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Friday Mail

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August 1, 2014

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News Items:

Opportunities for Comments and Involvement

Save the Date! Michigan Supporting & Including Brothers & Sisters 2014 State Conference Saturday, October 18th - See Flyer  (pdf)

8:30 am  - 4:30 pm

Crowne Plaza Lansing West Hotel, 925 N. Creyts Road, Lansing, MI

517.323.7100

Leaders in Policy Advocacy Accepting Applications for October Class in Mt. Pleasant

Leaders in Policy Advocacy, an intensive leadership development project administered by the Arc Michigan and funded by the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council, is now accepting applications for the next class, scheduled to begin in October in Mt. Pleasant. Eligible applicants are adults with developmental disabilities and parents of minor children with DD. More information and an application form can be found here: http://www.arcmi.org/new/lipa.htm      top

Congress Weighing Tax-Free Disability Savings Accounts 

from DisabilityScoop.com

July 24, 2014

A long-stagnant bill that would establish a new way for people with disabilities to save money
without jeopardizing their government benefits is starting to make its way through Congress.

The legislation known as the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act would allow people with disabilities to create special accounts where they could save up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for benefits like Social Security. What’s more, under the plan, individuals would not lose Medicaid coverage no matter how much money is deposited in the proposed accounts.

A U.S. Senate hearing Wednesday marked the first step in Congress for the bill which has been under consideration since 2006. Click here to read more.  
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HHS Issues New Guidance on Implementing Person-Centered Planning and Self-Direction

On June 6, 2014, The Secretary of Health and Human Services issued guidance on person-centered planning and self-direction for implementing Section 2402(s) of the Affordable Care Act. This provision of the law requires the Secretary to ensure all states develop systems for delivery of home and community-based services and supports (HCBS) that are designed to respond to the changing needs of beneficiaries, maximize independence, support self-direction, and achieve a more consistent and coordinated approach to the administration of policies and procedures across programs providing HCBS. Click here to read more. (pdf)

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New Michigan sign language interpreter requirements take effect July 7th

New requirements took effect July 7th for business and organizations that hire sign language interpreters in Michigan, creating different levels of qualifications for specific types of communication.

The changes will affect nearly 1.2 million deaf, deaf and blind and hard of hearing people in Michigan and the thousands of businesses and institutions required to have an interpreter, said Matt Wesaw, director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

Click here to read more.        top

Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence (MCEDSV) Free Training July 30

Certain professionals are subject to both state and federal statutes regarding mandatory reporting of suspected abuse or neglect against adults with disabilities who are vulnerable. Who must report and who is considered "vulnerable" under Michigan's statute? And, how do we maintain an individual's autonomy and right to self-determination in addressing the issue of abuse, neglect or exploitation? Faculty discussions and case studies will provide participants with information on the prevalence of abuse and neglect of adults with disabilities, while exploring the parameters of mandatory reporting. Participants will gain increased knowledge and skills for appropriate and empowering reporting and responding.

Click here for more information and to register or Click here for flyer (pdf)    top

Social Security Announces New Disability Education and Awareness Initiative

On May 16, Social Security announced the launch of a new disability education and awareness initiative, “The Faces and Facts of Disability.” Through this campaign, Social Security hopes to educate the public about the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and dispel common misconceptions. To learn more about the campaign, visit the Faces and Facts of Disability website at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityfacts.
 

As part of this campaign, Social Security developed a series of outreach materials for groups and organizations, at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityfacts/materials.html, that includes fact sheets, newsletter articles, posters, social media content, PowerPoint slides, and web widgets. Social Security is asking community organizations to use these materials, such as the web widgets, that you can upload to your organization's homepage, to help promote the initiative.

Please check out the materials Social Security has developed for this awareness campaign. Some of them might be very useful for WIPA projects to use during outreach.

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Do you need a ride to a Medicaid health appointment?

In Michigan people eligible for Medicaid get their health care either through a managed care plan or through fee-for-service.

 

If you get Medicaid through fee-for-service and need a ride to a Medicaid health appointment (like a doctor or dentist), contact the person on the attached list who works for your county's Department of Human Services (DHS). If you get Medicaid through a managed care plan and need a ride to a Medicaid health appointment, contact you managed care plan.

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Welcome to the Organizer's Forum! NEXT CALL Tuesday, August 19th

presented by National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA)

How can you get involved? Join our monthly Organizer’s Forum calls!

Calls are held the third Tuesday of every month, 1:00 - 2:00 pm EST.

Call in number: 1.213.342.3000

Code 193134#

The Organizer’s Forum is a resource for disability organizers. Our goal is to build the organizing capacity of the disability community across the country. We aim to support community organizers in the disability community, share tips and tools to do our work more effectively, and provide organizers a sounding board and community for this work.

 

We host a call on a different topic every other month. About half the time the topic covers a specific community organizing skill, such as setting up a town-hall meeting or getting out the disability vote. The other half, we focus on expanding our organizing work by looking at intersections of disability with race, age, immigration, labor, etc. These calls generally follow the format of a welcome followed by two or three experts in a given area speaking for a few minutes on their experiences, advice and challenges. The calls include a 20-30 minute question and answer period. Read more here.  top

Michigan Community Dental Clinics (MCDC) accept Medicaid 

MCDC has a number of dental clinics throughout the state and accepts Medicaid. Visit the website to see what services are available and where the clinics are located or call the MCDC administrative office at 231.547.7638.           top

Customizing Job Development - Un-Occupying the Workshop, One Person at a Time

from DSA Press

by Cary Griffin, Bob Niemiec and Megan Zeilinger

"Customized Employment is a set of techniques that makes Supported Employment more rigorous by using an economic development approach to job creation. It requires active tactics to create opportunity, rather than the passivity of luck and the willingness of companies to "Give Someone a Try." Its foundation is the Discovery process."  Read more here (pdf). top

Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services - Questions and Answers on Requirements in Final Regulations

A new set of answers to frequently asked questions is available online regarding the new requirements in the recently published home and community-based services final regulations. The frequently asked questions are available at: http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Long-Term-Services-and-Supports/Home-and-Community-Based-Services/Downloads/Final-Q-and-A.pdf   top

Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities: A National Snapshot
The Ms. Foundation for Women and the Center on Victimization and Safety (CVS) of the Vera Institute of Justice, partnered on a report investigating the sexual abuse of children with disabilities entitled "Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities: A National Snapshot"
(pdf). The issue brief, which hopes to begin a conversation around strategies to end the sexual abuse of children with disabilities, provides an overview of the latest research on the incidence and prevalence of this abuse. It discusses the dynamics of sexual abuse, the factors that contribute to its high prevalence, the status of prevention and intervention services designed to address this problem, and critical gaps and opportunities. It concludes with recommendations to create a national strategy in response to this epidemic. top
Michigan Alliance for Families announces release of new 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.

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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)

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Michigan History of Our State Institutions for People with Developmental Disabilities

This video documents this regretful history and celebrates the hard work of families and advocates with the final closure of our last institution in Michigan in 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlg-g7l-MBg  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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Michigan Alliance for Families Web site offers Resources to help Families

Michigan Alliance for Families is excited to announce that our website (www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/eo) now includes information to help families become more involved in the growth and development of infants and toddlers.

Michigan Alliance for Families, in partnership with Early On Michigan, announces resources to help families know their rights, better communicate their child’s needs, support the development of infants and toddlers, and prepare for the transition out of Early On into the preschool years. These resources are available to families, Early On Service Coordinators and Service Providers to increase the involvement of Michigan families in the growth and development of infants and toddlers.
Website resources include:

Handouts and video information on developmental milestones and how to promote development and learning through play

  • Handouts and video information to help families prepare to leave Early On and move on to Preschool
  • Learning tools to help families improve communication skills
  • Information to help families know their rights (Procedural Safeguards), including evaluation, Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) development, natural environments and service coordination.                       top

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