Transcript of “Rights Here, Rights
Episode 16: “Volunteer with dLCV!”
Produced by the disAbility Law Center of Virginia.
information provided on this podcast does not, and is not
intended to, constitute legal advice. Instead, all information, content
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to Right Here, Right Now!, a podcast about disability
advocacy and activism. I'm your Advocate host, Virginia Pharis.
I'm your Advocate host, Ren Faszewski.
two weeks we've taken to relevant issues, current events, and avenues for self-advocacy.
[REN]: Someone has to.
it might as well be us!
podcast is produced by the disAbility
Law Center of Virginia, the Commonwealth’s protection and advocacy agency for
out more at www.dlcv.org**
Ren, we have an exciting one…something to ‘stir the masses!’ Something to get
people involved. Today.
today we are talking to Valerie Jones who is our volunteer guru. And she’s
going to be talking to us about all the great many things people can do if they
want to…lend a helping hand at dLCV. And how they
can do that!
I know I appreciate that because volunteers make…our work at dLCV so much sweeter. So much better. They are, really, the
backbone that serves our agency, so, I know I’m excited.
before we jump in, let’s check out disability in the news!
[NARRATOR]: Google is
introducing new technology to simplify their phones for those with
disabilities. They have created a new app called Action Blocks for android
devices that is designed to make routine smartphone
tasks easier. This app will allow users to create a one touch button on their
home screen to make tasks easier, such as calling mom or turning the lights on.
This will reduce steps needed to complete these tasks. Google Maps is also
releasing a new accessibility feature called Accessible Places. When enabled,
users will see a wheelchair icon displayed to indicate if a location has an
accessible entrance, seating, restrooms, and parking.
Google will also confirm if a place does NOT have accessible
features. At this time Google is also improving their Live Transcribe app that
provides real time transcription for conversations and Sound Amplifier, which
clarifies the sounds around you. These apps and updates will be rolling out soon
so keep your eyes out for them!
right! Again, today, in the studio, we have the lovely Valerie Jones. She is
our Community Relations specialist. And manages our volunteer database. Thank
you so much for coming in, Valerie.
[Enters, Valerie Jones]
you so much- I’m glad to be here.
tell us about the volunteer program?
Well, we had many visions for the volunteer program. One of our main visions
was to create advocates within every community. The purpose of this program was
to provide meaning for volunteers AND strengthen and enhance dLCV’s advocacy services. The disAbility
Law Center program serves to extend our reach throughout the Virginia
area by increasing understanding and awareness of Disability Rights in
I know that’s something that’s near and dear to all of our hearts. And that it
is a big stage. So we definitely need to reach out. What kind of opportunities are
there for volunteers? What would they be doing?
of the opportunities we have are um on some committees that we’re trying to
fill. We have committees such as the
Mental Health Advocacy, the Finance and Audit Committee, Compensation and
Benefits- which is the Personnel Committee, the Governance Committee, Public Influence
and Priorities Committee, and the advocacy volunteers. So those are some
of the volunteer committees that we have. But we have other opportunities, such as, the
CHRIS database, which is a database where incident reports are
do resource fairs and we table at events. We have opportunities for administrative work
such as staffing the front desk, assembling packages, data entry like typing
and copying documents, sorting and filing adult Protective Services. There are lots of other opportunities we have.
Depending upon your skill…we can fulfill that opportunity for you. As a
started out as a question in my mind but then just became me wanting to brag on
you for a minute. J
[Smile.] Valerie has done such a good job connecting, uh, at the very least
me in some of the work I do, with volunteers, you have mentioned what’s
called our CHRIS database, which we’ve gotten through the state of
Virginia. And we need to look at all of those reports. And, using volunteers
for that takes the staff commitment of something like that down from like a
solid four days a week of somebody having to look at those reports to
maybe like ONE or TWO days a week.
really like freed up our time, so we can do more of that like, direct advocacy
work! Are there any other projects that I haven’t mentioned, that you
haven’t gotten to mention that uh, maybe we’ve had success with in the past?
election season, we have surveying projects that come up where we ask
volunteers to assist with that. Which is…they will go to the website and put in
their information, where they live, and then it’ll bring up all the polling
locality, and what we asked them to do is just go around and make sure that the
voting precinct is accessible. So,
we provide a survey. There’s actually a training session. We look to provide
all the right things when it comes to accessibility.
