July 2010

Because copyright laws have changed radically over the year, I’ve not worried about copyrighting this blog.  As you probably know, about 20 years ago, the laws governing copyrighting changed.  Now, a work is copyrighted when “it comes from a person’s typewriter.” 

Of course, most people no longer use a typewriter but the same applies for any work that is written.  Using and reusing any parts of this blog is permitted and even encouraged as long as you give us credit for any parts that you use. 

This change in copyright law actually came because many Christians, especially the Mennonites, were freely giving their written materials and songs away during the Jesus movement in the 1960’s.  However, later others were copyrighting the songs and trying to charge the authors with the privilege of publishing and using their own artistic property.  When the people who copyrighted the material had the gall to take the authors to court, the courts ruled in favor of the true authors. 

Thank you for the courtesy that I believe you will give to this weblog by giving credit for any material that you use.

My father was an amazing person.  It was well-known that he could do anything.  When we were entering our teenage years, he designed and built a boat, then a set of water skis so that his three children could learn to ski.  He repaired TV’s and bicycles.  Working for months in the cellar (that he built himself), Daddy built, repainted and repaired toys, sports and other equipment for our Christmas gifts.   After he retired, he built a two-story house from the ground floor.  The finished inside work, he contracted out; but everything else was done by a crew of one, him. 

I always thought that my father did all those things because he wanted to do them.  Now, I realize that much of what he accomplished was out of necessity, not desire.  We weren’t poor but that was because my parents were frugal and inventive.  Plus, they were constantly being creative and expanding their skills and developing talents.

This week, I’ve written our 2010 Christmas play.  It is still in the polishing stages.  However, I put a deadline to complete the play this week–minus the finishing touches.  A parent, whose child is new to Special Gathering, said to me after I explained that I had completed the play, “You do everything.  I didn’t know you were so talented.”

After delivering their son back to his house, I got back into the van and thought, I can only do these things because I have to do them.  Anyone in disability ministries will understand this need for increased creative juices.  He will probably find himself pulled beyond his normal skill sets in order to be successful in ministry. 

David never thought he could lead a choir but he did it for almost five years.  Debb, who believed she had absolutely no musical skills,  successfully conducted a handbell choir for three years.  Richard writes Christmas plays.  Renetta and Laura became clowns.  Dan is a puppeteer.  Diane has learned the skills of table decorating for the seasonal parties in her program. 

The important thing is to understand that you can expand your talents and skills only by experimenting and trying to do more.  Don’t be afraid to fail.  There is so much that can go wrong that you can expect to really foul up more than occasionally.  However, becoming more than you can become is only accomplished by trying and trying again. 

Amos was a herdsman and a fig farmer but he dared to go to Israel to prophesy.  Isaiah was probably a government official.  Many Bible scholars believe he may have been a prince.  But when God called him, he said, “Here I am.  Send me.”  Was preaching his talent?  Probably not.  But we read and marvel at his prophetic utterance.  God expanded his abilities.

A  Jack-of-all-trades in ministries may be moving out of necessity.  She may be experiencing new talents as she inches through the will of God into obedience.

This week I’ve been continually blessed as I remember the statement that Jonah made after God had forgiven Nineveh.  In Jonah 4:2, we read, “Jonah prayed to the Lord, “When I was still in my own country this is what I said would happen. and that is why I quickly ran away to Tarshish.  I knew that you are a God who is kind and shows mercy.  You don’t become angry quickly, and you have great love.  I knew you would choose not to cause harm…”  (NCV)

I’ve been captivated by the wonder of this God who loves boundlessly, who is kind and shows mercy–to me as well as Nineveh.  Of course, Jonah was asking God to kill him because Jonah’s mission had been successful and God had proven to be good, gracious and forgiving.  Often I’ve zeroed my attention toward the warped statement Jonah used to describe his faith and overlooked the magnificent truth that he expressed.

This side of eternity, we will not be able to explain why our members have been born with disabilities.  Yes.  We know and acknowledge that God can “strike a straight lick with a crooked stick.” He can orchestrate amazing blessings drawn from tragedy.  However, can we ever rest easily knowing that innocent babes are born to great suffering and distress.

Yet, we can be assured that God is good and loving.  Today, I was talking with a woman almost 50 years old.  She had been rushed to the hospital a few days before because of hemorrhaging.  “I must re-evaluate my life,” she confessed openly.  I’ve been visiting her work place for almost a year.  Today, she was speaking to me because she knew that I know the God who is loving and forgiving.  And she wants to know Him, too.

