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Posted By David-Elijah Nahmod @DavidElijahN on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 2:14 PM
Matthew Easton's dog Chestnut isn't just his buddy — he's his eyesight.
Easton, an Air Force veteran who served from 2001-2005, lost most of his vision due to an eye disease. Chestnut is Easton's guide dog. With his faithful companion by his side, Easton is able to get around his neighborhood in San Luis Obispo. Chestnut also guides Easton from Central California to the VA Hospital in San Francisco's Outer Richmond District, where he receives medical treatment for his eyes.
But recently, the VA Hospital delivered some not-so-welcoming news, telling Easton that he could no longer bring Chestnut into the eye exam room at the hospital.
"I was told by the Patient Advocate Office as well as the eye clinic that the only option was to have a family member or a friend watch my dog for me during my exam," Easton told SF Weekly. "I was told if that wan't an option that I was to call Animal Control and have them take my guide dog to the shelter at my own expense just for the short duration of my appointment."
Easton says that he was advised to "leave his dog in the car."
Obvious questions arose, such as: leave Chestnut in what car? A blind person can't legally drive. As a person who lives on disability insurance Easton can hardly afford boarding fees. And besides, how would Easton get from the pound—which is in the Mission—to the VA Hospital in the Outer Richmond without his guide dog?
"I depend on the VA for treatment," Easton said. "Putting my dog in a shelter is ridiculous. It's dangerous for me as well as my dog."
California Department of Public Health using Mental Health Service Act funding. The LGBTQ Reducing Disparities Project has been bringing LGBTQ communities together for the past four years to work toward reducing the disparities faced by LGBTQ people in California. MHANCA Project Staff will present findings from the Project report, "First, Do No Harm," will explore additional gaps within the local community, and share information about Phase II funding for LGBTQ promising practices.
"The San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission is delighted to support the local sharing of this statewide information highlighting needs within the LGBTQ communities," said Dr. Jei Africa, who is a Commissioner and also the Director of Diversity and Equity at the Health Department's Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division.
The Board of Supervisors created the LGBTQ Commission this past June to further the cause of inclusiveness and advocate for policies affecting the local LGBTQ communities.
The night will feature a light supper served at 6pm and the presentation beginning at 6:30pm with opening remarks from Supervisor Dave Pine, President of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and Dr. Jei Africa.
For more information, please contact Nicole Scanlan, LGBTQmentalhealth@att.net
or call 916.538.7714
Know Your Rights Workshop on Benefits with Guest Speaker Trinh Phan of Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
Know Your Rights Benefits Workshop
When: Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Where: Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities - 2001 Winward Way, Suite 103, San Mateo, Ca. 94404
The Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities is hosting a FREE workshop on understanding your legal rights to social security benefits including SSI and SSDI. The workshop will be conducted by Trinh Phan of Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County.
RSVP is requested to ensure seating. For accommodation request contact Maisoon Sahouria by Monday December 1
To RSVP Contact:
650-645-1780 Ext 130
* Please refrain from wearing scented products to this event.
This past October, I accompanied fellow coworker, Maisoon Sahouria to the College of San Mateo for the first of her three-part workshop series on advocacy, effective communication, and disability rights. The workshop was an undeniable success, as the attendees (this advocate included), were educated on how to better advocate for themselves and their community. These skills proved incredibly useful shortly after leaving the college.
After the workshop, Maisoon and I decided to take the SamTrans 250 bus back to the CID office. Exiting from Perimeter Road, we walked down West Hillsdale Boulevard toward the intersection of Clearview Way. Upon reaching this intersection, we found that there was not a single curb ramp in any of its four corners.
This intersection is not only important for local businesses and the residents living in the area; it is also the closest SamTrans fixed route stop for the College of San Mateo. Anyone leaving the college using a wheelchair, walker, cane, etc. wanting to ride the SamTrans 250 or 294 busses, would somehow have to leap off of the seven inch sidewalk on the northwest corner of the West Hillsdale Boulevard intersection.
From there, one would cross West Hillsdale Boulevard only to find another absent curb ramp on the other side of the intersection. In order to access to the eastbound sidewalk of West Hillsdale Boulevard that person would then have to travel for over 350 yards on the road of the incredibly unsafe West Hillsdale Boulevard.
Here, they will find their first curb ramp with access to a sidewalk in the middle of the Highway 92 on-ramp. But, the journey’s not over yet; there is still an unbearably steep 350 yards back up West Hillsdale Boulevard, where one would finally be able to catch the SamTrans bus. Needless to say, this is not only impossible, it is unacceptable.
Our findings prompted us to contact the City of San Mateo immediately. We advocated that they do something to remediate the multitude of access and safety issues at this intersection. We spoke to a senior engineer at the Department of Public Works, and our advocacy paid off. Within 10 days, the city installed curb ramps on all four sides of the intersection.
This is just one of the many success stories at CID. Do you have a CID success story that you would like to share here on our Blog and social media outlets? Perhaps we installed a ramp or a stairlift for you at your home and you would like to let others know how it has helped you to remain independent and in the community? Maybe we helped you to become a better advocate for yourself, and you would like to tell that story? We’re looking for more of these types of success stories, so if you are interested in sharing your story, you can reach out to us HERE.
Keeping you updated on all things CID and disability.
- ADA Consult & Training
- Assistive Technology
- Counseling & Peer Support
- Housing Accessability Modification
- Independent Living Skills
- Information & Referral
- Independent Living Planning & Support
- Mental Health
- Personal Assistance Program
- Transitioning to the Community
- Systems Change Advocacy
- Work Incentive Planning Assistance >
- Youth Services >