Join Us in Observing National disAbility Employment Awareness Month

Mark D. Boughton, Mayor
City of Danbury Commission for Persons with disAbilities
John Gentile, Chairman 

October 25, 2013

For more information contact: Annie Dance, Commission for Persons with disAbilities Secretary,  

City of Danbury Commission for Persons with disAbilities joins broad effort to observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Danbury, Connecticut - John Gentile, Chairman of the City of Danbury’s Commission for Persons with disAbilities, today announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disAbilities.
"The Commission for Persons with disAbilities is proud to be a part of this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month. We want to spread the important message that a strong workforce is one inclusive of the skills and talents of all individuals, including individuals with disAbilities," said John Gentile, Chairman.

This year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme is "Because We Are EQUAL to the Task." 
"Danbury has always drawn its strength from the differences of our people, from a vast range of experience and ability. During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we nurture our culture of diversity and renew our commitment to build a strong workforce that offers inclusion and opportunity for all. The quality of life in Danbury is high, and we have a very low unemployment rate", said Mayor Mark Boughton.

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disAbilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages — during October and throughout the year — by visiting the ODEP website at

About the City of Danbury Commission for Persons with disAbilities 
Commission for Persons with disAbilities members: John Gentile, Chairman, Annie Dance, Secretary, Rose Marie BouclierPaul KachevskyJoanne LaPorta, Bill LewisJohn NeumullerBobby Perez, Frank ReedFrances Ryan, and Chad Sinanian.
We work to put the "A" in ablilty - the Commission has many goals including focusing on the Abilities of those with disAbilties. The Commission was established to advise the Mayor and the Common Council of the needs of persons with disAbilities within the community with relation to housing, economics, employment, transportation, health, recreation and other matters. Meetings are held at City Hall, on the 3rd floor, at 6:30pm on the second Tuesday of the month. There are no meetings held in July and August.
Stay connected - visit our website, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook

City of Danbury Code of Ordinances
Sec. 2-56.13. Commission for persons with disabilities--Created, purpose.
(a) There is hereby created and established a commission to be known as the Danbury Commission for Persons with Disabilities. The commission shall at its primary purpose advise the mayor and the common council of the needs of people with disabilities within the community with relation to housing, employment, transportation, economics, health, recreation and other relevant matters. The commission shall, in addition, recommend to the mayor and the common council ways in which programs and services offered by the City of Danbury may be made more accessible to people with disabilities and in which obstacles hindering employment and enjoyment of programs and services may be eliminated.
(b) The commission shall also serve as a compliance committee for the purposes of hearing grievances and complaints brought by persons pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act. The committee shall hold hearings and render decisions regarding participation in and access to public facilities, services, activities and functions by persons with disabilities in accordance with such procedures and regulations as may be established pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act.
(Ord. No. 291, 12-7-82; Ord. No. 387, 4-3-90; Ord. No. 518, 10-1-96) Cross references: Commission on equal rights and opportunities,§ 2-54; handicapped parking,§ 19-35.
Forward to Friend


Do you have an opinion about orthopedic surgery for children with cerebral palsy who walk?

The University of Hartford and the Shriners Hospital for Children are interested in your opinion if you are a parent or caregiver of a child who has cerebral palsy for whom surgery has been recommended to improve walking.


Our goal is to help families make more informed decisions about surgery. We want to know what information people need in order to make decisions about whether or not to have surgery to improve walking abilities of children with cerebral palsy.

Please contact Mary Gannotti, PT, PhD, at   or 860-768-5945 for more information or to sign up.

November 13, 2013

10 am - 12 pm

Farmington, CT


Michael Magnant
COO - CORD / Founder- Currency Genesis
Would you mind posing/reposting the info for this call. I have it on Face Book and Linked in. The staff is getting it out there all over the place too. Any help in making it viral is GREATLY appreciated.... PLEASE REPOST THIS ON YOUR PAGE AND MAKE IT VIRAL!!!!!! DISABLED? We want to hear from you! Join CORD’s open mic phone calls from 1-3 p.m. EDT, Monday-Friday Beginning MONDAY 10/28/13 to talk about the things that are important to YOU. Caregivers and family members are welcome. NOT FOR CHILDREN. Help build a community of people with disabilities, family, friends, and caregivers through a support system that allows you to share your stories while gaining information on things that matter to you. Phone: 1-559-726-1300 PIN: 531183#. Long distance charges may apply depending on your telephone service.


Northeast Transwomen's Alliance Inc. (NETA)


Mental Health in the Media - October 9, 2013 Edition

(Click the Wave Image Above to View the Agenda)

The Next Wave in Mental Health: 
Announcing the 2013 NAMI Connecticut Annual Conference!

It is Saturday, October 19th, at 
Central Connecticut State University (CCSU).

Please CLICK HERE to register online, or 
CLICK HERE to print out a mail-in registration form.

Greetings, NAMI Connecticut and Keep the Promise Coalition Members and Friends.

The recent articles below cover issues relevant to Connecticut’s mental health community:


Do you have a suggested article, blog or video for our next edition? Please send it our way!

Thank You! 

Thomas Burr 
Communications Manager
NAMI Connecticut

Physician Assisted Suicide discussion at LOB

Physician Assisted Suicide: A Dialogue About the Potential Impact on People with Disabilities
Presented by the CT Developmental Disabilities Network
Friday, October 18th 10-12 PM, Legislative Office Building, Hartford
TO REGISTER Contact: Anne Marie Davidson, 860-679-1589, .
Featured Speaker: Marilyn Golden, Senior Policy Analyst at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), a national law and policy center on disability civil rights, with offices in Berkeley, California and Washington, D.C. She has been closely involved with the Americans with Disabilities Act throughout all the stages of its proposal and passage and implementation. Pursuant to DREDF’s position opposing the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia, Golden has become nationally prominent in that struggle. She has represented the disability community in many debates and dialogues on the subject, authored articles explaining the issue, and worked to defeat assisted suicide legislation in Hawaii, Vermont, and California. Ms. Golden graduated from Brandeis University and soon thereafter she acquired a disability and became deeply involved in the disability rights movement. Ms. Golden has authored many articles and received a number of awards for her efforts on behalf of the integration of people with disabilities into all aspects of society.
Panel Discussion: A discussion of this issue featuring consumer, medical and provider perspectives, followed by questions from the audience.
This discussion is being presented by the DD Network (UConn UCEDD, the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities
dd_council           p&a         ucedd_small

Organizations that build Free Ramp Systems

Directory of organizations that build FREE RAMP SYSTEMS is available on
I am writing you today to make you aware of a Free Ramp Builder Directory that is now available This directory can be found at: and it is organized by national programs and by groups that service individual states. We are asking that you make people in your organization aware of this resource and if possible please post a link to it on your website.
As a member of the Center for Independent Living Community I'm sure you are aware of the varying needs of People with Disabilities and the limitations of insurance programs when it comes to providing support for their needs. We at Handi Ramp run into this problem almost every day. To deal with it several of our customer service people started compiling lists of organizations that build free ramps for people who didn't have the resources to do it for themselves. We combined the lists of our people and started tracking news articles discussing the volunteer efforts of so many people out in the community. We were surprised to find that we had almost 200 organizations and charities, located all across the United States, in our directory. This year we decided that our internal list needed to be posted on line.
Perhaps you know if an organization that did not make our list, if so, I would love for you to either email me with the details or submit it to us using this form:
Handi Ramp maintains this website and this directory for the primary purpose of helping people in the community. We built this resource directory for the purpose of providing people with a helping hand when they need it the most. Please use this directory frequently and make others aware of it so that more people can benefit from the generosity and volunteer efforts of the organizations and people listed here.
Please feel free to write to me with any questions or requests.
Thom Disch
Handi Ramp
Handi Ramp ( has been manufacturing ramps for People with Disabilities for over 55 years and is proud to be able to provide this free service to members of the community. HandiRamp's products are made in the USA. is a free web service that will help people with Disabilities decide what type of wheelchair ramp is right for their specific situation. It also provides information on charities and volunteer organizations that provide free or discount services to this community.


