hipnews Spring 2014 Edition
 
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hip’s Support Coordination Program
“The Sassy Sixties,” hip’s Gala Fund-Raiser
Trisha and Astro!
Receiving SSI or SSDI While Working
Thanks, New Members!
A Family Concert
Welcome, New Partners!
Late News...
The Calendar Raffle is Back!
We Mourn...
Join Us for a Late Spring Lunch!
AVL Support Groups Update
Our New Journey's Beefsteak Dinner
It’s All About Work!
A Special Occasion for a Very Special Friend
hip hip Hooray!
Bergen County Transition Fair 2014
Staying Fit While You Sit!!
Hudson hip Welcomes 2 New Staff Members
hudson hip happenings
New Roles for Maria Perez
CURTAIN UP!!
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- hipnews Spring 2014 Edition Text Version -


  hip’s Support Coordination Program
  
 The New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities has designated hip as an agency charged with assisting DDD-eligible individuals from Bergen and Hudson Counties to discover their full potential. Participants will work towards two basic goals, guided by hip’s support coordinators: To learn the importance that supports and services play in life, and to develop and monitor an individualized service plan (ISP).
hip’s support coordinators will assist in identifying and utilizing community-based programs and services to develop an individual’s unique plan. The natural supports of family, neighbors, and community will be explored in the development of the plan, which will become the design for the participant’s future. Upon the plan’s approval by DDD, hip’s support coordinators will maintain an active working relationship to ensure that necessary services are in place for the participant, not only for today, but also for the future.
If you are a DDD-eligible individual who wishes to select hip as your support coordination agency, contact Paula Walsh, coordinator of hip’s DDD Support Coordination services at 201-996-9100 or via email to: pwalsh.ber@hipcil.org. We are looking forward to being contacted to discuss how hip’s Support Coordination Program can be of assistance to families.
 
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  “The Sassy Sixties,” hip’s Gala Fund-Raiser
  
 “The Sassy Sixties,” hip’s Gala Fund-Raiser & Dinner Dance Set for May 17th
Join Us for A Wonderful Evening of Music and Merriment

Who can resist the music of the Sassy Sixties?! No one! So be sure to start planning now to attend hip’s annual gala dinner dance at the Fort Lee Recreation Center on May 17th, starting at 6:30p.m. In addition to our always-festive and delicious dinner, entertainer Gary Morton will once again have us out on the floor “big time” to dance to the great music he provides. Lucky winners will take home an array of gift baskets and other surprises. And the best part is that “the melody will linger on:” hip will benefit financially from the generosity of our families and friends who love this annual event. The invitations are out – if you didn’t get one or need more, call Bergen hip asap. $50 will get you there for an unforgettable evening of music, fun, and friendship to be shared. Don’t miss it!
 
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  Trisha and Astro!
  
 Trisha Ebel, Bergen hip staff member, and her Seeing Eye dog, Astro, were a big hit on April 10 as the presenters at the spring dinner meeting of the Order of the Evergreen, a Bergen County Girl Scout alumnae group. Here, Betty Fetzer, hip Board member and program chair for the Girl Scout group, gives Astro a welcoming pat before introducing Trisha. The audience was enthralled at Trisha’s vivid account of the history and training program of the Seeing Eye and how having a guide dog has changed her life. A brisk question-and-answer session followed.
 
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  Receiving SSI or SSDI While Working
  
