In this Issue:
  • 2004 Presidential Primary Elections
  • Universal Health Care in Wisconsin
  • Alert: Personal Assistance Services
  • Accessible Computers at Milwaukee Central Library
  • Training Available to Family Caregivers
  • Funds Available for Home Accessibility
  • Accessible Cabins in Wisconsin
  • Winter Computer Classes
"The future is not someplace we are going to, but one that we are creating. The paths are not found, but made."

~ John Schaar, Author ~

Winter 2004 CommunicAbility Vol. 4, 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.

"Get into politics as if your lives depended on it, because they do"

Justin Dart, "Father of the ADA"

Your 2004 Presidential Candidates

We will be voting for President of the United States in less than one year, on November 2, 2004. Presidential primaries, however, are set to begin as early as January 2004 in some states. This is your opportunity to decide who will move forward to the general election in November 2004. While President Bush is running unopposed as the sole Republican candidate, there are numerous candidates in various other political parties.

Below you will find contact information for the candidates vying for the 2004 Presidential Ticket. Contact one or more of the campaigns to learn more about their policy positions on the issues that are most important to you. While you may want to learn more about their disability policy, it is important to also learn about such policies as health care, Medicare, Social Security, budget deficits, the reconstruction of Iraq, the "war" against terrorism, or any other policy that you believe will impact the future of the United States.

You along with other voting age citizens can decide the future of our country. Get to know your candidates and be sure to cast your vote if your state offers an open primary election.

A note about Presidential Primary Elections

Dates for Presidential primaries, and the type of Presidential primary held vary from state to state. In some states, a caucus and/or convention may be held instead of an open Presidential primary election. Other states may use a combination of both.

To determine the date and type of Presidential primary in your state, visit the Federal Election Commission website at www.fec.gov/ or contact your state's Election Office to learn more about your state's primary procedures. You can also call the Project Vote Smart Voter's Research Hotline toll-free at (888) 868-3762.

Democratic Candidates

Carol Moseley Braun
P.O. Box 16560
Chicago, Illinois 60616-0560
(312) 842-8500

General Wesley Clark
P.O. Box 2959
Little Rock, AR 72203
(501) 537-2004

Howard Dean
P.O. Box 1228
Burlington, Vermont 05402
(802) 651-3200

Senator John Edwards
PO Box 300034
Raleigh, NC 27622
(919) 785-1900

Representative Richard A. Gephardt
P.O. Box 34607
Washington, DC 20043
(202) 448-9300

Senator John F. Kerry
519 C Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 548-6800

Representative Dennis J. Kucinich
11808 Lorain Ave. 1st floor
Cleveland, OH 44111
(866) 413-3664

Senator Joseph Lieberman
P.O. Box 967
Arlington, VA 22216
Phone (703) 894-2004

Al Sharpton
1001 6th Ave., Ste. 1211
New York, NY 10018
(888) 303-4903

Republican Candidate

President George Bush
P.O. BOX 10648
Arlington, VA 22210
(703) 647-2700

Additional Candidates

There are numerous Presidential candidates that are not affiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties. To learn more about these candidates, visit the Project Vote Smart website at www.vote-smart.org/election_president.php.

ADA WATCH: Protecting the Civil Rights of People with Disabilities

ADA Watch, a project of the National Coalition for Disability Rights, educates and informs people with disabilities about threats to civil rights protections for people with disabilities. The ADA Watch campaign seeks to build an online community of empowered citizens united against attempts to roll back civil rights protections for people with disabilities.

Visit their website at www.adawatch.org/ to stay informed on the important issues surrounding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the civil rights of Americans with disabilities. If you do not have Internet access, contact the project at 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20004, or call (202) 661-4722.

Wisconsin Legislative Update

Universal Health Care bills introduced in state Assembly and Senate

Earlier this year, Wisconsin Legislators had introduced bills in both the state Assembly and Senate that would create a Universal Health plan for Wisconsin residents. A Universal Health Plan would provide quality, medically necessary health care coverage to all Wisconsin residents, regardless of income, age, health condition, medical history or employment status. If the bills are passed, coverage is expected to begin July 1, 2006. Be sure to let your legislators know how you feel about this plan.

To learn more about the Assembly Bill (AB 229), read the bill summary, available on-line at: www.legis.state.wi.us/2003/data/AB-229.pdf

To learn more about the Senate Bill (SB 90) read the bill summary, available on-line at: www.legis.state.wi.us/2003/data/SB-90.pdf

If you do not have access to the Internet, please contact us at (414) 299-0124 to request a printed version of the bill summaries.

Wisconsin News

Alert: Personal Assistance Services

Did you know that in Wisconsin, relatives can be compensated for providing personal care services to qualified persons with disabilities? (As long as it is not a spouse or parent). According to an article printed by IndependenceFirst, the independent living center serving the Greater Milwaukee area, managed care providers are not adhering to this policy and are not accepting relatives as paid caregivers. If you or someone you know has been rejected as a qualified, paid caregiver, please call Lee Schulz or Karen Avery of IndependenceFirst at (414) 291-7520 (V/TTY).

New accessible computers at Milwaukee Public Central Library

The Milwaukee Public Library has recently made two new accessible computers available at the Central Library, located at 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue. The Internet-connected workstations offer ergonomic furniture and a variety of assistive technology products that address the needs of library users with visual, hearing, mobility or learning disabilities.

Located in the Schoenleber Reading Room on the first floor of the library, the accessible workstations are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations can be made up to a week in advance by calling (414) 286-3017.

Training available to family caregivers

Society's Assets and other Racine / Kenosha area organizations are offering a monthly caregiver training course to family members and friends caring for loved ones. The course is taught by trained professionals and provides hands-on learning. Topics include promoting safety, involving other family members in care, nutrition, avoiding infection, transferring from bed to chair, understanding behavior and care for the caregiver.

Classes are held at the American Red Cross, located at 4521 Taylor Avenue in Racine. The $39 course fee includes all training materials and a caregiver manual. This fee is waived for Racine County residents. To learn of class times, call (262) 632-9828.

HOME Program makes funds available for accessibility

The HOME Program, offered by Society's Assets, makes funding for home modifications available to homeowners with a disability (or to homeowners who have a family member with a disability residing in the house). Funds are available for persons living in Walworth, Racine, and Kenosha Counties. (The cities of Racine and Kenosha are excluded.)

Society's Assets staff can assess your situation and recommend access solutions. The agency is also knowledgeable about other funding sources and maintains a list of contractors that specialize in accessibility projects.

For more information about application requirements and housing modifications, contact Barb Norstrom, Assistant Director of Independent Living Services at Society's Assets, Racine office, (262) 637-9128.

State Park System now accepting applications for accessible cabins

How would you like to enjoy the great outdoors in the comfort of a fully accessible cabin in the state parks of Wisconsin? The Wisconsin State Park System, via the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for the 2004 camping season for the four fully accessible cabins and the two wheelchair accessible "rustic" cabins. The fully accessible cabins feature an accessible bathroom, complete with roll-in shower, as well as an accessible kitchen, bedroom and living room. The two "rustic" cabins are one-room 13' x 13' units and can accommodate up to four. Cabins fill up quickly, so get your applications in as soon as possible! Applications can be received by calling the State Park you wish to visit.

The four fully accessible cabins are located in the following state parks:

  • Buckhorn State Park - (608) 565-2789
  • Kettle Moraine State Forest - (262) 594-6200
  • Mirror Lake State Park - (608) 254-2333
  • Potawatomi State Park - (920) 746-2890

    The "rustic" cabins are located in the following state parks:

  • Blue Mound State Park - (608) 427-5711
  • Copper Falls State Park - (715) 274-5123

    Introductory computer classes available at UMC of Whitefish Bay

    The United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay will once again offer introductory computer classes to adults with disabilities or their caregivers beginning in late January 2004.

    Class topics may include: Computer Basics, Introduction to Windows and File Storage, Introduction to the Internet and E-mail and Introduction to Microsoft Word.

    The church and computer lab is wheelchair accessible. At this time the church offers several assistive devices including a BigKeys keyboard and a trackball mouse. With prior arrangement, a head mouse can also be made available to those with limited use of their arms and hands. Due to the limited availability of assistive devices, students should be able to read a computer screen and use a keyboard.

    Due to the limitations of volunteer staff, personal assistance is not provided and eligibility is limited to individuals capable of meeting their personal needs. The church will interview applicants prior to class placement.

    Classes will meet in the evenings, once a week for six weeks for a nominal fee of $30.00. If you are interested in participating in this training, or in assisting the church as a volunteer computer tutor, please call the church at (414) 964-2424.

    An Access Technology Update

    This past summer, NHU began accepting applications for our Access Technology Computer Redistribution Program. We were quickly flooded with phone calls from numerous people interested in applying for a computer of their own. We began a waiting list confident that our community would value this needed program and respond with computer donations.

    We were right! Thanks to recent computer donations from numerous corporations and individuals and to the dedication of our IT volunteers, we are currently working on refurbishing more than 50 computers for distribution to Southeastern Wisconsin residents with disabilities. We will distribute the first computers to applicants in the coming weeks.

    We would like to extend a big thanks to the following corporations for their recent donations: Cognex, Inc., Farm Bureau Rural Insurance, Lake Bluff Apartments, Penworthy and RF Technologies.

    We would also like to extend a special thanks to the numerous individuals that have donated their computers for use in our program. Be assured that your donations will make a big difference in the lives of those affected by disability.

    To learn more about our Access Technology Computer Redistribution program, please call us at (414) 299-0124.

    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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