hipnews Summer 2011 Edition
 
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JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! by Eileen Goff, hip President
Project Downtown Access Begins in Hackensack
Heroes at hip
September Raffle Set for “Our New Journey”
Coming This Fall
Have 1,000 People Transitioned Out of Institutions
Gretchen Takes Early Retirement
We Mourn...
ADA IS NOW 21
Does Your Town Waive Permit Fees?
“Monday Morning” Elects New Facilitator
Department of Justice Strikes Down Discriminatory
hip Offers Innovative Programs
MTS is one busy place...
STUDENTS DARE TO DREAM
Hudson Students Ready for Yes! Summer Program
CILS Program Helps People Succeed
Alert to Students and Families: Career Assistance
LEAD Celebrates Another Wonderful Year
Hudson Summer Soirée a Swinging Success
hip Thanks…
Local Residents with Vision Loss Learn to Use New
Accentuating the Positive
Welcome!
Kentucky Derby’s “Run for the Roses”
Farewell to Alicia
And the Big Winner is...hip!
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- hipnews Summer 2011 Edition Text Version -


  JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! by Eileen Goff, hip President
  
 One of the hottest topics across the country is the need for employment, and as serious as the issue is for everyone, as we know, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is much higher.
Through the “Opportunities Plus” program, a number of young people are now engaged in summer employment. Lynette Washington, hip’s “Opportunities Plus” project coordinator, has developed paid internships in many areas of New Jersey,and the program is up and running.
This exciting initiative has been made available to current and former participants of Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Determination (LEAD). Through this skill development mentoring program, (noted elsewhere in this issue), LEAD has assisted high school students with vision loss to prepare for a successful transition to adult life. “Opportunities Plus” is the next logical step in the process.
Interns and employers have signed contracts to confirm their commitment, and the next generation of employees is now at work. Positions are varied; they include working at social service agencies, a credit card company, food service establishments, an assistive technology firm, and the office of a chiropractor. One lucky intern has even landed a position in the Manhattan production office of an internationally known entertainer.
Following their summer jobs, the “Opportunity Plus” interns will return to high school, begin their college studies, or continue in their employment pursuits. Whatever is in their future, we are pleased to provide this valuable experience as they move on to the next step in their journey. “Opportunities Plus” has been made possible by the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired through funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
 
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  Project Downtown Access Begins in Hackensack
  
 Project Downtown Access, a newly-launched hip venture, will enable a group of committed volunteers to identify problems of access at certain businesses on Main Street in Hackensack. In turn, we can reach out to individual businesses to provide information about barrier removal. This will also enable hip to commend businesses that have gone the extra mile to make sure their facilities are accessible and welcoming to all customers.
The kick-off meeting of this exciting new project took place on Thursday, June 16th at the Bergen hip office. Several volunteers, who will be the surveyors, learned about the goals of the project and became familiar with the survey form and techniques for determining the ADA standards. Surveyors will be visiting businesses on Main Street in Hackensack and will be identifying existing barriers. Volunteers will be looking at parking accessibility, pathways to entrances, the incline of ramps, the ability to move through store aisles, and ways in which the staff interact with customers with disabilities. These observations will be recorded on the survey forms.
More Volunteers Needed
Project Downtown Access is a daunting task, since there are many businesses that need to be visited and surveyed. We can use your help. The more volunteers we have, the sooner we will be able to complete our assessment.
Readers in the Hackensack area: Please consider contributing some of your time to support this worthwhile project. You can work alone or partner with another volunteer, and you can take on as little or as much as you are able. The survey form is simple and easy to use. Call Nancy Hodgins at Bergen hip (Ext. 26) or e-mail to nhodgins.ber@hipcil.org for more information and sign on to become a Project Downtown Access volunteer.
 