HUSKY is Growing

One of our CTHPP summer interns, Tanusha Satavalli, created a set of customizable tools for community organizations on the Medicaid expansion. We have been concerned that a lot of the Oct. 1 messaging and media has been about insurance and the costs. It's important that the huge number of people in CT who will soon become eligible for Medicaid are not discouraged from applying for the comprehensive, free program. 
The "HUSKY is growing" toolkit is at


Exciting News - CTBLN Career Fair, November 8th, Northeast Utilities


Government Shutdown

Dear Colleague:


Unfortunately Congress did not pass a continuing resolution in time to avert a government shutdown.  Consequently we will be unable to deliver the full range of our services to the American public.  There are three important things I would like you to know and pass along to your


    * Social Security and Supplemental Security Income payments will continue uninterrupted with no change in payment dates.

    * Social Security field offices will remain open with limited services, and hearings offices will remain open to conduct hearings.

    * Social Security card centers will be closed.

You can find more detailed information about the impact of the government shutdown on our agency at:


Hopefully this situation is resolved quickly so that we may resume normal operations. In the meantime, I thank you for sharing this information with your constituents, and I appreciate your continued support.




Kojuan Almond

Associate Commissioner for External Affairs

Microsoft tech support and repair for people with disabilities


**Special thanks to BESB Rehab Teacher Jolene Nemeth for finding out about a free service offered by Microsoft to assist people with disabilities with tech support and remote access computer fixes. Read below for the details.
Microsoft has a new free program in which technicians fix computers for people with disabilities. You give permission for them to remote into your computer and they are able to make adjustments to settings.
Hours of operation are 8:00 AM - Midnight Eastern time on weekdays and 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM on weekends. (I'm not sure if the service is intended for worldwide availability.) The toll-free number to seek assistance is: (800) 936-5900


Armless Body Builder Inspires Fitness World With Her Ability

Deaf Person's Situation



Dear Family and Relatives,

I read someone’s status on Facebook that was circulating around. It asks me to cut and paste to pass this message.

I did.

Being left out of a hearing family/friend’s conversations just because I’m the only deaf person in the family or circle of friends. Whoever is hearing needs to realize it is so hurtful for your deaf relative to feel left out. If you have a deaf relative, please always include them in your chats- the deaf member wants to be part of your family or circle of friends. Please copy & paste. Hopefully we can educate others.

This brings back some bad memories while growing up as the only deaf person in the family.

Patience is the skill I have learned when I was so young. I was been told, “Amy, I will tell you later” so many times that I had to be patient until someone takes time to sit down and explain what was happening.

“Tell you later…”
“Not important…”
“Please be patient…”
“Hold on, phone’s ringing…”
“It is hard to explain because you may not understand…”
“It was a joke, and it was not funny anymore…”
“I am sorry, I don’t know sign language…”
“I don’t know how to call these phone thingy…”
“I am too busy and I don’t have time for you…”

I was patient. I waited and waited. 45 years later, I valued myself as very patient person. This skill is very useful for many things.

If I ever hear these statements once again in any family gatherings today.

You will hear me saying,


Then, you will not see me again in any future family gathering ever again.

It is been 45 years and you still haven’t made an effort to learn sign language or even made a simple videophone call with video relay service. Even though, you didn’t even bother to send me an email or text message.

What does that tell you, YOU, as one of my blood relatives who reads my Facebook statuses, and not even bother to click, “Like” or even made a comment?

Do you see me as a family member? I AM your relative, and I am related to YOU! I guess, family is a relative word.

Amy Cohen Efron


Member Benefit: NCIL Logo for Your Organization’s Website!

A benefit of NCIL membership
Volume 11 • Issue 33
September 11, 2013
NCIL Logo: National Council on Independent Living
Member Benefit: NCIL Logo for Your Organization’s Website!
Thank you for your continued support of Independent Living! We are sincerely grateful to our membership for making NCIL what it is: a powerful force for change. As a NCIL member, you can now further support Independent Living nationwide and show off your IL pride by adding NCIL’s logo to your website!
  • Open the NCIL logo as a . JPG or . GIF.
We’d love to see it linked to our  homepage or  membership page. Please email Eleanor Canter at   if your webmaster would like a different format.
Showcase Your Center for Independent Living in NCIL’s Member Spotlight!
NCIL has a section on our website dedicated to spotlighting our member organizations. This online feature serves the dual purpose of showcasing your organization and giving the public specific examples of CILs and what they do.
If you would like your CIL to be featured on, please compile some information about your organization and email it to Eleanor Canter at . If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our current Member Spotlight, Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL), and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or comments. Please be aware that your submission may be edited to meet NCIL’s communications needs.
send us an email

1710 Rhode Island Avenue Northwest Fifth Floor | Washington, D.C., DC 20036

Advocacy Blitz to Pass S. 1356: NCIL Needs Your Financial Help!

