White Cane Safety Day

In case you’re not aware, this Sunday, October 15, is White Cane Safety Day!

October 15th was first proclaimed White Cane Safety Day in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, in recognition of the growing independent living movement of blind and visually impaired communities led by the National Federation of the Blind. The white cane is now seen as a symbol for independent living for folks who are blind or visually impaired, and White Cane Safety Day brings awareness to the long sought after independence to live as you please that the National Federation of the Blind fought and continues to fight for.
October 15th is absolutely a day worth celebrating.

Expressive Art Group – Painting Pumpkins


It’s that time of the year when pumpkins are everywhere!

Let’s join in on the October spirit by painting some pumpkins!

Uptown Bill’s
730 South Dubuque Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

Tuesday, October 3rd at 4:30PM


R Place Peer Center
10 East Benton Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

Friday, October 27th at 3:00PM


Medicaid Privatization Forum

Has Medicaid Privatization in Iowa Achieved its Goals?

A Medicaid Privatization Forum

November 13, 2017

2:00pm – 4pm at the Coralville Public Library

(Please park on the lower level)

Listen to the report on the status as seen by Iowa Medicaid Enterprise and the 3 MCO’s.

Then, hear the status as seen by consumers, providers, and advocates. *

Explore what steps can be taken to improve the program.

The purpose of this event is:

To report on the status of Medicaid Privatization in Iowa and to explore what can be done to improve the program.

The three Medicaid Privatization goals were:

  • Improve quality and access
  • Promote accountability for outcomes
  • Create a more predictable and sustainable Medicaid budget.
    • It was going to save money.

Your story & your suggestions are important!

We hope to see you there!

*If you wish to share your story or suggest what can be done to improve the program – please email welshbob@aol.com

This forum is sponsored by the Johnson County Task Force on Aging and Johnson County Case Management.

Expressive Art Group: Nature Print

exp arts example nature print.pngBefore Summer leaves this year, let’s venture outside and soak up the last of the Summer Sun with Nature Print Paper!  Thanks to some simple chemistry, this special paper reacts to sunlight creating print images from items placed on top of the paper.  We will be setting up our designs and sun printing our work, weather permitting.  Once the design develops, we soak the paper in water for a minute, dry the paper, then our artwork is complete!

R Place Peer Center
10 East Benton Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

Friday, August 25th at 3:00PM

Uptown Bill’s
730 South Dubuque Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

Tuesday, September 5th at 4:30PM

Adventure Together: An Adaptive Outing and Fun Run


Place: Cedar Lake Trail
Time: 10am – 2pm (come when you can ~ there is no official start time)
Date: Saturday, September 30, 2017
Registration: $10.00

Participants can run, walk, or roll the trail while checking out adaptive KAYAKING and BIKING along the lake. The proceeds of this event will benefit SportAbility of Iowa & Access 2 Independence of the Eastern Iowa Corridor, two community organizations who promote the inclusion and self-determination of Iowa’s disabled population.

To register before the event day, please click below or visit our Eventbrite page here.

Eventbrite - Adventure Together: An Adaptive Outing and Fun Run

A registration table will be set up at the entrance to the event if you wish to register that day. Registration will get you access to the event activities including the raffle drawings, which will be available for participation throughout the day.

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d2965.243983452412!2d-91.6730866490047!3d41.995039079111045!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x87e4f0ae2d635ac3%3A0x991d447cc6ad177a!2sCedar+Lake+Loop%2C+Cedar+Rapids%2C+IA+52402!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1503499819412&w=600&h=450]

Voter Registration Drive: Update!

We want to send a big THANK YOU out to everyone that came out to register to vote over National Disability Registration Week!

We had a great time at both the Cedar Rapids Public Library and the Coralville Public Library, and are so thankful to them for hosting us!

Additionally, we want to thank Julie from the Johnson County League of Women Voters for donating her time and energy to help with the Coraliville event.

Expressive Arts: Yarn Painting

IMG_0663In the spirit of summer, Expressive Art Groups will be making yarn painted flowers!  We will be gluing strips of yarn to create colorful flower images.  Patterns will be provided in case anyone would like extra direction, but feel free to be as creative and unique as you would like in your floral creations!

R Place Peer Center
10 East Benton Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

Friday, July 28th at 3:00PM

Uptown Bill’s
730 South Dubuque Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

Tuesday, August 1st at 4:30PM

Expressive Arts: Salt Fireworks



Join us on Tuesday, July 11th at Uptown Bill’s for this month’s Expressive Art Group!

This month we will be painting salt fireworks, so bring your July 4th enthusiasm!


