FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
CT Tech Act Receives $75,000 Quality of Life Grant from
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for the Connect to Tech Program
The CT Tech Act Project, a program within the State Department of Aging and Disability Services (ADS) is proud to announce that it has been awarded $75,000 as part of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation National Paralysis Resource Center 2020 High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology (HIIAT) grants program. Four HIIAT grants totaling nearly $300,000 were awarded nationally. The Quality of Life Grants Program, which includes the HIIAT program, supports nonprofit organizations that empower individuals living with paralysis. Since the Quality of Life Grants Program’s inception, more than 3,250 grants totaling over $30 million have been awarded. Funding for these new cycles of grants were made possible through a cooperative agreement with the federal Administration for Community Living.
The HIIAT Quality of Life grants program funds one-year grants of up to $75,000 to state and territory AT programs funded through the State Assistive Technology Act for innovative, one-time programs or services that through assistive technology devices or services, increase access to services, increase the independence or inclusion of people living with paralysis, their family members and caregivers.
“In every way imaginable, 2020 has been a very difficult year for the organizations we support and those living with paralysis that we serve,” said Mark Bogosian, Director, Quality of Life Grants Program at the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “It is my deepest hope that these high impact, innovative projects and the assistive technology they deliver will alleviate some of those difficulties that many within our population have faced and will continue to face. These are promising endeavors being carried out by great leaders in our field, I have great faith in their success.”
The CT Tech Act Project will use the grant to work with three Assistive Technology partner agencies, Capitol Region Education Council (CREC), EASTCONN and the New England Assistive Technology (NEAT) Center at Oak Hill and two local hospitals - Gaylord Hospital and Hartford Hospital - to provide inpatients with spinal cord injury or other paralysis causing condition access to Assistive Technology services and devices through AT demonstrations and AT lending to allow them to experience how AT can enhance their quality of life and help them to maintain and/or increase their independence as they return home after discharge.
“We are very excited to have an opportunity to make a significant impact on individuals as they transition home, helping them to maintain or enhance their quality of life and independence.” Arlene Lugo, CT Tech Act Project Program Director stated. She added, “We wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of receiving this HIIAT Quality of Life grant and we thank the Reeve Foundation for their support.”
About the Reeve Foundation:
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information, and advocacy. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is the support side of the Reeve Foundation’s twin missions to provide “Today’s Care” and to strive for “Tomorrow’s Cure” and offers a free, comprehensive, national source of informational support for individuals living with paralysis and their caregivers. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit our website at www.ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-539-7309.
About the CT Tech Act:
CT Tech Act Project’s mission is to “increase independence and improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through increased access to Assistive Technology for work, school and community living.” Learn more at www.CTtechact.com
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(973) 379-2690 ext. 7123
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 15, 2020
The Department of Aging and Disability Services Recognizes
October 15 as National Blind Americans Equality Day
The Department of Aging and Disability Services (ADS) is pleased to recognize October 15 as National Blind Americans Equality Day. This is a day that has been set aside for more than half a century to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of Americans who are blind or visually impaired.
Originally recognized as “White Cane Safety Day” in 1964, the day has evolved beyond showcasing the mobility and access that canes and service animals afford people who are blind or visually impaired, to the broader focus on the many contributions to society made by individuals with blindness or visual impairments.
“We are pleased to join the community in celebrating these successes that have removed barriers in education, employment and community involvement,” Commissioner Amy Porter said. “With our mission of maximizing opportunities for the independence and well-being of people with disabilities and older adults in Connecticut, we are committed to working in partnership to further these achievements.”
On this day of celebration of the accomplishments of so many individuals from across the state and the nation, ADS invites the public to view examples of successes in employment by visiting the agency website and reading the personal stories of such individuals through the following link: https://portal.ct.gov/AgingandDisability/Content-Pages/Bureaus/BESB-Partnerships-for-Success.
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* * *
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 21, 2020
REOPENING GUIDANCE NOW AVAILABLE FOR SENIOR CENTERS TO PROVIDE
ON-SITE VISITS, PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
The Department of Aging and Disability Services today released guidance for senior centers that will allow them to begin to welcome participants back to their facilities. The guidance, developed in partnership with senior centers, municipalities and state and local health representatives, will provide the centers with the discretion to expand the virtual programs and services that they have been providing during the pandemic beginning September 1.
Governor Ned Lamont said, “While we know older adults are considered a more vulnerable population for COVID 19, this pandemic has caused many residents to also feel negative effects from social isolation and loss of independence. We believe the many programs offered by senior centers are important to the quality of life for these Connecticut residents.”
Aging and Disability Services Commissioner Amy Porter said, “With this guidance we were trying to strike a balance between health and safety and the ability to access programs that support the independence and well-being of older adults. These services provide a critical path to increase social connections.”
Dianne Stone, President of Connecticut Association of Senior Center Personnel (CASCP, the statewide association of senior centers in CT) said, “Connecticut’s senior centers have been doing an incredible job at supporting older adults as they stay home. As anxious as we are to welcome everyone back in, we want to make sure that we do it safely. That is why we are so appreciative of the partnership with the state in establishing this guidance, giving us a starting date and a roadmap of things that we need to consider as we determine how and when we can safely invite people back.”
