Deaf Culture

Those articles are an excellent articles to understand about Deaf Culture.  It is helpful and enjoyable to read.

Click the links to read the articles:


National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability Website

National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability website:
This is an excellent website.  It focuses on transition and Independent Living Plans (ILPs) for youth.  It has a blog, some good publications and lots of information.
Check it out!

Tracking Benefits Through Department of Social Services


AIDS LIFE Campaign



You and your clients may find this link useful in tracking benefits and applications through DSS.


Department of Social Services clients can now view the status of their services and any state resident can check their eligibility via this new website.





It will be very helpful!

Wireless carriers will accelerate availability of text-to-911 services, says FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that the nation’s four largest wireless carriers have committed to speeding up the availability of text-to-911 services. Major deployments of the services are expected to occur in 2013, and the carriers have committed to nation-wide availability by May 15, 2014.

The ability to text 911 will benefit people with disabilities such as hearing loss or speech impairments, or people who are in danger and unable to speak. The FCC says the Text-to-911 will complement rather than replace voice technology, and recommends that consumers use the voice system when possible.

Sprint Wireless recently announced that it has started a four-week trial of the new 911 texting technology in Vermont, says Urgent Communications.

The carriers have committed to providing customers with “bounce back” text messages in areas where the service will not be available during the phase-in stage. The text tells customers that their text message was unsuccessful and advises them to make a voice call to a 911 center The “bounce back” capability will be fully implemented across the four networks by June 30, 2013.

“This is good progress, but our work is not done," said FCC Chairman Genachowski. “The FCC will consider further actions to advance text-to-911 for all consumers. We will also take additional steps in this area next year, including closely monitoring carriers’ compliance with the commitments they have made ... and addressing other aspects of Next Generation 911 such as enabling transmission of photos and videos to 9-1-1 centers. We are also working to strengthen the resiliency and reliability of the existing 911 system, where significant deficiencies were revealed by this summer’s Derecho.”

The Commission will work with 911 authorities, PSAPs, the Emergency Access Advisory Committee, public safety organizations, disability organizations, consumer groups and industry on the implementation of these services.


The State Independent Living Council (SILC) provided Independence Northwest with an accessible computer workstation with adaptive software and internet access. The computer includes software for the visually impaired, including GUIDE hands-free, Scan and Read Pro, and Zoom Text. Staff are available to assist and/or orient consumers to the computer and software. The computer is available during our normal business hours. Please call Mary Ann (203-279-3299) or Kassey (VP 203-490-0358) to schedule a time.

The Newtown Connecticut Tragedy: A Statement from NAMI


The Newtown Connecticut Tragedy: A Statement from NAMI

NAMI will follow news reports closely as more details become known. At this time, there is no indication that mental illness was a factor in the tragedy. It is important to not make assumptions or speculate in such cases. The overall contribution of mental disorders to the total level of violence in society is exceptionally small.”

“When tragedies occur, no matter what their nature or cause, national, state and local communities must come together to find out what went wrong and to take steps to ensure it does not happen again. We expect such scrutiny to occur in days and weeks ahead. Today, however, is a time to mourn and pray for the victims of a senseless act and for their survivors. As a nation, we must reassure each other.”

Response to the Newtown Tragedy NAMI Connecticut offers the following resources from TLC/Starr Global Learning Center:

Parents, caregivers and professionals should know that trauma can be any experience that leaves a person feeling hopeless, helpless, fearing for life or safety, or feeling out of control.
During an initial 4-6 week period following the traumatic experience, any sort of behavior is common and should be considered normal. Following this 4-6 week period, behavior outside of a child’s norm can indicate trauma or post-traumatic stress. These behaviors include:
• Hyper-vigilance
• Asking lots of questions – “What if?” “How do I know it won’t happen to us?” or “Will it happen again?”
• More afraid than normal
• Clingy – more than considered normal
Parents and caregivers should also watch for:
• Re-experiencing – unable to get thoughts/images/sounds out of their heads, may have a difficult time falling or staying asleep, feeling anxious, headaches or stomach aches.
• Avoidance – completely avoid anything or anybody that would remind them of what happened. Traumatized individuals may also exhibit a diminished interest in activities or in things they previously enjoyed.
• Arousal – may be acting out or unable to focus or concentrate.
There are steps parents or caregivers can take to help a child in trauma.
• Limit the amount of exposure. Turn off the TV if a traumatic event is being shown to prevent overexposure.
• Actively listen to what they are experiencing. Be careful not to judge or state that, “It’s no big deal” or “This is something we all go through.”
• Normalize their symptoms and reaction regardless of their experience. Kids in trauma often feel like they are alone in what they are experiencing and feeling or that it is abnormal.
• If a child has questions regarding a traumatic event, be honest and answer their questions without going into unnecessary detail. If questions are avoided, children will often make up a scenario on their own that is many times scarier. Be honest and give facts but at their pace.
• Everyone’s reaction—or lack of reaction—to a traumatic experience is normal. Everybody responds differently, which is absolutely OK.

