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10/3/2016

NATIONAL DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH, 2016

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Americans with disabilities are entitled to the same rights and freedoms as any other citizen -- including the right to dignity and respect in the workplace. Too often in our Nation's history, individuals with disabilities have been eager to work but could not find a job, facing red tape, discrimination, or employers who assumed that disabled meant unable and refused to hire them. This month, we recognize the significant progress our country has made for those living with disabilities, and we honor the lasting contributions and diverse skills they bring to our workforce.

As a country, we must acknowledge that despite the great strides we have made in the 26 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act -- a groundbreaking civil rights law aimed at eliminating discrimination and assuring equality for people with disabilities -- we still have far to go to raise awareness of discriminatory obstacles that individuals with disabilities encounter in employment. Today, the labor force participation rate for Americans with disabilities is less than one-third the rate of those without a disability, and the unemployment rate is more than twice as high for individuals with disabilities. To break down more of these barriers, we must expand access to the resources and training necessary for Americans with disabilities to succeed in the workplace.

My Administration is dedicated to upholding our Nation's promise of equal opportunity for all and advancing employment for people with disabilities in every community. I am proud that the Federal Government is leading by example as a model employer, now employing more Americans with disabilities than at any time in the last 30 years. Last year, the White House hosted a Summit on Disability and Employment to share resources for employers to hire more individuals with disabilities and effective strategies for recruitment, retention, hiring, and promotion of these employees. Two years ago, through updates to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, we took action to increase the representation of workers with disabilities in the Federal contractor workforce. In 2014, I signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to help the Departments of Labor and Education build initiatives that advance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities -- and earlier this summer, we issued new regulations to provide greater and more inclusive career development and training opportunities for anyone facing barriers to employment.

This year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme focuses on the importance of inclusion, especially when it comes to business, opportunity, and innovation. When we diversify our workforce we create opportunities for growth and improvement -- not just for those with disabilities, but for everyone. This month, let us continue striving to forge a future where workplaces are more inclusive and where employees are more accepted for who they are. And because we know that our country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, let us keep working to ensure no one is left behind or unable to pursue their dreams because of a disability.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2016 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. I urge all Americans to embrace the talents and skills that individuals with disabilities bring to our workplaces and communities and to promote the right to equal employment opportunity for all people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

BARACK OBAMA

 

9/30/2015

ILCs OPEN DOORS TO INDEPENDENCE FOR

CONTACT:

Liz Pazdral, Executive Director, 916-445-0142

State Independent Living Council (SILC)

Sacramento – With nearly 300,000 Americans living with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and the number of new SCIs estimated to reach 12,500 annually, the role of Independent Living Centers (ILCs) like Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living (SCRS-IL) is increasingly important. SCRS-IL is one of 28 ILCs in California opening doors to independence for individuals with SCIs by providing a range of programs and services, notably assistive technology services and education.

“In serving people with SCIs, staff members reflect our philosophy of supporting persons with disabilities to transform their lives by making their own choices on how they live, work and participate in their communities,” noted Interim SCRS-IL’s Executive Director Mario Galdamez. “The programs and services we offer are designed to educate and increase the skill levels of individuals living with disabilities.”

Through assistive technology (AT) services, SCRS-IL offers individuals with SCIs the opportunity to access technology as one means to living independently. AT includes a broad range of devices such as scooters and wheelchairs, remote controls, accessible keyboards and communication devices or more complex items such as durable medical equipment and home modifications. When combined with training, individuals learn how to use the equipment and become more self-sufficient.

SCRS-IL also conducts monthly disability-related presentations and workshops, tailored for SCIs at the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (Rancho) in Downey, CA. One such workshop is the drum circle, designed to enhance brain activity for spinal cord repair and improve sensations and movement for individuals with SCIs. By partnering with Rancho’s occupational and physical therapy staff, SCRS-IL can increase the level of resources and services provided to individuals with SCIs and their families. Additionally, SCRS-IL participates in Rancho’s annual Spinal Injury Games that provide individuals with SCIs an opportunity to engage in a variety of wheelchair sports.

“One of our consumers, who is participating in this year’s Spinal Injury Games in October, came to us in 2013,” said Ignacio Gonzalez, SCRS-IL’s Service Coordinator/Independent Living Advocate. “He sought help from us on his application process for the position of Wellness Ally at Rancho, where he actively participated in rehab programs and the SCI support group for men. We helped him develop a résumé and personal reference page, which contributed to his landing the job. He has mentioned that both SCRS-IL and Rancho are ‘amazing’ and have ‘changed his life.’”

In addition to the above programs and services, SCRS-IL continues tackling the obstacles of a lack of funding for equipment and devices as well as inaccessible and unaffordable housing. SCRS-IL is breaking down barriers to Independent Living by creating a documentary film to educate stakeholders on the critical need to prioritize accessible sidewalks and curb cuts in several neighborhoods of Los Angeles County.  Additionally, SCRS-IL supported the inclusion of Hector Ochoa as a new commissioner on the Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities who will be the leading voice in advocating for all persons with disabilities, not limited to the SCRS-IL catchment area.  

“The SCI services provided by SCRS-IL is one example of the type of work being done to maximize the independence of individuals with disabilities,” concluded California State Independent Living Council Executive Director Liz Pazdral. “By understanding and addressing the unique realities of individuals living with SCIs, ILCs are well prepared to increase opportunities for living independently.” 

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The SILC is an independent state agency which, in cooperation with the California Department of Rehabilitation, prepares and monitors the State Plan for Independent Living.

The SILC Mission: To Create Policy and System Change for Independent Living

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8/25/15

Independent Living Centers and Students with Disabilities Team Up to Pave the Way to School Success

CONTACT:  Liz Pazdral, Executive Director, 916-445-0142

State Independent Living Council (SILC)

Sacramento – Amid the frenzy of school shopping and signing up for classes and activities, students with disabilities and their families are joining forces with California Independent Living Centers, such as Community Access Center (CAC) in Riverside, to ensure students receive everything they need for their academic success. CAC offers students of all ages individualized programs and support services for tackling the hurdles that interfere with learning and ultimate independence.

“Our mission is to empower persons with disabilities to control their own lives and achieve complete social, economic and political integration,” explained CAC Programs Director Faustino Alvarez. “By supporting young people early on, we help pave the way to their independence as adults.”

CAC starts to pave the way by representing parents on their children’s Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or 504 Plans to ensure specific needs are met in school for accommodations, modifications and other services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision therapy and assistive technology. While in school, CAC staff continually advocates for students to remain in school and interfaces with the Department of Rehabilitation. CAC also works closely with the Inland Regional Center (IRC), which serves individuals with developmental disabilities in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, including in-home behavioral interventions for families.

As students near graduation, CAC works with them on completing college and financial aid applications and assists with job searches. And when students move from one school to another or from high school to college, CAC staff is available to facilitate those transitions.

“We attend transition meetings at new schools with parents and encourage them to talk to their children about what to expect and help them meet new friends,” said Alvarez. “This is particularly important for children who do not deal well with change. And we accompany college students to their campuses and introduce them to programs and services for students with disabilities.”

When asked about what could be improved for students with disabilities, Alvarez highlighted the growing demand for skilled individuals who can effectively collaborate with one another and partner with the students for a successful educational outcome. He also cited the length of time students must spend on buses to be transported to other locations for special education classes.

