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.

Trauma Informed Care Conference Will Pave Way for RI System Transformation

On March 9, the DD Council partnered with the Sherlock Center, RIDE, DCYF and BHDDH to sponsor a one-day training on Trauma Informed Care.

We were fortunate enough to bring Joan Gillece, Ph.D., Director of SAMHSA National Center for Trauma Informed Care to RI to speak about trauma for people with developmental disabilities. In addition, Janice LeBel, Ph.D., ABPP, Director of Program Management, Child and Adolescent Services, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health spoke about the impact of trauma on the brain. Also featured was the Dan Habib film “Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Their Stories.”  Nearly 160 people attended, representing virtually every facet of care for adults and children with developmental disabilities.

The training emphasized the concept of “comfort instead of control” when treating people with a history of trauma. The day was focused on building “empathy with” rather than “sympathy for” traumatized individuals.

Feedback from the day was overwhelmingly positive, with many people expressing a desire to maintain the momentum and excitement of the day in their own practice. The DD Council supports further efforts to facilitate implementation of this crucial element of treatment for traumatized individuals. We will be exploring ways to make the Trauma Informed Care concepts available to all.

Wil Beaudoin, Chairperson
RI Developmental Disabilities Council (RIDDC)


The presenters have kindly provided the materials from their presentations:

SAMHSA’s Trauma-Informed Approach: Key Assumptions and Principles, Dr. Joan Gilles

PowerPointPDF

The Neurobiological & Psychological Effects of Trauma, Dr. Janice Le Bel

PowerPoint | PDF

Moving Forward: Building Bridges Towards Systems Transformation and Making Trauma-Informed Care Real, Dr. Janice Le Bel

PowerPoint | PDF

Please note: files are large and may take some time to download

Family Connections Resources Now Available

a photo of celest martinThe DDC has developed this section of our website to provide important information specifically to assist families of children and adults with disabilities. Our Family Forum is a new monthly column and blog called “Ask Celest” featuring Celest Martin. Celest is a DDC Executive Committee Member, Chair of the Systems Advocacy Committee (SAC), professor of Disability Studies at URI and a parent of a young man who has a disability. This month’s segment is about Celest and her son Andrew’s personal involvement with “Self-Directed Supports”.

We have compiled information that we think may be helpful to family members in the following areas: Birth to Teens, Transition, Adult Supports, Things You Really Should Know About and Training.

Check out our Family Connections Resources here.