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Voices _ Visions Newsletter October 2008_ VolVII_ Issue 3


									                                              Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
                                                     The Commonwealth’s Developmental Disabilities
                                                                 Planning Council
October 2008                                                                                        Volume VII, Issue 3

                            VOICES & VISIONS

                  How I See It: Disabilities Are A Natural Part Of Life
                             Petrina Thomas, VBPD Partners in Policymaking, Class of 2007

  Board Officers            The following commentary appeared in The            There is excellent research validating the
   Chair, Lisbet Ward       Culpeper Star-Exponent on May 6, 2008,              power in the way words are used.
Vice Chair, John Burgess    and is reprinted with its permission. In light of   Diagnoses are important for finding best
Secretary, Sarah Ratner     the recent controversy over language used in        practices in the learning environment,
      Community             the film “Tropic Thunder” and the pending           obtaining necessary services and therapies
      Integration           confirmation vote by the 2009 General               and, of course, the medical model.
Christy Crowther (Chair)
      John Burgess          Assembly to replace the term mental retarda-        In the community and in everyday life, a
      Sherry Confer         tion with intellectual disability throughout the    diagnosis label does not define the essence
    Sandy Hermann           Code of Virginia and state government, the
      Shirley Hicks                                                             of one’s being. When we introduce our-
        Lee Price           Board is pleased to share Ms. Thomas’ thoughts      selves, we don’t say, “Hi, my name is so-
     Suzanne Ripley         with V&V’s readers.
      Mark Russell                                                              and-so, I’m hypertensive. This is my aunt.

       Terry Smith                  bout a year ago while driving my            She is postmenopausal, as you can proba-
    Martha Toomey
                                    car, I overheard a conversation             bly tell.”
 Community Living/                  between my children,                                     People who have a disability
                            ages 5 and 7, in the backseat.                                   diagnosis are introduced and
  Kelly Hickok (Chair)
  Mary-Margaret Cash        My son, 7, shared some infor-                                    described this way frequent-
     Dorothy Clark
     Jim Congable           mation that he had learned                                       ly, as if a doctor’s diagnosis
   Thomas J. Leach          about himself, thinking it                                       is his or her most favorable
   Kenley Mays, Sr.
       Jason Neal
                            would also apply to his little                                   characteristic. As if it is OK
      Bill Peterson         sister. He said, “You know                                       to let a label define who a
      Sarah Ratner          you have autism. You got it                                      person is.
  Jennifer Thornburg
                            when you were 3.” I thought                                       There is nothing wrong with
Education/Outreach          for sure that she would
 Joyce Knight (Chair)                                                                         having a disability diagnosis
    Christy Bishop
                            protest, but she didn’t. They                       (although flaws may exist in perceptions),
  Michael J. Carrasco       noticed I was listening and since it was            but to be categorized by it seems unnatu-
      Brian Clukey          Mother’s Day and they were already being            ral.
    H. Douglas Cox
    Norma Draper
                            sweet and generous, my daughter, 5,
       Ron Lanier           announced “And mommy has the most                   I know a little boy who identifies himself
     Fred Orelove           autism of all.”                                     as a Cub Scout, a good student, an animal
   Kristina Sherman                                                             lover, a big brother, etc. because that is
     John Toscano           There are two impressive parts to this con-         who he feels he is more than a generously
     Employment             versation. The first is that the disability         applied label like autism.
  David Holsinger (Chair)   was never viewed negatively. The second
         Tim Bass
                            is the use of “people first” language.” At          We all have strengths, weaknesses, inter-
  Calvin “Chip” Coleman
       Will Daniel          this moment, it occurred to me that if my           ests, likes and dislikes, and one thing I
        Darrell Hill        5- and 7- year-old children, who still need         know for sure is that each and every one
      Ray Hopkins                                                               of us is volumes more than a few black
   Mac McArthur-Fox         reminders to say “please” and “thank
       Renita Ray           you,” can talk using people first language,         and white pages of the DSM-IV or any
    Cecily Rodriguez
                            everyone can!
                                                                                              (continued on page 2)
Voices & Visions                    Virginia Board for People with Disabilities                      October 2008

