A Quarterly Newsletter for Our Community Members with Disabilities

“The purpose of learning is growth,
and our minds, unlike our bodies,
can continue growing as we continue to live.”

~ Mortimer Adler ~

Fall 2009 CommunicAbility Vol. 9, Ed. 4

New Horizons Un-Limited Inc. (NHU) is a non-profit organization based in Milwaukee with a mission to make information and life experiences accessible to people with life-long disabilities, their families and caregivers. To learn more about our mission and activities, please visit the New Horizons Un-Limited website at www.new-horizons.org or e-mail horizons@new-horizons.org.

National Interest

Understanding Health Care Reform

As the House and Senate continue to negotiate the details of the 2009 Health Care Reform bills, many inaccurate accounts of the provisions have been reported. This article will provide a clear picture on what is and is not included in the reform bills. At this time, there are separate bills in the House and Senate. Keep in mind that bills can be rewritten in part or in whole before signed into law. These bills are just a starting point and will surely see revisions.

Separating Fact from Fiction

These facts have been provided by the American Association of Retired Persons and the American Association of People with Disabilities.

What is the Disability Community looking for in Health Care Reform?

The Disability Coalition for Healthcare Reform, an organization comprised of individuals with disabilities and disability organizations, believes that individuals will benefit from a health reform bill that will:

  • End the two-year waiting period for Medicare

    [The house bill promises to improve low-income subsidy programs in Medicare.]

  • Provide Medicaid health care coverage to all Americans living at or below 100% of the federal poverty level.

    [The house bill would expand Medicaid to individuals and families with incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level.]

  • Eliminate pre-existing condition exclusions and rating based on age, health status and gender.

    [Both the house and senate bill would guarantee coverage and disallow insurance companies from denying coverage based on an individual's health status or pre-existing health conditions.]

  • Include subsidies for lower-income Americans who cannot afford health care costs.

    [Both the house and senate bill will provide premium and co-pay credits to individuals and families with incomes less than 400% of the federal poverty level.]

  • Reform the long-term care system to increase choice and access to home and community-based services.

    [It does not appear as though the house bill makes any changes to the long term care system. Advocacy is still needed to ensure that this administration sees the benefit of providing home-based care.]

    [The senate bill includes a provision for Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS), which would provide employed individuals an option to participate in an insurance program that would provide a cash benefit to purchase long-term community living assistance.]

To learn more about the specific provisions of the House and Senate bills, check out NHU’s Understanding Health Care Reform Guide.

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The Campaign for Disability Employment: What Can You Do?

The American Association of People with Disabilities, along with other partners, has recently launched a new campaign aimed at educating employers on the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. There are many misconceptions about the capabilities of individuals with disabilities – it’s time we shatter these misconceptions.

The Campaign for Disability Employment wants you, as an individual with a disability, to share your job skills and talents and let employers know what you are capable of as a potential employee. Even if you have not worked recently, share what you do best? Why would a potential employee want to hire you?

Visit www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org and share with the world just how talented you are!

This site also features a number of links to helpful resources that can put you on a path towards employment.

Featured Employment Resource

The National Business and Disability Council is a must visit website for jobseekers with disabilities.

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Disability Mentoring Day provides jobseekers an opportunity to explore career choices

How would you like the opportunity to shadow a professional in your dream career? Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) makes this and more possible for job seekers with disabilities. Local DMD coordinators match interested jobseekers with professionals in their career field of choice who offer valuable insight into the daily tasks associated with that particular career.

Other DMD activities may include career day presentations, group field trips to local workplaces and career fairs.

This year’s Disability Mentoring Day is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21st.

To learn more about the DMD activities planned for your area, contact your local coordinator. To find your local coordinator, call the American Association of People with Disabilities at (800) 840-8844, or visit www.aapd.com/DMD/DMDforcoordinators.html.

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Resources on the web…

Find Helpful Benefit Programs

GovBenefits.gov is the official benefits website of the U.S. government, with information on over 1,000 benefit and assistance programs. This site lists programs offering assistance for everything from energy and food assistance to career development and education assistance.

