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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. 5


Special Announcement

DFN Grantseekers’ Guide Available

At the request of Maximus, the national program operator for the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program, DFN has developed a resource guide for disability grantseekers. This resource, Grantseeking from Foundations and Corporations, provides information on the different types of foundations and corporate funding organizations, who they fund and how, together with how to research and write proposals. A guide to print and Web-based resources is included. Along with DFN’s guide, the Maximus site also has guides on how to obtain government funding and private loans, and how to maximize existing sources of government capital for Employment Networks under the Ticket to Work Act.

These resources are now available for downloading from the Maximus Web site, www.yourtickettowork.com. Click on the EN Capitalization Resources button under the Resources heading: www.yourtickettowork.com/en_cap_resource. The DFN guide, Chapter 4, begins on page 116.

Disability in the News

United Nations Approves Disability Rights Convention

U.N. Resolution 57/229, adopted on Dec. 18, 2002, affirmed the inclusion of the rights of people with disabilities in its human rights and social development policies and established conventions for such policies in all member nations and states. It formed an ad hoc committee to consider proposals on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Promotion and Protection of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities. As hundreds of disabilities rights advocates from many countries demonstrated outside, the committee met a second time on June 16, 2003, at the U.N. in New York City.

The final decision was a close one. For three days the ad hoc committee met in formal and informal sessions, and the final decision was made in the last plenary session that convened at 5:40 p.m. — with only 20 minutes left to formalize approval for the draft decision. Approval was made in the informal session because at 6 p.m. the interpreters went home, and the sound system was shut down. The session was concluded with no interpreters, no microphones — only the good will of the member states that approved the working group composition. The group will be made up of 27 member states and 12 representatives of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) — to be selected among themselves with transparency and in consideration of geographical representation and diversity.

The United States, however, did not sign on to the treaty. Bush Administration representatives stated that although the U.S. supports civil rights for people with disabilities, it will not sign the treaty. Ralph Boyd, U.S. assistant attorney general for civil rights, explained that the Administration favors national initiatives, “comprehensive domestic laws protecting those with disabilities,” rather than a global approach. Disability advocates expressed their disappointment that the Bush Administration — with its emphasis on the rights of people with disabilities and New Freedoms Initiative — will not support the United Nations initiative.

To learn more about the U.N.’s effort to support equality for people with disabilities, see United Nations eNABLE: www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable.

[Adapted from articles by Nan Hawthorne and Marta Russell, Russellmarta@aol.com, AAPD International Human Rights Advocate and a Justice For All E-mail News Alert, 6/29/03]

Air Travel Update

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) third forum on “Working Together to Improve the Air Travel of Passengers with Disabilities” took place on June 24, 2003, at the Wyndham Washington Hotel. The forum reflects DOT‘s continuing commitment to fostering the dialogue that began at the first forum on May 3, 2001. Representatives from the disability community, the airline industry, airport authorities, service contractors and the government exchanged ideas with the goals of understanding the needs of travelers with disabilities and making air travel accessibility a reality for all. This third forum focused on air carrier wheelchair service, DOT’s Disability Hotline, a service for dealing with accessibility problems that need to be addressed in “real time,” and the newly issued Service Animal Guidance document.

On May 9, DOT published guidance concerning the use of service animals in air transportation by people with disabilities. The document can be found at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov. Questions about this guidance can be addressed to the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, C-70, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20590.

Journey of Hope Presented by Saturn Kicks Off

On Sunday, June 15, 2003, 70 undergraduate members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity from colleges across the United States began a 4,000-mile, cross-country cycling trip, Journey of Hope Presented by Saturn. The event is a project of Push America, the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi that builds leaders of tomorrow by serving people with disabilities today.

The two-month trip began in San Francisco as the 70 team members crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and traveled together for the first week, after which they divided into two teams, one going north and the other going south. On Saturday, August 16, 2003, they will reunite on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, DC.

