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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Not Just A Story Any More

It seems when movies are made about people with disabilities, it is becoming as confusing as the words as ableism and inspirational porn. Even as recently when Jamie Foxx played Ray Charles, I do not remember this conversation being raised of an abled body actor playing a person with a disability. Maybe at that time it was still important that the story was being told, rather than how it was being told?
This conundrum goes back farther then the time of William Shakespeare, when men played the rolls of women. When I go see a movie, I think to myself this is an actor trying to play a person with a disability and the whole time I am think what the real person is like.
Someone could say, so why did you refuse to use an ACC device? Would it have been enough to tell my story, or did I want people to see the person. Now everyone gets to tell their “story” with tweets and posts, but does that really let people get to know the person be hide the keyboard?
When I watch the show Speechless, I do ponder if any of the writers have a disability themselves, or if they have a group of gimp consultants that has been in the situations that are on the show? I often think, if King Gimp came out now would it have the same acceptance that it did?

Let's Call Joaquin Phoenix's New Role Exactly What It Is: Offensive

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Maryland DDA Wants to Use A National FMS for Self-Directed Services

Well this sucks, because this could mess up Budgets. I picked my FMS based on what they charged since that had to worked into my budget. If my new FMS charges more will Maryland DDA increase my budget, or make me redo my budget to cover the new FMS cost?

The Arc Central Chesapeake Region takes great pride in playing a role in Maryland's self-directed services program, which offers unparalleled choice, authority and flexibility for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We've had the distinction of serving as one of two Fiscal Management Service (FMS) providers for the program for over 10 years.
At this time, the Request for Proposal (RFP) is forthcoming from Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA). A Request for Proposal is the process DDA will use to award a contract for a FMS provider for the self-directed services program. While the RFP has not been made public as of this writing, during recent state-wide waiver information sessions, DDA has made it clear that they will contract with a sole source national vendor for FMS services going forward. As a long-time vendor for the program, this was challenging information for us to process, but it was helpful to our understanding of the intentions of DDA and their trajectory for Maryland's self-directed services program.
After thoughtful consideration, we will honor DDA's plan for advancing self-direction and will respectfully transition with grace and excellence. We've made the tough decision not to respond to the RFP when it is posted. We will, instead, focus our efforts and resources on providing quality services to our program participants and other stakeholders to help ensure a successful transition to a new FMS vendor. We look forward to partnering with DDA in transition planning when the time comes, which will likely be for FY'19.
The Arc Central Chesapeake FMS team thanks you for your support and continued patronage. If you have any questions or concerns, you are welcome to reach out to us.
Your FMS Team
The Arc Central Chesapeake Region

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I have a pair of friends that need their Son tested for Autism?

Can anyone give use some resources for this? They were also told to apply for SSI for him, but their son is only 14. Is this so he can get into the Medicaid/medicare system? Please let me know your thoughts and I will pass them on to the family.

I need an autism diagnosis to replace his current diagnosis of non-specific spectrum disorder. This so we can get proper services for him at school and proper support therapy outside of school. I am also exploring the notion of a more appropriate school setting with structures in place to help him. Right now the school is cobbling together support for him and I am not sure they can really manage.

Thank You,

There has been good links posted on my facebook

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Why Sex Education for Disabled People Is So Important

If PWDs are not sexual aware of the owner being, how can they protect their selves? Most people think sexuality can lead to promiscuous behavior, but can't it also help protect one from sex predators? Being aware of one's sexuality can help understand your feeling. I would also thing it would help you determine the difference between good and bad attention from others.
Both sides of sexual should be brought to the table, sex can be the most dangerous weapon but ultimately it is the most v experience two people can have together!

Friday, September 29, 2017

When Passion Needs to Be Seen

I am someone how has more respect for the constitution and the amendments then I do the flag and I know that is a contradiction. When I look at the flag, it is a symbol of unity, equality and everybody as one, but I have never seen the country in that light. Ever since I have been 18, I have voted because that is my job in return for the rights that people have given with their lives. Also, the men and women who served and now live their daily lifes with the nightmares from what they experienced.

It is also my job to speak up when seen an injustice taking place and I have done that since being a little boy. That is why I respect the constitutional amendments more, because the amendments let us be seen as individuals and that is the reason why people are just pissed off. Our leaders are not listening to the people they serve and the boil is about to pop. The problem is actions can drown out the message, especially when passion takes over. The bigger picture is there needs to be a conversation that we live in a country that we all are not treated equally and the divide is growing every day.

If our leaders are going stick their heads deeper in the sand, then it will take a tornado to unburied their heads. I am a that guy who can go talk with a CEO and left the office with their jaws on the floor using my words as weapons. The other end of the spectrum is acting as a lunatic when seeing someone parked in disability space just to drop off at a red box. I have blocked them in the space screaming my head off to make my point. So, I do what I need to get my message across.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sophomore Year for ABC's Speechless

I am very happy to see J.J. and family back for season number 2, something that most shows have not done when a character with a disability is the focus.  This might be a show that you are more drawn to, because one can relate to the different characters.  I relate to J.J. because I have been through that experience, other people can relate to the parents and others might be in the shoes of Kenneth.

