hipnews Spring 2015 Edition
 
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Nationwide Plans to Celebrate
Community Health Law Project
Support Coordination Update
Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
Special Thanks . . .
hip hip Hooray
Celebrating the ADA!
“People First” Seeks to Enlist New Volunteers
“It’s All About Work” Preparing More Students
A Salute to a Special Friend of hip
hip Programs in Bergen and Hudson Counties
We Mourn . . .
The Calendar Raffle is Back!
Member Update
Ridgewood’s Graydon Pool Accessibility Project
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- hipnews Spring 2015 Edition Text Version -


  Nationwide Plans to Celebrate
  
 Nationwide, Plans to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act are Gaining Momentum

by Eileen Goff, hip President/CEO

July 26, 1990 was a historic day – it marked an unprecedented milestone in the long struggle to win civil rights for people with disabilities in America. The new law, known familiarly as the ADA, signed on that day on the White House lawn by President George H.W. Bush, did not spring up overnight – it came after years of lobbying, testifying, active protesting – by many pioneers in the struggle. A large number of these men and women, as well as their able-bodied advocates and friends, were there to join in the first celebration on that sunny afternoon.
Now, in 2015, we have many reasons to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of this landmark legislation. Throughout the country, observances have already begun or are in the planning stages, including at Heightened Independence and Progress. Details about our agency’s events will be forthcoming in the months ahead. In the meantime, there is much for us all to learn about both the accomplishments and the work yet to be done for full implementation of the ADA. It could be said that the ADA is a “work in progress,” since many of its gains have been hard-won, often challenged by the status quo, and not always successful.
Too many people with disabilities may not even know the full extent of the law’s provisions. A remedy? The Internet is a vast resource for learning, filled with information in easily readable articles and documents, most of which are fully accessible to all readers, about the history of the ADA, its progress, and the people who have made a difference. A worthy goal would be for all of us to approach our July celebrations with much more knowledge about the ADA than we now have and a pledge to do our part to keep up the momentum!
 
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  Community Health Law Project
  
 Community Health Law Project: Free Representation Possible

The Community Health Law Project (CHLP) offers free representation only to individuals whose income is no greater than 175% of the Federal Poverty Level. Under the new program, CHLP may represent people living with disabilities with incomes of up to 325% of the FPL. Thus, an individual with income up to $38,200 and a family of four with an income of about $80,000 with no more than $100,00 in assets, excluding the value of their home and certain personal property, can receive representation.
The sliding scale used by CHLP is from $125 to $175 an hour depending on income, plus filing fees and other litigation expenses. Some matters could be charged only a flat fee, like a simple will or advanced directive. Some of the cases handled for people living with disabilities and their families would include areas such as special education, Social Security, simple special needs trusts, health insurer’s denial of coverage or services, guardianships, expungements, name changes, wills, living wills, powers of attorney, fair housing and ADA issues, and certain other civil matters.
HOW TO LEARN MORE:
Contact the office near you.
North Jersey – 973-680-1488;
East Jersey – 908-355-8282;
Shore – 732-380-1012;
Central Jersey – 609-392-5553;
South Jersey – 856-858-9545.
 
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  Support Coordination Update
  
 As an approved Support Coordination agency, hip has assigned support coordinators to provide case management services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are eligible for Medicaid and meet the requirements of DDD. Support coordinators are responsible for utilizing a person-centered planning process to identify outcomes, planning goals, and support needs, and to develop and maintain the Individualized Service Plan (ISP). In addition, the support coordinator helps the individual and his or her family locate services that best meet individual needs and preferences. The support coordinator also conducts ongoing monitoring of the provision of services included in the Individualized Service Plan. As DDD continues to transition more of its consumers into the Supports program, the number of individuals and families that hip serves will continue to grow in 2015.
 
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  Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
  
 Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs

Individuals who are eligible for Medicare are also eligible for Medicare prescription drug coverage. Some people with limited resources and income may also be able to get Extra Help to pay for the costs of prescription co-payments, monthly premiums and annual deductibles, related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. However, you must be enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) plan to get this extra help. The Extra Help Medicare program is estimated to save individuals up to $4,000 per year in prescription out-of-pocket expenses. Many people qualify for these important savings and don’t even know it.
To qualify for Extra Help, you must reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia;
• Your annual income must be limited to $17,655 ($1471 monthly) for an individual or $23,895 ($1990 monthly) for a married couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you still may be able to receive some help toward prescription cost.
• Your resources must be limited to $13,640 for an individual or $27,250 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks and bonds. Social Security does not count your home, car, or any life insurance policy as resources; and even if you are currently receiving assistance through Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled Program (PAAD), this program may provide additional financial assistance. To apply or for more information, contact SSA at 1-800-772-1213 or visit: http://www.ssa.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp/
 
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  Special Thanks . . .
  
 to the following generous donors to hip for their contributions in recent months:
Adele Cannie
Mike Cook
Lois Frank
Fund for the New Jersey Blind
 
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  hip hip Hooray
  
 We congratulate Trisha Ebel – new President of the Guide Dog Division of the National Federation of the Blind and Darrell Bethea for his honor from the State of New Jersey (see story opposite).
 
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  Celebrating the ADA!
  
 The Bergen hip spring member meeting was scheduled as the kick-off event in hip’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Alma Yee, managing attorney for the Community Health Law Project, was invited to be the guest speaker for the April 16th meeting at the Ciarco Learning Center in Hackensack. Ms. Yee was asked to focus on how the ADA has positively impacted the disability community, followed by a discussion of how we can all continue to build on the achievements and impact of the ADA.
 
