2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference

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The Eleventh Annual Statewide Independent Living Conference of Texas

March 7-9, 2010

Crowne Plaza Suites – Dallas Park Central 7800 Alpha Road, Dallas, Texas 75240

Presented by:

Texas State Independent Living Council, (SILC) Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, (DARS) REACH Resource Centers on Independent Living

"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!" -Ed Roberts, the Father of Independent Living 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 1

Welcome from the SILC Executive Director Dear Conference Attendee: Welcome to the 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference at the Crowne Plaza Suites-Dallas Park Central. We are gathered here because we all share an interest in Independent Living (IL), either from a service provider, educator, advocate, or Consumer standpoint. Each of us has some knowledge to share and desire to learn more about advancing the IL Movement. With that in mind, we have put together what we believe will be both an enjoyable and learning experience for everyone. The 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference has a full agenda of presenters from all over the state, ready to provide you with knowledge and tools needed to take Independent Living to the next level. The next two days will be filled with informative sessions, numerous exhibits, opportunities to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of award recipients, and to network with other people who are engaged in the Independent Living Movement. Conference materials are available in alternate formats and both sign language interpreters and CART services have been arranged. Roving personal attendants will be present during the daily activities to assist attendees. This conference could not happen without the help of many dedicated people and donations from sponsors. Please take a moment to read the lists of volunteers, staff, and sponsors, and say thank you when you have a chance. Thank you for joining us! With warmest regards, Regina Blye SILC Executive Director

-- Thank you for making this a smoke-free, scent-free event!

“I have missed more than 9000 shots. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot--and I missed. I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is precisely why I succeed.� - Michael Jordan

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Sunday, March 7, 2010 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Pre-Conference Activity Pre-Registration

Room: Foyer

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Pre-Conference Activity Get Acquainted Mixer/SPIL Activity

Room: Windsor 3-4

Monday, March 8, 2010 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Registration and Raffle Tickets

Room: Foyer

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Room: Bistro General Session Complementary Plated Breakfast Welcome and Introductions: Charlotte Stewart, REACH, Inc., Executive Director, Michelle Crain, SILC Chair Opening Address: Tricia Sapp, Owner of ABC Home Medical Conference Connection: Michelle Crain, SILC Chair 10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. General Session Keynote Speaker: Kelly Buckland, NCIL Executive Director 10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Break and Exhibit Visits

Room: Windsor 1-4

Room: Foyer/Atrium

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Room: Windsor 1-4 General Session Formation of a Disability Legislative Advocacy Group (Interactive) Facilitator: Peggy Cosner, SILC Council Member Presenters: Oscar Garcia, Silver-Haired Legislature Representative, Dennis Borel, CTD Executive Director, Jodi Park, TACIL Executive Director, Rachel McClure, TACIL Program Assistant About the Session: One of the most unique aspects of the Independent Living Movement is that it is Consumerdriven, but all too often Consumers are absent from those forums in which they can impact change. 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 3

The objective of this interactive session is for participants to learn how to form an effective advocacy group by familiarizing themselves with current disability issues, implementing successful strategies in approaching legislators, and recruiting committed, persistent and passionate members of the disability community to advance the IL Movement. 12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Lunch on Your Own Restaurants within one mile of the hotel: Benihana Inc., Eggroll Express, Steak & Ale of Arizona, French Corner Cafe, Maggiano's, Grady's American Grill 2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Concurrent Workshop Sessions Therapeutic Recreation for Individuals with Physical Disabilities Facilitator: Karen Swearingen, SILC Board Member Presenter: Paul Gray, RISE Adventures Chief Executive Officer Mike Peters, Voluntary Director of Outreach for RISE Adventures Room: Windsor 1-2 About the Session: RISE Adventures is a fully voluntary nonprofit organization that plans and conducts adaptive sports and recreation events for people with disabilities. Workshop presenters will demonstrate modified equipment and describe numerous activities implemented by RISE Adventures on a regular basis. Recruitment of volunteers and sponsors will also be discussed. Using the Medicaid Buy-In to Ensure Health Care Coverage While Working Facilitator: Gloria Greeder, SILC Board Member Presenter: Elizabeth Gregowicz, Texas Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Administrator, DARS, Center for Policy and Innovation, Michele Cunningham, Medical Eligibility Specialist III Room: Manchester About the Session: This session will explain how this innovative option will benefit people with disabilities who want to work and need to maintain their Medicaid coverage. The Medicaid Buy-In program allows people of any age who have a disability and are working to receive Medicaid by paying a monthly premium that is based on earned and unearned income. Self Defense and Common Sense (Interactive) Facilitator: Regina Blye, SILC Executive Director Presenter: Dr. Alvin Mack, Universal Martial Arts Academy and Training Center, Director Room: Windsor 3-4 About the Session: A presentation in two sessions, this workshop will introduce participants to the methods of assault, the stages of trauma, and victim’s rights. The Sifu will demonstrate self defense moves to help protect oneself from attack and share tips for minimizing risks. 3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Break and Exhibit Visits