“Our team wears many hats to make certain someone is always available to partner with each child to ensure she or he is heard and receives appropriate assistance,” concluded Alvarez. “I’ve witnessed so many successes with the students we’ve served. Personally, I live for the work I do.”

“California Independent Living Centers offer a variety of resources for students,” noted California State Independent Living Council Executive Director Liz Pazdral. “Preparing children with disabilities to live independently is one of their top priorities.” 

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The SILC is an independent state agency which, in cooperation with the California Department of Rehabilitation, prepares and monitors the State Plan for Independent Living.

The SILC Mission: To Create Policy and System Change for Independent Living

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July 22, 2015

California Independent Living Centers Salute the ADA’s 25th Anniversary

CONTACT:  Liz Pazdral, Executive Director, 916-445-0142

State Independent Living Council (SILC)

Sacramento – California’s Independent Living Centers (ILCs) have been gearing up for months to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA25). To mark the ground-breaking decision, the ILCs are hosting ADA25 events ranging from festivals to conferences and exhibits to educational forums and more. Celebrations started in March and will continue beyond the anniversary of the ADA’s enactment on July 26. For a quarter of a century, ILCs have employed the ADA to remove barriers, shift inaccurate perceptions and provide programs and services to make full participation in community life a reality. The salute to the ADA25 demonstrates the ILCs’ commitment to advancing equality and inclusion and achieving full compliance throughout the state.

On July 1, the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco (ILRCSF) launched festivities with a "2015 ADA Month Kickoff,” which included arts and crafts, music, vendors and a resource fair, and Communities Actively Living Independent and Free held an ADA25 Disability Fest. The Marin Center for Independent Living (Marin CIL) plans to salute the anniversary with an “ADA: Past, Present and Future” celebration on July 23, and this year’s Disability Unity Festival and Parade will be sponsored by the Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities, Community Resources for Independent Living, Independent Living Resources of Solano and Contra Costa Counties, ILRCSF, Marin CIL and Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC).

Advocacy and education are a major focus for ILCs, and ADA25 represents a perfect opportunity to expand those efforts. FREED Center for Independent Living (FREED), SVILC and Dayle McIntosh Center for the Disabled are organizing forums with Youth Organizing Disabled and Proud to educate young people with disabilities and the public about the ADA. Additionally, FREED will host the "Our Community: Aging & Disability Conference,” and Rolling Start, Inc. will co-sponsor the conference and exposition “Because of the ADA Celebration.” Tri-County Independent Living, Inc. is reaching out to the public and celebrating ADA25 with a community picnic. In the East Bay, the "Patient No More" interactive, multimedia exhibit will run from July 26 to December 18 at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley with a traveling exhibit at various Bay Area venues. And the ADA Legacy Tour exhibit, which originated in Sacramento on July 25, 2014, will conclude its nationwide bus tour by joining disability community leaders in Washington, D.C. on July 26.

Finally, several ILCs worked with their public officials to shine a spotlight on ADA25. For example, Independent Living Resource Center, Inc. invited local dignitaries to their July event, “Celebrate the 25th on the 25th,” and procured proclamations from local city councils and boards of supervisors. And some ILCs joined with disability advocates to include their logos on the California Department of Rehabilitation’s ADA25 website, while Disabled Resources Center commemorated ADA25 during their 39th Annual Awards Dinner in June.

“Looking beyond ADA25, California’s 28 ILCs and the California State Independent Living Council (SILC) remain committed to fully implementing the ADA,” said SILC Executive Director Liz Pazdral. “We will champion the ADA in all areas of life to empower Californians with disabilities to live and work independently where they choose.”

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The California State Independent Living Council is an independent state agency which, in cooperation with the California Department of Rehabilitation, prepares and monitors the State Plan for Independent Living.

The SILC Mission: To Create Policy and System Change for Independent Living

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6/17/15

A2I Transitions 500 Individuals with Disabilities from Institutions to Independence

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Transitioning approximately 500 people with disabilities from institutions to their own homes makes Access to Independence's (A2I) 10-year effort a powerful testament to independent living. 

As one of 28 Independent Living Centers (ILCs) in California, A2I's work champions the 1999 Supreme Court Olmstead Decision, which prohibits the segregation of people with disabilities in institutions as discriminatory and in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"A2I has been deeply involved in nursing home transition work since 2006 when we received a large grant from The California Endowment," said A2I Executive Director Louis Frick. "This is exactly what the Olmstead Decision is about, and by focusing our efforts on community integration, we advance Olmstead with every person we serve."

One example of A2I's efforts can be seen in their work to assist a gentleman in his late 40s, who has a spinal cord injury, move out of a skilled nursing facility in which he had been living for 10 years. Although initially reluctant to leave what he considered "his home," after seeing A2I staff with similar disabilities using power wheelchairs like his, he decided to make the move. Nearly three years later, he is still living in the community.

The Affordable Care Act also has advanced the Olmstead Decision by spotlighting the need for home and community-based services and getting healthcare organizations to "play along." A significant aspect of A2I's work centers on building partnerships with healthcare entities to help them understand the value of collaborating with ILCs and using the long-term services and supports that can make Olmstead work.

"We continually seek various avenues to engage the healthcare industry," explained Frick. "Our most innovative effort is through the local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) with whom we've partnered since 2006. We're currently collaborating with Aging and Independent Services, San Diego County's Area Agency on Aging, to develop a model through the ADRC to broker virtually all long-term services and supports available through more than 90 providers around the county."

"There are many agencies, services and resources available to Californians living with disabilities who are interested in moving out of institutions or remaining in their homes," said California State Independent Living Council Executive Director Liz Pazdral. "ILCs like A2I ensure that the intent of Olmstead continues to be realized."

The California State Independent Living Council is an independent state agency which, in cooperation with the California Department of Rehabilitation, prepares and monitors the State Plan for Independent Living.

The SILC Mission:
 To Create Policy and System Change for Independent Living

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5/26/15

Independent Living Centers Advocate to Break Down Mobility Barriers for Californians with Disabilities

Sacramento - Transportation and mobility play key roles in the struggle for civil rights and equal opportunity in the disability community. As the nation prepares to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Independent Living Centers (ILCs) continue to advocate for barrier-free access.

“Transportation opens doors for people with disabilities and is key for ensuring access to employment, education, living independently and being part of the community,” explained Rebeca Aguirre, California State Independent Living Council (SILC) member.

Although the ADA resulted in improvements, such as sidewalk ramps at street corners, audible traffic signals, low-floor buses with ramps and wheelchair lifts and accessible building entrances, significant obstacles still exist.

"Architectural barriers preventing access to transportation services, such as a bus without a wheelchair lift or a pole in front of a subway door, can be eliminated with careful planning and input from the disability community,” noted Aguirre.

While all ILCs provide training on safety precautions when using public transportation and help with transit applications, there is more to do. Through groups like Communities Actively Living Independent and Free (CALIF), ILCs can advance access to our communities.

“CALIF has System Change Advocates who organize communities and help consumers navigate public transportation,” said Aguirre. “They identify accessibility challenges to be addressed and monitor lawsuits against transportation providers, such as Uber and Lyft, accused of violating the ADA in serving the disability community.”

