- Bronx Independent Living Services Receives Community Awareness Project Funding for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
- Smart Money Course Offered to People with Disabilities
- People with Disabilities Participate in National Crime Victims Week
- BILS’ Classes for Deaf Individuals to Improve Mastery of English
- 10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001
- Tax Credits for Persons With Disabilities
- New Program for Job Seekers
- Introducing the New Youth Program at BILS
- Bronx Borough President Diaz Announces the Creation of the Disability Advisory Council
- Campaign for Disability Employment
- Crime Victims Services Renewed
- From BILS’ Founder – Ode to a Diet Coke®
Bronx Independent Living Services Receives Community Awareness Project Funding for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS) has received funding from the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators (NAVAA) through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), within the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, to promote community awareness of crime victims’ rights and services during 2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
The week of April 21 – 27, 2013, is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW). This annual observance, first designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, seeks to increase general public awareness of, and knowledge about the wide range of rights and services available to people who have been victimized by crime. The theme for 2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “New Challenges. New Solutions.”
Since 2004, the NCVRW Community Awareness Project has provided financial and technical assistance to 610 communities. OVC also promotes National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by sponsoring a Resource Guide that contains educational content, campaign materials, artwork, and public service announcements to increase general public understanding of crime victims’ rights and concerns and to educate crime victims and survivors about available resources.
NCVRW Community Awareness Project funding supports community collaboration on victim and public awareness activities, and innovative approaches to victim outreach and public education about victims’ rights and services during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and throughout the year. Bronx Independent Living Services was one of the 77 projects recommended by the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators and selected for funding by OVC for 2013 from the 169 applications that were submitted nationwide.
According to Joye Frost, Acting Director of OVC, the Community Awareness Project helps generate widespread public awareness of crime victims’ rights and needs, and the importance of engaging all Americans in victim assistance efforts.
“Recent studies show that too many crime victims and survivors do not avail themselves of the many services in our communities that can help them through very devastating experiences. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is our opportunity to support public awareness of crime victims’ rights and the critical, often life-saving, services provided by thousands of programs across our Nation to help crime victims,” Frost said.
According to Brett Eisenberg Executive Director of Bronx Independent Living Services “BILS will engage in a multilevel strategy for increasing public awareness. The public awareness campaign will explore facts, fears and personal solutions through the eyes of crime and abuse victims”.
“The support from NAVAA and OVC for our 2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week activities will help us help crime victims,” Brett Eisenberg said. “Members of our community are encouraged to help promote justice through service to crime victims by joining our 2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week activities and supporting victim assistance programs throughout the year.”
For additional information about 2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week activities or about victims’ rights and services in Bronx, New York please contact Brett Eisenberg Executive Director at 718-515-2800 or visit our Web site at http://www.bils.org. For information about national efforts to promote 2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, please visit the Office for Victims of Crime Web site at http://www.ovc.gov.
The National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators is a non-profit organization that represents the 56 state agencies that distribute funds from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to more than 4,000 direct victim assistance service providers. All of the funds for VOCA programs come from criminal fines and other penalties paid by federal criminal offenders and not from taxpayer dollars.
Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS) is a non-profit, community based organization dedicated to empower all people with disabilities to understand and exercise their civil and human rights in order to live fully integrated lives in mainstream society. BILS assists individuals by providing them the necessary tools to make informed decisions about their own lives through access to education, skills development, and access to the appropriate resources. On a systemic level, BILS is committed to facilitating social, economic, and civic change by advocating for the removal of architectural, communication, and attitudinal barriers that have limited the disabled community for far too long.
Smart Money Course Offered to People with Disabilities
Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS) announces the beginning of the first set of eleven week classes on money issues entitled “The Smart Money Program.” This has been made possible through the generous financial support of the Bethex Federal Credit Union, the course curriculum has been created by the FDIC.
“People with disabilities and the elderly need to be better equipped with a greater understanding of financial matters,” says Brett Eisenberg, BILS’ the executive director, adding, “we are especially grateful to Bethex for their continued support”.
The first set of classes, taught in American Sign Language (ASL), began March 2, and is taught by Ms. Stephanie Ortiz, BILS Deaf Literacy Zone Coordinator. Students can still enroll. Contact Ms. Ortiz, Stephanie@bils.org for information at 718-515-2800 ext. 114, video phone number: 888-741-5206. The second set of classes will be directed to people with other disabilities and elderly persons.
BILS is a non-profit, community based organization dedicated to providing individuals with all types of disabilities the tools necessary to ensure and exercise their civil and human rights. The goal is to foster the overall development and advancement of disabled individuals. For information on other BILS services call 718-515-2800.
People with Disabilities Participate in National Crime Victims Week
Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS) will partner with other Bronx organizations in National Crime Victims Week, April 22-28. This year’s theme is “Extending the Vision & Reaching Every Victim”.
People with disabilities are twice as likely to be victims of crime and domestic violence, and are less able to remove themselves from an abusive situation. BILS has offered a Program for Disabled Crime Victims for twenty-four years through the New York State Office of Victim Services.