 Receiving SSI or SSDI While Working
by Kathy Wood, Director, Hudson hip

If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, there are special rules that may make it possible for you to return to work. Below is a brief outline of some of the incentives you may choose to use in order to test your ability to work while continuing to receive benefits. If you try to return to work and find that you cannot continue to work because of your disability, your full benefit may start again without the need to file a new application.
By using the Ticket to Work Program, you can receive vocational training, job referrals and other support services. You will not undergo medical reviews while you are using the ticket and making progress toward your plan to return to work. For more information about the Ticket to Work program call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. If you are receiving SSDI, you can test your ability to work for at least nine months by using the trial work period. During this work period you may receive your full SSDI check regardless of how much you are earning as long as you continue to have a disabling impairment and you report your work activity. During 2014, any month in which you earn $770 is counted as a trial work month.
After you complete the trial work period, you may be able to continue to receive your check as long as your income does not exceed $1,070 (if you have a disability other than blindness) or $1,800 (if you are blind). In addition, Medicare Part A coverage can continue for 93 months without charge after the completion of the trial work period. After that time, you can choose to purchase Medicare Part A through a monthly premium. If you have Medicare Part B, you can retain the coverage by continuing to pay that premium.
If you are receiving SSI and wish to return to work, the first 85 dollars earned every month do not count against the benefits you receive. After the first $85, 50 cents will be deducted from your SSI check for every dollar that you earn. You may also be eligible for certain deductions for work-related expenses. These deductions could increase the amount of your check.
If you are under age 22 and going to school or attending a training program, you may be eligible to earn up to $1,750 per month and still receive your SSI benefits.
If you return to work and you are no longer eligible for SSI cash benefits, you may continue to be eligible for Medicaid coverage, depending upon your income. If you return to work and Social Security informs you that you are no longer eligible to receive an SSI check, you should contact Social Security and request continued Medicaid coverage under Section 1619B in order to keep your Medicaid.
For more information about SSI and SSDI work incentives, Contact Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/work, or call 1-800-772-1213 (v) 1-800-325-0778 (TTY) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 
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  Thanks, New Members!
  
 Following are the new and renewing members of hip for 2014:
Roselyn Altman
Scott & Debbie Buckwald
Phil Chirafisi & Elizabeth Lescher
Moses & Han Choi
Dolores Cordier
Roberta Cromwell
The Gabry Family
Gail A. Geresi
Miroslaw Iskra
Sue and Charlie Johnsen
William Matthews
The McCarthy Family
James & Lorraine McClain
Lucia Montalvo
Hyacinthe Nkurunziza
David and Maria Perez
Arlene Pompeo and Nancy Henry
Anne Marie Prendergast
Mr. & Mrs. H. Prosnitz
Alyce Ricchiuto
Clifford Smith
Diana Stolfo
Samy Suqi
Betsy Thomason
Mary Thornton
Cindy Zirkin
Corporate Members:
Fair Housing Council of
Northern New Jersey
Mobility Elevator & Lift
 
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  A Family Concert
  
 A Family Concert for the Special Needs Community Saturday, May 10th –All Welcome!
A concert for special needs children and their families will be given by the Ridgewood Gilbert & Sullivan Opera, in association with Children’s Aid and Family Services, on Saturday, May 10th, at 2 p.m. at Benjamin Franklin Middle School, 335 North Van Dien Ave., Ridgewood.
This will be a happy, fun-filled concert of classics with a 15-piece orchestra and vocal accompanists. The sponsors point out that the children “will engage in an atmosphere of sensory pleasure where the lights are turned on, the microphones turned off, and guests are welcome to walk around, dance, or sing.” Tickets: $5 online at www.ridgewoodgands.com and at the door.
 
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  Welcome, New Partners!
  
 STATEWIDE PARENT ADVOCACY NETWORK & COMMUNITY HEALTH LAW PROJECT
We will never forget the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy on October 29th, 2012, which brought so much devastation to countless residents of the Northeast region of our country. The trauma impacted homes, businesses, and individual financial situations, as well as causing serious, ongoing emotional stress. We are pleased to partner with two wonderful, highly-respected agencies who are working with individuals and families affected by Sandy. This collaboration, along with their presence at the Bergen CIL, promises to have a positive impact on the disability community. – Eileen Goff

STATEWIDE PARENT ADVOCACY NETWORK
SPAN provides support and technical assistance to Bergen County families impacted by Superstorm Sandy who have children with disabilities. SPAN offers parent-to-parent emotional support, “wrap-around“ supports, special education guidance, special child-health case management referrals, and parent training and information. They can also link families to community resources. SPAN staff can be reached at the Bergen hip office at ext. 17 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
COMMUNITY HEALTH LAW PROJECT
CHLP provides legal, advocacy, and case management services to people affected by Superstorm Sandy. CHLP may be able to help with issues related to FEMA assistance; property tax appeals; emergency, rental, medical, and general assistance; accessibility issues; applications for housing subsidies, and grant applications, including the Sandy Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program (SHRAP). They can be reached at the Bergen hip office at ext. 25 on Wednesdays.
 
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  Late News...
  
 At press time, Kathy Wood had just announced her retirement as Hudson director after 23 years with hip. Marily Gonzalez-Vazquez will succeed her. Watch for the story in the next hipNews.
 
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  The Calendar Raffle is Back!
  