Room: Foyer/Atrium 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 4

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Concurrent Workshop Sessions Self Defense and Common Sense (Interactive) Facilitator: Karen Swearingen, SILC Board Member Presenter: Dr. Alvin Mack, Universal Martial Arts Academy and Training Center, Director Room: Windsor 3-4 About the Session: Part two of this workshop will continue to break down the methods of assault, the stages of trauma, and victim’s rights. The Sifu will demonstrate self defense moves to help protect oneself from attack and share tips for minimizing risks. National Council on Independent Living Updates Facilitator: Regina Blye, SILC Executive Director Presenter: Kelly Buckland, NCIL Executive Director Room: Windsor 1-2 About the Session: The National Council on Independent Living is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), individuals with disabilities, and other advocacy organizations. Mr. Buckland will discuss President Obama’s proposed 2011 budget, national legislative news from Washington D.C., and give us the inside scoop on NCIL. Analysis of Survey: Texans with Disabilities Personal Preparedness for H1N1 Facilitator: Kristen Jones, SILC Board Member Presenter: Angela English, Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities Executive Director Room: Manchester About the Session: The session will focus on the Analysis and Implications for the Future on Personal Preparedness Planning for emergency planning based on a seven month survey conducted by the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities on the Personal Preparedness Planning by Texans with Disabilities in an H1N1 Influenza Pandemic Event. 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Break and Exhibit Visits Room: Foyer/Atrium 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Reception Appetizers and Music Room: Bistro “The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” -John C. Maxwell

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Registration and Raffle Tickets Room: Foyer 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. General Session Complementary Plated Breakfast Welcome and Introduction: Michelle Crain, SILC Chair Promoting Independence Initiatives Presenter: Marc Gold, Promoting Independence Initiative Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Director Room: Windsor 1-4 About the Session: The Texas long-term services and supports system is very different in 2010 as contrasted to 1999, when the United States Supreme Court rendered its Olmstead decision, requiring states to provide individuals with disabilities an opportunity to live in the most integrated setting possible. Texas has proudly led the charge. This session will focus on the evolution of the Promoting Independence Initiative in the state, which has gone from an institutionally biased system to one of community choice. 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Break and Visit Exhibits Room: Foyer/Atrium 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Concurrent Workshop Sessions Ethics in the Work Place Facilitator: Glenda Embree, SILC Ex-Officio Member Presenter: Sara Feuerbacher Room: Manchester About the Session: This workshop session will focus on ethics and how a counselor or service provider may prepare or intervene when faced with ethical dilemmas. The presenter will highlight the current guidelines, identify ethical dilemmas when working with certain populations, and discuss general characteristics relating to ethics and ethical dilemmas. Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities – What’s New in the Field? Facilitator: Karen Swearingen, SILC Board Member Presenters: Neva Fairchild, American Foundation for the Blind, National Independent Living Associate, Richard Hopkins, DARS Program Specialist, Michael Ritter, DARS Rehabilitation Technology Information Specialist Room: Windsor 1-2 About the Session: In this session, DARS staff will provide hands-on demonstrations of various types of assistive technology and discuss latest innovations in the field. The American Foundation for the Blind Center on Vision Loss staff will discuss technologies that are available for people with vision loss to 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 6