To read a thoughtful Press Release from the Bazelon Center regarding the tragedy at Newtown/Sandy Hook, click here.


Resources for First Responders:

It is important to remember that our first responders also need support after traumatic events. They are trained to respond in a professional manner to all kinds of incidents, delaying any emotional response until the job is done. This can take a devastating toll over time. The following links are for first responders who are looking for information that can be of help to themselves and their colleagues.

Gov. Malloy on Hurricane Sandy


(HARTFORD, CT) – With Hurricane Sandy potentially threatening Connecticut, Governor Dannel P. Malloy is asking residents to closely monitor the storm’s path over the next few days and to be prepared.
“Just as the state is monitoring and preparing, the public should do the same,” said Governor Malloy.  “Some models predict that Sandy may move onshore somewhere in New England early next week.  Although we are not certain the storm will impact the state, we need to be prepared.  That means everyone, especially the state’s utility companies.”
The state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) is monitoring this storm very closely and is prepared to coordinate any potential state response.  DEMHS is participating in National Weather Service conference calls to get the latest information on the storms track and is sending out regular updates to all municipalities and tribal nations.
DEMHS is also in communication with Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating regarding their preparations and posture.
“Although hurricanes are unpredictable, this storm has the potential to impact Connecticut and we need to be prepared,” said DEMHS Deputy Commissioner William P. Shea.  “Because a shift in the track of the hurricane of just a few miles can have a significant impact on the state, it is important to stay informed by listening to TV and radio and heed the warnings of public safety officials.”
Governor Malloy and DEMHS offered the following preparedness tips:
Basic Emergency Supply Kit
  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.
Family Emergency Plan
  • Identify an out-of town contact.  It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.  If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know.  Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
  • Teach family members how to use text messaging.  Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
  • Subscribe to alert services.  Many communities/states now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about severe weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc.  In Connecticut, go to to register for alerts.
For more information on Hurricane Preparedness, visit
For Immediate Release: October 25, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Resources

As the FEMA Disability Integration Specialist, I wanted to touch base and share my contact information. I am working directly with the New England States to ensure the needs of people with disabilities, access and functional needs are being addressed in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me 617-816-6351 or . In addition, please feel free to forward my contact information to your networks.


Thank you,

Kate McCarthy-Barnett

FEMA Regional Disability Integration Specialist


Emergency Preparedness for People with Chemical & Electrical Sensitivities

October 29, 2012

Providing Services for People with

Chemical and Electrical Sensitivities (CS/ES)

in Emergency Management


Educate yourself and your agency or organization about the needs of people with chemical and electrical sensitivities (CS/ES).


Identify and work with the CS/ES in your community to determine how to best meet their needs.


Provide notification to people with CS of any toxic event so that they can take precautions or evacuate as necessary.


Establish a registry as a means to provide advance notification.


Keep the needs of those with CS/ES in mind as emergency preparedness plans are developed.


Work to ensure emergency services and shelters are accessible for people with CS/ES.


Be prepared to respond to any emergency affecting the CS even if the balance of the population is not significantly affected.


Provide for the safe evacuation, if necessary, for those who cannot use public transportation.


Provide outreach to people with CS/ES who are unable to get to or be accommodated in a shelter.


Prohibit smoking in the vicinity of people with CS and protect those with CS from exposure to combustion sources including gasoline and diesel exhaust, propane, and similar exposures.


Use least toxic/allergenic cleaning and maintenance products and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices with least toxic/low impact products, if necessary.


Adopt and promote best practices policies that restrict the use of fragrances and the purchase and use of fragranced and scented products in emergency services.


Restrict the use of cell phones, smart phones, and similar devices in the vicinity of people with ES.


Mary Lamielle, National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, Inc. “Addressing the Needs of People with Chemical and Electrical Sensitivities and Fragrance-Free Policies in Emergency Preparedness,” New Jersey GAINED, January 25, 2012.

