View our current community projects
and Public Awareness
Arctic Access collaborates with other organizations serving the people of the NW Arctic and Bering Straits Regions and we're interested in having people contact us regarding disability-related questions and unmet needs. Limitations may relate to physical, hearing, vision, mental or emotional disabilities. Let us know if you want to be included in our network of service providers and consumers addressing the needs of elders and people with disabilities in our rural NW Alaskan communities.
I & R is the place to start for questions about disability, aging, illness or trauma and related services. Arctic Access staff will answer questions and provide information that will help people with disabilities to live more independently. There are numerous resources and links that we can help you wade through.
& Systems Advocacy
Arctic Access staff will speak up for the rights of people with disabilities. When a service isn’t available, we don’t just accept 'NO' as an answer; we advocate for change with local officials and policy makers at the state and federal levels. We help you talk to agencies to get the changes you want and help you be that voice of change in your own community.
Join us in our advocay efforts. We're requesting housing authorities to build ramps on existing homes and to build all new homes more wheelchair accessible, referred to as 'universal design.' We're also advocating for more home and community-based services like more funding for chore and attendant care services for in-home care to support elders and people with disabilities to remain in their own village throughout their lives. We continue to work for more accessible transportation options in rural Alaska, such as rural plane access and local van accessibility.
Support & Skills Training
Elders have a lot of knowledge to share with their peers. Discussions have been shared regarding "Medicinal Plants," "Traditional Remedies," "Salmon Storage and Preparation," etc. Skills Training can also be provided face to face, on the phone or on the internet; consider topics such as "Self Advocacy," "Managing Your Own Attendant," or "Computer Use." Groups to help support people with mental health challenges and re-entry from detention or rehab facilities may be developed. Let us know your needs and interests.
Deinstitutionalization & Diversion
There are elders and people with disabilities in long term care facilities who would prefer to live at home. If you have a family member in a nursing home or you would like to avoid them going into a facility or into Anchorage to an Assisted Living Home, Arctic Access with the State Division of Senior and Disability Services can help develop a plan and put together the services to support their stay in their own community.
Arctic Access will assist in obtaining special devices such as grab bars, gardening tools, walkers, commode chairs, and vision and hearing devices such as magnifiers and Pocket Talkers. We will recommend a device or service that may increase your own independence, we could help locate funding for those devices or services or offer our "Consumer Service Fund" for assistive technology, adaptive equipment and/or temporary services. We'll work with various housing programs to get wheelchair ramps for those in need. You could try out the Adaptive Technology purchased for the Kawerak Vocational Rehabilitation Program before you consider your own purchase. Also contact our Kotzebue office for various assistive devices in their Loan Closet they may have on hand such as an Emergency Phone, a stepstool with a handrail to help get into those raised tubs, etc.
Current Community Projects
Our Inclusive Garden Project is providing special gardening assistance to seven (7) participating villages of Ambler, Kobuk, Shungnak, Noorvik, Kiana, Deering and Kivalina in the NW Arctic Region. Linnea Wik, our Garden Assistant, has been helping elders and people with disabilities to rototill their soil, help put down weed ground cover, provide cold frames, specialized garden tools, etc. Thanks to Martha Wells in Noorvik for her help with container gardens for folks who are homebound.
Seth Kantner, Maniilaq Agriculture Program Manager, has provided invaluable assistance delivering vegetable seeds and plant starts as well as other gardening supplies to each village and helping Linnea with the village connections. As one gardener has said, "I hadn't gardened in 40 years since my grandma use to garden!" Let us know what assistance you may need to get back into gardening!
There will also be wheelchair accessible taxi service in Nome in the near future. Stay tuned!