Thursday, February 28, 2013

Newsletter: Prince William County’s Disability Services Board


Prince William County’s Disability Services Board

Committee For Persons With Disabilities 

7987 Ashton Avenue - Suite 200        

e-mail:  Manassas, VA 20109 (703) 792-7649


March 1, 2013

FROM:            Linda Moore, Administrative Coordinator

RE:                   The next meeting will be Tuesday April 2, 2013, at the Development Services Building, 5 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, VA in Room 107A/B Agenda/Minutes are available on the website at   

Upcoming seminars and conferences:

v  March 2, 2013.  Me? An Advocate?  Empowering Parents to successfully navigate advocating for their child with a disability in medical, educational and community settings.  Lorton Community Library, 9520 Richmond Highway, Lorton, VA 22079, 12:00pm – 3:00pm.  The cost is “Free”.  Please RSVP  ASL and Spoken Spanish interpreters will be provided.  

v  March 11, 2013.  The Care & Nurture of Siblings of Children with Special Needs. How do you balance the needs of all the children in the family when you have a child with disabilities?  For typical children, having a sibling with special needs can be both rewarding and challenging.  Learn about the different feelings experienced by the siblings of children with disabilities and how you, as parents and caregivers, can nurture and encourage these children during their formative years.  McLean Bible Church, 8925 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182.  RSVP or call 703-770-2938.  This evening is free and open to everyone.  As a reminder, the lectures are intended for adults only, so please make other childcare arrangements as necessary.  RSVP appreciated but not required.

v  April 19-20, 2013.  2013 Accessibility Summit.  McLean Bible Church in Vienna, VA.  The conference is for families, caregivers, church leaders, teachers, and other professionals connected to the disability community.  There will be 45 workshop presentations to choose from and over 50 exhibitors providing products and services of interest to those with special needs.  Visit www. for more information and online registration.  The deadline for the early bird registration discount is February 22. 

v  May 4, 2013.  Prince William County Community Expo at Pfitzner Stadium Complex, 7 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, Virginia 22192.  The purpose of the Prince William County Community Expo is to provide opportunities for families to learn about healthy family activities, outdoor and summer programs for youth, and important school-related information in preparation for health and physical education program, and explore what the community has to offer to support an active and healthy lifestyle.

Employment Resources – Putting Experience to Work. 

v  Virginia Workforce Center in Woodbridge – 13370 Minnieville Road, Woodbridge, Virginia 22192.  703 897-0407 or  The Center will serve jobseekers and businesses and will house local and state government agencies and not-for-profit organizations, including the local Community College, Virginia Employment Commission and Department of Rehabilitative Services.  The state-of-the-art facilities feature shared programming open to the public in areas such as resume writing, educational training for GED, post-secondary education, financial management and job services. The Centers focus on in-demand occupations and career opportunities, including opportunities for persons with disabilities, veterans, older workers and ex-offenders.

v  Job Opportunities for Veterans with Disabilities.  Job Opportunities for Veterans (JOFDAV) is a state of the art online recruitment application specifically for American veterans with disabilities.  disABLEDperson Inc. has an alliance with regards to JOFDAV with the U.S. Department of Defense in their "America Supports You" initiative. disABLEDperson Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 public charity since 2002 whose mission is to reduce the unemployment rate among Americans with disabilities.  Currently there are over 5000 jobs with new jobs being posted to the site daily. American veterans with disabilities are invited to come to and post their resumes. It is a free service for the veterans. Spread the word to all the veterans with disabilities that you know.  Ask them to visit and post their resumes. There are employers there waiting to hear from them.

v  Senior Employment Resources – Senior Employment Resources (SER) fills jobs with those job seekers who live in the Northern Virginia suburbs f Washington, D.C. and who are registered with SER.  For information on becoming register at

·        Volunteer Opportunities

v  Special Olympics:  Volunteers are urgently needed for coaches in basketball, swimming and track and field.  If you are interested in volunteering to help with Special Olympics, please call (703) 680-6661 or email chairman  Leave your name, phone number and a description of your interest in Special Olympics.  Special Olympics guidelines recommend at least 1 coach for every 4 athletes.  To become an athlete:   If you or someone you know is at least 6 years old, they may be eligible to participate in training programs with Special Olympics.  Anyone who is at least eight years old can compete in a competition.  Call 703-680-6661 to request a registration package or download the form from the web site: . Click on Be an Athlete then click on download under Registering an Athlete.  Mail your completed form to: Prince William Special Olympics, 12914 Lockleven Lane, Woodbridge, VA 22192

v  ACTS Food Pantry Needs You!  Be a volunteer at the ACTS Food Pantry.  Do something that makes a difference.  Flexible hours, Full-time or Part Time.  To apply call Taylor Lenz at (703) 221-3186 ext. 240.  Visit the Food Pantry for an application.  Days and hours of operation:  Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays – 9am-1pm/1pm-4pm.  Tuesdays 1pm-4pm/4pm-7pm.

v  ARC of Greater Prince William has volunteer opportunities.  Contact Joy Ocetnik at 703-670-4800

v  “Special Guys Bowling”  Saturdays at Dale City Bowling Center, Contact Paul Weisenberger 703 774-6896 or 703 670-8009


Handicapped parking citations for Prince William County, the month of Jan: 

In this newsletter:

1.       Pilates and Yoga for People with Disabilities. 

2.       Executive Order Supports Virginians with Disabilities in the Workforce.

3.       Maryland Law Firm Settles Deaf Access Complaint.

4.       Wheels to Wellness.

6.       White House:  Schools Must Open Sports to Disabled.

7.       Virginia Caregivers Can Apply for $400 to Cover the Cost of Respite Care. 

8.       ADA Question of the Month  

1.      Pilates and Yoga for People with Disabilities.  The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability web site features information on how Pilates and yoga are easily adaptable for a wide range of people with disabilities and fitness levels.  (

Regularly practicing Pilates can be helpful for people with disabilities because it can decrease stiffness and joint pain, works core muscles, and increases flexibility, strength and stamina.

Yoga is also an excellent form of exercise for people with disabilities because it provides an effective, yet gentle, workout through a variety of poses that emphasize stretching, balancing and the mind-body connection.

2.      Executive Order Supports Virginians with Disabilities in the Workforce.  Governor Bob McDonnell recently issued an executive order that is designed to improve employment opportunities for Virginians with disabilities. The order states, “It is the policy of the Commonwealth to encourage and enable persons with disabilities, including our wounded soldiers, to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of the Commonwealth and to engage in remunerative employment.”

The order requests that the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired collaborate with other state agencies to better promote the value and benefits of employing individuals with disabilities. 

It also challenges the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to continue to use Employment First strategies.  New Employment First policies were implemented in 2011 to give people with disabilities the choice to receive assistance in securing meaningful employment before being offered less integrated services.

3.      Maryland Law Firm Settles Deaf Access Complaint.  From The Disability Law & Policy e-Newsletter 2/7/2013  On January 3, 2013, the Department of Justice's Office of Civil Rights announced a settlement with a Maryland-based debt collection law firm over allegations that the firm had discriminated against individuals who are deaf. Multiple complainants claimed that the firm refused to accept phone calls through video relay services, a type of technology that allows a person who is deaf to communicate with another party through the use of a video sign language interpreter. The complaint further alleges that firm employees hung up on one complainant and informed another that she had to call back at a specific time when a manager was present.

The settlement requires the firm to pay $30,000 to the complainants, to revise its policies and procedures to ensure that the office accepts video relay service calls and treats people with disabilities equally, and to train its employees on ADA obligations. In regard to the settlement, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez stated that people with disabilities cannot be denied services simply because they use alternative ways to communicate and that the Justice Department will not tolerate this type of discrimination.  Full Story:  Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, Justice Department Reaches Settlement with Law Firm Over Discrimination Against Deaf Individuals, U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, Jan. 3, 2013, available at:

4.         Wheels to Wellness.  PRTC has a new transportation service (Wheels-to-Wellness) to transport qualifying residents in their service area for health related trips that the existing buses can’t serve.  To be eligible, residents must be either seniors 80 years old or older, or persons with disabilities or members of low income households that don’t qualify for Medicaid transportation.  Have questions about Wheels-to-Wellness?  Visit;  email; or call (703) 730-6664

5.            Positive Outlooks for Workers with Disabilities.  By Guest Blogger Megan Totka, Editorial Director,  Thanks to (

       It seems that news about employment of people with disabilities is often bleak. Earlier this month it was reported that unemployment numbers for people with disabilities are on the rise, jumping from 11.7 percent at the close of 2012 to 13.7 percent at the end of January 2013. This increase came despite no significant rise in unemployment in the general population.

Accusations of job discrimination based on disability are also climbing, with 26,379 claims filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2012. That is highest number on record, and a statistic that has risen every year since 2005. Whether job-based discrimination is actually increasing or vigilance in reporting is simply improving, these reports are discouraging to people with disabilities and the population as a whole.

        But there is good news, too. The job market is becoming more flexible for all workers, which benefits people with disabilities. In many ways, the workplace struggles of employees and job-seekers with disabilities are reflective of larger cultural issues and as a result, greater attention is being paid to the issues.

6.       White House:  Schools Must Open Sports to Disabled.  The Obama administration for the first time is telling school districts across the USA that they must give disabled students equal access to extracurricular sports, a move that advocates say has been years in the making. In a letter to schools, Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Seth Galanter of the Department of Education says schools should provide "reasonable modifications" to allow disabled students to participate - for instance, providing a deaf track athlete with a flashing light that goes off simultaneously with the starter pistol that others hear. Check out the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights letter outlining the importance of equal access . (

7.             Virginia Caregivers Can Apply for $400 to Cover the Cost of Respite Care.  Deadline: 7/31.  The Virginia Lifespan Respite Voucher Program is funded through a federal grant awarded to the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) from the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging --Office of Home and Community Based Services.

The Virginia Lifespan Respite Voucher Program provides reimbursement vouchers to home-based caregivers for the cost of temporary, short-term respite care provided to individuals of any age with a disability or special need (children and adults, including elderly persons).

Individuals eligible to apply for voucher funding through the Virginia Lifespan Respite Voucher Program include Virginia caregivers of children or adults who reside in the same household as the person receiving care. Voucher funding is limited to a total of $400 per family. All funds must be expended by July 31, 2013.

Respite funds must be requested by the primary caregiver who resides full time in the same household. Funds may not be used to reimburse household expenses or daycare; funds must be used to reimburse an individual respite care provider or an organization that provides respite.

Due to limited funds, not all eligible applications will be approved.   For more information and an application please click here. (  Source:  Reprint from the February 2013 newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law, Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC (

8.      ADA Question of the Month:

         Question:  Does the Americans with Disabilities Act require that churches and places of worship be accessible to persons with disabilities?

         Answer:  No religious entities are exempt from the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.  (Thanks to Sherri R. Abrams – Attorney at Law)
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