Monday, July 8, 2019

Action Alert: The Transformation To Competitive Employment Act

ACTION ALERT in bold white letters on a dark red background

This Action Alert comes from the Center for Public Representation, via the New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL) ...

================

#WorkWithUs by joining the July 9th national call-in day to support the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act

Tell your members of Congress to support competitive integrated employment and end the payment of subminimum wages to people with disabilities by supporting the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (TCEA).  The TCEA H.R. 873 in the House and S. 260 in the Senate) is a bi-partisan bill that will expand opportunities for competitive integrated employment – community jobs where people with disabilities work alongside co-workers without disabilities and are paid the same wages – and phase out the outdated and discriminatory payment of subminimum wages to people with disabilities currently allowed under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The TCEA will address barriers to employment for people with disabilities by providing $300 million in capacity-building grants and technical assistance to expand opportunities for competitive integrated employment while phasing out subminimum wages over six years. The bill will help states and 14(c) certificate holders (businesses that pay workers with disabilities subminimum wages) transform their business models to more integrated and innovative approaches to disability employment.

Ask your members of Congress to support and co-sponsor the TCEA during the national call-in day on Tuesday, July 9th. Please visit the TCEA National Call-In Day Facebook Event or this page to learn more about the TCEA.

#WorkWithUs to get Congress to expand opportunities for competitive integrated employment and end subminimum wages!

How to Reach Your Members of Congress:

1 Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (voice) or (202) 224-3091(tty) and ask to be connected to your Representatives and Senators.

2 Repeat. You can use this easy tool to find your members of Congress.

Easy Call Script:

Hello, this is [Name]. I’m a resident of [Town, State].

I am your constituent. Please support and co-sponsor the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (H.R. 873/S. 260). This bill will help address barriers to employment of people with disabilities. It provides funding and technical assistance to states and providers to expand capacity for competitive integrated employment while carefully phasing out over six years the ability of businesses to pay people with disabilities below the minimum wage – often pennies on the dollar — under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The bill will help businesses using 14(c) certificates transform into competitive, integrated workplaces where people with disabilities work alongside people without disabilities and get paid equal pay for equal work. Just like everyone else, people with disabilities want to work, live independently and be self-sufficient. Support and co-sponsor the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities!

Thank you for taking my call!

[IF YOU ARE LEAVING A VOICEMAIL:

Please leave your full street address and zip code to ensure your call is tallied]

[OPTIONAL ADD ON]

Personal stories are the most effective form of advocacy. Talk about why the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act is important for you or someone you know and love.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Weekly Disability Reading List

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three disability-related articles shared last week on NCCI social media. Don’t forget, you can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ncciplattsburgh/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NCCIPlatts

New content is posted every day.

The Forgotten: Disabled And Detained At The Border
Sarah Kim, Forbes - June 28, 2019

Detaining asylum seekers at the Southern border is both a contentious political issue and a moral crisis. As so many issues do, it affects people with disabilities disproportionately.

The Olmstead Decision & Me
Alice Wong, Disability Visibility Project - June 28, 2019

This very personal account dramatizes disabled people’s struggle to achieve and maintain basic independence.

Creating Accessibility in Caf├ęs
Vilissa Thompson, Fresh Cup Magazine - July 2, 2019

Tips for making cafes more accessible. More retail trade publications like this should be commissioning stories about the importance of accessibility.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Weekly Disability Reading List

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three disability-related articles shared last week on NCCI social media. Don’t forget, you can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ncciplattsburgh/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NCCIPlatts

New content is posted every day.

It’s not just the Costco shooting. Disabled people are often killed by police
Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Los Angeles Times - June 19, 2019

This is a risk and a problem that everyone should take seriously.

Not one 2020 candidate has a website that is accessible to the blind
s.e. smith, Vox.com - June 26, 2019

Great work done by a National Federation for the Blind chapter, analyzing Presidential candidate websites. The article also includes a good overview of how the upcoming elections are relevant to people with disabilities.

