hipnews Summer 2005 Edition
 
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Keeping the “Fairness” in the Fair Housing Act
Project Access Increases Housing Opportunities
A Course of Action Don’t Wait, AD-VO-CATE:
Voter Registration Deadline
The View from HUDSON by Marianne Valls
A Partner (sic) That Pays Dividends ...
A Young Man Going Places
Need a Ride?
Happy 15th Birthday, ADA!
Three Recent Federal Decisions ...
25 Great Years Celebrated on One Enchanted Evening
Welcome, New and Renewing Members!
Hudson hip Announces Summer Youth Program
ON THE MOVE
June spells “picnic-time” ...
YES! Program Reaching Out to Many Bergen Students
Medicaid ...
hip Programs
hip Meetings and Happenings
We Mourn . . .
hip's “WEBSITE WATCH”
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  Keeping the “Fairness” in the Fair Housing Act
  
 When does residential construction become covered under the Fair Housing Act?  What other rights and responsibilities do landlords have?  Why is it necessary to have thermostats, outlets, faucets, and kitchen cabinets installed in a standard manner?  These and many other questions were addressed at a recent Fair Housing Act training at Bergen hip.  David Popiel, senior managing attorney for the Community Health Law Project, provided valuable information to staff members of the Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey and the Bergen/Passaic Unit of Multiple Sclerosis, Monday Morning members, and hip staff.   For more information regarding the Fair Housing Act, contact Nancy Hodgins at Bergen hip, or Angie Mielec at Hudson hip.
 
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  Project Access Increases Housing Opportunities
  
 Project Access is a hip program that monitors the compliance of developers with basic provisions of the law requiring accessibility in multi-unit residential complexes.  Begun in 2001, Project Access was designed to increase housing opportunities for people with disabilities by ensuring they were constructed in compliance with state and federal mandates regarding barrier free design.  
Bob Duffy, Project Access coordinator, gives technical assistance to architects, developers, and construction officials in Bergen and Hudson Counties.  He reviews plans for compliance, identifies deficits, and indicates what corrections are needed.  In most situations, recommendations are accepted and the required changes are made.  On those rare occasions when opposition occurs, the time has come to call in our legal counsel.  Project Access pursues only those situations which demonstrate clear violation; therefore, we are always successful.  Over the years, a total of 2,416 individual units have been inspected in 19 developments. The vast majority of these developments have contained large numbers of units.  Upon initial inspection, it was found that just under 50% were acceptable.  Problems in the majority of the remaining units were either remedied during the Project Access inspection period or are still pending.  In addition to the individual residential units, many common areas, such as recreation facilities and outdoor walkways, have been identified as problem areas and corrections have been made.  hip is pleased to provide this critical service to the community.
 
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  A Course of Action Don’t Wait, AD-VO-CATE:
  
 Calling all persons with disabilities to join hip’s advocacy efforts!


by Angie Mielec,
Advocacy Coordinator, Hudson hip



Now is a crucial time for people with disabilities to become involved in advocacy initiatives.  The budget resolution Congress approved, which sets spending guidelines for the fiscal year 2006, cuts billions of dollars from programs that are vital to America’s most vulnerable populations. If the budget proposals remain on their current track, those who can least afford to make the sacrifice will bear the heaviest burden of the budget cuts.   Many people with disabilities depend heavily on programs such as Medicaid and Section 8 housing, both of which have been targeted.  Ten billion dollars have been cut from Medicaid, and proposed changes to the federal housing program are expanding the qualifications for affordable homes to people who make up to 80% (as opposed to 30%) of the median income.  Fortunately, there is still an opportunity to intervene during the upcoming appropriations process to redirect the cuts away from these programs (see Medicaid article, page 10).  Several stalled bills in Congress need the support of disability advocates. Senate bill S.667, the Personal Responsibility and Individual Development for Everyone (PRIDE) Act, includes provisions for people with disabilities that need support.  These provisions would allow states to count as work credit (1) participation in rehabilitation activities for six months and (2) the time a parent spends caring for a child with a disability, or time spent providing care for an adult relative with a disability.  The New Freedom Initiative Transportation: House of Representatives bill H.R. 3 creates the New Freedom Initiative, which would provide flexibility to fund accessible taxi services, vouchers, volunteer drivers and other local programs.  The Senate version does not provide this flexibility.  Section 5310 in both versions of the Transportation bill supports overall funding increases, but the Senate version would split this money with public transit agencies that can easily displace non-profit disability organizations currently benefiting from the program.  Advocates supporting disability interests should state the importance of specific provisions in the House bill, and remind their Senators and Representatives that safe, affordable and accessible public transportation opens many doors for people with disabilities to participate in all aspects of community life.  In order for either of these bills, S.667 or H.R. 3, to pass with favorable opportunities for people with disabilities, advocates should apply pressure to both parties throughout the course of the debate.  Let us not forget the dangers of policy proposals that require our strong opposition from disability advocates and partners that share our interests.  The Social Security program is being threatened with privatization schemes from the Administration and many Republican lawmakers.  The Medicaid program is also facing serious problems for its future, if recipients of the health care program do not do something to preserve it.  Advocacy efforts will be vital to ensure that the judges who are appointed to fill the vacancies expected on the Supreme Court will interpret the law in a fair and balanced manner.  We cannot take for granted the safety of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Furthermore, the Supreme Court is closely divided on many questions that will have a huge impact on people with disabilities for decades to come.  Some of these debates are over the rights of people residing in institutions, changes in fair housing standards, and the degree to which school districts are required to provide health services for students with disabilities.



