hipnews Fall 2015 Edition
 
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Maggie Redden to Speak at hip’s Annual Meeting
25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF ADA
You Won’t Want to Miss hip’s Annual Meeting
“Our New Journey” Holds Successful Fundraiser
We Mourn . . .
Hudson hip Welcomes New Staff Member
“Emily’s Oz” via Comcast’s Talking Guide
Get a Replacement Medicare Card
How to Detect Glaucoma Early
Emergency Preparedness
Welcome to hip!
Celebrating the ADA!
MTS Update
hip Takes First Place
Replaced by a “Burgerbot”? Don’t Let It Happen!
Job Club Formed
hip hip hooray!!!
hip Staff Picnic: A Summer Treat
Annual Calendar Raffle
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  Maggie Redden to Speak at hip’s Annual Meeting
  
 Maggie Redden, a senior case technician for the Social Security Administration and a longtime friend of hip, will be the featured speaker at hip’s Annual Meeting on November 18th at the Fort Lee Recreation Center. Her topic will be “Beyond A Disability,” and will focus on her life and her many accomplishments. Born in India, Maggie was adopted from an orphanage at the age of two by Patricia Redden, an American who has said that as soon as she heard about “this bright, energetic and resilient child who had survived polio,” she immediately said, “That’s my kid!”
As a champion performer in the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, Maggie made headlines and became well known to the disability community in our area. Athletics have been a prime interest for her since the age of five; “she is a certified scuba diver, disabled ski instructor, yoga devotee, and Zumba enthusiast,” according Lisa Rose, reporting in the NJ Star Ledger. (For the uninitiated, Zumba is a combined music/exercise program that is enjoying popularity recently among health enthusiasts, with and without disabilities.)
Maggie’s boundless energy and enthusiasm took her beyond wheelchair racing into the worlds of work and social concern. Armed with a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and a master’s degree in public policy from St Peter’s University in Jersey City, Maggie has worked on New York’s Committee on the Status of Women and for Hudson hip. We’re delighted to welcome Maggie back to hip as the principal speaker for our Annual Meeting.
 
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  25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF ADA
  
 Over 50 people gathered at the hip Bergen CIL on Wednesday, July 22nd to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After socializing and enjoying a tasty lunch, the presentations began. Eileen Goff, hip’s President/CEO, welcomed everyone and discussed the importance of the ADA and what we still need to work towards in the future. She asked for positive stories from the audience to share with the group. Many people volunteered their thoughts and experiences, including board members, several hip staff, and a few long-time and new consumers.
It was a fantastic day of celebration, and thanks to everyone who was able to join us!
 
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  You Won’t Want to Miss hip’s Annual Meeting
  
 Sign up now for what promises to be a most enjoyable and informative meeting of hip members, family, and friends on the evening of November 18th, starting at 7 p.m., at the Fort Lee Recreation Center. In addition to what will surely be a block-buster presentation by Maggie Redden, attendees will mingle for a social hour, enjoy a light supper, and learn about all the latest hip happenings from CEO Eileen Goff. The Hudson hip CIL is the official host, but staff members from both Bergen and Hudson will meet and greet attendees. Be sure not to miss this always very special event – you’ll be glad you did!
 
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  “Our New Journey” Holds Successful Fundraiser
  
 Raising money for “Our New Journey,” a program administered by hip that provides financial and practical help to families newly impacted by illness or disability, is an ongoing endeavor which was established in 2007. On Friday, October 2nd, a happy crowd gathered at the VFW in Hasbrouck Heights to feast on pizza, pasta, wings and more, and then it was time for even more fun! With an abundance of gifts and raffles, everyone had a great time choosing their most wanted prizes and cheering when their numbers got called.
“The success of this event is a direct result of the hard work of many volunteer friends and family. Without them, Our New Journey would not be able to give help and hope to families of older adults and people with disabilities,” said ONJ’s founder, Anne Ciavaglia McMahon. “Thank you to everyone for another great event!”
 
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  We Mourn . . .
  
 the passing of several friends of hip: Cornelius “Donald” Disch, in late June; Arnold Bartone, in September; and Ciro DiSclafani, in October.
John Nolasco died on October 20th at the premature age of 28. He had been involved with hip for more than a decade as the result of a spinal cord injury. He had a winning smile and loved watching the Dallas Cowboys play football. His mother Lydia (a hip volunteer) has been devoted to his needs through John’s challenging journey.
Special Note: Arne Landvik-Larsen died on July 1st following an extended illness. Arne was a hip member and the volunteer coordinator of Athletics for Blind Leisure Enthusiasts. ABLE, a former hip program, provided opportunities for year-round outdoor recreation for more than two decades. A wonderful man with a memorable smile who captured the hearts of everyone who knew him.
 