On April 10th, between the hours of 11am-2pm, BILS consumers will be telling their individual tales of crime and abuse by designing tee shirts. The shirts will be on display during Crime Victims Week, and can also be viewed on April 26th at a borough-wide Crime Victims Fair to be held, between the hours of 10am-4pm, at the Bronx Civil Supreme Court Veterans Memorial Hall Rotunda, 851 Grand Concourse Bronx, NY 10451. Additionally, BILS consumers will also be performing a poem entitled, “He Gave Me Flowers Today,” 4pm. BILS will also have an information table.
For more information on BILS Crime Victims and Domestic Violence Services please contact Dominga Torres at 718-515-2800 or Dominga@bils.org.
BILS’ Classes for Deaf Individuals to Improve Mastery of English
Bronx Independent Living Service (BILS) is pleased to offer literacy classes for the deaf community in partnership with Highbridge Community Life, through a grant from the Literary Zone. Classes started on October 17, 2011. Enrollment will take place quarterly. There will be both basic literacy classes as well as GED classes. The goal of these courses is to assist deaf individuals in improving their mastery of English and passing the GED test.
“American Sign Language (ASL) is the basis language of most deaf individuals not English. ASL grammar is completely unrelated to that of English, says Stephanie Ortiz, BILS Deaf Literacy Zone Coordinator. “Deaf Individuals need an understanding of both languages.”
People interested in learning more should contact Ms. Ortiz, Stephanie@bils.org, Phone: 718-515-2800 Ext 114, and Video Phone: 888-741-5206.
10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001
DIA and NYC advocates and agencies are planning to observe the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center disaster as it pertains to people with disabilities.
Help us find stories about the experiences of PWD and/or their families on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center for a 10th anniversary tribute.
Able Newspaper will be featuring stories about people with disabilities who did and did not survive, or who became disabled as a first responders.
Submit stories to Able Newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org and include “WTC” in the subject line of the email. Include name and contact information so stories can be verified.
Join our cause on Facebook – invite your friends or friends’ friends, write on your Wall!
If you have any questions, suggestions, what else we can or have to do, you may email at LUDA@disabledinaction.org
Tax Credits for Persons With Disabilities
BILS is proud to announce that we are working in collaboration with the National Disability Institute and the Internal Revenue Service to increase awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit for people with disabilities. Learn more at the following links:
New Program for Job Seekers
Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS) is pleased to announce that it has received a “Ticket to Work” contract from the Social Security Administration to assist people with disabilities enter the labor market. The current unemployment rate for people living disabilities is higher than 70 percent.
“We will assist people seeking work with resume writing, creating mock job interviews, running a job seeking group; everything that will lead to an individual’s employment”, says Brett Eisenberg, BILS’ Executive Director.
The Ticket to Work program is available to Social Security recipients, people on SSI and SSDI. The program increases the beneficiary’s choices in obtaining rehabilitation and vocational services leading to work.
Introducing the New Youth Program at BILS
This innovative program will empower students and their parents to make informed decisions about their future. Our new Youth Program is designed to foster leadership in today’s population of student’s with disabilities. Through this initiative, we will further develop the personal, professional, and social skills of disabled youth. The process through which we will achieve these goals is through a variety of workshops, activities, and social events. We offer assistance to students and parents in the transition from high school to both the work-force and higher education. Our goal is to educate, motivate, and support the overall development of future leaders among the disabled youth population.
Support Our Youth With A Charitable Donation Now!
Bronx Borough President Diaz Announces the Creation of the Disability Advisory Council
In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, on Wednesday, October 7, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., joined by the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Matthew Sapolin, and the Executive Director of Bronx Independent Living Services, Brett Eisenberg, announced the creation of the Bronx Borough President’s Disability Advisory Council (BxBPDAC), in recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Borough President Diaz also announced the participation of his office in the National Disability Mentoring Day, to be celebrated on October 21st, which is a large-scale national effort to promote career development for students and job seekers with disabilities through hands-on career exploration, on-site job shadowing, and ongoing mentoring leading to internship and employment opportunities. A small group of mentees will be assigned to work in various departments of the Borough President’s Office, where they will be matched with workplace mentors according to their expressed career interests.
Other borough institutions such as Lehman College, Hostos Community College, Bronx Parent Housing Network, Bronx Independent Living Services and North Central Bronx Community Hospital, will be taking part in this national effort.
“As one of the first initiatives of the Disability Advisory Council, The Bronx will institute a Quarterly Disability Mentoring Day. Statistics show that there is a significant disparity between the job attainment and earnings of the disabled population versus that of the non-disabled labor force population. Therefore, it is my hope that the QMD will help disabled Bronxites in their job search,” said Borough President Diaz adding that the next Disability Mentoring Day will be scheduled in February 2010 in partnership with Lehman College.
