QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER FOR THE DISABILITY
In this Issue:
- Voting: Your Right. Your Responsibility.
- Help America Vote Act Needs your Support
- Disability Mentoring Day: A Day of Opportunity
- A Day Without Boundaries at the Museum
- NHU Strikes Gold with Benefit Golf Outing
- DNR Disabled Advisory Council recognizes accomplishments in accessibility
- The Quest - A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity
- Free, Convenient "Distance" Computer Training
|"The greater the obstacle,
the more glory in overcoming it."
~ Moliere ~
||Vol. 4, Ed. 4|
Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we may fall.
~ Oliver Goldsmith ~
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Vote as if your life depends on it. Because it does."
~ Justin Dart ~
This November 2, 2004, you, along with other voting-age citizens will have a pivotal role in deciding the future direction of our country. If you are a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years of age, it is your responsibility, as a contributing citizen, to vote and participate in the democratic process of our country.
Can you believe that in the 2000 elections nearly 60% of voting-age Americans with disabilities did not vote? That is nearly 30 million voices that went unheard. A shocking statistic considering your vote can ensure that those who best represent your needs are placed in office. Let's not waste our opportunity to be heard in this year's election.
To vote in the United States you must be a registered voter. Some municipalities allow you to register right at the polling place on Election Day. Others may require you to register in advance. For more information on your municipality's voting procedure, contact your local elections office or visit the Project Vote Smart website at www.vote-smart.org/ and click on "Voter Registration" in the red bar across the top of the web page.
Casting Your Vote
You may cast your vote at numerous polling places throughout your municipality. You may however want to call ahead to ensure the polling place is accessible. If it is not accessible, it is appropriate to ask for a reasonable accommodation to ensure your right to vote is not denied. Your polling place should have measures in place to ensure access to people with disabilities. If your voting rights are violated, contact your local Center for Independent Living or your local Protection and Advocacy Organization for assistance with filing a complaint.
While you are encouraged to vote at your polling place, if for any reason you cannot go to your polling place on Election Day you may complete an Absentee Ballot. Many states allow for the return of a ballot up until the day of the election. For more information on your municipality's absentee voting procedure, contact your local elections office or visit the Project Vote Smart website at www.vote-smart.org/ and click on "Voter Registration" in the red bar across the top of the web page.
The 2004 Presidential tickets are set for this November's election. Representing the Democratic Party is Senator John Kerry with Senator John Edwards as his Vice Presidential running mate. Republicans, President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are vying for their second term in office.
Be an educated voter! Get to know your candidates and what they stand for. Don't be afraid to contact the candidates' campaigns to learn more about their policy positions and, perhaps more importantly, their voting record on the issues that are most important to you.
Also, be certain to catch the October debates. The Vice Presidential debate is scheduled for Tuesday, October 5th, while the remaining Presidential debates are scheduled for Friday, October 8th and Wednesday, October 13th.
While the debates will no doubt focus on the core issues such as health care, Medicare, Social Security, budget deficits, the reconstruction of Iraq, and the "war" against terrorism, you may also wish to learn more about the candidates' disability policies.
Earlier this summer the American Association of People with Disabilities asked both parties to respond to a survey concerning disability issues. NHU has posted President Bush's and Senator Kerry's responses on our website.
Don't Block My Vote advocates for equal access at the polls
United Cerebral Palsy has recently launched Don't Block My Vote, an on-line initiative aimed at urging legislators to fully fund the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Passed in 2002, the HAVA is designed to eliminate barriers that many Americans with disabilities face at polling places. More specifically, it will provide for such items as an accessible route from the parking space to an accessible entrance as well as an accessible voting booth offering both private and independent voting.
Despite a promised $650 million budget, a meager $65 million has been authorized by President Bush, leaving 75% of all counties in the United States using the same old inaccessible voting machines this November. Don't Block My Vote offers an opportunity for you to contact your Members of Congress to urge them to support full funding for HAVA in the fiscal year 2005 budget. Visit the initiative's website at www.dontblockmyvote.org to learn more.
Disability Mentoring Day
Spearheaded by the American Association of People with Disabilities, "Disability Mentoring Day: Career Development for the 21st Century," will be commemorated on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 as the official kick-off for a year-round effort. From that day on, the third Wednesday of every month will be designated as Disability Mentoring Day (DMD).
DMD offers students and job-seekers with disabilities an opportunity to evaluate personal goals, target career skills for improvement, explore possible career paths, and develop lasting mentor relationships while spending their day visiting with a volunteer mentor from a business or government agency that matches their interests.
If you have been dreaming of a particular career but want to learn more, here is your opportunity.
To learn more, contact your local Disability Mentoring Day coordinator. To locate your coordinator, contact the American Association of People with Disabilities at (800) 840-8844 or visit their DMD website at www.dmd-aapd.org/.
GCF Global Learning - Free web-based career and computer training
GCF Global Learning, a Goodwill Industries Program, offers free computer and career training via their website to help people improve their employment potential.
Students from all over the United States may choose from a wide variety of self-paced and instructor-led courses, all of which can be accessed from the comfort of your home via an Internet connection.
GCF's Career Training curriculum includes such courses as:
GCF's Computer Training curriculum includes such courses as:
Introduction to Windows
Introduction to Word Processing
And much, much more
This is a great way to learn at your own pace and at a price everyone can afford, FREE! Visit their website today at www.gcflearnfree.org/ to get started on improving your employment potential!
A Day Without Boundaries at the Milwaukee Public Museum
A special invitation is extended to Milwaukee County residents with disabilities, their friends and families to experience a Day Without Boundaries at the Milwaukee Public Museum on Columbus Day, Monday, October 11, 2004.
In addition to the museum's many permanent exhibits, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., patrons may also explore a number of artifacts by touch at various "Stop Spot" carts. For a one-of-a-kind "insiders" look, this special day will also feature docent-guided tours of the Streets of Old Milwaukee. A text transcript of this tour will be available to those patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.
You are also welcome to explore the "Scenes of the Dinosaurs" and "Bugs Alive!," which are included in your admission or to catch an IMAX film for a small additional charge. Advance reservations for IMAX are recommended.
New Horizons Un-Limited would also like to invite you to visit our table in the Exploring Life on Earth exhibit (near the Puelicher Butterfly Wing) on the first floor, above the Concourse of the museum. Patrons that stop by our table can explore how to find other interesting cultural and historical facts and may also pick up a complimentary drink ticket valued up to $1.25.
This day will not only offer an opportunity to discover the rich treasures of America and the Milwaukee Public Museum, but will also provide you with an opportunity to offer feedback on how the museum can make your next visit even more enjoyable and accessible.
The museum is located at 800 W. Wells Street in downtown Milwaukee. Remember, the museum is free to Milwaukee County residents on every Monday. So, in the spirit of Columbus, set sail for the Milwaukee Public Museum on October 11th.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the museum at (414) 278-2731 (Voice), (414) 278-2709 (TTY). We look forward to seeing you there.
Computer classes offered to blind / visually impaired Wisconsin residents
The Wisconsin Council of the Blind is now offering FREE distance learning computer skills classes via the phone. Registered students are given a special access phone number and pass code that will join them to a conference call with other students and a teacher. The classes, which are open to all Wisconsin residents who are blind or visually impaired, run from two to four weeks and will meet once a week, for one to two hours. The class materials are mailed to students prior to the start of class.
Class topics include:
How to Buy a Computer
Introduction to Computers
Introduction to Word (Word Processing)
Introduction to JAWS Screen Reader
Outlook Express (E-mail)
Internet for a Screen Reader
Internet for the Partially Sighted
Classes will be scheduled when four or more students have requested the course. Of course, students must have access to a computer to participate in the distance classes. For more information, contact Betsy at the Council, via phone at (800) 783-5213 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
A day of golf really can make a difference...
On August 11, 2004, nearly 50 golfers joined New Horizons Un-Limited for our first ever Benefit Golf Outing at Silver Spring Country Club in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Despite the unseasonable chill in the air, our golfers pressed on, parkas and all;), honing their skills at the driving range and pre-golf putting contest and then finally during the big 18-hole showdown on The Falls Course.
Our Winning Foursome was uncontested, with an amazing score of 55. That's 15 under par! While the rumor is that their golf skills rival those of the pros, we're sure our Golfer's Aid Package (including a few "do-overs" and a few other clever aids) may have helped a little!
Our "Most Honest" Foursome was also a standout with a final score of 92 (22 over par). A great effort by our youngest golf participants who just recently completed golf lessons.