I heard her say, “I don’t know why I’ve resisted the Lord for so many years–wasting almost a lifetime.”  I walked away thinking.  It isn’t merely the mentally challenged community that needs and desires a loving God.  There is a song, “People Need the Lord.”  I found myself humming the chorus the rest of the day.

Nevertheless, I’ve never encountered a population of people, like the mentally challenged community. They are people who want to know and understand God’s ways and love.  It is a great privilege to be called to minister to this cloistered sub-culture who want God’s forgiveness and desire to live godly lives.  At the close of the day, my prayer is I know that you are a God who is kind and shows mercy.  You don’t become angry quickly, and you have great love.  I know you will choose not to cause harm.  Continue to make my heart grateful for the calling you’ve placed on my life.

  1.  Able to discern the central theme of a scripture text.
  2. Able to find one central idea that can be applied to the lives of members who are developmentally disabled from the scripture text.
  3. Able to find an attention getting device that will apply to the central theme.
  4. Able to explain or describe the scripture passage with clarity and brevity as it relates to the central theme.
  5. Able to give instructive points that can be applied to the everyday life of a mentally challenged person.
  6. Able to end the message with a clear direction or a clear statement of God’s purpose in the scripture as it applies to the life of the congregation.
  7. Able to deliver the message within the allotted time period–usually no more than 15 minutes.
  8. Able to deliver the message with simplicity and clarity of speech.
  9. Able to enunciate clearly so congregation can understand the thoughts presented.
  10. Able to preach the given text rather than preach to a certain person or about a certain failing or sin of the congregation or individual.
  11. Continually striving to fully identify with the hurts and needs of the disability community.
  12. Able to interject humor within the context of the scripture.

These are 12 point that Special Gathering believes are needed to be able to preach to people who are mentally challenged.  What are others that you believe are important?

When it was learned that Lisa had the disease Moya Moya, her mother knew that their lifestyle would change.  Born with Down’s syndrome, this single mother and her daughter had lived 30 years together.  Much of their time was spent seeking ways to make Lisa’s life easier.  Now they stood at a cross roads again.

When a person with disabilities slowly declines, family members adjust their lives in minute increments.  It is when the effected person plummets downward quickly that the family and caregivers are thrown into a cross roads situation. 

There are no easy or pat answers.  Each family unit must find their own solutions.  However, there are some things that you can do which will help.  Here are some of them.

  1. Allow the caregiver to vent without trying to give easy answers.  Slowly, give them time to debrief.  Even with close friends, the family will assume that you aren’t truly interested in hearing about their fear, needs and concerns.  They will not open to you quickly.
  2. When the caregiver gives you a flippant answer with a big smile and you know that the caregiver is facing a crisis, don’t allow the facade of happy contentment  bluff you. 
  3. Probe a bit.  Ask questions. 
  4. Show genuine concern; and the person will respond to your inquiries.
  5. Expect and extend yourself beyond the self-pity of the caregiver.  There are many conflicting emotions that a caregiver is wading through.  Self-pity is one of the least attractive ones.  She knows it; but self-pity will rear its ugly head when you scratch beneath the tough exterior of the caregiver.
  6. After a time of listening, don’t be afraid to give answers.   However, you should assume that the caregiver has probably already exhausted most of the obvious avenues.
  7. If you have a contact person or organization that you believe will help, look up the phone number yourself, write it down and give the caregiver the number.  If you merely, drop the information (even extremely valuable)  in his lap, it will seem like just ONE MORE THING he must do.  Even a small task–like looking up a phone number–can seem like an insurmountable effort to a person who is drowning in other details.
  8. Don’t offer to do something unless you really mean it. 
  9. Realize, if you offer your help, that you will be needed at the most inconvenient time.  Therefore, be careful how you offer your help.
  10. Don’t be disappointed if your advice is not followed.  If it is sandwiched between genuine concern and love, it will be appreciated. 
  11. Pray for the family as often as you remember them.  Prayer is the one sure answer to this perplexing concern.

No one likes standing at a cross roads without a road map to follow.  Yet, most caregivers don’t have anything to guide them.  One of my favorite teacher, Os Hillman wrote recently, “The way of the cross is not paved with lilies; it is paved with grace.”   As you extend God’s grace with your understanding, help and prayer, your goodness and love helps to give a family or caregiver the ability to see the direction God desires for them to go.

