News, Information, & Opportunities for California's Intellectual & Developmental Disability Community
October 16, 2017
IN THIS MEMO:
CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE INFORMATION
Summary of Priority Legislative Bills and Their Outcomes
Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month - Recognizing Excellence
It Takes A Team! Wings For All Gives Airport Experience to Families with Special Needs.
Cutting Through The Fog: The Pill of Public Transportation.
Focus On: Parents & Advocates Sue State of Georgia Over Separate and Unequal Education.
Upcoming Events, News, Articles, and Research
Jobs, Funding Opportunities, & More
Information & Resources
Arc California is reaching out to providers throughout the state to
assist in any way possible to ensure the safety and well-being of
clients and staff. Below is the most updated state information on aid
Local officials determined residents of Sonoma Developmental Center(SDC) who
were sheltered at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building and Adele Harrison
Middle School have been relocated as a precautionary measure. Residents
and staff relocated to the Dixon Fairgrounds. This shelter is for SDC residents only.
Staff and volunteers are focused on safely supporting each individual
during this relocation. There is ample food, water and access to medical
attention and necessary medications. DDS has established an information
line specific to the Sonoma fires at (916) 261-4149. SDC social workers
will be reaching out to families with individual updates.
Governor Brown today
announced that the White House has approved California's request for
direct aid to individuals and families in Orange and Nevada counties who
have suffered losses due to the fires. The Governor earlier this week
announced the same assistance for residents of Napa and Sonoma counties and Butte, Lake, Mendocino and Yuba counties.
Survivors who primarily reside in these eight counties can apply online for federal Individual Disaster Assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or
by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711
or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are
open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
More information on the federal Individual Disaster Assistance program is available here.
In addition to the individual assistance for families, California has
also secured public assistance for the counties of Butte, Lake,
Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Solano, Sonoma and Yuba to help those
jurisdictions remove debris and take other emergency protective
The Governor has now taken action on all bills that were sent
to him for either signature or veto. A summary of the priority bills
for The Arc & UCP California Collaboration and their outcomes is
SB 218 (Dodd D) The Qualified ABLE Program: tax-advantaged savings accounts.
Location: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
Would authorize, only to the extent permitted under federal law, the
transfer of all amounts in a designated beneficiary's ABLE account to an
ABLE account for another eligible individual specified by either the
designated beneficiary or the estate of the designated beneficiary upon
the death of the designated beneficiary. The bill would require the
California ABLE Act Board, upon establishing a CalABLE account and prior
to any transfer of funds from one ABLE account to another, to notify
all designated beneficiaries or the estates of the designated
beneficiaries, as applicable, of the potential tax consequences of
transferring funds from one ABLE account to another pursuant to these
Would require the state to cover the costs of local minimum age
increases in the rates paid to community-based developmental services
Criminal Justice, Safety & Civil Rights
AB 859 (Eggman D) Elders and dependent adults: abuse or neglect.
Location: VETOED BY GOVERNOR
The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act provides for
the award of attorney's fees and costs to, and the recovery of damages
by, a plaintiff when it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that
the defendant is liable for physical abuse or neglect, and the defendant
has also been found guilty of recklessness, oppression, fraud, or
malice in the commission of that abuse. This bill would instead apply a
preponderance of the evidence standard - an easier standard to meet --
to any claim brought against a residential care facility for the elderly
or a skilled nursing facility, except as specified, for remedies sought
pursuant to the above provisions, upon circumstances in which
spoliation of evidence has been committed by the defendant.
Would improve law enforcement agencies' hate crime policies to better
protect people with disabilities and other victims of hate crimes.
AB 959(Holden D) Access to community-based developmental servies
Location: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
Summary: Would: (1) Provide
an on-line list and description of all available services offered
through regional centers; (2) Require regional centers to provide
information to consumers and families in a culturally and linguistically
appropriate manner, including providing alternative communication
services; and (3) Require regional centers to respect the wishes of consumers' authorized representatives in making day-to-say living decisions for consumers.
