Friday July 10, 2009 Board Members: Chester Finn, Tia Nelis, Nancy Ward, Jim McNamara, Gayle B. Gardner, Ryan Duncanwood, Bill Story, Victor Robinson, Hope Finley, John Britton, Vicki Wray, Cathy Enfield, Jeff Ridgeway, Bernard Baker, and Max Barrows
Advisors: Lecell Thompson, Laura Walker, and Essie Pederson
Other:Hannah Bowen, Frank Latham, Karen Topper, Juliana Huerena, Richard Enfield, Elouise Woods, and Vicki Hicks Turnage
Chester gave his President’s report. He talked about the Self-Determination grant and what SABE will be doing on this grant. Following Chester’s report Laura Walker provided a briefing on the present status of the overall grant.
NATIONAL CONFERENCE DISCUSSION T
he Board discussed Missouri’s proposal to host the 2010 National Conference in partnership with SABE and the University of Missouri Kansas City subject to the availability of a sufficient number of rooms and transportation that is accessible. Bill Story moved that we accept the proposal. Nancy Ward seconded the motion. The vote was twelve in favor and one opposed. The motion carried. Work with Missouri on the 2010 Conference will begin immediately.
andidates for the three National Advisor positions were Essie Pederson of Ohio, Vicki Turnage of Alabama, Karen Topper of Vermont, Hannah Bowen of Oregon and Frank Latham of New Jersey. They each answered questions prepared by the Board. The candidates left the room as the Board discussed their qualifications and how each answered the questions. Essie, Vicki, and Hannah were elected as the new National Advisors.
Jeff presented on region 6
Alabama: cut 66% of funding since October. Has two new grants from DD Council to teach home computer and internet use.
Georgia: Celebrate Olmstead act and celebrate de-institutionalization. 5th and biggest year leading actions. Mental Health America brought melted down shackles that were used to chain-up people in the institutions.
Kentucky: No report
Mississippi: No report
North Carolina: People First Language Bill passed. Working to maintain funding
South Carolina: No report
Tennessee: No report
Bill and Cathy presented on region 4
Kansas: The big news for SACK is since my last report is. I am buying my own home and having it made completely accessible to fit my needs. The reason this is good for the Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas. I am using my home buying experience for the website we are developing .We are videotaping the home buying process as I go through it. Trainings will be included I am excited and if everything go as planned I will be able to move by mid August. The Self Advocate Coalition is also working on putting together a web site for people with disabilities who would like to own their own home. We will compile information about affordable and accessible housing all in one place and it will be user friendly to find out more go to www.my-own-home.org Please follow along on my blog as I go through the home buying process. The next thing will be to start working on is the SACK conference in October.
Missouri: held state conference and it was well attended. Guardianship project, provides education and legal counsel for people who want to gain their own guardianship. Legislative session adjourned in May. Bills passed on Autism services, requirement for IEP, Caseloads were restored, and require sprinkler systems in nursing homes. Governor gave 30mil of to build new building on the institutions. This is a contrevecial decision that we are trying to fight.
Arizona:In April and May, Self advocates visited legislators all month. Republicans and democratic parties battle on the budget. In June, Self advocates visited legislators all month. The Self Advocacy Coalition of Arizona held an open house at the new office and held its first board meeting in the middle of the month. The group is seeking funding and projects to do to continue serving people with disabilities on spreading the word about self advocacy to each other and to the community. The coalition has received funding from the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) for two quarters of service and waiting on state negotiations to continue. A group visited the capitol included PASCO consisting of a group of providers, independent living centers, Self Advocacy Coalition of Arizona and of course self advocates speaking to legislators and drop of letters. Prior to the meeting a hearing was scheduled speak about the sunset review of governor council on developmental disabilities. Legislatures worked through the night passing bills also wanted to change the name to something like Arizona Council on Developmental Disabilities. The coalition is creating a social networking started that talks about legislative issues and topics of interest. In July, The legislators in the early morning approved a budget. The governor was not too happy with what they came up with and has planned on vetoing many of the bills and budget. State providers were given percent cuts. However some government offices were closed for the first day of the month. Some offices told the workers that they would get a call in the morning to let them know if they could work. GCDD is one of the offices that were closed until the sunset issue has been resolved. The governor, the attorney general’s office and the director of GCDD have been negotiating for the past week to come to an agreement and the direction the council will have. We were fortunate that they had process our scholarship to be here with you. On a positive note, more youth are starting to get involved in self advocacy and the coalition wants to increase the participation as one of its membership goal. People first of Arizona continues to meet once a month and last month worked on the group goals and is member of the state AmeriCorps Inclusion Team The central coalition group meets once a month with every other meeting out in the community and has a new office and is recruiting volunteers and members.
