2ndquarternewsletter - Disability Connections



2ndquarternewsletter - Disability Connections
December 2015– February 2016
Center for Independent Living
Register Educate Vote!!
In the past decade, Texas has led the nation
with its efforts to increase ballot accessibility for all voters, including elderly voters, voters with disabilities, and
voters who do not read
or speak English or
Spanish. Texas has created laws requiring all
polling places to be accessible to persons who
are elderly or physically disabled. And Texas
was the first state to require that all electronic
voting systems purchased after September 1,
1999, provide voters who have disabilities a
practical way to cast a secret ballot. The fact
remains, people with disabilities are underrepresented at the polls.
As a registered voter in Texas, you have the
right to:
A ballot with written instructions on how to
cast a ballot.
Ask the polling place official for instructions
on how to cast a ballot.
Cast your vote in secret and free from intimidation.
Receive up to two more ballots if you make a
mistake while marking the ballot.
Bring an interpreter to assist you if you do
not understand the English language.
Help to cast your ballot if you cannot write,
see the ballot, or understand the language in
which it is written.
You are eligible to register to vote if:
You are a United States citizen.
You are a resident of the county where you
submit the application.
You are at least 18 years old on Election
You are not a convicted felon (you may be
eligible to vote if you have completed your
sentence, probation, and parole); and you
have not been declared by a court exercising
probate jurisdiction to be either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
At Disability Connections, we offer voter registration forms on-site and can provide you with
information about how, where and when you
can vote. For additional information go to:
Page 2
Accessibility In Progress
Have you ever changed
a person’s life in a single day? The Texas
Ramp Project does it
hundreds of times a
year! They build wheelchair ramps for people
with disabilities who
can’t afford to buy one. In a few hours on a SatLego said it will include a boy in a wheelchair in urday morning, they give these folks the freea forthcoming set of it’s iconic minifigures!
dom to leave their home again—the home
The toymaker confirmed the plan after a handful where they want to remain but steps have imof websites that report on Lego revealed picprisoned them.
tures and video of the new product taken at an
If you would like to refer someone in need of a
industry event recently.
ramp, contact Disability Connections at : (325)
The wheelchair will be part of a LEGO City set
called “Fun in the Park” that will be available in
We need to make every single thing accesJune, This is not the first time that Lego has insible to every person with a disability.”
cluded a wheelchair in it’s product line but it
Stevie Wonder
does mark the first wheelchair in minifigure
2016 Grammy Awards
Center News
Welcome our new Resource Navigator!
Hello my name is Sandra Zarate, I am a native Texan and ASU graduate. San Angelo
Texas has been my home for over 29 years. I
look forward to serving our consumers in San
Angelo and the surrounding counties.
Page 3
Not Your Mother’s Hearing Aid
One cautionary note: be sure not to put stickers
on the device that will leave a sticky residue,
which will rule out many types of stickers. Also
be sure not to place stickers over the microphones of the device. If you aren’t sure, ask
your Audiologist!
Forget everything you know about hearing
aides. Gone are the days when devices were a
hidden eyesore Imagine bright colors, bling and
lots of accessories. Do a quick search online
and you will find charms, stickers, coils and
wraps; just about anything to fit your personality and tastes. Below you will find just a few
ideas and resources to dress up your hearing
Charms, wraps, bling and just for fun accessories for sale at:
Tons of links to all the latest hearing technology at
your fingertips on
Get great ideas including seasonal decals and
embellishments go to:
My favorite, Pinterest!
The West Texas Hearing and Balance
Center is located at 3001 S. Jackson
St., San Angelo, Texas
Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8 am to 5 pm
If you would like information regarding services and referral process
please contact them directly at: (325)
Page 4
Independent Living Philosophy
changes that lead to the legal protection of
our human and civil rights.
The Independent Living (IL) philosophy is
very different from the traditional rehabilitation model. The IL philosophy includes the
core values discussed above. The outcome
we want is self-determination and full community participation for persons with all disabilities.
