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Month: January 2019

Ed Roberts’ Day

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, and Public Awareness

Remembering a pioneer of disability rights on Ed Roberts’ Day.

Ed Roberts (1939-1995) was an American activist and a pioneering leader in the disability rights movement. He was the first student with severe disabilities to attend the University of Berkeley, California. In 1976, newly elected Governor Jerry Brown appointed Roberts Director of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation — the same agency that had once labelled him too severely disabled to work. Later, he helped found the World Institute on Disability. The following is a compilation of several of Roberts’ most famous speeches. As you read, take notes on Roberts’ tone, use of humor, and central ideas.

I contracted polio when I was fourteen. I had a serious fever, and within 24 hours, I was paralyzed and in an iron lung.1 Within earshot, my mother asked the doctor whether I would live or die.“You should hope he dies, because if he lives, he’ll be no more than a vegetable for the rest of his life. How would you like to live in an iron lung 24 hours a day?” So I decided to be an artichoke… a little prickly on the outside but with a big heart. You know, the vegetables of the world are uniting, and we’re not going away!

The transition was hard. I was on oxygen for a while. I had terrible acne and nobody could understand why it was so bad; when they stopped the oxygen my acne went away. I was so young… I had to deal with heavy-duty issues at a young age. I remember one night, it was a war going on in my body. I was making all kinds of noises, guns, explosions, planes, tanks… a nurse came in and asked me what was wrong. “It’s a war,” I told her. I was fighting for my own life. At that time, portable ventilators had not been invented.Everyone made the outlook bleak.

I decided that I wanted to die. I was fourteen years old. Now, it’s very hard to kill yourself in a hospital with everything set up to save your life. But the mind is a powerful thing. I stopped eating.They started to force feed me. It was really demeaning. I dropped to 54 pounds.

My last special duty nurse left, and the next day I decided I wanted to live. You see, that was a big turning point. Up until then, these nurses were available and doing things for me around the clock — I didn’t have to make any decisions for myself because they were always there. When they all finally left, that’s when I realized that I could have a life, despite what everyone was saying. I could make choices, and that is freedom. I started to eat again.

To read more, please visit CommonLit.org

Resource List for Government Shutdown Assistance

Posted in Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) this week released information to help West Virginians impacted by the government shutdown. The list of resources includes information about how to obtain unemployment benefits, food assistance, loans, as well as information on how to work with utility, cell phone, and other companies to accommodate incoming bills.

“I remain committed to finding a solution that reopens the federal government and funds our border security to keep Americans safe. I believe that federal workers should not pay the price for Congressional inaction, which is why I worked with my colleagues to introduce legislation – which was signed by the President and passed into law on Jan. 16 – that guarantees back pay as soon as possible for federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay during the shutdown. I know that does not help in the moment, though, so please see below for some resources available to you during this difficult time. We will continue to update this list as we hear from other organizations,” said Senator Manchin.

For a complete list, please visit The Fayette Tribune.

Independent Living Resource Specialist Job Opening in Elkins, WV

Posted in Outreach, and Public Awareness

NWVCIL is hiring an Independent Living Resource Specialist in Elkins, WV! A full job listing and additional information can be found on idealist.org.

The ILRS provides consumer-directed independent living skills training and peer and supportive counseling. Shares responsibility with other program staff for case finding (outreach), individual and systems advocacy and community education.

Essential functions:  

1.        Ability to travel.

2.        Ability to occasionally work long hours and/or weekends.

Duties:

1.        Provide information and short-term assistance to NWVCIL consumers;

2.        Complete intake of consumers consistent with NWVCIL program services policies and procedures;

3.        Conduct functional assessments for prospective and current consumers;

4.        Provide training to individual consumers consistent with the NWVCIL’s priorities and selection criteria including the development and implementation of all phases of their self-directed independent services plan;

5.        Collaborate with NWVCIL staff in the development of systemic activities as appropriate;

6.        Assist in the planning and development of the program priorities; and

7.        Compile information and prepare activities reports.

8.        Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications

1.        Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in a human service field.

2.        One to three years of experience working with people with disabilities.

Required Skills

1.        Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with or without reasonable accommodation.

2.        Demonstrated ability to identify facts and develop creative solutions.

3.        Familiarity in using computers for work processing, data collection and communication.

4.        Familiarity with social services for people with disabilities.

Desired Attributes

1. Understanding of the Independent Living philosophy.

2. Interest in disability issues.

3. Ability to organize and prioritize complex tasks.

4. Commitment to the civil rights of all people.

5. Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.

6. Experience working with and/or sensitivity to people with disabilities.

7. Ability to work with a minimum of supervision.

Please submit resume and cover letter as email attachment to Paulette Southerly at psoutherly@nwvcil.org. Please put “ILRS” in the subject line of the email. Note: this job is located in Elkins, WV.

NWVCIL is an equal opportunity employer, and actively encourages candidates from all races, national origin, ethnicities, genders, religion, ages, sexual orientation, abilities, and life experiences to apply.