hipnews Winter 2005 Edition
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hip Welcomes New President, New Board Members
John Nolasco, Playing a Winning Game
Paulette Eberle, “Guider of a Vision”
SAIL Program Continues in Hudson
A Really Big Check
Welcome, New and Renewing Members!
hip Celebrates the Holidays
hip Offers Training at One-Stop Center
Christopher Reeve 1952-2004
From the ADVOCATE’S DESK by Nancy Hodgins
hip Meetings & Happenings
We Mourn
hip Programs
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- hipnews Winter 2005 Edition Text Version -

  hip Welcomes New President, New Board Members
 At hip’s Annual Meeting, held November 16th at the Fort Lee Hilton Hotel, Helen D. Marshall of Bayonne took office as president of hip’s Board of Trustees. Helen is well known to the entire hip family, having participated in every major activity since joining the Board in 1996.  She has served as chair of the Fund Development and Finance Committees, and had just completed two terms as First Vice President.  She has also served as chair of the Hudson hip Advisory Board.

A strong advocate for all people with disabilities, Helen has served on the Mayor’s Task Force for the Disabled in Bayonne and has been a support group leader for the Greater North Jersey Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which has honored her with its Achievement Award.

Other New Officers

John DeWitt, stepping down as president of the Board of Trustees, was honored for his service with a handsome plaque, but not retired – he was elected 1st vice president Lillian Ciufo, having completed three terms, was elected 2nd vice president, and Louis Intorre was elected secretary.  Richard Hodgman continues as treasurer.

At the meeting, the membership elected two new Trustees:  Roy Lippin and Judith Liebman.  Roy, who served an earlier term on the Board, is a member of the NJ Advisory Council of Traumatic Brain Injury, the Fort Lee ADA Advisory Board, and the NJ Protection and Advocacy Advisory Board for TBI.  He is a past chair of the Council for the Head Injured Community and past board member of the Brain Injury Association.
  Judith Liebman, who was profiled in the last issue of hipNews, is a licensed rehabilitation counselor; she 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.

Tom Bengaff, having served as 2nd vice president on the Board of Trustees, was elected to the Board as a member-at-large, to serve a new two-year term.  Anna Navatta was elected to her third term
as a member-at-large.
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  John Nolasco, Playing a Winning Game
 Rarely have we had as inspiring a keynote speaker at our Annual Meeting as John Nolasco, who "brought down the house" on November 16th at the Fort Lee Hilton.  A recent high school graduate, John was "not here to talk about tragedy," said Executive Director Eileen Goff in her introduction.  Rather we were about to meet "an extraordinary personality, someone who believes in himself, has the ability to look forward, and enjoys the enduring support of family and friends."  John proceeded to describe the direction his life has taken since the day in December 2003 when injuries to three vertebrae in a casual game of pick-up football with his friends changed his life. "Life’s too precious to give up on," John told his rapt audience.  "My life has never been a matter of looking for the easy way out."  Determined to graduate from Ridgefield High School, John was able to keep up with his studies at home with a laptop computer.  Now he is even more determined to graduate from Bergen Community College and go on to graduate school.  "If you set reasonable goals, it’s difficult to be disappointed," John concluded. "Love, live your life, take advantage of all you can, and go forward."
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  Paulette Eberle, “Guider of a Vision”
 Paulette M. Eberle is the second hip participant we are honoring in hipNews during our 25th anniversary celebration.  Paulette personifies "independent living" at its most meaningful.  A freelance journalist, she is currently on assignment for People With Disabilities and Families magazines, published by the Developmental Disabilities Council of New Jersey.  Author of The Seeing Eye’s 1999 Annual Report, "Guiding a Vision," Paulette’s account of her training at The Seeing Eye and the changes in her life after teaming with her "guiding angel," Quilt, received many honors.  The Seeing Eye, the premier guide dog school in the United States, has been teaming guide dogs with blind handlers for over 70 years.

Paulette has been a lifelong fighter against discrimination.  Born into a farming family with a Native American and Swedish background, she met discrimination early and "head-on." "We were the group to despise," she says.  In the 60s, she became active in the civil rights and anti-Viet Nam war movements.  Totally blind for 15 years, for some time she was sure that life as she had known it was over "I began to hear a litany that I thought had been laid to rest with civil rights legislation.  Once again, the bigotry was aimed at me.  But after teaming with Quilt seven years ago, I came to realize that my disability did not mean that I could not participate fully in life.  I met Marianne Valls and my good friend began to raise my consciousness."