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  Hudson hip Welcomes New Staff Member
  
 Jarissa Flores joined the Hudson hip staff in April as a Support Coordination Program case manager. Jarissa earned a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology with a focus on family services from New Jersey City University. While in school, she interned as an assistant program director for the West New York Police Athletic League. The program provides community services to low income families, by providing a foundation and giving at-risk youth opportunities to succeed. In addition, she was able to start programs in French and lacrosse which were much appreciated by the young people and their families. A lifelong Hudson County resident, Jarissa found that this experience nurtured her desire to continue assisting her community. To achieve that goal, she plans to pursue study towards a master's degree in Social Work. An avid reader, she also enjoys spending leisure time with her family.
 
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  “Emily’s Oz” via Comcast’s Talking Guide
  
 by Marily Gonzalez-Vazquez
Director, Hudson hip

Celebrities collected their Oscars on February 22nd. However, what many of us will remember from this year’s Academy Awards had nothing to do with glitz and glam. Instead, Comcast took a note from the Super Bowl and caught viewers’ attention with a commercial featuring seven-year-old Emily. Emily, who was born blind, described what she imagines or “sees” when she watches her favorite movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” Professional artists then brought to life “Emily’s Oz.”
Comcast launched new voice guidance technology for individuals with visual impairments in December 2014. The “talking guide” feature enables people like Emily to “watch” television to a greater extent.
“Talking Guide,” featured on Xfinity, reads aloud program titles, network names, time slots and settings on DVR and OnDemand among other things. Individuals with visual impairments can now navigate television programming independently. Comcast is currently collaborating with organizations that provide services for the visually impaired to expand the “talking guide” feature.
Tom Wlodkowski, vice president of Audience, focuses on “the usability of the company’s products and services for people with disabilities.” Wlodkowski said that he and Comcast wanted to “create opportunities for people who love film and television, but who might not have the opportunity to experience it to its fullest. By bringing the talking guide to as many people as possible, we can help bridge the gap and make entertainment just as compelling, captivating and fun for people with a visual disability as it is for anyone else.”
Comcast hopes that the “Emily’s Oz” national campaign will spark conversation about how individuals with visual impairments experience entertainment. Comcast also recommends “Talking Guide” for anyone with reading disabilities or who struggles with English as a second language. To watch “Emily’s Oz” or for more information on “Talking Guide,” visit: http://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/news-feed/talkingguide.
 
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  Get a Replacement Medicare Card
  
 Get a Replacement Medicare Card on “My Social Security” site

From: David Vinokurov
District Manager – Trenton, NJ
Social Security Administration

If you have lost, damaged, or need to replace your Medicare card, you can now get a replacement Medicare card using your online “My Social Security” account. This is the newest feature to “My Social Security” online.
Your Medicare card is the most important piece of identification you have as a Medicare beneficiary – it’s proof that you have Medicare health insurance. Medical professionals and insurance companies need this proof to provide you with accurate care and compensation. If your card is lost or damaged, and you are currently entitled to Medicare, you can easily order a replacement. Simply access your online “My Social Security” account and select the “Replacement Documents” tab. Then select “Mail my replacement Medicare card.” After you request a card, it will arrive in the mail.
More than 20 million people use “My Social Security” because it’s the easiest way to access their own personal Social Security information, which they need to plan for retirement. Your account is a hub for doing business with us, including:
• Keeping track of your earnings and
verifying them every year;
• Getting an estimate of your future
benefits if you’re still working;
• Getting a letter with proof of your benefits if you currently receive them; and
• Managing your benefits:
– Changing your address;
– Starting or changing your direct deposit; and
– Get a replacement SSA-1099 or
SSA-1042S for tax season.
Opening a “My Social Security” account takes only a few minutes, and it’s safe and easy. Google Social Security Administration or SSA and click on “My Social Security.” To create an account, you must provide some personal information about yourself and give us answers to some questions that only you are likely to know. Next, you create a username and password that you will use to access your online account. This process protects you and keeps your personal Social Security information private.
After your account is open, you can request a replacement Medicare card immediately – there’s no need to call or visit a Social Security office.
If you are currently not collecting Social Security benefits, you can use a “My Social Security” online account to:
• Get your Social Security Statement, to review:
– Estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits;
– Your earnings once a year to verify the amounts we posted are correct; and
­ – The estimated Social Security
and Medicare taxes you’ve paid.
• Get a benefit verification letter
stating that:
­ – You never received Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicare; or
­ – You received benefits in the past,
but do not currently receive them
(the letter will include the date your benefits stopped and how much you received that year.); or
– You applied for benefits but haven’t received an answer yet.
 
