hipnews Summer 2010 Edition
 
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Nation Celebrates ADA's 20th Anniversary ...
Eileen Goff Named hip President/CEO
Yannick Shepherd - A Gold Medal Winner
Two LEAD Students Chosen for Youth Ability Summit
Another Milestone in Our New Journey
hip Staff, Members, and Friends to be Honored ...
Announcing the 2010 Nifty Fifty Winners!
We Thank - the following generous donors:
Forced Institutionalization Illegal...
Bob Ciavaglia Joins hip Board
LEAD Graduates: On to the Future
hip Office Relocates
Hudson Picnic Will Celebrate ADA 20th Anniversary
Hudson Membership Meeting
Enjoy FREE Talking Books Delivered to Your Home
Spring, a Season of Rebirth and Renewal ...
We welcome the following new and renewing members
Take Advantage of All that New Jersey Has to Offer
We Mourn...
Springboard Students Participate in YES! Program
It Was Magic!
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  Nation Celebrates ADA's 20th Anniversary ...
  
 Nation Celebrates ADA's 20th Anniversary - Local Event Set for July 26th

The 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act is being celebrated all over the nation in July, with events already taking place and reaching a crescendo on July 26th, the actual date the bill was signed into law in Washington, D.C. by President George H. W. Bush. In Bergen County, hip has partnered with the county Division on Disability Services and Bergen Community College to hold a celebration at BCC on the 26th.

Paul Tobin, President and CEO of United Spinal Association, formerly Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, will be the keynote speaker. The nationwide disability community has long benefited from the strong advocacy programs, including hands-on training and a wealth of educational materials, first of EPVA, and now through the organization_s expanded role. Also among the speakers will be Eileen Goff, hip_s President and CEO, and Bob Ciavaglia, hip Board member and longtime advocate for people with disabilities. Bob was present in 1990 at the White House for the ADA signing.
 
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  Eileen Goff Named hip President/CEO
  
 Eileen Goff Named hip President/CEO by Board of Trustees on June 23rd

In a unanimous vote, the Board of Trustees of Heightened Independence & Progress named Eileen Goff to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer at its June 23rd meeting. Eileen founded hip 30 years ago and has served as executive director since that time. In announcing the new designation on behalf of the Board, Jean Csaposs, whose position now will be Board chair, said this move reflects a trend among non-profits with significant public missions and resource management responsibilities, and acknowledges Eileen_s professional and personal achievements and standing in the community. Among other accolades, Eileen recently was awarded the 2009 community service award from the American Conference on Diversity and was honored by the hip Board at our 30th anniversary celebration for her years of outstanding service.
 
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  Yannick Shepherd - A Gold Medal Winner
  
 Yannick Shepherd, hip member and resident of Hackensack, _went for the Gold,_ and won, in the recent Special Olympics, bringing honors and accolades to himself, his family, and friends. A participant in Track and Field events, Yannick, 25, won the Gold Medal for the 4x100 Relay, and the Silver for the 100-Meter Dash. This was his second year of participation. Congratulations, Yannick!!!!

Another outstanding hip member, Kelly Martin, was the Torch Carrier at a recent Special Olympics fund-raising event.
 
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  Two LEAD Students Chosen for Youth Ability Summit
  
 Two New Jersey students with vision loss have been selected to participate in an empowering experience in Damascus, Syria. The Open Hands Foundation has chosen Shafeka Hashash and Melissa Lomax to take part in the Youth Ability Summit. According to Melissa, she and Shafeka have both benefited by their participation in the LEAD (Leadership, Education, Advocacy, and Determination) program,_ a hip initiative. _This program unites New Jersey high school students with successful mentors who are blind to learn about technology, issues facing people with vision loss, and ways to gain success and independence in the future. In addition, students learn and increase their mobility, daily living, communication, and organizational skills,_ said Melissa.

With the confidence and training provided by LEAD and the National Foundation of the Blind, we have learned not to allow our vision loss to stop us from pursuing our goals and aspirations. Instead, we are active members in our communities with a desire to continue helping others.