The ADA Effect

            When the Indialantic One Condominium was constructed on the oceanfront in Indialantic, Florida the structure seemed to be built around a wheelchair ramp which graces the entire façade of the condominium.  This attractive entrance is an accommodation made by Architect Jim Mayes, Sr. which meets the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Unless a person is involved in human resources, construction or architecture, he may not realize how much The Americans with Disabilities Act has changed the face of the US. 

            It has been almost two decades since President George H. Bush signed the ADA into law.  Since the ADA was imposed on the business community, the American economy has been greatly affected by this Congressional mandate.

            The disability community applauded the enactment of the law.  Briefly stated, ADA calls for “reasonable accommodations” for persons with disabilities.  This takes on many faces, from public transportation that is accessible for everyone to larger bathrooms in public buildings. 

            Sandra has been wheelchair bound most of her life.  She is young and agile.  Nevertheless she knows that crossing a busy city street without curb cuts in the sidewalks puts her in imminent danger.  Getting that chair over a curb before the green light turns to red is potentially a suicidal act. 

            For Frank, a NASA engineer and stroke victim, maneuvering in a bathroom not covered by ADA means a loss of dignity in more ways than one.  Brett cycles emotionally.  He knows the anguish of trying to hold down a job during the torturous days of instability.  With the enactment of ADA, persons with disabilities began to move more fully into the workforce.   Thus they could become contributing, tax-paying members of society, rather than a continuing drain on the good graces of humanity.

            However, I had not recognized the cost involved in implementing and maintaining the law until a conversation with a local business man about 12 years ago.  Art Evans, Chairman of the Board for Fort Macaulay Development Consultants, helped me see the enormous drain this law could have on business.  Evans reported in a matter-of-fact, unemotional statement, “ADA is the most expensive unfunded mandate ever imposed on the business community.”  I made no attempt to defend the law because it was clear from his lack of emotion that the business community had reached an uneasy alliance with this mimesis impacting their bottom line. 

            Yet, his statement set into motion the investigative part of my brain. How would the business world handle this intrusion?  Over the years I have observed multiple ways industry and business have used innovation and imagination to employ the directives of the ADA to their advantage. 

As our population has become more elderly, the number of disabled residents has mushroomed.  The US Census reports that 17 percent of our population is disabled. The investment of an elevator in a second story building is an important necessity for an aging people.  Wheelchair ramps are no longer considered an unsightly nuisance but ramps are incorporated to enhance the beauty of the building, frequently replacing steps. 

            Picture menus are routinely used in restaurants.  The value meal at the Burger King on US1 in Melbourne–and all of the fast food restaurants–is a direct result of the “reasonable accommodation” for persons who may not be able to read.  People who are mentally challenged (mentally retarded) can see the picture and recognize the numbers.  Restaurants began coupling meals together and putting up pictures so that persons with disabilities could order more easily.  Now all of us find it convenient to order from the picture menus.

            The larger bathrooms required by ADA have become important to everyone, especially the fastidious shopper.  I overheard one young mother say, “I spend too much money at Barnes and Nobles on New Haven.  Though I usually go in just to use the restroom.  Their bathrooms are the best in town.”  Shoppers are no longer required to escort their children to a closet-sized restroom.  Again, the business community took a negative and turned it into an attractive drawing card wooing customers.

            No doubt, ADA is still an expensive law.  Yet, industrious businesses have succeeded in turning a negative into a positive for themselves, the public and their bottom line.

Please see the e-mail below and distribute it to families who meet the
 criteria and would like to participate in this national electronic survey.
 Thanks, Susan

 Susan J. Redmon, RN, MPH, CCM, CRRN
 Florida Department of Health
 Children’s Medical Services
 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A06
 Tallahassee, FL 32399-1707
 Ph: (850) 245-4200, ext. 2246
 Cell:  (850) 728-1092
 Fax: (850) 488-3813
 E-mail: Susan_Redmon@doh.state.fl.us

 CMS Network Mission:  Champion excellence in the delivery of health care
 to children with special needs through a comprehensive system of care.
 For information regarding CMS please visit our website at:

 From: Nancy Bailey [mailto:baileyn@paec.org]
 Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2010 8:21 AM
 Subject: Request for Survey Participants
 Request for Participants

 PACER Parent Survey


 Parents or primary caregivers of young people with disabilities 12-22
 years old are invited to take part in a national research study by
 completing the National Family Support Survey, conducted by the FAST
 Project. Answers to the questions on the National Family Support Survey
 are confidential and will help the Administration on Developmental
 Disabilities, parent centers, and researchers understand the information
 and supports families need to prepare for moving into adulthood. This
 information may help to inform program development for youth with
 disabilities in the future. The survey is available in Spanish also.

