A lot of you may remember the Able Lives website that is run by the CTCDD that hosts the series of TV shows that were produced on disability issues by CPTV and the CTCDD. The Able Lives website was in need of major repairs and updates. That work has now been completed and the site is now once again available at ablelives.org. The new Able Lives also has a forum which we hope to use to start an online dialog concerning disability issues here in Connecticut. Once you go to Able Lives the forum link is at the top of the page. An account is required to use the forum. Anyone is welcome to sign up for an account at ablelives.org
On Friday, October 18th from 10 to noon Marilyn Golden from the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund will be the featured speaker on a panel at the Legislative Office Building. The topic will be Physician Assisted Suicide: A Dialogue about the Potential Impact on People with Disabilities. Click here for more information and to register.
Connecticut DDC/DDS Awarded National Grant
The Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services (DDS ) were one of five state teams to receive a national grant to participate in a five year Community of Practice study. Connecticut’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and DDS will focus on creating a learning environment for intense exploration into policy, practices, trends and barriers for individuals with intellectual disability. For details click here.
Take a Survey to Give a Voice to Persons with Disabilities in Disaster Situations
Marcie Roth, Director of FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, [formerly of Connecticut] would like to make sure your voice is heard by sharing the survey from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) on Living with Disabilities and Disasters. UNISDR is conducting this survey to ascertain the needs of persons living with disabilities and disasters. Please take a moment to visit the link below and complete the survey; as well as forwarding to all you know would benefit by participating in the United Nations’ request for information.
THIS SURVEY IS ONLY INTENDED FOR PERSONS LIVING WITH DISABILITIES
Click here to take the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XJFJD96
Consumer Involvement Fund (CIF) CT Council on Developmental Disabilities
Do you know that there is partial funding available for Connecticut individuals with developmental disabilities and their family members to participate in conferences, attend legislative advocacy skills events, go to public forums and hearings? The CIF can fund partial of the cost of registration, child and respite care, personal assistance, hotel/lodging, meals, transportation and other related expenses at the discretion of the Council. Individuals may receive up to $100 to attend an event in-state and up to $600 to attend an event out of state. Individuals must provide 25% in matching funds from another organization or agency or personally. Click here for application and reporting packet.
Woman With Down Syndrome Prevails In Guardianship Dispute
From Disability Scoop By Michelle Diament August 5, 2013
In a closely-watched case centering on the rights of adults with disabilities, a Virginia woman has won the right to live with her friends rather than in a group home as her parents preferred. Margaret “Jenny” Hatch, 29, who has Down syndrome, has been fighting for a year to live with her friends, Jim Talbert and Kelly Morris. Hatch previously lived with the couple, but more recently she has been living in a series of group homes against her wishes while under the temporary guardianship of her mother and stepfather. On Friday, Newport News, Va. Circuit Court Judge David F. Pugh determined that Hatch needed the protection of a guardian, but said he had to take the young woman’s wishes into account. Accordingly, Pugh granted temporary guardianship for one year to Talbert and Morris, reports the Newport News Daily Press. During that time, the couple is to help Hatch become more independent. “Free at last,” the newspaper reports that Hatch said after the ruling, which paved the way for her to move back in with Talbert and Morris. “I’m going home. I’m so happy to be going home today.” Hatch’s mother, Julia Ross, was reportedly fighting back tears as she left the courtroom.
Advocates hailed the ruling as a victory for adults with disabilities.
“Like most people with developmental disabilities — and just like all of us — Jenny will learn, grow, and live best when she has the freedom and responsibility to make her own decisions,” Susan Mizner, disability counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement. “Disability is no excuse to deprive someone of her basic civil liberties, and we are thrilled that Jenny will get some control of her life back.”
Department of Justice Settles ADA Complaint Against the XL Center
Connecticut’s own Attorney Michelle Duprey filed a complaint with the Department of Justice against the XL Center after attending a Bruce Springsteen concert in 2009 where she encountered numerous barriers ranging from line of sight problems to inaccessible rest room facilities. The settlement agreement was announced in early July. Click to see the Connecticut Law Tribune’s article http://www.ctlawtribune.com/PubArticleCT.jsp?id=1202609698432&ADA_Attorneys_Complaint_Rocks_XL_Center&slreturn=20130609133150.
Beth Leslie, Legislative and Regulations Specialist at the State Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities has completed a comprehensive report of all legislation that was passed during the 2013 Legislative Session which could impact individuals with disabilities and their family members. It includes everything from legislation on Handicapped Parking, to new laws for people with intellectual disabilities to voting rights and more. All Connecticut advocates should become familiar with these new laws. For a copy of the report click here. Thanks Beth!
Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities
People with disabilities in Connecticut experienced many challenges before, during and after Storms Irene and Alfred in 2011. In response to these challenges, the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities developed a printed and electronic brochure to assist people with disabilities in planning for their emergencies. Feel free to share these electronic and printed brochures with your friends or post them on list-sevs and any social media application(s). Click here to see the online brochure or here to see the print version.
TEXT TO 911
On December 6, 2012, the FCC Chairman announced that the four major wireless carriers – AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile – have agreed to accelerate the availability of text-to-911, with major deployments expected in 2013 and a commitment to nationwide availability by May 15, 2014. Text-to-911 will provide consumers, including millions of consumers with hearing and speech disabilities, access to emergency services by enabling them to send a text message to 911. Below are the links to the announcement:
2014 MEETIING SCHEDULE
You are invited to attend a Council Meeting and to learn more about us. Please click here to find the schedule.
VIRGIN ALANTIC AIRLANE’S ACCESSIBILITY
Virgin Atlantic Airline has a travel chair for children with disabilities aged 3-11 years. You can request it free of charge when you book. HAPPY TRAVELING!
Field Notes is a monthly newsletter published by the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities. The newsletter is published on the third Thursday of each month and the link to each newsletter will be posted on our website. Each issue will focus on a specific topic related to people with disabilities. Below are the links for the November and December, February, and March issues of Field Notes. Watch for the link to future editions as they are published!