Google  Maps has a new accessibility feature that makes it easier for people with disabilities to get around.  The "wheelchair route" feature is now available in certain large cities.  The company plans to work with transit agencies to expand this feature to other cities.  

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In 2016, Administration for Community Living's Administration on Aging contracted ICF International to conduct a participatory evaluation of the Title VI Grant Program, which provides home and community-based supportive services for older American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian populations.

The evaluation seeks to answer the following questions:

- How do tribes/organizations operate their Title VI Programs?
-  What is the impact of Title VI programs on elders in the community? Are there differences nationally or by tribe/organization?
- Do Title VI programs that are sole-sourced funded have a different impact than programs that are funded through multiple sources?

The evaluation, still ongoing, has released its Evaluation of the ACL Title VI Programs: Year 1 Interim Report outlining the approach to and the design of the evaluation. In addition, the report provides information on the evaluation participants, timeline of the project, and initial findings.

Two new grant opportunities from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) at ACL have been announced: the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on exercise interventions for people with disabilities, and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on health & function for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The purpose of the DRRP program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities (including international activities) to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities.

DRRP on Exercise Interventions for People with Disabilities -- The purpose of this DRRP is to generate new knowledge about the effectiveness of exercise interventions for people with disabilities.

The purpose of the RRTC program is to achieve the goals of, and improve the effectiveness of, services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act through well-designed research, training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities in important topic areas as specified by NIDILRR. These activities are designed to benefit rehabilitation service providers, individuals with disabilities, family members, and other stakeholders.

RRTC on Health & Function for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities -- The purpose of this RRTC is to conduct research, training, and related activities to contribute to optimal health and function outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Please visit the links above for more details about the grant opportunities and application process. These grant opportunities close on May 14, 2018.

Recently, the Social Security Administration (SSA) published an updated version of its Program Operations Manual System (POMS) regarding the ABLE Act and ABLE accounts. POMS is based upon the law and is an operational policy reference used by SSA internal staff to conduct SSA business.  

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A new program Is making sure new doctors are much more prepared to treat people with intellectual and  developmental disabilities.  It's a four year partnership between Special Olympics and the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry.  The program has been started at six schools across the country with six  more schools soon being selected.  

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A major U.S. airline is taking steps to improve travel for people with intellectual disabilities.  United Airlines recently announced that they would be train all of its employees to better understand the needs of people with disabilities.  Training sessions will focus on issues people with disabilities face while flying.

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96 Self-Determination Network News:

March 2018

Connect Share | Learn  


Join the Discussion!

The Self-Determination Network posts a discussion question related to self-determination/self-direction every month in hopes that we can share experiences and learn from each other.  Last month, we had to great discussion about transportation.  

This month, we're tackling  another major challenge for people with disabilities--housing.  How can people use self-direction strategies to obtain affordable, accessible housing?  Join the Discussion!

2018 aec logo 1.jpg

2018 marks a big milestone for InControl Wisconsin – our 5th Annual Aging Empowerment Conference!  We are making a splash to celebrate, and hosting a global leader in the empowerment movement. Dr. Simon Duffy is the founding Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform in the UK, and Secretary to the international cooperative Citizen Network. Simon is best known for his work on models to extend self-directed support to all groups, including elders. His work on citizenship has also challenged the view that older people can no longer be citizens and he works to break down barriers between different groups trying to achieve a more inclusive and just society.  

Simon's keynote address will illustrate a philosophical history of citizenship and old age; a review of the movement toward self-determination and self-direction; highlights of interesting developments globally; and strategic ideas for building strong moments for change on both the public awareness and political front.  He'll stay with us for Friday's Advocacy Summit, where we will consider strategies relevant to our work in Wisconsin and learn how to impact change in our communities.

We are accepting workshop presentation ideas until April 1st.  Here is our Call for Proposals, and we welcome your ideas about aging empowerment that you'd like to share with our conference audience!  We also invite you to join us as a Sponsor/Exhibitor, where you'll be an instrumental presence throughout the conference.  We'll have dedicated hours for tabling and networking, and every sponsor level includes conference registration, because we recognize that you'll want to be included in the entire event.


Take five minutes to check out what's happening on the Self-Determination Network:

  • Call for Presentations:  Proposals for presentations are now being accepted for the 2018 Self-Determination Conference.  Submit a proposal today!
  • Changes to the ADA:  Despite strong opposition from disability advocates, the House approved the ADA Education and Reform Act.  Learn what these changes would mean and why advocates are opposed.
  • Be Inspired:  For Daina of Nielsville, snowboarding is about being free.  Read how participating in Special Olympics and training with famous Olympians has helped her gain so much confidence in herself.
  • Medicaid Wavier Tracker:  Are you trying to keep track of all the potential Medicaid waivers that are pending or approved?   Check out the new Medicaid Wavier Tracker.
  • Voting Struggles:  Voting has long had various obstacles for people with disabilities, from inaccessible locations to unusable paper ballots.  Find out what other factors have led to fewer people with disabilities voting in the last two elections.
  • Key Findings:  A report was recently published describing the percentage of adults with disabilities in the United States living in communities. Check out the interesting statistics in the report.
  • Accessible Video Games:  The racing auditory display (RAD) enables gamers who are visually impaired to play the same types of racing games that sighted players can play.  Find out how the interface display works.


The Self-Determination Network includes some very talented members and we want to help you to get to know each other a little better. Member Spotlight is a great way for us to get to know each other better.

For March, we shine the spotlight on board member of InControl Wisconsin, Jim. He has seen self-determination transform from a far fetched concept to an actual movement that has provided opportunities for many people to live self-determined lives.  He encourages people to keep conversations about his/her desires and wishes for self-determination going, so they can actually happen.  Stop by this month's Member Spotlight to get to know Jim.

128 Stacy’s Journal

Is it safe to go anywhere anymore? Regardless of political beliefs, it’s a question is on many people’s minds lately. This month, Stacy discusses how people with disabilities are among the most vulnerable in violent situations.  We encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences as well.

128 Upcoming Events                                    

Here's a sample of upcoming events listed on the Self-Determination Network:

Post your event on the Self-Determination Network and it can be included in future Network News emails to members! Questions? Suggestions?  Contact Stacy Ellingen. 


The Self-Determination Network is powered by InControl Wisconsin and supported financially by our members and Sponsors. We couldn't keep this Network going with you!  Find out how you can help support the Network.


The racing auditory display (RAD) - enables gamers who are visually impaired to play the same types of racing games that sighted players can play with the same speed, control, and excitement that sighted players experience. The audio-based interface, which a player can listen to using a standard pair of headphones, can be integrated by developers into almost any racing  video game, making a popular genre of games equally accessible to people who are blind.

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A report was recently published describing the percentage of adults with disabilities in the United States living in communities. The  report found that over 53 million adults in the US have a disability.  It also  found that that age plays a factor--over a third  of  adults 65 and older reported having a disability.  There are many other interesting statistics in   this report..

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Member Spotlight: Jim Canales

By SD Network, 2018-03-06

image1.jpegMeet InControl Wisconsin board member, Jim Canales.  When he’s not busy serving his community, he enjoys doing such things as biking, gardening, and hanging out with friends.  He has seen self-determination transform from a far fetched concept to an actual movement that has provided opportunities for many people to live self-determined lives.  He encourages people to keep conversations about his/her desires and wishes for self-determination going, so they can actually happen.  We’re so fortunate to have Jim as a member of the Self-Determination Network.

How are you involved with self-determination? Why did you join the SD Network?

 Jim originally became involved with Self-Determination through his work as the CEO of Community Care of Central Wisconsin, now known as INCLUSA. He explains that Community Care of Central Wisconsin (CCCW) grew out of one of eight original Family Care pilots operating in Portage County, WI. The organization believed that Self-Determination was not just a concept to consider, or to use as an add on to the managed care service. Rather, Self-Determination became a valued component of their offering to their participants, or members. As a result, Self-Determination was offered and used by a good percentage of members, either through Family Care or a distinct SDS option.  When he retired in 2016, he felt really good about how Self-Determination worked for their members.

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you  (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination?

Jim shares that the good news is that self-determination moved on from a concept in Wisconsin Long-Term Care circles in the late 1980’s to an actual movement that has provided opportunities for so many Wisconsin residents to live self-determined lives. “The fact that there is a Self-Determination Network and so many people working to support SDS is great news,” he says.

What tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to be more self-determined?

Jim encourages people who want to become more self-determined in his or her life to make sure that those around you--your circle of friends and support--know what your desires and wishes for living a self-determined life are--and that you keep those conversations at the forefront of your life so that it can actually happen.

What message would you like to share with the members of the SD Network?

Jim’s involvement with self-determination has continued in retirement with his involvement with the InControl Board. He says, “this is a really dedicated group of individuals whose purpose is to keep Self Determination in the forefront of conversation when it comes to the provision of long term care opportunities for residents across Wisconsin.”

What are some of your hobbies?

In addition to his involvement with the InControl Board, Jim enjoys serving his community (Stevens Point) by being a part of the Community Foundation and Green Circle Boards, and by hosting a long time radio show on 90FM WWSP called “The Acoustic Revival” every other Sunday morning. He loves to ride his bicycle, tend to his flower gardens, attend live music performances, walk his dogs, ride trains, cook, catch fish, feed the birds, talk to his daughters, hang out with friends, and pick at his guitar.  

***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.

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