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Community Living/Independent Living


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picture of a small town main street setting

starDr. Mel Levine: How to Prep Your Child to Become An Adultstar

starDisabled Action Committee for Virginia (DAC4Virginia)star

starFeatured Website: The Center for Self-Determinationstar



MI New Playground Easy for Disabled - Diverse groups from Lansing - business, government and even a motorcycle club - united for a good cause: Playing. The "Able to Play" project at Henry H. North Elementary School is billed as the first of its kind in Michigan. It is a playground designed to be accessible to children of all physical abilities. The playground opened Nov. 5, 2004.


Self-directed Support Corporations (SDSC) and Microboards (PDF; size=101k) - What A Difference a SDSC Can Make: Joshua’s House Incorporated! by Jackie Golden "Self-directed Support Corporations (SDSC’s) and Microboards share the same philosophy. Simply put they are a small legal provider for one person with a disability, but then again, they are much more than that. Both the SDSC and the Microboard put control and direction of supports back in the hands of the person with the disability needing the supports." Read this article to learn more about this exciting concept.


Microboards and Microboard Association Design, Development and Implementation by David and Faye Wetherow, August, 2003 - In recent years there has been an increasing interest in the prospect of establishing ‘Microboards’ for developing personal support services for individuals with disabilities, for obtaining and managing direct, individualized funding, and for engaging members of the larger community in purposeful personal support networks.


The Parent Gap Part 1: Pulling in Separate Directions - Soon after her daughter died and Brenda Joyner found herself raising three grandchildren, the Durham retiree couldn't help but notice something unusual about other black parents in the public schools. In short, they weren't around much. "I just don't see a lot of African-American parents involved in the schools," said Joyner, 51. "I wonder if they really see the importance of it."

The Parent Gap Part 2: Building Partnerships - North Carolina teachers know all about the achievement gap that divides black and white students in the classroom. They know closing the gap will require better relationships with African-American parents. What they don't know is how to get there.




Paving the Way to Work: A Guide to Career-Focused Mentoring  - Mentoring is recognized as one of the most important strategies for assisting youth in making a positive transition into adulthood. This excellent and comprehensive guide provides the framework for setting up a successful mentoring program.

Growing Up and Staying Healthy! - This new e-Newsletter, from the Healthy & Ready to Work National Center (HRTW), contains information on health and transition issues of those with special needs, along with employment, accessibility issues, adulthood, health care, and more.


Serving Up Skills - Marcos Gomez made a lasting impression when he walked into Chicago's Deep Dish 'n Dogs restaurant to look for work. The 21-year-old from Ada had just graduated from Goodwill Industries' Hospitality Food Service program that offers job training to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment. He showed up ready for work and a paycheck. The enthusiasm showed.




Video Releases with Descriptive Narration from DVS Home Video - DVS Home Video®, an initiative of the Media Access Group at WGBH, announces the availability of six new film titles on home video-fully described for viewers who are blind or visually impaired. These feature films, available to order November 24, include Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Seabiscuit, Matrix: Reloaded, Bruce Almighty and The Lion King-Special Platinum Edition.


"MoPix" Makes It Easy to Find Accessible Movies - AOL Keyword MoPix a Shortcut to Movies, Showtimes & Theaters for Movie Fans with Hearing or Vision Loss.


MI Open-Captioned Movies in Metro Detroit Every Week - EMAGINE Novi has made a commitment to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities and will present a new open-captioned movie each week with show times throughout the day, everyday.


Entertainment EXTRA!  Movies featuring characters with disabilities - Disability is a minority that has been featured in some way throughout Hollywood's history -- from major star turns like Sean Penn's in "I am Sam" to smaller parts such as John Leguizamo playing Toulouse-Lautrec in "Moulin Rouge!"  iCAN has put together a wonderful list of movies crossing all genres and disabilities.  Check it out!


Housing and Independent Living


Current Legislation: MiCASSA (Medicaid Community-based Attendant Services and Supports Act) of 2003 - MiCASSA gives people real choice in long term care options by reforming Title XIX of the Social Security Act (Medicaid) by ending the institutional bias.  MiCASSA ALLOWS INDIVIDUALS eligible for nursing facility services or intermediate care facility services for the mentally retarded (ICF-MR) the OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE WHERE TO RECEIVE SERVICES instead of being forced into an institution or nursing home.  In other words, the money follows the person.


