Complete healthcare survey for the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy


On Sept. 18 Access Independence hosted a community forum at Burroughs Community Center.

The group discussed many critical issues relating to issues of health, disability, and racial/ethnic minorities. We thank our participants and community partners for taking the time to engage in this conversation and value the input that has been shared. 

This community forum is part of an ongoing initiative led by the Office of Minority Health specifically looking at minority disability populations in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Findings will be made available in a public report around March 2019. 

If you were unable to attend the forum, and or would like to help continue this conversation:

Please consider sharing the links to the surveys below with your clients / patients / colleagues / networks. This is an anonymous survey that can be completed by anyone in the states of RI and CT over the age of 18. 

We would greatly appreciate if you would consider circulating the links to the surveys widely across all methods of communication. If you would prefer hard copies of the survey mailed we are able to do so. 

English language survey: click here 

Spanish language survey: click here

Thanks for everything each of you are doing to help people with disabilities in the Greater Bridgeport community. 


Sandy Ho
Research Associate
Lurie Institute for Disability Policy
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Brandeis University
781 736 3954

CDR 2018 Meeting to feature “Breaking Rubrics Jazz Ensemble” Oct. 9, 6-8:15 p.m.

Center for Disability Rights 2018 Autumn Meeting of the Membership will feature the “Breaking Rubrics Jazz Ensemble” Oct. 9, 2018 from 6-8:15 p.m. at CDR, 369 Highland St., West Haven, CT 06516.

  • Light Supper: 6-6:30 p.m.
  • Membership Meeting: 6:40-7 p.m. (Members who attend and renew their Annual Membership in person or new Members who join at this event will receive a free gift!)
  • Entertainment: 7-8 p.m.
  • Free, but donations are always welcome.
  • RSVP: to Center for Disability Rights at 203-934-7077, Ext. 10, or e-mail

All events at CDR are smoke and fragrance free, please refrain from using fragrances.

Community Action Agencies Accepting Energy Assistance Applications

The Connecticut Community Action Agency (CAA) Network began accepting early energy assistance applications for the 2018-2019 heating season Aug. 1, 2018.

Connecticut residents struggling to pay their utility bills can apply for home heating assistance at their local CAA. Community Action Agencies are the only nonprofit agencies administering the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides home heating assistance to the state’s most vulnerable residents. In Connecticut this program is called the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and is housed under the Department of Social Services. The state’s Community Action Agencies administer the program locally in all 169 cities and towns. Click here to read the full press release and find your local CAA!

Home heating assistance application deadline is May 1

Dear Neighbor,

We are closing in on the deadline to apply for heating assistance. If you are eligible for home heating assistance, this program is here to help you and your family stay warm.

The general deadline for applications is May 1, 2018, however eligible households that are subject to a shut-off notice by a utility for heating bills have an extended deadline of May 15.

Basic benefit awards are determined based on income, household size, vulnerability (eg. families with children or seniors) and liquid assets. Vulnerable households and households with the lowest incomes receive the highest awards.

Follow this link for benefit eligibility.

The state Department of Social Services and the Community Action Agencies work in conjunction with local governments, private human services providers and the General Assembly to assist Connecticut residents who are CEAP-eligible in maximizing potential energy assistance options.
Those seeking heating assistance should call 2-1-1 or visit this link.

Emergency funding is also available to repair or replace unsafe or inoperable heating systems for single-family, owner-occupied homes. To qualify, a household’s income cannot exceed 60 percent of the state median income (currently $34,366 for a single person and $66,089 for a household of four).  A heating system must be deemed as unsafe or inoperable by a licensed heating vendor to be considered.
Applicants can request an appointment through the community action agency serving their town or city, or can apply at partnering intake sites around the state. To find the nearest application site, people should call 2-1-1 or visit this link.
If you or someone you know might be eligible, please apply and share this information.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns at or 860-240-1371.

Where we’ve failed Americans with disabilities (opinion) | Ted Kennedy via CNN

Ed note: Connecticut Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., (D-Branford), a healthcare lawyer and civil rights activist for people with disabilities, is board chairman of the American Association of People with Disabilities. The views expressed in this commentary are his own.

Twenty-seven years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed, prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities. I still remember standing in the Rose Garden watching President George H.W. Bush sign the bill into law.

Today, as a result, people with disabilities face far fewer barriers to mobility and communication. Thanks to innovations ranging from curb cuts and Braille on ATMs to improved access to education and healthcare, people with disabilities lead more productive lives and can contribute more to our nation’s economy.

Read the entire commentary on the CNN website here: Where we’ve failed Americans with disabilities (opinion) – CNN

Disability activist (Ted Kennedy) criticizes Trump

Approximately 20 Yalies attended a conversation about political issues including medical insurance and disability rights with state Sen. Ted Kennedy FES ’91, D-Branford, hosted by the Yale College Democrats on Wednesday evening.

After he was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 12, Kennedy had his right leg amputated. Since then, Kennedy — the nephew of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy — has made the rights of people with disabilities a large part of his advocacy work, campaigning against the use of the word “retarded” in schools and serving on the boards of Special Olympics International, Connecticut’s Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and the American Association of People with Disabilities. At the event in WLH 120, Kennedy expressed opposition to what he described as President Donald Trump’s anti-disability policies and encouraged students to challenge candidates’ policies on the rights of those with disabilities.

Read the whole story at Yale Daily News: Disability activist criticizes Trump

Out of Balance: Subsidized Housing, Segregation and Opportunity in Connecticut | Open Communities Alliance

Open Communities Alliance’s September 2017 Out of Balance report shines a light on the opportunity gap in Connecticut and the role subsidized housing policy plays in generating and reinforcing it. Building on the work of historians and others who have documented the long history of government-sponsored segregation, this report maps “opportunity” by census tract and overlays the locations of government subsidized housing across a number of programs. The report concludes that the state needs continued investments in under-resourced, “lower” opportunity, areas while adjusting housing program priorities and addressing exclusionary zoning in order to bring geographic balance to subsidized housing locations.

Source: Out of Balance Report – Open Communities Alliance

State of Connecticut announces renter’s rebate program for seniors | Darien Times

Darien senior citizens and/or disabled people who are renters may be eligible for a rent rebate from the State of Connecticut for the year 2016. The program, which is now in progress, will continue through Sept. 31, 2017 at the Darien Human Services Dept.

Eligibility requirements: One-year residency in Connecticut, age 65 as of December 31, 2016 or receives Social Security Disability. Income guidelines are: Married couple must not exceed $42,900 and unmarried not exceed $35,200

All income, including Social Security (Social Security Form SSA-1099), must be reported and documented. This includes, but not limited to: Pensions, interest on bank accounts, dividends and wages. If a 2016 Federal Income Tax Return was filed, a copy is required.

Proof of rent and utility payments is required for every month you were renting. Receipts or canceled checks are acceptable. For more information and to make an appointment call Human Services at 203-656-7328

Source: State of Connecticut announces renter’s rebate program for seniors | Darien Times

Blumenthal to convene forth emergency hearing: Testimony to be used to fight Republican repeal of the Affordable Care Act

From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 6th in the West Hartford Town Hall Auditorium, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal will convene a fourth emergency field hearing as GOP leaders vow to continue efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and strip coverage from millions of Americans. This hearing will be held in the evening to afford more opportunity for individuals to speak.
The GOP decision to delay the vote on their cruel and costly bill was a testament to the millions of Americans who stood up and spoke out—including hundreds of people from Connecticut who packed the first two field hearings in Connecticut. Senator Blumenthal has been speaking on the Senate floor every day sharing those powerful and deeply impactful stories. Those messages have been heard around the country and made a difference.
But the fight is not over. We cannot be complacent. GOP Senate leadership is continuing to negotiate in secret and plans to ram through a partisan vote after the July 4 recess week.
Please come out to show the GOP that we are not giving up until they agree once and for all to preserve and protect our healthcare and stop these cruel efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
Blumenthal Emergency Field Hearing
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 6
West Hartford Town Hall Auditorium
50 South Main Street
West Hartford, CT
Please email and indicate if you are attending or wish to speak. You can also email written testimony to that address.
Rich Kehoe
State Director
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal
90 State House Square, 10th Floor, Hartford, CT 06103
Phone: (860) 258-6940
Fax: (860) 258-6958

Day of Service for Veterans: Free Dental Care June 24 | Aspen Dental

Participating Aspen Dental practices will provide free dental care to local veterans in Hamden, Meriden, Waterbury, Manchester, Farmington, Torrington, Bristol, and Waterford. Please call 844-ASPEN-HMM to schedule an appointment at a participating office. Appointments are required and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Event flyer here. Article here.

When: Saturday, June 24, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM 
Where: Participating Aspen Dental practices (please call 844-ASPEN-HMM for details)