In this Issue:
  • House Transportation Equity Act
  • New Freedom Initiative '04 Progress Report
  • Community Care Funding in Jeopardy
  • ARC issues Life Planning Handbook
  • Greater Milwaukee Life Style Expo
  • Welcome H.O.M.E., a practical paradise
  • Wisconsin Legislative Notification Service
  • Discover Milwaukee
  • NHU Now Scheduling Computer Workshops
"Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."

~ William James ~

Spring 2004 CommunicAbility Vol. 4, Ed. 2

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.

Don't forget to register to vote for this November's presidential election!

To learn of your state's voter registration guidelines, visit Project Vote Smart on-line at:

National News

House Transportation Equity Act

Americans with disabilities and their families have expressed that lack of Transportation is a major issue impacting their lives. In an effort to ensure greater transportation options for people with disabilities, the Paralyzed Veterans of America is asking for your input regarding the House Transportation Equity Act.

The House Transportation Equity Act (H.R. 3550) was introduced by Representative Don Young (R-AK) on November 20, 2003. The Act would authorize funds from $125 to $175 million annually over six years for Federal aid for highways, highway safety programs, transit programs, and other purposes. It includes the New Freedom transportation program in Sec. 3018 of the Act. The Paralyzed Veterans of America, on behalf of the disability community, is drafting suggestions for report language for Sec. 3018 and would like your input.

Ideas that have been gathered thus far include: support for accessible taxi programs; environmental improvements such as curb ramps and accessible pedestrian signals, paratransit service beyond minimum requirements; accessibility improvements to other stations other than key stations; support for volunteer driver programs; and mobility management programs (regional one-stop shopping for accessible transportation).

If you would like to add to the discussion, please e-mail your ideas and suggestions to Maureen McCloskey of the Paralyzed Advocacy of America at maureenm@pva.org.

New Freedom Initiative 2004 Progress Report

The President's New Freedom Initiative for People with Disabilities: The 2004 Progress Report is now available on-line. The progress report offers an Executive Summary, Initiative Background and four chapters focusing on, Increasing Access Through Technology, Expanding Educational Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities, Integrating Americans with Disabilities into the Workplace and Promoting Full Access to Community Life.

The Progress Report can be read on-line at www.whitehouse.gov\nf2004.

Money Follows the Person funding in jeopardy

President Bush's most recent budget has significantly cut the funding commitment to Money Following the Individual Rebalancing Initiative. This initiative is designed to give people in need of long-term care the choice to receive care in their own homes in the community, rather than a nursing home.

According to a release issued by ADAPT, President Bush's FY 2005 budget has no funding for Money Following the Individual Rebalancing Initiative in FY 2005 and instead of the $1.75 billion that was in the proposed 2004 budget, incentive funding has been reduced 70% to only $500 million for FYs 2006-2009. This is a major pull back from the President's rhetoric about a major commitment to changing the institutional bias. This bill, along with the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act (MiCASSA), (S. 971) need attention. If this initiative matters to you, please contact the following Senators today and urge them to have a hearing on MiCASSA, Money Follows the Person and the institutional bias in the Medicaid program.

(Senator Grassley is the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee; Senator Baucus is the top democrat on the Committee.)

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley
United States Senate
135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1501
Phone: 202-224-3744
Fax: 202-224-6020

The Honorable Max Baucus
United States Senate
511 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2602
Phone: 202-224-2651
Fax: 202-224-4700

ARC issues Life Planning handbook

The ARC of the United States recently released a helpful handbook to assist families with developing a future plan for their sons or daughters with cognitive, intellectual or developmental disabilities. A Family Handbook on Future Planning provides information on planning for and implementing personal, financial and legal protections for persons with disabilities after the parents either die or can no longer provide care or support.

It is not designed to be a "do-it-yourself" guide to will writing, trust development and other legal processes. Instead, it will help families review and inventory the needs and strengths of their family member, determine what should be in a plan and then locate qualified professionals and resources to finalize the plan.

The handbook is available to download free from The Arc's website: www.thearc.org/publications/futureplanninghandbook.doc

If you do not have Internet access, please contact The Arc to request an alternative format.

The Arc of the United States
1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 650
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 565-3842

Wisconsin News

2004 Lifestyle Expo

The third annual Lifestyle Expo, sponsored by Milwaukee Employment Services Network, is scheduled for Thursday, May 6, 2004 from 10:00 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Parklawn YMCA located at 4340 N. 46th Street in Milwaukee.

The Expo provides Greater Milwaukee residents with disabilities and their families access to a range of service providers that offer everything from vocational programs and services to recreational opportunities. Be certain to stop by the New Horizons Un-Limited table to learn more about our Access Technology Computer Redistribution Program.

For more information, call Beth Lohmann of Ranch Community Services at (262) 251-8670 ext. 315.

Welcome H.O.M.E, a practical paradise

Welcome H.O.M.E. is a Bed and Breakfast located in Newburg, Wisconsin, 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee. But, it's not your ordinary B & B. Welcome, H.O.M.E. is an 18-acre living laboratory designed to be visited and enjoyed by everyone, regardless of ability or disability. The universal design demonstration home is equipped with varied adaptive devices and designed with accessibility in mind. All are encouraged to "come as you are."

During the spring, summer and fall months, you can enjoy wheelchair accessible hiking trails through the 18-acre woodland. Stop at a picnic table in the woods for a private lunch … until a ground squirrel invites himself for a handout or while a doe and her fawns gracefully graze along side you. As night falls upon Newburg, retreat to your accessible guestroom, each offering little touches of home and an abundance of charm throughout. Aside from experiencing the beauty of the great outdoors, you can also leisurely explore numerous and varied accessible home design ideas and adaptive equipment.

You can find this and more for just $50 per night, per room. A small investment considering the peace, tranquility and practical opportunities you will find at Welcome H.O.M.E. Daily tours are also provided. To reserve your room or to schedule a tour, call (262) 675-2525 today.

Quick, easy access to the latest legislative news in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau has recently launched a helpful on-line tool for all those wishing to stay informed on legislation that could impact their lives. The Wisconsin Legislative Notification Service offers the opportunity to closely follow legislation by receiving daily or weekly e-mails for specific legislative activities. As a subscriber to this service you can search and choose which legislation to track. Items can be tracked by bill number, author, committee or subject. You can also identify the activities for which you would like to receive notifications.

To sign up for this service, visit http://notify.legis.state.wi.us/.

It's the Spring Thing to Do

The snow has melted, the tulips and daffodils are slowly popping up…a sure sign that the dreary days of winter are behind us. With the sun beaming warmly and the days stretching longer, now is the time to get out and discover what Milwaukee has to offer…

VSA Arts of Wisconsin
The Very Special Arts Center in Milwaukee offers courses that give individuals with and without disabilities an opportunity to meet new friends, participate in activities outside of home and work, and experience the arts firsthand. Professional artists teach individual and group classes in which Artistic exploration is encouraged. Classes are offered in dance, drama, creative writing, music and visual art.

The Milwaukee Very Special Arts Center Spring 2004 Session begins April 20th. All classes are $35 if registration is received on or before April 12th, a late fee applies is received after. For more information, call (414) 489-0539.

Milwaukee Art Museum
If you have not yet strolled through the magnificent Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, now is the time. In addition to the museum's permanent collections, they always have something unique to offer their patrons, from arts workshops to their Feature Exhibition, American Fancy: Exuberance in the Arts, 1790-1840, running through June 20, 2004. The exhibition features more than 200 of the most ornamental and emotionally engaging artifacts ever produced in this country, including furniture, textiles, costume, ceramics, glass, metals, paintings and prints.

The exhibition is free with general admission; $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for students, and free to children 12 and under. Group tour reservations and discounts are available by calling (414) 224-3842.

Milwaukee Public Museum
The "splendor of Ancient Egypt is revealed" in the Milwaukee Public Museum's newest exhibition, The Quest for Immortality, Treasures of Ancient Egypt. The exhibition, which runs through August 8, 2004, highlights the largest selection of Egyptian antiquities ever to travel to North America. Stand within inches of more than 100 breathtaking art and funerary objects from Egypt's golden age, including coffins, death masks, relief sculptures, massive stone statuary and jewelry.

Tickets to The Quest for Immortality (including museum entrance) are $18.50 for adults and $11.50 for children. Tickets can be purchased at Museum admissions windows, online by visiting www.mpm.edu/quest/ (handling fees apply) or via phone by calling (414) 278-2728 or, toll free, (888) 700-9069 (handling fees apply).

Computer workshops bring technology access to your front door

Last summer, recognizing the transportation barriers that people with disabilities face, we launched a rather unique program, Traveling Computer Workshops. We are once again seeking to offer our computer workshops in collaboration with area disability organizations and residential apartment complexes.

Via our workshops last summer and fall we eliminated the struggle to find reliable transportation for more than 40 students by bringing the technology, the curriculum and even the instructors to several area apartment complexes that specifically serve individuals with disabilities. Via our workshops, the complexes' residents were given the opportunity to learn more about computer and Internet technology in a familiar, relaxed environment.

In addition to working with apartment complexes, we are also open to working with other organizations in offering computer workshops to their members.

Workshops are offered on weekday mornings, afternoons and early evenings and cost just $5.00 per student per one-hour session. We offer a variety of workshop topics and can customize curriculum based on the specific needs of our workshop participants. Following are a few topics we have offered in past workshops.

Introduction to Computers

  • Introduction to the basic parts of the computer including the CPU (Inside and Out), Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse.
  • Introduction to the Desktop, including File and Program Icons and the Task Bar.
  • Basic Navigation of Microsoft Windows, including My Computer and the Start Menu.
  • Introduction to document and file creation and maintenance.

    Introduction to Word Processing

  • Introduction to Word Processing Tools and Options including Page Set-up (paragraph settings, margins, page size, page layout, etc.), Font Types and Sizes, Editing (cut, copy and paste), etc.
  • Basic Text Document Creation including the creation of Text Documents, Saving and Opening Documents, Typing and Editing Text, Printing Documents.
  • Basic Letter Writing Instruction.

    Introduction to the Internet

  • Terms and Definitions
  • World Wide Web, URL, ISP, Browser, Modem
  • Introduction to Internet Explorer and Web Searches
  • Basic Navigation Tools
  • Introduction to Search Engines
  • Safety on the Internet

    If you would like to participate in our traveling computer workshops, please give us a call at (414) 299-0124 or write to us via e-mail at horizons@new-horizons.org.

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