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Friday Mail

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April 29, 2016

Get ready for The Arc Michigan’s New and Improved Website
 S a m e     A d d r e s s,    N e w    L o o k

 

This is the last Arc Michigan e-newsletter

A new, easy-to-read version will take its place soon!

Subscribe to Friday Mail       

News Items

Opportunities for Comments and Involvement

Michigan Dept. of Health & Human Services hosting MI Health Link  Public Forums in Macomb & Wayne Counties

The presentations at these forums will focus on the member experience upon joining the program for persons eligible for MI Health Link. We encourage those who may be eligible for MI Health Link or are currently enrolled in MI Health Link, as well as their families, friends, advocates, allies, and anyone else who may be interested in learning more about this program or providing feedback, to join us. Please share.

• The Macomb County - Thursday, May 5th at Macomb Oakland Regional Center, 

   16200 19 Mile Rd, Clinton Township - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST. See Flyer (pdf)
• The Wayne County - Thursday, May 5th at Sacred Heart Seminary,

   2701 Chicago Blvd., Detroit - 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST. See Flyer (pdf)

 

MDHHS is providing a conference line for interested stakeholders to participate by phone. The conference line information is also posted on the MI Health Link website: http://www.michigan.gov/mihealthlink   top

MDRC Youth Boys with Disabilities Event - May 14 & 15

Are you a high school boy with a disability between the ages of 14-19? Would you like to meet other boys with disabilities from across the state of Michigan? Then you need to register TODAY   to find your disability identity, and celebrate your disability pride. (Registration Deadline is May 10th)

The world we live in continually tells us how we are supposed to act, who we are supposed to be, and what we are supposed to look like. Together we will take a look at stereotypes and myths we are taught to believe as boys with disabilities.
At this interactive two day event we will use activities to learn from each other and how to teach the world how we see ourselves.

Contact Joseph Pietron with any questions at joseph@mymdrc.org  top 

Boilerplate 298 Workgroup Developing Strategies to Improve Behavioral Health System

LANSING, Mich. – Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has convened a group of stakeholders to work on increasing service levels and improving the effectiveness of Michigan’s behavioral healthcare system after hearing concerns about how mental health funding was addressed in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget recommendations.

 

The workgroup includes statewide mental health advocates, consumers, parents, administrators and health care providers. Calley has asked the group to enhance, improve and better integrate the state’s systems of care, with consumer needs as the focus. In order to keep this process as open and transparent as possible, all materials used by or resulting from this Stakeholder 298 workgroup will be posted at http://www.michigan.gov/stakeholder298  as quickly as possible after each meeting.  top

See Notes from Senate Meeting Regarding Snyder's 298 Boilerplate: Mark Reinstein & Jean Doss     top

Open Letter to Legislators on State Services for Mental Illness, Emotional Disturbance, Substance Use Disorder & Intellectual or Developmental Disability - April 1

The attached open letter on the DHHS Budget Section 298 was sent to all legislators on behalf of the signatories. Dohn Hoyle, The Arc Michigan   top

DD Council Announces 3rd Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign in Celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (October) - Apply by May 2

This Campaign is designed to highlight people with developmental disabilities who have community-integrated jobs. Participants will be selected based on the criteria listed in the attached application. Please note the number one criteria is participants must work in a community-integrated setting, not in segregated employment.


Please complete and submit the application to Meredith Smith at smithm10@michigan.gov by 5:00pm, Monday, May 2, 2016. If you are recommending a person other than yourself, please make sure to inform the individual of your recommendation.
If you have any questions, please contact Meredith Smith, Communications Representative at 517-284-7295 or smithm10@michigan.gov.
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US Dept. of Labor issues Home Care Guide for Consumers and Families

The DOL has issued  Paying Minimum Wage and Overtime to Home Care Workers: A Guide for Consumers and their Families to the Fair Labor Standards Act. This user-friendly guide, developed with stakeholder input, explains who needs to follow the FLSA rules and how to follow them. The guide provides examples of situations involving hiring a home care worker directly, using a home care agency, and arranging care through a self-directed program. It discusses paid providers who are family members of the consumer and who are live-in workers.

The guide is available at:  http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/homecare_guide.htm.  
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Open Letter to Legislators on State Services for Mental Illness, Emotional Disturbance, Substance Use Disorder & Intellectual or Developmental Disability - April 1

The attached open letter on the DHHS Budget Section 298 was sent today to all legislators on behalf of the signatories. Dohn Hoyle, The Arc Michigan   top

Michigan Alliance for Families (MAF) Concerned with Flint Water Crisis

MAF has documents and resources regarding Lead Poisoning on their website, including children's development through early intervention and special education services. These services are free to families.

 

Sherry Lynch-Kenworthy, MAF Genesee County Parent Mentor and Information & Referral Staff can directly provide information, referrals and assistance regarding children who have or may have been exposed to lead. For more information, call 800.552.4821.

Download & share Lead Information flyers: English, Spanish & Arabic     top

Values-Driven Advocate Under Capitol Dome by Tom Watkins March 11th

The word “advocate” has been tossed around quite a bit under the Capitol Dome over the years. So much so, I sometimes expect to see someone wearing a colorful costume, a cap and a brazen capital “A” pressed to their chest ready to leap the Capitol Rotunda in a single bound.

Read more here. top

ACHIEVING a BETTER LIFE EXPERIENCE ACT (“ABLE ACT”)

By Thomas F. Kendziorski, Esq.

"The ABLE Act arose out of the federal "Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014" It creates tax-favored savings accounts for Individuals with disabilities for tax years beginning after December 31, 2014. The ABLE Act (now: Internal Revenue Code §529A) authorizes states to create an ABLE Act program that is very similar to the traditional Internal Revenue Code §529 college savings programs. Over the past year more details have come to light. Many folks ask about the ABLE Act. I have created an informational presentation. Click here to view the presentation. It is also available on Arc Oakland's site at: thearcoakland.org/wp-content/uploads/ABLE-Act-2016-Presentation-V2.pdf"  top

Let's Reimagine and Reinvent Michigan's Behavioral Health System - Tom Watkins

The Sky is Not Falling

"We need to approach this opportunity as if we just discovered this place called Michigan and we had 300,000 people with disabilities that needed care and support, and each year $2.4 billion washed up on our shores to serve these individuals. Now, design a system around our shared values to help meet their needs."  Please share and comment on Tom's article in Dome Magazine  top

Fourth Employment First Technical Brief Published

The Office of Disability Employment Policy and the LEAD Center are pleased to release the fourth Employment First Technical Brief, Federal Resources Available to Support State Employment First Efforts. The four-part series is for anyone working to implement Employment First in their state, region or agency. Download the Technical Briefs today!  top

Employment First in Michigan: Executive Order 2015-15

From RWC Advocacy

State departments and agencies that provide services and support to those with disabilities as well as economic development and employment services will adopt the Employment First model that emphasizes competitive employment in an integrated setting for persons with disabilities under an executive order signed Wednesday by Lt. Governor Brian Calley.


"Employment First encourages workplace diversity and enhances economic development while further designating Michigan as an equal opportunity state," Mr. Calley said in a statement. "Michiganders with all abilities deserve to live independent, self-determined lives. The ability to work leads to enhanced social interaction, community involvement and economic independence, and a sense of pride that all people desire."
The executive order (EO 2015-15) also requires departments and agencies to share data to track progress on the issue. The State Rehabilitation Council will oversee implementation.
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Stop federal contractors from profiteering off people with disabilities!

from Change.org

The AbilityOne® program is mandated to award federal contracts to employ people with disabilities. Last year those contracts totaled $2.8 billion. However, some of those contractors are not hiring enough people with significant disabilities to comply with their federal mandates, or, when they do, contractors are paying some disabled workers sub-minimum wages and overwhelmingly employing them in segregated environments – all while they rake in tens of millions of federal dollars for their executives.

Investigations by federal agencies and news media have alleged massive corruption in the AbilityOne program. According to sources who spoke with CNN, it’s “one of the worst cases of fraud and mismanagement they’ve ever seen in a federal agency.” Read more here and sign petition  top

Uninsured population shrinks in Michigan, and 8 more points on health-care coverage

From MLIVE

The number of Michigan residents with health insurance grew by a quarter million during the first year of Obamacare, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey estimates that 8,961,893, or 91.5 percent of Michigan residents, had health-care coverage in 2014. That's 249,000 more than in 2013, when 89 percent of Michiganders were insured. Read more here.

Michigan Alliance for Families DVD “Making the Most of Early On®"Making the Most of Earlyon" is designed to help parents better understand and access the system of supports and services for children from birth through age three.
This video is chaptered into six easy to navigate topics:

  • What is Early On?

  • Parent to Parent Advice

  • Natural Environments

  • Problem Solving

  • Transition: Leaving Early On

  • Parent Survey

Each topic includes options for Spanish subtitles, Arabic subtitles, and English closed caption. In addition to the DVD, parents can find more early intervention resources at: www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/babies-and-toddlers.

Parents and professionals can view the videos via the Michigan Alliance for Families YouTube Channel  at www.youtube.com/michiganalliance.

A limited quantity of DVDs is available.

Contact info@michiganallianceforfamilies.org
“Making the Most of Early On®” was produced through an IDEA grant awarded by the Michigan

Department of Education to Michigan Alliance for Families.

Michigan Alliance for Families' upcoming workshops can be viewed at:

 www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/upcoming-events/  Upcoming and archived Webinars can be viewed at: http://www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/webinar/

Check out our new brochure (pdf)        top

The White House Disability Group E-mail Distribution List
In order to keep the public informed about various disability issues the White House has been hosting monthly calls. To learn about future calls, request to be added to the White House Disability email distribution list, by visiting the White House website.

These calls are open to the public and offer a unique opportunity to hear about important disability issues from individuals who work in the Federal government. You can also submit questions before the call at disability.gov.                              
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