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  Heroes at hip
  
 Rich Fanelli: hipNews Reader
Rich Fanelli retired in 1995 after teaching English at Hackensack High School for 35 years. He was searching for a useful volunteer project to occupy some of his spare time, such as adult literacy or reading for people with vision loss. A friend of hip gave him Eileen Goff’s phone number, and the rest is history. Rich has been recording every edition of hipNews on tape for almost 13 years to make our publication available to people who are unable to read print. He remarked about how much hip has expanded in the years since he began recording. The staff has grown in number, and there are many more programs available to people with disabilities. Rich is an avid tennis player who hits the courts two or three times a week. He also enjoys reading and gardening, and he and his wife frequently attend New York City theater performances. The Fanellis have traveled extensively throughout Europe and are planning to visit Prague and Italy (their favorite destination) later this summer.

Peter Valavanis: hip’s Super Helper
Peter Valavanis, a familiar figure in the Bergen hip office, has been volunteering his time for the past seven years. He is truly a complement to the office staff. Peter can often be found working in the MTS office, running the thermoform machine and binding pages of braille publications, performing maintenance tasks around the office, moving boxes and supplies, delivering donated items to recipients, or picking up the latest edition of hipNews from the Print Group. A Fort Lee resident, Peter always wears a cheery smile and never turns down an opportunity to help. Before coming to hip, Peter was a winning horse trainer in the stable of driver/trainer Lucien Fontaine. Peter also owns a fast food business, and on weekends from May through October, he can be found cooking at carnivals, fairs, craft shows, and concerts throughout the New York metropolitan area. Peter often works his cooking magic for hip when he mans the grill at the LEAD graduation festivities and the annual Bergen picnic.
 
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  September Raffle Set for “Our New Journey”
  
 September Raffle Set for “Our New Journey” – A Very hip Project!
Our New Journey is launching its next fundraising effort, a gift raffle. Three prizes will be awarded: first and second prizes are gift cards of $300 and $200 to Stop & Shop; third prize is a Gift Basket valued at $75. Tickets are $2 each, 5 to a book. The drawing will be held on September 5th at 180 Oldfield Ave., Hasbrouck Heights.
The monies raised last year to benefit Our New Journey provided weekly respite care for one caregiver for 10 months. Another caregiver was able to return to work while waiting for entitlement services to be finalized, and emergency utility and pharmaceutical assistance helped two families.
Launched in April 2007, Our New Journey, a hip-sponsored project, gives help and hope to families faced with the onset of illness or disability. This mission is accomplished through caregiver peer-to-peer support; guidance with understanding personal needs; help with locating services; and financing direct care assistance. The funds raised throughout the year help to provide financial assistance for non-publicly funded homecare services. For example, $15 can provide one hour of homecare, and $135 will pay for an overnight respite service.
If you are able to offer support, please contact Our New Journey at 201-288-2867 or e-mail: anne@ournewjourney.org
 
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  Coming This Fall
  
 The Fall edition of hipNews will contain an article on Social Security issues, raised as the result of the recent survey conducted by hip’s Advocacy Committee, identifying SSD and SSI as the top concerns among the hip consumers surveyed. The findings culminated in a seminar in late spring led by Barbara Comerford, Esq, and Anna Navatta, Esq., experts on disability law. The article to come will highlight the major questions and answers elicited at the event, which was attended by over 50 hip members and their guests.
 
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  Have 1,000 People Transitioned Out of Institutions
  
 Have 1,000 People Transitioned Out of Institutions With Mainstream Category 2 Vouchers?
from Steve Gold’s The Odyssey Continues, Information Bulletin #335 (7/2011)
It’s been about seven months since HUD awarded its Mainstream Category 2 Vouchers. These were the special vouchers that were intended to be used solely for people with disabilities to transition from institutions to the community. Housing Authorities and other public entities had to apply for these vouchers, and HUD awarded them on a competitive basis.
We know there were a lot of advocates for individuals with disabilities who were very disappointed that their Housing Authorities had not been awarded these vouchers. This was particularly so, after advocates had worked with and encouraged their Housing Authorities to apply.
Okay, folks: Now is the time to check out if the “winning” Housing Authorities have actually used these Category 2 Vouchers as they were intended – to help people to leave institutions.
Has your State Medicaid agency been actively involved? Has it helped identify people who want to transition out? How has the Housing Authority identified the person who was institutionalized?
Has there been any press regarding the successful transitions? If we want additional vouchers to be similarly targeted in the future, let's make sure at the least that the 1,000 Category 2 vouchers have worked properly.
(Ed.Note: According to Steve Gold’s report, New Jersey was one of 28 nationwide locales that received Category 2 vouchers. The NJ Department of Community Affairs was the recipient of 100 Vouchers.)
 
