NTAC-APPI Activities


Dr. Kim-Rupnow Speaks in an Opening Session of the NAMRC Training Conference

Photo: Soon Kim-Rupnow

Dr. Kim-Rupnow, NTAC-AAPI Project Director, was a keynote speaker in an opening plenary session during the NAMRC (National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns) annual training conference under the theme, Focusing the Future: Realizing Multicultural Rehabilitation Outcomes, held on July 20-24 in San Antonio, Texas.


Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Project Directors Conference

Dr. Jean Johnson and Ms. Amy Nawatani participated this summer at the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Project Directors Conference in Washington D.C. Pat Lockwood, Executive Director of Hawai‘i’s Centers for Independent Living, also attended the RSA Project Directors Conference. The National Technical Assistance Center for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (NTAC-AAPI) with disabilities participated in two areas of the conference. NTAC presented Hire.US! (Hire Interested and Ready Employers in the United States!) in which information about NTAC’s main programs was discussed: our job ready database for AAPI consumers with disabilities, and our subcontract program which aids service providers in employing AAPI’s with disabilities. NTAC also participated in a poster session in which information on culturally sensitive processes and employment techniques to support people with disabilities was disseminated. NTAC also met RSA administrative official Alfreda Reeves, and Kathy Martinez and Julie Clay of the other two national technical assistance centers. NTAC gained at least 8 potential subcontractors and/or collaborators.


Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Employment Conference

Photo: Jean Johnson

Dr. Jean Johnson attended the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Employment conference this August in Washington D.C. on behalf of the National Technical Assistance Center for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (NTAC-AAPI). Lillian Koller, the Director of the Department of Human Services (DHS) and Joy Patterson, Program Specialist—Employment, Department of Human Services—Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Blind Division from Hawai‘i also attended the conference.


National Asian Deaf Conference: August 4-8, 2004

Dr. Soon Kim-Rupnow and Ms. Amy Nawatani presented at National Asian Deaf Conference (Aug 4-8) in Honolulu. The workshop, entitled Employment Dreams, focused on the employment needs of AAPIs with disabilities and NTAC’s role in addressing the needs. It ended with an inspiring success story presented by Mr. John and Jason Yeh, father/son, who are deaf and founder/partner of Viable Technologies, Inc (VTI). Viable Technologies, Inc. (VTI) is committed to developing affordable, high quality technology that gives persons with hearing loss equal access to higher education and job training. Through its remote technology, students anywhere in the world can access Viable Realtime Transcription (VRT) services. We also discussed the applicability of VRT technology for persons with learning disabilities as well as persons who are learning English as a second language.


Summer Institute for Career Development Facilitators (CDF): July 26-27, 2004

Dr. Soon Kim-Rupnow presented at the Summer Institute (July 26-27) for Career Development Facilitators (CDF), held at the Center on Education and Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison. The presentation, entitled Success for all, focused on strategies and techniques needed by CDFs to improve delivery of services to promote success for all, including persons with disabilities from minority cultures. Lists of innovative resources, compiled by the National Technical Assistance Center to increase employment opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with disabilities, were also distributed. Approximately 50 potential collaborators’ email addresses were added to our e.News distribution list.


NTAC-AAPI co-sponsored Healing Chakra Workshop—“Honolulu Brain Respiration Wellness Center”—Thursday, June 10, 5:00-9:00 PM

Photo: Chakra Demonstration

Chakras are the central points for the interchange of energy flow in our bodies. Problems with the Chakras translate into problems for the body, mind, and spirit. A change in the Chakras signifies transformation of our body and mind. Complete health begins and ends with the Chakras. Healing Chakra is a simple, daily practice to awaken your Chakra System, improve your health and enhance your productivity. Contact: Anita Ahn, 808-942-0003 | More about BR


FAPAC Conference: May 17-21 2004

Photo: Dancer

The Federal Asian American Pacific Council held its Annual Meeting during the week of 17th - 21st of May 2004. During this week the National Technical Assistance Center for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (NTAC-AAPI) at the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii, Manoa held a one day training for vocational rehabilitation counselors and other professionals who work with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with disabilities who wish to find employment opportunities. Out of the 50 participants who registered early, 40 attended the event with another 10 attending from the larger FAPAC conference.