Disability Community Can Have Serious Impact


The good news is that people with disabilities are a large minority group with tremendous power.  The US Census Bureau’s recent count shows that residents of New Jersey with disabilities (non- institutionalized and over the age of five) exceed 17% of the population, making them a larger minority group than African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, or Native Americans.  The disability community can have a serious impact if it is organized and able to deliver clear messages to the legislators.  As hip advocates, Nancy Hodgins and I are working hard to keep the pressure on NJ representatives by sending e-mails, making phone calls, attending meetings and rallies, and writing letters to the legislators in support of the disability community.  But in order for the work of advocates to have an effect on legislation, lawmakers need to know that their constituents are supporting these advocacy efforts.  By voting, calling local politicians’ offices to lend support or to stand in opposition to certain policies, and by becoming active politically, people with disabilities can influence legislative decisions that pertain to them. Even more importantly, by becoming self-advocates, people with disabilities practice the philosophy of independent living.
 
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  Voter Registration Deadline
  
 Don’t let those lazy days of summer get in the way of your commitment to vote!  It’s never too early, but you must register to vote by October 9th in order to qualify for the November 8th election.  Already registered?  November 1st is the last day to receive mail applications for anyone planning to use an absentee ballot.  For further assistance, including voter registration forms, call Nancy Hodgins in Bergen County or Angie Mielec in Hudson County.
 
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  The View from HUDSON by Marianne Valls
  
 According to Webster’s Desk Dictionary, the word “community” can mean many different things.  “Society in general” is one definition, and it is the one I wish to address here.  We as people with disabilities have come to a point in our history when we must become part of a larger community.  We must look to our abilities to see what we can contribute to society. No longer can we afford to stay isolated, thinking only of our own needs.  There is a world outside of ourselves with problems that go beyond disability issues.  Perhaps our needs will be given more attention if we involve ourselves in the community at large.  Some of us have become lost in the disabled community, unable or unwilling to escape.  Many people with disabilities knew how to compensate for limitations long before the enactment of disability civil rights laws.  Some of us have been doing it all our lives.  Did we suddenly forget how when we got access?  Perhaps the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act raised unrealistic expectations and gave the impression that our limitations would somehow disappear.  As if someone could wave a magic wand and make us whole.  The signing of ADA made us whole only in the eyes of the law, and anyway, gaining access does not automatically put the world at our feet.  However, it was a first step that allowed us to begin the journey that everyone takes.  We have only to look around us to learn from the experiences of others.  James Stoney was a perfect example of community activism.  When he arrived in Jersey City in the mid-1940’s, Stoney became a neighborhood youth leader.  In the 1970’s, Stoney was still involved in civic matters.  The fact that he used a wheelchair did not prevent his participation in a neighborhood clean-up.  In the late eighties, he worked as an aide to a Jersey City council member.  Stoney always believed he was a citizen who happened to have a disability.   The first step should be toward the community.  Little by little, access to the mainstream is becoming a reality:  The ball is in our court.  It is time to begin to participate in community activities unconnected to disability.  It is time to lend our advocacy skills to other issues and causes.  Poverty, homelessness, and unemployment, to name a few issues, plague not just the disabled community but the rest of society as well.  It’s time to extend a helping hand rather than asking for handouts.
 
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  A Partner (sic) That Pays Dividends ...
  