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  How to Detect Glaucoma Early
  
 A dilated eye exam can detect glaucoma early and save your sight. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damages the eye’s optic nerve, which carries visual signals to the brain. It can lead to vision loss or blindness if left untreated. Quite frequently, by the time people are diagnosed with glaucoma, they’ve already begun to notice changes in their side, or peripheral, vision.
Currently, 2.7 million Americans have glaucoma and studies show that at least half of all people with it don’t know they have this potentially blinding eye disease. The good news is that glaucoma can be detected in its early stages through acomprehensive dilated eye exam.
 
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  Emergency Preparedness
  
 “Emergency Preparedness” was the theme of a meeting for hip members held at the Ciarco Learning Center in Hackensack on the evening of October 15th. Sergeant Barry Leventhal, of the Bergen County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) was an engaging speaker with an incredible amount of knowledge and information to share. He had everyone in the room responding with questions and volunteering answers.
“One is none, two is one, and three is best” was a saying that stuck with everyone. Barry explained that they use that saying in the Army, and it means that if you have one of something and it breaks, you have nothing. If you have two and one breaks, you still have one. But if you have three of something – you’re ready to go.
All of us thank Barry for taking the time to share his wealth of knowledge with us! We all learned a lot and feel much better prepared for future emergencies.
 
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  Welcome to hip!
  
 Shoshana Stubin joined the hip staff in July as Bergen hip’s new Care Manager. Shoshana received her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and a master of science degree in developmental disabilities from Nova Southeastern University. Her career experience includes case management for adults and children with disabilities, program coordination for adolescents with behavioral issues, and group home residential management. Shoshana resides in Passaic with her husband, four children, and two cats. She enjoys reading, family camping trips, and college football.
 
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  Celebrating the ADA!
  
 hip’s opening event in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the ADA took place in the spring at a member meeting at the Ciarco Learning Center in Hackensack. The meeting began with CEO Eileen Goff speaking about the importance of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in July 1990. A 20-minute video of the bill-signing ceremony (accessible to all with audio voiceover and closed captions) was shown to the enthusiastic gathering of members and friends of hip.
After the video, our guest speaker, Alma Yee, Managing Attorney at Community Health Law Project, gave an analysis of the law itself. She asked the audience how they have been personally affected by the passage of the ADA, which resulted in a lively conversation. More job opportunities and improvements in transportation were among the benefits cited. But the consensus was that much more still needs to be accomplished
 
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  MTS Update
  
 Shortly after returning from my honeymoon in Hawaii, I received an order for a braille textbook for a Hawaiian student! Not only was it particularly timely, but it was also the very first book that MTS has sold to the Aloha State. Only a few more to go until every state in the country has a book from MTS! We got into full swing to produce textbook after textbook for the new school year, and we’re well into another busy fall season! – Jayne M. Jacobs
 
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  hip Takes First Place
  
 hip Takes First Place at the Aurora Nonprofit Challenge Walkathon
by Trisha Ebel

The Aurora Nonprofit Challenge Walkathon attracted many hippies, including Board members and staff from both the Bergen and Hudson CILs to the Duck Pond in Ridgewood early in the morning of Saturday, June 20th. The Walkathon was designed as a fund-raiser by a new non-profit organization composed of teen-agers who want to make a difference by supporting worthy endeavors in their communities. We walked and rolled along together for 5K, enjoying the beautiful morning. The hip participants as well as friends who were unable to be present for the event made donations earmarked for hip. I am happy to report that we raised over $4,000 and took first place for participation out of 10 non-profit agencies who participated! In the words of Trish Carney and Eileen Goff, “We walked and we won – hip hip hurray!”