Enacts the Building Homes and Jobs Act. The bill imposes a fee of $75
to be paid at the time of the recording of every real estate instrument
except property transfers, not to exceed $225, to fund affordable and
SB 3 (Beall D) Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018.
Location: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
Enacts the Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018, which, if
adopted by the voters, would authorize the issuance of $400 billion in
bonds to fund affordable and accessible housing and the Cal-Vet home
a streamlined, ministerial approval process for infill developments in
localities that have failed to meet their regional housing needs
AB 1379 (Thurmond D) Certified access specialist program: funding.
Location: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
Increases funding for the State Certified Access Specialist (CASp)
Program to increase the availability of CASp services and improve
compliance with state and federal construction-related accessibility
Would require, when a pool or spa building permit is issued, it be
equipped with at least 2 of 7 specified drowning prevention safety
features to prevent pool accidents, a leading cause of developmental
AB 45(Thurmond D) California School Employee Housing Assistance Grant Program.
Location: VETOED BY GOVERNOR
Would fund affordable rental housing for school employees, a step
toward meeting California's shortage of special-education teachers and
other specialized staff.
Would require schools in the native language of a parent, or in another
mode of communication used by the parent, during the planning process
for the child's individualized education program, as provided, and to
provide alternative communication services, including by providing
translation services for a parent.
AB 973 (Low D) Remote accessible vote by mail system.
Location: VETOED BY GOVERNOR
Would, beginning January 1, 2020, require a county elections official
to permit a voter with a disability, or a military or overseas voter, to
cast his or her ballot using a certified remote accessible vote by mail
AB 1111 (Garcia, Eduardo D) Removing Barriers to Employment Act: Breaking Barriers to Employment Initiative.
Location: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
Would create a grant program to provide individuals with barriers to
employment the services they need to enter, participate in, and complete
broader workforce preparation, training, and education programs aligned
with regional labor market needs. The bill would specify that people
completing these programs should have the skills and competencies to
successfully enter the labor market, retain employment, and earn wages
that lead to self-sufficiency and economic security.
AB 1607 (Frazier D) Developmental services: integrated competitive employment.
Location: VETOED BY GOVERNOR
Would authorize a consumer in a supported employment program or work
activity program who has the stated goal of integrated competitive
employment in his or her IPP to request to use tailored day services in
conjunction with his or her existing program to achieve that goal.
Director of Policy & Advocacy, The Arc/UCP California Collaboration
* While a two-year bill may be revived in January, 2018, in practice most are dead.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month -
by Teresa Anderson, MPH
Dominic, a client at Progressive Employment Concepts, is exploring a paid position at the police department.
In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness
Month I had the honor and privilege of interviewing Carole Watilo,
Executive Director of Progressive Employment Concepts. Carole is a
passionate advocate for employment and finding the right fit for people
with intellectual and developmental disabilities to promote dignity,
respect and inclusion for everyone. Her dedication to ensuring people
with IDD have the chance to obtain meaningful work, prepare academically
for employment or engage in meaningful volunteer opportunities led her
and her husband to establish Progressive Employment Concepts 22 years
ago. In addition, as the aunt to 5 nieces and nephews that use regional
center services she knows first hand how important those services are.
Progressive Employment Concepts is a community-based program that is
built on developing individual schedules and supports that meet the
interests and needs of the individuals she serves.When they started they had 15 clients with the goal of serving 30, today they serve 105 individuals.
I asked Carole what is the biggest challenge for today's high
school graduates and if she felt that most are ready to work when they
leave school. In her experience, there is a lack of focused transition
services. There is a mind-set shift that needs to occur in order to
focus on services that individuals need to be successful rather than
"what programs are available" at the time of graduation or transition to
adult settings. Real in-depth transition planning needs to drill down
to needed supports, recognizing and accommodating a wide range of
ability and finding something meaningful and valuable specific to
individuals and have an employment first mind-set. She said "it is like
match-making" you just have to find the right match!