 A Partnership That Pays Dividends By Increasing Accessible Housing

by David Popiel, Esq.



The collaboration between two great friends, hip and the Community Health Law Project, goes far back and encompasses many cases.  No one case illustrates our relationship better than the residential architectural barriers case, hip v. River Club.  In 1998 hip decided to pursue architectural access at the 265-unit rental development under construction in Edgewater.  Review of the development’s plans indicated that every unit, and the common grounds, had significant barriers.  These ranged from inadequate turning areas in bathrooms to mirrors mounted at inappropriate heights.  After hip sued in New Jersey’s Superior Court, a long, intense battle of motions and cross motions ensued.  In October 2000, hip prevailed on a motion to certify the litigation as a class action.  As they walked out of the courtroom, the defendants’ attorneys indicated their desire to enter into settlement negotiations.  The resulting settlement agreement called for over $300,000 of renovations that would render River Club virtually as accessible as it would have been had it been built in conformity with architectural barriers laws in the first place.


On October 4, 2002, four years after the case had begun, the Court entered a judgment in favor of hip that incorporated the settlement agreement.  Then the troubles really began.  Deadlines passed.  River Club renovated two or three units and part of its recreational facility.  Then it did nothing.  hip and the Law Project brought and won three motions to enforce the settlement agreement.  Still River Club did nothing.  In a fourth motion to enforce the agreement, hip asked the Court to appoint a special master who would run as many of River Club’s operations as were needed to carry out the agreement’s terms.  The Court denied this motion, but continued in effect a previous order prohibiting sale of the development.


Enter a buyer. By the summer of 2004, River Club was desperate to sell the development.  But to do so, they had to satisfy hip that the terms of the settlement agreement would be fulfilled.  Suddenly, the renovations to the grounds were completed.  Ensuing negotiations with the prospective purchaser secured binding agreements that the money to effect the renovations would be available.  The court approved the agreements, and permitted the sale.  The development changed hands this past April.  It has been a seven-year war, fought every step of the way with the full support of hip’s Board, and it is not necessarily over.  hip and the Law Project will monitor the new owner’s compliance with the settlement agreement.


Two small disability rights organizations have taken on powerful corporations (River Club was owned by multimillionaire Charles Kushner of “film-my-brother-in-law-with-a-prostitute-and-send-the-video-to-my-sister” fame, now serving time behind bars).  In the process we have secured remedies that will provide 265 apartments accessible to persons with disabilities.  In addition, we secured $95,025 in sanctions for hip and over $100,000 in attorneys’ fees for the Law Project.  Unwilling to compromise the civil rights of persons with disabilities, hip and the Law Project will continue their collaboration on this and other cases.  It is a mutually gratifying relationship.
 
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  A Young Man Going Places
  
 Chris Gagliardi has been selected as our latest hip participant to be singled out for a profile in hipNews.  Chris, a popular and energetic young man who is at the center of many hip activities, is also making his mark in Bergen County.  He was recently honored with several other outstanding men and women at the first annual “Hometown Heroes and Heroines Salute” by members of the New Jersey General Assembly.   On the Job, the newsletter published by Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, says it best:  “A New Jersey youth advocate for the physically and mentally challenged, Chris has been a speaker for several national groups involved with the cause.  Currently a Starbucks barista, Chris has distinguished himself over the years as a student council president, member of the Bergen County Chorus, and recipient of the New Jersey Conference Leadership Medal, the Rebecca S. McDonald Award, the Excellence in Music Award, a Ridgeco Realty Scholarship, a UNICO Scholarship, honorary membership in the National Honor Society, and more.”


Chris looks forward to college, a career in broadcasting, raising a family, and, down the road, a seat in the NJ General Assembly.  With his determination and enthusiasm for life and learning, we’re sure Chris will succeed.
 
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  Need a Ride?
  
 The lack of adequate and appropriate transportation is a major problem for many people with disabilities.  It is important that know about all the resources available to us and that we use them as needed.  Here are a few resources for Bergen and Hudson County residents:



  • Access Link 1-800-955-2321

  • Transcend (Hudson County Para Transit 201-271-4307

  • Bergen County Community Transportation 201-368-5955


Bergen County residents can receive additional resources by calling Bergen County Community Transportation and requesting a booklet titled “Transportation for the Disabled, Elderly and Veterans of Bergen County.”
 
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  Happy 15th Birthday, ADA!
  
 On July 26th, the Americans with Disabilities Act will be 15 years old.  This landmark federal legislation has made great changes in the lives of Americans with disabilities. Many feel that the changes have only scratched the surface of the issues surrounding accessibility and equitable treatment under the law.  Many also view with alarm the challenges to the ADA that have already been pursued as high as the U.S. Supreme Court.  But many more of us continue to be optimistic that, with the wheels having been set in motion, the momentum is gaining, and the engine of change is unstoppable.
 
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  Three Recent Federal Decisions ...
  
 Three Recent Federal Decisions Support People with Disabilities


(from the ADA Technical Bulletin, published monthly by the Northeast ADA & IT Center at Cornell University)
June, 2005 –




The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 6th that foreign cruise lines sailing in U.S. waters must provide better access for passengers in wheelchairs, expanding the scope of a landmark federal disabilities law.  The narrow 5-4 decision is a victory for disabled rights advocates, who said inadequate ship facilities inhibited their right to “participate fully in society.”  Three disabled passengers, who boarded Norwegian Cruise Line in Houston in 1998 and 1999, say they paid premiums for handicapped-accessible cabins and the assistance of crew, but the cruise line failed to configure restaurants, elevators and other facilities, in violation of the ADA.  Norwegian Cruise Line countered that only an explicit statement of Congress can justify imposing the U.S. law on a ship that sails under a foreign flag, even if it is docked at a U.S. port.  The federal law is silent as to whether foreign cruise lines are covered by the ADA.



Landmark Ruling on Stadium Theater Seating Cites “Core Goal” of ADA



The U.S. Justice Department announced on June 5th the resolution of a lawsuit with Regal Entertainment Group filed under the ADA.  The lawsuit challenged the construction of stadium-style movie theaters that fail to provide to wheelchair users seating and line of sight comparable to that of the general public.  Regal is the largest movie theater chain in the country, with 3,500 screens.  “Opening everyday activities like a night at a movie theater to persons with disabilities is a core goal of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said R. Alexander Acosta, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights division.  Regal will make changes to nearly 1,000 existing stadium-style theaters by moving wheelchair seating further back from the screen, and will design all future construction to place wheelchair seating near the middle of the theater.



Consent Decree Opens Way to Nationwide Challenges in Housing Discrimination



A nationwide disability discrimination lawsuit regarding housing was settled in June with a Consent Decree approved by the U.S. District Court (Maryland).  The settlement requires the survey of 71 apartment complexes developed by Archstone-Smith Trust, the seventh largest developer of apartment complexes in the U.S., active in 16 states.  About 12,000 of the 36,000 units in the complexes must be retro-fitted to overcome “barriers to the full use and enjoyment of these facilities by people with disabilities.”  The cost of remediation is estimated to exceed $20 million.  Archstone will also pay $1.4 million in damages and attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses.  For a full copy of the Settlement, go to http://www.aapd-dc.org/News/aapd/archstonesuit.html.
 
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  25 Great Years Celebrated on One Enchanted Evening
  
 No words on paper could possibly describe the level of pleasure, excitement, and pride that filled the Fort Lee Recreation Center on May 2lst at hip’s CILver Celebration.


Beyond the usual happy mixture of dining, dancing, and making merry, a special note of elation was struck by the presence of our three honorees, selected to represent all hip participants of the past 25 years.



These three outstanding men, Darrell Bethea of Bordentown, Timothy Kerr of Jersey City, and John Nolasco of Fort Lee, spoke from the heart about their lives, their goals, and their connection with hip.  Everyone in the hall was moved by their eloquence, and the applause, as they were presented with their awards, was loud and long.  It was clear that in honoring three, all were included.  Eileen Goff, hip’s founder and executive director, was presented with flowers and honored for her leadership over the years and for “valuing the worth and dignity of every person with whom she comes in contact.”



What a great way to launch hip’s next 25 years!
 
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  Welcome, New and Renewing Members!
  
 We thank these new or renewing members of hip who have joined our organization since April. We value their commitment to independent living for people with disabilities:











Barbara BantaWalter Bartolomuccil, Jr.Tonielle CardinalletSusan Carter
Elizabeth Cohen HittnerMary DrylewiczTheresa HanleyCeil Heller
Loraine KowelDottie & Mike MalikFrancine PlesciaPamela Rostocznski
Mary ScottMaria SmithJulia TicolaPamela Zuhusky
 
CORPORATE MEMBER:
Fair Housing Council of Bergen County (Lee Porter, executive director)
 
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  Hudson hip Announces Summer Youth Program
  
 Hudson hip is excited to announce that the Youth Envisioning Success (YES!) program will be hosting a six-session summer program for Hudson County high school students with disabilities.  This new program is designed to assist students seeking to enhance their self-advocacy and independent living skills and realize their full potential.  As part of this program, students will have the opportunity to interact with peers, and develop self-esteem, self-determination, and self-help skills.  The sessions will be held at the Hudson hip office and will be facilitated by Marian Padilla, independent living transition specialist, and Marily Gonzalez, independent living specialist.  For more information, call the Hudson office.
 
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  ON THE MOVE
  
 Bergen hip’s recreation program for teenagers and young adults has had a very successful spring season.  Approximately 30 people attended a variety of activities including a day at the Jackals baseball game, a movie, hip’s 25th Anniversary Dinner Dance, and our picnic.  A special treat was dinner at a popular Japanese restaurant and witnessing the antics of the hibachi chefs.
 
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  June spells “picnic-time” ...
  
 June spells “picnic-time” for both Bergen and Hudson hip members and friends:



On June 1st, hardy Hudsonites braved cool weather for a very enjoyable picnic in Jersey City’s Lincoln Park.  We thank Assemblyman Lou Manzo and Freeholder Bill O’Dea for sponsoring the picnic, and County Executive Thomas DeGise for generous financial support.  Bergen picnickers were blessed with ideal weather on June 21st at the Englewood Boat Basin.  Our thanks to John Troccoli of UFCW Local 1245 and Christopher Whalen of the United Labor Agency of Bergen County for their invaluable support.  Also to Michelle’s Bakery for delicious desserts, and special thanks to Peter Valavanis for his French fries, funnel cakes, and Italian ices.  Of course we couldn’t do it without our great volunteers.
 
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  YES! Program Reaching Out to Many Bergen Students
  
 This summer, the YES! program (Youth Envisioning Success) will offer workshops to Bergen County students participating in two Workforce Investment Board (WIB) sponsored programs.  The first is an employment program for youth with disabilities who are enrolled in a part-time work program based in schools and recreation centers in six municipalities.  We will also present workshops on self-advocacy skills to youth participating in the Work Ready, Work Now program at the Bergen County Youth Resource Center.  The opening of the center in Hackensack is the exciting culmination of six months of planning; hip’s executive director and independent living transition coordinator were pleased to pay a role in the establishment of this facility.  This first-of-its-kind center will host recreational and learning opportunities for school-age youth from throughout Bergen County.  We are very proud to be one of the first agencies to partner with this new resource.  We hope that many community-based organizations will join with hip to use the resource center as a centralized location to connect with youth.  YES! will collaborate with other agencies to create a vibrancy that will attract many students to the center.


YES! has also wrapped up its first school year with a bang.  We worked with hundreds of students throughout Bergen County this past year to help them improve their self-advocacy skills so they can more
effectively speak for themselves as they approach graduation.  One highlight of the first year was the YES! transition coordinator’s assistance given to Ridgewood High School in preparing a workshop entitled Road Rules for the Real World, for the Dare to Dream regional self-advocacy conference sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Education.


For more information about YES! contact Andrew Skea at Bergen hip (ext. 12).
 
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  Medicaid ...
  
 Ownership Society and Medicaid are an Unlikely Match

(excerpted from the March 20, 2005 Boston Globe column of Charles Stein)



George Bush wants to create an ownership society–a place where informed citizens take responsibility for their economic affairs with an assist from the free market.  The president hopes to use that formula to overhaul Social Security and maybe Medicare, the health insurer for the elderly.  If he succeeds, government will be transformed and Washington will get out from under some huge financial liabilities.


But when it comes to the third big entitlement program, Medicaid, which provides healthcare to the poor, the ownership formula may not work. Government is stuck with the Medicaid problem, in large measure, because the private sector can’t or won’t shoulder the responsibilities Medicaid has to bear...It is clear why Medicaid is a target.  It is an expensive program (annual price tag $300 billion) and its costs rise inexorably with the cost of medical care.


In the coming decades, spending on Medicaid will grow dramatically faster than spending on Social Security, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  Medicaid provides health coverage to about one in six Americans, more than 50 million in all, a number that has climbed by 10 million since 1999.  The weak economy explains some of the rise in enrollment.  The deterioration of the private health insurance market explains the rest.  Between 2000 and 2003, the percentage of Americans with employer-sponsored medical insurance fell from about 63 to 60, according to the US Census Bureau.


