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July 28,  2015

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News Items

Opportunities for Comments and Involvement

Dohn Hoyle receives Award from Disability Network of Southwest Michigan and Special Tribute from Governor Snyder

Dohn Hoyle Receives Jim Neubacher, Lifetime Achievement Award

Dohn Hoyle receiving the Jim Neubacher, Lifetime Achievement Award from  Disability Network, Southwest Michigan. Pictured here with Joel W. Cooper, President and CEO,

and Pamela Neubacher, wife of the Late Mr. Neubacher.

Dohn Hoyle receiving Special Tribute, signed by Gov. Snyder, from Sen. Margaret O'Brien

Dohn also received a Special Tribute, signed by Governor Snyder, presented by Senator

Margaret O'Brien. Also pictured is Cameron J. Lambe, Board Chairperson of the Disability Network.

Tax Policy - New ABLE Account Survey Offered (From Capitol Insider)
The ABLE National Resource Center has developed a survey to better understand how many individuals might be eligible for ABLE accounts and how a potential beneficiary may use an ABLE account to save for disability related expenses. The results will be analyzed by the ABLE National Resource Center and distributed to its members and other relevant stakeholders. The Arc encourages advocates to distribute the survey widely through social media, email, and newsletters. It is hoped that all responses will be submitted by August 3rd, though distribution is still encouraged through the end of August. Click here to participate in the survey. If you have any questions, please contact Chris Rodriguez at      

From the Arc - Nominate A Catalyst for Change Today! deadline August 7th

The Arc’s Catalyst Awards have been created to recognize individuals, businesses, and other organizations that are catalysts for achievement in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). This is our opportunity to turn a national spotlight to individuals and organizations that are trailblazing to make the future more inclusive, and setting an example of what our communities will look like when the civil rights for people I/DD are fully realized. Nominations are due by August 7th, so what are you waiting for? Submit your nomination today! top

S. 1177: Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 passed July 16th
The Senate passed Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) on July 16th. While the bill includes important provisions that support students with disabilities, it still does not include two critical requirements: 1) school intervention when groups of students (including students with disabilities) are not meeting state standards; and 2) full certification for teachers.   top

ESEA UPDATE: Final House Bill (HR 5) Passes July 8 (NDSC Governmental Affairs, July 10th)

The House ESEA bill (HR 5) and amendments went to the floor the evening of July 8. It became clear that the bill and amendments would be voted on so quickly that there would be insufficient time to expect families to respond to an alert. Instead, NDSC signed on to a number of letters from disability and civil rights coalitions that were distributed to all House members. Read more here

The bill and numerous amendments were debated and voted on between 4:30-6:45 pm. HR 5, which NDSC did not support, passed 218-213. See how your Representative voted     top

The Arc Michigan Announces Availability of its Pooled Amenities Trust

The Arc Michigan is pleased to publicly announce the availability of its Pooled Amenities Trust. This type of trust allows people with disabilities and their families to plan for a more secure financial future without losing their eligibility for means-tested public benefits like Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. A pooled trust is also more accessible for families of average financial means than special needs trusts established by banks and professional trust companies. For more information on our Pooled Amenities Trust please read the attached document (pdf) or contact our office at 800-292-7851. top

Changing of the Guard at The Arc Michigan

from Dohn Hoyle, June 30, 2015


As many of you know, today is my last day as Executive Director and CEO of the Arc Michigan. It doesn’t mean I’m riding into the sunset or banned from the premises. It does mean I am turning over the reins, operation and administration of the agency to an extremely competent new Executive Director/CEO.

It is with great enthusiasm and considerable pride that I leave this wonderful organization in the hands of the supremely talented Sherri Boyd. This “succession” has been in the works for some time and, thanks to the leadership and foresight of our Board of Directors, it has been a smooth transition. Many of you know Sherri and respect her and her impeccable values as I do. The Arc will indeed be in capable hands.

Personally, while I will further reduce my time, I have been asked by Sherri to continue to direct the Arc’s Public Policy efforts and provide some of the trainings to which we are committed. I hope you will accept my thanks for all the assistance, support and education so many of you have offered. My tenure has proved to be exciting, rewarding and deeply enjoyable for me. Working with and on behalf of so many of you, has made it so.

Please join me in wishing our brave new leader the best of times and offering her our utmost support!

Thank you,

Dohn                                              top

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley Signs Bills Eliminating Derogatory Disability Language from State Law

Stigmatized language no longer used to describe children with disabilities.

Lansing, MI, June 25, 2015 from RWC Advocacy

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley today signed bills modernizing state law by eliminating outdated language that is now considered offensive when referring to children with disabilities. “Michiganders with special needs deserve to be treated with respect and dignity everywhere, including within state law,” Calley said. “This is another step toward making sure individuals with disabilities have opportunities to succeed.”

House Bills 4203, 4204, 4205 and Senate Bills 112, 113 and 114, sponsored by state Reps. Mike Callton, Joe Graves and Andy Schor, and state Sens. Curtis Hertel, Jim Marleau and Margaret O’Brien, respectively, remove all offensive references to “crippled children” from state law. The references in law will now be described as “children or youth with special health care needs”

The bills are now Public Acts 89-94 of 2015.

Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to sign legislation when the governor is out of state.

For more information on this and other legislation, visit

Lt. Governor Calley Speaks at The Arc Michigan Conference

During his address at The Arc Michigan Conference, Lt. Governor Calley spoke about his experience as a parent of a child with a disability. He asked parents to complete a survey and provide information about their experience with IEPs and other special education related issues. This special education survey can be found at 

See news clip featured on WILX.COM 5 pm news on Friday, June 19th   top

Home Help Program Changes Coming Electronic Service Verification

Message from Hollis Turnham, PHI

As you know, the Home Help audit findings have put in motion big changes* in the Medicaid long-term supports and services program. The Olmstead Coalition asks its members to help Home Help beneficiaries and providers with these changes. We also ask for your help in monitoring the experiences of Home Help beneficiaries and providers in moving to an "electronic service verification" system.


In the attached May 26th letter to Home Help providers, the MDHHS announced that Home Help providers will need to be registered, enrolled and using the Internet based service reporting system by August, 2015. Payment for July services will be made from the Internet based report. We estimate that as many as 40,000 current Home Help providers are not registered and enrolled in the internet based system.


The attached Olmstead flyer and MDHHS letter outline the changes, the processes for enrollment and reporting, and MDHHS resources that are available to help Home Help providers with the new systems. Some of our concerns are also outlined.


As a member of Olmstead and participant on the Olmstead listserve, we ask that you share this flyer and MDHHS letter with your members, staff, volunteers, and others who interact with Home Help beneficiaries and providers. We also ask for feedback on these new MDHHS procedures for services to beneficiaries and payments to providers. Please send any feedback on the Home Help changes or questions to Hollis Turnham, directly to Hollis Turnham at


*As of July 2015, instead of providing paper logs, records of service time will be recorded through an Electronic Service Verification (ESV) system in the Community Health Automated Medicaid Processing System (CHAMPS), the online Medicaid provider system. Click here for more information. top

Able Act Bills Passed on House Floor Wednesday May 27th

Here is a link to the H-3 floor substitute. At a quick read, some definitional changes were made on page 2, section g, and on page 15, section 17(1) from the previous version. top

Governors Give Back Big Money to Washington While Unemployment, Poverty Continues for their Citizens with Disabilities From,

Bethesda, Maryland---- States around America returned millions of dollars to the federal government that could have been used to enable people with disabilities to get jobs and careers. This is despite the fact that 70% of people with disabilities are out of the workforce, and disability benefits and healthcare are costing billions to taxpayers.

Vocational rehabilitation and workforce development programs, when resources are allocated to proven best practices, can enable people with disabilities to secure stable employment. In 2012, vocational rehabilitation agencies helped 177,172 Americans with disabilities get jobs and careers. These programs operate by having the federal government match nearly $4 for every $1 that is spent by the individual states. However, if the states fail to spend the money or come up with matching funds, then the funds go back to the federal government. Click HERE to read more.

Department Issues SIS Use Guidance

The attached file (Waldrop v. New Mexico Human Services), contains the findings from a SIS lawsuit that was filed in New Mexico. It says that if the state wants to use the SIS to determine services (which is what it is not supposed to be used for in Michigan), then individuals are entitled to advanced notice and Medicaid Fair Hearings.

Thomas Renwick, Director of the Bureau of Community Based Services, BHDDA, issued a clarification on use of the Michigan Supports Implementation Scale (SIS). In his memo, Mr. Renwick indicated that “The SIS should be used to enhance and support the person-centered planning process. As with all assessments, the SIS is voluntary and should not be tied to determinations of medical necessity and the authorization of behavioral health services. Supports and services cannot be denied, reduced or discontinued if a consumer and/or guardian refuse to cooperate with the assessment process.”

Mr. Renwick also indicated that the Michigan Department of Community Health’s (MDCH) SIS workgroup was finalizing the Michigan SIS Implementation Manual, which will serve as a guide in outlining the requirements and procedures related to the implementation of the SIS in Michigan.

Persons with questions regarding SIS implementation should contact Belinda Hawks at    top

ADA 25  Legacy Bus Tour Arrives at Detroit's Eastern Market - July 21st 

Events begin at 10 AM and will end after 3 PM. Click here for flyer (pdf). For more information, contact Loren Glover at (313) 831-0202.  top

NASUAD's April 2015 Edition of the State Medicaid Integration Tracker

The State Medicaid Integration Tracker is a monthly report summarizing state actions in Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS), as well as State Demonstrations to Integrate Care for Dual Eligible Individuals and other Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Initiatives.

The Tracker also includes updates on state participation in other LTSS activities, including: the Balancing Incentive Program; Medicaid State Plan Amendments under §1915(i); Community First Choice Option under §1915(k); and Medicaid Health Homes.

MI Health Link Webinar Presentation Handouts

This link will take you to the handouts from a 4/2/15 webinar about MI Health Link, the new health care pilot that combines Medicare and Medicaid for people who receive both living in the UP, Southwestern Michigan, and Macomb and Wayne Counties. The presentation was done by Nick Lyon, Director of Michigan Department of Community Health. top

UCP's New Community-Driven Resource for People With Disabilities
UCP is pleased to introduce a new community-driven resource for people with disabilities called My Life Without Limits. This initiative is a natural companion to UCP’s My Child Without Limits program, which was developed for the parents and family members of children with disabilities. A flagship website and online community,, will serve as the new program's focal point and is intended to become an online hub for people with a range of disabilities.

My Life Without Limits is designed to allow people with disabilities to join and receive the latest news and other benefits of community membership such as writing guest blogs, commenting on posts and resource pages and participating in polls and surveys. In the forum - coming soon - members can stir up conversations and ask for advice. Information and resources pertaining to education, entertainment and lifestyle, health and wellness, travel, relationships and more will be available and updated, with guidance from community members themselves. And, people can share new resources or upcoming events on the site or using the #MyLifeWithoutLimits hashtag on social media. top

Joint letter from DOJ and DHHS addressing the importance of states' implementation of the Final Rule while maintaining Title II obligations under the ADA

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) jointly issued the attached letter (pdf), which addresses the importance of States’ implementing the Final Rule in ways that comply with their obligations under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The letter instructs States to consider whether reasonable modifications are necessary to avoid placing individuals who receive home care services at serious risk of institutionalization or segregation. Specifically, the letter explains that states need to consider reasonable modifications to policies capping overtime and travel time for home care workers, including exceptions to these caps when individuals with disabilities otherwise would be placed at serious risk of institutionalization. top

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:

Parents and professionals can view the videos via the Michigan Alliance for Families YouTube Channel  at

A limited quantity of DVDs is available.

“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:  Upcoming and archived Webinars can be viewed at:

Check out our new brochure (pdf)        top

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.  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                              

Michigan Alliance for Families Web site offers Resources to help Families

Michigan Alliance for Families is excited to announce that our website ( 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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