Happy Spring! You’ll notice that our updated, refreshed TASH logo is making its debut in this issue of TASH in Action. We’ve added some color and dimension to our trademark Möbius, which is a symbol of infinity – in geometrical and artistic approaches, the Möbius strip is depicted with one side and a never-ending path along its surface. Indeed, our path as advocates for inclusion is never-ending.
This logo will soon appear on our new website which we anticipate launching in June. In the meantime, you can find a new collaborative legislative advocacy portal on our website. TASH is glad to partner with SABE (Self Advocates Becoming Empowered) on this web portal that includes information on timely legislative issues (see “Current Campaigns”) including action that you can take to inform Congressional offices about issues we care about, as well as tools to find your legislators, track legislation, view candidates and a resources page that has TASH position statements as well as forthcoming resources from our partners at SABE. You can visit the portal here or by visiting tash.org > Get Involved > Action Center.
We aimed to launch this advocacy portal in conjunction with the Disability Policy Seminar that concluded with a “fly in” Capitol Hill Day on April 27, attended by people from around the country. The day featured encouraging remarks from several members of Congress including Senators Casey (D-PA), Hassan (D-NH), Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). TASH was glad to be a promotional partner of this year’s Seminar and Hill Day. You can learn more about this annual event at the Disability Policy Seminar website.
Lastly, planning for the seventh annual TASH Outstanding Leadership in Disability Law Symposium and Award Celebration (OLDL) is in full swing. We look forward to honoring Eve Hill on July 19, 2023, at the American University Washington College of Law for her outstanding work advancing disability rights. You can see the preliminary schedule and register for this event at the OLDL website. I hope to see many of you in person in July.
TASH’s seventh annual Outstanding Leadership in Disability Law Symposium and Award Celebration event will be held this year at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC on Wednesday, July 19, 2023; this year’s theme is “Breaking Down Barriers”. This event will be a half-day legal symposium followed by an award celebration honoring Eve Hill for her exceptional leadership in disability law. Learn more and register at https://tash.org/2023-oldl/
TASH is now accepting presentation proposals for the 2023 TASH Conference! We strongly encourage proposals that reflect TASH’s values for the full inclusion of individuals with significant disabilities in all aspects of life. The submission deadline is Thursday, June 22, 2023. All proposals will undergo a de-identified peer review; results will be shared in August.
This year’s Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor, in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 30 – December 2. This year’s conference theme is Opportunity for All!
TASH and SABE have partnered to create a joint Action Center, a legislative action portal to provide an easy and timely way for advocates to educate and inform Congressional offices about important issues that affect people with disabilities. The Action Center includes information on legislative priorities, recommended messages to Congress, policy resources, and tools to track legislation and find legislators and candidates. Please take a look and use the Action Center to make your voices heard. And be on the lookout for alerts from TASH going forward on what you can do to impact policy!
Ricardo Thornton discusses his experience of the COVID-19 vaccine. At first, he didn’t want to get vaccinated, then because the people in his life – his employer, concern for library patrons, the encouragement of staff at D.C. Disability Services, his grandchildren and his wife – he decided to get vaccinated. Listen to his story here.
#TASHcares is a project to raise awareness about the health benefits of COVID-19 vaccines, including the latest boosters, as well as flu and Mpox vaccines for people with disabilities (self-advocates), family caregivers, and direct support providers. Learn more about #TASHcares at https://tash.org/vaccines/.
Jacqueline Cuevas talks about the trauma that occurs when family and doctors deny your disability, the self-advocacy it took her to get a correct medical diagnosis and the treatment she needed and her feelings of not having a place, because she was “too abled for the disabled and too disabled for the abled”. Listen to her whole story here.
Fitting the Pieces Together: Assistive Technology Solutions for Brain Injury and Employment
May 9, 2023, 3:00 – 4:00 PM Eastern
Brain injury can cause temporary or long-term cognitive, emotional, and physical challenges, impacting a person’s ability to think, learn, remember, move, act, and feel. Each brain injury is as unique as the person who sustains the injury and may interfere with their ability to find and maintain work. Brain injury is also a “hidden disability;” challenges go unseen, discounted, or forgotten, which also impacts job performance. TBI can create the need for social and emotional supports within and outside of work. However, individuals with brain injury can be successful at starting or returning to work with the right support, preparation, and alignment of abilities and skills to employment opportunities.
Assistive technology (AT) plays a critical role in employment success. Low and high-tech options and resources are abundant, but it is important to have an AT navigator at the helm to guide best practice and application for these supports. Learn how AT programs assess specific sensory, physical, social, emotional, and cognitive challenges. The process for analyzing, determining, and providing support before work begins, or during job retention, to individuals, employment staff and businesses across the US will be shared. Case examples of how and when AT is applied to help individuals with brain injury will be shared and reviewed. Resources and program information will also be disseminated.
National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA)
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
Missouri Assistive Technology
James A. Whitney
Maryland Assistive Technology Program
New Resource: Brain Injury – Enhancing Self-Directed Choice and Control
This brief by DETAC partners from NASHIA reviews the data connected to individuals with traumatic brain injury and the importance of understanding more about how to support individuals to acquire the necessary supports and services they need when accessing services from Centers for Independent Living. Read the brief here.
Using Creative Strategies to Increase Employment for Hispanics with Disabilities in Texas
Last month DETAC showcased a local-level collaboration between Vocational Rehabilitation, a Center for Independent Living, and a Disability Chamber of Commerce in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas. The region they serve has some of the poorest cities in the nation with a large Hispanic population. The partners work together using innovative strategies to transition people with disabilities out of poverty. The panel highlights how they leverage each other’s resources that results in successful employment outcomes. We will also explore how these strategies include effective relationships with employers and how they work to support job seekers with disabilities in connecting to employment. Watch the complete recording here.
Podcast: IMPROVing Employment Outcomes with IMPROV
Sierra Royster, the Director of Innovation with the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL), talks with Michael Beers, the Youth Transition Coordinator at Summit Independent Living in Missoula, Montana. Michael is also a standup comedian and runs improv workshops. They discuss a variety of issues in employment, including creativity in employment support, the Centers for Independent Living in rural areas, youth transition to employment and theater as a means of engagement. Listen to the entire episode here.
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We would like to thank everyone who donated to TASH in March 2023. We are grateful to all of our supporters who help us achieve equity, opportunity, and inclusion for people with disabilities. Thank you!
TASH advances equity, opportunity and inclusion for people with disabilities, with a focus on those with the most significant support needs, in the areas of education, employment and community living through advocacy, research and practice. More information about TASH can be found at www.tash.org.
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