[Reproduced from a press release by Push America]

New York State Receives Federal Approval to Extend Medicaid Benefits to Working People with Disabilities

On June 26, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced the approval of New York’s plan to extend Medicaid benefits to uninsured working people with disabilities. Medicaid benefits will be offered to working people with disabilities who are between 16 and 64, have incomes 250 percent or less of the federal poverty level and up to $10,000 in assets. State officials expect more than 20,000 people to enroll in the new program within the next five years. This kind of Medicaid expansion was approved under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. The Act encourages people with disabilities to work and allows them to retain their Medicare, Medicaid and other health benefits. Currently, 27 states have extended Medicaid benefits to 45,000 working people with disabilities (HHS release, 6/26). Access this story and related links online: www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_id=18550

House, Senate Approve Homebound Demonstration Amendment

The Homebound Demonstration Amendment was included in the final House Medicare Prescription Drug Bill (with two minor changes) and in the Senate Medicare Prescription Drug Bill S. 1. Those who strongly supported the bill were Billy Tauzin, chair of the House Energy & Commerce committee, Senator Susan Collins; and retired Senator Bob Dole. Both are ready to go before for the conference committee. For more information contact: David Jayne, NCAHB Founder, at DavidJayne@ncahb.org or www.amendhomeboundpolicy.homestead.com.

[Adapted from an e-mail article by David Jayne, NCAHB and Justice for All e-mail News Alert, 6/29/03]

Some Employers Firing Workers with Disabilities to Lower Health Costs

On July 14, The Wall Street Journal examined the increasing number of companies that have begun to fire employees with disabilities to reduce health care costs. According to the Journal, employees with disabilities have become “an increasingly common casualty of the drive to cut costs” as health insurance expenses and the number of disabled employees increase and as many companies face bankruptcies and takeovers. Last July, for example, Polaroid fired 180 employees with disabilities and terminated their health insurance while the company got ready to sell assets to Bank One.

A survey conducted last year found that 27 percent of the 723 companies interviewed immediately terminate employees on long-term disability, and 24 percent terminate the employees at a set time after they are on long-term disability, often between six and 12 months; 15 percent of the companies retained employees on long-term disability and provided them with health insurance until they reached age 65. Terminated employees can retain their employer-sponsored health insurance for 18 months through COBRA, and employees with disabilities can purchase Medicare coverage after 18 months; but few can afford the cost of the coverage. In addition, few employees on long-term disability qualify for Medicaid because they continue to receive part of their salaries.

Last week, a discrimination lawsuit was filed in federal court in Boston on behalf of Elizabeth Williams, a former Polaroid employee with lupus who was terminated last July. Williams’ lawyer maintains that Polaroid and Bank One “got together and consciously planned to discriminate” against employees on long-term disability. A spokesperson for Polaroid did not comment on the lawsuit.

The Department of Labor estimates that 5.5 million individuals were on long-term disability last year, a 62 percent increase from 1992. The Journal reports that the “disability-payment squeeze is likely to continue for companies and their employees,” noting that the “reasons for the big rise aren’t completely understood, but the most cited explanation is an aging work force.”

[Adapted from Kaiser Network News. Access this story and related links online: www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_id=18841]

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Presents Livable Community Awards: DFN Members Featured in New Yorker Article on AFB Award to New York City

The American Foundation of the Blind (AFB) named Charlotte, NC, the best place to live in the United States for people who are blind or visually impaired. Coming in second after Charlotte was Berkeley, CA, followed by Kalamazoo, MI, and New York City. La Crosse, WI, and Louisville, KY, tied for fifth place.

The New York City award ceremony was covered in a brief article in New Yorker magazine’s “Talk of the Town” section (7/7/03), which included quotes from two DFN members: RoseMarie McCaffery from The Associated Blind and Alexander Wood from Disabilities Network of NYC. McCaffery stated that New York deserved its high ranking, citing the variety of transportation options in the city — buses, the subway and streets that are user-friendly for guide dogs. At the ceremony, Carl R. Augusto, AFB president, talked about New York’s livability attributes: neighborhood feel, grid-like layout, sidewalks everywhere, take-out everything and a widespread reliance on public transportation. “We even have the only blind theatre company in the U.S., he added.

