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Family SupportNet News: Issue 4



Originally published: 4/2002

Suggested audiences:

What is the Internet?

Source- www.Techsoup.org, May 05, 2000. Author: Susan Tenby

To many people, the Web IS the Internet. This is an easy assumption to make, based on all the media hype the World Wide Web has received-and the huge number of websites. While there is indeed an important distinction between the Internet and the Web, the Web has emerged as the main resource for sharing information and for gaining a larger public presence.

The Internet is a global network of interconnected computers. If you are connected to the Internet, you are part of the Internet. It is kind of like an enormous set of telephones connected together. There are currently more than 30 million users of the Internet. The Internet is comprised of networks owned by government agencies, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, corporations and private parties. The precursor to the Internet was created by The Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA), part of the Department of Defense (DoD), to allow for the rapid exchange of information between various university research projects funded by the DoD.

Within the Internet you can transfer files, login to a remote server, send and receive email, and access the World Wide Web. Uses of the Internet which are currently gaining popularity include using your computer in place of a telephone (Internet telephony), listening to digital radio broadcasts. The three most common uses of the Internet are email, listservs, and surfing the World Wide Web to increase knowledge of virtually any topic imaginable.

Move over Martha Stewart!
Cora Johnson's Cookbook Recipes Will Help Raise Money

Cora Johnson, a student from Family SupportNet Classes in Dorchester, is putting together a multi-ethnic recipe book. Each year the Evergreen Center of Mattapan holds a Spring fundraiser to benefit the participants who attend the center. Mrs. Johnson has been increasing her computer skills by learning PowerPoint so that her cookbook, a collection of various ethnic foods contributed by staff, consumers and friends of the Evergreen Center, will look good enough to buy. Mrs. Johnson said, "I finally have a way to contribute back to the staff at the Evergreen Center using my computer skills. I have been using the Internet to find recipes that are family favorites, but also are from different ethnic groups because we are all a part of the community. We should try each other's food and learn more." Mrs. Johnson has already taken orders for the cookbook and hopes it makes a lot of money for the participants who need supplies and equipment at the Evergreen Center.

By Cora Johnson and Meredith Aalto

Family SupportNet Project Student Returns to Teach!
Meet Mr. Jose Santos...

Hello, my name is Jose Santos. Last Fall, I joined the Family SupportNet classes with my wife Marilyn. Our daughter, Amalia is 15 years old and has multiple disabilities. We thought that we could learn some computer skills so that we would know how get information on the Internet for our family and access more help for our daughter. I speak Spanish and English and started to assist the teacher as she taught Marilyn. The lessons really helped me understand about the various programs Microsoft Word, email and Internet. Learning these new skills seemed like a good fit for me and I realized how much I enjoy working on the computer. Meredith asked me if I would like to help others in the Latino community learn about Family Support resources by co-teaching with her. I am going to start co-teaching a new Spring class for the Family SupportNet Project at the South End Tech Center specifically for the Latino communities. I am also hoping to take a computer repair class as well as PhotoShop through the South End Tech Center. It will feel very good to help others gain more skills and I can go on for additional classes and help my own family. Everyone who wants to learn can learn. Please join us for a class!

by Jose Santos with Meredith Aalto

"HAPHI Voices"

The students at Haitian American Public Health Initiative (HAPHI) have completed their Microsoft Word portion of the Family Support Net Project lessons. They used the opportunity to express their views in this newsletter.
HAPHI parents write:

Wise word for the New Year

I would like to wish all HAPHI staff and the Family Support Group Program a Happy New Year. Here, we are at the beginning of a new year. Some of us made some new resolutions regarding things we didn't accomplish last year, some mistakes we made. But, I have some good news for you.. Thank God you are still alive. Some of us didn't make it through the end. Forget about the past, step on some good attitude, feel good about yourself and remember everything you do in your every day life positive or negative, will have an impact on other lives. I would extend my gratitude especially to the staff of FSGP for their hard work during the past year. May God bless you all abundantly.

-Yours forever, Friend, Mrs. V.

A Mother's Words

My son is 32, and is autistic. He is very slow. He likes to dance, to eat, sing, swim, party, and talk among girls. He looks physically normal, but mentally is different from his age. This difference makes him vulnerable, because he does not look like he has a disability. This is one of my anxieties. When he is far from his family, we are always scared. We are afraid that somebody might abuse him.

-Mrs. B.

The Importance of the HAPHI Organization

The HAPHI organization brings a lot of aid to the Haitian families. There are multiple programs not only for children with disabilities, but also for their parents. (We, the Haitian women, have had the) the luck to participate during computer class each week at 11:00 o'clock on Tuesday morning. This is also an occasion for these women to meet among themselves and discuss their different problems. The young adults receive good information that will allow them later to learn. (Translated from French)

-Mrs. M.

HAPHI students completed lessons at Codman Square Computer Center on March 26, 2002. The Family SupportNet Project thanks Codman Square Computer Center Technology Director, Kate Snow, for opening its doors to the parents of HAPHI. The students were able to learn about Internet searches to access Family Support resources and use their new email accounts to communicate with professionals and other parents about disability related issues.

-written by HAPHI (Haitian American Public Health Initiative) students

Call or email Meredith Aalto for more information about upcoming basic computer classes!

Family SupportNet, Capacity Building Project
Institute for Community Inclusion
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125
617-287-4331 (voice)
617-287-4350 (TTY)
617-287-4352 (fax)

Visit the Family SupportNetWebsite at: www. ici.umb.edu/family
Resources include information and links about Disability Resources, Global Communities, ESL, Healthcare, Family Activities, FSN Newsletter, List serves, Searches and MUCH MORE!!

The Family SupportNet Project, award # 90DN0053, is a three year Project of National Significance funded by the Department of Health and Human services, Administration for Children and Families, and Administration on Developmental Disabilities.

SupportNet is a project of the Institute for Community Inclusion, In partnership with The Department of Mental Retardation, Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, and Community Based Minority Organizations (CBMOs)