Photo: Fapac Posters

Participants learned about the differences in the AAPI community; the numerous cultures, belief systems, and other factors concerning AAPI’s and their families with disabilities. Area of concentration focused upon an AAPI with a disability and finding employment. Culturally appropriate strategies, family and the role for the community in terms of networking for positive outcomes was also discussed.

Photo: Fapac Participants

In addition, NTAC-AAPI with disabilities gave an overview of the purpose of the our program. We introduced our Hire.US proram which is a national online database where resumes of job ready AAPI’s with disabilities are entered and are accessible for potential employers who are seeking employees of diverse backgrounds. Benefits explained revealed that employers would gain a employees of diverse abilities, additional tax credits, increase job placement rates, and consumers would be able to increase their likelihood of being matched with the career of their dreams. We also introduced our sub contract program where our subcontractors are job placement agencies or cultural groups that assist AAPI’s with disabilities to find employment in their communities. Our subcontractors are based across the nation and are required to increase AAPI’s with disabilities in the workforce by 5-10% per fiscal year.

Due to the success of our one day training session we were able to post more than 10 federal employment sites to our Web site. We are in the process of working directly with several federal employment agencies. In addition, we received all positive scores on our evaluation forms for our one day training sessions.

More about FAPAC Conference


PAC RIM 2004 Employment Panel: 3rd Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) For Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Students with Disabilities: March 29-30, 2004

Photo: Presenters

During this session a panel representing clinical psychology, VR services, and private enterprise shared their hands-on experiences and offered strategies designed to expand vocational horizons for persons with disabilities while creating winning relationships with employers and VR service providers.


Lanai Youth Artists Create 1,000 Medallions for the 20th Pacific Rim Conference on Disabilities

Photo: Lanai Artists

Young artists with disabilities who attend Lanai High and Elementary School created one-thousand rainbow raku pendants to sell as keepsakes of the 20th annual International Pacific Rim Conference on Disabilities. The project is sponsored by VSA arts of Hawaii-Pacific and the National Technical Assistance Center for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities in an effort to launch the Lanai Artists Cooperative. The event is hosted by the University of Hawaii Center on Disability Studies at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

Photo: Conference Participants

Isaiah, Taylor, Ryan with Branden Hazlet and Carla Reader worked long hours to complete the medallions in time to sell at the conference. The proceeds will fund the arts mentorship program and an end of the school year class field trip. Lanai teachers Branden Hazlet and Carla Reader spearheaded the effort of the students. “We don’t know why didn’t we think of this before,” Lanai High principal Pierce Myers said. “Launching this creative industry has been so successful that its invigorated the both the school and the community.”

The Lanai Artists Cooperative, part of the statewide “Artists Mean Business in Hawaii” mentorship and selfemployment initiative. It is funded in part by the grant from the Hawaii Community Foundation. The Lanai youth entrepreneurial effort was launched with the creation of 100 Halloween ceramic pumpkins by Lanai potter Jocelyn Taal. It was followed by 100 sparkling beaded Valentine’s Day bracelets created by elementary school artists-students ages 5-75. “We see the artists cooperative giving Lanai youth more options. If they want to stay home after high school, they can work for themselves and market globally,” school psychologist Sharie Liden, the Lanai VSA arts of Hawaii-Pacific coordinator.


7th Annual Job Quest 2004 Job Fair: January 14, 2004

Job Quest

Increasing the number and diversity of jobs in Hawaii is among the top priorities of Linda Lingle’s (Hawaii Governor) administration and Job Quest 2004 helped 5,000 job seekers find meaningful employment in Hawaii each year. NTAC-AAPI was one of this year’s 80+ participants contributing information on the National Technical Assistance Center’s mission and objectives. NTAC-AAPI also disseminated information about its new database—The HIRE.US program (Hire Interested and Ready Employees in the U.S.). Employers nationwide identify both temporary and permanent employees from qualified college students and other individuals with disabilities in a wide variety of fields. NTAC-AAPI received more than 70 inquiries and at least 40 resumes of participants interested in this exciting new personnel resource.


