Warren Cushman’s Vision

Warren and Lisa Cushman

Listen (29 min)

Blind from birth, Warren Cushman was a passionate advocate for blindness, cross-disability, and environmental issues for 15 years. He worked with the California Council of the Blind and sits on the Alameda County IHSS Public Authority Board.

But, in 2007, something happened that changed him deeply and set him on a new path which he names as mental illness.

Now, 13 years later, Warren is at long last talking publicly about what happened.

He’s chosen our airwaves to, not only recount this life-changing event, but to talk about how his family and the blind community has reacted to his recent public announcement of this additional disability.

Adrienne Lauby hosts to ask what’s changed, what’s the same, and Warren Cushman’s thoughts about his path ahead. 

Warren Cushman works with the California Council of the Blind, sits on the Alameda County IHSS Public Authority Board and adds his voice to many other groups and campaigns.

——————————————————————————————————————

DISABILITY 101 WEBINAR
September 6, 2020 @ 4 PM PST / 7 PM EST
presented by the L.A. Spoonie Collective

Disability, Chronic Illness, and Neurodiversity are present throughout human populations regardless of color, class, or creed. Famed writer Susan Sontag informs us that “we are all subject to dual citizenship in the land of the well and the land of the ill.” Perhaps the most onerous parts of being disabled are due to the oppression disabled folks face at the hands of able-bodied, “sane,” and neurotypical populations.

Join the Los Angeles Spoonie Collective for an informative workshop on the emergence and development of Disability Justice activism; a modern civil rights movement. We will discuss many topics and concepts of ableism and saneism (the forms of marginality disabled people encounter) including: Patty Berne of Sins Invalid’s Principles of Disability Justice, Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory, johanna hedva’s Sick Woman Theory, and more. Our workshop will close with a discussion on how folks can learn to stand in solidarity with disabled people in their lives, and how to appropriately support and affirm disabled, neurodivergent, and chronically ill people.

This webinar will have simultaneous Spanish and ASL interpretation and live transcription.


Tasha Fierce (they/them/the divine feminine) is an infinite being. They are also: a crazy fat queer disabled nonbinary femme, a Black feminist, a writer, an artist, a facilitator, an activist, a scholar, an anarchist, a witch, a gardener, a crisis doula, a lover of shadow, and an intermittent ray of light currently residing in the occupied Tongva territory known as Los Angeles. Their essays have been published in White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race and Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love, and Fashion, as well as Bitch, EBONY.com, Bitch Planet and other publications. Their fiction appears in the anthology Nothing Without Us by Renaissance Press. 

Laurent Ash Corralez (they/he) is a physically disabled trans latinx community organizer and zinester. Corralez has been part of various grass-roots organizations such as Pomona Food Not Bombs, LA Queer Resistance, Revolutionary Autonomous Communities LA, and LA Spoonie Collective. They have written 5 zines about intersectional disability. Currently, Corralez has been working on a Tumblr and Instagram project documenting disabled and chronically ill individuals in the punk scene. The project is called CRIPPUNX and originally began as a zine in 2019.

Find the Los Angeles Spoonie Collective at https://www.spooniecollective.org, or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/la.spoonie.collective/.


Fireweed Collective offers mental health education and mutual aid through a Healing Justice lens. We help support the emotional wellness of all people, and center the needs of those most marginalized by our society. Our work seeks to disrupt the harm of systems of abuse and oppression, often reproduced by the mental health system. Learn more at about us.

If you cannot join this webinar live, you may still register here to get access to the recording afterwards. The recording will include closed captioning.


For any questions, please contact Lilac at lilac@fireweedcollective.org

Original Air Date: 8-28-20

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Free Gerald Reed, Free Them All

Friday, Aug. 14, 2:30 pm PST KPFA radio

The pandemic is spreading quickly among people in prisons and other locked institutions. That means many people with disabilities are massed together directly in the path of Covid-19.

Armanda Shackleford and Sarah Wild join Eddie Ytuarte to discuss their effort to #FreeThemAll in Chicago and beyond.

Many incarcerated Chicago Police Department torture survivors sit behind bars as the virus rages, and one of them is a disabled man named Gerald Reed.  We’ll learn more about Gerald Reed and the work of folks on the front lines of prison abolition and disability justice.

