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Ragout-Nov./Dec. 2006

During the last months of 2006, Ragged Edge Online readers posted the thoughts, articles and essays below on our site.

After 2006, Ragged Edge Online is no longer supporting this feature.
(Read earlier Ragout entries).

Come join us on The Planet of the Blind. There's a great carnival thanks to all the bloggers who contributed....

Announcing an upcoming workshop….

Freedom From Violence: Preventing Violence Against Women With Disabilities

A Workshop for Disability Service Providers and
Domestic/Sexual Violence Prevention Advocates

7 - Continuing Education Credit/Contact Hours for MFT/LCSW/RN Available!

A Project of the California Department of Health Services (CDHS)
Epidemiology and Prevention for Injury Control (EPIC) Branch
Administered and Presented by Transforming Communities:
Technical Assistance, Training and Resource Center (TC-TAT)

This workshop will focus on enhancing the ability of disability service providers and violence prevention advocates to: prevent violence against women with disabilities; create culturally appropriate responses for women with disabilities who have experienced violence; and foster working relationships between disability service providers and domestic/sexual violence prevention advocates.

Participants who attend this workshop will further be able to:
 Discuss the prevalence of violence against women with disabilities;
 Understand and utilize underlying facts about domestic violence;
 Recognize the signs of domestic violence against women with disabilities;
 Apply approaches to preventing violence before it happens;
 Identify and implement opportunities for collaboration; and,
 Much more!

Come with community partners, or establish new partners at the workshop. No pre-existing working relationship necessary. Persons with all levels of experience are encouraged to participate.

This workshop is offered to: disability service provider organizations and disability service recipients/consumers; domestic/sexual violence service providers and prevention advocates; public health nurses; social workers; educators; justice/law enforcement; and others interested in building capacity in the prevention of violence against women with disabilities.

See following pages for registration information and form. 

Freedom From Violence: Preventing Violence Against Women With Disabilities

A Workshop for Disability Service Providers and
Domestic/Sexual Violence Prevention Advocates

Region/Location Date(s)

Bay Area (East Bay) December 13, 2006
Alameda County Family Justice Center

Los Angeles (Pomona) December 15, 2006
@ California State Polytechnic University - Cal Poly Pomona

Bay Area (San Mateo) January 8, 2007
@ San Mateo County Office of Education

Central Valley (Fresno) January 11, 2007
@ Fresno State University

Sacramento January 18, 2007
@ Sierra Health Foundation

Bay Area (Dublin) January 26, 2007
@ Dublin Day Program

Check www.transformcommunities.org for exact dates and locations 6 weeks before the possible workshop.

Pre-registration is suggested in order to guarantee meals and materials*. Please register by completing the pages 2-3 and 5-6 of this form, and faxing all four (4) pages to (415) 457-6457, ATTN: FFV: PVAWD. One registrant per form, please.

SPACE IS LIMITED, Registrations will be accepted on a first come basis according to date of receipt at TC-TAT’s office.
I will be attending (Location)_____________________(Date)_____/____/______
Please print clearly:
Street Address:
City: State: Zip:
Phone: Fax: TTY:

Registration Fee Options Per Participant:
$25 Fee covers continental breakfast and lunch. Materials also included.
$10 Fee covers continental breakfast and bring your own lunch. Materials also included.
Additional $25 fee per participant for CE credit/contact hours. Please check your payment method below:
□ VISA □ Master Card □ Pay by Check
(Please make checks payable to “MAWS” and mail to FFV: PVAWD at 734 A St. San Rafael, CA 94901.)

Card #: Exp. Date:
Cardholder Name: Billing Zip Code:

Reasonable Accommodations:
Upon request, reasonable accommodations will be made. All requests for reasonable accommodations must be to TC-TAT by the registration deadline.

 Please indicate if you would like us to contact you regarding reasonable accommodations.

For more information contact Elouise Burrell at pvawd@transformcommunities.org.

Please also complete next page of this registration form. 

Pre-registration is required in order to guarantee meals and materials*. Please register by completing the front and back of this form, and faxing both sides to (415) 457-6457, ATTN: FFV: PVAWD. Registration Deadline for this workshop is one week (7 days) prior to the workshop date.
Registration Fee Refunds and Waivers:
The $25 registration fee covers continental breakfast and lunch. The $10 registration fee covers only continental breakfast and you will provide your own lunch. Materials are included. Refunds are not available. If unable to attend, a substitute may be sent in your place. *No one turned away for lack of funds. Please check the appropriate box on the next page of this form to request registration fee assistance.
Reasonable Accommodations:
Upon request, reasonable accommodations will be addressed. All requests for reasonable accommodations must be made at least two weeks prior to the workshop date. Please check the box on the registration form if you would like to arrange for such accommodations. If you would like assistance with completing your forms or have questions regarding reasonable accommodations, please contact Krista Flores at 415-526-2557, 415-457-2421 TTY, 415-457-6457 FAX or email: kflores@transformcommunities.org
Continuing Education Credits/Contact Hours (CE):
There is a $25 fee per participant for registering for continuing education credit/contact hours for this workshop. Those with MFT/LCSW/RN licenses who would like continuing education credits/contact hours may pay now with registration or pay at the workshop. Refunds of CE contact hours’ payment (for non-attendance) must be requested at least seven calendar days in advance of this workshop, or we cannot make the refund.
MFT/LCSW: This workshop series meets the qualifications for seven (7) credit/contact hours of continuing education (CE) as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, available through TC-TAT, Provider Number 2865. RN: Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, available through MAWS, Provider Number 12670, for seven (7) continuing education credit/contact hours.
In order to help us best address your and your community’s needs at this workshop, please complete the following:

1. Would information on why and how to establish working relationships with other people and sectors in your geographical and professional communities in order to help prevent domestic violence be helpful to you or your organization? What are your biggest challenges/concerns in this area?

2. Would you find it helpful to go over basic information about domestic/sexual violence, such as what it is, what causes/promotes it, how to intervene, how to prevent it, etc, at this workshop? What specific topics would be most useful to you? Include any information you would like others in your community to understand.

3. What specific information regarding violence against women with disabilities would you find most useful?

4. I, _____________________________(insert name) would be interested in participating in a follow-up interview to discuss the needs of my community.
The best way to contact me to set up an appointment is by:
 Email _________________________________
 Work phone ____________________________
 Cell phone _____________________________

For more information contact Elouise Burrell at pvawd@transformcommunities.org.

Action Alert From Easter Seals/ Project ACTION

Attention Wheelchair Users, Scooter and Other Mobility Device Users: Help Remove Barriers and Improve Access to Public Transit and Paratransit Services

*Do you have experiences to share about using a wheelchair or other mobility device on public transportation?

*Would you like to do something to remove barriers, make rides more comfortable and improve access to public transit and paratransit services?

Your input is needed on a brief survey! Follow the link http://www.nelsonnygaard.com/project_action/survey.html to complete the survey.

The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete. Survey responses are needed as soon as possible and will be kept confidential. The survey will be available from Nov 1, 2006 to Nov 30, 2006. Wheelchair and scooter users, family members and personal care assistants are all encouraged to complete the survey. Activists are encouraged to respond and forward this alert to interested friends and colleagues.


Easter Seals/Project ACTION is a federally funded research and demonstration program to improve access to public transportation for people with disabilities. This survey is part of a national study entitled, "Status Report on the Current Use of Wheelchairs and Other Mobility Devices on Public and Private Transportation." The study is being conducted by Easter Seals/Project ACTION. The results of the study will be used to identify ways to improve access to public transit and paratransit services, establish procedures for transit agencies, educate service providers and enhance the transportation experience of users.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has greatly expanded the range of mobility options available to people with disabilities, particularly for wheelchair users riding various forms of public and private transportation. With increased ridership by wheelchair users, operational challenges specific to safely transporting wheelchairs and other mobility devices have emerged and need to be resolved. While research has been documented and discussed within a narrow circle of key stakeholders, Easter Seals/ Project ACTION has determined there is significant need to share existing information and best practices and to enable this information to be developed into policies and procedures that can be readily adapted by transit agencies and other stakeholders.


