Volume 6

November 9, 2022

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Quarterly Updates

Hoskie Benally named to National

Council on Disability

Hoskie Benally, Jr., a citizen of the Navajo Nation, has been named to the National Council on Disability. Benally, who is legally blind, works for the Native American Disability Law Center as the organization’s Community and Government Liaison .

In that role, he engages in disability systems advocacy with the Navajo Nation and other tribes, according to information provided by the White House.

Benally, who resides in New Mexico, also serves as president of the Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disabilities. The group addresses disability issues on the largest reservation in the United States. “There are many hurdles in the Navajo Nation for our disabled family members,” Benally said at a roundtable hosted by the Navajo Nation Council in June. “The application to rent a Navajo Housing Authority home that meets ADA regulations is over 45 pages long while many of our relatives have cognitive and physical disabilities.” “These challenges can be fixed with proper government support and implementing the Civil Rights of Individuals with Disabilities Act,” Benally said in reference to a tribal law enacted back in 2018. He has called on the Navajo Housing Authority to live up to its obligation to ensure that at least five percent of housing stock can accommodate people with disabilities.

The National Council on Disability is an independent federal agency charged with advising federal agencies and federal lawmakers on policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. It consists of members appointed by the President of the U.S. and by leaders in the U.S. Congress.

Funding Approved to Improve Access

for Persons with Disabilities

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed into law four resolutions on Sunday, appropriating funding for community projects including a judicial complex, multipurpose building, apartment and multipurpose complex, and to improve access for individuals with disabilities within the Navajo Nation government facilities. The 24th Navajo Nation Council passed the resolutions during a special session in July.

The approved funding includes $13.3 million from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance for renovations within Navajo Nation government facilities to improve access to persons with disabilities.

“The administration appreciates the Navajo Nation Council’s support of these critical community projects that will provide a hand up for elders, veterans, students, and families. Many of these projects will improve access to essential services and resources, most importantly, contribute to the well-being and growth of communities. We thank members of the Council, chapter leaders and staff, and Division Directors for working together to get these projects funded. The administration continues to look forward to many more successful collaborations to provide needed services for Navajo citizens,” said President Nez.

Regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) renovations, approximately 64 Navajo Nation government facilities across the nation will receive ADA renovations. Multiple renovations include ADA-compliant restroom modifications, widening hallway and office entrances, and installation of automatic doors, ramps, sidewalks, parking pads, and signages.

President Nez added, “We thank Council Delegate Eugene Tso and Navajo Nation Division of General Services for addressing the accessibility of our government offices to provide better service to our citizens with disabilities and to improve the safety of tribal employees with disabilities. The renovations will foster a sense of independence, and all Navajo citizens can receive equal services and resources.”

Disability Awareness Month

October 17 - 21, 2022

During the week of October 17-21, 2022 the Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disabilities (NNACOD), Native American Disability Law Center (NADLC), and Navajo Nation Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) had hosted Disability Awareness activities, which included the Disability Walk in Tuba City, AZ, Shiprock, NM

and Window Rock, AZ to raise awareness of issues and needs. Navajos with disabilities continue to be adversely affected by the lack of access to public buildings, public transportation, voting rights, employment opportunities, health care, disability housing, etc.

The Law Center recognizes

Native American Heritage Month

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Farmington, New Mexico Office

Toll-free: 800-862-7271

Phone: 505-566-5880

Flagstaff, Arizona Office

Toll-Free: 800-862-7271

Phone: (928) 433-0963

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