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The Arc Michigan

1325 S. Washington Ave.
Lansing, MI 48910-1652
Phone: (800) 292-7851

or (517) 487-5426
Fax: (517) 487-0303
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Arc Publications
2012 Arc Michigan Annual Report   
History of Institutions in Michigan for People with Developmental Disabilities - video
The 2014 Income Tax Guide for Tax Year 2013 -  was prepared by Thomas F. Kendziorski, Esq., Executive Director of The Arc of Oakland County. This guide has been prepared for persons supporting children and/or adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and is available online at no charge in pdf format. The guide may be printed without permission for use by members and friends of The Arc Michigan.
Hiring and Managing Personal Assistants This manual was developed by The Arc Michigan to promote self-determination through meaningful consumer direction and control. It is provided for information only and does not constitute legal, medical, planning or tax advice. For individualized help with your situation, consult with your allies, supports coordinator, or professional providers.
Consumer & Family Guide developed by The Arc Michigan through a grant from The United Way of Oakland County.
Other Publications
Family Guide to Respite for Children in Michigan while it specifically addresses respite for families of children 0-18 years of age, respite is also available to families of adult consumers. (funded by Real Choice System Change Grant for Community Living-Respite of Children)
National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) Guide, prepared by Charles Moseley, EdD. These guidelines were written to ensure that people with disabilities receive the support and assistance they need to fully contribute to NASDDDS sponsored activities.
Accessibility & Assistive Technology

Michigan's Assistive Technology Program Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC) has several resources on their Website. Click here  or call (800) 760-4600 or (517) 333-2477 ext 328 or send e-mail via contact us form.                       top

New Michigan Sign Language Interpreter Requirements

New requirements took effect July 7, 2014 for business and organizations that hire sign language interpreters in Michigan, creating different levels of qualifications for specific types of communication.

The changes 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. Michigan Department of Civil Rights.  Click here to read more

AbleRoad Web site and Mobile App

Find and rate accessible places – restaurants, shops, hotels, medical practices and many other venues. It’s a perfect mobile service for people with disabilities and their friends, family members, and caregivers. You can access AbleRoad by using the iPhone and iPad apps.
Here are the links to get started:

Please share with friends to help spread the word. AbleRoad has the potential to do some great things for people and businesses all over the country.

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Telling Your Story: Latest App for People with Disabilities from Partners in Policymaking

"Telling Your Story" is a tool that persons with disabilities, family members, and other advocates can use to compose and practice the personal story they'll present to elected public officials or other policymakers at all levels of government when seeking policy changes or increasing awareness about disability issues. The app guides users through the steps, from introducing yourself to identifying the specific issue to the best methods for presenting a compelling personal story. After entering the text of their story, an audio recording feature allows the user to rehearse their story. Users can also select and preview a photo they may wish to include.

 

Link to the app in the iTunes store:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/telling-your-story/id541403749

 

View features of the "Telling Your Story" app here: http://www.partnersinpolicymaking.com/myc-app/index.html                   top

Parent and Educator Guide for Assistive Technology (AT) (pdf)

 

UCP/Detroit Program QuickRamps for Kids - YouTube Video

 

QuickRamps for Kids is a UCP/Detroit program that has provided over 100 free portable ramps to families across Metropolitan Detroit. Daniel Elkus the creator of the YouTube video has raised over $3500 to provide 15 ramps to families.

 

In an effort to continue the work, Daniel produced a mini documentary to create awareness and gain additional funding to support the QuickRamps program. Now after many months of hard work the video is finally complete.  For more information visit quickrampsforkids.org

Free Loans of Equipment To Keep People Independent In Their Own Homes!

Project Freedom is an organization funded by a grant from the Hospitalers Committee of Detroit Commandery No.1, Knights Templar, a Masonic organization. Project Freedom has an inventory of Lift-Aid 2000 home lifts and is making them available to eligible recipients throughout Michigan. There is no cost to the patient for the installation or use of the lift. All costs are covered by Project Freedom. When the patient no longer needs the lift, the unit will be removed, refurbished and made available to another family.

 

To be eligible for this program, recipients must demonstrate that they would not otherwise be able to purchase the equipment because of insufficient insurance coverage and lack of financial resources. We are asking you and/or your associates to refer to Project Freedom potential recipients who can benefit from this equipment.

 

Attached you will find a Q&A on the referral process and a client referral form. Please duplicate the referral form as necessary. Referrals can be faxed to Roy Richardson at (734) 264-0726 or Theo Wilkinson at (810) 632-0597. Referrals may also be e-mailed to projectfreedom@comcast.net. After the referral is received, you will be notified of the status of the referral. 

If you have any questions regarding this program, please call Roy Richardson at (734) 240-2565 or Theo Wilkinson at (810) 632-0596. Please also view our website at http://www.projectfreedommi.org/.

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Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Tool Kit

The DBTAC - Network of ADA Centers has announced the release of the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Anniversary Tool Kit. Together with its Affiliate Networks and Partners, the network has accomplished significant results toward voluntary ADA compliance. The Tool Kit captures the collective achievements and offers informative materials designed to help you plan and publicize your ADA activities during the ADA Anniversary and throughout the year. The Tool Kit includes:

  • Overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008

  • ADA - Findings, Purpose, and History

  • ADA from a Civil Rights Perspective

  • ADA Resources and Publications

  • ADA and Olmstead Resources

  • ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) Summary and Resources

  • Statistics You Can Use

  • Tips on Writing a News Release

  • Sample Proclamation: ADA Anniversary

The ADA Anniversary Tool Kit can be downloaded at http://adaanniversary.org.            Top

Online Assistive Technology Directory

Have you ever wished you could find information about where to find various types assistive equipment, funding sources, and more all in one place? The online directory, provided by Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC), lists resources for all types of assistive technology, including:

●  Products for Sale

●  Devices to Rent

●  Repair and Maintenance Services

●  Funding and Financing

●  Evaluation/Assessment Services

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AT Xchange is a new Michigan-based Web site where people can buy, sell or give away assistive technology

Do you have a used AT item in storage that could really help someone who has a disability? It could be anything from a wheelchair, stair lift, Braille reader, or reacher! If so, just post a classified ad AT Xchange.org. Include a digital photo. ATXchange is open to vendors who have used equipment for sale also. And don’t worry about cost, ATXchange is a free service!

 

Maybe you or someone you know is looking for AT? Check out ATXchange.org! If you can’t find what you are looking for, you can post it as an item wanted and receive an email message telling you if and when someone posts the item you are looking for. You may find the AT you are seeking for a bargain price – even for free!

Free cell phone service through SafeLink
This is a U.S. government-sponsored program that provides a free cell phone and 68 minutes per month of phone time to income-eligible folks, including those receiving SSI, food assistance and Housing Choice Vouchers. Looks like the preferred way to enroll is via the web, but there is also a phone number, 800 977-3768.

Over twenty years ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the Lifeline Program to help guarantee Universal Service in the US. The Lifeline Program provides discounted telephone service to low-income families and individuals that otherwise would find it difficult to pay for telephone service. To qualify for Lifeline Support, Families or individuals have to be either enrolled in a State social service program or qualify under the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines. Eligibility varies by state.

In April 2008, the FCC approved TracFone, the provider of the SafeLink program, as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) to provide Lifeline Service in 11 states. Subsequently, TracFone has been approved in an additional 9 states and is currently providing service in 19 states. Today, there are over 1,700 ETCs providing Lifeline service throughout the United States.

Instead of receiving a monthly telephone bill for your traditional Lifeline service, SafeLink converts the total amount of discounted service (approximately $13.50 of discounted telephone service) into minutes (68 minutes) each month. Through our service you will receive FREE cellular service, a FREE cell phone, and FREE Minutes every month! SafeLink Wireless Service does not cost anything – there are no contracts, no recurring fees and no monthly charges. The SafeLink service is good for one year. Participants in the program are subject to annual verification. The cell phone is NOT subsidized by the federal government and is provided by TracFone to the customer at no cost.

Any Minutes you do not use will roll-over. Features such as caller ID, call waiting and voicemail are all also included with your service. If you need additional Minutes, you can buy TracFone Airtime Cards at any TracFone retailer Walmart, Walgreens, Family Dollar, etc). SafeLink Airtime Cards will be available soon.

Your exact benefits, including the number of free Minutes you will receive, depend on the state you live in.

The process to qualify for Lifeline Service depends on the State you live in. In general, you may qualify if...

  1. You already participate in other State or Federal assistance program such as Federal Public Housing Assistance, Food Stamps and Medicaid. OR
  2. Your total household income is at or below 135% of the poverty guidelines set by your State and/or the Federal Government. AND
  3. No one in your household currently receives Lifeline Service through another phone carrier. AND
  4. You have a valid United States Postal Address. In order for us to ship you your free phone you must live at a residence that can receive mail from the US Post Office. Sorry, but P.O. Boxes cannot be accepted.

