Tuesday, May 31, 2005

OCDAC Newsletter May 31, 2005

Dear Friends,

We want to start this newsletter with the report that we got invited
to start 2 bowling leagues for the deaf and we're going to be
focusing on the young CI generation and the late deafened communities
because they both are not represented in the available deaf leagues.
Even though our agency has a strict policy against promoting
recreation agendas, we will be doing it under one of our
affiliations, the National Deaf Union Association. We have 2
locations to do this, one in Norwalk and that's for the young deaf
league and the other in Lake Forest which will have our late deafened
league or vice versa. We are waiting for permission to use the "ODOC"
moniker to be used in "ODOC Bowling Leagues". The 'hardcore ASL deaf'
leagues have been taken up by our friend, Wes Kay, and we desire not
to compete against him. Our plan is to start the league on or around
September 2005. Hearing and ASL students are strongly encouraged to
join our bowling leagues.

It's been a good week for us and we have a big weekend this coming
weekend with a safety presentation at the House Ear Institute camp in
the Ventura Area and our food stand fundraiser. After that we will
be focusing on our Orange County Fair booth which is our largest deaf
awareness education program each year.

OCDAC Communications

-------------< INSIDE NEWS >

Our OC-Fair booth materials continue to roll in. We have nearly
completed the accumulation of materials for our Tustin Street Fair
food stand fundraiser. Our classroom has acquired a book rack and it
needs to be painted in bright colors. We have begun the process of
enhancing our intake procedures which includes gathering statistical
information of our clients for our grantmakers. Our bookstore now
carries different assistive devices including braille TTY's,
signalers, doorbell flashers, and many other helpful things. If you
shop at Albertsons and have a community partners card, please
consider adding your card to our list of supporters. The quarterly
check we received last week from Albertsons was a very impressive
show of community support of our work. Our goal is 25,000 supporters
who shop at Albertsons. The garage sale was a complete success and
we will have it again in 3 weeks at the house across the street from
last weekend's site. Our new American Sign Language classroom flyer
has been uploaded.

-------------< OUTSIDE NEWS >

Take the free online hearing test from Sonus
http://www.sonus.com/realife/index.asp

More than 200,000 deaf children able to "talk"
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-05/30/content_3018523.htm

Deaf advocates fear District 25 cuts will silence community's voice
http://www.journalnet.com/articles/2005/05/27/news/local/news08.txt

Supplementary exams today
http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/may312005/state1956382005530.
asp

2 disabled teachers awarded $450k
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/05/30/2_d
isabled_teachers_awarded_450k/?rss_id=Boston+Globe+--+City%
2FRegion+News

Disabled could directly hire help under budget proposal
http://www.onnnews.com/Global/story.asp?S=3408160

Disabled Teen May Return To School
http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?
AID=/20050530/NEWS/505300328/1004/RSS&source=RSS

Australia's Cochlear unveils new hearing aid implant
http://news.yahoo.com/news?
tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050526/hl_afp/healthhearingcochlearaustralia_05052
6080552

Disabilities act violations found
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0523adaviolati
ons23.html

Census Bureau Facts for Features: 15th Anniversary of Americans with
Disabilities Act, July 26, 2005
http://news.yahoo.com/news?
tmpl=story&u=/usnw/20050526/pl_usnw/census_bureau_facts_for_features__
15th_anniversary_of_americans_with_disabilities_act__july_26__2005204_
xml

Family loses bid to have interpreter in classroom
http://au.news.yahoo.com/050531/21/ujfd.html

HOBART: Fateful night leads to deaf camp, foundation
http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/2005/05/29/sports/community_spo
rts/f59fc72dd742e4578625700c00708a13.txt

-------------< DEAF GRAPEVINE >

IT'S WIDELY RUMORED TO BE COMING NEXT WEEK!

-------------< BULLETIN >

ATTENTION DEAF PEOPLE WHO HAVE MYSTERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE DISNEY
COMPANY.

We are looking for DEAF People and others who have problems with the
Disney Company:

--apply, and no call back?
--apply, but no interview because deaf/ interpreter issue?
--apply, interview, but no interpreter or captions?
--got job, but then no interpreter for staff meetings?
--you feel punished because after being hired you're excluded from
training's, staff meetings, or other staff events?

(1) NEED YOUR NAME AND (2) ADDRESS (3) and E-mail (4) explanation of
your problem with The Disney Company.

We work with Morse Mehrban who is a rising star in the field of
disability access litigation. Morse needs to know about this no later
than September 4, 2005. Please email ocdac@deafadvocacy.com and
please use 'Disney Problems' in the subject line.

-------------< ADVOCACY NEWS >

From TDI-L eNotes #2 of 2 - Action Alert: 5/27/05

Senate Bill 786 (The National Weather Services Duties Act of 2005)
Would Limit Weather Service Info

Many of the nation's most prominent disability organizations and
advocates, including the National Organization on Disability's
Emergency Preparedness Initiative, the Progressive Center for
Independent Living, Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc., the
Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Persons, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network, and
Emergency Management & Special Needs consulting firm EAD &
Associates, LLC, have united in opposition to Senate Bill 786 (The
National Weather Services Duties Act of 2005) which, if passed, could
have a disproportionate, detrimental impact on the health and safety
of the nation's 54 million people with disabilities.

The bill, introduced by Senator Rick Santorum on April 14, 2005,
would limit the information that the National Weather Service (NWS)
can provide to the public by barring it from providing any service
that competes with private companies.

