The Independent Living Resource Center a non-profit corporation of

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The Independent Living Resource Center a non-profit corporation of Powered By Docstoc
a non-profit corporation
of, by and for persons with disabilities
423 W. Victoria Street•Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 963-0595 V/TTY • (805) 963-1350 Fax

January - March, 2004
Volume 15, No. 1

Section 8 Housing Search
from Patty Neumeyer
    If you have ever considered seeking section 8 housing, this story may
interest you. It features an ILRC consumer, and his brother. John is a
person with a developmental disability, and his brother, Jim, is his
conservator. Petra Lowen, the ILRC Community Living Advocate, went with
Jim and John down to the Housing Authority, to begin the process of
applying for a Section 8 Voucher. Because John was receiving SSI, living
within the city limits, was currently a client of the Tri-Counties Regional
Center, and required a live-in helper/roommate, the Housing Authority
issued him a Section 8 voucher for a two-bedroom apartment. The
orientation meeting explained all the Section 8 rules. John was given six
months to find a suitable apartment: downstairs, nearby his brother, and
renting for the amount set by the Housing Authority (which is typically lower
than market rate).
    There are few available Section 8 units printed on the Housing
Authority‟s list. Jim also answered newspaper ads and described the
situation on the phone. Many landlords asked some very personal
questions about John‟s disability, and made comments about renting to a
„handicapped‟ (sic) person. Jim said, ”I wasn‟t getting anywhere with those
landlords, so I asked the ILRC for guidance.”
    Here are a few things Jim learned:
· The Fair Housing Amendment states that a landlord may not ask
    questions about your disability unless you mention it first. Unsolicited
    Comments or questions about a disability by a landlord are considered
    to be discrimination.
·   Do not say anything about a disability until you meet with the landlord in
    person and have a witness present. That way, if a landlord makes a
    discriminatory comment, you would have the option of filing a complaint
    against that landlord under the Fair Housing Amendment.
·   Dress very nicely when meeting with a prospective landlord, and you will
    make a more positive impression.
·   Develop a good rapport with a prospective landlord before mentioning
    the Section 8 voucher, just in case the landlord may be negative towards
    the voluntary Section 8 program.
·   Demonstrate that you are serious about renting a unit by paying the
    deposit at the first meeting with the landlord, when you submit the
    completed rental application. You may need to borrow this amount,
    since it exceeds maximum assets allowed under SSI. By law, once a
    landlord accepts your deposit, the unit is officially rented to you.

    Such an adventure! Jim related a first-hand interaction with one
prospective landlord. Jim said, “I saw this great apartment just one block
from my house. It was perfect for my brother. The property management
company gave me a blank application to complete. I saw printed across the
top, „NO SECTION 8 VOUCHERS ACCEPTED.‟ I completed the form
anyway, with the hope that I could negotiate with the property manager.
When I asked him to please make an exception in John‟s case, he
explained that, five years ago, a unit was rented to a Section 8 recipient
with quadriplegia. His family got permission from the owner, paid to install a
ramp, automatic door openers, and agreed to remove them when the
tenant vacated the unit. However, the family refused to restore the unit to
its original state after the tenant moved. The owner took the tenant to court,
won a judgment, but could not collect because the tenant had no assets. I
asked why the owner didn‟t just leave all the modifications in place, and
rent the unit to another tenant who needed them. He replied that he had
suggested that very thing, because his wife uses a wheelchair, but the
owner was convinced that the modifications lowered his property‟s value
and spent over $4,000 in removing them. Subsequently, the owner was so
negative towards Section 8 tenants that he still refuses to consider them.
    If the story is true, it is an example of how one bad experience can
impact many other people. However, the disability community is a small
minority among section 8 voucher holders, and tenants who need physical
modifications are a fraction of that minority group. It is worth noting that,
under the Fair Housing Amendment, a landlord must allow a tenant to
install temporary modifications in the unit at the tenant‟s expense.
Examples of temporary modifications include removable wooden ramps
(not concrete), removable grab bars, and removable shower hoses. If a
tenant applies for special funding to install these modifications, extra funds
need to be set aside, such as the security deposit, to pay to have them
removed when the tenant ends his lease.
   At this writing, John has only sixty more days to find an apartment that
accepts Section 8 before his voucher expires. He requested and received
two, sixty-day time extensions allowed under the program. If John fails to
find a suitable unit in time, he will have to re-apply all over again.