In addition to meeting the guidelines above you will also be required to provide proof of your participation in an assistance program, or proof of your income level.

SafeLink will only accept one request per mailing address. This has proven to be a challenge when requesting phones on behalf of persons experiencing homelessness as an assisting agency can use its address only one time.                              Top

iPad Apps for People with Autism

●  Link to Occupational Therapy Blog and List of iPad apps for children with autism

●  CBS Sixty Minutes - Communicating on the iPad

●  CBS Sixty Minutes program discussing iPad apps for childen and adults with autism

Apps for ASD iPod Touch Project - Resource Guide  Click here (pdf)Contents include Apps for: Social Goals, Communication, Behavior, Relaxation and Structure, Sensory Issues, Functional Issues, Productivity, Organization and Academics

iPhone applications can help individuals with autism

Leslie Clark and her husband have been trying to communicate with their 7-year-old son, JW, for years, but the closest they got was rudimentary sign language…

Then a teacher told her about a new application that a researcher had developed for, of all things, the iPhone and iPod Touch. Clark drove to the local Best Buy and picked up a Touch, then downloaded the "app" from iTunes. Read the whole story by Greg Toppo in USA Today here.

Web Browser Designed for Children with an ASD

Here you will find the best environment on the Internet for children living with various autism challenges.

Zac Browser is a totally free software package. It is the first Internet browser developed specifically for children living with variants of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, PDD not otherwise specified and PDD-NOS, also called atypical autism.

Zac Browser was designed to offer a pleasant, rewarding and secure experience. Children sing, play and discover the best that the Internet has to offer with only a few clicks of the mouse.

Zac Browser is software that allows your child to access games (a lot of games) activities (based on diverse interests) along with videos (that allow a stimulating experience and encourages children to talk). All games, activities and videos are specifically chosen for their positive effect on children suffering from autism. Click here: www.zacbrowser.com

Web sites for Accessible Living

  • www.UniversalDesign.com - Design tips, products, information and resources that demonstrate universal design and assist visitors in enhancing the built environment - whether it is a business or home.

  • www.concretechange.org - this site is dedicated to making all homes "visitable."

  • www.easylivinghome.org - EasyLiving Home® is a proven, successful program conceived and developed cooperatively by organizations representing the building industry, government and accessibility advocates. This program represents the most successful attempt to date to promote change in construction practices without adversely affecting either the builder or the new home buyer. We are changing the way people think by increasing convenience, safety and inclusion.

Wheelchair accessible seats at U of M Stadium
For more information on how to obtain tickets for wheelchair accessible seats, contact the University of Michigan's Athletic Ticket Office at 1-866-296-6849 or mtickets@umich.edu.
Education

A Brand New Day for Accessible, Affordable Health Insurance and an Enhanced Commitment to Community Living.

from HealthCare.gov

As of September 23, 2010, most health plans cannot limit or deny benefits or deny coverage outright for a child younger than 19 simply because the child has a "preexisting condition." In 2014, the Act will prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more to any person based on their medical history. Click here to download the list of Greater Choices and Enhanced Protections for American with Disabilities (pdf)

‘IEP Checklist’ iPhone App Aims to Level Playing Field

From Disability Scoop

 

A new app for iPhone or iPod Touch organizes the individualized education plan, or IEP, meeting into categories such as “current performance” and “annual goals.” When a category is selected, there is a brief description of the legal requirements and an opportunity for the user to insert a goal or notes.

 

The free app, known as IEP Checklist, was developed by the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center, a Virginia center that’s part of a national network of special education parent information and training centers funded by the Department of Education.

Autism Collaborative Center ( ACC) Comprehensive and Individualized Family and Community Services

 

The Autism Collaborative Center provides accessible, high quality assessment, intervention and referral services across the lifespan to enable persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to achieve their maximum potential. Their approach is based on hope and a vision that all persons with ASD can lead fulfilling lives as independently as possible within their communities.

 

The programs are individualized and services are built around the needs of each family. ACC is a "one stop shop" that can provide you with the information and support services you need to achieve the best possible outcomes for your family. See brochure. (pdf)

 

Contact information:

Autism Collaborative Center

Eastern Michigan University

1055 Cornell Street

Fletcher School Building

Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197

Phone: 734.485.2890

Fax: 734.485.2892

E-mail: autismcenter@emich.edu

Web site: www.emich.edu/acc

Michigan Department of Education Standards for Extended School Year Services in Michigan

From michigan.gov

The need for extended school year (ESY) services must be considered for every student with a disability at each Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team meeting. ESY services must be provided if the IEP Team determines that such services are necessary for the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the student. The need for ESY must be determined individually and may not be provided or denied based upon category of disability or program assignment.

 

Approved Standards for Extended School Year Services in Michigan pdf

Guidance for Extended School Year Services in Michigan pdf

(Updated August 2010)

The Michigan Alliance for Families, a program of The Arc Michigan, has an extensive and comprehensive Web site of education and disability resources. The Web site can be found at www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org. In addition, The Alliance lists local Arc chapters as resources for local supports.

 

We hope this Web site will be useful in your work at the local level serving people with disabilities and their families. If you have suggestions for improvement, please email to info@michiganallianceforfamilies.org.

"Transition" can no longer be approached as something "owned" by special education. Effective transition planning for each and every student promotes successful participation in the general education system.
Students With Disabilities Face Corporal Punishment at Higher Rates
ACLU and Human Rights Watch Seek Ban on Physical Discipline at School

(New York) - Students with disabilities face corporal punishment in public schools at disproportionately high rates, says a report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch. The physical discipline, which often includes beatings, can worsen these students' medical conditions and undermine their education, says the report, which calls for an immediate moratorium on corporal punishment in US public schools.

 

"Students with disabilities already face extra challenges, and being hit by teachers only makes it worse," said Alice Farmer, Aryeh Neier fellow with the ACLU and Human Rights Watch and author of the report. "Corporal punishment is abuse, any way you look at it, and it violates students' rights to a decent education." In the 70-page report, "Impairing Education: Corporal Punishment of Students with Disabilities in US Public Schools," the ACLU and Human Rights Watch found that students with disabilities made up 18.8 percent of students who suffered corporal punishment at school during the 2006-2007 school year, although they constituted just 13.7 percent of the total nationwide student population. Read more of this Human Rights Watch article.                                    Top 

U.S. Department of Education Issues '15 Principles,' Stops Short on Restraint, Seclusion

TASH released the following press release (pdf) to the media regarding the Department of Education's resource announced by the Secretary on restraint and seclusion use in schools. If you have a network with which to share, please do so!

 

The most important thing is to emphasize to parents, students preparing for the teaching profession, administrators and university faculty that this resource is available and provides excellent direction on evidence-based practices that can eliminate Restraint and Seclusion use.                                       Top 

Web site for Students with Disabilities Interested in College 

This new Web site, www.going-to-college.org, contains information about living college life with a disability. It is designed for high school students. The site provides video clips, activities, and resources that can help them get a head start in planning for college. Video interviews with college students with disabilities offer a way to hear firsthand from students with disabilities who have been successful. Modules include activities that will help students explore more about themselves, learn what to expect from college, and equip them with important considerations and tasks to complete when planning for college. Going to College is funded by a grant with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (# H324M030099A)

Preparing Students for Success: A Cultural Shift From Where We've Been to Where We're Going - by Michigan Transition Services Assn. (MTSA) and Michigan Transition Outcomes Project (MI-TOP) - This article explores a series of historical events in education that have helped bring students with disabilities out of segregated settings and into the general curriculum.
The Right Stuff: Understanding Appropriate "Coordinated Education" by Michigan Transition Services Assn. (MTSA) and Michigan Transition Outcomes Project (MI-TOP) - Appropriate support for students with individualized education programs (IEPs) in transition cannot be provided in a silo — separate from the general education system.

Parent Friendly Tool Available On State Performance Plan # 8

The Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services has made the following information available to parents whose children receive special education and related services. The information is about meaningful parent involvement, which is reflected in Indicator # 8 of the State Performance Plan (SPP). The SPP indicators are part of federal special education accountability.

 

This presentation tool has been developed to help parent leaders share information about quality partnerships between families and schools.

 

The suggested use of the PowerPoint is for parent leaders to share with parents in their community. The attached slides include speaker notes that provide background information. The current information is based on the results of baseline survey data that was used for the SPP update submitted February 1, 2007.

 

The following three informational pieces are available:

Early On® Public Awareness is pleased to share the Early On® Michigan PSA on www.1800EarlyOn.org or www.michigan.gov/earlyon. (Versions available in English and Spanish.)
This Public Service Announcement won a national Telly Award, which is one of the highest honors in television media. If you would like a copy of the PSA in a DVD format, contact Victoria Meeder email: vmeeder@edzone.net or (517)668-0185.

