What is U. S. Senate Bill 1356? Why does it matter?

It is a comprehensive act named the Workforce Reinvestment Act. Part of the act includes authorization of the Rehabilitation Act, essential to providing the funding for and structure governing the Independent Living Centers across the country.


Information, including fact sheets and links to take action, are available at:

Hmong Disability Council today

Hmong Disability Council will be today at 4pm at the Butte County Library off Sheman in Chico.



Hmong Disability Rights Council (HDRC)

1161 East Ave

Chico, CA 95926

Tel: (530)893-8527

HDRC Mission Statement

Hmong Disability Rights Council is an organization of Hmong community leaders, activists, and people with and without disabilities to advocate for disability rights and social justice for people with disabilities no matter the age, sex or race.

HDRC Vision Statement

We are community leaders, community activists, and people with and without disabilities united to advocate for disability rights and social justice for people with disabilities no matter the circumstance of age, sex or race.  We are determined to utilize all resources available to advance our cause of attaining an acceptable quality of life for people with disabilities, which is the right of all human beings.  We are a broad-based organization, placing people first, desiring justice for all, and believing that everyone is equal.

HDRC Meetings/Activities

The Hmong Disability Rights Council meets when there is an issue, or issues to be addressed.  The place and date of the meeting will be announced to the public by telephone, email, and by public radio station.  The Systems Change Advocate of Independent Living Services of Northern California meets with individual Hmong, Laotian, and Mien leaders in Chico, Willows, Oroville, Orland, and Redding one time per month to maintain our relationship.

Contact Information:

  1.  Sor Lo, Systems Change Advocate, 530-893-8527

  2. Norma Xiong, President of the Hmong Disability Rights Council

  3. Fai Dan Thao, Vice President of the Hmong Disability Rights Council

Hmong Disability Rights Council
Meets monthly at Butte County Public Library
1108 Sherman Ave, Chico
2nd Tuesday of each month
4:00 PM
Contact: Sor Lo at:
530-893-8527, #119 or

The library can be contacted by calling or email:

530-891-2762 or chicolibrary@buttecounty.net

Help us find these participants of the 1977 San Francisco 504 Protests!


The Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University is trying to connect with the following individuals who were in the San Francisco Bay Area in April 1977. We’re eager to interview them about their experiences at the Section 504 Protests when more than one hundred people with different disabilities occupied the San Francisco federal building for over a month, the longest occupation of a federal building by any group in US history. We are profiling the events in an accessible exhibit “Patient No More! People with Disabilities Securing Civil Rights” that will highlight the Bay Area’s central role in helping pave the way for the Americans with Disabilities Act to launch with its 25th anniversary in 2015. To learn more, visit the exhibit website: http://longmoreinstitute.sfsu.edu/patientnomore If you have any information please contact us by phone: 415-405-3528 or email: beitiks@sfsu.edu


Beverly Bertaina

Judith Dadek

Denise Darensbourg

Willie Diggs (Machinist Union – not sure if spelling is correct)

Linda Gill

Jim Gonsales

Sally Gordon

Pat Hall

Margaret (Dusty) Irvine

Chuck Jackson

Joanie Jackson

Jane Johnson

Kathy Kramner

Ray Landers

Jim Leinem

Andy Lennox

Tom Manley

Larry Montoya

Al Pimental

Franco Ramsay

Bonnie Regina

John Roletti

Jonathon Scheuer

Debbie Stanley

Terri Tanaka

Ron Washington

Evan White

Marie White

Jane Wobengai

Leonidas Gkimisis

Student Assistant,

Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability

San Francisco State University

1600 Holloway Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94132

Longmore Institute 135-136 Humanities (415) 405-3528 http://longmoreinstitute.sfsu.edu/


Evan J. Kemp Jr., who had to take a Government job in 1964 because nobody else would hire a disabled lawyer, died at a hospital near his home in Washington on Tuesday, satisfied that he had helped to make the world a bit more accepting of people like him. He was 60 and, as the chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1990, helped shape the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act.

His wife, Janine Bertram, said the cause has not been determined but was not related to Kugelberg-Welander disease, the progressive and degenerative form of spinal muscular atrophy that had dogged him since he was 12.