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  “People First” Seeks to Enlist New Volunteers
  
 “People First” Seeks to Enlist New Advocacy Volunteers and Partners

“People First” is the new name for the “Monday Morning” groups of the New Jersey Council of Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD). Locally, the Bergen Regional Advocacy Network (BRAN) will adopt the new name. This group’s philosophy is that all people with disabilities are fully capable of taking ownership of their advocacy goals and should work to become as independent as possible by setting their own agendas and maintaining a network of volunteers and partners.
The NJCDD thought “People First” would be a good fit for New Jersey’s advocates. The Council is calling on members of the former Monday Morning chapters and graduates of the Youth Leadership and Partners in Policymaking programs to help establish “People First” groups in their area.
Michael Augustowicz, hip’s advocate and Bergen County’s “People First”
facilitator, anticipates being even busier as “People First New Jersey” grows. The Council will hold various trainings to help members learn effective advocacy in their communities and counties. Jaymes Brill, assistant coordinator of “People First,” said, “We want to have solid ground in each county with an annual get-together of leadership. Then we can move to doing things on a state level.”
Michael said his group has never stopped advocating. “We don’t take no
for an answer. We make sure that people are doing what needs to be done. We try to make the members realize that what they do is both for themselves and for everyone. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at Bergen hip from 11 am to 1 pm Come to a meeting and see what it's all about!”
 
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  “It’s All About Work” Preparing More Students
  
 “It’s All About Work” Preparing More Students to be Successful Working Adults

by Pat Rodriquez, IL Transition Coordinator, Bergen

“It’s All About Work,” hip’s program for transitioning high school students with disabilities, is currently holding sessions at Community Steps to Independence, Dumont High School, and Teaneck High School. With the newest addition of two groups at Hackensack High School, the program continues to flourish. The students and young adults participating in the program are setting career goals and planning for their future.
Students are developing social skills to enhance their ability to interact with peers and to participate in the social environments of the workplace. They are practicing self-determination skills, which will help them gain a greater ability to take control of their lives and assume the roles of successful working adults. With graduation approaching, we look forward to sending them off prepared for the journey ahead
Another component of the program involves young adults referred to the program by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. They focus on building resumes, conducting job searches, and on interviewing skills.
 
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  A Salute to a Special Friend of hip
  
 How wonderful it was to be present when the NJ State Senate saluted Darrell Bethea on March 16th. Darrell was acknowledged for the service he has provided at the NJ Statehouse through his refreshment service/news stand for the past 15 years. Several senators, including Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg gave accolades about Darrell in the presence of the full Senate as colleagues, friends, and family surrounded him.
Darrell first became involved with hip in 1981, when he was in need of some assistance, and then, as time went on, he became a significant benefactor of our CILs. He was an honoree at hip’s 25th anniversary celebration. Darrell, his wife Tamiko, and their sons are always present at our summer picnics and holiday parties, now traveling from their central Jersey home.
Darrell, all of us at hip join with the NJ Senate in saluting you for the wonderful person you are. – Eileen Goff
 
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  hip Programs in Bergen and Hudson Counties
  
 hip Programs in Bergen and Hudson Counties Can Enhance Many Lives
The lives of many people can be enhanced with a modification to their home or with assistive equipment. Would a modification to your home (a stair-glide, ramp or bathroom update, for example) make your day-to-day life easier? Would an air conditioner, related to your disability issues, be a needed addition to your home this coming summer?
Here at hip, we have financial assistance programs to make these modifications and assistive devices available at a lower cost (and sometimes at no cost) to you! In Bergen, these programs are called MAP (Modification Access Project) and SNAP (Special Needs Assistance Program). In Hudson, SAIL and SENIOR SAIL (Special Assistance for Independent Living) are the programs in place.
For information on eligibility and how to apply, in the Bergen office, call Maria Perez at ext. 10, and in Hudson, call Angela Arboleda.
 
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  We Mourn . . .
  
 the passing of Ilse Heller and Anthony Tobia, both outstanding long-term members of hip, who enjoyed attending many of our meetings and special events.
 
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  The Calendar Raffle is Back!
  
 “66 Sunny Days of Summer” is This Year’s Theme

For the third year in a row, the Calendar Raffle is back at hip – and this year, with an extra prize! It’s time to take a chance to win money and support our agency at the same time. The “66 Sunny Days of Summer Calendar Raffle” is under way and the fun starts now! And all for $20 a ticket!
Each weekday during June, July, and August, a winning ticket will be selected at random. You have 66 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!
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 “66 Sunny Days of Summer” 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 “Calendar Raffle Tickets” 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 5 to follow the daily prizes. The grand prize is $200!
Don’t wait – buy your ticket(s) now! The reply portion of the ticket must be returned to hip by Friday, May 29th. 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 you have a winning ticket and a sunny summer!
 
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  Member Update
  
 We welcome the following new and renewing members of hip:
Walter Bartolomucci, Jr. • Nancy, Frank & Stephen Kidd
Annie Been • the McCarthy Family
Jim Corbett • Chris Paraskevacos
Myrtle Green • Nita Salileng
Walter T. Jablonski • Cindy Zirkin
 
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  Ridgewood’s Graydon Pool Accessibility Project
  
 Ridgewood’s Graydon Pool Accessibility Project Honored

The Village of Ridgewood has been recognized by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Public Works Association for its efforts to improve handicapped access at the Graydon Pool. The village was singled out late in 2014 at the League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City for its installation of a sloped ramp at the natural swimming hole. Before the Village Council approved the ramp work a little more than a year ago, several residents vocally opposed the project, which was partially funded by a $35,000 state grant.
The American Public Works Association, an organization serving professionals in all aspects of public works, presented the village with a plaque, designating the ramp’s installation as “the public works project of the year.” The award was accepted by several village officials, including Mayor Paul Aronsohn, a member of the hip Board of Trustees, and Ridgewood’s engineer, Chris Rutishauser.
 
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