live independently and achieve employment outcomes. The presenters will also review some of the resources available to people with disabilities. Panel of Relocation Specialists and Consumers – Community Integration Works! Facilitator: Michelle Crain, SILC Chair Presenter: Lori Duran, Relocation Consumer, Doni Van Ryswyk, North Central Texas Council of Governments Manager, Aging Programs, Michelle Jones, Relocation Specialist, Claudia Beniot, Relocation Consumer Room: Windsor 3-4 About the Session: In partnership with the Department of Aging and Disability Services, Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) can make living in the community a reality for many nursing home residents. The panelists consist of CIL and AAA Staff and Consumers who will discuss the relocation process, its challenges, as well as best practices. 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Break and Exhibit Visits Room: Foyer/Atrium 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Awards Luncheon Room: Windsor 1-4 Awards Ceremony Outstanding Achievement by a Service Provider Patrina Gallow Exceptional Contribution by a Community Leader Bob Kafka and Stephanie Thomas Consumer of the Year Howard Knieriem (Cowboy) Community Appreciation Department of Rehabilitation Services Region III Staff Recognition of Former SILC Board Members Dennis Borel Tracey Michol Raffles and Give-a-Ways Gift Basket 42 inch 1080p Flat Screen Television “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's NOT.” -Dr. Seuss

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1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Concurrent Workshop Sessions Rose-Colored Glasses? Facilitator: Kristen Jones, SILC Board Member Presenter: Marcy J. Haag, Ph.D., Assistant Dean in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service at the University of North Texas and Linda Holloway, Ph.D., CRC, Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work & Addictions at the University of North Texas Room: Windsor 1-2 About the Session: This presentation will discuss strength-based development as an approach to facilitate the process of discovering one’s talents and finding ways to utilize them to be more productive and engaged. The philosophy of Independent Living is clearly one of maximizing potential rather than concentrating on limitations. Yet, too often, professionals entrenched in a system that requires assessments and labels, lose the focus on the abilities of Consumers. Rather than concentrating on “what’s wrong”, a strengths-based approach identifies the positive resources that people possess. Rehabilitation Council of Texas Information Exchange Facilitator: Donald Landry, SILC Board Member Presenter: Karen Stanfill, Senior Advocate with the Client Assistance Program, Advocacy Inc. Room: Windsor 3-4 About the Session: The Rehabilitation Council of Texas (RCT) serves as a partner to the Division for Blind Services (DBS) and the Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS). Both DBS and DRS provide vocational rehabilitation services to persons in the state of Texas who have disabilities that affect their ability to work. The RCT is charged with obtaining Consumer feedback in regards to vocational rehabilitation services and to conduct needs assessments to determine gaps in such services throughout the state. In this session, the RCT hopes to obtain input from persons attending the IL conference on experiences they have had with DRS and DBS and to request suggestions to improve the vocational rehabilitation system. Developing and Maintaining Healthy Relationships Facilitator: Gloria Greeder, SILC Board Member Presenter: Cema Mastroleo, M.Ed., Educator with Disability Services ASAP of SafePlace Room: Manchester About the Session: Workshop attendees will have an opportunity to dialogue about the components in healthy relationships between people with disabilities, family members, professionals and what to do to develop and maintain safe and healthy relationships. Presenter will offer information about possible resources to explore more about the topic, as well as, resources when relationships become hurtful. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -Martin Luther King, Jr. 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 8

2:40 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. General Session Conference Wrap-Up Raffle, Give-a-Ways, and Evaluations Laptop and Gift Baskets