is something that we reference in our episode with Joliefawn about the voting
surveys. So again, that’s part of all these volunteer projects that we have as
far as dLCV, and that’s a really important one. I
didn’t realize that we had so many committees, Valerie! How many- you
just have committees on committees on committees!
the mental health advocacy, which is like, the PAMI Advisory Council, which
is- it provides guidance and imput about the needs of
the mental health community in Virginia. So um, if you would like to find out
more about ALL of these committees what you will do is- go to our
website: www.dlcv.org/committees. And there it will take you to
all of the committees and it’ll give you in depth detail about what we’re
looking for as far as the responsibilities. How, coming into the office, as far
as phones, you know, doing the committees by phone, and after you answer about
your skill set, you drop down to the bottom and you click on a LINK to the application.
To join the committee. The latest one we have is the advocacy
volunteers committee. dLCV is developing a program for
volunteers to provide training for advocates throughout Virginia. That’s
just a brief detail, and like I said, prior to that, please just go to the
website, and that’ll give you the actual committees that we are looking
speaking- What are good qualities for a volunteer to have? What are you looking
for in your volunteers?
well…first of all let’s start out and say: ALLL volunteers are welcome. We are
interested in a commitment of at least 4 hours per month for a 12 month period.
You do not have to be a lawyer to become a volunteer. We welcome all
volunteers of all kinds! We encourage people with disabilities and people from
diverse racial, ethnic AND cultural backgrounds to apply.
have dLCV’s volunteer opportunities changed in the
wake of COVID-19?
a good question! So, what has happened is that we still have opportunities for
volunteers at the current time. We do,
we do, express that we care about the well-being and concerns of the COVID 19
pandemic. And we understand that this is
part of the well-being of the community and we take your well-being as a top
priority. We have began,
with some volunteers, in remote
projects. Such as research projects, surveying the lottery
establishment, and our most recent one- our virtual gala. Once again, I have to stress, that the
well-being of our volunteers is very important to us.
people are interested in serving on committees we are doing those remotely
right now as well.
I do want to say- I love that we
obviously have so many different kinds
of volunteer opportunities. So,
anyone can be a dLCV volunteer. But it’s not just
work that you need assistance with- like again, that you were talking about,
with, you know…things in the past like sorting and filing packages, or, doing
research, or, sorting through the CHRIS reports, but it’s also INPUT. So, there’s volunteer input
opportunities where people in the community can talk about what needs
they’re seeing and what dLCV can do to better serve
that is very true! And I’d also like to say that I stay in very close contact
with our volunteers to ensure them that just b/c we’re going through this
pandemic, that doesn’t mean they’re left out. I
reassure them that they can always reach out, that DLCV will be there for them,
Valerie, one more time, if people are interested in becoming a volunteer, where
do they go?
you’re interested in becoming a volunteer you go to our website: You can either put in a backslash and
go to “Volunteers” OR if you just wanna go straight
to www.dLCV.org and you click on, “Get
Involved.” And from there, scroll down
and you’ll see volunteer application. And
from there you’ll get an email and we’ll talk about the kind of work you want
to do with dLCV.
thank you so much, Valerie. You do such
incredible work for dLCV!
make our lives so much easier! And, so
do our volunteers.
you so much for having me on here. I really enjoyed myself.
now, a dLCV HIGHLIGHT!
[NARRATOR]: dLCV Advocate Rachel did a webinar/presentation for
parents and professionals about Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services for at
least 65 attendees. They all now know
that services from DARS, or DBVI, for students with disabilities can begin as
early as age 14. They also now have
knowledge of when to reach out to dLCV/CAP for
again to Valerie for joining us today. She is just delightful [facts! J]
and thank (s to) all of our volunteers. We appreciate the work that you do.
you for listening to another episode of Rights Here, Rights Now! Brought to you
by the disAbility Law Center of Virginia. We’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or
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you need assistance or want information about dLCV and
what we do, visit us online at www.dlcv.org
follow us on Twitter at @disabilityLawVa and share us with your friends.
next time, I’m Ren F.
I’m Virginia Pharis. And this has been: