hipnews Fall 2004 Edition
 
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Celebrating 25 Years of Independent Living
It’s That Time Again...
Hudson hip Moves to New Location
From the ADVOCATE’S DESK by Nancy Hodgins
The View from HUDSON by Marianne Valls
Judith Liebman Joins Board
Honoring hip Consumers
High Profile by Sandi Solá
Congratulations ...
Gift from ALTRUSA
MTS, Connecting the Dots at hip
A Designing Man: Jim Csaposs Measures Up ...
ADA Training for Hudson High School Students
“Your Future After High School”
Janet Reno Addresses Disability Convention
A Blueprint for Success
CASP Celebrates A Year of Rapid Growth
hip’s Annual Holiday Party
Join or renew your membership for 2005
New Members of hip
Less Stress through Yoga
POT O’ GOLD
Self-Advocacy Group Forming Online
Ways to Give to hip
hip Programs
hip Meetings & Happenings
Annual Meeting November 16
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- hipnews Fall 2004 Edition Text Version -


  Celebrating 25 Years of Independent Living
  
 It’s only fitting that this 12-page edition of hipNews is chock full of exciting news about our Center for Independent Living because this issue inaugurates our 25th year of working with and for people with disabilities. The following letter from Executive Director Eileen Goff gives a fitting send-off to our Silver Anniversary celebration...
Into our 25th Year...Full Speed Ahead
Dear hip Members and Friends,
In 1980 the federal government provided revenue to establish the first Centers for Independent Living in New Jersey. This was the birth of Heightened Independence and Progress, at the time a program of a long-established Bergen County social service agency located in Englewood. Our staff of three, working out of a tiny office, started outreach efforts in Bergen County. We began working with many individuals to address their disability-related issues and established support groups for people with disabilities, as well as their families. An advisory board was formed and the new concept of Independent Living was born in Bergen County.
hip established a formal Board of Trustees and was officially incorporated as an independent agency in 1988, and shortly thereafter relocated to a larger suite of offices in Hackensack. In the meantime, hip received federal funds to establish a formal Center for Independent Living in Hudson County, which had been operating with a sole coordinator. The Hackensack CIL relocated again to expanded offices in 2002, and the Jersey City CIL has just moved into larger quarters.
Over the years we have worked diligently to establish new programs and services for both the Bergen and Hudson CILs. The result: combined, the CILs have 20 programs in place through contracts with federal, state, and county government, transportation providers, schools districts, and United Way. Our quarterly newsletter hipNews provides insight into the growth of hip and its ability to serve the community. Whether our staff is addressing the needs of a family in jeopardy of becoming homeless, advocating in a courtroom in a discrimination case, producing a Braille textbook for a student in Nebraska, or assisting a high school student to prepare for the next stage of life–I can assure you that they carry out their responsibilities in a caring and efficient manner.
I have served as executive director since hip’s founding, and I have taken great pride and pleasure in watching our growth through the years. I work with a wonderful Board of Trustees who are intimately involved in many facets of the operation of the CILs. I also have the privilege of working with a dedicated professional staff in the Bergen and Hudson offices, whose ultimate goal is the provision of quality services to the community. hip now has a total of 39 people on the payroll.
Finally, I wish to offer my thanks to the thousands of people with disabilities who have touched my life over these many years as they have utilized the services at our two Centers for Independent Living. hip has come a long way, and as we embark on our 25th year in October, 2004, we will continue to partner with the disabled community, their families, and advocates for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the wider community.
Sincerely,
Eileen Goff
Executive Director
 
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  It’s That Time Again...
  
 Time to join or rejoin hip for the 2005 Membership Year. We’re trying something new: Your membership form is page 7 in this issue rather than an insert. Please tear it out, fill it out, and return it ASAP so that you will be among our first members for 2005.
 