A FEW WORDS ABOUT AURORA NONPROFIT CHALLENGE:
The mission of Aurora Nonprofit Challenge is to introduce teenagers to nonprofit management through the production of fundraising events and simulated board meetings under the guidance of adult professionals. The organization will raise funds for the nonprofit community through these events while promoting among teenagers an awareness of the various types of nonprofit entities and their missions.
WHO WE ARE:
We are high school students in Bergen County, New Jersey, who are learning leadership skills in the nonprofit sector in order to support other nonprofits who are bringing needed services to people in our area. We produce an annual fundraising event that raises money for our nonprofit partners. All of the proceeds are donated to other organizations to help them fulfill their mission. www.aurorachallenge.org
 
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  Replaced by a “Burgerbot”? Don’t Let It Happen!
  
 by Pat Rodriguez
Bergen IL Transition Coordinator

Did you know that a robot has already been built that can do almost anything restaurant employees do, and more efficiently? That includes cooking a burger! Another technology has given us drones. Can you picture a drone delivering the packages you ordered to your doorstep?
What this means for young people thinking about their future in the workplace is that many low-paying jobs will soon be replaced by increasingly sophisticated technological devices. But does that include the majority of all jobs in the future? Far from it! Studies show that over 84% of jobs available in the next decade will require education beyond high school. Only 20% of employers will hire people who have only a high school diploma. This workforce analysis was presented to participants at a recent workshop called “Real World Experiences Create College and Work-Ready Students,” given by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.
Currently, 4.8 million people are out of work in the United States, even though 10 million jobs remain unfilled. Almost all of these jobs require some level of education after high school such as associate or bachelor’s degrees, or industry credentials. The demands that future employers and college professors will place on students require that today’s students focus on academic success and appropriate behaviors while still in high school.
Have you ever wondered why some employers require applicants to take a math test? Employers believe that math tests are especially good indicators of a person’s mental agility and problem-solving capability. To better evaluate a candidate’s ability to think, employers don’t allow a calculator to be used during the test. Math is the best predictor of success in getting that job. These workforce data, which include an emphasis on the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), help students make better academic, behavioral, and career choices.
In addition to academic knowledge, many other factors are equally important to employers. Computer software skills, interpersonal skills, the willingness to take direction from managers, and being a team player, all help employers get a better picture of a potential employee’s abilities and character.
So what’s the take-away lesson? “The tassel is worth the hassle”!
 
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  Job Club Formed
  
 It’s All about Work, hip’s program to support employment opportunities, has partnered with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services to coordinate a job club each Wednesday at the DVRS Hackensack office. Participants are referred to the club by their DVR counselors. This job club is designed to give ongoing support to participants on the essential skills for conducting an effective job search: techniques, organizing the search, using social media to find jobs, networking, and preparing for interviews. The exchange of ideas and information in job club meetings energizes consumers and teaches everyone valuable career strategies and techniques.
 
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  hip hip hooray!!!
  
 Bergen Regional Advocacy Network (“People First”)
In this 25th Anniversary year of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Bergen Regional Advocacy Network has come so far, but we need to go so much farther! We need new younger members, not just to be active within the group, but also to enable the older members to pass on their knowledge and techniques to a younger generation. They will also share how to be more knowledgeable about our surroundings, our eligibility for benefits, and how to challenge barriers to live life to its fullest. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bergen hip CIL. If you are interested in joining us, please email Michael Augustowicz: maugustowicz.ber@hipcil.org
 
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  hip Staff Picnic: A Summer Treat
  
 The staffs of both the Bergen and Hudson hip CILs met for a relaxing picnic in a perfect setting, with beautiful water views, at the Meadowlands Environment Center on Wednesday, August 26th. Following a deli lunch, the picnickers were invited to tour the Center and learn about the varied and bountiful plant and animal life at the Meadowlands. Michele Daly, Director of Disability Education at the Center, was a gracious hostess and an expert tour guide. According to the attendees, the whole experience made for a perfect end-of-summer day.
 
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  Annual Calendar Raffle
  
 Annual Calendar Raffle Enlivened Our “66 $unny Day$ of $ummer”

The sunny days of summer are long gone, but at hip, we still have fond memories of the fun we had watching the list of Calendar Raffle winners grow with each passing week and seeing many of our hip friends and family win! Our Grand Prize winner was longtime hip friend and member of the Hudson hip Advisory Board, Michael Smith.
This year’s Calendar Raffle included two 3-time winners (for the first time), four 2-time winners, and ticket holders from all over the country! Thanks to everyone who supported our effort and congratulations to all our winners!
 
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