California: the San Diego People First Conference in May to talk to them about SABE and the theme this year was Believe in You. The keynote speaker was Peggy O'Neal. Peggy is an advocate for positive living. Having triumphed over many challenges, Peggy now celebrates her uniqueness! From the soaring height of 3 feet 8 inches, she works as a psychotherapist, speaker, author, coach and is a featured teacher in the new self-help movie: The Opus. Peggy’s work involves talking to kids in schools about honoring differences in others & celebrating their own uniqueness. She trains people in businesses to open their hearts and minds to one another, to contribute from their innate greatness & to communicate in a way that generates harmony & real connection. Peggy is the author of two books: Walking Tall and, award winning Little Square head. She also serves on the board of Disability Rights CA and the LA chapter of the National Speakers Association. Peggy celebrates her daily life with her husband Brad in Los Angeles (Woodland Hills), CA. For more info about Peggy and her work go to www.yopeggy.com. I also went to the Statewide People First of California Statewide Conference. The Theme this year was The True “R” Words: Respect … Responsibility Realizing your Dreams. This year’s keynote Speaker was Keith Jones. KEYNOTE: "Change and the Last Great Struggle" Keith Jones Soul Touchin’ Experiences Pres CEO, Somerville, Massachusetts. California continues its huge budget deficit. Services are being cut.
Hawaii:There are a few local groups in Hawaii but no state self-advocacy group. There was no report from Hawaii.
Nevada: People First of Nevada promoted fulfillment of aspirations with their "Living Our Own Dreams" conference. It was April 5th, 6th & 7th at the Joe Crowley Student Union of University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Three of the main subjects covered were inclusive employment, post-secondary education, and high school education. The principles of self-determination were the core of the Sunday-though-Tuesday event. Self-determination is both the mindset and the lifestyle a person leads when making his or her own decisions based on rights, responsibilities, and what he or she wants out of life. Session topics included health, wellness, self-advocacy, self-determination, education and employment. Keynote speakers were Keith Jones, president and CEO of Soul Touchin' Experiences; Tony Records of Tony Records and Associates, Inc.; Dohn
Hoyle, executive director of Arc Michigan, chair of the TASH Committee on Guardianship, and consultant and treasurer for the Board of the Center on Self Determination; and Micah Fialka-Feldman, an advocate and university student. There were approximately 160 people in attendance throughout the three day event. The conference was a great success thanks to everyone that participated and helped to make it possible! What's happening in the chapters. The Fallon chapter raised $590.00 for the People First Conference! Their last speaker was Georgia from Colonial Bank. She informed us about bank fraud and theft. The Fernley chapter of People First has been operating for about six months. This chapter continues to grow. The Elko chapter listened to Brandi from Social Security speak and answer questions about the ticket to work program. They had a local provider agency speak to everyone to make them aware of the choices they have. The newest project in Elko is a printed user friendly resource list to provide more information. The Carson City chapter had Kathy Pass talk about basic first aid and what to do in an emergency. They watched "The Secret" which is a very thought provoking documentary introducing the power of positive thinking. Katherine Knister spoke to us about Fair Housing which is a right protected by Federal and20State laws. The Carson and Reno chapters had Sherry Manning with Nevada Governor*s Council on Developmental Disabilities talk about the 2009 Legislature. Betsy Aiello (Deputy Administrator) talked to the Reno chapter about the Medicaid budget. Las Vegas started a monthly movie day. The video has something to do with people with disabilities or self advocacy. They show a film, provide popcorn and have a brief discussion afterwards. They have also teamed up with Best Buddies. Las Vegas will be teaching self advocacy to people with a disability and their buddies who do not have a disability. They also teamed up with the Center for Creative Therapeutic Arts. They have offered to give free music therapy to those who are interested. The therapy will be given to a group exclusively composed of People First members. There is a new People First chapter forming in Winnemucca. So we now have seven People First chapters in Nevada.
Gayle and Jim presented on region 1
Alaska: No Report
Idaho: No Report
Oregon: Starting a new local self-advocacy group called People First of Multnomah County. Gayle has been elected as a community health worker for women’s wellness. She will be educating other women with disabilities in Portland about breast exams and getting mammograms. Self-Advocates As Leaders has spent the last few months finishing the goals of their two year contract with the Oregon DD Council and negotiating a new two year contract.
Montana: No Report
Washington: Self-Advocates of Washington is working with the legislature to pass bills.
Hope and Victor gave a report about region 7.
Delaware: No report
Washington DC: No report
Maryland: No report
Pennsylvania: No report
New Jersey: Lead a campaign to remove the R word. The DD Council and the Arc has been helping us remove the R word and other hateful words from our state constitution.
Virginia: No report
West Virginia: No report
Nancy gave the region 9 report
Arkansas: They had their statewide conference last May. They held a vigil to honor Olmstead. They passed a bill to have old language taken out of institution
Louisiana: They were contacted but did not yet respond. The former president has stepped down. They have an interim president.
Oklahoma: Working on a grant to educate people about Voting and speaking-up for ourselves. We host a bowlathon as a fundraiser where each local chapter competes against each other.
Texas: Are having their conference in August. The state school in Corpus Cristi, working on a statement to deal with institutionalization in Texas.
Max reported on region 8
Connecticut: We had our People First of CT conference on Saturday May 30th. We had over 250 people and had to turn some away. We had a tribute to Jean Bowen, and the theme of the conference was "New Beginnings. It was our biggest conference ever. The Council on Developmental Disabilities gave People First money to do Strategic Planning. People First of CT is doing Strategic Planning to plan our future and try to get more people to join. We are buying Disability video to have a library for local Self Advocacy group to pick from. We are also trying to make our statewide meeting more fun by doing fun Self Advocacy games and showing disability videos. We are working on our By-Laws and next month in July we will have our nominations for officers, and elections are in October. The Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress gave us money and we are going to do a workshop and there next conference.
Maine: No report
Massachusetts: No report
New Hampshire: People First of NH held its version of the world events on June 17th and June 20th in time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the OLMSTEAD court decision. We held an evening vigil for the residents who lived at Laconia and have since died. The Lake Region self-advocacy group will be working on fixing-up the cemetery.Saturday the 20th we had a rally. A good size group of people marched. Our signs said close institutions – close those doors forever. Even thoughthere are not any institutions in New Hampshire, we have these events to spread the word all around the world to let society know that allinstitutions should close. People need their freedom to move into the community. To live, work and play – and breathe the fresh air.The board has established a new committee to focus on young-adult self-advocacy. We are planning a young-adult conference for the fall.People First is continuing to work on the Laconia film with a first showing in one of our public theaters sometime in early fall.We also are compiling recordings of action events happening across the world to close institutions. Those who are or have already organized events are ACT of Minnesota, Alabama, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Texas, Australia, Republic of Kosovo; At the SABE meeting SABE will be doing something for the video. Once compiled, the DVD will be available for all to use.
New York: We have had regional conferences. We have looked at attendance and it is actually up. There were excellent workshops. I attended 3 of them – did the keynote in Albany and in Buffalo. We are still working on our AmeriCorps project. Our speaker’s bureau is still going around. We attended the Commissioner’s forums where we are working with Commissioner and providers on how to better serve people. Our name change bill did not make it out of committee due to all the budget issues. We will start the campaign again in the fall. They said they didn’t hear from enough folks. So this time we will make sure we get it through. We can’t understand how they did not hear us. Sounds like they are making excuses. But we need to be stronger. We are getting ready for our state conference on Sept. 10, 11 and 12. We are really been making calls on the Community Choice Act – we get folks to all at our board meetings. I told the board about the crisis in Texas. We worked with the executive directors of provider agencies. They come to our conferences and they wrote a statement to support self-advocacy. We go to the provider council and present and talk to them. That is how we network with them. We have a booth at their conference.
Rhode Island:On June 18th, Advocates in Action sent our video "A Message from Advocates in Action" to all members of the RI General Assembly. To see the video go to: http://www.aina-ri.org/advocacy_budget.php it is all about people’s stories. They are in the middle of a big fight against budget cuts to keep services and supports for people.
Vermont: Despite the fact of hard economic times we had our state conference and still had high attendance of 500 people. Keith Jones was our keynote speaker. We got him to come up and do some comedy with us. Self-advocates taught 19 different workshops including Standing on the Great Wall that divides people with disabilities from the rest of the world. We made it more interactive. Participants did activities. The outcome is how to knock that wall down. We had African drumming and dancing. And our group art project was to paint Tibetan prayer flags with messages of self-advocacy. GMSA taught a sexuality workshop to parents at their annual state conference. They have to get the self-advocates' point of view. The good news we have been testifying and meeting with legislators from December through June. The legislature overrode the governor’s veto of the budget. But the fight is not over. We are having a Think Tank on July 14th. We are writing a policy and procedures on how we as a peer organization are recognizing and responding to sexual violence. This is part of the federal grant we have with the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Vicky gave a report about region 3
Colorado: We had a picnic and served tuna fish. We are planning more fundraisers. We did volunteer work in June to help people use the library. We are educating local groups about the R-word and we want to work with schools to educate students about the R word. We are teaching people to say people’s names. The person is more important than the disability.
New Mexico: No report
Utah: No report
Wyoming: teaching people who are not involved in People First about disability advocacy.
Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin) a report was not given.
Close the Doors & R-Word Committee: Tia Nelis (Chair), Carol Robinson, Jim McNamara, and Frank Latham (support).
Grassroots Committee: Ricky Broussard (Chair), Gayle Gardner, Bernard Baker, and Hannah Bowen (support).
PR Committee: Chester Finn (Chair), Max Barrow, Jeff Ridgeway, Vicki Hicks Turnage (support) and Laura Walker (support).
Bylaws Committee: Vicki Wray (Chair), Bryon Murray, ? (support)
Policy Committee: Bryon Murray (Chair), Vicki Wray, Hope Finley, and Karen Topper (support)
Legislative Committee: Nancy Ward (Chair), Cathy Enfield, Bill Story, and Richard Enfield (support) and Laura Walker (support).
Finance & Membership Committee: Victor Robinson (Chair), Ryan Duncanwood, Monica Cooper and Essie Pederson (support).
SABE Board Meeting
Saturday July 11, 2009 Chester called the meeting to order at 9:03.
Nancy announced that there is a new www.govoter.org website and we would like everyone to go and look at it and give feedback. There is also a webinar being offered on the Medicaid reference desk.
ecell made a report on the state school in Texas. There is abuse going on in some of the state schools (Institutions) and they don’t have any reason to believe that any of the other schools are any better. Texas has 13 state schools (institutions) with over 5,000 adults and children who live in the institutions. There was a settlement from the Department of Justice (DOJ) but it didn’t involve closing any of the state schools. Over 50 people were killed in the state schools last year.
The SABE board discussed the issues conserning the abuse taking place in Texas institutio0ns and the response by DOJ, Advocacy Inc, and Texas Advocates.
ancy made a motion to support SABE to start writing letters and pushing national groups to get involved in moving people out of the State Schools in Texas. Bernard seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously with 13 votes in favor.
R Committee: We reviewed the SABE website and Laura will work with the webmaster to complete a mock up of the new website. The website will be fully accessible very soon. The university is going to work on this. It will include a home page, message from the President, Braking News and action alerts, History and archival, Mission goals and objectives, Strategic Plans, Regional Map, Board member contact information, Regional reports, Minutes of SABE meetings, Links, and a Social network component. Chester will be helping Laura to do the website.
We talked about the newsletter. We reviewed the last newsletter that was done and we decided to do a new newsletter for Fall. Jeff, Max, and Laura will create a draft of the newsletter.
his committee has $2000 in their budget and has not spent any money.
Tia made a motion to accept the PR Committee report. Bernard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously with 13 votes in favor.
Grassroots Committee: We are working on two things, SABE connections and a brochure on sheltered workshops.
ABE Connections will be a brochure that explains how communication works between SABE, Regions, State groups, and local groups. We are thinking of including these topics in the brochure: SABE mission statement and purpose; A brief history of SABE; A Simple chart or picture explaining communication between groups; Responsibilities of local reps, state reps, regional reps, and national reps; Drawings by committee members; Contact information for SABE board and alternates; Map of state regions with a list of states in each region; Include information about SABE website, RIOT, facebook page, and other ways people can hear about what SABE is doing; Quotes from board members; SABE committees; Created by the grassroots committee
The Sheltered Workshops Brochure will be about closing sheltered workshops. So far we have collected stories at the National Conference about what people think about sheltered workshops. We wrote a survey on survey monkey. We need to contact each state self-advocacy group and get them to fill it out.
