Disability & Aging Capitol Action Day: May 23, 2019

Disability Action Coalition is proud to partner with the California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA) to bring you: Disability and Aging Capitol Action Day on May 23, 2019.

Logo for Disability Action Coalition.               Logo for California Alliance for Retired Americans.

Disability and Aging Capitol Action Day is a day-long event mobilizing California’s aging and disability communities at the State Capitol. The day is filled with opportunities to build community, learn about and share resources, educate our policy makers and elevate the collective power of older adults and people with disabilities.

Free lunch provided for those who register.
The participant registration process includes options to request accommodations. Please submit your reasonable accommodation request by May 10, 2019.

(Opens to external registration page)

DCAD attendees making their way towards the Capitol.
DCAD attendees making their way towards the Capitol.

What: Disability & Aging Capitol Action Day

  • Disability & Aging Community Resource Fair
  • Educational Rally at Cesar Chavez Plaza
  • March from Cesar Chavez Plaza to south steps of State Capitol
  • Legislative Visits


  • More than 1,000 people with disabilities of all ages, older adults, family, friends, and allies from across California.
  • Over 40 Disability & Aging Community Resource Fair Vendors
  • All are welcome

When: Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 10:00am

Cesar Chavez Plaza
901 “I” Street
Downtown Sacramento

DAC’s Busy Summer

Getting the word out to new consumers has been a big policy directive for Disability Action Center.

One of the most effective ways to do this: attend tabling events throughout the center’s large service area. DAC has had representatives at health fairs this summer conducted at popular venues like senior centers in Mount Shasta City, public events in Oroville, Win-River Casino community room in Redding and Shingletown Health Center, to name just a few.

The agency’s had representatives at health fairs held at popular venues like senior centers in Mount Shasta City, and public events in Oroville and Shingletown.

The agency distributed literature to over 100 potential consumers who stopped by DAC’s table at the Win-River event. The public received valuable information about a Traumatic Brain Injury support group that meets twice a month, a popular housing rental list that is distributed every week to people with disabilities or the homeless, the agency’s Assistive Technology program, Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB), the upcoming DAN coalition symposium in Chico, Social Security updates and new voter registration opportunities.

During a summer staff meeting hosted by the center’s Chico headquarters, Executive Director Evan LeVang rededicated the Claude Whelchel Memorial Community Service/Lifetime Dedication Award to Karen Duncanwood, a tireless advocate for the disabled who lost the original Whelchel Memorial plaque due to the CAMP fire. Son Ryan Duncanwood, a popular disabled advocate, accompanied her at the award ceremony that was attended by Chico Mayor Randall Stone.

The late Whelchel regularly donated his valuable building contractor services to DAC and the north state disability community at large.

Seniors demonstrate a fitness drill during the Shingletown Medical Center health fair attended by Disability Action Center. (Dan Murphy photo)
The DAC table was a big hit at the Win-River health fair with about 100 consumers requesting services from staff. (Dan Murphy photo).
Disability Action Center Executive Director Evan LeVang (right) is shown with award recipient Karen Duncanwood and Chico Mayor Randall Stone. (Dan Murphy photo)

Cody Hull Lauded For Dedicated Service

Longtime volunteer Cody Hull was honored as Disability Action Center’s Outstanding Volunteer Award winner during a recent staff meeting in Chico.

Executive Director Evan Levang spoke of Hull’s enthusiastic efforts on behalf of DAC while presenting a special plaque to the award winner.

The plaque reads: “Thank you for your dedication.”

Among his numerous contributions to DAC, Mr. Hull compiles a housing list of available properties for Butte County residents and beyond. He also regularly works the center’s reception area, answering phones and greeting the public.

DAC program manager Wendy Longwell praised Hull’s willingness to be a team player. “Cody is always there when we ask him to go above and beyond,” Longwell said.

Chico Mayor Randall Stone attended the meeting and helped recognize Hull.

DAC OIB Senior Specialist Teresa Rios lauded Hull for his pleasant demeanor and versatility. “Cody is always willing to help with any and every project he is asked to help with,” she said. “When he gets to the office he always makes his way back to my office to say ‘good morning’ or ‘hello’. It is such a pleasure to have him in our office.”

