Your quick, once-a-day look at disability rights, self-determination
and the movement toward full community inclusion around the world.

Tuesday, January 7, 2003
Year IV, Edition 016

This edition includes 8 news items, each preceded by a number (#) symbol.

"The level of funding already is illegal. If it didn't meet the legal requirement, the cuts only make it worse."

--Jim Kaup, an attorney for an organization which is suing the state of Kansas for violating a 1996 law that mandated community services for people with developmental disabilities (First story)

"I have a vision for what I want to see happen, but it has not quite caught on yet."
--Morrie Rotman, an advocate who is helping develop an information bureau for people with disabilities in southern California (Fourth story)



State Budget Cuts Are Illegal, Community Advocates Claim

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 7, 2003

TOPEKA, KANSAS--Community-based services for people with developmental disabilities have not kept up with the levels required under a 1996 state law.

That's what a group of agencies claimed in a suit filed Friday against the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, the Capital-Journal reported.

The suit, filed in Shawnee County District Court, asked Judge Franklin Theis to stop the state from implementing emergency budget cuts ordered last year by Governor Bill Graves.

The agencies said that the state had under-funded community-based services over the past seven years by at least $300 million and that services in the current year are underfunded by $88 million.

The 1996 Developmental Disabilities Reform Act was aimed at helping people with developmental disabilities to live more independently in the community.

"The level of funding already is illegal," said Jim Kaup, an attorney for the statewide advocacy organization InterHab, which is leading the suit. "If it didn't meet the legal requirement, the cuts only make it worse."



Headbangers Use Computers To Make Music

January 7, 2003

CANTON, MASSACHUSETTS--The following four paragraphs are from an article in Saturday's Boston Globe:

Joe Padula strains his eyes to the ceiling, and his mouth opens wide as the chorus ''I'll be there for you!'' echoes around the auditorium. The sound fades, and Joe breaks into a broad smile. The recorded voice isn't his, but he made it happen with a nod of his head, and that's enough.

Joe is unable to speak and can barely move because of cerebral palsy. But as a member of a group that calls itself ''Headbangers,'' he can still sing and make music.

Computer software developed by group leader Jon Adams allows the group at the Brayton School at the Massachusetts Hospital School to sound notes and vocals with whatever movement they can best make - a squeeze of the hand, tap of the finger, or a bang of the head.

The group blends the sounds into a variety of tunes, from Japanese folk songs to classical to rock jams. But the Headbangers is about more than the music. For children whose disabilities often deny them a way to fully express themselves in words, the music can give them a voice they've never had.

Full article:
"Disabled students band together" (Boston Globe)



Crime Victim Panel Gives Recommendations

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 7, 2003

COLUMBUS, OHIO--A governor-appointed task force looking into how to protect crime victims with developmental disabilities has issued its recommendations, according to the Associated Press.

The 17-member panel recommended allowing such victims to testify on videotape, instead of making them deal with the fear or intimidation of testifying in open court. The task force also recommended that probate judges, law enforcement officials and prosecutors work together to reduce stress on victims.

The report, which was submitted to Governor Bob Taft's office on Friday, noted that people with developmental disabilities are between four and ten times more likely to become crime victims than the rest of the population. For sexual assaults, the risk is 11 times higher.

Taft commended the group and will review its suggestions in the next few weeks, a spokesman said.



Local Residents Hope To Develop Information Resource

January 7, 2003

PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA--A group of people with disabilities in this community want to develop a way to connect people with the resources they may need.

Polio survivor Kurt Sipolski has undertaken a three-month study to determine whether the needs of Coachella Valley residents are being met.

The goal is to create a Web site or newsletter -- and ultimately an office -- to offer referral services.

Full article:
"Goal: info center for handicapped" (Desert Sun)



Cell Phone Features Help, If You Can Afford Them

January 7, 2003

TAIPEI, TAIWAN--New technologies are making cell phones more usable for users with disabilities, according to a brief in Monday's Taipei Times.

For example, speech recognition technology allows people to operate phones without using their hands or fingers.

But the cost of these features still make it difficult for people with disabilities to purchase such phones.

Full article:
"Special cellphones now being made for special people" (Taipei Times)



Parents Try To Break County Line Barrier

January 7, 2003

SHIPPENSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA--Like so many rural towns across the country, Shippensburg is located far from community services for people with disabilities.

The town is also located near a county line, and county-funded transportation systems won't transport residents from one county to another. So, if a Cumberland County resident has a job in Franklin County, he or she must find other transportation. The same holds true for Franklin County residents with jobs in other counties.

Parents and local officials are trying to change that, by bringing services to town or creating them.

Full article:
"Adults with special needs gain their independence" (Public Opinion Online)



Inclusion . . . Yours, Mine, Ours

Welcome to the "Yours, Mine, Ours" site! We hope this site gives you the support, confidence and resources to successfully include children with special needs in your classroom.

"We are advocates for the most successful and appropriate placement for each child. We also realize that one of the qualities of a good inclusion program is knowing when inclusion isn't the best option for a child."



Center For Self-Determination

Immersion Learning About Self-Determination

March 30 - April 3, 2003

Crowne Plaza Las Vegas, Nevada

From New England to California and Hawaii; from Florida, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas to Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin; from Canada to Europe and Australia, a movement of people with disabilities reclaiming their lives is growing and gathering strength. Every year in Las Vegas the Center for Self-Determination hosts a cross section of those most deeply involved with generating best practices in an ever growing and emerging redesign of long term care in the US. Join us to learn, to teach and to explore the complexities of and the results from demonstrations throughout the country.


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©Copyright 2003 Inonit Publishing
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Phone: 509-326-5811
Dave Reynolds, Editor