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  Hudson hip Moves to New Location
  
 Hudson hip is delighted to announce that we have moved to new and larger office space. As of October 1, the Hudson office is located at 26 Journal Square, Suite 602, Jersey City, New Jersey 07306. Our cheerful new offices are located one block from the Journal Square Transportation Center and are easily accessible via Access Link, PATH, and buses from all points in Hudson County. We are looking forward to continued growth and success in our new quarters. Stop by and see us!–Kathy Wood, Director
 
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  From the ADVOCATE’S DESK by Nancy Hodgins
  
 2004 ELECTION CALENDAR

“Be powerful! Be heard!” Be sure to VOTE!
• October 4: This was the last day to register to vote this year.
• October 25: The last day to request a sample ballot in audiotape format. Call your County Clerk’s office.
Bergen County:
201-336-7020
Hudson County:
201-795-6112.
Sample ballots in print format
are automatically mailed to all
registered voters about a week before Election Day.
• October 25: Last day to submit an absentee ballot application. The absentee ballot will be sent to you by mail.
• November 2: Election Day and deadline for your County Election Office to receive your completed absentee ballot.
• New Registrants: Be sure to bring identification with you when you go to vote. HAVA regulations require proof of identity at the polls for new registrants.
“Times.... they are a-changing.” Help us “Open the Doors” to New Jersey Voters with Disabilities
An absentee ballot application is included in this edition of hipNews. Absentee voting was devised for those unable to cast a vote at their local polling sites on Election Day due to business obligations, illness, or service in the military. Inaccessible polling places, lack of transportation, and a variety of other issues have compelled many people with disabilities to rely on absentee ballots as their regular method of voting.
Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which promises to make all U.S. polling sites 100% accessible, has caught the attention of New Jersey state and county officials. Peter Harvey, New Jersey’s attorney general, and Ramon de la Cruz, director of the NJ Division of Elections, have made a public commitment to “open the doors” to all New Jersey polls.
Last year, to spur this effort along, a team of hip members, along with members of the Monday Morning project and NJ Citizen Action, spent Election Day surveying Bergen and Hudson polling sites. This effort was funded by the 2003 Election Challenge grant awarded by New Jersey’s Developmental Disabilities Council. We were assisted by many hip members who took a Polling Place Accessibility Survey form with them on Election Day. As they waited to vote, they filled out the survey forms based on their observations and returned them to hip for analysis. The final report included information about more than 100 polling sites. We met with representatives of each county Board of Elections and with several municipal officials responsible for selecting and overseeing their polling places. Problems of accessibility were shared and many of the officials made commitments to correct them.
This year, in addition to visiting new sites, it is important that we re-visit some of the previously identified problem sites to see whether the promised corrections have been made. The more help we have with this project, the greater the chance of identifying problems that remain, and the closer we will come to assuring that Bergen and Hudson polling places become 100% accessible.
Current hip members will receive 2004 survey forms in the mail along with prepaid envelopes for the survey’s return to hip, where they will be analyzed. hip will then inform each county Board of Elections about any problems of accessibility still present at polling sites. If you are not currently a hip member but would like to assist us in this important effort, call Nancy Hodgins at 201-996-9100 to request that a survey form be mailed to you in time to bring it with you to the polling place on Election Day.
Note: If you are a Bergen County resident who has transportation and would like to join the effort to survey several polling sites in Bergen County on Election Day in addition to your own, call the above number and we will add you to the list of Election Challenge Grant 2004 participants, assign a list of polling sites for you to survey, and provide you with survey forms. This expanded work will entitle you to compensation for your time.
 
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  The View from HUDSON by Marianne Valls
  
