1000 El Camino Real, Atherton, CA 94027
Outside Menlo College Dining Hall near the Quad.
April 10th, 2018, 11:30 am-2 pm
Menlo Park Emergency Preparedness Day presented by The Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities
PLAN Now. WORK Together. BE Ready.
Join us for a FREE Emergency Preparedness Event for seniors and individuals with disabilities!
Contact us at CIDEmergencyPrep@gmail.com or 650-645-1780 ext 115 if you need any accommodations for disability or language for the event.
To RSVP, please register at
Coming to My Senses
In 1999, Aaron Baker suffered a spinal cord injury in a motocross accident, leaving him completely paralyzed from the neck down. Despite doctors' grim prognosis, over the next 16 years, Aaron decided not to listen to those who said 'he had a million-to-one odds of ever feeding himself again' and instead endeavored to regain as much mobility as possible. This journey through the unknown took him from the depths of depression to the joys of cross country road tripping via tandem bicycle with his mother and friends, and finally, culminated in his opening a socially conscious low-cost gym focused on increasing mobility for the disabled. Now, in COMING TO MY SENSES, we watch as Aaron takes one final journey which symbolizes his recovery: to cross a 20-mile tract of Death Valley unsupported on foot. But will he make it? Film is 81 minutes long. Following the film, Aaron Baker will be joining us through Skype to discuss/answer audience questions.
WHEN: March 29, 2018
WHERE: Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
RSVP and CONTACT FOR MORE INFO
Call (408) 885.2397 (Robert Medel),
SCI Connections is coordinated by Santa
Clara Valley Medical Center's
Rehabilitation Department. The film
“Coming to My Senses”, food, refreshments and Google Home Mini for this meeting were brought to you by a generous donation from NorCalSCI
Automating Inequality': Algorithms In Public Services Often Fail The Most Vulnerable February 20th, 2018
In the fall of 2008, Omega Young got a letter prompting her to recertify for Medicaid.
But she was unable to make the appointment because she was suffering from ovarian cancer. She called her local Indiana office to say she was in the hospital.
Her benefits were cut off anyway. The reason: "failure to cooperate."
"She lost her benefits, she couldn't afford her medication, she lost her food stamps, she couldn't pay her rent, she lost access to free transportation to her medical appointments," Virginia Eubanks tells NPR's Ari Shapiro. Eubanks is the author of a new book, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor.
"Young died on March 1, 2009," Eubanks says. "The next day, she won an appeal for wrongful termination and all of her benefits were restored the day after her death."
Young's story is one of three detailed pictures across the country that Eubanks draws to illustrate that automated systems used by the government to deliver public services often fall short for the very people who need it most: An effort to automate welfare eligibility in Indiana, a project to create an electronic registry of the homeless in Los Angeles, and an attempt to develop a risk model to predict child abuse in Allegheny County, Penn.
Welfare Eligibility In Indiana
With automation, Eubanks says Indiana lawmakers wanted to save money and streamline the state's welfare system.
"But the way the system rolled out, it seems like one of the intentions was actually to break the relationship between caseworkers and the families they served," the author says.
In promoting the contract, she says, the governor, she says, kept pointing to one case to suggest that a system that lets caseworkers and families develop personal relationships invites fraud.
"There was one case where two caseworkers had colluded with some recipients to defraud the government for about $8,000," she says. "So what happened is the state replaced about 1,500 local caseworkers with online forms and regional call centers. And that resulted in a million benefits denials in the first three years of the experiment, which was a 54 percent increase from the three years before."
But, Eubanks says, automated public service systems that serve those living in poverty or with poor health are not inherently less effective than mainstream automated services like Uber or Lyft. Rather, she worries that these systems are used "as a kind of empathy override."
"One of my greatest fears in this work is that we're actually using these systems to avoid some of the most pressing moral and political challenges of our time — specifically poverty and racism," she says.
Resource Allocation For The Homeless In Los Angeles
Eubanks says these tools are being used to outsource hard decisions to machines — including the allocation of housing in Southern California.
"So there are 58,000 unhoused folks in Los Angeles," she says. "It's the second highest population in the United States and 75 percent of [those unhoused] are completely unsheltered, which means they're just living in the street."
"I do not want to be the caseworker who is making that decision, who is saying there are 50,000 people with no resources, I have a handful of resources available, now I have to pick," she says.
Still, automation is not the solution here, Eubanks says. To underline the point, she cites public interest lawyer Gary Blasi in her book: "Homelessness is not a systems engineering problem, it's a carpentry problem."
In other words, if you've got 10 houses for 20 people it doesn't matter how good the system for housing those people is — it won't work.
That's not to say automation doesn't have an important role in helping limit failures caused by caseworkers "who are racist, who discriminate, who favor some clients over others for inappropriate reasons," Eubanks says.
"Human bias in public assistance systems has created deep inequalities for decades," she says. "Specifically around the treatment of black and brown folks who have often been either overrepresented in the more punitive systems or diverted from the more helpful systems."
These inequalities can manifest in a number of ways. People of color are more likely to go to prison, have their children taken away from them or not receive public housing.
"But the thing that's really important to understand," the author notes, "these systems don't actually remove that bias, they simply move it."
A Child Welfare Risk Model In Allegheny County, Penn.
One case of this bias displacement is found in Pennsylvania, Eubanks says. In Allegheny County, the Department of Human Services employs a predictive algorithm aimed at projecting which children are likely to become victims of abuse.
"In that case, one of the hidden biases is that it uses proxies instead of actual measures of maltreatment," she says. "And one of the proxies it uses is called call re-referral. And the problem with this is that anonymous reporters and mandated reporters report black and biracial families for abuse and neglect three and a half more often than they report white families."
Eubanks knows she could have turned out a pretty portrait of three different automated systems elsewhere in the country that were providing services effectively. But she says wanted to give a voice to the vulnerable people — families to whom she said these systems looked "really different than they look from the point of view from the data scientists or administrators who were developing them."
"I wasn't hearing these voices at all in the debates that we've been having about what's sort of coming to be known as algorithmic accountability or algorithmic fairness," she says.
Eubanks says policymakers can look to successful models when implementing an automated system. "In Chicago there's a great system called mRelief," she says. "mRelief basically allows you to sort of ping government programs to see if you might be eligible for them. And then the folks who work for mRelief actually help step you through — either in person or through text — the process of getting all the entitlements that you are eligible for and deserve."
February 19, 20184:44 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered NPR
Twitter Emma Bowman
DOnetwork News Alert posted on February 14th, 2018 at 9:06am:
BY FORMER REP. TONY COELHO (D-CALIF.), OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — 02/14/18 06:30 AM EST 28
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL
The experience of having a disability profoundly shapes one’s life. It affects how one lives, where one learns, if one works, what our personal relationships are like, and how we interact with our community. This is not just because of the disability, but also because of the responses from people around us — their attitudes, their interactions and their inclusion — or exclusion — of us.
My epilepsy (defined as chronic seizures), which I’ve had since I was a teenager, has been a defining characteristic of my life. It influenced my decision to focus my career while in Congress and afterwards on improving the lives of people living with disabilities. I was a lead sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it was introduced in the House of Representatives in 1988, and I am proud to see that the ADA continues to open doors and change lives. The ADA has become a worldwide model for codifying equal opportunity, equal access, full inclusion, and maximum independence for people with disabilities.Now, that legacy is under attack. Last year, the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to advance HR 620, disingenuously named the “ADA Education and Reform Act.” This legislation would undermine the ADA and so much of the progress we have made, decreasing access for people with disabilities by removing the substantive requirements businesses and services have to meet — no longer guaranteeing access, but instead mandating a business only make “substantial progress” towards access.
HR 620 prevents people with disabilities from seeking immediate legal recourse to protect their rights. Instead, the bill would require people with disabilities to go through a bureaucratic process to inform businesses exactly what portion of the ADA has been violated and what changes need to be made to meet its obligations. It then requires people with disabilities to wait up to 6 months or more before they could go to court to protect their rights.
This law would mean people with disabilities have to become legal experts just to participate in society, and it removes any incentive for businesses to proactively comply with the ADA. This is not how civil rights laws are supposed to work.
This is not an abstract or anachronistic problem. We’ve made meaningful progress towards accessibility in this country; technological innovations, curbs cuts, accessible government buildings and websites, as well as services allowing people with disabilities to live in their communities rather than be institutionalized.
But still, people with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty, to not own their homes, and to be unemployed than any other group of Americans. In my home state of California:
A woman who uses a wheelchair had to leave a wedding party in Sacramento because the restrooms in the refurbished mansion rented out for private events had doors so narrow that she could not enter.
