DFN E-News: Vol. 3, No. 1
- Disability in the News
- Highlights on People and Organizations
- In Memoriam: Dr. Sylvia Walker
Books, Reports and Articles
- New Book on Disability Civil Rights Law
- State of the States Tracks Disability Spending
- One-Stop Portal for Information on Federal Grants
- National State Directors on Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) Online Meeting
- Obesity Rates Main Cause of Increased Disability
- Able Trust Survey
- Self-Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities
- Access Guide for Community-Based Organizations
- Transitionlink — From School to Work for Adolescents with Disabilities
- Cornell University’s Online Source for Disability Statistics
- Funding Guide from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
- Applications, Grants and RFPs
- Employment Opportunities
Susan M. Daniels, Ph.D. (DFN member), was selected for the 2003 Henry B. Betts Award. Dr. Daniels, principal of Daniels and Associates, a firm that focuses on transforming disability policy into practice at the state and local levels, has long been recognized as a national and international disability rights advocate. As deputy commissioner for Disability and Income Security Programs at the Social Security Administration (SSA), she worked to build a foundation for the landmark Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. This groundbreaking legislation creates employment incentives for people with disabilities and removes the systemic barriers that forced them to choose between health coverage and work.
Throughout her career Dr. Daniels held a number of senior federal positions, including deputy commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration and Associate Commissioner for the Administration on Developmental Disabilities in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She initiated the Home of Your Own program to assist people with disabilities in becoming homeowners, and she supported a national Home of Your Own technical assistance center that expanded home ownership opportunities for people with disabilities across the country. There are now Home of Your Own networks in 27 states.
Dr. Daniels has spoken on disability policy at international conferences and research forums in Europe and Asia. She served as president of the U.S. Council of International Rehabilitation and is currently Rehabilitation International’s deputy vice president for North America. In 1998, she led efforts to convene the International Women with Disabilities Leadership Forum, received a Congressional citation and was honored with the 1998 Good Housekeeping Award for Women in Government.
The Henry B. Betts Award was created in 1989 by the Prince Charitable Trusts and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and is administered by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). The award will be presented to Dr. Daniels at the annual AAPD Leadership Gala on March 16, 2004, at the Washington Hilton and Towers. For ticket information, call 703-556-0448 (V/TTY).
The U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, preliminarily approved settlement of a class action lawsuit (Davis et al. v. California Health and Human Services Agency et al.) against San Francisco and several state agencies brought on behalf of present and potential residents of Laguna Honda Hospital (LHH) and the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco (ILRCSF). LHH residents and the ILRCSF challenged policies and practices that discharge patients from San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) to LHH without considering non-institutional, community-based alternatives as required by the ADA and other federal and state laws. In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C. that the unnecessary institutionalization of individuals with disabilities when home and community-based care would meet their needs violates the ADA and constitutes discrimination based on disability (527 U.S. 581 ).
The settlement requires that San Francisco develop a system of assessment and discharge-planning that allows people with disabilities and seniors the option of receiving supports and services in the community. By March 29, 2004, San Francisco will begin a state-of-the-art Targeted Case Management (TCM) Program to screen, assess and develop individual service and discharge plans and provide ongoing case management. TCM Program staff will receive training on community living alternatives. In addition, San Francisco will conduct training for LHH residents on community living options, start a Community Advisory Committee with ILRCSF participation and open a Community Resource Center at LHH.
The Davis case also settles long-standing deficiencies in the State Department of Mental Health’s Pre-Admission Screening and Resident Review program for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. The revised state assessment process will identify personal goals for housing, work, relationships and health. State evaluators will consider whether the individual’s goals and needs can be met with the full range of community-based alternatives to nursing home care, thus putting an end to an old evaluation process that directs an excessive number of people to nursing homes.
In April 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to San Francisco concluding its five-year investigation of LHH for practices that discriminate on the basis of disability. DOJ also questioned the cost-effectiveness of San Francisco’s plan to spend the $401 million for a 1,200-bed replacement facility, costing $127,000 per bed each year to operate, noting that “community integrated options could be provided at a fraction of the cost of staying in LHH.”
