On May 22nd, friends of ACI gathered at the PeopleCare Center for Nonprofits in Bridgewater to share their creative writing endeavors. Poets, Short Story writers, Essayists, Novelists, and novice writers spent the evening sharing and giving feedback on their work. Participants took part in prompt writing exercises to practice spontaneous writing. Discussions spanned from writing styles, reasons people write, important writing topics, and issues related to sharing your work with the public. Thank you to all that attended for making it a fantastic evening and big thank you to PeopleCare Center for Nonprofits for opening your doors to our group!
On the morning of May 19th 2017, Rutgers Master Gardeners Anne Ryder and Jerri Barclay came to ACI to help our volunteers start this year’s ACI garden. The volunteers and staff learned how to plant and take care of our new tomatoes, marigolds, and basil. We are all looking forward to watching our hard work grow into something great. A big thanks to Anne and Jerri for their guidance and knowledge!
According to the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS), approximately 845,000 individuals, or 9.7 percent of NJ residents, have reported having at least one type of disability. People with disabilities accounted for 7.3 percent of the state’s 18-64 year-olds, and 3.5 percent of the state’s children under age 18.
ACI and REV UP NJ have requested that the NJ gubernatorial candidates participate in completing a questionnaire to better inform NJ voters with disabilities on where they stand with important issues. Click the buttons below to read the responses that we've received so far.
UPDATE 5/22/17: Democratic candidate, Raymond Lesniak, responses have been added.
On May 1st, about 20 people assembled for the spring 2017 REV UP NJ meeting about the upcoming gubernatorial race. REV UP NJ, established by ACI, is part of REV UP, a national effort to engage people with disabilities in the election process and to increase the voting turnout of people with disabilities. Zach Baldwin, Outreach Coordinator at the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in Washington, led the discussion. "2017 is a crucial election year for NJ voters, especially those with disabilities," Baldwin explained.
If you would like to join REV UP or become part of our efforts, please contact ACI.
This April, ACI collaborated with the Middlesex County Center for Empowerment in hosting two events in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. On April 12th, ACI hosted the Clothesline Project during which ACI staff, volunteers and community members came together to decorate sexual violence awareness shirts to be hung in the conference room throughout the month of April. On April 26th, ACI hosted Denim Day to create denim crafts and encourage community members to wear denim in support of sexual violence survivors.
On the evening of April 27th, Kean University and ACI joined together to present a screening of Sins Invalid’s performance of Birthing, Dying, Becoming Crip Wisdom. The artistic performance included dance, spoken word, poetry, storytelling, and music. Each part of the performance touched on the stages of life of an individual with a disability from birth to death. It explored topics like body acceptance, sexuality, race, gender identity, ableism, discrimination, community activism, and peer support, among others. The audience consisted of both individuals with and without disabilities including many different demographics. After the screening, the audience had a spirited conversation about the topics of the film and how they had experienced or viewed them in their own lives. They also spoke about the importance of marginalized groups working together to create a unified community.
Thank you to St. Peter's University Hospital's Community Mobile Health Services for conducting auditory screenings at our office on April 25th. 15 people got their hearing checked by Betsy and Jenn, Community Mobile Health Services staff. We would also like to thank Terry Hurley of ClearCaptions for providing information on the company's caption display phones for people experiencing hearing loss.