For more information on the Livable Communities Project, visit: www.afb.org/livability.asp.

Books, Reports and Articles

NCD Reports on Reauthorization of TANF

In January 2003, NCD began monitoring the 2003 reauthorization of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other laws important to people with disabilities. NCD’s paper, “TANF and Disability: Importance of Supports for Families with Disabilities in Welfare Reform,” was forwarded to the Congressional committees handling TANF reauthorization. A copy of the report is available at www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/familysupports.html.

[Adapted from NCD Bulletin, May 2003]

New NCD Policy Paper Concludes That the ADA Should Apply to Private Web Sites

A new policy paper from The National Council on Disability (NCD) concludes that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to commercial and other private Web sites. The ADA provides equal opportunity in employment, public accommodations, transportation, government services and telecommunications for individuals with disabilities. The law, which requires government Web sites to be accessible to people with disabilities, should be equally applicable to commercial and private Web sites, the report argues. The paper also recommends strategies for implementing Web site accessibility without disruption and with benefit to consumers and businesses alike.

Source: U.S. Newswire; contact: Mark S. Quigley, http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=136-07102003. The policy paper is available at www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/adainternet.html.

[Adapted from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation listserv (MEAFLink)]

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations Releases New E-Publication

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) recently released “Tool for Assessing Startup Nonprofits: A due diligence supplement for grantmakers,” written by La Piana Associates, Inc. — a free download in PDF format. This publication assists funders assessing grant applications from startup nonprofits and includes suggested interview questions and worksheets that help funders think through the organization’s strengths and weaknesses.

GEO invites affinity group and regional association colleagues to share this publication with members or others who may be interested. The following link leads to the electronic publication, which can be posted on your site or in your organization’s communications pieces: www.geofunders.org/_uploads/documents/live/startupassessmenttool.pdf.

Awards, Nominations, Applications, RFPs, Call for Comments

AAPD Announces the 2004 Paul G. Hearne/AAPD Leadership Awards

Up to three emerging leaders with disabilities will be selected to receive a $10,000 cash award. Winners will also have an opportunity to meet and network with national disability leaders at the AAPD Leadership Gala in Washington, DC. U.S. residents of any age with any type of disability are eligible to apply. To be considered for a Leadership Award, candidates must complete an application and submit it along with a statement of 700 words or fewer that addresses all of the selection criteria and a letter of commitment from a mentor or supportive colleague who is prepared to work with the applicant in pursuing his/her leadership goals. The deadline for submission is September 26, 2003.

For an application and for any questions concerning the Leadership Awards, contact: Tracey Murray, Leadership Awards Coordinator, 770-232-9001 (voice only), E-mail: murr9001@bellsouth.net or Marie Campos, AAPD, 1-800-840-8844 (voice/TTY), E-mail: AAPD@aol.com.

Office of Disability Employment Policy & Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Offer Grants for Mentoring Youth with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), in collaboration with DOL’s Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, announces approximately $450,000 for three competitive grants funded up to $150,000 to eligible intermediary organizations that have demonstrated an ability to assist faith-based and community organizations, particularly smaller organizations, in promoting positive employment and transition outcomes for youth with disabilities through mentoring activities. The activities conducted must be consistent with effective practices and may include but are not limited to adult and peer mentoring, E-mentoring, tutoring, job-shadowing, service learning, leadership development and youth development. In achieving the grant purposes, the intermediary is expected to sub-award a substantial portion of its award to eligible local faith-based and community organizations. Grant funds may be used for activities that establish, implement or support a mentoring program for youth with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 24. Closing date for receipt of applications is July 28, 2003. For further information contact: Cassandra Willis, U.S. Department of Labor, Procurement Services Center, 202- 693-4570. Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact DOL via the Federal Relay Service, (800) 877-8339. This announcement will also be published on ODEP‘s online home page at www2.dol.gov/odep.

Multiple Sclerosis Foundation Announces “Brighter Tomorrow” Grants October 3, 2003

Multiple Sclerosis Foundation is accepting applications for the “Brighter Tomorrow” grant program. The goal is to provide individuals with goods or services — valued up to $1,000 — to improve their quality of life by enhancing safety, self-sufficiency, comfort or well-being. Previous recipients of “Brighter Tomorrow” grants have received car repairs, ramps, wheelchairs, walkers, eyeglasses, computers, appliances, televisions, furniture, therapeutic equipment, retreats and various home modifications. To qualify, a person must be 18 years or older and diagnosed with MS, or the parent of a minor child diagnosed with MS, and be a permanent U.S. resident. They must not have any other means of fulfilling the need they express. Applications must be postmarked on or before October 3, 2003. Applications are available online at http://msfocus.org/bwmgof.htm. For more information call 1-888-MSFOCUS (1-888-673-6287) or e-mail support@msfocus.org.

VSA Arts and Volkswagen of America Offer Opportunity for Young Artists with Disabilities

VSA arts, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities through the arts for people with disabilities, and Volkswagen of America have issued a call for artists with physical, cognitive or mental disabilities, ages 16 to 25 and living within the U.S., to participate in a juried exhibition entitled, “Road Trip: A Journey of Discovery.” Fifteen finalists will be awarded a total of $30,000 and will be honored in a public exhibition in Washington, D.C., in October 2003. Application deadline is August 15, 2003. For more information visit: www.vsarts.org.

Assets for Independence (AFIA) Announces RFP for Individual Development Account Grants

Dede Leydorf of the World Institute on Disability (WID) writes:

Assets for Independence Act (AFIA) is the primary source of funding for Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) in United States. I’m forwarding an RFP for AFIA awards. With this money, the disability community has a great opportunity to directly open IDA programs. If anyone has questions about IDAs, please feel free to call me.

Dede Leydorf
IDA Training and TA Program Manager
World Institute on Disability
510 16th Street, Suite 100
Oakland, CA 94612

AFIA Award Information: Request for Applications Announcement of availability of funds and request for applications under the Office of Community Services’ FY 2003 Assets for Independence Demonstration Program (IDA Program). The application deadline is August 11. The announcement is in the July 9 Federal Register as part of a consolidated program announcement: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2003/03-17396.htm. You can find the section that applies to AFIA (IDAs) at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/fy2003ocsfunding/section2a.html.

Employment and Contract Opportunities

Association of Small Foundations (ASF) Seeks Director of Member Services

The director of member services will be based in Bethesda, MD, and work in partnership with the director of programs to ensure that the knowledge-content of ASF’s programs and services are of high quality and relevant to the needs of a small-staffed foundation. Applicants should have a strong background in the operations of small foundations, solid experience in all areas of foundation management-legal, tax, investment, grantmaking, board, and grantmaking. Excellent managerial and communication skills are required.

Resumes should be E-mailed if possible to: hr@smallfoundations.org, or they can be mailed to: Human Resources, Association of Small Foundations, 4905 Del Ray Avenue. Suite 308, Bethesda, MD 20814, or faxed to 301-907-0980. All resumes will be acknowledged with a postcard. For more information, go to www.smallfoundations.org/careers/asf.

Western Law Center for Disability Rights Seeks Litigation Attorney

The Western Law Center for Disability Rights is seeking a full-time litigation attorney to be responsible for all aspects of a litigation and appellate caseload in disability rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, California disability rights laws and other laws. The attorney will also work with law students and co-counsel on all aspects of complex litigation, administrative and appellate cases, and will participate in the center’s education and outreach efforts. The position requires a J.D. and admission to the California Bar (or awaiting admission). Experience in disability rights law strongly preferred. Personal experience with disability or with persons with disabilities is preferred, and fluency in Spanish and/or American Sign Language is a plus. Persons with disabilities, persons of color, women and other minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Position is open until filled. Send resume and a cover letter outlining qualifications and references to:
Litigation Director
Western Law Center for Disability Rights
919 South Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Fax: (213) 736-1428.