Amanda Shackleford and her son Gerald Reed (L)

Amanda Shackleford is Gerald Reed’s mother. Sarah Wild is the lead activist with Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, which has been actively demanding the release of Gerald Reed and the depopulation of the Cook County Jail.

Sarah DelMonte & Eddie Ytuarte produced this program.

Chicago Torture Justice

Information about Gerald Reed

Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

The Campaign to Free Incarcerated Survivors of Police Torture (CFIST) is campaign of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR)

Since 1973, when it was born from the movement to free Angela Davis and all political prisoners, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression has defended the rights of oppressed people in Illinois and around the world. We defend the civil liberties of workers, activists, and prisoners. We struggle against white supremacy, the prison-industrial complex, and state violence. We demand community control of the police and full representation for Black people and other poor and oppressed people at all levels of government.

Ways for listeners to get involved:

Go to caarpr.org/cfist
1. Sign a petition/read other torture survivor stories 2. Learn how to send a letter to IL Gov. Pritzker demanding mass pardon for all the police torture survivors/wrongfully convicted

Follow CAARPR & CFIST on social media
#FreeGeraldReed #FreeThemALL YouTube:  CAARPRnow
Story of Gerald Reed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQjUKSVlWmc
Twitter: @CaarprNow
FB: Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression 
Instagram: @CaarprNow
Have more questions?
Email: cfist@caarpr.org or call PH: 312-939-2750.

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Audio Description with Ray Samuelson

Roy Samuelson

Listen (59 min.)
“Blind people watch TV. Blind people watch movies.” But, how DO they DO that?!! How does one make “A picture worth a thousand words” show up for people watching with their ears?

Welcome to the “Blind Alley” version of “Pushing Limits”.

What turns a movie into a radio drama?

Roy Samuelson, for one. Roy is an audio description narrator and, in this program, he shares behind-the-scenes knowledge. He’ll explain what makes narration effective, non-intrusive and exciting. Then, he explains how we can help make it better with something he is calling Kevin’s Process.

In this program, you’ll also learn how you can keep Pushing Limits on the air.

Yep, it’s that time again. And, we’re having fun with this fund drive. For the first time ever, a basic membership of $25 will get you the big fund drive thank you gift: a link to listen and download the “Abolish Racism Audio Collection.” You know how critical this wisdom is! Help us get it to you.

The San Francisco Orpheum Theater provides audio description to some of their presentations.  When they begin live shows again, check it out here.

We’ve excerpted from Roy Samuelson’s speech at the American Council for the Blind (ACB) annual convention.  ACB has provided audio files of the convention workshops, including several more covering audio description.  ACB also has an audio description project which includes a list of all audio described DVDs, broadcast television, movies, performing arts, museums, and national parks.

Sheela Gunn-Cushman and Mark Romoser produced and hosted this program.

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Covid 19: Black Disabled Activists Speak Out

Event poster with art by Jacob Lawrence, “Harlem Hospital’s Free Clinic Is Crowded with Patients Every Morning and Evening”



Listen 29 min
This week on Pushing Limits, black disability justice activist Leroy F. Moore Jr. makes a stunning indictment of the black community’s treatment of its disabled members.

His speech was part of a webinar called “Disability Justice and COVID-19” that also included Elandria Williams, Lateef Mcleod and Dorian Taylor.

We bring you excerpts from these black disability leaders who sit at the nexus of class, race and disability.

–They talk about Cure Culture, how our desire to fix disability is dangerous to the health of people with Covid-19.
–They talk about capitalism and how the desire to restart the economy produces disability.
–They talk about those living in psychiatric institutions and group homes, people who are all but forgotten when we talk about protecting ourselves from the corona virus.
–Finally, they talk about self-sufficiency; it’s difficulty and its necessity.

Elandria Williams
Elandria Williams

Elandria Williams

Elandria Williams is the Executive Director at Peoples Hub. She also provides development support to cooperatives, mostly in the Southern United States, and is a co-editor of Beautiful Solutions

Lateef Mcleod

Lateef Mcleod

“I am a poet, blogger, activists, and friend. Living in the multicultural center of the Bay Area with cerebral palsy gives me an unique, genuine prospective that I depict in my writing. In my website you will find links to my blogs, poetry, and where you can buy my poetry book. Please enjoy what I have to offer.”

