Monthly Archives: August 2011

Local Elections Upcoming

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about all the people in your area who are running for local offices, like city council, county commission, and possibly mayor. This is a great time to exercise our most basic right as citizens of the United States of America, and help elect those individuals who we feel will best represent us. Get involved in your local elections by registering to vote and showing up on election day. If you are not yet registered to vote, you can register online at If you need information about accommodations for voting with a disability, please call the Disability Law Center at 1-800-662-9080 and they can assist you. We would also love to hear from you if you encounter any difficulty with voting, or if your polling place is not accessible.

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General Assistance Funding to open Sept. 12th

The Department of Workforce Services will open enrollment for General Assistance (GA) financial benefits beginning September 12, 2011. An end date for this open enrollment has not been predetermined. Applications will be considered as funding permits.

The General Assistance (GA) program provides limited financial assistance to disabled adults without dependent children. To become eligible for GA benefits, applicants will be required to provided evidence of a physical and/or mental heath impairment that prevents them from working at all in any occupation. Additional verifications may also be requested to ensure all eligibility requirements are met.
An on line pre-screening tool is available to help you determine if you are likely to be eligible for GA benefits before you complete a full application and provide all of the necessary verifications. Individuals who are receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from Social Security are not eligible for GA. Individuals who have been denied Social Security Administration disability benefits at the Administrative Law Judge hearing level, are not eligible for GA benefits unless they can verify an unrelated disabling condition has developed.

Apply at any Department of Workforce Services Employment Center. For faster service, we encourage you to apply online at

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NAMI Conference

November 3, 2011

Hello past participants of the NAMI Utah State Conference,

I am excited to announce that the registration for the 2011 State Conference is now available online! This year’s Conference will take place on Thursday November 3rd at the University of Utah Student Union Building. Let your friends, family and loved ones know! Send them the attached flier that has more information about the Conference.

Register using this link

Consumer scholarships will be available again this year. E-mail me if you would like the application!

Thanks for your support of NAMI Utah, we look forward to seeing you at the Conference,

Mary Burchett, Public Relations Assistant, NAMI Utah

450 South 900 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84102

801-323-9900 -

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How Can I be Heard and Make a Difference in Utah

1. What issues do I want
my legislators to address during their terms in office?

That question can only
be answered by you. Ask yourself what you would like changed in Utah to benefit
its citizens.

2. How do I find the
legislators who represent me? Which voting district do I live in?

Call your county clerk for official
voting district and elected official information. As a courtesy we provide these
other options below.

Find by Address/Map

Senate Maps

House of
Representatives Maps

3. How do I contact my

Hard copy letters,
e-mails, and phone calls are effective methods to use. Addresses and telephone
numbers are available for each legislator.

Senate Roster

House of Representatives

4. How do I effectively
communicate my ideas or concerns and offer possible solutions?

With a positive approach
that will lead to mutual respect and consideration for the issues at hand,
provide your legislator with the issue you want to see resolved, credible
information, research and statistical data (if available), and possible
solutions that will give the legislator the tools to help resolve the issue.
Following these guidelines will ensure that your dialogue will be

5. When I am unable to
get through directly to a legislator, what should I do?

Be persistent! Remember
that your senator represents approximately 70,000 citizens and your
representative represents approximately 40,000 people. Allow a reasonable time
for them to respond to your requests.

6. When should I
contact my legislator about something that I’d like to see changed in

Start communicating
now! Make sure you don’t wait until the session begins before expressing your
ideas. It is not uncommon to begin communicating about an issue months in
advance of the General Session.

7. How can I encourage
family, friends, and neighbors to become more aware of key issues facing our

Browse our website . Click on “Calendar” for current
legislative activity. Click on “Committees” to view notices, agenda items, and
minutes. There’s a lot of information!

Remember — one
legislator’s vote can make the difference in whether a bill becomes law. As a
concerned citizen, you CAN make a big difference as you help your legislators
understand and focus on issues that matter to you.


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What is advocacy?

We all have to learn to advocate for our families.  Here is a great article from about learning how to advocate.  It is important for all of us in the disability community to learn to advocate for the needs of people with special needs.  We find ourselves needing to speak with our legislators.  Although this article is not specific to speaking to our legislators it gives us the basis of advocating in all situations.

Advocating For Your Child

Advocacy means educating others about a need, small or large, in an effort to get help meeting that need. It can refer to consumer issues, like seeking a refund for a faulty product; or to community issues, like making a plea for a stop sign at a dangerous intersection. For families of children with special health care needs, advocacy becomes an everyday effort to improve the quality of life for their children and others like them.
Advocacy happens at many levels, from a conversation in the doctor’s office, up to a visit with your legislature, but any effort you make is a step in the right direction. You can write letters, send emails, make phone calls, or attend support group meetings. The more you do to voice your needs, the more attention, and possibly funding, your issue will receive.
Levels of Advocacy
The most basic level of advocacy is that which affects your own child and family. You may need to advocate when:

  • Your child needs to see a doctor after hours, or when there are no appointments available.
  • Your child needs an unconventional testing format for evaluation at school.
  • You’d like your health insurance provider to make an exception on a denied payment.
The next level of advocacy is that which could also affect other children and their families, often asking for a change in policy. You are advocating at this level when:

  • You ask the personnel at child’s school to provide safety barriers where the wheelchair ramp goes into the school. This is vital in preventing accidents, for your child as well as others.
  • You ask your insurance company to cover the purchase of sterile water for use in a ventilator, which is critical for a child needing humidification. Again, the policy change you are asking for will help others in a similar situation.
The next level of advocacy involves asking for a system change. A change in a system might be involved when:
  • You explain your needs (which also represent the needs of many others) to a state agency which influences how funding is dispersed. “Respite Care” is one service that has received increased funding because families voiced their need for relief from the 24-hour a day care required by their special needs children: see all Respite Care services providers (42) in our database.
  • You ask a local recreation center to include children with special needs in their programs and make adaptations in the programs if needed. This will enable children of all ability levels to enjoy sports and recreational activities: see all Recreation Programs/Activities services providers (170) in our database.

