Wishing You a Happy and Healthy New Year!
As December came to an end, many of us gladly said goodbye to 2020 and welcomed the arrival of 2021 on January 1. All of us at the disAbility Resource Center wishes you and your family a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. 
2020: A Year in Review
Although 2020 was filled with many challenges and tested our patience, faith and strength, dRC continued to provide our services to people with disabilities through the tenacity and creativity of the women and men who work at dRC. When people needed emotional support, we were there to listen. When in-person activities were halted, dRC created a new virtual Peer Support group and moved our weekly book club meetings to Zoom. If someone didn’t know how to use Zoom, a one on one private tutorial was provided. Staff regularly checked in with consumers who were at most risk of social isolation and had little or no support system. If they didn’t have a cell phone to stay connected to family and friends, dRC made sure they got one. If someone was in need of a computer to attend classes or to be able to work from home dRC was there to help. If the pandemic directly impacted an individual with a disability’s income and they needed assistance with rent or utilities or addressing physical access barriers, dRC was there to financially assist them.
Right before Thanksgiving as cooler, winter temperatures arrived and the number of C-19 cases increased sharply, dRC partnered with St. Jude’s church to hand out 100 CARE kits to individuals with disabilities who are homeless. Each waterproof, insulated CARE kit included a face mask, a blanket, hand sanitizer, a first aid kit, a LED mini-flashlight, 2 wash cloths, antibacterial soap, and hand knitted scarf and stocking cap made with love by our Youth Transition Coordinator and Peer Support Specialist. In fact, between April and December 2020 dRC provided over $91,000 in assistance directly to people with disabilities! 
Another exciting development over the last year was dRC’s program growth in Columbus County. For several months, dRC worked with the University of Montana’s Rural Research and Training Center (RTC) on Disability in Rural Communities to conduct a rural community resource mapping project. This strategy allowed us to evaluate and improve local resource networks and partnerships. Together we identified, surveyed, and then mapped resources that are available to support the community living needs of people with disabilities. The results have been amazing. The process cultivated new relationships with like-minded organizations, such as Columbus County Regional Hospital, Community CPR and The Carter Clinic. All of these organizations realize the importance doing everything better together. dRC has become a part of many collaborations in Columbus County this year including the Columbus County Collaboration, Courageous Conversations on Race, and the Columbus County Disaster Response. Together we have been able to serve more people and increase awareness of the abilities of individuals with disabilities. Ms. Wallyce,Todd who is the Founder and Executive Director of Community CPR, has connected us to many new consumers and linked our current consumers to resources through out the community for food, shelter and volunteer opportunities. Thanks to Ms. Todd we have been able to make valuable connections with multiple individuals, such as Shawn Maynard who is the mayor of Bolton. dRC also assisted Native Americans on the reservation in the Lake Waccamaw area. Jeremy Simmons who is the Chaplain at Columbus County Regional Hospital has also assisted us in making connections within the interfaith community. We look forward to continuing to build on these relationships and increasing the number of collaborative partners as we gain momentum in Columbus County.
Ending the year on a positive note, dRC participated in the "Adopt-a-family for Christmas" project with Community CPR and the Columbus County Sherriff’s Office. There was a total of 35 families adopted with 6 of them being consumers of dRC. These families were provided with presents from their children’s wish list, a box of non-perishable food and gift card for each child for McDonalds donated by the generosity of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office and their no shave December fundraiser proceeds. The families who were adopted were families who may have otherwise not had a way to provide any holiday joy to their children due to the ongoing pandemic, lack of transportation, and availability of programs in the Columbus County area. dRC was proud to have our Board of Directors support this event and is already in the process of expanding this program to more of our families next year. We hope to have even more participation from the community next year. dRC would also like to thank Disability Rights NC for their exceptional generosity in providing an abundance of gifts for these families as well.
We look forward to an exciting new year! Stay tuned for more exciting announcements!
WAVE Transit is seeking public input for a 2021 Locally Coordinated Transportation Plan (LCP) in order to identify transportation needs of people with disabilities and older adults in the Wilmington area. You can attend a virtual town-hall or complete a brief survey.
Virtual Town-Hall is
January 14, 12pm-2pm
Survey closes January 31, 2021
AND here are some encouraging thoughts from TRACY'S CORNER!
Happy New Year!!
Speaking of the New Year, why is it that a lot of people make plans to change themselves only to stop early during the year to revert to whom they were last year? Could it be that you were close to perfect already and only needed to make a few adjustments? 
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Health and Human Services is administering the federally-funded Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) for qualified households which began on December 1 for the first round of eligible households. The program provides a one-time annual utility payment to help eligible families pay their heating expenses during the cold-weather months.
This year, due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the state has created a pandemic LIEAP automated payment process to help eliminate the elderly and disabled population from having to physically come into the agency to apply for benefits. Eligible households may qualify for an automated payment for the 2020-2021 LIEAP season if a member of the household:
  1. Is age 60 or older, or a person with a disability receiving services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS);
  2. Currently receives Food and Nutrition Services; AND
  3. Received LIEAP during the 2019-2020 season.
These households have been notified by the NC Department of Health and Human Services and do not need to apply for this benefit.
Starting December 1, any household with a person age 60 or older or disabled receiving DAAS services, receiving Food and Nutrition Services and did not receive an automated payment can contact New Hanover County Health and Human Services at 910-798-3500 to check their eligibility and receive instructions on how to apply.
Beginning January 2, 2021, all other households in need of assistance can submit a LIEAP application online through the Epass portal at epass.nc.gov. Applications will also be available to download at SocialServices.NHCgov.com starting January 2, to be printed and filled out and submitted to the New Hanover County Health and Human Services’ Department of Social Services. Applications can be submitted by email at DSSinfo@NHCgov.com, by mail or dropped off at 1650 Greenfield Street, Wilmington, NC 28402, or by fax at 910-798-7824. Households may also apply in person at the Health and Human Services building at 1650 Greenfield Street – social distancing and face coverings are required when visiting county facilities.
To be eligible for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program starting January 2, a household must:
  • Have at least one U.S. citizen or non-citizen who meets the eligibility criteria
  • Have income equal to or less than 130% of the federal poverty limit
  • Have resources, such as saving and checking accounts and cash on hand, at or below $2,250
  • Be responsible for their heating cost
“We are working with the state to offer several ways to submit an application and conduct the required interviews over the phone this year for LIEAP, so that our residents do not have to come into our building to receive help paying their heating bill,” said the county’s Director of Social Services Tonya Jackson. “Many people are having financial difficulties right now, and we are here to help.
If you aren’t sure whether you qualify for an automatic payment or you need help applying, you can call us at 910-798-3500 and we will help you navigate the process.”
The Department of Social Services, within New Hanover County’s Health and Human Services agency, administers the state’s LIEAP program locally. Applications are open through March 31, 2020, or until funds are exhausted and payment amounts are based on household size and income.
Visit the Social Services website for more information
or call 910-798-3500.
Furthering the Promise: Increasing Opportunities for Integrated Employment 

This year marked the 30th anniversary of President George H.W. Bush’s signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. Throughout 2020, the Civil Rights Division has published a series of blog posts highlighting the impact that ADA enforcement efforts have had on people’s lives. We celebrate the many ways the ADA has transformed American society. Working and taking an active part in the local community are central to achieving the ADA’s goals of integration and economic independence for people with disabilities. We recommit to our work of making the promise of the ADA a reality, enabling all Americans with disabilities to achieve their dreams and reach their full potential.

For more information on the ADA, please visit ADA.gov or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TTY 800-514-0383).
Inauguration Day is January 20, 2021
January 23rd –
Ed Roberts Day
Who is Ed Roberts? 
And why does he have a special recognition day?

Every January 23rd, people around the country celebrate the man frequently called the father of the Independent Living Movement. If you are a person with a disability or believe that people with disabilities have the same rights as those without a disability we can thank Ed Roberts!
 Ed Roberts (1939-1995) was only 14 in 1953 when he contracted polio which left him paralyzed from the neck down. He would spend the next 18 months in the hospital recuperating.  People with disabilities in the 60s were not as visible as they are today. The barriers were physical as well as attitudinal. Ed set out to change all that. He advocated to get admitted into the University of California, Berkeley (UC-B) and to get one of the hospital infirmaries changed into a dorm for students who, like himself, needed wheelchair accessible housing. Several of these students formed a group they called “The Rolling Quads.” They were champions of independent living in the community for all people with disabilities and instrumental in getting the first curb cuts installed in Berkeley which they recognized made the physical world accessible to more people than just wheelchair users.
That was just the beginning. Ed earned undergraduate and graduate degrees, taught at UC-B and went on to help establish the first Center for Independent Living. He was named to head the California Department of Rehabilitation, founded the World Institute on Disability, married, had a child, and traveled the world to spread the word about disability rights, accessibility, and inclusion.
Without Ed Roberts, Centers for Independent Living, like the disAbility Resource Center would most likely not exist. The need for disability advocacy is as critical as ever. There is still much work to be done to ensure people with disabilities have access to a place to live, access to enjoy their community and the activities it offers, employment, healthcare and so much more.
To learn more about Ed Roberts and his contributions and to get a feel for what a great spirit he had, go to: http://mn.gov/mnddc/ed-roberts/.
For a quick video overview, go to:
If you have a little more time, read some excerpts from Ed’s speeches:http://mn.gov/mnddc//parallels/six/6b/1.html.
Finally, for more ways to celebrate Ed’s legacy, go to 
There are only two kinds of people in the world: the disabled, and the yet-to-be-disabled – Ed Roberts
FEBRUARY is BLACK HISTORY MONTH! There are many prominent African Americans who are integral to the history of the United States of America who also were persons with a disability; Harriet Tubman, Tom Wiggins, Fannie Lou Hamer, Maya Angelou, Wilma Rudolph, and Harry Belafonte Jr. to name a few. Please enjoy this article shared by Advancing Opportunities.