Leroy Moore (on right) preforming with Krip Hop Core Crew

Leroy Moore

Founder of Krip-Hop Nation

Krip-Hop Nation’s Mission is to educate the music, media industries and general public about the talents, history, rights and marketability of Hip-Hop artists and other musicians with disabilities. Krip-Hop Nation’s main objective is to get the musical talents of hip-hop artists with disabilities into the hands of media outlets, educators, and hip-hop, disabled and race scholars, youth, journalists and hip-hop conference coordinators.

Krip-Hop Nation also reports on the latest news about musicians with disabilities through this website, , and columns http://www.poormagazine.org/krip_hop, Krip-Hop internet radio show and other Krip-Hop publications. Krip-Hop Projects consists of forums, presentations and performances. Our products include: Mixtapes, resource pamphlets, books and T Shirts

Dorian Taylor

Dorian Taylor

Dorian began as an advocate for the rights of folks with disabilities and surviving the experiences of institutional violence since their own life has been shaped and molded by such experiences. After years paving the way to advocate medical, housing, and transportation needs for himself and others, Dorian now attends school with hope of a Bachelors in Law and Policy. They hope to bring his motto “accessibility as an afterthought is the opposite of inclusion” into all gender-affirmative services and organizations. Dorian’s other passion is all things Kayak.

This program produced by Sheela Gunn-Cushman and Adrienne Lauby.  Adrienne Hosts.

The poster for this event was adapted from a 1943 painting by Jacob Lawrence called, “Harlem Series: Harlem Hospital’s Free Clinic Is Crowded with Patients Every Morning and Evening”.  It shows a hospital waiting room with a high wall. Behind the wall a black person in a white coat is doing something with a person is a striped orange shirt. The larger part of the picture shows about 20 people sitting on rows of benches. There are crutches in the picture.

Jacob Lawrence was one of the first nationally recognized African American artists. At one point in his life he was deeply depressed and entered a hospital for a lengthy stay.

The webinar “Disability Justice & COVD-19” was hosted on May 8, 2020. It featured Dorian Taylor (webinar organizer), Elandria Williams, Lateef Mcleod, Leroy Moore Jr, and chat moderation by Cyree Jarelle Johnson (webinar organizer). It was a self-funded/organized effort without the support of any institutions. HEARD & Talila A. Lewis (webinar organizer) contributed to the coordination of access and funding of the platform + a portion of the interpreting/captioning services.

Original air date: 7-17-20

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Call In: BLM Protests & Disability

Friday, June 19, 2:30-3 pm PDT on KPFA Radio

Poor People's Campaign March To The Capitol 2018. Photo by Stephen Melkisethian*  A large multi-racial crowd, hundreds of people, with a woman in colorful robe in a scooter and two other wheelchair users  at the front.  Among the many signs are some that read "Poor People's Campaign", "Disability plus Ableism equals Poverty", and "Systemic Racism is Immoral."
Poor People’s Campaign March To The Capitol 2018.        Photo by Stephen Melkisethian*

According to the Ruderman Foundation a third to a half of all people killed by police are disabled. In a period of continued actions by the Black Lives Matter movement against police violence and brutality, we turn to you, our listeners with disabilities.

Are you participating? Supporting?  Staying home but calling government officials? Helping activists communicate?  Fielding questions from your white friends?

Do the anti-police violence and disability movements intersect in your life? Do you have criticisms of the movement or feel hesitant about it for other reasons?  What are you doing?  What are you thinking? We want to hear from you.

We also want to know how the pandemic is affecting you.  Is the COVID-19 three month lock down really bugging you?  Are you creating positive activities out of a bad situation?  What are you managing to balance?

Call us at : (510) 848-4422

Eddie Ytuarte produced and hosts this program.

*photo license: https://bit.ly/Melkisethian


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Stacey Milbern Park

Stacey Milbern. A screen shoot from a 2018 video produced by DREDF, The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund,
https://vimeo.com/214431031.

Friday, June 4,
2:30-3 pm PDT KPFA

“You know, I want to leave a legacy of disabled people knowing that we are powerful and beautiful because of who we are, not despite it,” Stacey Milbern Park

The whole world is mourning the recent murder of George Floyd.  The disability community is no exception.

We were already grieving the loss of Stacey Milbern Park, a transformative activist who died of complications following surgery on  May 19, her 33rd birthday. Stacey’s activism fused disability with social justice, particularly for LGBT people of color.