 From the Desk of the Director:
    As I write this column there are many unknowns with the California
budget. A lot has been predicted about funding cuts and reductions in
essential services. It would seem that the new governor, who is a rich
man, does not appreciate the impact of the changes he proposes. I have
heard him say that he understands, but he does not. If he truly did, these
program cuts would not be on the table.
    years we have been building a systems advocacy network and training
consumers and staff to react to those issues that endanger us. It is time to
act. Each one of our legislators, their staff and all officials, must hear from
us about what we as voters and constituents will accept. They need to
understand what a force we are when we work together to protect each
    Let them root out graft and waste, not try to balance the leviathan
budget on our backs and those of others who cannot defend themselves.
We have learned to defend ourselves and we must do that now. Write
letters, call, email your representatives. Let them know that our lives are
still lives worth living and we have the right to do so. Those we elect
represent all of us, not just those in higher socio-economic levels. Start
now and continue to be seen and heard.

In Memorium
    On November 2, 2003 one of our consumers passed away. Eddie
Walker, age 55, died at Marian Hospital from diabetes complications. Eddie
will really be missed.
    Eddie leaves behind his wife, Nancy, his son, Terry, 35, of Oxnard; his
son, Trever, 31, of Walnut Creek; and 3 grandchildren.
Do You Use Assistive
Technology (AT)?
   If you use assistive devices, this is your last chance to help us by
completing a Survey questionnaire before January 31, 2004!
   The Community Research for Assistive Technology (CR4AT) is a 5-
year, statewide project sponsored by the California Foundation of
Independent Living Centers (CFILC). Surveys have been distributed since
October 2003, and all remaining completed forms need to be returned by
January 31, 2004.
   Everyone who uses an assistive device now, or has used one in the
past, is urged to participate in this exciting and powerful research effort.
The researchers are trained persons with disabilities, and include the ILRC
AT advocates, who will assist if you need an accommodation to complete
the survey. Some of you participated earlier in the focus-group phase of
this study. The experiences you shared with us formed the basis of the
questions included in this survey. (If you participated in the focus group,
please do not complete a survey.) The data we will now collect from your
responses to the questionnaire will quantify the real impact, benefits and
problems of acquiring and using AT on the lives of persons with disabilities.
The plan is to use the statistical information as a tool of influence for
legislators, policy makers, employers, and AT manufacturers, so they can
make decisions based on accurate information about our needs.
   Go to and click on the “CR4AT Project” link, then on the
“TAKE THE AT SURVEY NOW” link. Or, call your local AT advocate:
Santa Barbara, Patty Neumeyer,(805) 963-0595 V/TTY ext. 104; Ventura,
Chera Minkler, (805) 650-5993 V/TTY ext. 202; San Luis Obispo, Cary
McGill (805) 593-0667 V/TTY.
    Please complete a survey before January 31, 2004, and you too can
 make a difference!

Homeowner and Renter Assistance
From Petra Lowen
    The ILRC would like to remind our consumers that you may be eligible
for „Homeowner or Renter Assistance‟ which is a once a year payment from
the State of California. The maximum homeowner assistance payment
allowed is $472.60, The maximum renter assistance payment allowed is
$347.50 (but the amount may be lower based on your yearly income).
    To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:
1) You were one of the following on 12/31/2002:
    -62 years or older
    -Blind; or
    -Disabled; and
2) You must meet all of the following requirements:
   -You paid $50 or more rent per month in 2002, or you owned and lived
in your home on December 31, 2002;
   -Your total household income for 2002 was $37,676 or less; and
   -You are a United States citizen, a designated alien, or qualified alien
when you file your claim.
   The normal time to file is between July 1 and October 15; however, you
may still file until June 30, 2004 for the 2002 tax year. The form is simple;
we have copies available at the office. We will be happy to assist any
consumer who is not sure how to fill out the form. Anyone who has
questions may also call toll free (800) 338-0505.
   One important fact to remember is that you are not eligible to file for the
assistance if you live in a tax-exempt property.

