vol 23 issue 5

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					 September - October 2005                News for people with disabilities, their friends, families and communities.                               Volume 23, Issue 5

6th Annual Freeport Wheel-A-Thon Raises $23,700!                                                                                       RAMP
                                                                                           reach their goals.                          Celebrates
                                                                                             This Stephenson County event
                                                                                           takes place every year at Freeport’s
                                                                                                                                       25 Years!
                                                                                           very own Krape Park. The Wheel-A-           BY JULIE BOSMA
                                                                                           Thon not only continues to grow             EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
                                                                                           financially but we have also been           Can you remember when you
                                                                                           adding new events to promote                were 25 years old? Were you still
                                                                                           awareness and to increase the fun.          living at home? In your first apart-
                                                                                           This year’s festivities included face-      ment? First ‘real’ job? Do you
                                                                                           painting for children and our new           remember being able to stay up
                                                                                           version of a cakewalk, the Cake-N-          late and still get up early the next
                                                                                           Roll for adults and children alike.         day?
                                                                                           The Rockford Chariots players                 For some of us, that 25th year in
                                                                                           joined us again this year and chal-         our life is getting to be a distant
                                                                                           lenged some of us to a good wheel-          memory. At 25, you have the
                                                                                           chair basketball game. Thank you            world ahead of you. You are pret-
BY JACKIE NIEMAN                             than we had hoped for considering the         Chariots!                                   ty much done with your formal
SERVICES MANAGER                                                                             This year’s event ran smoother
                                             decrease in corporate sponsors. It                                                        education, you have had your
Wonderful weather, good friends,             feels so good to work for an agency           than ever. Over 70 wheelers regis-          heart broken a few times and you
excellent food, face painting, wheel-        that is appreciated by the community          tered this year and we had a crowd of       have some cash to call your own.
chair basketball, lots of disability         and, specifically those lives we touch        well over a hundred! The grand total        You have begun to settle down
awareness - these all come to my             day to day. The Wheel-A-Thon not              raised from this event totaled over         into what your life pattern will be
mind when I think of this year’s 6th         only raises much needed money to              $23,700. This includes our two events       with family, work and maybe
Annual Freeport Wheel-A-Thon.                support our services, but it allows our       in June that lead up the Wheel-A-           even own a home.
RAMP did it again – we raised more           consumers and their families to give               Continued as Wheel-A-Thon...             At 25, RAMP is in the same
money than last year and more money          back to the agency that helped them                                  on Page 6            place. We have sown our wild
                                                                                                                                       oats, have learned a ton, had our
Four or M or e… .A cc e s s ible Ground Flo o r -                                                                                      heart broken many times and still
                                                                                                                                       know that the world is at our feet.
A G ui de t o t he La w Re quiring                                                                                                     We are almost ‘all grown up’ now
A c c e s sibilit y in Multi-family Housing                                                                                            and the possibilities for our future
                                                                                                                                       are endless. We are full of energy
                                             ple with disabilities a longer lifespan,      that a failure to design and construct      and enthusiasm and know that
                                             significant numbers of people will be         multifamily dwellings to include cer-       whatever we put our minds to, we
Fair Housing Facts                           able to remain in and safely use their        tain features of accessible design will     WILL accomplish!
Did you know that since 1991, any            dwellings longer.                             be regarded as unlawful discrimina-           We look back over the past 25
multi-family housing built consisting           Section 804 of the Fair Housing            tion.                                       years with gratitude for the
of four or more units is required by         Act Amendments of 1988 was                       The Fair Housing Act is intended         lessons we have learned and
law to be accessible and adaptable to        passed to protect people with disabil-        to place modest accessibility require-      proud of the progress we have
give people with disabilities greater        ities from discrimination in housing.         ments on covered multifamily                made. The landscape has surely
freedom to choose where they will            As a protected class, people with dis-        dwellings. These modest require-            changed over the past 25 years
live and greater freedom to visit            abilities are unique in at least one          ments will be incorporated into the         and we are delighted that we
friends and relatives? Federal Fair          respect because they are the only             design of new buildings, resulting in       played a major role in those
Housing Law proactively addresses            minority that can be discriminated            features, which do not look unusual         changes.
the needs of an evolving population,         against solely by the design of the           and will not add significant addition-        Yet, while we look back fondly
looking ahead at future needs. With          built environment. The Fair Housing           al costs. Fair housing units are not        and relish our accomplishments
the aging of the population, the             Act remedies that in part by estab-           fully accessible, nor are they purport-     over the past 25 years, we are
increase in incidence of disability          lishing design and construction               ed to be; however, new multifamily
that accompanies aging, the effects          requirements for multifamily hous-                                                        Continued as 25th Anniversary...
of war and the fact that advance-            ing built for first occupancy after                 Continued as Fair Housing...
                                                                                                                                                           on Page 13
ments in medical science allow peo-          March 13, 1991. The law provides                                     on Page 15
                                                                                                                                                   Non-Profit Organization
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       - Medicare Part D Information 2              - Outstanding PA . . . . . . . . . . 11
       - Murderball Movie Review . . 3              - Lifetime Homes . . . . . . . . . . 12
       - Back to School . . . . . . . . . . . 4     - 25th Anniversary Party          . . 13
       - Details from DeKalb . . . . . . . 5        - Deaf News . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
       - Stephenson Scoop . . . . . . . . 7         - Development Corner . . . . . 15
       - The Buzz in Boone . . . . . . . 10         SLANT archives on
  2                                                                                                                     RAMP Slant

C om p e t it ion vs. F raud
Look Before You Buy                        called them. A representative from          happening right here in “River City“.     Medicare beneficiaries’ id numbers
                                           The Scooter Store came to her apart-           Another issue is the service aspect.   and submitted claims for equipment
(from The Scooter Store)
                                           ment, got all of her Medicare infor-        The manufacturer of medical equip-        that was never provided to them.
GUEST EDITORIAL                                                                        ment will only honor warranty work           Suppliers have submitted claims
                                           mation, took her prescription for the
                                           new scooter, and left. Several weeks        on equipment through the provider of      including pictures of fake deliveries
                                           later, Rebecca received a phone call        the equipment. If Rebecca’s power         of equipment with people who have
Competition: The effort of two or          saying that her equipment was ready         wheelchair had a motor go out 3           been paid to pose on the equipment.
more parties acting independently to       for her and they were going to deliver      months after she got it, only The            Doctors have signed blank Certifi-
secure the business of a third party by    it. When The Scooter Store rep              Scooter Store would be able to repair     cates of Medical Necessities and sup-
offering the most favorable terms.         showed up he had a brand new power          it free to Rebecca. If she went to        pliers have filled them out and
Fraud: Deceit, Trickery                    wheelchair for her.                         another dealer, they would charge her     submitted them to Medicare.
In our community there is both honest         Immediately Rebecca said that it         for that part, since she didn’t get the      Suppliers have persuaded people to
and deceitful competition. It is my        was not what the doctor had ordered         power wheelchair from them. Where         purchase power wheelchairs that did-
feeling that recently there has been an    and asked them to take it back and          is The Scooter Store now? Either          n’t need them and they would bill
influx of deceitful competition geared     bring her the scooter that would work       nowhere to be found, or “cannot           Medicare for them.
toward the elderly and people with         better for her in her apartment. The        schedule you for 3 months”. How              Lastly, that physicians were given
disabilities.                              answer to that request was a very sim-      mobile will Rebecca during that time?     “kickbacks” for writing prescriptions
  Being a business owner, I welcome        ple, “NO!”.                                    When Rebecca called her physician      for power wheelchairs.
competition because it keeps us on            Firstly, the doctor had not ordered a    to let him know that she received the        In April of 2005, the US Depart-
our toes. We pride ourselves on our        power wheelchair, so why they pro-          power wheelchair, she was told that       ment of Justice filed a suit against The
service. We strive to do the right thing   vided her with one is curious. Sec-         this wasn’t the first time he had heard   Scooter Store charging them with
for our customers. It upsets us when       ondly, a power wheelchair is more           of that happening to one of his           submitting fraudulent power wheel-
we see outside competition, that does-     expensive than a scooter. She is not        patients. What can we do to stop          chair claims. According to the DOJ,
n’t play fairly, come into Rockford        the only person in her apartment            this?!                                    the Texas based company has billed
and take advantage of citizens in our      building that had this experience.             Again, I welcome competition, but      the government for more that $400
community.                                 Another woman that I know of had            I do not welcome fraud of taxpayer        million in claims since 1997.
  Over the past six or seven years,        the same thing happen. Medicare will        dollars. How many times is it happen-        The choice is yours. Where you get
Government spending on power               pay $1,583.19 for a scooter and             ing and how many times is Medicare        your mobility products is completely
wheelchairs has increased drastically.     $4098.24 for a power wheelchair. The        paying more than they should? Will I      up to you. You have the right to make
Last year, the Department of Health        difference is $2,515.05. That means         have Medicare benefits when I need        that decision. All I ask is that you take
& Human Services released a report         that for Rebecca alone, Medicare paid       them?                                     care in selecting a provider. Medicare
documenting that Medicare expenses         $2,515.05 more than what they                  In September of 2003, Medicare         will only help with power mobility
went up 450% between 1999 and              should have. Double that for the sec-       launched an investigation called          products every so often. If you are
2003, to $1.2 Billion for power            ond woman in Rebecca’s building             “Operation Wheeler Dealer”. After         stuck with something you cannot use,
wheelchairs alone. The report went         and the Scooter Store walks away            documenting the fact that Medicare        Medicare won’t help again for
on to say that they found that only        with an extra $5,030.10.                    had been paying millions of dollars in    approximately five years.
13% of those it surveyed met the              Just assume that The Scooter Store       fraudulent claims for power wheel-           If you feel that you have been a part
Medicare coverage requirements.            did the same thing at four other older      chairs and scooters, they linked the      of this fraud, by ANY provider, report
  Very recently we received a phone        adult facilities in Rockford. Four          claims to unscrupulous practices of       it. I would suggest that you call the
call from a woman (we will call her        facilities x 2 people at each facility is   some Medicare enrolled suppliers.         following places:
Rebecca) who had gotten a scooter          8 people. Multiply that by $2,515.05        Some scenarios are:                          Kim Montgomery (RAMP) 815-
from us in 1999. It was worn beyond        and you get $20,120.40 billed to               Medicare has been charged for          968-7467; Better Business Bureau,
repair so her physician wrote a pre-       Medicare that shouldn’t have been.          power wheelchairs when the cus-           815-963-2222; Attorney General Lisa
scription for a new scooter. Having        Now THAT is fraud, deceit, trickery,        tomer has been provided a less expen-     Madigan, 815-967-3883; or Medicare
seen TV ads for The Scooter Store          or whatever you want to call it, but        sive scooter.                             Beneficiary Help Line, 800-633-
touting “no expense to you”, Rebecca       that, my friends is what appears to be         Suppliers have gotten hold of          4227.

