Are you a person with a physical, learning, mental, or developmental disability? Do you have a relationship with someone who has a disability? Are you interested in education, guardianship, community inclusion, or other civil rights issues related to disability? Then mark your calendars for Disability Rights North Carolina’s Third Annual Disability Advocacy Conference on April 20.
The conference will be held at The Friday Center from 8:30 to 5:00 and will feature 15 breakout sessions. The presenters are predominantly Disability Rights NC staff members who will focus on special education, guardianship, community living, Medicaid appeals, resources for children with complex needs, and trends in disability law. Standard registration fees are $125/person. Registration remains open until April 18 with CLE and other continuing education credits available. Get details at disabilityrightsnc.org/conference-2016.
Disability Rights NC is a nonprofit, cross-disability organization whose mission is to protect the legal rights of people with disabilities through individual and systems advocacy.
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For those unfamiliar with the nonprofit, its existence traces back to a 1972 Geraldo Rivera exposé of horrendous abuse and neglect of people with disabilities at Willowbrook State School in New York. The shocking video compelled the federal government to enact legislation requiring each state to establish a system of protection and advocacy (P&A) to monitor, investigate and enforce standards in the treatment of people with disabilities. As years passed, the rights of people with disabilities expanded and effective methodologies of rights enforcement changed. In 2005, N.C. Gov. Michael Easley decommissioned the existing P&A by removing it from state government where it was hampered by conflicts of interest. In 2007, Disability Rights NC assumed the role of the P&A as a private, nonprofit organization.
In the eight short years, the organization, whose staff includes attorneys, investigators and advocates, has successfully represented the rights of its targeted population in various ways ranging from direct interaction with schools, facilities, and individuals to class action litigation against the state and other entities in state and federal courts. You can learn more about Disability Rights NC at www.disabilityrightsnc.org.
Editor’s note: The writer is one of several new writers who will be contributing columns on disability awareness in 2016. Look for the columns beginning later this month.
A library invite
Postcards of Franklin Street. Mama Dip in her kitchen. A yearbook page from Chapel Hill High, Class of ’78. The Bouncing Bulldogs in a parade. These images of our unique community, and thousands more, are included in “UNBOUND,” a unique piece of public art to be installed at the Chapel Hill Public Library. We invite you to join us and celebrate this newest — and most interactive — addition to the town’s public art collection. On Friday, March 11, at 7 p.m., please join us at the library to unveil the art, meet the artist, and explore the thousands of images that make up “UNBOUND.”
“UNBOUND” is a multimedia, digital installation whose content was created, in large part, by the community itself. The artist spent two weeks roaming all over town with a camera, visiting classrooms, and combing archives. In addition, hundreds of people contributed both personal mementos and shared memories, from a grandparent’s photograph to a pair of tickets from the last UNC men’s game at Carmichael Auditorium. All of these items were artfully arranged by the artist, and will soon be on permanent display as part of “UNBOUND.” We can’t wait for you to see it.
We hope to see you at the library on Friday, March 11, at 7p.m. to help us unveil this new, truly public art that was created of, by, and for the people of Chapel Hill.
Chapel Hill Public Library director
Parks and recreation director
Public and cultural arts administrator
Marcoplos has earned it
Mark Marcoplos has earned our votes for county commissioner. I am voting for him in the primary election and I urge those who are committed to the future of Orange County to vote for him as well.
Mark’s years of community involvement and leadership have given him a deep understanding of all of the people of Orange County and the issues we face. As we head into a period of change and growth, Mark’s experience helping to guide and implement policy is crucial.
I first met Mark over 30 years ago when I was his son’s pre-school teacher in a cooperative pre-school.
Mark stood out among the co-op members as the parent who could always be counted on to do more than his share of work, to pay attention to the individual needs of each child and to come up with innovative ways of addressing organizational challenges.
As I have known and watched Mark’s community involvement over the ensuing years those same traits have highlighted his service. He does the hard sometimes tedious often thankless work needed to make great ideas become a reality. He pays close attention to the needs of individuals while working to formulate and implement needed change and he is always willing to look at innovative approaches.
These characteristics and his commitment to the good of the entire community have been evident in his long history of service to our community. Mark’s leadership experiences including the Orange County Economic Development Commission, the OWASA Board which he chaired for two terms, the Orange County Planning Board and the Orange County Housing Authority have given him an in depth hands on understanding of Orange County policy issues and the people those policies effect.
He is well prepared to serve and will make an excellent, informed and responsive county commissioner.
Jacquelyn M Gist
The writer is a member of the Carrboro Board of Alderman
3 who are exceptional
Over half the Chapel Hill property tax bill is paid to Orange County! The Orange County commissioners decide how that money is spent, and that’s why moving the board forward by electing professional, well rounded, and really knowledgeable commissioners is so important.
Traditionally, candidates all say they support the school systems, economic development, environmental protection, and social-justice values. The question is who can really deliver on these key issues?
Fortunately, there are three candidates who have exceptional skills, knowledge, and the diverse backgrounds necessary to help Orange County grow successfully. These candidates understand the relationships between all of the challenges facing the county and that “the answer” can’t be determined in isolation. They will inject new ideas into the commissioners’ discussions and work with others to focus on fulfilling the county’s responsibilities to the full spectrum of residents.
Jamezetta Bedford’s expertise as a CPA, 12 years of experience on the CHCC School Board, and her proven dedication to providing a strong safety net for those in need, will result in a commissioner who will balance and manage priorities in the Board.
Matt Hughes will use his strength of character, visions for the future, and zeal for the people of Orange County, as well as his well-honed activist skills, to infuse board discussions with a distinctive and valuable perspective that is missing from the current Board.
Bonnie Hauser’s (District 2) experience as a former partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, means that budgets and economic development are second nature to her. She has a proven track record of success in Orange County. Bonnie is has demonstrated her commitment to children, to strong communities, and supporting comprehensive transit access for all. She will bring clarity of purpose to the Board.
Please join me in voting for Bedford, Hughes, and Hauser on March 15.
Dorosin stood up for Rogers Road
I enthusiastically endorse Mark Dorosin for re-election to the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
Mark has been my friend and neighbor for 17 years. He believes deeply in the progressive ideas that encompasses so much of this community, and fights for these principles in a practical way that turns them into reality. Schools are clearly the most important thing in our community, and he was the only commissioner who supported full funding of the schools. As a longtime civil rights attorney, Mark understands the importance of social justice in our community and the role the county commissioners need to take in that arena. He has stood up for the Rogers Road community and has fought for programs that would assist the poor and disadvantaged in our county.
I am proud to live in a community where most of our elected officials espouse progressive views. I am even more proud that we have a commissioner in Mark Dorosin who puts those progressive views into action.
Jonathan E. Broun
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