Annie’s House has Adaptive Recreation Program for People with Disabilities and Veterans

Annie’s House at Bottineau Winter Park is a year round adaptive recreational facility, nestled in North Dakota’s scenic Turtle Mountains. Annie’s house provides an array of life-changing opportunities for individuals and veterans with disabilities to participate in activities such as skiing, hiking, fishing, and canoeing. They have specially trained instructors, modifications and adaptive equipment to help ensure that every person’s recreational experience is a success.

Annie’s House currently has a Veteran’s with Disabilities Adaptive Recreation program. This program works to give veterans opportunities to try recreational adventures. In order to qualify for this program a veteran must be able to qualify for benefits from the VA and have a 10% or higher disability as determined by the VA.

This program is made possible through a grant from the Veterans Administration. The VA Adaptive Sports Grant allows Annie’s house to offer the following: mileage to and from Annie’s House, lodging, meals, fees for adventures at Annie’s House, trained instructors to assist the veteran in having a successful and enjoyable experience, and adaptive equipment.

To learn more about Annie’s House or the Veterans with Disabilities Adaptive Recreation Program, please contact:

Mike Cerkowniak

Annie’s House Adaptive Recreation Program Coordinator

Email: Michael.cerkowniak@annecenter.org

Phone: 701-263-4556

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People First Language Changes to Legislation

January brought new changes to wording in legislative bills. House Bill 1108 was introduced on January 6, 2015. House Bill 1108 will be altering legislation to comply with people first language. References with be changed from “developmentally disabled persons” to “individual with a developmental disability” or “individuals with developmental disabilities.”

The bill was sent to an appropriations committee. The committee recommended that the bill should pass. The vote was 86 yeas, 0 nays, and 8 absent and not voting. This shows the overwhelming support to update the language in state legislation to people first language.

Now that this bill has passed the house, it will move on to the senate where it is expected to pass. A time has not been set for when the Senate will hear this bill, but the crossover date for bills from the House to the Senate will occur on February 27, 2015.

You can read the full bill by going to http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/64-2015/journals/hr-dailyjnl-04.pdf#pagemode=bookmarks&Page80

President Obama’s Budget Requests Increase in Independent Living Funding

This year is the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 40th Anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These acts have helped many people with disabilities to live independent lives, but graduation rates and high unemployment rates still leave many challenges. About 56.7 million Americans live with disabilities, 19% of America’s total population. This has made the Administration think more about how to best serve people with disabilities and it is reflected in the 2016 Funding Year Budget.

President Obama has released his Funding Year 2016 budget. The budget includes a request for $111 million for the Independent Living Program. This is a $5 million increase over the Funding Year 2015 enacted budget, and it is the first time in several years that such a request has been made. This funding will go toward states and consumer-controlled nonprofit organizations to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve self-determined independent living goals.

The National Council for Independent Living (NCIL) has been pushing Congress and the Administration to invest an additional $200 million in the Independent Living Program. NCIL feels that this is a good start to increase funding for the Independent Living Program, but that it isn’t enough.

The Independent Living Program is one of the country’s most important investments, and this increase is a start on the path to the necessary funding to keep this program going.