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The April Update

News Post

by Trevor Jacobson | Apr 26, 2023 | Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to April, Friends of Easy Does It!

Springtime is again upon us; after an incredibly wet winter, it’s time to get out and spread the word about EDI’s commitment to empowering senior citizens and people with disabilities to live as they choose. Our first events of the year were Accessibility Awareness Day at Chabot College and our Hybrid Community Meeting at the Koret Board room in the Ed Roberts Campus. Next, we’ll be at Berkeley’s annual Juneteenth Festival; we hope to see you there!

We are also focusing on modernizing our IT equipment and operations. New laptops, phones, software, and apps made in-house will empower our team to work more efficiently and securely. Most exciting, two new Independent Living Resource Coordinators have started with EDI and are ready to help you search for attendants.

Modernizing IT and Operations

A brand new EDI workstation, running the lastest Windows/Office software donated by Microsoft.

This past month, one of our top priorities at EDI has been overhauling our IT infrastructure and operations to align them with how businesses operate in the 2020s. We have replaced most of our team’s devices with modern laptops and Android devices that will empower them to do their jobs effectively.

Thanks to generous donations from Microsoft, all devices are enrolled in and managed by EDI’s new cloud services. We are also rolling out a new Service Agreements app (created in-house) to replace our paper forms. New technologies like MFA and end-to-end encryption are being utilized for safeguarding all our communications.

Welcoming Rose and Marissa to the Team

Portrait of Rose Acampora. One of our new Independent Living Resource Coordinators.Portrait of Marissa . One of our new Independent Living Resource Coordinators.

Another critical staff position at EDI is now filled. Both Rose and Marissa are joining our team as Independent Living Resource Coordinators, and we are very fortunate to have them. Rose and Marissa use power chairs for mobility and are familiar with the challenges of finding full-time attendants.

If you are a client of EDI and struggling to find full-time attendant care or want help working with the caregiver you already employ, we encourage you to reach out to them.

Rose Acampora
Phone: (510) 438-1642 

Marissa Shaw
Phone: (510) 438-1654

The Monthly Team Lunch

Rick and Ed prepare themselves Burgers at our second monthly team lunch.

Years of social distancing, masking, and remote work during the pandemic have drastically changed how we interact. Now that conditions are improving, we have been looking for ways to bring the team at EDI closer together. This is why we are introducing monthly team pot-luck lunches to allow staff to meet face-to-face, make delicious food, and learn more about the Disability Rights Movement by watching short documentaries.

Although only some make it, those who do are genuinely happy to be there. We are looking forward to many more!

EDI at Accessibility Awareness Day

Trevor and Lavan pose behind our Outreach Booth at Chabot College's Accesibility Awareness Day.

I had a great time at Chabot College’s Accessibility Awareness Day. Our new Transportation and Wheelchair Repair Program Manager, Lavan, also joined me to spread the word about EDI’s FASTER program. FASTER provides an invaluable service for the cities it operates in (Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Emeryville, Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, and Oakland). If a user’s wheelchair or assistive device breaks down, they can call our dispatch line for roadside assistance. A repair technician will come to you and attempt repairs; if they cannot fix the problem on the spot, they will transport you to a safe place or your local wheelchair repair shop. (Only Berkeley residents can use Easy Does EDI’s wheelchair repair shop).

Chabot’s event allowed us to reach out to students with disabilities who are taking on significant new life challenges. College is hard enough as it is, and we are proud to be able to continue to provide FASTER service so they can go about their studies and their lives without fear of equipment breakdowns, leaving them stranded.

Thanks to those who attended our first Hybrid Community Meeting

Many thanks to those who chose to participate in our first and last Hybrid Community Meeting. It was a pleasure to hear from those of you who attended virtually; a few concerns came up, were already working to address them. But given the minimal interest in attending the in-person meeting, we’ll revert to fully online meetings moving forward. While also continuing to improve Registration and Sign on procedures for attendees.

Spring is a time of renewal, which is abundant this month at EDI: new faces, new technology, and better procedures. We are proud of the work our team and leadership have accomplished to realize a bigger, better, and stronger Easy Does It. There is much more to come! Thanks for your continued support. Until next month...

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