CBS Signs Pledge to Audition Actors With Disabilities
Rebecca Sun, Hollywood Reporter - June 19, 2019

An important step in a positive trend.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Looking Too Well to Be Sick, Feeling Too Sick to Act Well

By Allison Jonergin

When I begin to feel a bit better – yes, even chronically ill people are allowed to have good days – there is a lot of catching up to do. Sometimes it feels I have just enough time to come up for air before being washed down again.

Even when I’m feeling my best, the majority of my time is spent resting at home, sitting at appointments, standing in line at the pharmacy, and taking medicine.

I wish my schedule could be freed to do fun things, and I’d settle for being able to do productive things like housework. But if I push myself beyond my limits, even on good days, my symptoms will surge and I’ll suffer a setback.

It takes a great deal of work to tend to my basic needs. In fact, if I don’t care for myself adequately, I’m stripped of my ability to even perceive small joys around me.  Feeling exhausted, in pain, and impatient can turn into a vicious cycle wherein I take in only the negative and thus have only negativity to offer.

Guest blogging with white 3 dimensional stick figure writing with a giant pen
I can feel disgruntled about waiting over an hour for an appointment, or I can feel thankful I felt up to driving there. I can feel depressed that I spend more time with my doctors than my friends, or I can feel thankful I have a team of treating physicians who know and understand my diagnoses and symptoms. I can allow my self esteem to suffer for needing to rely heavily on my family for support, or I can be immersed in the love I feel when their support seems to never diminish, no matter how many times I must drop my bucket into their well. I can feel discouraged when I have no energy left after attending these appointments, or I can accept the sober truth that my chronic illnesses would be even less manageable if I stopped going to them at all.

I must diligently carve out time for rest and recuperation, as well as time to gently exercise my tender limbs, time to make healthy meals and time to just be. It’s not realistic to manage doing all of these things every day, but I can rotate my priorities so I take the best possible care of myself.

I’m not ashamed of my schedule, but I struggle to communicate that missing a nap isn’t like forgetting to drink my eighth glass of water. It’s more like not eating for four days in a row. It’s more like day 11 of the flu. It’s more like seeing stars after getting punched in the face. Brain fog clouds my windshield completely, and I feel like I’m trying to distinguish landmarks in whiteout conditions.

I make silly mistakes. I trip over my own feet. I get flustered talking about even the most familiar topics. I pace in and out of rooms, forgetting why I went into them in the first place. I feel like a stranger in a foreign land who can’t remember what she wants to say long enough to translate it into the local language.

My only source of relief comes in the form of a deep sleep.

It’s frustrating to sleep the afternoon away, but I know the importance of ensuring my body gets the rest it needs, even on good days.

Allison Jonergin is a SUNY Plattsburgh alumna and North Country native. She has fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and endometriosis. She also deals with irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression and migraines.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Clinton County Transportation Meetings

Illustration of a public transit bus

The following is a notice from the Clinton County Planning Department about upcoming public meetings and hearings on proposed changes in Clinton County Public Transit (CCPT):

Thursday, June 27, 1-3 PM
Public Information Meeting
First floor meeting room, Room 103, Clinton County Government Center
137 Margaret Street, Plattsburgh

Wednesday, July 10, 7 PM
Clinton County Legislature Public Hearing
Legislative Meeting Room, Clinton County Government Center
137 Margaret Street, Plattsburgh

Clinton County Public Transit (CCPT) is considering bus route changes for implementation on August 12th, 2019. The proposed changes include elimination of the West End bus route and elimination of the 8:53 pm run of the CCC Seasonal bus route, among other changes.

CCPT will be hosting a public information meeting on Thursday June 27th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm in the first floor meeting room, Room 103, of the Clinton County Government Center; 137 Margaret Street; Plattsburgh, NY 12901 to discuss the proposed service changes and receive public input. This meeting is open to the public and all are welcome and encouraged to attend and participate.

Those who are unable to attend in person but would like to attend by way of conference call can call 1-712-451-0011 and use access code: 853408

If you cannot attend this meeting but you would like to give input, provide written comments, or ask questions; please contact:

James Bosley, Planning Technician
Clinton County Planning Department
135 Margaret Street Suite 124
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
518-565-4713
james.bosley@clintoncountygov.com

In addition to this public meeting, there will be a public hearing at the session of the Clinton County Legislature when bus route changes are voted on. It is anticipated that the bus route changes being proposed will go before the Clinton County Legislature at their 7:00 pm session on Wednesday July 10th and the public hearing will be at the beginning of that meeting.

Clinton County does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of services. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, special accommodations, within reason and upon request at least forty-eight hours in advance of the public meeting, will be provided to persons with disabilities. Please contact James Bosley, Planning Technician, at 518-565-4713 or by email at James.Bosley@clintoncountygov.com to request a special accommodation for the meeting.

For anyone who would like travel training to better understand the CCPT routes/services and how to use them, please contact James Bosley (contact information is above) and arrangements will be made for travel training.

Weekly Disability Reading List

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three disability-related articles shared last week on NCCI social media. Don’t forget, ou can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ncciplattsburgh/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/NCCIPlatts

New content is posted every day.

It’s Perfectly OK To Call A Disabled Person ‘Disabled,’ And Here’s Why
Brittany Wong, Huffington Post - June 14, 2019

A really clear and up to date explanation of how and why disability terminology is still evolving.

Charlestown mother investigated for voter fraud after helping disabled son vote
Tim Camerato, Valley News - June 11, 2019

All it takes is a bit of suspicion and a nosey poll worker to threaten voting rights for people with disabilities.

Disabled LGBT+ young people face a battle just to be taken seriously
Alex Toft, The Conversation - August 8, 2918

This article is more than a year old but it’s worth reading, especially during Pride Month.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Action Alert: Money Follows The Person

ACTION ALERT in bold white letters on a dark red background

The following advocacy alert comes from the Center for Public Representation:

==========

Call your Senators now to fund the MPF Program

Last night the House passed H.R. 3253, the Empowering Beneficiaries, Ensuring Access and Strengthening Accountability Act.  This bill funds the Money Follows the Person program through the Fiscal Year 2023. It also extends the HCBS spousal impoverishment protections through March 31, 2024. Thank you for your hard work in advocating to #FundMFP.


We now need the Senate to act! Join our national call-in day and ask your Senators to #FundMFP.  We have a Facebook event with talking points to make it easy for you to call and spread the word or instructions are below. Together we can get Congress to extend this critical program that has helped more than 80,000 people move back to the community!


To Call your Senators:


1. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (Voice) or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) and ask to be connected to your senators. 


2. Repeat. You can use this easy tool to find your members of Congress.


Easy Call Script:


Hello, this is [Name]. I’m a resident of [Town, State].


I am calling to ask Senator [INSERT NAME] to fund the Money Follow the Person (MFP) program.


MFP has enabled over 90,000 older adults and people with disabilities living in institutions to transition back to their communities. MFP is fiscally responsible: it has improved the quality of life for thousands of individuals while saving states money. Congress passed stop-gap funding for the program in January 2019, but those funds will run out in September 2019.


I am asking [Senator’s Name] to cosponsor and support the EMPOWER Care Act S. 548 and H.R. 3253 passed by the House and reauthorize Money Follows the Person Program.


Thank you for taking my call!


[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address and zip code to ensure your call is tallied]


[Optional Add On]


Personal stories are the most effective form of advocacy. Talk about why Money Follows the Person is important for you or someone you know and love.


==========

Our U.S. Senators from New York are:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
@SenGillibrand

Washington DC Office
478 Russell
Washington, DC 20510
Tel. (202) 224-4451
Fax (202) 228-0282

North Country Office
PO Box 273
Lowville, NY 13367
Tel. (315) 376-6118
Fax (315) 376-6118

Sen. Chuck Schumer
@SenSchumer

Washington DC Office
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6542
Fax:  (202) 228-3027

Albany Office
Leo O'Brien Building, Room 420
Albany, NY 12207
Phone: (518) 431-4070
Fax:  (518) 431-4076