Guidance provided to senior centers as they begin their reopening planning includes:
- Capacity limits
- Cleaning protocols
- Use of Personal Protective Equipment
- Contact Tracing
- Training and Certification
The entire reopen guidance document can be found on the DECD website under Phase II of the reopen guidelines. Your local Senior Center will be making decisions regarding specific opening timelines and available programs.
For information on COVID-19, please visit www.ct.gov/Coronavirus. Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance, or text “CTCOVID” to 898211.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
THE DEPARTMENT OF AGING AND DISABILITY SERVICES CELEBRATES 30 YEARS
OF ACCESS UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
(HARTFORD, CT) – July 26, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most important pieces of legislation for people with disabilities – the Americans with Disabilities Act. This law, commonly referred to as the ADA was a watershed event in expanding access and protecting the rights of all Americans with disabilities.
The Department of Aging and Disability Services celebrates this important civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
“We at Aging and Disability Services embrace our mission of maximizing opportunities for the independence and well-being of people with disabilities and older adults in Connecticut,” Commissioner Amy Porter said. “The agency works with people with different disabilities, helping to break down barriers in employment, education and other facets of daily life. On this important anniversary we renew our ongoing commitment to justice, equality and opportunity for all residents with disabilities.”
Aging and Disability Services joins the National Council on Disability and the ADA National Network in marking the breaking of barriers by asking Connecticut residents to share how the ADA has impacted your life in 30 words or less, or 30 seconds or less for audio or video, using the hashtags #30onADA30, #ThanksToTheADA and #ADA30 in your social media feeds. Feel free to follow and tag us on our social media accounts, below.
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June is Pride Month!
While each year this month honors and celebrates the LGBTQ community, COVID 19 has reminded us of the many struggles our friends in the LGBTQ community continue to face in the areas of accessing healthcare as well as the privilege of receiving services from a system free of bias and discrimination. During this challenging time, The State Unit on Aging would like to take this opportunity to make available some critical resources developed by our partners, the LGBT Resource Center , Lambda Legal, and The Diverse Elders Coalition.
SAGE and the Human Rights Campaign unveiled the Long-Term Care Equality Index in April 2019, which “promotes equitable and Inclusive Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Older People in Long-Term Care Communities.” The website is www.theLEI.org.
Lastly, there are hotlines specifically geared towards addressing social isolation as well as free legal counsel for LGBT older adults experiencing discrimination and or unfair treatment.
- SAGE Connect
- The LGBT Elders Hotline 1-877-360-LGBT
- The Lambda Legal Help Desk 1-866-542-8336
A cause of celebration is that we are pleased to share the link from Governor Lamont, announcing the June 15th landmark SCOTUS ruling that affirms the rights of LGBT employees in the workplace:
(10/15/19 HARTFORD, CT) – Today, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Department of Aging and Disability Services Commissioner Amy Porter presented an official proclamation on behalf of Governor Ned Lamont recognizing October 15 as Blind Americans Equality Day in the State of Connecticut and as a day to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of Americans who are blind or visually impaired.
By His Excellency Edward M. Lamont Jr., Governor:
An Official Statement
WHEREAS, for more than half a century our nation has set aside one day every year to honor the contributions of Americans who are blind or visually impaired, and in that time we have built a more just and more inclusive society. We will continue to build upon these successes and remove barriers to education, employment and community involvement; and
WHEREAS, every day, Connecticut residents who are blind or visually impaired enrich our communities and demonstrate the inherent worth of every person, and can also rightfully take pride in their contributions to the rich economic and social fabric of our community; and
WHEREAS, the government encourages employers, in both the public and private sector, to recognize the capabilities, skills and potential of citizens who are blind or visually impaired; and
WHEREAS, October 15th has formerly been known as White Cane Safety Day across the United States since it was declared by Congress and the President in 1964; and
WHEREAS, white canes and guide dogs have come to symbolize not only enhanced personal freedom through mobility, but equal rights and equal access for persons who are blind, as well as reminders to society of the many successes of these hardworking individuals in their communities and places of employment; now
THEREFORE, I, Ned Lamont, Governor of the State of Connecticut, to celebrate the past achievements and future potential of all of Connecticut’s citizens who are blind or visually impaired, do hereby proclaim October 15, 2019 as
Blind Americans Equality day
In the State of Connecticut.
(8/16/19) Across the nation – including in the state of Connecticut – genetic testing company representatives are offering “free” genetic tests to Medicare beneficiaries. While this may sound harmless, in reality it is dangerous. These companies can steal people’s medical identity and falsely bill Medicare, draining the system of needed funds.
(7/28/19) Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has signed legislation renaming the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) to the Department of Aging and Disability Services.
No Barriers, Wells Fargo Announce Winning 2018 Global Impact Challenge Schools & Open Teacher Applications for 2019 Opportunity
(3/25/19) A team of five Windsor, CT students was one of two teams awarded $5,000 to implement their winning project to help make Mystic Seaport Museum, a popular destination for visitors from around the world, more accessible for visitors who are blind or have low vision. The team of five young women, led by two teachers, Dennis Gallant and Beth Borysewicz of the Children’s Services program at the Connecticut Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) took part in the national Global Impact Challenge, sponsored by No Barriers USA and Wells Fargo & Company. The challenge is designed to address diversity, accessibility and inclusion challenges in local communities. Three of the five team members have vision loss and are served by DORS.
Fraud Alert from the Office of Inspector General regarding Genetic Testing of Medicare Beneficiaries
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about a fraud scheme involving genetic testing.