Shafeka is a rising senior at Bergen County Academy and Melissa attends the University of Maryland-Baltimore County where she will be a sophomore in the fall._

The summit is a program of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The girls are among only 10 Americans selected, all of whom have different disabilities and range from ages 15-21. On July 29 they will fly to Damascus for six days to meet 10 Syrian counterparts and attend sessions focused on educating them about the many issues and inequalities that people with all disabilities face. They will work together to create a comic book, publicizing these issues to the uninformed general public. A comic book is considered to be the best method of reaching people in developing countries. Melissa and Shafeka feel that this opportunity will allow them to continue advocating for others and making a difference in the lives of many people across the world.
 
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  Another Milestone in Our New Journey
  
 Our New Journey has launched this year's fundraising effort, a gift raffle with three_prizes: two gift cards to Stop & Shop ($300 and $100) and a Cooking Craze gift basket valued at $75. Price: $2 per ticket (10 in a book). The raffle drawing will be held on September 4th at the Hasbrouck Heights VFW.

Funds raised in 2009 to benefit Our New Journey provided respite care each week for a caregiver for nine months, emergency homecare to delay a nursing home placement, emergency utility assistance for one family, and personal care for one individual twice a week for seven months. Anne Ciavaglia McMahon, founder and leader of Our New Journey, a hip program, hopes to surpass that level of services with this year's drive. She is looking for our help. Please let her know how many books you may need or if you have any ideas on ways to sell the raffle tickets. Call Anne at 201-288-2867, fax #: 201-257-8354, or e-mail: ac0417@aol.com.
 
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  hip Staff, Members, and Friends to be Honored ...
  
 hip Staff, Members, and Friends to be Honored at CBVI event - "Covering the Bases", July 29th.

As part of its 100th Anniversary celebration, the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired will join with the NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center to honor several individuals nominated by the vision loss community for their outstanding achievements and contributions to their community. Five honorees are connected with hip: Melissa Lomax, a LEAD participant; John DeWitt, hip Board treasurer; Susan Vanino, AVL staff coordinator; James Dougherty, a long-time member and financial supporter; and James Jasey, an AVL group facilitator. The recognition will take place at 6:30 p.m. on July 29th at a ball field ceremony preceding a regularly scheduled Trenton Thunder baseball game at Waterfront Park in Trenton.

"Covering the Bases", aka The Trenton Thunder's Blind and Visually Impaired Awareness Night, is an event to promote the full community inclusion and awareness of the potential and achievements of individuals with vision loss and visual impairments. This night will send the message that individuals with vision loss can and do enjoy participating in the same recreational and entertainment activities as anyone else.

Tickets can be purchased for the significantly reduced price of $7 by calling 973-648-3333, or by e-mailing: Pamela.Gaston@dhs.state.nj.us. Doors open at 6 p.m.
 
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  Announcing the 2010 Nifty Fifty Winners!
  
 1st Prize
$1764 Alan Gold, of River Vale

2nd Prize
$882 St. Gregory's Pantry, in Point Pleasant Beach

3rd Prize
$504 Phyllis A. Carlone, of Lodi

Congratulations to All the Winners
. . . and thanks to all who participated in the Nifty Fifty this year!
 
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  We Thank - the following generous donors:
  
 The Kaplan Foundation,
River Edge Lions Club,
Fort Lee Rotary,
Oritani Bank,
John Troccoli, and the UFCW Local 1245 for contributions of picnic food supplies;
Peter Busacca, Hudson County Central Labor Council, and
Saint Peter the Apostle Church, River Edge,

whose ongoing generous contributions are passed to our consumers.


Also, for personal contributions from:

Mike Cook, Lynn and Alan Gold, John Koch, Sandra P. Rose, Maureen and Tim Sullivan
 
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  Forced Institutionalization Illegal...
  
 Forced Institutionalization of People With Disabilities Is Illegal - DOJ and Federal Court Ruling

by Gail Zoppo

June 25, 2010, reprinted from Diversity Inc.com .

The U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Florida, ruled this week that Michele Haddad must be provided with services that will allow her to stay in her home. Haddad, who has a spinal-cord injury caused by a motorcycle accident with a drunk driver three years ago, was at risk of being forced into a nursing home because of changes in her caregiver situation. Although the 49-year-old woman has been on the waiting list for Medicaid community-based waiver services for two years and had alerted the state of her need, she was told that the requested services would only be available if she was admitted to a nursing home for 60 days.