Such companies, including The Weather Channel and AccuWeather, which
is based in Senator Santorum's home state of Pennsylvania, offer
their own forecasts through paid services and free ad-supported Web
sites which benefit from repackaging the data that the tax-funded NWS
gives away.

"Aside from the folly of making the public pay for information that
their tax dollars have already helped collect, this proposed bill
will result in the elimination of many established technological
systems that help ensure the timely and complete dissemination of
critical information to individuals with disabilities," says Claude
Stout, Executive Director of Telecommunications of the Deaf, Inc.

The NWS, which is administered by the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), provides comprehensive weather
information in compliance with Section 508 of the Federal
Rehabilitation Act, which requires that individuals with
disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or
services from a Federal department or agency, have access to and use
of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the
public without disabilities.

Placing government-collected and accessibility-protected weather
information into private hands puts at risk these accessibility
protections and seriously compromises the rights and safety of
citizens with disabilities.

"At a time when emergency preparedness planning is a vital exercise
for all Americans, limiting the ways that the NWS can distribute
information is both disturbing and dangerous," says Elizabeth Davis,
Managing Director of EAD & Associates, LLC.

Cheryl Heppner, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Resource
Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons adds, "People with
disabilities take their safety preparedness seriously, and there is a
large population of people with disabilities who rely on the NWS to
provide general and emergency information in technologically
accessible ways."

"By taking away time-tested redundancies for the corporate and
monetary interests of a few, Senator Santorum is putting money ahead
of the personal safety of a large segment of the American
population," says Hilary Styron, Acting Director of the National
Organization on Disability's Emergency Preparedness Initiative.

Organizations or individuals interested in helping defeat Senator
Santorum's bill are encouraged to call or write to their Senator, as
well as express their opposition directly to Senator Santorum at 202-
224-6324.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

Claude L. Stout
Executive Director

TDI
8630 Fenton St. #604
Silver Spring, MD 20910

TTY: 301-589-3006
FAX: 301-589-3797

tdiexdir@aol.com
www.tdi-online.org

Promoting Equal Access to Telecommunications and Media For People who
are Deaf, Late-Deafened, Hard of Hearing or Deaf-Blind

-------------< ANNOUNCEMENTS >

The Tustin Street fair and chili cookoff is next Sunday, June 5 2005
all day and we will have our mini food stand offering nachos, hot
dogs, and sodas. Last year we did well and our performance at this
event weighs heavily toward our qualification for the Tustin Tiller
Days Festival.

Deafcities.com is an impressive new portal in the making. They will
soon offer many things that are offered through several different
deafness related websites. They are on the way to becoming a one
stop center for the internet deaf communities.

Please visit our iGive store http://www.igive.com/ocdac

Please visit our magazine fundraiser website at
http://mygrouppage2.efundraising.com/RedirectToQsp.aspx?gID=858b7146-
edd6-494f-af79-78f344212431&cID=8xu1C5nt7Xs

-------------< DEAF QUOTES >

"Hearing people don't always pay very good attention to Deaf people's
needs. It's important to show them that, given the chance, Deaf
people can be just as good as hearing people, maybe even better."
says Jimmy McCarthy a sixth-grader who is the first profoundly Deaf
youngster to make it to the annual Scripps Howard National Spelling
Bee.

-------------< COMMUNITY BULLHORN >

Dear Editor:

My name is Christopher and I am writing to inform you of a federal
suit I filed, pro se, in January 2005 against eight (8) private
citizens in their Corporate Landlord capacity. Cross v. JMS Homes,
Inc., et al (No. 05-6005) (Mo. Dist. Ct. W.D. 2005), to-wit, poses
several interesting legal questions regarding the rights of disabled
people in their housing environment.

In 1775, Alexander Hamilton said: "The sacred rights of mankind are
not to be rummage for, among old parchments, or musty records. They
are written, as with a sunbeam of human nature, by the hand of the
divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal
power." Seeing the inherent dangers however, Earl Warren wrote in "A
Republic If You Can Keep It" (p. 48) that "The only protection of
every citizen from such deprivation of rights is a strict adherence
to the Bill of Rights by everyone for everyone", ". . . . This should
be self-evident, but the danger in the erosion of rights stems
largely from the fact that so many citizens of the majority, who have
never been deprived of any of these rights, find it difficult to
understand what the deprivation of them
means in the lives of others."

Regrettably however, it wasn't until the case of Olmstead v. L.C. 527
U.S. 581 (1999) that the United States Supreme Court ruled that
people with disabilities must be integrated into society so as to
fulfill the purpose behind the Fair Housing Act and the Americans
with Disabilities Act. To-wit, both serve as a catalyst in
recognizing that disabled people cannot be held to separate standards
in law and societal-governmental indifference's that inherently seek
to pretend that disabled people simply do not exist.

But to what extent do Landlords who house disabled people have the
inherent right to regulate the lives of disabled tenants and
visitors, through internal rules and regulations if such only
effectively seek to impede or obstruct the free flow of speech,
expression and association among disabled people and those who
associate with disabled people under the [false] guise of a Landlord
protecting his/her vested interest?

In my case, I have predicated that when internal rules and
regulations serve no substantial purpose other than to steal public
tax revenue and personal money by extorting disabled people and those
that associate with disabled people under the [false] guise of a
Landlord protecting their "reasonable interest." Then the line has
been crossed, as a matter of law, in what Landlords may and may not
do when creating and enforcing their rules and regulations. And we,
as a governed society, have a duty to protect this class of people
from being preyed upon not only in way of their disabilities but also
in the indifference's existing that only perpetuate the social death
factors disabled people are routinely forced to endure. Yet, when
faced with such things as the 2001 report from the National Council
on Disability that points out the abundant deficiencies of the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in protecting the
rights of disabled people; noting that complaints involving
discrimination based on disability are the least likely to be
substantiated by HUD. It is clear that forty years after the passage
of the Fair Housing Act; the congressional intent of such has yet to
be enforced to the extent that Congress desired and disabled people
deserve.