Share This:
Advocacy Blitz to Pass S. 1356: NCIL Needs Your Financial Help!
The Independent Living Movement is at a critical juncture right now and we need your help. This is your moment to be part of Independent Living history by helping ensure S. 1356 is passed. By contributing to this cause, you continue the legacies of Justin Dart, Fred Fay, Michael Winter, and many others who chained their wheelchairs to buses to gain accessible transportation and crawled up the stairs of the Capitol to get the ADA passed.
After waiting 15 years for the Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, we now have a good bill, S. 1356, which will come up for a full Senate vote within the next few months. NCIL has developed a strategy, but needs additional resources to begin implementing its plan within the next two weeks.
To learn more about S. 1356 and our strategy, go to, and be sure to like our Facebook page: Advocacy Blitz to Pass S. 1356.
We realize funding is tight for everyone right now, but this legislation will have lasting impact on the lives of people with disabilities. Please make your personal and / or organizational (unrestricted) contributions as soon as possible. You can make a contribution quickly and easily using our online form.
Here is a guide you can use to determine the amount of your contribution toward our goal of $60,000:
What's the fix? Senate Bill 1356 - Independent Living belongs to the people.
Corporate Sponsor
  • Number of donations: 5
  • Amount of donation: $3,000
  • Total: $15,000
Large CIL / SILC / Organization
  • Number of donations: 10
  • Amount of donation: $2,000
  • Total: $20,000
Medium CIL / SILC / Organization         
  • Number of donations: 20
  • Amount of donation: $500
  • Total: $10,000
Small CIL / SILC / Organization
  • Number of donations: 135
  • Amount of donation: $100
  • Total: $13,500
  • Number of donations: 60
  • Amount of donation: $25
  • Total: $1,500
Remember the words spoken by Justin Dart:
“You have the power.
You have the responsibility.”
Follow NCIL: Like NCIL on Facebook Follow NCIL on Twitter

Information Alert: NCIL Strongly Urges Obama and the DOL to Include the Disability Community and Reconsider the Proposed Companionship Exemption!

Share This:
Information Alert: NCIL Strongly Urges Obama and the DOL to Include the Disability Community and Reconsider the Proposed Companionship Exemption!
The National Council on Independent Living has actively campaigned to address serious concerns about proposed changes to the companionship exemption. We are deeply concerned that the proposed rules will:
  • Force seniors and people with disabilities into institutions;
  • Cut the take-home pay of attendants;
  • Reduce the attendant workforce;
  • Force people with disabilities to hire strangers as attendants; and
  • Devastate consumer-directed programs.
For well over a year, NCIL, ADAPT and other disability organizations have urged the Obama Administration to find a way to engage us in the rulemaking process, because the US Department of Labor developed and published these rules without input from the disability community. Although the administration met with us after releasing the rules, the rule-making process has prevented them from engaging in any actual conversation with us about what the proposed rules could look like.
We had hoped that Tom Perez - as the Department of Labor Secretary - would understand our concerns and find a way to bring everyone - including the disability community - to the same table. With very little notice, Secretary Perez announced he was holding listening sessions about the proposed rules on August 19th. Given that the rules were previously sent to the Office of Management and Budget, we believed that he planned to address our concerns by bringing the rules back to the Department of Labor as the starting point for substantive discussions with the disability community.
We understand that instead of doing that, the Obama Administration intends to release the rules either today or very soon. It seems clear the listening session wasn't intended to bring NCIL and the disability community to the table.
Right now, we understand that the administration is considering a delay in enforcement by the Department of Labor on consumer directed programs. That doesn't address our concern. Consumer directed programs funded by Medicaid are expected to follow all labor laws. The US Department of Labor isn't the only entity charged with enforcement of labor rules, and individuals would still have a right to private action, so our programs could be sued and held accountable for paying overtime - even if DOL delays enforcement and there isn't Medicaid funding to do so. It is ridiculous that we have to clarify our positions and respond to proposals like this through public statements, rather than face to face conversations.
NCIL has only wanted to have the disability community be part of the decision-making process. This is fundamental to Independent Living and we do this every day through our national network. NCIL is deeply disappointed that Secretary Perez hasn't adhered to this fundamental value of the Independent Living Movement and our community.
Follow NCIL: Like NCIL on Facebook Follow NCIL on Twitter
1710 Rhode Island Avenue Northwest Fifth Floor | Washington, D.C., DC 20036 US