Aguirre attended TransForm Transportation Choices Summit 2015 in Sacramento, where she advocated for universal design of California’s new high-speed train cars and learned about Caltrans’ oversight of park-and-ride lots to share with others who have experienced illegally parked vehicles blocking their access.

“Despite the advances we’ve made since the ADA passed,” said SILC Executive Director Liz Pazdral, “we must continue to raise awareness and break down barriers to ensure full mobility and access for all Californians with disabilities.”

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4/13/15

Partnerships and Positive Outcomes of Health Initiative Lead to Independent Living

People with disabilities and minorities often experience healthcare disparities such as lower rates of screening, difficulty accessing services and the lack of healthcare coverage. Eliminating these disadvantages and empowering consumers to take charge of their health are key priorities for California’s Independent Living Centers (ILCs). Therefore when the opportunity arose in 2013, the Center for Independent Living (CIL) in Berkeley partnered with LifeLong Medical Care and the Alameda Alliance for Health (AAH) on the “LifeLong Complex Care Initiative (LCCI)” to address high-risk health issues for adults with disabilities to help them live independently and stay out of emergency rooms.

The LCCI is a three-year demonstration project funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Health Care Innovation Award of $1.1 million as well as funding from the AAH.  As a collaborative partner, CIL introduced consumer-controlled services into the medical setting by providing peer coaches as members of the interdisciplinary team at three Alameda County medical centers. The team supports and educates adults with disabilities on adopting healthy behaviors and self-management skills with the primary goal of reducing avoidable and costly emergency room and hospital visits. By improving the health and lives of the individuals served, the project is expected to lower healthcare costs by approximately $1 million.

“We introduce Independent Living (IL) principles to our colleagues at the medical centers,” said CIL’s Bilingual Peer Coach Rebeca Servin. “Although dedicated medical providers often must emphasize health and safety above choice and independence, through our coaching, we emphasize consumer control, recognizing that people with disabilities are experts about their needs.”

LCCI peer coaches guide consumers on navigating medical and non-medical systems to provide the right information and make informed choices. The peer coaches also conduct workshops on living well with a disability. Medical staff refers consumers, who have problems they want to address, to peer coaches who help the individuals identify their goals and develop a plan of action with targeted dates for completing each task. Since the inception of the LCCI, CIL has worked with an average of three to six consumers each day.

“Witnessing the dual outcomes of improved health and independence has been remarkable,” noted Servin. “When we employ a ‘do with’ rather than a ‘do for’ approach, people with disabilities are empowered to move outside their comfort zones and make change happen.”  

One example of the outcomes of CIL’s peer coaching includes a legally-blind man with Cerebral Palsy who visited the medical center and was referred to a peer coach. The coach helped him develop a plan that culminated in the consumer working with a local program to find employment and actively advocate to reinstitute paratransit services on weekends in the Oakland hills. In another instance, an individual with hearing loss was referred by medical experts to a peer coach resulting in his learning sign language and enrolling at the Berkeley Deaf Community Counseling Services while continuing to receive housing application assistance from the LCCI peer coach.

“Everything from translating healthcare information into understandable language to feet-on-the-ground education of consumers and healthcare providers can be traced to ILCs making change happen,” said State Independent Living Council Executive Director Liz Pazdral. “The collaboration behind the LCCI is proving to be successful, which we hope will be implemented in other communities.”

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3/23/15

ABLE Act Proposes a Better Economic Future for Californians with Disabilities

For the first time, many Californians with disabilities may be allowed to save more than $2,000 without losing their eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other public benefits. If legislated in California, the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, enacted in December 2014, will allow individuals whose disabilities occurred before age 26 to open one tax-exempt ABLE savings account to spend on qualified disability expenses. The ABLE Act supports the independence of people with disabilities in pursuing an education, buying a car or house, paying for assistive technology and personal support, setting aside funds for unexpected healthcare expenses and more.

“We’ve worked on the ABLE Act for a very long time,” said World Institute on Disability’s Deputy Director Thomas Foley. “Providing people with disabilities the chance to work and save money for the future without restrictive asset limits is huge.”

Many individuals with disabilities and their families rely on state and federal benefits to cover living expenses. Without the ABLE Act, they are limited to no more than $2,000 ($3,000 for a couple) in assets, such as cash savings, investment accounts and other personal assets, before government support programs are reduced or suspended. That asset limit is too constraining for people with disabilities who face unexpected medical expenses, transportation fees and daily living expenses and hinders their ability to live independently.

Representative Ander Crenshaw, who championed the ABLE Act, summed it up succinctly in The Boston Globe article, “You can save money to go to college or to retire, but [people with disabilities] couldn’t save money to use for disability expenditures.... It was forced impoverishment.”

Enactment of the ABLE Act in California is moving forward in: Assembly Bill 449 introduced by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin and Senate Bill 324 introduced by Senator Fran Pavley. The Act is under consideration in 29 states and recently was passed in Virginia.

Modeled after 529 college savings plans, interest earned on ABLE accounts is tax free. Qualified individuals, their family members and friends can deposit $14,000 (the annual gift-tax exemption) annually in ABLE accounts up to $100,000 without risking SSI eligibility. Each state can establish a higher annual limit corresponding to their 529 account limits. Balances up to $300,000 will not affect Medicaid coverage eligibility.

“Educating the public about the importance of passing the ABLE Act in California will be a top priority for California’s Independent Living Centers,” noted Liz Pazdral, Executive Director, California State Independent Living Council. “Without these accounts, many people with disabilities have limited avenues for true independence. Through resources, such as the ‘Understanding ABLE’ free webinar on March 26 and information on Youth Organizing! Disabled and Proud’s website, the public can learn about the ABLE Act.  And we need to share real-life stories with our policymakers on how the Act will improve the lives of Californians with disabilities.” 

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2/11/15

Independent Living Centers Pave the Way for Older Individuals with Blindness to Live Independently

SACRAMENTO, Calif.,Feb. 11, 2015 -- More than ever, older Californians are facing the threat of blindness from age-related eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. According to the American Foundation for the Blind, close to 800,000 individuals in California have visual impairment, a majority of whom are 55 years of age and older. Recognizing the gravity of these statistics, the Independent Living Center of Kern County (ILCKC) took action in October 2014 and paved the way for these individuals to live and work independently by implementing an Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) program.

"Our OIB Program focuses on what each individual wants to accomplish," explained April Garrett, ILCKC's OIB Program Specialist. "With a grant from the California Department of Rehabilitation, we offer our consumers low-vision training, communication and independent living skills training, self-advocacy, peer counseling and transportation assistance to improve their independence."

Although there are similar OIB programs in Kern County, ILCKC's program is unique in that it's open to the public. Other programs require financial or medical records for eligibility before consumers receive services. ILCKC's program eliminates daunting qualification processes for individuals seeking assistance.

ILCKC also incorporated its successful Assistive Technology Program into the OIB Program to train individuals on navigating computer software and programs. Consumers can learn voice-over programs and screen touch commands; how to use e-mail programs, braille dot location, smartphones and iPads; and various types of adaptive equipment and assistive technology devices specifically designed for visual impairment and blindness.    

"For many people, technology can be overwhelming and challenging," noted Jimmie Soto, ILCKC's Executive Director and California State Independent Living Council member. "Both sighted and non-sighted older individuals are bombarded with technical language and products they may not understand. This can be a deterrent for them to compete in the workforce and live independently. Our goal is to address those challenges, so they can be successful."

For example, a retired teacher of the blind, who qualified for the OIB Program, asked ILCKC for help with the speech-recognition software, Dragon Naturally Speaking, to write her memoir. She was familiar with many products and programs for the blind; however, she didn't know how the software worked. After a few months of training, she created and saved several chapters of her memoir.

"Her excitement about achieving her goal was phenomenal," noted Garrett. "It's gratifying to witness such excitement and observe firsthand the positive results of our OIB Program."

ILCKC's serves all of Kern County, which covers 8,063 miles. Most service organizations and public-assistance offices are in Bakersfield. This presents a real challenge for residents who could benefit from ILCKC's programs and services. To address this challenge, ILCKC is spreading the word about the OIB Program by partnering with other agencies such as the Kern County Area Agency on Aging, the California Department of Rehabilitation and the California Alliance for Retired Americans

"We also actively promote the program on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest," said Garrett, "and we'll continue to leverage the power of the Internet and word-of-mouth referrals to reach more individuals and help them achieve their goals."

The California State Independent Living Council is an independent state agency which, in cooperation with the California Department of Rehabilitation, prepares and monitors the State Plan for Independent Living.

SOURCE California State Independent Living Council (SILC) via PR Newswire

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1/21/2015

Independent Living Centers Advance Ed Roberts’ Legacy

The late activist and advocate Ed Roberts believed disability is a strength. He demonstrated that belief by becoming the first student with severe disabilities to attend the University of California, Berkeley and became known as the Father of the Independent Living Movement. His legacy lives on and is at the heart of the employees’ and volunteers’ work at the Independent Living Center of Southern California helping Californians with disabilities live and work independently.

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1/9/15

Governor Brown Announces SILC Appointments

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announces 6 SILC appointments.

11/17/2014

Art Guild and Independent Living Center Give Veterans with Disabilities Freedom to Express Artistic Talents

California has the highest number of veterans of any state in the nation with more than 2 million military veterans calling the Golden State home. Many of these veterans return home with "service-connected" disabilities, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In 2011, the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco (ILRCSF) seized the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of veterans by honoring the Veterans’ Art Guild's (Guild) request to meet weekly at ILRCSF, which offers veterans a supportive environment to share their stories through art.

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11/4/14

Governor Brown Announces SILC Appointments

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announces 6 SILC appointments.

 

10/22/14

Connections are Key for Independent Living Centers to Increase Employment Options for Californians with Disabilities

For the first time since July 2008, the nation’s unemployment rate dropped below 6 percent. While this is welcome news for many jobseekers, Californians with disabilities continue to encounter barriers to employment. Topping the list are employer bias and unreliable or non-existent transportation.

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9/23/14

California’s Independent Living Centers - Challenging the Misconceptions About the Deaf and Hard of Hearing SILC and Independent Living Centers Celebrate Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Month

SACRAMENTO, CA - We often take our hearing for granted, but extending that to audism, the belief that hearing affords one a superior position to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, furthers misconceptions about deafness. Independent Living Centers fight every day against these misconceptions while sending the message that hearing is the only difference between people who are deaf and those who aren’t.

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8/27/2014

Youth with Disabilities Sharpen Skills to Meet the School Year Head On

SACRAMENTO, CA — As high school and college campuses across the state gear up for the new school year, several Southern California students with disabilities are prepared and well equipped to tackle the challenges ahead. Through the 2014 Leadership Week for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities,organized by the Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living (SCRS-IL), students dedicated a week of summer vacation to learn new independent living skills, including managing money effectively, navigating public transportation and making healthy lifestyle choices.

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7/16/2014

Embracing Diversity in Celebration of the Americans With Disabilities Act

SACRAMENTO, CA — If you listen carefully, you’ll hear individuals, businesses and communities in Northern California joining together and embracing diversity as a tribute to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Disability Awareness Day. On July 19, hundreds of individuals and the Independent Living Centers (ILCs) in Northern California will participate in the 5th Annual West Coast Disability Pride Parade & Festival (Parade & Festival) in celebration of disabilities as an element of human diversity. Co-sponsored by the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC) and the Office of Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, the event is open to people from all backgrounds and varying disabilities to demonstrate their pride in who they are and their sense of belonging.

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6/10/2014

Independent Living Centers Champion Olmstead Decision All Year Long

SACRAMENTO, CA — Fifteen years ago, the Supreme Court called upon the Americans with Disabilities Act as the basis for the Olmstead Decision, declaring that segregating people with disabilities in institutions is discrimination and against the law.  Every day, Independent Living Centers (ILCs), like Dayle McIntosh Center (DMC) and the Central Coast Center for Independent Living (CCCIL), champion Olmstead by providing programs, services and resources designed to keep people with disabilities living independently rather than isolated in institutions.

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5/22/2014

Independent Living Centers Provide Proven Alternatives for Individuals with Mental Health Disabilities to Live Well and Independently

SACRAMENTO, CA - Too often, individuals with mental health disabilities who are in crisisend upin mental health facilities, living on the streetsor incarcerated in jails or prisons. In contrast, California's Independent Living Centers (ILCs) provide an alternative to hospitalization and incarceration through community-based programs and support services that promote independence and lead to a healthy lifestyle.

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4/23/2014

Traveling Poses a Unique Set of Challenges for People with Blindness
SILC Council Members Highlight Transportation Obstacles for Individuals Living with Blindness

SACRAMENTO, CA - Getting from "here to there" can be challenging and require patience from most everyone. But for people with blindness or visual impairment, overcoming mobility challenges often takes more than just patience - it takes planning, flexibility and, at times, courage - particularly given the public's lack of awareness and compliance with safety and anti-discrimination laws.

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3/31/2014

It's a "Family Affair" at Independent Living Centers for People with Disabilities and Their Families

SACRAMENTO, CA - Managing the daily challenges of life can be stressful and overwhelming.And for approximately 4.8 million people living with disabilities in California, many of those challenges impact the entire family as well. For example, if a family cannot findaccessible, affordable housing, they may end up living in a shelter or on the streets. Helping families with a plan to achieve residential stability is just one of the services provided by Independent Living Centers (ILCs) in California.

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2/20/2014

Independent Living Centers Help Obliterate Obstacles to Aging with Disabilities in Rural Communities

SACRAMENTO, CA - As California baby boomers enter their senior years, many will face the unique challenges of living independently in rural areas. According to the California Department of Aging's State Plan on Aging 2013-2017, the number of people age 60 and older is expected to soar to 13.9 million by 2050, a 128 percent increase from 2010, representing 25 percent of all Californians.

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1/22/2014

Independent Living Centers Keep Ed Roberts’ Vision Alive
SILC and Independent Living Centers Pay Tribute to Ed Roberts Day

SACRAMENTO, CA - In the mid-seventies, Ed Roberts, Father of the Independent Living Movement, was hired as a state director and asked if he was planning to become a bureaucrat. Roberts replied, "No, I think I'll be an 'advocrat'" and furthered his journey as a change agent for people living with disabilities. Thirty-eight years later, Roberts'philosophy that "everyone has a future" and "people have the right to live freely in their communities" continues to resonate with Independent Living Centers (ILCs) in California.

