PCPID Quarterly Meeting: September 26–27, 2011
President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
- The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID)
- Announcements, Meeting Announcements, Publication (Documents and Resources), Meeting Minutes
- Meeting Minutes, Meeting Announcement
Welcome and Greetings
George H. Sheldon, Acting Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services
Chairman Brett introduced ACF Acting Assistant Secretary, George H. Sheldon. Mr. Sheldon thanked Committee members and PCPID staff. He pointed out that the critical pieces in the field of ID are knowledge of the rights of individuals with ID and empowerment of those people to use individual bargaining power and decision-making. Employment is a key component. Mr. Sheldon ended by thanking the Committee for their hard work.
“Voices of Advocates”
Ken Capone, Public Policy Coordinator, People on the Go of Maryland
Tracy Wright, Project Manager, Self-Advocacy Network
Leigh Sutherland, Parent
Bill Krebs, Regional Representative, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered
Phyllis Holton, Advisor, Project Action
Phyllis Holton began by emphasizing the importance of employment to promote the self-worth of self-advocates. Her organization, Project Action, takes individuals with ID to employment fairs to prepare resumes, interview, and learn other employment basics. The organization focuses on the capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Project Action members also train service coordinators to provide services through the District's Department on Disability Services.
Bill Krebs introduced himself and talked about the employability of people with ID. He believes that some of these individuals will never be able to work, but can volunteer and get credit for doing what they are able to do. He then talked about his personal experiences in a workshop, getting a job in school, and losing his job after a short period of time. He shared with the Committee that he has filed for unemployment and his paperwork has been accepted.
Tracy Wright introduced herself and thanked Liz Weintraub for inviting her to speak at the meeting. She talked about her journey through her current job. She was not getting raises, health insurance, or opportunities for professionally growth due to her disability. The most difficult parts of Tracy’s job are earning the respect of her employer and feeling that she is as highly valued as employees without disabilities.
Mr. Ken Capone introduced himself and added that the organization that he works for, People on the Go, is a statewide self-advocacy group that is supported by the ARC of Maryland. The organization believes all people with challenges should be included in school, work, and the community. He reiterated his love of advocacy work. Ken's big concern for people with disabilities is employment. It took him 17 years to get a job. His other concern is affordable, accessible, integrated housing.
Leigh Sutherland is a parent and advocate for her daughter, Alexandra, who has a genetic condition called Angelman's Syndrome. People with Angelman's Syndrome require full-time, 24-hour care. Alexandra is in a day program called Community Support Services. Part of Community Support Services' goal is to get all people employed in the community for part of the day and has been creative about how they get adults with disabilities employed. Most people with disability, in this setting, work in restaurants. Alexandra enjoys preparing coffee every morning as a part of her job. However, the Community Support Services is in need of additional funding to help further train their aids and upgrade the equipment on the coffee cart, but the goal is within the next two years to get Alexandra and her friends out in the community.
Liz Weintraub asked the panelists to share one or two things that they would like the Committee to report to the President. Ms. Holton and Mr. Capone were concerned with maintaining funding support for people with ID. Mr. Krebs would like to tell the President to stop putting Medicare dollars into workshops because people with ID want to work and be integrated in the community. Ms. Wright added that it is important to try to cut out as much red tape as possible.
Chairman Brett announced that Ms. Cathy Ficker-Terrill would be a Facilitator to Develop PCPID 2011 Report to the President during the second day of the meeting. Ms. Ficker-Terill is the CEO of the Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities, and also an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois and Elmhurst College.