David Fazio exudes warmth, tenacity and energetic-qualities that have propelled him forward after sustaining a brain injury at 13. He then suffered a stroke that paralyzed him on his left side. David had to learn to walk and talk all over again.
Sixty peers and community members attended a Peer Self-Advocacy workshop at the Annual NAMI California Conference held in Newport Beach on August 25, 2017. The topic of discussion: Stigma, self-disclosure and mental health in the LGBTQ+ community. Facilitated by PSA staff, the workshop focused on the similarities and differences of self-disclosing a mental health disability and "coming out" as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
At the Deaf Community Services Clubhouse self-advocacy group, PSA staff teaches group members about their right to be free from discrimination and receive services in a language they understand. In response to a group member’s frustrating experience at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the PSA group advocated to have DMV staff attend their meeting to voice their concerns, educate them about deaf culture and learn more about services for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
A bilingual PSA group member wanted to get out of a locked facility to care for his mother. We provided information about challenging an LPS conservatorship. As a result, “Jose” learned steps to get off conservatorship and move into the community. He developed a discharge plan that included talking with his doctor about his medications and getting third party assistance to show the court he could provide for his food, clothing and shelter. He asked his pastor to help by reminding him to take his medication and identify community support groups.
“Irene” participates in the “El Progreso” self-advocacy group at a mental health clinic. She applied for Section 8 housing a few years ago and recently moved into a third floor apartment. She was happy to have her own home, but she was in poor health due to a heart condition. It was nearly impossible to walk up three flights of stairs. After she told group members about this, the group learned about housing rights and reasonable accommodations.
Luke’s IHSS social worker had a reputation in the disability community for behaving unprofessionally during IHSS reassessments. Luke’s most recent reassessment was no different. The social worker accused Luke’s IHSS provider of fraud and then cut Luke’s hours without actually assessing his needs. OCRA submitted an advocate inquiry to the IHSS office, which resulted not only in a change of social worker and a reinstatement of Luke’s hours, but Luke and his caregiver received a personal apology from one of the IHSS managers. OCRA’s intervention helped Luke keep his IHSS hours while also a
Maxine has lived in a HUD housing unit since 2011. After moving into the unit, Maxine started working. Each year, Maxine reported her income to her non-profit agency landlord, as required by HUD. Although Maxine’s rent increased slightly over the years, in March 2016, she received a notice that her rent was doubling from $409 per month to $819 per month. OCRA contacted the landlord to discuss the rent increase and their notice. The landlord reported that the HUD rent and income formula was programed incorrectly into the computer in 2011. Maxine was therefore only paying 15% of her inc
OCRA forged a new partnership with a local Southeast Asian Community Center. The Bridge of Modesto is located inside a county-owned neighborhood home and from this location, families from the Hmong, Laotian, and Cambodian communities are served regularly. The Bridge offers services and supports in the areas of advocacy, housing, public benefits, education, healthcare, and many other county and state services. With simultaneous translations into the Hmong, Laotian and Cambodian languages, OCRA provided an introduction to OCRA and a substantive legal training about Social Security eligibil
Walter called OCRA for information on how to get help using his new glucometer and managing his health needs after his recent diabetes diagnosis. He stated that his independent living skills (ILS) worker would not assist him because she was not certified or trained. He also thought it was too difficult for him to use the glucometer by himself. He was frustrated with his ILS worker for not being able to help him check his blood sugar levels. Walter thought he needed nursing services to monitor his diabetes. OCRA advised Walter that many people monitor their blood sugar levels without ne
Alfonso is an 8-year-old with average cognitive ability and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since age two, he has received behavioral intervention as a regional center client. Because of these intensive interventions, he has been successful academically in his elementary school classroom, with 504 accommodations instead of an IEP. However, he still needs substantial social and behavioral assistance outside of the classroom. Due to his academic success, the regional center reassessed his eligibility and determined that he had been misdiagnosed and no longer qualified for regional center