PopGym Self Defense Workshop At Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter

November 16, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Working from a philosophy that takes both a physical and an emotional approach to self defense, PopGym held a workshop for the residents of Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter this October. (Take a short virtual tour of Freedom House here.) We caught up with PopGym team member Grey to find out a bit more about this innovative organization in New York City. BFL: How did you get… read more

No Barriers Summit: Innovation For People With Disabilities

November 13, 2018 Current Events, Disability News 0 Comments
Blog contributor Julia Alberino retired in 2011 after more than thirty years as a health care administrator in both the public and private sectors. She was a frequent speaker at professional conferences, and co-founder of an advocacy group that worked to maintain and improve services for Medicaid beneficiaries, including elderly and disabled individuals. “What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.” That’s the motto printed on the tee shirt given to all participants in… read more

Unique Issues Face By Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Survivors of Domestic Violence

November 8, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
This month's contributor,  Nicolyn Plummer is a senior social worker and coordinator of outreach and advocacy of the Deaf Services Initiative, in conjunction with Secret Garden and Freedom House to enhance accessibility in serving Deaf victims. Sexual assault victims who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing face unique issues compared to those who are hearing when it comes to reporting the assault. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reports that approximately one in five hearing women have been raped in their lifetime… read more

Insights From Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Program

November 8, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Since 1990, Barrier Free Living’s community-based Secret Garden program has been working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities providing counseling, support groups, occupational therapy and case management services. During October’s Domestic Violence Awareness month, the team is busy with outreach, events and presentations. They also offer domestic violence related trainings year-round (view a short film about the trainings here). We touched based with the team, to take a closer look at what makes this dynamic program so unique and valuable. What… read more

Spread The Sparkle Fund Raiser Benefits Barrier Free Living Domestic Violence Programs

November 6, 2018 Current Events, Our Stories 0 Comments
Spread the Sparkle hosted an event this November, raising funds to produce an annual holiday party for the families at Barrier Free Living's domestic violence programs. Below is a message from the Spread the Sparkle team, and information on how to volunteer to support this incredible annual event. Spread the Sparkle Writes:  To all of our talented practitioners, dedicated donors, interested and inspired ticket buyers… read more

Barrier Free Living Team Attends Undoing Racism Workshop

November 6, 2018 Advocacy 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team members turned out for the monthly Undoing Racism workshop this November held in New York City, led by MPG Consulting. BFL continues its commitment to “Undoing Racism” and continues to hold regular two-day intensive workshops for all new agency staff led by  MPG Consulting.  “BFL has embarked on a deliberate process of introspection to promote racial equity in its delivery system. This is an example of transformative intent… read more

A Fair Shake For Youth At Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter

November 6, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
A Fair Shake for Youth, a New York City based organization that helps kids build social and emotional skills through a hands-on therapy dog program, held workshops at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House Domestic Violence shelter this October. Freedom House offers crisis shelter to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, and their families. (Watch a virtual tour of Freedom House here.) Fair Shake works with therapy dog teams… read more

Yueqin Li Named Barrier Free Living’s Chief Fiscal Officer

October 30, 2018 Our Stories 0 Comments
Joining Barrier Free Living in 2004 as an accounting intern, Yueqin Li has risen through the ranks to become the agency's Chief Fiscal Officer by keeping a steady eye on both the mission and the bottom line. "I realized early on that my job (in accounting) is very important because the services we provide can really change people's lives," says Yueqin. For nearly 40 years Barrier Free Living has been working with people with… read more

Advocate Spotlight: Vangie Leon

October 23, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
After over a decade at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter for people with disabilities,  Family Associate/Board of Education liaison Vangie Leon is still driven by the spirit of love and compassion that she discovered when she started the job. We caught up with Vangie to talk about the work she does with children, the challenges she faces and the lessons she continues to learn. BFL: Tell us how you first became familiar… read more

Insights From Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Team

October 23, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Since 1990, Barrier Free Living's community-based Secret Garden program has been working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities providing counseling, support groups, occupational therapy and case management services. During October's Domestic Violence Awareness month, the team is busy with outreach, events and presentations. They also offer domestic violence related trainings year-round (view a short film about the trainings here). We touched based with the team, to take a… read more