Dolores Tejada and Jay Salazar, who both knew Stacey well, will join Mark Romoser to look back at Stacey’s life, discuss what she would be doing in this critical moment, and hopefully figure out how to do it ourselves.

Find out more about Stacey Milbern Park from Democracy Now!, the Disability Visibility Project  and KQED.

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Organizing in a Time of Social Distancing

LISTEN (59 min)

When activists and advocates are up against a shelter-in-place order, when everything we usually do is completely impossible, who you gonna call? That’s right!  Disability Justice!  Call ‘em now at 1-800-CRIP-POC-CRIP!Why them, you ask.Because over the past couple of decades activists with disabilities, in particular activists of color, have blazed a path of flexibility and mutual support to build a truly intersectional movement.  They’ve worked within harsh personal and societal limitations.  They’ve worked without institutional or philanthropic support.  They’ve worked across distances.  They’ve tested and adapting tech tools and utilized old school stuff like kindness and loving attention.  These people have the theories and techniques you need!Today, Pushing Limits brings excerpts from an April 2 panel discussion featuring three of these disability justice leaders: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Patricia Berne, and Lydia X. Z. Brown.  The panel discussion was called “Organizing in a Time of Social Distancing: The Wisdom of Disability Justice Organizers.”  It was hosted by JOIN for Justice, the Jewish Organizing Institute and Network for Justice.  400 people listened to these leaders talk about their work and another 600 signed up to listen at another time.

————————————————————–


Stacey Milbern. A screen shoot from a 2018 video produced by DREDF, The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund,
https://vimeo.com/214431031.[/caption]


    This program is dedicated to the memory of Disability Justice Activist Stacey Milbern (Park) who died suddenly last Tuesday. There will be a celebration of her life and legacy this Saturday, May 23. Details here

 

These links and learning opportunities were referenced in the webinar we feature in this program

Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival and Empowerment – Please donate to support the fund’s effort to provide direct financial support via micro-grants to autistic people of color during COVID-19.

Stand with The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe – The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the very tribe that welcomed the Pilgrims in the 1600s, is at risk of losing what is left of their homelands due to a determination made by Trump’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. Sign their petition and donate to their cause.

Skin, Tooth and Bone (Second Edition) – To dig in deeper with your learning about disability justice, get yourself a copy of this fabulous primer all about disability justice principles and practice, published by Sins Invalid.

Crip Fund: Crip Fund is pooling money for chronically ill, disabled, and immunocompromised people in serious financial need during this ongoing time of love, coronavirus, and apocalyptic joy & pain.

#NoBodyIsDisposable Know Your Rights Guide to Surviving COVID-19 Triage Protocols – This “Know Your Rights” toolkit is for people facing potential triage discrimination based on disability or weight during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The document covers rights and strategies for fat and disabled people of all ages navigating medical care in this time.

Disability During a Pandemic: Why You Should Put a Spoon on your Seder Plate this Passover, by Rabbi Elliot Kukla, in JWeekly.

Stay alert for news on the upcoming show produced by Sins Invalid: We Love Like Barnacles: Crip Lives and Climate Chaos.


JOIN for Justice, the Jewish Organizing Institute and Network for Justice, supports, trains and connects Jewish organizers, and their communities.  Allegra Heath-Stout, the Fellowship Director and Trainer, for JOIN for Justice spearheaded this effort and moderated the discussion. Don’t Kvetch, Organize! –The Pandemic Edition, the popular 8-week course offered by JOIN is currently full, but there is a waiting list.


 

ACTION ALERT From from CARA, the California Alliance of Retired Americans

The California May revised budget discussions are in full swing in Sacramento and, as usual, programs that support people with disabilities are on the chopping block

GOVERNOR’S MAY REVISED BUDGET A DISASTER FOR SENIORS and PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IT’S TIME TO SPEAK OUT Call Governor Newsom at 916-445-2841

We knew cuts would be massive, but the focus of many of the cuts are to programs that serve seniors and people with disabilities.  In this time of COVID, these programs, though small in the scheme of things, are truly lifesaving.  Programs like Multipurpose Senior Services, Community Based Adult Services, In Home Supportive Services, Independent Living Resource Centers, and more. – all keep people out of institutions WHERE PEOPLE ARE DYING!  Adding insult to injury, the Administration issued Crisis Care Guidelines which put seniors and people with disabilities at the bottom of the list when limited resources are available.  The proposals in the Governor’s budget, if passed, will hurt and possible kill people.  We must fight back.