Independent Living is a philosophy and a
way of life. It is a movement of people with
disabilities who work for self-determination,
equal opportunities and self-respect.
Disability Connections is a Center for Independent Living (CIL). We operate under the
Independent Living philosophy. We are not a
residential establishment. We are people
with disabilities and family members assisting people with disabilities in removing barriers and finding the essential resources needed for everyday life.
The Independent Living philosophy says that
every person, regardless of disability, has
the potential and the right to exercise individual self-determination. We expect the
same choices and control in our everyday
lives that everyone else takes for granted.
We want the same freedom to try, and fail,
and learn from our failures. We want to
grow up in our families, go to the neighborhood school, use the same bus as our neighbors, work in jobs that are in line with our
education and abilities, start families of our
own. We need to be in charge of our lives,
to think and speak for ourselves. We need to
support and learn from each other. We must
organize ourselves and work for political
The traditional, medical model tends to focus on what is wrong with the person with a
disability, and making efforts to “fix what is
broken.” In our philosophy, a person with a
disability is someone identified as someone
who has limited choices regarding participation in community life due to community
barriers, low community- and selfexpectations, stigma, prejudice, and discrimination. Participation in community life includes getting an education, working, living
independently, shopping, worshipping, using
public transportation, and political activities.
Societal barriers, not the disability itself, are
the major reason many people with disabilities have problems living independently.
Centers for Independent Living do not
“rehabilitate” the person, but instead focus
on reducing and removing the barriers that
limit our choices.
Page 5
Copy Cat Chick Fil-a Chicken
•1 lb. chicken breast
•1/2 c. pickle juice
•1 Tbsp. sugar
•1/4 c. milk
•1 egg
•1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
•1/2 tsp. paprika
•1/2 tsp. salt
•1/4 tsp. black pepper
•1/4 tsp. garlic powder
•1/4 tsp. dried basil
•1/4 tsp. celery seeds
•oil for frying
Remove the chicken strips from the marinade
and pat dry.
Place the chicken in the egg mixture and turn to
Slice up one chicken breast into strips.
coat. Allow to sit in mixture for 15 minutes.
Place your chicken strips in either a bowl or zip- Coat chicken strips into the flour mixture.
lock bag. I like to bag it.
Heat about ½ inch of oil in a skillet over medium
Add enough pickle juice to cover the chicken.
Now add 1 tablespoon sugar.
Working in small batches fry the chicken strip for
Allow to marinate for up to 1 hour.
a few minutes on each side or until nice and
In a small bowl whisk together ¼ cup of milk and golden brown.
1 egg.
Place on a clean kitchen towel to drain any exIn a pie plate mix together ½ cup flour with the
cess oil.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
You can have high
blood pressure and
not know it. That is
why it is called the silent killer. It is also
why it is so important
to have your blood
pressure checked.
Blood pressure has
two numbers, systolic and diastolic. Systolic
pressure (the top number) is the force on the
blood vessel walls when the heart beats and
pumps blood out of the heart. Diastolic pressure
(the bottom number) is the force that occurs
when the heart relaxes in between beats.
If your blood pressure is less than 120 systolic
and less than 80 diastolic, then your blood pressure is normal; between 120 and 139 systolic
and 80–89 diastolic, you have prehypertension.
Systolic of 140 or greater, or diastolic that is 90
or greater, is hypertension.
Healthy habits, that can help keep your blood
pressure under control are; achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, participate in 30
minutes of moderate physical activity a day, eat
a healthy diet, and manage stress.
You can check your blood pressure at
the Center in our Wellness room anytime during operating hours!
Page 6
Lighthouse for Blind of San Angelo
The West Texas Lighthouse
for the Blind is a manufacturing facility in San Angelo,
Texas which employs people
who are blind or have severely impaired vision. The
Lighthouse was established
in 1963 as a non-profit organization and now has
over 60 team members.
The Lighthouse creates jobs, and not just any
jobs. They provide stable jobs with competitive
pay and benefits to blind people.
