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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.

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation Public Policy Fellowship Program

Information courtesy of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation

The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation is accepting applications now for its 2015 Public Policy Fellowship Program. The Foundation is looking for people currently working or volunteering in the field of services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The individual chosen for the Fellowship will have the opportunity to actively participate in public policy development in Congress or federal agencies.

The program provides a year of full-time exposure to the federal public policymaking process, and includes a stipend and modest relocation expenses. In addition, applicants have the opportunity to participate in the Intensive Bioethics Course at Georgetown University.

To Apply:

Submit a letter of application between 2 to no more than 4 pages in length, single spaced in 12 point font with 1 inch margins, stating their background and history in the field of services and supports to people with intellectual disabilities, interests and accomplishments to date, as well as what they hope to do with the knowledge and experience gained from the fellowship. They should also attach either a résumé detailing their work and educational experience or a summary of their involvement in the field along with three letters of support from people familiar with their work. Applications should clearly show the candidate’s name, address, telephone number(s) and email address on the first page.

Submit your application online here. Apply by October 30, 2015.

For more information, see the complete rules here (pdf). For questions, contact Steven M. Eidelman at .

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

Ticket to Work and Mental Health – Webinar Sept 17

Information courtesy of the Social Security Administration

Some people with disabilities may be able to work and continue receiving disability benefits. On September 17, 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 supports for people with mental health issues, and will feature a success story of an individual with a mental illness who found employment through Ticket to Work.

Support Services for People with Mental Health Issues Who Want to Work
September 17
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 or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD).

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

National Disability Institute “My American Dream” Video Contest – Deadline extended to September 23!

Information courtesy of the National Disability Institute and

Man recording YouTube video on computer

The National Disability Institute (NDI) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to building a better economic future for people with disabilities. They are currently accepting entries for their annual “My American Dream – Voices of Americans with Disabilities” video contest. If you have a disability, you could win $1,000, a digital tablet, and sessions with a mentor to help make your dream come true!

To enter: Create a three-minute video that tells your story and the steps you plan to take to achive your American Dream. Upload it to YouTube, then email the URL, your name, and phone number to . Enter by September 23, 2014. A winner will be announced on or before November 10, 2014.

Need some ideas for your video? Check out previous winners and finalists here: . For more information and complete rules, visit . For questions, please contact .
Good luck!

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

ADA and Accessible Construction Management – Sept 16 at 9 locations and online

Information courtesy of ADA-Indiana, the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, and the Great Lakes ADA Center

On September 16, tune in to an informative audio conference on accessible construction management. When you are managing a new construction project or alteration project, it is important to integrate accessibility from the very beginning stages of concept and site development. It is also important to involve everyone in all aspects of the design process, from the architects and designers to the construction team and, most importantly, the end users.

This session will discuss these concepts and introduce the Universal Design balance with Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. A concept of “Experiential Equity” will be discussed in the realm of design and construction processes.

ADA and Accessible Construction Management
September 16
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm ET
Free and open to the public

This audio conference will be offered at several locations: Bloomington, Gary, Indianapolis (two locations), Marion, Monticello, Terre Haute, Versailles, and West Lafayette. For location addresses, visit .

Can’t make it in person? Listen online here.

For questions or more information, contact ADA-Indiana at or (812) 855-6508.

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

Palliative Care for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia – Webinar Sept 11

Information courtesy of the Administration for Community Living and the Administration on Aging

On September 11, tune in to an informative webinar about caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The presenter will be Laurel Coleman MD. Dr. Coleman is a member of the Alzheimer’s Advisory Council at the Department for Health and Human Services, and participates in the Council’s work developing a national plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.

Palliative Care for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia
Webinar September 11
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET
Register here

For questions or more information, contact Sari Shuman at .

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network