Your monthly news & updates
A note from Matt....
2020 is the 30 th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even after thirty years, the fight for equal opportunity for Persons with Disabilities continues. January 23 rd was Ed Roberts day. Ed Roberts was a founding leader of the independent living movement. Ed changed the world’s view of people with disabilities through his activism and community building. He recognized that Disability does not discriminate and effects all persons, notwithstanding race, color, creed or economic status. 

“We’re all getting older. We can’t avoid it, can we? I look around, and I notice that a lot of us are getting gray. As we get older, we realize that disability is just a part of life. Anyone can join our group at any point in life. In this way, the Disability Rights Movement doesn’t discriminate. So those of us who are temporarily able bodied and working for access and accommodations now get older, the changes they make will benefit them as well.”

Everyone should be concerned about the rights and opportunities of persons with any disability. Even after thirty years, the fight for equal opportunity for persons with Disabilities continues, and this fight is a fight for every person to have an equal opportunity.
logo for the 30th anniversary of the signing of the ada
City of Tampa Files Race and Gender Discrimination in Housing Case
scales of justice
Tampa, FL, January 1, 2020, the City of Tampa filed a fair housing case on behalf of Shelquen Washington and her three minor children for a series of blatantly discriminatory acts by a property manager of a Tampa quadplex located on Temple Heights Road.

According to Ms. Washington’s attorney, Miami Civil Rights litigator, Matthew Dietz, Ms. Washington was targeted by a housing provider who felt emboldened to prey on a vulnerable resident who could not move to a new location because of the lack of affordable housing options. For months, Ms. Washington was subject to racial and sexual harassment, false reports to authorities so she would have her children removed or housing vouchers revoked, harassment of her guests because of their color, and a wrongful eviction.

Out and About with DIG
Supper Social Club
February 3, 2020
California Pizza Kitchen

Supper Social Club
March 2, 2020
California Pizza Kitchen

Supper Social Club
March 30, 2020
California Pizza Kitchen

Supper Social Club- Trivia Night
April 9, 2020
John Martin's Irish Pub

Supper Social Club
May 4, 2020
California Pizza Kitchen

Supper Social Club
June 1, 2020
California Pizza Kitchen

DIG in the News
Judge Figarola Rogelio the dog and Matt sitting in the lobby at the CBC Alliance Conference
Judge Figarola, Rogelio the dog, and Matt at the CBC Alliance Child Welfare Conference
Collage of 5 pictures from the January Supper Social Club everyone is sitting at tables eating dinner and talking
January Supper Social Club
January Supper Social Raffle Winner Heath holding his prize
Raffle Winner Heath
January Supper Social Raffle Winner Jansil holding his prize
Raffle Winner Jansil
Miami Inclusion Alliance (MIA)
One of the most important things for any victim of abuse to consider is their safety and the safety of their children and pets. That is why it is important to make a safety plan.
A safety plan is for:
  • individuals living with an abuser – because danger can occur at anytime
  • individuals planning to leave – because few abusers allow their partners to leave peacefully
  • individuals living away from the abuser – because danger often increases after a survivor leaves or ends the relationship 

The View from Here
Justine will be back next month.
Head shot of Justine
Kids Crusaders
Julie will be back soon.
Kids Crusaders Logo
Wheels & Heels
Lorinda will be back next month.
Lorinda in front of a cabinet in her home.
Animal Partners
New Year, New Puppies!

  With the new year rolling in, there are new puppies. You may have recently got a new puppy this holiday season or as a new year gift. The question you ask yourself now is “are you able to handle this?”. As a professional dog trainer and behaviorist for 11 years, every new year is the same. Some people immediately call for a trainer so they are ready to go, some say they can figure it out on their own and some do, but the ones that don’t we get called in for during summer after all the mistakes have been made. This is not an ad to pitch for a dog trainer but a very basic understanding on how to get started with your new puppy.

Lucy with a sign in her mouth that says all guests must be approved by the dog.
The Wallet Card Project
Wallet Card Update from South-Western City School District in Ohio.

The Project LIFE interns completed the training and practiced with first responder's from Columbus Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff, and Franklin Township Fire Dept.  
SWCSD Project Life Interns standing on a stairway with first responders police and teachers
SWCSD students in Ohio, Project LIFE Interns and first responders from the Columbus Police Dept, Franklin County Sheriff, and Franklin Township Fire Dept.
A SWCSD Project Life Intern standing with his wallet card practicing how to safely use his wallet card with a police officer
Project LIFE Intern practicing how to safely disclose his disability to first responders.
Benefits Information
SSA- Work Incentives Planning and Assistance WIPA

Community Based program from SSA to provide work incentives information and planning services to SSI and SSDI beneficiaries pursuing employment; ages 14 to 65. WIPAs provide assistance in the following areas:
–    Orientation to understand SSI and SSDI benefits
–    Orientation to understand Medicare and Medicaid
–    Orientation about SSA work incentives
–    Help to understand how employment will impact your benefits
–    ensure informed choices 
–    get rid of fear in pursuing employment
–     Individualized benefits verification & analysis
–    Prevent and/or resolve benefits issues
–    help identify needs & make referrals
•     Exploring employment options
•     Identifying local service providers
•     Accessing community resources
–    Assets building
–    Follow-up services

Early intervention and education about benefits and work incentives helps prevent future problems (overpayment, unplanned or unexpected loss of benefits, financial hardships, etc.) Failure to educate on benefits is a missed opportunity which may cause harm.

Center for Independent Living of the Keys a SSA WIPA project
If you would like more specific information about work incentives, are currently receiving WIPA services or have been previously served by a WIPA project, our Certified Work Incentives Coordinators are here to help at: office (305) 453 3491, email , text: (305) 453 3491, fax (305) 453 3488. Serving South Florida: Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry Counties

Ticket to Work Helpline
For general questions about work incentives call the Ticket to Work Helpline at 1-886-833-2987 or TTY 1-866-833-2967 Monday- Friday 8:00AM-8:00PM.
head shot of Lesly
Access The Vote Florida
Friday (January 31), all advocates, self-advocates, stakeholders and other interested parties are invited and encouraged to attend the ATV Florida! meeting.
ATVFL Telephonic Meeting
January 31, 2020, at 10:30am
We will send an agenda and call in information before the meeting.
Educational Information
Florida’s new school safety law is being used as a model for the rest of the country. On February 14, 2018, a 19-year-old, former student, walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Florida and shot 34 people. In less than four minutes, the gunman shot and killed 17 people and left another 17 injured. It was the deadliest school shooting since the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut that resulted in the death of 28 people. The Parkland shooter was 19 years old and used a legally purchased AR-15 semi-automatic rifle during the shooting spree, the same type of firearm used during the Sandy Hook shooting and the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando that left 49 dead and 53 injured on June 12, 2016. 

head of stephanie langer holding a business file and wearing a black and white polkadot shirt.
black rectangle box outlined with a yellow line and the words Supper social club in the box in white
Supper Social Club
California Pizza kitchen, 300 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134

02/03/20 6:30pm - 02/03/20 8:30pm

I'll be there!
I can't make it
supper social flyer for jan through june of 2020 the flyer is red with a pizza in the middle and yellow writing that lists the dates of the event
Your Upward Journey
The cover of the book Your Upward Journey by Patricia Bochi
In a nutshell, Your Upward Journey:

It is Easier Than You Think!, a three-part project (book, self-help seminars and merchandise sale).