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Welcome to issue 19 of The Riot! It’s the Economy issue.

The front page contains the newsletter title and subtitles, a left column listing the table of contents called “What's Inside,” and two articles.

Newsletter title: The Riot!


Issue 19, January 2008


A National E-Newsletter from the Self-Advocate Leadership Network at HSRI

Left Column

What's Inside

Page 1: Living on a Dime

Page 2: Julie’s Jive

Page 2: Yes, We Did!

Page 3: Don’t Cut Us Down!

Page 4: Betty’s Wish List

Page 5: Tight Practices in Tough Times

Page 5: International Page - Australia

Page 6: Horoscopes

Page 6: Jack and Jill

Page 7: Nancy’s New Year’s Resolutions

Page 7: Maxed Out Movie Review, Economy Puzzle

Page 8: Joe’s Sports Zone

Page 8: Riot! Fun Page

Page 9: Craig Says, Cartoon, Puzzle Answers

Page 10: Riot! Action Page

Do you want to order a Riot! t-shirt? Call Amoya at 503-924-3783, extension 24.

Subscribe to The Riot! It’s Free! Go to

Page 1 Front Page News

The United States is in a recession. The word “recession” is used when businesses are not doing well. In fact, the whole world is having tough times. Everyone is a bit worried.

When businesses don’t do well, lots of things start going wrong. Many people end up losing their jobs so they don’t have money to buy stuff or pay their bills. Our troubles really begin then; because that makes businesses do worse so even more people lose their jobs.

Factories won’t keep workers to build things like cars or stoves, if nobody buys them. A store won’t keep someone on the job, if nobody comes in to buy things.

Think about housing too. When people buy a house they usually get a loan from a bank. Then if they lose their job, they can’t make payments to the bank. They can lose their house! The banks don’t have the money to give other loans.

Things just keep getting worse. It’s called the “domino effect”. One domino falls over, then the next one and the one after that until they all fall down.

What does it mean for self-advocates? It means that times can get hard for a lot of us, just like anyone else. It could also affect the services self-advocates receive.

States get their money by people paying taxes. If people lose their jobs or spend less at the stores, states don’t get the money they need. 41 states say they will not get the money they need next year. That means that programs will be cut, including programs to support people with disabilities.

Self-advocates be heard! Be involved with your state leaders as they make these cuts. It will be their final decision, but it’s our lives! We need to speak up with a clear mission of what we want and need. We’ve been saying close institutions for over a decade now. Some have listened, but more need to act. Money can be spent more wisely through supported living. Last but not least, we can help one another through our self-advocacy groups or a peer support group. Now more than ever - Nothing About Us Without Us! 

Page 2 Riot! Opinion

Left Column: About The Riot!

The Riot! is produced by the Self-Advocate Leadership Network at the Human Services Research Institute. We work together with self-advocates to come up with ideas and write the stories. Here’s who “we” are:

Chief Editor: Julie Petty – Arkansas


Ricky Broussard - Texas

Dayna Davis - Oregon

Rebecca Cokley - Washington DC

Joe Meadours - California

Eric Matthes - Washington

Teresa Moore - Arizona

Nancy Ward - Oklahoma

Marian West - New Hampshire

Betty Williams - Indiana

Erick Yeary - Idaho

Cartoonists: Jazmyne Johnston of Oregon and Jeff Ladd of Pennsylvania

At HSRI: John Agosta, Jaime Daignault, Kerri Melda, Jennifer Negus, Elizabeth Pell, Drew Smith and Reena Wagle.

Julie’s Jive by Julie Petty

Happy New Year from The Riot! Wow, I can’t believe it is already 2009!

It is time to set our New Year resolutions. Do you make resolutions? A resolution is a goal you set for yourself to make change. I set resolutions, but hardly ever keep them!

Speaking of change, this should be an exciting year. Barack Obama is our new president, and I am looking forward to the changes he will make in our country.

Our country needs change right now. We still have our men and women fighting overseas, people are losing their jobs and soon some services for people with disabilities will be cut. The economy is just bad any way you slice it.

That brings me to this issue of The Riot! on the state of the economy.

So what can we, as self-advocates, do to help ourselves and each other? Well, we are going to give you some tips throughout this issue.

When you have your next self-advocacy meeting, I encourage your group to discuss the economy and how it has affected self-advocates in your area.

