Survey for Young Adults with Disabilities – Chance for a $20 Gift Card for Participants

From Gimpgirl.com, National Youth Leadership Network, Oregon Health Sciences University, Oregon Public Health Division, and Women with Disabilities Health Equity Coalition:

Young people with disabilities have been under represented, and sometimes left out, in developing policies and programs for sexual and reproductive health.  In Oregon, a small work group, with support from the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, is developing some program and policy recommendations to support young people with disabilities. The link below is a survey targeting young people with disabilities to assess their opinions about these recommendations.

The survey is about 15 questions and should take 15 minutes to take.  We’re specifically interested in the opinions of young people in the U.S. who have a disability.  An incentive of a $20 gift card from a nationally known on-line retail store is provided for the first 50 respondents. 

This is a joint project between Gimpgirl.com, National Youth Leadership Network, Oregon Health Sciences University, Oregon Public Health Division, and Women with Disabilities Health Equity Coalition. Thank you for your partnership.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Lesa Dixon-Gray at 971-673-0360, or Julie McFarlane at 971-673-0365.
Thanks to Kathryn Weit for the tip.

Latest Budget and Legislative News from the DD Coalition

The latest DD Coalition GO! Legislative Update:

LAST REGIONAL TOWN HALL ON STATE BUDGET
If you live in or near Clackamas, don’t miss one last opportunity to speak to the importance of DD services! The last regional town hall on the state budget hosted by the Oregon House Democrats will be held in Clackamas on Wednesday, May 11th
at 6:30pm, Rex Putnam High School Auditorium, 4950 SE Roethe Road, Milwaukie OR 97267.
If you plan to attend this budget hearing, please be sure to wear your Print and GO! Yellow DD Advocacy Button to show your support for DD services.  It is important for the DD community to be present and visible at these hearings.  Remember that you can also submit written testimony related to the State of Oregon budget to:  waysandmeans.budget@state.or.us.

MAY REVENUE FORECAST TO BE RELEASED
On Thursday, May 12th, there will be an informational hearing at 8:30 AM in HR A before the Senate and House Revenue Committees, during which the May Revenue Forecast will be released. You can watch live video or listen to live (or archived) audio of this informational hearing by accessing the audio/video link www.leg.state.or.us/listn/ on the Oregon State Legislative web site. The Co-Chairs will be using this information as they finalize their budget for 2011-2013.
CO-CHAIRS’ BUDGET TO BE FINALIZED
Speculation abounds as to when the Co-Chairs’ budget will be issued. Some have heard that it will be issued in mid-May, soon after the May revenue forecast is released. Others say it will be by the end of May. What we do know is that the Ways and Means Subcommittees are working to finalize their budget deliberations and push those recommendations back out to the full Ways and Means Committee.
The Ways and Means Subcommittees have also been given the “green light” to begin hearing policy bills again as their work on the budget wraps up, so stay tuned for more announcements on bills we are tracking that have been referred to the Ways and Means Committee.

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR HEARINGS THIS WEEK
May 9th – Monday
1:00 PM HR B (PPW)/ Senate General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection Committee:
HB 3361 (relating to accessibility of cluster mailboxes)
3:00 PM HR D (PWK)/ House Health Care Committee:
SB 99A (creates the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange)
3:00 PM HR E (PUB)/ House Rules Committee:
SB 800 (bill that removes certain outdated or redundant provisions in education laws and eliminates certain reporting requirements)
May 10th – Tuesday
1:00 PM HR B (PPW)/ Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee:
HB 2220A (relates to proficiency-based education)
HB 2283A (relates to high school transition hours)
HB 2285 (relates to consent for school diplomas)
May 11th – Wednesday
8:30 AM HR 343 (WRK)/ Senate Judiciary Committee:
HB 2652A (disqualifies certain persons from serving as fiduciary for protected person if parental rights terminated)
3:00 PM HR D (PWK)/House Health Care Committee:
SB 99A (creates the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange)
5:30 PM HR E/Health Care Transformation Committee (J):
HB 3650 (bill that sets the stage for implementation of Health Care Transformation)
May 12th – Thursday
8:30 AM HR 343/ Senate Judiciary Committee:
HB 2036A (clarifies application of statutes related to unlawful discrimination against persons with disabilities)
HB 2683A (establishes procedure to request confidential information in protective proceeding)
May 13th – Friday
3:00 PM HR D (PWK)/House Health Care Committee:
SB 99A (creates the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange)

BILLS THAT NEED YOUR SUPPORT
HB 2600 is the bill that puts Adult Support Services (Staley Settlement) into statute. It is currently in the Human Services Subcommittee of the Joint Ways and Means Committee.  Please urge the Subcommittee members pass this bill out of the Committee. The following are the members of the Joint Ways and Means, Human Services Subcommittee:
Sen. Alan C Bates, Co-Chair—sen.alanbates@state.or.us
Rep. Tim Freeman, Co-Chair—rep.timfreeman@state.or.us
Rep. Tina Kotek, Co-Chair—rep.tinakotek@state.or.us
Rep. Mitch Greenlick, Co-Vice Chair—rep.mitchgreenlick@state.or.us
Rep. Kim Thatcher, Co-Vice Chair—rep.kimthatcher@state.or.us
Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson—sen.lauriemonnesanderson@state.or.us
Sen. Jackie Winters—sen.jackiewinters@state.or.us

Caregiver’s Night Off – TOMORROW

The Edwards Center in Aloha is now providing a new program called Caregiver’s Night Off.

THE NEXT CARGIVER’S NIGHT OFF IS MAY 6TH.

WE WILL PLAY BINGO (FOR  PRIZES), Make CUPCAKES, PLAY Wii  AND HAVE PIZZA!!

The first Friday of every month from 4pm-8pm, well-qualified staff and an on-site nurse will be available to provide leisure activities with your loved one 18 years and older, while you enjoy time to yourself. Only $25 for the entire evening!

Edwards Center, Milwaukie

4287 SE International Way, Suite A

Milwaukie, OR 97222

503-653-2381 for information or to register

And

Edwards Center, Aloha

20250 SW Kinnaman

Aloha, OR 97007

503-356-1131 for information or to register

Thanks to Mary Lanxon and Robyn Hoffman for the tip.

Portland Woman’s Disability Advocacy Inspires

For the last several weeks, employees of Independence Northwest have been working on an advocacy effort called The Dear Legislator Project as a response to deep cuts proposed to our services. The idea for the project is simple: Oregonians with disabilities and their supporters record short 2 – 3 minute videos directly addressing their legislators with their concerns and solutions. We’ve been recording and posting these videos on The Dear Legislator Project website and Facebook and sending them off to Representatives and Senators via email. The site has had over 2,000 unique hits in just five weeks.

A couple of weeks ago, I had an impromptu visit to my office from someone by the name of Kaaren Londahl. Karen, a woman with a developmental disability and recipient of brokerage services through a fellow agency, was accompanied by Megan, a support person from the provider organization On The Move Community Integration as well as two other folks supported by the agency.

We shuffled into the conference room, Kaaren handed me a large stack of papers and said “Larry, we have got to save our services now.” She explained that she has been receiving skills training and inclusion assistance through On The Move four days a week for the last couple of years. She had heard about the scheduled cuts and The Dear Legislator Project and wanted to be a part of the solution. She shared that she recently began visiting with friends, family, community members and businesses in her neighborhood. Kaaren explained to each person what these cuts would mean to her and to the community at large and asked them each to write a short statement to their Representative or Senator. In just a week, she had over seventy-five notes and signatures. “I went to Starbucks, Kitchen Kaboodle, my neighbors, everyone!” she says.  “I just wanted to do it for everyone. It’s very important for people to have programs.”

In less than a week, Kaaren helped give voice to scores of people in her community. “My mom was an advocate and so I need to be one too, you know.” Who knows – without her efforts many of those folks may never have phoned their lawmakers, written a letter to express their concerns or raised their voice in protest of the cuts. I promised her I would forward on her concerns to her legislators and mail copies of her testimonial sheets to both Representative Lew Frederick and Senator Chip Shields.

“We can’t go backwards – we have to go frontwards,” she said. She’s right. Oregon faces the most significant cuts to developmental disabilities services we’ve ever seen.

  • Brokerages are preparing to lose 10% of the money paid to employ case managers and an extension of a 10% loss to our administrative dollars on top of 100% loss of our quality assurance funding. This will result is poorer services and a weaker system.
  • Brokerage customers who are without Medicaid (maybe because they are dealing with Social Security appeals or are recently diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome or Autism) will be completely dropped from our rosters on October 1st. That’s 800 Oregonians who will lose all services.
  • Brokerage customers between the ages of 18 and 21 are set to lose 75% of their funding because there’s an assumption that schools will pick up the slack.
  • Finally, the State is poised to cut 2,000 people from their day programs. This will reduce an already limited provider pool and remove options. Many people will likely lose their jobs and some provider agency will close their doors.

I’ve always admired the louder voices among us – folks who are willing stand on the steps of city hall and raise their voices until their faces turn red. I admire the well-spoken, those who are willing to put themselves out there for a cause and affect change through words. My problem is that I’ve got a pesky shyness that chokes me up every time I try to speak publicly. Things just don’t flow and I decided long ago that such efforts are best led by those with such gifts. The concept of The Dear Legislator Project gave me a way to get involved without being front and center.  We all need forums that work for us. For some people, it’s getting up in front of hundreds of people and testifying, for others it’s recording the stories of others. For others still it’s collecting signatures and stories and concerns from neighbors and community members.

If you’ve yet to get involved, I urge you to do something this go round. We are at serious risk for significant changes to the way Oregon supports people with disabilities. Right now, we’re in the final stretch. In a couple of weeks we’ll know what will be cut and how deep.There’s still time to make a difference. Please consider sending a message to the Ways and Means Committee at waysandmeans.budget@state.or.us. Even if you just send a few lines, it sends a message.

“Fight for our programs so we can move on,” Kaaren said just the other day to me. It’s good advice. Fight – however it makes sense for you.

– Larry Deal, Executive Director of Independence Northwest

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