PARTICIPATE IN THE SENATE BUDGET HEARING SUNDAY, MAY 24: 9AM-????

These meetings are being live streamed.  You can go to www.sen.ca.gov and join the meeting.  There will be a phone number provided to call in for public comment.  You can also send your comments to sbud.committee@senate.ca.gov.

We need you to “show up” for the Senate Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services May Revision hearing this Sunday, May 24th at 9:00am in Room 4203 in the State Capitol. These meetings are being live streamed.  You can go to www.sen.ca.gov and join the meeting.  There will be a phone number provided to call in for public comment.  You can also send your comments to sbud.committee@senate.ca.gov.

The hearing will be split into two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A will be Health and Part B will be Human Services. Part A will begin at 9 am. Part B will begin no earlier than 1 pm but possibly later than that depending on how long Part A runs.

For a full description analysis of the Governor’s revised budget, go to https://calbudgetcenter.org/.

Some of the proposed cuts that will impact seniors and people with disabilities the most are:

*7% across the board cut to IHSS *Would eliminate the Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) and Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) programs. CBAS and MSSP are day programs for older Californians with complex medical conditions or cognitive challenges that allow these individuals to stay in the community rather than be institutionalized. These individuals will almost certainly be admitted to nursing homes or hospitals or worse as a result of the shortage in beds.

*Eliminates and reduces Medi-Cal optional benefits. Specifically, reduces adult dental benefits to the partial restoration levels of 2014. Eliminates audiology, incontinence creams and washes, speech therapy, optician/optical lab, podiatry, acupuncture, optometry, nurse anesthetists’ services, occupational and physical therapy, pharmacist services, screening, brief intervention and referral to treatments for opioids and other illicit drugs in Medi-Cal, and diabetes prevention program services, for a total General Fund savings of $54.7 million.

*Eliminates the 2019 Budget Act expansion of Medi-Cal to aged, blind, and disabled individuals with incomes between 123 percent and 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

*Withholds and absorbs the anticipated federal January 2021 cost of living adjustment to the SSI portion of the SSI/SSP grant.

*Cuts funding to the Independent Living Resource Centers which serves people with disabilities and reduces funding to the Regional Centers serving individuals with developmental disabilities.

Please participate in the other budget meetings scheduled in the Assembly and Senate over the next two weeks.  The budget hearing schedule can be found at:   https://www.google.com/search?q=california+assembly+and+senate+budget+hearings.

Finally, call your state Senator and Assemblymember.  Thank them for any past help and ask them to stand up for seniors and disabled people during the budget process.  To reach our legislators, go to: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/your_legislator.html

Friday, May 22 2-3 pm PDT, KPFA radio

When activists and advocates are up against a shelter-in-place order, when everything we usually do is completely impossible, who you gonna call?  That’s right!  Disability Justice!  Call ‘em now at 1-800-CRIP-POC-CRIP!Why them, you ask.

Because over the past couple of decades activists with disabilities, in particular activists of color, have blazed a path of flexibility and mutual support to build a truly intersectional movement.  They’ve worked within harsh personal and societal limitations.  They’ve worked without institutional or philanthropic support.  They’ve worked across distances.  They’ve tested and adapting tech tools and utilized old school stuff like kindness and loving attention.  These people have the theories and techniques you need!

Today, Pushing Limits brings excerpts from an April 2 panel discussion featuring three of these disability justice leaders: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Patricia Berne, and Lydia X. Z. Brown.  The panel discussion was called
“Organizing in a Time of Social Distancing: The Wisdom of Disability Justice Organizers.”  It was hosted by JOIN for Justice, the Jewish Organizing Institute and Network for Justice.  400 people listened to these leaders talk about their work and another 600 signed up to listen at another time.

————————————————————–

This program is dedicated to the memory of Disability Justice Activist Stacey Milbern (Park) who died suddenly last Tuesday. There will be a celebration of her life and legacy this Saturday, May 23. Details here.

—————————————————————-

These links and learning opportunities were referenced
in the webinar we featured in this program


Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival and Empowerment – Please donate to support the fund’s effort to provide direct financial support via micro-grants to autistic people of color during COVID-19.