“Discover The Importance of Assistive Technology”: January 12, 2004

Photo: Hawaii Job Fair

State Capital, Honolulu, HI
Sponsored By: Assistive Technology Resource Centers of Hawaii (ARTC).

Photo: Job Fair Posters

In a free display, the Assistive Technology Resource Centers of Hawaii showcased technology designed to help those with disabilities. The display included eating and writing implements and computer-based hardware and software. Among the exhibitors were the National Technical Assistance Center (NTAC), Real Choices, Hawaiian Island Medical, National Federation for the Blind (NFB), Department of Health Early Intervention Section/Keiki Tech, Archimedes Technology Hawaii, ATRC Assistive Technology Resource Centers, Aloha Technology Special Access Center, Video Relay Sprint, Voice Telephone Newspaper Service, Nationally Library Service, and Response Link -Personal Emergency Response & Safety Systems.


JCCH New Year’s ‘Ohana Festival, Jan. 11, 2004

Photo: Ohana Festival Participants

In the biggest celebration since its opening in 1994, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i (JCCH) is kicking off 2004 with a fanfare of food, fun activities, crafts and entertainment at the New Year’s ‘Ohana Festival on Sunday, January 11, 2004. The ‘Ohana event also features Japanese New Year’s customs of mochi-pounding, taiko, crafts.

Among the multicultural musical performances at the festival will be solo guitarist Jason Uesato, an singer-songwriter with a disability who Hoku Award Nominee Kevin Hopkins said is “perhaps the best overall guitarist in Hawai‘i”

Uesato composes and performs original songs, and also specializes in a mixture of different musical styles, including jazz, classical, blues, ragtime, folk, slack key, and Brazillian-jazz. Uesato graduated from Castle High School where classmate Teresa Bright agreed with Jason’s teachers that he is perhaps the best overall guitarist in Hawai‘i. He earned a master's degree in political science from University of Hawaii. He completed his undergraduate work at International College and Graduate School of Theology.

VSA arts of Hawaii-Pacific’s (NTAC-AAPI collaborator) fine arts and native Hawaiian crafts booth will feature the work of nine artists with and without developmental disabilities. Caricature portrait artist Alice Mitsuda will offer her 3-minute drawing for festival goers. The booth will include the work of watercolorist Tammy Lau and cartoonist Keisha Richards along within Chinese brush painter Daniel Wang, native Hawaiian author and mouth-brush painter Matthew Kaopio, native Hawaiian oil painter Michael Cheek and native Hawaiian textile artist Cavin Castaneda, Japanese American oil painter Morris Nakamura and Big Island crafter Gayla.

In the tradition of the annual Osh_gatsu (New Year‘s) revelry—where Japanese families in Hawai‘i would invite their neighbors to celebrate the New Year—the theme of this year‘s festival is “Celebrating the Multicultural Traditions of Hawai‘i.” Admission is free. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mo‘ili‘ili Field and the JCCH grounds, Honolulu, Hawaii.


NEA-Funded Public Forum

Photo: Cavin Castaneda

Friday, NOV. 7, 2003, 3-7:30 P.M.
Honolulu Hale, 530 S. King Street, Honolulu

Artists Mean Business in Hawai‘i: “Public Discussion on Creating Career Opportunities for Artists with Disabilities”— Established Oahu artists and others with and without disabilities discussed programs available and assistance needed for mentoring, vocational training, and small business marketing in all aspects of the arts industry.

Hawai‘i Collaborators: State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Hawai‘i Consortium for the Arts, KSBE, DOH DD Division, the National Technical Assistance Center (NTAC) on Employment for Asian American and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities (AAPI) and VSA arts of Hawaii Pacific. Sponsored in part by a grant from the NEA, National Arts and Disability Center, Social Security Administration and VSA arts in Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2007. National Technical Assistance Center (NTAC-AAPI).
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