In Haddad v. Arnold, the plaintiff argued that she would suffer irreparable harm if forced to enter a nursing home.

The court agreed, ordering the state to offer Haddad community-based services. The reason: Segregating people with disabilities is a form of discrimination, as found in Olmstead v. L.C. This landmark disability-rights decision determined that isolating people with disabilities in institutional settings deprives them of the opportunity to participate in their communities, interact with individuals who don_t have disabilities and make daily choices. The ruling also acknowledged that unnecessary institutionalization stigmatizes people with disabilities.

The Olmstead decision, which marks its 11th anniversary this week, is not the first such case in which the U.S Department of Justice has filed briefs. The DOJ is involved in several other cases in Illinois and New Jersey, as part of its mission to end discrimination against people with disabilities.

In the Olmstead case, the court recognized that the unnecessary segregation of individuals with disabilities stigmatizes those individuals as unworthy of participation in community life,_ stated Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez. By supporting Ms. Haddad in this case, we seek to ensure that individuals with disabilities can receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate, where they can participate in their communities, interact with individuals who do not have disabilities and make their own day-to-day choices.

The Department of Justice's involvement in these cases reinforces the Obama administration's national efforts to protect the rights of all people.

This work is a priority for the Civil Rights Division, and we are committed to aggressive enforcement of Olmstead so that we can build upon progress made over the last 11 years, said Perez earlier this week. But our work is only one piece of a larger, administration-wide effort to make the promise of Olmstead a reality for individuals with disabilities nationwide. Real reform requires a holistic approach. As a lifelong public servant, I recognize that the most vexing problems a government faces are those that require unprecedented interagency collaboration and coordination. The unnecessary and illegal institutionalization of individuals with disabilities who would be better served, and better able to contribute to their communities, if they were provided services in integrated settings, is one of those problems.

From the U.S. Department of Justice's news release on the subject:

The U.S. government's participation in this case is part of the administration's efforts across the nation to affirm the fundamental right for Americans with disabilities to live independently, in what the president has deemed The Year of Community Living.

The full and fair enforcement of the ADA and its mandate to integrate individuals with disabilities is a major priority of the Civil Rights Division. The ADA protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination by public entities. People interested in finding out more about the ADA can call the Justice Department's toll-free ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY), or access its ADA website at www.ada.gov/.

Disability Advocates: Are there Michele Haddads in your states? asks Steve Gold, of The Disability Odyssey continues...

Information Bulletin #317 (6/2010)

Back issues of Information Bulletins are available online at http://www.stevegoldada.com with a searchable archive at this site divided into different subjects. To contact Steve Gold directly, write to stevegoldada@cs.com or call 215-627-7100.
 
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  Bob Ciavaglia Joins hip Board
  
 At its April meeting, the hip Board of Trustees welcomed Bob Ciavaglia as an interim member. A veteran advocate for people with disabilities, Bob was a charter member of the Disabled Citizen Association (DCA) in the 80s, a three-term president of the Northern New Jersey Chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and a past Board president of DIAL Center for Independent Living. He is currently a pledge center coordinator for the Jerry Lewis telethon in charge of handling calls for seven New Jersey counties, Manhattan and Staten Island. A lifelong resident of Hasbrouck Heights, Bob is a graduate of the Goodwill School of Computer Programming. For 23 years he was on the staff of PSE&G in the information technology department, before retiring five years ago. He was a Jaycee president, a founding member of the Hasbrouck Heights Men's Association, and a mayoral appointee to the town's Recreation Commission. Bob's proudest moment was being on the White House lawn in 1990 for the signing of the ADA bill by the elder President Bush. He will be sharing that moment with us on July 26th at the 20th Anniversary celebration at Bergen Community College. Bob looks to being elected to his first full term on the hip Board at the Annual Meeting in November.
 