Print out a copy of The Riot! and read it together. In tough times, people need to come together and help one another. Self-advocates are already good at working together!

Have a great new year and thanks for reading The Riot!

Yes, We Did! by Dayna Davis

On November 4, 2008, history was made. I felt good as a self-advocate to know that I was a part of the voting process, as I’m sure many of you were.

I watched Obama’s acceptance speech and wanted to highlight a few excerpts that were most powerful to me:

“It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled.

Americans sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states or blue states.”

“I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.”

“But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.”

President-elect Barack Obama, has brought the spirit of unity. It makes me think of the excitement that John Kennedy brought.


Coming Soon! A National Conversation on the State of the States’ Budget teleconference series. How does it affect self-advocates? Find out! March 2, 2008, April 6, 2008, May 4, 2008. Look for more details soon on our website:  

Page 3 Riot! Report

Don’t Cut Us Down! by Ricky Broussard and Teresa Moore

January 1, 2009

Open Letter to State Leaders;

We want to introduce ourselves. We’re both self-advocates and the Editors of a national e-newsletter called The Riot! We are individuals with developmental disabilities that speak out for ourselves and advocate for the rights and services of others.

Times are hard right now. We’re concerned that our program services will be cut due to the current budget crisis. We know that you must consider all areas of funding, but we ask that you keep our services as they are.

If you must cut our programs, have self-advocates at the table before making any of these big decisions. We can help you choose what is important to us and the services that we need.

We want to live freely and be able to make our own choices in life. To use our voices! To vote! And to be free! To take away or reduce developmental disability funding would set us back. Help us keep our jobs, so we can work towards financial independence.

Without these services, costs will be much greater. More money would be spent on urgent and emergency care. Critical services support families so they can live a normal life.

Instead of putting money into nursing homes or state institutions, use the money for freedom in the community. Typically, it costs less to support someone at home.

We know big decisions will need to be made. Before you consider cutting our programs, think first about cutting non-essential services. We will be very thankful to you for this.

We want to continue to move forward, not backward, in our lives.


The Riot! Editors

Action Alert

Ask Congress to include Disability Programs in the Economic Recovery Plan. People with disabilities will help to put money back into the economy.

Email your Senator or State Representative TODAY and tell them what you think!

Go to this website for more details…[capwiz:queue_id]


Page 4 Riot!

Betty’s Wish List by Betty Williams

Dear President Obama:

We heard about the stimulus package that you plan to use to help our economy in the next few years. We think it’s great that you want to make things better for everyone in our country.

We wanted you to know that people with developmental disabilities need a stimulus

package too. Many of us don’t have services and those of us that do don’t have enough. We need your help.

Self-advocates around the nation have ideas about what they would do if you gave us a

stimulus package. We would like to share them with you.

1.  More services for people on waiting lists.

2. More money to pay direct support workers a living wage.

3. Better healthcare so we can go to doctors and dentists and get the medicine we need.

4. Transportation in our communities so we can get around, go to work and train other
self-advocates. We want to educate people about self-advocacy.

5. To make enough money so we can save and watch it grow.

6. To make enough money to go out and have fun with friends.

7. To be able to afford big galas to raise large amounts of money to fund our work in


8. Money to send people to the national conference to learn about self-advocacy.

9. We want 3 million dollars to invest in operating expenses for self-advocacy.

10. We also want money for Autism research.

I hope you will consider the needs of people with developmental disabilities when you are thinking about your economic stimulus package.

Tight Practices in Tough Times by Eric Matthes and Marian West

Eric and Marian use personal budgets in these tough economic times. “I normally have money in my wallet,” says Eric, “but I just don’t go out and spend it.” Instead, he uses a budget to pay his bills and to buy other things he needs to survive.

A budget shows how much money you have. It also shows monthly expenses and how much each costs. “You gotta know how much money you have each month” to make a budget.

Expenses are bills and things like food, clothing, transportation, savings and entertainment. Eric and Marian agree that having fun is important. “I am on a tight budget,” says Marian. But, “I have about $15 for movies and bingo every week.”

How to make a personal budget:

  • Write down your monthly income.

  • List your expenses and how much each costs.

  • Add up bills first. Use the rest of the money for other expenses.

  • Spend your money according your budget.

  • Your expenses should not be greater than your income. If they are, you need to cut costs! Here are some tips from Eric and Marian.

  • Make your own food instead of going out.

  • Buy things on sale or use coupons.

  • Shop at second-hand or discount stores.

Fun Advertisement

Blow your budget blues away with this garlic necklace. Proven success without that budget mess! Was $39.99 but call today and get yours for $19.99! What a deal! Don’t delay! Call now! Call 1-800-GET-REAL (not responsible for loss of friends due to smell)


Page 5 Riot! International – Australia

In Australia, the Victorian State government has funded SARU (Self-Advocacy Resource Unit). 

The SARU is managed by two self-advocacy groups and two other organizations. It was set up six months ago. The SARU can support existing self-advocacy groups and help start new self-advocacy groups.

The SARU can help self-advocacy groups with: 

• Planning 

• Training & Training Kits 

• Information and Resources about self-advocacy 

• Equipment - video cameras, still cameras, voice recorders, laminators, etc. 

• Resources - meeting rooms, flyers, posters, etc. 

• Meeting other groups 

The SARU puts out a newsletter and a DVD
newsletter. They are currently making a website called: 

On February 4 - 6, 2009, the SARU will be running workshops at a conference.  As part of the conference, they will be showing self-advocates how to use a free computer program called Skype.

With Skype you can talk to people all over the world through the internet. If you have the internet and would like to talk to self-advocates from Australia, email the SARU at  

Hungry? Time for Kangaroo Tail Soup! The tail is best marinated for two days before cooking. Slow cooking is essential to extract the full flavor and the bone marrow. Allow 3 hours cooking time. (in Australian measurements)


1.2 deciliters wine vinegar

1.3 deciliters water

6 cloves

2 tsp salt

6 bay leaves

6 black peppercorns

Kangaroo tails, cut in 3 cm sections (or cubed tofu for you animal lovin’ mates!)

Marinade 1.2 deciliters olive oil

Boil all ingredients together for 5 minutes and set aside to cool. Do not use aluminum for cooking or marinating. Remove any thick sinews from the meat if necessary, place in a bowl (preferably glass or china) and pour over the marinade.

Fun Facts about Australia

There are 1,500 species of Australian spiders. The average person swallows three spiders a year.

Australia has the world's largest population of wild camels with one hump.

The Tasmanian Devil does exist and it has the jaw strength of a crocodile.

Some famous Australians: Nicole Kidman, Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Naomi Watts and Russell Crowe.

Did You Know?

22.7 million jars of Vegemite are made in Australia every year. That's 235 jars per minute! To Australian children, Vegemite is like what peanut butter and jelly is to an American child!

The Happy Little Vegemite Song

We are happy little Vegemite as bright as bright can be,

We all enjoy our Vegemite for breakfast, lunch and tea,

Our mummy says we're growing stronger every single week,

Because we love our Vegemite,

We all adore our Vegemite,

It puts a rose in every cheek!


Page 6 Riot! Fun

Horoscope by Daylin Ward and Renee DeMoss

A horoscope predicts the future based on the position of the planets and your birthday. Find the sign that fits with your birthday. Then read what’s in store for you!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Step out of your circle and expand your network of friends. It’s time to be more aggressive and do what you want. You’re too good for to be hiding away.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Someone may have a different agenda than you do. Remember to be yourself. That means take of yourself and your own agenda first. Make 2009 better for you.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Your future is looking bright this month. Keep going in that direction.

Aries (March 21-April 19): A new love may be knocking on your door soon. Don’t be afraid to answer the door!

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Quit being bullheaded or your date will turn away.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): You can adapt to any situation - especially romantic ones.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Your romantic qualities are inspiring to others.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Don’t be afraid to call your soul mate this month because you’re really roaring.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Don’t be afraid if you get flowers or candy from your soul mate this month. They think you’re really special.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Too much of a good thing is never enough. Just don’t forget to share it with others.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The stars say you may have a rough patch this month when it comes to love. Don’t fear! Love will find its way back to you!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):  A flower says it all. Buy a single rose and give it to someone special this month. Love is in the air! Are you ready for it?

Ask Jack and Jill

Dear Jack and Jill,

I have a friend who’s interested in dating a guy and her ex-boyfriend is jealous. What should I do?

Dear Reader, it’s not you with the problem, it’s him. Try to let him know that you need space for yourself and be cool about it.

He shouldn’t make a big riot out of being jealous and should be supportive of you. Maybe he shouldn’t be jealous in the first place.

He seems to want more and not showing too much respect to you. Tell him how you feel and if he doesn’t respect you, then maybe you’ll have to end the friendship too. This may be what it takes to wake him up.  ~ Jack

Dear Reader, if your ex-boyfriend is still a good friend, talk to him.  He may just need some closure.  If you are indeed ready to move on, let your ex know that.  He may still think you are with him. 

If you aren't sure, be honest about that too and let him know you’re not ready to be serious yet.  Remember to listen and find out what is making him jealous. 

Maybe he’s trying to be protective of you or maybe he just might not know for sure that he is your ex and thinks someone is being disrespectful to him. 

Either way it is good for you to hear him out. ~ Jill   

Email your romance questions to Jack & Jill at: theriotrocks@


Page 7 Riot! Fun

Nancy’s New Year’s Resolutions by Nancy Ward

Every January we make resolutions and then we don’t keep them. So this year, I thought I would make resolutions that I could keep. I will...

  • Sit on the couch and eat lots of potatoes, especially if they are fried.

  • Convert my raw fish eating friends to cheeseburgers. Come on guys get real!

  • Grow extra arms like an octopus so I can balance all the things in my life. I think 8 new arms should be a good start.

  • Go to 365 cities and try a different flavor of cheesecake each time. I hope there are 365 different flavors available.

  • Share a slice of greasy, yummy pizza through the internet with all my friends. After all, it is the favorite food of self-advocates all over the country.

  • Buy 100 new pairs of shoes, 50 new jeans and 50 new tops even though I don’t need them. To support the economy, right?

  • Sounds like fun doesn’t it? I challenge you to make resolutions that you will actually keep too. You can have fun making resolutions.

Riot Movie Review - Maxed Out: Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders by Eric Matthes

Riot Rap: The movie is about how the credit card industry takes advantage of people that don't have money. It also shows people how credit and debit cards work.

Riot Rave: The movie opened my eyes. I didn’t know what can happen if you can’t pay your bills. It’s easy to use credit cards and think you still have money. Some people can’t get rid of debt. Now, I am being careful with my money.

Riot Rumble: The stories were sad. Some people can’t pay their bills so they cry or commit suicide. It is better to use cash so you can stay out of trouble. It was interesting and sad to see how so many people could go into so much debt.

Riot Rap-Up: People need to not spend more money than they have. Only spend the money that they do have and not go overboard. It’s important for people to use a
personal budget so they know what bills they have to pay, how much money they can spend each month and how much money they have for extra stuff without spending too much.  

Page 8 Riot! Fun

Joe’s Sports Zone by Joe Meadours

I recently talked with Sarah Castle. She is a swimmer, Paralympic basketball player and overall amazing athlete. She is also involved in advocacy and change.

How did you get into basketball?

I began playing wheelchair basketball in Colorado after I acquired my disability in 1995.  I didn’t really play much. I wasn’t very interested in basketball, at first. I just loved swimming.  In 2001, I began looking into colleges. I was recruited by the University of Illinois to play wheelchair basketball and swim. 

I loved the University so after graduating high school I moved to Illinois. My first two years were spent in both wheelchair basketball and swimming. After having shoulder surgery, I had to focus on one sport at a time. I competed in the Athens Paralympic Games in swimming, but then decided on basketball.

I have played for the University Women’s team for 6 years. I have also been on the USA Women’s National team since 2005. We won a silver medal at the World Championships, a gold medal at the Para-Pan American Games and a gold Medal at the Beijing Paralympic Games.

What is the most important thing you have learned?

That I am the only person who can limit myself. If you have the will and the drive to do something, all that matters is finding the right people and support!  I believe we can be our own best supporters and our own worst enemies. It is important to be the supporter!

What would you want self-advocates know about how you became successful?

It’s important to love what you do and become great at that!  If you love something, it is more fun and it doesn’t feel like a job.  Getting to the Paralympic level required hours, days and years of hard work and dedication. It was all worth it, because I loved it. I became successful because I believed I could. I dedicated myself to believing it.

Squiggly by Jeff Ladd

The drawing shows an unhappy Squiggly with the words, “Money problems?” Then there is a house with two people standing in the window. Squiggly is walking towards it saying, “Look for resources and support from others.” Then Squiggly is happy again and says, “Always remember that someone is always there!”

