What’s New in August
by Trevor Jacobson | Aug 23, 2022 | Monthly Newsletter
Greetings, Friends of Easy Does It,
I hope you are managing to stay cool. Berkeley has been feeling as hot as the other side of the Caldecott lately! Summer is officially upon the Bay Area; remember to keep cool and stay hydrated. Whenever you need assistance, we are here for you.
As always, thank you for your continued support.
Welcome to the 2023 Fiscal Year
By Ayanna Keeton, Program Manager
We understand you may sometimes have to use our services, and we are glad to support your independence at home and in the community.
As we enter Fiscal Year 2023, which includes July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, we wanted to send out a few reminders:
All users of EDI’s services must register each year beginning July 1. Please be patient with our Dispatchers when you call us; we are in the process of updating all client demographic information, which is required to access our services. We use the information to report our funders’ general information about who we have served. We will not share your personal information without your consent unless required by law to do so.
Keep in mind that our core services include:
- Emergency Services: people with severe disabilities in Berkeley can call on us for short-term, intermittent care for urgently needed attendant care, accessible transportation, and mobility device repair. We ask that you contact Easy Does It after you have exhausted all other options to get your emergency needs met;
- Independent Living Resource Coordination is available to assist Berkeley residents in finding and maintaining in-home care workers, build skills, and relying on EDI’s emergency services as little as possible;
- Wheelchair, accessible transportation for Berkeley residents, enrolled in the City of Berkeley’s Wheelchair Van Program (Vouchers) through Berkeley Rides for Seniors & the Disabled;
- Roadside assistance for wheelchair and mobility device users. This free service is available in Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Emeryville, Hayward, Oakland, San Leandro, and San Lorenzo. Is your wheelchair, walker, or scooter broken down? Dead battery, flat tire, or joystick unresponsive? Stranded? Our Repair Technician will meet you where you are, attempt to fix the problem on the spot, and, if needed, transport you and your device to a safe place in our wheelchair-accessible lift van. Also known as FASTER (Fast Accessible Safe Transportation and Emergency Repair), this service is funded by the Alameda County Transportation Commission.
- EDI is committed to the safety of the people we serve and our staff. Be advised that when you call us for services, our Dispatchers are required to ask questions about your household’s COVID-19 health status and your emergency service needs. This is to ensure we can best serve the needs of those who contact us in a reasonable amount of time.
There’s more! Please check your email and mailbox as you will soon receive a letter from us explaining what to expect when you call us for help. It will tell you general information about the funding guidelines we follow, including what we can do, what we cannot do, and what we need from you.
EDI is Out and About
By Trevor Jacobson
Easy Does It will be making appearances at community events in the coming months. Be sure to pop by our booth for information about how we can help you direct your care, get an accessible van tour, or check out our collection of power loaner chairs. We hope to see you there!
Solano Stroll – Sunday, September 11, 2022
Join us for an entire mile of family fun activities. The Solano Avenue Stroll has been going on since 1974. The twin cities of Albany and Berkeley have a long history of collaborating to host the East Bay’s largest street festival!
Healthy Living Festival – Thursday, September 29, 2022
Easy Does It will join The United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County along with Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley and many others at the 19th Annual Healthy Living Festival at the Oakland Zoo.
The Healthy Living Festival is a free event for older adults 55 and above living in Alameda County. This annual event promotes health and wellness for aging adults and includes free food, music, fun, and more. Join us in taking collective action to improve the quality of life for seniors throughout Alameda County. Together, we can make a positive change!
Friends and family of guests are welcome to attend and must be registered in advance.
Alameda Pride in the Park – Saturday, October 8, 2022
We are honored to attend the inaugural Alameda Pride in the Park event from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Chochenyo Park, located at 2430 Encinal Avenue in Alameda. Hope to see you there!
Wishing EDI Founder CeCe Weeks a very Happy Birthday
By Trevor Jacobson
July 27th was the birthday of our agency’s late founder, CeCe Weeks. That date is also recognized by the City of Berkeley as CeCe Weeks Commemoration Day in honor of her leadership and contribution to civil rights. CeCe was a lifelong activist and advocated for independent living and disability rights. This year marks the 20th anniversary of her passing, and while the world has changed a lot since Easy Does It was founded in 1996, our commitment to the vision of enabling and enhancing independent living has not. — Happy Birthday, CeCe! Thanks for your tireless efforts and a lifetime of service to the Berkeley disability community.
EDI Board of Directors Meeting
The Easy Does It Board of Directors generally holds meetings on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm. Due to COVID-19 and until further notice, all meetings are being held virtually via Zoom and phone. Attendees must register to attend. Meetings are open to the public, and there is an opportunity for community members to make comments at the beginning of the meeting.
Agendas are available on EDI’s website no later than 5:30 pm on the 4th Tuesday of each month.
The next meeting of the Board of Directors will be Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at 5:30 pm.
Second Community Forum of 2022
Due to a scheduling conflict, the Board of Directors has rescheduled the second community forum of 2022 to Wednesday, September 14, 2022, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. We apologize for any inconvenience.
The meeting will be held virtually by Zoom and phone. Attendees must register to attend.
Support Easy Does It
We rely on the support of our community to continue providing fast, 24/7 services. Any support is greatly appreciated. With as little as $15, we can ensure a client has a working mobility device. Donate today and help ensure Berkeley seniors and people with disabilities can continue to rely on our vital services.
Paying your Bill
By Richard Woolbert, Operations Manager
In our ongoing efforts to make it easier for you to make copayments, we are training all EDI staff who provide direct services (Attendants, Drivers, Repair Staff) to accept payment by credit or debit card at the time of service. We will have everyone fully trained in the near future. But, for the time being, you still have other convenient ways to pay your bill.
The EDI field staff will provide you a total for the services rendered once they have finished providing services to you. You can pay by check at the time of service, but please remember that EDI field staff no longer accept cash as payment. If you choose to be invoiced for the services we provide, they are emailed, typically by the 15th of each month, with a link to pay your bill online. If you opt to receive your invoice by US Mail, you can send a check made payable to Easy Does It or call our Bookkeeper, Maggie Tenenbaum, at 510-438-1648 or 510-845-5513 on Tuesday or Thursday between 12 pm – 4 pm to pay your balance. If you don’t reach someone when you call, please be sure to leave a message, and we will get back to you within 2-3 business days.
Happy Anniversary to EDI Staff!
We want to take a moment to acknowledge some of our employees on their “Joining EDI” anniversary in July. If you have a chance, please join us in sending a big “Thank You” to the staff listed below for their long-term dedication to Easy Does It!
- Flor Chahua (Dispatcher) 23 years
- Rosa Genet-Lira (Dispatcher) 21 years
- Ayanna Keeton (Program Manager) 21 years
- Aaron Nelson (Dispatcher) 15 years
Low-Cost Internet Access to Eligible Households
The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides eligible households monthly discounts for broadband service. Qualifying families may also receive a one-time deal to purchase a computer from participating providers.
Who Is Eligible? A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if a member of the family receives one of the following benefits: SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), WID, Veterans Pension or Survivors Benefits, or Lifeline (this is not a complete list of eligibility criteria).
The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. To find out if you qualify or sign up, go to the White House’s Get Internet site, or visit the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through an approved carrier by visiting https://www.fcc.gov/acp or by calling 877-384-2575
That’s all we have for you in August. As always, thanks for your continued support of our work. Your commitment to independent living is what empowers us to be here for the Berkeley disabled community every day.
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