News Beat:

Reprinted from PN February 2002
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Anxiety Levels High

Months after the terrorist attacks on America, most of the country's 54-million citizens with disabilities do not feel sufficiently prepared for future crises, according to a Harris interactive survey?s results. The report says:

58% of people with disabilities do not know whom to contact about emergency plans for their community in the event of a terrorist attack or other crisis.

61% have not made plans to quickly and safely evacuate their homes.

50% of those who are employed say no plans have been made to safely evacuate their workplace.

All these numbers are higher than for people without disabilities.

The Harris survey, which interviewed 1,100 people15% of whom reported having disabilitiesby telephone November 14-20, 2001, also found people with disabilities are far more anxious about their personal safety. Eighteen percent of respondents said they are extremely or very anxious, compared with just 8% of able-bodied people.

National Organization on Disability (NOD) President Alan A. Reich and other NOD representatives met with Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge in November to address the disability community's specific concerns. NOD has urged Ridge and other government officials to work together to ensure adequate plans are in place to accommodate people with disabilities in the event of future disasters.

Contact: ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Assistive Technology Center Receives Award

The Center for Assistive Technology (CAT), a joint program of the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the UPMC Health System, recently received the Assistive Technology Achievement Award for 2001 from Temple University's Institute on Disabilities.

The award was presented in recognition of the center's excellence in providing innovative and consumer-responsive services to people with disabilities who are seeking access to assistive technology. CAT's mission is to enhance the ability of people with disabilities to fulfill life goals through the coordination and provision of appropriate services.

CAT provides services to people with disabilities throughout western Pennsylvania through a network of healthcare professionals including occupational and physical therapists, speech language pathologists, audiologists, rehab engineers, physicians, case managers, and rehab technology suppliers.

Contact: Alan Aldinger or Frank Raczkiewicz, (412) 647-3555 / 624-3184 (fax).

Open Gardens

Open Days is reportedly the only national program that invites the public to visit America's very best, rarely seen, private gardens.

The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Directory: The Guide to Visiting Hundreds of America's Best Private Gardens 2002 edition lists gardens in 26 states that will be open to the public on select weekends from March through October 2002.

One location of particular interest is the Cathy and Gene Rothert Garden just outside Chicago. The couple planned the garden 15 years ago bearing in mind that as a gardener who uses a wheelchair, Gene would need special features. They used adaptive tools and techniques and carefully positioned plants so gardening would be a safe, comfortable, and fun experience.

Contact: Open Days, (201) 385-9903. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Looking For Parents

Are you a parent with a disability raising a teen, ages 11-17? If so, Through The Looking Glass, a nonprofit organization located in Berkeley, Calif., that serves families with disabilities, would like to hear from you.

Contact: Nancy Freed, (800) 644-2666 / (510) 848-1112, ext. 174 / / ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Inclusion Project

The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts?Boston and the Association of University Centers on Disability are gearing up for a project with the Corporation for National and Community Service to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in national and community service through training and technical assistance.

The National Service Inclusion Project will provide training and technical assistance to AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and National Senior Service Corps on a wide range of disability issues. The project will also educate the disability community about the opportunities available in national/community service.

Contact: Danielle Dreilinger, (617) 355-2211 /, or Siobhan Dugan, (202) 606-5000, ext. 151 / ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Court Ruling

The Ninth Court of Appeals in San Francisco recently ruled that the State of California regularly discriminated against prisoners and parolees with disabilities during its parole and parole-revocation hearing processes. The district court found that the California Board of Prison Terms (BPT) failed to make proper accommodations for numerous individuals. As a result, prisoners and parolees will continue to be protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) during their hearings, and the parole board must continue to follow an injunction requiring that it change its policies and practices for accommodating prisoners with disabilities.

Women's Grants

The Center for Research on Women With Disabilities (CROWD) at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Tex., recently received the following grants:

"Stress Self-management for Women with Disabilities"

"Depression Self-management and Women with Disabilities"

"Improving the Health of Women with Disabilities" (a national conference)

Contact: CROWD, (713) 960-0505 / 961-3555 (fax) / / ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gender/Disability Report

Mobility International USA (MIUSA) has published Gender and Disability: A Survey of InterAction Member Agencies. This was the first attempt to systematically document the extent to which U.S.-based international development organizations include people with disabilities, particularly women, in policies, employment, programs and services.

Survey findings point to the need by development agencies for training, education, and technical assistance to bring people with disabilities, in particular women, into the development-assistance process. Most organizations collect little or no data about the participation of women with disabilities in field programs.

Contact: MIUSA, (541) 343-1284 (V/TTY) / /


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