In the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss my suit, they counter-predicated
that their rules and regulations are customary to what exists across
the United States and as such shows a well-established management
system of enforcement that is commonly used by the majority of
Landlords. The Court however, did not agree and five days later
issued its' order for the Defendant's and me to begin preparing for
trial.

At issue in my suit are several issues, as a matter of law, such as
that the provisional language used in their internal rules and
regulations only creates a standard of conduct that guarantees
disabled people [will] violate policy and therein gives the
Defendants the claimed legal right to impose excessively severe
penalties as a result. To-wit, not only includes eviction of tenancy
but also "substantial" charges and/or fines regardless if the alleged
violations derived from another's disabilities, were false,
misleading, filed in bad faith or malicious intents, engaged in
discriminatory or retaliatory conduct, or were simply so
insignificant as to be a waste of time to address. Moreover, that
the Defendant's may impose personal and financial responsibility upon
a non-disabled tenant who associates with a disabled person for
any/all violations that rise by his/her disabled visitor. Thereby
forcing the non-disabled tenant to live in a state of fear no less
than a disabled tenant is also forced to endure and in this,
effectively engage in secondary discrimination by denying visits from
a disabled person simply and only because he/she is disabled and the
risks of being severely punished because of his/her disabilities.

In review of the rules and regulations in question, I have alleged
that nowhere do the Defendants afford any form of reasonable
accommodations and equitable due process that permits an accused to
have proper notice of the alleged violation and the ability to
adequately defend against the allegations in a fair and impartial
proceeding. Rather, accused person(s) are held to a determination of
guilt simply at the will of management and based solely upon a verbal
claim that a violation has risen. Neglecting of course, to take into
account structural factors such as the decaying age of the building,
the poorly constructed walls, doors and floors as well as the over-
amplified acoustical sounds occurring in the hallways and the close
proximity of the residential units. As well as the fact that because
these Landlords are a centerpiece referral source by government,
quasi-government and non-government entities to send disabled people
to, to obtain housing. There is a large populace of tenants that are
disabled and therein in need of reasonable accommodations so as to
have the equal opportunity to fulfill the Olmstead decision.

Additionally, I have also alleged that these Landlords claim a legal
right to play Judge, Jury and Executioner in way of accusing another
of criminal activity without having to actually call the police for
investigative handling and due process requirements that mandate a
crime be proven to exist beyond a reasonable doubt. And that these
Landlords afford themselves the legal right to act arbitrarily not
only in the actual enforcement of their penalties but also in the
financial dollar amount to be imposed. Since nowhere in their rules
and regulations do these Landlords actually cite a specific dollar
amount to be charged and/or fined, other than such shall be
substantial and as such, they claim a legal right to impose whatever
dollar amount they wish even if such is a different amount, in the
same violations occurring by two different people.

What perplexes me beyond my ability to comprehend however, is that
despite the worthy cause existing here and the overt strength of my
case. So-called "advocacy" groups turn blind eyes and in this, only
serve to perpetuate the societal indifference's and social death
factors that disabled people are forced to endure. Moreover, these
so-called "advocacy" groups also condone by way of turning blind
eyes, theft of public and personal revenue through acts of extorting
disabled people and those who associate with disabled people. And so
I am left to wonder exactly who is the greater abuser of disability
rights?

Christopher Cross
lostinameriaorg@aol.com

-------------< DEAF FRIENDLY JOB OPPORTUNITIES >

2 deaf or hard of hearing mortgage consultants needed for a
Riverside, California mortgage company.

8 drivers needed for an Anaheim, California delivery service company.

2 laborers needed for an Anaheim, California marble processing
company.

All candidates interested in any of the job opportunities are
required to apply for our job placement services. Our intake form is
at Http://www.deafadvocacy.com/intake.htm

-------------< EPILOG >

If you wish to contribute to this newsletter, feel free to send in
news, stories, and opinions relating to the disability community.
Your support for this effort to move the disability community forward
will be greatly appreciated. We will continue to aggressively
pursue justice, fairness, and equality for the disability community
as it has been doing since November 1996. We have chosen that
EDUCATION is the best way accomplish this objective.

Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center is a community based organization
that puts people with disabilities first in their advocacy for equal
opportunities in safety, health, and productive living.

Feel free to forward this email message to any one and any of your
personal mailing lists so we can get the important messages out far
and wide and encourage them to sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

OCDAC Newsletter May 25, 2005

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Our weekly musings is beginning to take up a structured form similar
to what we had with our Deaf Watch Newsletters in the past. With the
exception of our special bulletins, you will receive email from us
just once a week as feedback prefers it all on a single email
message. Typos may appear in the newsletters as we all are common
human beings just like you.

-------------< INSIDE NEWS >

Our Family Empowerment Center grant has started to roll in last
Thursday. We have added a magazine store to our website. Our
website has taken on a new look with a lot of updates. Our OC-Fair
booth materials have begun to roll in. We have started to accumulate
materials for our Tustin Street Fair food stand fundraiser. Our
classroom has acquired a book rack and it needs to be painted in
bright colors. Our monthly meeting agendas are now available for
downloading at our website. We have begun the process of enhancing
our intake procedures which includes gathering additional information
of our clients.

