Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living

Connecting People to the Power of Independence

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Thank you, Grace!

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We wanted to take the time to recognize one of our volunteers for her outstanding work with BVCIL. We nominated Grace to be the “Shining Star” of 2-1-1’s weekly newsletter, Community Information Digest. Below you can read the excerpt from the newsletter about her efforts and the things she has done for Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living:

Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living (BVCIL) would like to honor a volunteer who has provided many hours of class support since January 2013 – Grace! Grace does not volunteer as part of Service Learning project or a service requirement for a campus organization. She sought us out after researching local volunteer opportunities; we are very grateful she did!

Grace initially provided Origami classes twice per month, bringing her own supplies and prepping for lessons. Grace volunteers for other types of art and recreation classes and assisted at Book Club last year when we needed her. Where ever there is a need, she finds time to help out around her full-time TAMU class schedule.

Grace is always very patient and kind to any class participants. Grace volunteers year-round. Some examples of her dedication: this summer, she volunteered to assist with Teen+ Summer Camp for two hours a day/4 days in August, and in July she was a big help at the ADA Celebration at Tiffany Park, despite the excessive heat- very cheerily teaching Origami and assisting with crafts. Grace always smiles, shows effort to learn participants’ names, and makes sure they know that she values their abilities in whatever task she is supporting. BVCIL staff truly appreciate Grace’s gift of her time, sharing her talents with others, and her serene personality- she always helps with ‘clean up’ after class, is able to observe who needs the most encouragement and always asks if there are ways she can assist. Grace is truly valued for her support of our mission.

Thank you, Grace, for your many hours and talents that you have provided us. You have been a wonderful example for our community and for all that have walked through our doors.

thankyou_Arizona

-BVCIL Staff

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Accessibility Help Desk

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Logo for Texas Reds Festival. The picture is an outline of the State of Texas with a giant t-bone steak covering from the tip of Texas near Brownsville to about Ft. Worth.  The steak has a cluster of purple grapes with a green vine situated on top of the steak as if stretching horizontally from the Texas New Mexico border to the Texas Arkansas border.ANDBrazos Valley Center for Independent Living logo

Look for the Accessibility Help Desk near the shuttle drop off location.  Below is a list of what you will find at the help desk. This is a community service brought to you by the Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living. Please stop by and say howdy!

  • Information about:
    • Accessible parking;
    • Transportation options;
    • Restrooms;
    • Exit routes;
    • Accessible routes; and
    • Where to find gluten free food options.
  • Materials in alternate formats:
    • Tactile maps; and
    • Braille schedules.
  • Concierge services/items including:
    • Long bendable straws;
    • Wheelchair charging station;
    • Loaner wheelchair;
    • Service animal relief area;
    • Transportation; and
    • Designated driver services.
  • On-site services:
    • Sighted-guides;
    • Sign Language Interpreting; and
    • Personal Attendants.

The BVCIL is a consumer-based, consumer-controlled, cross-disability, cross-cultural, non-residential, private nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation. BVCIL’s mission is to promote the full inclusion and participation of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of community life.

 

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HIRING @ Department of Disability Services (TAMU)

Now Hiring

Program Coordinator for Adaptive Technology Services

 
BRIEF POSITION OVERVIEW
The Program Coordinator for Adaptive Technology Services is responsible for the alternative format production process and the management of assistive technology (software and hardware) used by students with disabilities affiliated with the Department of Disability Services.
 
RESPONSIBILITIES

 

  • Coordinate, monitor and assist with the alternative format production process for audio books, electronic text, large print, and Braille.
  • Assess assistive technology (AT) needs and provides training and support to students who use AT equipment and software. 
  • Conduct presentations and workshops for students, faculty and staff to increase general knowledge of assistive technology and alternative format materials.
  • Manage AT equipment and software inventory.  Maintain lending library. Keep up to date on new technology and make recommendations for upgrades and purchases.
  • Recruit, hire, train, supervise and evaluate 4-8 student assistants.
  • Assist with maintaining department websites and databases ensuring that web accessibility standards are met.
  • Work supportively within the department, providing coverage to the main office and testing center when assigned.
  • Consult with campus units and departments regarding accessibility issues and laws.
  • Serve on University, Division and Departmental committees and task forces.
  • Evening work and/or travel may be required.
  • Other duties as assigned.

 

 
QUALIFICATIONS

 

  • Required Education & Experience: Bachelor’s degree or any equivalent combination of training and experience. Three years of administrative experience.

 

 

 

  • Preferred Education & Experience: Bachelor’s degree in information technology, special education or closely related field. Three (3) or more years of related administrative experience (assistive technology, information technology, educational technology, disability services, etc.). -OR – Master’s degree in educational technology, rehabilitation counseling, special education, information technology or related field and one (1) or more years of related administrative experience.

 

 

 

  • Special Knowledge: Preferred knowledge of working with adults with disabilities in higher education, broad knowledge of disabilities, and thorough knowledge of assistive technology and alternative format production. Knowledge of web accessibility, captioning and/or Braille transcription.

 

 

 

  • Salary:  $33,700-39,500

 

 

 

  • Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin June 19, 2014 and will continue until position is filled.  Preferred application deadline is July 1, 2014.

