Retirement Announcement
“It is with mixed emotions as President of the Board of Directors, I’m announcing that the Board has reluctantly accepted Mr. Steve Johnson’s decision to retire as Executive Director of the Endependence Center in Norfolk Virginia. Steve has decided to take steps in a new direction for him and his family. We are all happy for Steve’s decision and his much-deserved retirement.
Efforts to fill the position of Executive Director will not be easy considering the high standards Steve has set for the Center. Best of luck to you Steve in the future for you and your family.”

Mike Wang

The position opening for the Executive Director can be found on our website at http://endependence.org/job-opportunities/

Independent Living Day
On Wednesday January 31, ECI participants and staff members traveled to Richmond to meet up with other advocates on a mission to convince our state legislators to expand IL services across the state. With legislative summaries in hand, ECI advocates headed over to the General Assembly to keep appointments with Representatives and Senators. These advocates had a clear message and were actively involved in not only schooling the legislators on which bills will provide necessary services for people with disabilities, but which ones will also advance independent living philosophies, practices and values. It was a very successful day at the General Assembly.

The General Assembly adjourned March 10 without finalizing a budget. They will return for a special session in April.

One of the items they proposed would result in changes to Medicaid consumer-directed companion, personal care and respite services requiring consumer-directed staff to be hired through an agency. If the General Assembly passes this budget amendment, the Endependence Center will facilitate a statewide meeting about this topic. We will post information on the Endependence Center Facebook page, website, and the VaWaivers Yahoo Group. To join the VaWaivers Yahoo Group send a message to vawaivers@endependence.org.

Senate Bill 199 would have restricted when and how complaints about non-compliance with disability laws including the Virginians with Disabilities Act could be pursued. The bill was similar to harmful legislation passed by the US House of Representatives last month. Senate Bill 199 was defeated early in the General Assembly session.

Senate Bill 222 and House Bill 226 expanded current law that allows a physician to end life sustaining treatment over the objection of the individual. The most concerning language in these bills would have provided immunity from liability for the physician or others  involved in ending life sustaining treatment over the objection of the individual. The language about immunity was from the bills before they were passed.

Several bills were introduced this year to address the need for improved access to communication for deaf children. The deaf community worked hard to educate legislators about the need for better communication in early childhood. After significant testimony, the Senate Education and Health Committee decided to carry over the bills to give legislators more time to understand the problem and to try to reach consensus on how to address the problem.

Group for People Living in a Nursing Facility
Friday, April 20, 2018 ~~ 1:00pm to 2:30pm at ECI
This is a group that is ONLY for people who currently live in Nursing Facilities.
We will be discussing issues relating to your rights while you are living in a nursing facility, issues relating to moving out of the nursing facility and how to use paratransit services. You will be able to network with others who live in a nursing facility. We will cover topics  to help you reach your goals. For further information about this group or transportation, please call Rena Lewis at (757) 351-1578 or Travis Webb at (757) 351-1574. Bus tickets and para-transit tickets will be provided to this event.