Urgent Action Alert: Gregoire to Announce Her Decision on MR v Dreyfus Today

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Urgent Action Alert: Gregoire to Announce Her Decision on MR v Dreyfus Today
Governor Gregoire (D) of Washington State will be announcing whether she is appealing MR v Dreyfus to the Supreme Court today, October 22, 2012.
1. Take Action and Call Governor Gregoire!
  • Call Governor Gregoire's office at 360-902-4111 starting at Noon Eastern / 11:00 a.m. Central / 10:00 a.m. Mountain / 9:00 a.m. Pacific.
  • Say: "Make the right decision. Don't appeal MR v Dreyfus to the Supreme Court and risk and the right of people with disabilities to live in the community!"
  • Then get as many people to call as possible!
2. Listen to the announcement!
Today, October 22, starting at 4:00 p.m. Pacific (5:00 p.m. Mountain / 6:00 p.m. Central / 7:00 p.m. Eastern), the State of Washington will be making a formal announcement about whether they are appealing MR v Dreyfus to the Supreme Court.
To listen to the announcement, dial 559-726-1200 (toll-free) and enter the code: 137820.
The last time Washington State held a stakeholder conference call, they changed the code at the last minute. Follow ADAPT on Facebook to get the latest updates.
Like NCIL on Facebook Follow NCIL on Twitter
1710 Rhode Island Avenue Northwest Fifth Floor | Washington, D.C., DC 20036 US

Regional Mobility Management Project Taxi Voucher Program

Are you interested in a 50% discount on taxi rides?

Are you eligible for paratransit service under the Americans with Disabilities Act ( ADA )?  If yes, then the Regional Mobility Management Project’s Taxi Voucher Program is for you!

Project highlights:

-- Must be eligible and certified under the ADA for paratransit service

-- Unlike traditional paratransit, same day service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year

-- Discount of 50% off metered fare

-- Trips must begin or end in Bridgeport , Stratford and/or Trumbull

-- Wheelchair accessible taxis available


For more information or to find out if you are eligible for the discount contact Margaret Mixon, Regional Mobility Manager, at (203) 365-8522 ext. 263 or email at .


This program is operated under a partnership between The Kennedy Center, Greater Bridgeport Transit and Metro Taxi.

The Regional Mobility Management Project is funded by the Federal Transit Administration's Section 5317 New Freedom Program, in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Transportation.  The project also receives support from planning organizations and stakeholders who participated in the  development of the Bridgeport/Stamford Urbanized Area's Locally Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan.

Leading Disability Rights Group Says People with Disabilities Could Decide Election

WASHINGTON – The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) reported today on its multi-year, nationwide effort to increase the number of people with disabilities who vote on Election Day.


NDRN’s member agencies have been registering voters, educating people with disabilities about their voting rights, and working with election officials to improve the accessibility of polling places and equipment.


“It is our goal to ensure that every individual with a disability who can vote, is registered, knows their rights, and is able to cast a private and independent vote when they go to their polling place,” said Curt Decker, executive director of NDRN.


According to a recent study conducted at Rutgers University, 14.7 million Americans with a disability voted in the 2008 election, up from 10.9 million in 2000. It is estimated there are approximately 35 million eligible voters with disabilities.


“People with disabilities and their families make up a huge block of voters,” said Decker. “Candidates should not underestimate the intense interest people with disabilities have in the outcome of this election.


“The economy, the government’s budget crisis, and looming cuts to programs critical to people with disabilities like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, could translate into record turnout.”


The Help America Vote Act (HAVA), enacted October 26, 2002, gave individuals with disabilities the right to participate in elections as other voters do and to cast a private and independent ballot. NDRN’s member agencies were authorized by HAVA to “ensure the full participation in the electoral process for individuals with disabilities, including registering to vote, casting a vote and accessing polling places" through a program called Protection and Advocacy for Voting Access (PAVA).

Independence Northwest Deaf Services

Independence Northwest's Deaf Services Program provides assistance for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened individuals of all ages.

  • Do you need an interpreter? Were you denied for an interpreter at a doctor's office, lawyer's office, etc.?
  • Do you have a hard time understanding English?
  • Do you need help to pass a citizenship test?
  • Do you need help in reading your mail, important letters/documents or signing papers?
  • Do you need help to apply for benefits? Or want to understand more about benefits? Or check if you are eligible for benefits?
  • Do you need help finding affordable housing?

Independence Northwest is the independent living resource for people with disabilities living in northwestern Connecticut. We work with people with all types of disabilities in all age groups.

Click Here to Download the In-Deaf Services Flyer PDF

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