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  LEAD Graduates: On to the Future
  
 LEAD students celebrated the close of another wonderful season of friendships and skill-building activities at Camp Marcella in June and now look forward to the fall season. Sixteen students graduated from the LEAD program as they also completed their high school education. The six LEAD coordinators are not only wonderful role models and mentors, but also have high expectations for the LEAD students as they prepare for adulthood.
 
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  hip Office Relocates
  
 The past few weeks have been busy and exciting in the Hudson office as we relocated and settled into our new office space. On May 1st, we moved from our former location at 26 Journal Square in Jersey City to newly-constructed office space at 35 Journal Square, Suite 703.

Although the two offices are only about a block away from each other, they are truly worlds apart because the new space was built to our specifications. It is fully accessible and features wonderful natural light which makes for a warm and welcoming environment. It has been a pleasure for all of us to prepare the new office to welcome all of hip's friends. Please visit us in our new quarters.

- Kathy Wood
 
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  Hudson Picnic Will Celebrate ADA 20th Anniversary
  
 The Hudson hip annual picnic will be held on Wednesday, July 28th from 5:30 until dusk at the Francis Burke Recreation Center, Lincoln Park, in Jersey City. In addition to the usual fun-filled evening of food, music and dancing, this year's event will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the signing into law of the ADA.
 
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  Hudson Membership Meeting
  
 On August 11th, a representative of Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ) will give an overview of that agency's programs and services. DRNJ is a consumer-directed, non-profit organization that works in partnership with individuals with disabilities and their families, to protect and advance the legal rights of people with disabilities. The meeting begins at 11:30 a.m. at the 35 Journal Square office.

Dare to Dream with hip
by Marian Padilla, IL Transition Coordinator

The annual Dare to Dream Student Leadership Conferences, sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, recently took place throughout the state. hip's Hudson Branch was delighted to be a part of the regional conference held at Concordia Learning Center in Jersey City on May 12th. The conference featured accomplished students and adults with disabilities who have demonstrated exemplary self-advocacy and leadership skills.

Hudson hip Director Kathy Wood gave the keynote speech to the 200 students in attendance. She spoke about her life experiences and encouraged students to look beyond their disabilities and take part in activities with their peers whenever possible. Kathy and Marian Padilla, Hudson hip's transition coordinator, who was also a member of the Dare to Dream planning committee, presented a three-session workshop titled Advocacy in School and Careers. The workshops enabled students to gain insight and information about the importance of self-advocacy in school and beyond and to participate in lively question-and- answer sessions during each workshop. The conference was a wonderful opportunity for students to interact with their counterparts from school districts outside of their own. This year's conference was acclaimed a huge success.
 
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  Enjoy FREE Talking Books Delivered to Your Home
  
 If your ability to read has been affected by vision loss or impairment, a physical handicap such as a stroke, or a learning disability, the New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC) can help. You don't need to be legally blind to use these free statewide services, just unable to read standard print with corrective lenses. TBBC will provide free personalized service for your specific needs and will connect you with the technologies to help you read at work and home through free delivery of audio books and magazines. Audio books are available either on cassette, digitally on cartridge, or through download. The digital player is very easy to use and features superior audio quality.

Even if you can no longer see to read, you may still stay current with local, regional and national news through two audio newspaper services. NFB-NEWSLINE offers access to over 300 audio newspapers and magazines, including Spanish language and such titles as The New York Times and AARP the Magazine. TBBC's own Audiovision newspaper reading service offers seven New Jersey newspapers. Audiovision is available in your home by tuning your TV to NJN's designated sub-channel for your cable carrier. TBBC's

The Get Together is a virtual book club for people who enjoy good conversation about good books. Although you may have lost your vision, you don't need to lose your love of reading. Contact TBBC at (800) 792-8322 (English), (877) 882-5593 (TTY/VP), (888) 671-6983 (Voice VP).

E-mail us at: njlbh@njstatelib.org and visit our website: www.njlbh.org.

- Anne McArthur, Head of Audiovision & Outreach Coordinator,
NJ State Library Talking Book & Braille Center
 
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  Spring, a Season of Rebirth and Renewal ...
  