The plaintiffs have the option to refile the portion of the case that seeks the actual provision of community services to people at SFGH and LHH after the new community-based assessment program is established and has been operating for six months. The need for community-based services and the capacity of San Francisco to provide such services will be determined based on the new assessment process.
An Associated Press (AP) article highlighted the findings of a newly released report, “Improving Federal Disability Statistics,” by the National Council on Disability (NCD). The report warns that inaccurate census information on U.S. residents with disabilities decreases the amount of funding allocated for services in local communities, schools and businesses. According to the report, census data is utilized in the allocation of federal funds to states to improve enforcement of civil rights and predict the number of individuals eligible for Social Security benefits. The report states that the 2000 census undercounted and failed to gather accurate information on children with disabilities under age six and that it reached two conflicting estimates on the number of U.S. residents with disabilities.
Every 10 years the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a complete accounting of every resident in the United States. Although there is no Congressional mandate requiring an accurate counting, communities and people with disabilities are affected if the census numbers are underreported or inaccurate. Federal, state and county governments use census information for their annual distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in critical services and supports. Census data is also used by educators, policymakers and community leaders and directly affects funding for many programs critical to people with disabilities-including programs for health care, transportation, employment training and housing.
The report calls for an urgent and immediate need for the Departments of Commerce and Labor to address matters related to the collection of disability data through the Decennial Census, the American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey to ensure adequate funding for disability services.
The AP story was picked up by The Washington Post (1/8/04) and other major newspapers. For more information contact Mark Quigley at 202-272-2004, TTY 202-272-2074 or email@example.com.
The New York Times ran an opinion piece on the case of Tennessee v. Lane, which went before the Supreme Court on January 13, 2004. The Lane case could severely limit enforcement of key provisions in the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Plaintiffs George Lane and Beverly Jones, both with mobility impairments, sued Tennessee for failing to ensure that courthouses are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Both plaintiffs were denied access to courtrooms on the second floors of buildings that did not have elevators. Lane was a defendant in a criminal case, and Jones worked as a court reporter.
When Lane arrived at the Polk County Courthouse with a crushed hip and pelvis, he had a problem. His hearing was on the second floor, there was no elevator, and the judge said he had better get upstairs. Although both of Lane’s legs were in casts, he managed to get out of his wheelchair and crawl up two flights of stairs. His case was not heard during the morning session, and at the lunch break he crawled back downstairs. That afternoon, when he refused to crawl upstairs again, he was arrested and put in jail for failing to appear.
Jones, the second plaintiff, supports her two children by working as a court reporter. A wheelchair user, she has turned down jobs in some of the 23 Tennessee counties because the courthouses were not wheelchair-accessible.
At issue in the case is whether Congress had the authority to allow state and local governments to be sued for money damages for violating Title II of the ADA. Title II protects millions of Americans with disabilities from discrimination in access to public facilities and the provision of public services. Advocates fear that a negative ruling might diminish the ability of people with disabilities to enforce their civil rights in court, and the ruling could further weaken the ADA, which has faced numerous challenges in recent years.
In their briefs, the states write that court reporters like Ms. Jones have no constitutional right to “ply their trade” in accessible courthouses. They also hold that Mr. Lane does not have an absolute right to attend his own criminal trial. The states argues that there was an offer to “assist him upstairs,” but Lane refused that offer because he was afraid he would be dropped on purpose. The states’ main argument, however, is states’ rights-that the federal government has no power to protect people with disabilities in this way. They argue that the 11th Amendment gives them immunity from suits for damages under the ADA, citing the Supreme Court’s recent declaration that to force the states to defend themselves against these lawsuits would deny them “the dignity that is consistent with their status as sovereign entities.”
An opinion piece in The New York Times goes on to say that this interpretation of the 11th Amendment is wildly inconsistent with its plain language, which bars only lawsuits against states brought by “citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.”