We have a garage sale fundraiser at 16765 Fontlee Lane, Fontana,
California 92355 this coming Friday (27), Saturday (28), and Sunday
(29) from 8 am through 8pm. Donations to our Thrift Store Project
will be sold there. We have many different items for sale.

-------------< OUTSIDE NEWS >

Deaf school to publish names of parents who abandon children
http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=82189

Tax to provide telephone services for deaf to drop slightly
http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/11728568.htm

National Association for the Deaf Making Noise About 'Idol'
http://celebrityjustice.warnerbros.com/news/0505/24a.html

Student from school for deaf will venture into hearing college
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascitystar/news/local/states/kansas/
counties/johnson_county/cities_neighborhoods/olathe/11728341.htm

-------------< BULLETIN >

ATTENTION DEAF PEOPLE WHO HAVE MYSTERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE DISNEY
COMPANY.

We are looking for DEAF People and others who have problems with the
Disney Company:

--apply, and no call back?
--apply, but no interview because deaf/ interpreter issue?
--apply, interview, but no interpreter or captions?
--got job, but now no interpreter for staff meetings?
--you feel punished because after being hired youre excluded from
training's, staff meetings, or other staff events?

(1) NEED YOUR NAME AND (2) ADDRESS (3) and E-mail (4) explanation of
your problem with The Disney Company.

We work with Morse Mehrban who is a rising star in the field of
disability access litigation. Morse needs to know about this no
later than September 4, 2005. Please email ocdac@deafadvocacy.com
and please use 'Disney Problems' in the subject line.

-------------< ADVOCACY NEWS >

The Technical Assistance Collaborative is a national non-profit
organization that works to achieve positive outcomes on behalf of
people with disabilities, people who are homeless, and people with
other special needs by providing state-of-the-art information,
capacity building, and technical expertise to organizations and
policymakers in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, human
services, and affordable housing.

The following message was prepared by the Technical Assistance
Collaborative:

Section 8 Voucher Proposal Closes the Door on People with Disabilities

Legislation developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) has been introduced in Congress. The State and
Local Housing Flexibility Act of 2005 (S. 771/H.R. 1999) would end
the existing Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program and replace it
with a new Flexible Voucher Program. The provisions of the Flexible
Voucher Program would be disastrous for people with disabilities and
particularly to those who rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
benefits. Similar to previous unsuccessful HUD proposals made in 2003
and 2004, the Flexible Voucher Program would undermine critically
important federal housing policies that benefit people with
disabilities. It would also eliminate valuable civil rights and fair
housing protections that help people with disabilities access federal
housing programs.

The Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc. (TAC) is strongly
opposed to S. 771/HR. 1999, which would re-direct vouchers
desperately needed by extremely low-income households to higher
income households. The Flexible Voucher Program would assist
households with incomes as high as 60-80 percent of median income and
who already benefit from many other federal housing programs. This
change would leave people with disabilities with extremely low
incomes behind particularly those who rely on SSI payments equal to
only 18 percent of area median income. The current Section 8 Housing
Choice Voucher program is the only program remaining in the safety
net of federal housing programs for people with the most severe
disabilities who must survive on a monthly income of $600 per month
or less.

In June, TAC will release an important study that documents without
question how people with disabilities are those most in need of
federal housing assistance. This study, Priced Out in 2003-2004, will
show that people with disabilities are three times more likely to
have extremely low incomes than non-disabled households. This study
also documents that the average rent for a modest apartment in 2004
cost more than the entire monthly income of a person with
disabilities receiving SSI. By eliminating rules that benefit these
and other extremely low-income households, the proponents of the
Flexible Voucher Program are sending a very clear message that the
needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society should
no longer be a priority in our nations housing policy.

Flexible Voucher Proposal Would Seriously Harm People with
Disabilities

TAC strongly believes that this proposed legislation would completely
erode federal housing assistance for the poorest people with
disabilities. It would also promote discrimination against people
with disabilities. The legislation combined with HUDs FY 2006 budget
proposal to eliminate the production of housing for people with
disabilities under the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons
with Disabilities Program would totally undermine stated
Administration disability policy goals to promote community
integration through the New Freedom Initiative and to end chronic
homelessness by 2012.

The Administrations Flexible Voucher proposal would cause serious
harm to people with disabilities in the following ways:

The proposal would eliminate all targeting to the lowest income
households at or below 30 percent of area median income. Thus it
would severely curtail access to vouchers by people with disabilities
receiving SSI. The extremely low income targeting in the current
Section 8 voucher program has helped hundreds of thousands of people
with disabilities to live in the community;

Eligibility for vouchers would be expanded to higher income
households. Households with incomes as high as 80 percent of median
income could receive Flexible Vouchers. These higher income
households are already the primary beneficiaries of many other
federal housing programs including the HOME program and the federal
Low Income Housing Tax Credit program;

Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) would be permitted to use the funding
exclusively for homeownership for higher income households closing
the doors on many people with disabilities who need rental housing;

People with disabilities could be required to pay much higher rents
than they can afford. Current rules limiting tenant rents to 30-40
percent of income would be eliminated;

In direct opposition to federal fair housing laws and the Americans
with Disabilities Act, PHAs would be permitted to adopt tenant
selection policies that would have the effect of excluding some
disability sub-populations in favor of others. These preferences
would also have the potential to create highly segregated housing a
practice, which perpetuates stigma and housing discrimination;

Rules requiring PHAs to permit voucher holders to move to other
localities would be eliminated;

CCD recognizes that S 771/H.R. 1999 exempts people with disabilities
from arbitrary time limits on the duration of rental assistance under
the flexible voucher program. Unfortunately, this policy exempting
people with disabilities is undermined by other provisions in this
legislation that will allow housing agencies unfettered discretion to
increase rent contributions for voucher holders with disabilities;

Congress would no longer have the authority as it has for the past
seven years to target Section 8 vouchers for people with disabilities
who have lost housing due to elderly-only policies. Over 50,000
people with currently funded disability vouchers would be at-risk; and

The Flexible Voucher Program legislation eliminates extremely
valuable civil rights protections for people with disabilities.