Remember December: Sign the Petition and Let Your Voice Be Heard for the Disability Rights Treaty!

Share This:
CNN Headline: Senate Kills U.N. Treaty on Disabilities; Senate Republicans strongly oppose the measure
Remember December: Sign the Petition and Let Your Voice Be Heard for the Disability Rights Treaty!
December 4th, 2012 was a devastating day for the disability community when the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) lost by a mere five votes.
This summer, President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Senator McCain, former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and the community have all expressed their desire to see the treaty ratified. 
When U.S. Senators return to their offices in DC, we are going to make sure that they know the treaty is important to the disability community and its allies and it is time to move it forward.
We can and we will get the treaty ratified in 2013 but we need you now. Join the petition to add your voice to the conversation. We’ll make sure that Senators see your support when it is delivered to them in September!
CRPD Twitter Campaign and the March on Washington
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (@civilrightsorg) is launching their Twitter campaign for the treaty today in line with the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington (#MOW2013).
Please follow them and Tweet/ReTweet. Make sure you use both the #CRPD or #DisabilitiesTreaty hashtag with #MOW2013 to get the most people seeing your Tweet!
Sample Tweets:
  • People w disabilities deserve #DisabilitiesTreaty 4 more access, independence & respect worldwide! RT if you support #CRPD #MOW2013
  • Tell @SenBobCorker and @SenatorMenendez we need #DisabilitiesTreaty 4 more access, independence & respect worldwide! #CRPD #MOW2013
  • If you support equal rights & access for 1 billion people w disabilities around the world, tell the Senate to ratify #DisabilitiesTreaty #CRPD #MOW2013
  • I join @civilrightsorg @usicd in supporting #DisabilitiesTreaty to uphold the dream of equality for all people #MarchonWashington #MOW2013

CALL FOR EXHIBITORS! Housing Coalition Conference - October 17, 2013

Connecticut Housing Coalition
save the date 2


As always, the Connecticut Housing Coalition's Annual Conference is the state's largest gathering of affordable housing developers, service providers, advocates and resident leaders. The day-long conference draws approximately 700 attendees from every part of Connecticut. 


The conference provides opportunities for vendors to highlight their products and services and also connect to their target audience. At this years conference, exhibitor perks include:
  • Skirted 6' display table with two chairs
  • 2 lunches in the Exhibitors' Hall
  • Your name on the conference program
  • Internet and electricity available for an additional fee
If your organization would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please click here for the exhibitor response form. 
Early Bird Pricing of
$650 for for-profits and $550 for non-profits
is only available until September 6th!
For additional information, contact Jenna Ferguson at  
or call 860-563-2943, ext. 16.



Add Us In/DiversityWorks

You are Invited to Apply!
Add Us In Logo
Bluefish Logo
BRBC logo  

Join Us in Celebrating

Disability Employment Awareness Month
Add Us In DiversityWorks Logo 
Disability Logos
Sign Language Interpreters Provided 
  • Are you a job seeker with a disability?
  • Would you like to meet employers willing to hire?
  • Would you like to meet other job seekers like yourself? 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

(Please note that check-in begins at 4:30 pm)

The Ballpark at Harbor Yard

500 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT


Panel Discussion: 5-6 PM

Post Discussion Networking Picnic: 6-7 PM


Stay for the Baseball Game at 7:05 PM


Learn about:

  • Experiences of employers and people with disabilities in the workplace
  • Benefits to employers of hiring candidates with disabilities
  • Have the opportunity to network with employers who want to hire candidates with disabilities including LGBT candidates with disabilities

Come to the event and then enjoy a

FREE Bridgeport Bluefish Baseball Game.


