hipnews Fall 2014 Edition
 
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Annual Meeting to Feature Scott Chesney
THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AND COUNTING!!
Save the Date!
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
We Mourn...
Community Voter Registration Drive A Success
Full Voting Accessibility to be Tested
The Brief Bank Meets a Basic Human Need
Meeting the Ice Bucket Challenge...
Hudson hip Partners with Saint Peter’s University
2014 Calendar Raffle – A Success!
Support Coordination Enrollment Rising
Member Update
Hudson hip Welcomes New Staff Members
Parallel Competitors In An Unparallel World
A Thousand Thanks
Autism Awareness Will Help to Meet Increasing Need
The Autism CARES Act of 2014
It’s All About Work
Access Link – Did You Know?
All About Independent Living Meeting
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  Annual Meeting to Feature Scott Chesney
  
 Annual Meeting to Feature Scott Chesney
as Major Speaker on November 18th

Scott Chesney, a two-time world traveler and a navigator of life with paralysis for over two decades, will be the featured speaker at hip’s Annual Meeting, Tuesday, November 18th, at the Ridgefield Community Center. The evening’s program gets under way at 7 p.m. with a light supper and socializing in the welcoming environment we have come to enjoy for the past several years. All are welcome and urged to sign up early, especially if transportation is needed.
Scott Chesney has presented to over one million people in 38 countries. In the years since he awakened to paralysis at age 15 from a sudden spinal stroke, Scott has amassed a resume of transformational experiences, powerful insights, and inspiring stories that cut to the core of the human spirit. He has become a nationally and internationally recognized workshop and keynote presenter, and his positive and inspiring messages have changed countless lives.
Realizing that his audience members wanted more personal guidance after his presentations, Scott became a professional life coach. He combines transformational techniques and strategies that he learned from his world travels and continues to practice himself today to help people create personal blueprints for navigating life happily and successfully. As a person who skydives, walks on hot coals on his hands, para-sails, and continues to engage in many other adventures around the world, Scott prides himself on living life to its fullest and encourages and trains audiences and clients to do the same.
We’re pleased to have engaged a speaker who has so much to offer our audience and we look forward to an exciting evening. Also on the agenda will be an update of hip’s activities from CEO Eileen Goff, socializing with Bergen and Hudson staff and friends, and the election and re-election of hip Board members and officers. Be there!!!!
 
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  THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AND COUNTING!!
  
 Dear hipNews Reader,
On September 30th, hip completed another year of providing independent living services to the disability community in Bergen and Hudson Counties and beyond. October 1st began our new fiscal year, and my professional, dedicated co-workers’ efforts continue to enhance the lives of our consumers. We at the Bergen and Hudson Centers for Independent Living are here as resources for people with disabilities, their families and friends, and the community at large. Don’t hesitate to approach us if you have a disability-related challenge in your life – we are here for you.
—Eileen Goff, President/CEO
 
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  Save the Date!
  
 hip’s always-festive Holiday Party will take place this year on Sunday, December 14th at the DoubleTree Hotel, Fort Lee, from Noon to 4 p.m. Come one, come all, with bells on, to launch the holiday season! Invitations are out there – sign up now!
 
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  Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  
 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Promises More Equitable Pay for Workers with Disabilities
by Bob Haugh, Project Coordinator
New Jersey Office of Special Education

