Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living

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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!

221

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?

hand held to the ear

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

BI Awareness CROP

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!

Beep Baseball cropped png

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!!

Beep Baseball png

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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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TACIL – Now Hiring!

TACIL Logo

TACIL Logo

Job Announcement

Job Title: Executive Director

Hours: Full-Time, Salaried, Exempt Position

Salary: Commensurate with Experience

Purpose:

The Texas Association of Centers for Independent Living (TACIL) is a membership organization that represents 24 Centers for Independent Living (CILs) throughout the State.  TACIL serves as a forum for CILs to collaborate on statewide initiatives and share information and ideas pursuant to expanding independent living (IL) programs and services.  Our mission is to strengthen and build the capacity of the CIL network to meet the growing service demands of Texans with disabilities.

TACIL is seeking to hire an Executive Director who will be responsible for the general operations of the organization, which includes on-going resource development, fiscal and programmatic oversight, and effective communication with TACIL’s membership, grantors, advocates, policy makers and other community stakeholders.  The Executive Director reports to and is supervised by TACIL’s Board President.

Essential Tasks:

  1. Understands and subscribes to the philosophy and values of Independent Living.
  2. Implements and complies with policies and procedures approved by TACIL’s Board of Directors.
  3. Provides direction and leadership toward the achievement of the organization’s philosophy, mission, strategic plan, and annual goals and objectives.
  4. Works at the state and federal levels on behalf of TACIL to achieve regulatory and administrative changes for greater access to home and community-based services.
  5. Maintains best practice knowledge in Independent Living and services for individuals with disabilities, to include housing, transportation, employment, technology, and advocacy.
  6. Maintains effective communication with the State Independent Living Council (SILC) and collaborates with the SILC on developing and monitoring the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL).
  7. Assists TACIL in organizing monthly teleconferences, trainings, committee meetings and scheduled face-to-face meetings.
  8. Facilitates teleconferences, meetings and trainings of a statewide Consumer Advocacy Team (CAT).
  9. Assists with the development of TACIL position papers and policy statements.
  10. Develops informational and/or action alerts for dissemination to TACIL’s membership and CAT.
  11. Provides quality presentations on topics related to TACIL and Centers for Independent Living.
  12. Ensures that a comprehensive budget and subsequent revisions are developed annually and presented to the Board for review and approval.
  13. Reviews key monthly financial reports, including balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and budget comparisons.
  14. Ensures compliance stipulated by funding entities and other local, state, and federal regulatory agencies.
  15. Performs other duties and responsibilities as assigned by TACIL Board.

The previous statements reflect the general duties considered necessary to describe the principle functions of the job as identified and shall not be considered as a detailed description of all the work requirements that may be inherent in the position.

Qualifications/Skills:

  1. Strong leadership, organizational, administrative and financial management skills
  2. Ability to travel statewide to various CIL locations
  3. Knowledge of current community challenges and opportunities relating to the mission of the organization
  4. Ability to develop and evaluate various projects
  5. Ability to analyze proposed legislation, regulations, budgets, policies and procedures for purposes of determining their effect on the lives of people with disabilities
  6. Knowledge and understanding of the Independent Living Movement
  7. Knowledge of state and federal laws regarding the rights of people with disabilities
  8. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing to diverse audiences and individuals at all levels of government
  9. Ability to maintain a professional attitude, particularly in stressful situations
  10. Knowledge and competence of computers and software applications, particularly Microsoft Office
  11. Ability to exercise good judgment, take initiative and work independently

 

Education/Experience:

Master’s Degree in Political Science, Business Administration or related fields, with experience working in an IL setting and directly with a not-for-profit Board of Directors are preferred; along with a minimum of five (5) years of management experience, knowledge of the issues and challenges faced by people with disabilities, and proven ability to supervise people, write grants, develop programs and raise funds; or, any combination of education and experience that, in the opinion of TACIL’s Board of Directors, qualifies the individual for the position.

If interested, please submit the following by January 17, 2014:

  • ·         A cover letter (no more than 1 page in length) that briefly addresses your interest in the position.
  • Three professional references.
  • ·         Proposed Salary
  • A current resume that clearly describes your experience, skills and/or knowledge related to the requirements of the position.  Include paid and volunteer experience.  Please limit resume to no more than 2 pages.

E-mail requested information to Michelle Crain, TACIL President, at michelle.crain@liferun.org or fax to (806) 795-5607.

 

*TACIL is an equal opportunity employer.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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Poetry Contest for Adults Who Have Mental Health Disabilities

picture of human head full of gears

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Do you or someone you know have a mental health disability and a knack for expressing what that’s like in poetry? The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announces its Second Annual Statewide Adult Poetry Contest. Entries of 200 words or less submitted to jennifer.swinton@dshs.state.tx.us by May 10, 2013, (or mailed to the DSHS office with postmark of the same) will be considered for prizes, certificates, and online publication.

Please visit the DSHS web site at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/mhsa/awareness/amh/ for full contest rules, mailing address, and other contact information.

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Hiring: Sign Language Interpreter

Now Hiring

The Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living is dedicated to promoting the full inclusion and participation of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of community life through a combination of advocacy, peer support, independent living skills training and information and referral – all of which are consumer-controlled and community-based. Our employees enjoy a diverse work environment, opportunities for development and a real opportunity to make a difference!

Sign Language Interpreter, BRYAN, TX – (Open until Filled)                     

FT or PT – Negotiable                               Salary- Based on Qualifications

In collaboration with the executive director, the sign language interpreter will contribute to increasing communication access to BVCIL staff and our local community.  Key responsibilities include:

  • Providing accurate Sign-to-Voice and Voice-to-Sign interpretation for BVCIL staff and contracted community partners;
  • Assisting in developing and maintaining a current calendar of activities related to the Deaf community (ASL classes, Peer Support groups, etc.); and,
  • Providing community education and advocacy related to communication access.

Successful candidates will possess:

  • Fluency in American Sign Language (Note: we will consider non-certified applicants with fluency and ability to obtain certification in an agreed upon timeframe);
  • excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Willingness to promote the Independent Living Philosophy;
  • Willingness to be involved in local and state advocacy efforts;
  • Willingness to travel;
  • Computer skills including Microsoft Word and Excel preferred;
  • Strong understanding of Deaf culture;
  • Good working knowledge of interpreter code of ethics;
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills; and
  • Ability to exercise good judgment and work independently.

HOW TO APPLY  

Applicants should view the full job description and send a completed BVCIL Application and cover letter outlining how they meet the specific requirements of the position to jpacha@bvcil.org.

While we sincerely appreciate all applications, only those candidates selected for interview will be contacted. Please note the selected candidate will be required to submit to a thorough criminal background check and a skills test.

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