RL Grubbs
Research Scientist
Georgia Institute of Technology/ Wheeled Mobility RERC
Principal Investigator for Project ACTION
Tel: 404-894-4960

The Unemployment of People with Disabilities Industry

Ed Roberts was a controversial figure, not only for selling the American public and most of the world on the idea people with disabilities could live outside of institutions but that the best experts on living with disabilities where people successfully doing it.

Today we are back where we started. Our government, academics, and today’s policy makers have decided to abandon these little used principals that seemed successful where applied and go back to pre Ed Robert’s Vocational Rehabilitation. Most of the major disability groups find nothing wrong with these programs and even promote their outreach.

For me, the recent grant by National Institute on Disability Rehabilitative Research (NIDRR) has to be one of the silliest grants in Federal Government.

Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute is an able-bodied research center that does not recruit nor hire people with disabilities. When I asked how many people with disabilities they employee, their email said ten to fifteen percent.

Therefore, a group of able bodied people who can not find academics with disabilities, has very little experience as employers, and has very little experience with getting a job with a disability is going to make policy.
Would any organization with 85 to 90 percent males do creditable work on employment issues for women? It really is arrogance on the part of Cornell’s Institute administrators and a betrayal of NIDRR’s mission to fund this. The Institute website says they promote opportunities for people with disabilities but not in their institute.

This is the kind of garbage Independent Living Centers were founded to stop. If the professionals running this program and similar programs wanted to help people with disabilities instead of farming them, they would support people with disabilities running these research and training centers and find meaningful employment else where. When Ed Roberts and other started the World Institute on Disability (WID), it was to do research in line with the principals of independent living. WID too today has serious problems in its promotion of segregation of people with developmental disabilities, but that is another article.

These Institutes make it harder on us ten to twenty percent of working people with significant disabilities who are employed. We get silly conclusions for policy that is based on at best second hand knowledge and theoretic conjecture. These programs like telethons create and support the prejudice that only non-disabled people can solve problems. In other words, we are not competent enough to know what to do. As an employer I would wonder why hire a person with a disability if the people promoting that do not. It means again the people who are the experts are not we but professionals because there is never a person with a disability in a position of creditability.

These programs reinforce the glass ceiling to promotion and by their token employment –15 to 20 % in a disability related organization is tokenisms, we become an adult poster child. It hurts because again, no one gets management or program experience that makes for another generation of educated people with disabilities without any experience.

What is even worse is that these programs alienate the very people who should be leaders, funders, and part of the disability movement, the people who managed against all odds to get work, especially outside the government paid advocacy groups like independent living centers. People with disabilities who live in the real world do not want to be involved in silly things like this or disability organizations that support them.

Patrick Wm. Connally, M. A.
An ADA Vexious Litigant – everyone should be
Former Project Manager, World Institute on Disability

Why are we viewed as Aliens

Since I have been physically limited since the age of 11, I have wanted to phone home many times the way ET phoned home. I understand this is not possible with earth being our home. This is why we try to understand why we are viewed as aliens by so many. We wonder why so many of us are feared by so many of you. We wonder why you will not allow us to teach you what life has taught us. We want to help you understand what an awesome gift life truly is. The only way this will take place is if you let your fear dissolve so that you can understand we are human beings just like you.