Room: Windsor 1-4


About the Presenters and Speakers Tricia Sapp is the owner and operator of ABC Home Medical. She is a disabled Veteran who served in the US Army as a stock and account specialist in Germany. Tricia became a paraplegic due to a horse accident in 1992. She is a member of the Lone Star Paralyzed Veterans of America Wheelchair Honor Guards, which are the only wheelchair honor guards chartered by Congress. In 2006, Tricia received the 2006 Paralyzed Veterans of America Lone Star Chapter President’s Award. Tricia received 1st Runner Up in the 2004 Ms. Wheelchair Texas pageant. She was featured in the 19th National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in 2005 where she participated in the Alpine (downhill) and Nordic (cross-country) ski events using a mono-ski. Kelly Buckland is currently the Executive Director of NCIL in Washington D.C. Kelly started his career as a social worker in Boise and an employee for Idaho’s Protection and Advocacy system. He served for years as the Executive Director of the Boise CIL, Living Independence Network Corp., and most recently as the head of the Idaho State Independent Living Council. He has served on the Idaho Developmental Disabilities Council, the State Employment and Training Council, and the State Help America Vote Act Steering Committee. In 1978, Kelly graduated from Boise State University with a B.A. in Social Work and in 1988 Summa Cum Laude from Drake University with a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling. Oscar Garcia is a native of Laredo and graduate of Texas A & M University. Oscar is married to Muriel and they have five children and six grandchildren. Oscar arrived in Fort Worth in 1965 and after serving as Buyer Manager for Leonard’s Dept. stores Oscar was a Manufacturers’ Representative and retired from the Insurance Industry in 2002 after 27 years. His volunteer work includes, Delegate to National White House Conference on Aging; member of the National Silver-Haired Congress; member of the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature where he serves as Speaker Pro Tempore, and member of North East Tarrant County Leadership Forum. Dennis Borel is Executive Director of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and as such is frequently called on for research, policy analysis and recommendations to the Texas Legislature and state agencies regarding disability-related issues. He serves on multiple advisory groups to state health and human services agencies. Dennis has twenty-five years' experience as a senior manager of nonprofit organizations. In 2005, he was honored by his alma mater, the University of Michigan, for his work in 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 9

the field of disability. In 2009, Dennis received the National Advocacy Award for Region 6 at the NCIL Conference in Washington, D.C. As Executive Director of the Texas Association of Centers for Independent Living (TACIL), Jodi Park draws upon ten years of legislative advocacy experience to support TACIL’s member Centers, as well as elevate TACIL’s legislative presence and standing in the coming years. Her service on advisory groups includes appointments to HHSC’s Consumer Directed Services Work Group, and the Secretary of State’s Help America Vote Act Advisory Committee. Jodi has successfully advocated for significant changes in government policy and practice in employment, community care, transportation, and architectural barriers to promote full community inclusion for Texans with disabilities. As TACIL’s Program Assistant, Rachel McClure ensures that all grant and member activities run smoothly and efficiently. Rachel is trilingual, has strong community organizing skills and a wealth of legislative experience. Rachel, who has a BA in Political Science and Spanish, last worked as Legislative Director for State Representative Scott Hochberg during the 81 st Session. She has worked through eight sessions at the Capitol and also served as Program & Policy Director for the legislative advocacy organization Public Citizen. Paul Gray is the creator and current Chief Executive Officer of RISE. Paul has built many successful businesses in his corporate career. After retiring in 2006, he spent a year as the CEO of another outreach organization before creating RISE. With his vast business experience and dedication to the disability community, he formed RISE Adventures in March of 2007. Paul has been exposed to individuals with physical disabilities since 1969 when a friend became paralyzed in a car accident. He has witnessed the vast transformation of wheelchair sports and equipment available in the past into the sophisticated adaptive devices available today. Mike Peters works for DE-STA-CO, A Dover Company, as the Internet Marketing Administrator where he is responsible for managing and developing the company’s global web site. Mike was born with Spina Bifida, a congenital abnormality which is present on the spine at birth. He was an Air Force kid who was born in Japan, lived in Hawaii, Germany and a few states across our great country. After many years of surgery and doctor visits, Mike began using a wheelchair to improve his daily life. He’s been in a chair for over five years. He likes to say that his wheelchair is not who he is or what he is, rather just a pair of shoes. Elizabeth Gregowicz is the DARS, Center for Policy and Innovation, Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) Administrator. Having worked in several states in the Disability Determination Service programs, she has an extensive Social Security Administration (SSA) disability background. In 1994, she became part of the staff of the Texas Disability Determination Services department, where she worked closely with the SSA disability initiatives for nine years. In 2002, she joined the Texas Workforce Commission. This experience included interfacing with the 28 statewide Local Area Workforce Boards in the areas of policy, contract management, technical assistance, and performance, as well as oversight of the Career Schools and Colleges and Workforce 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 10

