Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tell your ADA Story

ADAPT marches to the Arkansas state capitol

Let the world know how the ADA has changed your life

Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As newsrooms gear up to cover this issue, the Public Insight Network (PIN) wants to know what it's like now to live with a disability.

Have you seen things change since the ADA became law? Do you or someone you know still face discrimination because of a disability?

The Public Insight Network is looking for personal stories about the ADA. You may share your experience to help shape how PIN covers this issue. PIN will not publish your response without your permission. A journalist from the Public Insight Network or a PIN partner newsroom may follow up with you for help with reporting.

Link to the Public Insight Network form.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Governor Haslam, close the gap

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that there are about 142,000 Tennesseans in the Medicaid Coverage Gap. The Tennessee Healthcare Campaign finds that our state is turning away $2.6 million every day in federal funds for healthcare. That total is now over $800,000.00 that Gov. Haslam has ignored. Governor Haslam, close the gap.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Accessible Sidewalks

MCIL wants to help build accessible walkways and curb-ramps in Memphis

By Tim Wheat
Fire plug blocking the curb-ramp in Memphis
There are many things that go into making and planning for accessible routes around the city of Memphis but the bottom line is: can you get to where you are going? The Memphis Center for Independent Living wants to look into all those issues, but we really want to know what barriers you find in your way.

Inaccessible businesses are one issue that MCIL is working on, but in this format we are asking you to help us identify the problems with sidewalks and curb-ramps. A curb-ramp, also commonly called a curb-cut, are typically at intersections and make it possible for someone using a wheelchair to cross the road like everyone else. 

We have found that many curbs in the city have no curb-ramp at all, so people using mobility devices cannot cross the street. There are other issues that people have identified, like utility poles in the middle of the walkway so that it blocks a wheelchair user. There are also broken sidewalks and curb-ramps that are not maintained that make it impossible to use.

What ever the issue, we are looking for some help from our community to locate where the barriers are. If you cannot use the walkways like other Memphis citizens can, that is a barrier that we would like to hear about. 

The Memphis Center for Independent Living has created a short online form to fill out to tell us about a barrier. We don't ask for your name or any other information than time, location and what the barrier is. You may also tell how the obstruction made you feel and how it impacts people with disabilities. If you would like to send a photo of the barrier you can email it to:

Link to the online form:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Annual Holiday Open House and Fundraiser

Memphis Center for Independent Living


Friday, December 5, 2014

1633 Madison Ave. 
4pm till 8 pm
Live music, Food, Fun, Fundraising 
Silent Auction

Bid tickets $10.00 
available now or at door
Adult beverages suggested donation
Cash or Credit card only please
2014 auction donors include so far: Outback, Molly’s LaCasita, Huey’s, Gold Strike Casino, Chase Rewards (Kindle Fire HDX and 24” HDTV), Friends (Baskets and lots more)!

For list of auction items or other information:
Call 726-6404 or email:

Food by the Peabody

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Vote Today!

Voting Information
1. Find My Poll
The Pew Voting Information Project, Google, and the Internet Association have collaborated to help voters find their polling place with www.gettothepolls.comEnter your address to find your polling place and get directions.
2. Voting in My State
Nonprofit VOTE delivers official information directly from your state election website in its 50 State Voter Information Tool. Select your state to:
Tim Wheat at his local polling site on Election Day.
  • Check your registration
  • Learn about voter ID
  • Learn about voting as an ex-offender
  • Contact your local election office with additional questions
3. National Voter Hotlines
These national hotlines are live and ready to help people vote. Voters can also use them to report a problem or get legal assistance voting.
  • Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (687-8683) for assistance in English. 
  • Call 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (839-8682) for assistance in Spanish.
  • Call 1-888-API-VOTE (274-8683) for assistance in Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, and Bengali. 
  • Call your state's voter hotline.
4. What's On My Ballot?
For the first time, Google answers this question--in detail. Ask Google "What's on my ballot?" Enter an address, zip code, or state to view a list of candidates and statewide measures that will appear on the ballot. 
Or get a personalized ballot from the League of Women Voters' Vote411 tool.
*For addition Election Day resources and tools, see Nonprofit VOTE's complete Election Day Toolbox.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Get Covered Memphis!

Open Enrollment begins November 15 

By Tim Wheat
Get Covered Memphis met in the Memphis Mayor’s Conference Room today to plan how to help people in Memphis to get health insurance coverage during the upcoming open enrollment, November 15 through February 15. More than twenty people from local organizations collaborated to make the enrollment period effective.
People sitting around a table in the Mayor's office

Bobbie White of the Mayor’s office welcomed the crowd and challenged each to make the enrollment period a success. Ellen Eubank of Seedco, a national nonprofit organization that advances economic opportunity for people, businesses and communities in need, laid out an ambitious schedule for November and December of Open Enrollment Events around the Memphis area.

“We are getting new dates and locations almost every day,” said Ms. Eubank about the enrollment events. “We are looking for volunteers and we are building a schedule for January and February of next year.”

With the new healthcare law more people will be eligible for coverage and healthcare subsidies. But because Tennessee has chosen not to expand Medicaid, many people still will have no coverage. At each enrollment event there are still a significant number of Tennessee citizens that fall into the gap and will get no healthcare benefit.

Jacob Flowers of Enroll America noted that many places will provide “dropboxes” where people who are interested in enrollment may fill-out a short card to have a enrollment navigator schedule time to assist with the enrollment process and paperwork.

People who have attempted to apply for Medicaid in Tennessee, also called TennCare, should have a determination in 45 days. Anyone that has waited 45 days or longer should immediately contact the Tennessee Justice Center on their website:

The kick-off for the Open Enrollment will be Saturday, November 15, from 9:am to 1:pm at the First Baptist Church 2835 Broad Ave. There will be many events to follow, but plan to be involved as a volunteer or to sign-up for coverage.