Stand with The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe – The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the very tribe that welcomed the Pilgrims in the 1600s, is at risk of losing what is left of their homelands due to a determination made by Trump’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. Sign their petition and donate to their cause.

Skin, Tooth and Bone (Second Edition) – To dig in deeper with your learning about disability justice, get yourself a copy of this fabulous primer all about disability justice principles and practice, published by Sins Invalid.

Crip Fund: Crip Fund is pooling money for chronically ill, disabled, and immunocompromised people in serious financial need during this ongoing time of love, coronavirus, and apocalyptic joy & pain. 

#NoBodyIsDisposable Know Your Rights Guide to Surviving COVID-19 Triage Protocols – This “Know Your Rights” toolkit is for people facing potential triage discrimination based on disability or weight during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The document covers rights and strategies for fat and disabled people of all ages navigating medical care in this time. 

Disability During a Pandemic: Why You Should Put a Spoon on your Seder Plate this Passover, by Rabbi Elliot Kukla, in JWeekly.

Stay alert for news on the upcoming show produced by Sins Invalid: We Love Like Barnacles: Crip Lives and Climate Chaos.


JOIN for Justice, the Jewish Organizing Institute and Network for Justice, supports, trains and connects Jewish organizers, and their communities.  Allegra Heath-Stout, the Fellowship Director and Trainer, for JOIN for Justice spearheaded this effort and moderated the discussion.

Don’t Kvetch, Organize! –The Pandemic Edition, the popular 8-week course offered by JOIN is currently full, but there is a waiting list.

—————————————————————————

Finally, the California’s revised budget discussions are in full swing in Sacramento and, as usual, programs that support people with disabilities are on the chopping block

GOVERNOR’S MAY REVISED BUDGET A DISASTER FOR SENIORS and PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

IT’S TIME TO SPEAK OUT

Call Governor Newsom at 916-445-2841

We knew cuts would be massive, but the focus of many of the cuts are to programs that serve seniors and people with disabilities.  In this time of COVID, these programs, though small in the scheme of things, are truly lifesaving.  Programs like Multipurpose Senior Services, Community Based Adult Services, In Home Supportive Services, Independent Living Resource Centers, and more. – all keep people out of institutions WHERE PEOPLE ARE DYING!  Adding insult to injury, the Administration issued Crisis Care Guidelines which put seniors and people with disabilities at the bottom of the list when limited resources are available.  The proposals in the Governor’s budget, if passed, will hurt and possible kill people.  We must fight back.

PARTICIPATE IN THE SENATE BUDGET HEARING
SUNDAY, MAY 24: 9AM-????

These meetings are being live streamed.  You can go to www.sen.ca.gov and join the meeting.  There will be a phone number provided to call in for public comment.  You can also send your comments to sbud.committee@senate.ca.gov.


We need you to “show up” for the Senate Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services May Revision hearing this Sunday, May 24th at 9:00am in Room 4203 in the State Capitol.

These meetings are being live streamed.  You can go to www.sen.ca.gov and join the meeting.  There will be a phone number provided to call in for public comment.  You can also send your comments to sbud.committee@senate.ca.gov.
 
The hearing will be split into two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A will be Health and Part B will be Human Services. Part A will begin at 9 am. Part B will begin no earlier than 1 pm but possibly later than that depending on how long Part A runs.

For a full description analysis of the Governor’s revised budget, go to https://calbudgetcenter.org/
Some of the proposed cuts that will impact seniors and people with disabilities the most are:

*7% across the board cut to IHSS

*Would eliminate the Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) and Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) programs. CBAS and
MSSP are day programs for older Californians with complex medical conditions or cognitive challenges that allow these individuals to stay in the community rather than be institutionalized. These individuals will almost certainly be admitted to nursing homes or hospitals or worse as a result of the shortage in beds.

*Eliminates and reduces Medi-Cal optional benefits.
Specifically, reduces adult dental benefits to the partial restoration levels of 2014. Eliminates audiology, incontinence creams and washes, speech therapy, optician/optical lab, podiatry, acupuncture, optometry, nurse anesthetists’ services, occupational and physical therapy, pharmacist services, screening, brief intervention and referral to treatments for opioids and other illicit drugs in Medi-Cal, and diabetes prevention program services, for a total General Fund savings of $54.7 million.