"I have learned, with Marianne’s help, that people with all types of disabilities must become a strong cohesive force if we are to realize the dream of equality.  In the last seven years, I have managed to become independent.  I now have my own apartment, several careers and a full social life.  I have to live in a world not designed for me and battle lupus, the disease that caused my blindness, at the same time.  If I can do this and make a small difference in that world, any person with a disability can reach out for his or her dreams."  An active member of the National Federation of Press Women, Paulette delves into fiction as well as non fiction, with her imaginative tales that have been entertaining Hudson County residents for years.  She is also a guest lecturer on the topics of guide dog use, blindness, disability and the law and issues pertaining to women with disabilities.

Paulette divides her time between writing and advocating for equal rights for persons with all types of disabilities.  She is a facilitator for the Monday Morning Project and co-chair of its federal legislation task force.  A member of the Transcend Advisory Board (paratransit service for Hudson County), she is co-chair of the Board of Directors of CitizenAction, a national consumer advocacy organization, and chair of the Media and Publishing Sub-Committee of the Women with Disabilities Health Care Task Force.

Paulette received the Colleen Fraser Award for Excellence in Advocacy for 2002, the New Jersey CitizenAction Award for Civil Rights Advocacy for 2002, and the NAACP Victory 2003 Award for her work for voter registration.  "I have learned two lessons," she says: 1) I am limited only by my dreams and my willingness to work to achieve them, and (2) Equality is not going to be handed to anybody. It will take all of us working together to make true equality a reality."
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  SAIL Program Continues in Hudson
 Funding has been received from the Hudson County Department of Health and Human Services to continue hip’s SAIL program in 2005.  The Special Assistance for Independent Living program can help with the purchase of equipment and other items that enhance independent living for people with disabilities who live in Hudson County and do not have Medicaid, Medicare, or other Insurance.  In specific situations, requests for items such as air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc., which are not covered by insurance may also be considered.  For more information about SAIL, Call Noris at 201-533-4407.
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  A Really Big Check
 Once again, hip was honored to be among the outstanding Bergen County organizations to receive support from the Lillian P. Schenck Foundation.  The presentation of a check for $5,000, which will give a most welcome boost to hip’s transportation services budget, was made at a festive December reception at the Stony Hill Inn, Hackensack.  Pictured holding up our check are (l to r) Rick Hodgman, hip treasurer; Helen Marshall, newly-elected president of the Board of Trustees; Eileen Goff, executive director; Trish Carney, director of finance and development; and Tom Gregor, president, PNC Bank, Northern New Jersey.
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  Welcome, New and Renewing Members!
 Each year, we welcome new and renewing members in the Winter edition of hipNews.  We are pleased to be starting 2005 with a "bumper crop" of early responders!  Thanks to all who are named below.  We look forward to adding many more names in the coming weeks and months and appreciate your continuing dedication to independent living for people with disabilities.