 SELF-ESTEEM AND CIVIL RIGHTS

Friends who read this column may laugh at its subject matter. Well, perhaps, not at its subject matter, but the fact that I am writing about it. Low self-esteem has played havoc with me for almost all my life. Seemingly, and tragically, I am not alone. Self-esteem and civil rights would not appear to go hand-in-hand. But stop, and think for a moment; nobody gives you equality on a silver platter. Wars have been fought to achieve it. However, to have the will to fight, people must think they deserve freedom.
Over the years, disability has been for the most part a private matter. The inability to see disability as a civil rights issue not only characterizes people without disabilities but also many people with physical or mental limitations. Many people with disabilities view exercising their rights as an imposition on others.
For example, many buses now have lifts which make them accessible. Able-bodied people jump on and off buses every day. People with disabilities have the same right, yet few passengers with mobility problems try to use them. Some don’t want to inconvenience the bus driver and other passengers, especially when going a short distance. Their argument is that it takes too long to lower the lift. If more people with disabilities used buses, then with practice, perhaps the lift would take fewer seconds to lower.
For too long a time, many of us, myself included, apparently wanted to dissolve into the woodwork. Our disability was “our problem.” A simple flat entrance to a store or other place of business appeared to many of us who have difficulty managing steps to be a privilege, not something that should be mandated by law.
For decades, many people, including some of us, have defined people with disabilities as “sick or ill.” The medical profession continues to try to “cure” us. Some of us join the search, believing that if we were “cured” of disability, all would be right with the world, or, at least, our corner of it. For years, hip, as a Center for Independent Living, has been in the forefront of trying to change the medical image of disability.
Recently, I learned that “health,” as defined by the World Health Organization, is “a state of physical, mental, and social well being.” This definition has been used since 1948. Note–there is no mention of disability anywhere in that definition. About a year ago, I spoke before a class of medical students. The professor asked me about my “medical condition.” I replied that the only medical condition I have is high blood pressure. I don’t consider my disability a “medical condition” nor am I in constant need of medical attention. Luckily, I fit the definition of good health. I bet others do too if they stop to think about it. Disability and illness do not
necessarily go hand in hand.
Laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) simply require that barriers be removed from the environment so that people with disabilities can enjoy the same freedoms to which every American is entitled. The feeling of equality cannot be given. The feeling of equality is fundamental to the fight for freedom.
 
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  Judith Liebman Joins Board
  
 Judith Liebman of Hackensack has been elected to the hip Board of Trustees. Ms. Liebman, a licensed rehabilitation counselor, enjoyed a long career with the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, in successive roles as coordinator of vocational rehabilitation services and as coordinator of grants and contracts. She served for nine years on the Board of Shelter Our Sisters and received the Myra Elliott Award as “outstanding trustee” from the organization that assists women victims of domestic violence.
Ms. Liebman holds a Master’s degree in psychology from Columbia University. In retirement, she continues to work privately in rehabilitation counseling, does free-lance writing of manuals, grant proposals, and other technical materials, and continues her volunteer service with Shelter Our Sisters.
 
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  Honoring hip Consumers
  
 A feature story about one of our consumers will appear in every issue during this 25th anniversary year. We’re starting with a story about a daring lady who recently fulfilled her dream of “flying high” (see next article). Let us know what you think about this new feature–you may want to recommend someone whose story needs to be told.
 
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  High Profile by Sandi Solá
  
 I took my first tandem skydive jump on August 3rd at “Sky’s The Limit,” a skydiving center in Newton, N.J. As we boarded the plane and climbed to 13,500 feet, I marveled at the view and watched as other skydivers took their jumps, one by one. When my turn finally came, I was thrilled. That moment of exiting the plane at that altitude–into thin air–there are no words I can think of to describe it.
During the freefall, for approximately 60 seconds at 120 miles per hour, I actually felt as if I was flying rather than falling. To be up above the clouds, looking down at everything was, in my mind, a spiritual experience. After the instructor opened the chute, all was quiet and peaceful as we floated slowly back to earth and glided to a gentle landing at the drop zone. All in all, I found it to be a beautiful experience, and I can’t wait to do it again.
I am a Bergen County resident and a member of hip for the past two years. I attend the COPE support group for people with multiple sclerosis, with which I was diagnosed in 1985 at the age of 29. I use a cane and sometimes a scooter to get around (except when skydiving).
 
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  Congratulations ...
  
 Congratulations to Kathy and Lou Intorre on the birth of their daughter, Athena Anita, on August 28th. Lou is a member of the hip Board of Trustees.
 
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  Gift from ALTRUSA
  
 Eileen Goff receiving a donation of $925 from Margaret Cook-Levy, president of the ALTRUSA Club of Bergen County and a member of hip’s Board of Trustees. The donation will be used for assistance provided through hip’s Laura’s Legacy Program. ALTRUSA is a professional woman’s club which raises and distributes funds to meet community needs.
 