Michigan submitted its updated State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report to the U.S. Department of Education on February 1, 2007. These documents report Michigan's progress on special education and early intervention targets for the 2005-2006 school year. 2005-2006 district level data are now available to the public. You can find the link to this district level data as well as additional resource information at http://www.michigan.gov.

 

If you know of families who do not have Internet access and want to see a print copy of their local district's IDEA public report, please let them know that they can call the Center for Educational Networking (CEN) at 1 (800) 593-9146 to request a copy.

Information Underload: Florida's Flawed Special-Ed Voucher Program   Students with disabilities have long had the right, under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act(IDEA), to attend private schools at public expense if the public schools in their community are unable to provide them with appropriate special educational services. But less than 1 percent of students with disabilities have such private placements, in part because these placements can be costly, complicated, and time-consuming to obtain under the existing law.

 

Florida's popular McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program seeks to tilt the balance in these students’ favor. The program provides parents with an alternative to expensive legal proceedings and complicated bureaucracy—a voucher that they can use at a public or private school of their choice. Florida's legislature approved the program in 1999 and named it after a then-state senator, John McKay, who is also the father of a special-needs child.                                  top

Parents Don't Need Lawyer In Ed Cases  by Mark Sherman, The Associated Press - Washington - Parents need not hire a lawyer to sue public school districts over their children's special education needs, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, overturning the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. (Case number Winkelman v. Parma City School District, 05-983)                                      top

Employment

Disability.Gov's Guide to Employment

Looking for a job when you have a disability can be challenging, especially if you are just starting your career, or have been out of work for a while. Fortunately, there are many programs and services available that connect people with disabilities to employment services that offer job training and help finding employment. Disability.gov’s Guide to Employment offers quick links to get you started and other information about employment.

Be sure to check out Disability.Blog’s employment related posts to learn about topics such as working from home and read the stories of people with disabilities who have made great strides in the workplace.

Supported Self-Employment 101

This handbook is intended to provide direction for organizations that embrace Supported Self-Employment. It is hoped this will shape greater self-determined opportunities for people with disabilities across Michigan.

Employment for People with Disabilities Especially Those with ASD in the New/Digital Age Policy Changes? 

"Expanding Employment and Career Options for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum in 21st Century Digital Median and Communications Technology", a Policy Paper, by Allen I Bergman, High Impact Mission-based Consulting & Training, September 30, 2010. Click here to download pdf file.

ODEP Releases Integrated Employment Toolkit

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has developed an Integrated Employment Toolkit to provide information to individuals, community employment agencies, policymakers and others pursuing integrated employment for youth and adults with disabilities. The Toolkit includes information and documents to facilitate the movement of states, organizations and youth and adults to integrated employment as their primary option for employment.

The Toolkit offers a collection of resources, reports, papers, policies, fact sheets, case studies, and discussion guides from a variety of sources to accommodate the full range of users and increase capacity and understanding about the value and potential of integrated employment. It is organized by different audiences or perspectives and within each audience, there are commonly asked questions to guide the user to the appropriate materials.

 

The Toolkit is available online at www.dol.gov/odep/ietoolkit/

Campaign for Disability Employment’s Outreach Toolkit

The Campaign for Disability Employment, a new effort of the American Association of People with Disabilities, National Business and Disability Council, Special Olympics and the US business Leadership Network, has launched a web-based initiative know as "What Can You Do?" to promote employment of people with disabilities.

 

The new Web site has a public service announcement, videos and other information about employment issues. There are tabs for information aimed at the people and youth with disabilities, employers, family and educators.

 

What can YOU do to share the message that at work, it’s what people CAN do that matters? Use the Campaign for Disability Employment’s Outreach Toolkit to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities in your business and community!

All of the Campaign for Disability Employment’s outreach tools are available either for order or download. For example, the "I Can" PSA Discussion Guides, complete with the "I Can" PSA DVD, as well as all ten of the full-size posters in the "What can YOU do?" Poster Series are available for order, free of charge. Other tools, including the "I Can" PSA and web and print ads, can be downloaded at the links below and in the Outreach Toolkit Quick Links to the right of this page. A DVD that includes the "I Can" and "Yo Puedo" PSAs is available by request by e-mailing info@whatcanyoudocampaign.org . Alternative format materials may be requested via e-mail as well.

Businesses and organizations that engage in outreach activities in support of the CDE and "What can YOU do?" initiative are encouraged to let us know about their effort. Tell us what YOU are doing to advance the employment of people with disabilities at info@whatcanyoudocampaign.org.

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Money to Lend!

The Michigan Loan Funds are programs of United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan, which works in partnership with Option 1 Credit Union to provide loans. It is funded through public and private donations, and started with grants from the United States Department of Education's Rehabilitation Services Administration.

The Michigan Assistive Technology Loan Fund (MATLF) supports the purchase of needed technology through low interest rates and loan guarantees. View the MATLF brochure.

The mission of the Michigan Employment Loan Fund (MELF) is to reduce or eliminate barriers to employment through low-interest loans. Financial loans can be used to buy equipment for self-employment or to work for an employer from home or a telework center. View the MELF brochure.

Michigan Loan Funds
c/o United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan
4970 Northwind Dr, Suite 102
East Lansing, MI 48823
800.828.2714

The goal of ABILITYJobs and JobAccess is to enable people with disabilities to enhance their professional lives by providing a dedicated system for finding employment. By posting job opportunities, or searching resumes, employers can find qualified persons with disabilities as well as demonstrate their affirmative action and open door policies. Click here
Self Employment - Kevin Webb's Business

Here is a video presentation about Kevin Webb and the business he started. The project was funded by the Department of Labor and allows people with disabilities to start their own businesses. The video was created by Virginia Commonwealth University.

Roadmaps II for Enhancing Employment of Persons with Disabilities Through Accessible Technology

 
Roadmaps II (PDF, Word) provides an overview of federally funded AT programs and information on the creation of the AT Collaborative; a compilation of some of the barriers impacting the use of AT by individuals with disabilities regarding employment; and recommendations to increase and enhance the employment of individuals with disabilities though AT (including a response to the Business Dialogue Roadmaps). The official launch date of Roadmaps II was April 21, 2009, at the 2009 Annual Conference of AT Act Programs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The LEAD Initiative

LEAD (Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities) is an US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) initiative to address the declining number of employees with targeted disabilities in the federal workforce. The goal for this initiative is to significantly increase the population of individuals with severe disabilities employed by the federal government.
This national outreach and education campaign seeks to:
  • reverse the trend of decreasing participation in federal employment
  • increase the awareness of hiring officials about the declining numbers of people with disabilities in federal employment
  • educate federal hiring officials about how to use special hiring authorities to bring people with disabilities on board, particularly those with severe disabilities
  • educate applicants with severe disabilities about how to apply using the special hiring authorities available; and
  • supply information and resources on recruitment, hiring, and providing reasonable accommodations.
The LEAD initiative is not an employment program. Rather, LEAD staff is working to encourage federal agencies to hire and advance more individuals with severe disabilities. Thus, LEAD is not directly involved with individual hiring decisions. For information on current vacancies in the federal government, please visit www.usajobs.opm.gov and/or the website of individual federal agencies. Additionally, job seekers may find useful information on the OPM Disability Resource page - http://www.opm.gov/disability/.

How 1 Autistic Young Man Runs a Business

By Nancy Shute from US News and World Report 

Joe Steffy is off to Overland Park, Kan., this week to do a PowerPoint presentation on his business, Poppin' Joe's Kettle Korn. He's a 23-year-old small-business man with a goal of $100,000 in sales by 2012. Joe also has autism and Down syndrome and is nonverbal. When he gives his talk, he will push buttons on an augmentative speech device to deliver the words. His audience will be parents who fervently hope their own special-needs children will be able to work, too.

 

Joe's parents, Ray and Janet, of Louisburg, Kan., didn't agree with the assessment of the school district in which they lived previously, which had said Joe would never be able to work or live independently. "I'm one who can easily get ticked off," says Ray. "That ticked me off. We saw more in Joe than that. We set out to prove to the school that he had capabilities."  Read the rest of the story here.

The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities (WRP) is a free resource through which private businesses and federal agencies nationwide can identify qualified temporary and permanent employees from a variety of fields. Applicants are highly motivated postsecondary students and recent graduates eager to prove their abilities in the workforce. (Go to: WRP Request Form)
  • Job candidates pre-screened through face-to-face interviews
  • Information about each applicant's qualifications
  • Access to candidates across the nation, by state or job category
  • Flexibility in hiring for summer internships or permanent positions
  • Freedom to conduct independent interviews after qualified candidates are identified
  • Ability to source candidates who are veterans
  • 3 Ways to Include Students with Disabilities in Your Summer Internship Program: PDF Version

Annually, trained federal recruiters conduct personal interviews with interested students and recent graduates on over 200 college and university campuses. From these interviews, a database is compiled containing applications and profiles on more than 2,200 college students and recent graduates seeking temporary or permanent positions.

