Save the Date: March 25, Quarterly Membership Mtg and St. Patrick’s Celebration

CDR’s Quarterly Meeting of the Membership and St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will take place from 6 to 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at Center for Disability Rights, 369 Highland St., West Haven, CT  06516. Suggested donation is $8 and includes Irish Supper, Membership Update and Irish music by The Jolly Beggars. Please reserve your seats by March 19 by emailing, or call 203-934-7077, Ext. 10.

Center for Disability Rights DEAF and HEARING SERVICES OPEN HOUSE

WHEN: 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, 2020
WHERE: 369 Highland St., West Haven, CT 06156


RSVP: To RSVP to this event or you need any accommodation to attend this event please contact Sandy at or call 203-934-7077, Ext 10, or Susan Catale at or VP: 203-680-3967

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

CDR testifies at Appropriations Hearing Feb. 19, 2020

Center for Disability Rights members and staff testified at the Feb. 19, 2020, Appropriations Hearing at the Legislative Office Building in state’s capitol city of Hartford. They testified in support of increasing funding for the Centers for Independent Living in Connecticut, of which there are five.

The hearing was on House Bill No. 5005 AN ACT ADJUSTING THE STATE BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2021. Public testimony was heard on the following state agencies: Department of Social Services Department of Children and Families Department of Aging and Disability Services.

Our testimony acknowledged the Governor and his budget for not cutting funds. We pointed out that although there are not cuts in the Governor’s budget,
agency budgets have eroded over the years. So we highlighted the important work these agencies have done for the disability community; and how providing these services save money in the long term, We also urged the Appropriations Committee not to cut and, if possible, increase agency budgets.

Stay tuned for updates on the success of our, and many others, testimonies. The legislative session convened Feb. 5 and adjourns May 6, 2020.

Center for Disability Rights Invites the Public to Balance and Fall Prevention Class

When: 10-11 a.m. Thursday, March 12, 2020,
and 3-4 p.m. Monday, March 16, 2020
Where: 369 Highland Street, West Haven, CT 06516
Class: Exercise class focused on improving balance, coordination, and strength in order to prevent falls.
RSVP: To RSVP to this event or request any accommodation to attend this event please contact Sandy at or call 203-934-7077, Ext 10.
All events at CDR are smoke- and fragrance-free. Please refrain from using fragrances. Thank you.

CDR welcomes new Executive Director Carmen R. Correa-Rios

The Center for Disability Rights is celebrating the election of 25-year CDR veteran Carmen R. Correa-Rios as our Executive Director. Carmen has extensive experience in Benefits Counseling, Independent Living Skills and more. Carmen is also bi-lingual in Spanish (her native language) and English. “I’m very pleased to have this opportunity with CDR and I look forward to continuing to work with people with disabilities – including veterans, elders and children – with the same level of love and passion I have served with since I started here 25 years ago.”

Access Health CT sign-ups

Have questions or need help signing up for healthcare coverage? We’re here to help.

All help is free. Access Health CT staff will answer your questions and help you enroll in quality, affordable healthcare coverage. Certified Brokers will be on-hand if you need a plan recommendation. Don’t delay – Open Enrollment ends on January 15th. Registration is encouraged, but not required. For a full list of in-person help, visit

**IMPORTANT: If you are a Certified Broker and would like to attend an Enrollment Fair, DO NOT register here. Please contact**

Have the following information for yourself and anyone in your household applying for coverage:

  • Dates of Birth
  • Social Security numbers
  • Visa, green card or immigration documents
  • Most recent W2 and/or Form 1040, Form 1099
  • Current insurance coverage
  • Paystubs, Profit & Loss statements or other employment information to confirm income for everyone in your tax household

Download the full checklist HERE


Wed 12/18 – Norwalk
Norwalk City Hall – Community Room
125 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851

Thu 12/19 – Bristol
Bristol Library Meeting Rooms 1-3
5 High Street, Bristol, CT 06010

Sat 12/21 – Stamford
UConn Stamford – Auditorium
1 University Place, Stamford, CT 06901
Located at the intersection of Broad St and Washington Blvd. Free parking is available at the garage at 1194 Washington Blvd.

Sat 01/04 – Fairfield
Fairfield University – Faber Hall
42 Bellarmine Road, Fairfield, CT 06824
Free parking is available in lots N-1 and N-3. Click HERE for a campus parking map

Mon 01/06 – Hartford
The Lyceum
227 Lawrence Street, Hartford, CT 06106

Tue 01/07 – Middletown
St. Francis of Assisi Parish – Fox Parish Center
10 Elm Street, Middletown, CT 06457

Wed 01/08 – West Hartford
Elmwood Community Center
1106 New Britain Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06110
Note: Although Elmwood Community Center’s address is 1106 New Britain Avenue, you must gain entrance via South Quaker Lane and then to Burgoyne Street. There is no entrance access from New Britain Avenue.

Thu 01/09 – Hamden
Whitneyville Cultural Commons
1253 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06517

Sat 01/11 – New London
OIC of New London
106 Truman Street, New London, CT 06320

Mon 01/13 – Torrington
Torrington Elks Lodge #372
70 Litchfield Street, Torrington, CT 06790

Tue 01/14 – Branford
Joseph Trapasso Community House – Multi-Function Rooms A&B
46 Church Street, Branford, CT 06405

Wed 01/15 – Bridgeport
St. Vincent’s Medical Center – Cancer Center (4th Floor)
2800 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT 06606
Note: Parking will be validated for Enrollment Fair participants and staff who use St. Vincent Medical Center parking.

Working While Receiving Social Security Disability

To become eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity. However, you may be able to earn a small amount of income while receiving Social Security disability payments.

“It is possible to qualify for Social Security disability benefits and still work in a limited capacity,” says Nick Ortiz, a board-certified Social Security disability attorney and owner of Ortiz Law Firm in Pensacola, Florida. “Social Security has special rules for work activity called work incentives.”

To make the most of your benefits and job opportunities, it can be helpful to know what’s available. Read on for a look at what’s involved with Social Security disability benefits, as well as the rules related to working while receiving benefits.

Source: Working While Receiving Social Security Disability

Gov. Lamont Activates State’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol From Wednesday to Sunday

Bitter Cold Temperatures Expected to Move into the State; Anyone in Need of Shelter Should Call 2-1-1

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he will activate the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol beginning at noon on Wednesday, January 30, and lasting through noon on Sunday, February 3, as bitter cold temperatures and wind chills are anticipated to impact the state. The protocol directs staff from the relevant state agencies to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the most vulnerable populations receive protection from the severe cold.

A listing of available shelters throughout Connecticut can be located by calling 2-1-1 or visiting

“A brutally cold stretch of weather is expected to impact our state again in the coming days,” Governor Lamont said. “We need to spread the word to the most vulnerable in our communities that the conditions will become too dangerous to spend extended periods of time outdoors – shelters are available throughout the state.”

While activated, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection’s Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security activates its WebEOC communications network, which serves as an internet-based system enabling local, regional, and state emergency management officials and first responders to share up-to-date information about a variety of situations and conditions. The system is used to monitor capacity at shelters and enables 2-1-1 to act as a clearinghouse to assist in finding shelter space for those who need it. Local officials, working through WebEOC, can alert 2-1-1 and the state when they open temporary shelters or warming centers.

In addition, staff from the Department of Social Services, the Department of Housing, and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services coordinate with 2-1-1 and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, along with other community-based providers, to locate people who are in need and provide transportation to shelters.

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