Self-Advocacy Man by Erick Yeary

Self-Advocacy Man says, “I know times can be tough but you still need to strive to be yourself. Use your voice and make your choice. Work together to get through a jam.”


Page 9 Riot Sauce

Craig Says…“Cake on Pie Day Stinks!”

National Pie Day is January 23. Did you know that? Pie Day is a special day where we make great tasting pies and eat them. Eating pie sounds good to me. Cherry. Apple. Blueberry. Coconut Custard. Pumpkin. Eating cake on pie day sure would stink. Why would anyone do that?

What’s my favorite pie? Cream Pie. Why? Because I keep a list of people who deserve a pie in the face. They get their pie on Pie Day. POW! A pie right in the kisser!

Let’s see… this is who is on my list this year:

  • My girlfriend from last year. She dumped me. She might get 2 pies!

  • People who want to give that movie Tropic Thunder an award. Are you kidding me?

  • The mailman. He can’t put the mail in the box. Now he’s getting a pie in the face!

  • Staff who make SILLY RULES up that just keep self-advocates down for no reason.

  • The snowman outside my door. I don’t like the cold look he gives me.

Say! I have an idea. Do YOU know people who need a pie in the face? I bet you do!

On Pie Day here’s what we do. All of you should make 3 cream pies. Don’t eat them! Then make a list of people who deserve a pie in the kisser.

Now you are ready. You have to decide. You can waste those pies by eating them. Or, you can deliver those pies to people who deserve them. It’s your choice!

That’s what I am going to do. I just hope nobody puts a pie in MY face. But if they do, I will have some good pie to eat!


At the top, there is an angry shark with the word “Recession” on its side. In front of it, with a tear and money flying out the back of it is a bag of money with the words “The State” on its side. The money (representing our state government) is trying to run away from the recession (which is taking money from the state’s budgets).

At the bottom corner of the drawing, the Jaz character is saying, “Recessions bite! Don’t be afraid to bite back!”

At the other corner is a picture of a self-advocate sitting at the dinner table. They take a bite out of the shark (representing the recession) and it says, “Mmm… tastes like chicken!”

It represents that we don’t have to sit back and do nothing. We can fight back and do our part to make our money stretch further during the recession. We have a choice in what we do.

Results of Online Riot Poll

We asked who you would like to be our next President? Obama or McCain? Here are your answers! Barack Obama - 80% John McCain - 20% 

To see our next question, go online to and cast your vote!


Page 10 The Riot! Action Page by Erick Yeary

Times are tough and they’re getting even tougher! Between talk of budget-cuts to paying for groceries, we’re all feeling the pinch. Self-advocates should work together NOW to make sure we don’t get lost in the economic shuffle.

Here are some good things that you and your self-advocacy group can talk about. Mix it up. Share your ideas with one another and see what you can accomplish!

  • Create a personal budget to help see where you can save money. Simple things can help a lot. Maybe you spend more money in one area than another? See how you can cut back.

  • Groups can pool their money together to help fund important activities like attending an out-of-state conference.

  • Send a letter to your local and state agencies. Let them know how important it is that they continue to fund services. Be nice, never rude, when writing your letter; communication is key.

  • Swap your skills with one another for free! Do you know how to do something but maybe not something else? Try matching what you need with someone in your group that could use some help from you. And it’s totally free!

 Times may get worse before they get better but by working together, cutting back on daily costs and not panicking, we can succeed!

Talk it up… Have yourselves a regular Riot!!!

Donate to The Riot! with PayPal. Would you like to support The Riot!? You’re in luck! You can contribute online by using Pay Pal at: Or you can write a check payable to HSRI and mail it to: The Riot! c/o HSRI, 7420 SW Bridgeport Rd #210, Portland, OR 97224.


New and Free! Jabbers Gifts ‘n Giving. It’s a game for self-advocates! Go to the Riot Gear page at to get a copy!


Get these great Toolkits from the Self Advocate Leadership Network! Each toolkit has information that you need to help self-advocates lead their own lives and help shape the service system.

Prices vary from $15 to $30. A Bargain! Come and check it out at

Self-Determination and You with CD

Participant-Driven Supports: A Toolkit on Planning and Giving a Presentation

Working Together for Change

How Your Organization Can Sponsor Self-Advocates as AmeriCorps*VISTA Members 

Using Medicaid to Fund Trainings for Self-Advocates

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