Federal agency employers may access this database directly at www.WRP.gov

All other employers can take advantage of this program through AskEARN.org. Employers may submit position descriptions online and should expect to receive matched candidates for consideration within five business days. WRP Request Form

Employers are encouraged to conduct independent interviews with students who are identified as potential job candidates, and are under no obligation to hire. For further consultation or assistance, contact EARN at earn@askearn.org or call 1-855-275-3276 or 855-AskEARN

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More Robust Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities - The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has published a revised Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities, including returning disabled veterans, features video clips, research and anecdotal information from businesses and industry leaders on how hiring people with disabilities improves an organizations bottom line across six themes: Return on Investment, Human Capital, Innovation, Marketing, Diversity, and Social Responsibility.
Large and Small Employers Have Different Concerns about  Workers with Disabilities - The Survey of Employer Perspectives on the Employment of People with Disabilities is the first of its magnitude, with responses representing more than 2.4 Million companies nationwide. The survey reveals that a majority of large businesses hiring people with disabilities are discovering that costs for accommodations differ very little from those of the general employee population. Additionally, the survey showed that once an employer hires someone with a disability, they are much more likely to hire other people with disabilities.
US Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy ODEP has just released three new fact sheets in a new and easy to read format that provide constructive disability employment information for parents, youth and employers:

Creating a Path to Employment: Tips for Parents with Children with Disabilities - Work in the 21st century is more team-based than ever. Start by exploring the work world together.
 
Essential Skills to Getting a Job: What Young People with Disabilities Need to Know - Often referred to as soft skills, work ethic, communication, teamwork and critical thinking are all must have’s for youth in today’s job market.

Shaping Tomorrow’s Workforce: Including Talents of Young People with Disabilities - Youth with disabilities bring fresh, new perspectives that enrich strategies for meeting business challenges and achieving success.                           top

New Study: What Do Majority of Workers in Sheltered Workshops Prefer?  Source: Migliore, A., Mank, D., Grossi, T., and Rogan, P. (2007) Integrated employment or sheltered workshops: Preferences of adults with intellectual disabilities, their families, and staff. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. Vol. 26, No. 1, pp.5-19 www.heath.gwu.edu/node/450
National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult (NCWD/A) Archived Web conferences - Funding Customized Employment - online trainings on Customized Employment.
One-Stop Toolkit - The Office of Disability Employment Policy has a number of new tools on its Web site to promote customized employment for people with disabilities. For more information or go to: www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/custom/index.htm

Training Resource Network Disability Update - October 2008 Edition

In this issue:

  • Study: Supported Employment 3 Times More Cost-Effective than Sheltered Work

  • Percent of Unemployed People with Disabilities Looking for Work: 2005 Data released

  • DePaul Study: workers with Disabilities Perform Well

  • Key ADA Employment Changes for 2009

  • Free Our People YouTube video, Free Our People

  • Online Training: Job Coaching; Orientation to Working with People with Disabilities; The Disability Industrial Complex: Ending the Segregation of People with Disabilities

Go to: www.trninc.com/update/TRN_Update.html to view.

February 2009 Disability Employment Statistics Released In February 2009, the percent of people with disabilities in the labor force was 23.0. The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 14.0 percent. Click to view the new monthly data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
New Department of Labor Statistics - A new study, which found that the employment rate for people with disabilities has dropped below 20 percent, has attributed the drop to attitudinal barriers and to the misconception that accommodations are costly.
Other Benefits

Energy Efficiency and Other Home Improvement Loans

 

MSHDA’s Property Improvement Program offers low interest home improvement loans to single-family homeowners with low-to-moderate income (up to $65,000, or $74,750 in certain areas), and landlords renting to low-to-moderate income tenants. Eligible improvements must substantially protect or improve the basic livability or utility of the property. Eligible home improvements include but are not limited the following:

  • Windows;

  • Furnaces (including geothermal);

  • Insulation;

  • Roof repair or replacement;

  • Solar water heating systems;

  • Siding;

Other improvements include:

  • Kitchen and bathroom remodeling;

  • Foundation repair;

  • Garage or carport (addition or repair); and

  • Other permanent improvements to homes such as carpeting or ramps - see brochure.

With the Property Improvement Program, eligible homeowners can borrow up to $50,000 for a single family site-built home. Lower limits apply to manufactured homes. Because we can amortize the loan up to 20 years, the monthly payments are very affordable for those on a fixed income. The interest rate for homeowners is 4%, 6%, or 8%, depending upon income.

 

Eligible landlords can borrow up to $25,000 per single-family rental unit, and an average of $12,000 per unit for multi-family properties (up to a maximum of $60,000 per property). Eligible multi-family properties cannot have more than 11 units. The interest rate is fixed at 8%. There are no income requirements for landlords, but the rental units must meet MSHDA rental limit guidelines.

 

You can get more details about the program at http://www.michigan.gov/mshda/

DTE Energy Payment Assistance Programs - Having trouble managing your bills? DTE Energy, along with government and private agencies, offers programs that help keep you warm in the winter.

 

Important - Contact DTE Energy at 800.477.4747 before your energy service is subject to shut off. If you are eligible for financial assistance, contact a social service agency prior to entering into a payment agreement because many agencies will not provide assistance if shut off is avoided. Notify us of your efforts to obtain payment assistance.

  • Case Management - DTE has a team of specialists available to help low-income customers reduce their unpaid balances by providing a personal payment plan, agency referrals and follow-up. To enroll, call 800.545.8046 if you meet these requirements: Unpaid balance greater than $750; No illegal usage; Household income at aor below 200 percent of Federal income eligibility guidelines.

  • Shut Off Protection Plan (SPP) - available to all residential customers regardless of income, and provides year-round protection from shut off. Call 800.477.4747. Requirements: Monthly budget plan that spreads out your future bills in 12 equal payments, plus equal monthly payments on your remaining balance.

  • Credit Counseling - DTE works with GreenPath, a non-profit consumer credit counseling service, which helps you develop a budget to manage your money. For more information, call 888.235.1003.

  • Winter Protection Plan (WPP) - The plan protects seniors and low-income customers from service shut off due to non-payment between Nov. 1 and March 31. During this period, customers must pay a budget amount that consists of a portion of their estimated annual bill plus regular payments on any past-due bills. For more information call, 800.477.4747

Other Available Programs:

  • Home Heating Credit (HHC) E-Filing Eligible customers my receive funds from the State of Michigan Treasury Department to apply toward their heating bills.

  • Low-Income Weatherization - Contact your local Community Action Agency or United Way at 211.

  • The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) - United Way 211 - cell phone users: 800.552.1183 or 800.866.8429

  • State Emergency Relief Program (SER) - available year-round to assist low-income households that have a shut-off notice. Call 800.292.5650

  • Medical Emergencies - Shut off of an account due to non-payment may be postponed up to 21 days due to a medical emergency. Call 800.477.4747 

  • Shut-Off Protection: Active duty in the Military - Call 800.477.4747

  • Double-Notice Protection Plan - This plan is helpful when an unexpected event, such as an extended vacation or a long hospital stay, may keep you from paying your bill on time.

  • Affordable Rental Housing - Customers may use the free Michigan Housing Locator.

  • Low Income Home Interest Loans - for more information or to see if you qualify, contact the Michigan State Housing Development Authority at www.michigan.gov/mshda and click on the Home Improvement link, or call 517.373.8017

See attached brochure (pdf) for more information and phone numbers for DTE and other energy assistance programs.                         top

Emergency Preparedness for People with Complex Communication Needs

Disasters (natural or man-induced) and the humanitarian emergencies that arise thereafter are in the news almost daily. When there are no warnings or they are late, absent or unheeded, casualties can be enormous.

People with disabilities/activity limitations are particularly vulnerable. Often, there needs are not considered. Community-based entities need to plan and prepare in advance so the needs of all citizens are considered.

The Augmentative and Alternative Communications - Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (AAC-RERC) web site (www.aac-rerc.com) and click on Disaster Prep) has resources for people with limited speech, emergency personnel and augmentative and alternative communications advocates. For example, a checklist for people with limited speech is available as a PDF file at the web site and here.

The AAC community has a key role to play in ensuring that people with limited speech have access to communication during an emergency or disaster. While each situation is different and not everything can be anticipated, planning and preparations ALWAYS result in better outcomes.

The AAC community needs to help people with complex communication needs (CCN) and their families prepare AND we need to increase the awareness among policy makers and first responders (firemen, policemen, ambulance drivers, etc). AAC Advocates need to spread the word about disaster preparedness and the needs of people with CCN at the local, regional and national and international level.

