Disability activist to speak July 10 to Canadian County Democrats

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YUKON, Oklahoma – Jeff Hughes, executive director of Progressive Independence Center for Independent Living in Norman, will speak to the Canadian County Democrats on Monday, July 10, about the integration and full inclusion of individuals with disabilities into the mainstream of American society.

A longtime Democrat and disability activist, Hughes was elected as an affirmative action officer at the Oklahoma Democratic Party convention in April.

The public is invited to attend the Democrats’ meeting, at the Yukon Police Department, 100 S. Ranchwood Boulevard. There is no charge to attend.

Hughes will speak about combined efforts of Oklahoma ADAPT disability activists and Democrats involved in the RESIST movement. The groups are coalescing in opposition to Republican healthcare reform, which is projected to reduce healthcare access for 22 million Americans.

He will also focus on the development of a disability caucus in Oklahoma and state support for the national REV UP campaign focused on increasing the political power of the disability community.

Hughes, a leader in the Independent Living Movement since it began in Oklahoma in 1993, accepted his current position at Progressive Independence in 2000.
He has held numerous state and national leadership offices, including member at large to the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), past chair of the NCIL task force on the Administration on Community Living, past Chair of NCIL’s subcommittee for the Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as governor appointments to the Statewide Independent Living Council and Office of Disability Concerns board of directors.

Hughes is certified in advantage case management, benefits planning, Americans with Disabilities Act provisions, person-centered planning, and job coaching.

Established in 1981, Progressive Independence was one of the first centers for independent living in Oklahoma. All centers are consumer controlled; with people with disabilities forming a majority of the governing board and staff. The center offers information and referral, peer support, independent living skills training, advocacy and transition to community living services. The primary service area is central Oklahoma, including Canadian, Cleveland, McCain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie counties.

The Canadian County Democrats regularly meet at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Yukon Police Department, 100 S. Ranchwood Boulevard.