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NLS-REPORTS  May 2000

NLS-REPORTS May 2000

Subject:

Focus on Native Americans No. 00-02

From:

National Library Service for the Blind <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

NLS Documents for Network Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 22 May 2000 12:09:11 -0400

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (254 lines)

Focus on Native Americans  No. 00-02

Date: Summer 2000

Subject: Focus on Native Americans


__Report on Native American Conferences__


__First National Conference of American Indian Women with
Disabilities: Stepping Stones to Increase Employment of
American Indian Women with Disabilities__

Organized by The World Institute on Disability and
Rehabilitation International and hosted by the Mojave Indian
Tribe, February 24-March 4, 2000, Laughlin, Nevada

The Social Security Administration and other federal
agencies involved with rehabilitation services to this
population were cosponsors and brought together over two
hundred women and men within the United States involved in
the field of rehabilitation services and social security
programs, and individuals receiving such services.

Programs and workshops focused on developing personal and
professional awareness of local, state, and federal services
and resources available to Native American women with
disabilities. Another major interest area was the
development of personal empowerment for these women.

Keynote speakers included Judy Heuman, U.S. Department of
Education, who highlighted the progress disabled women are
making in education.  She supports international programs
that address the unique educational needs of disabled women.
Susan Daniels, Social Security Administration, reported on
new work incentives, and Frederic Schroeder,  Rehabilitation
Services Administration, reported on reservation-based
vocational services.  The Native American speakers included
LaDonna Fowler, American Indian Rehabilitation Rights of
Warriors; Julie Clay, American Indian Rehabilitation
Research and Training Center, Northern Arizona University;
and Linda Carroll, Intertribal Council on Deafness.

I met with Indian Health Service nurses and vocational
rehabilitation counselors.  Some were aware of aspects of
the NLS program.  In particular, they were aware of the
equipment available for use by their clients with diabetes.
They were utilizing our equipment to provide their clients
with the Voice of the Diabetic and related material.
Publications from NLS that were very well received included:
 -- Factsheet: Books for Blind and Physically Handicapped
Individuals
 -- Blindness and Visual Impairments
 -- Magazines in Special Media
 --  How Do I Do This When I Can't See What I'm Doing?

I came away from the conference with the following:

1)  Recommendation by Native American rehabilitation
counselors that agencies providing services to tribes follow
culturally sensitive protocol by contacting the tribal
leader first. Then he or she forwards information or
materials to the appropriate person.

2)  Positive interaction between disability and
rehabilitation specialists and individuals in mentoring and
networking.

3)  Development of working relationships with these groups.

The conference attendees drafted recommendations to Julie
Clark, the representative from the Presidential Task Force
on Adults with Disabilities, to provide the following:

1)  Federal support for creation of a Native American
ombudsman for each tribe to coordinate government grants and
other federal programs.

2)  Creation of a Native American Technical Center to
coordinate training of advocates in assistive technology and
related material.

__First Southeastern Regional Native American HIV/AIDS,
STDs, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Conference__

Organized and hosted by the Catawba Indian Nation Health
Service, March 28-30, 2000, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The meeting focused on issues of HIV/AIDS and other sexually
transmitted diseases (STD), as well as drug and alcohol
abuse among Native Americans east of the Mississippi.  The
emphasis was on empowerment of health care providers to
educate clients and the public on these matters.  The
speakers were representatives from several federal, state,
and community agencies that work specifically in the areas
of HIV/AIDS and STD research, prevention, and peer education
programs.  They provided epidemiological information and
statistical analysis demonstrating the degree of severity
and distribution of these diseases among Native Americans.
The data show a significant need for intense education and
preventive services.

Members of the Indian Health Service, the main provider of
health care services for American Indians on or off
reservations, were in attendance.  The demographics of
Native Americans living in the eastern United States
indicate that most do not live on federally recognized
reservations. However, many are living on state-recognized
reservations and others live in cities.  Those living in the
cities are considered "urban" or "non-affiliated."


Most of these health care providers wanted information about
diabetes, blindness, and HIV/AIDS on audio cassette.  Many
were not familiar with the NLS program and were pleased to
learn of it.  Handouts included:
-- Factsheet: Books for Blind and Physically Handicapped
Individuals
 -- Blindness and Visual Impairments
 -- Magazines in Special Media
 -- How Do I Do This When I Can't See What I'm Doing?

I came away from the conference with the following:

1)  Recommendation by community health care providers to
contact Indian Health Service hospitals, centers, and
clinics directly regarding services from NLS.
2)  Positive interaction and networking between governmental
agency representatives and community health activists.

__Recommendations__

To improve outreach to disabled Native Americans, NLS should
consider the following projects:

1)  Provide updated bibliographies of already available
material in braille and on audio cassette on diabetes,
HIV/AIDS, and alcohol abuse, listing NLS holdings and other
resources.

2)  Send informational packets of NLS material to tribal
leaders and health care providers in the Indian Health
Service hospitals, centers, and clinics. This approach was
identified as the culturally sensitive method of information
transfer.

3)  Consider distribution limits in that there are
approximately 573 tribal leaders and  approximately 541
Indian Health Service hospitals, centers, and clinics.

4)  Investigate partnerships with such organizations as the
American Dietetic Association and USDA Food and Nutrition
Information Service  as well as pharmaceutical companies to
provide educational information in alternative formats.

__Awareness__

To better understand some of the barriers in serving Native
Americans, we should be aware of the following:

1)  The terms "Native Americans", "American Indians" (AI),
and "Alaskan  Natives" (AN) are interchangeable.

2)  Tribal sovereignty supersedes federal law.  Tribes are
excluded from having to comply with the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as other federal legislation
on tribal land.

3) Agencies, organizations and individuals should respect
tribal sovereignty and cultural diversity.

4) In contrast to mainstream Euro-American perspectives,
many Native American cultures view disability as a sign of
spiritual disharmony rather than solely a physical
condition.

5)  Most tribes do not currently recognize the need to fund
disability issues.  Their overriding interests are focused
on land and water rights and achieving or protecting their
individual sovereignty.  These concerns deflect attention
from issues of disability services.

6)   Tribal members with disabilities have better access to
health care services when these services are part of the
tribal structure.

__Bibliography__

The following publications and web sites are useful in
further understanding disability issues in Native American
cultures and provide resources related to these issues.

Dwyer, Kathy, comp.  American Indian Disability Legislation
Research.  Rural Disability and Rehabilitation Research
Progress Report #2.  Missoula, MT: American Indian
Disability Legislation Project, Rural Institute on
Disabilities, University of Montana, 1999.  4p.  Free.  (52
Corbin Hall  59812).  Web site:
<http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu/rtcural>.

Dwyer, Kathy, comp.  American Indians and Disability.
RuralFacts.  Missoula, MT: American Indian Disability
Legislation Project, Rural Institute on Disabilities,
University of Montana, 2000.  4p.  Free.

Dwyer, Kathy, comp.  How Has the U.S. Government Addressed
Disability Issues?   Missoula, MT: American Indian
Disability Legislation Project, Rural Institute on
Disabilities, University of Montana,  n.d.  1p.  Free.

Dwyer, Kathy, comp.  How Have American Indian Tribes
Addressed Disability Issues? Missoula, MT: American Indian
Disability Legislation Project, Rural Institute on
Disabilites, University of Montana,  n.d.  1p.  Free.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health
Service, Indian Health Service.  Indian Health Service
Directory, 1998.  99p.  Available on the Internet at
<http://www.ihs.gov>.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health
Service, Indian Health Service.  Trends in Indian Health,
1997. 213p.  Available on the Internet at
<http://www.ihs.gov/
PublicInfo/Publications/trends97/trends97.asp>.

U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Tribal Leaders Directory. 2000.  115p.  Available on the
Internet at
<http://www.doi.gov/bureau-indian-affairs.html>.


U.S. Office of Minority Health.  Pocket Guide to Minority
Health Resources.  Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services, Office of Public Health and Science,
Office of Minority Health, 1999.  144p.  Free.  (Order from
the Office of Minority Health Division of Information and
Education, Rockwall II Building, Suite 1000, 5600 Fishers
Lane, Rockville, MD 20859).  Web site:
<http://www.omhrc.gov>.

U.S. Office of Minority Health Resource Center.  American
Indian and Alaska Native Sources of Health Materials.
Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Health and Human
Services, Office of Public Health and Science, Office of
Minority Health, 1999.  9p.  Free (P. O. Box 37337, 20013-
7337).



[Attachment: This bulletin contained an attachment that was
mailed to the network on May 19, 2000]

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