Food Assistance

Food Assistance Program for Seniors and People with Disabilities

If you are paying for medical care or over the counter supplies ordered by your doctor, you might be able to use proof of those expenses to open a Food Assistance Program (FAP) case, or to get more benefits on the Bridge Card. The TAP allows people who are age 60 or older or who receive federal disability benefits to report their medical expenses to DHS in order to get more help with buying food.  See attached Food Assistance Program pamphlet (pdf) and Medical Expense Deduction Explanation (pdf).  

from Center for Civil Justice, info@ccj-mi.org,

Food and Nutrition Program Helpline: 800.481.4989  http://www.foodstamphelp.org

Housing

Energy Efficiency and Other Home Improvement Loans

 

MSHDA’s Property Improvement Program offers low interest home improvement loans to single-family homeowners with low-to-moderate income (up to $65,000, or $74,750 in certain areas), and landlords renting to low-to-moderate income tenants. Eligible improvements must substantially protect or improve the basic livability or utility of the property. Eligible home improvements include but are not limited the following:

  • Windows;

  • Furnaces (including geothermal);

  • Insulation;

  • Roof repair or replacement;

  • Solar water heating systems;

  • Siding;

Other improvements include:

  • Kitchen and bathroom remodeling;

  • Foundation repair;

  • Garage or carport (addition or repair); and

  • Other permanent improvements to homes such as carpeting or ramps - see brochure.

With the Property Improvement Program, eligible homeowners can borrow up to $50,000 for a single family site-built home. Lower limits apply to manufactured homes. Because we can amortize the loan up to 20 years, the monthly payments are very affordable for those on a fixed income. The interest rate for homeowners is 4%, 6%, or 8%, depending upon income.

 

Eligible landlords can borrow up to $25,000 per single-family rental unit, and an average of $12,000 per unit for multi-family properties (up to a maximum of $60,000 per property). Eligible multi-family properties cannot have more than 11 units. The interest rate is fixed at 8%. There are no income requirements for landlords, but the rental units must meet MSHDA rental limit guidelines.

 

You can get more details about the program at http://www.michigan.gov/mshda/

Don't Become a Victim of Mortgage Scams - message from HUD

Foreclosure scams are destructive, deceptive, and devastating to families who are fighting to survive. We have families on the edge of foreclosure that are being offered relief too good to be true, and we at HUD will take every possible measure to educate and protect consumers and homeowners, bring these scams to light, and prevent con artists from exploiting the housing crisis. There are legitimate people, places, and agencies that American families can turn to when they are facing foreclosure, and many of you are working on these efforts.

Homeowners NEVER have to pay to participate in the President’s Making Home Affordable program. Visit the Making Home Affordable Web site at makinghomeaffordable.gov. Homeowners can also call the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) for free foreclosure counseling assistance.

April is National Fair Housing Month. It’s important, in that context, to recognize that the economic and housing crises, including foreclosure scams, have disproportionately impacted minority populations across the country. Unscrupulous financial institutions, brokers, and others have broken their trust as lenders, cheating and lying to families fighting to make their way through this crisis. HUD is using new tools, including the SAFE Act and RESPA, to protect American families. HUD will ensure that all Americans, particularly those in areas previously victimized by unscrupulous practices, are protected and will enforce our laws against those who prey upon them.

Successful Funding Sources for Integrated, Affordable, and Accessible Community Housing Guide, "Funding Sources Successfully Used by States to Support Development of Integrated, Affordable, and Accessible Community Housing" from Independent Living Research Utilization offers a quick reference on housing resources that can be used to create integrated, affordable, and accessible housing and basic information on how to use these resources. Included are community strategies that increase the amount of integrated, affordable, and accessible housing units that usually fall into three general categories: development of housing units; access to existing housing units; and asset development. 
Down Payment Assistance Available - The Community Housing Network, Inc. is currently seeking first time home buyers in Oakland county who have a household family member with a disability or special needs. Click for flyer and application (MS Word) www.communityhousingnetwork.org

The Arc Michigan's Position on Housing

The Arc Michigan board of directors has adopted the Howell Group's housing position paper as its position on housing for persons with developmental disabilities. The document calls for non-segregated inclusive community housing options. 

Health Issues

A Brand New Day for Accessible, Affordable Health Insurance and an Enhanced Commitment to Community Living.

from HealthCare.gov

As of September 23, 2010, most health plans cannot limit or deny benefits or deny coverage outright for a child younger than 19 simply because the child has a "preexisting condition." In 2014, the Act will prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more to any person based on their medical history. Click here to download the list of Greater Choices and Enhanced Protections for American with Disabilities (pdf)

Dental Services:

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.  

Healthy Kids Dental, a public-private partnership between the State of Michigan and Delta Dental Plan of Michigan is a dental benefits program for Medicaid beneficiaries under the age of 21. It is available in 61 counties and covers basic dental health benefits such as X-rays, cleanings, cavity fillings, root canals, tooth extractions and dentures. For more information or call 1 (800) 482-8915. Additional information is available at: www.deltadentalmi.com

For dental services in your area contact Michigan Department of Human Services office at (888) 988-6300 or go to: http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/

Many Kids Are Eligible for Free or Low Cost Health Insurance Coverage and Their Families Don’t Even Know It

 

Most parents would do whatever it takes to help their child thrive and succeed in life, but are Michigan’s children falling behind in the fight to stay healthy?

 

Each year, thousands of children in the Michigan go without health insurance. Families across the state are eligible for children’s health insurance programs, which provide low-cost health insurance for their kids, but many don’t even know it.

 

There are many reasons a child might not have health insurance – a parent or guardian lost a job, they don't have health insurance at work or the cost of insurance is simply out of reach.

 

Whatever the reason, the Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) may be able to help by linking your family with Michigan’s free and low-cost insurance programs- HealthyKids and MIChild. In 30 minutes or less our Community Outreach Specialists can tell you what programs your child qualifies for, help you apply and give you the resources you need to locate a health care provider and other services in your community.

 

Check… to see what low-cost health insurance is available for your child. Start by visiting us online at www.mpca.net/enroll.html. Even if you’ve been turned down in the past, your child may be eligible now.

 

Protect… your children with regular check-ups, dental care, immunizations and prescription drugs, which are all available to children enrolled in a children’s health insurance program. You’ll also gain peace of mind knowing you have coverage when you need it. To find a health care provider in your community visit www.mpca.net/locator.html.

 

Expect… to re-enroll every year. Keeping your coverage means keeping your child healthy, but you have to renew yearly. Mark your calendar for the month you started coverage so you will be ready to renew when your State office contacts you.

 

Research shows children with health insurance are more likely to get preventive care, receive treatment for chronic illness and take prescription medications. Children with health insurance are less likely to miss school because they are sick. It boosts their performance in the classroom and means fewer lost work days for parents or guardians. Oftentimes, families think they cannot get health insurance coverage for their kids because they make too much money. However, in Michigan a family of four making up to $44,000 may still be eligible!

 

MPCA can help you enroll online, in the mail or over the phone, without having to take time off work. It is easy to see if your family is eligible, contact us today!

Health Insurance Programs - Michigan Department of Community Health On-Line Application Service  - You can find out in 30 minutes or less if you or your children are eligible for health care coverage. Click here to apply.

MI Child - MIChild is a health insurance program. It is for uninsured children of Michigan's working families. MIChild services are provided by many HMOs and other health care plans throughout Michigan.

Healthy Kids - Health and dental care for pregnant women & Children age 18 and under, administered by the Michigan Department of Human services (DHS)

Call 888.988.6300 or (TTY) 888.263.5897 for more information.

Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Offering Free Service designed to help consumers with questions, concerns, worries or complaints about health insurance.

The Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program (HICAP) provides assistance, information, and resources for Michigan residents through a toll-free number, 1-877-999-6442, or an easy to use website at http://www.michigan.gov/hicap.  See Video and brochures

Opportunities for Michiganians who have lost their healthcare coverage - Although the findings in a report just released by Families USA, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, are particularly grim, there are some new opportunities for Michiganians who have lost their healthcare coverage or do not have access to healthcare coverage:

  • Adult Benefits Waiver – An ambulatory program for low income persons without children. Applications can be submitted to the Department of Human Services (Customer Help - 1(800) 642-3195);
  • MIChild - the reauthorization of federal funding for the continuation of the MIChild program was approved in February (Information on the program 1 (888) 988-6300 or at www.michigan.gov/mdch/1,1607,7-132-2943_4845_4931---,00.html);
  • Resources are also available on the Department of Community Health’s new Web site Help Finding Health Care at www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-2943_52115---,00.html.

AARP Launches New On-line Resources to Answer Health Reform Questions

April 7, 2010 Release

 

WASHINGTON—As a part of its efforts to help older Americans understand the impact of the recently enacted health reform package, AARP has launched new on-line resources for people with questions about the new law.

 

The AARP Bulletin’s new “Health Care Reform Explained” column – available at www.aarp.org/getthefacts – provides practical answers to questions submitted by visitors. Each week, AARP is answering the top questions about the new health care reform law emailed by readers to hcrquestions@aarp.org

 

“Older Americans have a lot at stake as the new health reform package rolls out, and they’re having a hard time getting complete or consistent information about how it will affect them,” said AARP Senior Vice President Drew Nannis. “This new resource is just the latest part of our efforts to make sure they have straightforward, reliable information to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.”

 

AARP’s Get the Facts website hosts a user-friendly guide to understanding the benefits of the new health care law, as well as fact sheets in plain language on various topics including prescription drugs and long-term care. The page offers information both for people in Medicare and for those with private health insurance.

 

The new “Health Care Reform Explained” column follows the model of the AARP Bulletin’s “Ask Ms. Medicare” column, which has become the go-to consumer information resource for millions of people who navigate the ins and outs of the Medicare program. Since announcing the new effort in an email to members late last week, more than 30,000 people have visited the page and submitted hundreds of questions.

 

Read more here

MDCH Web site Now Offers Help Finding Free or Low Cost Health Care

During these difficult economic times, Michigan's health care safety net is more vital than ever to the well-being of our residents. However, many people in need may not be aware of how to access safety net services available to them at low or even no cost. With the release of the "How Can I Get Free or Low Cost Health Care for Me & My Family?" Website, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is helping to raise that awareness.

The Webpage is located at www.michigan.gov/healthcarehelp and acts as a portal for finding free or low cost health care resources available throughout Michigan. The site links to pages with information on a variety of programs including: community health centers, free clinics, community mental health service programs, community dental care programs, assistance with prescriptions, breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment programs, local public health departments, family planning, information on Medicaid enrollment, and a number of other resources. In many cases, the site links to directories or lists by Michigan County to help people locate nearby help with health care.

The "How Can I Get Free or Low Cost Health Care for Me & My Family?" Web page is a part of the commitment of MDCH to assist all Michigan residents in finding and accessing affordable, quality health care. For additional information, or for suggestions to improve the site, feel free to contact the MDCH Health Planning and Access to Care Section at (517) 241-2966 or HPAC@michigan.gov
The PPA, a nationwide effort sponsored by America’s pharmaceutical research companies, provides a single point of access to more than 475 patient assistance programs that help those who are uninsured or struggling financially. Nearly 200 of the programs are provided by pharmaceutical companies.
 

“The PPA, so far, has helped well over 202,500 Michigan residents find out if they may qualify for free or discounted medicines and as we move forward into 2009, the assistance is still available,” said PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin. “That’s good news for the citizens of Michigan, where there are more than 681,742 people out of work.”

 

Patients who qualify for help from the PPA’s participating patient assistance programs have access to more than 2,500 brand-name and generic prescription medicines. In addition, the PPA provides information on more than 10,000 free health care clinics in America and has connected more than 281,000 patients with clinics and health care providers in their communities.

 

Patients seeking help from PPA can call 888.477.2669 (888-4-PPA-NOW) to talk to a trained operator or access the PPA Web site (www.pparx.org). It only takes 10 to 15 minutes to find out if someone may qualify for free or discounted medications.

 

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance will help you find the program that’s right for you, free of charge. Remember, you will never be asked for money by a PPA Call Center representative.

AARP Rx Snapshop Resource for Managing Your Medications

Older adults take more medicines than any other age group. Rx Snapshot is an easy way you can help family members, friends, and neighbors manage their medications safely and effectively. Rx Snapshot is a simple and easy way to record medications on a special form. It also provides tips and ideas on encouraging effective communication among patients, doctors, and pharmacists. Click here to download the medication record form.(pdf)

World Medical Relief's Prescription Program Available in Southeastern Michigan

Do you need help with prescription drugs?

 

Safe: State-licensed pharmacy

Affordable:  $8.30 per Rx

Convenient: Mailed directly to your home.

You may qualify if you:

Are 18 years of age or older.

Earn $21,780 or less per year if you are an individual; $29,420 for a couple. (Add $300 for each additional dependent.

Are not currently enrolled in Medicaid.

You may still qualify if you have a discount prescription card or a are a senior on Medicare Part D.

 

World Medical Relief, Inc.

11745 Rosa Parks Blvd, Detroit, MI 48206

Phone: (313) 866-5333    Fax: (313) 866-5588

E-mail: info@worldmedicalrelief.org 

Web site: www.worldmedicalrelief.orgClick for Flyer  (pdf file)

Medicaid

Links to entities who have examined the issue of capping or block granting Medicaid:

 Michigan Medicaid Information from Disability.gov

Medicaid is a state/federal program that pays for medical and long-term care services for people with lower incomes, seniors, people with disabilities and some families and children. Services covered include laboratory and X-ray services, inpatient and outpatient hospital services, health screenings for children, and long-term care services and supports. Visit Michigan Medicaid    top

Taking the Long View: Investing in Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Is Cost-Effective   Research Report March 2009

Pub ID: I26

Home Help Services in Workplace Michigan's Medicaid State Plan has been revised to allow Home Help Services  in the workplace effective December1, 2007. The Adult Services Manual policy change states:

 

"Home Help Services (HHS) may now be provided for the specific purpose of enabling the client to be employed. The current assessment process for personal care services remains unchanged. A separate assessment for the workplace is not required. The hours approved may be used either in the home or the workplace. Additional hours are not available as a result of employment. The client determines where services are to be provided, whether in the home or the workplace." (2/29/08)

Persons with Disabilities and Prescription Drug Coverage - Dual Eligibility  Contact information and answers to questions about prescription drug coverage for those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare and those who receive Medicare. Click here: MS Word or pdf version.

Medicaid Coverage of Medicare Beneficiaries (Dual Eligibles) at a Glance
Medicare beneficiaries who have limited income and resources may get help
paying for their Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses from Medicaid. Medicaid may also cover additional services beyond those provided under Medicare. Individuals entitled to Medicare Part A and/or Part B and eligible for some form of Medicaid benefit are often referred to as “dual eligibles” These benefits are sometimes referred to as Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs). Dual eligibles are eligible for some form of Medicaid benefit, whether that Medicaid coverage is limited to certain costs, such as Medicare premiums, or the full benefits covered under the State Medicaid plan. This fact sheet (pdf) provides education about coverage for dual eligible beneficiaries.  from www.cms.gov

Michigan Drug Prices Website: www.michigandrugprices.com

●  Compare prices and save on the prescription drugs you need and driving directions to pharmacies

●  Find special pricing on select drugs at your favorite retailers

●  Find assistance programs for people without prescription drug coverage

●  Helpful resources and frequently asked questions

Need Help Paying For Medicine? The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) is a one-stop resource to apply to get your medicines free or nearly free if you do not have prescription drug coverage. The Web site is sponsored by major drug manufacturers, which all have programs that cover medicines for free or at low cost to people who qualify. Each program is unique and working people, people without jobs, seniors, student, families and single people may all qualify.

 

To find out if you qualify, call (888) 477-2669 or go to www.pparxmi.org. The toll-free number has operators who speak several different languages. If you go to the Web site, you can provide information once and then print out an application for each medicine you need.

Medicaid Eligibility - Citizenship Documentation:

For more information about the citizenship documentation requirement, go to: Medicaid Eligibility and Proof of Citizenship

 

The Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) is a bipartisan advisory group of 17 national leaders and experts in health care and public policy. Begun in 1991, the Commission is the largest operating program of the Kaiser Family Foundation and serves as a key resource for policymakers, the media, and organizations seeking information on health care for the low-income population and the Medicaid program. Click here to learn more  and view Fact Sheet about the uninsured.

Medicare

CMS Medicare Premiums, Deductibles for 2014

http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Health-Plans/MedicareAdvtgSpecRateStats/Ratebooks-and-Supporting-Data-Items/2014Rates.html

Medicare Part D Coverage to Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries

To acquire and serve the auto-assigned low-income Medicare beneficiaries, Part D plan sponsors must keep their premiums below a government-set benchmark. To meet this standard, AARP Services Health Products and Services focused on balancing broad access to drugs covered by Medicare and keeping premiums below the low-income regional benchmark premiums.

Click here to view AARP Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)

Medicare open enrollment runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31.

Click here to learn more about all AARP Medicare Plans

Part D Drug Coverage from Medicare.gov
Go to http://medicare.gov/part-d/ to learn how to find and get drug coverage, what Medicare plans cover, costs for coverage and other information.

Medicare Interactive from Medicare Rights Center
Available only through the Medicare Rights Center, Medicare Interactive (MI) is a free and independent online reference tool thoughtfully designed to help older adults and people with disabilities navigate the complex world of health insurance.

Medicare Interactive provides easy-to-understand answers to the questions posed by Americans with Medicare, their families and caregivers, and the professionals serving them.

Drawing on the experience and best practices of Medicare Rights’ expert counselors and attorneys, MI offers a wealth of answers to Medicare questions in a variety of formats, and is available for use anytime.