New Study Provides Compelling Evidence of Disproportionate Harm to
People with Disabilities

In June, TAC will release a new study that clearly documents how
people with disabilities would be disproportionately and adversely
affected if the Flexible Voucher Program becomes law. This study
Priced Out in 2003-2004 for the first time uses both American
Community Survey data and SSI data to document the urgent housing
affordability housing crisis faced by people with disabilities in our
nation. The study provides compelling evidence of the high priority
housing needs of people with disabilities evidence that directly and
starkly rebuts the policy direction being proposed by proponents of
the Flexible Voucher Program.

Specifically, Priced Out in 2003-2004 documents that:

People with disabilities are much more likely to have extremely low
incomes than non-disabled households and are therefore greatly over-
represented in the extremely low-income category. Specifically,
people with disabilities between the ages of 21-64 are almost three
times more likely to have incomes at or below 30 percent of area
median income than households without disabilities;

In 2003, one person households with disabilities between the ages of
21-64 were 3= times more likely than one person households without
disabilities to have extremely low incomes;

According to ACS data, 50.9 percent of all non-elderly single person
households with disabilities in the United States have extremely low
incomes as compared to 14.9 percent of non-disabled households in the
same age group;

The approximately 4 million extremely low-income non-elderly people
with disabilities living on SSI have incomes well below 30 percent of
median.

Preliminary national data from Priced Out in 2003-2004 indicates that
SSI payments in 2004 equaled only 17 percent of median as a national
average well below the 30 percent of area median income ceiling for
extremely low income households; and

Preliminary national data from Priced Out in 2003-2004 also shows
that average monthly rents for modest rental housing were still
higher than monthly SSI payments in 2004. This data means that people
with disabilities are still completely priced out of the nations
rental housing supply unless they can obtain subsidized housing
through programs like the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.

According to recent SSI Annual Statistics, only nine percent of non-
institutionalized people receiving SSI receive housing assistance.

The current Section 8 program represents a potential lifeline for
people with disabilities who rely on SSI, as well as other low income
people with disabilities who simply cannot afford the cost of rental
housing.

Without vouchers, they remain in institutions, are forced into
seriously substandard housing or congregate board and care type
facilities, or into homelessness. Section 8 vouchers are also needed
by people with disabilities who are no longer eligible to move in to
public housing.

Over 500,000 units of HUD public and assisted housing now have
elderly only policies, and more units are converted to elderly only
every day.

HUD's Flawed Rationale

For the past two years, HUD officials have repeatedly stated that a
new and more flexible voucher program controlled by local housing
officials would be more effective and cost-efficient. The disability
community knows better than to believe this rationale for reducing
the federal governmentb s role in providing housing assistance to
those most in need.

The question that HUD and others who support this proposal must
answer is, effective and cost-efficient for whom? Eliminating the
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher programs income targeting policies
that now benefit extremely low-income households means that Public
Housing Agencies would have absolutely no incentive or obligation to
assist these households in the future.

Pressure on PHA voucher budgets a reality clearly illustrated during
the past two years when Congress did not fund all authorized vouchers
could mean that PHAs will assist more households with higher incomes
because they cost less to serve. Some PHAs would be pressured to
dedicate substantial amounts of Flexible Voucher funding for more
politically popular homeownership programs.

Across the country, housing advocates and self-advocates know first
hand what often happens when local housing officials have control
over who receives federal housing funds. For the past ten years, TAC
has documented that in many communities, people with disabilities
with the lowest incomes rarely benefit from other federal housing
programs such as the HOME program. The role of Congress and HUD in
directing precious housing funding to those most in need must be
preserved.

Protections for Voucher Recipients with Disabilities Misleading

Section 105 of the bill contains a provision that appears to protect
voucher holders with disabilities. Specifically, the provision would
allow existing voucher holders to continue receiving assistance under
current program rules through January 1, 2009. After January 1, 2009
all elderly and disabled voucher holders would be subject to
provisions in the legislation that allow for higher tenant rent
contributions. This provision appears to offer some protection for
vulnerable voucher recipients with disabilities. However, this
protection is significantly undermined by another provision in the
legislation that allows a PHA to immediately put in place new rules
for higher tenant rent contributions for new voucher holders with
disabilities.

TAC is troubled by this inadequate protection for people with
disabilities because it fails to account for the needs of individuals
with long-term chronic or permanent disabilities who will need
housing stability beyond January 1, 2009. Further, this provision
offers no protection for people
with disabilities currently on Section 8 waiting lists who may not be
selected due to higher income targeting requirements that PHAs will
be putting in place immediately after the bills effective date.