 Spring, a Season of Rebirth and Renewal, Celebrated by AVL Facilitators

On a beautiful spring day (May 19th), the Adjustment to Vision Loss Project (AVL) held a day-long Facilitator Training at the East Brunswick Public Library. Thirty-five facilitators, along with friends and family members, representing 23 groups in northern and central New Jersey, had the opportunity to enhance the skills which assist them in working with their peer support groups.

AVL Mental Health Consultant Dr. Cathy Deats LCSW was like a breath of fresh air, as she demonstrated strategies through the use of simulated groups. These simulations were a perfect backdrop to address the challenges that arise while facilitating support groups; Cathy held everyone's attention with her innovative morning and afternoon presentations.

Throughout the day, facilitators took time to network with one another, and exchange ideas of how to rejuvenate their groups. The afternoon concluded with Susan Vanino, AVL peer support coordinator, presenting all facilitators with certificates of outstanding service, in honor of their hard work.

Currently 50 peer support groups in New Jersey comprise the AVL network for people with vision loss. If you or someone you know might benefit through participation in the program, contact Susan Vanino at the Bergen CIL (extension 26) or svanino.ber@hipcil.org.
 
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  We welcome the following new and renewing members
  
 We welcome the following new and renewing members of hip:

Kathleen Bikoff
Mr. & Mrs. Russell D'Angelo
Alice Facchino
Judith Ann Hawco
Raymond C. Payton
Eddie, Pamela & Freda Rospoczynski
Mr. & Mrs. Len Rubin
Jill Scheffler
Paul, Jean & Jeffrey St. Germain
 
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  Take Advantage of All that New Jersey Has to Offer
  
 During this, the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we are celebrating tremendous progress toward accessible public accommodations. We are extremely fortunate to live in New Jersey where there are 127 miles of beaches along the Atlantic shore. As a result of the ADA, many of these beach resorts have installed features such as accessible restrooms, ramp access to the beach, and specially designed sand/water wheelchairs.

The question has often been asked, What if they gave a party and nobody came? As advocates for disability rights, it is important that we continually work to enhance access. It is also important that people with disabilities use public accommodations that have been made accessible.

By visiting www.shore-guide.com, you can learn about over 50 shore resorts that are listed as fully accessible. Of course, it is always wise to call ahead to be sure that the accommodation you require will be available. But you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that the Garden state has some great accessible seashore attractions, too.

_ Kathy Wood
 
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  We Mourn...
  
 Beverly Offt, hip member; Patricia Stern, Multimedia Service Transcriber; and Tom Lehmann, an early hip member.

Tom was honored by hip in1999 for his staunch advocacy, and in particular, for his successful crusade to build Woodland Gardens in Park Ridge, a community of 36 apartment homes for people with disabilities.
 
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  Springboard Students Participate in YES! Program
  
 Springboard Students Participate in Bergen hip's YES! Program

Youth Envisioning Success (YES!) works closely with Bergen County Special Services School District's Springboard program. Through this close relationship, YES! added a new component: Springboard students began visiting our Bergen Center for Independent Living monthly to learn about vocational opportunities, on-the-job skills training, and resources available in Bergen County.

The partnership began when students visited hip to learn more about the full array of services available at our CIL. Each staff member meets with the students to share details of the programs they manage, information about their professional responsibilities, and how the CIL assists people with disabilities to meet their individually identified goals. A highlight for students is always time spent with the braille transcriber for a hands-on demonstration of how textbooks are produced and distributed across the country for students with vision loss who are unable to read print. Everyone looks forward to the pizza lunch just prior to taking public transportation back to school.

STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT COMMUNITY RESOURCES

The monthly schedule also includes visits to places of interest in the community. Springboard students were welcomed at libraries, firehouses, and many other community resources. They visited Bergen Community College's Office of Specialized Services and toured the Bergen County Administration Building in Hackensack where they met the County Executive and saw the Freeholders meeting room.

We look forward to Springboard visits again after the summer recess, and extend our congratulations to all graduates. We also commend the Springboard teachers for the wonderful opportunities they provide to their students.
 
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  It Was Magic!
  