Basic Guidelines for Advocacy

(1) Choose and learn about your issue(s) – Identify the issue you most need to focus on and learn as much as you can about it. Talk to other parents, find information through your local or hospital library, the world wide web, health newsletters and local parent support groups. Locate existing advocacy groups and find out what has already been done on your issue (see Services below).
(2) Identify decision-makers – Find out who has authority to make decisions, whether it’s a supervisor, a program director, a chief administrator or your local legislator. These are the people to whom you must appeal for changes in the system. Your local parent support groups can help you identify the appropriate decision-makers: see all Family Advocacy services providers (26) in our database.
(3) Learn how to navigate the system – Navigating the system can mean anything from learning the right vocabulary to use when calling about an insurance statement, to asking for the same office administrator when you need help at your doctor’s office. It can also mean learning how the         legislative process works so you can influence potential legislation: see Terms/Acronyms/Definitions or Definitions & Terms.
(4) Communicate your views – When making your request, be brief, to the point and polite. Identify yourself, your issue, and give one or more reasons for your position. Sometimes it helps to write this down first, to make sure you can summarize what you want and why. And remember, change takes time so you may need to be patiently persistent.
(5) Thank those who have helped – Always remember to thank those who have taken the time to listen to your needs. A simple written note of thanks can make a difference when the next person comes to ask for help.
Resources Information & Support For Professionals

Association for Utah Community Health (AUCH)
A grassroots action center providing resource tools and a database for advocates.

For Parents and Patients

Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities (LCPD)
Advocates for public policy affecting all people in the State of Utah who have disabilities.

Utah State Legislature
Read about the progress of bills, laws and other legislative issues.


Disability/Diagnosis-Specific Advocacy 

See all Disability/Diagnosis-Specific Advocacy services providers (56) in our database.

Education About Disabilities/DiagnosesSee all  Education About Disabilities/Diagnoses services providers (82)  in our database.

Family AdvocacySee all Family Advocacy services providers (26) in our database.

Local Support Groups, Disability/DiagSee all Local Support Groups, Disability/Diag services providers (85) in our database.

National Support Groups, Disab/DiagSee all National Support Groups, Disab/Diag services providers (21) in our database.

Recreation Programs/ActivitiesSee all Recreation Programs/Activities services providers (170)  in our database.

Respite CareSee all Respite Care services providers (42) in our database.

For other services related to this condition, browse our Services categories or search our database.


Reviewing Authors: Alfred Romeo RN, PhD, 9/2008
Gina Pola-Money, 6/2008
Content Last Updated: 9/2008
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Rob Bishop town hall meetings

US House of Representative congressman Rob Bishop will be holding Town Hall Meetings at:

Hyrum City Hall- Wed. Augus 31
83 W Main St., Hyrum
7:00 – 8:15pm
Farmington Comm. Ctr.- Thur. Sept. 1
120 S Main St., Farmington
Riverdale Sr. Ctr.- Thurs. Sept. 1
4433 S 900 W, Riverdale

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Senator Orrin Hatch – Economic Forum

August 31, 2011
10:00 amto11:30 am

Senator Orrin Hatch invites you to join him – Wednesday, August 31 from 10:00 – 11:30 am, he will host an Economic Forum on Entitlement Reform at the Ragan Theater at Utah Valley University. Chairman Dave Camp, the head of the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives, will be in attendance to discuss long-overdue reforms to our tax code and entitlement system.

This Economic Forum will be a unique opportunity to hear from two of the top Republicans in Congress who are fighting to allow for you to keep more of your hard-earned tax dollars and improve the economic situation for current and future generations of Utahns. They will also be joined by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former head of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

The Ragan Theatre is located in the Sorsenson Student Center, please click here for a map of the Utah Valley University campus.

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LCPD Meeting – September 1st

September 1, 2011
12:30 pmto2:00 pm

The next meeting of the Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities will be on Thursday, September 1st from 12:30 – 2 at the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DSBVI).  1950 West 250 North, Salt Lake City.

The agenda will include a mini advocacy training and an open discussion of current issues impacting people with disabilities that can be addressed through legislative action.

With economic uncertainty and possible Federal cuts to entitlement programs this is the year to be involved.

See you on September 1st.

Joyce Dolcourt – Chair

Kris Fawson – 1st Vice-Chair

Jodi Hansen – 2nd Vice-Chair

Brooke Wilson – Secretary

Jan-Ferré – Past Chair

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August 25th Upcoming events and newsletter

Check out our latest newsletter…Advocacy, Town Hall Meetings and more. Click here to read the full newsletter.

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Disabled teens invited to Kamas dance ~ The Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake Tribune ~ Aug 25, 2011 02:50PM

Young adults with special needs who live in Summit, Wasatch, Utah and Salt Lake counties are invited to the “Kingdom Ball” hosted by the owners of White Knight Fluid Handling in Kamas.

The ball is Saturday, Aug. 27, from 5-8 p.m., at the White Knight building, 187 E. 670 South, Kamas.

The event will include a parking lot dance with a DJ, dinner, photos and entertainment. Reservations are required by calling 435-783-6040.

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