American Diabetes Association Looking for Legal Advocate

The American Diabetes Association is seeking applicants for the position of legal advocate — an integral part of the association’s legal advocacy efforts to eliminate discrimination against people with diabetes. The legal advocate assists individuals facing discrimination by providing information, resources, and strategies to combat discrimination; assists lawyers around the country who are pursuing diabetes discrimination cases; and creates resource materials. The position is located in Alexandria, VA, and requires an understanding of complex legal issues; strong verbal/written communication skills, negotiation, time management, and problem-solving skills; and the ability to understand complex emotional problems and provide creative solutions. Please apply online at http://careers.diabetes.org. If you are unable to apply online, please send cover letter and resume by fax, identifying the legal advocate position, to Courtney Hubbard, fax: 702-299-5525, or by mail to American Diabetes Association, 1701 N. Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311.

Funders Concerned About AIDS Program Manager Position Available

Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) is currently seeking a program manager, a full-time position with a variety of high level responsibilities related to carrying out the mission and managing the programs of FCAA. The position requires a masters degree in philanthropy, public administration, public health or a related field; three to five years of work experience, preferably in the nonprofit or philanthropic arena; and superior planning skills, including program development and project implementation skills. Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) is a non-grantmaking philanthropic organization committed to mobilizing philanthropic leadership and resources, domestically and internationally, to eradicate the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to address its social and economic consequences. For more information about FCAA go to www.fcaaids.org.

To apply: Please send resume with cover letter and salary history (salary history is required!) to:
Executive Director, Funders Concerned About AIDS
50 East 42nd Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Fax: 212-687-2402.

No calls, please. (Posting: July 1, 2003; closed when position filled.)

Jewish Funders Network, Program Manager

The Jewish Funders Network (JFN), an international agency that provides leadership, programs and services to help Jewish grant makers be more effective and strategic in their philanthropy, invites applications for the position of program manager. The program manager will plan, develop and administer a range of programs and projects to educate Jewish funders about philanthropic strategy, ethical decision-making, Jewish history and tradition in philanthropy, and other critical issues. Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in a related field (master’s preferred); excellent interpersonal relations and writing skills; and strong ability to manage multiple projects. Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest, resume, salary expectations and three professional references to search@jfunders.org. Only E-mail submissions with a complete package of the aforementioned documents will be accepted. For more information on this position, please go to www.jewishjobfinder.com.

Special Events

ADA Anniversary Gala at Union Station

On July 25, 2003, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) (www.dredf.org), the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) (www.ncil.org) and the National Coalition for Disability Rights (NCDR) (www.adawatch.org) hosted the annual ADA Anniversary Gala at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Leaders, activists, supporters and advocates from the disability and civil rights communities around the country joined with members of congress, the Administration, corporations, law firms, women’s groups and labor unions to celebrate the 13th anniversary of the ADA. Music, international cuisine and dancing were on a program that also featured silent and live auctions of trips and tours, sports and celebrity memorabilia, and works of art. Event proceeds will support the work of the three sponsoring organizations — all of which are (501)(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

Free Our People March and Rally

ADAPT is sponsoring a Free Our People March on September 4-17, 2003 — 144 miles, “From the Liberty Bell to Capitol Hill.” 120 people with disabilities from across the U.S., many using wheelchairs and other mobility aids, will begin the march in Philadelphia. They will be joined by another 80 people in Baltimore for the last half of the march that culminates in Washington, D.C. — where a planned 20,000 people will gather at the “Free Our People Rally” on Capitol Hill to demand passage of the Medicaid Community-based Attendant Services and Supports Act (MiCASSA).

For more information go to www.adapt.org or www.freeourpeople.org.
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