From Tina Burke, ILS / Benefits Specialist, Santa Maria
    With permission from a consumer to use her name, I would like to share
this story. Stella Green was relaxing in her lift chair one evening. A lift chair
not only electrically reclines but it also lifts forward to almost a standing
position to assist consumers with hip and back problems be able to
independently get out of the chair. Stella‟s son, David, stopped by on his
way home from work to be sure Stella was prepared for the unavoidable
rain storm that was due to hit any minute. He wanted to make sure that if
the power went out Stella would not be left in the dark. David checked all of
her flashlights, made sure she had plenty of candles and that her radio had
fresh batteries in it. David headed home feeling reassured that his mother
would be okay. Stella continued to relax in her lift chair until it was time to
get up and go to bed. By now the rain had begun and as expected, the
power went out. Stella felt fine, knowing that she was prepared for the
storm. She grabbed a hold of the control to assist her with lifting her out of
the chair….and no response. She pushed it again and still nothing. Then
she realized that there was a power outage and they had not put batteries
in her chair. She laughed and laughed as she shared her story. Stella had
a time of her life rolling back and forth trying to get herself out of her chair.
Stella stated that she is glad nobody could see her because it was
hilarious. Finally, Stella made it out of her chair and made it a priority to get
batteries for her lift chair.
The moral of this story: Remember to include batteries for lift chairs,
scooters, wheelchairs, smoke alarms, door flashers, etc., as we prepare for
the winter months!

Dear Community Member:
    My name is Chera Minkler, and I am the Systems Change Advocate for
the Independent Living Resource Centers (ILRC) in the Ventura/Santa
Barbara areas. As such, one of my main responsibilities is to lead
empowerment teams.
    The empowerment team is a grassroots group of individuals advocating
for issues that affect people with disabilities. Some of the issues we work
on are education, employment, housing, in-home supportive services, and
transportation. The members of the group pick which issues get attention
and prioritize them. The goal of the empowerment team is to create
systems change in order to reduce barriers to independent living. I am in
the process of recruiting teams for each county. You and your suggestions
are welcome.
    I have one meeting each month in the Ventura ILRC office on the
second Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; and monthly in the Santa
Barbara ILRC office on the second Monday from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. If
you are interested in joining the empowerment team or have any questions,
please contact me at (805) 650-5993 V/TTY ext. 202, or at cminkler@ilrc- For Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo regions, contact Marjorie
Bastanchury at (805) 593-0667 V/TTY, or at
We look forward to your participation.

2004 Ventura Empowerment Team Meetings:
January 14 July 14
February 11      August 11
March 10 September 8
April 14   October 13
May 12     November 10
June 16    December 8

2004 Santa Barbara Empowerment Team Meetings:
January 12 July 12
February 9 August 9
March 8    September 13
April 12   October 11
May 10     November 8
June 14    December 13

NOTE: All offices of the ILRC are physically accessible. If any other
accommodations are needed to attend or participate in the meetings,
please contact the ILRC office where the meeting will be held, at least a
week in advance.
   In order to accommodate those with chemical sensitivity, please refrain
from wearing scented products.

Humanity Through the Arts
Local arts organization provides exciting opportunities for our diverse
    Arts for Humanity! (AH!) celebrates humanity through the arts with
programs that cultivate creativity and enrich lives among people with
diverse challenges and abilities. AH! provides performing and visual arts
programs for people with developmental disabilities, at-risk youth, people in
recovery, and the elderly in partnership with local artists and the community
at large. AH! benefits individuals and builds community by giving a voice to
the under-served through the power and beauty of the arts.
    AH! was founded in 1997 by Karsen Lee Gould, MA, CDT, and is run by
a talented group of staff, artists-in-residence, and volunteers under her
direction. Ms. Gould has an MA in Clinical Psychology and Creative Arts
Therapies from Antioch University, Santa Barbara, 1989. She has been
working to bring the healing power of the arts to underserved segments of
our communities for 25 years.
    AH! operates under the umbrella of Santa Barbara Dance Alliance, a
non-profit 501c(3).
“Sometimes my feelings are shut away behind me. In drama, I feel like a
free bird, and all my troubles are gone.” —Louise, Cast Member
“When I started drama I was scared, now I’ve proved I can do anything and
be anything I want to be.”
 —Gabriel, Cast Member
AH!‟s Annual Theatre/Dance Production,
Isle of Silk,
to be performed at Center Stage Theater on
April 16 & 17 and 23 & 24, at 8:00 PM.
We are seeking performers with and without disabilities,
stagehands, transportation helpers, production
and marketing assistance.
Contact Karsen Lee Gould at 805-687-8365 or email her at

    AH! provides performing and visual arts programs including:
 · Community Expressive Arts Programs: Ah!‟s artists-in-residence create
 positive experiences for groups in non-profit agencies through interactive
 arts such as Creative theatre, expressive movement, visual art and video
 documentaries. AH! has collaborated with many local organizations such
 as Alpha Resource Center, CALM, Devereux Foundation, S.B. County
 Mental Health, and Tri-Counties Regional Center.
 · Theatre/Dance Productions: AH!‟s mixed ability performance troupe,
 The Blue Moon Players, are a local group of actors and dancers with and
 without disabilities who create original theatre/dance productions
 performed at local theatres. This experience not only gives these artists an
 opportunity to shine, it also elevates audience appreciation for the wide
 range of talents and abilities of so-called “disabled people.”
AH! also provides:
· Visiting Artists Workshops (with an inclusionary focus)
· Training Programs
· Internship Program

   While many programs in the community focus on the practical needs of
people facing challenges, few speak to their needs to express their
creativity—and fewer still welcome their creative voices into the
   Arts for Humanity! is seeking volunteers for our Advisory Council, and in
the areas of Fundraising and Development, PR and Marketing, and
Administrative Assistance. If you‟re interested in joining their organization,
please contact:
   Karsen Lee Gould
    at 805-687-6615, or
   email her at

Calendar 2004
1 New Year‟s Day (ILRC closed)
6 Epiphany
19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (ILRC closed)
27 ILRC Board meeting (Santa Barbara)


2 Groundhog Day
14 Valentine‟s Day

16 Presidents Day (ILRC closed)

24 ILRC Board meeting (Ventura)
25 Ash Wednesday

6 Purim begins at sundown
17 St. Patrick‟s Day
20 First Day of Spring
30 ILRC Board meeting & annual elections
(Santa Barbara)

Independent Living Resource Center
Annual Report: Fiscal Year 2002-2003
As we begin a new calendar year, the independent living resource center is
happy to present the annual report for our most recent fiscal period, july
2002 through june 2003. We are grateful for our loyal volunteers, and want
to take this opportunity to thank them for all they do. We also want to thank
our donors, without whom so many of our services would not be possible.
Bless you, and may 2004 bring you happiness, peace and prosperity.
Donor List 07/01/02-06/30/03
America‟s Charities
Sue Andrews
John Ballantine
Linda Bernson
Robert Berry
V.D. Blunt
Gayle Bowman
Harry Breck
Sherri Burkoth
Catherine Cain
Lois I. Case
Cars 4 Causes
Carnzu A Clark
James Climo
H.J. Coffey
Carole Cowan
Gayne Crossland
Florence Curier
Willis Dey
Richard Donchak
Mark L. Duell
Bonnie Elliott
Scott Ellison
EvansHardy + Young, Inc.
Bryant Fleming
David Fishman
Kirk Francis
Robert Francis
Theresa Gibson
Andy Granatelli
Charles Hamilton
Helen Harrell
Dolores Hartnett
HFP Architects
Jean Barrows Holmes
Emilda Jaccard
Laborde & Daugherty
Pamela Larsson-Toscher
Margaret K. Lawrence
Emmert Lawson
Patricia Lawson
Petra Lowen
Gloria Ann Manci
Jill Manning
Dorothy S. Marshall
Raymond Mason
Anita May
Phillip May
Sue Mayhall
Meyer Enterprises
Francis M. Miller
Carol Misumi
Mr. & Mrs. Julian Moody
De Etta Nancarrow
Jean Newswanger
Rita Ojeda
Tina Pedotti
PG&E Campaign
PipeVine Inc.
Sheila Price
I.J. Purdy
Roy Riel
Fredda Rosenstein
Hazel Schneider
Beverly Smaniotto
Patricia Smith
South Coast CFC
Vicki Stevenson
Mary L. Stones
Betsy G. Thies
Ellen Ubhaus
United Way of Santa Barbara (Payroll Donations)
Mary Van Paing
C.S. Young

Annual Report Summary 07/2002-06/2003

Government-Federal & State                  $1,112,600
Government-County & City                        31,500
United Way                                      23,675
Net (Loss) on Investments (including unrealized losses)   25,562
Donations, Foundations, & Fundraising        117,443
Fees for Service                             234,808
Total Revenue, Gains & Other Support      $1,545,588