Participation is limited; 
you must apply to be selected!

Click here to apply:

Questions? Contact Alisha Hawkins at (203) 610-8570


Additional accommodations are available upon request

Add Us In/DiversityWorks: Supporting small businesses in Southwestern Connecticut to hire and leverage the talent of people with disabilities, including LGBT individuals with disabilities.

Preparation of this item was funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, Grant No. OD-21074-10-75-4-9.

Registration is Open for The Fall CT Career Fairs


Your #1 Source for Recruitment!

Danbury Career Fair 
Friday, September 13th
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Ethan Allen Hotel, Danbury, CT
Registration fee: $425
Middlesex Career Fair 
Tuesday, October 29th 
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Cromwell, CT
Registration fee: $275

Exhibit table, company sign, program guide listing, radio, newspapers, Internet advertising, advertisements in CTWorksjob and veterans' centers, local libraries and community organizations!


"Staff was great! Very helpful and supportive. Candidates were prepared and eager."

"Excellent facility…Traffic was steady. Better quality of candidates."

"The events I’ve attended have brought great résumé results. Thanks for everything!"

Our job fairs frequently appear on television and in print. Here 
is just a small sampling of the coverage we have received.
Patch NECN
For more information

Tax Free Week

Contact me...
Feel free to contact my office with any question, concern or state-related issue where I can help.


State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas
Room 4200
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106


(800) 842-1423 (Toll Free)
(860) 240-8700 (Local)
(860) 240-0207 (Fax)



With the start of school just around the corner, I wanted to remind you to take advantage of “Tax Free Week," occurring Sunday, Aug. 18 through Saturday, Aug. 24.


The annual one-week exemption period eliminates Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales tax on all clothing and footwear costing less than $300 per item.

“Tax Free Week” was first enacted in 2000, and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases that are intended for everyday use.


Goods not covered under the program include items solely intended for use in sporting activities and accessories such as jewelry, watches, handbags, and wallets.

For more information, visit the Department of Revenue Services web site at


If you have any questions or concerns related to state government, contact me any time at 800-842-1423
Best Regards,


Transform CT

On June 25th, Governor Malloy and DOT Commissioner announced Transform CT, an 18-month outreach campaign that will culminate in the development of a strategic transportation plan for the state.  Residents and stakeholders will play a key role in the development of the plan.
     As of today the Transform CT website has received over 8700 ideas.  Please log on to the website,, and express you views.  It is extremely important that decision makers are aware of your support for increased and improved bus transit in Connecticut.  Include the importance of bus transit to get to work, school, medical appointments and shopping.  Also note the importance of timely bus/rail connections, express bus service and dial-a-ride programs. 
     Two topics posted on the website today are:  “What transportation investments should we make today that our children and grandchildren will thank us for tomorrow?” and “ What transportation systems or elements of transportation systems do you admire in other parts of the country that Connecticut could learn from to improve our quality of life?”  Bus transit  needs to be up there along with roads and rail.  Bus transit is the backbone of Connecticut’s transportation system and improving bus transit will improve the quality of lives for all residents of the state.
     Please add the importance of adequately funding bus transit and the need for the state to use transportation funds for transportation and to invest wisely in transit projects that will generate economic benefits, reduce congestion, and provide much needed transportation options.
     Please log on to Transform CT today!
     Thanks for your continued support.
                                            Karen Burnaska, Coordinator
                                            Transit for Connecticut
                                            (203) 261-9243

Senate HELP Committee

If you're having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online.