Investment Act Eligible Training Provider programs. Ms. Gregowicz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Illinois University. Michele Cunningham was born and raised in the Dallas area and graduated from Bryan Adams High School in 1983. She began working for the Texas Department of Human Services as a PBX operator and advanced through the agency to her current position as a Medical Eligibility Specialist III. Michelle began working in the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS) in 2005. She has worked on the Medicaid Buy-In program since its inception in September 2006. Dr. Mack is the Director and Founder of the Universal Martial Arts Academy and Training Center in Denton. He was the undefeated light weight champion of Europe from 1974 to 1976. A fifth level black belt, Dr. Mack has received numerous awards including the Presidential Sports Award in 1977, induction into the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Master Instructor of the Year in 2007 and Golden Lifetime Achievement Award, from the same organization in 2009. He received his Doctorate of Martial Arts Philosophy in 2008 from the University of Asian Martial Arts Studies. Angela English is the Executive Director of the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. Angi has a Master of Science degree from Baylor University in Educational Psychology, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee. Angi is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has teaching degrees in Special Education and Art Education K-12 grades. Marc Gold is the Manager overseeing the Promoting Independence Initiative for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, (DADS). Previously, he worked with the Health and Human Services Commission and the former Texas Department of Human Services. A graduate of the University of Miami, Mr. Gold earned a Master’s degree from Emory University in Georgia and a Doctorate in neuropsychology from Columbia University in New York. Representing DADS, he is an ex-officio member of the State Independent living Council. Dr. Feuerbacher earned a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Social Work and a Doctorate degree in Educational Psychology from Baylor University. She is a clinical social worker supervisor and the owner of Serenity Counseling & Wellness Practice. Dr. Feuerbacher has participated in many program development and evaluation opportunities. She is a Practical Parent Education Certified Parent Educator and has also taught in multiple positions of academia, including university, community college, secondary, and elementary educational levels. Neva Fairchild has served as the National Independent Living Associate for the American Foundation for the Blind since 2008. She works at the AFB Center on Vision Loss in Dallas, Texas, where she is responsible for Esther’s Place, an 1800 square foot demonstration model apartment equipped with over 500 products to help people with vision loss learn how they can independently perform activities of daily living. She earned her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology and her Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in 1992 and 1988 respectively. 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 11

Richard Hopkins is the Program Specialist with the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. He has worked in the field of Human Services for more than thirty years. He began his professional career as a Vocational Evaluator for the Royal Maid Workshop for the Blind in Hazlehurst, Mississippi and as VR Counselor with the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services. Most of his professional career has been with the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services where he has held several positions. Currently Richard is the lead Program Specialist for assistive technology, vehicle modifications, home and job site modifications in the Rehab Technology Rehab Center (RTRC) located in Austin, Texas. Michael Ritter is the Rehab Technology Information Specialist for the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. He provides tours of the DARS Rehab Technology Resource Center; conducts research on new advances in AT; demonstrates AT equipment; and assists in managing the AT Loan Program - a "try it before you buy it" system that allows people with disabilities to evaluate various AT devices before purchasing. Mr. Ritter has worked at the state agency for ten years. Michael is also a published author. His first novel, The Brat Chronicles, tells the story of growing up as a military brat in the 1960’s and 70’s. Lori Duran currently resides in Lubbock, Texas and is the ASL Coordinator for the LIFE/RUN Center for Independent Living. She attended South Plains College, where she majored in Criminal Justice. Lori became a Sheriff’s Deputy in 1991 in Falfurrias, Texas and worked in law enforcement until she sustained her disability. As a result of her disability, Lori was placed in a nursing home. After seven months in the nursing home, Lori relocated back into the community and now shares her transition experience as a way of inspiring others. Michelle Jones currently resides in Corpus Christi, Texas with her husband and their two sons. For the past four years, she has worked as a Relocation Specialist with the Valley Association for Independent Living. Prior to that, she served as a Parent Child Advocate/Relocation Specialist with the Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living, and has, in her eight years of advocacy work, gained experience working with Community Based Alternatives and STAR PLUS. For Michelle, advocating for the unrepresented is personal, as she is the mother of a child with disabilities. It was this addition to her family that led her to participate in both the Coastal Bend Advocacy Development and Partners in Policymaking programs. Her desire to see a more accessible world for her son is what sparks her passion for advocacy. Doni Van Ryswyk of Arlington is Manager of Aging Programs at the North Central Texas Council of Governments. She is President of the Texas Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and a member of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Texas Association of Regional Councils Human Services Committee, Tarrant Area Gerontological Society, Denton Geriatric Services Work Group, and 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 12