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1/22/2014

Grants Awarded for SPIL Projects

The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) intends to award grants under Title VIIB to the following organizations for an eight month period, effective February 1, 2014 through September 30, 2014 to support efforts to achieve greater long term stability through technical assistance and peer mentoring (Technical Assistance), and to build internal capacity to provide services by undertaking revenue generating ventures (Capacity Building).

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12/17/2013

Independent Living Centers - Matchmakers Making a Big Difference

SACRAMENTO, CA - To live a more independent life and remain in their homes, many individuals with disabilities require assistanceto tackle daily activities such as bathing, dressing, transportation to medical appointments, preparing meals, etc. According to the Personal Assistance Services (PAS) Center website, the estimated number of California adultsage18 years and older who will need help withdaily living activities is projected to grow as high as 980,000 by 2015.This is reflected in the increasing number of individuals providing PAS; however, finding the right individual for someone living with disabilities can be challenging, which is where Independent Living Centers (ILCs) play a critical role.

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11/13/2013

Independent Living Centers View Partnerships as Key to Ensuring "No Wrong Door" for California Veterans Seeking Services

SACRAMENTO, CA - California's veterans deservetimely access to services since they served us when we needed them most. Gateways to veterans servicesrely on extensive collaboration among a wide array of providers. The current state of affairs often is referred to as the "Great Myth" because, in reality,only 26 percent of veterans are cared for by the Veterans Administration (VA) in any given year.

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10/7/2013

Independent Living Centers "Equal to the Task" of Increasing Employment Opportunities for Californians with Disabilities

SACRAMENTO, CA - California currently ranks last in the nation for employing people with disabilities. Despite the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, more than two-thirds of Americans with disabilities are still not in the labor market.

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9/10/2013

Independent Living Centers Play a Vital Role in Helping Students Transition Out of High School

SACRAMENTO, CA - Although school just started for the 499,275 California students enrolled in grade 12, as projected by the California Department of Education, graduation isn't that far off and questions of "what's next" loom in the background. Leaving high school may translate into enrolling in college or considering employment options or exploring new cities and cultures.

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8/8/2013

Minor Home Modification Program Makes Major Impact
Independent Living Centers Continue Breaking Down Barriers to Affordable, Accessible Housing Services

SACRAMENTO, CA - With a goal of making homes safer and more accessible and affordable for individuals living with disabilities to remain in their homes and connect to their communities, Placer Independent Resource Services (PIRS), an Independent Living Center (ILC), is making a major impact with its Minor Home Modification Program (MHM Program).

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7/16/2013

Disability Organizing Network and Independent Living Centers Focus on Building Accessible Communities

SACRAMENTO, CA - As the disability community prepares to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 2013, efforts to make the law a reality are still being forged throughout California with support from the State Independent Living Council (SILC). The Disability Organizing Network (DOnetwork) is an alliance of California's 28 Independent Living Centers (ILCs), which are leading and organizing their local areas to build accessible communities.

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7/02/2013

Seven ILCs Receive Title VII B Funds to Work On Employment Benefits Counseling, Housing, and Leadership

I just wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate our Title 7B grant applicants. We recently released an RFA with a very short timeline. All our Title 7B applicants were funded for their full requested amounts and their grants are effective on July 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013.

Here is a short summary of the process and results.

RFA IL 13-02

The Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) released a Request for Application (RFA) on May 15, 2013. The application consisted of three projects; Project A for Benefits Planning; Project B for Housing and Project C for Leadership Development. On May 16, 2013, the Department released an addendum to the ILC’s securing the submittal date and the deadline for responses to RFA questions. On May 28, 2013 the DOR posted and emailed responses regarding pending questions.

On June 4, 2013, the DOR received a total of eight applications;


Project "A" - Benefits Planning Leading to Employment:

  1. Central Coast Center for Independent Living - $15,000
  2. Communities Actively Living Independent and Free - $15,000
  3. Disability Services & Legal Center - $15,000
  4. Disabled Resource Center - $15,000
  5. Service Center for Independent Living - $12,600
  6. Independent Living Resource Center-Santa Rosa - $15,000

Project "B" California Project Rental Assistance

  1. Communities Actively Living Independent and Free - $10,000

Project "C" Leadership Development

  1. Resources for Independent Central Valley - $40,000


The review team reviewed and scored the applications. All applicants were awarded at their full request amounts. Intent to award letters were emailed out on June17, 2013

Again, congratulations to our applicants.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Sincerely - Jay

Jay Harris
Chief, Independent Living and Assistive Technology

 

6/21/2013

Governor Brown Appoints new Rehabilitation Ex-Officio

Continuing his support for the California Independent Living Network, California timely replaced the Ex-Officio on the SILC representing the California State Department of Rehabilitation. There is no salary for this appointment to the council and it does not require State Senate confirmation. Megan Juring, 50, of Carmichael, has been appointed to the California State Independent Living Council.

Juring has been a deputy director at the California Department of Rehabilitation since 2011, where she served in various positions from 1988 to 1998, including associate government program analyst. She was an assistant secretary at the California Health and Human Services Agency from 2008 to 2010 and a project director for California State University, Sonoma from 2004 to 2008. Juring was senior policy manager for research and development at the California Workforce Investment Board from 2000 to 2004 and a staff manager at the Employment Development Department, Office of Workforce Investment from 1998 to 2000. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Juring is a Democrat.

 

6/13/2013

Independent Living Centers: Furthering Olmstead Decision as Cost-Effective Coordinators of Care

SACRAMENTO, CA - With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California and a spotlight on managed care, Independent Living Centers (ILCs) have an opportunity to further the Olmstead Decision by providing cost-effective, coordinated care for dual eligible beneficiaries or individuals who qualify for health care services through both Medicare and Medi-Cal programs.

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5/22/2013

Small Miracles Have Big Impact for Individuals Living with Mental Health Disabilities
Independent Living Centers Offer Individuals a Safe Environment with Solutions

SACRAMENTO, CA - Just as physical disabilities can be an obstacle to living independently, so can mental health disabilities. With approximately 25 percent, or one in four adults, living with mental illness, the need for services that provide solutions and assist individuals to live independently is great. It’s well known that social factors, including where a person lives, contribute to restoring overall health, which is where Independent Living Centers (ILCs) play a significant role.

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4/15/2013

Advocating for Transportation System Change

SACRAMENTO, CA - Elevators on subways stop working, bus stops aren’t announced and pathways or sidewalks are inaccessible. Every day, these types of problems create major issues for people living with disabilities whensimply trying to get from one place to another.

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3/18/2013

Traumatic Brain Injury Signs are Often misinterpreted or Ignored

SACRAMENTO, CA - Given an estimated 225,000 Californians living with traumatic brain injury (TBI), it’s hard to understand how the signs of TBIs can be missed, misinterpreted or simply ignored. And yet, they are.

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2/21/2013

Aging and Learning to Live with Loss of Vision

SACRAMENTO, CA - For most people, age brings a decline in vision. Some of the most frequently diagnosed age-related diseases trigger the loss of vision or blindness, including cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in The State of Vision, Aging and Public Health in America that cases of early age-related macular degeneration are expected to double by 2015 to 17.8 million for those ages 50 years and older. Cases of diabetic retinopathy among people aged 65 or older will quadruple to 9.9 million.