This committee has $500 in this budget. We would like to use this money to print the brochures when we finish them. We don’t know how much this will cost. We will try to get the cost of brochures donated.
Ryan made a motion to accept the Grassroots committee report. Chester seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
Close The Doors Committee:
Chester appointed Jim McNamara to the Close the Doors Committee.
Hope makes a motion to approve the report. Jon seconds the motion and the motion carries.
Almost all of the upcoming Legislative activity will focus on Health Care Reform and little else is likely to be accomplished until that is resolved however the Legislative Committee will track several bills that are of interest to SABE and to all People with disabilities. These include the CLASS ACT, the Community Choice Act, Hate Crimes Legislation, Direct Support Professionals legislation, and the Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act. We also discussed working to promote the introduction of a National People First/Respectful Language Bill and also a bill to remove the “R” word from government organizations.
Chester made a motion to accept the Legislative Committee report. It was seconded by Jeff Ridgeway and approved unanimously.
Vicki, Jim and Hope read and talked about different parts of the bylaws. Bryon is chair of this committee. He was not here this time or the last time. We are going to wait until Bryon comes back next time before we write up our ideas for what to change.
hester said that there are a number of agencies working on the 14C wages issue in the rehab act. It will say that it will be okay to pay people sub-minimum wage. Chester signed SABE onto being against the sub-minimum wage. Chester would like the Policy Committee to create a statement on employment and sub-minimum wage. This is a topic that a lot of people are talking about and Chester would like to be able to refer people to a statement that can be posted on our website. We need to address what kind of training and support we support once sub-minimum wage and sheltered workshops are removed. Once we start paying people adequately then there needs to be community supports for people to have their own businesses. The Rehabilitation Act is coming up there is a policy in this act that says that it is okay to pay people with disabilities a sub-minimum wage (less then minimum wage). We need to say what we want people to do and where we want people to be. The policy should focus on no Congregate Settings (a lot of people who do things together as a group) and more individualized supports.
ancy made a motion to approve the policy report. Cathy seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Chester appointed Hope to the Bylaws Committee.
To be discussed…
1) Can members of a committee vote on acceptance of their report?
2) How are members appointed to SABE committees?
The Policy Committee created a first draft of a Statement on Sheltered Workshops.
Finance Committee: Victor gave the finance committee report. Membership; we will work with the PR Committee to get the SABE membership application on the website. We will create a bumper sticker which will be offered for sale. A final budget for July 2009 to June 2010 will be presented at the October board meeting in Georgia.
ictor made a motion and seconded by Gayle to make a $2,000 budget line for membership dues which SABE needs to pay. Motion passed unanimously.
ADD GRANT - Grants of National Significance.
SABE has been invited by the National Easter Seals to partner with them on a grant to provide and promote leadership by and for families of people with developmental disabilities. SABE would…
Select a project liaison team of 4 board members, president, and advisor
Team would develop subject, day, and time of 12 teleconferences
Develop and implement training for each call
Monthly conference calls
Prepare materials for discussion
Hire a support person to provide support for each board member and ensure all goals get finished.
4 members attend a weekend retreat and present a training session.
All materials that they send us is in easy to understand format
Have a primary contact
Accept that all decisions for SABE are made by SABE board members
Supports must be individualized
Equipment for teleconference will be provided by Easter Seals
Training for conference calls will be provided by Easter Seals
he board needs to decide if we will do this grant. Jon asked if Alternates can apply to be on the liaison team. Chester thinks that this is a possibility but he will wait till the next meeting to make the decision. Victor made a motion to partner on this grant. Jon seconded this motion. The motion passed unanimously. Essie will inform Easter Seals.
Chester asked the board about SABE applying for the same grant on our own.
ancy made a motion for the Executive Committee to further look into writing this grant. Jon seconded the motion. Motion carried with 10 in favor, 2 opposed, and 2 abstentions.
Lecell spoke for a few minutes about how much she has enjoyed working with the board over the last few years and how much she will miss everyone. Lecell will continue to be involved but she will not be at every meeting like she has been in the past.