 Letter from the Chair: Buzzwords or Civil Rights
 Lisbet Ward

                             ave you heard the current      decisions. Yet, when a guardian is needed to assist
                             buzzwords: “Least restric-     with these complex medical decisions, the guardian
                             tive environment”? “Self-      too often is appointed as a full guardian, now making
                     determination”? “Choice”?              all life choices for that person. Why does this hap-
                     “Person-centered planning”?            pen, especially when there are alternatives such as
                     Professionally, these are empower-     limited guardianship and medical power of attorney?
                     ing words that make providers feel     How did we lose these rights to begin with?
                     good about their service delivery      Accessing needed supports should not block us from
                     approach. But to those of us who       living our lives independently. Supports should have
 have a disability, these words beg a question of what,     the end result of taking another step to level the play-
 to us, is obvious. We wonder why it has to be a topic      ing field and provide us with the same opportunities
 of discussion at all. And that is where the playing        to live the adventure of life, mistakes and all, that
 field of self-advocacy marks the line.                     other Virginians have.
 Somehow as people with disabilities, we have too           Perhaps the current climate of “change” will strength-
 often ended up on the defensive, having to advocate        en our resolve to build truly inclusive communities:
 for equal rights to choose where we live, who we live      A Virginia where diversity is our strength. A place
 with, what goals we pursue, and whether we can             where our right to lead our own lives no longer
 even be the decision-makers for our own lives. Does        needs to be a professional concept but will be as natu-
 this sound like a civil rights issue to you?               ral as being your neighbor next door. V V
 It is easy for the inequality of helpfulness to sneak up
 on us. Consider an example related to guardianship.
 Sometimes medical decisions may be complex, and
 for reasons related to his or her disability, a guardian             Board Welcomes New and
 may be appointed for someone. Often, this person                        Returning Members
 has been living independently, with support services,
                                                                   t its September quarterly meeting, the Board
 for years, voting and making all of his or her own
                                                            A      welcomed three new members, appointed by
                                                                   Governor Tim Kaine. Kristina Sherman from
                                                            Norfolk and Christy Bishop from Gretna will both
                                                            complete unexpired terms. Tim Bass from
  Disabilities Are A Natural
                                                            Midlothian begins a four-year term as the Board’s
  Part Of Life (continued from page 1)                      community representative for high technology.
 other diagnostic manual. There is a famous saying          The Governor also reappointed seven previous Board
 that is “If you have met one person with autism, you       members for second four-year terms: Calvin “Chip”
 have met one person with autism.” Knowledge of             Coleman of Culpeper; Christy Crowther, Kelly
 the symptoms of a disability are important for             Hickok, and John Toscano of Richmond; David
 understanding, acceptance and best practices.              Holsinger of Staunton; Mac McArthur-Fox of
                                                            Blacksburg; and Martha Toomey of Orlean. Board
 Knowing that we are all more alike than not should
                                                            officers and committee assignments for these return-
 be a primary part of any disability awareness cam-
                                                            ing members, as well as the new members, appear on
 paign. No one can predict someone’s future and
                                                            page one of this newsletter.
 shouldn’t do so according to a disability. Disability
 and illness are not the same and shouldn’t be used         Thirty-one Board members serve as individuals with
 interchangeably.                                           disabilities, immediate family members of persons
                                                            with disabilities, or specifically designated communi-
 Please use people first language. I make this plea to      ty representatives. The remaining nine members rep-
 school staff, newspaper staff and everyone else out        resent the Board’s Virginia Developmental
 there.                                                     Disabilities Network partners and other key disability
 “Disability is Natural: Revolutionary Common Sense         services state agencies. Additional information about
 for Raising Successful Children with Disabilities,”        the Board, including brief biographies of its members
 second edition by Kathie Snow, is an excellent             and how to apply to become a member, can be found
 resource. Or visit V V            at V V                                                                                              Page 2
Voices & Visions                    Virginia Board for People with Disabilities                  October 2008

DD Network: The Center for Self-Advocacy Leadership

         cting on its commitment to provide individu-        AmeriCorps state programs have

A        als with disabilities with the knowledge, skills,
         and tools needed to be more involved in mak-
ing decisions about their lives, speaking on behalf of
                                                             been visited to learn more about
                                                             how they address community needs
                                                             and to assist with their development
others, and improving the communities in which they          of disability recruitment plans. On-
live, the Partnership for People with Disabilities           going technical assistance will assist
formed the Center for Self-Advocacy Leadership.              them in implementing their recruit-
Coordinated by a self-advocate and a parent of a child       ment plans and in supporting reasonable accommoda-
with disabilities, the Center is in its initial year of      tions to expand meaningful volunteer service opportu-
organization and employs several self-advocates part-        nities for individuals with disabilities.
time.                                                        A toolkit under development by the Center will cover
Believing that communities are enriched by the con-          reasons for full community inclusion, the benefits of
tributions of individuals with disabilities, two of the      volunteerism and community service, encouragement
Center’s initiatives focus on developing the capacity        of teamwork and diversity, and how people with dis-
of individuals to learn about and participate in com-        abilities are serving and improving their communities.
munity engagement and in volunteer and community             It will also include factors people with disabilities
service programs.                                            should consider before becoming volunteers or service
Staff engaged in the Self-Advocacy Mobilization ini-         members, their supervision and support, and common
tiative, funded by the Virginia Board for People with        modifications and accommodations.
Disabilities, support two teams of individuals with          For more information on the Center for Self-Advocacy
disabilities and their allies in the Tidewater and           Leadership, contact Dana Yarbrough at 804-828-0352
Middle Peninsula/Northern Neck areas. These teams            or To learn more about
identify an issue that they want to change, explore          AmeriCorps or to schedule a presentation on volun-
that issue in their community, and present their ideas       teerism, contact Erin Hickey at 804-828-7049 or
to key community leaders.                           V V
Both teams are currently exploring opportunities in          Dana Yarbrough, Director, Center for Self-Advocacy
their communities to meet people, make friends, and          Leadership, and Fred P. Orelove, Executive Director,
have relationships. The Tidewater team, facilitated by       Partnership for People with Disabilities, Virginia
the Hope House Foundation, Inc., is comprised of             Commonwealth University (
seventeen self-advocates and ten allies. It met four
times over the past summer to organize its members,
gather information, explore their community, and
report initial findings. A final report will be available     Disability Services Assessment
in late October 2008. Preliminary plans are in place          Now Available in Audio Format
for youth teams in the Middle Peninsula/Northern

Neck area to kick off their community explorations in                   n audio version of the Board’s 2008
mid to late October.                                                    Biennial Assessment of the Disability
In a second initiative, the National Service Inclusion                  Services System in Virginia, produced by
Project, Center staff work with self-advocacy groups          TecAccess LLC (, is now avail-
and the Commission for National and Community                 able on the Virginia Voice Radio Reading Service's
Service at the Virginia Department of Social Services         website,, where it can be
to support individuals with disabilities in volunteer         listened to on-line or downloaded for listening on
or member positions within national and community
                                                              a computer, mp3 player, or other compatible
service projects. They also work together to increase
knowledge among AmeriCorps state programs about               audio device. Links to the audio, as well as the
how to recruit, enroll, and support individuals with          original text version, can also be accessed at
disabilities as volunteers and members.              biennial.htm. Other accessi-
Center staff have presented on the benefits of volun-         ble-format versions of the Biennial Assessment are
teerism and AmeriCorps service to the state Arc               available upon request to 1-800-846-4464 or
Convention, local People First chapters, and staff of V V
Centers for Independent Living. Seventeen                                                                                              Page 3
Voices & Visions                     Virginia Board for People with Disabilities                          October 2008

                Partners in Policymaking: Welcome Class of 2009
                Erin Hickey, Sponsored Programs Assistant (

                        n Friday and Saturday,                 First Language”, subjects on which she has literally

                O       September 12 & 13, the Board
                        welcomed the Partners in
Policymaking Class of 2009 to its opening session in
                                                               “written the book”.
                                                               Seven additional, equally informative and challeng-
                                                               ing, monthly training sessions await the 29 self-advo-
Richmond. Featured presenters included nationally              cates and parents of children with disabilities in the
recognized disability rights experts and advocates             Class of 2009, leading up to their graduation in May
Jerry Adams and Kathie Snow. Jerry is a frequent               of next year. Along the way, they will grow person-
PIP contributor and spoke on the History of Human              ally and build relationships among one another as
Services in general and disability services in specific.       they begin their own advocacy projects and build the
Kathie’s visit with the Board’s PIP program covered            knowledge and skills needed to become effective dis-
the History of the Parent Movement and “People                 ability policy change agents. V V

                                    Partners In Policymaking Class of 2009
 Maggie Bellamy, Virginia Beach; Michael Benninghove, Powhatan; Kevin Benton, Portsmouth; Dave Brumit,
 Buena Vista; Cathy Bryant, Aylett; Paul Coderre, Annandale; Cara Coleman, Waterford; Regina Craig,
 Charlottesville; Paula Durbin-Westby, Louisa; Richard Edge, Portsmouth; Brock Everett, Newport News;
 Jean Felts, Galax; Bill Greaver, Gainesville; Kelly Greenwood, Sandra Higgs, Mechanicsville, Alexandria;
 Jeremy Hilton, Annandale; Charlie House, Newport News; Sonya Huie, Suffolk; Bernadette Jones, Amelia;
 Shawn Kirk, Midlothian; Eleanora Link, Richmond; Solomon Miles, Richmond; Rosemarie Ruiz, Yorktown;
 Angela Sadsad, Virginia Beach; Vernessa Samuel, Bealton; Janet Shields, Midlothian; Susan Taylor,
 Powhatan; Pamela Washington, Virginia Beach; Monica Wiley, Richmond

Update: Revisions to Virginia’s Special Education Regulations
       he Virginia Board of Education adopted final

                                                                 Board of Education delay approval of the regulations
       revisions to the state’s Special Education                and reexamine public comment related to those
       Regulations at its meeting on September 25,               unchanged provisions. Among the Coalition’s and
2008. Several changes were made from the initial                 other advocates’ unresolved concerns are overly
draft proposal. Advocates pressed strongly for provi-            restrictive eligibility criteria, a complicated new refer-
sions requiring parental consent for partial or full ter-        ral process that eliminates child study committees,
mination of special education and related services               elimination of short-term objectives for some stu-
which the Board of Education agreed to reinstate. In             dents, removal of certain provisions that help ensure
addition, hearing officer oversight will remain with             parent participation in the educational process, reduc-
the Supreme Court of Virginia, rather than moving to             tions in the supports available to students with
the Department of Education as proposed in the ini-              behavioral challenges, and the inclusion of timelines
tial draft regulations. In a further change, the Board           that could result in significant delays in students
of Education set the limit on the age range during               receiving needed services and supports.
which local school divisions have the option of label-           Over the next several months, the regulations will be
ing a child as “developmentally delayed” at six. The             submitted for review and approval first to the
initial regulations draft had lowered the age to five,           Attorney General’s Office, then to the Department of
and parent advocates had requested that it be                    Planning and Budget and the Secretary of Education,
retained at nine.                                                and finally to the Governor. If substantial changes
While parents and other advocates are pleased with               occur during this process, there may be an additional
the changes regarding consent for termination and                public comment period before adoption. If not, the
hearing officers, they remain very concerned about               regulations will take effect thirty days following their
other draft provisions that were not changed by the              publication in The Virginia Register of Regulations.
Board of Education. The Coalition for Students with              Links to the final regulations and to information on
Disabilities, in which the Virginia Board for People             the regulatory process can be found on the Board’s
with Disabilities participates, had requested that the           website at V V                                                                                                   Page 4
 Voices & Visions                    Virginia Board for People with Disabilities                          October 2008