Open this message in Word or plain text.
A benefit of NCIL membership
Volume 11 • Issue 28
August 1, 2013
Harkin at 2008 NCIL Rally
After Year-Long Investigation, Senate HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin Releases Report Showing ADA’s Promise of Integration is Not Being Met for Many Americans with Disabilities
Source: Senate HELP Committee
A Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee report unveiled [July 18] by Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) revealed that 14 years later, many states are failing to live up to the integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C. in 1999 that the unnecessary segregation of individuals with disabilities in institutions is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, thus directing states to enable community-based long-term care services for these Americans.
The report, titled “Separate and Unequal: States Fail to Fulfill the Community Living Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” is the result of requests for information sent by Chairman Harkin to all 50 states on the progress made to transition individuals out of institutions.  Harkin, who is the Senate author of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, has long sought to ensure that all Americans have a real choice to receive Medicaid-funded care in the community.  Today’s report is a comprehensive review of the types of community-based services states provide to individuals with disabilities compared to the institution-based services they must provide. [Read more...]
Youth Transitions Collaborative Seeks Resumes of Young People and Young Veterans with Disabilities Looking for Work in Private Sector
The Youth Transitions Collaborative is seeking the resumes of young people and young veterans with disabilities, who are looking for work (full-time or part-time) in the private sector. These resumes will be incorporated into a database that will help employers connect with qualified young candidates with disabilities. The National Youth Transitions Resume Database will be national in scope and will be open to young people and employers from across the country. If you know someone interested in submitting a resume, please have them send it to . Once a resume is received, individuals will be asked to complete a short form which details their occupational and geographic preferences, etc. [Read more...]
Project ACTION Releases New Curriculum: Improving Accessible Transportation Access and Choice for Students
Easter Seals Project ACTION has released a new curriculum to provide educators; transition, human services and transit professionals; families; and others with strategies for integrating transportation content, including travel instruction, into the educational experience for students, including those with disabilities. It is expected that educators can use this curriculum to reduce transportation challenges and improve transition outcomes for students with disabilities. Improving Accessible Transportation Access and Choice for Students has nine interactive, self-paced learning modules. Learners may download and customize the curriculum materials to align with academic content, instructional activities and unique learning opportunities available in their settings. [Read more...]
1710 Rhode Island Avenue Northwest Fifth Floor | Washington, D.C., DC 20036

This email was sent to {email}. To ensure that you continue receiving our emails, please add us to your address book or safe list.

opt out using TrueRemove®

powered by emma

Rehabilitation Act Passes HELP Committee!

Share This:
Rehabilitation Act Passes HELP Committee!
Today the Senate HELP Committee passed S. 1356 (a bill to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and its contained Rehabilitation Act) out of committee, clearing the way for a full vote by the Senate. The overwhelming vote of 18-3 reflects the hard work done by NCIL advocates, who have much to be proud of on this momentous day.
This positive vote could not have happened without the efforts of NCIL members. Introduced during the NCIL Conference, S. 1356 was the highest priority of our organization, and our efforts in Washington, DC centered on strategies to get this legislation passed out of committee. Our members visited, called, and emailed senators on the HELP Committee to secure the victory that we have realized today. Despite the many obstacles and naysaying, our members persevered and demonstrated to the nation that NCIL is a force that cannot be stopped.
Now that this bill has been passed out of committee, the next step is a floor vote by the entire Senate, which is tentatively scheduled for September or October, after the August congressional recess. During this recess, Senators and Representatives will be in their home districts, with many of them holding town hall style events. We need our advocates to start scheduling time to make visits in their states, and make plans to attend these events, urging Congress to reauthorize WIA and the Rehabilitation Act with included language that strengthens America's Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs).
Our fix is S. 1356!
Today we celebrate victory along with our members, and thank everyone who took the time to be an advocate. In the coming days, NCIL will be sending out more guidance to our members, and will introduce our new campaign to reauthorize the Rehabilitation Act.
If you or your organization are not yet a NCIL member, you can register online at:
Follow NCIL: Like NCIL on Facebook Follow NCIL on Twitter
1710 Rhode Island Avenue Northwest Fifth Floor | Washington, D.C., DC 20036 US

Sign Language Ban Imposed on New Jersey Girl



Sign Language Ban Imposed on N.J. Girl


School officials have threatened a hearing-impaired girl with suspension if she uses sign language to talk to her friends on the school bus, the girl's parents say.

Danica Lesko and her parents say sign language is the only way to for the 12-year-old to communicate, especially while riding to school on a noisy bus.

