Archive for January, 2011

ECNV Local Media Coverage on Budget Hearings

Doris Ray holds up $1 to contrast the percentage of funds spent in Virginia on home and community based services versus the $3 spent on institutional care for individuals with disabilities.ECNV was represented by many speakers at Hearings about the Virginia Budget and members of the Virginia General Assembly Delegates and Senators are headed down to Richmond knowing what is important to ECNV! 

Here is some local media coverage and feedback. 

1/05/11 Watch video: Arlington County Arlington State Legislative Delegation Public Hearing 

– Featuring ECNV Executive Director David Burds, ECNV staff – Alexa Mavroidis (for Esme Farb), Layo Osiyemi, Tony Trott, Hannah Manila, Ruchika Lalwani, and ECNV friends – Esme Farb, Steven Waters, John Riggins, Obaid Rahmani, Katharine Paal

 1/06/11 Read Washington Post: Northern Virginians plea for budget spending, sparing at appropriations meeting

– Featuring Doris Ray – “By 4:30 p.m., the last speaker, No. 109, rose to talk. Doris Ray, 62, of Falls Church waved first $3 in her hand and then $1. Ray, who is blind and hard of hearing, told the panel that it costs $3 to keep someone with a disability in a nursing home or other institution. But it costs only $1 to fund the services that allow them to remain in their homes…”

 1/14/11 Read Fairfax Connection: Saying Their Piece – Members of the public brief state legislators on their concerns at Saturday morning hearing

– See images of speakers including Doris Ray.

ECNV received positive feedback from Matt Barkley, Director, Fairfax County Disabilities Planning & Development Services 

“Thanks so much ECNV board members, consumers and staff who did such an excellent job at the Fairfax County state budget hearing yesterday…   

Great to see human services, particularly Home & Community Based Services (HCBS) for people with disabilities, get the spotlight for a change.  Using the $1 and $3 in your testimony is an ingenious analogy Doris.  Thanks to you, thousands of people reading the Washington Post this morning will know how much cheaper it is for people with disabilities to remain in the community, rather than being locked up and segregated in a nursing facility or institution.  I’m hopeful that your testimonies, in conjunction with the media coverage of the hearing, will have a positive impact on how our elected officials address cuts to HCBS in the biennial state budget.  

Terrific work ECNV!!!”


January 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

Join us to learn more about Medicaid Waivers!

Home and Community Services for People with Disabilities
Virginia Medicaid Waivers Workshop

This workshop will cover the 7 Virginia Medicaid Waivers – the application process and service implementation. Time will be allotted for questions. Our goal is to provide you with information that is understandable for you to use in accessing Medicaid Waiver services.

February 17, 2011
1 PM – 4 PM

Eligibility & Services

  • Overview of Virginia Medicaid Waivers
  • Eligibility – criteria and process
  • How to decide which Waiver you need
  • Using the appeal process
  • Wait list process
  • Advocacy to address the wait lists
  • Case management/support coordination
  • Service planning
  • Services in your home
  • Employment services


The workshop will be held in the Holly Room at the Trailview Building. 906 Trailview Boulevard, Leesburg, Virginia, 20175.

You are welcome to attend the workshop. The workshop is free.

The workshop will be presented by ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia (ECNV, Inc.).


Pre-registration is requested at least 4 working days prior to the workshop. Later registration will be accepted if space is available and should be made by phone.

Email registration:
Email your name and phone number along with a request for disability accommodations to:

Phone registration:
Ask to speak with Hannah Manila.
Voice: (703) 525-3268
TTY: (703) 525-3553

Disability accommodations will be provided. Please make your request when you pre-register.

January 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm Leave a comment

Focus Group on SCI and Pregnancy at NRH in DC

Looking for women with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) for
Focus Group on SCI and Pregnancy
the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Washington DC
Parking, a meal and snacks will be provided

Education grant program awarded by Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). Creating education material on pregnancy and delivery for women with SCI for hospitals and model centers and more!

For more information, please contact Charleene R. Frazier, RN, MS, at or 800-962-9629 x 9-03

January 24, 2011 at 10:07 pm Leave a comment

ABC 7 Article about the Healthcare Reform Debate Featuring ECNV’s Kimball Gray

Kimball GrayA clip & article from ABC 7 news coverage of an event where I spoke about the importance of eliminating the pre-existing clause used by Health insurance companies to deny me access to individual health coverage.

by Kimball Gray, ECNV Director of Community Services

“The battle over health care returned to Congress this week, and local residents are taking sides in the contentious debate.

On one side there’s Charlie Small, who owns a small plumbing and heating business in Damascus. He wants the Obama administration’s health care plan repealed.

“The money’s not there. We’re struggling to make ends meet now and it’s gonna make it that much harder on us,” he said.

On the other side, there’s Kimbell Gray of Silver Spring, who went to Capitol Hill Wednesday with health care reform “supporters.” Gray, who suffered a spinal cord injury, fears losing any hope of coverage because of his pre-existing condition.

“I have worked without health insurance for over a year and it just scares you to death,” he said. “You’re just scared to death you’re gonna get sick.”

Parts of the Democrat’s historic legislation are already in effect, such as mandatory coverage for children with pre-existing condition. But Republicans have argued that what they call “Obamacare” spells financial disaster for Americans and is unconstitutional.

On Wednesday there were last-ditch arguments from both sides on the house floor.

Rep. Cathy McMorris, R-Wash., said the law should be repealed.

“We can do better,” she said. “There’s many reasons to start over on health care reform. Do it right and listen to the American people.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-S.C., pushed to keep the law intact.
“Open your eyes and see the pain of America’s working families,” he said.

The House on Wednesday night passed a vote to repeal the health care law. However, it still needs approval from the Senate, which has no plans to take action on it.”

Video (not captioned):

Credit to Greta Kreuz, ABC7

January 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm 1 comment

Virginia Budget Cut

With a 10% cut in the budget starting July 1st, I am very concerned about deaf and hard of hearing consumers with physical disabilities who are in need of personal assistance from Medicaid Waivers or from DRS PAS Program.

We know the ADA and the Olmstead Decision allow us to have a choice whether we want to go to the nursing home or remain in our homes, but if there is a freeze on obtaining a Waiver, or reductions, it is going to be very difficult to get the services needed to meet basic daily needs and be independent.

Can you imagine staying in a nursing home without any interpreter provided? It is a very bad environment and would make you feel isolated because you wouldn’t be able to communicate with doctors, nurses and staff, or mingle with hearing residents.

However, this is happening all over the country. We just simply cannot sit back and do nothing for ourselves. So, please fight for your rights!!!! We have the ADA and Section 504 to protect us, but it is not enough unless we know how to use it! We must advocate! We need your help in any way you can!!!!! You can write a letter, email or video phone your senator. We have to make a lot of noise!!!!!!

By Doreen Solar, ECNV Deaf & HoH Peer Mentor

January 21, 2011 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Study: Abuse Rates Higher among Deaf and HoH Children Compared with Hearing Youths

From Ascribe, The Public Interest Newswire, 1/18/11

ROCHESTER, N.Y.- A new study at Rochester Institute of Technology indicates that the incidence of maltreatment, including neglect and physical and sexual abuse, is more than 25 percent higher among deaf and hard-of-hearing children than among hearing youths. The research also shows a direct correlation between childhood maltreatment and higher rates of negative cognition, depression and post-traumatic stress in adulthood.

The study, which was presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, is one of the first to compare childhood maltreatment between deaf and hearing children.

“By providing clear data on the high rate of childhood maltreatment in the deaf community, we hope to shine a light on the issue and provide mental-health professionals with the necessary data to better treat both children and adults suffering from mental and behavioral disorders,” notes Lindsay Schenkel, assistant professor of psychology at RIT and director of the research team.

The group, which also included undergraduate psychology student Danielle Burnash and Gail Rothman-Marshall, associate professor of liberal studies at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, conducted a survey of 425 college students, 317 hearing and 108 deaf, asking them to describe any maltreatment they had experienced prior to the age of 16.

Seventy-seven percent of deaf and hard-of-hearing respondents indicated experiencing some form of child maltreatment, compared with 49 percent among hearing respondents. In addition, respondents with more severe hearing loss indicated an increased rate and severity of maltreatment.
“Interestingly, having a deaf parent or a family member who signs, or being part of the deaf community, did not reduce the risk of childhood maltreatment,” Burnash notes.

The team also found that deaf and hard-of-hearing respondents who had suffered maltreatment had higher rates of negative cognitions about themselves, others and the future compared with hearing individuals who had suffered maltreatment. The rate of depression and post-traumatic stress was also higher among all deaf and hard-of-hearing respondents regardless of maltreatment.

Schenkel, Rothman-Marshall and Burnash plan to continue to examine the issue of child maltreatment in deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals and the impact this has on mental-health functioning with the goal of developing standardized assessments and more effective treatments for this population.
“For example, our research shows that individuals who are active members of the deaf community report fewer depressive and post-traumatic stress symptoms,” Schenkel adds.

The research was funded by RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the U.S. Department of Education’s McNair Scholars program.

CONTACT: William Dube, 585-475-2816,

January 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm 1 comment

Virginia Senators & Delegates, Listen Up!

David BurdsIt is no big surprise that there will be cuts in this year’s Virginia State Budget, but we are again asking our legislators not to balance the budget on the backs of people with disabilities.

The Virginia Centers for Independent Living (VACIL) are advocating for the restoration of the 10% cut to Centers for Independent Living (CIL) and that Medicaid Services funding not be reduced. Listed below are each of the legislative priorities of VACIL for the 2011 General Assembly Session for which we need the voice of our ECNV membership: 

  • Reduce waiting lists for the Medicaid Developmental Disabilities Waiver and Intellectual Disabilities Waivers. New DD Waiver funding has not been available since 2007. The DD Waiver provides services for people with autism, cerebral palsy, brain injury, spina bifida and other developmental disabilities that occur before the age of 22. The DD Waiver waiting list has grown to 1,075 people. The ID Waiver waiting list includes over 5,000 people. 
  • Restore funding to continue Medicaid assistive technology and environmental services
  • Restore funding for Medicaid respite services. The proposed budget will reduce respite from 720 hrs a year to 240 hrs a year. 
  • Restore funding for independent living services. The current budget includes a 10% cut to peer mentoring, independent living skills training, information and referral and advocacy services provided by CIL. 
  • Restore funding for Medicaid Waiver provider rates that will be reduced by 5% in the proposed budget (Tech Waiver nursing services will not be reduced by the proposed budget). 
  • Fund personal care services for adults with disabilities who are working by increasing funding for Dep’t of Rehab Services’ (DRS) Personal Assistance Services
  • Restore funding for the Consumer Services Fund to provide for technology needed by people with disabilities that is not available through other funding sources.

By David Burds, ECNV Executive Director
Article from the ECNV Declaration (Winter 2011 Edition)

January 18, 2011 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

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