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  Gretchen Takes Early Retirement
  
 Almost everyone at hip knows Gretchen – the very friendly, wavy-haired, golden retriever who eagerly greeted visitors and staff entering the Hackensack CIL. For five years, Gretchen has worked as a faithful, affectionate guide dog for Susan Vanino, hip’s Coordinator for the Adjustment to Vision Loss project. But alas, the time has come for Gretchen to take an early retirement. Oh, don’t worry! Gretchen is still very much a part of Susan’s life. She is now an official family pet, hanging with Susan’s two other canine golden girls, eating bon bons on the couch, and watching Animal Planet all day long. Having applied for her AARF card, Gretchen is truly enjoying a dog’s life in retirement.
Susan has returned from a three-week stay at The Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ, where she received her new guide dog, Q. This two-year-old black lab’s full name is QCWA, the call letters of the ham radio station at Seeing Eye. Susan and Q are learning to work together, getting their signals straight, and establishing new routines. As Susan says, “I traded in the sultry, blonde bombshell for this tall, dark and handsome young fellow.” We at hip welcome Q into the family, and we wish Gretchen, Q, and Susan a long, happy life together.
 
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  We Mourn...
  
 Judy Karp, a former staff member at Bergen hip, died in May. Judy was the Executive Director of the Fort Lee Chamber of Commerce for 20 years prior to her employment at hip. She will always be remembered in so many ways, perhaps most for her fun-loving spirit and positive attitude. As one staff member noted, “She was one in a million.”

Mary Tobia of Dumont died this spring. Mary and her husband, Tony, had been hip members for many years.
 
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  ADA IS NOW 21
  
 July 26th marks the 21st anniversary of the
signing into law of the Americans with Disabilities Act by President George H. W. Bush. In the intervening years, important strides have been made toward making independent living a reality for people with disabilities. Much has yet to be accomplished toward achieving real independence: many polling places and business sites are still not barrier free, handicapped parking spots and sidewalks are not always cleared promptly after a snowfall, and accessible transportation is not always readily available. Yet, CILs such as hip continue to make important advances toward true independent living for people with all disabilities through outreach, education, and advocacy.
hip, hip Hooray
 
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  Does Your Town Waive Permit Fees?
  