YLF 2008—LEAD, The Future is Now…
Kara White, Sponsored Programs Assistant (

      he 2008 Youth Leadership Forum was inspira-              disabilities. The luncheon ended by hon-
      tional, humorous, and a great success. The               oring 2007 Delegate, Matthew Shapiro as
      twenty-five student Delegates, alumni, personal          YLF “Alumni of the Year”.
care staff, speakers, presenters, and volunteers who
                                                               Mike Patrick, a favorite speaker of the students and
gathered at Christopher Newport University’s David
                                                               staff, closed out the week emphasizing that leadership
Student Center contributed to make the week of July
                                                               is about attitude. His message came across loud and
14-18 memorable.
                                                               clear, as evidenced by the enthusiasm of the Delegates
Among their many activities, the Delegates were most           as they left YLF stronger and empowered leaders, tak-
energized by their “Capitol Day” field trip and by the         ing to heart this year’s theme: LEAD, The Future Is
large and small group sessions that not only taught            Now... V V
them about leadership and disability rights, but helped
them become comfortable with their disabilities and                                   Here I am
aware of the disabilities of others. In Richmond, the                            Here I am before you
Delegates did a wonderful job of delivering testimony                         & what you see isn’t a mask
                                                                             But beneath it is the true me
with confidence and sincerity to a mock General
                                                                             Here I am strong & renewed
Assembly committee of Board staff and invited guests,                              from my sorrows
chaired by Board member and “Senator-for-a-day”                      Sorrow of embarrassment sorrow of shyness
John Toscano. Before their “hearing”, Virginia’s First                         of my learning disability
Lady, Ann Holton, posed with them for a group photo                  But now I stand before you what do you see?
and shared her legislative experience.                                 I know what I see... And what I see is me
                                                                           No sadness is shown on my face
With much humor, Networking and Mentorship                           But the happiness I’ve gotten this past week
Luncheon keynote speaker, Richard Pimentel, shared                         I hope you see what I see in you
his life story and the barriers that he and his friend Art               Cause what I see is what you can be...
Honneyman faced in their early days advocating                                     What you will be
together. He concluded by encouraging everyone, par-                             Now do you see me?
ticularly the Delegates, to pick up where his generation                         Blanca Marisol Alas
has left off in protecting the civil rights of people with
                                  Youth Leadership Forum Class of 2008
 Blanca Alas, Arlington; Thomas Allen, Chesterfield; April Blaha, Roanoke; Dominique Connor, Powhatan;
 Christopher DeVaughan, Sterling; Erica Fiel, Suffolk; Keagan Giles, Richmond; Mary (Katelynn) Hammitt,
 Ashburn; Megan Hughes, Arlington; Ashley Johnson, Harrisonburg; Brittany Lacy-Richmond; Warren
 Newell, Jr., Petersburg; Elizabeth Newlon, McLean; Ibem Obasi, Annandale; Grace Oswell, Powhatan; Joseph
 Ragland, Richmond; Marcus Reed, Stafford; Jonathan Rintels, Keswick; Petya Rogers, Stuarts Draft; Winston
 Sellers, Suffolk; Katherine D. (Katie) Smith, Charlottesville; Katherine E. (Katie) Smith, Cooper Hill; Helen
 (Georgie) Sydnor, Lynchburg; Michael Weinheimer, Great Falls; Cameron Wilmer, Charlottesville

VSEN: Spread(ing) the Word!
                                                               reach of many thousands all across the state.