MI Thumb Area Seeking to Establish a Regional Interagency Coordinating Council to Promote Inclusion of Disabled Residents - For the second time in three months, a Huron County group of citizens met to create a local Regional Interagency Coordinating Committee (RICC). Primarily, the group came to receive input from Terry Hunt and Angela Hoff. Hunt is a representative of the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC). Hoff is a representative of the Blue Water Center for Independent Living (BWCIL).


Community Works - Independent facilitators and teachers in person-centered planning, self-determination and community living.  Working towards communities in which each individual is cherished.


MI New program helps disabled buy homes - Special community partnership assists 2 local women with home ownership.


Resource Website Independent Living Resources -


Independent Living Legislation: The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
The following are the provisions covered by Title V of the Rehabilitation Act, which deals with prohibitions in discrimination against persons with disabilities. Section 501 requires affirmative action and nondiscrimination in employment by Federal agencies of the Executive branch. Section 503 requires affirmative action and prohibits employment discrimination by Federal government contractors and subcontractors with contracts of more than $10,000. Section 504 states that "no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under" any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by any Executive agency or the United States Postal Service. Requirements include reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities; program accessibility; effective communication with people who have hearing or vision disabilities, and accessible new construction and alterations. The standards for determining employment discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act are the same as those used in Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and subsequently the issues for HR professionals in dealing with how these rights play out in the workplace are very similar. For more information, see (from Cornell University's Online Library).


Inclusion (Also see:  IEP Topics - Inclusion)
Legal References


Olmstead Decision: State pressured to comply with disabilities law - Officials must present plan to help institutionalized live on their own.


Long-Term Care


Funding Caring: How to Pay for Home Care in the UK


Planning For a Disabled Child's Future - Parents make provisions for the years after their own passing. 


Devereux Foundation: Pocono Center

RR#1, Box 27-A

Newfoundland, PA  18445

Phone:  570-675-4933

Fax:  570-675-4980



For over 90 years, the non-profit Devereux Foundation has been the time-honored residential choice of many special needs planning professionals nationwide.  Our founder, special educator Helena Devereux, said in 1912: “Every person is a program.”  Devereux Pocono Center serves adults with special needs, such as mental retardation, emotional disorders, autism, and dementia. 


Long Term Care Search on State Website - Residents can now research the long-term care facilities in their community at a Web site launched by the Department of Community Health,  The site provides a list of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities within the zip code provided by site visitors as well as the size and services offered. Visitors can go through a self-assessment to determine what services they might need and to find a list of facilities that might provide those services.



Miracle League of Plymouth "because every child deserves a chance to play baseball."


Michigan Highway Welcome Centers Unveil “Able to Play” Playgrounds - "Able to Play" playgrounds, the first universally acceptable playgrounds in the nation to be built at highway rest stops, have been constructed at the two of the busiest Department of Transportation (MDOT) welcome centers.

Fact Sheet: Boy Scouts With Disabilities and Special Needs - Since its founding in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has had fully participating members with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. James E. West, the first Chief Scout Executive, was a person with a disability. Although most of the BSA's efforts have been directed at keeping such boys in the mainstream of Scouting, it has also recognized the special needs of those with severe disabilities.


Group Builds Nationwide Playground Network to Serve Disabled - Shallon Kovac loves her school's new playground, which is designed so that children with disabilities and those without can play together.


The Justice in Mental Health Organization (JIMHO) Drop-In Center was created in 1985 to provide a place for people to gather who are having or have had emotional or mental health problems.  It is a center run solely by and for mental health consumers, coordinated by a Director, Assistant Director and aided by the help of volunteers.  The Center is a place for unstructured socialization and recreation without fear of rejection and stigmatization faced so often by mental health consumers in the community.  Some offer shopping trips in the community, rent-a-video day, bingo, crafts, tennis, driving range, air hockey and foosball tournaments and more! 


PLAY THERAPY: Special needs kids have place to grow


Mott Foundation Continues Support for Afterschool Programming - The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in Flint, Michigan, has awarded a four-year, $3.6 million grant to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study the impacts and best practices of afterschool programs, particularly those that focus on underserved populations.