Our discussion of finding the right match led to me
learning about Dominic. Progressive Employment Concepts has served him
for over 20 years. When he was initially referred to them, Dominic's
case manager (at the time) wasn't sure if he would be appropriate for
the "program" but Carole disagreed as she believes they can serve
everyone and as such they have a zero-exclusion policy.Dominic
had/has many challenges because he is non-verbal, at the time had
limited communication technology, no voluntary movement and significant
personal care needs. However, over time it was discovered that Dominic
is very detail oriented, great with computer systems, a good businessman
and has a strong interest in criminal justice. He took classes at
Folsom college in criminal justice and now volunteers for a local police
department 4 days a week. Given his volunteer history with the police
department, attention to detail and supports he has been able to
increase his responsibilities at the police department and a paid
position is being explored. Dominic feels very valued as a community
member and Carole says he LOVES his job.
has been a lot of focus on employment, specifically in the last 10
years, and more significant policy discussions have occurred around
employment first. Carole believes that the new federal rules will help
shift attitudes and result in positive policy changes. In addition, she
adds research, policy and strong self-advocates are essential to driving
change but it needs to be funded properly to be successful.
the end of our interview I asked her "What would you want
businesses/industry to know about hiring a person with an intellectual
or developmental disability"?She said bottom line...
"Businesses are here to make money and reputable support agencies will
bring them people that will add value to their business.People with IDD can add value just as any employee without a disability."Perhaps
the most poignant thing she said she would like businesses to know is
that hiring a person with IDD boosts morale in your business. When you
see someone jump through so many hoops just to get to work and love the
work they do it just simply boosts morale. The last question I asked her
was "What would you want parents, families or providers to know about
getting people with IDD into the workforce?" Her greatest piece of
advice was to DREAM BIG, have high expectations and expect that their
family member can and will work! She suggests that we all take the time
to watch these videos from Supported Life Institute and the California
State Council on Developmental Disabilities about employment of people
want to THANK Carole and Dominic for sharing their time and experience
with me. For more information about Progressive Employment Concepts
ADVOCACY & COMMUNITY ORGANIZING
It Takes A Team!
Wings For All Provides Airport Experiences for Families with Special Needs.
Successful advocacy and organizing is all about putting a
team together, rather than one person or one organization doing the
work. I just returned from a recap meeting in San Jose of an incredible
team that successfully organized a "Wings for Autism, Wings for All"
event. It took a team to make this happen, a 'dress rehearsal' or
practice to obtain a boarding pass, go through TSA security, actually
board a plane and be seated for flight instructions!
"For individuals with autism and similar intellectual and
developmental disabilities (I/DD), busy airports and crowded aircraft
and the associated bright lights, loud noises and large crowds may cause
anxiety and fear and prevent these potential passengers from traveling
with their families," according to Rosemary Barnes, spokesperson for the
Mineta San Jose International Airport. One family was not able to
navigate the jet bridge because of the sounds and smaller space. Better
to find out now than later when the family was flying! A possible
accommodation could be earphones.
In order for the Silicon Valley's airport to simulate this
air travel experience for people with disabilities, SJC partnered with
The Arc of the US, The Arc of Alameda County, Parents Helping Parents,
Southwest Airlines and the Transportation Security Administration. I
obviously represented The Arc, but such an incredible experience
wouldn't have 'got off the ground' without these team players.
72 children and adults with I/DD registered and attended from
Napa, Sacramento, Oakland and the San Jose area. Over 30 staff (from
managers to pilots) volunteered from the five sponsoring organizations
in order to make "Wings for All" happen! The Arc of Fresno likewise had a
successful "Wings for Autism" event last May, and plans another in the
Director of Community Organizing and Advocacy
spring.The Arc of San Francisco held a similar program of their own, "Ready Set Fly" attended by over 125 participants and volunteers.
Great organizing and team building in our communities!
Tim Hornbecker, Director of Community Organizing and Advocacy
America probably has the worst public
transit of any developed country. It's been that way since at least the
mid-twentieth century, when General Motors lobbied to shut it down or
weaken it except in the biggest, nicest cities.
As someone who is unable to drive yet
due to financial and psychological issues, I've taken transit in
Sacramento regularly since 2013. I've been able to get around without my
parents and gotten good exercise, but I don't think I've benefited from
public transportation in any other way. I've proclaimed that if there
is a Hell, the bus and light rail have prepared me for it.
Usually the passengers aren't bad.
I do, however, have to put up sometimes with people who act
inappropriately. Most irritating is people who pull the cord again to
request a stop even though you'd have to be deaf to not hear the voice
say "stop requested."
As a 15-year-old, with almost no
concept of the nooks and crannies of adult life, my mom described taking
the bus to me and I told her, "You can't be independent if you don't
drive." Well, as long as you live somewhere that has a transit system,
you can be partially independent. But having to rely on specific times
to get places, taking a very long time each way, is like a disability in
itself. Especially on weekends, when schedules are cut in half and I'm
stuck around a city I already detest, even if it is temporary.
Also, both the light rail and the bus
occasionally make loud noises that make me want to avoid taking them or
wait for a quieter bus or light rail.
I got my learner's permit on July 28
this year. I decided to start learning to drive because (1) I sense that
Americans are "supposed to" drive and (2) I dislike taking transit so
much. Family members tell me the stakes are too high. They are high, due
to said financial and psychological issues, but it is too important for
me to be independent - and turn the unpleasant bus and light rail into a
PARENTS AND ADVOCATES SUE STATE OF GEORGIA OVER SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL EDUCATION FOR THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
GA (Oct. 11, 2017) - Today, parents of children with disabilities, the
Georgia Advocacy Office, the Center for Public Representation, the
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, The Arc, DLA Piper LLP, and the
Goodmark Law Firm filed a class action lawsuit in federal court alleging
that the State of Georgia has discriminated against thousands of public
school students with disabilities by providing them with a separate and
unequal education via the State's Georgia Network for Educational and
Therapeutic Supports Program (GNETS).
Services for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
The purpose of this project is to increase community
integration and independence of individuals with developmental
disabilities and to improve the quality of home and community-based
services (HCBS) by developing and testing one or more model approaches
of a coordinated and comprehensive system that includes two interrelated
core components for enhancing and assuring the independence,
integration, safety, health, and well-being of individuals living in the
community: (1) Community Monitoring and (2) Community Capacity
Arc of California posts job announcements in the Career Ladder section
every week because we would like to contribute to steering quality
candidates to professional positions that support people with
disabilities and we are trying to communicate to Direct Support
Professionals that there is a real "career ladder" in their chosen
The Chief Executive Officer/President
enables PWI to adapt to and influence a dynamic environment. Working
with and reporting to the Board of Directors, this role helps set policy
and strategic leadership in concert with the mission, vision, purposes,
and values of the organization. The CEO/President serves as the
principal external representative of the organization and manages
internal systems and complex processes of the organization to achieve
effective and efficient operations. This position also directs budget
development, fiscal responsibility and assures successful financial
The Executive Director supports and advances the regional center's Vision and Strategic Plan and ensures
that the operations and services of the regional center are aligned
with that Vision and Plan. Under the policy direction of the Board of
Directors, the Executive Director provides leadership to the staff and
community, plans, organizes, develops and directs the operations and
services of the regional center in accordance with the law, state
regulations and the provisions of the Regional Center's contract with the California Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS).
The Senior Legislative Advocate
position is based in Sacramento and is part of the team responsible for
DRC's legislative activities in California. The position reports to the
Legislative Director. The Senior Legislative Advocate has expert
substantive knowledge in 2 to 4 disability rights areas and a working
knowledge of all areas covered by Disability Rights California.
Executive Director position open for
Resources for Independence Central Valley (RICV). RICV is located in
Fresno, CA and provides independent living services for five counties in
Central California. It has numerous funding sources including grants
and fee-for-service programs. Excellent salary and benefits for the
Central California area.
The Legislative Advocate 2 is part of
the legislative unit for the organization and is responsible for
legislative advocacy activities. The person identifies, monitors and
advocates for legislative activities that affect Californians with
Would you like to advocate for the
employment, independence and equality for people with disabilities? Are
you interested in joining a council that ensures consumers and other
stakeholders have a voice in California's vocational rehabilitation
program? If so, then a position on the State Rehabilitation Council
(SRC) may be for you! The SRC is recruiting for three perspective
The business, industry and labor community,
Disability advocacy groups, and,
A current or former Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) consumer.
The Alzheimer's Association has a
great opportunity for a Part-time Legislative Assistant to join our team
in Sacramento, California. Working as a member of the dynamic State
Public Policy & Advocacy Team, you will join a statewide network of
professionals dedicated to our mission: to eliminate Alzheimer's disease
through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and
support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through
promotion of brain health. In this role, you will be responsible for
coordination of the two-person State Policy Office, providing
executive-level administrative support to the State Policy
Director/registered lobbyist and remote support to five California
chapters and volunteer advocates. The Legislative Assistant will assist
in core legislative support functions such as scheduling legislative
meetings, tracking and monitoring bills, drafting and disseminating
letters of support/opposition, activating grassroots action alerts and
event planning for annual State Advocacy Day.
The Executive Director, acting in the capacity of chief
executive officer, is charged by the KRC Board of Directors with
providing visionary and inspirational leadership as well as being
responsible for the successful day to day management of all aspects of
KRC's operations. The Executive Director works at the pleasure of Board and is subject to corporate bylaws, policies and procedures. The Executive Director is responsible for keeping the Board of Directors informed of the status of KRC's operations and for
advising it in matters of policy. As the face of KRC, the Executive
Director shall present a strong and compassionate image to the
communities served by KRC as well as at the state and national level.
California Head Start AssociationProfessional Development Manager: California
Head Start Association is seeking a creative and business savvy
professional to serve as the Professional Development Manager (PDM),
leading all aspects CHSA's conferences and learning programs. Benefits
include employer paid medical/dental/vision for employees, a monthly
stipend for transportation / parking, a Simple IRA matching contribution
after one year, and a cell phone allowance. Position is located in
Sacramento. Learn more and apply HERE. (6/4/17)
First 5 Association of CaliforniaCommunications Director: We
are seeking an experienced Communications Director to lead the First 5
Association's media and outreach efforts. The Director will develop and
implement communications strategies for the organization including media
relations and online communications. The Director will also write
and/or edit a wide range of communications including news releases,
op-eds, letters to the editor, blogs, and fact sheets, policy briefs,
and other communications that supports the breadth of First 5 efforts
and policy areas. Learn more about this position and how to applyhere. (6/8/17)
The Supported Life Institute seeks a Self Advocacy Project Coordinator that
will work with, facilitate, empower and support dedicated
self-advocates and individuals with intellectual and developmental
disabilities and advisors and facilitators involved with Self Advocacy
Chapters throughout the Sacramento region in the Peer Advocacy Connection Project (PAC) and the Facilitation Services Project (FSP). To learn about these important programs visit the SLI website at: http://supportedlife.org and click on the Peer Advocacy Connection link. If this position matches your goals and interests, please email: email@example.com
. for a full job description. No phone calls please
Provides overall leadership
and management of organization-wide public policy advocacy efforts.
Represents The Arc Minnesota in contacts with elected officials,
government officials, the media, and members of the public and partner
organizations. The goal of the position is to achieve our public policy
goals by strengthening our relationships with elected and government
officials on a state and federal level and increasing the skills and
involvement of our membership in public policy and grassroots