But officials at Stonybrook School — which is not a school for the hearing-impaired — and district officials in Branchburg, N.J., apparently believe signing is a safety hazard. They have sent a letter to the Lesko family ordering Danica to stop using sign language on the school bus or risk a three-day suspension.

The March 30 letter from her principal that said Danica was "doing sign language after being told it wasn't allowed on the bus."

The Leskos may file a lawsuit over the sign language ban, claiming officials are violating Danica's civil rights and violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"She has a hearing problem, and now she's being punished for using sign language," Mary Ann Lesko, Danica's mother, told The Star-Ledger of Newark. "It's absurd."

Danica's parents told the paper that other students who rode to school with their daughter made fun of her, and refused to stay in their seats as they teased other girls who were using sign language. They said school officials are singling out Danica and not addressing those who should really be reprimanded.

Schools Officials: Safety First

In a statement released through the school district's attorney, David Rubin, the Branchburg Board of Education refused to discuss the details of Danica's case, saying only that its version of events differs from the parents' version.

However, the board insisted it has not violated anyone's rights and is only trying to protect other students who must ride on the school bus.

"The Board is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to all students with disabilities, and is satisfied that there has been no violation of that policy in this case," officials said in the statement. "The Board is also committed to assuring the safety of all students who travel on District buses, and will continue to take appropriate steps to accomplish that goal."

One deaf-rights advocate said Danica's parents have a strong basis for a lawsuit because sign language could be a considered a foreign language, and school officials could be violating the girl's First Amendment right to communicate.

"Why should there be a ban?" asked Charlotte Karras, outreach coordinator for the Edison, N.J.-based Alliance for Disabled in Action. "It's a violation of her communication rights. She's said it's the only way she can communicate with her friends … It's [the ban] against the ADA and violates the First Amendment and her family can file a discrimination suit citing the Americans With Disabilities Act."

Karras said her organization would be willing to help the Leskos with any legal action.

Danica's parents say she began losing her hearing last November, when a classmate allegedly shot a bottle rocket near her ear. They have already sued the Branchburg School District over that incident.



Prescription Drug Take-Back Day - April 27

AIDS LIFE Campaign  
The following is being forwarded on behalf of United Way 2-1-1:



Prescription Drug Take-Back Day - April 27


Do you need a way to safely dispose of unused prescription medications? Saturday, April 27, is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Over 60 towns in Connecticut will have sites open between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm where you can bring expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.


National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency effort that provides an environmentally safe way to dispose of prescription medications and to keep those drugs from being used improperly. Last September, Americans turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners.


This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines-flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-both pose potential safety and health hazards.


Connecticut's effort is being led by the Governor's Prevention Partnership, the Departments of Consumer Protection and Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Attorney General.



A Weekend of FREE DENTAL Care

This year’s Connecticut Mission of Mercy (a weekend of free dental care) will be held from Wednesday, June 5th – Sunday, June 9th at the Webster Bank Arena, 600 Main Street, Bridgeport, ConnecticutThe clinical days are Friday, June 7th and Saturday, June 8th


If you know of anyone needing treatment, please let them know about this event.  Also, please share the attached flyer.  Volunteers are also desperately needed, especially on Thursday to set up and Saturday evening and Sunday to clean up.  Volunteers must volunteer for the entire day. 


Again, see the attached flyer or go to the website ( or for more information.   Deadline for Volunteer Registration is May 14th


This is a wonderful and rewarding experience!


Jeff Rosow, DMD
Dental Director
Connecticut Valley Hospital
Middletown, Connecticut

Dear Keep The Promise Coalition and NAMI Connecticut Members and Advocates

Add Us In/Diversity Works

19th Annual Creative Expressions Art Show


April 23, 2013 at 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.




     paypal donate

join our mailing list icon facebook icon

independent living skills instruction button, left side navigation button

individual advocacy button, left side navigation button

peer mentoring button, left side navigation button

information and referral button, left side navigaition button

aging and disability resource center button, additional programs, left side navigation button

money follows the person button, additional programs, left side navigation

transitional housing opportunities button, additional programs, left side navigation

purple button

employment supports button, additional programs, left side navigation buttons

red button