Michelle Reyes Joins Secret Garden

Born and raised as part of a large deaf family in Brooklyn, Michelle Reyes set her sights on giving back to the community after graduating from Gallaudet University.

This year, she joined Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Domestic Violence program as a social worker, counseling both Deaf/HOH and hearing individuals. We caught up with Michelle to talk about her first year with BFL.

How did you learn about Barrier Free Living, and what drew you to our mission?

I learned about Barrier Free Living when I was working as a Deafness Advocate for the Brooklyn Center of the Disabled many years ago, however my first experience working with Barrier Free Living was in 2007 as a BSW intern for Gallaudet University. Having firsthand experience as a person with a disability and working as a social worker allows me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities.

What is it that you find most unique about the agency, in relation to the work you are doing here?  

While there are many other Domestic Violence programs for able people, BFL only services people with disabilities which in itself is unique.

What do you hope to accomplish in your first year, any particular goals or projects you are looking forward to?

Providing my clients with access to services they need to live a safe, productive and independent life is and will always be my goal.

What do you like to do in your spare time, when not at work?

When I am not working, I am tending to my very active 3 year old. We spend time sightseeing and a lot of quality time with family and friends.


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NY People With Disabilities Seek Better Transit System

amNewYork reports: The city’s transportation network is a massive system of subways and tens of thousands of buses and taxis. But the 800,000 New Yorkers living with disabilities only get to use a fraction of what is available to the average person.

Nearly 25 years after the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 became law, more of the transportation network has opened up to people who use wheelchairs, walking aids or are visually impaired. Yet much of it is still off limits, frustrating advocates and the disabled riders who must pre-plan their travels well in advance and plot roundabout routes to get to their destinations.

Read the story.

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Shine The Light On DV In Harlem

Manhattan Legal Services, the host agency for the Upper Manhattan Domestic Violence Services Collaborative, brings the Shine the Light On Domestic Violence message to  Harlem on the evening of October 27, 2014.

Four Walks are being organized, one from each direction in Harlem.  The Walks will start at 5:30pm and convene at the State Office Building for a Speak Out.  Lights go purple at 6pm.  The event promises to raise the community’s level of awareness on the prevalence and insidiousness of domestic violence while also highlighting the strengths and resources available right within the neighborhood.

Click here to learn more about Shine The Light on Domestic Violence.

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TV Networks Featuring More Characters With Disabilities

Disability Scoop Reports: The number of characters with disabilities appearing on broadcast television is on the rise, according to a new analysis.

Eleven characters with disabilities are expected to be featured regularly on scripted prime-time programs on ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC this season, up from eight last year.

The findings come from a report released Wednesday on diversity in television that’s conducted annually by GLAAD, a media advocacy organization for the gay and lesbian community. The review looks at the number of characters representing various minority groups — including people with disabilities — during the 2014-2015 television season, which just began.

Read more.

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