RISE Center’s Plan of Action Concerning COVID-19 / Coronavirus

Because of the COVID-19 / Coronavirus Pandemic, RISE CIL staff is working remotely effective noon, March 16. Our offices are closed and we will limit contact with consumers to phone calls, so please do not hesitate to contact us at 409-832-2599 (TTY) and leave a message. A staff member will return your call within 2 business days.

 

We are setting up protocols to maintain as much contact as feasible with consumers. More information will be forthcoming.

RISE Provides Information Regarding COVID-19 / Coronavirus

(All information is provided by the CDC and links are up-to-date information.)

CDC Information on COVID-19

People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19

If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should:

  • Stock up on supplies.
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible.
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease

If a COVID-19 outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time. (An outbreak is when a large number of people suddenly get sick.) Depending on how severe the outbreak is, public health officials may recommend community actions to reduce people’s risk of being exposed to COVID-19. These actions can slow the spread and reduce the impact of disease.

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

COVID-19: What Older Adults Need to Know
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Jay Butler, Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases at CDC, describes preventative measures to help protect older adults from COVID-19.

Get Ready for COVID-19 Now
  • Have supplies on hand
    • Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
    • If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
    • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
    • Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.
  • Take everyday precautions
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Take everyday preventive actions
      • Clean your hands often
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
      • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
      • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
      • Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
      • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
      • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
      • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
      • Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruise ships.
  • If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to further reduce your risk of being exposed to this new virus.
    • Stay home as much as possible.
      • Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks
  • Have a plan for if you get sick:
    • Consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
    • Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.
    • Determine who can provide you with care if your caregiver gets sick

Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs

  • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

What to Do if You Get Sick
  • Stay home and call your doctor
  • Call your healthcare provider and let them know about your symptoms. Tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help them take care of you and keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
  • If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home. Follow CDC instructions for how to take care of yourself at home.
  • Know when to get emergency help
  • Get medical attention immediately if you have any of the emergency warning signs listed above.

What Others can do to Support Older Adults
Community Support for Older Adults
  • Community preparedness planning for COVID-19 should include older adults and people with disabilities, and the organizations that support them in their communities, to ensure their needs are taken into consideration.
    • Many of these individuals live in the community, and many depend on services and supports provided in their homes or in the community to maintain their health and independence.
  • Long-term care facilities should be vigilant to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19. Information for long-term care facilities can be found here.
Family and Caregiver Support
  • Know what medications your loved one is taking and see if you can help them have extra on hand.
  • Monitor food and other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a back-up plan.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food items to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores.
  • If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.

Make Your Voice Heard – VOTE!!!

Texas Secretary of State – Important 2020 Election Dates

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 – Primary Election
First day to file for a place on the Primary ballot for precinct chair candidates. Tuesday, September 10, 2019
First day to file for all other candidates for offices that are regularly scheduled to be on the Primary ballot; first day for independent candidates to file declaration of intent. Saturday, November 9, 2019
Filing deadline for candidates; filing deadline for independent candidates to file declaration of intent. Monday, December 9, 2019 at 6:00 PM
First day to apply for a ballot by mail using Application for a Ballot by Mail (ABBM) or Federal Postcard Application (FPCA). Wednesday, January 1, 2020*

*First day to file does not move because of New Year’s Day holiday. An “Annual ABBM” or FPCA for a January or February 2020 election may be filed earlier, but not earlier than the 60th day before the date of the January or February election.

Last Day to Register to Vote Monday, February 3, 2020
First Day of Early Voting Tuesday, February 18, 2020*

*First business day after Presidents’ Day

Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail (Received, not Postmarked) Friday, February 21, 2020
Last Day of Early Voting Friday, February 28, 2020
Last day to Receive Ballot by Mail Tuesday, March 3, 2020 (Election Day) at 7:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is not postmarked, OR Wednesday, March 4, 2020 (next business day after Election Day) at 5:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is postmarked by 7:00 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day (unless overseas or military voter deadlines apply)4
Saturday, May 2, 2020 – Uniform Election Date (Limited)
Authority Conducting Elections Local Political Subdivisions

(County-ordered elections may not be held on this date. County Election Official may, but is not required to, contract to provide election services to political subdivisions holding elections on this date.).

Deadline to post NEW HB 305 notice.1 September 1, 2019*

*NEW LAW: Effective Sunday, September 1, 2019 (HB 305 affects political subdivisions with taxing authority) 1

Deadline to Post Notice of Candidate Filing Deadline (Local Political Subdivisions Only)1 Monday, December 16, 2019 for local political subdivisions that have a first day to file for their candidates1
First Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail Wednesday, January 1, 2020*

*First day to file does not move because of New Year’s Day holiday. An “Annual ABBM” or FPCA for a January or February 2020 election may be filed earlier, but not earlier than the 60th day before the date of the January or February election.