Me di c a r e Pr escr ip tion Drug Cov e rage I n fo r m a ti o n
BY PATTY STORY                             much they cost. There will be month-        period (November 15th through             drug coverage is available now on
INFORMATION & REFERRAL SPECIALIST          ly premiums, deductibles and co-            December 31st of each year). They         the        Medicare          website,
Medicare is a Federal health insur-        payments. Social Security is                will then have to pay more for their or the Social
ance program for people age 65 or          providing extra financial help to pay       premiums (1% for each month they          Security website, www.socialsecuri-
older and some people with disabili-       these expenses for people with limit-       could have had it but didn’t take it). Another very helpful website
ties. Medicare was enacted into law        ed income and resources. To qualify         Therefore, it is better to choose a       is, which
in 1965 and went into effect in 1966.      for this extra help, an application         plan and sign up early.                   has a question and answer section
Medicare isn’t intended to pay for         from Social Security must be com-             Your local RAMP office can help         and is very user-friendly.
100% of medical bills, so there are        pleted. If approved for the extra help,     you complete the paperwork. Call            Now is the time to find out about
some out-of-pocket expenses. There         the premiums, deductibles, and co-          any RAMP office to set up an              this important program so you will
are also some things that Medicare         payments may be paid by Medicare.           appointment to discuss your options.      be ready when it is time to sign up.
doesn’t cover. One of these things is      Social Security has been sending            Information about the prescription
prescription medication.                   applications for the extra help to
   Beginning in 2006, Medicare Pre-        many people on Medicare. These                   Medicare Part D Workshop
scription Drug Coverage will be            should be completed and mailed in           Lifescape Community Services is offering a FREE workshop to anyone
implemented. There will be several         as soon as possible.                        interested in learning more about Social Security’s new Medicare Part
private companies (prescription drug         People can begin applying for the         D coverage and the subsidy program that gives “extra help” to the
providers) who will be approved by         prescription drug coverage on               seniors over age 65 and individual with disabilities who receive
Medicare to provide this coverage.         November 15th, 2005.                        Medicare. Call 963-1609 to make your reservation.
Anyone on Medicare can be eligible           The initial enrollment period for
                                                                                                           October 27th & November 29th
for this coverage, but they must           this coverage ends on May 15th,
                                                                                                           10:00 a.m.; 1:00 p.m.; 5:30 p.m.
select a provider and sign up for their    2006. If someone does not enroll
prescription drug plan. The plans          during this period they must then                             Lifescape Community Services
will vary in what they cover and how       wait until the next annual enrollment                    705 Kilburn Avenue, Rockford, IL 61101

                            Joy exists only in self-acceptance. Seek perfect acceptance, not a perfect life. - Anonymous
RAMP Slant                                                                                                                              3
Game on! Murderball Movie Review
                                                                                                                                self, he told me. And Zupan feels that
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM                                                                                                  getting injured was the best thing
RAGGED EDGE MAGAZINE ONLINE AT                                                                                                  that’s happened to him (His reaction
                                                                                                                                is not uncommon among quads who
Murderball is getting rave reviews                                                                                              have survived and carved out a life
from film critics like Roger Ebert of                                                                                           for themselves.). Their reconciliation
the Chicago Sun-Times, who pre-                                                                                                 on-screen is quite moving.
dicts an Oscar for it for best docu-                                                                                               Murderball is about winning and
mentary. It won both the Sundance                                                                                               losing. It’s about driven athletes. But
Audience Choice Award and the                                                                                                   it’s mostly about survival and mov-
Special Jury Award for editing.                                                                                                 ing forward after one is injured. It’s
   But the critics got one thing                                                                                                about people, people who succeed
wrong: Murderball doesn’t dispel                                                                                                and people who fail. Sound familiar?
myths and stereotypes. It takes big                                                                                             It’s about life.
fat bites out of those sugary sweet,                                                                                               In real life, it doesn’t have to be
pathetic images and stereotypes,                                                                                                quad rugby — you can find your
chews ‘em up and spits ‘em out. It’s                           Murderball Photo courtesy of THINKFilm                           passion and pursue your dreams with
not a magic pill that will make pity         Hogsett are in reality articulate,        He spins around and gets the feel. He    any sport or work or art. It’s whatev-
and stereotypes go away, but it is           good-natured guys, quite different        wants to hit something. He feels free.   er motivates you. You can move past
quite simply the best film ever made         from their rugby personas. They           He feels hope. All the while, a phys-    the devastation of being severely
on disability.                               have wry, sarcastic senses of humor,      ical therapist is telling him to be      injured and live a happy, fulfilling
   It amazes me that these filmmak-          and they want gold, not hugs. They        careful; he’s too fragile. (Quads in     life.
ers were able to render such an hon-         want women, not mommies. And              the movie theater watching this             If you able-bodied folks want to
est portrayal of living life from the        they succeed. Women love quads,           scene just laughed.) Zupan comes up      get some inkling of what living with
seat of a wheelchair. Somehow,               and we love women. Women see              to him; Cavill inches forward, then      a disability is like, go see Murder-
either by the sheer exposure to the          quads as safe and exciting because        lightly bumps Zupan’s everyday           ball. You’ll learn more in 85 minutes
people or by some innate under-              there’s an instinctive curiosity          chair. You can tell he wants to give     than you could in a lifetime of polit-
standing, directors Henry Alex               women have about how “things              Zupan a good solid whack. A quad         ically correct “education.” This
Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro “got             work.” If they get too curious, they      rugby player is born.                    movie is that good.
it,” and this film is a joy to watch,        find out exactly how things work.            Finally, there is Chris Igoe, whom       Editors Note: Rumor has it that on
especially the way we did, at a              Anyway, those “rugby faces” on            I met at the screening and liked         September 16th, Murderball will be
screening with family and about 12           Zupan, Cohen, and Hogsett we see at       instantly. Zupan and Igoe were best      coming to Rockford’s Colonial Vil-
other quads.                                 tournaments don’t seem to be who          friends. After the drunken accident      lage Theatre, 4228 Newburg Road.
   This movie is funny. It is sad. It is     those guys are at all. So that insight    that broke Zupan’s neck, Igoe            Confirmation of this information
fiery, fast, frank, explosive, sexy,         is refreshing.                            blamed himself. The two became           was not available at time of print.
tender, loving, and the action is               Then there’s Bobby Lujano, who         estranged, Igoe nearly suicidal with     Call 1-800-FANDANGO for updated
bone-jarring, just like quad rugby,          comes off just like, well, Bobby          guilt. Igoe has finally forgiven him-    show times.
aka Murderball.                              Lujano. His scenes are poignant,
   The music is perfect. The editing         powerful, thought-provoking. When
superb.                                      his father hugs him after the USA
   What more could you ask for?              loses to Canada in Athens, the love
How about an obsessive villain, Joe          leaps off of the screen and into your
Soares, and a scary-looking good             heart. If you’re a softy like me, you
guy, Mark Zupan, who looks like he           will cry.
just jumped out of the X-Games, tat-            Murderball also follows a newly
toos and all? Soares left Team USA           injured guy, Keith Cavill. His por-
when he wasn’t chosen to be on the           trayal had me flashing back on my
2000 Paralympic team; out of                 early days of rehab. Watching his
revenge he became the coach of               ride home from rehab, with his quad
Team Canada. This prompted some              hand stuck out the window feeling
Team USA members to call Soares a            the scary air of freedom, was emo-
traitor. Zupan said, “I wouldn’t piss        tional. We’d all had that same feel-
on him if he was on fire.” Game on!          ing: “Ok, I’m out, but now what?
   That’s the underlying conflict that       I’m screwed.” It’s painful to watch
drives Murderball to its conclusion:         him go through what every new
USA vs. Canada, Soares vs. Zupan             spinal cord injury goes through, but
and every member of Team USA.                that’s what shapes us. That’s what
   But there’s a much higher message         makes us strong or that’s what
coming out of this movie, because            breaks us.
the filmmakers focused on the peo-              In a scene later in the film, Zupan
ple. Even Soares is softened in the          visits the rehab center and puts Cav-
end, thank God.                              ill into his rugby chair. Cavill lights
   Zupan, Andy Cohen and Scott               up for the first time since his injury.

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  4                                                                                                               RAMP Slant

Getting to School - Appropriate Transportation
BY RICHARD HUNT                           transportation is required, it must      other medical equipment such as           professional expertise and skills to
                                          be provided at no cost to the family.    oxygen tanks or ventilators.              make the decisions when transport-
The Individualized Education Plan            Routing becomes a critical com-       Transportation on a regular school        ing. If training is necessary, it
(IEP) is a description of services to     ponent when formulating trans-           bus should be the first priority of all   should be addressed during the IEP.
be provided to children with dis-         portation for students with disabili-    students with disabilities when pos-        All IEP’s are to be reviewed
abilities during the course of a          ties. Several factors must be consid-    sible. School district policy and stu-    annually to address the educational
school year. The IEP team designs a       ered during the IEP process. The         dent needs should dictate the appro-      and related services for students
student’s education plan, establish-      educational program location must        priate     transportation      mode.      with disabilities. If circumstances
es goals and objectives/benchmarks        be in the least restrictive environ-     Transportation should not violate         occur that require changes to be
and determines related services that      ment in which the IEP can be             the integrity of the student’s educa-     made to ensure that safe transporta-
may be needed for the student to          implemented. Educational pro-            tional requirements.                      tion remains available to and from
benefit and be successful while in        grams should be located as close to        One of the most important pieces        school, then your child’s IEP
school. One of the areas the IEP          a student’s residence as possible.       to providing transportation is to be      should be reconvened to address
team must consider is transporta-         Considerations for the type of vehi-     certain that all staff involved have      and meet those needs.
tion. It is documented on the IEP as      cle transporting students include        been properly trained and have the          If your child has a disability and
a related service. If it is anticipated   size, seating arrangement and            experience needed to safely trans-        you have questions regarding their
that the IEP team might recom-            accessibility. Every possible effort     port all students. Education and          education needs, please call your
mend an aide, vehicle adaptations,        should be made to keep students          transportation staff may lack the         local RAMP office.
non-routine bus schedule or precau-       who use wheelchairs in their wheel-
tions due to medical conditions,          chairs       when       transporting.
someone knowledgeable of the dis-         Transferring a student from their
trict’s transportation system should      wheelchair to a seat on the bus
                                                                                     Top 10 Tips for Back to School Time
be involved in the development of         should only be done with the
the IEP.                                  knowledge and agreement of
   When transportation becomes an         school, family and only with appro-
issue, there are questions that must      priate safety precautions and equip-
be asked by the IEP team. Can the         ment. It may also be necessary to
student utilize regular transporta-       include input from a student’s doc-
tion? If not, can regular transporta-     tor to assure the student can safely
tion be safely utilized if supplemen-     be transported given the environ-
tary staff, equipment or services are     ment, health issues, behavioral con-
provided? If not, what type of spe-       cerns and the length of the ride.
cial transportation is required? Is an    State regulations require that the
aide or other qualified personnel         IEP team put forth every effort to              from RAMP’s Youth Education Advocacy Team
available? Is a responsible adult         restrict the travel time on the bus to
available for pick-up and delivery        60 minutes or less.                      1. Pull out current IEP for this school year.
of student? In addition, it may be           Students with special needs can       2. Review goals, objectives, schedule, how much time will be spent
necessary to review alternative           and should be included on regular            in regular education classroom, etc.
transportation options to meet stu-       transportation when it is appropri-      3. Are related services set up to begin at the start of school?
dents needs, such as parents, rela-       ate and does not endanger them-          4. Meet your child’s teacher(s). This is a perfect opportunity to
tives and public or private trans-        selves or others. This includes the          establish a working relationship with the teacher/team to avoid
portation services. When special          transportation of wheelchairs or             an adversarial relationship.
                                                                                   5. Do you know what questions to which you need answers ?
                                                                                   6. Have there been any changes over the summer (i.e. medication,
            Did you know....                                                           treatment, diagnosis) of which the IEP team needs to be aware?
                                                                                   7. Set up a system of communication with the school.
   there are 13,000 Illinois residents under                                       8. Do you need to request a meeting of the IEP team to update/
  the age of 60 who live in nursing homes?                                             revise the IEP? A meeting can be requested at any time by
                                                                                       parents or members of IEP team.
    Many of these people could live in the                                         9. Do you have a copy of the school’s disciplinary handbook?
 community with the proper supports. Tell                                          10. Do you have a copy of the Parent’s Rights Handbook from
                                                                                       Illinois State Board of Education (blue book)? If you need a
     your State Legislators to support the                                             copy, contact RAMP or go on the ISBE website
            Community First Act.                                                       (

                                          Your time may be limited, but your imagination is not. - Anonymous
RAMP Slant                                                                                                       5
                                      by the support of the DeKalb
                                      County community over the past          U.S . Cel l u l a r He l ps Ra i s e
      Details                         years and hope to see many of you
                                                                                    Fun d s fo r RAMP
                                      at the 5th Annual DeKalb County
   From DeK alb                         Gather your friends, family, and
                                      co-workers and enjoy a family
                                      friendly morning at RAMP’s
                                      office on the corner of Annie Glid-
BY GRACIE WARREN                      den and Lincoln Highway. The
                                      action begins at 10:00 a.m. on Sat-
                                      urday morning when people start
                                      arriving to register, socialize and
DeKalb Wheel-A-Thon is                get first pick at decorations for
October 1st                           their wheelchairs. At 11:00 a.m.,
Over 120 people wheeled, walked,      we kick off the event and after you
pushed or volunteered at last         have completed the route that
year’s 4th Annual DeKalb County       takes you through the beautiful
Wheel-A-Thon. This year, on           NIU campus, you will arrive back
October 1, we hope to surpass this    at RAMP’s office for a picnic
number and the total of $21,000       lunch and an awards ceremony.
brought in by business sponsors,        To learn how to participate in       Over the last year, U.S. Cellular, through its C.A.R.E. Program,
consumers, NIU students and           the 5th Annual DeKalb County           raised funds for RAMP through donations of used cell phones.
business teams.                       Wheel-A-Thon, call 756-3202            The total amounts of funds raised through this program was
  Once again, Senator Bradley         voice/tty.                             $2,501. Recently, we learned that U.S. Cellular was matching this
Burzynski and Sal Bonanno of            This year’s Wheel-A-Thon is          amount, making the total donation to RAMP $5,002. Pictured
DeKalb Associates have gracious-      sponsored in part by the Daily
                                                                             above is RAMP’s John Beck (center) accepting the check from
ly agreed to be our co-chairs for     Chronicle, DeKalb Associates and
the event. We have been blessed
                                                                             U.S. Cellular’s Shana Welch (left) and Jay Roberts (right).
                                      Kishwaukee Community Hospital.

I D EA B ur den of P roof -
Sc h a ffer vs. Weast                                                             1 5 th An n u a l Be l v i d e r e
BY THE RAMP YOUTH EDUCATION           disabled child and a local school
                                                                                      Mopa r Ha p p e n i n g
ADVOCACY TEAM                         district reach an impasse over the
RICHARD HUNT, JULIE CRAIG,            child’s individualized education
HEATHER PERKINS & CINDY               program, either side has a right to
                                      bring the dispute to an adminis-
The Individuals with Disabilities     trative hearing officer for resolu-
Education Act (IDEA) was put          tion. At the hearing, which side
together because children with        has the burden of proof-the par-
disabilities were being excluded      ents or the school district?”
from their non-disabled peers,          When parents and school dis-
not receiving an appropriate edu-     tricts do not agree about the ser-
cation, and not being allowed to      vices the district has offered,
be a part of their communities.       either party can file a due
Although IDEA has brought             process. Once the hearing officer
many changes and has improved         has made a decision, either party
the outcomes for children with        can appeal the decision in the          “Lil' Red Package” won one of the “Best of Show” awards
disabilities, there is still a long   state and/or federal court (Circuit
way to go.                            Courts). The Circuit courts have
  With current rules and regula-      heard many cases on IDEA where         On July 17th & 18th, Chicagoland Mopar Connection held its
tions of IDEA, parents are a part     burden of proof has been an            15th Annual Belvidere Mopar Happening at the Boone Coun-
of the IEP team but they do not       issue, and have come to different      ty Fairgrounds. RAMP had a booth in the Ladies Oasis and
have the final say. If parents do     decisions. Currently, the Circuit      gave out information about RAMP services and handed out
not agree with what their child’s     Courts are split 7 to 4, in favor of   funnels and shoe polish that was supplied by ITAC.
district has offered to provide       school districts having the burden       RAMP staff had the privilege of picking out one of the “best
their child, they have the option     of proof.                              of show”. This was a difficult task to choose just one out of
of filing complaints, mediation         At this time, over 20 disability     the many great restored hot rods, classic and vintage cars. And
and due process.                      organizations and 8 states have        the winner is....Lil' Red Package (pictured above) owned by
  On October 5th, the U.S             joined Virginia in filing amicus
Supreme Court will be hearing
                                                                             Joe and Maryanne Thiel of Wisconsin. Chicagoland Mopar
                                      briefs in support of Brian
the case of Schaffer vs. Weast.       Schaffer. Illinois is one of the
                                                                             awarded the winner with a plaque.
This case will decide who has the     states that have joined Virginia         The Chicagoland Mopar Connection donated all proceeds
burden of proof; the parents filing   through       Attorney      General    from the event to RAMP and Friends Forever Humane Society.
due process against the district or   Madigan.
the district, which is responsible      It is up to you as parents,
for providing a free appropriate      friends, and family members of
public education in the least         children with disabilities to
restrictive environment. In a         ensure that the rights of our
recent Wrightslaw newsletter          future are not put in jeopardy.
(, the ques-       Call RAMP to learn how you can
tion presented is “Under the          show your support for Schaffer in
Individuals with Disabilities         Schaffer vs Weast.
Education Act, when parents of a

                                 Providing Services and Advocacy for People with Disabilities for 25 Years
  6                                                                                                                                  RAMP Slant
Continued from Cover
Thon, the Golden Corral Kickoff and
our Cedarville Summer Celebration.
In addition to raising additional
money for the Freeport Wheel-A-
Thon, these events helped get the
word out to increase participation.
   RAMP staff can never sufficiently
thank all the volunteers and planners
for their time and efforts. Ray and
Jeri Nieman have been organizing                                                                                                                RAMP Board Treasurer Jack Sos-
the picnic every year since this event                                                                                                          nowski of Honeywell having a blast
began. Jeri ensures that the meat and                                                                                                           at the Wheel-A-Thon.
chips are donated and then, to top it                                                                                                           Services finishing a close third. The
off, they have the meat cooked and                       Highland   Community    College                                                        company whose employees com-
ready before the first wheeler gets in                   Cougars showed their support for                                                       bined to raise the most money was
line for lunch! Rene Meyers of the                       RAMP at the 6th Annual Freeport
                                                                                                      Kaitlyn Nesemeier singing the             MetLife whose eleven participants
Freeport Park District works to                          Wheel-A-Thon.
                                                                                                      National Anthem along with the            raised a total of $1,290.
ensure the park is in tiptop condition                   Petsche (Highland Community                  crowd to kick off the event.                 Also participating were AMCORE
and helps us haul coolers, food, signs,                  College), Cindy Rackow (RAMP),               money to support RAMP but gives           Bank, Ashley’s Hope, C & K Wild
etc. around in her Gator! We thank                       Lee Ann Smith (U.S. Cellular), Patti         you a chance to meet others who feel      Wheelers, Cornerstone Credit
our friends of RAMP such as Sandra                       Wilburn (RAMP) and Dawn Zuehlke              strongly about independence for           Union, Dream Team, Freeport
Beck, Megan Borchardt, Cody and                          (Highland Community College).                people like me. RAMP, keep up the         Health       Network,       Highland
Tyler Hale, Tana, Mason and                              Participants make the event!                 great work and I will see you next        Community College Cougars,
Whitney Hellwig, Jess Johanasson,                        We are very grateful for the efforts of      year!” Way to go Kay!                     Metlife         Claims,        Metlife
Anthony Kendrick, Mr. and Mrs.                           all of our participants. As mentioned          Coming in second was Lee Ann            Underwriters, MS Support Group,
Patrick Kennedy, Brianna & Ali                           earlier, over 100 people participated        Smith from U.S. Cellular with $928,       Prairie Grass Hill Farm, Teddy
Kraft, Michelle Miller, the Scott &                      in this year’s event, with 70 partici-       followed by Debbie and Heath              Bears, Union Savings Bank, and
Debbie Nesemeier family, Trent                           pants bringing in a total of $12,064.        Roush with $914, Pat Diddens with         West Side Wheelers. The top three
Obert, Anna & Toni Perkins, Tom                          However, we wish to thank and con-           $750, Bob Beck with $745, Terrie          teams received a plaque and gift cer-
Pulley, and John, Kasey and Kortney                      gratulate our participants who raised        Glick with $430, Donna Brately with       tificates to local businesses.
Whitmer who all assisted the morn-                       the most. The individual who raised          $380, and Ashley Leary with $350.         Congratulations to the winners and
ing of the event. A huge thank you                       the most this year was Kay Woods             Team Challenge grows                      thank you to all participants.
goes to Representative Jim Sacia for                     with $1,200! When asked why she              A huge thank you goes out to all the
                                                                                                      teams that participated this year. The    Support of Business
kicking off the event. And of course,                    worked so hard to support the
                                                                                                      MS Support Group had t-shirts made        Sponsors continues to grow
we could not have pulled the event                       Wheel-A-Thon and RAMP, Kay
                                                                                                                                                The funds raised from our business
off without the hard work of our very                    responded “I am all for being able to        for their team, the Highland Cougar
                                                                                                                                                sponsors this year were very impres-
own staff! THANK YOU ALL!                                stay independent and RAMP has the            Team was dressed to impress, and
                                                                                                                                                sive. Their generous support totaled
   Special thanks to this year’s                         know how and ability to direct one to        MetLife’s employees came through
                                                                                                                                                $9,700 in actual dollars and several
Wheel-A-Thon Committee. They                             do this. When I had an issue trying to       with three teams this year. This year’s
                                                                                                                                                thousand more through in-kind sup-
are: Dana Haynes (MetLife), Anita                        obtain a variance from the City of           competition was extremely close
                                                         Freeport, RAMP assisted me with                                                        port. We thank the many businesses
Hottmann (Honeywell), Connie                                                                          with the top three teams raising $700
                                                         some legal advice and attended                                                         that contributed. As beneficiaries of
Kraft (RAMP), Leslie Mastroianni                                                                      plus. Coming in first was Monroe
(Fehr-Graham & Associates), Rene                         meetings with various departments            Clinic, with Mr. D’s Landscaping
Meyers (Freeport Park District),                         to get the approval. RAMP stood by           taking a close second and MetLife
Debbie Nesemeier (MetLife), Jeri                         me for the almost 2 ½ years it took to
Nieman (Jackie Nieman's grandma),                        get the variance approved. The
Heather Perkins (RAMP), Carolyn                          Wheel-A-Thon is not only to raise

                                                                                                                                                Lane Hellwig enjoys a popsicle and
                                                                                                      Breanna Wilburn looks forward to          waves for the camera after the
                                                                                                      the Wheel-A-Thon every year.              Wheel-A-Thon picnic.

Wheel-A-Thon participants compete for cakes in a side-event, the Cake-N-
Roll (RAMP’s version of a Cakewalk).

                                                         Your Neighborhood
                                                          Family Pharmacy
                                                            Serving the community for 65 years
                           Our personal, professional service includes:
 * MEDICARE BILLING                                 * COMPLETE HALLMARK CARDS & GIFTS DEPT.
                                       * DIABETIC SUPPLIES
                                Highcrest Centre - 1660 North Alpine Road
     Pharmacy - 399-2502 Home Health - 399-2504 UPS - 394-2863 Gift/Photo/Stamps - 387-2037           MS Support Group’s Wheel-A-Thon team picnics after wheeling the course
                 Open 8am-9pm Daily, Sat & Sun 9am-5pm    24-Hour Automated Line - 484-8626           through Krape Park.

                                Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better. - E.W. Howe, American Novelist
RAMP Slant                                                                                                                       7
                                                                                 Landscaping - Northwestern Illinois       to support the Freeport Wheel-A-
                                                                                 Mutual Insurance - Proto Cutter -         Thon. Our invitation offered the
                                                                                 State Bank - Stephenson County            opportunity to either participate in
                                                                                 Farm Bureau - Stephenson County           the Wheel-A-Thon or support it with
                                                                                 Pork Producers - Women of the             a donation. Many responded by sign-
                                                                                 Moose Freeport Chapter                    ing up to participate and helping us
                                                                                 Wheelchair Suppliers                      raise the tremendous amount of
                                                                                 DeKalb Home Care - Garrity Home           money earlier described. Many oth-
Tom Hellwig (left) and Tyler Hale                                                                                          ers who were unable to participate
(right) participated and volunteered
                                                                                 Care - Mobility Connection –
at the event.                                                                    Rockford Park District - Visiting         sent us a supporting donation.
                                                                                 Nurses Association                          To date, we have received $615
these businesses’ generosity and car-    Mr. D’s Landscaping won second
                                         place in the Wheel-A-Thon Team                                                    from 20 individuals and businesses.
ing for their community, RAMP asks                                               In-Kind Sponsors
                                         Challenge by raising over $700 for                                                We greatly appreciate this support,
you to patronize them often!                                                     Avon Lucille Rackow - Beach’s
                                         RAMP’s services.                                                                  which certainly increases the Wheel-
                                                                                 Supper Club - Brown’s Shoe Fit Co.
Media Sponsors                                                                                                             A-Thon’s success.
                                         Bronze Wheel Sponsors ($300)            - Country Kitchen - Cub Foods -
23 WIFR - The Big Easy 93.7 and                                                                                              We thank the following for their
                                         Country Kitchen - General Casualty      Culver’s - Dairy Queen - DeMeester
Hit Radio Q102.1 - The Journal                                                                                             generosity.
                                         - Kiwanis Club of Freeport - Morse      Flower Shop - DeVoe Floral -
Standard                                                                                                                     Citizens State Bank, Lena - Tim
                                         Electric - Northern Illinois Physical   Diamond Dave’s Taco Company -
Gold Wheel Sponsors ($1,000)             Therapy                                                                           Dasko - Terry Fox-Wubben - Furst-
                                                                                 Econo Foods - Fitness Lifestyles -
All-American Escrow & Title Co. -                                                                                          McNess Co. - William Higgs -
                                         Aluminum Wheel Sponsors                 Freeport Country Club - Gran Prix
Stephenson Co. Chapter of Thrivent                                                                                         Beverly Kruse - Joan Larson -
                                         ($100)                                  Lube Center - Hartman’s - Hinckley
Financial - WalMart                                                                                                        Robert & Mary Luecke - Vicky
                                         Aero Group - Bocker Group - Brad        Springs - Jiffy Lube, Inc./Rock River
Silver Wheel Sponsors ($500)                                                                                               Niedermeier - Donald Ostrowski -
                                         Nieman Air Hammering & Drilling -       Lubrication - Lena State Bank -
4T’s Trucking - Cornerstone Credit                                                                                         Alfred Parker - People First - Ronald
                                         Brian Stewart & Associates -            Lindo Theatre/Classic Cinemas -
Union - Freeport Health Network -                                                                                          Pieper - Connie Roethe-Smith -
                                         Country Inn & Suites - Fraternal        Mama Lena’s - Rite-Way Furniture
Freeport Home Medical - MetLife -                                                                                          Linda Runge - David Swank -
                                         Order of Eagles #679 - Imperial         & Appliance - Save-A-Lot -
Monroe Clinic - Newell Rubbermaid                                                                                          Pauline Thorp - U.S. Bank - Cynthia
                                         Palace Chinese Restaurant - J.H.        Serendipity Candy - Sullivan Foods
- Federal Express - Freeport Park                                                                                          Wilson - Anthony Wool
                                         Barkau & Sons Auto Sales - Jack         Wheel-A-Thon Appeal
District - Golden Corral                 Myers Consulting - Lender Tree &        In May, RAMP mailed an invitation
                                                                                 the participants were mostly kids         & Mason Hellwig; Patti Wilburn;
 STEPHENSON                                                                      but the adults soon joined in and the
                                                                                 competition grew fierce.
                                                                                                                           Jackie Nieman; Heather, Toni &
                                                                                                                           Anna Perkins; Brett Blair; Kari
    SCOOP                                                                          An intense thunderstorm rolled in
                                                                                 at the end of the evening but this
                                                                                                                           Landman; Julie Bosma; Becky
                                                                                                                           Maggio; Laurie, Alan & Jordan
                                                                                 didn’t stop the fireworks from tak-       Boeck. We also want to thank those
                                                                                 ing place once the skies cleared.         that baked items for the bake sale
                                                                                 RAMP made $233 from the event             and Cake-N-Roll: Jacque Nelson;
                                                                                 towards the Wheel-A-Thon and the          Heather & Whitney Hellwig; Mari-
                                           The Cake ‘N’ Roll activity at the
                                            Summer Celebration attracted
                                                                                 Village of Cedarville has asked us to     an Smith; Julie Craig; Deb Obert;
                                                 many participants.              do it again next year with added          Patti Wilburn; Lori Garner; Toni,
Summer                                   County Crime Stop provided free
                                                                                 activities. So if you didn’t get to the
                                                                                 event this year, make sure you don’t
                                                                                                                           Anna & Brett Perkins; Linda Stil-
                                                                                                                           son; Jordan Boeck; Jeri Nieman;
Celebration Was                          hot dogs, chips and pop for every-
                                                                                 miss out again next year!                 Alice Dahm; Angie Esling; Diane
                                         one. There were craft vendors with
A Hit                                    various items to admire or purchase.
                                                                                   A big thank you to all those who        DeSpain and anyone else who may
BY CINDY RACKOW                                                                  volunteered: Kris & Jamie Brad-           have brought something and/or par-
                                         Freeport Park District loaned us
YOUTH EDUCATION ADVOCATE                                                         bury; Connie & Brianna Kraft; Jeff        ticipated.
                                         their mini-golf game, there was a
It’s always a little scary to put on a   wheelchair course to maneuver and
new event, but the Summer Cele-
bration in Cedarville looks as
                                         relay games for the kids to partici-        PECATONICA PHARMACY
                                         pate in.
though it will turn into an annual         The biggest hit of the whole event    Complete Prescription Service H O M E R E M E D I E S
event. The gym at the Community          was RAMP’s Cake-N-Roll. This is               Most Insurance          COSMETICS - GIFTS
Center on June 25th was packed           our own version of the traditional
with people of all ages enjoying         cakewalk but the participants use a
                                                                                            Plans Accepted                      Hours: M-F 9-6; Sat. 9-1
food, vendors and games. The Vil-        wheelchair to go around the circle in
lage of Cedarville and Stephenson        an attempt to win a cake. Early on,     413 Main Street Pecatonica, IL 239-1200

                                                                                                    SALES & SERVICE
                                                                                                        (815) 965 - 8090

             Products & Vehicle Modifications for Mobility, Accessibility & Comfort
                          Knowledgeability, Quality & Attention to Our Customers’ Needs

    ROGER & BECKY LICHTY, OWNERS                                                               2400 11th Street, R ockford, IL 61104

                                    Providing Services and Advocacy for People with Disabilities for 25 Years
  8                                                                                                       RAMP Slant

RAMP is a Center for Independent Living organized as a not-for-profit cor-
poration and governed by a Board of Directors.
                       BOARD OF DIRECTORS
          President                             Rick Haefele                     Published bi-monthly by Regional Access & Mobilization Pro-
       Willie Wierman                   Social Security Administration           ject, Inc., the SLANT is distributed by mail free to anyone who
       AMCORE Bank                                                               requests it. Large print, Braille, and audio cassette versions are
                                                David Hugdahl
       Vice-President                     Prairie State Legal Services           also available upon request. Contact any RAMP office to add
   Arles Hendershott Love                                                        your name and address to the RAMP SLANT mailing list.
        Milestone, Inc.                         Harlan Knuth
                                                                                   If you would like submit an article or news release to the
                                                Associated Bank
          Treasurer                                                             SLANT, send your information to us by the first Friday of Febru-
       Jack Sosnowski                         Sharon Opsahl                     ary, April, June, August, October or December. We may need to
 Honeywell Sensing & Control             Midwest Life & Health Group            call you to verify information, so be sure to include your name and
          Secretary                           Caroline Seabaugh                 phone number.
       Dawn Zuehlke                             Self-employed                      Printing and postage costs are partially defrayed by our advertis-
 Highland Community College                                                     ing revenue, so we urge you to patronize our advertisers.
                                              Jeff Skaradzinski
        Past President                      Retired from Sundstrand                editor - design - layout                   contact us
        Joe Marshall                             Linda Sullivan                         Nicole Hytinen                     202 Market Street
    Landstar System, Inc.                            IETC                                                             Rockford, IL 61107-3954
                                                                                    advertising manager
                                                                                     Caroline Seabaugh                 (815) 968-7467 V/TTY
                                                                                                                         (815) 968-2401 TTY
                                                                                         office hours                    (815) 968-7612 FAX
                       EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR                                         M-F : 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
                                                                                                                           email the editor
                              Julie Bosma                                                  website            
                         ADVISORY BOARD
     Chairman                 Jeanne Kerns              Peter Roche
  Daniel J. Nicholas          Kendal Kerns            Kim Schweitzer
   Bruce Atwood              Larry Liebovich           John Thayer                        Remembering RAMP
    Tara Blazer               Mary Norman          Jean Van Landingham                  Have you remembered RAMP in your will?
  Edward Enichen              Harry Ritter               Ray Wood                   You can do so by adding a simple codicil, or amendment, to
                                 STAFF                                             your will. If certain RAMP services are special to you, provide
                                                                                  specifically for them. For more information, contact John Beck,
Boone County: Melissa Yerk Erickson, Services Manager; Jennifer Jacky,
                                                                                 Development Director, at RAMP’s Rockford office, (815)968-7467.
Independent Living Advocate; Becky Maggio, Independent Living Advocate.
                                                                                      Consult your attorney in regard to changes to your will.
DeKalb County: Julie Craig, Youth Education Advocate; Susie Halverson,
Independent Living Advocate; Patti Story, Office Assistant/I & R Specialist;
Gracie Warren, Services Manager.                                                               How You Can Help
Stephenson County: Brett Blair, Brain Injury Case Manager Assistant;
Kristine Bradbury, Parent Mentor; Dana Crone, Brain Injury Case Manager;        Donating money, making in-kind contributions, or volunteering your
Jeff Hellwig, Independent Living Advocate; Connie Kraft, Personal Assis-        services are ways to help RAMP serve the community and people with
tant Coordinator; Jackie Nieman, Services Manager; Heather Perkins, Youth       disabilities.
Education Advocate; Cindy Rackow, Youth Education Advocate; Patti
Wilburn, Office Assistant/I & R Specialist.                                     Your involvement will help provide the resources RAMP needs to
Winnebago County: Rhonda Barrigas, Services Manager; John Beck,                 strengthen and expand our efforts to promote an accessible society for
Development Director; Julie Bosma, Executive Director; Sarah Bouton,
Office Assistant/I & R Specialist; Sandy Coates, Deaf Services Independent      I wish to help RAMP promote an accessible society:
Living Advocate; Lynn Foster, Community Reintegration Coordinator; Jodi
Glennon, Deaf Services Advocate; Kari Landman, Deaf Services Manager;           Name...............................................
Kim Montgomery, Education & Advocacy Coordinator; Christy Morris,               Address ...........................................
Brain Injury Case Manager; Jacque Eckhardt-Nelson, Administrative               City..................................................
Director; Richard Hunt, Youth Education Advocate; Nicole Hytinen, Mar-          State, Zip.........................................
keting Coordinator/SLANT Editor; Lynn Rehnberg, Brain Injury Case               Phone ..............................................
                                                                                ___ I enclose my donation $ .........
Manager; Deb Rogers, Development Associate; Joanne Rouse, Services
                                                                                ___ Phone me to discuss volunteering, in-kind gifts, or other methods
Director; Karen Salazar, Personal Assistant Coordinator; Janet Salley, Sign     of financial support.
Language Interpreter Scheduler; Alison Swansbro, Financial Assistant;
Melinda Wachlin, Office Assistant/I & R Specialist.
                                                                               RAMP serves people with disabilities in Boone, DeKalb, Stephenson,
                                                                               and Winnebago counties. We serve you from four offices:
                                                                                - 1022 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb, IL 60115
                                                                                   Phones: 815/756-3202 Voice; 815/756-4263 TTY; 815/756-3556 (fax)
                                                                                - 530 S. State St., Suite 103, Belvidere, IL 61008
                                                                                   Phones : 815/544-8404 Voice/TTY; 815/544-1896 (fax)
                                                                                - 773 West Lincoln Boulevard, Third Floor, Freeport, IL 61032
                                                                                   Phones: 815/233-1128 Voice/TTY; 815/233-0743 (fax)
                                                                                - 202 Market Street, Rockford, IL 61107
                                                                                   Phones: 815/968-7467 (V/TTY); 815/968-2401 TTY; 815/968-7612 (fax)

                                                          RAMP Staff                      
                 There is nothing wrong in making a mistake - as long as you don’t follow it up with encores. - Anonymous
RAMP Slant                                                                                                                  9

                               CALENDAR OF EVENTS
                          Want to add your event? Call Nicole Hytinen, RAMP SLANT Editor, (815) 968-7467 v/tty.