A small café on the Sonoma County coast has a small steep ramp. A young man and his mother, a wheelchair user in Sonoma County, have been prevented from eating at a café when the owner let the ramp leading to the only accessible seating become overgrown with plants. The woman has written two letters asking the business to fix the problem and informing it about the tax credit available for small businesses of up to $5,000 per year. She has never received a response.
A restaurant in Sebastopol has only tall tables with high chairs, impossible to access by most people who use wheelchairs and people of short stature.
These are just a few examples of the injustices and insults people with disabilities experience every day across the country. So why are members of Congress pushing a bill to weaken the rights of people with disabilities? Why are they destroying the intent and spirit of the ADA?
Proponents of HR 620 insist that businesses need more time. They assert that businesses need to be protected from unscrupulous lawsuits. Yet the ADA has been the law of the land for almost 30 years. During that time, the federal government has conducted thousands of trainings for businesses and established ADA technical assistance centers that serve every state, free to any business owner. Businesses receive tax credits and tax deductions to reduce costs for access features.
We can address the problem of unscrupulous lawyers without taking away the rights of millions of Americans. I have been a strong supporter of the business community, and believe businesses can play a role in creating a better community for us all. I also believe it is good business to provide access to people with disabilities. Sixty million Americans with disabilities are a customer base that businesses cannot afford to ignore.
The irony here is that there are real problems with ADA compliance and enforcement that we can — and should — be working to fix. Almost 30 years after its passage, despite millions of government dollars spent on educating and supporting business owners, too many stores and public businesses are still inaccessible. The same companies who are so concerned about the cost of making their businesses accessible are, by ignoring their customers with disabilities, also missing the real opportunity to increase their bottom lines by providing services for more people.
People with disabilities deserve better. Nearly three decades after passage of the ADA, we should be encouraging businesses to open their doors, not slam them in the face of paying customers.
Instead of bringing this bill to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote, I urge Speaker Ryan to shelve HR 620, and focus instead on improving access for all Americans and full integration of people with disabilities into their communities. This bill is bad for America, bad for business, and bad for the consuming public.
Tony Coelho is a former U.S. representative from California’s Central Valley and one of the authors of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
To read the article source, click here:
On Tuesday, January 31, Center for Independence was presented with a 2017-2018 Community Grant award from the San Bruno Community Foundation. The San Bruno Community Foundation is the nonprofit organization that was created by the City of San Bruno to administer the $70 million restitution funds received from PG&E after the San Bruno pipeline explosion in 2010. The Foundation, in conjunction with YouTube/Google.org, awarded $300,000 in grant funds to community organizations providing beneficial services to the San Bruno community.
Center for Independence is thankful for the San Bruno Community Foundation for this award, which will allow us to provide emergency preparedness training and emergency kits to seniors and individuals with disabilities in San Bruno.
Future dates for emergency preparedness events are to be determined. Continue to follow CID blog and social media for upcoming events.
Pictured: CID Board Vice President Mike Levinson, CID Board President Jody Yarborough, and San Bruno Community Foundation Secretary John McGloghlin.
ABUSED AND BETRAYED: KEY FINDINGS
At a moment of reckoning in the United States about sexual harassment and sexual assault, a yearlong NPR investigation finds that there is little recognition of a group of Americans that is one of the most at risk: people with intellectual disabilities.
But she's nervous. "Take a deep breath," she says out loud to herself. She takes a deep and audible breath. And then she tells the story of what happened on the night that turned her life upside down.
"The two boys took advantage of me," she begins. "I didn't like it at all.".........READ MORE? Click on link below for the full article written by Joseph Shapiro January 8, 2018 Heard on NPR: All Things Considered
The Sexual Assault Epidemic No One Talks About
Thanks to a generous donation from Liftware, CID is a demonstration center for the Liftware Steady-spoon and the Liftware Level-spoon.
CID also has various other assistive eating items to help people find the “right tool” for their eating needs.
Here is a list of items we currently have to demonstrate:
Please contact our AT Coordinator Vincent Lopez at 650-645-1780x127 or VLopez@cidsanmateo.org to join the interest list for future demonstrations. We will reach out to individuals on the interest list when demonstrations are scheduled.
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 >
2001 Winward Way Suite 103
San Mateo, CA 94404
San Mateo, CA 94404