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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.

End of Life Care for Adults with I/DD – Webinar August 28

Information courtesy of The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Relias Learning

Supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) through end-of-life care presents many challenges. On August 28, tune in to an informative webinar to learn about issues like:

  • Who is the identified healthcare decision maker? Is there a healthcare power of attorney? Is there a guardian? What’s the difference and what are their roles?
  • Pain Management: how do we recognize pain in people with I/DD, in particular people who do not use words to talk and who it seems may have limited communication?
  • Bereavement issues: how do we support caregivers, staff and others who knew and loved the person after the person has died, including other roommates and friends who may have I/DD?

Key Issues at End of Life and in End of Life Care
Webinar August 28
12:00 noon to 1:00 pm ET
Register here

For questions or more information, contact AAIDD here.

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

IRS Phone Scam Warning

Information courtesy of the Hamilton Center and the Indiana Attorney General


Taxpayers nationwide are reporting unsolicited calls from scammers who claim to be with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). The scammers attempt to get the victim’s personal information, either by claiming they owe money and need to make immediate payments, or by claiming they are entitled to a tax refund. So far, 159 Hoosiers have reported this scam to Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s Office.

The call may seem very legitimate. The caller ID information may look like the call is coming from the IRS. The scammer may even know your Social Security number. However, the IRS will never initiate contact over the phone. You will always be contacted first through official correspondence by mail. Additionally, the IRS will never ask you for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the phone.

According to the Indiana Attorney General, if you receive a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS that you think might be a scam, you should hang up immediately. Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 yourself to ask about the call you received. If the IRS confirms the call was a scam, report the call to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 or go to and type “scam” in the search box to report the incident online.

You can also report these scams to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office by filing a consumer complaint online at or by calling 1-888-834-9969.

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

Senate Still Considering Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Information courtesy of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the US International Council on Disability (USICD) and the Disability Rights Education, & Defense Fund (DREDF)

In 2012, the Senate considered but rejected the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Last year, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held two hearings to reconsider the treaty. The Senate has delayed a new ratification vote until this fall or winter.  If the United States adopts the Convention, it would join more than 140 other countries in committing themselves to protecting the rights of people with disabilities. Among others, the rights of people with disabilities in the Convention include:

• Living independently
• Being included in the community
• Personal mobility
• Education
• Health
• Participation in political and public life
• Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sports
• The right to accessible public transportation

If this issue is important to you, you may wish to contact your Senator with your opinion. You can find contact information at .

More information:

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network
4606-C E. State Blvd., Suite 102
Fort Wayne, IN 46815

Fifth Freedom is a not-for-profit organization that strives at all times to be non-partisan. The content of this email is provided for information purposes only, and does not express or imply support for any particular political party, politician, candidate for office, or piece of legislation.

Finding and Keeping the Job That’s Right for You – Webinar Aug 27

Information courtesy of the Social Security Administration

Some people with disabilities may be able to work and continue receiving disability benefits. On August 27, 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 cover:

• Exploring your work goals
• Building your employment team
• Work Incentives that can help you once you have a job

Ticket to Work
Finding and Keeping the Job That’s Right for You
August 27
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

The ADA and Hearing Assistive Technology in Public Places – Aug 26 across the state and online

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

August 26, tune in to an informative audio conference about assistive technology. This session will cover hearing loss, the needs of people with hearing loss, and why hearing assistive technology is needed even if a person uses hearing aids or cochlear implants. Presenters will cover the 2010 ADA Standards for Communication Elements and Assistive Listening Systems (ALS) requirements and the International Induction Hearing Loop Standard.

The ADA and Hearing Assistive Technology in Public Places
Tuesday, August 26
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 at captioning will be available.

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

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network