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  MTS, Connecting the Dots at hip
  
 In 1994 hip designed a new program, Multimedia Transcription Service, to ensure that people with vision loss would have full access to print materials, until then generally unavailable. MTS reached out to disability-related agencies, public and private businesses and organizations, and the community at large, and orders began trickling in.
MTS began to produce documents in Braille and large print, and to record and duplicate audiocassettes. The first requests included holiday cards, hospital consent forms, information for potential jurors, a variety of brochures, and materials for meetings and conferences. Customers gradually increased, and through the efforts of Cathy Zimmerman, project coordinator, MTS was soon producing Braille and recorded documents for private industry, recording magazines, and duplicating thousands of newsletters for distribution across the country. MTS even produced Braille Q cards for Ray Charles to promote the New Jersey Lottery.
Textbook production became the new focus in 2002, when MTS moved to a larger dimension. John Lampert joined the MTS staff and became the coordinator of textbook production. We have embossed Braille materials ranging from handouts and second grade primers to high school level books. History, science, algebra, calculus, geometry, and foreign language books are currently being produced. Nine Library of Congress Certified Transcribers who live in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Ohio transcribe the books, which are then forwarded to MTS headquarters in Hackensack to be embossed, bound, and shipped. This year 132 textbooks have been produced, or are in progress, and are in the hands of students in 20 states across the country.
MTS took a giant step forward in August when we purchased an interpoint embosser, which produces text on both sides of the page. Since Braille is voluminous, the state-of-the art equipment will greatly reduce the size of each book.
MTS is extremely fortunate to have received the initial funds for this purchase from our longtime supporter, the Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Foundation, which were then matched by the Allene Reuss Memorial Trust and the E.J. Grassmann Trust, which has also supported hip in the past
At hip we are extremely proud of the growth of Multimedia Transcription Service, and its in-house staff of four who work diligently to ensure that students with vision loss have access to the same books used by their sighted classmates. Although textbook production has become the focus of the operation, MTS still finds time to Braille Christmas cards and address the needs of the community and each individual customer.
Visit www.mts-braille.com to learn more.
 
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  A Designing Man: Jim Csaposs Measures Up ...
  
 A Designing Man: Jim Csaposs Measures Up to the Task by Eileen Goff

Jim Csaposs has been a hip volunteer for many years. He possesses a wealth of information in so many varied areas. A design engineer by profession, Jim frequently surveys the homes of consumers who are in need of modifications and determines the most appropriate renovation. Jim works closely with the project coordinator of the Modification Access Program (MAP) and Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP), and provides valuable input.
In addition to home modifications, Jim combines his vast knowledge, experience, and creativity to determine solutions for everyday situations which enhance independent living. One of his most recent projects was to install a voice-activated phone for a college student who is quadriplegic. In addition to working as a design and product engineer for 40 years, Jim and his wife were also Amigo Mobility representatives for several years. He is still called upon for technical assistance for their scooters by people they have served.
Jim has been a Maywood resident for most of his life. Regardless of his retirement status for the past eight years, he maintains a very active schedule. He works out at the Ridgewood YMCA several times each week, is perfecting an invention having to do with population control, and he and his wife have recently returned from a two-month road trip visiting family and friends from coast to coast.
hip is extremely fortunate to have the assistance of this wonderful volunteer. And, oh yes, we should mention that Jim is married to another incredibly valuable volunteer, Jean Csaposs, former hip Board President, long-time fundraiser, and current Board member.
 
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  ADA Training for Hudson High School Students
  
 Eighty Hudson County high school students with disabilities and 20 transition coordinators received ADA/self-advocacy training in late September. This training was provided in collaboration with the Northeast ADA-IT Center at Cornell University and was sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Education and the Jersey City Board of Education. Topics included student rights and responsibilities, Individual Education Plans (IEPs), accessibility issues in the college setting, and the ADA and employment.
 
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  “Your Future After High School”
  
 Sixty Bergen County high school students participated in the first Transition workshop co-sponsored by hip since we received a major grant from the New Jersey Department of Education to spur efforts in this direction. “Your Future After High School” was the title of a lively day of learning and interacting at Bergen Community College (a co-sponsor) on Tuesday, September 21. Other collaborators were the Bergen County Special Services School District and the Northeast ADA & IT Center at Cornell University.
Through our partner, the Office of Special Education Programs of the NJ Department of Education, both hip CILs have launched a new initiative, “Promoting Self-Advocacy” for transitioning students. The idea is to provide information and opportunities so that students with disabilities can better plan their high school curriculum to prepare for life after high school. Students at the workshop were invited to think of the day as “a wonderful opportunity to gain self-help skills, to learn about making good decisions, and to access solid planning.”
Shammi Carr of the Northeast ADA & IT Center was the principal presenter. The NJ Department of Education was represented by William Freeman, program officer. Vivian Paulen, hip’s independent living transition coordinator, planned the event, with the help of Nancy Carr, director of the Office of Specialized Services at Bergen Community College, and Maureen Kerne, supervisor of instruction, Bergen County Special Services and Technical School. Similar workshops will be held in the future.
 
