“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestioned ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”

~Henry David Thoreau~

Winter 2008 CommunicAbility Vol. 8, Ed. 1

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.

A Non-profit Story

We exist FOR YOU and BECAUSE of YOU!

Did you know that New Horizons Un-Limited is a non-profit organization?

What does that mean you may ask? As a non-profit organization we spend every penny we receive on programs to benefit our community. More specifically, we spend every penny we receive to ensure that you or perhaps your family member with a disability is given access to the resources and tools that can help you learn, grow and improve your daily life.

From our quarterly newsletter and our informational website to our computer grant program and our on-the-job training program, we are working to provide you greater knowledge and opportunity.

It also means that we rely on the generosity of our community, on YOU, to ensure that we continue to expand and improve our services.

YOUR contribution can ensure that we turn no one away. Contributions need not be $20 or even $10. Just $5 can go a long way in ensuring that others with disabilities are given the same opportunities as YOU. Please consider giving whatever amount you can.

Make a secure, online contribution with your credit card:

Donate Now

You may forward your contribution via mail to:

811 East Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 937
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202

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New Horizons Un-Limited
6th Annual Raffle & Silent Auction

Drawing: March 20, 2008 in the U.S. Bank Center Galleria, Downtown Milwaukee

Tickets: $3 each, 2 for $5, 5 for $10

Prizes: Jewelry, Electronics, Theatre and Dinner Certificates, Hotel Stays, Spa Certificates, and More!

Our Annual Raffle is one of our major fundraising events of the year, raising thousands of dollars annually to support our initiatives, through which we make information and life experiences more accessible to individuals with lifelong disabilities and their families.

If you manage a business, frequent a business, or simply have a knack for fundraising, you could be a great help in collecting prizes for our event. Please contact us to arrange your donation or join us in asking area businesses for a contribution to our event. If you are interested in helping, download our Raffle Development Packet.

If you would like more information on our 2008 Raffle and Silent Auction or wish to purchase tickets or contribute an item, please contact us via phone at (414) 299-0124.

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National News

ADA Restoration Act under attack

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Restoration Act is facing new opposition during this New Year with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gathering forces to "bring down" the Act. On December 17, 2007 the Chamber faxed every Member of Congress with a message that ADA Restoration goes too far with civil rights - that it expands protections beyond what Congress ever intended and, in essence, that the ADA was only ever truly intended for the "severely disabled." While the Chamber's message has been consistent, a legion of others has signed onto this letter.

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has issued a call to action to anyone that hopes to counteract the Chamber's position:

1st Contact your Member of Congress.

To locate your Congressman or woman, visit the House of Representatives website at www.house.gov.

Before contacting your representative you may wish to review ADA Restoration Act Talking Points, as written by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) by visiting www.c-c-d.org/task_forces/rights/TPs_FINAL_bill.pdf.

2nd Share a personal story of discrimination in an Editorial in your local newspaper.

3rd Share your personal story with opponents of the ADA Restoration Act.

A list of opponents follows:
Associated Builders & Contractors, Food Marketing Institute, HR Policy Association, International Foodservice Distributors Association, International Franchise Association, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Association of Manufacturers, National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Federation of Independent Business, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, National Roofing Contractors Association, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Society for Human Resource Management, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

For a background on the ADA restoration Act visit the AAPD website at www.aapd-dc.org.

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National Forum on Equality, Opportunity, and Access

On November 2, 2007 a collection of disability-related organizations hosted the National Forum on Equality, Opportunity, and Access during which Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, and John McCain presented his or her vision for the future of national disability policy. Transcripts of the forum are available on the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) website in their 2008 Presidential Election Action Center. To download the transcript, visit www.aapd.com/News/election/peac2008.php.

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Report evaluates “State of Disability in America”

This past fall, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released a new report that evaluates the disability experience in America. State of Disability in America examines existing research on how individuals with disabilities are faring in the areas of disability rights, healthcare, education, employment, housing, and organizing for change. The report shows that while tremendous strides have been made, thanks in large part to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Despite progress, a great many people with disabilities continue to live in poverty, largely depending on government services. They are also less likely to have positive educational opportunities and outcomes, be employed, or own a home.

The report concludes with an assessment of the existing "system" and a look at the Life Without Limits Project, an initiative largely aimed at empowering people with disabilities to move out of the role of victim. To read State of Disability in America visit www.ucp.org/uploads/StateofDisability.pdf.

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Election 2008

It’s Never Too Early to Get to Know the Candidates

Who do you plan to vote for in this year’s Presidential Election? If you’re not quite sure, or perhaps do not even know who is running, now is the time to get educated! There are numerous resources available online to help you decide your ideal candidate.

First, however, you need to know who is running. While there are well over 100 candidates, following are the frontrunners for the Democrat and Republican Parties

Democrat Candidates

Hillary Clinton - www.hillaryclinton.com

John Edwards - johnedwards.com

Mike Gravel - www.gravel2008.us

Dennis Kucinich - www.dennis4president.com

Barack Obama - www.barackobama.com

Republican Candidates

Rudolph Giuliani - www.joinrudy2008.com

Mike Huckabee - www.mikehuckabee.com

Duncan Hunter - www.gohunter08.com

John McCain - www.johnmccain.com

Ron Paul - www.ronpaul2008.com

Mitt Romney - www.mittromney.com

Fred Thompson - www.fred08.com

We encourage you to visit the candidates’ websites to learn more about their policy positions. Even better, check out each candidate’s voting record on the issues that are most important to you. To review voting records, visit Project Vote Smart online at www.votesmart.org/election_president.php, click on the candidate, under the candidate’s picture on the right of the page, click on the voting record link.

Online Election Resources

American Association of People with Disabilities 2008 Presidential Election Action Center

Project Vote Smart

Web MD’s Health Matters in the 2008 Election

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"Always vote for principle; though you may vote alone, you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."
~ John Quincy Adams ~

Wisconsin News

State Bill to eliminate Medicaid marriage penalty

A story on Milwaukee’s WISN 12 recently brought to light the crusade of Tim Carey, an Appleton man who is fighting to change a Medicaid provision that essentially restricts an individual’s right to marriage.

Under current Medicaid provisions, an individual receiving Medicaid benefits will lose his/her benefits if they marry an individual with more than $2000 in countable assets. With many people relying on Medicaid to cover tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses annually, marriage is simply not an option due to these income limits.

In an effort to change this provision, Tim has turned to State Representative Steve Wieckert. On Friday December 28th, Representative Wieckert introduced an Assembly bill that will change this restriction and in turn provide hope for a future that includes love and marriage for Wisconsin’s men and women with disabilities. The bill has garnered bipartisan support and is expected to pass this spring.

To learn more about the bill, contact Representative Wieckert’s office via phone toll-free at (888) 534-0057 or via e-mail at Rep.wieckert@legis.state.wi.us.

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Kohler-Andrae State Park and Richard Bong State Recreation Area Now Accepting Accessible Cabin Reservations

Wisconsin's newest wheelchair accessible cabins at Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan and Richard Bong State Recreation Area near Burlington are now accepting reservations for the 2008 season. These new wheelchair accessible cabins add to the five currently available in the Wisconsin State Park System.

In addition to the Kohler-Andrae and Richard Bong cabins, modern cabins are also available at Mirror Lake, Buckhorn, High Cliff, and Potawatami state parks and Kettle Moraine State Forest—Southern Unit. Rustic, one-room cabins are available at Copper Falls and Blue Mound state parks.

The cabins are available for use exclusively by people whose physical disabilities make use of traditional camping facilities very difficult or unlikely. The rental fee is $30.00 per night plus a $4.00 reservation fee. The cabins are available from May 1 through October 15. Because of high demand, reservations are limited to 4 nights per year, per location. Preference will be given to those persons with a permanent, severe physical disability, who require a wheelchair as sole means of mobility and require assistance with personal care needs. Those with less severe disabilities will be considered after February 1st.

Reservation applications and details about each cabin are available on the DNR website by visiting dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/access/bigcabin.html.

To learn more about these new cabins, contact the Kohler-Andrae State Park office at (920) 451-4080 and the Richard Bong State Recreation Area office at (262) 878-5606.

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Things to Do and See in Wisconsin

As long term residents of Wisconsin we often forget about the cultural offerings of our fine state. Following are a few interesting exhibits, shows and classes that may spark your interest.

Body Worlds 1 at the Milwaukee Public Museum displays the human body like you’ve never seen it before. BODY WORLDS features authentic human specimens preserved through a revolutionary process called Plastination. This remarkable preservation technique preserves human tissue in its natural state. Visitors who embark on this amazing journey below the skin's surface will view an extensive collection including more than 200 authentic organs, systems and whole-body displays. The exhibit is set to begin January 18, 2008. For more information, contact the Milwaukee Public Museum via phone (414) 278-2702 or visit them online at www.mpm.edu/bodyworlds.

Daniel M. Soref Planetarium at the Milwaukee Public Museum Secrets of the Zodiac will take a look at the astrological system by which people are said to have specific traits based on where the planets are at the time of their birth. Does astrology really work? Does your horoscope really accurately predict what is going to happen to you? This and more will be answered during Secrets of the Zodiac, which opens January 18th. To purchase tickets, call the Planetarium at (888) 700-9069.

Very Special Arts ArtSparks are one-day arts sessions open to children and adults with and without disabilities which offer interactive, hands-on arts activities. Sessions are either 1½ or three hours in length. Fees vary. For information on programs in the Madison area call (608) 241-7583, in the Oshkosh, Neenah and Milwaukee areas call (414) 489-0541.

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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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