Asian Pacific Americans with Disabilities

Networking to the Asian Pacific American community is very new for Access Living.

Although APA outreach does not have direct program support at this time, a few Access Living Staff continue to make efforts to make connections. For example,

• Access Living staff member, Bhuttu Mathews is a member and a sub–committee chair of the advisory board of the Asians with Disabilities Outreach Project Think–Tank, a collaboration between the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). This project aims to create a viable model to involve more Asians with disabilities in the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services of DRS by August 2011. The aims of the model are to:

• Increase DRS's capacity to serve the unique needs of Asians with Disabilities;

• Educate Asian businesses about the incentives that are currently available to employers to hire people with disabilities; and,

• Increase employment opportunities for Asians with Disabilities via the business sector

• Director of Independent Living, Rahnee Patrick is currently the liaison for a community project with the Leadership Center for Asian Pacific Americans; and,

• Access Livings former Staff Interpreter, Veramarie McIngvale, created a listserv called Chicago Asian Pacific American Disability Network (CAPADN).

In October of 2012, Access Living hosted a Town Hall meeting on report recently issued that covers disability and health care obstacles faced by the refugee community. The Town Hall was a place for refugees with disabilities to share their experiences with others who may be facing similar situations.

If you would like to participate in the ongoing effort to build bridges to the APA disability community, please contact:
Rahnee Patrick
Director of Independent Living Services