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  Janet Reno Addresses Disability Convention
  
 “Janet Reno Addresses Disability Convention Sept. 18 in Atlantic City” by Julia Glick, staff writer, The Press of Atlantic City, September 19, 2004

ATLANTIC CITY–Arriving in wheelchairs adorned with American flags and shirts that read “Disabled and Proud,” more than 1,000 people gathered to hear former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and other speakers Saturday at the first national disabilities convention at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
The New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council sponsored the event as an alternative political convention where people with disabilities could hear speakers from both presidential campaigns talk about disability issues. However, Doro Bush Koch, President Bush’s sister and planned speaker for the Republicans, could not attend. Reno, who developed Parkinson’s disease in 1995, spoke for the Kerry campaign.
“I long for a time when our nation’s record on civil rights will be as vital and strong as it was eight years ago,” Reno said in her speech. “For the past four years, we have had a president who has failed us on disability rights.” Using the themes of freedom, choices and independence, Reno said that Kerry will help people with disabilities afford community living facilities and will ensure that caretakers receive a living wage and insurance coverage. She said he would repair Medicaid so that parents of disabled children do not lose their children’s Medicaid coverage when they get better jobs. She stated that the Bush administration is weakening Medicaid and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark 1990 anti-discrimination act for people with disabilities.
Although no one spoke on behalf of the Bush campaign, the event’s program included literature from the Republican National Committee. It said that Bush advocates increased funding for wheelchair accessibility, community living and housing grants for people with disabilities. It said Bush secured $37 million in state-based loans for people with disabilities to purchase computers, wheelchairs and other equipment. Ethan Ellis, executive director of the DD Council, said that he negotiated with the Bush campaign until Friday night but they could not agree on a suitable replacement for Koch.
Although the audience gave Reno a standing ovation and some audience members cheered for Bush during other speeches, many speakers and delegates expressed frustration with both candidates. The keynote speaker was Bob Kafka, the national organizer of ADAPT, a disability-rights group that organized a 150-mile wheelchair march from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., this year to support Medicaid for people living in community settings. He said he was angry that both political conventions ignored disability issues. Kafka said that the 35 million disabled people in the country, along with their families...represent a voting bloc of about 70 million people. He asked why politicians focus on “soccer moms,” “NASCAR dads” and numerous other subsets of the population but slight people with disabilities.
“Just hugging disabled people is not going to cut it anymore. If I see Sen. Kerry hug Max Cleland one more time on TV,” he said, trailing off. He added, “We do not need to be hugged, we need candidates to talk about the issues.” Audience members cheered and stomped their feet.
When the council first announced the event, people nationwide sent more than 3,000 letters and e-mails to the campaigns urging the candidates themselves to attend, Ellis said. “We are only a blip in the press very often, but we are the largest minority group in the country,” said Michele Leahy, a delegate and Miss Wheelchair Pennsylvania pageant winner. “We are trying to take these issues and put them on a platter for everyone to see.”
(For more information about the Disabilities Convention, visit www.disabilitiesconvention.com. Julia Glick’s phone number at the Press of Atlantic City is: 609-272-7213.)
 
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  A Blueprint for Success
  
 The diligent work of Project Access shows the value of hip’s continuing commitment to evaluate multi-unit residential developments in the planning stage throughout Bergen and Hudson counties. Bob Duffy, project coordinator, reviews construction plans to ensure compliance with existing legislation. hip then offers technical assistance to architects and construction officials to ensure that people with disabilities are not denied the opportunity to have full access to residences covered through the Fair Housing Act. We are very proud of the success of this program, unique in New Jersey.
 