Personnel                                 $1,013,330
 Rent, Utilities, Telephone                  121,257
 Supplies, Postage Printing                   40,324
 Professional Services                       197,367
 Sub Contract Services                        25,653
 Direct Consumer Benefits                      6,544
 Other Operating Expenses                     92,041
 Depreciation                                 96,477
Total Expenses                            $1,592,993
Change in Net Assets                       ($47,405)

Unrestricted & Permanently Restricted Assets
 Beginning of Year                        $1,348,333
 End of Year                              $1,300,928

Consumer ServicesUnduplicated ConsumersHours of Service
Peer Support               132          545.3
Advocacy                   256         1,198.50
Personal Assistant:
  Referral & Training      436          859.00
Housing                    182          289.40
Communications Assistance 119          2,949.30
Independent Living Skills:
  Training                 452         2,115.95
Assistive Technology       176         1,154.45

Community Services Contacts
Information & Referral (General), Community Education,
  Outreach, & Advocacy                      655.75
Resource Development                       1,522.30

Total of unduplicated consumers served: 1,852

General Information
Circulation Base: 2,700
Published four times yearly; mail submissions to ILRC NEWS-LETTER at
Santa Barbara office or e-mail to; deadline is the first
day of the month prior to publication date. For more information, contact
Jennifer at (805) 963-0595, extension 112. Submit articles as MS Word
attachments to jgriffin

Board of Directors
Michael Blaise, Ventura, President
Sue Andrews, Carpinteria, Vice President
Tina Pedotti, Santa Barbara, Secretary
Richard Donchak, Newbury Park, Treasurer
Sheila Blaise, Ventura, PR Chair
Irene Gonzalez, Ventura
Bernice Jacobson, Santa Maria
Edward Perry, Sr., Santa Maria

ILRC Mission Statement
The Independent Living Resource Center, Inc., is an organization of, by
and for persons with disabilities who reside or work in our service area. Our
purpose is to assist and encourage individuals to achieve their optimal level
of self-sufficiency while eliminating the architectural, communication and
attitudinal barriers which prevent them from full participation in the

United Way Agency
Ventura County, Santa Barbara and Central Coast

Locations and Staff
Santa Barbara Office
423 W. Victoria Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Voice/TTY: (805) 963-0595
Fax: (805) 963-1350
TTY/TDD: (805) 963-8265
CAP Advocate (Toll Free):
      (888) 963-0595 V/TTY
Jo Black, Executive Director
Kathleen Riel, HR/Program Director
Jennifer Griffin, Business/Grants Mgr
Geri O‟Brien, Full-Charge Bookkeeper
Carol Baizer, ILS/BPAO Prog Coord
Jennie Caldwell, Advocate/CA
Diane Esparza, Information & Referral
Barry Gridley, Peer Support/Intake
Frank Lindstrom, Accounting Cons
Petra Lowen, Community Living
Ken McLellan, ILS/Peer Support for the Deaf
Patty Neumeyer, AT Program Coord
Rabecca Serpa, Admin/CAP/Acctg Clerk
Kristin Watts, CAP Advocate

Ventura Office
1802 Eastman Av, Suite 112
Ventura, CA 93003
Voice/TTY: (805) 650-5993
Fax: (805) 650-9278
TTY/TDD: (805) 650-0669
BJ Legan-Adams, BPAO/Benefits
James Greer, Community Living
Christine Miko, Information & Referral
Chera Minkler, Systems Change/AT Advocate
Susan Oatman, Outreach/ILS
Christina Rahn, ILS/Peer Support for the Deaf

North Santa Barbara Co. Office
327 E. Plaza Drive, Suite 3A
Santa Maria, CA 93454
Voice/TDD: (805) 925-0015
Fax: (805) 349-2416
Leeman Burke, Information & Referral/Peer Support
Tina Burke, IL/Benefits
Candace Ridenour, PA/Information & Referral

San Luis Obispo Office & CCATC
1150 Laurel Lane #184
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Voice/TTD: (805) 593-0667
Fax: (805) 549-7423
TTY/TDD: (805) 549-7424
Chris Bingaman, Community Living
Maria Gibson, Information & Referral
Denise Martinez, Peer Support/Intake
Karen McGill, AT Information & Referral
Brenda Tebbetts, IL/BPAO

Voice/TTY: (805) 549-7420
Paul Mortola, Project Director
Judi Kahrs, Services Coord
John Lee, Rehabilitation Eng.