vody/> RCM - Revitalizing Community Membership: Empowering Independence: 2020

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Eddie Loves To Sing!

Eddie loves to sing! He did a little karaoke for his roommates. 🎤🎼

Video description: Eddie is sitting in his wheelchair wearing a blue and grey striped shirt and rocking his quarantine beard. His staff is holding a microphone up for him to sing into.

             Click arrow twice to start video.


Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Biden Urges Equality For People With Disabilities

Read Joe Biden's Disability Plan

The presumptive Democratic nominee for president is calling for more access to community-based services, competitive employment and greater disability representation in government.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is pushing a slew of changes in an effort to bring about “full equality” for those with disabilities.

To read more on this story, click here: Biden Urges Equality For People With Disabilities


Join Best Buddies Citizens

Best Buddies Citizens is a program that matches adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in one-to-one friendships with adults without IDD from the community. By spending time with one another, the lives of both individuals are enhanced through a mutually-enriching friendship.

For more information, click here: BEST BUDDIES ONLINE


Google Offering New Tools To Help Those With Disabilities

Google is introducing new technology to simplify smartphones for those with cognitive disabilities and it’s beefing up its map program to make it easier to know if destinations are accessible.

The company said this month that it is releasing an app called “Action Blocks” for Android devices that’s designed to make routine smartphone tasks — like calling mom or turning the lights off — less cumbersome.

To read more on this story, click here: Google Offering New Tools To Help Those With Disabilities


At RCM We Believe In Justice And We Stand Together, Unwavering

At RCM, we believe in justice and we stand together, unwavering, and with:

▪ Every single person engaged in peaceful protests, respectfully fighting for the social equity of people of color and for those who are discriminated against because of some perceived difference.

▪ Every single person who is the victim of the pervasive, systemic and abhorrent racism that pollutes and permeates our society.

At RCM, we have always recognized that diversity is our strength. It is the foundation of what brings many voices to the table to create solutions and help people thrive. We aim for a society where racial inequities are erased, and humanity rises to include all our collective voices in our democracy. May each one of you; everyone you know and everyone they know be the force for change desperately needed right now in this country and around the world. Let us build bridges across our divisions and hold firm in our collective strength and unity. We are all connected, we are all interdependent.

We wish for peace and justice, may we all use our united voices to vote, create change, develop understanding, and create a fair, just world for the next generation.

Amy L. Brooks, CEO



Tuesday, June 2, 2020

RCM of Washington May 2020 Newsletter

See what RCM has been up to this May! 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

Hello RCM Supporters

Despite the continuing difficulties, RCM staff have been hard at work continuing to support our community. We'd like to share what we've been up to in the month of May and more information on how to stay healthy and happy. 

Stay Home - Stay Busy - Stay Healthy! 

What are you doing to stay busy while at home? Our folks are doing puzzles, planting seeds, baking cookies, and much more! A special shout out to our DSPs for keeping everyone safe, healthy and engaged! 

How are you keeping busy during this time? Send us your pics! Plus, check out our Facebook page for daily updates from RCM and helpful articles.

Voting Updates

The DC 2020 voting schedule and procedures have been adjusted due to COVID-19. Check out the below information from the DC Board of Elections and check out https://www.dcboe.org for more information.

"In light of the spread of COVID-19, 20 vote centers will open throughout the District beginning May 22, 2020, and will remain open through June 2, 2020. Social distancing measures will be enforced at all vote centers. All locations will open from 8:30am until 7pm. On Election Day, all vote centers will open from 7am until 8pm. Primary Election is Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Special Election for Ward 2 is Tuesday, June 16, 2020. General Election is Tuesday, November 3, 2020."

Wearing a Mask 101 – Do’s and Don’ts  
Images courtesy of NYTimes article How NOT to Wear a Mask.

Additional information from the Mayor's Office on COVID-19 Measures: 

"Individuals living, working, and visiting Washington, DC should continue to stay at home, only leaving for essential purposes. If leaving their residence, all individuals must continue to social distance from others not in their household, and should wear face coverings if visiting essential businesses, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. Masks are not a replacement for social distancing." For more information, visit:  https://coronavirus.dc.gov/

Relax and Read

Check out this article featuring Birhanie, Danielle and Michael Anderson written by DCist – DC’s Intellectually Disabled Residents Face High Risks of Infection, And Their Caretakers Are Stretched Thin, by Judy Gathright.

Thank you so much for reading this month's newsletter!

If you have any suggestions or ideas for what to include in future emails please email RCM's social media/marketing coordinator Megan Spinella at ds282@georgetown.edu.

Check out our website and social media pages!

Main Website              RCM Twitter Facebook Page


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

None of Us Want to Stand Still

What a great video from the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and Rush University regarding the need for quality and person centered healthcare for persons with IDD.

None of Us Want to Stand Still" is a documentary made in partnership with Rush University Medical Center and Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. The documentary shines a light onto the reality of how poorly people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are treated in the healthcare system. The film gives voice to advocates to share their stories, as well as experts' opinions on how the healthcare system can improve the treatment of persons with intellectual disabilities and on how changes can be made on all levels of a healthcare organization to better treat these patients.

To view the video, click HERE.


Happy Birthday, Vernita!

Happy Birthday, Vernita! Well, it was a few days ago, but we are shouting out to you belated! Her neighbors and good friends, Jerome and Joyce made her cards to help celebrate since they couldn’t be there in person.

It is important to note that none of this would be possible without the work of our amazing DSP’s. #forgottenfaces #dspsareessential #quarantinebirthdays


RCM’s Fantastic Nursing Team!

Here are just a few members of RCM’s fantastic nursing team! Our fearless leader, Clinical Director Birhanie, who has been with RCM for 4 years (we don’t know where we would be without you), RN Kathy Ann (8 year employee), and LPN Festus (4 year employee). These are just a few of many who, despite personal risk, are working around the clock to provide people with excellent care. Thank you! #nursesweek2020 #communityhealthnurses #thankanurse

Clinical director, Birhanie is sitting in a black chair at his desk. He is wearing a blue button down shirt and a blue surgical mask. He has his hands folded in his lap.

RN Kathy Ann takes a selfie. She is wearing hoop earrings and a blue and white surgical mask. Her black glasses are propped on top of her head.

LPN Festus stands in the corridor of a house hallway with brown doors. Festus is wearing a maroon protection gown, a white mask, face shield, protective glasses, hair cover, and bright white sneakers. He is standing up straight with his hands in the front pocket of the gown.


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A Message To Our Amazing Nurses From CEO, Amy Brooks, RCM of Washington, INC

A message to our amazing nurses from CEO, Amy Brooks! #nursesweek2020 #thankanurse

                                Click arrow twice to start video


Feds Urged To Prevent COVID-19 Disability Discrimination

The Trump administration is being pushed to ensure that people with disabilities aren’t illegally denied health care during the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 400 organizations are calling Department of Health and Human Services to issue additional guidance outlining how federal anti-discrimination laws apply in the event that medical care must be rationed.

Already the HHS Office for Civil Rights issued a bulletin in March clarifying that the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and other laws prohibiting discrimination in federally-funded health programs continue to apply during the pandemic.

To read more on this story, click here: Feds Urged To Prevent COVID-19 Disability Discrimination


Nothing Like A Little Retail Therapy To Lift Your Spirits!

Paula, a woman with short gray hair sits in her wheelchair in front of a computer. Her DSP is sitting in a chair beside her, assisting her with online shopping. There is a pair of black pants up on the computer screen.


Willie Levi, 73, Dies; He Escaped a Life of Servitude

He was one of a group of men with disabilities who worked for substandard wages at a turkey plant but found justice. He succumbed to the new coronavirus.

This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here.

If Willie Levi had enjoyed choice in life, he would have gone back to Texas — back to the small city of Orange, where he had played the spoons, sung the blues and lived in a shotgun house crowded with cousins.

But Mr. Levi never had much choice. He was sent first to an institution and then to Iowa, where he and other men with intellectual disabilities worked in virtual servitude at a turkey-processing plant for decades. He never made it back to Orange.

To read more on this story, click here: Willie Levi, 73, Dies; He Escaped a Life of Servitude


UN Calls For Better Protections For Those With Disabilities During COVID-19

Governments should consider several steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities, including removing individuals from institutions and granting testing priority, according to guidance from the United Nations.

In an 11-page document issued this week, the U.N. Human Rights Office said that countries and other stakeholders ought to do more to address the needs of people with disabilities who are being inordinately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

To read more on this story, click here: UN Calls For Better Protections For Those With Disabilities During Pandemic


Happy Nurses Day!

Happy Nurses Day to all the wonderful, caring nurses at RCM. Thank you for all that you do!


National Nurses Week: Freebies and Discounts for Health Care Workers May 6 -12

With restaurants and stores already showing their appreciation towards nurses and health care workers as the front liners of the coronavirus pandemic, locations across the country are showing some extra love for National Nurses Week from May 6 to 12.

The celebration comes at the heels of members of the National Nurses United, the largest union of registered nurses in the U.S., protesting in front of the White House on April 21 to call attention to the thousands of health care workers nationwide who have become infected with COVID-19 due to lack of personal protective equipment.

To read more on this story, click here: National Nurses Week: Freebies and Discounts for Health Care Workers May 6 -12


This Doctor Hands Out Clear Masks for Free to Help Her Hearing-Impaired Patients

(CNN)The need to wear facemasks in public during the coronavirus pandemic established a new normal for people around the world. But it also created a new challenge for the hearing impaired.

During curbside treatments, Dr. Sheri Mello, an audiologist in Raleigh, North Carolina, discovered that her patients were really struggling to hear because of street noise and the face coverings of her staff.
"The covered masks cut down the volume level by 10 decibels," Mello told CNN. "And that's a lot. You're cutting a quarter of the volume."

To read more on this story, click here: This Doctor Hands Out Clear Masks for Free to Help Her Hearing-Impaired Patients


Happy National Nurses Week!


Friday, April 24, 2020

Vernita’s Artwork Is Just As Colorful And Vibrant As She Is!

Vernita sits at her dining room table. She is wearing a blue, teal, and white striped shirt, lots of blue beaded necklaces and she has a bright blue bow sitting on her short grey hair. In front of Vernita is a bowl of jewelry beads in a variety of colors. Vernita is smiling at the camera.

Image description: Vernita is sitting at her dining room table coloring a picture of a duck with a marker. Vernita is wearing a tie dye shirt that has a white heart and says “Virginia Beach”. She is wearing a purple bow in her shirt grey hair.

Image description: Vernita who is wearing a blue, teal and white stripped shirt, holds up a card that reads “get well soon” that she made for her friend.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Thank You For Your Support!

RCM is overwhelmed and so appreciative of the outpouring of support and messages of strength we have received from people all across the US following the Washington Post article. We are not alone in our struggles. We want to send gratitude and love to all our fellow providers, frontline DSP’s and nurses across the country who are working selflessly and tirelessly to provide the best care possible during these unimaginable times. ❤️ #weareessential #dspsrock #nursesrock #wearehealthcareproviders #iddvisability #whatweneed


Disability Covid-19 Healthcare Support Advocacy Hotline


RCM of Washington April 2020 Newsletter- COVID 19 Edition

See what RCM has been up to this April! 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

Hello RCM Supporters
We hope you are all staying as safe and healthy as possible during these difficult times. We'd like to share with you some of the things our essential workers have been up to these past few weeks, and offer some helpful resources and advice. 

Supporting Folks during the Corona Virus- Stay Inside! 

Staying inside is not so bad – right? Our DSPs at RCM have been planning daily activities to keep people inside and safe. What are you doing inside? Take a picture of yourself and send it to us!  

Indoor bowling anyone?

Let's Get Crafty!

Let’s Hear it for our DSPs!

A special and heartfelt thank you to all of our DSPs and those on the front lines supporting people with disabilities. We salute and appreciate you. If it were not for you, your love, care, compassion and kindness, this work would not be done. Nominate a DSP doing great things during this time for a feature in the next newsletter!

What are you doing to stay safe?

Here are some tips from RCM!

Protecting Yourself and Others from Coronavirus 
Wash your Hands

One of the easiest and most important ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus is by simply washing your hands. According to the CDC, everyone should:

 • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – especially after being in a public place and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

 • If you do not have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them until completely dry.

 • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

Practice Social Distance

As human beings, staying away from others is one of the hardest things that we have to do. To protect ourselves and the people we love, we must stay away. Remember, this is temporary. If we all do our part, we will be back to hugging our family and friends soon. The CDC says:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Put distance between yourself and others if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.  It is recommended to keep about 6 feet between you and other people.  

•This is especially important for people at higher risk of getting very sick.
 •Do your part to keep yourself and others safe!

What does 6 feet look like?

Let's Keep Everyone Safe!

• If you are sick, stay home. Leave the house only to get medical care (if you are sick).

• Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue and throw it away immediately or cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.

• Throw used tissues in the trash

• After you cough and/or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

• Wear a facemask anytime you are in a public space, including grocery stores, public transportation, pharmacies and ride-share vehicles.

• If you are taking care of someone who is sick, wear a mask when you are in the same space as the person.

• Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces - including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

• If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Quarantine – It is not a bad thing!

Quarantine means staying away from people if you are sick or if someone you know is sick. It is to protect yourself and others from getting sick. Remember, quarantine is temporary. Right now, the quarantine period is 14 days or two weeks. If you or someone you know is sick, it is important to stay away.

RCM Featured in the Washington Post and DSP Appreciation

Quotes from Danielle Darby, RCM's Chief Operating Officer, and stories from RCM employees were featured in a recent article in the Washington Post highlighting the struggles Direct Support workers have been facing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Read it 
here: A health care worker chose to quarantine with a disabled man who has covid-19. For that, he gets $4 more an hour and has to reuse masks and gowns.

On the RCM Facebook page, we having been sharing all the exceptional things our frontline workers have been doing in the midst of this pandemic. This article articulates perhaps the greatest sense of duty our DSP’s are facing, ensuring that some of our most vulnerable community members are receiving the supports they need despite personal risk. These DSP’s are undervalued, underpaid and not bound by a license. They are choosing to show up. People with disabilities and the people who support them need to be prioritized. We are so proud of all our frontline workers, both DSP’s and nurses, for their strength and commitment to the people they support. We will get through this together ❤️

Additional Resources:

DD Council COVID-19 Resource Page 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

•  IRS – Economic Payments

Thank you so much for reading this month's newsletter!

If you have any suggestions or ideas for what to include in future emails please email RCM's social media/marketing coordinator Megan Spinella at mds282@georgetown.edu.

                                   Check out our website and social media pages!

            Main Website                      RCM Twitter                      Facebook Page

                       Copyright © 2019, RCM of Washington, All rights reserved.


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