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May Newsletter

May 2020

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Dear Community,

We are closing in on another month working from home and navigating local and nationwide health updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope you are all doing well, staying healthy, busy, and safe. Your health and safety, as well as the health and safety of our staff, continue to be on the forefront of all our decision-making during this time, along with the ongoing guidance from State and local leadership.

Our organization is unique in that we have several counties and governments to follow in terms of when it would be reasonably safe to return to work and when we might be able to reopen our doors to our public. We are closely following the guidelines from the county of Honolulu, Imperial Valley, and San Diego and while each has similar guidelines and safety requirements, such as wearing face masks while out in public, other guidelines on reopening businesses are different. My goal is to reopen with the utmost abundance of caution that might be a phased process.

For the time being, our staff continues to provide you services as they work from home through the month of May. While things may change as the days go by and we get updated information on how and when we may reopen to the public, our health and safety, as well as yours, will be my primary factor on how and when we reopen.

To that end, I am working closely with my Directors and our Board and are putting together new policies and procedures so that when the time comes to reopen, everyone is and feels safe to return. Some of those safety features will include plexiglass shields in workstations and hand sanitizing stations at each
office, to name a few examples.

It is safe to say that when this is all over, things will be different and for some time, it may feel strange – a new normal, so to speak. It will take some time to adjust to these changes and protocols but we will endure, as we have endured many other challenges. Our mission will not falter and we remain committed to helping others, moving others towards independence, and changing systems that create barriers for people with disabilities.

With Respect,
Letty Zuno, Executive Director
Access to Independence of San Diego, Inc.

Latest health order changes announced for San Diego County

As of Monday, April 27, the following is allowed in the ocean and bays: swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. Recreational boating is still banned.

However, each city is responsible for deciding whether to open its beaches. Check before visiting. Beach parking lots need to remain closed.

Starting May 1, the County is hoping to relax more restrictions for parks and golf courses if they can enforce social distancing. Operators of a park or golf course need to create and post a plan for how they will do that.

Social distancing and safety templates for Parks & Beaches | Golf Courses

The County hopes to:

  • Allow parks and beaches to reopen parking lots, with limitations.
  • Allow park and beach visitors to sit, lie down, picnic if they practice social distancing.
  • Allow members of a family or household to play active sports, such as basketball or volleyball.
  • Open golf courses that follow the safety protocol.

Starting May 1, everyone must wear face coverings anywhere in public they come within 6 feet of another person.

State guidelines on face coverings | CDC instructions on wearing and making face coverings

What the orders mean

  • Everyone needs to stay home except to take care of essential needs or go to an essential job.
  • Practice social distancing. Keep at least six feet away from other people unless they’re household members. Avoid gatherings of any size.
  • You should wear a face covering when leaving home. Cloth facial coverings don’t have to be medical grade but should cover your nose and mouth. Homemade masks, bandanas, scarves and neck gaiters are OK since you can wash and reuse them. Learn how to make a face covering.
  • It is strongly recommended you stay home, unless you need medical care, if:
    • You are over 65 years old
    • Have a chronic underlying health condition
    • Have a compromised immune system
    • Have mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19

What is open?

You need to follow social distancing when you visit these essential services, including:

  • Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores
  • Restaurants for take-out, delivery or drive-through
  • Pharmacies
  • Banks
  • Laundromats/laundry
  • Hardware/home improvement stores
  • Airports and public transportation
  • Childcare (see below)

Essential government services are still available. Many government agencies have closed public offices but are offering services online, over the phone or other ways.

What’s been closed?

  • Dine-in areas of restaurants
  • Bars and nightclubs.
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Hair and nail salons
  • Entertainment venues
  • Beach and public park parking lots. Some parks are closed.
  • Public events and gatherings

If you are unsure if a business is open, call them or visit their website to see what services they may be providing.

For more information on San Diego COVID-19 updates, click here.

Current Situation in Hawaii:

COVID-19 is spreading globally, nationally, and now locally. While the majority of cases identified in Hawaii have been introduced into our state by travelers, especially Hawaii residents, we all need to practice social distancing (i.e., maintaining at least 6 ft distance or 2 arm’s length from others) as well as other important infection prevention measures (e.g., wash hands, clean surfaces regularly) to prevent widespread community transmission. Social distancing can reduce the spread of disease, prevent our healthcare system from being overburdened, and protect the most vulnerable members in our community from infection.  If you get sick, please stay home—get rest and drink plenty of fluids. If you are older or have an underlying medical condition and become ill, call your doctor.

For more information, visit

10 Things To Do When You Are Bored At Home:

Being limited to the space of your home. Not being able to go outside and live a life we consider normal. It all can be unsettling and frustrating. But it doesn´t have to be!

Here are 10 fun things to do when bored at home:

  • Learn a language (e.g. with Duolingo)
  • Listen to educational podcasts that spark your interest
  • Learn how to Zendoodle on YouTube
  • Learn American Sign Language (ASL) on YouTube
  • Read all the books you haven’t finished
  • Sort all your photos (online and offline)
  • Listen to an audiobook on Audible (the first 30 days are free)
  • Start doing meditation with the Calm app
  • Do chair yoga on YouTube
  • Watch documentaries on Netflix (the first 30 days are free!)

COVID-19 Economic Impact Payment Program in ASL


In these unprecedented and challenging times, we hope you and your family are healthy and safe. We are all in this together and our hearts go out to all those directly affected by the virus, as well as their families, friends and coworkers.

We understand that with the coronavirus outbreak comes hardships such as financial losses and changes to people’s livelihoods. To ease the burden on customers, SDG&E is suspending service disconnections for nonpayment until further notice. If you are struggling to pay your SDG&E bill, please call SDG&E’s Customer Contact Center at 1.800.411.7343 and they can help you make payment arrangements that work for you.

SDG&E is temporarily waiving late payment fees for business customers whose finances have been affected by the coronavirus. The company does not charge residential customers late payment fees.

SDG&E has decided to postpone all non-critical planned outages and will only proceed with outages related to emergencies, public safety and wildfire mitigation. It’s a stressful time and SDG&E is doing everything they can to minimize customer disruptions.

SDG&E is proud to serve this community and provide support in any way they can. That’s why they’ve partnered with other San Diego leaders to launch the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. This fund will help support local nonprofit groups that help the needy with food, rent and utility bill assistance. SDG&E donated $1 million to support programs and help organizations address the growing effects of the coronavirus outbreak. If you’d like to learn more about what SDG&E is doing to help during this pandemic, or to get the latest updates, visit sdge.com/coronavirus.

Donate to Access To Independence when shopping for your essentials on Amazon!

Are you following us on Facebook?

Click here to download information on free and low-cost internet access during COVID-19

Services we are currently offering:

Imperial Valley
Contact Sonia Silva at  (760) 768-2044 or ssilva@seanw55.sg-host.com regarding the following services:
-Housing Resources
-Peer Counseling (individual)
-Enhanced Vision Program
-Youth In Transition Program

North County
Contact Franco Saavedra at (619)704-2440 or fsaavedra@seanw55.sg-host.com regarding the following services:
-Disability Benefits Counseling & Advocacy
-Housing & Transportation Benefits Counseling & Advocacy
-Peer Counseling/Support (Youth & Adults, via web or phone)
-Online Independent Living Skills Development (Live & Thrive)
-Emergency Preparedness Online Workshops

Mission Valley
Contact Nancy Vera at 619-704-2443 or nvera@seanw55.sg-host.com for the following services:

-Housing Assistance
-Assistive Technology Assistance
-Transition and Diversion Services
-Youth Transition Services
-Transportation Assistance
-Emergency Preparedness
-Census Education and Support
-CalFresh Assistance


Contact Alfonis Sound at (808) 369-9521 or asound@seanw55.sg-host.com for the following services:

-Ho`olilo (Transition) Program
-HaliHali`ana (Transportation) Program
-Kauhale (Housing) Program
-Hana (Employment) Program
-VAAIA (Low Vision or Blind) Program
-Ōpio (Youth Transition) Program




Curated by Access to Independence of San Diego, Inc.
8885 Rio San Diego Dr. Suite 131
San Diego, CA 92108

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May 2020 Newsletter

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