Archive for June, 2010

STAR Paratransit Fare Increase

STAR logo

New fares for STAR paratransit effective July 1, 2010.

The tiered-fare structure established in 2006 for the STAR paratransit system will also be adjusted as follows:

$2.50 to $3.00 for local trips (Zone 1) $3.00 to $4.00 for trips inside the Beltway (Zone 2) $7.00 to $8.50 for regional trips (Zone 3)

The zones remain the same: Zone 1 for local trips; Zone 2 for trips inside the Beltway, INOVA Fairfax Hospital complex & Alzheimer’s Family Day Center; and Zone 3 for regional trips.

ART – Arlington Transit bus fare for those qualified for MetroAccess will be free as of July, 1, 2010.

Visit for more information or call the STAR Call Center at 703-892-TRIP (8747).


June 28, 2010 at 7:03 pm 1 comment

DOJ Press Release – Olmstead

Department of Justice logo
 Department of Justice


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                                                  
(202) 514-2007 TDD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON – The state of Florida must provide Michele Haddad with services that will enable her to remain in her home, a U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Fla., ruled Wednesday.  Haddad, who has quadriplegia as a result of a motorcycle accident with a drunk driver in 2007, has successfully resided in the community since the accident, but is at risk of entry into a nursing home due to changes in her caregiver situation.  Haddad, who has been on the waiting list for Medicaid community-based waiver services for two years, notified the state of her increased need for services, but was told that community services would only be available if she was willing to enter a nursing home for 60 days. 

The court ordered the state to provide community-based services as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) integration mandate as set forth in Olmstead v. L.C.  The United States argued in a brief filed on May 25, 2010, that Haddad would suffer irreparable harm if forced to enter a nursing home to receive necessary services.

The court issued this order in the week that marks the 11th anniversary of the landmark Olmstead decision.

“In the Olmstead case, the court recognized that the unnecessary segregation of individuals with disabilities stigmatizes those individuals as unworthy of participation in community life,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “By supporting Ms. Haddad in this case, we seek to ensure that individuals with disabilities can receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate, where they can participate in their communities, interact with individuals who do not have disabilities, and make their own day to day choices.”

The U.S. government’s participation in this case is part of the administration’s efforts across the nation to affirm the fundamental right for Americans with disabilities to live independently, in what the president has deemed “The Year of Community Living.”

The full and fair enforcement of the ADA and its mandate to integrate individuals with disabilities is a major priority of the Civil Rights Division.  The ADA protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination by public entities.  People interested in finding out more about the ADA can call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY), or access its ADA website at

Credit to the Department of Justice

June 25, 2010 at 3:38 pm Leave a comment

Thoughts on Self-Defense

On Thursday, June 24, from 6:00 – 8:00 Sarah Wolf of DC Self-Defense Karate Association will come to ECNV and present a two hour self-defense class geared specifically to people with disabilities. I strongly recommend that anyone who is interested in learning how better to protect themselves attend the class.  I took my first class many years ago, and it changed how I looked at myself and my place in the world.

I vividly remember the ads I saw as a child for a local karate school. I watched them with a mixture of envy, sadness, and awe. Because I have a physical disability, I never thought that I could do the sorts of things I watched the smiling children do in the advertisements. I never wondered about adaptive classes or anything like that; I simply decided that those kinds of things were for other people, the people who weren’t like me.

Many years later, I’d learned a bit more about taking care of my body and discovered I love to exercise, but I still never thought that I could do anything like learn martial arts. One day as I was walking to my classes in graduate school, I noticed a flyer for a self-defense workshop taught by an instructor from DC Self-Defense Karate Association. I was intrigued. I remembered my desires as a youth to learn to find power and confidence in my body. I felt I had learned to do some of that, and I wondered if I could do more.

It also made me wonder: what would I do if I was ever attacked in some way? I had basically decided to simply hope and pray no one ever did anything like that. Although I’d become a lot stronger, I still felt I was no match for an able-bodied person who felt determined to hurt me. I realized, thinking about that flyer, that I wasn’t comfortable with the idea that I was only safe as long as certain other people ignored me. I wanted to learn what the training promised it provided: confidence in my body and spirit. Surely, even if I’d never be the most physically graceful human being on Earth, I could learn that. Nervous, I called the number and explained that I have a disability and asked if it was possible for me to take the class.

When she explained that the class was for everyone and that she could adapt some of the moves so that I’d be able to do them, I felt relieved, and very excited. When I attended the first class and found that the instructor wasn’t the model-bodybuilder I expected, but rather a regular person who’d clearly learned to do impressive and powerful things with her body and through simple confidence, I felt elated.

The class taught me that there was no reason for me to believe that I couldn’t learn to protect myself and move through the world with confidence. I won’t say that I learned that “I can do anything;” I don’t expect to be winning any foot races any time soon! But I learned that I had only believed that I couldn’t protect myself because I’d bought into the idea that my disability made me less than other people, and I realized very quickly that I had no reason to believe that.

I went on to take tae kwon do with them for several years. I no longer do, but I feel that the lessons I learned are invaluable to me. I learned that if I move through the world with confidence that means a lot not only for my safety, but also for my well-being.

Contact Alexa Mavroidis at 703-525-3268 or

By Alexa Mavroidis, ECNV Peer Mentor

June 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

Public Hearing on ART/STAR Fare Increases


On Saturday, June 12, at 9:00 a.m., the Arlington County Board will consider amendments to the passenger fare schedule for ART and STAR, to become effective on July 1, 2010. 

This public hearing will be held in the County Board Room, 3rd floor, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington VA 22201.

The STAR Zone 1 fare normally is set at the MetroAccess minimum fare.  The STAR fares could go up to:

Zone 1 – $3.00    Zone 2 – $4.00    Zone 3 – $8.50

Effective July 1, 2010.

(703) 228-RIDE

June 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm Leave a comment

Self Defense for wheelchair riders and people with disabilities

Wheelchair user defending himself

Roll/Walk with  Confidence

 Self Defense for wheelchair riders and people with disabilities

 Where: ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia, Inc. (ECNV) – 2300 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 305, Arlington, VA  22201

When: Thursday, June 24, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Sarah Wolf of DC Self-Defense Karate Association will present a two hour interactive demo and workshop especially geared to your body, mind and spirit.

 $5.00 covers your cost for the workshop.

Registration deadline:  June 21. 4 participants needed to run the class.  8 participants max. 

Contact Alexa Mavroidis at 703-525-3268 or

Read Alexa’s blog: Thoughts on Self-Defense.

Sign Up Today!

June 7, 2010 at 9:37 pm Leave a comment

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