        t the start of the last school year, the Virginia
        Board for People with Disabilities and the             VSEN has played a key role in informing Virginians
        State Special Education Advisory Committee             about the special education regulations revision
created the Virginia Special Education Network                 process, in identifying ways that they could become
(VSEN) to keep parents, transition-aged students,              involved, and in sharing their comments and concerns
teachers, administrators, and others at Virginia’s             with each other. As that process draws to its conclu-
“grassroots” up to date with the latest accurate infor-        sion and as a new school year starts, VSEN looks for-
mation on the special education regulations revision           ward to continuing to provide timely and relevant
process and other important education and disability           information to its subscribers. It also encourages them
issues and resources. Virginians responded immedi-             keep spreading the word, including inviting their
ately and strongly by enrolling in the network and             friends and colleagues to join the network. To learn
encouraging others in their communities to join as             more about VSEN or to join, go to
well. Currently, the network has over 900 subscribers,         vsenform.htm or call 1-800-846-4464. V V
who pass its messages along to others, resulting in a                                                                                                 Page 5
Voices & Visions                        Virginia Board for People with Disabilities                          October 2008

NewWell Fund
Joey Wallace, Executive Director, NewWell Fund (

In this issue of V&V, the Board expands its coverage of serv-
ices and supports provided by its friends, partners, and col-     Unfortunately, people sometimes have a problem
laborators in the community. The following article and one        paying for the assistive technology that they need. In
on the facing page call attention to both an exceptional estab-   order to purchase these devices themselves, many
lished program and an exciting new one.                           may have to incur financial risk or go without other
                                                                  life necessities. Given these financial difficulties, cre-

        riginally established as the Assistive
                                                                  ative funding options are needed.
        Technology Loan Fund Authority over ten
        years ago, the NewWell Fund is a low interest             The NewWell Fund offers affordable loans to credit-
loan program for Virginians with disabilities needing             worthy Virginians for assistive devices and services
help purchasing assistive technology. With growing                that enhance their independence and community life.
emphasis on expanding independent living opportuni-               Most loans are for adaptive vehicles, home modifica-
ties and a tightening economic climate, the NewWell               tions, and hearing aids, but they are also available for
Fund is gaining importance and attention as a key com-            speech and vision devices, prosthetics, and much
munity resource and striving to no longer be one of the           more. There is no minimum loan amount, and quali-
Commonwealth’s best kept secrets.                                 fied applicants can borrow as much as $50,000. There
                                                                  are even equipment loans for qualified Virginians
Assistive technology is simply any device or piece of
                                                                  with disabilities wanting to start a home business or
equipment that allows a person to be more independ-
                                                                  to enable them to “telework” to a job from home.
ent. Whether in the form of a power chair, ramp, hear-
ing aid, magnifier, door opener, or anything else that            The NewWell Fund prides itself on friendly customer
helps a person go through or around a barrier, these              service. Please call 866-835-5976 or visit our website
devices can make a powerful difference in the life of a           for more information. For assistance in completing
person with a disability or someone who is aging.                 an application, contact the Center for Independent
Assistive technology is a necessary and important part            Living in your area ( cilslist-
of everyday life, and the successful acquisition of the           ing.htm). We would love to work with you! V V
right device can lead to new opportunities for learning,
achievement, productivity, involvement, and enjoy-

 2009 Competitive Grant RFPs: New & Improved!
 Lynne Talley, Grants Manager

       ollowing its December 2008 quarterly meeting, the Board will announce the amount of funds available
       to support new grant projects in 2009. It will also introduce an improved two-step Competitive Grants
       process intended to encourage more potential grantees to apply and stimulate greater innovation in
 their proposals.
 Previously the Board has issued Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for very specific projects with largely pre-
 scribed activities, individual maximum award amounts, and timetables. Potential grantees have then been
 required to submit an extensive grant application fully detailing their proposals. As a result, applicants’ cre-
 ativity has often been limited and they have been reluctant to expend time and effort preparing a proposal
 without some indication of Board interest and possible acceptance.
 Under the new RFP process, the Board will announce only a total amount available for all new competitive
 grants without identifying any specific projects or individual award amounts. Instead, the RFP will detail
 the goals and objectives from the Board’s 2007-2011 State Plan linked with specific recommendations from its
 2008 Biennial Assessment of the Disability Services System in Virginia that it wishes new grant projects to
 An organization wishing to compete for the available funds will submit a much simpler Letter of Interest
 (LOI) that clearly and concisely describes its project’s activities, outcomes, and anticipated cost. The LOI
 must also specifically identify the goals, objectives, and Biennial Assessment recommendations delineated in
 the RFP addressed by the project. LOIs are expected to be due in late January.
 A special Board committee will review LOIs and identify those that show the most promise for success. The
 organizations submitting those LOIs will be invited to complete a full and detailed grant proposal similar to
 those previously required. No one may submit a proposal without having first submitted a LOI. Those
                                                                                                        (continued on page 7)                                                                                                        Page 6
Voices & Visions                     Virginia Board for People with Disabilities                     October 2008

