreds of two-for-one offers and 50% discounts on goods and services for almost everything you like to do or need to do – dining, travel, shopping, movies, theater, sports, auto repair and more. It's your ticket to save money now and next calendar year. The 2003 Entertainment Book costs $20.00 and the coupons are good from the day you purchase the book through October 31, 2003. Come on by the Center for your copy. We appreciate your help with this fund-raiser for the Center. For additional information or to purchase a book call (978) 741-0077 v/tty or stop by the Center Monday-Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM.

Looking For A New Job?

The North Shore Career Center is working in conjunction with ILCNSCA to identify individuals with disabilities who can benefit immediately from funding and support for marketable skills training. There is some limited funding for individualized short term training if the training is completed by end of this summer and that training will most likely result in immediate job placement. If you are clear on that one course needed or short term skill development that is preventing you from obtaining a job and you have a disability, contact Sandra Efstratiou at the North Shore Career Center, 978-825-7209, or call ILCNSCA at 978-741-0077 v/tty.

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.

INDEPENDENT TIMES VOLUME XI ISSUE 2, WINTER 2003

PUBLISHER: Mary Margaret Moore CONTRIBUTORS: Shawn McDuff, Elaine O’Donnell, Jeanne Lyons, Zoyla Galice, Donna Garber, Kathy O’Brien, Paul Campbell The INDEPENDENT TIMES is a quarterly newsletter of the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, Inc. (ILCNSCA), 27 Congress Street, 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 at Cape Ann Branch office: (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. This publication is also available at our BOBBY approved web site: www.ilcnsca.org.

Services and avvocacy for an independent life

Towns We Serve

  • Beverly
  • Danvers
  • Essex
  • Gloucester
  • Hamilton
  • Ipswich
  • Lynn
  • Lynnfield
  • Manchester By-The-Sea
  • Marblehead
  • Melrose
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  • Rowley
  • Salem
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  • Swampscott
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  • Wenham


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