 The Calendar Raffle is coming back this summer to hip! It’s time to take a chance to win money and support our agency at the same time. The Sassy Sixties Calendar Raffle (in keeping with the theme of our upcoming dinner dance) is under way and the fun starts now! And all for $20! (Or for as many $20 musical notes as you can handle!)
Each weekday during June, July, and August, a winning ticket (aka “musical note”) will be selected at random. You have 65 different chances to win a prize – with just one $20 ticket! Best of all, the more tickets you buy, the more chances you have to win!
MORE THAN ONE CHANCE TO WIN
A different cash prize is designated for each day marked on the calendar. And here’s the best part: Even if you win, your ticket is re-entered into the raffle for more chances to win again! Several people can share a $20 ticket as long as all their names are included on the reply form. After the winners receive their prizes, the remaining proceeds of the Sassy Sixties Calendar Raffle will support the Independent Living services and advocacy efforts that hip provides to the community.
How to get into the game? You may have received a calendar raffle ticket in the mail. If not, or to obtain more, call Jayne Gugenheim at Bergen hip, ext. 26, or e-mail her at jgugenheim.ber@hipcil.org, noting “Sassy Sixties Calendar Raffle” in the subject line. She will be delighted to send a ticket (or as many tickets as you would like!) right out to you. Keep the calendar printed on page 11 to follow the daily prizes.
Don’t wait – buy your ticket (s) now! The reply portion of the ticket must be returned to hip by Friday, May 30th. Names of winning ticket holders will be posted every Tuesday on our website, www.hipcil.org, by 10 a.m. Winners will also be notified by mail.
Lots of luck! We hope the musical notes will play a happy tune for you!
 
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  We Mourn...
  
 Elaine Buckwald, cousin of Eileen Goff. Ms. Buckwald, who lived in Florida, was a longtime member and supporter of hip.
 
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  Join Us for a Late Spring Lunch!
  
 Join hip friends on June 3rd from 1-3pm at Main Dish Restaurant, Main Street, Hackensack. This will be another festive luncheon party, with delicious food and the fun of socializing with friends. Come celebrate the last days of the spring season with us. Watch for your flyer in early May, and call Trisha at Bergen hip, ext. 10, to reserve a seat!
 
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  AVL Support Groups Update
  
 If you have vision loss or know someone who does, could you benefit from meeting others in similar situations and gain knowledge and support through hearing their experiences? Perhaps one of the groups below can help. Each month the meetings are filled with resourceful information, as well as what’s new in technology. Well-informed guest speakers are often part of the programs.
JOIN A SUPPORT GROUP
Visions Peer Support Group – Join this lively group in Fort Lee on the third Tuesday of each month. 10 a.m. – Noon. Upcoming Dates: May 20 and June 17.
Pascack Valley Low Vision Peer Support Group – Meets on the third Wednesday of each month in Washington Township, 10 a.m. – Noon. Upcoming Dates: May 21 and June 18.
Focus on Eyes Peer Support Group for People with Vision Loss – Fair Lawn area participants meet on the first Tuesday of each month, 10 a.m. – Noon. Upcoming Dates: May 6 and June 3.
For more information, as well as meeting places and directions, call Trisha Ebel at Bergen hip, ext. 10.
The Young Adult Peer Telephone Group is Back – If you are a person with vision loss between the ages of 21 and 40, then today is your lucky day. hip’s young adult peer telephone group will convene on the last Tuesday evening of each month. This informative and resourceful conference call promises to be lively and filled with useful information! April 29, May 27, June 24. PHONE IN AND FIND OUT! To link in, call Trisha Ebel at the Bergen office, ext.10.
 
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  Our New Journey's Beefsteak Dinner
  
 Friday June 6, 2014
7 – 11 pm
VFW Post #4591
500 Veterans Place
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604

$45 per person; $30 for children under 12
INCLUDES 4-COURSE DINNER, BEER, WINE & SODA
TRICKY TRAY, 50/50, ENTERTAINMENT & MORE

Proceeds will benefit Our New Journey’s programs
to assist families in crisis.
Music courtesy of “Into The Decades” by DJ Enrico
For information about Our New Journey
and to purchase tickets, contact
Anne Ciavaglia McMahon at 201-288-2867 or
email anne@ournewjourney.org, or
mail your check payable to
Our New Journey
180 Oldfield Avenue,
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604
A PROJECT OF HEIGHTENED INDEPENDENCE AND PROGRESS (hip)
 
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  It’s All About Work!
  
 hip’s transition program for youth, “It’s All About Work,” is currently delivering interactive workshops for sophomores, juniors, and seniors at high schools in New Milford, Ridgefield, and Tenafly, and at Community Steps to Independence, located in Cresskill. Students have been eager to learn how to develop social skills to enhance their ability to interact with peers and to participate in the social environment of the workplace. They are practicing self-determination skills and learning how this helps them gain a greater ability to take control of their lives and become successful adults.
The students are learning how transition planning is a process that they can use to help them decide their goals for the future and how to achieve those goals. They are exploring the four areas of transition planning relating to their personal lives, jobs and careers, education and training, and living on their own. Through the workshops, students are learning that in order to have more options as adults, they need to learn how to plan ahead and prepare for the transitions they will experience.
 
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  A Special Occasion for a Very Special Friend
  
 A Special Occasion for a Very Special Friend of hip
Joey Valenti celebrated his 50th birthday in a very big way at a surprise party at the Brownstone on March 8th. A huge smile lit Joey’s face throughout the evening as a great DJ and 70 family members and friends, including hip staff, surrounded him. Cheers to you, Joey!
 
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  hip hip Hooray!
  
 hip hip Hooray!
We’re happy to share the good news and send congratulations to members of the hip family for special events in their lives:
☼• Nita Salileng has become a United States citizen – a special hooray
for Nita!
☼• Ivis Alvarez, a member of the hip Advisory Board, and Alberto Trejo will be married on June 21st. All good wishes to the happy couple!
☼• Michelle Rebain has earned her 5-year Rhinestone pin for selling Fuller Brush, Co. cleaning supplies;
☼• Barbara Brave moved into her new apartment and is doing very well;
☼• Best wishes to Bergen hip staff member Jayne Gugenheim and her fiancé, Jason Jacobs, on their engagement! They plan to tie the knot in April 2015;
☼• Double congratulations to Tara Carty, a longtime hip friend who has become an active member since her move to Bergen County. Tara recently graduated from Caldwell College with honors, and is also a newlywed. Father Jim Warnke, another hip longtime friend, officiated at Tara’s marriage to Dan Facchini. The couple now reside in Rutherford.
 
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  Bergen County Transition Fair 2014
  
 Bergen County Transition Fair 2014 Set for May 7th: All Families Are Invited!
The Bergen County School Districts of Regions I, II, III, V, and VI; also South Bergen Jointure Commission; Bergen County Special Services, and the Bergen County Workforce Investment Board will sponsor a county-wide Transition Fair on Wednesday, May 7th, from 6 – 9 p.m. at Hackensack High School, 135 Beech Street.
The purpose of the Fair is to assist families in planning for their son’s or daughter’s future. All Bergen County
families are invited to attend, including students who are preparing to transition from school to adult life. Admission is free.
STATE AND COUNTY AGENCIES INVITED
Information on a wide variety of
post-secondary options will be available to assist students with all levels of disabilities as they consider their future. In attendance will be representatives from NJ state and county agencies, including DDD (Division of Developmental Disabilities), DVRS (Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services), Bergen County Office of Disability Services, Bergen County Workforce Center, and others.
Featured on the program:
• Workshops for parents and students
• Colleges and trade schools
• Supported employment and job training agencies
• Information on guardianships, wills, trusts
• Support agencies such as Access Link and hip
• Agencies that provide day programs, sheltered workshops, recreation, etc.
The more you know, the better you and your child can prepare for the future.
If you have any questions or need special accommodations, contact Region V at 201-599-0585, ext. 11.
 
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  Staying Fit While You Sit!!
  
 Chair yoga is an enjoyable and safe way to stay fit. Bergen hip members will try it out at their spring meeting, Wednesday evening, April 30th at the Ciarco Learning Center, Hackensack. The presenter, Maria Thornhill, manages the Fitness & Wellness Program at Hackensack University Medical Center. She will demonstrate various techniques to help maintain or increase strength and mobility. Promoting balance, flexibility and confidence are also some of the possible benefits. Yoga has positive effects on physical and mental health in addition to being lots of fun! All enrolled are looking forward to learning how to keep healthy and fit and to enjoying a light supper with friends.
 
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  Hudson hip Welcomes 2 New Staff Members
  
 Marianne Perez joined hip in February as the Comprehensive Independent Living Support (CILS) care manager. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from the University of Central Florida and is studying for her MSW. While in college, Marianne worked with homeless people as a residential assistant and case management intern in a transitional housing center. She created an activity group for the residents to encourage them to come out of their rooms and socialize with one another and to feel productive during their stay.
Marianne has worked with populations as diverse as people with mental illness in a mental health clinic, Cuban and Middle East refugees with the International Rescue Committee, and special needs students in the New Jersey elementary school system. She is certified in CPR and Basic First Aid and is fluent in Spanish. In her spare time, Marianne is a movie buff who enjoys traveling and really loves dogs.
Maggie Redden, Hudson hip’s new Independent Living Transition Coordinator, is also an interpretation associate at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Administration at Saint Peter’s University. Maggie also interns with the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, working in conjunction with the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women. She holds the title of Ms. Wheelchair NJ 2013, and finished as third runner-up in the Ms. Wheelchair America 2014 pageant.
Born in India, Maggie came to the US as a young child. To learn more about her country of origin, she spent the year 2012 working in Kolkata, India, at Shishur Sevay, a home for orphan girls, some with significant disabilities. Maggie graduated from Penn State in 2007 with a degree in communications, having worked in the university’s athletic communications office. An avid athlete herself, she competed in track as a member of Team USA at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. In her spare time, she enjoys promoting athletics for individuals with disabilities, volunteering, and taking Zumba classes.
 
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  hudson hip happenings
  
 A first!! The Hudson hip Arts Show is about to happen! Do you have artistic talent that you would like to share? If you draw, paint, sculpt, write, do crafts, or recite poetry, and would like the opportunity to showcase your talent while helping to promote the programs and services of hip, plan to participate in the Hudson hip Arts Show, Saturday, May 31st and Sunday, June 1st at the Secaucus Public Library, 179 Paterson Plank Road. For more information call the Hudson hip office.
Hudson hip will welcome Milda Rosa, community educator from New Jersey Citizen Action, on May 12th, to discuss personal financial management issues and techniques. The meeting, from 11:30 to 1:30 at the Hudson hip office, is open to all.
 
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  New Roles for Maria Perez
  
 Maria Perez has taken on several new responsibilities at the Bergen hip office. In addition to assuming the role of Hispanic Outreach coordinator, Maria is spending a great deal of her time assisting consumers to apply for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, as well as re-certification for housing, Medicaid, and much more. Thursday interviews for Access Link eligibility have been added to her regular Tuesday schedule. Maria continues to manage her usual programs, including Special Needs Assistance (SNAP), Modification Access (MAP), and the Ruprecht Fund for the Polio Network of New Jersey. As busy as she is, Maria always takes time to help others in whatever ways she can. To make an appointment with Maria, call her at the Bergen office, ext.18.
 
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  CURTAIN UP!!
  
 CURTAIN UP!! Accessible Theater On the Rise in New Jersey & New York
by Kathy Wood

Congratulations! We’ve just gotten through one of the coldest and snowiest winters on record. Now it’s time for a reward. We who reside in northern New Jersey have the good fortune of living close to some of the finest theater offerings in the world. Many performances are accessible for people with disabilities.
Described below are several programs designed to enhance theater access, but be sure to check out other options in your neighborhood such as community theater and college-based performing arts groups.
The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJ PAC) in Newark provides wheelchair seating, large print programs, assistive listening devices and sign language interpretation for select performances. For information call 1-888-466-5722.
The Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood provides accessible seating and assistive listening devices. For information call 201-227-1030.
Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn provides wheelchair seating, sign language interpretation, open captioned performances, assistive listening devices, braille and large print programs, and sensory seminars. For information call 973-379-3636.
The Theater Development Fund Theater Access Project (TAP) provides discount tickets by mail for Broadway and off-Broadway performances. TAP also provides accessible seating, audio description at select performances, sign language interpretation, and/or open captioning at select performances. For information about membership, call 212-912-9770.
Another exciting program of the Theater Development Fund (TDF) is the Autism Theater Initiative (ATI) which affords individuals with autism and their families the opportunity to experience live theater, which is modified to meet the needs of individuals on the autism spectrum. For information about ATI membership and upcoming performances, go to www.tdf.org.
If movies are more your style, many theaters provide accessible seating, closed captioning, and audio description. For a list of accessible theaters and showings, visit the website of the National Center for Accessible Media at www.ncam.wgbh.org/mopix.
 
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