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Fifth Freedom – Empowering people with disabilities to make positive change

They say, give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. That’s the idea behind Fifth Freedom.

Fifth Freedom gives people with disabilities the tools to organize themselves and tackle common problems. Maybe some buildings aren’t physically accessible. Or local public transportation needs to be improved. Or perhaps, legislators need to hear what 20% of their constituents think about how they spend their tax money. Whatever the case, we are here to empower people with disabilities to remove the barriers that thwart their potential. So if you’re the self-reliant type, contact us. We’re assembling a cast of thousands statewide who are willing to invest a little time to make a big difference.

Working for Yourself with Ticket to Work – Webinar April 23

Information courtesy of the Social Security Administration

Some people with disabilities may be able to work and continue receiving disability benefits. On April 23, tune in to a free webinar from the Social Security Administration to learn about the Social Security administration’s Ticket to Work program and support services for people who are ready to work. This session will also include information about self-employment.

Working for Yourself with Ticket to Work
April 23
3:00 pm to 4:30 pm ET
Register here

Never taken part in a Ticket to Work webinar before? Check out the archive of all their past webinars here.  For questions or more information, email support@chooseworkttw.net or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD).

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

Nontraditional Emergency Shelters and People with Disabilities – Webinar May 8

Information courtesy of the Pacific and Great Lakes ADA Centers

On May 8, tune in to an informative webinar on non-traditional or ad hoc emergency shelters, and how these special shelters can be made accessible to people with disabilities.

Disasters can be unpredictable in scope, scale and size. In some large disasters, there may be a need to set up extra, non-traditional emergency shelters. Non-traditional emergency shelters can include outdoor spaces, like a park filled with tents, or “mega-shelters”, such as sports stadiums or retail spaces.

Each presents a unique set of circumstances which require specific planning in order to meet the needs of people with disabilities and others with special access and functional needs. This webinar will identify specific planning considerations relative to nontraditional sheltering in order to adequately meet the needs of the whole community. (more…)

Navigating Insurance Issues – Webinar April 30

Information courtesy of About Special Kids (ASK) and the Global Genes Project

Health insurance coverage for patients with rare diseases has undergone significant changes. At the forefront are changes in how the insurance industry designs and delivers benefits and new coverage options created by the Affordable Care Act. On April 30, tune in to an informative webinar from the Global Genes Project to learn about the different types of health insurance, emerging trends in benefit design and affordability for individuals with rare diseases, and how you can better evaluate what insurance option is best suited for your individual needs. (more…)

Indiana Department of Education Supporting Student Success Special Education Parent Survey

Information courtesy of the Indiana Department of Education and Indiana Institute on Disability and Community

It’s that time of year again! Time for the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) Special Education Survey. If you are a parent of a child receiving Special Education services, please complete a brief survey and let IDOE know what you think. It is important for all parents to complete this survey so that the Indiana Department of Education and Indiana’s school districts can improve the quality of special education services provided to Hoosier children and their families.

Please complete this survey from the Indiana Department of Education before May 5. The survey is here: http://westederp.cvent.com/Indiana

For questions or more information, contact your child’s school.

Thanks for your help, advocates!

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

Assisting Crime Victims with Disabilities – Webinar April 24

Information courtesy of The Arc

On April 24, The Arc will present an informative webinar on violent crime and disability. According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report, an estimated 1.3 million nonfatal violent crimes occurred against persons with disabilities in 2012. In “Assisting Crime Victims with Disabilities: Identifying Barriers & Improving Law Enforcement Response”, presenters will discuss the results of a focus group study with groups of city and county law enforcement officers and groups of crime victims with disabilities in two states.

Topics will include the identification of barriers for effective working relationships between the police and people with disabilities as well as recommendations for improving the response of the criminal justice system to crime victims with disabilities.

Assisting Crime Victims with Disabilities
Identifying Barriers & Improving Law Enforcement Response
Webinar April 24
1:30 pm to 2:30 pm ET
Register here

For questions or more information, contact host Kathryn Walker at kwalker@thearc.org . Learn more about The Arc at http://www.thearc.org/ .

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network