vody/> RCM - Revitalizing Community Membership: Empowering Independence: November 2019

Sunday, November 24, 2019

‘Everybody Feels Free Here’: Baltimore Club for Adults with Disabilities Fosters Love, Friendship & Inclusion

By the time the doors open 15 minutes early that Saturday night, dozens are lined up to get inside. Women wear wedges and bodysuits that hug their curves. Men sport collared shirts and their favorite sneakers. Some have caregivers guiding them; others need wheelchairs. Many wear the signature T-shirts stamped with the logo, Club 1111.

It’s the long-awaited evening when the League for People with Disabilities at 1111 E. Cold Spring Lane transforms into a glittering nightclub for adults with disabilities. The classrooms become dance floors with disc jockeys playing pounding club music. Merchandise, like sunglasses and blinking rings, is stacked up and ready to be sold, and volunteers wait in a makeshift spa to do fingernails and put on temporary tattoos. A lounge with dim lights is set up for chilling.

To read more on this story, click here: ‘Everybody Feels Free Here’: Baltimore Club for Adults with Disabilities Fosters Love, Friendship & Inclusion


Santa Offering Sensory-Friendly Events Nationwide

Ahead of his big night, hundreds of special events across the country will offer kids with disabilities a chance to visit with Santa Claus in a calmer setting.

Some 747 sensory-friendly Santa events are planned at 582 shopping centers in the United States and Canada this holiday season.

To read more on this story, click here: Santa Offering Sensory-Friendly Events Nationwide


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Walmart Altering Disability Employment Policy

Under a settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the country’s largest private employer will change a policy affecting workers with disabilities nationwide.

Walmart says that in cases where employees with disabilities need to be reassigned, the company will offer them open positions at multiple nearby stores rather than just positions at the location where they already work.

The new policy is the result of a lawsuit brought by the EEOC on behalf of Veronica Resendez, a longtime Walmart employee in Augusta, Maine.

To read more on this story, click here: Walmart Altering Disability Employment Policy


Monday, November 18, 2019

Bernard Crawford Was Sworn In By Mayor, Muriel Bowser, As He Joins The Developmental Disability Council

Bernard Crawford was just sworn in by Mayor, Muriel Bowser, as he joins the Developmental Disability Council. So proud of this determined and passionate self-advocate! #motaboards #everydayinclusion #fairshot



Man Uses His Deafness to Help Others

Steve Holley is a direct support professional for the National Children's Center working with people with emotional and intellectual disabilities. Because he's been deaf since he was three, Holley uses his skills and knowledge of sign language to help others who are deaf like him. (Published Friday, Nov 15, 2019)


Action Alert! The Human Services Committee Votes on the DSP Rate Act (B23-214) on Nov. 20th

Action Alert! The Human Services Committee votes on the DSP Rate Act (B23-214) on Nov. 20th. Make sure your voices are heard by tweeting, reaching out on FB, emailing, and/or calling your council members regarding this act. The next few weeks are crucial. Preserve disability services in DC, don’t let critical work in the DD field become a minimum wage job! #supportdsprateact #fairshot #dccitycouncil #dspsrock


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Trained Medication Employee (TME) Certification Training Class: December 9th at 9:30 AM – December 11th

Classes will be held at RCM’s administrative office from 9:30 am – 4 pm; participants must commit to attending all 3 days of class for the course they select.  To confirm a seat in the course, RCM must receive the following no later than one week prior to the first day of class:

  • A check in the amount of $250 made payable to RCM of Washington
  • Evidence of one (1) year of clinical experience in a program or a health care facility. 
  • Verification of employment letters from either current or former employers detailing your name, dates of employment, job title, and a brief description of job duties will satisfy this evidence requirement.
  • Clean Hands Certification in DC

Please send payment and proof of experience to:

RCM of Washington
c/o Training
64 New York Avenue, NE, #100
Washington, DC 20002

Note, there are limited spots available. Participants will receive a confirmation email once the enrollment has been processed and a seat in the course has been reserved.  Please send inquiries to HRManagement@rcmofwashington.com.

To visit on Facebook, click HEREHosted by RCM of Washington Inc

Please Share!


Capital One Arena Expanding Accessibility for Those with Sensory Issues

A partnership between Monumental Sports and KultureCity, a nonprofit that advocates for sensory inclusion, is expanding accessibility at Capital One Arena so people with sensory challenges can enjoy large events — with tools at hand in the event of a sensory overload.

“The first thing is training, which is the most important step,” KultureCity co-founder Dr. Julian Maha told WTOP.

Maha said the venue certification process included training for at least half of Capital One Arena’s staff members who interact with the public.

To read more on this story, click here: Capital One Arena Expanding Accessibility for Those with Sensory Issues


We Are Now On Instagram!

        RCM just opened an Instagram account! 
                  Click HERE to Follow us!


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Did You Miss RCM's Direct Support Professional Academy Featured on World News America on BBC on November 8th?

You may have missed RCM's Direct Support Professional Academy featured on World News America on BBC on November 8th between the 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. news hour.

If you did, you can view it below.  Please check it out and let us know your feedback!

 I Want to Help People Feel They're Worth Something

At an all-expenses-paid academy in Washington, DC, one new class is addressing two different issues - a low employment rate among disabled adults and a shortage of carers.

The Direct Support Professional academy is run by the RCM of Washington, a company that helps disabled people.