Evan J. Kemp at signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990

Evan J. Kemp at signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990

For a man in a wheelchair, Mr. Kemp cut a fancy swath through the corridors of power. That was partly because he was an expert bridge player who had card-playing cronies all over official Washington, and partly because he was so bright that as his friend C. Boyden Gray, who was President George Bush’s counsel, put it yesterday, ”He was usually three steps ahead of everybody else and would sort of sit there bemused until the rest of us caught up.”

But it was mainly because he was a man with a mission.

A perennial hard-luck guy who turned his misfortunes into opportunities, Mr. Kemp had been battling the odds since he was a budding 12-year-old football player and heard a doctor tell him that the sporadic muscle weakness he had been experiencing was an incurable disease that would kill him before he was 14.

Two years later, when he was defiantly still alive, his doctors said that they had been wrong and that he really had another incurable disease, one that would kill him before he was 20. (It was not until he was 28 that he received the diagnosis that stuck.)

By some measures, Mr. Kemp should have been grateful when he found a Government job in 1964. He had made it through Washington & Lee University and graduated in the top 10 percent of his class at the University of Virginia Law School.

But after 39 different law firms turned him down, Mr. Kemp, a native of New York who grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, realized that there was no room in private practice for a lawyer so disabled that he lurched when he walked.

He may have been glad enough to get a job with the Internal Revenue Service, and later one with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but when he asked whether he could use the commission’s garage entrance because it made access to his office easier, he was told that he could use the entrance but would have to park elsewhere no matter how hard it might be for him to walk from his car.

Then in 1971 the garage door slammed down him as he was going to work, fracturing a leg so badly that when the fractures healed he could no longer walk even laboriously and had to use a wheelchair.

”When I was walking I had the same disability,” he once said. ”But when I was in a wheelchair it was more visible,” so visible that he was yanked off the commission’s management track and told that a man in a wheelchair would not be suitable for a supervisory position.

In 1977 he filed a job discrimination suit and won, but by then he had become so incensed at the way the disabled were treated throughout society that he left the Government in 1980 to become the director of the Disability Rights Center.

As not only Washington’s leading advocate for the disabled, but also a Republican, Mr. Kemp was named to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. By the time President Bush made him the chairman three years later, Mr. Kemp had already played a major behind-the-scenes role in writing the American for Disabilities Act, which extended protections to the disabled.

Source:   http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08/14/us/evan-j-kemp-jr-60-champion-of-disabled.html



All persons living in the northern half of our service area who have Medi-Cal, Medi-Cal/Medicare, Healthy Families or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families for health insurance will receive their healthcare services as administered by Partnership Health Plans starting on September 1.

Work in Progress

PHC has a Member Services Department that is available Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. You can call them at (707) 863-4120 or (800) 863-4155. The Member Services Representatives are there to answer your questions about PHC and help you with any problems you may have related to your medical care.

You should call the Member Services Department if you:

  • Want to transfer to a new primary care provider.

  • Are getting a bill for medical care.

  • Need a new PHC ID card

  • Would like to file an appeal or complaint about PHC, your medical care, or your medical provider.

  • Have any questions about PHC or the services PHC provides.

  • Have a problem getting a medical appointment.

  • Have a problem getting a prescription filled.

  • Have paid for medication and/or a co-pay.


Multi-lingual services and services for hearing, speech and visually impaired members are available through the PHC Member Services Department. For more information about these services, call our Member Services Department or refer to the appropriately titled sections of this website for additional information.

Additional information is available at the website for Partnership HealthPlan of California (http://www.partnershiphp.org/index.htm or http://www.partnershiphp.org/Members/MC_MbrExpan.htm)

Information from the California Department of Health Care Services can be found at: http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/provgovpart/pages/mmcdruralexpansion.aspx or http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/pages/healthyfamiliestransition.aspx



Greg Wells

Greg Wells

It’s been a long road—10 years long, to be exact—but Greg Wells’ perseverance will pay off next week as he joins the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences Class of 2013.

Wells, who uses a wheelchair, was paralyzed at the age of 15 in a high school wrestling accident and also has a documented learning disability. These challenges, he says, make everything a little bit harder, but by staying true to his mantras of “keep going” and “never give up,” he has overcome them in a way that’s impressive by any standard.

