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A Disability Services Organization

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Newsletters from DIAL

"Promoting Self-Advocacy"

DIAL, Inc., is involved in a partnership with Centers for Independent Living, New Jersey Department of Education, Special Education Programs and the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to promote self-advocacy for students with disabilities and enhance the process of transitioning. The program is currently in its 8th year.

Each center offers self-advocacy, self-determination, and self-help programs and services for students with disabilities and their families with the most effective materials and resources available.

DIAL, Inc., will be working with students from school districts in Passaic and Essex Counties, free of charge.

The 'Self-Advocacy for Youth' program is expected to achieve the following objectives:

Increase the number of students, families, and school personnel that are aware of and use the resources and services of the Centers for Independent Living in New Jersey;

Increase students' knowledge of rights, responsibilities, and resources;

Increase students' use of self-advocacy, self-determination, and self-help skills in their daily lives; and increase students’ participation and decision-making in the transition planning process with specific regard to post secondary resources, services and linkages.

Please contact Sandy LaCorte at (973) 470-8090 for more information.


The following facts are taken from material produced for VSA art’s program Express Diversity!. All text is protected by copyright.

Homer, ancient Greek writer of “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey,” was blind.

The typewriter was invented as a private writing device for a blind member of a royal family. Other developers of early typewriters also designed for individuals who were blind.

English King George III (1783-1820) ruled England during the time of the American Revolution. He took the throne in 1760, had repeated bouts of mental illness during his reign, and was removed form power after an extended period of mental illness in 1811 by his son George IV. George IV officially took the throne in 1820 after the death of George III.

In 1776, Stephen Hopkins referred to his Cerebral Palsy when he signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence saying, “My hands trembles, but my heart does not.”

French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) developed Rheumatoid Arthritis late in life and required a wheelchair to get around the last few years of his life. In order to continue painting, Renoir employed assistants who would dip brushes in paint for him and strap the brushes to his hands. Renoir later paintings are celebrated for their looser brushwork. It is
probable that his looser brushwork is the result of his arthritis.

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) was born with an overly large head and had developmental disabilities which slowed his early motor and language skills. Doctors claimed he would be “an invalid”. Edison’s school diagnosed him as “mentally ill” and “unteachable”because he could not complete his academic work. His mother Nancy Edison, a former teacher, removed her son from school and home-schooled him. She struggled to find methods to accommodate for Edison’s developmental disabilities and dyslexia, and eventually found that Edison had to see and test things for himself. Edison went on to become one of the most recognized inventors of all the time. He patented over a thousand inventions; among his most famous are: the phonograph (1877), the electric light bulb (1879), the dictating machine, and the motion picture (1896). In 1882 he also designed the first hydroelectric plant in Appleton, Wisconsin.

When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, he was attempting to convert speech to visual representation in order to accommodate for his wife’s hearing loss. Unfortunately Bell’s invention failed to convert sounds to visual representations, though it extended verbal communications in ways Bell never could imagine.

In 1984 Gallaudet University football quarterback Paul Hubbard created the “huddle” to prevent the opposing team from seeing the signs the Gallaudet team used to communicate their next play to their teammates.

Baseball hand signals used by umpires to signify balls, strikes, out and safe originate from Outfielder William Hoy’s request to umpires that they use sign language because he was deaf and could not hear the umpires’ verbal calls.

"Statewide Partners in the Arts Festival"

New Brunswick, NJ… Registration is underway for the VSA arts of New Jersey Annual Statewide Partners in the Arts Festival on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 at Middlesex Community College in Edison for 9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Partners in the Arts is a festival that fosters the integration of individuals with and without disabilities in the celebration of the arts. Children and adults, individuals and school groups are invited to this enjoyable, enriching, fun-filled day of performances, arts workshops, exhibits and much more. Interested participants are also invited to register to present exhibits and performances for the festival audience. This event is offered free of charge.

The festival is one of many projects of the VSA arts of New Jersey, a statewide nonprofit organization to enriching the lives and promoting creative power of individuals with disabilities throughout New Jersey. Cosponsors for this event are the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission and Middlesex County College.

This program is made possible in part by funds from New Jersey State Council on the Art/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and the central office of the VSA arts, under and award from the U.S. Department of Education.

Individuals, schools, and organizations are invited to participate in the event. Please contact Karen Singer for registration materials at VSA arts of New Jersey, 703 Jersey Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, (732) 745-3885, (732) 745-5935 or (732) 745- 3973 (TTY) or infor@vsanj.org Registration deadline is April 20, 2004.

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