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1/22/2013

Ed Roberts' Legacy Lives on in Youths Living with Disabilities

SACRAMENTO, CA - With the January birthday of Ed Roberts, "the father of the disability rights movement," Sara Moussavian reflects on the day she was leaving the Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (YLF) in 2009,andwas asked what changes she would like to see in the future.

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12/14/2012

The California State Independent Living Council Announces Hiring of Kathleen Derby as Legislative Analyst

SACRAMENTO, CA - The California State Independent Living Council (SILC) is pleased to announce Ms. Kathleen Derby has been hired as SILC’s Legislative Analyst. Derby will be responsible for policy review and analysis while supporting SILC in interpreting the legislative landscape.

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12/13/2012

California’s Seniors Place Increased Demand on Personal Assistant Services
SILC and Independent Living Centers Offer Solutions to Older Adults Needing Assistance

SACRAMENTO, CA - California's 65 years and older population has increased to approximately 11.4 percent, and with that increase comes greater demand for personal care services. According to the December 2012 Consumer Reports on Health, the "demand for home-care aides also known as personal-care or home-health aides is skyrocketing." The U.S. Department of Labor projects the fastest-growing occupation in the country in 2020 will be in-home assistance. Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Living Center of Southern California, Inc. (ILCSC) Norma Jean Vescovois seeing firsthand the impact in the number of older adults seeking services.

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10/19/2012

SILC Recognizes Independent Living Centers During National Disability Employment Awareness Month

SACRAMENTO, CA - For National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the California State Independent Living Council (SILC) is paying tribute to the independent living centers (ILCs) in the state that offer ongoing training programs and services to increase employment opportunities for people living with disabilities. With more than 1.9 million working-age Californians with disabilities, SILC recognizes the role and accomplishments of ILCs in assisting individuals toward viable employment and contributing to the economic health and vitality of California.

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10/8/2012

SILC Member Honored by L.A. City Council

“Deaf Awareness Week” was commemorated in the City of Los Angeles last week by the Los Angeles City Council. Members of the Council had an opportunity to recognize individuals in their districts who are making a difference in advocating for individuals who are deaf.

View the article from the Los Angeles Sentinel here: http://lasentinel.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9724%3Awesson-honors-deaf-awareness-advocate&catid=80%3Alocal&Itemid=170%3Chttp://lasentinel.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9724:wesson-honors-deaf-awareness-advocate&catid=80:local&Itemid=170%3E

 

9/25/2012

Increasing Demand Calls for Increased Deaf and Hearing Services

SACRAMENTO, CA - Jo Black, Executive Director of the Independent Living Resource Center, Inc., pauses when she thinks about meeting the future demand for deaf and hard of hearing services. The Office of Deaf Access estimates 3 million deaf and hard of hearing people reside in California.

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9/20/2012

California State Independent Living Council Awarded Grant to Improve Veterans' Access to Services

SACRAMENTO, CA - California veterans with disabilities and their families will no longer need to navigate through multiple agencies when seeking assistance. The California State Independent Living Council's (SILC) project, "California's Activation of Veterans' Benefits through Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) Partnerships," was recently awarded a one-year grant of $202,403.

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8/13/2012

Affordable, Accessible, Housing Increasingly Out of Reach for People with Disabilities

SACRAMENTO, CA - People living with disabilities face a significant problem - the lack of affordable, accessible housing. Approximately 54 million Americans have at least one disability, constituting the largest minority group in the nation. And people with disabilities often spend a disproportionate share of their income to secure housing that is both safe and suitably accessible.

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7/19/2012

SILC Members Push for Consistent Implementation and Adherence to the ADA

SACRAMENTO, CA - July marks 236 years of independence for America,and yet, not all Americans havethe opportunity to live independently. July 26 marks the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (http://www.ada.gov), which established a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

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6/26/2012

ILCs See Opportunity to Further Olmstead Decision in Coordinated Care Initiative

SACRAMENTO, CA - For most Californians, June marks the start of summer vacation, picnics, family trips and the end of homework assignments. But for Californians living with disabilities, this time of year represents much more.In particular, June is aturning point for independence exemplified by the Olmstead Decision. On June 22, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C. that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires public entities to provide services "in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities." The ruling further highlightedthat unwarranted isolation of individuals with disabilities is "regarded as discrimination based on disability."

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5/29/2012

Peers Underscored as an Effective Counseling Tool

SACRAMENTO, CA - With one in four adults—approximately 57.7 million Americans - experiencing a mental health condition each year, coupled with restrictive funding and high case loads, the value of independent living centers (ILCs) providing peer-to-peer counseling is vital to effective mental health services. ILCs are generally thought of as resource centers solely for people with physical disabilities, but across the country,directors and staff at hundreds of centers identify themselves as people with mental health disabilities. These peers provide support for others coming to the ILCs.

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3/6/2012

Frequency, Severity, and Cost of Brain Injuries Demand Increased Awareness

SACRAMENTO, CA - A brain injury can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world. According to the Brain Injury Association of California, approximately 1.7 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, and a brain injury occurs somewhere in the U.S. every 21 seconds. "Brain injuries are permanent and create devastating and life-altering conditions for those affected for the rest of their lives," states Elsa Quezada, Chair of the State Independent Living Council (SILC) and Executive Director of the Central Coast Center for Independent Living. "Considering the impact and cost of these types of injuries and that California has only seven traumatic brain injury centers, the role of independent living centers throughout the state is even more critical."

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1/4/2012

State Independent Living Council Pays Tribute to Disability Rights Leaders

"SILC continues to promote its vision by recognizing disability rights leaders throughout the month of January making SILC's vision of "access to independence and equality" more of a reality."

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11/30/2011

Independence Continues to be a Costly Gift for Some Even During the Holidays

SAN DIEGO, CA - During this busy time of year, Access to Independence Executive Director Louis Frick is reminded daily of the value of personal assistance services for people with disabilities.

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11/17/2011

SILC Quarterly Meeting

The governor-appointed California State Independent Living Council (SILC) will meet in San Diego to identify and address areas for improvement and build on current strengths related to the SILC's mission: "Creating policy and system change for independent living."

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10/18/2011

SILC Chair Heightens Awareness of TBI

October 11, 2011, Monterey County, California - SILC Chairperson Elsa Quezada, a long time advocate integrating persons with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) into the Independent Living Network ensured her neighbors and community members understood the crisis facing people with TBI. "...our community with TBI is only growing," writes Quezada, "In California alone, nearly 28,000 veterans have returned home with a TBI, an increase of 60 percent since 2000."

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08/19/2011

SILC seeks Nevada County input on aging with a disability

August 19, 2011, Sacramento, California - The governor-appointed State Independent Living Council (SILC) will focus its quarterly meeting in Grass Valley next month on aging with a disability in California's rural communities, and is seeking input from stakeholders including the disability community.

View the article from The Union here: http://www.theunion.com/article/20110819/BREAKINGNEWS/110819769/1053&parentprofile=1053

 

06/06/2011

Grant Funds Build a Force for Future Change

June 6, 2011, Sacramento, California - To build a powerful, effective, and ongoing force for future change, Independent Living Centers in Berkeley, Fresno/Central Valley, Orange County, San Diego, and Van Nuys/San Fernando Valley will receive $75,000 a year in Title VII B funds.

