Community Resources

Free Cell Phone and Service!

California residents who receive Supplemental Security Income, food stamps (SNAP), MediCal or other public assistance, or who meet certain income guidelines, can receive free cell phones through the federal Lifeline* program provided by Assurance Wireless.  Roughly 4.6 million California households could be eligible. Those who qualify for Assurance Wireless will get a basic cell phone, plus 250 free minutes and 250 text …

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Tax Provisions for People with Disabilities

Tax season is upon us once again, so let’s have a look at some items that may be of help to you or your loved ones with disabilities. The IRS website puts just about everything you could want to know about taxes at your fingertips.  Here are three IRS publications that provide a good starting place for people with disabilities, …

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Navigating the Maze of Benefits

The World Institute on Disability (WID) has created two very useful websites to help you navigate the bewildering realm of benefits. One website, www.db101.org, is for disability benefits in general and the other, vets101.org, is specifically for veterans. Disability Benefits 101 presents the rules, in plain language, for health coverage, benefit programs and employment programs that people with disabilities use–whether …

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50% Discount on Broadband

In an attempt to bridge the digital divide, the state of California has initiated the California Teleconnect Fund, which provides eligible organizations with a 50% discount on broadband and other communication services.  Eligible organizations include: Non-profits that offer one of the following services to the surrounding community Educational services Job placement and/or training 2-1-1 referral services Computer and Internet training …

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Invisible Disabilities

In recent decades some invisible disabilities such as autism, traumatic brain injury  and diabetes has skyrocketed.  At the same time new invisible disabilities have appeared, such as fibromyalgia, metabolic syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivities.  There are hundreds of diagnoses that can come under the heading of invisible disabilities. The Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA) is dedicated to making a difference in these people’s lives, regardless …

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September is National Preparedness Month

Here in the Bay Area we are vulnerable to an array of possible disasters.  When I think of emergency preparedness, I usually think of “the big one”.  But the recent fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond is a reminder that there are more things than earthquakes we need to prepare for.  Remember the 1991 Oakland hills fire? Even if you already have …

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Rental Assistance is on the Way

On May 15th, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it is making $85 million available to state housing agencies to provide housing assistance for extremely low-income persons with disabilities. As part of recent reforms  made to the 811 Program, the funding  is specifically intended to target “extremely” low-income persons with disabilities, which they define as “those who are at or below 30 …

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Improve Transportation for People with Disabilities

Want to do your bit to improve transit for people with disabilities?  The Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) would love to have you participate in their study.  It doesn’t take long, and you can do it online from the convenience of your home. Here’s an excerpt from their webpage describing the project: (DREDF) is conducting research on what factors …

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Grand Opening of The Shop @ CIL

Come and celebrate the Grand Opening of THE SHOP at the Center for Independent Living on May 4 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm with demonstrations of assistive technology, information about The Shop, refreshments, and door prizes. The Shop provides wheelchair repairs and distributes donated assistive technologies and durable medical equipment.  They also provide information about assistive technology and referrals. The Shop is located at 2539 …

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ILPs for Youth with Disabilities

Research shows in order to have a successfully transition from high school to postsecondary education and the world of work, youth with disabilities and their families need to be intentional about planning activities that help youth reach their goals. Students need to be exposed to career exploration and planning. The Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) can help in this process. The …

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