Video by Hannah Long-Higgins and Samantha Granville

Please share!


Friday, November 8, 2019

Lyft Offering Rides To Job Seekers With Disabilities

Good news for those working with Goodwill and others!

In an effort to help people with disabilities access job training and get hired, one of the nation’s leading ride-sharing services plans to offer free or discounted rides.

Lyft’s Jobs Access Program will provide complementary or lower-cost rides to individuals with disabilities and other targeted groups in more than 35 markets across the U.S. and Canada.

The company said rides will be available to get to or from job training programs, interviews and to get back and forth from work for the first three weeks of employment before new hires typically get their first paychecks.

To read more on this story, click here: Lyft Offering Rides To Job Seekers With Disabilities


RCM of Washington November 2019 Newsletter

See what RCM has been up to this November! And if you'd like to join our mailing list, please send us a private message with your email address. To send your email, click HERE

Welcome Back!

Hello RCM supporters. Whether this is your first email from us or one of many, we're happy to provide you with our revamped monthly newsletter. Here you can find some updates on what the RCM team has been up-to and upcoming opportunities. 

    RCM on the Hill
On Thursday October 17th, RCM's Jason McGaughey, Emerging Leader's William Marbury and Self Advocate Antonio Myers spoke at a Congressional briefing  in support of the HCBS Infrastructure Act. This act will help support states in transitioning their Medicaid long-term services and supports system (MLTSS). Previously, there was a heavy reliance on institutionalization, but now the focus is shifting to offer more home and community based services (HCBS) options and waiver programs. Some of the necessary infrastructure improvements include better employment opportunities, direct support workforce and unpaid caregiver support, housing support and better access to community transportation. 

William Marbury and Antonio Myers talked about their positive experiences with HCBS and how these services have allowed them to participate fully in the community. William talked about the programs he participates in weekly with RCM while Antonio described his education history and how he's not working with RCM to find employment opportunities. Jason McGaughey discussed disparities in the field of Direct Support Providers that this act could improve, including very high turnover rate and low wages. "Passion keeps us in our jobs," Jason stated, "but it isn't enough." They were joined by Mary P. Sowers, Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, and Anne Montgomery, Deputy Director of Altarum's Program to Improve Eldercare. 

If you want to help moderator Sarah Meak suggests writing to or calling the office of your state's representatives and telling them to support the HCBS Infrastructure Act. You can also provide suggestions for what improvements are most needed in your state.

Driver of the Year:
Ibrahim Jallou

In our first year, RCM gave out over $15,000 in bonuses to our drivers through our new "Good Driving Bonus Incentive Program." Mr. Jalloh has been chosen to receive the driver of the year award due to his longtime commitment to RCM and his stellar driving record. He has been working with RCM since 2014 and has met the good driving bonus requirements every quarter, never once receiving a driving infraction. 

When asked his secrets for avoiding distractions, Mr. Jalloh stated, "When I get in the van, I always consider that life comes first when I am behind the wheel and everything else can wait.” He puts silences his phone and keeps it out of sight, plus he takes extra caution when backing up, the main cause of accidents in RCM vans. “Backing up is discouraged and I only back up when it is absolutely necessary," Ibrahim said. "I make sure that my mirrors are centered and always check the back up mirrors several times before backing up.” 

RCM has seen a positive change in their drivers since implementing the Good Driving Bonus Incentive Program and Mr. Jalloh has noticed this as well.  He stated that the bonuses encourage drivers to be safer on the roads, and that eventually these safe driving practices become second nature. We wanted to share this success story and thank all our dedicated drivers for their hard work. Mr. Jalloh, we appreciate all your excellent driving habits and thank you for sharing your tips with us!

Join our Book Club!
Next Chapter's RCM Branch

The Next Chapter Book Club brings together adolescents and adults with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other intellectual and developmental disabilities to enjoy in the wonderful world of reading. Next Chapter has book clubs all around the country and RCM offers a great one here in the District! Being able to read on your own is not a requirement. Everyone is welcome. The book club meets at 5 PM on the first and third Wednesday of each month at Peet's Coffee, 1275 First st NE. If you're interested or know someone who may be interested swing by a meeting or contact rdindino@rcmofwashington.com for more information. 

RCM's DSP Academy 

Learn about the success of our program and how to apply

RCM just wrapped up its second, Direct Support Professional Academy in September! For those who don’t already know, the DSP Academy is a six-week customized vocational training program. Upon graduation, participants have all the training and certifications needed to be a DSP in the District. The curriculum is tailored to suit all learning styles.

This second cohort was done in partnership with the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), and we saw many successful employment outcomes! We look forward to a continued partnership with RSA
as well as DCPS and the Career Bridge program.

See what out recent graduates had to say:

“The most valuable experience wasn’t academic. It has been enhancing the lives of people with disabilities. I have learned different disabilities people may have and how to support them. Through the training, I have learned how to support people to enhance their social skills, communication skills, and self-worth. I have learned empathy for others.”

“I enjoyed engaging myself with all types of disabilities and coming up with creative ideas to help support a person so that they can have a good quality of life.”

"Great learning experience, exceptional patience from the (RCM) employees with explaining material and answering questions. I enjoyed interacting with the people I was training with.”

If you would like more information on the DSP program or application information please visit the DSP page on our website. Also, check out some articles covering our program from The Washington Post and WAMU.

                                     Check out our website and social media pages!

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