Texas Promoting Independence Advisory Board. Van Ryswyk received a Bachelor’s degree from Coe College and a Master’s degree in Gerontology from Baylor University. Claudia Beniot is currently a resident of Tyler, Texas. Prior to sustaining a spinal cord injury from a car accident in 2001, Claudia was a volunteer with the United States Postal Service and operated her own daycare business. As a result of Osteomyelitis and several surgeries, Claudia was placed in a nursing facility, where she resided for one and a half years. With the assistance of the East Texas Center for Independent Living (ETCIL), Claudia relocated into the community and is now a strong supporter of ETCIL and its relocation program. Patrina Gallow was born in Port Arthur, TX. She attended Thomas Jefferson High School (now Memorial H.S.) and earned a Bachelors of Science degree in General Studies from Lamar University – Beaumont. After finishing her degree, Patrina worked as a student assistant at Lamar University – Port Arthur and a substitute teacher for the Port Arthur Independent School District. In 2006, she was hired as an Independent Living Specialist at RISE Center for Independent Living in Beaumont, TX. During this time, she returned to Lamar University and earned her teacher certification. She left RISE briefly to teach elementary students and returned to RISE with a passion to continue working to help others live independent and productive lives. Tracey Michol is the Director of Education at the Deaf Action Center in Dallas. Tracey is a Commissioner on the Fort Worth Human Relations Commission and serves on the Advisory Committee for the Advocacy U Resource Center Project, and a member of the Texas Advanced and Leadership Advocacy Project Advisor Committee. She received her Master’s Degree in Deaf Education and Deaf Studies from Lamar University and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration with an Emphasis on Entrepreneurial Studies from Gallaudet University. Tracey served on the State Independent Living Council from 2005-2010. Bob Kafka was born in New York and served with the Army's 188TH Maintenance Battalion from 1966-67. He graduated from the University of Houston with a BA in Economics in 1974, and then went on to earn his M.Ed. in special education in 1977. Bob was also involved with Houston's Coalition for Barrier Free Living, CBFL, serving as Chair of the Architectural Barriers Committee and then as president in 1979. During his presidency of CBFL the group received the grant to start one of the first CILs in the country, Houston Center for Independent Living. From 1981 to 1983, Bob worked as a VISTA volunteer with the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, CTD. From 1984 to 1987, he served on the Board of the Coalition, creating and chairing its Personal Assistance Services Task Force for five years. In 1984, Bob co-founded ADAPT of TX and has served in the capacities of local, state and national organizer ever since. Stephanie Thomas is known all over the country as one of the prime leaders and national organizer of ADAPT. Stephanie fights tirelessly for the passage of CLASS Act, closure of State Supported Living Centers, and to reduce the 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 13

