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Category: Disability

FEMA News Release

Posted in Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

West Virginia Residents Urged to Register with FEMA

Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia disaster survivors in Harrison, Marion, Marshall and Wetzel counties are urged to register for federal disaster assistance with FEMA.

Individuals and business owners in the designated counties who had severe storm or flood damage may register for assistance the following ways:

• Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov
• By calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)

o People who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 1-800-462-7585.
o For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
o These toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Assistance provided by FEMA for homeowners and renters can include grants for rent, temporary housing and home repairs to their primary residences, as well as other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs.

Introducing Our Lives: Safe and Strong Program

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

Do you want to feel safer and more secure in your daily life?  Would you like to learn how to reduce your risk of being exposed to possible harm in various areas of your life?  If you answered, “Yes,” we are excited to tell you we are offering the Our Lives: Safe and Strong Program as part of our services here at Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living. If you join us in the Our Lives Program, you will work in direct one-on-one partnership with a specially trained Our Lives NWVCIL advocate to identify areas of vulnerability you might have in your life now, and to develop safety plans and strategies to reduce your harm profile and increase your ability to live as Safe and Strong as you can.  The “Our Lives: Safe and Strong Program” is a collaborative project with Portland State University. For more information or to enroll with the Morgantown office, please contact Paulette or Dustin at 304-296-6091. To enroll with the Elkins office, please contact Brenda or Tiffany at 304-636-0143.
Do you want to feel safer and more secure in your daily life? Would you like to learn how to reduce your risk of being exposed to possible harm in various areas of your life? If you answered, “Yes,” we are excited to tell you we are offering the Our Lives: Safe and Strong Program as part of our services here at Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living. If you join us in the Our Lives Program, you will work in direct one-on-one partnership with a specially trained Our Lives NWVCIL advocate to identify areas of vulnerability you might have in your life now, and to develop safety plans and strategies to reduce your harm profile and increase your ability to live as Safe and Strong as you can. The “Our Lives: Safe and Strong Program” is a collaborative project with Portland State University. For more information or to enroll with the Morgantown office, please contact Paulette or Dustin at 304-296-6091. To enroll with the Elkins office, please contact Brenda or Tiffany at 304-636-0143.

Healthcare Vote Expected Next Week

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

Healthcare Vote Expected Next Week: The Fight Is Not Over!

From the National Council on Independent Living

  • The Senate released their updated version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (PDF) yesterday, and all of our concerns remain the same. Read the Senate summary (PDF). The new version will still cut Medicaid by $772 billion, with an even more restrictive growth rate and deeper cuts starting in 2025. Fifteen million people will lose Medicaid. The bill also still eliminates the enhanced match for the Community First Choice Option, removes protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and allows waivers to eliminate essential health benefits, on top of adding a new provision to create separate insurance products for people with higher and lower health needs.
  • This new version of the bill has made NO improvements. Despite that, we’re hearing that Republicans who were undecided or even opposed to the previous version of the bill are now leaning toward voting YES. Republicans are reportedly becoming more unified around this new version, and we cannot let that happen!
  • The vote is expected to take place next week. That means that we have less than one week to fight this dangerous bill, and every single day counts. We need to make sure our Senators understand how dangerous this bill is for their constituents with disabilities. We need them to understand that we are literally fighting for our lives. And we have less than one week to make sure they hear us.

Take Action!

  • Call your Senators by dialing the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
  • Use Resistbot to have your texts turned into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters.
  • Use faxzero.com to fax your Senators for free.
  • Find your Senator’s email address, Twitter handle, and other information through Contacting Congress.
  • Please see our previous alert for additional ways to take action. Every single one of us needs to keep the pressure on our Senators! Call often, send emails, keep protesting, and Tweet at GOP Senators; take action in every way you can!
Priority Senators
We encourage everyone to reach out to their Republican Senators, but we have compiled a list of top priority Senators, including phone numbers for all of their offices, fax numbers, Twitter handles, and contact pages, as well as information for their healthcare staffers. Please utilize as many of these options as possible! If these are not your Senators, please make sure to reach out to everyone you know in their states!

Darla Ervin Writes in Charleston Gazette-Mail

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, and Public Awareness

Darla Erwin: Medicaid’s future a life/death decision to disabled (Gazette)

By Darla Erwin
 
Darla Ervin

I am — like thousands of others in West Virginia — a person with a disability. I was born with cerebral palsy and need a power wheelchair to get around. I’m also a mother, a widow, and a daughter. My handsome son, Wesley, is in the military and serves in Iraq.

Like many other people with disabilities, I have created a full life for myself: I am becoming a court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children; I serve on several boards for disability organizations; and I am the co-coordinator of West Virginia ADAPT, a grassroots disability rights organization.

Also like so many other people with disabilities, I am only able to live this full, active life because of Medicaid. Medicaid pays for my wheelchair, for my medications and for the attendant who helps me get up in the morning and go to bed at night. Without these supports, I would be in a nursing home. Or, I would be dead.

The current congressional proposals to fundamentally change — and slash — Medicaid leave me terrified. The home- and community-based services that Medicaid funds for me — and 13,000 other senior and disabled West Virginians — could disappear. Completely. We will be left with no choice but to abandon our jobs, our families, our volunteer work. Many of us might be forced into nursing homes. Others would have family members who quit their jobs to care for us. Still others would die.

American Wheelchair Mission in Appalachia

Posted in Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

Three West Virginia Centers for Independent Living received 75 manual wheelchairs of various sizes for distribution to those in need. Brynn Hochman and her family from Los Angeles have been working with American Wheelchair Mission as part of a humanitarian Bat Mitzvah project. Initially they focused their efforts to bring wheelchairs to Vietnam, Africa, and Israel. They are now bringing their humanitarian efforts to Appalachia and have partnered with the CILS to identify individuals who need these chairs.

Please call us at (304) 296-6091 or your local CIL for more information.  A list of state CILS can be found at:  http://nwvcil.org/state-centers-for-independent-living/.