National Helpline: 800-333-4114
Counselors are available Monday through Friday, and are happy to answer your questions about insurance choices, Medicare rights and protections, payment denials and appeals, complaints about care or treatment, and Medicare bills.
General Inquiries
For any other general inquiries to Medicare Rights Center staff, please feel free to email info@medicarerights.org.

Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program at www.mymmap.org has an online learning course, "How to Enroll In Medicare's Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) using Medicare's Online Tools"
State officials have created a new Web site that consumers now can search the prices of 150 prescription drugs. A new feature gives driving directions to the pharmacies on the site and lets users file complaints with the state when they believe pricing information is incorrect or price gouging may be occurring. The Web site is located at: www.michigandrugprices.com

Need Help Paying For Medicine? The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) is a one-stop resource to apply to get your medicines free or nearly free if you do not have prescription drug coverage. The Web site is sponsored by major drug manufacturers, which all have programs that cover medicines for free or at low cost to people who qualify. Each program is unique and working people, people without jobs, seniors, student, families and single people may all qualify.

 

To find out if you qualify, go to www.pparxmi.org or call 1 (888) 477-2669. The toll-free number has operators who speak several different languages. If you go to the Web site, you can provide information once and then print out an application for each medicine you need.

Newsletters & Publications
Amenities Trusts for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities or Mental Illness - by Joshua R. Find and Joel S. Welber
Michigan Diriectory of Service Providers for Infants, Toddlers, and Students with Disabilities is now available on the Center for Educational Networking Web site.
The Beach Center on Disability's archive of quarterly issues.
Disability is Natural E-Newsletter  from Kathie Snow disabilityisnatural.com
www.ABILITYmagazine.com is offering a free digital subscription to Arc members. On their Web site, click on the Subscribe tab and enter ARC as the coupon code during check out.
Disability Scoop - www.disabilityscoop.com - focuses on five core coverage areas:

Education: Everything from IEP’s to transition, college opportunities and life-long learning.

Health: Big picture topics like research and Medicaid down to the everyday nitty-gritty like hygiene, medication and dealing with doctors and therapists.

Law: Tackling IDEA, ADA, Medicaid waivers and more. Plus, we’ll focus on your legal rights and advocacy. 

Life: From dealing with a diagnosis and social acceptance to relationships, independent living and finding support.

Money: Examining how to pay for treatments, Social Security, finding employment and estate planning.

(Contact Disability Scoop to tell them what topics and issues are important to you.)

EQUITY e-newsletter Current & Past Issues 
Inclusion Daily Expressdisability rights news service -   http://www.InclusionDaily.com

The Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan's Healthy Children Project issue of the Healthy Children's Project's Monthly e-News.

To subscribe send blank email to:

healthychildrenproject-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council has restarted its monthly newsletter. Click here for previous issues of the DD Community Update. (PDF)
Michigan Partners for Freedom Fall 2012 Newsletter
Michigan Public Health Update - Current and Previous Issues  This monthly newsletter contains important information in following areas: preparedness and planning, exercises, pandemic preparedness, communications, surveillance, hospital preparedness, training and education, upcoming events, regional news and other news.
Monday Morning Memo - January 5, 2009 (pdf) or RTF
Nonprofit Advocacy:Michigan Primer - Advocacy vs Lobbying

Perspectives - Serving the Nation's DD Community for 30 Years -  U.S. Senate Passes 2008 Budget Resolution, rejecting many of the steep cuts to domestic programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Click HERE to read the May 2007 issue  (Vol 13, No. 5)

Perspectives, published by the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disability Services, covers national/state and local policy and program news concerning individuals with developmental disabilities. Perspectives is available by subscription at:  www.nasddds.org/Publications/index.shtml

The Riot! - National E-Newsletter from the Self-Advocate Leadership Network (PDF) - April 8 - Guardianship Issue

The Riot! Self-Advocate Leadership Network E-Newsletter - past issues 

Training Resource Network Disability Update  www.trninc.com

Washington Watch - Current and  Previous Issues
Online Courses

Michigan Alliance for Families' Workshops and Webinars for Parents, Caregivers, and Educators -  Michigan Alliance for Families' upcoming workshops can be viewed at: www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/upcoming-events/

To view Michigan Alliance for Families upcoming and archived Webinars, go to: www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/webinar/

Free Online Course on The Americans with Disabilities Act   Visit www.adabasics.org to register free for the ADA Basics Course developed for you by your regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers. The course is designed to provide you with the basic principles and core concepts of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The 12-topic course may be accessed at any time using a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. Each topic contains relative information and real-life examples to help increase your understanding of the ADA!

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities offers their newest online resource, "Parallels in Time, Part 2", which is packed with hundreds of photos, videos and documents associated with the important societal and legislative milestones from 1950 through 2005. Sections include A Place to Call Home, Definitions and Perspectives on Disability, A Place to Learn, Real Work and more.

"Partners in Living" - a free self-study course created to help people with developmental disabilities, their family and friends explore four important elements that, together, can help them create a meaningful life: Self-Determination, Family Support, Community Living and Assistive Technology. 

"Partners in Time" Is the history of people with developmental disabilities.

Other study courses include "Partners in Education", "Making Your Case", and "Partners in Employment

For more information go to www.partnersinpolicymaking.com/online.html

The Advocacy Institute Webinar, The Advocacy Academy designed to meet the training needs of special education advocates nationwide. For more information, go to: www.advocacyinstitute.org/academy/
Online Forums
New Epilepsy Online Support Group - A new free online Epilepsy Support Group is now available for "patients, family members and friends dedicated to dealing with Epilepsy". It is part of the MDJunction.com Web site:  http://www.mdjunction.com/epilepsy
Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program at www.mymmap.org has an online learning course, "How to Enroll In Medicare's Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) using Medicare's Online Tools"
Online Resources
The Origins of Some of Our Major Contemporary Service Patterns

An Interpreted Pictorial Presentation on the History of Human Services

 

The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities has posted online a two day presentation given at Millersville University in 1998 by Wolf Wolfensberger and Susan Thomas. This online presentation is the result of a cooperative agreement with Professor Wolfensberger, Betsy Neuville from Keystone Human Services and Thomas Neuville from Millersville University in Pennsylvania. www.mnddc.org/wolfensberger/index.html

Training Resource Network Disability Update - October 2008 Edition

 

In this issue:

  • Study: Supported Employment 3 Times More Cost-Effective than Sheltered Work

  • Percent of Unemployed People with Disabilities Looking for Work: 2005 Data released

  • DePaul Study: workers with Disabilities Perform Well

  • Key ADA Employment Changes for 2009

  • Free Our People YouTube video, Free Our People

  • Online Training: Job Coaching; Orientation to Working with People with Disabilities; The Disability Industrial Compex:Ending the Segregation of People with Disabilities

Go to: www.trninc.com/update/TRN_Update.html to view.

National Campaign To Challenge Disability Stereotypes, Promote Inclusion

From Disability Scoop

Spearheaded by a group of 20 teenagers, a national campaign is kicking off this month designed to reshape youth perceptions of inclusion and ideas about what’s “normal.”

 

The “I am Norm” campaign is centered on online videos, social networking and a series of advertising buys slated for next year, which organizers say they hope will spark conversation about inclusion of people with disabilities and what it really means to be normal.

 

So far, “I am Norm” is starting to generate buzz. A compilation video posted on YouTube in mid-November has been viewed over 3,000 times. And Cara Liebowitz, 18, one of the teens behind “I am Norm,” says she’s garnered attention from her peers who see the campaign button pinned to her motorized scooter.

 

Autism Self Advocacy Network starts online group for teens with Autism

A new yahoo group has just been created to be open exclusively for adolescents and teens on the autism spectrum, offering an opportunity for autistic adolescents and teens to interact in a supportive, autistic-friendly internet environment. It is sponsored by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, an international non-profit organization run by and for autistic adults and youth, working to advance neurodiversity, disability rights and autistic culture.

Group Rules:


1. To join you must be on the autism spectrum (self-diagnosed individuals are welcome) and at least 13 years of age.

2. Be respectful of your fellow list members.
3. Do not repost messages outside of the list.
4. If you have a question, feel free to ask.
5. Do not engage in personal attacks against other list members.

The list will be closely moderated by adults from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network to ensure that all list content remains legal, age-appropriate, free of spam and solicitation, and in compliance with the group rules.

To join the group, visit
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ASANTeens , click the "Join this group" button, and follow the instructions.