wait list for services in Texas. Stephanie started her work in Independent Living as an outreach coordinator for the Austin Resource CIL. Howard Knieriem (Cowboy) was born with cerebral palsy and was able to maintain his own independence until suffering a stroke in 2000, as a result, he was placed in a nursing home, where he remained for two years. When Cowboy learned about the “Home by Choice” relocation program conducted by REACH of Dallas, he couldn’t wait to become a Consumer. He worked tirelessly with Susie, the Transition Counselor, to complete all of the tasks necessary to move from a residential facility back into the community. Cowboy even purchased an accessible mobile home through the City of Plano Housing Rehabilitation Program. Prior to the stroke, Cowboy participated in competitions with the National Disability Sports Alliance and received numerous awards. The after effects of having a stroke have limited his participation in marathon races so he now focuses on bowling. He continues to win awards and recognition for his bowling skills. Other activities that he enjoys include gardening and using his computer. Dr. Haag is Assistant Dean in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service at the University of North Texas. She is a Certified Strengths Advocate, a Gallup Higher Education initiative focusing on strengths-based development. Dr. Haag is a Master Trainer in Say It Straight™, a Dept. of Education nationally-recognized evidence-based program that results in empowering communication skills and behaviors. She is a veteran trainer in the rehabilitation education arena, specializing in communication, self determination/independent living, and leadership. Dr. Holloway is the Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work & Addictions at the University of North Texas. She has extensive experience in rehabilitation service delivery as well as rehabilitation training and education. Dr. Holloway is the past president of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education, previously served on the Board of REACH and is currently the cochair of the Denton Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities. She is certified by the Gallup Higher Education Organization as a Strengths Advocate. Karen Stanfill is a senior advocate with the Client Assistance Program. She has served on the Rehabilitation Council of Texas since 2002. She is employed with Advocacy, Inc. and her office is in Houston. Prior to her current position, Ms. Stanfill was a vocational rehabilitation counselor with the Division for Rehabilitation Services. Cema Mastroleo is an Educator with Disability Services ASAP of SafePlace in Austin, Texas. Cema has a Master of Education from the University of Texas at Austin. She has over 10 years experience providing personal safety, healthy relationship and sexuality education to people with disabilities. Additionally, Cema has 5 years experience coordinating training programs on disability awareness and accessibility for the criminal justice system and providing training to Adult Protective Services. Additionally, she has 30 years experience working with children and adults with disabilities in both the United States and in Brazil. "To the critics who complain that ADA has not achieved total justice ... I say what about the Bill of Rights and the Ten Commandments? Have they achieved total justice? The vision of 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 14

justice is an eternal long march to the Promised Land of the good life for all." - Justin Dart, Jr.

THANK YOU The State Independent Living Council is appreciative of the support that helps to make this conference possible. The following contributors are gratefully acknowledged: Financial Aid Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities- $6,000

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities is a 27-member board dedicated to ensuring that all Texans with developmental disabilities, about 423,500 individuals, have the opportunity to be independent, productive and valued members of their communities. Using a variety of methods, the Council works to: •

Ensure that the service delivery system provides comprehensive services and supports that meet people's needs, are easy to access and are cost effective


Improve people's understanding of disability issues

For More Information To learn more about developmental disabilities, inquire about Council meetings, receive our list of resources, or to join our mailing list contact the: Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities 6201 E. Oltorf, Suite 600 Austin, Texas 78741-7509 (512) 437-5432 Fax: (512) 437-5434 Toll-Free: 1-800-262-0334 Website: http://www.txddc.state.tx.us/ 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 15

Superior Health Plan - $500

Superior Health Plan’s STAR+PLUS Program is a Texas Medicaid managed care program for people who have disabilities or who are elderly. Most adults on supplemental security income (SSI) will be required to enroll in STAR+PLUS. SSI children may choose to enroll in STAR+PLUS or may remain in Traditional Medicaid.


New Life Medical Equipment - $500

New Life Medical Equipment is dedicated to providing high-quality medical equipment and supplies. Whether you are being discharged from the hospital, referred by your physician or searching for quality equipment for a family member, New Life is a comprehensive resource for equipment purchase, rentals and medical supplies. Our specially trained staff will take the time to understand your needs, help you choose the proper equipment and provide any necessary education and training. Our services include in-home delivery, set up, fitting, patient/caregiver education and 24 hour emergency service. We also provide a unique discount program for qualified organizations through our Medical Professionals Program. We offer customer friendly payment plans and our staff will also bill Medicare, Medicaid and file any insurance claims for covered equipment and supplies.

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“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”- Frederick Douglass In-kind Donations • • • •

Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Division for Blind Services REACH, Inc. LIFE, Inc.

