Department of Justice US District Court Monitor Charles Moseley Issues Report on Progress of Consent Decree in RI

Charles Moseley - US District Court MonitorCourt Monitor Chas Moseley has issued his first report assessing RI’s progress on the Department of Justice Consent Decree filed on April 9, 2014. The terms of the Consent Order resulted in the State making a commitment to restructure the nature and operation of day and employment services to provide people with developmental disabilities the training/support they need to become employed in competitive, integrated jobs at or above minimum wage in the community.

This report documents the progress that has taken place during the first year of Consent Decree implementation with a particular focus on the provisions specifically related to two target populations, the RI Youth Exit Target population and the RI Youth Transition Target Population. The report also covers activities related to key infrastructure development including the establishment of the Sheltered Workshop Conversion Institute, the Conversion Trust Fund, Quality Improvement and other programs. Progress on several of the benchmarks related to activities of the RI Sheltered Workshop Target Population and the RI Day Target Population are deferred to subsequent reports.

adults with developmental disabilities attend a press release to announce the State's employment settlement with the Department of JusticeThe agreement requires the three State agencies responsible for providing the majority of services to children and adults with IDD, the department of Behavioral Health Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH), the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and the Office of Rehabilitative Services (ORS) to reach key performance milestones within the first year and on an ongoing basis thereafter.

This review reveals that the State has made significant progress in meeting the many performance benchmarks identified by the Consent Decree that were to be achieved during this period. Additional actions need to be taken by BHDDH, ORS and RIDE to fully operationalize the changes that have been made and to build the foundation for the next stages of system change and program development.

This report identifies key benchmarks for each operational provision of the Consent Decree and the status of the State’s efforts to address the various outcomes. Each section concludes with a statement of recommended actions the State should take to meet Consent Decree requirements.


infoFor more information:

To Review a Copy of the Full Report, click here.

Maureen Gaynor Has Her Own Business and It’s Her Passion for Music and Writing

The Cover of Maureen Gaynor's Autobiography, 'What If Nobody Finds Out Who I Am?'Ever since she was small, Maureen Gaynor, from Smithfield RI, has been enthralled with music. She has recently released her fifth original album Iron Horse. She is self-employed and has worked as a freelance Writer and Musician since 1993.

“One of my favorite shows was the Partridge Family,” Gaynor said. “They had very catchy songs especially to a six year old girl. That’s where my fascination with music began. All of us have ambitions. All of us develop a passion for something early on in our childhoods. My passion was for music.”

At age ten she discovered Billy Joel. In particular the Stranger album, she said it was much different than what she had been listening to.

“I must have listened to ‘The Stranger’ 1,000 times in a year span. And once I saw Billy Joel in 1979, I was completely sold on him.”

She uses a program Kore and Finale which work together to make it able for Gaynor to play music.

The cover of Gaynor's book, 'Always a Place'Besides music, Gaynor has written two books. Her first book was Always a Place, she wrote in 2010.

She has just completed working on another book, her autobiography, “What If Nobody Finds Out Who I Am?” which is now available for purchase at www.amazon.com.

Her first music album “Live the Beat” was released in 1996.
Five years after college, Gaynor wanted to see what was out there for notations software and she stumbled on a program called Finale.

“I was so engrossed with this particular program because it was the first program I ever tried that allowed me to play more than one note simultaneously,” Gaynor said. “It was incredible.”

Once Gaynor got used to Finale she bought a sound generator with 128 instrument sounds.

a photo of Maureen GaynorShe used her computer to compose music. She uses a notation software program called Finale in conjunction with a sound generator to produce all the instruments. She has written over 40 original compositions.

“We hooked it up to the back of my computer and hooked up some speakers to it,” Gaynor said. “I had sounds other than computer tones. The piano really didn’t sound like a piano compared to what quality of sounds are available today. The tones of the old sound generators are very rudimentary.”

She says she now has internal sounds that she can manipulate.

“I am about to switch to Logic Pro which is a digital audio workstation. I already bought some new speakers and some new sound instruments.”

Gaynor says to overcome any limitations she has, “I just search out for the easiest way to do something and experiment.”

Gaynor designed five out of six of her album covers!Gaynor's five self-designed album covers

She was influenced to write her autobiography by Peter Falk. Falk played the main role in the mystery television film series Columbo. Falk would always send Gaynor Christmas cards before he passed away in 2011.

“I wrote my autobiography,” Gaynor explains, “because I had the ability to do so. And it was just that: I had the ability to do so. I thought given my unique views on life, having a substantial physical disability, but having the ability to get my story out there, it would have been incredibly selfish and irresponsible if I didn’t write it. You can’t talk a good game without putting it out there.”

“When you think that something is out of reach, just sit back and breathe because within time, anything is possible!” says Gaynor.

“Maureen Gaynor is an inspiration, my inspiration. Her autobiography is raw and real and made me take an honest inventory of my own life. Besides wielding a poetic pen, she writes with the courage and insight of a modern-day sage. I read deep into the night, enjoying each personal path she was generous enough to take me on. This book will not only inspire those with disabilities, but has the power to make a positive impact on all who read it. Maureen is a hero and I highly recommend that everyone read her newest literary gift.”
– Steven Manchester, #1 bestselling author, “The Rockin’ Chair and Twelve Months”

Gaynor’s favorite instruments to play are the drums and the piano. You can buy her music or books at www.amazon.com

a photo of Maureen Gaynor. find out more at www.maureengaynor.comFor about information about Maureen Gaynor go to:

http://maureengaynor.weebly.com/


Article Written by URI Journalism Student Ryan Murray in consultation with the RI Developmental Disabilities Council (RIDDC) Systems Advocacy Committee (SAC) Chairperson and URI Journalism Professor, Celest Martin, and RIDDC Staff, Sue Babin.

Your Chance to Speak Up: 2015 Public Forums for People with Disabilities

State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Public Forums to Identify the Concerns of People with Disabilities and their Families

During the week of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (signed on July 26th), the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities and many other state and non-profit agencies conduct a weeklong series of open forums to hear the concerns of people with disabilities and their families.

The forums are open for anyone to come in and speak; representatives of the sponsoring agencies will be there to listen. State policy makers and planners want to hear your concerns about current services, unmet needs, and suggestions for improving services and expanding opportunities.

Monday, July 27, 2015 | 3:45 – 5:45  PM

South Providence Library
441 Prairie Avenue
Providence

Hosted by Perspectives Corporation

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | 2 – 4 PM

Warwick Public Library
600 Sandy Lane
Warwick

Hosted by the Ocean State Center for Independent Living

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 | 4 – 6 PM

Peace Dale Library
1057 Kingstown Rd
Peace Dale

Hosted by National Multiple Sclerosis Society RI Chapter

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 | 4 – 6  PM

Middletown Public Library
700 West Main Rd
Middletown

Hosted by Opportunities Unlimited For People With Differing Abilities

Thursday, July 30, 2015 | 1:30  – 3:30  PM

Zambarano Unit, Eleanor Slater Hospital
2090 Wallum Lake Rd
Pascoag

Hosted by Zambarano Unit, Eleanor Slater Hospital

Thursday, July 30, 2015 |  4 – 6  PM

Woonsocket Harris Public Library
303 Clinton St
Woonsocket

Hosted by RI Department of Health

Friday, July 31, 2015 | 2:45 – 4:45  PM

East Providence Public Library
41 Grove Ave
East Providence

Hosted by RI Statewide Independent Living Council and National Federation of the Blind of RI


Additional information from the governor’s Commission on Disabilities about attending the Forum:

Remarks can be made in person during the forums, faxed to 401-462-0106, e-mailed to GCD.Disabilities@gcd.ri.gov, or mailed by August 8th to:

Governor’s Commission on Disabilities
John O’ Pastore Center
41 Cherry Dale Court
Cranston, RI 02920

CART Recorders (real-time captioning) and assistive listening devices will be at all sites, courtesy of the Office of Rehabilitation Services/Assistive Technology Access Partnership. The RI Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will provide sign language interpreters for each forum.

To request information or accommodation, please call 401-462-0100 or 401-462-0101(tty) in advance; arrangements will be provided at no cost. Language interpreting is available with the Deptartment of Human Serivces and requests can be made to 401-462-2130 in advance.

When making the ADA reservation with RIde to get to and from the public forum, tell the RIde reservationist (1-800-479-6902) that this trip is for the Governor’s Commission’s Public Forums in order to guarantee your return trip, after normal RIde hours of operation. ADA fare is still applicable.

When attending the forum, please use unscented personal care products. Mild fragrances can constitute a toxic exposure for a person with an environmental illness.

Three FREE Tax Assistance Programs Available in RI for People with Disabilities and Other Individuals

AARP Tax Aide

is offering FREE tax return preparation to people 50 & older and people with a disability. To find a site near you please call AARP Tax Aide at 1-888-687-2277 (Toll-free TTY: 1-877-434-7598) and ask for a Tax-Aide site near you or visit the AARP website.

VITA

Earn It! Keep It! Grow It! VITAIf your income is $53,000 or less you may be able to receive free tax preparation thru the VITA Program that has certified volunteers prepare taxes for low-moderate income people. To find a site near you please call the United Way Hotline by dialing 211 or visit the IRS Website.

My Free Taxes

If you prefer to prepare your own tax return or if your income is above the $53,000 VITA limit but under $60,000 you can use the United Way sponsored MyFreeTaxes tax preparation software on-line by clicking here.
If you have a question when using the MyFreeTaxes software please call United Way MyFreeTaxes helpline to get certified volunteers to assist you with tax law and input questions at 1-866-698-9436.

If your income is over $60,000 there is a fee for using the www.MyFreeTaxes.com software.


a photo of various IRS tax formsthe IRS logoLet your friends and family know about these three different FREE programs to assist people!

For more information or to download forms visit the IRS website.