 Does Your Town Waive Permit Fees for Disability-Related Construction?
Anyone who owns a home in New Jersey who has made any significant changes to it is all too familiar with local Construction Code officials, who must review and approve construction plans, inspect projects at various stages, and give final approval that the work conforms to all local codes and requirements. The fees to obtain the necessary permits can become prohibitively expensive when each permit may cost hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars, depending on the scope of the project. Monitoring ensures that construction will be done properly, and most renovations will raise the value of the home as well as property taxes.
Almost a year ago, The Record published an article about a family in Emerson who had to modify their home to provide access to all parts of the residence for their son who uses a scooter because of a disability. According to the homeowner, their house was a typical one that contained many barriers for someone who uses a mobility device. The renovation to remove the existing barriers would need to be extensive and would cost about $250,000 – a daunting amount! To further complicate the situation, the work would require several permits, the first of which carried a fee of about $2,200. Unless a family is affluent, this can be a significant drain on finances that might already be compromised due to the special needs of their family member. In such cases, when someone with a disability cannot enjoy full access to their home, renovation is not a luxury. It is a necessity.
Fee Reduced, Not Waived
The Emerson homeowner appealed to town officials to waive the permit fees for the renovation. Unfortunately, Emerson did not waive the fee. Emerson’s policy allows for the fee to be adjusted, and The Record reported that the town did agree to decrease it by $500. But according to the homeowner, that still left a $1,700 permit fee that had to be paid before the renovation began, with additional permits and fees required in the subsequent stages of the project.
The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code contains clause 52:27D-126e, which encourages towns to waive permit fees in special situations. This clause states that “municipalities may, by ordinance, provide that no person shall be charged a construction permit surcharge fee or enforcing agency fee for any construction, reconstruction, alteration or improvement designed and undertaken solely to promote accessibility by disabled persons to an existing public or private structure or any of the facilities contained therein.”
The ordinance further provides that “a disabled person, or a parent or sibling of a disabled person, shall not be required to pay any municipal fee or charge in order to secure a construction permit for any construction, reconstruction, alteration or improvement which promotes accessibility to his own living unit.”
Ordinance Encouraged, Not Required
In order for towns to comply with this part of the Uniform Construction Code, a town must adopt an ordinance stating that fees may be waived and under what circumstances. Unfortunately, towns are only encouraged but not required to do this. It seems so logical to waive permit fees in these special circumstances because the project is not for aesthetic purposes nor to raise the value of the home, but rather to provide access to all or part of the home that is presently inaccessible to the resident because of a disability. These projects often involve the construction of ramps, the widening of doorways, modification of bathrooms, installation of a lift, and other modifications.
To find out how many towns are still charging for permits in these special cases, hip reached out to all Bergen County towns and asked whether they charge a permit fee for a construction project when it is solely for the purpose of providing access to a resident with a disability. It is disappointing to report that of the 47 towns that responded, only 15 towns waive the fee for such projects. More than twice as many, 32 towns, reported that they do charge for such permits, even in these special circumstances.
Make Your Feelings Known
Do you know whether your town waives permit fees for such situations? You can call your local building department and find out. If your town does still charge, this is not likely to change unless you make your feelings known to your town officials. Your Mayor and Council members need to hear from you about this. Write a letter about your position on this or share your thoughts at a Town Council meeting. Tell your Mayor and Council members that this is a perfect opportunity to show residents with disabilities, who may already be struggling with financial issues and architectural barriers, that your town can be more sensitive and understanding of the needs of their residents with disabilities. Remind them that there are now a number of towns in Bergen County that have already put such a policy into place and currently waive the permit fees for such projects. These are your elected officials. You can help them to understand how important this issue is to family members who cannot have full use of their homes because of a disability.
 
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  “Monday Morning” Elects New Facilitator
  
 Michael Augustowicz was elected facilitator of Monday Morning (also known as Bergen Regional Advocacy Network) at the June meeting. Monday Morning is part of a network of grassroots advocacy organizations sponsored by the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities, which provides both funding and training to member groups. Participants address a variety of issues of concern to people with disabilities. Meetings are held at Bergen hip from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. Individuals interested in advocating for the rights and concerns of people with disabilities are invited to attend. Contact Nancy Hodgins at Bergen hip for further information.
 
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  Department of Justice Strikes Down Discriminatory
  
 Department of Justice Strikes Down Discriminatory Ticket Sales Policy
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) posted a technical assistance document on its website about ticket sales and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. DOJ revised its ADA regulations in September 2010 and clarified that under the ADA, individuals with disabilities must have the same opportunities to directly and immediately purchase tickets for wheelchair-accessible seats at events as the general public has to purchase non-accessible seats. People with disabilities may not be required to call a separate telephone number to request tickets and wait for a response. To read the document, go to http://www.ada.gov/ticketing_2010.htm
 