Exhibitors • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

REACH Resource Centers on Independent Living – Sponsor Texas Council on Developmental Disabilities - Sponsor New Life Medical Equipment – Sponsor Superior Health Plan - Sponsor ADAPT of Texas Advocacy, Incorporated American Foundation for the Blind Austin Mobility Solutions DARS Rehabilitation Technology Resource Center First Care Medical Equipment Lift Aids, Inc. / C & R Medical National Federation of the Blind of Texas Paratransit Education and Advocacy Collaborative - PEAC RISE Adventures Southwest Center for Higher Independence Talking Book Program, Texas State Library and Archives Commission Texas Association of Centers for Independent Living - TACIL Volunteers of America, Texas VSA Arts of Texas

About The Conference Sponsors: The mission of the State Independent Living Council is to assure that Texans with disabilities have access to quality independent living services by providing a framework for service delivery. This mission is accomplished through the development of a three-year State Plan for Independent Living, which sets the goals for the provision of independent living services in Texas. The Council is also charged with the responsibility of monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of the State Plan. Other roles of the SILC are systems advocacy, education of the public regarding disability-related topics, and provision of technical assistance concerning the independent living philosophy and approach. The SILC is currently comprised of ten voting members and three ex officio members, appointed by the Governor, and representing most regions of the state. A majority of the Council membership is composed of individuals with disabilities and one member of the SILC is chosen by Texas Centers for Independent Living. Current Council Members are: 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 17

Michelle Crain, Chair, Kristen Jones, Vice Chair, Scotty Sherrill, Donald Landry, Gloria Greeter, Saul Herrera, Randell Resneder, Peggy Cosner, Karen Swearingen, and Susie Grona, Ex officio members are: Glenda Embree, DBS, Larry Gardner, DRS, and Marc Gold, DADS. The SILC is an incorporated, nonprofit organization with offices in Austin. Regina Blye is the Executive Director and Lois Langtry is the Executive Assistant for the State Independent Living Council. REACH, Inc. is a consumer-controlled, North Texas based nonprofit corporation with the dual mission of providing services for people with disabilities so that they can lead self-directed lives and educating the general public about disability-related topics in order to promote a barrier free community. REACH stands for Rehabilitation, Education, and Advocacy for Citizens with Handicaps. In an ongoing effort to achieve its mission, REACH operates the REACH Resource Centers on Independent Living (CILs) in Fort Worth, Dallas, Denton and Plano. A majority of the funding to operate these centers comes through grants from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). The REACH organization incorporated in 1987 and received funding from DARS to operate a center on independent living serving the greater Tarrant County area. As a result of this initial funding, the REACH of Fort Worth Resource CIL opened its doors and began providing services in April 1988. In September of 1991, the REACH organization took over the management of the former Dallas Center for Independent Living and renamed it the REACH of Dallas Resource CIL. In 1995, REACH was successful in securing funding from the ED to operate a center on independent living serving Denton County. The REACH of Denton Resource CIL opened its doors in January 1996. On September 1, 2009, REACH was awarded funding from DARS to operate a CIL serving Collin County. The REACH of Plano Resource CIL opened its doors on January 4, 2010. Through the centers, REACH provides an array of services including information and referral, peer counseling/peer support, independent living skills training, individual and systems advocacy, loaner assistive equipment/technology, social/recreational opportunities, vocational assistance, youth and nursing home transition assistance, adjustment to disability training, disability awareness/sensitivity training, and training on and technical assistance in complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services is part of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The Mission of DARS is: To work in partnership with Texans with disabilities and families with children who have developmental delays to improve the quality of their lives and to enable their full participation in society. The department includes the Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS), the Division for Blind Services (DBS), the Division for Disability Determination Services (DDS) and the Division for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI). DRS is the state's principal authority on the vocational rehabilitation of Texans with disabilities. The main purpose of this division is to assist people with disabilities to participate in their communities by achieving employment of choice, living as independently as possible, and accessing high quality services. Within the Division for Rehabilitative Services, the Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) works in partnership with people who are deaf or hard of hearing to eliminate societal and communication barriers to improve equal access. DBS assists individuals with visual disabilities to regain independence or secure employment. Services vary by individual and are intended to be comprehensive in scope. The ECI division of DARS is a statewide program designed to support families with children, birth to age three, with disabilities and developmental 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference Page 18

delays by helping such children reach their potential through developmental services provided by a variety of local agencies and organizations across Texas. “Dignity is not negotiable.� - Vartan Gregorian


Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference

Austin, Texas March 6-8, 2011

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“I do so love America the beautiful and our wild, creative, beautiful people. I do so love you, my beautiful colleagues in the disability rights movement.” – Justin Dart, Jr.

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