No Wrong Door & Easy Access

Information for this update was provided by Debbie           fits and enhance care coordination, collaboration,
Burcham, Chief Deputy Commissioner, Virginia                 and planning among service providers by allowing
Department for the Aging                                     them to share client data electronically while main-
        n Wednesday, August 13, 2008, at Senior              taining its security and privacy. Elements of this

O       Connections, the Capital Area Agency on
        Aging, the Commonwealth officially launched
Virginia Easy Access, a secure and confidential online
                                                             system, in addition to Easy Access, are currently
                                                             operating in regions of the state covered by six
                                                             Area Agencies on Aging. Four more will join the
                                                             system in 2008, bringing the number of Virginia
connection to community resources for seniors, adults
with disabilities, and their caregivers. Following an        localities served to sixty-seven.
introduction to the new web portal by Linda Nablo,           For more information about No Wrong Door,
Commissioner of the Virginia Department for the              including current implementation sites, visit
Aging, the agency coordinating the project, Secretary, call
of Health & Human Services Marilyn Tavenner and              1-800-552-3402,
Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra demonstrated           or contact your
the system’s capabilities for attendees.                     local Area
A part of the broader No Wrong Door initiative, Easy         Agency on
Access links visitors to a wide range of information         Aging. V V
about public benefits, long-term support options, and
service providers. Clear, easy to use menus and three
different VirginiaNavigator search functions matched                 
to specific needs enable Easy Access users to find
appropriate and accurate information quickly and con-
veniently. The search engines link to a database of
over 21,000 programs and services across the state,          2009 State Plan Update
supported and constantly updated by SeniorNavigator.         Linda Redmond, Program Manager
For additional direct and individual assistance, Easy
                                                                    he federal Developmental Disabilities Act
Access users can e-mail or telephone 2-1-1 Virginia
Call Center Operators, 24 hours a day, seven days a
Further development and expansion of No Wrong
                                                             T      authorizing and funding the Board requires
                                                                    it to develop and annually update a five
                                                             year state plan. In June, after carefully reviewing
                                                             the goals, objectives, and performance targets of
Door, led by the Department for the Aging and involv-        its 2007-2011 State Plan, the Board approved the
ing numerous community and disability services part-         update that will guide its activities during the next
ners, will add a single point of entry to apply for bene-    federal fiscal year, October 1, 2008-September 30,
                                                             2009. That update was submitted to the
                                                             Administration for Developmental Disabilities in
 New & Improved Grant RFPs
 (continued from page 6)                                     For its third year, the State Plan’s goals remain
                                                             unchanged, but its comprehensive assessment was
 proposals will then be reviewed and prioritized by          revised to reflect recent trends. Some objectives
 the committee, and the Board will award funds for           were merged and others were reworded to
 projects until the available funds for 2009 have been       improve clarity, reduce redundancy, and strength-
 exhausted. Final awards are expected to be made at          en relevance to updated performance targets. The
 the Board’s June 2009 meeting for projects to com-          most significant changes were to objectives in the
 mence shortly thereafter.                                   employment, housing, informal & formal com-
 Dates and locations of applicant workshops to be            munity supports, and quality assurance areas of
 held in January will be included in the December            emphasis.
 RFP announcement. Workshop attendance is not
 required, but it is encouraged. The RFP will be             The State Plan Update is available on the Board’s
 posted to the Board’s website at           website at
 grants.htm and announced via e-mail and as other-           Printed and alternative format copies are avail-
 wise appropriate. V V                                       able upon request. V V                                                                                              Page 7

              Meetings & Events of Interest
Learn and Live with a Healthy Heart                                             Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission
Area Planning and Services Committee on Aging with                              December 9, 2008             10:00am
Lifelong Disabilities                                                           1610 Forest Avenue, Suite 100, Richmond VA 23229
November 7, 2008            8:30am                                              Contact:
Deep Run Recreation Center, 9910 Ridgefield Parkway, Richmond,
VA 23233, 804-358-2211 ext. 33                                                  Board of Medical Assistance Services
                                                                                December 9, 2008            10:00am
TechKnowledgy 2008 - Special Topics in                                          Department of Medical Assistance Services, 600 E. Broad Street,
Assistive Technology                                                            13th Floor Conference Room, Richmond, VA 23219
November 13-14, 2008                                                            Contact:
Sponsors: Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Techical
Assistance Centers and the Hospital Education Program at                        Long-Term Care Administrators Board Meeting
Children’s Hospital in Richmond                                                 December 16, 2008            9:00am
Greater Richmond Convention Center, Richmond, VA                                Board of Long-Term Care Administrators, Department of Health
For additional information: or                Professions, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, 2nd Floor,
                                                                                Suite 201, Conference Room #4, Richmond, VA 23233-1463
Pathways to the Future Conference                                               Contact:
November 15, 2008
Sponsor: The Fredericksburg Area Transition Coalition                           Governing Board: Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy
Contact: Peggy Doughtery, or                             January 30, 2009             9:00am
540.582.3616                                                                    VOPA Office, 1910 Byrd Avenue, Suite 5; Richmond, VA 23230
Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative (CNI)
Trust Fund Advisory Board
December 5, 2008             10:00am                                                          Next Board Meeting
Department of Rehabilitative Services, Forest Office Park,
8004 Franklin Farms Drive, Conference Room 101, Richmond, VA                                   December 5, 2008
Contact:                                          Wyndham Richmond Airport Hotel
                                                                                     4700 S. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA

      For more Meetings & Events of Interest, visit our website at

                                               Executive Director - Heidi Lawyer
                  Teri Barker-Morgan, Hsing-Jung Chen, Tom Driscoll, Erin Hickey, Katherine Lawson, Karen Lindley,
                              Nan Pemberton, Linda Redmond, Sandra Smalls, Lynne Talley, Kara White
                                                                 Contact Information
              Main #: (804) 786-0016 - TTY: (800) 846-4464 - FAX: (804) 786-1118 - E-mail:

                                                                                                                                  PRSRT STD
                  Inside this Issue                                                                                           US POSTAGE PAID
                                                                                                                                RICHMOND, VA
 Disabilities Are A Natural Part Of Life                                 1
                                                                                                                               PERMIT NO. 577
 Letter from the Chair                                                   2
                                                                                 Virginia Board for
 Board Welcomes New and Returning Members                                2
                                                                               People with Disabilities
 DD Network Update                                                       3
                                                                               Ninth Street Office Building
 Audio Disability Services Assessment Available                          3
                                                                                 202 N. 9th Street, 9th Floor
 Partners in Policymaking Update                                         4          Richmond, VA 23219
 Revisions to Virginia’s Special Education Regulations                   4
                                                                               Address Service Requested
 Youth Leadership Forum Update                                           5
 VSEN: Spread(ing) the Word!                                             5
 NewWell Fund                                                            6
 Grant RFPs New & Improved                                               6
 No Wrong Door & Easy Access                                             7
 2009 State Plan Update                                                  7
 Meeting and Events of Interest                                          8

   This publication was prepared with 100% federal funding under the
             Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act.
   VBPD publications are available in alternate formats, upon request.

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