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  hip Offers Innovative Programs
  
 hip Offers Innovative Programs to Meet the Independent Living Needs of People with Disabilities in Bergen and Hudson Counties and Beyond
Founded in 1980, Heightened Independence & Progress (hip) is celebrating 30 years of service. hip not only continues to provide vital assistance through information, referral, advocacy, and peer support, but also offers a wide variety of programs to people with all types of disabilities in Bergen and Hudson Counties. Some programs have statewide, even national impact. The following is a summary of hip programs.
Adjustment to Vision Loss coordinates peer support groups and assists with access to mental health professionals for individuals with vision loss. Contact: Susan Vanino (Bergen)
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: Jessica Marchione, Sherri Krupnik (Bergen)
Community Advocacy and Outreach Program seeks to promote full inclusion through advocacy, education and legislation. Contact: Nancy Hodgins (Bergen)
Comprehensive Independent Living Support (CILS) is a program providing short-term or ongoing assistance to
individuals in Hudson County to remain in the community. Contact: Amy Giron (Hudson)
Hispanic Outreach Program directs all Independent Living services to individuals with disabilities of Hispanic origin, in English and Spanish. Contact: Lucy Montalvo (Bergen) or Marily Gonzalez (Hudson)
Leadership Education, Advocacy, and Determination (LEAD), a statewide mentoring and skills-building project, assists high school students with vision loss in their transition to adult life. Contact: Maria Valentin (Bergen)
Modification Access Project (MAP) assists with funding for barrier-free home renovation projects from concept to completion. Contact: Maria Valentin (Bergen)
Multimedia Transcription Service (MTS) converts written materials into Braille, large print, and audiotape formats. Contact: Theresa Johnston (Bergen)
Opportunities Plus is a summer internship program for current and former LEAD students with vision loss to introduce them to the world of work in preparation for future careers. Contact: Lynette Washington at lwashington.ber@hipcil.org
Our New Journey provides financial and practical help to families newly impacted by the onset of illness or disability. Contact: Anne Ciavaglia McMahon (201-288-2867)
Polio Network of New Jersey – The Ruprecht Fund. hip administers this fund for PNNJ to help polio survivors in New Jersey finance necessary products and services. Contact: Maria Valentin (Bergen)
Special Assistance for Independent Living (SAIL) provides funding to Hudson County residents for assistive devices or barrier-free home renovation projects. Contact: Marily Gonzalez (Hudson)
Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) provides funding and facilitates acquisition of services and adaptive devices such as wheelchairs, bathroom equipment, hearing aids and more. Contact: Maria Valentin (Bergen)
Support for Independent Living (SIL) provides ongoing care management services through assessment, linkage, and coordination for people with disabilities (18-59).Contact: Jessica Marchione, Sherri Krupnik (Bergen)
Support Groups – COPE (Multiple Sclerosis) and Women with Disabilities. Contact: Paula Walsh (Bergen)
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a state-funded case management program for New Jersey residents who have survived an acquired brain injury, for services and supports they need to live in the community. Contact: Paula Walsh and Sherri Krupnik (Bergen); Marily Gonzalez (Hudson)
Youth Envisioning Success (YES!) assists high school students and families to move from school to adult life. Contact: Alanna Staton (Bergen); Marian Padilla (Hudson)
 
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  MTS is one busy place...
  
 In the midst of summer, teachers throughout the country are preparing for the fast-approaching fall semester. hip’s Multimedia Transcription Service regularly transcribes school textbooks into braille for schools in dozens of school districts. But MTS also transcribes a great variety of print materials into braille for commercial and non-profit organizations alike. Recently the Cape May-Lewes Ferry ordered materials for its busy summer season: Arrival announcements, Welcome Aboard announcements, ADA Safety Tape, and ADA foot passenger hand-outs. Theresa Johnston, MTS coordinator, and John Lampert-Hopkins, MTS lead braillist, report that among the varied items they have transcribed are the Vendors List for the Los Angeles 2011 Exhibitor Expo and Career Fair, as well as the New Jersey Exhibitor Expo. Great work, MTS!
 