*Eliminates the 2019 Budget Act expansion of Medi-Cal to aged, blind, and disabled individuals with incomes between 123 percent and 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

*Withholds and absorbs the anticipated federal January 2021 cost of living adjustment to the SSI portion of the SSI/SSP grant.

*Cuts funding to the Independent Living Resource Centers which serves people with disabilities and reduces funding to the Regional Centers serving individuals with developmental disabilities.

Please participate in the other budget meetings scheduled in the Assembly and Senate over the next two weeks.  The budget hearing schedule can be found at:  
https://www.google.com/search?q=california+assembly+and+senate+budget+hearings.

Finally, call your state Senator and Assemblymember.  Thank them for any past help and ask them to stand up for seniors and disabled people during the budget process.  To reach our legislators, go to: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/your_legislator.html

We’re grateful for this excellent information which comes to us from CARA, the California Alliance of Retired Americans.

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Nursing Home Residents Face Covid-19

May 8, 2020 2:30-3 pm PDT on KPFA

COVID-19 is everywhere these days and no place has been hit harder than nursing homes. Estimates are that up to one-third of all COVID deaths have been in nursing homes.

But nobody knows for sure, because the federal government and many states aren’t collecting this statistic.  And, about one-quarter of people in those nursing homes are under age 65 and have disabilities.

What is it about nursing homes that makes them so dangerous?  What will happen to those who live inside them as the pandemic progresses?

Host Mark Romoser talks with Mike Dark from the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.

With a commentary by Shelley Berman.

———————-

COMING UP
Online Town Hall: Crisis in Care in SF Nursing Homes and Other Congregate Facilities

Thursday, May 14th, 11 AM

Please join advocates for elders and people with disabilities, public health advocates, concerned community members, and City officials in an online Town Hall on problems of care in nursing homes and other congregate facilities (group homes, board & care homes, assisted living facilities, homeless shelters, SROs, jails etc).

Click here to sign up!

More information about the issue:

The huge concentrations of COVID cases and deaths in care facilities has been a national disgrace. San Francisco is no exception. Contributing factors include no provision of social distancing, the lack of testing, lack of formal or informal oversight, lack of transparency in reporting cases and deaths to families and the public, and the long-standing low-staffing, low pay, and lack of safe conditions and PPE for care workers.

In California, these problems are made worse by (1) the state’s order that nursing homes accept recovering COVID patients, (2) proposed immunity for nursing homes from criminal or civil penalties for COVID deaths during the pandemic, and (3) proposed state triage guidelines if hospitals become overwhelmed that could discriminate against older people, people with disabilities, poor people, fat people, and people of color.

Nursing facilities are nearly all for-profit, and money must not be a motivating factor in whether or not to provide the best care possible. In addition, local and state government must step in more aggressively to protect people. The low priority placed on the lives of older people and disabled people living in facilities is a sign of ageism and ableism, oppression based on age and disability.

Please attend to learn about these problems, declare that ageism and ableism are unacceptable in our community, and join the dialogue to prevent future tragedies.

Sponsored by the California Care Rationing Coalition: Senior and Disability Action, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, Gray Panthers, California Alliance of Retired Americans, Hand in Hand, and many more
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Fat-Assed Prepper Survival Tips for Preparing for a Coronavirus Quarantine

Twenty-three pages of practical information and lists of resources, from how to disinfect a wheelchair to surviving a hospital visit.  Highly recommended.  (With thanks to Sins Invalid for publishing this and other excellent and timely resources on their website)

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This program produced & hosted by Mark Romoser.

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Disability History: The Mad Movement with Michael Rembis

Listen (28 min)

Today’s organizing in the Mad Community has a long and turbulent back story.  Historian Michael Rembis joins us again, this time to relay the remarkable work of mad activists in the 20th Century. The 20th century was a time of change and increased visibility for people living with emotional and mental disabilities.  We’ll trace remarkable gains  — and highlight continued inequities.

Michael Rembis

Michael Rembis is the Director of the Center for Disability Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University at Buffalo (SUNY).

Produced and hosted by  Eddie Ytuarte.

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Corona Virus & Disability, Episode Two

Graphic in blue and yellow which reads:
#COVID19 and disability. People with disability may have risks of developing more severe cases of coronavirus because COVID-19 exacerbates existing health conditions, particularly related to respiratory functions, diabetes, heart disease and immune system.  World Health Organization #coronavirus

Listen (29 min)
Floating on pandemic waves of news, fear, social distancing and mutual aid, Pushing Limits hosts cull from the news, blogs and articles written by disabled people, webinars & conference calls and personal experience to bring this overview.