List of Kids Clubs in Michigan (Alphabetical by City)


County answers recreation challenge - Baseball league is special needs kids' latest opportunity.

Dance therapy comforts body, mind and spirit




Featured Website: The Center for Personal Assistance Services - The Center for Personal Assistance Services provides research, training, dissemination and technical assistance on issues of personal assistance services (PAS) in the United States. Personal assistance services (PAS) refer to help provided to people with disabilities to assist them with tasks essential for daily living. These tasks include bathing, dressing, getting around, toileting, eating, shopping, remembering things, and other activities. PAS, along with assistive technology such as wheelchairs, text readers, and hearing aides, help people with disabilities to participate in activities at home, at work, and in the community.


The Garaventa Evacu-Trac, an emergency evacuation chair, will help move a person with limited mobility quickly and safely down a stairway during an emergency.

The Center for An Accessible Society is a national organization designed to focus public attention on disability and independent living issues by disseminating information developed through research to promote independent living.


Independent Life Resources - A World of Resources for persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and the chronically ill. Assistance available for those who provide for their care, health needs, and support. Includes easy-to-use directories, articles, news, community-based program materials, and consulting services.


The Parent Side
A campaign for inclusion, and against exclusion!

New "Celebrate Diversity" designs are a great way to promote acceptance of diversity. Buttons make terrific handouts for trainings or community events! Many products and lots of gift ideas! New "Mixed Messages" design and new section with "Disability, One Piece of the Whole Person" puzzle pieces on products!


Music from the Heart: Jeff Moyer - Internationally known songsmith, performer, and writer!
"How Big is Your Circle" is a flexible array of materials built around a musical that addresses the problems of exclusion, ridicule, and violence and their solutions within school communities. "We're People First" A catchy collection of songs for all ages, with special annotations for classrooms.


Transportation & Mobility


AMS Vans, Inc. - Nationwide Manufacturer and Distributor of Wheelchair Vans - Find handicap accessible transportation from this nationwide provider of wheelchair vans. AMS Vans offers nationwide delivery and a 7 year/70,000 mile conversion warranty on all vehicles.


Wheelchair Bike is Star of Show - A new British-made motorcycle for wheelchair users was the start of this year's Mobility Roadshow in the UK.


The U. S. Department of Transportation's aviation consumer disability toll-free hotline became operational on August 5, 2002. The toll-free numbers for the aviation consumer disability hotline are 1-866-266-1368 (voice) and 1-866-754-4368 (TTY). DOT is asking disability organizations and agencies to help spread the word about the establishment of the hotline. People with disabilities are encouraged to call the hotline for information and assistance if they should experience disability-related air service problems. Disability groups helped to test out the hotline before it became operational and DOT will use caller feedback in the coming few weeks to fine tune the system for effective response to disability issues in air travel. A press release announcing the hotline to the general public should be issued in a month or two following this consumer feedback stage.


Vacations & Travel


Featured Website: Level Travel - Level Travel's mission is to provide disabled and mature travelers with the most geographically comprehensive, objective, and independently assessed accessibility information on travel and tourism destinations in the United States. Level Travels aim is to empower these individuals with the resources they need to make informed travel decisions. By doing so, the company aspires to level the field for these travelers so they can spend more time focusing on the purpose of their travel rather than on their accessibility needs.

Free Michigan Vacation: Little Mary's - This facility is a year round, family oriented, FREE vacation located in Wellston, Michigan on Crystal Lake. It serves families who have children with catastrophic, debilitating, life threatening or terminal illnesses. Families who have lost a child through illness and terminal adults are welcome.  Visit: for more information. Little Mary's Hospitality House was established in memory of three year old Mary Catherine Fischer who died of a terminal brain tumor in 1982. Remembering the last wonderful vacation they took with Mary and their eight other children, the Fischers decided to find a way to provide a memorable vacation for other families dealing with special needs children. Little Marys, P. O. Box 27, 1580 Seaman Road, Wellston, Michigan, 49689, Phone: 231.848.4699, Fax 231.848.4711, Toll Free: 866-435-4297


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