The Justice-for-All (JFA) E-mail service reports that 37 advocacy and professional organizations filed briefs in support of the plaintiffs, as did 10 states. Seven states filed briefs in support of Tennessee’s position that Congress lacks to authority to allow states to be sued for money damages under Title II (JFA 1/12/04).
American Express was named the 2004 Outstanding Corporation by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) www.afpnet.org, the largest association of charitable fundraisers in the world. The award recognizes a corporation or corporate foundation for exceptional commitment to philanthropy and community involvement. In 2003, American Express contributed more than $30 million through its global philanthropic program, including $500,000 through its Economic Independence Fund to support financial literacy.
One of the ways American Express supports the communities in which it operates is through employee involvement. More than 65 percent of the employees of American Express Financial Advisors (American Express’ Financial Services Division) are community volunteers.
Three themes encompass American Express’ philanthropic philosophy and reflect its funding priorities: cultural heritage, economic independence and community service. Just a few of its gifts in these areas over the past few years include: more than $1.37 million to 48 organizations in 28 states as part of its Economic Independence Fund that supports the delivery of financial literacy education to underserved adults, and $3.6 million over seven years to the Red Cross to support its disaster relief efforts and lessen the organization’s reliance on episodic fundraising for major disasters.
American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. The American Express Philanthropic Program makes grants through the company and the American Express Foundation. The American Express Philanthropic Programs was a founding member of DFN and its director, Terry Savage, serves on the DFN board of directors. Visit the company’s Web site at www.americanexpress.com.
Elaine Ostroff, founder of Adaptive Environments, was awarded the Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education. She serves as an advisor to the Center for An Accessible Society. Ostroff, who founded Adaptive Environments in 1978, is only the third American honored since 1978 when the Misha Black Medal was created by the Royal College of Art, the Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry of the RSA, The Design and Industries Association and The Chartered Society of Designers.
In 1992, Ostroff created the Universal Design Education Project, working with faculty from 25 colleges and universities across the nation, and she helped to introduce similar projects in Europe and Asia. She works closely with the American Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) to encourage the introduction of Universal Design into the teaching of architecture. The ACSA acknowledged this work with an honorary award in 2003. The Global Universal Design Educators Network that she established in 1998 has over 300 members worldwide. She edits a Web site, Universal Design Education Online (www.udeducation.org), for design educators to ensure that educators can share their social justice values in the service of a more equitable society.
DFN mourns the passing of Sylvia Walker, professor emeritus of the School of Education and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Director of the Center for Disability and Socioeconomic Policy Studies and the Howard University Research and Training Center. She also served as vice-chair of the President’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities under the Clinton Administration and was on the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).
Dr. Walker championed the rights of people with disabilities and was a pioneer in the research that supported the development and promulgation of legislation leading to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She published extensively, focusing on people with disabilities from underserved racial/ethnic populations. She also created and developed a national research and training model to enhance access to vocational rehabilitation services for diverse ethnic/racial individuals with disabilities.
The Walker-Thomas Fund established by Dr. Walker is taking memorial donations to support the development of leadership among young people with disabilities. Please send donations to: The Walker Thomas Fund, Suite 100, Holy Cross Hall, 2900 Van Ness Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008.
Peter Blanck, Eve Hill, Charles D. Siegal and Michael Waterstone. Disability Civil Rights Law and Policy. San Francisco: West Thompson, 2003.
DFN member Eve Hill is a co-author of a new book, Disability Civil Rights Law and Policy. The book examines the basis and history of discrimination against people with disabilities and the federal laws that culminated in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It describes the ADA’s definition of disability, how it has been interpreted and studied, and it reviews the three major titles of the ADA, including a review of the remedies available for various ADA claims and the procedures required to pursue them.
The book also discusses several state anti-discrimination laws and how states approach disability civil rights; the basics of international law, existing initiatives by regional organizations and the United Nations; and the applications of disability law to emerging American law and policy. For more information go to http://west.thomson.com/product/40116858/product.asp.