Civil Rights and Discrimination Issues

The Flexible Voucher Program legislation contains disturbing
provisions that TAC believes would promote and increase housing
discrimination and segregation. The legislation also eliminates many
civil rights protections that people with disabilities need and use
successfully in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.
Specifically, the legislation would permit PHAs to create disability-
specific preferences that would have the affect of reducing or
eliminating access to vouchers by people with other disabilities. For
example, PHAs could establish a preference for people mobility
impairments that would have the affect of discriminating against
people with mental disabilities. This feature of the Flexible Voucher
Program would also result in segregated housing that promotes both
stigma and discrimination, and would roll back much of the progress
achieved by people with disabilities through the Section 8 Housing
Choice Voucher program during the past 10 years. For example, the
bill fails to include important features of the Section 8 program
that help people with disabilities such as provisions that explicitly
cover live-in personal care attendants. . In addition, it appears
that this provision would also permit disability-specific public
housing.

Conclusion

The current Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program is the most
important federal housing resource to address the housing needs of
households with extremely low incomes especially people with
disabilities who are disproportionately represented within that
income category. TAC encourages advocates to contact their members of
Congress and urge them to immediately and soundly reject the Flexible
Voucher Program proposal because it would severely and negatively
affect the most vulnerable people with disabilities. After two years
and two other failed Administration proposals, TAC believes that it
is extremely important for Congress to immediately restore the
credibility and viability of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher
program, which continues to be at-risk because of these ill-advised
proposals. TAC believes that it is vitally important for Congress to
continue to have the direct authority to ensure adequate funding for
the program, and to retain control of important policies including
income targeting and tenant selection policies to ensure that people
with disabilities who are the most in need of housing assistance in
this country are not left behind!

Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc.
May 4, 2005

TAC is a national organization that works to achieve positive
outcomes on behalf of people with disabilities or other special needs
by providing state-of-the-art information, capacity building, and
technical expertise to organizations and policymakers in the areas of
mental health, substance abuse, human services, and affordable
housing.

Write a letter to your Senators Write a letter to your Congressman

Technical Assistance Collaborative
535 Boylston Street
Suite 1301
Boston, MA 02116

Phone: (617) 266-5657
Fax: (617) 266-4343
Web site: http://www.tacinc.org
E-mail: info@tacinc.org

-------------< ANNOUNCEMENTS >

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Deafsportlawsuit.com has more articles for you to read.

Alldeaf.com remains one of the best deaf forum sites.

-------------< DEAF QUOTES >

"I am Deaf of Deaf of Deaf. We're ready to take what should be
ours." Jeff Bravin at a 1994 protest.

"Marriage, baby, house, job... I will leave hospital. I will live
normal life" Alberto Valdez in 1989

-------------< EPILOG >

If you wish to contribute to this newsletter, feel free to send in
news, stories, and opinions relating to the disability community.
Your support for this effort to move the disability community forward
will be greatly appreciated. We will continue to aggressively
pursue justice, fairness, and equality for the disability community
as it has been doing since November 1996. We have chosen that
EDUCATION is the best way accomplish this objective.

Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center is a community based organization
that puts people with disabilities first in their advocacy for equal
opportunities in safety, health, and productive living.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

MAY DAY MESSAGE TO DEAF WORKERS

You all set a very fine example for other Deaf people to follow. You
are role models in the Deaf community.

America needs more Deaf workers. America can acquire more Deaf
workers by being more vigilant in their enforcement of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA) which was signed in 1990. Once the Deaf
community sees that ADA is being vigorously enforced, they will feel
more secure and confident and become workers.

The past 10 years, the entire disability community has seen their
employers find creative ways to get around ADA. We're also seeing
federal judges become increasingly restrictive in dealing with ADA
lawsuits. And even the current administration is in the business of
planting ultraconservative judges with anti ADA records. Sad isn't it?
We're even seeing one of our supposedly trusty guardians, the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), behave amnesic when we try
to explain our cases to them. The same thing goes on for employers
who hire vicious lawyers to defend themselves against ADA lawsuits by
twisting the facts around and manipulating the law itself beyond
recognizance. Finally there is no safety net for disability
plaintiffs who lose their ADA cases. When they lose, they lose a lot
more than just their cases. They're losing cars, homes, credit
rating...EVERYTHING... for just trying to enforce ADA. Scary, isn't it?

Basically, the long road to fairness at the workplace remains unpaved
and peppered with hazards. Each victory on our behalf amounts to a
tiny slice of this road being paved. Then there's the possibility of
our victories being nullified or overturned in future cases. We will
step back a little however getting this strip back will be easier in
the future because it has already been paved.

Deaf workers all share a common victory which is being role models
for the Deaf community. They are also our pioneers. We must support
our Deaf workers and Deaf pioneers REGARDLESS of their economic
status. They all reinforce the statement "Deaf People Can Do Anything
Except Hear" made by I. King Jordan, Deaf President of Gallaudet
University. Deaf workers and pioneers all set examples for us to
follow.

To the Deaf workers of America, this is your month and THANK YOU!

OCDAC Staff

An Open Letter To Senator Barbara Boxer

The Honorable Barbara Boxer
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Sen. Boxer:

As an individual committed to fairness and equal opportunity, I urge
you to oppose any effort to eliminate affirmative action in higher
education.

For most of our nation's history, the doors of many of the nation's
finest educational institutions were firmly closed to women and
people of color. Racial and ethnic discrimination in federally-funded
activities was outlawed with passage of Title VI of the 1964 Civil
Right Act and gender discrimination prohibited with passage of Title
IX of the education Amendments of 1972. Nevertheless, educational
opportunities for women, the disabled, and people of color are still
limited by discrimination and stereotyping and affirmative action
programs help level what remains a tilted playing field.

Affirmative efforts to extend equal educational opportunities to
qualified women, the disabled, and people of color have been underway
for over twenty five years and span a broad range of activities
intended to make educational opportunities accessible to all
Americans.

