August 2020 Newsletter: Steve Woodard retires after over a decade with LIFTT
Congratulations to Steve Woodard on his July 31 retirement. Steve has been a dedicated and appreciated member of LIFTT’s staff for more than ten years. As an IL Specialist, Steve’s devotion and faithful service to LIFTT’s consumers will be missed.
He is an all-around great guy and we wish him the best of luck on his new adventure.
August 2020 Newsletter: Responding to COVID-19
Weathering the pandemic is difficult for all humans, but for disabled people, it can often be devastating.
Carlos Ramalho, executive director of Living Independently for Today and Tomorrow (LIFTT) said, “in many cases, people with disabilities face a greater negative impact during challenging world-wide events.” Normally, LIFTT hosts classes, counseling sessions, and peer groups, on site, but as a safety precaution, the office remains closed. LIFTT is committed to serving disabled individuals and their families in all ways possible during this crisis.
Through the CARES Act, the federal government awarded LIFTT a major grant which specifically targets individuals and families who are experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19. A portion of LIFTT’s grant was used to assemble kits carrying cleaning disinfectants, hygiene products and face masks. Funds also are available for a variety of expenses, including financial assistance to clients to cover household expenses such as rent, utilities, and access to technology.
To access these funds, applicants must go through LIFTT’s information and referral process. Recipients can only receive COVID-19 funds once. The funds must be distributed by September 30, 2021, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Please contact LIFTT at (406) 259-5181 or via our website at liftt.org/contact to discuss the application process and whether you and/or your family are eligible.
August 2020 Newsletter: Take our Virtual Programming Survey
As a center for independent living LIFTT is committed to provide people with disabilities accessible, affirming educational and social programming. However, we need your help! Please take a few moments to fill out the survey found in the link below and check the topics that you would be interested in seeing LIFTT cover in upcoming virtual programming.
Completed surveys can be returned to Jed Barton, LIFTT Outreach & Government Affairs Coordinator, 1201 Grand Avenue Billings Montana 59102 or via email email@example.com.
August 2020 Newsletter: Alexa, where can I get an Echo Dot for free?”
LIFTT uses grant from Billings Community Foundation to provide consumers with the Amazon smart speaker
Echo Dots are free to LIFTT consumers and peers thanks to a generous grant from the Billings Community Foundation.
The Echo Dot (3rd gen) is Amazon’s most popular smart speaker and allows you to make calls,control smart home devices, and listen to music, news, jokes, weather forecasts and much more.
Supply is limited and will be distributed on first-come-first-served basis. For more information about how to obtain an Echo Dot from LIFTT contact us at (406) 259-5181 or through our website at liftt.org/contact.
August 2020 Newsletter: Meet the Staff: Jed Barton
Meet Jed Barton, history buff, trivia expert, and fervid advocate of cultural change.
Jed brings to his job a passion for enhancing the lives of the Independent Living community. He splits his time between communicating with advocates, legislative committees, working on public policy initiatives and assisting disabled people navigate the confusing maze of government regulations, applications, and independent living skills.
Jed has cerebral palsy and autism. He grew up in Billings and felt he was fortunate to have completed “nine-tenths” of his education in mainstream classrooms where he received the help he needed to succeed. His efforts resulted in a B.A. in History with a minor in Political Science from Montana State University Billings. While attending MSUB, Jed participated in the university’s College Bowl team, which won the Northwest Regional three consecutive years, earning three trips to Nationals. Jed believes every disabled person deserves these types of academic opportunities.
Before joining LIFTT ten years ago, Jed worked as a journalist and for Montana political campaigns. He finds it rewarding to apply his knowledge to help LIFTT consumers achieve their personal goals. He also finds fulfillment in his work throughout the country to foster cultural and political change.
With a head for trivia and a heart for change, Jed strives to provide full access for the disabled, and to reach more people who will benefit from LIFTT resources.
August 2020 Newsletter: Now That’s Entertainment
Free online options for arts and culture abound during pandemic
Stave off boredom and immerse yourself in great entertainment with the click of a mouse! Thanks to the generosity of local, national and international arts and literature organizations, you have access to a multitude of free options that will lift your spirits and pique your interests.
Tippet Rise Art Center located near Fishtail, offers recordings of classical music concerts from internationally known musicians.
More great local performances can be found at the Billings Symphony Orchestra’s online Symphony Favorites series.
Elsewhere on the world wide web two premier British institutions, the National Theatre and Glyndebourne Opera offer fabulous free productions. The National Theatre streams a new production every Thursday while the Glydebourne Opera does the same each Sunday.
If you are a bookworm or a film buff, you can check out a variety of audiobooks, music, and videos at the Billings Public Library. What’s more, the library offers over 500 online courses ranging from how to bake cookies to studying civil and criminal law.
So, kick back and enhance your life with music, films, literature, and virtual classes. Enjoy!
August 2020 Newsletter: Online Wellness Classes to Combat Isolation and Loneliness During Pandemic
As in person classes and groups that many rely on remain suspended;The Independent Living Research Utilization’s IL Net and the Partners in Care Foundation have teamed up to provide access to several online wellness programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Programs offered include:
Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program
Participate in low-impact exercises and gentle activities to help increase joint flexibility and range of motion, and to help maintain muscle strength. Sessions take place for 1 hour twice per week for 6 weeks. All you need is an internet-connected device with a camera to participate.
Try Bingocize at home to exercise and connect with others! It’s a 10-week online health promotion program combining Bingo with fall prevention exercises and health education. Bingo games are twice per week for 1 hour. All you need is an internet-connected device to get the fun started. (English only)
Chronic Pain Self-Management Program
If you or someone you love is dealing with ongoing pain, this workshop is for you. Workshop participants report less pain, more energy, and improved independence! This is an online workshop with 2 ½-hour sessions, once per week, for 6 weeks. All you need is an internet-connected device to participate.
Diabetes Self-Management Program
If you or someone you care for has diabetes, you know it can feel like it’s taking over your life. But there are things you can do to feel better and take control of your health! This online workshop has 2 ½-hour sessions, once per week, for 6 weeks. All you need is an internet-connected device to participate.
This program teaches practical everyday skills like problem-solving, nutritious eating, and relaxation techniques that help those living with chronic conditions. This online workshop consists of 2 ½-hour sessions, once per week for 6 weeks. All you need is an internet-connected device to participate.
Healthier Living Tool Kit
Know someone without access to a computer or internet that would benefit from learning more about Healthier Living? This workshop is for them! Participants receive a mailed tool kit that walks them through information focused on better managing their health. They participate through small group phone calls for 30 minutes, once per week, for 6 weeks. All they need to participate is a phone.
Diabetes Self-Management Tool Kit
If you know someone who would like to better manage their diabetes but doesn’t have access to the internet, this workshop may be a good fit for them! Participants receive a mailed tool kit with tools to manage diabetes and participate in small group phone calls for 30 minutes, once per week, for 6 weeks. All they need to participate is a phone. Available starting in late May.
Diabetes Prevention Program
Do you have a diagnosis from your physician of prediabetes? Good news! Prediabetes can be reversed. Through this program access a personal health coach and meet with a small group to get tips and support on how to make healthier food choices, be more active, and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. This is a 1-year online workshop with 1-hour sessions (16 weekly meetings plus 2 biweekly and 8 monthly meetings). All you need is the internet, a connected device and a diagnosis of prediabetes from your physician to participate.
There is no charge for these programs. To learn more or register for one of these classes call Partners Community Wellness at: 818-403-5452, send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.picf.org/online-wellness-programs/