“Lehman is delighted to be the first institution to participate in this exciting initiative. We know how important it is to expose our students to work opportunities in their chosen field of study,” added Merrill D. Parra, Director of Student Disability Services and Veterans/Reservists Affairs for Lehman College.
The planning committee of the BxBPDAC includes: Brett Eisenberg, Executive Director, Bronx Independent Living Services; Joanne Casado, Executive Director of Bronx Health Link; Bob Leiber, Bronx Health Link; Joanne Siegel, Director of Community Affairs, Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center; Monica Sanabria, Program Coordinator for the Family Support Project for the Developmentally Disabled, North Central Bronx Hospital; Nelly Velez, Parent Transition Services Advocate, John F. Kennedy Jr. Institute, Lehman College.
During the press conference, Brett Eisenberg, the Chair of the BxBPDAC, released applications for membership to the council to be submitted by Friday October 30th, via email at email@example.com or fax 718-515-2844. Interested parties must live and or work in the borough of the Bronx, must submit a recent resume and short writing sample on why they are interested in membership, what they think are the top three issues facing the disabled community in the Bronx and how they feel they can contribute to the solutions. “I am honored and privileged to chair the council. By advising the Borough President and his staff on the issues most relevant and important in the community we will strive to improve the lives of Bronxites with disabilities,” said Brett Eisenberg.
Campaign for Disability Employment
Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS) Announces Involvement in the Campaign for Disability Employment and expresses Commitment to Improving the Disability Employment Landscape.
New York, September 29, 2009– Today, BILS announced its involvement in the Campaign for Disability Employment, a new collaborative effort to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities.
The Campaign for Disability Employment is a national initiative designed to increase the employment of people with disabilities. Every day, people with disabilities can and do add value to America’s workplaces. However, in both good economic times and bad, people with disabilities have far fewer job opportunities than the general population. The Campaign for Disability Employment’s goal is to promote the hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities and dispel negative stereotypes about disability and employment.
In support of the Campaign, BILS will promote the advocacy Web site, www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org, which offers users the chance to learn, express their commitment to disability employment efforts and share what they “can do.” The site also features grassroots tools and tangible ideas for supporting the Campaign’s goals, as well as a library of video public service announcements (PSAs) that challenge assumptions about people with disabilities and employment. Included in the video library is the Campaign’s flagship “I Can” PSA, intended for nationwide television broadcast, and the winners of the What Can YOU Do? video contest, which invited aspiring filmmakers to produce their own videos in support of the Campaign’s goals.
Specifically, Bronx Independent Living Services will be hosting educational events, distributing educational materials, and playing the public service announcements.
“We are thrilled that so many individuals and organizations are taking part in this groundbreaking campaign to advance America’s promise of opportunity for all,” said Louis Orslene, co-director of the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a technical assistance provider to the Campaign for Disability Employment. “Together, we can drive positive change by illustrating that at work, it’s what people CAN do that matters.”
About the Campaign for Disability Employment
The Campaign for Disability Employment seeks to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities by encouraging employers, and others, to recognize the value and talent that people with disabilities bring to the workplace, as well as the dividend to be realized by fully including people with disabilities at work. The Campaign is a collaborative effort between the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD); the National Business and Disability Council (NBDC); Special Olympics (SO); and the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN). The Campaign for Disability Employment is supported by West Virginia University, receives technical assistance from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) and is funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)/U.S. Department of Labor. For more information, visit www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org.
Crime Victims Services Renewed
BILS’ CRIME VICTIMS SERVICES’ RENEWED
What do you do when you are a victim of a crime? Call or go to the police. Then how can you deal with the incident? Call Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS). BILS has been renewed for our nineteenth year to continue services to all people who are victims of crime and domestic violence through the New York State Crime Victims Board.
Program services include assistance filling out the compensation applications, counseling, separate support groups for both men and women, information and referral, criminal justice advocacy, emergency assistance, personal advocacy, and home/hospital visits.
BILS has expertise serving victims who are deaf or hard of hearing. 22% of our Crime Victims population is deaf and hearing impaired. BILS employs deaf counselors and an American Sign Language interpreter to translate for ad assist deaf and hard of hearing consumers.
For Crime Victims and Domestic Violence Services contact:
CV/DV Program Manager
Phone: 718-515-2800 ext. 118
Deaf Services Program Manager
Video Phone: 866-426-8059
From BILS’ Founder – Ode to a Diet Coke® – BOBBI LINN’S BOOK IS HERE!
“Bobbi Linn is a fighter and has been for the more than 40 years I have had the privilege to know her – fighting against discrimination based on disability and fighting the depression that tries to overpower her, taking her away from her work as a leader in the Independent Living Disability Rights Movement. Her dynamic spirit and keen intellect empower her again as she experiences a life-threatening blow to her independence.
In Ode to a Diet Coke®, she shares with us in descriptive prose the jolting experiences which land her in the hospital, a rehabilitation unit and then threaten to keep her in a nursing home.” – Judith Heumann Co-Founder, Berkeley Center for Independence Co-Founder, World Institute on Disability
For further information, or to purchase, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.