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06/02/2011

SILC Member 'Actual Disabled Person'

Michael Agyin is in the first photograph of this article about how people with disabilities in California have become one of the main faces of our ongoing budget battle.

View the article from Captol Weekly here: http://www.capitolweekly.net/photos/flickr_photoset.php?_c=zv8hjr7y3bt9f3&pi=xu9b3xcjzk1sjr&id=72157626745888517&done=.zv8hkd7fg599n1

 

05/26/2011

SILC Chooses Strategic Planner to Advance Community-Based Services

In line with Goal 1 from the 2011-2013, Advancing Olmstead: People with disabilities choose from a variety of options for community-based living; The SILC announces selection of a strategic planning facilitator.

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03/13/2011

Innovative Events Support Leadership within Independent Living

Along with Departments of Rehabilitation (DOR), Aging (CDA), Health Care Services (DHCS), and in partnership with the California Health and Human Services Agency (HHS), the SILC is co-sponsoring several events this Spring designed to enhance Independent Living Leadership in California. March 25 focuses on leadership to keep people in their own homes, May 4th SILC members receive legislative training and visit the legislature, and May 5th and 6th builds unity to increase focus and funding. All the events will be in Sacramento.

The March 25 event is hosted by DHCS in their first floor training rooms. The Leadership Workshop is a unique and valuable opportunity for invited community members to personally meet and talk with leaders from organizations who are actively engaged, or who hope to become involved, in Aging & Disability Resource Connections, California Community Transitions Lead Organizations, and Local Contact Agencies for Minimum Data Set 3.0 Section Q referrals -- all State managed programs to help people remain in their own homes. The networking and community-building will also provide an opportunity for regional discussions to identify areas where participating organizations can better coordinate services in responding to the needs of seniors and people with disabilities.

May 4th SILC members will gather in the morning for training presented by our Legislative Analyst, Raul Arambula, and SILC members Eddie Rea and Teddie Joy Remhild, regarding the Legislative Process within California. Members will have time in the afternoon to make visits to the capitol.

May 5th and 6th at the Courtyard Marriott Cal Expo, invited community members will attend "Advancing Leadership in Independent Living: Envisioning the Future of Independent Living in California." California State University Sacramento has worked with DOR, SILC, and others to plan this event. Participants will have an opportunity to collaborate on an approach for launching a state plan for independent living, to develop effective organizational change models to meet future needs, and employ communication techniques to advance each other's role. The program incorporates real world scenarios to create a solid base for discussions. Focus areas include Change Management, Collaboration, Innovation/Strategic Thinking, and Communication.

For more information about these events, please contact the SILC offices at 916-445-0142.


01/05/2011

Governor Schwarzenegger Makes Final Appointments As Term Ends Sunday Night

Continuing his support for the California Independent Living Network, the SILC received one new appointment and four reappointments late Sunday. There is no salary for these appointments to the council and none of the appointments require State Senate confirmation.

The newest SILC member is Michael Agyin. Mr. Agyin, 32, a registered Democrat, of Los Angeles worked as a job coach for The Marriott Foundation, Bridges Los Angeles since 2009 and as deaf festival consultant for Los Angeles Councilmember Tony Cardenas since 2008, where he previously served as a special project assistant from 2005 to 2006. Agyin worked in neighborhood and community services for the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa from 2008 to 2009, as program assistant for the Campaign for College Opportunity from 2006 to 2007 and as a public ally fellow for Public Allies from 2006 to 2007.

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12/26/2010

Youth Positive Images This Holiday Season

SILC wishes you joy and warmth during this holiday season, a time when Dicken’s Tiny Tim reminds us about the importance of independent living and disability rights philosophies

Since Victorian times, Western society has idealized the sentimental image of disability as a pitiful child in desperate need of help.  A more powerful image for young people with disabilities is promoted by  Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC), in collaboration with the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC), the Department of Rehabilitation, with funding allocated by the SILC.

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11/10/2010

SILC Observes Veteran's Day*

SILC) is proud to observe this Veterans Day (November 11) with a salute to all of our brave Veterans and a tribute to those who have given their lives so that America remains free.

Central Coast Center for Independent Living, in partnership with the California State Department of Rehabilitation and with funding allocated by the SILC, honors our Veterans every day.   CCCIL was awarded ARRA funds to improve independent living services to persons living with traumatic brain injury, in particular, Veterans.

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05/14/2010

Governor Schwarzennegger's Office Supports Independent Living Leadership

Friday, May 14, 2010 the Governor's Appointments' office announced ( press release in microsoft word @ 61 kb or rich text format 39 kb) the appointments of Miguel Duarte, Eli Gelardin, Ben Jauregui, and Jessica Lorenz to the State Independent Living Council.  In addition, J. Daniel Boomer, Elsa Quezada, Eddie Rea, Teddie-Joy Remhild, Marco Rodriguez, and David Tripp were reappointed for another term.  These appointments are timed well to craft the funding allocation plan for the 2011-2013 State Plan for Independent Living.  Those in attendance at the May, 2010 quarterly meeting in Santa Barbara were sworn in by Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf.  This additional leadership will assist the SILC to meet its Mission, and will better serve the community of persons with disabilities in California.

 

2/20/2010   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Governor Schwarzenegger Announces Appointments to SILC

Jesse Boomer, 60, of Elk Grove, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. He is a currently a member of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities and assists with the grant review process of the council’s Planning and Program Development Committee. Since 1998, Boomer has served as a special education consultant with the California Department of Education. From 1988 to 1991, he worked as a Program Analyst at the United States Office of Special Education in Washington, D.C. Boomer began his career almost 20 years ago as a member of numerous councils and commissions at the University of Oregon including the National Association of Developmental Disabilities Councils, Oregon State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, the Oregon Commission on the Handicapped and the Oregon Council of the Blind. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Boomer is a Democrat.

Kevin Broadwater, 43, of Laguna Hills, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. Since 2005, he has served as senior vice president of the legal and compliance department of Pacific Investment Management Company. From 1994 to 2005, Broadwater was counsel at Seward & Kissel and, from 1992 to 1994, was an attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Prior to that, he was an associate with Dechert, Price and Rhoads from 1989 to 1992. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Broadwater is a Republican.

Robert Ludlow Jr., 69, of Santa Cruz, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. He has served on numerous councils including past chair of the San Lorenzo Unified School District Board of Education, Santa Cruz Commission on Disabilities and the Santa Cruz City Housing Advisory Commission. Ludlow has been a lawyer in self-practice since 1967 and was an associate with Lucas, Wykoff, Miller, Stanley and Scott from 1965 to 1967. In 1970, he formed the Law Offices of Ludlow, Kreutzmann, Thompson, Fitzwater and Bowles and practiced law there until 1986.  Ludlow was also a member of the Tri-County Criminal Justice Commission from 1968 to 1970. As an attorney, he devotes his practice exclusively to disabled rights advocacy and advocates on behalf of people with disabilities. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Ludlow is a Democrat.