Such activities include:

-providing targeted scholarships and other targeted financial aid;

-providing additional review of applications by admissions committees
looking at other merit factors in addition to grades and test
scores;

-making targeted recruitment efforts for undergraduate and graduate
admissions, as well as for special educational programs; and,

-providing mentoring, counseling, and other support programs.

There is substantial evidence affirmative action programs have made a
crucial difference for countless qualified individuals whose talents
would not have surfaced without the opportunity provided by such
programs. Discrimination and inequities continue to exist, and as a
result, women and people of color continue to lag behind by many
educational measures. For example:

Approximately 18% of all college students are African American,
Latino or American Indian compared with 28% of the college-aged
population;

Only 33% of African-American and 36% of Hispanic high school
graduates ages 18-24 attended college in 1993, compared with nearly
42% of whites;

While women receive 39% of doctorate degrees, they are awarded only
12% of engineering doctorates, 12% of physics doctorates, and 22% of
mathematics doctorates;

Participation by people with disabilities in the gainful aspects of
life has been dismal 15-20%;

African Americans receive 4% of doctorate degrees, Hispanics receive
2% of doctorate degrees, and Asian Americans receive 6% of doctorate
degrees.

Education is so fundamental to virtually every aspect of social and
economic opportunity in America. More than ever, educational
achievement is linked to economic security and advancement for
individuals as well as the nation as a whole. Schools bear the unique
responsibility of preparing the future leaders of the country to
effectively live and lead in a multicultural society. In an era when
America's competitive advantage lies in its ability to leverage the
diversity of its people, a diverse, educated nation is a stronger
nation economically and otherwise. As we approach the 21st Century,
our commitment to these programs is more important than ever.

Sincerely,

Richard Roehm

OCDAC's Musings

Friends,

Once again our communication system is under attack. Yesterday I got
an email from yahoogroups stating that I been violating he TOS
meaning Terms Of Service. This is a common practice by the
illiterate trolls in our communities. They cant understand what I'm
talking about and they think what I'm typing up violates the TOS and
they send their complaints to the yahoogroups system.

1) Our booth at the Children Festival Volunteer Day was an astounding
success and we've been given the invite for the Children Festival
this September in which about 60 community organizations including
ours entertain about 2 million people in a single day event. This is
one grand event!

2) Our O-C Fair materals are starting to flow in. The Oberkotter
Foundation sent us samples of their freebie handouts including pretty
purple bags, a brain shaped stress buster, and a nice DVD about their
program and those who benefitted from it. And the California Avocado
Commission has sent us materials to help us design our booth.

3) We are still getting new clients from as far as Texas and
Tenneesee which is a good mark that our marketing system is working.

3) Our first board president G. Jack Digaetano is doing much much
better in the hospital, hes had to suffered a broken neck and he is
slowly regaining the use of his arms and legs. Yesterday's visit was
a positive experience for both of us.

4) The Santa Ana shakedown project is producing positive results.
We've identified 574 businesses in the city of Santa Ana that are not
disability accessible. We've communicated with these business that
we are offering refresher courses on the Americans with Disabilities
Act. Some have responded with interest in taking our class.

5) Our lawsuit with the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Irvine is still rolling
on with our firm need for TTY's at their pay phones.

6) We have been invited to a meeting in Texas and plan to make
presentations on community activism.

7) The House Ear Institute has invited us to make a presentation on
safety devices at a camp off the Ventura hills.

8) The Call Box Access Project meeting was a positive one with us
being able to re-channel our advocacy resources to places that need
our help.

9) Please check our agency's website as it has a new look. We are
continuing to make our website more accesible and attractive.

And for our advocacy brickbat;

The blast of this month goes to the psychologists and psychiatrists
who oftentimes misdiagnose Deaf people. Most psychologists and
psychiatrists are still like old dogs that are not willing to learn
new tricks (like ASL). They are usually with a 19th
century mindset. They are continually taking advantage of not only
the Deaf, but the entire disability community. Some psychiatrists
have recently labeled disability plaintiffs as 'dangerous'
or 'threatening' and so forth to help companies defeat their ADA
cases. The best way we can handle these defaming
instances is to educate the Deaf community of where to get help in
dealing with such 'shrinks'. There are a few
agencies to turn to for help. Today, there are many many Deaf
people languishing in the mental health system that are controlled by
19th century mindset psychologists and we need to identify those Deaf
people and help get them out so they can lead normal lives.

Our advocacy and activism is still in full swing in spite of the
challenges earlier this month. We are proud of our ability to
sustain the good battleship in spite of a lot of elements being
active at chipping away at us.

Always at your service!

Richard Roehm
CEO, OCDAC
Http://www.deafadvocacy.org

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Deaf activists are a valuable asset to the Deaf community.

Deaf activists are a valuable asset to the Deaf community. The more
activists we have the better we are able to defend our rights. Yes,
we need more Deaf activists than there are at this time. If you have
the time and resources to spare you can become a valuable asset to
your community. ONLY the ones that are truly sympathetic to the Deaf
community should consider becoming Deaf activists. Victims of
disability related discrimination are STRONGLY encouraged to become
activists. Take your time, get a little this now and a little that
later. You will function better if you absorb these items on a
gradual basis. The editor gave himself 18 months to accumulate these
resources. REMEMBER You are to serve the Deaf community and not
expect anything back.

Here is one way to start yourself as a Deaf activist.

1) Join local Deaf associations AND attend their meetings. (NOT
RECREATION/SPORTS ASSOCIATIONS).

2) Obtain Deaf news from Deaf newsletters or newspapers.