Big numbers for center’s TBI support group

The Disability Action Center offers Traumatic Brain Injury support group services out of its Chico and Redding offices. The Redding group had its biggest turnout in months on Monday with attendees staying past 5 p.m., sharing their life experiences and doing artwork, among many other activities.

The Redding group meets every first and third Monday of the month, starting at 3:30 p.m. (2876 Park Marina Drive).

The Chico group meets every second and fourth Monday of the month, starting at 1:30 pm at DAC’s 1161 East Avenue headquarters.

You can RSVP in Redding by calling (530)-242-8550. Call 893-8527 to RSVP for the Chico support group. DAC’s TBI specialist Teresa Rios leads both groups.

The center’s TBI Program is provided through a person-centered system which respects and responds to the individual’s needs, goals and values. It benefits individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury, as well as their family and caregivers.

Core Services

Service Coordination

Supported Living

Community Reintegration

Vocational Supports

Information & Referrals

Public and Professional Education

For more information, contact Disability Action Center Offices in Chico or Redding to speak to a Traumatic Brain Injury Program Specialist.


TBI by the Numbers

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a subset of a brain injury and is caused by trauma to the brain from an external force.

More than 12 million Americans live with the impact of a brain injury.  At least 2.5 million children and adults sustain traumatic brain injuries each year:

  • 2.8 million are treated in emergency departments for TBIs each year
  • 282,000 hospitalizations and 2.5 million ED visits each year
  • 50,000 die because of TBIs each year


Every 13 seconds, someone in the U.S. sustains a TBI


TBIs contribute to about 30% of all injury deaths.


One of every 60 people in the U.S. lives with a TBI related disability.


Every day, 153 people in the U.S. die because of a TBI related injury.

Get the Facts from Center of Disease Control

Advocates’ big day in Sacramento

Disability & Aging Capital Action Day in Sacramento saw the Disability Action Center and California Association of Retired Americans join forces to push for several pro-disability and seniors bills under consideration by legislators.

Disability Action Center’s Talmadge House was one of the emcees in the plaza before the march into the capitol building, speaking before hundreds of supporters.

After the rally, DAC systems change advocates Talmadge House and Dan Murphy joined CARA reps (many of whom attend the Redding meetings every month) in advocating for SB 512 (establish a trust fund for long term services and supports) and AB 1434 (reinstate COLA for SSI recipients) in state rep Kevin Ki

05_24 Ryan and CARA in office

Disability Action Center and CARA staff visit state senator Kevin Kiley’s office in Sacramento during Aging and Disability Capitol Action Day, pressing for support of long term care and increases in cost of living (COLA) for the disabled and seniors (Dan Murphy photo for DAC).

ley and Brian Dahle’s offices, among many other legislators.

Statewide advocate Ally Cannington’s (Disability Action Coalition) takeaways from the big day:

  • Over 1,200 people with disabilities, seniors and allies attended in person

  • 8 people with disabilities and older adults publicly shared their stories in relation to priority budget asks & bills

  • 35 resource fair exhibitors at Cesar Chavez Plaza

  • All 120 legislative offices were visited by CARA & DAC Legislative Teams

  • Media & Press through Good Day Sacramento, Kaiser Health News, KFBK Radio, KFMR Disability Rap, and KPFA Pushing Limits

  • Featured award winning, local Sacramento artist, Kendra DeÀnna

Hospital Stays – Know Your Rights

04_15 resized jodi

CARA executive director Jodi Reid addresses a workshop for retirees at the Redding Library on April 12 regarding patient rights during hospital stays.

Are you facing an upcoming hospital stay? Premature discharge is a huge problem, and a bit of advanced planning can make a world of difference when it is time for you to return home.

The California Association of Retired Americans (CARA) had much to say in their recent special workshop. The big overall? Record this telephone number:

Livanta – California Medicare Appeals Helpline: 1-877-588-1123

You can receive assistance to appeal a discharge from a hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health agency or comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility. You can also file complaints regarding the quality of Medicare-covered services.

Livanta is your national advocate if you feel you are being discharged prematurely from a hospital. Making the call will start your file and stop your discharge until it is cleared up by the hospital staff and a Livanta representative.


I. Hospital stays for surgeries etc.
Get detailed info ASAP and as much as possible from a health care provider before you are admitted, and about what is involved post-visit. Most people still don’t do this for themselves or loved ones and it leads to problems like living conditions in recovery and with accessibility/mobility. Hospitals aren’t good at communicating this to patients, or don’t have enough staff to do it properly.
  • Have a family member/friend record any conversations about your care pre- and post-visit with a smartphone device etc.
II. Discharge
Hospitals are notoriously understaffed on weekends. They are required to have a discharge planner coordinate a safe discharge for you either through a social worker, nurse, or the hospital discharge planner. The problem is most hospitals discharge patients too quickly and try to do it on Fridays to reduce bed counts. You may end up back in the hospital because of this. Hospitals can be fined up to $10,000 if a patient re-enters the hospital within 30 days of an unsafe discharge.
This behavior is so pervasive that Medicare now contracts with a third party (Livanta) to make sure you have a safe discharge. Medicare pays for you to appeal your discharge. This is a secret hospitals don’t want you to know about.
Should you end up at a skilled nursing facility for recovery, Medicare pays in full for the first 100 days. Medicare also pays for hospice services.
III. Make sure you are fully “admitted” into the hospital- not held for “observation”
Observation is a way hospitals attempt to get around not having to pay the possible $10,000 fine should an unsafe discharge be identified. Placed under observation rather than full admission could lead to a huge bill you are not covered for and probably cannot afford.
Medicare does not pay while you are under observation because those services are considered outpatient care.  Do not sign or authorize anything until you see an admission slip. You are not admitted into the hospital until you sign this piece of paper.
Be an assertive patient. Know your rights.

AT in Action

04_03 colorized

Assistive Technology specialist Dwight Phillips, on the truck above, accepts a donation from the public in front of the Redding office of DAC, 2876 Park Marina Drive.

The Assistive Technology program for Disability Action Center has been in high gear, delivering and accepting donations from the public throughout its vast service area of northern California.

AT Specialist Dwight Phillips serves DAC consumers out of the Redding and Chico office locations and regularly accesses AT devices like wheelchairs, power chairs and walkers from the center’s storage facilities to meet consumer needs.



Longwells attend family event

Disability Action Center program manager Wendy Longwell, son, Derek,  and systems change advocate Dan Murphy recently attended the 17th annual Family Voices of California conference in Sacramento.

The three-day conference was a forum to provide information about policies, legislation, proposals and other efforts affecting health programs for children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities. The Holiday Inn hosted two days of forums and breakout sessions on specific topics like rating California’s health care system, overcoming barriers to treatment, and healthcare in the school setting.

The conference’s third


Disability Action Center program manager Wendy Longwell and son, Derek Longwell, (right) chat with Sheldon Fort, staff member in state assemblyman Brian Dahle’s office in Sacramento. (Dan Murphy photo)

day featured a morning presentation about how to lobby your state legislator effectively, which was followed by a visit to representatives’ offices in the capitol building.

DAC Accepting Applications

DAC is seeking résumés from qualified individuals that are interested in working with us. We are now actively hiring for our Redding Center for the Older Individuals who are Blind Program (OIB).

The purpose of the OIB program is to

  • Provide independent living services to older individuals who are blind;
  • Conduct activities that will improve or expand services for these individuals; and
  • Improve public understanding of these individuals’ challenges.

An “older individual who is blind” is an individual age 55 or older whose significant visual impairment makes competitive employment extremely difficult to attain but for whom independent living goals are feasible. Through these services and activities, the program seeks to improve independent living options for older individuals who are blind and increase their independence and self-sufficiency.

DAC Employment Application

Independent Living – Senior Specialist OIB North

Phillips Networks with Service Workers

Assistive Technology specialist with DAC, Dwight Phillips, recently teamed with the Western Service Workers Association of Redding to distribute clothing and toys to children in families experiencing material hardship.

Phillips used the The Disability Action Center’s box transport truck to move the special items from Chico to Redding. He also regularly transports large durable medical equipment such as hospital beds, motorized chairs, and hoyer lifts to facilitate bringing equipment for consumer pick-up between our center locations.

“It’s good to know there’s organizations still out there helping the less fortunate in our society,” Phillips stated.

3_14 No. 2 pix

Disability Action Center’s Dwight Phillips, center, worked with Western Service Workers staff to give clothing and toys to the needy of the North State region.

%d bloggers like this: