Date   

Action Alert: Share Your Experiences Voting with the Election Assistance Commission by April 27!

Ardis
 

Hi all, Please make your comments known.

Ardis Bazyn

Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com

 

From: The National Council on Independent Living [mailto:ncil@...]
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2016 6:00 AM
To: abazyn@...
Subject: Action Alert: Share Your Experiences Voting with the Election Assistance Commission by April 27!

 

If you're having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online.

 

Open this message in Word or plain text.

Share this:

NCIL

 

Action Alert: Share Your Experiences Voting with the Election Assistance Commission by April 27!

This is an opportunity to have your voice heard! 

Have you ever had any problems trying to vote? That includes access to an accessible parking place or having a private ballot. The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will be holding a public hearing on voting accessibility on April 27th. If you have had a negative experience while casting your ballot, they need to hear your story. You have the opportunity to inform the EAC about the difficulties you encountered. 

If you would like to share your experience with the EAC, please email listen@... identifying the polling place where you experienced the issue and describing the problem you had while trying to cast your vote.  

 

VOTE Emblem features the universal sybol of accessibility holding a paper with

You can also attend the hearing in person:

Suffolk University Boston, Law School
120 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02108
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Follow NCIL:

Like NCIL on Facebook

Follow NCIL on Twitter


www.ncil.org
2013 H St. Northwest | Sixth Floor | Washington, DC 20006 US

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House Republicans Propose Steep Cuts to Essential Health Care Programs

Ardis
 

I thought you might wish to know. See below.

 

 

Ardis Bazyn

Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com

 

From: Medicare Watch [mailto:medicarewatch@...]
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2016 1:41 PM
To: abazyn@...
Subject: House Republicans Propose Steep Cuts to Essential Health Care Programs

 

Developed by the Medicare Rights Center, Medicare Watch is a weekly newsletter providing Medicare news and policy developments, as well as useful Medicare reminders. We hope you enjoy this week's issue.

 

Image removed by sender. Medicare Watch

 

Medicare Watch has a new look! Developed by the Medicare Rights Center, Medicare Watch is a weekly newsletter providing Medicare news and policy developments, as well as useful Medicare reminders. We hope you enjoy this week's issue.

 

 

 

March 17, 2016

Volume 7, Issue 8

 

 

 

House Republicans Propose Steep Cuts to Essential Health Care Programs

 

The budget proposal approved this week by the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee is predicted to balance the federal budget in nine years, largely through across-the-board reductions in spending. One exception to these cuts is an increase of $90 billion dollars in defense spending. The proposed changes to the health care system are profound...

 

Read More →

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Profile of Medicare Beneficiaries by Race and Ethnicity

 

According to a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) highlighting the racial and ethnic backgrounds of people with Medicare, one-fifth of older Americans ages 65 and older are people of color, including 9 percent who identify as black, 7 percent as Hispanic, and 4 percent as Asian. Medicare plays a vital role in providing health coverage for the nation's older and disabled populations...

 

Read More →

 

 

 

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Medicare Reminder

 

If you are having trouble covering your Part D drug costs, there are assistance programs that can help. The federal program that helps with drug costs is called Extra Help. Download this chart that lists the income and asset limits to qualify for Extra Help. Depending on your eligibility level, Extra Help may assist you with your Part D premium, deductible, and copayments.

 

Additionally, many states offer a state pharmaceutical assistance program (SPAP) to help their residents pay for prescription drugs. Each program works differently. SPAPs may help pay for your Part D plan premium, deductible, copayments, and/or coverage gap. Download this chart that lists the states that have SPAPs. Use the information listed on the chart to contact your state’s SPAP and see if you qualify.

 

Learn more about Extra Help.

Learn more about SPAPs.

 

 

 

 

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Spotlight

 

As millions of Americans ready themselves to vote this election season, they need to know the candidates’ positions on key Medicare issues. For this reason, the Medicare Rights Center is providing six questions to ask the 2016 presidential and congressional candidates to find out where they stand on protecting and strengthening Medicare.

 

The Medicare program helps countless older adults and people with disabilities, and their families, achieve health and economic security. Before people head to the polls, they need clear answers from the candidates about their positions on critical Medicare issues–from filling gaps in Medicare coverage to stemming the rising cost of prescription drugs.

 

Visit the Ask the Candidates page to reach out to the 2016 presidential candidates through email or on Twitter and ask where they stand on Medicare.

 

 

 

For reprint rights, please contact Mitchell Clark.

 

The Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs and public policy initiatives.

 

Our work is made possible by your donations. Please consider making a donation today.

 

Donate

 

 

 

 

 

 

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nasa interns] Please Distribute Far and Wide: Getting Started for Students

Ardis
 

From: "Silberman, Kenneth A. (GSFC-1600)" <kenneth.a.silberman@...>
To: <nasainterns@...>
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 11:53 AM
Subject: [nasainterns] Please Distribute Far and Wide: Getting Started for
Students
1. To apply for NASA internships go to
http://intern.nasa.gov
2. Register in OSSI by clicking on the Log in/Register tab or clicking on
the Student Login/Registration link at the top of the page. You can also
register on your Mobile device by clicking the Student Mobile Login link at
the top of the page. Provide basic information such as name, addresses,
college/university, major, degree being pursued, and planned graduation
date.
3. Create an interest profile to specify your areas of interest. Specify
areas of interest for an internship or fellowship. Specify frequency of
receiving e-mails for new opportunity announcements that match your
interests.
4. Complete an application. Complete an internship, fellowship, or
scholarship application. Each type of application places you in the
applicant pool for consideration for all NASA opportunities (For more
information on NASA opportunities, visit the Student Discovery section on
the 'Home' tab.)
5. Search and select your top fifteen opportunities of interest. You can
apply to one or all fifteen opportunities prior to the end of the
application period. Applying to these specific opportunities will ensure
that your application will be seen by the engineers and scientists who set
up the opportunities that you applied to. This is in addition to being
placed in the general applicant pool where the engineers and scientists will
not see your application when they open their opportunities in OSSI.
Engineers and scientists must actively search in the pool for applicants.
They rarely do this because they are so busy. So, apply to the specific
opportunities that you are interested in! Save opportunities of interest
for future viewing. You can monitor the status of your top 15 opportunities
on the 'My Opportunities' tab. If selected, you will receive an offer
letter via email.
6. You can't apply until your application is complete. Your application is
not considered complete until at least one letter of recommendation is
uploaded and everything else is filled out.
7. The deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday, March 2, 2016. We
will begin extending offers to students in mid-to-late January and will
continue until all positions are filled. We encourage you to apply early
because the best opportunities are likely to be filled early. Plus, your
likelihood of being selected decreases the longer you wait.
8. Summer 2016 internships run from Monday, June 6 through Friday, August
12 for undergraduate and graduate students. Internships run from Monday,
June 27 through Friday, August 5 for high school students.
9. All student interns get paid. The high school stipend will be $2,100.00
for a six-week internship. The undergraduate stipend for a ten-week
internship will be $6,000.00. The graduate stipend for a ten-week internship
will be $7,500.00. As an intern, you are responsible for your own housing
and transportation.
Kenneth.a.silberman@...
[OSSI]

Ardis Bazyn
Make the Impossible Possible"
For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com


Re: Sagebrush National BEP Training Announcement

jessie salcedo <salcedo.jj@...>
 

Please remove me from your email list second request


On Nov 18, 2015, at 12:41 PM, Ardis Bazyn via rsva-l <rsva-l@...> wrote:

Please forward this announcement to those who may be interested.

<mime-attachment.jpg>

SAGEBRUSH 2016 NATIONAL BEP TRAINING CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT

Mark your calendar!  Our next RSVA® Sagebrush National BEP Training Conference begins on Monday, February 15th with the Sagebrush registration at 1:00 pm followed by the RSVA Board of Directors meeting.  The conference ends on Friday, February 19th at noon.  Note: Valentine's Day will be on the Sunday preceding the Training Conference.  Why not bring your Valentine and celebrate the beginning of another spectacular learning opportunity at the Golden Nugget Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, a Four Star Conference Center.  The RSVA® Convention Committee has again negotiated super low room rates for this Four Star Facility!

 

Theme: "Inspiring, Collaborating, and Communicating"

We will have a full program of knowledgeable speakers and an opportunity to visit with exhibitors and sponsors.  Check the agenda at www.rsva.biz.

 

Hotel rates start as low as $50 a night in Carson Tower

NOTE: Hotel reservations deadline is January 14, 2016. If registered by January 1, your name will be entered into a drawing for $200 off next year's event. Room reservations must be made directly with the hotel. Phone (800) 634-3454, let them know you are with the RSVA® Sagebrush Conference 2016. Special room rates Saturday, February 13th through Saturday February 20th do not include the resort fee or applicable taxes and vary depending on tower and nights reserved. Please check the hotel room reservation policy at www.goldennugget.com

 

The 35th Annual Sagebrush Training

Conference Is The Longest Running Training Conference In Randolph-Sheppard Program History!

THE 2016 SAGEBRUSH CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FORM

 

NAME: ____________________________________________________________

 

MAILING ADDRESS: ________________________________________________

 

CITY: ______________________ STATE: ___________ ZIP:_________________

 

HOME PHONE: ________________ WORK PHONE: _______________________

 

FAX: _________________________ CELL PHONE: ________________________

 

EMAIL:____________________________________________________________

 

_____ Do not share my contact information

 

VENDOR____ SPOUSE____ GUEST____ OTHER____

SPEAKER ____ ADMINISTRATOR ____ BEP-STAFF____

 

MEDIA FORMAT:

LARGE PRINT ____ BRAILLE ____ CD ____ EMAIL ____

 

The following food events are included in your registration. To assist the convention committee, please check the events you plan to attend.

____ Monday evening Welcome Reception

____ Tuesday Breakfast

____ Wednesday Breakfast

____ Wednesday Exhibits

____ Thursday Breakfast

____ Thursday Luncheon

____ Friday Breakfast

 

Registration fee: $175.00 __________

Registration Fee After January 1, 2016 $225.00 __________

Tuesday night slot tournament $50.00 __________

 

“Vendorscope” subscription/RSVA® membership: $10.00 ____

Individual convention sponsorships: Bronze $25 ____ Silver $50 ____ Gold $100 ____ Platinum $250 ____

 

To register online and pay by credit card and to get conference updates, go to www.rsva.biz. For further information, contact RSVA® @ (504) 328-6373, Fax: (504) 328-6372 or e-mail: rsvaterry@....

 

Notice to all Participants: A valid registration badge is required to enter any convention function.  Sorry we will be unable to give refunds after 1-10-16.

 

Make Your Check Payable to: RSVA®.  Mail Check & Completed Form to the RSVA® National Office.

940 Parc Helene Drive, Marrero, LA 70072-2421

 

 

 


Sagebrush National BEP Training Announcement

Ardis
 

Please forward this announcement to those who may be interested.

..\..\..\Graphics\Sagebrush 2002 website\SagebrushLogo.jpg

SAGEBRUSH 2016 NATIONAL BEP TRAINING CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT

Mark your calendar!  Our next RSVA® Sagebrush National BEP Training Conference begins on Monday, February 15th with the Sagebrush registration at 1:00 pm followed by the RSVA Board of Directors meeting.  The conference ends on Friday, February 19th at noon.  Note: Valentine's Day will be on the Sunday preceding the Training Conference.  Why not bring your Valentine and celebrate the beginning of another spectacular learning opportunity at the Golden Nugget Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, a Four Star Conference Center.  The RSVA® Convention Committee has again negotiated super low room rates for this Four Star Facility!

 

Theme: "Inspiring, Collaborating, and Communicating"

We will have a full program of knowledgeable speakers and an opportunity to visit with exhibitors and sponsors.  Check the agenda at www.rsva.biz.

 

Hotel rates start as low as $50 a night in Carson Tower

NOTE: Hotel reservations deadline is January 14, 2016. If registered by January 1, your name will be entered into a drawing for $200 off next year's event. Room reservations must be made directly with the hotel. Phone (800) 634-3454, let them know you are with the RSVA® Sagebrush Conference 2016. Special room rates Saturday, February 13th through Saturday February 20th do not include the resort fee or applicable taxes and vary depending on tower and nights reserved. Please check the hotel room reservation policy at www.goldennugget.com

 

The 35th Annual Sagebrush Training

Conference Is The Longest Running Training Conference In Randolph-Sheppard Program History!

THE 2016 SAGEBRUSH CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FORM

 

NAME: ____________________________________________________________

 

MAILING ADDRESS: ________________________________________________

 

CITY: ______________________ STATE: ___________ ZIP:_________________

 

HOME PHONE: ________________ WORK PHONE: _______________________

 

FAX: _________________________ CELL PHONE: ________________________

 

EMAIL:____________________________________________________________

 

_____ Do not share my contact information

 

VENDOR____ SPOUSE____ GUEST____ OTHER____

SPEAKER ____ ADMINISTRATOR ____ BEP-STAFF____

 

MEDIA FORMAT:

LARGE PRINT ____ BRAILLE ____ CD ____ EMAIL ____

 

The following food events are included in your registration. To assist the convention committee, please check the events you plan to attend.

____ Monday evening Welcome Reception

____ Tuesday Breakfast

____ Wednesday Breakfast

____ Wednesday Exhibits

____ Thursday Breakfast

____ Thursday Luncheon

____ Friday Breakfast

 

Registration fee: $175.00 __________

Registration Fee After January 1, 2016 $225.00 __________

Tuesday night slot tournament $50.00 __________

 

“Vendorscope” subscription/RSVA® membership: $10.00 ____

Individual convention sponsorships: Bronze $25 ____ Silver $50 ____ Gold $100 ____ Platinum $250 ____

 

To register online and pay by credit card and to get conference updates, go to www.rsva.biz. For further information, contact RSVA® @ (504) 328-6373, Fax: (504) 328-6372 or e-mail: rsvaterry@....

 

Notice to all Participants: A valid registration badge is required to enter any convention function.  Sorry we will be unable to give refunds after 1-10-16.

 

Make Your Check Payable to: RSVA®.  Mail Check & Completed Form to the RSVA® National Office.

940 Parc Helene Drive, Marrero, LA 70072-2421

 

 

 


Re: Thanks for registering for the RSVA Sagebrush National BEP Training conference

jessie salcedo <salcedo.jj@...>
 

Plz remove me from your email list


On Nov 17, 2015, at 9:43 AM, Ardis Bazyn via rsva-l <rsva-l@...> wrote:

Our Sagebrush registrations are now available online. Before I even sent out the announcement that online registrations were available, we had two register- Johnny and Kathy Boshell. Thanks for trying the system without my asking. Just a note to all, you do not have to create a password to sign in unless you wish to go online and access your info again. You will receive a receipt in your in box. Feel free to share the availability on online registrations with your state vendors and companies who may want to sponsor or exhibit. If you know anyone with questions about the online registrations, please give them my email address or main phone number 818-238-9321. Go to http://www.rsva.biz to register for Sagebrush online.

See you in Vegas!

Ardis Bazyn

You can still donate to our cause for  the California Council of the Blind 2k/5k Walk/Run held on November 14 at La Crescenta Park   Please go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/bazynberkery/mutt-strut-2015-los-angeles to make a donation.  Thanks for your support.

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com

 


Thanks for registering for the RSVA Sagebrush National BEP Training conference

Ardis
 

Our Sagebrush registrations are now available online. Before I even sent out the announcement that online registrations were available, we had two register- Johnny and Kathy Boshell. Thanks for trying the system without my asking. Just a note to all, you do not have to create a password to sign in unless you wish to go online and access your info again. You will receive a receipt in your in box. Feel free to share the availability on online registrations with your state vendors and companies who may want to sponsor or exhibit. If you know anyone with questions about the online registrations, please give them my email address or main phone number 818-238-9321. Go to http://www.rsva.biz to register for Sagebrush online.

See you in Vegas!

Ardis Bazyn

You can still donate to our cause for  the California Council of the Blind 2k/5k Walk/Run held on November 14 at La Crescenta Park   Please go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/bazynberkery/mutt-strut-2015-los-angeles to make a donation.  Thanks for your support.

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com

 


Re: Sage Brush

Albert Rizzi <Albert@...>
 

Thanks so very much

 

From: Ardis Bazyn [mailto:abazyn@...]
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2015 2:01 PM
To: Albert Rizzi <Albert@...>; 'Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America discussion list' <rsva-l@...>
Subject: RE: [rsva-l] Sage Brush

 

The documents are listed under the Sagebrush conference link. The dates are Feb. 15-19, 2016. Registration starts at 1 pm on Monday, the 15th, and the last session ends at noon on Friday the 19th at noon. The day for exhibits is Wednesday, Feb. 17. I’ve pasted the basic info below. If you’d like to see a tentative agenda, please let me know.

..\..\..\Graphics\Sagebrush 2002 website\SagebrushLogo.jpg

SAGEBRUSH 2016 NATIONAL BEP TRAINING CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT

Mark your calendar!  Our next RSVA® Sagebrush National BEP Training Conference begins on Monday, February 15th with the Sagebrush registration at 1:00 pm followed by the RSVA Board of Directors meeting.  The conference ends on Friday, February 19th at noon.  Note: Valentine's Day will be on the Sunday preceding the Training Conference.  Why not bring your Valentine and celebrate the beginning of another spectacular learning opportunity at the Golden Nugget Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, a Four Star Conference Center.  The RSVA® Convention Committee has again negotiated super low room rates for this Four Star Facility!

 

Theme: "Inspiring, Collaborating, and Communicating"

We will have a full program of knowledgeable speakers and an opportunity to visit with exhibitors and sponsors.  Check the agenda at www.rsva.biz.

 

Hotel rates start as low as $50 a night in Carson Tower

NOTE: Hotel reservations deadline is January 14, 2016. If registered by January 1, your name will be entered into a drawing for $200 off next year's event. Room reservations must be made directly with the hotel. Phone (800) 634-3454, let them know you are with the RSVA® Sagebrush Conference 2016. Special room rates Saturday, February 13th through Saturday February 20th do not include the resort fee or applicable taxes and vary depending on tower and nights reserved. Please check the hotel room reservation policy at www.goldennugget.com

 

The 35th Annual Sagebrush Training

Conference Is The Longest Running Training Conference In Randolph-Sheppard Program History!

THE 2016 SAGEBRUSH CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FORM

 

NAME: ____________________________________________________________

 

MAILING ADDRESS: ________________________________________________

 

CITY: ______________________ STATE: ___________ ZIP:_________________

 

HOME PHONE: ________________ WORK PHONE: _______________________

 

FAX: _________________________ CELL PHONE: ________________________

 

EMAIL:____________________________________________________________

 

_____ Do not share my contact information

 

VENDOR____ SPOUSE____ GUEST____ OTHER____

SPEAKER ____ ADMINISTRATOR ____ BEP-STAFF____

 

MEDIA FORMAT:

LARGE PRINT ____ BRAILLE ____ CD ____ EMAIL ____

 

The following food events are included in your registration. To assist the convention committee, please check the events you plan to attend.

____ Monday evening Welcome Reception

____ Tuesday Breakfast

____ Wednesday Breakfast

____ Wednesday Exhibits

____ Thursday Breakfast

____ Thursday Luncheon

____ Friday Breakfast

 

Registration fee: $175.00 __________

Registration Fee After January 1, 2016 $225.00 __________

Tuesday night slot tournament $50.00 __________

 

“Vendorscope” subscription/RSVA® membership: $10.00 ____

Individual convention sponsorships: Bronze $25 ____ Silver $50 ____ Gold $100 ____ Platinum $250 ____

 

To register online and pay by credit card and to get conference updates, go to www.rsva.biz. For further information, contact RSVA® @ (504) 328-6373, Fax: (504) 328-6372 or e-mail: rsvaterry@....

 

Notice to all Participants: A valid registration badge is required to enter any convention function.  Sorry we will be unable to give refunds after 1-10-16.

 

Make Your Check Payable to: RSVA®.  Mail Check & Completed Form to the RSVA® National Office.

940 Parc Helene Drive, Marrero, LA 70072-2421

 

Ardis Bazyn

Please join Kevin and me at the California Council of the Blind 2k/5k Walk/Run on November 14 at La Crescenta Park  or donate to our cause. You can bring your favorite dog or person. Please go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/bazynberkery/mutt-strut-2015-los-angeles to make a donation or join our team. Thanks for your support.

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com

 

From: Albert Rizzi via rsva-l [mailto:rsva-l@...]
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2015 10:09 AM
To: Ardis Bazyn via rsva-l
Subject: [rsva-l] Sage Brush

 

Attempted to find the dates and location of the next Conference.

 

Can you help me out please? could not find anything about the 2016 event. Thanks.

 

 

Albert J. Rizzi, M.Ed.
Founder and CEO
My Blind Spot, Inc.
90 Broad Street - 18th Fl.
New York, New York  10004
www.myblindspot.org

C: 917-553-0347

P: 212-363-0330


"The person who says it cannot be done, shouldn't interrupt the one who is doing it."

 

Like Us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter and  Follow Albert on LinkedIn

 

 

Image removed by sender.


Re: Sage Brush

Ardis
 

The documents are listed under the Sagebrush conference link. The dates are Feb. 15-19, 2016. Registration starts at 1 pm on Monday, the 15th, and the last session ends at noon on Friday the 19th at noon. The day for exhibits is Wednesday, Feb. 17. I’ve pasted the basic info below. If you’d like to see a tentative agenda, please let me know.

..\..\..\Graphics\Sagebrush 2002 website\SagebrushLogo.jpg

SAGEBRUSH 2016 NATIONAL BEP TRAINING CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT

Mark your calendar!  Our next RSVA® Sagebrush National BEP Training Conference begins on Monday, February 15th with the Sagebrush registration at 1:00 pm followed by the RSVA Board of Directors meeting.  The conference ends on Friday, February 19th at noon.  Note: Valentine's Day will be on the Sunday preceding the Training Conference.  Why not bring your Valentine and celebrate the beginning of another spectacular learning opportunity at the Golden Nugget Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, a Four Star Conference Center.  The RSVA® Convention Committee has again negotiated super low room rates for this Four Star Facility!

 

Theme: "Inspiring, Collaborating, and Communicating"

We will have a full program of knowledgeable speakers and an opportunity to visit with exhibitors and sponsors.  Check the agenda at www.rsva.biz.

 

Hotel rates start as low as $50 a night in Carson Tower

NOTE: Hotel reservations deadline is January 14, 2016. If registered by January 1, your name will be entered into a drawing for $200 off next year's event. Room reservations must be made directly with the hotel. Phone (800) 634-3454, let them know you are with the RSVA® Sagebrush Conference 2016. Special room rates Saturday, February 13th through Saturday February 20th do not include the resort fee or applicable taxes and vary depending on tower and nights reserved. Please check the hotel room reservation policy at www.goldennugget.com

 

The 35th Annual Sagebrush Training

Conference Is The Longest Running Training Conference In Randolph-Sheppard Program History!

THE 2016 SAGEBRUSH CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FORM

 

NAME: ____________________________________________________________

 

MAILING ADDRESS: ________________________________________________

 

CITY: ______________________ STATE: ___________ ZIP:_________________

 

HOME PHONE: ________________ WORK PHONE: _______________________

 

FAX: _________________________ CELL PHONE: ________________________

 

EMAIL:____________________________________________________________

 

_____ Do not share my contact information

 

VENDOR____ SPOUSE____ GUEST____ OTHER____

SPEAKER ____ ADMINISTRATOR ____ BEP-STAFF____

 

MEDIA FORMAT:

LARGE PRINT ____ BRAILLE ____ CD ____ EMAIL ____

 

The following food events are included in your registration. To assist the convention committee, please check the events you plan to attend.

____ Monday evening Welcome Reception

____ Tuesday Breakfast

____ Wednesday Breakfast

____ Wednesday Exhibits

____ Thursday Breakfast

____ Thursday Luncheon

____ Friday Breakfast

 

Registration fee: $175.00 __________

Registration Fee After January 1, 2016 $225.00 __________

Tuesday night slot tournament $50.00 __________

 

“Vendorscope” subscription/RSVA® membership: $10.00 ____

Individual convention sponsorships: Bronze $25 ____ Silver $50 ____ Gold $100 ____ Platinum $250 ____

 

To register online and pay by credit card and to get conference updates, go to www.rsva.biz. For further information, contact RSVA® @ (504) 328-6373, Fax: (504) 328-6372 or e-mail: rsvaterry@....

 

Notice to all Participants: A valid registration badge is required to enter any convention function.  Sorry we will be unable to give refunds after 1-10-16.

 

Make Your Check Payable to: RSVA®.  Mail Check & Completed Form to the RSVA® National Office.

940 Parc Helene Drive, Marrero, LA 70072-2421

 

Ardis Bazyn

Please join Kevin and me at the California Council of the Blind 2k/5k Walk/Run on November 14 at La Crescenta Park  or donate to our cause. You can bring your favorite dog or person. Please go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/bazynberkery/mutt-strut-2015-los-angeles to make a donation or join our team. Thanks for your support.

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com

 

From: Albert Rizzi via rsva-l [mailto:rsva-l@...]
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2015 10:09 AM
To: Ardis Bazyn via rsva-l
Subject: [rsva-l] Sage Brush

 

Attempted to find the dates and location of the next Conference.

 

Can you help me out please? could not find anything about the 2016 event. Thanks.

 

 

Albert J. Rizzi, M.Ed.
Founder and CEO
My Blind Spot, Inc.
90 Broad Street - 18th Fl.
New York, New York  10004
www.myblindspot.org

C: 917-553-0347

P: 212-363-0330


"The person who says it cannot be done, shouldn't interrupt the one who is doing it."

 

Like Us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter and  Follow Albert on LinkedIn

 

 

Image removed by sender.


Sage Brush

Albert Rizzi <Albert@...>
 

Attempted to find the dates and location of the next Conference.

 

Can you help me out please? could not find anything about the 2016 event. Thanks.

 

 

Albert J. Rizzi, M.Ed.
Founder and CEO
My Blind Spot, Inc.
90 Broad Street - 18th Fl.
New York, New York  10004
www.myblindspot.org

C: 917-553-0347

P: 212-363-0330


"The person who says it cannot be done, shouldn't interrupt the one who is doing it."

 

Like Us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter and  Follow Albert on LinkedIn

 

 


Re: [rsva-board] FW: [leadership] Let's Make Charlie Hodge an ACB Angel!

Ardis
 

Alternatively, we could ask John how much is needed to complete the total and offer to pay the difference.

Ardis Bazyn

Please join Kevin and me at the California Council of the Blind 2k/5k Walk/Run on November 14 at La Crescenta Park  or donate to our cause. You can bring your favorite dog or person. Please go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/bazynberkery/mutt-strut-2015-los-angeles to make a donation or join our team. Thanks for your support.

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com

 

From: Richard Bird [mailto:rbird20763@...]
Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2015 3:31 PM
To: Ardis Bazyn
Cc: rsva-board@...; rsva-l@...
Subject: Re: [rsva-board] FW: [leadership] Let's Make Charlie Hodge an ACB Angel!

 

I think RSVA should step up and pay the money to do this for a man who did so much for Vendors  would be the right thing for RSVA


On Nov 12, 2015, at 1:43 PM, Ardis Bazyn via rsva-board <rsva-board@...> wrote:

I thought some of you might be interested in reading this.

 

Ardis Bazyn

Please join Kevin and me at the California Council of the Blind 2k/5k Walk/Run on November 14 at La Crescenta Park  or donate to our cause. You can bring your favorite dog or person. Please go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/bazynberkery/mutt-strut-2015-los-angeles to make a donation or join our team. Thanks for your support.

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com

 

From: John McCann via leadership [mailto:leadership@...]
Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2015 9:53 AM
To: leadership@...
Subject: [leadership] Let's Make Charlie Hodge an ACB Angel!

 

Hello Fellow ACB Leaders:

 

As you may be aware, the November issue of the Braille Forum contains an "In Memoriam" article for Charlie Hodge, a man I was privileged to call a mentor, colleague, and friend.  The article is available at:

 

http://www.acb.org/node/2473

 

As the author of the article, I will say that I was barely able to scratch the surface in referencing Charlie's many contributions to ACB, but understanding the importance of ACB's financial health, one of his significant contributions was his commitment to our "life memberships" program.

 

ACB has recently established an Angels Memorial Tribute Program. Everyone honored by this program will receive their own page on the ACB website containing a testimonial and a photo. In addition, ACB has created a portable Angels wall which will be prominently displayed at every convention which includes each angel’s name in both large print and braille. Tributes to those deceased members who have been honored as ACB angels start at five hundred dollars or more.

 

Several individuals have already written to me inquiring about making contributions in Charlie's memory to honor him as an ACB angel.  As Charlie's close friend, one he mentored and who now is privileged to serve as ACB's second vice president, I am urging all who can to support ACB with a memorial contribution.  Charlie deserves to be on the ACB angels wall!

 

Memorial contributions should be sent to the ACB Minneapolis office at:

 

6300 Shingle Creek Parkway, Suite 195

Brooklyn Center, MN 55430-2136

(800) 866-3242

 

Kindly indicate that your contribution is in memory of Charlie Hodge to assure that it is counted towards his being honored as an ACB angel.

 

If you need further information, please feel free to contact me at:

 

lists@...

 

John

<mime-attachment.jpg>

Image removed by sender.


FW: [leadership] Let's Make Charlie Hodge an ACB Angel!

Ardis
 

I thought some of you might be interested in reading this.

 

Ardis Bazyn

Please join Kevin and me at the California Council of the Blind 2k/5k Walk/Run on November 14 at La Crescenta Park  or donate to our cause. You can bring your favorite dog or person. Please go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/bazynberkery/mutt-strut-2015-los-angeles to make a donation or join our team. Thanks for your support.

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com

 

From: John McCann via leadership [mailto:leadership@...]
Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2015 9:53 AM
To: leadership@...
Subject: [leadership] Let's Make Charlie Hodge an ACB Angel!

 

Hello Fellow ACB Leaders:

 

As you may be aware, the November issue of the Braille Forum contains an "In Memoriam" article for Charlie Hodge, a man I was privileged to call a mentor, colleague, and friend.  The article is available at:

 

http://www.acb.org/node/2473

 

As the author of the article, I will say that I was barely able to scratch the surface in referencing Charlie's many contributions to ACB, but understanding the importance of ACB's financial health, one of his significant contributions was his commitment to our "life memberships" program.

 

ACB has recently established an Angels Memorial Tribute Program. Everyone honored by this program will receive their own page on the ACB website containing a testimonial and a photo. In addition, ACB has created a portable Angels wall which will be prominently displayed at every convention which includes each angel’s name in both large print and braille. Tributes to those deceased members who have been honored as ACB angels start at five hundred dollars or more.

 

Several individuals have already written to me inquiring about making contributions in Charlie's memory to honor him as an ACB angel.  As Charlie's close friend, one he mentored and who now is privileged to serve as ACB's second vice president, I am urging all who can to support ACB with a memorial contribution.  Charlie deserves to be on the ACB angels wall!

 

Memorial contributions should be sent to the ACB Minneapolis office at:

 

6300 Shingle Creek Parkway, Suite 195

Brooklyn Center, MN 55430-2136

(800) 866-3242

 

Kindly indicate that your contribution is in memory of Charlie Hodge to assure that it is counted towards his being honored as an ACB angel.

 

If you need further information, please feel free to contact me at:

 

lists@...

 

John

Image removed by sender.


Alert! Landmark Settlement in ACB's Lawsuit against GSA for Inaccessible Website

Ardis
 

Contact:       Erin Corbin Meszaros                      Eric Bridges

Matthew Handley

                        Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP    American Council of the

Blind     Washington Lawyers’ Committee       404.407.5030

202.467.5081                      202.319.1000

erin.meszaros@...

ebridges@...

matthew_handley@...

Sutherland and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs

Reach Landmark Settlement with General Services Administration

on Behalf of Blind Federal Contractors and the American Council of the Blind

WASHINGTON (November 10, 2015) – Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

is pleased to announce that the firm, in conjunction with the

Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs

, has reached a settlement with the General Services Administration (GSA) on behalf

of three blind federal contractors and the American Council of the Blind (ACB). The

settlement will benefit all blind federal contractors.

Resolving an 18-month effort to make the GSA-operated website

SAM.gov

accessible to blind federal contractors, the settlement requires GSA to make significant

changes to

SAM.gov

that had prevented blind federal contractors from accessing the website and maintaining

their status as federal contractors.  The accessibility issues were identified by

the plaintiffs and confirmed by a web accessibility expert.  Following GSA’s implementation

of the agreed-to changes, the website will undergo review by another independent

accessibility expert. In addition, the agreement creates a process by which members

of the blind community will test and provide feedback on future changes to

SAM.gov

.

According to Sutherland partner and co-chair of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee,

Lewis S. Wiener

, “This is an excellent result not only for our clients, but for the blind community

as a whole. The Internet is part of our daily lives, and being unable to access any

website—much less a website that is essential to doing business with the federal

government—puts members of the blind community at an economic disadvantage. It is

unfortunate that it took the filing of a lawsuit to bring about meaningful change

but we thank GSA for working collaboratively with us and our clients to make

SAM.gov

accessible.”

“We are very pleased with this settlement,” said Matthew Handley

, Director of Litigation for the Washington Lawyers’ Committee. “It ensures that

blind contractors have equal access to a website that is essential to their livelihoods,

and that the website will remain accessible in the future. Everyone, including the

blind community, deserves access to the Internet, which has become a means for independence,

information and commerce.”

Kim Charlson

, President of the ACB, stated, “On behalf of the American Council of the Blind (ACB),

I want to acknowledge the excellent support received from Sutherland and the Washington

Lawyers’ Committee in arriving at this landmark settlement. I am very pleased that

GSA is being held accountable for making

SAM.gov

accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. As a result of this settlement,

it is my expectation that our community will not encounter access barriers with other

GSA sites in the future.”

In April 2014, Sutherland and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee filed a putative

class action in federal district court in the District of Columbia against GSA, the

federal agency responsible for administering the federal government’s non-defense

contracts, alleging that GSA failed to provide a website accessible to blind federal

contractors, who, like almost all federal contractors, must register and annually

renew their federal contractor registration on

SAM.gov

.

The

complaint

, filed on behalf of three federal contractors and the ACB, alleged that

SAM.gov

was incompatible with most screen reading software that many blind individuals,

including the plaintiffs in this case, rely on to navigate the Internet. As a result,

the plaintiffs alleged that GSA discriminated against blind federal contractors,

who could not register or renew their registration on

SAM.gov

, which they are required to do under federal law.

Sutherland became involved in the case through the Washington Lawyers’ Committee,

which helped two of the individual plaintiffs file administrative complaints against

GSA to no avail.

In addition to Mr. Wiener, the plaintiffs were represented by Sutherland associate

Charles M. Kruly

and former Sutherland associate

Amanda R. Callais.

Sutherland has a long and distinguished history of commitment to pro bono work, tracing

back nearly 100 years to the firm's founders.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND

The American Council of the Blind is the largest consumer-based organization of blind

and visually impaired Americans advocating for the rights of blind Americans. Comprised

of more than 70 affiliates across the United States, the organization is dedicated

to making it possible for blind and visually impaired Americans to participate fully

in all aspects of American society. For more information, visit

www.acb.org

.

ABOUT THE WASHINGTON LAWYERS’ COMMITTEE

The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs for over 45

years has represented both individuals and groups seeking to vindicate their civil

rights. It has handled over 5,000 civil rights cases, in employment, housing, public

accommodations, and other aspects of urban life. It represents people with claims

of discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, disability, age, religion,

and sexual orientation. Leveraging its own broad expertise in discrimination litigation

with the resources of Washington, D.C.’s private bar, the Committee’s litigation

efforts have become nationally known for landmark court victories, record judgments

and precedent-setting consent decrees. Its capacity to mobilize the private bar has

made it possible for the Committee to provide its clients with more than 50,000 hours

of quality legal representation every year.

ABOUT SUTHERLAND ASBILL & BRENNAN LLP

Sutherland is an international legal service provider helping the world’s largest

companies, industry leaders, sector innovators and business entrepreneurs solve their

biggest challenges and reach their business goals. More than 435 lawyers across seven

major practice areas—corporate, energy and environmental, financial services, intellectual

property, litigation, real estate and tax—provide the framework for an extensive

range of focus areas. Sutherland is composed of associated legal practices that are

separate entities, doing business in the United States as Sutherland Asbill & Brennan

LLP, and as Arbis Sutherland LLP in London and Geneva. Arbis Sutherland LLP is a

limited liability partnership and is registered in England and Wales with registered

number OC348198. Its registered office is at Marble Quay, St. Katharine’s Dock, London

E1W 1UH. Arbis Sutherland LLP is authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation

Authority of England and Wales whose regulatory requirements can be accessed at

http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/code/content.page

. A list of the members of Arbis Sutherland LLP and their professional qualifications

is open to inspection at its registered office.

[-][-]

 

Ardis Bazyn

Please join Kevin and me at the California Council of the Blind 2k/5k Walk/Run on November 14 at La Crescenta Park  or donate to our cause. You can bring your favorite dog or person. Please go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/bazynberkery/mutt-strut-2015-los-angeles to make a donation or join our team. Thanks for your support.

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com


Eric Bridges Named Executive Director of the American Council of the Blind

Ardis
 

                             American Council of the Blind

                                              ____________________________________________________

                                                2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650 • Arlington,

VA 22201 • Tel: (202) 467-5081  Fax: (703) 465-5085

Eric Bridges Appointed Executive Director of the American Council of the Blind

Contact:

Kim Charlson, President

(202) 467-5081

kimcharlson@...

WASHINGTON — The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is pleased to announce the appointment

of Eric Bridges as the organization’s new executive director effective Nov. 1, 2015.

In June of 2007, Eric joined the ACB staff as the director of advocacy and governmental

affairs, representing ACB’s legislative and regulatory priorities on Capitol Hill

and in the executive branch. His contributions were critical in the passage and implementation

of such key legislation as the 21

st

Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, the Pedestrian Safety

Enhancement Act, and the Prescription Drug Labeling Act that was incorporated into

the FDA Safety and Innovation Act in 2012.

Since 2013, Bridges has served as ACB’s director of external relations and policy.

In this role, he has cultivated countless key relationships with representatives

of business, industry, ACB members, and the general public, as well as government

officials, policy makers and agency staff. These types of relationships have become

essential to ACB and its success in advocacy and legislative arenas.

“The ACB officers and board of directors are thrilled to welcome Eric Bridges into

this new role for the organization. His knowledge and experience with ACB, his commitment

to membership services and advocacy, his enthusiasm, energy, and dedication to ACB

all make Eric the right leader for our organization,” said ACB president Kim Charlson.

“Eric’s experience, depth of understanding of the critical issues of the blindness

community, and his ability to collaborate with key players from government and industry,

all make him the right leader for ACB in these changing times.”

ACB and its affiliates look forward to working with Eric to build on the solid foundation

he has carved out, continuing to work with him to forge new alliances to advance

ACB’s advocacy and public policy agendas, as well as partnerships with industry,

for a stronger and more accessible future for all people who are blind or visually

impaired in the country or around the world.

About the American Council of the Blind (ACB)

The American Council of the Blind is a national consumer-based advocacy organization

working on behalf of blind and visually impaired Americans throughout the country,

with members organized through 70 state and special-interest affiliates. ACB is dedicated

to improving the quality of life, equality of opportunity and independence of all

people who have visual impairments. Its members and affiliated organizations have

a long history of commitment to the advancement of policies and programs which will

enhance independence for people who are blind and visually impaired. For further

information about ACB, visit www.acb.org.

[-]

Ardis Bazyn

Please join Kevin and me at the California Council of the Blind 2k/5k Walk/Run on November 14 at La Crescenta Park  or donate to our cause. You can bring your favorite dog or person. Please go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/bazynberkery/mutt-strut-2015-los-angeles to make a donation or join our team. Thanks for your support.

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com


Action Alert: Stop Another Attack on the ADA!

Ardis
 

From another list:

Action Alert: Stop Another Attack on the ADA!

They couldn't wait for the banners to be taken down from 25th Americans with Disabilities

Act (ADA) 25th Anniversary celebrations. Adding insult to injury, Representative

Poe (R-TX) introduced H.R. 3765, the ADA Education & Reform Act, on October 20, 2015.

The bill has already garnered support from others, including Representatives Collins

(R-GA), Jolly (R-FL), Marchant (R-TX), and Lamar Smith (R-TX). Please reach out to

your Representatives and ask them not to support this piece of legislation.

The bill is being touted as an education bill, which is a new approach by the American

Hotel & Lodging Association and others supporting it. You may remember when NCIL

members held a “pool party” at their office (located just a few blocks from the 2012

NCIL Annual Conference) after they supported similar legislation to damage the ADA.

ADA Notification Act with a Twist

H.R. 3765 contains language similar to that used in past proposed legislation that

would have limited the ADA. Section 3 of the bill creates a new crime for sending

"a demand letter… alleging a violation of [Title III] of the Americans with Disabilities

Act of 1990…" that does not meet certain requirements. This in itself is damaging

and unacceptable. In no other civil rights legislation is it a crime to file a complaint.

Should this legislation pass, it would become effective 30 days after enactment.

As NCIL members, it is important that we take action on this bill before it gains

legs. Now is the time to reach out to your legislators and ask them not to support

H.R. 3765, which would create additional barriers to our civil rights as persons

with disabilities. If enacted, this bill could set damaging precedence potentially

affecting other civil rights legislation by making notification a crime.

NCIL will be working with other disability rights organizations to stop this bill.

Should additional actions be required, we will reach out to the membership. We must

ensure that the ADA stays strong by stopping proposals like this before they gain

traction.

Sincerely,

Mike Bachhuber & Steve Higgins, NCIL ADA / Civil Rights Subcommittee Co-Chairs

 

Ardis Bazyn

Please join Kevin and me at the California Council of the Blind 2k/5k Walk/Run on November 14 at La Crescenta Park  or donate to our cause. You can bring your favorite dog or person. Please go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/bazynberkery/mutt-strut-2015-los-angeles to make a donation or join our team. Thanks for your support.

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com


Daily Beast Article on AbilityOne and SourceAmerica

Ardis
 

See article below.

Ardis Bazyn

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com

 

From: Kim Charlson via leadership [mailto:leadership@...]
Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 11:00 AM
FYI

 

I wanted to share an article as follow-up information to last month CNN broadcast story on the AbilityOne program raising concerns about its administration. Below is an article that appeared today in the Daily Beast.

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/11/america-s-largest-disability-employer-accused-of-running-like-the-mafia.html

 

DIRTY HANDS?

Elizabeth Picciuto

 

America’s Largest Disability Employer Accused of Running Like the ‘Mafia’

 

According to CNN, two of America’s largest employers of people with disabilities are being investigated for financial fraud, mismanagement, and steering of contracts.

AbilityOne is a federal program that offers job opportunities to almost 50,000 people with disabilities, making it the single largest employer of people with significant disabilities in the nation. CNN reported that AbilityOne, along with its main partner organization SourceAmerica, are the subjects of several federal investigations, suspected of enriching themselves and their friends at the expense of the people whom they are supposed to be helping.

According to CNN, AbilityOne and SourceAmerica are being investigated for a bevy of corruption charges, including fraud, mismanagement, steering of contracts, and misrepresenting the severity of the disabilities of their workers.

The Department of Justice declined to comment on the investigation. The State Department’s Office of the Inspector General confirmed that an investigation is underway, but would not comment further.

The Daily Beast received an audio file and transcript from a source participating in one of the federal investigations. The recording is of a December 2013 conversation between Jean Robinson, then-General Counsel of SourceAmerica, and Ruben Lopez, CEO of Bona Fide Conglomerates, Inc. (Bona Fide is a nonprofit company that trains and employs workers with severe disabilities. It has been embroiled in on-and-off legal battles with SourceAmerica since 2010.) Lopez was participating in one of the federal investigations and wearing a wire.

During the recording, Robinson is heard describing her firsthand observations of ongoing conflicts of interest and mismanagement among the higher-ups at SourceAmerica. She paints a picture of back-scratching and underhanded deals in which SourceAmerica recommended federal contracts not for the most deserving organizations, but for their friends.

Robinson expresses her belief that she was sidelined as she attempted to rope the organization into good governance. She repeatedly denounces what she describes as “scheming” by a “mafia” or “allocation machine”; that is, a group of insiders at SourceAmerica who unfairly award lucrative contracts to themselves and to allies.

“The people who have been gunning for me are the people who, you know, are part of what I call the allocation machine or the—you know, the ‘let’s make sure this person, these entities, et cetera, have the contracts they need, et cetera,’” she says. “And one lawyer said to me, ‘Jean, you know, you’re onto the’—he called it, ‘the hustle, that you’re onto the hustle and you’re in the way.’”

Also during the recorded conversation, Robinson describes SourceAmerica insiders attempting to hide a pattern of conflicts of interest and favoritism in the recommendation of contracts from federal investigators.

***       

AbilityOne was conceived in 1938 as a federal program to purchase goods and services from organizations that employed, primarily, blind people. In 1971, its mandate was expanded to include organizations employing people with severe disabilities.

The AbilityOne Commission maintains a sort of shopping list of goods and services that are available for federal agencies to purchase. The regulations for federal purchasing are notoriously convoluted, but generally speaking, when federal agencies wish to purchase items that appear on AbilityOne’s procurement list, they are often required to purchase from AbilityOne before considering other vendors. If a federal agency wishes to buy pens, for example, and AbilityOne offers them at a fair market price, in most cases they must purchase their pens through AbilityOne.

This generates seriously big business, with AbilityOne making close to $3 billion in annual sales.

AbilityOne decides which vendors appear on its list based on the recommendations of two independent nonprofit organizations: SourceAmerica and the National Industries for the Blind (NIB). SourceAmerica and NIB work directly with the nonprofit organizations that employ people with disabilities. They evaluate the organizations and make recommendations to AbilityOne about who should be awarded contracts. Then NIB and SourceAmerica receive a portion of the revenue generated through their contracts. (AbilityOne’s contracts through NIB are not currently under investigation; the accusations have been made only about contracts with SourceAmerica.)

SourceAmerica is the larger of the two nonprofits. It works with close to 600 organizations that provide goods and services through the AbilityOne program, including Goodwill Industries. SourceAmerica’s AbilityOne contracts employ over 40,000 people with severe disabilities. (It also administers employment programs that are not under the AbilityOne aegis, which employ 75,000 other workers with disabilities.)

On the recording, Robinson suggests the executives at SourceAmerica wrongly blamed her for their legal woes, telling Lopez that they had hired outside counsel to investigate without informing her. She adds that the outside counsel found fault with her legal department for not strictly enforcing documentation of conflicts of interest.

“It was clear to me that somehow their lack of disclosure, their lack of compliance, et cetera, was going to get all blamed on legal,” she says on the tape. “Which to me is—not only, excuse my vernacular, pisses me off, but it’s sort of like, you know, I remember—I’ve been around long enough to remember when I had to fight you people to get an audit committee, I had to fight you to get governance rules.”

Throughout the recording, Robinson depicts an organization that awards contracts unfairly, selecting those organizations that have a connection to SourceAmerica.

She paints a picture of back-scratching and underhanded deals in which SourceAmerica recommended federal contracts for their friends.

She details a specific meeting at which she says SourceAmerica presented a report that contained an analysis of how many contracts were awarded to organizations that had ties with SourceAmerica. She accused them of choosing a particular time period to analyze—one that made the board of SourceAmerica look as if it had clean hands.

However, the report is nonetheless described as awarding a disproportionate number of contracts to affiliates that had ties with the National Council of SourceAmerica Employers (NCSE), an association representing the organizations that work with SourceAmerica. “So this report shows that 34 percent or something like that, it was like a—it was—it was large, that a large percentage of the opportunities that were given in the last year or so were NCSE members,” Robinson says.

SourceAmerica declined to respond to a question about the structure of NCSE and its relationship to SourceAmerica. A plaintiff’s complaint in Bona Fide’s ongoing antitrust lawsuit against SourceAmerica alleges that NCSE “is an unincorporated association of all AbilityOne Affiliates. The NCSE president serves on the SourceAmerica Board. NCSE has no budget, offices, staff, or resources of its own; it relies entirely on the SourceAmerica Board and SourceAmerica’s officers and employees.”

In the taped conversation, Robinson suggests that, in preparing the report, SourceAmerica’s board had made an effort to establish its own rectitude by pinning the blame on NCSE. She says she informed them that they were kidding themselves. The investigation will not make any distinctions between the board and NCSE, since they are both “insiders” at SourceAmerica. She names as an example one board member who previously headed up the NCSE.

“I don’t even know how you guys were able to make this artificial separation between the numbers looking really bad for the NCSE and—but not looking so bad for the board,” she says she told SourceAmerica’s higher-ups. “Because you’re one and the same. How are you dividing it?... So when they look at your—when these statistics here show your opportunities, how are you able to separate them?”

In Robinson’s telling, the board members began to get cold feet about the report that had been presented at the meeting when it dawned on them that the federal investigators would not care whether it was the board or NCSE who is implicated—they would see either as rank favoritism.

Robinson says the board members went on to discuss how they could withdraw the report—she describes them as “trying to figure out how to pull the report back or how to sanitize it or whatever”—but she explained that they have entered the report into the minutes of the meeting. The federal investigators had already informed them of their intention to analyze meeting minutes.

“I said, I don’t know what you guys think this is, but if you don’t want to use me as your legal counsel, you better go get some real legal counsel because these guys are not playing... this crap that you guys are doing is—you know, it’s sort of like thumbing your nose at a very serious investigation,” Robinson says. “Now that you don’t like what it says or what the results are, you want to change it in some way, and so my recommendation to you as the organization’s counsel is you leave it alone and it is what it is.”

Despite her explanation that withdrawing or changing the report likely amounted to an improper interference in a federal investigation, Robinson says that SourceAmerica decided to withdraw it.

A phone number for Jean Robinson turned out to be non-working, and she could not be located for comment. Ruben Lopez released a statement that said, in part, “I would like to emphasize how important it is to me that the severely handicapped receive the full benefits of the federal programs available to them. I have worked closely with federal agents on the SourceAmerica investigation in the interests of ensuring that the rights of the disadvantaged are protected and that a fair proposal process is maintained.”

SourceAmerica provided an initial statement to The Daily Beast before the receipt of the audio recording. They did not respond to a further email inquiring specifically about the recording. CEO Steve Soroka said:

“The allegations repeated in recent media stories are without merit. SourceAmerica conducts its business with the utmost integrity and complies with all federal and state requirements, including those related to the administration of the AbilityOne Program. SourceAmerica is vigorously defending itself against these unfounded allegations, many of which were made by anonymous or unnamed sources, or, in the case of the CNN story, individuals that are registered lobbyists for one of the litigants. The allegations all seem to be related to ongoing litigation brought forth by a very small number of individuals, and we anticipate a favorable resolution of these lawsuits. SourceAmerica wants to ensure the public has access to the information we provided CNN. Anyone can visit our website and read our public statement here.

“With respect to project recommendations, we conduct an exhaustive, thorough, and detailed analysis of competitive proposals that results in SourceAmerica making a recommendation to the U.S. AbilityOne Commission as to which proposal best meets the Federal Government’s requirements. The Commission staff conduct their own analysis, facilitate a public notification and comment period in the Federal Register, engage with existing contractors as appropriate to determine impact, and then distribute all pertinent information to fifteen Presidentially-appointed members of the Commission who each vote on whether the opportunity is appropriate for the Program and the recommended nonprofit agency.”

In its statement to CNN, SourceAmerica specifically addressed allegations of conflicts of interest and favoritism in awarding contracts. It reads in part:

“Project recommendations to the AbilityOne Commission from SourceAmerica are based solely on merit. There are a number of checks and balances to ensure AbilityOne bids are fairly and equitably evaluated, and the final decision on every federal AbilityOne contract is made by the Presidentially-appointed members of the Commission. No one involved in making award recommendations to the Commission is employed by an organization seeking those contracts. We want to be very clear, SourceAmerica Board Members are not involved in the evaluation of contract bids or recommendations to the AbilityOne Commission.”

This generates seriously big business, with AbilityOne making close to $3 billion in annual sales.

AbilityOne indicated it could not comment on the Robinson/Lopez recording specifically, citing unspecified ongoing legislation (presumably including the Bona Fide antitrust case), but provided a statement to The Daily Beast:

“The U.S. AbilityOne Commission strongly emphasizes program integrity. We are unwavering in our commitment to the employment of people with significant disabilities. The Commission is dismayed by the misrepresentations and inaccuracies from sources identified after the initial airing as the unsuccessful bidder in the protest action. We find that the information reported needs more context. For example, all employment candidates must provide documentation of significant disabilities signed by a licensed medical professional, and this documentation is subject to multiple reviews and inspections.

“It is worth noting that as recently as May 2013, the Government Accountability Office examined the AbilityOne Program including the SourceAmerica recommendation process and made no findings of fraud, waste or abuse.”

It is true that the May 2013 GAO report does not detail fraud or abuse. However, the report is subtitled “Enhanced Oversight of the AbilityOne Program Needed.” It suggests that the very structures of AbilityOne and its relationship with NIB and SourceAmerica lend themselves to the potential for fraud and abuse.

“The Commission has not recently taken an active role in setting or monitoring CNA [Central Nonprofit Agency, that is, NIB and SourceAmerica] governance standards—such as developing CNA ethics standards and reviewing alleged violations—to help protect the program from possible waste, fraud, and abuse,” the report states. “Instead, the Commission is dependent upon the CNAs themselves, as well as other governmental entities, such as the Internal Revenue Service, to set and enforce some of these standards. Without strong standards and oversight, however, the program is vulnerable to potential fraud, waste, and abuse of government procurement funds.”

The report goes on: “Should such improprieties occur, the program’s reputation could be harmed and this could decrease employment opportunities for people who are blind or have severe disabilities.”

If in the end, the investigations indeed establish corruption on the part of SourceAmerica and AbilityOne, it is unclear what will happen to these programs. Thousands of vulnerable workers may be at risk of losing their livelihoods, while facing tragically high barriers finding the independence and dignity a job can provide.

Kim Charlson, President

American Council of the Blind


PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD

Ardis
 

From Randy Hauth in Oregon:

Good Day,

I just signed this petition calling upon Oregon's governor "Kate Brown to  HELP PERSONS

WHO ARE BLIND RECEIVE FAIR, EQUAL, AND PROPER REPRESENTATION THROUGH THE OREGON COMMISSION

FOR THE BLIND."

As such, I hoped you could join in on the cause, as such if you could help by adding

your name it would be GREAT.

Our goal is to reach "at least" 100 signatures and we need your support to do so.

You can read more and sign the petition here, thanks for your time and consideration

of this petition.

Please share this petition with as many of your contacts as possible.

Sincerely,

Randy Hauth-Blind Employment Services of Tomorrow.

https://www.change.org/p/kate-brown-help-persons-who-are-blind-receive-fair-equal-and-proper-representation-through-the-oregon-commission-for-the-blind?recruiter=9680237&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

 

Ardis Bazyn

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com


resolution passed at RSVA convention

Ardis
 

You may wish to pass this along to vendors you know who signed up for the RSA buying group.

      RSVA No Confidence Resolution

 

Whereas, RSA, INC. was incorporated as a stock company in the State of Delaware (Charter Number 5279856) on January 25, 2013, by Mr John Murn of the State of New York; and

 

Whereas, the same aforementioned RSA, INC. was designated a Foreign Business Corporation by the State of New York and granted Foreign Corporation Authority within the State of New York on January 29, 2014; and

 

Whereas, the same aforementioned RSA, INC. registered the fictitious business name of “RSA Buying Group” within the State of New York on January 29, 2014; and

 

Whereas, the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware administratively revoked Charter 5279856 and dissolved RSA, INC. on March 1, 2015, for failure of the aforementioned corporation to file annual reports to the Delaware Department of State since 2013, failure of the aforementioned corporation to pay Delaware Corporation Franchise Taxes since 2013, and failure of the aforementioned corporation to maintain a registered agent in the State of Delaware; and

 

Whereas, due to the aforementioned RSA, INC. charter revocation and corporate dissolution, the same RSA, INC. is subject to NY BSC Law 1311 for immediate Termination of Existence; and

 

Whereas, RSA, INC. represented the purchasing interests and negotiated purchasing agreements for many Randolph-Sheppard Blind Vendors with various suppliers including Unified Strategies Group (USG); and

 

Whereas, due to the aforementioned RSA, INC. charter revocation and corporate dissolution of RSA, INC., all prior and existing agreements & contracts of which RSA, INC. was a party to are null and void; and

 

Whereas, the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA), as the trade association of blind individuals participating in the Randolph-Sheppard Vending program, has determined that the aforementioned RSA, INC. charter revocation and corporate dissolution are not in the best interest of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Program; and

 

Whereas, the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America has determined it is appropriate that only entities legally authorized to be bound as parties to agreements and contracts should represent the interests of Randolph-Sheppard Blind Vendors;

 

now, therefore, be it Resolved, that the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA) in convention assembled at the Dallas Sheraton Hotel in Dallas, Texas, on July 6, 2015, declare “No Confidence” in the aforementioned RSA, INC. and the RSA Buying Group.

 

Adopted without dissent, July 6, 2015

Daniel Sippl, President

Donna Seliger, Secretary

 

 


Re: RSVA tour of facilities

Rex Ransom
 

Hello from the highest hill in El Segundo,
Rick Plath and I will not be able to attend RSVA's facilities tour. Thanks for asking.
Rex Ransom
425 Lomita Street
El Segundo, CA 90245
Cell 310-753-1312

On Jun 28, 2015, at 1:45 PM, Ardis Bazyn via rsva-l <rsva-l@...> wrote:

Hi all, So far, I have 11 confirmed for the facility tour but I’ve only heard from 2 board members.

Ardis Bazyn

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com

 


RSVA tour of facilities

Ardis
 

Hi all, So far, I have 11 confirmed for the facility tour but I’ve only heard from 2 board members.

Ardis Bazyn

"Make the Impossible Possible"

For inspirational speaking, business coaching, or books: http://www.bazyncommunications.com

 

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