“I knew getting a college education was a must,” Wells says. “Hearing people say, ‘You’re not going to be able to achieve “X” or having professors tell me, ‘Maybe this major isn’t for you’ only motivated me to push past the status quo.”

Wells, after attending CSU, Chico on and off since 2002, will be graduating with bachelor’s degrees in social work, psychology, and social science, and a minor in family relations. His progress was put on hold time and time again by illness, extensive surgery, and recovery, but he attributes his ability to stay motivated to his inner strength, faith, and family support and encouragement.

“Things happen in life,” Wells says. “It’s how you deal with those things that determines what kind of person you are. When you fall, how do you pick yourself up? That defines your character.”

Wells is passionate about continuing his education and intends to apply to the master’s program in psychology, marriage and family therapy. He also plans to build on his experience interning with Independent Living Services of Northern California by continuing to work in the human service field with his current degrees. He hopes to eventually have his own practice and work full time.

“I could be a very angry person,” he says, “but everybody has challenges. I’ve gotten this far—there’s no point in me quitting now.”

– Kacey Gardner, Public Affairs and Publications

California State University, Chico

400 West First Street
Chico, CA 95929-0010
E-mail: insidechicostate@csuchico.edu



We can thank the remarkable testimony from the disability community January 23 & 24 at the California Building Standards Commission for convincing the Commission to revise some of the most egregious of the code change proposals that concerned us.   Congratulations to everyone who called in and those who attended the hearing.  Great job!


Here’s what was accomplished:

1. The exception for “structural impracticability” that was proposed to apply to both new and existing construction will be eliminated.

2.  We will no longer be held forever to using the 2010 code for telephones, restrooms, drinking fountains, signs and entrances.  As the proposed code was written, any building that was remodeled and had to make these features accessible would not have to make any upgrades if they met the 2010 standards.  Instead, the this section will be amended to allow this kind of “grandfathering” only for one code cycle back (the code changes every three years.)

3.  An accessible route will be required to water slides, wrestling & boxing arenas, animal containment areas, and raised diving boards & diving platforms

4.  Hotel and motel rooms which are not accessible will still have to have accessible room and bathroom entrances and access into and through the bathroom.  Access into the bathroom had been proposed to be eliminated.

5.  The color contrast required for way finding surfaces for persons with vision impairments will be maintained.

6.  The center line of toilets will have to be between 17 and 18 inches from the wall.  The proposed code was to allow 16 to 18 inches, which would create a barrier for many users.


Many issues for the vision impaired were discussed by those testifying and will also be the subject of future code development as will be our issues which did not get addressed yesterday.  The Commission also voted to direct the State Architect to work more openly with people with disabilities.

What we will have in the new code that goes into effect January 1, 2014 is the best of the ADA Standards which provide more access requirements than we have had in state code and the best of the state code which we have used since 1982.

It’s amazing how effective the disability community can be.  However, much appreciation must go to the Secretary Anna Caballero who chairs the Commission meetings.  She was most gracious and went out of her way to insure we had an opportunity to make ourselves heard.  Appreciation also goes to the staff for the State Architect, who met advocates the evening of the 23rd to discuss our concerns, which was very helpful in clarifying the issues so that they could be addressed under the parameters of the Commission authority.



Berkeley, CA – December 20, 2012 – Sacramento International Airport (“SMF”) serves approximately 7.9 million passengers per year, yet has failed to make its facilities and services accessible to travelers with disabilities.  A class action lawsuit filed today in the United States District Court alleges that the County of Sacramento discriminates against people with mobility disabilities in its operation of the newly constructed Airport Terminal B, a building that violates disability compliance laws and prevents people who use wheelchairs and scooters from fully accessing airport services.

This civil rights lawsuit is brought on behalf of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (“CFILC”), a statewide non-profit organization composed of 25 independent living centers, dedicated to removing barriers and promoting equal opportunities for people with disabilities and individual plaintiff Ruthee Goldkorn, a wheelchair user.  The lawsuit seeks to remove access barriers at Terminal B to ensure that travelers with mobility disabilities can use the airport’s facilities and services.  Disability Rights Advocates (“DRA”), a non-profit disability rights legal center, which specializes in civil rights cases on behalf of persons with disabilities, represents the Plaintiffs in this lawsuit.

Sacramento Airport recently spent $1 billion dollars to construct a new Terminal B building. It is now three times the previous terminal’s size and includes, among many new amenities, a multi-million dollar art collection, sophisticated restaurants, and an automated PeopleMover. However, the terminal fails to meet new construction standards mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and other civil rights statutes, which results in severe difficulties and dangerous conditions for travelers with mobility disabilities.

Ticket counter

The pervasive access barriers at Terminal B include ticket and gate counters that are too high, interfering with the ability of travelers who use wheelchairs and scooters from readily utilizing basic travel services, such as ticketing, requesting flight assistance, and changing seat assignments. There is also a lack of wheelchair accessible seating throughout the terminal and extremely heavy bathroom doors that require great difficulty to open or the assistance from others.

Other barriers create unsafe and dangerous conditions such as the lack of curb cuts at the unloading passenger zone, which force wheelchair and scooter users to travel in the path of vehicular traffic, and inadequate emergency evacuation procedures for travelers with disabilities.

Airport officials immediately disputed those assertions in a brief email to The Bee.

“The design of new Terminal B complies with all applicable State Building Codes and Americans with Disabilities Act provisions,” spokeswoman Linda Cutler wrote.

Teresa Favuzzi, Executive Director of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, commented: “Access barriers at Sacramento International Airport are an all too familiar reality for individuals with mobility disabilities. Airport travel should be a safe and equally accessible experience for everyone.”

Teresa Favuzzi

Plaintiff Ruthee Goldkorn, a wheelchair user and frequent traveler at Sacramento International Airport, commented: “As a traveler with a mobility disability, I simply want to use basic travel services like every other traveler can.”

Shawna Parks, Plaintiff’s attorney of Disability Rights Advocates, commented: “It is unfortunate that such a large public construction project was not completed in a way that makes it accessible to people with disabilities, particularly when the law is so clear. This kind of failure could have been prevented, and must now be corrected.”


Shawna Parks, Disability Rights Advocates, 510-665-8644

Stuart Seaborn, Disability Rights Advocates, 510-665-8644

Teresa Favuzzi, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, 916-325-1690

Contact the airport administration at: air-market@saccounty.net

Source:  http://www.dralegal.org/pressroom/press-releases/sacramento-international-airport-discriminates-against-travelers-with

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/21/5069090/sacramento-airports-new-terminal.html#storylink=cpy



“The health of most of the planet’s population is rapidly coming to resemble that of the United States, where death in childhood is rare, too much food is a bigger problem than too little, and life is long and often darkened by disability.



“High blood pressure is now the leading ‘risk factor’ for disease around the world.  Alcohol use is third.  Low-back pain now causes more disability than childbirth complications or anemia.

“We are in transition to a world where disability is the dominant concern as opposed to premature death, said Christopher Murray, who headed the Global Burden of Disease Study, published on [December 13, 2012].

“The pace of change is such that we are ill prepared to deal with what the burden of disease is now in most places.

“The risk of dying prematurely from many ‘adult diseases’ (such as heart attacks and cancer) has also fallen because of better treatment and prevention.  As a result, the average age of the world’s population is getting older.  Soon after 2015, for the first time in history, there will be more people older than 65 than younger than 5.  That has had two consequences.

“More people are surviving to die of diseases that occur only in old age. . . . At the same time, people are living with conditions that don’t kill them, but that do affect their health.

obesity rate increase cartoon-resized-600

” . . . the study should prompt us to think hard about what are the major causes of disability today, and what are the possible solutions that can accelerate progress against them.”

The independent living movement will be challenged to modify our advocacy to account for these changes.  During the first half of the 20th Century, polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases.  A handful of polio survivors were among the first leaders of our movement.  As polio and other infectious diseases are reduced or eliminated, new mostly chronic diseases occupy our attention and healthcare resources.  Going forward, we will be required to expand our scope of practice to include advocacy for the full range of disabled citizens.  In order to maintain our effectiveness, it seems to be incumbent upon us that we play a partnership role in reducing the incidence and severity of these mostly preventable diseases.  

The full newspaper account can be read at:

To access the summaries or full studies from The Lancet, go to: