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Friday Mail

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September 4,  2015

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News Items

Opportunities for Comments and Involvement

NCART Releases New CRT Advocacy Video, "Complex Rehab Technology: 25 Years after the Americans with Disabilities Act"

This video provides historical footage of Complex Rehab Technology and the 25th Anniversary signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as current commentary from U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (disability rights advocate and co- author of the ADA). The makers of the video are calling for your advocacy asking Congress and policy makers to remember the principles and objectives of the ADA and to take actions to protect access to CRT for the people with disabilities who rely on it. You may view the video at Attached is the related press release from National Coalition for Assistive & Rehab Technology


If you agree with the message of the video, please forward a message to your members of congress asking them to pass federal CRT legislation, the “Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act” (HR-1516/S-1013) top

Illinois Governor Signs Sweeping School Discipline Bill Championed by Students


Illinois districts are set to make dramatic changes in school discipline policies after Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a sweeping bill that aims to making suspensions and expulsions a last resort in the state's schools. Click here to read more  top

SourceAmerica: the Source of America's Discrimination against Workers with Disabilities


The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) picketed SourceAmerica because SourceAmerica chooses to distribute contracts to nonprofits that hold special wage certificates which allow entities to pay people with disabilities less than the minimum wage. Paying people with disabilities subminimum wages should be illegal, but Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act allows entities to do just that. Click here to read more  top

Federal Appeals Court Reinstates Rules Giving Overtime, Minimum Wage to Home Care Workers


WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday revived Obama administration regulations that guarantee overtime and minimum wage protection to nearly 2 million home health care workers.

The ruling was a victory for worker advocacy groups and labor unions that have long sought higher wages for domestic workers who help the elderly and disabled with everyday tasks such as bathing or taking medicine. Read more here  

Leaders in Policy Advocacy (LIPA) Training coming soon to Southeast Michigan! October 2015 - March 2016

LIPA is a leadership development program for adults with developmental disabilities and parents of minor children with developmental disabilities. The project trains and supports participants to become leaders in the disability rights movement. It is funded by the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council and administered by The Arc Michigan. Topics include: Disability History, Inclusive education, Assistive Technology & Social Media, Self-determination and Alternatives to Guardianship, Person Centered Planning, Access to Housing and Employment, Benefits and Systems of Support, and Systems Change.


There is no cost to participate; however, LIPA requires a significant time commitment: Six (6) weekend sessions beginning on Fridays at 12:30 pm and end for the day at 9 pm. The class resumes at 8:30 am on Saturdays and concludes at 3:00 pm. Application deadline is September 15, 2015.

To apply, go to, where you can complete an application form online or download and print one to fill out and mail in.


If you have questions or need help in applying, contact Salli Christenson, Project Coordinator, at  1.800.292.7851 ext. 130 or   top

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley expands statewide special education listening tour so more families can share their experiences

Since April, Calley has listened to concerns at forums in Traverse City, Dexter, Indian River, Grand Rapids, Benton Harbor, Center Line, Lansing, and Troy. Calley will finish the tour this summer (in Redford on Aug. 26th and Detroit on Sept. 10th) before compiling and sharing results with state officials working on reforms. More information is available here.


To ensure everyone has the opportunity to share their thoughts, Calley is also asking families to take an eight-question online survey related to their experiences. top

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.   top

Attention Home Health Individual Providers: MDHHS giving three month grace period for Service Verification Submissions

Due to the significant change in how Service Verification is being completed, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has given a three (3) month grace period for your submission of Service Verification for the months of July, August and September 2015. Service Verification for the months of July, August and September must be submitted no later than October 10, 2015 or negative action will be taken. Starting with October services, Service Verifications are to be submitted monthly. This additional time allows providers the opportunity to learn the new system and seek assistance if needed. There are trainings being offered to assist you in learning how to use the new system at the local offices. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Provider Support at 1-800-979-4662 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

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

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

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

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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