                              MONTHLY                                                                   SPECIAL DATES
Anger Alternatives: A fresh approach to handling a misunderstood emotion.     September 8-29 : Freeport Park District - Fishing Club. Poles and bait
Weekly classes start the 1st Tuesday of every month, 10a.m. - noon at Hope    are provided if needed. Bring your favorite chair and sit on the bank of the
Reformed Church, 5770 Spring Creek Road. The cost is $7/person per week.      Yellow Creek in Krape Park and catch that big one! Minimum group size is
For more information, contact Ron or Tanya Muzzarelli at 815-877-8372.        8 participants. Thursdays from 6:15-7:15 near the boat docks at Krape Park.
Caregiver Support Group: 1st Thursday of every month in the private           $12.50 for Freeport residents and $13.50 for non-residents. Register by call-
dining room at VanMatre HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, 950 S.           ing 235-6114 and reference ID # 481-1.
Mulford Rd., Rockford. 10 - 11 a.m. For more information, call Debbie         September 14, 15 & 19 : The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. Provides
Miller, RN at 381-8950.                                                       free health care to uninsured or underinsured children ages 0-18 who need
Chronic Pain Support Group (through American Chronic Pain Assoc.):            care. By appointment only, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Capron Elementary School,
2nd Monday of every month, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at the Winnebago Pub-         200 N. Wooster St., Capron. To schedule an appointment call 815-971-
lic Library, 210 N. Elida, Winnebago. For more information, call Beth         5800. For more information on the Care Mobile, call 815-971-6627
Moore at (815)247-8885                                                        September 17 : Pet Fest 2005 - Friends Forever Humane Society, 966
Epilepsy Support Groups: Rockford: Contact Dina Romaro at 964-2689.           Rudy Road in Freeport. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cat show from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Family Support Center of Rockford Public Schools: Provides train-             Dog show from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Plus pet related activities and vendors,
                                                                              including a pet agility demonstration. Raffle and food. (815-232-6164).
ing/opportunities for parents, every Thursday, 3-4 p.m., Roosevelt Com-
                                                                              September 20, 21, & 22 : The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. Provides
munity Education Center, Room 324. Call 966-3250, ext. 2500.
                                                                              free health care to uninsured or underinsured children ages 0-18 who need
Fibromyaliga Support Group: Every 2nd Tuesday of the month from
                                                                              care. By appointment only, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at McDonald’s Restaurant,
6:30-8 p.m. at Camelot Towers, Womens Center. Call Norma Cassioppi,
                                                                              1313 N. State St., Belvidere. To schedule an appointment call 815-971-
398-6237 for more info. Speaker every month.                                  5800. For more information on the Care Mobile call 815-971-6627.
Forest City Post Polio Support Group: “A Beam of Hope” Every 2nd              September 23 : Freeport Park District - Hay Ride/Cookout/Camp Fire
Tuesday, 6:30-8:30 p.m., OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, St. Francis Rm,      Songs. Take a hayride and roast hot dogs around the campfire and enjoy
5665 E. State St. Call Georgia Sullons, President, at (815) 988-4093.         singing your favorite songs, 6-8 p.m. at the fire pit in front of Oakdale
Freeport Multiple Sclerosis Support Group: Every 1st Monday of the            Lodge. $4 for Freeport residents, $5 for non-residents. Register by Septem-
month, 6:15 p.m., various locations For more info, contact Jackie Nieman at   ber 16th by calling 235-6114 and reference ID # 523-3.
RAMP - 233-1128, Pauline Miller - 235-4874 or Mary Calivoda - 233-1852.       October 1 : The 5th Annual DeKalb County Wheel-A-Thon. 11 a.m. at
GROW Mental Health Support Group: GROW in Illinois meets every                1022 West Lincoln Highway in DeKalb. Use a wheelchair to travel a 1.5
Tuesday at 6:15pm at the Rochelle Community Hospital. GROW is a confi-        mile route through NIU's Campus to help create awareness of disabilities
dential, anonymous 12 step support group that has been in Illinois for 26     and to raise money for RAMP. See page 5 for more information.
years. For more information please call Cindy Reynolds at 815-985-6307        October 13 : RAMP's 15th Annual Luncheon. 11:45-1:30 p.m. at Cliff-
Huntington Disease Support Group: 2nd Sunday of each month from               breakers, 700 West Riverside Blvd, Rockford. See page 13 for details.
2-4 p.m. in the St. Francis Room at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Rockford.       October 15 : Flu Clinic at the Boone County Middle School, 8 a.m. – 4
This support group is for anyone affected by Huntington’s Disease, their      p.m. For more information contact the Boone County Health Department at
caregivers and professionals. For more info, call Ted or Kathie at 282-       815-544-2951.
0600 or Wendy or Henry at 232-1599. Next meeting will be in October.
Multiple Sclerosis Support Group (east side): 1st Tuesday of every
month, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Swedish American Hospital, 1401 E. State St.,
in the 1st floor conference room. Please contact Donna Sonneson at 633-
3471 or Carol Delheimer at 877-4253 for more information.
Multiple Sclerosis Support Group (west side): 1st and 3rd Thursday of the
month, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Rockford Memorial Hospital, 2400 N. Rockton
Ave., in the cafeteria meeting room 4. Call Deniece Burnell at 877-4256 .
National Fraternal Society for the Deaf: 1st Thursday of month, 7 p.m.,
Center for Sight & Hearing, 8038 MacIntosh Lane, Rockford.
NISDOG -          Northern        Illinois     Spasmodic         Dysphonia
Organizational Group: Meetings scheduled by demand. All speech
disabilities welcome. Contact Sue at 895-6456 or
for more info or to express interest in a meeting.
NU-Voice (Speech Disability Support Group): Every 2nd Sunday, Van
Matre Healthsouth, 950 S. Mulford, Rockford, Gene Storey, President,
NU-Voice Club of Rockford, 288-7258, or Ken Hawes, Speech Patholo-
gy Department, Rockford Memorial Hospital, 971-5074.
Parents & Grandparents of Children with ADD, ADHD and
Sensory Integration Disorder Support Group: 2nd and 4th Thursday
of each month from 6-8 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, 925 5th Ave.,
Rockford. To register, call Jeanne Thomas at 964-4609.
Silver Bullet Scooter Club: Meets the 1st Sunday after the 3rd of
each month at 3 p.m. for cocktails and to share information. Open to
all adults with disabilities. Silver Bullet Lounge, located in the Pump
Handle Inn on the corner of 11th St. and Harrison Ave. in Rockford.
Stateline Stroke Support Group: Last Tuesday of every month.
Meets in the main dining room of VanMatre HealthSouth Reha-
bilitation Hospital, 950 S. Mulford Rd., Rockford. 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Social time is 3-3:30 p.m. For more information, call Debbie
Miller, RN at 381-8950.
Traumatic Brain Injury Support Group: Every 3rd Tuesday, 7-
8:30 p.m., Van Matre Healthsouth, 950 S. Mulford, Rockford. Call
Dave Beutel, Julie Pick or Linda Urbanski, 971-9876 for further info.
Vision Impaired Exercise Class: Every Mon & Wed - 9:30 to
10:30 am, Center for Sight & Hearing, 8038 MacIntosh Lane,
Rockford. Call 815-332-6800 voice or 815-332-6820 tty for info.

                                  Providing Services and Advocacy for People with Disabilities for 25 Years
 10                                                                                                              RAMP Slant

R A M P H olds Aw arene s s Activitie s a t Sa fe Ni g h t E v e n t
BY BECKY MAGGIO                        pleasure of holding disability aware-      obstacle course using a wheelchair      activities. Many participated in each
INDEPENDENT LIVING ADVOCATE                                                       and shooting a basket at the end of
                                       ness activities for the youth that                                                 activity several times. They were
Youth Services Network (YSN) held      attended. There were three aware-          the course. Station #2 had vision       able to ask questions about different
its annual Summer Safe Night at the    ness stations that focused on mobili-      awareness activities where youth        types of disabilities and talk about
Belvidere Park Pool on July 29th.      ty, vision and hearing impairments.        were blindfolded and asked to put a     friends or family members they
Safe Night is a semi-annual party in   Youths visited each station and after      Mr. Potato Head together or asked to    knew with disabilities. Safe Night
a safe place that YSN holds for        completing the activity they entered       find as many safety pins as possible    was sponsored by ALERTA,
Boone County youth 5th to 8th          their name in the raffle for prizes that   out a bowl of rice using just touch.    Belvidere Park District, Belvidere
grade. Entertainment included swim-    were awarded at the end of the night.      Station #3 had hearing awareness        Police Department, Kiwanis Club,
ming, dancing, and other activities.   Station #1 was a mobility awareness        activities. Youth could learn to use    RAMP, Rosecrance, RSVP, Univer-
RAMP staff and volunteers had the      activity that involved negotiating an      sign language to spell their name or    sity of Illinois Extension Boone
                                                                                  learn signs for common phrases or       County (4-H), Youth Services Net-
                                                                                  activities. Youth were very eager to    work and YMCA.
                                                                                  participate and really enjoyed the

Cassie Pridie, RAMP Volunteer (back) and DaMarco Stokes (front) assem-            Belvidere Police Chief Jan Noble participates in one of RAMP’s mobility
bled a “Mr. PotatoHead” while blindfolded.                                        activities at Safe Night, hosted by Youth Services Network.

Coming soon to Belvidere…                                                         Seeking Committee Members
BY CHRISTINA VANDER ZEE                designed to provide multiple               BY MELISSA YERK ERICKSON                also those who push strollers and
LIFESCAPE COMMUNITY SERVICES                                                      BOONE COUNTY SERVICES MANAGER
                                       opportunities for socialization                                                    pull carts to carry goods and sup-
Adult Day Services will soon be        and re-motivation therapy.                 In times when people are beginning      plies.
offered in Belvidere. Opening            Bright Side offers the following         to understand the importance of           Some local businesses and agen-
date to be announced. Lifescape’s      opportunities to its participants:         equal access and disability aware-      cies have already recognized the
Bright Side Adult Day Services           - Music, exercise, and arts &            ness, and as Boone County contin-       importance of accessibility and how
provides safe, therapeutic day-        crafts activities.                         ues to change and manifest new          making a few simple changes and
time care designed to meet the           - Medical monitoring including           growth to the area, the Boone Coun-     accommodations can enhance their
needs of functionally and/or cog-      medication administration by a             ty RAMP office is seeking residents     quality of service to the community.
nitively impaired adults through       registered nurse.                          and representatives from local busi-    Almost everyone, at some point in
an individual plan of care. A vari-      - Qualified, professionally              nesses and agencies to form a           his/her lifetime, will experience the
ety of social, health, and other       trained staff at a 1 to 6 staff to         proactive educational advocacy          need for an accommodation to
related support services are pro-      participant ratio.                         committee. This committee’s pur-        access a building or service. This
vided in a protective setting for        - Hot, nutritious lunches and            pose is to act as a support, a          committee’s mission will be to see
the infirm elderly as well as dis-     snacks.                                    resource, and an educational tool for   that Boone County answers to that
abled individuals ages 21-60. The        - Rehabilitation therapy.                businesses, agencies, and our entire    need and becomes accessible to all.
goal is to promote a community           - Round trip transportation in           community to become more aware          If you are interested in finding out
based program designed to meet         wheelchair accessible vehicles.            of issues of accessibility and pro-     more information or would like to
the needs of functionally                Bright Side participants can             vide possible solutions to benefit      be a part of this committee, please
impaired adults in a structured,       attend one to five days per week           all! We recognize this will not only    contact the Boone County RAMP
comprehensive program provid-          for up to eight (8) hours per day.         benefit people with disabilities but    office at 544-8404.
ing health and social services in      Respite service is provided both
addition to therapeutic activities.    to meet the needs of caregivers in             Networking Group for Parents
Bright Side’s service allows care-     the workforce and also caregivers
givers to continue with employ-        in the daytime home setting. For            Are you a parent? Do you have questions regarding your children? Do
ment and daily living routines         more information regarding                  you want to network with other families from the area?
while their loved ones thrive in a     Bright Side Services, please con-             RAMP’s Boone County office is proud to announce the formation of a
stimulating, caring environment        tact Kelly Schleich at 964-2433.            parent’s group, in affiliation with Parents Care & Share of Illinois. The
                                                                                   group’s purpose is to network area families of children with disabilities
 Boone County Council On Aging                                                     in order to discuss pertinent issues that affect your everyday life. We will
                                                                                   share resources, ideas, and more so that you can be informed and pre-
     The Keen Age Center                                                           pared for your child’s future.
        PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - WHEELCHAIR LIFTS - CALL FOR A RIDE                   We are hoping to hold our first meeting at the end of September. If you
      MEDICAL CAR ESCORT - INFORMATION & ASSISTANCE - COMPUTER LAB                 are interested, please call Jen for more information at 815-544-8404.
                                                                                    **Keep an eye out…In November, The Salvation Army
               2141 HENRY LUCKOW LANE BELVIDERE, IL 61008
                   815/544-9893 (VOICE & TDD) 800/961-5336                          will be accepting applications for Christmas Assistance.
                        WEBSITE - WWW.KEENAGE.ORG                                           Call 815-544-3892 for more information.

            Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. - Lao-Tzu, Chinese philospher and founder of Taoism
RAMP Slant                                                                                                                                 11

Back to the Basics: What is the Home Services Program?
BY JENNIFER JACKY                              Although services between the dif-         - Require services which cost the      monthly cost of $1,290.72 per person.
INDEPENDENT LIVING ADVOCATE                                                                                                      A total of 1,980 people were served
                                            ferent programs do vary, they all have     same or less than the cost of a nursing
The Home Services Program (HSP)             the same goal which is to preserve the     home                                      on the AIDS Waiver with an average
offers individuals with disabilities,       dignity of individuals and their fami-        - Have less than $10,000 in non-       monthly amount of $1,127 spent on
who are at risk of premature or unnec-      lies by providing options that address     exempt assets for customers age 18 or     each individual.
essary institutionalization, the alterna-   the personal needs and preferences of      older, or $30,000 in family assets for      Through homes services, customers
tive of in-home assistance where            the customers. Some of the services        customers under the age of 18             are given the opportunity to enhance
home care does not exceed the cost of       that may be provided are personal             - Apply for Medicaid and cooperate     their ability to expect and achieve a
a health care facility. In order to pro-    assistant or homemaker services,           with the Department of Healthcare         more self-directed life. Not only do
mote independence amongst their             adult day services, 24-hour Electronic     and Family Services                       the guidelines set by DRS allow indi-
customers, HSP offers an individual-        Emergency Home Response, assis-               - Be a resident of Illinois and U.S.   viduals the opportunity to function as
ized approach in order to enhance the       tive equipment or home remodeling,         citizen or legal resident                 active participants in the services that
person’s ability to lead a more satisfy-    and pre-vocational services. These or         - Have a physician’s approval of the   they receive, but the HSP staff sup-
ing life.                                   other possible supports and resources      initial plan of care                      ports and advocates for the
   The Department of Rehabilitation         may be available to the customer              - Score a minimum of 29 points on      Independent Living Philosophy,
Services (DRS) was placed in charge         based on his/her specific needs            the Determination of Need                 where individuals are in control of
of HSP in December of 1979. For the         according to the program that he/she       Assessment.                               their own lives and act as productive
1980 service year, HSP was awarded          is eligible for.                              The HSP has grown drastically          members to the community.
a budget of $3 million for both                In order to be eligible to receive      since its inception. Between July 1,        Information used in this article is
administrative and case services            assistance through HSP, an individual      2003 and June 30, 2004, the HSP           from the Home Services Program
costs. At that time, the program            must:                                      served 31,071 customers statewide.        2004 Annual Report. The full report is
served a total of 1,256 individuals            - Be age 59 or younger, unless          The spending for the HSP totaled          available                             at
statewide. In 1990, DRS added the           applying for the AIDS or Brain Injury      $298,239,700. On average, $937.32
AIDS-specific home care program.            Waiver                                     is spent monthly on assisting an indi-    -hspar2004.asp. The statistics are
The Brain Injury Waiver was added to           - Have a severe disability lasting at   vidual on a waiver for physical dis-      compiled on a statewide basis.
DRS’ services in 1999, and then             least 12 months or the duration of life    abilities, with 25,412 people benefit-    Further information on Department of
expanded to include the Cognitive              - Be at imminent risk of health care    ing from these services. Through the      Rehabilitation Services can be found
Rehabilitation       and      Supported     facility placement (such as a nursing      Brain Injury Waiver, 3,679 individu-      on or
Employment program.                         home)                                      als are assisted with an average          by calling your local DRS office.

                                                                                                                                 vices (EMS) and was able to revive
                                                                                                                                 him and bring him back. The EMS
                                                                                                                                 person on the other line was instruct-
                                                                                                                                 ing her to perform CPR for a person
                                                                                                                                 without a tracheotomy. Sheila
                                                                                                                                 explained that this wasn’t the case.
                                                                                                                                 She was able to blow air through the
                                                                                                                                 hole in his neck as well as compress-
                                                                                                                                 ing his chest. It isn’t the first time she
                                                                                                                                 saved his life by performing CPR.
                                                                                                                                    I asked how having the Home
                                                                                                                                 Services Program has impacted his
I had the pleasure of meeting with                                                                                               life. He replied by saying “I have a
RAMP consumer, Mike Hammond                                                                                                      quality life here with my family now
and his PA, Sheila Hammond, who             Mike Hammond with Sheila Hammond, who is his Outstanding PA and wife.                rather than when I was in the nursing
happens to be his significant other.        Also pictured are their daughters Abby and Kayla and the family dog, Molly.
                                                                                                                                 home.” Mike and Sheila live with
Mike is a recent participant in our         plegic. He is non-ambulatory and           wounds. Sheila has learned how to         their two daughters, Abby and Kayla.
Community Reintegration Program             uses a wheelchair. Sheila stood by         perform respiratory and wound care        who also provide assistance to their
where he was able to leave the nurs-        Mike during his long stay in a skilled     from other health care professionals      dad. The Home Services Program
ing home and move back home after           nursing care facility and then a nurs-     and by learning through hands-on          helps an individual to be more inde-
a long period of rehabilitation at a        ing home. I asked Mike to describe         experience.                               pendent where they can experience a
local nursing home.                         how he felt about Sheila, and he             Mike shared regarding a time            better quality of life with loved ones.
  When I arrived at Mike’s home, I          replied, “ She’s my angel” as well as      when he coded (stopped breathing).        Thanks, Sheila, for all of your hard
saw memorabilia for race car driver,        being “dedicated, loyal, and patient.”     Sheila called emergency medical ser-      work and dedication.
Dale Earnhardt. His dog, Molly,               Sheila has experience working in
greeted me at the door. I saw the           the dietary department at a local
large ramp that was built so Mike           nursing home. This knowledge is
could enjoy his porch and come and          invaluable as she prepares his high
go as he pleases.                           protein diet. Not only does she carry
  Mike sustained an injury where he         out the many tasks that a Personal
broke his neck at his C4 vertebrae          Assistant usually performs, but has
and severed his spinal cord which           learned how to suction his tracheoto-
resulted in him becoming a quadri-          my and change dressings for his

              Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. - Lao-Tzu, Chinese philospher and founder of Taoism
 12                                                                                                                   RAMP Slant

Lifetime Homes, the Power of We
BY KIM MONTGOMERY                        meeting to inform local leaders,           homes he demonstrated the features
EDUCATION & ADVOCACY COORDINATOR         builders, architects, realtors and any     of universal design with a fully            Lifetime Home (visitability)
Recently, I had the good fortune to      other interested parties about the         accessible kitchen and master bath            features include one zero
accompany Julie Bosma, RAMP’s            needs and the funding. As a result of      with a walk-in/roll-in shower. All
                                                                                                                                step entrance on an accessi-
visionary Executive Director to a        that meeting, Leslie Mastroianni of        entrances to these units, including
conference on social enterprise pre-     Fehr-Graham and Associates identi-         the garage and patio are zero step             ble route into the home
sented by Yale School of Manage-         fied a funding source to assist with       with barely a bump for a threshold.         with a 36” wide entry door,
ment, The Goldman Sachs                  modifications to existing homes for        John also offered to gift back the              doorways with a clear
Foundation Partnership on Nonprof-       people with disabilities. Together         grant funds to RAMP. We expect this            width of 32” for all first
it Ventures. Our reason for making       with Judy Eikstadt of Northwestern         unit to qualify for $10,000 in funds.       floor rooms, reachable con-
the trip was to learn ways that other    Illinois Community Action Agency,             During the Parade of Homes week,
                                                                                                                                  trols (meaning outlets no
nonprofit organizations have created     Fehr-Graham and RAMP successful-           RAMP employees, (including those
business ventures that support the       ly applied to the program, which will      who use wheelchairs!) staffed the             lower than 15”, switches
mission of their organization as well    provide much needed home modifi-           Parade Homes to answer questions             and thermostats no higher
as provide financial support to sus-     cations for people with disabilities in    and get feedback on the designs.              than 48” off the finished
tain their work. It was a fascinating    Freeport, Pecatonica and Savannah,            Builders Tom and Joyce Niehaus            floor), and blocking in the
three days.                              Illinois. Senator Sieben also hosted       of Byron are also building homes             bathroom walls to accom-
   At one of the luncheon presenta-      similar forums in other areas of his       with Visitability features and fol-
                                                                                                                                modate the future addition
tions, Jonathan Tisch, Chairman and      district and strongly supports the         lowed suit in offering back the grant
CEO of Loews Hotels and author of        concept of Visitability and refunding      funds. Tom and Joyce have previous             of grab bars, if needed.
“The Power of We”, spoke to the          of the grant program. An excellent         experience with homebuyers who
group about succeeding through           example of the power of we.                have disabilities and they decided          for lifetime homes and creating the
partnerships. Tisch’s talk really hit       To raise awareness for Visitability     that their model home should be             certification process for the homes
home as I considered how we are          in our Rockford Service area, we           accessible, as well. It is a good idea      and their builders.
striving to promote Lifetime Homes.      became involved with the Equal             for all builders/developers and I bet          What else has this collaboration
   Here is a recap of how “The Power     Opportunity Committee of our very          many of them just never thought of it.      resulted in? Bonnie Henry discov-
of We” applies to what we hope to be     active Rockford Area Association of           During the parade, thousands of          ered that a 4” step requirement to the
the future in new home design and        Realtors who embraced the idea.            people saw visitability and universal       garage entrance was no longer neces-
construction and how partnerships        Their Board passed a resolution to         design in action and the response has       sary in the City’s Building Code due
can enhance the mission and power        support RAMP’s efforts to provide          been overwhelmingly positive. We            to the more recent requirement that
of any organization.                     education and awareness.                   have provided information to many           the garage floor have a 2% slope.
   We identified the most profound          We met with Dennis Sweeney of           callers in response to what we now          She proposed that the requirement be
lack of accessible housing in our ser-   the Homebuilders Association of the        call Lifetime Homes (homes with             repealed and the City Council passed
vice area (Freeport and Stephenson       Greater Rockford Area, who invited         visitability features), thanks to the       it unanimously, making it possible to
County), and invited our State Legis-    us to share the information about          power of we.                                create the zero step entrance to the
lators, Senator Todd Sieben and Rep-     Visitability and the grant program at         Lifetime Homes came about when           house through the garage. Neleta
resentative Jim Sacia to a meeting at    their membership meeting. Follow-          we asked a group of interested par-         Schene from Insight Communica-
our Freeport office. We presented the    ing the meeting, builder Gary              ties to come together and help us           tions assisted in the development and
problem along with some ideas for        Oehlberg stepped forward to say he         decide how to best “market” the con-        production of a public service
solutions that did not require them to   would build a spec house using the         cept of Visitability. Bonnie Henry          announcement, produced and aired
go to the State for new funding. One     visitability guidelines and donate the     and Kevin Ciabotti from the City of         by Insight and shared with other
of those ideas we called “Visitabili-    grant funds back to RAMP! This             Rockford Building Department,               local media. John Strandin, Commu-
ty”, a concept in new home design        builder also agreed to enter the home      Dennis Sweeney of the Home-                 nications Director for the City of
and construction that incorporates       in the Parade of Homes to allow peo-       builders Association of the Greater         Rockford helped us organized a suc-
four very basic features which allow     ple to experience the features of vis-     Rockford Area, Joyce Niehaus and            cessful news conference at one of the
these homes to be accessible and         itability first hand.                      Kay Galloway of the Rockford Area           homes during the parade and Mayor
adaptable. We also identified an            We later spoke to developer John        Association of Realtors, Scott Long,        Larry Morrissey took time out of his
existing funding source, The Illinois    Slack, who said that he, too, would        President of the Northern Chapter of        crazy schedule to attend, showing his
Accessibility Grant Program, which       build a spec home in his condo com-        the American Institute of Architects,       support. We co-marketed with the
offers builders who build spec homes     munity, Village of Boulder Creek,          Jackie Neil Boss of the ARC of              ARC raffle house, which was built
with these features $5,000 for each      and do it in time for the Parade of        Northern Illinois, Jim Peterson of          with Visitability features, we created
home they build.                         Homes. John not only built these           Northwest Community Center, Nele-           signage for the homes and Dennis
   The Senator and Representative        homes (a duplex!) with the basic fea-      ta Schene of Insight Communica-             Sweeney offered us a page of adver-
offered to host an informational         tures of visitability, but in one of the   tions, and John Beck, Julie Bosma,          tising in the parade book and allowed
                                                                                    Nicole Hytinen and Deb Rogers of            RAMP’s Nicole Hytinen to con-
                                                                                    RAMP utilized the power of we to            tribute an article which was also
                                                                                    reinvent the word visitability. We all      printed in the book.
  For all your engineering, design, and analysis needs.
                                                                                    felt that, though visitability aptly           Most recently, Illinois Valley Cen-
      Aerospace, medical, and industrial products.                                                                              ter for Independent Living, just south
                                                                                    describes the features that allow peo-
                                                                                    ple with disabilities to visit a home, it   of us asked to join us in the promo-
                                                                                    also brings with it a stigma that says      tion of Lifetime Homes in their ser-
                                                                                    “these are homes for people with dis-       vice area, the State Independent
                                     Proud Supporters                               abilities, all people don’t need that       Living Council of Illinois has indi-
                                                                                    stuff”. We decided that Lifetime            cated interest in promoting the con-
                                        of RAMP                                     Homes more accurately describes             cept in the Springfield area, and then
                                                                                    the ways these features allow people        maybe statewide! Numerous indi-
                                      and Its Mission                               of all abilities to live comfortably in     viduals have called to say “it’s about
                                                                                    their homes through any event life          time”, and “thanks for what you’re
                                                                                    throws their way and that the fact          doing”.
                                                                                    that people with disabilities can visit        Through the Power of We, Life-
                                                                                    is just an added bonus. This group is       time Homes will become the way
                                                                                    now in the process of more clearly          we build and it will happen in our
            4216 Maray Drive, Rockford - (815) 399-8803                                                                         Lifetime.
                                                                                    defining the specific requirements

   The most immutable barrier in nature is between one man’s thoughts and another’s. - William James, American psychologist and philosopher
RAMP Slant                                                                                                                         13

RAMP’s 25th Anniversary Party                                              25th Anniversary                         no longer used because society is so
                                                                           Continued from Cover                     accessible that this fact about a per-
                                                                                                                    son is not relevant.
                                                                           even more excited to set the pace for       - All public places are fully acces-
                                                                           the next 25 years. Our goal is that      sible with Braille signage, visual
                                                                           when we reach the year 2030, cele-       fire alarms, ramps, and so on.
                                                                           brating RAMP’s 50th Anniversary,            - All people speak both English
                                                                           we will be able to report things like:   and American Sign Language and
                                                                             - All homes are being built with       are taught to be bi-lingual from the
                                                                           “visitable” features so that persons     moment they enter school.
                                                                           with any type of physical disability        - Technology allows people with
                                                                           can visit their family and friends       severe disabilities to fully partici-
                                                                           and/or easily modify a house to live     pate in the work world.
                                                                           in themselves!                              These are our dreams and the
                                                                             - There is no “special education”.     direction in which we are heading.
                                                                           All children with disabilities receive   Our ultimate goal is to make soci-
                                                                           a fair and equitable education and       ety, both attitudinally and physical-
                                                                           fully share their educational experi-    ly, accessible for all people regard-
On August 18, RAMP hosted a party to celebrate its 25th Anniversary.       ence with their non-disabled peers.      less of their abilities or disabilities.
Guests enjoyed great food, free caricature drawings, music, assistive
technology displays, a FORTE performance and a special presentation
                                                                             - The descriptor of ‘disability’ is
from Senator Brad Burzynski and RAMP’s current and former leaders.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the special occasion.
                                                                           RAMP’s 15th Annual Luncheon

  (Top left) Ken Kerns, one of the founders of RAMP, speaks to guests
  about when RAMP started up 25 years ago. (Top right) Laurie Ander-               John Foppe to speak at RAMP’s Luncheon
  son of the Rockford Park District demonstates one of their new           BY JOHN BECK
  accessible golf carts.                                                                                            state of the independent living move-
                                                                           DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR                     ment has never been stronger.
                                                                           We are very excited to announce that     Through the first nine months of this
                                                                           the keynote speaker of this year’s       year, our staff has already helped
                                                                           event is John Foppe. Born without        1,187 people with disabilities (1,287
                                                                           arms, John Foppe has led a remark-       all of last year) work toward a life of
                                                                           able life, one that involves using his   greater independence and communi-
                                                                           feet for everything from shaving to      ty involvement.
                                                                           driving a car. He’s met a Pope, fired      We hope to surpass the success of
                                                                           up a pro football team, skied in Aus-    last year’s Luncheon attended by 370
                                                                           tria, and climbed the steep steps of a   people. With your help, we will.
                                                                           Hindu Temple. Through sharing his          The cost of the luncheon is $35.
                                                                           heartwarming and humorous stories,       Look for your invitation in the mail
                                                                           John delivers a high-impact presen-      or call RAMP at 968-7467 to make
                                                                           tation on overcoming adversity and       reservations.
  (Top left) Ryan Moore of Independence Technology demonstrates
             TM                                                            fostering personal growth. His mes-        The major sponsor of the Annual
  the iBOT Mobility System, a wheelchair that allows users to climb
  curbs, stairs, raise yourself to look others in the eye or lower your-   sage is: “Our only real handicaps are    Luncheon is The Blazer Foundation.
  self to fit comfortably under a desk or table. (Top right) Friends of    those mental and emotional ones that
  RAMP Theatre Ensemble (FORTE) performed a disability awareness           prevent us from participating fully in
  puppet show at the celebration.                                          life.” To hear John speak is an oppor-
                                                                           tunity to be renewed and to move on
                                                                           with a new perspective on life.
                                                                              Our Luncheon seeks to entertain
 CLASSIFIEDS                                                               and educate a broad range of people.
                                                                           The desired result is for people who
                                                                                                                           NORTH MAIN MANOR
                                                                                                                             OLESEN PLAZA
                                                                           attend to be more aware and support-              PARK TERRACE
                                                                           ive of RAMP’s mission of promoting              BREWINGTON OAKS
For Rent: Woodland Park Apartments, 2690 Rudeen                            an accessible society that allows and
                                                                                                                                    *Affordable Rent
                                                                                                                                  *Free Heat & Water
                                                                                                                                      *Full Kitchen
Close #13. Office. Private Community in a Quiet Park                       expects full participation by people                    *Laundry Facilities

Like Setting. Wheelchair Accessible. One Bedroom                           with disabilities.                                *Intercom to Screen Visitors
                                                                                                                               *Convenient Bus Service
                                                                              The Luncheon also provides
Lowers available. Laundry, Carports, New carpet, Tile                      RAMP the opportunity to inform and                If you are 50 years or older
                                                                                                                                  or have a disability,
and Blinds. On-Site Management and Maintenance.                            update the community on our current               Contact our Rental Office at
                                                                                                                               223 S. Winnebago Street
First Month Free. $425.00 per month - you pay electric                     efforts and successes. In this 25th                         987-3890

bill. Please call Kathleen at 815-830-0670.                                year since RAMP’s inception, the
                                                                                                                                     EQUAL HOUSING

                                  Providing Services and Advocacy for People with Disabilities for 25 Years
 14                                                                                                                     RAMP Slant

                               N           Deaf Rights Unde r the A DA
                               e           accessible parking for individuals
                                           with physical disabilities.
                                                                                       with full accessibility still continues
                                                                                       to be a daily battle. Deaf and hard-of-
                                                                                                                                 for their rights. Yes, it does seem like
                                                                                                                                 fighting at times and it’s frustrating
                               w              The deaf and hard-of-hearing com-
                                           munity has also seen increased
                                                                                       hearing people are told “NO” too
                                                                                       often when they request a sign lan-
                                                                                                                                 that more businesses, hospitals, and
                                                                                                                                 employers are not familiar with the
                               s           awareness of the communication
                                           barriers faced when making an
                                                                                       guage interpreter. Even the United
                                                                                       States Department of Justice under-
                                                                                                                                 law. The need for qualified inter-
                                                                                                                                 preters is so important when a deaf or

 DEAF                                      appointment with their doctor, hav-
                                           ing a meeting with their boss, attend-
                                           ing the local theater, or appearing in
                                                                                       stands that an interpreter is needed at
                                                                                       a large majority of public entities.
                                                                                       They have issued an analysis that
                                                                                                                                 hard-of-hearing person is requesting
                                                                                                                                 the accommodation. Too many times
                                                                                                                                 an entity doesn’t want to pay or feels
BY KARI LANDMAN                            court for a traffic ticket. This surge of   states:                                   they can use a family member or
DEAF SERVICES MANAGER                      awareness, brought about by the               It is not difficult to imagine a wide   friend who can sign. This is not
We recently celebrated the 15th            ADA, has made it easier for individ-        range of communications involving         acceptable and puts the welfare of
Anniversary of the Americans with          uals to request a sign language inter-      areas such as health, legal matters,      the deaf or hard-of-hearing individ-
Disabilities Act (ADA). On July 26,        preter when needed. The ADA states:         and finances that would be suffi-         ual at risk because a professional, un-
1990, former President George H.W.            A public accommodation shall fur-        ciently lengthy, or complex to            biased interpreter is not being
Bush signed this law that would open       nish appropriate auxiliary aids and         require an interpreter for effective      provided.
the door of accessibility to individu-     services where necessary to ensure          communication. 56 Fed. Reg. at               If you have experienced many
als with a variety of disabilities. This   effective communication with indi-          35567                                     “NO’s” when requesting a sign lan-
was a major accomplishment for all         viduals with disabilities. 8 C.F.R.           I am grateful that the ADA passed       guage interpreter for your appoint-
the individuals who worked diligent-       36.303 (c )                                 and was signed to increase the inde-      ments and you’d like to know more
ly to see this federal law come to            Unfortunately, the process is not as     pendence of deaf people as they go        about your rights as a deaf or hard-
fruition. It’s exciting to see society’s   easy as only requesting. Despite the        about their daily business, but I’m       of-hearing person, please call Jodi
increased awareness towards every-         progress the ADA has produced and           disappointed that we haven’t come         Glennon or Sandy Coates in
day barriers such as curb cuts, manu-      its empowerment of people with dis-         further in 15 years. The ADA              RAMP’s Rockford office at
al doors, adaptive equipment, &            abilities, receiving services provided      empowers those who want to fight          815/968-7467.

            D e af Events Surv e y                                                                           De a f E v e n ts
                                                                                        Deaf Men’s Social. Every Wednesday, 9:30 AM, Dozen Donut Shop,
                  We want to hear from YOU!!!                                           North 2nd St., Machesney Park.
                                                                                        September 4-5 - Open Captioned Movie: Charlie & the Chocolate Fac-
 DEAF NEWSLETTER                                                                        tory. ShowPlace 16 in Rockford. Rated PG. Check local paper for times.
 Want Deaf Newsletter? YES/NO
                                                                                        September 11-12 - Open Captioned Movie: Wedding Crashers.
                                                                                        ShowPlace 16 in Rockford. Rated R. Check local paper for times.
 Want Deaf Events/Social? YES/NO                                                        September 17 - Stephenson County for the Deaf 12th Annual Picnic.
 How many miles are you willing to drive? ________________                              Flagstaff Shelter, Krape Park, Freeport, IL. 11:00 AM to Dusk. Food,
                                                                                        drinks, door prizes and games provided. Adults- $6 Children (5-12)
 Want Events for kids? YES/NO                                                           $3 Under 5- Free.
                                                                                        September 18-19 - Open Captioned Movie: 40 Year Old Virgin.
 Which day of the week you prefer to attend an event?                                   ShowPlace 16 in Rockford. Rated R. Check local paper for times.
                                                                                        September 23-24 - Illinois Deaf Golf Association. Golf Outings at
                                                                                        Red Tail Golf Course and exciting events at the Holiday Inn in Crys-
 Please check:                                                                          tal Lake, IL. For more information, e-mail or
 Morning - 9 am to 11 am _______                                                        check IDGA website at
 Afternoon - 1 pm to 3 pm _______
 Evening - 6 pm to 8 pm _________                                                       September 25-26 - Open Captioned Movie: Must Love Dogs. Show-
                                                                                        Place 16 in Rockford. Rated PG-13. Check local paper for times.
 WORKSHOPS                                                                              Octber 2-3 - Open Captioned Movie: Skeleton Key. ShowPlace 16
 Want to learn about…….                                                                 in Rockford. Rated PG-13. Check local paper for times.
 ADA? YES/NO                                                                            October 8 - DeafNation Expo. Free Admission for Exhibitions, Work-
 Wills? YES/NO                                                                          shops and Entertainment. Prairie Stone Sports and Wellness Center,
 Loans for Houses/Cars? YES/NO                                                          5050 Sedge Blvd., Hoffman Estates, IL. Exhibit Hours: 9 am to 6 pm.
 VRS? YES/NO                                                                            Free admission to exhibitions, entertainment, seminars and workshops,
 Taxes? YES/NO                                                                          film and video show, and children’s activities. For further information
 Health? YES/NO                                                                         and a free admission ticket, log on to
 Other? ____________________________________________
                                                                                          To subscribe Deaf Illinois News, log on to:
 Which day of the week you prefer to attend a workshop?
 _________________________                                                              Want to learn Sign Language? Check out a website!
                                                                                       Do you have a friend, neighbor, relative, or co-worker who is deaf or
 Please check:                                                                         hard-of-hearing and uses sign language? Would you like to learn sign
 Morning 9 am to 11 am _______                                                         language so that you can communicate with him or her? Then check out
 Afternoon 1 pm to 3 pm _______                                                        this website:
 Evening 6 pm to 8 pm _________                                                          This website offers over 6,000 American Sign Language (ASL)
                                                                                       signs from 4 different dictionaries. You can pick from the Main, Reli-
         Please mail back your answers to                                              gious, Conversational, or Baby Signs dictionaries. It’s an easy and
           Jodi Glennon, Deaf Services,                                                fun-to-use website. It offers a video link so that you can actually see a
                                                                                       3-D picture of someone signing the word.
       202 Market Street, Rockford, IL 61107.                                            This is a great resource if you’re interested in learning sign language
                   Thank you!!                                                         and increasing your vocabulary so that you can communicate with
                                                                                       those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

           Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. - Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese poet, writer, artist and mystic
RAMP Slant                                                                                                                           15
Fair Housing...                           the Fair Housing Act is enforced by       the available housing fully accessi-       believe that our cities and counties
                                          HUD, a Federal Agency. The way            ble.                                       should adopt the requirements of the
Continued from Cover                      the Act is written, municipalities           Both wheelchair users and deaf          Fair Housing Act in local building
housing built to comply with the          don’t have to explain it or enforce it    people using the TTY system                codes. Doing so would provide
guidelines will be a dramatic             and are not held responsible for vio-     received significantly less encour-        awareness at the front end of a pro-
improvement over units built in the       lations. Complaints must come             agement to pursue a rental agreement       ject, ensuring that builders and
past.                                     through HUD, who can then find            and were less likely to be offered a       developers understand the require-
                                          remedy through any entity involved        rental application than non-disabled       ments of this law and then follow its
Covered Units
                                          in the planning, design and operation     customers.                                 guidelines, thereby allowing citizens
1) All dwelling units in buildings
                                          of that property. This means the             Nearly 20 percent of housing            with disabilities more opportunities
containing four or more dwelling
                                          landowner, the developer, the archi-      providers with on-site parking             to enjoy choice in housing options
units if such buildings have one or
                                          tect, the contractor, the leasing agent   refused to make the reasonable             going forward.
more elevators, and 2) all ground
                                          and anyone else who was involved in       accommodation of providing a des-          More Information
floor dwelling units in other build-
                                          discouraging the use of that property     ignated accessible parking space for       Anyone can obtain a copy of the
ings containing four or more units.
                                          by people with disabilities.              a wheelchair user.                         “Fair Housing Act Design Manual”
To be a covered unit, all of the fin-
                                          Remedies                                     Discrimination is not the only          from the U.S. Department of Hous-
ished living space must be on the
                                          HUD will investigate all complaints       obstacle that people with mobility         ing and Urban Development through
same floor, that is, be a single-story
                                          and seek to rectify situations where      impairments face in searching for          their website:
unit, such as single–story townhous-
                                          builders, developers and landlords        rental housing. At least a third of the    Type the words Fair Housing Act
es, villas, or patio apartments.
                                          have not followed the requirements        advertised rental properties in the        Design Manual into the search bar.
  In other words, if the building has
                                          of the Fair Housing Act. In one of the    Chicago area are not accessible to         The manual can be obtained in this
single story units and an elevator, all
                                          most far-reaching cases, developer        wheelchair users.                          manner for only a $5.00 shipping
units are covered. If there is no ele-
                                          Archstone-Smith is required to retro-        The report, in its entirety can be      cost. Architects, builders, and devel-
vator, only the ground floor units are
                                          fit thousands of apartments in 71         read or downloaded from the HUD            opers should all have a copy of this
covered. If the dwelling itself is
                                          buildings across the country. An esti-    website:, ordered          in their library.
multi-story it is not covered.
                                          mated 12,000 apartments would             on-line or by calling (800) HUD-             If you are a person who requires
Detached, single family houses are
                                          have to be surveyed with the predict-     USER.                                      these features due to a physical dis-
not covered.
                                          ed cost of modifications to exceed        Education & Awareness                      ability and these features are not
Design Requirements
                                          $20 million. In addition, the compa-      As an advocacy organization whose          available to you in buildings ready
The language of the law refers to
                                          ny agreed to pay $1.4 million to the      mission is to promote an accessible        for first occupancy after 1991, then
“handicapped persons”. RAMP dis-
                                          three disability organizations that       society that allows and expects full       you are experiencing discrimination
courages the use of the term “handi-
                                          filed the lawsuit in December. In         participation by persons with disabil-     under the Federal Fair Housing Law.
capped”.           References        to
                                          another case, two Reno apartment          ities, it is our job to provide educa-       Anyone who believes they have
“handicapped persons” have been
                                          complexes, an engineering firm and        tion and awareness as it relates to this   experienced housing discrimination
changed to “person with a disability”
                                          an architect accused of discriminat-      mission. People cannot freely partic-      should contact HUD at 1-800-669-
for the purpose of this article.
                                          ing against people with disabilities      ipate in a society that builds barriers,   9777. You may also get more infor-
  The public use and common use
                                          have agreed to make $1.67 million in      in this case, in housing.                  mation at HUD’s fair housing
portions of such dwellings are readi-
                                          improvements and pay damages and             RAMP is a solution-oriented             website:
ly accessible to and useable by per-
                                          attorney fees under a settlement          agency whose intent is to partner            Remember this…four or more,
sons with a disability. (public
                                          reached with the U.S. Department of       with our governments, businesses,          accessible ground floor.
entryways, common rooms, laundry
                                          Justice. A California developer will      schools and others to build aware-
facilities, etc.)
                                          pay $1.2 million to help retrofit units   ness for the issues faced by persons
  All the doors designed to allow
                                          and common areas at a San Diego           with disabilities in our society.
passage into and within all premises
                                          condominium complex that failed to           As a solution to this issue, we
within such dwellings are sufficient-
                                          comply with the accessibility provi-
ly wide to allow passage by persons
                                          sions of the Fair Housing Act.                                                       Celebration.
using wheelchairs.
                                             It certainly would have been more        Development                                 Kiwanis Club of Rockford con-
  All premises within such dwellings                                                  C
                                          cost efficient to have made these pro-                                               tributed $1,000 to help purchase a
contain the following features of
                                          visions in the planning and building        O                                        PowerPoint projector.
adaptive design:
  An accessible route into and
                                          stages of these projects.                   R                                           Knights of Columbus Council
through the dwelling.                     Chicago Study                               N                                        #735 contributed $1,094.70 to sup-
  Light switches, electrical outlets,     Recently, HUD released a ground-            E                                        port RAMP’s independent living
thermostats, and other environmental      breaking study, Discrimination              R                                        services in Boone County.
controls in accessible locations.         Against Persons With Disabilities –                                                     Dan and Ruth Nicholas con-
                                          Barriers at Every Step. HUD select-       RAMP’s Contributors                        tributed $2,500 to support RAMP’s
  Reinforcements in bathroom walls
                                          ed Chicago to conduct this study due      RAMP appreciates the growing               25th Anniversary Celebration.
to allow later installation of grab
                                          to the city’s strong group of advo-       support we receive from the com-
                                          cates. The findings show that people      munity. Financial gifts, regardless
  Useable kitchens and bathrooms
                                          with disabilities face discrimination     of their amount, are important to
such that an individual in a wheel-
                                          in up to half of rental inquiries.        support our work to increase
chair can maneuver about the space.
                                                                                    opportunities for people with dis-
  The building code used to satisfy       Highlights of the study                   abilities. During the past two
these requirements is the American        include:                                  months, RAMP benefited from the
National Standard (ANSI A117.1).          Deaf people using TTY systems to          generosity of the following:
A well kept secret?                       inquire about advertised rental units       An anonymous donor con-
Chances are, most people reading          were refused service in one out of        tributed $10,000 to support
this article didn’t know this require-    four calls. When leasing agents           RAMP’s independent living ser-
ment of the law. In fact, I have spo-     accepted TTY calls, users received        vices.
ken with Building Department              significantly less information than         Jennifer Carpenter contributed
Officials in several cities in our ser-   comparable hearing customers,             $401.94 through her United Way
vice area who were not aware of           about the application process.            designation to support RAMP’s
these requirements. You might ask,          People with disabilities are fre-       independent living services.
as I did, how can this be a law in        quently denied their requests for rea-      The Ben Harding Family
force since 1991 and no one even          sonable modification and reasonable       Foundation contributed $2,000 to
knows about it? The answer is this;       accommodation necessary to make           support RAMP’s 25th Anniversary

                                     Providing Services and Advocacy for People with Disabilities for 25 Years
                 2 NE NS

                         The Rockton Avenue location has moved to Harrison Avenue.

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. - William James, American psychologist

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