Susan Madison, 58, of Escondido, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. She has served on numerous councils including the Citizens’ Review Committee on Disability Access and the Phoenix Mayor’s Commission on Disability Issues and is former chair of the Arizona State Independent Living Council. Since 2007, Madison has served as disability services coordinator for the city of San Diego. Additionally, she has been a disability consultant and trainer for non-profit organizations including Access to Independence of San Diego and Arizona State Independent Living Council since 1990. From 2006 to 2007, Madison was coordinator for the San Diego Disability Action Coalition and, from 2005 to 2006, was associate director for the Center for an Accessible Society. From 2000 to 2005, she was project manager for the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities and also, in 2000, participated in a public policy fellowship for the National Council on Disability. Prior to that, Madison was executive director for the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities from 1997 to 1999 and was director of education and prevention at the Center Against Sexual Abuse in Phoenix from 1990 to 1997. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Madison is registered decline-to-state.

Patricia O’Sullivan, 48, of San Jose, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. She has been a member of the State Rehabilitation Council since 2002 and the Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities since 2003. O'Sullivan has served as the global disability program manager for Agilent Technologies since 2000, where she is responsible for accessibility and accommodation programs for 19,000 employees worldwide. She has owned CoCo Diva, a chocolatier company, since 1989 and Patty O’Sullivan Consulting Services since 2007. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. O’Sullivan is a Democrat.

Cherie Phoenix, 48, of Thousand Oaks, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. Most recently, she served as executive director for the Brain Injury Center in Ventura County from 2005 to January 2008. Phoenix is a member of the board of directors of the Tri-Counties Independent Living Resource Center, Incorporated headquartered in Santa Barbara, the Ventura County Nonprofit Leadership Council and the Ventura County Department of Public Health Vulnerable Populations Disaster Planning Task Force. She previously served as chair of the Thousand Oaks Disabled Access Appeals & Advisory Board and was a member of the California Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board. Phoenix served as office manager at University Elementary School in Thousand Oaks from 2001 to 2004 and served two terms as president of the PTA from 1998 to 2000. This position does not require Senate confirmation there is no salary. Phoenix is a Democrat.

Elsa Quezada, 55, of Salinas, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. Since 1991, she has been the executive director of the Central Coast Center for Independent Living where she also served as program coordinator from 1988 to 1990. Quezada worked at Community Rehabilitation Services Independent Living Center in East Los Angeles as executive director from 1982 to 1988 and services coordinator from 1981 to 1982. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Quezada is a Democrat.

Eduardo Rea, 19, of Fresno, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. He is currently enrolled at American River College. Rea is a volunteer for the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, past member and current staff of the California Youth Leadership Forum and member of the Association of Youth Leadership Forums. He has also been a student commissioner for the State Department of Education’s Advisory Commission on Special Education and co-founder of the California Youth Leadership Forum Alumni Alliance. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Rea is registered decline-to-state.

Marco Rodriguez, 42, of Elk Grove, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. Since 1991, he has been a financial advisor for the Principal Financial Group. Rodriguez is president of the Mexican Cultural Center of Northern California. He is a past member of the National Council on Disability, former chair of the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and former president of the board of directors for Mexican-American Alcoholism Program Incorporated. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Rodriguez is a Republican.

David Tripp, 57, of Orleans, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. He has served on the council since 2003 and has also served on the State Rehabilitation Council since 2007. Since 1998, Tripp has worked for the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council as a program manager for the Hoopa Yurok Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Prior to that, he was a coordinator for the Klamath-Trinity Branch Campus for the College of the Redwoods from 1993 to 1997 and education director for the education department of the Karuk Tribe of California from 1991 to 1992. Tripp is a part-time associate faculty member at College of the Redwoods, where he teaches courses in psychology, sociology and Native American studies. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Tripp is a Democrat.

 

08/09/2007 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SILC Announces New Executive Director

David Wilder, Chair of the California State Independent Living Council (SILC) announced the appointment of Ms. Elizabeth Pazdral as the Executive Director of SILC.  Ms. Pazdral, who will begin her duties on September 1, currently works as a Community Resources Development Specialist in the State Department of Rehabilitation.

“We are very pleased to have Ms. Pazdral bring a wide variety of skills to SILC”, stated Wilder in making the announcement.  “She not only has hands-on experience in working with people with disabilities at the local level as Executive Director of the Community Resources for Independent Living in Hayward, CA, and Independent Living Services Manager in Los Angeles, but she also has the state level experience.”  In addition, Ms. Pazdral has worked as a Vocational Counselor and taught socialization and enrichment skills to people with mental illness and/or history of substance abuse, and adults with developmental disabilities in Vancouver, British Columbia and Auburn, Washington. 

“It is an honor to advance the vision of this Council which represents several of the important disability communities in California,” stated Pazdral when accepting the position. 

“We are committed to working collaboratively for independent living that is inclusive of all underrepresented people, creates new leaders, and champions the Olmstead decision.”

SILC is a 17 member independent state agency established in 1996 in response to requirements in the federal Rehabilitation Act in order to retain federal funding for independent living services in California.  Together with the State Department of Rehabilitation, SILC develops and approves the multi-year State Plan for Independent Living and monitors its implementation.  It also coordinates activities with the State Rehabilitation Council and conducts quarterly meetings around the state to secure input from the public on disability and independent living issues and advises the Governor on those issues.

 

 

06/12/2007 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Governor Schwarzenegger Appoints Anthony Sauer Director of Department of Rehabilitation

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the appointment of Anthony Sauer as director of the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) under the Health and Human Services Agency.

”Anthony’s extensive background in advocacy and facilitating services for individuals with disabilities makes him the perfect fit for this position,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “I look forward to working with him to further the efforts of the Department of Rehabilitation which plays such a vital role in our communities.”

Since 2003, Sauer has served as executive director for the Nevada-Sierra Regional In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority. In this capacity, he manages the recruiting and training of over 1,000 workers who provide services to people with disabilities and seniors as well as oversees the workers’ health insurance programs for the Authority. From 2001 to 2003, Sauer served as deputy director of external affairs for the DOR. Previously, he was the executive director for the FREED Center for Independent Living from 1990 to 2001, where he administered the state and federally funded independent living center and led advocacy efforts to facilitate services for people with disabilities. Prior to that, Sauer founded a successful cabinet making business which he owned from 1979 to 1992.

He currently serves as chair of the Assessment and Transition Workgroup under the Health and Human Services Agency Olmstead Advisory Committee. Sauer is a member of the California Association of Public Authorities Legislative Committee and a former member of the Building Standards Commission. He also previously served as co-chair of the Communications and Information Technology Workgroup under the California Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Task Force.

”I am deeply honored Governor Schwarzenegger has chosen me to serve in this immensely important role,” said Sauer. “I look forward to using my passion for disability advocacy for independent living to assure the voices of people with disabilities are heard.”

Sauer, 46, of Grass Valley, was paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 18 after a motorcycle accident. He earned a Masters degree in management and disability services from the University of San Francisco and was a fellow in the Health Leadership Program at the Sierra Health Foundation and University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. He is a graduate of the Independent Living Center Mid-Management Training Program presented by Cornell University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $142,965. Sauer is a Democrat.

The DOR assists Californians with disabilities in obtaining and retaining employment and maximizing their ability to live independently. The department provides vocational rehabilitation services and provides ADA technical assistance and training to eligible Californians. DOR funds 29 Independent Living Centers which offer information and referral services to assist individuals with disabilities in living active, independent lives. The vocational rehabilitation services provided by DOR are designed to get Californians with disabilities prepared for employment and include training, education, transportation and job placement.