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  STUDENTS DARE TO DREAM
  
 by Alanna Staton
IL Transition Coordinator
This year’s “Dare to Dream Student Leadership Conference,” held at Montclair University on June 1st, was a great success. Keynote speaker Sarah Vazquez, an author and advocate, told the students, “This is a stage where your voices are heard, your dreams come to a reality, and you use your gifts to make the world a better place.” As someone with a disability, her words truly hit home to the overwhelmingly large audience of students and school personnel.
Students enjoyed the opportunity to listen to presentations by their peers. The many options for breakout sessions included one entitled Dreams to Reality. During this session, students from Montclair High School showed the audience how to create a dream board by setting goals for their future. Participants from the Springboard program in Paramus worked together to draw pictures of things they could see in their future including a family, a career, a driver’s license, and a house of their own. Once the pictures were finished, they thought about the steps to take to make their dreams a reality. The students were able to take their dream sheets home so they could continue working towards their goals.
The second workshop session, dealing with diversity and bullying, was hosted by students from Nutley High School. Participants were given only one crayon to draw a picture. This activity was intended to be frustrating, so that the young people could see how difficult things can be with no diversity. After discussing their frustrations, students were given a wide array of colors to choose from. The message was clear: Having diversity adds a lot to any environment. The day finished with a tasty luncheon where all had a chance to socialize with the peers they had met during the day.
Throughout the year, the YES! Program has worked closely with Springboard, a program of Bergen County Special Services School District, for students who have completed high school, but can benefit from additional time involving experiential activities. In addition to accompanying the students to the “Dare to Dream” conference, we have practiced skills necessary for interviewing and self-advocacy. The Springboard students who finish their program are well prepared to face their futures.
We look forward to working with all the high schools in Bergen County in the fall. If you would like to schedule workshops for your school, or if you would like more information about the YES! Program, call Alanna Staton, at Bergen hip (Ext. 23) or e-mail astaton.ber@hipcil.org
 
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  Hudson Students Ready for Yes! Summer Program
  
 by Marian Padilla
IL Transition Coordinator
After one of the harshest winters ever, everyone is enjoying summer. It’s time once again for the Youth Envisioning Success (YES!) summer program, which provides a wonderful opportunity for students to learn while having fun and interacting with their peers, in both classroom and community-based situations.
Two groups of students from Harrison High School are participating this year. The four- week program includes sessions focusing on developing self-advocacy, as well as vocational and independent living skills to help prepare the students for life after high school. The groups join together for a weekly field trip, which provides an opportunity for students to practice what they have learned in the classroom. Participants will visit a chain-operated family-style restaurant for a kitchen tour, to learn the basics of food safety and restaurant operations. To cap off the event, they will prepare and serve their own meals with the assistance and guidance of restaurant staff. Another highlight of the summer program will be a visit to America’s largest department store, Macy’s. Students will learn about retail operations, including merchandise placement, marketing techniques, customer interaction, and careers in retail. This year’s program promises to be both informative and exciting.
 
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  CILS Program Helps People Succeed
  
 The Community Independent Living Support (CILS) program is helping many Hudson County residents to achieve important independent living goals. Since it began approximately 18 months ago, the CILS program, funded by the Hudson County Department of Health and Senior Services, has assisted approximately 100 individuals. The support provided through CILS allows individuals who might otherwise not receive services to be linked to programs and benefits which increase their lifestyle options.
A gentleman with a developmental disability was suddenly left alone when his twin brother had to go into a nursing home. hip helped him obtain health benefits, personal assistance services, household items, home modifications, and help with utility payments. As a result of these services and ongoing support arranged by Amy Giron, CILS care manager, this man is able to remain in his apartment and continue to socialize with neighbors and friends he has known for most of his life.
 
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  Alert to Students and Families: Career Assistance
  
 Alert to Students and Families: Career Assistance Available on NJCAN Website
A friendly reminder for students and their families: Students can schedule an appointment to visit Hudson hip, where they will be able to log on to the Career Assistance Navigator (NJCAN) website. The NJCAN is an Internet-based delivery system for current occupational, post-secondary school, and financial aid information.
Once logged on to the website, students can complete a straightforward and easy-to-use assessment identifying their skills. A list of occupations matching their interests, abilities, and work preferences will be generated along with the education requirements, anticipated earnings, and employment outlook. Students can then create a portfolio to store their information and create a plan to help them attain their educational and career goals.
If you would like more information about the YES program, NJCAN, or know a student or school that may benefit from hip’s programs and services, please call Marian Padilla at Hudson hip (Ext. 3) or e-mail mpadilla.hud@hipcil.org
 
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  LEAD Celebrates Another Wonderful Year
  
 Leadership, Education, Advocacy, andDetermination
LEAD participants gathered at Camp Marcella in Rockaway, NJ, on June 4th for the final event of the season. The students, LEAD coordinators, and volunteer mentors came from all regions of the state to celebrate the conclusion of another successful year. Since LEAD is a program for high-school students, moving on from the program coincides with graduation from high school. This year we are proud to have 13 graduates, whose plans include attending college and/or employment.
Joe Ruffalo, LEAD statewide coordinator, asked everyone to share their thoughts of the benefits they have received through LEAD. Some responses included:
“I gained so much independence!”
“It’s cool to have friends that I can relate to.”
“I learned that there is so much more I can do that I hadn’t thought possible.”
“I now can tell my school about accommodations I need.”
“I learned how to accept help without feeling needy.”
“I learned I can do so many things that others do – but in my own special way.”
LEAD will begin its fall schedule of activities in September, as the LEADers continue to enhance their skill-building activities, and prepare for their futures.
 
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  Hudson Summer Soirée a Swinging Success
  
 Wednesday, June 22nd, a typical summer night in Jersey City, was a little warmer because of the festive atmosphere of the Hudson hip summer soirée that took place at the Francis Burke Recreation Center in Lincoln Park. A tropical island theme was the backdrop for an evening of food, music, and fun. Party-goers enjoyed an opportunity to dance, socialize, and challenge the DJ in a game of “Name That Tune.” The evening was a festive way for all to kick off the summer season.
 
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  hip Thanks…
  
 hip receives many contributions from individuals and the community throughout the year. We thank the following for their recent exceptional generosity:
Diane Albarella
Barbara Comerford, Esq.
Mike Cook
Lauren Goff
Sarah Goff
Maureen and Tim Sullivan
Bobbi Wailes
The Kaplen Foundation
Bergenfield Lions Club
Leonia Lions Club
Charles N. Hall, Jr., Local 108 R.W.D.S.U. AFL-CIO
The Frederick P. and
Sandra P. Rose Foundation
 
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  Local Residents with Vision Loss Learn to Use New
  
 Local Residents with Vision Loss Learn to Use New State-of-the-Art Equipment at hip’s Two CILs
Word is getting around! The new equipment provided to hip by the NJ Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired and funded by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is attracting local residents with vision loss to hip’s Bergen and Hudson CILs, in Hackensack and Jersey City. In our offices, they can access computers with technology for speech and large print, as well as scanners with software that reads documents aloud, enabling people with total vision loss to access mail, bank statements, and other printed matter. A closed circuit TV system magnifies up to 60X, allowing most people with partial vision to view photographs, write checks, read newspapers and other printed materials which otherwise would be unavailable to them. Community residents are encouraged to call their local hip office to schedule times for demonstrations and use of the new equipment. In Bergen, call Susan Vanino (Ext. 26) or e-mail svanino.ber@hipcil.org, and in Hudson, call Kathy Wood (Ext. 1) or e-mail kwood.hud@hipcil.org
 
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  Accentuating the Positive
  
 Accentuating the Positive: Theme of AVL Support Group Training
by Susan Vanino
AVL Program Coordinator
The prospect of vision loss can be very frightening. It is important for those faced with this situation to identify inner strengths and outside resources to help them adapt. Support groups can assist individuals to understand the adjustment process and to work through the feelings that accompany it.
The job of a facilitator is to keep the group on track and direct the discussions so that they are beneficial. For this reason the Adjustment to Vision Loss Program holds periodic trainings to energize facilitators and give them the tools and techniques to run their groups successfully.
Simulations, Games, Stories Make Training Come Alive
“Accentuating the Positive” was the theme for one such AVL training workshop in May in East Brunswick. Facilitators came from all parts of New Jersey and were treated to presentations by long-time AVL consultants Dr. Cathy Deats, LCSW, and James Warnke, LCSW. Group simulations were used to practice the art of listening and to generate new ideas to help enhance facilitation skills. Jim and Cathy kept the crowd’s attention riveted with their extraordinary expertise and their compelling presentations. Mind-tickling games were called into play to encourage creativity, while true stories of embarrassing moments, shared among participants, kept everyone laughing. Facilitators have some good things to say about the AVL training. “That was the best workshop ever! I got so much information and so many helpful hints to apply to my group that I am still smiling,” exclaimed a facilitator from Morris County.
Another facilitator from Ocean County said, “This was my first time at a training like this and what I learned today will be so helpful in running my group. Keep having these trainings!”
If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about Adjustment to Vision Loss peer support groups, please call Susan Vanino at hip’s Hackensack office (Ext. 26), or e-mail svanino.ber@hipcil.org
 
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  Welcome!
  
 Welcome to the following new
and renewing members of hip for 2011. Your support of our CILs is appreciated!
Tom Bengaff
Robert Ciccone & Family
Rev. Dr. Cathy Deats
Mary Drylewicz
Nancy L. Henry
Sharon Hudley
Laurence John
James McClain
Nancy O. Mitchell
Lucy Montalvo
Margaret Papageorgiou
Sandia Rosario
Pamela & Eddie Rostoczynski
Fredelia Smith & Family
Mrs. Winnifred Whilby
 
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  Kentucky Derby’s “Run for the Roses”
  
 Kentucky Derby’s “Run for the Roses” A Lively Theme for May 7th Dinner Dance
With the excitement of the Kentucky Derby building for weeks prior, hip’s annual dinner dance got off to a roaring start after Animal Kingdom won the actual “Run for the Roses” on May 7th. hip members, families, and friends gathered at the Fort Lee Recreation Center in the early evening to feast, to dance, and to enjoy the invigorating ambiance of this gala event. DJ Gary Morton did a superb job supplying the lively music that made everyone feel like dancing. The hall was decorated in “Run for the Roses” Kentucky Derby motif, and virtual horses raced across the stage all evening long. Board Members kept the raffle tickets moving as party-goers eagerly vied for the amazing gift baskets and the 32” Panasonic television, as well as the Nifty Fifty big tickets. At the end of the evening, everyone cheered for the lucky winners!
 
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  Farewell to Alicia
  
 Alicia Freda Matarazzo has been a staff member at hip for four years as a care manager for the Aging and Disability Resource Connection and the Traumatic Brain Injury program. After completing a year of intensive study at Rutgers University, Alicia graduated in May with a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW). She recently passed her LSW exam and aspires to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her goal is to continue working with individuals with disabilities. Alicia thanked the whole hip staff for their support and encouragement throughout this process.
Sadly for hip, Alicia left at the end of June to pursue her career goals. Her bright smile, her strong and caring personality, and her unbridled enthusiasm for life will be sorely missed. We have enjoyed working with her during these years, and everyone at hip joins in wishing Alicia continued success and happiness in her future career.
 
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  And the Big Winner is...hip!
  
 Announcing the 2011 Nifty Fifty Winners!
1st Prize – $2,016, shared by
Lauren Goff of Livingston, NJ
and Sarah Goff of Greensboro, NC
2nd Prize – $1,008
Bobbi Wailes of Fort Lee, NJ
3rd Prize – $576
Adam Krass of Rutherford, NJ
Congratulations to all the Winners...and thanks to all who participated in the Nifty Fifty this year!
 
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