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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.

Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship – Apply by February 18, 2015

Information courtesy of Shire and

Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be eligible for a $2,000 college scholarship. The Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship is open to legal residents of the United States with ADHD and who are accepted to or enrolled in a 2- or 4-year undergraduate program at an accredited college, university, technical school, trade school, or vocational school located in the US for the academic year 2015-2016.

The scholarship also includes one year of ADHD coaching services. The coach will work with the student to help develop the skills needed to manage ADHD, and together they can identify the student’s strengths and weaknesses, understand the challenges faced, and help the student overcome these challenges.

The application includes a personal essay, an ADHD coaching essay, and a letter of recommendation. The application deadline is February 18, 2015. Up to fifty scholarships will be awarded. Winners will be notified by May of 2015.

Apply online here

For questions or more information, visit or call 1-855-474-4732.

Good luck!

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

Accessible Retail Stores and Spaces – Advanced Session – Webinar Nov 6

Information courtesy of the ADA National Network, the Great Lakes ADA Center, and the US Access Board

The holidays are rapidly approaching! Unfortunately, some people with disabilities will have trouble buying gifts this year because of inaccessible stores. What exactly makes a store accessible? On November 6, tune in to an informative webinar to learn about accessibility requirements for parking, checkout aisles, and sales counters, dressing rooms, the routes into and through stores, and more.

This is a special “advanced session” webinar. If you need an introduction to basic accessibility requirements for retail spaces, there is a recording of a basic session here .

If you have a question for the presenters, you can submit a question in advance of the session by going to (You will need to have registered for the session to do so.)

Accessible Retail Stores and Spaces
Advanced Session
Webinar November 6
2:30 pm to 4:00 pm ET
Register here

For questions or more information, contact the Great Lakes ADA Center here.

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

American Association on Health and Disability Scholarship Program – Apply by November 15

Information courtesy of the American Association on Health and Disability

The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) is offering $1,000 scholarships to students with disabilities. The AAHD Scholarship Program is for any student with a disability, but AAHD gives preference to students who plan to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies in public health, health promotion, disability studies, disability research, rehabilitation engineering, audiology, disability policy, special education and majors that will impact quality of life of persons with disabilities.

Applicants must:

  • Have a disability;
  • Be enrolled FULL TIME as an undergraduate student or enrolled PART TIME or FULL TIME in a graduate school;
  • Be a US citizen or legal resident living in the US and enrolled in an accredited United States university.

To apply, submit a Personal Statement of up to three pages covering your personal history, educational and career goals, extracurricular activities, and why you should be selected for the scholarship. You will also need two letters of recommendation, with one being from a teacher or academic advisor. You must also provide a copy of your college transcript.

Email your application to: with “2014-15 Scholarship” in the subject line. The deadline for applications is November 15.

For more information and complete rules, visit . Send questions to .

Good luck!

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

U.S. Department of Labor introduces – Website helps employers learn about accessible technology for workers with disabilities

Information courtesy of and

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has introduced a new website, . PEATworks is full of articles and interactive tools to help employers and workers with disabilities learn about accessible workplace technology. PEATworks is part of the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT), which helps increase the employment, retention, and advancement of people with disabilities with accessible technology.

Learn about accessible workplace technology trends and best practices, laws and regulations, and how to ensure that the technology in your workplace is accessible to all employees and job seekers.

The website is here. For questions or more information, contact PEAT at .

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

Health and Human Services wants to hear from you! Share your ideas on improving the health of all Americans – Comments due November 7

Information courtesy of

For thirty years, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) project “Healthy People” has provided science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 continues in this tradition with an ambitious, yet achievable, 10-year agenda for improving the nation’s health. Healthy People 2020 is the result of a multiyear process that reflects input from a diverse group of individuals and organizations.

If this is an issue that is important to you, you can share your healthy ideas with HHS. HHS would like your input on several proposed new objectives for Healthy People, including:

  • Decrease the prevalence of adults having high impact chronic pain
  • Increase self-management of high impact chronic pain
  • Increase the proportion of children with ADHD who receive recommended treatment
  • Decrease the proportion of women delivering a live birth who experience postpartum depressive symptoms
  • Increase the proportion of patients with hypertension in clinical health systems whose blood pressure is under control

You can post your comments on these and other proposed objectives here. The deadline for comments is November 7. You will need to register a user account.

For questions or more information, email .

Thanks for your help, advocates!

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network