Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Call Frankfort TODAY: Tell them people are more important than horses!

Dear Friend,

I have never had to ask for your help at a more serious time. I believe that if the Governor’s 6.4% cuts for the Department for Aging and Independent Living are adopted by the General Assembly, the Personal Care Attendant Program (PCAP) along with other essential disability programs may be eliminated. The Program, like many disability and aging services, has survived cuts in the past with adjusting costs at every level. It’s not a matter of crying wolf, your advocacy is necessary to keep the program – or prepare for the worst in July.

We are Kentucky’s largest minority and we have our voice and voting power.

What You Can Do: Call Frankfort EVERY DAY toll-free 1-800 -372-7181

Leave a message for: Your State Representative / Your State Senator / Representative Greg Stumbo / and Senator David Williams

“Don’t balance the state budget on the backs of disabled and elderly Kentuckians! Don’t cut lifeline services like the Personal Care Attendant Program, home care and meals!”

As the agency providing the program we can only do so much. Unless your State Representative and State Senator hear from you, your family, your caregivers, friends and Church members about how important the program is to you personally, I don’t hold out much hope.

The truth is, I need you to start calling and writing now, and keep on going until a budget is passed to help ensure that all Kentuckians with disabilities can stay independent in our communities. We need you to make phone calls every day and ask your family/friends to call too.

Thank you,

Jan E. Day, C.E.O.
Center for Accessible Living, Inc.

Talking Points

In the Governor’s proposed budget:

The criminals in Kentucky are guaranteed 3 meals a day while 19,000 Kentuckians are on waiting lists for services from the Department of Aging and Independent Living.

The Kentucky Horse Park was exempted from cuts – as it has in the past.

Apparently it’s more important for the horses and the criminals to avoid cuts than disabled and elderly Kentuckians.

Today, too many Kentuckians are waiting for basic, lifeline services to help them live in their own homes.

19,000 Kentuckians are on waiting lists for home and community based services from the Department of Aging and Independent Living.

9,000 Kentuckians are waiting for meals while criminals get three meals a day.

Many more are waiting in need of Personal Attendant Care and home care services.

Years of state budget cuts and underfunding services with home & community based services must end.

Home and Community Based Services improve quality of life and save taxpayer dollars by avoiding much more costly nursing homes.

Legislators think that Medicaid protects all people with disabilities. Tell them that many people with disabilities don't have Medicaid – and cuts will hurt them the most.

PCAP and home care services create jobs for Kentuckians and add to the tax pool.

To Find your State Representative and State Senator

After you enter your name and DOB, you’ll be redirected to a page with your voter information. You need your State Representative in Frankfort and your State Senator in Frankfort (not Federal).

Scroll all the way to the bottom and look for:

Legislative Districts / Information

House District:

Senate District:

Photo Credit:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Honoring Dr. King’s Legacy

- By Keith Hosey -

Today is a moment we can take to celebrate a man who fought to make this country a better place, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is one of my heroes because he tirelessly stood up for the true American dream, equality.

I want to share his “I Have a Dream” speech in the hopes that you take 17 & 1/2 minutes to experience it – especially if you have never listened to the whole speech.

Two parts have hit home with me this year. The first is:

“Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.”

Over twenty years after the ADA, the disability community continues to experience high unemployment. People can't get into inaccessible businesses and transportation is often inadequate. Many children with disabilities continue to be segregated in schools unnecessarily – some refused diplomas and forced into “certificate” programs, widening the gap of inequality. More than ten years after the Olmstead decision, even though the current government war cry is about budget cuts and fiscal responsibility, people with disabilities continue to be warehoused in institutions (at a much higher cost to the tax payer) instead of living in the community. We, too, should have the fierce urgency of now.

The other, which has always held a place in my heart - and why I chose the image above, is:

“…for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”

Text of “I Have a Dream” (Because I couldn’t find a captioned video).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why is Your Online Presence Important?

- By Keith Hosey -

Have you ever “Googled” yourself? If you are online, then chances are that you have some type of online presence. But what does it matter if you’re never going to run for office or become famous, it sounds like something only politicians, movie stars and other famous people need to worry about, right? Who would Google you anyway?

Potential employers, potential landlords, friends, neighbors, co-workers, business partners, classmates, teachers... you name it, anyone who is curious can look into your online presence. It’s the new first impression, digital impression, and it could harm you. So, if you want to make a good impression with anyone you may meet, you should make sure the internet isn’t giving you a bad name. Here is a simple, plain-English guide to online reputation management. I hope it helps.

Google Yourself

Step one, Google yourself. Try it with your full name “Keith Hosey,” your full name and city “Keith Hosey, Louisville, KY,” any nicknames (Let’s say I went by “Chip” – and I don’t) “Chip Hosey.” Your results will likely list other people by your name. For example, “Keith Hosey” returns a mixture of results for me, a priest in Indiana, a 20 year old in Dublin, Ireland, a recently deceased man in Michigan, and another Keith Hosey from Alabama on Facebook. “Keith Hosey, Louisville, KY” gets a different set of results, just for me. Knowing your first three pages for each search is important. You will need to take a close look at what results are showing up for your name.

Social Media Management

Unless you’re famous, have been in the news or listed online with some group’s website (member of the Rotary Club, etc.), then most of your results will be social media networks. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Myspace… I have even more than those, I use Flickr for photographs, YouTube, LinkedIn, Delicious bookmarking site, Foursquare and more.

You have total control of your social media accounts, so let’s talk about management. Nobody uses Myspace anymore, right? Just because you haven’t logged into your Myspace account in three years doesn’t mean it’s gone! If you’re done with Myspace, delete your account. Otherwise, your profile picture from 2003 doing a keg-stand will live forever. If there are any other sites that you don’t use anymore, delete them all.

Next you need to look at all your active accounts. How much access are you giving to strangers? Most sites like Facebook, Google Plus, Flickr, Foursquare, etc. will give your total control over who sees what and how much. You can be invisible or you can be completely public. A good way to find out how to control those settings is to Google “[that social network]’s privacy settings.” You’ll find tutorials on how to restrict access to “only your friends” or to make your profile completely invisible to search (including Google Search!). Then you have to be proactive about what you share with whom. Make sure all of your status updates are not “public” or “everyone.”

You may also want to go in each network and clean up old photos or old status updates that you don’t want people making judgments about. This can be very time consuming and the quick fix is that you make your information private and only available to “friends.” But you can’t hide forever. Eventually, your boss, coworkers, landlord, friends, neighbors, business partners, classmates, teachers, etc. may want to be your “friend,” then it’s all open to them again. That person you were hiding your keg-stand photos from might have the “friends only” access, so don’t completely ignore this step!

Other Results

What about things you can’t control, like news articles, memberships, listings, etc. If you don’t have control of the source, then the only thing you can do is change the results. Google results are based partly on how much a link is clicked (and how recently it happened). So, if “Keith Hosey arrested for hunting rabbits out of season” is on my first page and I don’t want it there, I need to start clicking on positive links that are behind it in the search results. This will eventually push that link back to the fourth or seventh or fifteenth page. Hey, if it’s that bad and you don’t want it there, ask a couple friends to help. Unfortunately, there’s no other way around it. This can be a lot of effort, so ask yourself if you can live with it. For example, I signed up to be a part of an “International Talk like a Pirate Day” meet-up last year (It’s every September 19, me maytes!). Is it unprofessional? Yes. Is it goofy? Probably. Will it harm me? Not really. And in a couple years, it will fall back in the results to more current and more clicked items.

Do you have a disability?

Because I work at a disability agency, my name results have lots of disability results,, blog posts like “I'd Like to Take the "Dis" out of Disability,” listings as “ADA Amendments” speaker, EEO filings… oh my! For me, I’m ok with the association with the word disability and it’s also part of my professional involvement. But if you have a hidden disability and don’t want potential employers or other people to know about it, you should make sure you don’t have it publically listed and searchable in Google. Is it part of a profile bio? Are you listed as the chairperson on your local National Association of Mental Illness website?

More tips and tricks

If you don’t put it out there, you won’t ever have a problem to worry about. Think before you post something on the internet, because it’s usually there forever. Try to stay away from making public your political views, your religious views, and any other hot topics. Try to stick to the old “Topics of Polite Conversation” rule of thumb. Also, remember that comments on websites, blogs and other people/pages on your social networks may be set to public, so be careful what you say. Just because your Facebook is set to “friends only,” your comment on your best friend’s page may be free and open for all to see. Finally, be proactive. You can set Google Alert emails on any keyword, just go to and set it up for your name. This way, when there’s a new result for your name, you’ll know about it.

Photo Credit Flickr

Do you have any tips that I’ve missed?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

10 Tips For Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

- By Barbara Davis -

1. Stick to realistic goals. Resolving to lose 100 pounds in six months will probably not work as well as one that requires a monthly weight loss of 5-10 pounds.

2. Know yourself. Are you a self-starter? Do you require support? Are you good at research?

3. Know the requirements of the goal. It is essential to know what steps, skills and knowledge are required for reaching the goal. It is impossible to work step 4 without this knowledge.

4. Plan your steps. Having a “blue print” will make things much easier.

5. Start small and work your way up. Taking baby steps is more likely to ensure you will stick with your goal than trying to do everything at once will. For example, if employment is your goal, sending out a bazillion resumes in a short time while trying to network with a large number of people is likely to be overwhelming and frustrating. Start out with smaller numbers at first and gradually increase the number of resumes and networking events as you go along.

6. Be willing to ask for help or support. Support groups such as Overeaters Anonymous, AA and job hunt clubs were started because some things are hard to do alone. Also, getting help from someone who has a skill you don’t is a wise move.

7. Set specific goals. It is easier to lose 50 pounds than it is to get slim. With the first you know exactly what you want to achieve and will know when you’ve gotten there. The second is vague and doesn’t provide a clear-cut objective or an end goal.

8. Be honest with yourself. Do you really want to do this, or are you setting the goal because it’s what others want, or what you think you should do?

9. Be patient. Some things just simply take time.

10. Cut yourself some slack. If you make mistakes or fall behind in your objectives, don’t let it distract you from your goal. Thomas Edison said, “I never failed; I only found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” If you believe in your goal, keep working at it. You may have to try different approaches, but if you are determined, you will get there eventually.

Photo Credit Flickr