Understand that life is the second greatest gift of all. We are given a very short period of time to receive this gift. Even if you live to be 105, which few people do, this is a short period of time. Now think about what our seven senses offered us. The seven are, five bodily senses and two spiritual senses. Think about the aromas your nose allows you to smell both sour and sweet. Think about all the sights your eyes allow you to see both beautiful and ugly. Think about the sounds your ears have allowed you to hear both loud and soft. Think about the flavors your tongue allows you to taste both bitter and sweet. Think about the feelings your nerves have allowed you to feel both painful and pleasant. Now we move on to the spiritual senses. First is the heart which allows us to receive the love of many and to share our love with many. Think of all of those who have loved you and all of those who you have loved. Secondly, now think of the memories you hold between the pages of your mind. There is only one way to define the memories life gives us. The definition is priceless. Think of all the places your legs allow you to walk. Think of all of the things your arms and hands allow you to do. Swing a bat, hold an infant, give a hug, catch a ball and the list goes on and on. Life as a whole is priceless because it offers us so much. This is why you should live it day by day. This is because you do not know what you have until you loose it.

This is why those of us who are physically limited want to teach you so much. It is what we have lost in life that has taught us so much about life and to value life as though it will never end. This is what gives us the strength we need to make it through each day. This is why it hurts to be treated like an alien by members of your own family, by your own church, by members of different societies through out the world. This is especially true when you carry a good bit of intellect with you. We do not seek sympathy or pity as many proclaim. We hunger for one thing and this is to be understood, to be accepted as fellow human beings. If you allow this to happen you would allow us to teach you to value life for the awesome gift it is. You would allow us to teach you to focus only on what you have. You would understand why faith is a necessity of life. Live life in this way; celebrate each day that comes your way as though it is your very last day. Understand we only want to help you get a little more out of life.

Darrell A. Deeds
August 12, 2006

I can't sing and I can't dance but I can vote. (I can sing, actually -- but I shouldn't -- at least not in public.)

I can vote and people who know me well know I am big on voting. It is important to me because it makes me equal to nondisabled people. My vote carries as much weight as anyone. My opinion matters.

I have been voting since high school. Life was not very accessible then. All my classmates went downtown in big, yellow schools buses. School buses were not accessible so my mom drove me. I registered to vote at the same time as my classmates. I just didn't arrive with them.

When I lived in my first apartment on Cherokee Road my polling place was in the basement of the neighborhood branch library. The precinct captain was so anxious for me to vote that he came to my apartment and took me to the polls himself. The walk over was rough. I did not have a motorized wheelchair and there were no curb ramps. We mostly stayed in the alley.

When we reached the library my precinct captain and two other guys carried me and my wheelchair down the steps to my polling place. I did point out to them, halfway back up the stairs after I voted, "You know, it really shouldn't be this hard to vote!" They became instant advocates that day.

These days voting is easy -- unless your polling place is inaccessible -- which is against the law. It can be scary, if you haven't voted before. I know there are times when the lack of accessibility at voting places seems too much to "overcome." Sometimes poll workers don't realize you have a right for someone to assist you or the right to have an interpreter. But, together, we can overcome these obstacles.

Many of us vote absentee at home or by going to vote early; it makes voting more accessible. I like the idea of going to the polls and people see me getting out to vote.

Funny, we usually don't want people looking at us but can you imagine the reaction if four wheelchair users showed up at each polling place? And what if eight people using white canes or guide dogs showed up at each polling place and what if five people talking with theirs hands came to each polling place?

What a vision!

The disability vote is big and it's getting bigger. There are almost 875,000 Kentuckians with disabilities and there are over 54 million Americans with disabilities. What politician can afford to overlook one-fifth of the nation's voting-aged population? With those kinds of numbers, we have the power to make change.

A part of the American Dream is to be able to have choices and to be able to make decisions for ourselves. We are beginning to take our place in the American Dream right beside our nondisabled sisters and brothers.

We have the ballot. We have to ability to vote. We cannot let anyone take that away from us. But we do. Every time we don't vote, we give up the right.

We must use our ballot to assure that we can fully participate in The American Dream. As the late disability advocate and "Father of the ADA," Justin Dart, used to tell us: Vote as if your life depends on it. Because it does.

I plan to vote Tuesday. Do you?

Cass Irvin

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