First Day to File for a Place on the General Election Ballot (Local Political Subdivisions Only)1 Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Last Day to Order General Election or Special Election on a Measure Friday, February 14, 2020
Last Day to File for a Place on the General Election Ballot (Local Political Subdivisions Only)2 Friday, February 14, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

See note below relating to four-year terms3

Last Day to File a Declaration of Write-in Candidacy (Local Political Subdivisions Only) Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Last Day to Register to Vote Thursday, April 2, 2020
First Day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance Monday, April 20, 2020
Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail (Received, not Postmarked) Monday, April 20, 2020 (deadline falls on San Jacinto Day, moves to preceding business day)
Last Day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Last day to Receive Ballot by Mail Saturday, May 2, 2020 (Election Day) at 7:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is not postmarked, OR Monday, May 4, 2020 (next business day after Election Day) at 5:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is postmarked by 7:00 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day (unless overseas or military voter deadlines apply)4
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 – Primary Runoff Election
First day to apply for a ballot by mail using Application for a Ballot by Mail (ABBM) or Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) Wednesday, January 1, 2020*

*First day to file does not move because of New Year’s Day holiday. An “Annual ABBM” or FPCA for a January or February 2020 election may be filed earlier, but not earlier than the 60th day before the date of the January or February election.

Last Day to Register to Vote Monday, April 27, 2020
First Day of Early Voting Monday, May 18, 2020
Last Day to Apply by Mail
(Received, not Postmarked)
Friday, May 15, 2020
Last Day of Early Voting Friday, May 22, 2020
Last Day to Receive Ballot by Mail Tuesday, May 26, 2020 (Election Day) at 7:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is not postmarked, OR Wednesday, May 27, 2020 (next business day after Election Day) at 5:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is postmarked by 7:00 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day (unless overseas or military voter deadlines apply)4
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 – Uniform Election Date
Deadline to post NEW HB 305 notice.1 November 3, 2019*

*NEW LAW: Effective Sunday, September 1, 2019 (HB 305 affects political subdivisions with taxing authority) 1

Deadline to Post Notice of Candidate Filing Deadline (Local Political Subdivisions Only)1 Thursday, June 18, 2020 for local political subdivisions that have a first day to file for their candidates1
First Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail Wednesday, January 1, 2020*

*First day to file does not move because of New Year’s Day holiday. An “Annual ABBM” or FPCA for a January or February 2020 election may be filed earlier, but not earlier than the 60th day before the date of the January or February election.

First Day to File for a Place on the General Election Ballot (Local Political Subdivisions Only)1 Saturday, July 18, 2020
First Day to File a Declaration of Write-in Candidacy (General Election for State and County Officers) Saturday, July 18, 2020
Last Day to Order General Election or Special Election on a Measure Monday, August 17, 2020
Last Day to File for a Place on the General Election Ballot (Local Political Subdivisions Only)2 Monday, August 17, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
Last Day to File a Declaration of Write-in Candidacy (General Election for State and County Officers) Monday, August 17, 2020
Last Day to File a Declaration of Write-in Candidacy (Local Political Subdivisions Only) Friday, August 21, 2020
Last Day to Register to Vote Monday, October 5, 2020*
First Day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance Monday, October 19, 2020*
Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail
(Received, not Postmarked)
Friday, October 23, 2020
Last Day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance Friday, October 30, 2020
Last day to Receive Ballot by Mail Tuesday, November 3, 2020 (Election Day) at 7:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is not postmarked, OR Wednesday, November 4, 2020 (next business day after Election Day) at 5:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is postmarked by 7:00 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day (unless overseas or military voter deadlines apply)4

1 Under new law, most local entities now have a “first day” to file.

For the few entities who do not have a first day to file: For the May 2, 2020 election, Wednesday, January 15, 2020 is the deadline to post notice of candidate filing deadline for entities that do not have a first day to file for their candidates.  However, pursuant to NEW LAW, for local (taxing) political subdivisions, the deadline is September 1, 2019 (the effective date of HB 305, 2019). For the November 3, 2020 election, Monday, July 20, 2020 is the deadline to post notice of candidate filing deadline for local political subdivisions that do not have a first day to file for their candidates. (If the 30th day before last day on which candidate may file falls on a Saturday, deadline moves to next business day).  However, pursuant to NEW LAW, for local (taxing) political subdivisions, the deadline is November 3, 2019 (one year before election day).

Local political subdivisions include: cities, school districts, water districts, hospital districts, and any other local government entity that conducts elections. Many of these elections are conducted on the May uniform election date. Note: Counties may also be holding local proposition (measure) elections on May 2, 2020.

2 Filing deadlines: generally, the filing deadline is the 78th day prior to Election Day. The Code may provide a different special election filing deadline. See Section 201.054 of the Texas Election Code (the “Code”). Write-in deadlines for general and special elections vary; the deadline for most local (city, school, other) special elections is now the same day as the filing deadline for application for a place on the ballot in a May election or November election.

3 If no candidate for a four-year term has filed an application for a place on the ballot for a city office, the filing deadline for that office is extended to 5 p.m. of the 57th day before the election. For the May 2, 2020 election, this is Friday, March 6, 2020. See Section 143.008 of the Code.

4 Please note that pursuant to House Bills 1151 and 929 (2017), different deadlines apply to the last day to receive ballots sent by the following: 1) non-military and military voters who mailed ballots from overseas and submitted a regular state Application for Ballot By Mail (“ABBM”), 2) non-military voters who mailed ballots from overseas and who submitted a Federal Postcard Application (“FPCA”), and (3) military voters who mailed ballots domestically or from overseas and who submitted an FPCA. See Secs. 86.007, 101.001 and 101.057 of the Code. Please contact the Elections Division of the Office of the Texas Secretary of State at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683) for additional information.

Office Closure

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In lieu of the National Day of Mourning for Former President George H. W. Bush, RISE Center will be closed tomorrow, December 5, 2018 to honor the life and accomplishments of the former president. We will resume normal business hours Thursday, December 6th at 8 am.

Former President George H.W. Bush passed away last Friday. In 1990, Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life.

In this article shared by Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities Lex Frieden is interviewed about Bush’s role in passing the law. Frieden, a professor at UTHealth and former director of theNational Council on Disability, is considered one of the architects of the ADA.

Attached below is the link:

President Bush Signed American with Disabilities Act

RISE Center Joins Joni & Friends to Provide Wheelchairs to Southeast Texans Affected by Hurricane Harvey

The nonprofit, Joni & Friends, delivered wheelchairs to RISE Center for individuals who lost or received damage to wheelchairs because of flooding from Hurricane Harvey.   Joni & Friends “Wheels for the World” program provides wheelchairs worldwide to those with mobility related disabilities.  Wheelchairs are provided on a first come first serve basis by calling RISE Center at (409) 832-2599.

kellie chairs

RISE Attended the Lamar University Access Transition Fair. Did You?

RISE Center was invited to attend the Lamar University Disability Resource Center Access Transition Fair for students with disabilities. The Fair is designed to assist students who are transitioning from High School to Post-Secondary Education (College, Skills Training), and/or Work. The Fair was a great success and had a multitude of vendors with great information for transitioning students. RISE was honored to be a part.

Students and teachers lined the vendor tables that provide valuable information for their future endeavors.

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Our RISE Center table featured a few gifts of encouragement, along with our informational brochures and, of course, we were there to discuss options and goals for the future!

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…and there were some guests in attendance as well! A couple of the most popular guests were two of Lamar’s very own celebrities!

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Along with the vendor tables, Lamar had some very informative guest speakers.

Do You Have Transportation Issues or Concerns? Good News!

Do you have transportation issues or concerns? Good News! Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission wants to hear from you! …and thus, have set up four accessible locations throughout the Golden Triangle in which the public can comment. Times, locations, and contact information are provided in the enclosed image. Should the image not be accessible, please call our office for more information at 409-832-2599. Hope to see you there!

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Accessible Voting

RISE Center is extremely fortunate to have the Jefferson County Voter Registrar’s Office in attendance in our center today. They spoke to us about Voter Accessibility and the MANY options that are available to consumers that have disabilities. These Voter Accessibility options include:

(Consumers served by Hardin and Orange counties will be met with the same available options as well. You can call Hardin County Voter Registration Office at 409-246-5185 or the Orange County Office at 409-882-7973)

DISABLED ACCESS UNITS (DAU’s)

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  1. Disable Access Units (DAU) are wider at the base and allow for easier wheelchair accessibility.
  2. DAU’s have audio capability that allows a voter to listen to the instructions for voting and the ballot information to aide in making the voters selections.
  3. The buttons have braille to assist our visually impaired voters.

Voter Assistants

  1. Voters may use voter assistants to assist them in the voting process, by law; the voter assistant may not DIRECT the voter on how to vote, but may assist in the process of voting after signing the oath of assistance.
  2. A voter assistant may not be the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employer, or an officer or agent of a labor union to which the voter belongs.
  3. ALL poll workers sign the oath of assistance and may assist a voter in the voting process if the voter asks.

Curbside Voting

  1. Curbside voting [sic] is a means in which the voter does not physically have to enter the polling place to participate in the voting process.
  2. The voter may have an assistant that goes into the polling place with the voter’s valid form of photo ID and checks the voter in. The poll workers will then bring the voting equipment to the vehicle, at the curb, so the voter can cast their ballot.
  3. Call the Jefferson County Voter Registration office at 409-835-8760 prior to curbside voting, for tips in expediting the process.

Voting by mail

  1. Any voter over the age of 65, or a voter with a disability is entitled to vote by mail (as well as [sic] voters expected to be out of the County during voting)
  2. Contact the Jefferson County Voter Registration Office for an Application for Ballot By Mail to ensure you receive your ballot.
  3. Voters over the age of 65, or voters with a disability qualify for an Annual Application which entitles them to a ballot for every election the County conducts in that calendar year.

Voting Tips

  1. Call the Jefferson County Voter Registrar’s Office at 409-835-8760 to inquire about long lines prior to arriving at a polling location.
  2. Jefferson County has Vote Centers, so ANY registered voter can cast their ballot at ANY of the 40 polling locations on Election Day (just like during EARLY VOTING).
  3. Visit the Jefferson County Voter Registration Website for important election information and calendars at www.jeffersonelections.com.

(Information courtesy of the Jefferson County Registrar’s Office)