There is a new edition of the State of the States study that tracks public dollars spent on disability programs and services in the United States. This latest edition, published by AAMR, gives a roundup of disability spending from 2000 through 2002, including trends in revenues and spending. To order: call 301-604-1340 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new Web portal launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.grants.gov, lists more than 800 available grant programs from all 26 federal grantmaking agencies. These agencies together award more than $360 billion in grant funds. Read a press release on the site launch at www.grants.gov/assets/GrantsgovLaunchAnnouncement.doc.
The annual NASDDDS meeting of the state directors of developmental disabilities services held in Virginia in November 2003 featured discussions on contemporary issues facing disability professionals today. Issues addressed were: Ticket to Work and the role of state directors; approaches to assurance and quality improvement; building a system of crisis services and supports; and community workforce development. You can read these presentations online at www.nasddds.org/Meetings/2003_Annual_Meeting/2003_AM_presentations.shtml.
According to a study published in the January/February issue of Health Affairs, disability rates among U.S. residents in their 30’s and 40’s has increased dramatically in the last 20 years — in large part because of increased obesity rates. In the study, RAND economist Darius Lakdawalla and colleagues analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey, which collects information from approximately 36,000 U.S. households each year. Survey respondents were considered to have a disability if they could not take care of their personal needs or had limited ability to perform routine tasks. The study reported that, between 1984 and 1996, the rate of disability among respondents aged 30 to 39 increased by 80 percent, and the rate among respondents aged 40 to 49 increased by 31 percent. The main causes of disability among respondents younger than age 60 were musculoskeletal problems and mental illnesses. Both conditions, according to the study, disproportionately affect obese individuals.
For more information, see www.californiahealthline.org.
In a recent study, Able Trust surveyed 306 Florida businesses on policies, practices and attitudes related to hiring persons with disabilities. Only 33 percent of all respondents report being highly aware of disability issues; 50 percent have no formal policy for hiring individuals with disabilities; 25 percent feel they are recruiting well; and 35 percent have disability-training programs. For more information, go to www.abletrust.org/news/Able_Trust_Employer_Attitudes_Study.pdf.
The U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Small Business Administration recently formed a strategic alliance to enhance self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities. For more information see www.dol.gov/odep/newfreedom/sam.htm.
An access guide for community-based organizations, “Starting Points,” helps them determine where and how they can be more accessible to people with disabilities in the areas of communications, facilities, program, technology and Web site. For more information, go to www.ataccess.org/resources/acaw/startingpoints.html.
Transitionlink is an on-line community for sharing ideas, strategies, resources and information concerning the transition to life after high school for adolescents with disabilities. For more information, go to www.transitionlink.com.
Cornell University has an online source for disability statistics. Visitors must register on the site, but there is no charge. Visitors can set their own selection of factors. (For example, selecting a report and bar graph that details and compares the percentage of men and women with disabilities employed for both the U.S. government and the state of California from the years 1981 through 2002.) For more information, go to www.ilr.cornell.edu/ped/DisabilityStatistics/home.cfm.
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), www.gwofunders.org, has a new publication, Funding Effectiveness: Lessons in Building Nonprofit Capacity — a guide to promising practices in capacity building. Written for leaders of both grantmaking and nonprofit organizations, the book offers a collection of essays from GEO members who share lessons learned in the area of organizational effectiveness and offer practical suggestions and action steps for implementation. To order, call 202-518-7251 or E-mail email@example.com.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Headquarters and Regional Offices of Discretionary Grant and Mandatory Grant Competitions announced its State Program Improvement Grants for Children with Disabilities program. The purpose of this program, authorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997, is to assist state educational agencies and their partners referred to in section 652(b) of IDEA with reforming and improving their systems for providing educational, early intervention and transitional services to improve results for children with disabilities. The current deadline is February 27, 2004. For more information go to www.fedgrants.gov/Applicants/ED/HRO/DCMGC/ED-GRANTS-010504-001/listing.html.
[Thanks to Joanne Yamada of Resource Central]
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) is currently seeking young adults with and without disabilities from diverse cultural backgrounds to apply for an 18-day cultural exchange program to Japan, “US/Japan: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Disability.” U.S. citizens aged 18-24, are invited to apply. The program will focus on leadership through international volunteerism and cultural exchange and is scheduled to take place in July-August 2004. Participants will take part in discussions on disability rights and leadership, visit sites of historical and cultural interest in Japan, participate in workshops on traditional Japanese drumming and experience family customs, food and culture with members of the local community. For more information or to apply contact MIUSA at 541-343-1284 (voice/TTY), firstname.lastname@example.org or visit MIUSA’s Web site at www.miusa.org. Application deadline is March 15, 2004.
The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) announces a Request for Proposals for the 2004 American Express Economic Independence Fund for American Express Foundation. Through the fund, American Express offers grants to nonprofit community-based organizations to provide basic personal financial management training to underserved populations. NEFE has administered the fund since 1999. Application deadline is March 7, 2004. For more information, go to www.nefe.org/pages/contents.html.
The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) announced $919,000 in grants to 14 projects across the United States dedicated to serving young people with disabilities. An additional $135,000 will be given in matching grants and matching gifts to organizations selected by Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA employees in the communities where they live and work.
MEAF is dedicated to helping young people with disabilities maximize their potential and fully participate in society. For more than a decade, the Foundation has done this mainly by supporting disability-specific groups, such as those in the fields of special education and assistive technology. With this year’s awards, the Foundation announced its new focus on “mainstream” organizations, with the dual goals of ensuring that children and youth with disabilities are included in the organizations’ activities, and of changing attitudes among people without disabilities.
The first grants under this mainstream initiative have been awarded to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the National 4-H Council, and the National Wildlife Federation. All of the organizations are undertaking two-year projects to strengthen their inclusive practices and reach out to more young people with disabilities. To assist the three groups in this process, MEAF has funded HalfthePlanet Foundation to conduct training seminars and provide onsite guidance.
MEAF, based in the Washington, D.C., area, was established in 1991 by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan and the Mitsubishi Electric U.S. companies, which produce, sell and distribute a wide range of consumer, industrial, commercial and professional electronics products. With a current endowment of $19 million, the foundation has contributed $5.5 million to organizations assisting young Americans with disabilities to lead fuller and more productive lives.
For more information, please visit the new Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation Web site at www.meaf.org.
Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues
Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues, a national association of grantmakers committed to increasing resources for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, is seeking a program manager. The position will remain open until filled. To apply, send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to email@example.com in Word format (no zip files, please), or mail to:
Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues
116 E 16th Street, 7th Floor
New York, 10003
For more information, go to www.lgbtfunders.org.
The Kaiser Family Foundation
The Kaiser Family Foundation, a private operating foundation devoted to providing research and information to policy makers, the media and the public on health issues, is seeking a full-time policy analyst to work on HIV/AIDS policy issues in Washington, D.C.. Please send resume and cover letter to:
HR-Policy Analyst, DC
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
2400 Sand Hill Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Fax: (650) 854-8037
No phone inquiries, please.
Common Good Ventures
Common Good Ventures (CGV), www.commongoodventures.org, is seeking a smart, creative, organized and entrepreneurial professional to deepen and expand CGV’s base of support with individuals, foundations and the corporate community. To apply, send resume and cover letter to:
Kristin Majeska, President
Common Good Ventures
44 Main Street, Ste 206
Waterville, ME 04901
Position open until filled.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, www.wkkf.org, a nonprofit organization that links social institutions with communities and individuals to create sustainable systemic change, is seeking two dynamic and inspirational leaders to serve as program directors for its grantmaking initiatives in the Health Unit. To apply, contact:
Martha A. Brest or Isaacson Miller
334 Boylston Street, Suite 500
Boston, Massachusetts 02116-3899
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