3) Gather the names and addresses of as many U.S. senators and as
many representatives in your state. Communicating with them is one
important part of being an activist. You will ask them to support or
reject bills that are introduced that affect the disability
community. Make sure you get the official position on the bills
preferably from the National Association for the Deaf before you
communicate with the lawmakers. When you write to lawmakers, just
send to the ones that directly represent your state.

4) Gather resources on SSI, SSDI, SSA, Workers Compensation, EEOC,
and Fair Employment and Housing authorities. Make sure that the
information comes from the government agency. It will be helpful if
you were familiar with the procedures for these programs.

5) Gather information and business cards from at least 5 attorneys
who specializes in cases involving disabled people for referrals. In
most cases, you will need to refer someone to an attorney. Keep their
problems confidential if they spill it on you before you get the
chance to refer them to an attorney.

6) Start a community newsletter if you have resources to spare.

7) Obtain a copy of the entire ADA law and all the technical manuals
CD from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission It is a good
source of information.

8) Obtain a copy of your local Social Services Resource Directory.
With this you will able to provide Deaf people with information on
how to get free food, rent, transportation, and legal assistance as
well as referrals to free specialized help. The resource directory is
very valuable.

9) Participate in any civil rights demonstration if you have the time
to spare. Try not to restrict yourself to Deaf demonstrations, go to
other disability demonstrations and civil rights demonstrations.
(This will help you form alliances!)

10) Contact other Deaf or Disability activists and ask them to help
you get started. They know how to go about things and will be a
valuable source of information. Volunteer your time helping them
out. Most activists can use a lot of help.

Hope you find this helpful!

Always at your service!

Richard Roehm

OCDAC News

Folks,

Given this letter overdue from our original plans to make this
a 'weekly' letter. We had to delay a bit because of the recent
developments.

1) I have become the News Administrator at Deafcities.com website.

2) Our agency had to handle some staffing changes. One of our trusty
volunteers decided to quit due to personal reasons and it has been a
task shuffling responsibilities around to fill the void.

Now for the 'news' !

1) We have begun the big website makeover. You will see changes on our
key pages as well as our resource pages.

2) A number of our educational brochures are now available in Spanish,
Japanese, and Russian for the great diverse populations of the Southern
California areas.

3) Our OC Fair booth has been approved this year. We are getting a 20'
wide by 10' booth which is twice as big as it has been since our debut
in the year 2000. We will have a very inclusive educational program in
it's place.

4) We have added a classroom to our agency. Room 102 is our classroom
for teaching ASL, ADA, Literacy, and to be used as a safe, quiet, place
for our Youth Empowerment Program clients.

5) We have become a regional resource center of people with hearing and
vision impairments.

6) We have added a new online fundraiser program to supplement our
revenue. Http://www.igive.com/ocdac

Next week we will have more news for you.

Always at your service!

Richard Roehm

Dealing with Discrimination

What you should do in the event you feel you have been
or about to be discriminated against.

--1) Make a journal or diary and note all the actions
of the people who are working against you. Note your
feelings to these actions and how they affect the way
you are living at home and how they affect your
social life. The journal will be valuable when you
want to claim psychological damages.

--2) Gather info on people who decided against you and
most importantly WITNESSES who will testify in your favor.
Get copies of your employee file, all papers you have
received from them and all information regarding the
position you wanted including ads on walls, newspaper.
You will have to do this secretly. And most importantly,
MAKE COPIES OF ALL THE PAPERS PERTAINING TO YOUR CASE
AND HIDE THEM IN A RELATIVE'S HOUSE.

--3) File a protest with your employer's human resources,
union, and Labor Department. Make sure you have all copies
of the protests in a secure place.

--4) Contact the Fair Employment and Housing Dept and
schedule an appt with them. Filing a complaint with
this agency will preserve your right to sue the
person(s) involved. Try to get the complaint in no later
than 6 months to ensure you are within the statute of
limitations.

--5) Contact your local deaf association for referrals
to an attorney. Be very patient with the attorney's
questions to you. Lawyer 'shopping' is HARD WORK that
PAY$ very well. This phase can get very frustrating.
Try to bear with their slow speed as they usually have
other cases to take care of before yours. Once you
have retained an attorney, HE/SHE is in charge of ALL
of the elements that goes into the case. The average
time a case is resolved is 4-8 years.

--6) BE READY TO LEAVE WORK. Update your resume and seek
employment elsewhere. Or have all information regarding
disability, SSI, Workman's Compensation ready for you
in the event you are discharged or become unable to work
for that company. Try to get on disability leave
immediately after their adversive actions against you.
Have a doctor/psychologist information ready as well.

--7) SILENCE UNTIL CASE IS SETTLED. Telling others of this
case could weaken your case as the people who you are
suing may find out from your friends and build up a
defense. The surprise element is very cruicial to your
case and has many advantages.

New poll for ocdacnewsletter

Enter your vote today! A new poll has been created for the
ocdacnewsletter group:

Are the freeway emergency roadside callboxes in your area
accessible to callers with hearing and speech impairments?

o Yes they are!
o No they are not.
o No such call boxes in my area.


To vote, please visit the following web page:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ocdacnewsletter/surveys?id=1820977

Note: Please do not reply to this message. Poll votes are
not collected via email. To vote, you must go to the Yahoo! Groups
web site listed above.

Thanks!

Question

Are the freeway emergency roadside callboxes in your area accessible to callers with hearing and speech impairments?
Your vote is shown above. You can change your vote until the poll is closed.

Responses

       Choices                                    Votes    % of reply
Yes they are! 5 26
No they are not. 11 57
No such call boxes in my area. 3 15