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Jacksonville, Florida
 
 

Contact Information

If you, your business, or organization are interested in becoming a part of the Disability Initiative Workgroup, please contact Jeff Winkler of The Real$ense Prosperity Campaign at [email protected].  Please visit our web site at www.realsensejax.org.

If you are already a member of the Disability Initiative Workgroup and have questions regarding the IRS participation, then please contact Mark Browne at [email protected].

 
 

Disability Initiative Workgroup

The Real$ense Prosperity Campaign concentrates primarily on working with community partners to provide free tax service and free financial classes to people with disabilities through the Independent Living Resource Center in Jacksonville, FL, through the Disabilities Office of the Mayor of Jacksonville, and through the Real$ense Mobile Tax Team. Current and ongoing efforts to build opportunities for persons with disabilities and their families include:

(1) Personal stand-up presentations;

(2) Outreach via television with Real$ense phone banks;

(3) Grass roots outreach events in specific neighborhoods;

(4) Marketing through Mayor's Office of Disabled Services;

(5) Advertised special tax preparation days and Money Smart classes through the Independent Living Resource Center, a Real$ense partner;

(6) Outreach through and in conjunction with the WorkSource Disability Navigator and Northeast Florida Disability Advocacy Group;

(7) A DeafTax.com pilot;

(8) Training people with disabilities as tax site volunteers--one was visually impaired and the other was learning disabled;

(9) Paying for ASL interpreters at the ILRC Real$ense tax site,

(10) Participation in the REI Tour study circles by Real$ense partners, including the one for disability providers.

Last year, Real$ense partners participated in both a disability conference at the University of Florida for children with disabilities and in Wounded Warrior events. In addition:

(1) "His Light Ministries," a Real$ense partner agency, transported people with disabilities to a Real$ense tax site on selected Tuesdays during tax season,

(2) Real$ense partners participated in and represented Real$ense at the Veteran's Stand Down and promoted free tax site and financial ed services at that event,

(3) Real$ense participated for the second year in a row with the ILRC' s Emergency Preparedness Conference which helps individuals with disabilities learn how to be prepared for emergencies such as hurricanes, and

(4) Real$ense partners and staff participated at a Jacksonville Zoo event for people with disabilities to let them know about free tax services, free financial classes, and free matched savings accounts programs.

2011 Events
 
January 28: 8th Annual Real$ense Tax Season Kick-off
 
Photo of Lee Davenport, Michelle Braun, Chad Fogle, Laura Scherler, Johnette Hartnett, Connie Hodges, Barbara Travis, Jeff Winkler, Roslyn Phillips, Michael Beebe

L to R Lee Davenport, Michelle Braun, Chad Fogle, Laura Scherler, Johnette Hartnett, Connie Hodges, Barbara Travis, Jeff Winkler, Roslyn Phillips and Michael Beebe.

It’s been said that when times are tough, the tough get going, and that is certainly what the Real$ense Prosperity Campaign has done for the past few years. The upbeat, positive attitude that put smiles on the faces of the nearly 200 participants at the 2011 Real$ense Prosperity Campaign Kickoff on January 28th is the same attitude our volunteers convey with each free tax return they prepare. It is fitting that the Kickoff Event was held at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida’s beautiful Deerwood Campus this year because, just as Blue Cross focuses on insuring the physical health of more than four million Floridians, the Real$ense Prosperity Campaign is focused on ensuring the financial health of our citizens. Read more in the February 2011 issue of the Real$ense Newsletter.