Uptown Bill’s Coffee House
730 South Dubuque Street
Iowa City, Iowa 52240

Tuesday, July 11th
4:30PM – 6:00PM

Voter Registration Drive

Access 2 Independence is participating in a national effort to make the DISABILITY VOTE more influential. This effort, known as the REV UP Campaign, has designated July 17-21, 2017 as National Disability Voter Registration Week in advance of the November elections.

Access 2 Independence will be participating in this effort by holding two voter registration drives, one in Linn County on July 18th and the other in Johnson County on July 20th.  Additional information about each event can be found below.  We will have both regular and the new large print voter registration documents available.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

Linn County Voter Registration

Cedar Rapids Public Library
450 5th Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

July 18th
1:00PM to 4:00PM

We will be located on the main floor in the children’s area

Johnson County Voter Registration

Coralville Public Library
1401 5th St.
Coralville, IA 52241

July 20th
10:00AM to 1:00PM

We will be located on the main floor in the lobby area

Save Medicaid Action Alert!

Hello everyone,

As many of you know, there is a bill (the American Health Care Act) being pushed through the Senate that would both cap benefits and cut over $800 billion of Medicaid, leading to a decrease in necessary community services that support independent living, as well as making healthcare unavailable to millions of people.

 Information on the impact of this legislation if passed

Decimates Medicaid with $834 billion in cuts over the next decade(Center for Budget and Policy Priorities)

  • By ending the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, the AHCA will reduce Medicaid enrollment by 14 million people by 2026
  • Of the 70 million people who currently rely on Medicaid, 10 million are non-elderly people with disabilities

Results in 23 million people losing their health care by 2026

Does not protect people with pre-existing conditions

Increases the likelihood of more people with disabilities going into nursing homes and institutions

Reduces or eliminates essential health benefits including: prescription drugs, mental health services, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, and more.


The Senate plans on putting this bill to a vote before the 4th of July, so we must act quickly to stop this bill now.  While we do have limited time, we can make a difference.  We only need one or two more Senators to say “NO” in order to stop this bill.  If you are able, please set up a meeting with your Senator’s staff, or call them and follow up with an email if possible.

To make this as easy as possible, we are including contact information for Iowa Senators, and a script in case you want something to go off of when talking with your Senator’s staff.

Also, it is important for all US Senators to know that we the people demand hearings be scheduled for this bill with appropriate time for bipartisan input.  To directly ask for hearings, call the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions) Committee and the Senate Finance Committee (contact information below).

Iowa Senator and Senate Contact Information

Joni Ernst – (R – IA)
111 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3254
Contact: www.ernst.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Chuck Grassley – (R – IA)
135 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3744
Contact: www.grassley.senate.gov/contact

Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions) Committee
(202) 224-5375

Senate Finance Committee
(202) 224-4515


Below is a sample script to use when talking with your Senators.  Please personalize your message as much as possible to show your Senators just how much this bill will affect you and your loved ones.


“My name is (NAME) and I am a constituent of Senator (NAME).

I am calling to ask Senator (NAME) to vote NO on any legislation that will cap and cut Medicaid and put healthcare out of reach for millions of Americans, including the ACA repeal bill.

I oppose the “American Health Care Act” because it cuts Medicaid support services for people with disabilities living in the community.  Without these community services, people will be forced to move into nursing facilities which actually costs Medicaid *$300,000 more per person and is a step backwards in protecting disability rights.  Additionally, this bill will make healthcare unavailable to millions of people.

People (like me / in the disability community) rely on Medicaid for our health and independence, and this bill would be detrimental to people with disabilities in (STATE).  I hope I can count on you to stand up and protect the rights of the disability community in (STATE) and around the country!”

*Referenced from the National Council on Disability (an independent federal agency that makes policy recommendations to the President, Congress and federal agencies).


While it is important to talk with our Iowa Senators, there are some key Senators in other states that may be more receptive to our message.  If you have any family/friends in these states, let them know how they can make a difference by forwarding them this message and/or asking them to call their Senators.  A list of priority Senators can be found below:

Priority Senators in other states:

Alaska: Murkowski and Sullivan
Arkansas: Cotton
Arizona: Flake
Colorado: Gardner
Georgia: Isakson
Indiana: Young
Louisiana: Cassidy
Maine: Collins
Missouri: Blunt
Montana: Daines
Nebraska: Fischer and Sasse
Nevada: Heller
Ohio: Portman
Pennsylvania: Toomey
South Carolina: Graham
Tennessee: Alexander and Corker
West Virginia: Capito
Wisconsin: Johnson

Finally, remember to spread the word.

The more people involved, the louder our voice!

Thank you in advance for your hard work.

Together we can stop this bill and make our voices heard!