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  CASP Celebrates A Year of Rapid Growth
  
 The Caregiver Assistance and Support Program (CASP) has grown rapidly since it began in September 2003. Thirty-four families have benefited from the new program; each family has a caregiver over 60 years of age assisting a younger person with a disability. Caregivers are mothers, sons-in-law, husbands, wives, neighbors, and friends. Through CASP, families receive care management services to identify and access needed community resources such as Medicaid, and heat, rental and food assistance. Encouragement and support are provided by a licensed social worker to assist the caregiver in continuing in this vital role. Guidance and referrals are provided to help families tackle long term planning issues they confront for themselves and their loved one as they age.
Since its inception, CASP has facilitated the purchase and installation of ramps, stair lifts, and assistive devices through hip’s SNAP and MAP programs. Several families have successfully applied for benefit programs that provide services such as a home health aide or a visiting nurse for families with limited resources. In-home mental health and house calls by doctors have been arranged for those who are unable to leave their homes to receive essential services. An individualized support plan is developed with each family designed to address their unique personal needs. If you are a caregiver, or know a caregiver over 60 in need of referrals, information or encouragement, contact Karen Gutshall, MSW, LSW, at the Bergen hip office.
 
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  hip’s Annual Holiday Party
  
 It’s not too early to think about holiday fun!
Save The Date
for hip’s
Annual Holiday Party
Sunday, December 19
12 Noon - 4 p.m.
at Gatsby’s Restaurant, Cresskill
 
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  Join or renew your membership for 2005
  
 Join or renew your membership for 2005. Print out a membership form by clicking on "Become a Member" on this web site.
 
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  New Members of hip
  
 Since the last edition of hipNews, we welcomed several new or renewing members of hip for the year 2004: Ron Shulman, Andrew Pigoncelli, Rosanna Poggiogallo, Martha Nobeling.
 
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  Less Stress through Yoga
  
 Project Less Stress, a 19-session yoga course conducted this spring for hip by wellness and yoga instructor Martin Bland, was a smashing success. hip created the program and enlisted the participants, seniors with special needs. Mr. Bland said he was “truly amazed at the progress the participants made and impressed by their enthusiasm and determination to learn the many yoga techniques.” At the conclusion of the program, many of the seniors reported that they felt healthier and more relaxed, and they look forward to continuing with yoga classes at the Broadway Adult Center in Fair Lawn.
Project Less Stress was funded by a HealthEASE mini-grant through the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services, Division of Aging and Community Affairs.
 
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  POT O’ GOLD
  
 Get ready to be a winner!
Raffle tickets for hip’s ever-popular
POT O’ GOLD
will soon be in the mail.
Last year’s first prize: $1, 216
Second prize: $304
This year it could be you!
Drawing: Saturday, December 18
 
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  Self-Advocacy Group Forming Online
  
 Richard Hudson, a self-advocate from Connecticut, invites people with disabilities to join an online mailing list and message board particularly designed for people with developmental disabilities. He says, “We need a place where we can talk to each other, exchange self-advocacy tips, learn more about self-advocacy from each other, and talk freely without parents and staff.” Those interested may subscribe by e-mailing SelfAdvocates-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or visiting http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SelfAdvocates and click on “Join this group.” If you want to talk to Richard first, e-mail: rhudson765@yahoo.com.
 
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  Ways to Give to hip
  
 A new membership year is a timely moment to remind readers that gifts to hip, over and above membership dues, are a great way to advance Independent Living. Why not add a contribution when you send in your Membership Form (page 7)? In addition to always-welcome unrestricted gifts, hip suggests several channels of giving that may appeal to our friends:
Laura’s Legacy, a fund created by the hip Board in memory of the daughter of Board member Lillian Ciufo, helps a family or an individual in need each year. Recipients are identified by hip staff and Board members. Laura Ciufo fully understood the concept of helping others. Her spirit continues to be with us as we assist others in her name.
Tribute Cards to extend best wishes or congratulations for happy events, or to express sympathy, are available at hip. Attractively designed on cream-colored stock with burgundy ink, the cards are personalized for you with the occasion or a brief tribute and the sender’s name. A phone call and a contribution to hip will send your card on its way to an appreciative recipient.
United Way Contributions can be directed to hip, either through an employee program or independently. Just designate Heightened Independence and Progress as the recipient of your donation.
 
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  hip Programs
  
 hip Offers Innovative Programs to Meet the Independent Living Needs of People with Disabilities in Bergen and Hudson Counties.

Founded in 1980, Heightened Independence & Progress (hip) has come a long way from its humble origins. hip not only continues to provide vital assistance through information, referral, advocacy, and peer counseling, but also offers a wide variety of programs to people with all types of disabilities in Bergen and Hudson Counties. The following is a summary of hip programs, with the project coordinator’s name and location.
Community Advocacy and Outreach Program seeks to promote full inclusion through advocacy, education, and legislation. Contact: Nancy Hodgins (Bergen)
Project Outreach to Disabled Minorities directs all Independent Living Services to individuals with disabilities of Afro-American or Hispanic origin, in English and Spanish. Contact: Lucy Montalvo (Bergen) or Marily Gonzalez (Hudson).
Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) facilitates acquisition of services and adaptive devices such as wheelchairs, bathroom equipment, hearing aids and more. Contact: Anne Moore (Bergen)
Modification Access Project (MAP) assists with barrier-free home renovation projects from concept to completion. Contact: Anne Moore (Bergen)
Multimedia Transcription Service (MTS) converts written materials into Braille, large print, computer disk, and audio tape formats. Contact: Cathy Zimmerman (Bergen)
ABLE–Athletics for Blind Leisure Enthusiasts maintains a year-round schedule of outdoor activities for persons with vision loss. Contact: Mike Visone (Hudson)
Support for Independent Living (SIL), a component of Bergen EASE, provides ongoing care management services through assessment, linkage, and coordination for people with disabilities (18-59). Contact: Patty Fantin (Bergen)
Leadership, Education, Advocacy, and Determination (LEAD), a statewide project for high school students with vision loss, is geared toward the development of a variety of life skills. Contact: Patty Fantin (Bergen)
Transition Programs assist high school students and families to move from school to adult life. Contact: Marian Padilla (Hudson); Bergen, to be announced.
Adjustment to Vision Loss coordinates peer support groups and assists with access to mental health professionals for individuals with vision loss. Contact: Nancy Hodgins (Bergen)
Support Groups– In Bergen: COPE (Multiple Sclerosis) and Women with Disabilities. Contact: Paula Walsh.
Membership Meetings offer an update on the latest issues in Independent Living and an interesting theme, ranging from health care to hip’s annual picnic. Contact: Paula Walsh (Bergen) or Mike Visone (Hudson)
On the Move provides opportunities for young adults with physical, sensory, or learning disabilities to participate in recreation and social skills development programs. Contact: Lucy Montalvo (Bergen)
Special Assistance for Independent Living (SAIL) provides funding for assistive devices or barrier-free home renovation projects. Contact: Noris Nunez (Hudson)
Caregiver Assistance and Support Project (CASP) provides care management to Bergen County residents 60 and over who are providing care for younger adults with physical disabilities. Contact: Karen Gutshall (Bergen)
 
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  hip Meetings & Happenings
  
 HUDSON
(New home, new phones)
Hudson hip Happenings
October 2
11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Spirit of New Jersey/Lunch Cruise
November 20
Dress For Success Workshop/Luncheon
BERGEN
Women’s Support Group meets on Mondays at the Bergen office:
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
October 4 & 18
November 1 & 15
December 6 & 20
COPE (M.S. Support Group) meets on the last Thursday of each month. Call ahead for location.
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
October 28
November 18
December 16
Bergen Consumer Meetings
To be placed on the mailing list to receive information about consumer meetings, call Paula Walsh at Bergen hip. 201-996-9100
Annual Membership Meeting
November 16
7 – 9:30 p.m.
Fort Lee Hilton
Annual Holiday Party
December 19
Noon – 4 p.m.
Gatsby’s Restaurant, Cresskill
 
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  Annual Meeting November 16
  
 hip’s Annual Membership meeting will be held at the Fort Lee Hilton on Tuesday, November 16, at 7 p.m. This year’s keynote speaker will be John Nolasco of Fort Lee. A recent graduate of Ridgefield High School, John is currently a student at Bergen Community College. His topic will be “Getting the Most Out of Life!” John will tell members “how your attitude, determination, and the people around you can enhance your life.” Since December 2002, when he was injured playing football, John has been putting his philosophy into practice. We look forward to an inspiring talk.
The election and re-election of Board of Trustee members and a report on hip’s progress during the past year from executive director Eileen Goff will also be highlights of the meeting, which always draws a full house.
 
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