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Disability Inclusive Grantmaking is the mission of DFN: inclusion of disability in grantmaking programs and inclusion of people with disabilities in grantmaking organizations.

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DFN E-News: Vol. 1, No. 1


This is the first issue of the listserv version of DFN News. If we get a positive response from most of you, we will begin sending you condensed version of disability news items, news in the philanthropic world that relates to disability, current information from DFN members and other items that you tell us are useful to you. We will send out this communication over the listserv every week or two and will post longer original articles on the Web site, collecting them once a year for a print version of DFN News. Let us know what you like, what you don’t, and what you’d like to see in the future.

Disability in the News

Honoring Justin Dart

The passing of Justin Dart at the end of June will be celebrated across the country on July 26, the 12th anniversary of the ADA. As many of you know, Justin was a leader of the international disability rights movement and a renowned human rights activist, and has been called “the father of the Americans with Disabilities Act.” He was a man greatly admired and respected.

If you are unfamiliar with the life and work of Justin you can find more information by going to www.ican.com and reading the extensive obituary about his extraordinary journey. The site also has the text of his last speech and details of upcoming service to honor and remember him on July 26.

In the wake of his passing, many have expressed the desire to celebrate and show appreciation for his life and work. If you wish to write a letter of support to his wife, Yoshiko, you may send materials to:

Attn.: Celebration
1819 H Street, NW, Suite 330
Washington, D.C. 20006

If you prefer to send a letter electronically, you may do so at www.aapd-dc.org.

The Homebound Rule

In an opinion piece dated June 27, 2002, in The Washington Post, former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) writes that the rule requiring Medicare beneficiaries to be “homebound” in order to receive home health services is outdated and does not reflect the current state of technological advances in health care. The current rule, Dole argues, has had the adverse effect of creating an atmosphere of fear for patients who feel that they cannot leave their homes without forfeiting the services they receive, as well as for practitioners, who are required to report any infraction of the rule. Dole calls for an amendment of this restriction in the Medicare reform bill, and asks that the rule be changed to reflect today’s technology. If you would like additional information on the homebound rule, write to NJArgoff@aol.com.

New White House Liaison

Troy R. Justesen recently became the White House staff’s new Associate Director for Domestic Policy and will assist the Offices of Domestic Policy and Public Liaison with President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative. He has recently served as Deputy Executive Director of the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education and as a policy analyst in the Director’s Office of the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education. You may reach Troy at 202-456-5228, or via e-mail at Troy_Justesen@opd.eop.gov.

Thanks to Rayna Aylward of Misubishi Electric America Foundation for the following two items:

Special Education News

From The Washington Post — the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education has recommended that federal funds be allowed to pay for private services or private schools for students with disabilities. However, the Commission did not propose that Congress provide a mandatory funding level for special ed, meaning that the funds for such vouchers would come from existing budget resources. Opponents of the recommendation say it would hurt school systems by depriving them of money and efficiency by limiting their ability to group students who may need the same special services. This is just one of the recommendations in the Commission’s report, which were the subject of Senate hearings last week. Here’s where you can find the article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30493-2002Jul5.html.

Engaging Persons with Disabilities as Volunteers

The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network have released a new evaluation report describing significant accomplishments and lessons learned on how to create inclusive service events that effectively engage persons with disabilities as volunteers. The report is based on a year-long initiative, funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, to maximize awareness of the full range of service days and offer multiple opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The report is available at www.pnnonline.org/article.php?sid=408.

Philanthropy News

New Research on Board and Staff Diversity

Many of you know that DFN is a founding member of an association of nine foundation affinity groups focusing on identity-based issues, known as the Joint Affinity Groups (JAG). JAG recently released a report titled “The Meaning and Impact of Board and Staff Diversity in the Philanthropic Field,” which argues that the lack of diversity on staff and boards of philanthropic organizations may impede the field’s ability to respond effectively to the needs of diverse communities. The report found that, while women now comprise the majority of paid staff, and while a fifth of staff are now people of color, the composition of boards has not changed significantly in terms of diversity. Barriers based on disability, ethnicity and race, and gender and sexual orientation persist. The report makes several recommendations, including recruiting decision-makers who operate outside foundations’ economic and social circles, informing board members and staff of the value of diversity, and developing clear goals for increasing diversity. For a summary of the report, go to http://www.nng.org/assets/pdf/Diversity%20Practices%20in%20Foundations.pdf. For a full report, go to http://www.disabilityfunders.org/resource.html. If you would like to receive a printed copy of the report summary, call 703-560-0099 or e-mail NJArgoff@aol.com.

DFN Member News

New Report on Evaluation of Enabling Garden Techniques

A recent report from the Retirement Research Foundation summarizes the results of the Evaluation of the Buehler Enabling Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Installed in 1999 according to the Principles of Universal Design developed by the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University, the purpose of the Enabling Garden Exhibit is to establish a space that provides universal access to the gardening experience and its many benefits to all people regardless of abilities, age or background. The purpose of the recent study was to conduct a post installation evaluation of the garden to assess to what extent its enabling features and adaptive gardening techniques assist older adults and people with disabilities. To date there have been no systematic procedures for evaluating the effectiveness of specific enabling features in enabling gardens, nor have there been published evaluation studies. Consequently, this is the first time these enabling principles have been tested, using cutting-edge methodology and focusing on an extensive range of disabilities. The findings and conclusions from this first study can be useful for future research.

This report was funded by DFN member Retirement Research Foundation, and was forwarded to us by DFN member The Chicago Community Trust. Let us know if you would like a copy of this report at NJArgoff@aol.com.

Ticket-to-Work Briefing in Los Angeles for Grant Applicants

As part of DFN‘s multi-year project with The California Endowment, DFN board chair Deborah Lewis and executive director Jeanne Argoff will present a workshop on opportunities for grantseekers to seek foundation funding for projects related to the Ticket-to-Work legislation. As has been noted in previous DFN articles and reports, the federal Ticket-to-Work legislation, passed at the end of 1999, offers states significant opportunities to eliminate barriers to employment for people with disabilities. Two major elements of the act are improving access to 1) health care coverage under Medicaid and Medicare and 2) employment training and placement services for disabled people who want to work.

The workshop is part of a one-day conference for area non-profits sponsored by the Western Law Center on Disability Rights on Wednesday, July 24, from 4:00 to 8:00 at Loyola Law School, 919 S. Albany. For more information or to register for the conference, call Deborah Miles at 213-736-8365.

Feedback and Input

Please let us know what you think about receiving listserv postings from the DFN office in this new format — that is, in summary form every one or two weeks — rather than as news occurs. Also, if you have any items you would like us to include in future postings or if you have any suggestions about format and content, please write to us at NJArgoff@aol.com.

Category: DFN E-News