 

 
 
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY AND DEPARTMENT
Texas A&M University is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant institution located in College Station, Texas. The university is centrally located, approximately equidistant from three of the ten largest cities in the United States (Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio) and the state capital (Austin). The university’s enrollment is more than 50,000 students studying for degrees in twelve academic colleges including the Health Science Center and School of Law.
 
The Department of Disability Services is one of seventeen departments in the Division of Student Affairs.  Disability Services promotes an inclusive environment at Texas A&M University by facilitating appropriate accommodations, empowering students to be self-advocates, and educating the campus community.  Disability Services offers accommodations counseling, evaluation referral, disability-related information, adaptive technology services, sign language interpreting and transcription services for academically related purposes. 
 
 
TO APPLY
All applicants must complete the official university online application at http://jobpath.tamu.edu
 

 

  • See posting number S00990FY14

 

 
 
All correspondence and questions related to the positions and search should be directed to:
 
Tracey Forman, Assistant Director and Search Committee Chair
Department of Disability Services
Cain Hall B118, 1224 TAMU
College Station, Texas  77843-1224
 
Telephone:  (979) 845-1637
Fax:             (979) 458-1214
Email:          traceyf@disability.tamu.edu
Website:      http://disability.tamu.edu
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Congratulations Kristin!

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A big congrats goes out to our Health & Fitness Facilitator, Kristin Valadez on her recent graduation from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. Kristin will also start working full-time with us over the summer!

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Riddle me this…. What is so special about a CIL?

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hand held to the ear

Removing barriers, for people who have disabilities – and their families, and in communities – that’s what we do!  CILs provide people with disabilities

a)      the services they need,

b)      when they need them, so that

c)       they can obtain and sustain the lives they choose to lead.

a)      Providing services they need:

  • We’re are a part of – not apart from – the communities we serve.  We build, sustain, and offer benefit of expertise, relationships, and support systems that people who come to us haven’t known of or been able to access.  We stay locally current.
  • Because CILs are designed and operated by people who have disabilities, we offer services based on:
    • what people with disabilities who have faced barriers understand about what those barriers are and know how to overcome them.
    • what people with disabilities who face those barriers today tell us they need.
  • An array of services that build on strengths and needs our people and communities have.
  • Consumers are involved in identifying their needs and developing strategies through planning for getting their needs met.  The plans make the most of the expertise and relationships CILs have built while the consumer builds skills in planning and problem-solving.

b)      When they need them:

  • Many entities have waiting lists and / or delays in providing services.  In many cases, eligibility determination takes valuable time.  CILs offer services without delay.  Typically, CILs begin providing services at the time of intake.  Who else can make that claim?

c)       Obtaining and sustaining the lives they choose to lead:

  • We plan, carry out the plan, and followup with the consumer.  We help ensure that the plan “sticks” and works well for the person.
  • Case in point: Texas CILs have a lower level of recidivism for consumers relocated by a CIL (10%) vs when relocated by other entities (50%.)  Is it because of our followup?

Thank you Amy Kantoff with the Texas Association of Centers for Independent Living for your eloquent answer!

 

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The Brain Injury Awareness Campaign

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month! 

The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA) is happy to unveil a new legislative campaign for brain injury awareness month. Please join us in raising awareness of brain injury.
BIA-MA’s goal this year is to raise visibility and awareness and increase access to state services for individuals with brain injury. There are currently more than 3,000 brain injury survivors on the waiting list for brain injury services through the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). The time has come to meet their needs by increasing budget appropriations and reinforcing policies.
Are you the mother, daughter, son, father, caregiver, service provider, survivor or rehabilitation specialist? What role do you play in brain injury? What is your relationship to brain injury? How has brain injury affected your life?
BIA-MA is looking for people to put a “face” to brain injury by sharing how they’re affected by brain injury through anecdotes and personal stories.
BIA-MA has developed a kit for you to advocate for survivors and increase awareness through this campaign. Check out the link below!

Brain Injury Awareness Campaign

Check out OUR pictures on Facebook: www.facebook.com/bvcil

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Beep Baseball is COMING SOON!

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Attention Brazos Valley be on the lookout for the BCS Outlaws!! Beep Baseball is coming to Aggieland! Join us on 3/28 from 4-6 pm at Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living for an informational and to sign up for a team! More info to come!!

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B/CS Transportation Challenge

Boarding the Bus

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. ~ Benjamin Franklin

The Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living (BVCIL) has been advocating for increased transportation options for people with disabilities in our community for a few years now.  Transportation affects every aspect of independent community living — employment, education, grocery shopping, healthcare, and enjoyment. At BVCIL, we meet people everyday who either have zero access to transportation or who spend an inordinate amount of time “commuting” in our community.

On February 15th, BVCIL will be holding our 2nd annual fundraising event, Dining in the Dark, to help raise funds toward improving transportation options in B/CS.  BVCIL understands the depth of this problem… we have “told” the community; we have attempted to “teach” the community; now we would like to “involve” YOU.

Here’s your challenge:

  • Pick one day and use the public bus system (not A&M bus system) to get to and from your job — if you don’t have a job, use it to complete another typical trip for you (groceries, church, bar — whatever).
  • Report on your experience — either post your reply here, email jpacha@bvcil.org, tweet it @bvciltexas, put it on Facebook and tag Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living or if you are a media professional — “report” it in your own way.

Can you do it?  Will you try?

 

 

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