 That was the verdict of one enthusiastic party-goer after hip's Cinco de Mayo 30th Anniversary celebration on May 1st, at the Fort Lee Recreation Center. Many other celebrants declared it a wonderful evening and our best dinner dance ever! Certainly it was the largest, with close to 150 in attendance. But beyond the always popular music of Gary Morton, the sumptuous dinner (with delicious South of the Border specialties), and an array of exciting prizes, our 2010 gala was memorable for the eloquence of our six 30th anniversary honorees, whose stories are highlighted on this page; all made brief but moving responses as they were presented with gifts from hip and proclamations from the NJ State Legislature. The pictures on the following page capture the spirit of the evening. Readers can find a picture spread about our gala in the July issue of (201) Magazine. Online, they can find a full array of photos at www.201.net. Click on Giving Back, scroll to Social Event Archives, click on May 2010, and press NEXT until you reach May 1st.

At hip's 30th Anniversary Celebration, we honored all our members and friends and took the opportunity to express our gratitude for their support over the years. The individuals we honored have made unique and valuable contributions to the life and growth of hip. They were singled out not only for these personal qualities, but also because they represent all who have made hip the vibrant organization we celebrate this year and every year.

STEPHANIE THOMAS was the first charter member of hip. A faithful volunteer since 1981 and an active volunteer at the Englewood Library and her church, Stephanie was honored for her dedication to hip and the entire disability community.

PAULA WALSH, Program Director, recently celebrated her 25th anniversary as a hip staff member. She is a recognized disability authority throughout Bergen County and beyond.
A Ramapo College graduate, wife, mother, and excellent role model, Paula is also active in her community, River Edge.

RHEA HESS, hip volunteer for the past 23 years, oversees membership, data collection, and much more. A Fort Lee resident, she brings her sensitivity and understanding of the disability community to every endeavor. She believes in the potential of all individuals to achieve their goals.

MARIANNE VALLS, a Jersey City resident, has been a volunteer and staff member at Hudson hip since 1989. A strong advocate for fully accessible transportation and health care, she is an accomplished writer and contributor to hipNews and other major disability publications. Her accomplishments in the field of disability advocacy are recognized statewide.

DARRELL BETHEA, formerly of Englewood, now a resident of Bordentown, is the proprietor of Sweet Heaven, a multi-purpose food service at the Trenton State House. He started volunteering at hip in the early 1980s when his disability issues forced him to leave employment. Darrell pursued higher education, and in time became the largest single private contributor to hip. He lives the concept of giving back to the community.

And we honored EILEEN GOFF, hip's Founder and Executive Director for 30 years, who started it all in 1980!

Eileen formed Shining Lights, a program for visually impaired adults at the Englewood Community House, after raising two sons, Andrew and Daniel, with her late husband, Ethan. Deciding to include people with all disabilities in her activities, in 1980 she formed hip (Handicapped Independence Program). She met requirements for Federal funding for Centers for Independent Living in 1988, and incorporated under a new name, Heightened Independence & Progress, with a Board of Trustees and staff composed predominantly of people with disabilities. Eileen has directed the steady growth of hip's programs and physical facilities ever since. Hudson County was added to hip's area of responsibility in 1987. The Bergen office moved to Hackensack in 1992 and has been enlarged twice.

A Certified Social Worker, Eileen is a member of the NJ Association of Centers for Independent Living, the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the disability advisory boards of Bergen Community College, the BC Division on Disability Services, and the Fort Lee ADA Committee. She is a member of Women United in Philanthropy, and was the recipient of the 2009 Community Service Award from the American Conference on Diversity. She enjoys traveling, skiing, and walking on the beach, but her greatest joy comes in spending time with her family, especially her two teen-age granddaughters.

Eileen exemplifies in her own life the concept of independent living, the philosophy behind this nationwide movement. Moreover, she constantly focuses on the potential of others to realize their own goals. Each year, her personal influence improves the lives of hundreds of people, and over the years, thousands. Her management of funds has earned Eileen the respect of both our public and private funders who channel grant monies through hip to deserving individuals and programs. But most of all, as one man with severe vision loss (now a hip volunteer) puts it, Eileen Goff changes lives.

Thanks, Eileen, and all our 30th Anniversary honorees! And now, on to the next 30 years!!
 
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