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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. 2, No. 2


DFN News

DFN at the Council on Foundations
Annual Conference in Dallas, April 26-30

DFN has a full slate of exciting activities at the Council on Foundations Annual Conference in Dallas. We hope that those of you who are attending will join us.

Saturday, April 26
Affinity Group Network and Council on Foundation Welcoming Reception
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Learn about the full range of resources available through the Affinity Group Network and get ready for Saturday Night at the Movies (see below). Network with members of all 37 of the COF-sponsored Affinity Groups and enjoy Texas-style refreshments.

Saturday Night at the Movies
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

DFN, Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media and the the Council on Foundations will sponsor a special screening of one of this year’s film festival winners, The Collector of Bedford Street. This powerful documentary spotlights Larry Selman, a 60-year-old resident of Greenwich Village with a developmental disability who raised thousands of dollars for various charities. Selman’s story demonstrates the power of collaboration and partnership in social problem solving and the importance of community-based living options for people with disabilities. Afterward, meet Mr. Selman and the filmmaker, Alice Elliot, for a lively and revealing discussion.

Sunday, April 27
An Evening with Molly Ivins: Joint Reception with the Neighborhood Funders Group
6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Join DFN and the Neighborhood Funders Group for a conversation with writer and commentator Molly Ivins and a program honoring the first recipient of DFN‘s William Diaz Award for Disability Grantmaking, Nelson Colón. Participate in a lively conversation about corporate accountability with Ivins, a veteran critic of politics in Texas and Washington, D.C., and author of the bestseller Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?

Monday, April 28
Annual Business Meeting
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Join us for DFN‘s annual meeting and learn how disability issues cut across nearly every major foundation program area. Learn about our new Emergency Preparedness Project (see below) and help us with your suggestions on what new resources you’d like to see on our Web site. Newcomers are welcome!

Tuesday, April 29
Broadening Communications: How Your Web Site Can Reach Diverse Constituents
2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Learn how to design or redesign your Web site to communicate your message to all of your target audiences — including people with disabilities and those in cross-cultural communities. Find out how foundations have designed cost-effective Web sites that are broadly accessible, easy to navigate and manage and facilitate online collaboration while offering expanded capabilities like online publishing. Sponsored by DFN and the Technology Affinity Group.

Emergency Preparedness Project

DFN has launched a project to ensure that foundations and corporate giving programs have the information they need to include people with disabilities in their efforts to address emergency preparedness and conduct disaster grantmaking. The project, funded by the Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation and The New York Community Trust, covers:

  1. Grantmaking for emergency preparedness, disaster response and longer term recovery;
  2. Convening community groups to gather information and address preparation, response and recovery;
  3. Raising the level of awareness of emergency preparedness issues (both within the philanthropic and nonprofit communities and general public awareness); and
  4. Foundations’ own internal disaster planning as well as planning-related advice they offer their grantees and applicants.

Products will include a manual addressing these issues for corporate, community and private/independent foundations, workshops for grantmakers, and resource lists/links. To produce these materials, DFN is working with the National Organization on Disability; The Law, Health Policy and Disability Center at the University of Iowa; and other experts in the field of emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.

Disability Grantseekers’ Guide to Foundation and Corporate Funding

Working with MAXIMUS, the national project director of the Ticket Program under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act, DFN is developing a manual on foundation and corporate grantseeking for organizations that are planning on providing employment-related services to Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities under the Act. MAXIMUS will compile DFN’s manual with information about government grantseeking, how to obtain bank loans and a series of papers on how various types of providers serving different disability populations can provide employment services and obtain funding. The MAXIMUS resource will be available on this Web site and the Ticket to Work Web site, www.yourtickettowork.com, later this Spring. DFN will also have a stand-alone version of the foundation/corporate grantseeking guide available on its Web site once the master document has been released. For more information on the Ticket to Work Act, click on the following link, www.disabilityfunders.org/resource.htm#publications.

Disability in the News

NY Times Magazine Features Disability Rights Article on Assisted Suicide and Eugenics

The February 16 issue of The New York Times Magazine features an article written by disability lawyer, activist and wheelchair user Harriet McBryde Johnson about her debates and subsequent interactions with Peter Singer. Singer, an Australian philosopher who is now teaching at Princeton, is a fierce proponent of animal rights but wants to legalize the killing of babies with severe disabilities. “He also says he believes that it should be lawful under some circumstances to kill, at any age, individuals with cognitive impairments so severe that he doesn’t consider them ‘persons,'” says Johnson. This excellent article, “Unspeakable Conversations,” is available for a small fee on The New York Times Web site, www.nytimes.com/magazine.

HHS Approves Alabama Disability Program

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced the approval of a new Medicaid waiver in Alabama that will provide services to certain Medicaid-eligible individuals over the age of 21 with a substantial disability. Eligible individuals will be offered coverage for private duty nursing care, supplies, appliances, and assistive technology services. The program is expected to serve up to 30 individuals in the first year. The announcement follows press coverage and action on the part of disability advocates centering on the case of Nick Dupree, a man from Alabama who is quadriplegic and who has worked to change the policy that ended Medicaid benefits at age 21. See the Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_id=15897 and HHS press release www.hhs.gov/news.

DFN Member Featured in Washington Post Article on Parental Challenges in Accessing Free Appropriate Public Education

The Washington Post recently featured an article on the challenges faced by parents in trying to get Free Appropriate Public Education for their special-needs children. The case in point involves Marcie Roth, Executive Director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association and a member of DFN, and the Montgomery County school system. Read the full article at www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32351-2003Feb5.html.

Bush Administration Pledges $1.75 Billion to Assist People with Disabilities

At the end of January, HHS announced that President Bush will propose a new $1.75 billion five-year program to assist people with disabilities living in institutions to transition to communities of their choice. The proposal will be included in the FY 2004 budget for the President’s New Freedom Initiative. The proposal has drawn support from the National Council on Disability. The full press release can be accessed at: www.hhs.gov/news.

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Presents 2003 Hearne and Betts Awards

DFN member AAPD held a leadership awards ceremony on March 4 to recognize this year’s Paul G. Hearne and Henry B. Betts award winners. Five emerging leaders — who were selected by a national advisory committee from approximately 350 applications — won the 2002 Paul G. Hearne/AAPD Leadership Awards: Albert Cheong, San Francisco, CA; Claudia Gordon, Washington, D.C.; Carrie D. Griffin, Washington, D.C.; Peter Cody Hunt, Pittsburgh, PA; and Sarah Louise Triano, Chicago, IL. They each received a cash award of $10,000 to further their work in the disability community. The awards were established in 1999 by The Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation to recognize and carry on the work of Paul G. Hearne, AAPD’s founder and a renowned leader in the national disability community. His goal was identify and cultivate potential leaders to continue the disability movement into the next century.

Longtime advocates for the rights of people with disabilities Dick and Ginny Thornburg were presented the Henry Betts Award. Their son, Peter, who suffered a serious brain injury as a result of a 1960 car accident, inspired and grounded their advocacy efforts on behalf of all people with disabilities. Ginny is director of the Religion and Disability Program at the National Organization on Disability, and Dick has served as governor of Pennsylvania, U.S. attorney general under Presidents Reagan and Bush (seniot) and was the highest-ranking American at the United Nations.

Among the honored guests and speakers were former Senator Bob Dole, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Representative James Langevin (D-RI) and singer-songwriter Jose Feliciano.

+AAPD is a national membership organization dedicated to promoting the economic and political empowerment of all people living with disabilities in the US. More information about the awards and their recipients can be found at www.aapd-dc.org/docs/pghannounce02.html and www.aapd-dc.org/docs/03bettsawardees.html.


National Council on Disability Releases Five ADA Policy Briefs and a Critical Analysis of Federal Enforcement of Section 504

The NCD has released five policy briefs analyzing and responding to certain problematic aspects of the ADA decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The first, titled “Negative Media Portrayals of the ADA,” identifies prevalent myths and misconceptions about the ADA that the media coverage of the law has propagated, painting a picture of the ADA as an unclear law that authorizes “unworthy” people to sue private businesses and government agencies on “feeble and ludicrous” grounds.

The second, titled “Defining ‘Disability’ in a Civil Rights Context: The Court’s Focus on Extent of Limitations as Opposed to Fair Treatment and Equal Opportunity,” gives an overview of the origins of the statutory language found in the ADA definition of disability; considers the dramatically narrowed scope of the ADA coverage resulting from a series of hostile federal court decisions; looks at the experiences of several states that have adopted independent and broader definitions of disability for the purposes of antidiscrimination statutes; examines the models and definitions of disability used beyond the borders of the United States; and outlines a broader approach to the statutory framework.

“Chevron v. Echazabal: The ADA’s ‘Direct Threat to Self’ Defense” examines the implications for ADA law and disability policy of the Chevron decision and makes recommendations to align the definition of “direct threat” with congressional intent.

“The Impact of the Supreme Court’s ADA Decisions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” looks at the impact of the Court’s decision on people with disabilities and posits that the Court’s restrictive reading of the ADA has undermined Congress’ goal of eradicating discrimination on the basis of disability.

“The Americans with Disabilities Act: The Implications of the Supreme Court’s ADA Decision in Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama v. Garrett” looks at how the Garrett decision curtailed congressional power to enact civil rights legislation and how the Court’s reasoning called into question the factual underpinnings of the ADA.

From NCD Bulletin, February 2003. The articles can be accessed online at www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/03publications.html.

“Rehabilitating Section 504” analyzes federal enforcement of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and finds that five federal agencies — Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, State, and Justice — have not done a good job of policing the entities they fund and that Congress has been lax in its oversight of the agencies. HHS received the highest marks for its web site and civil rights enforcement, but the State Department fared the worst for its lack of an enforcement program. NCD recommended that the Bush Administration increase funding for civil rights enforcement and that agencies complete routine self-evaluations.

From NCD Bulletin, February 2003 and The Washington Post, Feb.13, 2003. You can access the report at www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/section504.html.

WGBH Releases New Guidelines for Making Software and Web Sites Accessible

The National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at WGBH has just published an accessibility guide for publishers, educational programmers and Web site developers. The new guide includes a basic understanding of the needs of users with different abilities; a summary of various approaches to serve users with different disabilities; specific solutions for designing more accessible software; guidelines with specific checkpoints and detailed techniques for implementation; extensive information on making multimedia presentations accessible to students who are deaf or blind; examples of writing image descriptions for blind students; solutions for making forms and databases accessible; and information on making electronic and on-line textbooks accessible. The new publication, an enhancement of a previously released resource, was funded by the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) and the National Science Foundation.

From MEAFLink, February 6, 2003. The guidelines are online at http://ncam.wgbh.org/cdrom/guideline.

New Issue of DisabilityWorld

The latest issue of the online magazine DisabilityWorld.org highlights disability issues from around the globe — Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Africa, and in the UN. The issue also rates its top ten best disability developments of 2002. The magazine can be accessed at www.DisabilityWorld.org.

EEOC Releases Telework Fact Sheet

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a fact sheet for employers who are considering allowing an individual with a disability to telework as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. According to White House Associate Director for Domestic Policy, Troy Justensen, “the EEOC’s technical assistance to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities is essential to implementing the goals of the President’s New Freedom Initiative.” The full document is available at www.eeoc.gov.


Urban Institute Study on Foundation Awareness

The Urban Institute is conducting a major survey of foundation approaches to effectiveness. The research was designed in collaboration with the leadership of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) and funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The results will provide the philanthropic community with a valuable overview of practices and attitudes in the field. But to succeed, the research effort needs your help. The survey is now being mailed to CEOs and executive directors of every staffed foundation in the country. GEO encourages you to participate to help increase the collective understanding of how foundations are working to improve their performance. More information on the survey is available at www.geofunders.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage.

Consulting Opportunity

Evaluation Consultant Database

The California Endowment is building an evaluation consultant database that will serve as a resource for program staff and grantees seeking assistance in documenting grantmaking impact and leveraging learning from effective programs. Consultants in the database may be called upon to submit proposals for evaluations ranging from statewide initiative-level evaluations to local, program-level evaluations. The Endowment is specifically seeking evaluation consultants with the presence and capacity to work in California, and who have familiarity with California’s diverse populations. Qualified individuals can access an online application at www.calendow.org/spra/form.htm.

2003 Calendar

DFN Events

Council on Foundations (COF) Annual Conference
April 26, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m
Affinity Group Network and Council on Foundation Welcoming Reception

Contact: Donna V.S. Ortega, 202-467-0382, orted@cof.org

April 26, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday Night at the Movies

Contact: Evelyn Gibson, 202-467-0471, gibse@cof.org

April 27, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Joint Reception with the Neighborhood Funders Group:
An Evening with Molly Ivins

Contact: Jeanne Argoff, 703-560-0099, njargoff@aol.com

April 28, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Disability Funders Network Annual Business Meeting


Contact: Jeanne Argoff, 703-560-0099, njargoff@aol.com

April 29, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
“Broadening Communications: How Your Web Site Can Reach Diverse Constituents”

Contact: Jeanne Argoff, 703-560-0099, njargoff@aol.com

New York Regional Association of Grantmakers Meeting
June 10 [time and venue TBA]:
Incorporating People with Disabilities into Foundation Emergency Preparedness Activities

Contact: Jeanne Argoff, 703-560-0099, njargoff@aol.com


COF Fall Conference for Community Foundations, Baltimore, MD
October 27, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m., Baltimore, MD
Using Strategic Fund Development Tools to Serve Diverse Populations

Contact: Jeanne Argoff, 703-560-0099, njargoff@aol.com
(details in the next issue of DFN E-News)

October 27, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Leveraging Strategic Communications to Maximize Outreach to and Meet the Needs of Diverse Communities

Contact: Jeanne Argoff, 703-560-0099, njargoff@aol.com
(details in the next issue of DFN E-News)

Additional conferences and meetings of interest are listed elsewhere on this site. Click on the following link: Beyond DFN.
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