About 70% of Americans with severe vision loss
marketing, and accounting. Over 90% of the direct employees are legally blind and nearly 75%
of all of the employees are legally blind.
They are constantly developing new products
and expanding existing product lines in order to
grow the business, increase employment for
blind Americans, and serve customers in the
Federal Government, State of Texas, and local
communities. The Lighthouse offers a huge
range of products: lanyards, badge holders, over
50,000 office products, safety gloves and glasses, earth-friendly items, and much more.
The main facility is located in San Angelo, TX,
and a second facility in Abilene, TX.
Many visitors have been amazed by the operation itself as well as the capabilities of blind employees. Call to schedule a tour. (325) 653-4231
Did you know ?
The Submarine Wet Bag is made here in San
Angelo Texas for the United States Military !
These bags were designed to
store biodegradable kitchen
waste when the submarines
are submerged . A weight is
are unemployed. Lighthouse employees share
placed in the bottom of the bag and trash is comstories of being turned away by potential employpressed until the bag weighs about 50 pounds.
ers over and over again before finding meaningThe bags are then placed in a vertical torpedo
ful work at the Lighthouse. “We have never
and launched to the bottom of the ocean. These
turned away a blind applicant--if they're at the
bags were designed during World War II so fishdoor looking for work, then we have a job for
erman and other vessels could not gather floatthem.”
ing trash and go through it to collect valuable inBy using adaptive technologies, legally blind indi- formation. These bags are made by West Texas
Lighthouse for the Blind right here in San Angeviduals are employed in every department, inlo!
cluding manufacturing, logistics, eCommerce,
Page 7
Brain Injury Awareness
and is caused by trauma to the
brain from an external force. Every 13 seconds, someone in the
U.S. sustains a TBI.
More than 3.5 million children
and adults sustain an acquired brain injury (ABI) each
year, but the total incidence is
unknown. An ABI is any injury
to the brain that is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative,
or induced by birth trauma.
Typical causes of ABI include: electric shock, infectious disease, lightning strike, near drowning, oxygen deprivation
(Hypoxia/Anoxia), seizure disorders, stroke,
substance abuse, toxic exposure, trauma and
There are many causes of TBI:
falls, struck by/against, motor vehicle accidents and assaults. At
least 5.3 million Americans live
with TBI-related disabilities.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a
brain injury and do not know where to
turn, we can help. Contact the Center for
an appointment find out what services are
available for you. You are not alone.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a subset of ABI
Brain Health and Wellness
Aerobic exercise is especially beneficial for brain
health, and even better when combined with
strength training. Exercising for longer periods —
at least 30 minutes or more at a time — appears
to be better for brain health than shorter sessions. And it's never too late to start. People older than 65 showed more benefits than those 55
to 65.
Stay socially and intellectually active. Activities
that challenge your brain — including reading
books, writing letters and learning a new language — all help preserve brain function, as do
social activities such as volunteering, playing
cards, attending worship services and talking
with friends.
Sleep quality is linked to cognitive ability. Several
studies have found treating sleep disorders improved cognitive ability and memory.
What's good for your heart is also good for your
brain. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and
diabetes ,especially in midlife, are linked to poor
brain health later in life. Lowering blood pressure
with medication seems to help prevent brain
problems, but it's unclear whether lowering cholesterol with drugs helps.
2809 Southwest Blvd.
San Angelo, Texas 76904
Disability Connections - A Center for Independent Living
Michelle Crain
Executive Director
Nancy Penland
Director of Programs
Anita Guy
Center Coordinator
Dana Sercos
Special Projects Coordinator
Lupe Perez
Independent Living Specialist
Dolores Pina
Independent Living Specialist
Terri Irby
Community Integration Specialist
Kristi Ramirez
Independent Living Specialist
Sandra Zarate
Independent Living Specialist
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This publication is supported
by funding through the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and
the Department of Aging and
Disability Services, (DADS).
Opinions expressed in this
newsletter do not necessarily
represent those of Disability
Connections’ funding sources.
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