Olivia AlbuquerqueLuisa AlbuquerqueSusan AndersonSusan Andrews
Kevin Angelini Arthur AwadFilippa BalistrieriLeslie M. Balter
Jessica G. BarbieroLinda BarrMegan BarronArthur Bartnove
Deborah BaumannAnnie BeenGilbert BensonThomas Bengaff
Sharon BermanJoan BerminghamMr. & Mrs. Darrell Bethea*Paula Bloom
Thomas BodenburgBeverly BookbinderSusanne BreckwoldtDouglas Brocker
Rosalind BrownRose BruscoLilith BryantMr. & Mrs. George Bullerdick
Mary BurkeLinda CannataTrish CarneyNancy Carr
Kay Chase *James CherreyArmine ChilianRose Ciappio
George ClarkDavid L. ClarkPatricia ConsiglioJean Csaposs*
Deanna CooperJames CorbettRobert D’AndreaCharles D’Angelo
John-Michael Della ValleKim DemeraskRalph De SimoneJohn De Witt*
Donald J. DischJosephine DonalsonJames F. DoughertyBarbara Dublin*
Robert J. Duffy*Dennis DusevicGeorge DyerAustin Epstein
Mildred EvansPatty FantinEdward FedushKurt Fisher
Glenn P. FeinbergChristine FranzGeorge Fedor Virginia Flynn
Tommy FrancoSaul FuchsMaureen GallagherGeraldine Galvin
Eileen GardnerDavid & Ann GarippaEthan & Eileen Goff*Mr. & Mrs. Alan Gold
Julissa GonzalezWilliam Hart Jr.The Harries FamilyEstelle Harrison
Richard & Amelia HermanDana Marie HemmingsHenry HofLeonard & Nancy Hodgins
Jamie IngramLouis IntorrePeggy JacksonLorraine Jacovelli
Jay JaniecCharles & Sue JohnsenKathleen JuckerNancy Judge
Hanneh KalyoussefRosemarie KasperGerri KearnsLorraine Kendel
Timothy KerrJoan F. Klug*Estelle KrumenakerJeanne LaRaia
Virginia LaughlinMort & Eve LevinsonMaragret Cook-LevyGloria Lieberstein
Judith LiebmanRobert & Lea LipariniRoy LippinAdamandia Lykiardopoulos
James MackerHelen MarshallEileen R. MartinWilliam Matthews
Richard McDuffie Laura McLarnonLuis Mendez Lisa H. Miller
Gary Milza Joseph MoleeMary E. MorganJohann Mullings
Letty MunzErnestine MurphMartha NebelingMarian Padilla
Margaret PapageorgionJi Hyeoe ParkRaymond PaytonAdor M. Peralta
Dr. Sandra Ruth PinkertonCarol PrellbergNoel PrussackRehab Consulting Service
David ReiterJoseph RevelloGloria RogersRosemarie E. Rose
Evan RosenthalJoe & Judy RuffaloGladys San AntonioMrs. Jack Schwartz*
Louis & Eileen ScrivaniBarbara SeidStephanie SeidFrances Shackelton
Roy SierssenFrank SolenskySal & Joanne StolfoFlorence Loren Stors
Joan ThomsonJuan C. Tise Jr.Mary C. TobiaJanet Tolliver
Stephanie ThomasTyrone TowersDanny VacaLauren Valenta
Joseph ValentiAngelissa VazquezJoseph H. VidaRonald Vida
Mike VisoneLarry & Paula WalshWarren WilliamsSolomon Wajchman
Roberta WailesKathy WoodCarolyn Woodward* Maureen Zurlo
Richard M. Hodgman Associates, CPAPAULGRO Consulting LLCJ. S. Perlman & Co., Public Accountants 
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  hip Celebrates the Holidays
 The holiday season was celebrated with gusto at hip.  Gifts poured in for many hip consumers and their families from our generous friends.  We are especially grateful to parishioners of St. Peter’s Church, River Edge, to the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, to The Record and Bergen County United Way for remarkable thoughtfulness and generosity.  hip staff members spent many fruitful hours sorting and delivering wrapped packages to appropriate recipients, paying special attention to bringing just the right gifts to children.  The happy memories linger on.  hip’s annual holiday party is becoming legendary.  Gatsby’s in Cresskill, our traditional gathering place, was the elegant setting for over 150 party-goers for an afternoon of dancing, dining, and "gifting."  A highlight was the drawing for our on-site 50-50 and many other attractive gifts, including teddy bears in all shapes and sizes.
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  hip Offers Training at One-Stop Center
 American Sign Language (ASL) and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) in Action

Two means of communicating with people who are deaf or hard of hearing were in operation at a recent disability sensitivity training program conducted by hip staff and volunteers.  Hackensack’s One-Stop Career Center was the setting for three sessions for public and private sector professionals whose work involves job applicants with disabilities.
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  Christopher Reeve 1952-2004
 No words in tribute to the life of Christopher Reeve can surpass this moving and light-hearted cartoon.  Those who wish to spend more time learning about the life of this irreplaceable hero may want to visit chrisreevehomepage.com
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 It’s not too early to circle Saturday, May 21st on your calendar for a very special event, hip’s Silver Anniversary Dinner Dance.  Always a festive occasion, this year’s gala will bring together old friends and new for an evening of celebration and inspiration.  Limited transportation service will help make possible maximum participation and fun.  Current members will receive invitations; others are encouraged to request an invitation by contacting the Bergen office.  Watch for details in the next hipNews.
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  From the ADVOCATE’S DESK by Nancy Hodgins
 Section 8 Waiting List Subject of Pending NJ Legislation
Legislation is pending that would add an additional $15 million to a state rental assistance program.The supplement to this program, which was originally funded with $10 million in June 2003, would give rental assistance similar to a Section 8 voucher to up to 1200 New Jersey residents who are on the current federal Section 8 waiting list and would otherwise wait there for a long time. The details will appear in the Regulations due out in January.

Please contact your New Jersey Assemblyperson with a phone call, letter, or email, asking for their support of Assembly Bill A3677 when it comes up for a vote.  We need to ensure that the state Assembly makes this promise a reality.   Your efforts with this legislation can help to provide a wonderful new year for so many on the Section 8 waiting list.

Call and ask your Assembly representative to vote for the bill when it comes up for action. For up-to-date information on contacting your Assembly Representative, go to: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp or call 609-393-3752.

(Sample letter) Dear [name of your Assembly representative]:

More than 100,000 New Jersey residents eligible for housing assistance pay over half their income in rent.  Assembly Bill 2467 provided funding for existing housing subsidies.  Because not enough funding was allocated for new recipients, no housing authorities in the state are presently taking names for waiting lists in the federal Section 8 program.  This program is a critical safety net for those in need of housing.  Now we request your support for A3677, which appropriates an additional $15 million for this desperately needed program.  The passage of A3677 will provide the funding that will enable many of those in New Jersey who have been on waiting lists (some for years) to receive housing assistance.

The Senate passed their version of A3677 on December 13th.  Now we must get A3677 passed in the Assembly and I urge your support when it comes up for a vote.

(Add any of your own information about why the program is desperately needed.
Note: Please notify hip of any responses to your communications.)
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 Congratulations to Rhea Hess, longtime hip volunteer and once again our outstanding Pot O’ Gold chairperson.  Through her efforts and through the generosity of many hip members and friends, the first prize in our annual 50-50 rose to $1,258.  The lucky winner was Alex Salit of Fort Lee.  Second prize, $314.50, went to Josephine Donalson of Jersey City.  Timothy Kerr, also of Jersey City, won $50 for selling the greatest number of raffle books – 30 in all!  Our 50-50 winners donated a total of $600 of their prize money back to hip, thus increasing hip’s share of the winnings to $2,172.50!  Three cheers to everyone, and a very special thank you to Alex and Josephine for their generosity.  Pictured here on the day of the raffle drawing are (l to r) Rhea Hess; Naudia Bonner, dental assistant in a practice adjacent to hip’s Bergen office, who drew the winning tickets; and Jean Csaposs, hip Board member.
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 We are pleased to announce that the Henry H. Kessler Foundation has once again provided financial support for Heightened Independence and Progress.  Initial funding was used several years ago to start up the Special Assistance for Independent Living Program (SAIL), which now is supported by Hudson County.  This new funding will support our agency-wide advocacy project, as well as Bergen hip Rehabilitation Technology Services.  Pictured are Eileen Goff, executive director, and Trish Carney, director of finance and development, at the annual Henry H. Kessler Foundation black tie fundraising dinner at Cipriani’s in New York City, at which recipients were honored.
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  hip Meetings & Happenings


Membership Meetings
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Hudson office
February 24
Membership Meeting/Healthy Diet Tips
March 31
Membership Meeting/Money Management Tips


Women’s Support Group meets on Mondays at the Bergen office:
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
February 7
March 7 & 21
COPE (M.S. Support Group) meets on the last Thursday of each month. Call ahead for location.
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
January 27
February 24 March 31
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, Ext. 19.

Athletics for Blind Leisure Enthusiasts (ABLE)
January 22
ABLE Winter Hike and
Party in Rockaway
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  We Mourn
 With sadness, we note the recent death of longtime hip member Phil Sheridan of Dumont. Phil was a well-known figure at almost every hip event, always actively engaged, always with a ready smile and a cheerful greeting for friends.  We will miss him.
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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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