RHA Howell Teams with Girl Scouts, RADD for Disabilities Fair in Kinston

Day-long event honors National Disability History and Awareness month & National Disability Employment Awareness Month.


October 12, 2010 (KINSTON, NC) — In celebration of North Carolina Disability History and Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month throughout October, RHA Howell, Inc. is teaming up with RADD (Raising Awareness for Developmental Disabilities), and Senior Girl Scout Troop #600 to sponsor a “Disabilities Awareness Fair” at Vernon Park Mall in Kinston, NC, on Friday, October 29, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.


The Fair will include informational booths on companies and services related to the support services, education, training, and employment of people with disabilities. RHA Howell’s Bear Creek Center in LaGrange and Walnut Creek Center in Goldsboro – both residential intermediate care facilities for people with disabilities – will sponsor booths, along with RHA Howell’s corporate office in LaGrange.


RHA Howell helps people with disabilities find and retain work, and earn enough money to live independently through such programs as “Ticket-To-Work.” The “Ticket To Work” program is designed by the Social Security Administration to offer employment options for people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income, or both.


For more information and to participate in the Disabilities Awareness Fair, contact Kitty Hobbs-Proctor, director of regulatory compliance for RHA Howell Corporate Office, 3738 Howell Day Care Road, La Grange, NC 28551, or call RADD and leave a message at 252-522-2814.


Vernon Park Mall is located at 834 Hardee Road, Kinston, NC 28503.


For more information on RHA Howell, visit www.rhahowell.org.


About NC Disability History and Awareness Month:


The North Carolina Youth Leadership Network spearheaded an effort to establish the month of October as Disability History and Awareness Month. In March 2007, proposed legislation was filed in the North Carolina House of Representatives (sponsored by Representative Verla Insko) and the Senate (sponsored by Senator William R. Purcell). The bill was passed in the Senate in early May and the House of Representatives in July. The Youth Leadership Network formed a partnership with the Alliance of Disability Advocates Center for Independent Living. With the support of the disability community and other important allies including the North Carolina Parent Teachers Association, they had the necessary political support to pass the bill.Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.”  For more information: www.dol.gov/odep/faqs/ndeam.



About National Disability Employment Awareness Month:


Congress designated each October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The effort to educate the American public about issues related to disability and employment actually began in 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities.



About RHA Howell, Inc.:


RHA Howell, Inc. is a statewide, 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization in North Carolina that has been dedicated to helping people with special needs, and their families, make choices to live more independently for over 35 years. Integrity, high standards for quality and hard work are at the core of every RHA Howell disability assistance program. For more information, visit www.rhahowell.org.

ADA’s 20th Anniversary: RHA Howell President Reflects on Successes, Remaining Challenges

August 8, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) – This summer, the nation is observing the 20th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act that was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. The ADA is a sweeping civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.

Sam Hedrick, president, RHA Howell Inc.

Recently, Sam Hedrick, president of RHA Howell, Inc., a statewide organization in North Carolina that has been serving people with disabilities and their families for over 35 years, paused to reflect on the successes and on-going challenges for the ADA. Hedrick is also the mother of a child with disabilities and a member of the board of directors of the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), a nonprofit trade association representing more than 800 private providers of services and supports for Americans with disabilities.

Question: What do you feel has been the greatest impact of the ADA?

Hedrick: “Some of the greatest success to date has been around making our communities and public buildings more accessible to people with disabilities. There was a time that people in wheelchairs could not navigate outside their homes just to accomplish necessary daily activities. Wheelchair-accessible public transportation is also available now in many cities and towns, thanks largely to the ADA. So in many respects, the ADA made it possible for people with disabilities to become independent and to live and participate in their communities more freely for the first time.”

Q. What has yet to be fully enforced, or what is still lacking despite the ADA?

Hedrick: “People with disabilities still do not earn equal and fair wages for many jobs.  According to the American Association of People with Disabilities, on a national average, 16.9 percent of Americans with disabilities are unemployed, versus 9.3 percent who are not living with a disability.

“Housing and public transportation are also still often out of reach for most people with disabilities, which prevents them from living as fully participating citizens in the communities of their own choices.

“President Obama is making great efforts to correct some of these inequities through HUD grants and the Affordable Care Act, but discrimination continues to exist in our country today.”

Q. What do you see as priorities for current advocates for Americans with disabilities?

Hedrick: “Some of the on-going challenges we must overcome are:

(1) Infants, children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities must have the opportunity to be supported at home and to succeed in school. They should be included in all of the experiences of childhood.

(2) Adults with disabilities need to lead lives of their own choosing and to be free from poverty and free from fear of having their life-line services cut.

(3) People with disabilities need to be included in civic activities and to have their voices heard politically.

(4) Accessible low-income housing must be available in our communities and wheelchair-accessible public transportation must be available in more cities across America.

(5) We need to provide meaningful and equal-paying jobs for productive work for all people.

(6) Health care must be affordable and available to people with disabilities, and ‘wellness’ and preventative care must be a priority within it.”

For more information on the Americans with Disabilities Act, go to www.ada.gov.

For more information on RHA Howell, visit www.rhahowell.org.

About RHA Howell, Inc.:

RHA Howell is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that has been helping people with disabilities and special needs, and their families, make choices to live more independently for more than 35 years. Integrity, high standards for quality, hard work are at the core of every RHA Howell disability assistance program. Proven leaders in caring for people, RHA Howell, Inc. is a pioneering force in the field of human services, particularly supporting infants and children. For more information, go to www.rhahowell.org.