Disability Connection


Archives February 2013

  • Feb, Mon, 2013

Disaster Legal Services Available to Storm Survivors

Disaster Legal Services provides legal assistance to low‐income individuals who, as a result of the disaster, are unable to secure adequate legal services. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, through an agreement with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, provides free legal help for survivors of a presidentially declared major disaster if they are unable to pay.

Disaster legal assistance that local lawyers typically provide covers:

·         Help with insurance claims for doctor and hospital bills, for loss of property, loss of life.

·         Drawing up new wills and other legal papers lost in the disaster.

·         Help with home repair contracts and contractors.

·         Advice on problems with landlords.

·         Preparing powers of attorney.

 The Young Lawyers Division of The Mississippi Bar has provided a toll free number, 877-691-6185, that is staffed Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. When staff steps away or during all other hours of the day, a caller may leave their name, and a good daytime contact number. A legal representative will return an applicant’s call as soon as possible.

Legal help in any area of law is only available if the legal issue is directly related to a declared major disaster. Disaster legal advice is limited to cases that will not require a fee.

– Information courtesy of FEMA – 770-220-5226

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

 FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.


  • Feb, Fri, 2013

WebAIM Accessibility Surveys: Help improve the web for people with disabilities!

WebAIM (Accessibility In Mind) works with government, private and public organizations to make their Web content more useful to people with disabilities. If you have ten minutes to spare, you can help make the web more accessible!

WebAIM has launched two surveys – a Survey of Users with Low Vision and a Survey of Users with Motor Disabilities. If you have a vision or motor disability that impacts your ability use a computer, please take a moment to answer the survey. Responses are due March 15.

Survey results will help web designers, developers, and standards bodies make the web more useful to everyone. For questions or more information, contact WebAIM here: http://webaim.org/contact/ .

– Courtesy of Mary Troupe, Just Advocacy of Mississippi

  • Feb, Wed, 2013

Disability Connection’s Celebration of Health was a Success!

Disability Connection hosted the first Celebration of Health on Friday, February 15th, at the Donal Snyder Community Center. The event was a huge success, with over 280 individuals in attendance. Thank you to all the community partners and event sponsors that made the Celebration of Health possible!

View the WLOX coverage of the Celebration of Health here.


  • Feb, Thu, 2013

Paper Federal Benefits Checks to Stop March 1st

By March 1, 2013, the Federal Government will only disperse electronic benefit payments.

If you receive Social Security, SSI, Veterans or other federal government benefits by check in the mail, you will have the option of having the money deposited directly in your savings or checking account, or onto a Direct Express debit Mastercard.

If you would like the debit card, do nothing. After March 1, you will automatically receive your payments on the card. If you prefer direct deposit, sign up at your local bank or credit union, or by calling (800) 333-1795. You can also sign up online at ttps://www.godirect.gov/gpw/index.gd .

Learn more about this change in your benefits at http://www.godirect.org/ .

– Thanks to JAM (Just Advocacy of Mississippi) –

  • Feb, Wed, 2013

NAMI to Host 12-Session Course for Families of Adult Individuals Suffering from a Mental Illness

NAMI Vicksburg will offer the 12-session Family to Family Class for families of adult individuals suffering from a mental illness.  This is a free course, and is designed to meet the needs of family members and caretakers. The course covers mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, etc.; medications and treatment; coping; communication skills; empathy; and other important information. 

The class will begin Feb. 18th, and will meet on Monday and Thursday from 6 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. in the Conference Room of Warren-Yazoo Mental Health Admin. Bldg. on Wisconsin Ave. 

Pre-registration is required.  Contact Ann Jensen, Family Education Coordinator, at NAMI MS Office—800-357-0388  


  • Feb, Wed, 2013

Congressman Harper Re-introduced Federal Programs for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Congressman Gregg Harper reintroduced a proposal that revamps federal programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, as they transition from high school into the working world.

“In order for individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach their maximum potential, Congress must enact a systems change,” said Harper, a longtime champion for the disabilities community. “The current federal disability laws are hopelessly outdated and will ultimately lead to unemployment and poverty for these children.”

Congressman Harper’s proposal looks to improve the current system in place. Read more about his plan HERE.

  • Feb, Thu, 2013

2013 Community Wellness Conference – The Art of Active Healthy Living

Hosted by the Mississippi Coast Interfaith Disaster Task Force, the 2013 Community Wellness Conference is May 22-23, 2013 at the Biloxi Civic Center. The theme for this year’s conference is “The Art of Active Health Living”.

“This training opportunity will include speakers and breakout sessions by primary and
mental health care professionals; nutritional and fitness professionals as well as a range of topics to promote community wellness projects. [IDTF believes] that community wellness starts with education and a proactive approach to decreasing the incidence of illness related to lifestyle and health choices. This year’s conference will offer more opportunities for participants to develop strategies to inform and involve the public in making Mississippi a
healthier place to live. The Planning Committee is also working on providing CEUs for health care professions and CMEs for physicians, nurses and others in the wellness community. Last year the Community Wellness Conference provided up to 13 CEUs for qualified participants. Some of the workshops that will be offered are Bullying Prevention Methods, Ethics In the Age of Social Media, Alzheimer’s Disease and Caregivers,
Art Therapy Techniques, Total Health, Risking Connections and Trauma Informed
Care among others.  [They] anticipate having 4 plenary sessions and 24 breakout sessions.”

Register for the Conference on the IDTF website or by contacting Genia Crane (gcrane@msidtf.org or 228-206-4177).


  • Feb, Thu, 2013

VSA’s Emerging Artists Program – 2013 Call for Art

In/finite Earth: VSA's Emerging Artists Program

The Kennedy Center and VSA are accepting entries for the 2013 Emerging Artists Program. This is a national exhibition of emerging artists between the ages of 16-25, with disabilities. Fifteen artists will be selected and the exhibition will take place in Washington DC, in the Fall of 2013. The artists selected will share $60,000 in cash awards.

The In/finite Earth program “aims to showcase artwork that illuminates innovative viewpoints the intersection of environmentalism, creativity, and disability. This call for art asks artists to engage in the physical, emotional, and creative ties we share across our planet, and present their artistic perspectives regarding the natural world, sustainability, and our collective future.”

Click here for more info or to apply.