There’s no need for you to go without. Help is available.

Check out http://www.govbenefits.gov to learn more!

Connect with Others

Disaboom.com offers a number of avenues through which you can connect with other individuals experiencing disability, including discussions, blogs (an online dialogue or diary), photo galleries, and groups.

You may simply read and observe or sign up and participate. Discussions range from “What’s your favorite song?” to “Would you accept a stem cell transplant?”

Check out www.disaboomlive.com to connect with others.

Keep Your Mind Sharp

MyBrainGames offers three mental exercise games designed to improve mental cognition. While designed specifically for individuals with MS, any individual can benefit from these exercises.

Visit www.mymsmyway.com and look for MyBrainGames.

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Wisconsin Interest

Out and About in Wisconsin - Fall Fun

As the weather cools and the days shorten we all tend to hide away in the warmth and comfort of our homes. Let’s buck the trend and get out and enjoy the variety of fun fall activities planned for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities throughout Southeast Wisconsin!

Following are a few select activities provided by the Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI) Express L.I.F.E program that may strike your fancy. All activities take place or meet at the MCFI offices, located at 2020 W. Wells Street in Milwaukee.

For a complete list of the dozens of other Fall and Holiday activities offered by MCFI, visit www.mcfi.net or call (414) 937-2099.

Sculpt a masterpiece!
Take your work of art home or enter it in a show!
Tuesday, October 20th, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Cost: $8

Halloween Adventure at Smith Family Farm
Saturday, October 24th, Noon-4:00 p.m.
Cost: $30, including transportation and snacks

World Dance
Learn dances from around the globe
Thursday, November 5th, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10

Packer Pizza Party
Cheer the Pack to victory with other diehard fans!
Sunday, November 8th, Noon-3:00 p.m.
Cost: $10

Goodwill On The Move has a number of half-day and full-day excursions planned for this fall. Following are just a few. To learn about additional opportunities, call (262) 970-6042.

Whispering Woodlands Retreat
Spend the day in the art studio in a peaceful woodland retreat
Saturday, October 31st, 9:00 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $60

Fun & Games Workshop
Play football, baseball, golf, bowling and more!
Saturday, November 14th, 1:00-4:30 p.m.
Cost: $35

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We need your support!

As a small, grassroots non-profit organization, we rely entirely on donations from our community. Please consider supporting the work of New Horizons Un-Limited with a cash donation.

Following are a few ways your donation can help:

  • $6 will provide a Windows XP operating system for a refurbished computer that will be granted to a deserving individual.

  • $15 will provide a laptop to an isolated individual in rural Wisconsin.

  • $25 will ensure the availability of disability resources via our website to as many as 5000 visitors in any given month.

To learn more about the work of NHU, visit www.new-horizons.org/missio.html.

Remember, every dollar counts! Thank you for your support!

Make a secure online donation through Network for Good:

Donate Now to New Horizons Un-Limited

You may mail your contribution to:

New Horizons Un-Limited
811 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 937
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202

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GoodShop: You Shop...We Give! Shop Online, Support NHU

With GoodShop, you can earn funds for New Horizons Un-Limited simply by shopping at your favorite online retailers!

Step 1: Visit www.goodshop.com.

Step 2: Type New Horizons Un-Limited in the “Who do you GoodShop for?” box.

Step 3: Click the Verify button. New Horizons Un-Limited (Milwaukee, WI) will appear.

Step 4: Search for or select your favorite online retailer. An online information page on that retailer will open.

Step 5: Click on the Yellow “GoodShop This Store” Button.

Step 6: Repeat! Be sure to click on your favorite retailers from the GoodShop site every time you plan to make an online purchase.

The amount donated is different for each retailer but averages approximately 3% of the total sale and can go up to 30%.

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NHU encourages redistribution of this newsletter.
Please share this information with all that may benefit.

If you have questions or ideas, information and solutions that you would like to share with us, we can be reached by e-mail at: horizons@new-horizons.org or to use our NHU E-Mail Form or NHU Community Discussion Board, click on the links below.
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