  Brenda Clark

 Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (UCEDD)

 Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI)

God’s Spirit Moved

Genesis 1:1 and 2

Central Theme:  God‘s Spirit moves in my life.

Introduction–Bring a copy of some project tha you have completed.  Tell about it.  I brought a copyof the book,  Mothers are People Too. I explained that this is the story of our family.  I began to write when God spoke to me that I would be a writer.  I wanted to do it; I prayed about it; I talked about it; I even did an outline.  But this book did not get written until I moved from the TV and my family and sat down at the typewriter and started writing.  We all have a story and that story begins when God moved.

       I.     Have a member read Genesis 1:1 and 2

          A. God‘s movement in my life is something which began long before I was born.

          B. God knew me and saw me and planned my at creation.

          C. God even had a plan for my salvation.

           II.     God‘s Spirit moved.

              A. That part of God which broods with gentleness and peace began the movement of the world.

              B. This shows us that God‘s first impulse toward us was in love, not judgement.

     III.     Let’s look at the work of the Holy Spirit

              A. He is the part of God which draws us to Himself.

              B. He is the part of God which constantly works with me and woos me with love.

              C. He is the part of God that is always gentle, kind and loving.

Conclusion–God‘s loving spirit brooded or moved toward our creation.

Here is the latest copy of  waiverprovider.com  newsletter.  If you don’t get your own copy, be sure to subscribe today.   

APD case action that led to a request for hearing.
Good information for anyone who requested a hearing.


Here is a link to view the sample letters:
Or copy this link into your browser https://acrobat.com/#d=gLQXKyxg9GmhoevPt7RFyw

Click here to read more about this story

PCA services for children with developmental disabilities are restored. Advocacy Center settles lawsuit with AHCA.

The State agreed to identify any person whose personal care assistant (PCA) services KePRO had reduced in the last twelve months, (through June 7, 2009) and to reinstate each person�s PCA services to the former level. The State further agreed to notify each individual that their hours were being reinstated and that their cases would be re-reviewed by KePRO (or any successor peer review organization). These notices will tell each recipient that if they believe their hours have not been reinstated, they can contact a specific person at AHCA.

If you receive notification of a reduction or termination of
personal care services from KePRO, please contact the
Advocacy Center for persons with disabilities, Inc.
850-488-9071 Toll Free: (800) 342-0823 TDD: (800) 346-4127

Click here to read more about this story

Announcing The Posting of 1115
Medicaid Waiver Extension Request


On June 30, 2010, the Agency submitted the 3-year waiver extension request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as specified in SB 1484. The waiver extension request can be viewed at: http://ahca.myflorida.com/medicaid/medicaid_reform/index.shtml

Click here to read more about this story.

March with APD to Recognize the ADA

July 26 will mark the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States. In Florida, the public is invited to join the March for Opportunity in Tallahassee on Monday, July 26, to show their support for the ADA. Marchers should gather in the morning about 10 a.m. at Park Avenue and Monroe Street, with the walk beginning promptly at 10:30 a.m. Marchers will proceed down Monroe Street to the Capitol
Courtyard. A celebratory ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in the Capitol
Courtyard with remarks from disability advocates and dignitaries.
The event is free and open to the public.

Click here to read more about this story.

AHCA pilot project will verify that home health
services are delivered to Medicaid recipients.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) today announced the launch of the Telephonic Home Health Service Delivery Monitoring and Verification (DMV) pilot project in Miami-Dade County. This project will allow the Florida Medicaid program to verify that home health services were actually delivered to the Medicaid recipient.

�Reducing fraud is an important priority for our Medicaid program,� said Agency Secretary Thomas W. Arnold. �I am pleased that this project is underway, giving us one more tool to ensure that taxpayers� dollars are spent only on services actually provided to recipients.�

Click here to read more about this story.

Call to Advertise your company & be listed on our websites.
We want people to have a true choice.


FloridaGroupHome.ComFlorida UniteFloridaAutism.org

727-841-8943 or click the link Add My Company

Today, the choir was supposed to sing at a fund-raiser for an organization called Love, Inc.  They work with many churches to help the community with needs that one church cannot provide.  For the past two years, they have given us the opportunity to come and sing and PROMOTE Special Gathering during their fund-raiser.  Amazingly generous.