I have talk to friends that think the show should be more edgier I know Speechless is rolling a fine line. It is under the eye of many groups, the two big one is those with disabilities and those without.  something that may be gimp humor to us, could turn off a lot of people.

I would like to see this show keep its humor, because if I did not see the humor in life things would get very depressing for sure.  In Sophomore year of high school student start thinking about college and if they want to go out of their home state. I think issues as this should brought into the show. This would be more complex for J..J. due to his disability. A few weeks ago, I had the thought of what if, the Medicaid fight popped up in the show, it could affect the support they got in school and at home?  Although it would strike a chord with the disabled community, others could see it as not the right platform for the issue.

The Key to the show is to keep it topical, but funny in order to keep its appeal to the masses and that is a monumental task in these times.

Our Country is Going Backwards Not Progressing

Protests fill Senate hallways as Cassidy-Graham gets its hearing

I know this is a bit late, but this is just another sign the of how President and other government leaders are not listening to the people they serve. I think the members of the #NFL that are protesting peacefully are brave, because they but their jobs on the line to start a conversations that are long over due. Veterans should be more made at the VA systems, because is sucks.

Just because the fight for #medicaid is over for now, does not mean white flaps are being waved. In fact the war is just regroup it's troops. The #ADA is also on the autopsy table, the "business President" wants to undo the civil rights of People With #disabilities, so business owners will not need to make expensive accommodations for us! Our country is going backwards not progressing.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

It’s Society man????

Yesterday we were out doing some every day task and the Gimp Mobile shut down, we think it was a dead battery. So, we are in a super market parking lot half way sticking out in the isle. I am telling Wifey just to start asking people if they mind giving us a hot shot. You would think some guy would at least ask if they could help seeing that the van’s hood was open, but no. It was a group of 6 women that tried to help us. Even thou we could not get the van started, they offered to drive us back home since we only live two miles away, but Wifey already called our road side assistances and we did not want to miss them.
The guy came and decided the van should be towed, but nobody could be in the van while being towed and he only could let one person ride with him. His truck had a bench seat, so all three of us could have fit in there. I was in my power chair and did not feel like causing more stress, I just rolled home of course Wifey hated that idea. It was a rainy day and she didn’t know if the route was safe. I really did not say anything to the guy, because I would have gone gimp on him.
When the guy drops off the van at our place he parked the van 2 feet from the curb, Wifey said please move it closer so people will not hit it. His reply was you have insurance so don’t worry about it. Insurance does not cover accessibility and what they would pay would not even pay for half of the modifications if something would happen to our van.
Here is this “guy” that is suppose to be helpful and relieve some stress is doing the opposite. By letting a disabled man walk home in the rain and did a drunk parking job and putting our van at risk, because he wanted to get his job done.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Art is Like Playing Monopoly

As some of you remember I was represented by the Phyllis Kind Gallery for many years, this was a good time in my life. The Oscars just fell into tour laps and HBO wanted to connect me to a gallery, that is how Phyllis I crossed path. From the moment we met, she referred to my work as my children.
Really, each art piece is a child, the seed is the idea and they bloom into their own identity as we work on them. Phyllis had the philosophy of finding the right buyer for each piece. I was off to a good run; my first solo show was a huge success. Then 9/11 occurred and understandable other things took precedence to art. I always knew art is more of luxury in life, face it I never did art for the money that is more of a bonus. Over the next few years I had two more solo shows at the Kind Gallery.

Then in 2006, I got a call no Artist would ever what to receive. Time to come pick up your work because the gallery is moving to a smaller place. To me this is mix emotions since my work is going into storage, but at least I have the opportunity to get my kids back. Whoever has taken an Art history class, has heard many stories about galleries closing and the Artist can’t find their work. Interesting enough when Dena and I went to pick up the kids, Phyllis kept a hand full of my work.

To be honest, I was frustrated that they kept the prints that I worked on in the summer of 2002. That summer I basically took over the print shop at Towson University and hired Dawn, Jessica and Brian to run edition for me, thanks to Tonia Mathews. All of women/men power and supplies were out of pocket, I think you would see why I would be worried about what happened to the editions.

For the next dozen years, I had no idea of what happen to Phyllis, or my work. Even the producers of King Gimp could not get through to the gallery. Two weeks ago, an email popped up in my inbox from Phyllis’ daughter, saying the gallery is finally closed and would I like to come get the rest of my work? Right away; I’m reply yes and I am thinking self, the flipping prints! I wanted to ask about how Phyllis is doing in person.

Last Saturday Dena, Daisy and I packed into our van and set out for NYC. When Dena and Rachel put the first load into the van, I did tear up. This is not only the end of a chapter in my life, but an end of an era in the Art world. As they finished loading the work, Rachel says it must feel good getting your children back. I know that is something her Mom would say, I hope she is having a relaxing retirement living on the West coast. Before we headed back home, I asked Rachel to please kiss her mom for me.

As we were heading home, I asked Dena; honey do you know what we have here? This was Phyllis’ private collection of my work. You know she handpicked what she wanted to keep, because she knew it’s value. Rachel said as she was moving my work to lobby, people ask if it was for sell. The thing about art, the Artist know it’s value, people like Phyllis tell you it’s value but there is no proof unless people see the dollars flowing.

Email Dan 

Friday, April 14, 2017

When people with disabilities and the elderly live in HUD housing does that mean they have lesser right than any other tenants?

When people with disabilities and the elderly live in HUD housing does that mean they have lesser right than any other tenants? Does it give the property manager the right to act like a bully? Once again, I feel like it is my obligation to speak for the voiceless, but this time my friends will not speak up in fear of retaliation.

For months, I have been hearing stories of their apartment complex has become a jail more than a home due to the manager’s threats. If my friend lived anywhere else can the manager tell him who he can, or can’t have in his apartment if no laws have been broken?

On another account the manager said if my friend does not file a report against his neighbor, my friend could be could face eviction. To me this is black mail and the manager is the that breaking the law. All this time I have been telling my friend, he needs speak up. The manager is abusing her position, but all the tenants are in fear of being evicted if they did take a stand.

Up until now Dena and I could just give people our advice since her actions were not directed to us. Yesterday our son that we advocate for, received a letter on his door stating that we are banned from the property, without breaking any laws. The manager just does not like how we tell the tenants that the disabled have rights too and they do not have put up with her bullying.

The two other issues that were mention in this letter were about I should not have mail coming to my friend’s address and my service dog comes to visits him. First, I am my friend’s payee rep so why would not my name be on his bills and other documents. Really why is this any of her business? How would she be aware of this, unless she is checking other people’s mail and in that case, she is breaking the law herself.

When the manager did ask me about me service dog, I did provide her with the proper documents and she has a copy for our Sons file. Really this is hypocritical, because the manager can bring her dogs to work but other people cannot have them visit. If she really cares about her tenants, she would encourage animals to visit since they uplift people’s spirits.

The manager of the building is owned by Bayview Management Llc, should see her job to advocate for disabled, not a dictator and it is no different then being back in an institution. My purpose of this letter is to bring awareness and see what steps can be taken to advocate for the tenants, so please give me your advice?

Is it legal to ban visitors of any kind?


Monday, February 27, 2017

Are You Master Of Your Domain

I have been messing around with some new idea for my digital work, but really this start is about taking time figure how to make the software work for me. This is how any medium should be approached by artists, because the medium is your tool.

I had been working for a day, or two and this happened. Most likely, I hit alt, shift command Z, or something crazy like that and did not know it. The problem is, if you do not know how something was done, you do not know how to undo it. This did happen once before and my assistant Allison just changed the paint brush mode. This time that did not solve the issue, I am thinking I can just re-install Photoshop. Then I would have redo everything to my liking.

Youtube is the new home college, I found that it would be better to delete the preference file. If that did not fix the problem you can put the file back. It turns out to be an easy fix and now I know what to do the next time the same thing happens.

Since I am taking time to explore the software, why not take time to figure out the brush presets so I can work more efficient and save me some time. Although it has endless options, I will still have my favorite brushes with their setting. Just as having your favorite brush, or roller for printing. I also was reminder that you can change the brush thumbnails sizes, which gives me a bigger target to hit when I change brushes.

Although I am working with technology, it cannot do the work for me and should be treat as any other medium. Different medium can add a new dimension to my work, but I need to make it speak my language.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

There is Nothing Like A Blank Canvas


So why do I take breaks from producing art, unlike when I was in school and had a gallery deal because I can! When you are in school, or a gallery you are really creating work for others. As in school you are working for the next grade, although the professors are there to give you a nudge when needed and somewhere along the way you discover your voice. If you are one of those who wait for the due dates, it does show in the work that you were rushed.

The same can be said for when you hit it big with a gallery, you need to keep working while people are interested in your work. The 15 minutes’ thing goes faster than one realizes. Not that this is all bad, because it fed my zest in life. Meeting new people and have different experiences feeds my work because it is energized by fate.

Although many people around me do not like to see me hit the wall in creating my art, it is a necessary evil. Art is my language, I do run out of things to say. In addition, I do not want my work to illustrate how the teacher from Charlie Brown sounds.

Just because you cannot see my art, does not mean it has escaped from my heart. To me art is about what you have to say and how you want to make it be heard! The one thing all Artists and inventors have in common is that they must feed their creativity.