July 22, 2014: The transition from school to work for students with disabilities will undergo sweeping changes under a bill President Barack Obama signed into law Tuesday. The measure, known as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, significantly limits placements at sheltered workshops and other work environments where people with disabilities earn less than minimum wage.
Under the new law, individuals with disabilities age 24 and younger will no longer be allowed to work for less than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour unless they first receive pre-employment transition services at school and try vocational rehabilitation services.
The measure also mandates that state vocational rehabilitation agencies work with schools to provide transition services to all students with disabilities and requires that the agencies allocate at least 15 percent of their federal funding toward such transition efforts.
“As we approach the 24th anniversary of the ADA, this bill takes new steps to support Americans with disabilities who want to live and work independently,” Obama said in signing the legislation, which provides a broad update to the nation’s workforce system that took years to come to fruition.
The updated rules specific to what’s known as subminimum wage will take effect two years after the law’s enactment. Though requiring that most young people try
competitive employment before working for less than minimum wage, there are exceptions for those who are deemed ineligible for vocational rehabilitation and to allow
individuals already earning less than the federal minimum to continue in their jobs.
In cases where individuals with
disabilities do earn less than minimum wage, the measure requires that they periodically be provided career counseling by their state and are informed about other work
opportunities. Aside from changes to employment opportunities for people with disabilities, the new law also shifts responsibility for some disability and independent living program functions from the U.S. Department of Education to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
 
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  We Mourn...
  
 George Dyer, long-time hip member, known for his charm, talent, and upbeat personality. A tireless volunteer entertainer and Civil War scholar, George died on October 18th.
Helen Markowitz, 92, longtime hip member and founder in the early 90s of the low vision peer support group, Focus on Eyes, who passed away late in September. At hip, Helen has been described as “one candle lighting another,” inspiring and strengthening the lives of others who have vision loss.
Molly Epstein, mother of longtime hip member, Austin Epstein, after a long illness.
Special condolences to Ralph Vazquez and Marily Gonzalez-Vazquez, Hudson hip director, and to their families, on the sad loss of Ralph’s father and brother within days of each other, in September.
 
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  Community Voter Registration Drive A Success
  
 A Community Voter Registration drive was led by hip’s Advocate, Michael Augustowicz, at Bergen Regional Medical Center on September 23rd. Staff, residents, and community members joined in. By the end of the day, 77 new voters were registered, making the drive a great success!
 
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  Full Voting Accessibility to be Tested
  
 Full Voting Accessibility to be Tested November 4th
While the number of inaccessible polling places in Bergen and Hudson Counties has significantly declined over the last few years, there are several polling places that are still not accessible. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was signed into law on October 29, 2002, with several goals: to replace punch card and lever-based voting systems, to create the Election Assistance Commission to assist in the administration of Federal elections, and to establish minimum election administration standards. With the full execution of HAVA and the decision not to allow any more waivers for polling places, the upcoming November 4th election promises to truly accommodate all Bergen and Hudson County voters.
Staff members from the Bergen County Board of Elections were scheduled to demonstrate and explain the accessible features of new voting equipment on October 23rd at the Bergen hip office to persons whose disability makes it difficult to use the standard voting machine.
 
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  The Brief Bank Meets a Basic Human Need
  
 The Adult Care Brief Bank collects and distributes absorbent products to those in need. Access to these items is a “basic human need” which allows senior adults to remain mobile, social, and productive.
For more information, contact Marlene Ceragno, “The Brief Babe,” by calling 201-725-8928 or at mceragno@gmail.com.
 
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  Meeting the Ice Bucket Challenge...
  
 Never one to flinch from a daring challenge, especially in support of a worthy cause, hip’s intrepid Paula Walsh gave her all on August 22nd outside the Bergen CIL on Main Street, Hackensack. This mission required, as readers can see, a total cover-up (pun intended), wheelchair and all. Paula was quoted as hoping that her courageous act would inspire others to make contributions not only to ALS research, but also to hip. Way to go, Paula!!!! Brrrrrrrrrrr!
 
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  Hudson hip Partners with Saint Peter’s University
  
 Hudson hip Partners with Saint Peter’s University for “Diversity Integration with Dignity”

“Diversity Integration with Dignity,” a joint presentation by Hudson hip and St. Peter’s University, took place on the university campus in Jersey City, with a session for students and faculty in the afternoon of October 2nd and one at 6 p.m. for the Hudson County community. Sponsored by the university’s Department of Political Science and the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership, this marked the first time our Hudson CIL has collaborated with Saint Peter’s on community outreach efforts. The program’s goal was to increase awareness about living with a disability in today’s society through an in-depth look at the history of the disability rights movement. The presentation highlighted the struggles individuals with disabilities faced early on, the progress made through the decades, and the challenges still faced today. Each session featured a question and answer session that launched a lively conversation about disability awareness.
Maggie Redden, Hudson hip’s transition coordinator, worked with the university to make “Diversity Integration with Dignity” happen and was the keynoter, speaking as an individual living with a disability. The event was very successful with over 75 attendees. hip and Saint Peter’s have established a very good relationship and hope to collaborate on future events and programs.
 
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  2014 Calendar Raffle – A Success!
  
 hip’s “summer of musical notes” has come to an end! We hope visitors to the hip website had as much fun as we did watching the list of winners grow each week and seeing many of our hip friends and family receive cash prizes! hip netted over $5,500. Thanks to everyone who supported our effort and congratulations again to all our winners! Six were two-time winners, 10 were out-of-state winners from New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and our Grand Prize winner, Yesenia Alfonso, also won twice! Congratulations, Yesenia!
Other winners:
Betty Anne Bannon
Joan Bermingham
Heather Broad
Jeanne Carney
Patrick Carney
Carlos Castelblanco
Barbara Conklin
Aidan Cook
Brennan Cook
Gaynell Crismale
Martha DeYoung
Barbara Dublin
Dan Facchini
Marla Facchini
Rich Fanelli
Joyce Fannin
Norma Feinberg
John E. Fox
Mindy Geliebter (2)
Merna Georges
Joyce Griffin
Mary Jo Hackett
Nancy Hanrahan
Pat Haug
Rose Hill
Rick Hodgman
Naomi Huebner
Patricia Iarkowski
William Kalkut

Stephen Kidd
David Liebman
Linda Lyons
Fran Meyer
Joseph Molee (2)
Lucy Montalvo
Kelly Nave
Elsie O’Neill
Wanda Parrot-Osario (2)
Patricia Perez
Mark & Linda Perlman
Lillian Rand
Diane Schulthes
Barbara Seid
Alanna Staton
Shari Stengel (2)
Beth Stuhlman
Joan Swain (2)
Eileen Trost
Joyce Ullrich
Luis Vaca
George Valavanis
Michal Lynn Venetz
Rita Vovra
Bobbi Wailes
Larry Walsh
Marvin Weinstein
Louise Wood
Alma Yee
 
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  Support Coordination Enrollment Rising
  
 Support Coordination Enrollment Rising for DD Individuals and Families

By early October, 21 individuals who are eligible for Support Coordination services have requested hip to be their Support Coordination team. This is great news! We look forward to working with these individuals and their families to assist in developing an individualized service plan and linking them to appropriate services. Participants will be enrolled with employment and day programs. We welcome all DDD-eligible individuals over the age of 21 (on Medicaid) to choose hip for Support Coordination! For more information, contact Paula Walsh at the Bergen hip office or Marily Gonzalez-Vazquez at the Hudson office.
 
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  Member Update
  
 We welcome the following new members of hip:
Gloria Lieberstein, our newest Life Member;
also
Montrose Debrix III & Drucilla O. Robinson
Myrtha Huster
Thomas Rzecinski
Jo Ann Struzienski
Trey Walker & Family
 
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  Hudson hip Welcomes New Staff Members
  
 Angela Arboleda
joined the Hudson hip staff in July as the Comprehensive Independent Living Support (CILS) case manager. Angela earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from Rutgers University and has plans to pursue her MSW degree. During college, she interned in Kearny public schools, working alongside the child study team providing social services to students transitioning to adult life. That particular internship reinforced her decision to pursue a career in social service.
In her spare time, Angela and her family organize food and clothing drives for needy children and families in her parents’ native country of Peru. Angela hopes to start an organization with her friends someday that will assist these needy families. In the meantime, she enjoys cooking, baking, and trying out new recipes.
Jennifer Pimentel
joined the Hudson hip staff in July as the Independent Living Services Program case manager. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Rutgers University. During her time at Rutgers, she worked as a community assistant for three years, providing supplemental support to Residence Life staff and helping maintain a secure environment for resident students. She served as a tutor for elementary and middle school students in New Brunswick through the Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB). Upon graduation, Jennifer began work as a service coordinator with the New York City Early Intervention Program, assisting families of children with developmental disabilities to navigate and obtain services through the Early Intervention system. A resident of Union City, Jennifer enjoys traveling, exploring NYC, and spending time with family.
 
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  Parallel Competitors In An Unparallel World
  
 Parallel Competitors
In An Unparallel World
by Maggie Redden
Hudson IL Transition Coordinator
This is it. Years of training, sacrifices made, pain, sweat, tears, and battle scars all on the line. Was it really worth it? Yes, because after all, I was an athlete. As all athletes know, it’s what we do. We put ourselves on the line, the starting line. My heart pounding and arms quivering from the nerves I was trying to suppress, I took a deep breath. I was surrounded by 90,000 people, but heard nothing. Ahead of me were 200 meters of track that just happened to be on the world’s biggest stage. Ten years of my life came down to a race that lasted only 34 seconds.
It was a blur. Arms pumping, I propelled myself ahead and just when I thought I was going to burst, I crossed the finish line. I snapped back into reality and heard the cheers of a packed Bird’s Nest Stadium. I accomplished what I came to do. I competed and represented my country at one of the greatest international events that the world is just discovering.
Everyone knows the Olympics, but when I say “Paralympics,” people often try to correct me by asking if I meant to say the Special Olympics. No. I don’t mean the Special Olympics, I mean the Paralympics.
The Paralympic Games are a multi-sport event showcasing the abilities of the world’s most elite athletes with physical or visual disabilities. They are held every two years (summer and winter) after the Olympics and are in the same venues. In essence, they are “parallel” or equal to the Olympics themselves: 3,951 athletes from all over the globe competed in China, including myself.
Educating the public on what the Paralympic Games really are continues to be an upward battle. What makes us different from Michael Phelps? Are we not good enough? Strong enough? Or is it because the world does not view us as elite athletes? We’re different, but only to the eye. Sure, some of us play volleyball while sitting on the ground, others play wheelchair basketball, and still more of us speed around the track in racing chairs, our feet never touching the ground. At the heart of Paralympic athletes are hardcore competitors, striving to be the best against the world’s best. Our fights to overcome obstacles in the face of adversity inspire us to train harder.
During the 2008 Paralympic Games, the events got two hours of late night coverage on Universal Sports for a week with a two-hour primetime recap on NBC some two months later. During the Olympics, network television increasingly bombards us with daily coverage that we can’t escape (and trust me, I’m a fan).
As I train for future athletic endeavors, whatever they may be, I can only hope that the perception and knowledge of the Paralympics changes and grows. I am happy to note that during the 2012 Olympics/Paralympics there was an increased presence of Paralympic athletes featured in sponsors’ commercials, but true equal acknowledgement is long overdue.
 
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  A Thousand Thanks
  
 A Thousand Thanks wouldn’t be enough to reward Rhea Hess, volunteer extraordinaire, for over 22,000 hours devoted to the advancement of hip and our activities, for close to 30 years!!! Thank you, Rhea!!!!
 
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  Autism Awareness Will Help to Meet Increasing Need
  
 Autism Awareness Will Help to Meet Increasing Needs
by Marily Gonzalez-Vazquez.
Director, Hudson hip
Although many people may not know it, New Jersey has the highest rate of children with autism in the United States – 1 in 45. The national rate is 1 in 68, an incredible increase of 30% from the previous 1-in-88 statistic. Autism affects children in many ways; no two children have the same difficulties or needs.
As someone with a loved one diagnosed with autism, I see the day-to-day struggles and social difficulties he endures. My cousin, Robert Anthony Vera, was diagnosed with autism at age seven. Long before that, we had observed his difficulties trying to meet milestones – he also displayed developmental delays. After much advocating with the assistance of Hudson hip, he finally began receiving the appropriate educational and support services he requires.
Although Anthony has limitations, he is able to acknowledge that he has needs different from other children. Now 11 years old, when asked about his disability, with a smile on his face, he replies, “I’m just special.” He struggles at times to fit in and has difficulty adjusting to new situations. In addition, he experiences difficulty performing activities of daily living. With the patience and daily support of his parents and older sisters, Zeneily and Julissa, he has been able to meet many of his goals. His family’s commitment to the Independent Living philosophy has strengthened his abilities. Anthony displays initiative and is not easily defeated. He teaches us that we are all unique individuals with something special to offer. With
support and encouragement, we all see a bright, productive future for Anthony.
hip has worked collaboratively with Autism New Jersey through the years, assisting consumers and families to obtain community services. Autism New Jersey is the largest statewide network of parents and professionals dedicated to improving the lives of people with autism. For more information, visit www.autismnj.org or contact hip.
 
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  The Autism CARES Act of 2014
  
 The Autism CARES Act of 2014
Known by several names, “The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2014,“ aka “The Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act of 2014” was signed into law by President Obama on August 8th. The new law amends the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize research, surveillance, and education activities related to autism spectrum disorders (autism), that are conducted by various agencies within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The law authorizes $1.3 billion in funding for fiscal years 2015-2019. The bill was introduced by New Jersey Representative Christopher Smith and passed in the United States House of Representatives during the 113th Congress.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a study showing that one in every 68 American children has autism. The law reauthorizes for five years existing federal autism research and assistance programs that would otherwise have expired on October 1st.
The law requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to assign a deputy charged with organizing and monitoring all federal research and autism services to ensure that they do not overlap and duplicate each other
Further information on H.R. 4631; Pub.L. 113–157 can be found online on Wikipedia.
 
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  It’s All About Work
  
 “It’s All About Work” Enhances Vocational Skills for Ambitious Job Seekers

In collaboration with the NJ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS), Bergen hip’s Independent Living Transition Coordinator, Pat Rodriguez, recently met one-on-one with numerous individuals who are interested in enhancing their vocational skills. Each participant attended a series of workshops where they explored how to identify work settings best suited for their individual abilities. They completed self-assessments, explored the options available to them based on their interests, matched their options with their self-assessments, and developed an action plan to reach their employment goals. After the sessions, the participants felt better prepared with the approaches they can use to obtain jobs. We look forward to working with additional job seekers this fall.
Another component of “It’s All About Work” takes place in Bergen and Hudson County high schools and provides valuable information to transitioning students.
 
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  Access Link – Did You Know?
  
 Access Link is a public transportation service developed to comply with the para-transit regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Access Link conforms to the NJ Transit local fixed-route bus system for people with disabilities who are unable to use the local fixed-route bus. To use Access Link, one must first apply for eligibility – and that’s where hip comes in! Staff at both the Bergen and Hudson hip offices work with Access Link to conduct eligibility interviews. As applicants await their rides home at the conclusion of their interviews, other staff frequently share information about additional helpful hip services. A number of applicants have become hip members and are enjoying being part of the hip family! To schedule an eligibility interview, call Access Link at 1-800-955-2321.
 
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  All About Independent Living Meeting
  
 “All About Independent Living,” Bergen Meeting Draws a Crowd
by Jayne Gugenheim
A record-breaking audience of over 50 hip members filled the meeting hall at Hackensack’s Ciarco Learning Center on October 9th for an evening called “All About Independent Living!” Members of the Bergen hip staff described the hip programs they conduct – everything from care management to assistive technology and much more. Volunteer activities were included. While the hip staff’s singing may need some work (you had to be there!), explaining their programs to an enthusiastic audience was top notch!
 
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