The choir was prepared to sing and looking forward to it after a month of rest during June.  Because it’s been over a month since we have sung and there was a mid-week change in staff in the two group homes, where some of our members live, I knew I needed to call and remind them.  However, their phones were either busy or out-of-order when I repeatedly tried. 

I called early the morning of the event to remind our members to wear or take their choir uniforms to work because I picking them up after work.  However, when I finally reached the staff where my anchor voice person lives, he said, “Oh, no, Terr’s mother called and she is picking up Terr from work to take her home.  She won’t be going.”  Terr has become more and more vital to us because I have five men who are inexperienced and much lower functioning and two men who lack confidence.  There is only one other lady and she greatly depends on Terr to lead her, also. 

Within two hours I received a call from the mother of the other woman in the choir.  She was full of apologies.  “Becky has a terrible cold and a blood vessel has burst in my eye.  I cannot drive.  Becky can’t come.”  For me that settled it.  We would not sing.  My women more than carry the melody of the choir.  They are essential to the sound. 

When I finally was able to reach the others, I found that for one reason or another, it was also impossible for them to sing.  Two of the men could not be reach, Larry and Carlos.  That was fine.  They would accompany me and I had been given the option of speaking instead of singing.  I would speak.  There would be no singing.  Larry was happy with that.

However, Carlos, whose disability is within the autism spectrum, was ready, willing and delighted to sing.  Larry acquiesced.  The result was a wonderful duo of three songs.  I was thrilled and so were they.  I don’t think that either one of them believed that they could do this and I certainly was surprised. 

After the event and I was driving home.  I remembered their broad smiles and confident steps.  It would be just like the Lord to orchestrate this entire debacle to help boast their confidence in Him, I thought.  In my spirit, I could see the Lord’s smile.  It was as though He was saying to me, “You guessed it.”

Amazing, extravagant love God shares with all of us.  I’m so thrilled to be His child.  And I’m also thrilled to know that Carlos and Larry are the objects of His great care and concern.

Most people who are involved in special needs ministries find ourselves wearing many hats.  On Sunday morning at 10:00AM, we are “the pastor.”  By the end of the day, we may be maintenance person, teacher, administrator.  By the end of the week, we have probably worn every hat in ministry there is to wear.  Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date data base is part of the miriad of tasks that can be frustrating in the course of your activity.  There are many reasons for the frustrations.  However, sending out a regular mailing makes even the most saintly matriarch want to pull out someone’s teeth. 

If you have ever done third-class or fourth-class mailing, you know that the US Postal Service is adamant about your having the zip-code plus four digits on your postage labels.  However, finding those last four digits can be an adventure in lunacy. 

Don’t even try the Postal Services’ web page.  Half of the numbers you request will not show up as valid addresses.  You must put into their system the exact address that THEY want to get your request answered.  I called the post office to inquire about this problem.  I was told that if the Postal Service website cannot give you the zip-code plus four, you should put 0000 (four zeros) at the end of the first five digits.  That worked for a time.

Yet, recently we were told that we must have the correct nine digits or we could not send out our mail.  All of our mail would be held back or returned to us.  That is when I discovered, MapQuest’s website will give you zip-code plus four digits.  You only need to put into the computer what you have; and the website will be able figure out what is needed to complete your task.  Almost every time you will receive the correct nine digits without any problem.

If you haven’t used MapQuest, you can Google it and it will come up.  If you don’t have MapQuest in your favorite’s column, put it there. 

Fishing for those elusive last four digits of the zip-code can be a frustrating time waster.  However, MapQuest makes the task easier than you can imagine.

You probably remember that the Prophet Amos was a herdsman and a farmer of  figs from the sycamore tree.  As I researched to preach about Amos on Sunday, I wanted to know more about this interesting fruit.  Additionally, I’ve always been fascinated with the farmer/turned prophet.  This morning I took the time to look up and find a picture of the tree and the fruit.  The genus of the tree is in the Ficus family and it is known as the Egyptian Sycamore fig tree.  The fruit looks like the fruit of the sea grape that grows wild in Florida along the shoreline.  It is sweeter than the fruit of the fig trees that we are accustomed to eating. 

Amos was harvesting his fruit some 760 years before Christ was born and about 2703 years before I was born.  Yet, because of the Bible, I can read and search the heart of this common man who became a powerful prophet to the nation of Israel.  He was a Jew who lived in Judah.  These two nations, Judah and Israel, were sworn enemies.  Therefore, it is interesting that God used Amos to become the man who proclaimed the message of destruction to Israel.

It appears from the Hebrew word that is used to describe his occupation, Amos was more than a “watcher of sheep or shepherd.”  He was probably a breeder of sheep and he was a herdsman which indicated that he herded and bred larger animals also.  After a brief study, it seems that this man was not a “perfect fit” for the task that God assigned to him.

His writing was illustrative, forceful and concise.  He was an educated man who could afford to leave his ranch to travel to Israel for an extended visit to preach God’s message of judgement. 

Amos intrigues me for several reasons.

  1. His message is full of descriptive, vibrant  illustrations of roaring lions, a bowl of fruit, a plumb line and locust. 
  2. His preparation in life seemed to ill-prepare him for the task that he was assigned to do.
  3. In a day, when travel was done prudently, Amos left everything to give Israel God’s message of impending justice.
  4. Amos was not well-received; but that didn’t stop him from sharing the message which God had given to him.
  5. His message was progressive.  God didn’t give him everything he was to do all at once.   In progressive dreams and words, God told him what to tell the children of Israel.

Sometimes, when I step before a class of people who are mentally challenged, I still think to myself, What am I doing here?  While I’m exceedingly grateful that God has asked me to share the good news of God’s redemptive love to the special needs community, I occasionally feel inept.  I’m not a parent or even a family member of a person who is mentally challenged.  I’m not part of the professional community.  Neither my education or training has equipped me to do what I do.  I certainly don’t have a “social worker’s personality.”  No one ever calls me sweet, gentle or kind

Often, we peg certain people as perfect for a task; but God delights in breaking the mold and creating an Amos, a Jew, who preaches to Israel.  This reality makes me comfortable.  While I know my calling, there seems to be nothing that would recommend me for the position I currently hold.  The calling of God is sure and secure but it can be risky.  Just ask Amos.

This entry comes from the Department of Justice website

Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Judge Orders State of Florida to Provide Community Services to Jacksonville Woman at Risk of Institutionalization

WASHINGTON – The state of Florida must provide Michele Haddad with services that will enable her to remain in her home, a U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Fla., ruled Wednesday. Haddad, who has quadriplegia as a result of a motorcycle accident with a drunk driver in 2007, has successfully resided in the community since the accident, but is at risk of entry into a nursing home due to changes in her caregiver situation. Haddad, who has been on the waiting list for Medicaid community-based waiver services for two years, notified the state of her increased need for services, but was told that community services would only be available if she was willing to enter a nursing home for 60 days.

The court ordered the state to provide community-based services as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) integration mandate as set forth in Olmstead v. L.C. The United States argued in a brief filed on May 25, 2010, that Haddad would suffer irreparable harm if forced to enter a nursing home to receive necessary services.

The court issued this order in the week that marks the 11th anniversary of the landmark Olmstead decision.

“In the Olmstead case, the court recognized that the unnecessary segregation of individuals with disabilities stigmatizes those individuals as unworthy of participation in community life,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “By supporting Ms. Haddad in this case, we seek to ensure that individuals with disabilities can receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate, where they can participate in their communities, interact with individuals who do not have disabilities, and make their own day to day choices.”

The U.S. government’s participation in this case is part of the administration’s efforts across the nation to affirm the fundamental right for Americans with disabilities to live independently, in what the president has deemed “The Year of Community Living.”

The full and fair enforcement of the ADA and its mandate to integrate individuals with disabilities is a major priority of the Civil Rights Division. The ADA protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination by public entities. People interested in finding out more about the ADA can call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY), or access its ADA website at www.ada.gov/.

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We are to share love with all our brothers and sisters

Romans 12:10

Central Theme:  Jesus will return to earth and take us home.

 Introduction–My brother can be a real jerk but I love him.  Some people say my sister can bossy but I respect her and she is my best friend.  Families are important to us and we should know that we should share love with them–all of them.  Have a member read Romans 12:10

       I.     Tell the story of Jacob and Esau and how they came to love each other.  

              A. These two men were very different.

              B. They set aside their differences and chose to love each other.

              C. Our family is more than our physical family.

      II.     As Christians we have many people who are our brothers and sisters.

              A. You will not get along with everyone in your Christian family. 

              B. There is not a problem with that unless we become bitter and hateful.

              C. We should show every person love–not spite or criticism.

              D. Our differences can make life more interesting and exciting.

     III.     Each of us have people who are our family and affections are a part of that love.

          A. We are to be loving and show affection to these people

          B. Affection means appropriate touching in love. 

          C. We all need affection and touching in our lives–and we need to give it to others.

Conclusion:     God wants us to relate to our family and our Christian family with love.

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