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Providence, Rhode Island
 
 
 
Contact Information

If you, your business, or organization are interested in becoming a part of the Disability Initiative Workgroup, please contact Sue Babin of the RI Developmental Disabilities Council at [email protected].

 

 

 

 

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

 
 
 
Disability Initiative Workgroup Members

The REIT Workgroup has collaborated to plan the events which were sponsored last year as well as the anticipated events for this year. The Council's newsletters, which are widely distributed to individuals with disabilities and their families within the state, provide information about asset development, EITC and the RI REIT activities. We have written articles that have also been shared in other statewide newsletters.This has and will continue to include information about EITC and free tax service. Last June we sponsored a statewide conference on Asset Development with Michael Morris as our keynote speaker with workshops on various aspects of asset development such as financial education, self-employment, IDA's, EITC, etc. We plan on sponsoring at least three statewide informational meetings on more detailed information for these topic areas to continue to educate people with disabilities, their families and community organizations about various strategies for building their assets and assisting people with disabilities to improve their financial futures. We are planning on inviting Michael Morris back to the state to share additional information on the activities of other states and ideas that can potentially be replicated here in RI from the successful experiences of other states. Our planned activities for 2010 include the following: sponsoring a Saturday Tax Day for EITC in January, posting information on EITC and other asset development strategies on websites and in various partner newsletters, sponsoring a financial education training program utilizing Money Smart and other materials, hosting three statewide informational meetings on different topics relating to asset development, inviting Michael Morris and other local experts from New England with information on asset development to a statewide training seminar, working collaboratively with agencies to submit a federal grant to develop an IDA program here in RI, which is the only state that does not have an IDA program, and working with a small group of individuals with disabilities to help them take the necessary steps to open their own business.

The REIT Workgroup has been sharing information about asset development, EITC and the RI REIT with various statewide organizations serving individuals with disabilities. Our Workgroup incudes representatives from the IRS, CAP agencies, the RI Disabilities Network which includes the RI Developmental Disabilities Council, the RI Protection and Advocacy Center and the Paul Sherlock Center (University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities). We are currently expanding our Workgroup to include a representative from the state Division of Developmental Disabilities, Advocates in Action (a statewide self-advocacy organization), the RI Parent Information Network, the Disability Navigator and the Community Provider Network of RI. All of these organizations have been involved with our efforts from last year and assisted in sharing information with their constituents. They are very interested in the area of asset development and in learning other ideas for assisting opeople with disabilities to improve their financial fututres. RI is unique in that we are a small state in which people can access any community within 50 minutes and people know the various organizations very well which is helpful for purposes of communication and collaboration.

We have been utilizing our own website (www.riddc.org), partner websites and our agency newsletters to distribute information about asset development, EITC and the activities of the RI REIT. We are in close contact with the state social workers who provide case management assistance to adults with developmental disabilities, the Disability Navigator and the state Vocational Rehabilitation counselors who will continue to be informed of any technical information about EITC and the RI REIT as well as sponsored events so they can pass the word to individuals they support as well as familiy members. We have and will continue to share information about EITC to be posted to the state Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospital's website. Statewide family organizations who work with people with disabilities are on our mailing list and will continue to receive information. In addition members of our workgroup will also help to spread the word about any planned activities through a variety of outreach efforts including newsletters, emails, website articles, news releases, etc.. We will host at least one statewide informational Tax Saturday in an accessible location within the state in January 2010. The Providence Mayor's Office has been involved with our efforts in the last few years and will continue to assist with publicity about planned events.