Survivor Spotlight: Olivia At Freedom House

October 17, 2018 Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Last summer, after a domestic violence incident, Oliva was feeling emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually unsafe. She needed to find a way up and out for herself and her children. “The (domestic violence) incident that took place on June 5th turned everything upside down for me,” says Olivia. “I needed to get away from this abusive relationship with my children’s father. (Barrier Free Living’s) Freedom House (domestic violence shelter) has been the catalyst… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Hosts Domestic Violence Awareness Month Dinner

October 16, 2018 BFL News, Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter held a Domestic Violence Awareness Month dinner for residents and their children this month. Celebrating 12 years in New York City, Freedom House is a domestic violence shelter (90-180 day stay) for women, men and children. We serve both families and single individuals with or without disabilities. We have worked with people from 40 states and internationally and we welcome all members of the LGBTQ… read more

Survivors Art Workshop Part of Barrier Free Living Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 9, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
During October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month, residents and participants at our domestic violence programs will be sharing their work, created during art expression workshops at Freedom House and Secret Garden. We will be posting the art through the month to celebrate their strength and courage. At top art by EA. Below, first image, art by EA, second and last image art by CA, "building blocks of love" from CC… read more

Advocate Spotlight: Irma Williams

October 9, 2018 Advocacy, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
When Irma Williams joined the Barrier Free Living apartments (BFLA) social work team this past year, she brought a skill set she’d developed over a decade. Originally from Guatemala, Irma grew up in lower Manhattan and started out as a peer program assistant at Boom Health (formerly citywide harm reduction.) During her time at Boom, she earned a master’s degree in social work from Hunter College and was promoted to the social work… read more

Barrier Free Living At NYC Stock Exchange Closing Bell For Disability Employment Awareness Month

October 4, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events, Disability News 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living attended the closing bell at the NY Stock Exchange on October 3, 2018 as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Cynthia Amodeo (photo above) Barrier Free Living's Chief Program Officer was on hand at the closing bell. The NYSE welcomed Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) to ring The Closing Bell in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The agency joined a host of other agency's and individuals for the… read more

Barrier Free Living Team Walks In Bride’s March 2018

September 28, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Team members of Barrier Free Living's domestic violence programs walked in this year's Bride's March on September 26. Check out our march coverage on instagram: bfl_newyork The Gladys Ricart and Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk/Brides’ March is an annual event which was started in New York City in 2001 to remember Gladys Ricart, a Dominican woman from Washington Heights, who was murdered in New Jersey on September 26, 1999, by her abusive former… read more

September Is Deaf Awareness Month

September 14, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Deaf Awareness Month began in September 1958 as International Week of the Deaf, in commemoration of the first World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf. Barrier Free Living (BFL) has a long history of working with Deaf and hard-of-hearing clients and residents at our three domestic violence programs (Secret Garden, Freedom House, BFL Apartments). For many years, Freedom House had hearing social workers and… read more

Harlem Independent Living Center Releases Videos On HIV For Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing

September 5, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events 0 Comments
The Harlem Independent Living Center, with support from the AIDS Institute, recently completed production of five brief videos on HIV specifically for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  These landmark videos are the first of their kind, developed in sign language by and for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. https://vimeo.com/274758309 Each video is available for viewing or downloading by clicking below. The video series covers the following topics: 1.HIV: Know Your Rights… read more

Freedom House Shelter Kids School Of Rock Outing

August 23, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
The kids at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter took a special trip to see Broadway's School of Rock, thanks to support from The East Harlem Community Partnership Program/Union Settlement. Staff and 18 kids took in the sites of Time Square and enjoyed a matinee performance of the musical extravaganza, which is about a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school who discovers his students musical… read more

Angela’s Journey: Working With The OT Team At Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden DV Program

August 14, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Angela began counseling at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden community-based domestic violence program in 2014, and soon after began exploring the rich opportunities offered through the agency’s Occupational Therapy (OT) department. “Through the help of the occupational therapy team I gained courage and became more open to change,” says Angela, who has a visual impairment. “They provided a safe zone for me to be around people who have the best interest for my… read more

Freedom House Kids Summer Zoo Trip

August 7, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
The child care team organized a trip for the young tenants of Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter this month to the Bronx New York Zoo. Celebrating 12 years in New York City, Freedom House is a domestic violence shelter (90-180 day stay) for women, men and children. View a short film about Freedom House here. … read more

Pursuit Of Justice Film On Disability And Guardianship Project

July 19, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
The Pursuit of Justice, a film by Greg Gyers and an award winner at this July's Colorado International Activism Film, has launched a new poster for the documentary. The Pursuit of Justice tracks the activities of the Disability and Guardianship Project, launched by Spectrum Institute. The project over the past few years has advocated for guardianship and conservatorship reform in California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania and many other… read more

Fierce Femmes Group Begins At BFL Apartments

July 19, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
The Barrier Free Living Occupational Therapy (OT) team at BFL Apartments in the Bronx NY kick off the new "Fierce Femmes" women's empowerment group Friday, July 27. The purpose of the 4-week group is to promote social participation, physical activity, and positive self-regard. Tenants of BFL Apartments, which serves survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, will learn choreography to a new song each week. Week one will feature choreography to "7/11" by… read more

Barrier Free Living Team Member Presents On Elder Abuse At Deaf Wellness Center

July 18, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team member Nicolyn Plummer will present on Elder Abuse at the Deaf Wellness and Recreation Center in Brooklyn, NY at 10 a.m. on August 31. Nicolyn is a Senior Social Worker and the Coordinator of Outreach and Advocacy at Barrier Free Living. Learn more here.  Learn more about the Barrier Free Living Deaf Services Team here. Read our recent blog story about Elder Abuse here. … read more

Freedom House: Working With Children In Our Domestic Violence Shelter

July 17, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Contributor Sara Eldridge, LMSW, is the Assisstant Director of Social Services at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter.  Sara is a licensed social worker who received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in 2015.  Sara has been a social worker at Freedom House since 2015, where she provides individual and group counseling to adults, children and adolescents. Prior to Freedom House she worked with… read more

Barrier Free Living Team Member Presents at National Association Of The Deaf Conference

July 16, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team member Nicolyn Plummer presented at the 54th Biennial National Association of the Deaf Conference in Hartford, Connecticut on July 5, 2018 Nicolyn co-hosted the session Does Advocacy Still Exist?  with DeAnna Swope. The workshop explored  "the complexities of the systematic injustice that affects those who do harm. We will discuss in depth about how the system fails those who do harm and how do we start from there." Nicolyn is a Senior Social Worker and the Coordinator of Outreach and… read more

Barrier Free Living Team Marches In Disability Pride Parade

July 16, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events, Disability News, Uncategorized 0 Comments
Team members of Barrier Free Living marched in this year's Disability Pride Parade in New York City on July 15. Disability Pride Parades were held through the month world wide. The first Disability Pride Day was held in Boston, MA in 1990. For nearly 40 years, Barrier Free Living has been working with people with disabilities, and survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and their families, at our shelters and… read more

Barrier Free Living Marches In NYC Disability Pride Parade July 15

July 12, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team members will march in this year's Disability Pride Parade on July 15. The parade begins in Madison Square Park and marches to Union Square Park. The theme of this year's parade is express yourself! Gather in Madison Square park at 10am for an 11am kick off. More info. here. … read more

Barrier Free Living Apartments Trip To Coney Island

July 11, 2018 Current Events 2 Comments
Tenants at Barrier Free Living Apartments are coming together to plan a trip to the iconic Coney Island amusement park this summer. Barrier Free Living Apartments offers permanent homes to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, both singles and families, with support services. Past community building events include a garden club, occupational therapy workshops and a summer staff/tenant BBQ… read more

Barrier Free Living Team Member Presents At Safe Horizon

July 11, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team member Nicolyn Plummer will present at Safe Horizon on  July 16, 24 and 31  on topics related to Deafness and the deaf community. Nicolyn, who is a Social Worker and Coordinator of Outreach & Advocacy Deaf Services  at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden & Freedom House shelter will present to 200 of Safe Horizon's Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP) advocates who work in each NYPD precinct throughout the city. She will present on: Understanding Deafness Understanding… read more