Here’s more from the resources they’ve plumbed:

Eight Take Aways from Listening to the National Disability Community

A Spoon on the Seder Plate (with thanks to Sins Invalid)

No One is Disposable — Preparing for a possible hospital stay

omeless People Two to Three Times as Likely to Die

Free Masks in the East Bay– for you and your attendant (see below for details)

Corona Virus Proposals Leave the Disability Community Behind

I Will Not Apologize for My Needs

FREE COVID-19 Support Program for Chronic Disease Patients and Their Families

Round Table Participants:  Mark Romoser, Shelley Berman, Sheela Gunn-Cushman and Adrienne Lauby

FREE MASKS IN THE EAST BAY

Dear friends,

My wife and I have organized some out-of-work theatre costume makers to sew masks. We’d like to provide free masks to people with disabilities and their attendants for COVID. Do you want some some masks?

Good masks are important for people with disabilities since we can’t always practice the standard 6’ physical distance from our workers. In a perfect world we could all get the right protection. Since that’s not possible right now, we need to adapt and make do the best we can. This is a “harm reduction” approach, so be aware these masks don’t meet OSHA standards for virus transmission protection. You still need to wash your hands frequently, follow the other recommended precautions and maintain physical distance when you can.

As you know there is a nationwide grassroots mask making effort to assist healthcare workers and others to do their jobs or live more safely. There are many patterns and materials being developed. Elaine and I have looked closely at the various options, and I think we have arrived at three models of masks that are best suited for the needs of pwd’s at this moment. Finding a balance between breathability and protection is hard. This is all something of a work in progress, and we welcome feedback from mask users.

We expect to get some masks ready for distribution by some next week. (April 13-20) We intend to give each person two masks. So for example, if you have one attendant, then you would need 4 masks. If you have two workers then you would need six masks. We’ll try to include different color pairs so you can identify yours vs your workers masks. Having 2/person allows for one mask to be in service while the other one is either airing out, or being washed. (We think 24-36 hours on a window sill or paper bag is adequate for disinfecting fabric, but more research is needed on this)

The three options are as follows: (see attached photo, which illustrates both ties and ear loops). All masks have a metal interior nose strip for better fit, and different colors on the inside and outside.

  1. 1 layer cotton with 2 layers of NWPP (non-woven poly propylene, the same material which is used in medical grade mask; it has good properties for this application-I.e. good breathability combined with some virus protection). You put this mask on by using cloth ties. (Eg Bias tape or a ribbon like material)
  2. Same as above but with elastic ear loops instead of ties. (Meaning that there is a short section of elastic that goes around your ears. I don’t know the material composition so the ear loops may contain latex)
  3. Two layers of cotton with cloth ties. We think this option may be longer lasting if your preferred method of disinfecting was frequent soap washing and drying. (But we really don’t know for sure if that would degrade the NWPP or elastic loop mask).

The masks will be packaged in paper bags after being washed and dried. (Plastic should be avoided as much as possible for many reasons, including the fact that the virus lives much longer on plastic surfaces)  I think all of these materials should be safe for somebody with moderate MCS, based upon my own personal and very scientific sniff test, but if you are concerned about the NWPP, you might opt for the cotton model.

Please respond (prefer by email, directly to me) if you want some masks by including the following information. 

  • Your name and how many masks you need (based yourself + the number of attendants you have; 2 per person)
  • How many of each style mask you want (ie # 1, 2, or 3 above)
  • Whether you or your attendant can pick up the masks (will be on my porch in South Berkeley) If you can’t arrange this we’re happy to deliver them to you, so include your address and a safe location for drop off.

It’s ok to forward this email. We’ll have a limited supply of these, so if we do run out, or if you prefer, there are other options to obtain masks, such as through Disability Justice Culture Club, (910-722-9552), Mask Avengers, Make Me PPE or Theatre Bay Area. Some of these orgs are hard to access at the moment, (eg. are Facebook-based, only accept organizational applications, or are focused on recruiting the makers). If we run out I’ll help you navigate other sources, but let’s cross that bridge when we get there.

“Stayin’ alive” (a nice 20sec verse for that soapy hand washing),
Marg
sismhall1@aol.com

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