Thanks to the support of our golfers and our many sponsors and donors, this event was our largest fundraising event ever! Thank you to those who offered everything from hole and beverage cart sponsorships to golfer gifts and silent auction items. We would also like to extend a huge thank you to Eaton Powerware Corp., who came through with an eleventh-hour Eagle Sponsorship. We truly cannot express how thrilled we are with this unparalleled showing of support!
Please join us in thanking our sponsors and donors...
Beverage Cart Sponsor
On-Course Event Sponsor
High Voltage Maintenance
Electrical Energy Experts, Lamplight Farms, Mr. Jim Pike, Staff Electric Co., Tech Electric Co., Toepfer Security Corp., Town and Country Electric, US Bank Foreign Exchange, Weldy Lamont Associates Inc.
Golfer Gift/Prize Donors
Anixter, CDP, Inc., FABCO Caterpillar, Grunau Company, Kahler Slater Architects, M&I Bank (Elm Grove), Metavante, Miller Engineering, Milwaukee Brewers, Prime Quarter Steakhouse, S&C Electric, Town and Country Electric, US Bank Championship, US Bank Corporate Real Estate
Silent Auction Donors
Blair's True Value, Elliot's Ace Hardware, Fred Astaire Dance Studios, Hampton Inn Brookfield, Jaskowiak Chiropractic Office, Klement's Sausage, Lamplight Farms, Master Cleaning Services, Nu-Art Dental Laboratory, Price's Sports Cards and Collectibles, Prospect Towers, Sprecher Brewing Company, Sunquest Vacations / Travel Advantage Network, Vici Capilli Salon, We Energies
City Press, Printing Possibilities
DNR Disabled Advisory Council recognizes NHU's founder and chairman
The Disabled Advisory Council of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources met on Friday, July 23, 2004 at High Cliff State Park, the site of the newest fully accessible cabin, to present achievement awards to a few outstanding individuals.
Among the recipients was Arthur Miller, founder of New Horizons Un-Limited, for his continued dedication to the building of accessible cabins in Wisconsin's state parks. Prior to the awards ceremony, the council had invited remarks by Mr. Miller, who spoke of the concept that "nothing could change in society until people with disabilities found a voice." Thanks to legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and such groups as the DNR Advisory Council this voice is slowly, but surely being heard.
Arthur Miller and New Horizons Un-Limited contributed the plans for the newest accessible cabin at High Cliff with the intent that the plans be used as a template for future accessible cabins in the State Parks of Wisconsin and other states.
Other award recipients included several DNR property managers for their dedication to the development of accessible features in their parks, as well as to several DNR staff in the Bureau of Parks, Wildlife, and Fisheries. Two additional organizations including the National Chapter of Fishing Has No Boundaries and Sunset Pines Resort, were also recognized for their commitment to providing accessible wilderness opportunities. The DNR Deputy Secretary, Bill Smith, DNR Accessibility Coordinator, Dotti Krieger, and Disabled Advisory Council Chairperson, Werner Burkat presented the awards.
Following the awards presentation, council members and guests toured the new accessible cabin in construction at High Cliff State Park.
The cabin is now complete and available for rental by people with disabilities through mid-October. The cabin will re-open for business in the spring of 2005. High Cliff is located on the East Side of Lake Winnebago, north of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. If you are interested in renting the cabin, call High Cliff State Park at (920) 989-1106.
NHU participants experience The Quest at the Milwaukee Public Museum
On August 5, 2004, New Horizons Un-Limited hosted more than 40 participants, including people with disabilities and their companions at the Milwaukee Public Museum's exhibit, The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt. The Museum was the Midwest's exclusive venue for this acclaimed exhibit highlighting the largest selection of Egyptian antiquities ever to travel to North America. While admittance to this exhibit would normally have cost $21.00, through a generous grant, we offered tickets exclusively to people with disabilities and their companions at a greatly reduced price.
After viewing an educational slide presentation offered by the Museum, our group greatly enjoyed the exhibit, which was supplemented by a very informative recorded audio tour. As one participant stated, "it was a dream come true" to be able to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that would not otherwise have been in the budget for many of our participants.
Upon completing the tour of Quest, participants also enjoyed other museum exhibits, including the Streets of Old Milwaukee, the Puelicher Butterfly Wing, Living Oceans, Temples, Tells and Tombs, and others.
The Milwaukee Public Museum is accessible to people with disabilities and their representatives were very accommodating. We look forward to offering similar opportunities in the future for members of our community.
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