The track record of private health insurance companies in Medicaid is not much more encouraging.  Over the years various states have tried to get insurers to cover Medicaid recipients.  “Very few of the insurers have stayed the course,” said Nancy Turnbull, who runs the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute, a research group.  Many insurers withdrew from the Medicaid program when states refused to pay them enough to cover the cost of care.


Florida Governor Jeb Bush wants to use private insurers and something like a voucher plan to remake his state’s Medicaid program.  Bush would give Medicaid recipients enough money to buy insurance, and, in theory, create a competitive, cost-efficient market for healthcare.  Governor Bush denounced the current Medicaid system as one “designed to maintain government’s increasing involvement, rather than serve the patient.”  It sounds good.  But for a market to operate, there have to be informed buyers.  Medicaid recipients fall into three broad categories:  poor people, many of whom lead chaotic lives; disabled people, many of whom suffer from mental impairment; and elderly people, many of whom live in nursing homes.  Do these sound like groups that are going to shop for healthcare the way Consumer Reports readers shop for cars?


Medicaid costs certainly aren’t beyond our ability to control.  Trends that can’t be sustained won’t be sustained.  That is how life works.  But John McDonough, executive director of Health Care for All, a Boston advocacy group, is skeptical that the private sector will be an important part of the solution.  “Medicaid takes care of the hardest-to-serve populations,” said McDonough.  “These people are in no position to be part of the ownership society.”
 
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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) or Angle Mielec (Hudson)



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: Maria Valentin (Bergen)



Modification Access Project (MAP) assists with barrier-free home renovation projects from concept to completion. Contact: Maria Valentin (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); Andrew Skea (Bergen).



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.

 
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  hip Meetings and Happenings
  
 





HUDSON

Membership Meetings
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Hudson office
 
No meetings in July and August
September 21 Assistive Technology
 
 

BERGEN

Women’s Support Group meets on Mondays at the Bergen office:
 
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
July 18
August 1 & 15
September 19
 
COPE (M.S. Support Group) meets on the last Thursday of each month. Call ahead for location.
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
July 28
August 25
September 29
 
Bergen Consumer Meetings
September 20 Topic to be announced

 
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)
Watch your mail for details about ABLE’s annual swim and barbecue day as Vasa Park.
 
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  We Mourn . . .
  
 The death on May 8th of Elizabeth Harrison, mother of Estelle Harrison, former member of the hip Board of Trustees and the Hudson hip Advisory Board.  Mrs. Harrison was a longtime friend and supporter of our organization. We also note with regret the death on June 24th of Marie Westbrook, mother of longtime staff member Paula Walsh, after a long illness.


James Stoney of Jersey City, a member of Hudson hip for many years, died on June 10th.  “He was a staunch advocate in the disability rights movement and a life-long supporter of civil and human rights for all.  James was the quintessential southern gentleman, but to those of us who loved him and were fortunate enough to work with him, he was, above all, a gentle man.”–Paulette Eberle
 
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  hip's “WEBSITE WATCH”
  
 A reliable research organization has reported that people with disabilities are the least likely population group to use the Internet.  A Pew Internet & American Life Project study found that just 38% of Americans with disabilities use the Internet, compared with close to 60% of all Americans who go “online.”  Lack of physical access and limited funds have been cited as important reasons for this disparity.  Clearly, this needs to be changed.  This may be an ongoing agenda item for all those who support the concept of independent living.


If you neither own nor have access to a computer now, a trip to your local library will pay dividends.  Most libraries provide access to the Internet and will help new users become acclimated.  Here are just a few websites, randomly chosen, where people with disabilities will find rich sources of information, self-help, and opportunities for advocacy.  We will focus on others in future issues.


First, our own hip website: www.hipcil.org – All about hip, with many useful links.


Next, hip’s Multimedia Transcription Service (MTS) has its own website: www.mts-braille.com of special interest to those with vision loss and providers of
alternate media.


For the latest on the ADA and many aspects of
assistive technology, try the Northeast ADA & IT Center at Cornell University website: www.northeastada.org.


For statewide disability information: go to the
New Jersey Division of Disability Services website: www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dds. For the WORKability program, click on Quick Links.


For cultural programs and performances at Lincoln Center, NYC: www.lincolncenter.org, where you can learn about wheelchair-accessible areas at Instant Ticketing, and general accessibility at Visitor’s Information.  A text-only site option is fully compatible with ADA standards for patrons with vision loss.
 
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