For more information, contact list moderator Dora Raymaker at
dora@aaspireproject.org

A Web-Based Resource, the AblePlay Rating Systemcreated by the National Lekotek Center, is available to provide professionals who serve children with special needs and their parents with the information they need to make the best toy choices.
National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult (NCWD/A) Archived Web conferences - Funding Customized Employment - online trainings on Customized Employment. 
Other Issues

Increasing Food Assistance for Seniors and People with Disabilities - Food Assistance Program

If you are paying for medical care or over the counter supplies ordered by your doctor, you might be able to use proof of those expenses to open a Food Assistance Program (FAP) case, or to get more benefits on the Bridge Card. The TAP allows people who are age 60 or older or who receive federal disability benefits to report their medical expenses to DHS in order to get more help with buying food.  See attached Food Assistance Program pamphlet (pdf) and Medical Expense Deduction Explanation (pdf).  

from Center for Civil Justice, info@ccj-mi.org,

Food and Nutrition Program Helpline: 800.481.4989  http://www.foodstamphelp.org 

Our Rights

The Evolution of Disability Rights Litigation (and some stories)

by David Ferleger, Esq.

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities

Telling Your Story: Latest App for People with Disabilities from Partners in Policymaking

"Telling Your Story" is a tool that persons with disabilities, family members, and other advocates can use to compose and practice the personal story they'll present to elected public officials or other policymakers at all levels of government when seeking policy changes or increasing awareness about disability issues. The app guides users through the steps, from introducing yourself to identifying the specific issue to the best methods for presenting a compelling personal story. After entering the text of their story, an audio recording feature allows the user to rehearse their story. Users can also select and preview a photo they may wish to include.

 

Link to the app in the iTunes store:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/telling-your-story/id541403749

 

View features of the "Telling Your Story" app here: http://www.partnersinpolicymaking.com/myc-app/index.html

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"It's Our Story" Video Interviews from Disability Leaders

It's Our Story" is a national initiative to make disability history public and accessible; we've collected over 1,000 video interviews from disability leaders across the country. Now, we're making this critical aspect of American history public, accessible and interactive. Visit us at http://www.itsourstory.org

Awareness Day Simulations: On A Roll Without A Clue

(Submitted by ErikaJ to Disability Nation)

 

In one way, I understand why schools and businesses continue to do disability-awareness day simulations. It can be difficult to talk about disability, and it seems that many non-disabled people are fascinated by our shiny assistive devices, so a day spent playing crip-for-a-day could only be in good fun, right?

At least, that's what I heard about the one I went to as a teenager. But I'm older now, and more political, so the idea that someone could learn what my life is like from strapping into a wheelchair for a few hours seems as ridiculous to me as trying on the male experience by gluing on a cut-hair mustache and calling myself "Hank'. Maybe I would even learn some tiny superficial truths about how guys relate to their world by doing that, but it wouldn't be like experiencing life as a guy. Tying on a blindfold and being shocked by sudden darkness is not like being blind either.

But I guess I could put it in a box with other related behavior such as people passing my wheelchair and cheerily asking "What's the speed limit on that thing?" or the urge people seem to have to try on each other's glasses. Dorky and incomprehensible, but harmless. Except everybody in the newspaper article acts like they learned so much.

Valerie Brew-Parrish, in her excellent series of Ragged Edge articles says that the stuff people learn from simulating disability is the wrong stuff. Because they are placed in a situation where they have not learned the lessons many of us have about coping in our environments, it would be easy for an able-bodied simulator to come away with the message that disabled people can't do many of the things that Sally Simulated can. This might make Sally feel really lucky, but how is she going to treat the next disabled person she meets (besides the familiar-to-most-of-us "Wow, I had no idea!" conversation, in which she discovers barriers in much the same way that Columbus discovered America...by pointing out stuff that a whole lot of people already know.)

Brew- Parrish argues that this creates pity, which is ultimately dehumanizing and conflicts with the stated goal of disability awareness presentations of highlighting diversity in the school or workplace. Add to that the fact that anyone could do anything if they knew it was for a day and the lack of social context, and it leads to a distasteful practice.

 

Some Alternatives to Simulation Exercises

A staple of 'Awareness Days' is the simulation exercise: Put a nondisabled person in a wheelchair. Tie on a blindfold. But these tactics are often criticized as sending the wrong message. What are the alternatives? Chapman University's Art Blaser has a few suggestions.

We are not inspirational nor are we "special". We are PROUD PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Read Bob Kafka's response to the new handle, "special needs" people, a description used by the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate. Mr. Kafka continues... "Our struggle for equality must continue beyond the election regardless of who gets elected. Families of, advocates for and those of us with disabilities can and will make a difference. Not by being "special" but by advocating for our equal place in our communities."

Hiring and Managing Personal Assistants

This manual was developed by The Arc Michigan to promote self-determination through meaningful consumer direction and control. It is provided for information only and does not constitute legal, medical, planning or tax advice. For individualized help with your situation, consult with your allies, supports coordinator, or professional providers.

Improving Income for Direct Care Workers -  Earn, Keep, Save, MORE is PHI Michigan’s initiative to improve the income of all direct-care workers serving Michigan residents using long-term care supports and services. The initiative focuses on the federal earned income tax credit (EITC) and the new Michigan earned income tax credit (EITC).

Each year, home health aides, certified nurse aides, and personal care attendants miss out on thousands of dollars worth of tax credits and free tax preparation services.

For Workers:

PHIs Earn, Keep, Save MORE campaign educates workers about these valuable tax options to ensure they claim the full amount of what they have rightfully earned.

For Employers:

The campaign also solicits the help of employers in educating workers about the tax credits and in promoting other community supports related to financial education and stability.


PHI Michigan will work intensively with Michigan’s existing regional and state tax assistance coalitions (www.michiganeic.org) and the broad long-term care community to insure that all money belonging to the LTC workforce is claimed.


For more information, contact program coordinator Tameshia Bridges at (517) 643-1049 or tbridges@phinational.org .

Personal Assistance Services Cooperatives: Final Report    This report by The Center on Personal Assistance Services presents case studies of seven cooperatives (including Michigan's Partners in Personal Assistance), describes advantages of consumer-run cooperatives, identifies funding issues and sources, and presents considerations for those contemplating starting. It contains a review of the literature which reveals only a few examples of successful consumer-directed PAS cooperatives in the US, however, they show promise.  

Center of Personal Assistance www.pascenter.org

The Center provides research, training, dissemination and technical assistance on issues of personal assistance services (PAS) in the United States. Information includes research, webcasts, a PAS Users page, publications and a Newsletter. Call 866.727.9577 or TDD 415.502.5216

National Support for Reuse of Assistive Technology - Under the Assistive Technology Act, The U.S. Dept. of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is promoting, encouraging, and funding the reuse of AT. To find a program, visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/atsg/at-reuse.html/  Download flyer,  Call 800.497.8665,  or visit Pass It On Center at www.passitoncenter.org
          Georgia Department of Labor, Tools for Life
          1700 Century Circle, Suite 300
          Atlanta, GA 30345-3020
2010 Census Data for Michigan 2000 and 2010 Michigan

Estimated Michigan population data through 2005 from the official 2000 census data

Service Animals

Service Animal Booklets Available
from Great Lakes ADA Center


The Southwest ADA Center has published a new resource titled "Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals - Where are they allowed and under what conditions". It is available on their website in both English and Spanish:
http://www.dlrp.org/html/ (English) (pdf)
http://www.dlrp.org/html/publications/ (Spanish) (pdf)

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Social Security
New Food Benefits for SSI Recipients

As many as 80,000 Michigan senior citizens and adults with disabilities could automatically get help with their food budgets this year under a new federal pilot project.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service granted Michigan a series of waivers allowing the state to implement the Michigan Combined Application Project (MiCAP). Under the project, adults who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), no other income, and who live independently could receive at least $60 each month in food assistance.

Currently The State of Michigan is mailing outreach applications to those who pre-qualify by standard mail. Read the application carefully and keep page 2 as it may answer most of the questions you may have about applying for food benefits from assistance with MiCAP. MiCAP is different from traditional food stamps or Food Assistance Program (FAP).

MiCAP benefits take up to 30 business days to process. If you have questions you may call the MiCAP phone number 1-877-416-4227. Phone hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. No holidays and weekends.

To find out more go to DHS Pub-50, Michigan Combined Application Project.

Go direct - Safer. Easier. More control for Social Security payments

Go direct deposit is the best way to get your Social Security and other federal benefit payments. Direct deposit offers:

  • One less thing to worry about because it is the safest way for you to receive your money
  • An easier and more convenient way to access your money
  • More control over your money and your time because it is predictable and dependable
No bank account? No Problem.

Sign up for the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® – a prepaid debit card that offers another safe and convenient alternative to paper checks for Social Security and SSI payments.

For more information click on image or go to: http://www.godirect.org/index.cfm

Social Security Administration (SSA) Red Book a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income Programs for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals and counselors who serve people with disabilities.
SSI Payment Amounts (2014) from http://www.socialsecurity.gov
New SSI Rates, effective January 1, 2014,  Social Security and SSI benefits. Thank you to Thomas F. Kendziorski, Esq., Executive Director of The Arc of Oakland County for providing this SSI rate information 2014. (pdf)
Social Security has published an overpayment fact sheet in English and Spanish.
Federal Poverty Level Guidelines
Employment Rates for People With and Without disabilities  2005 data show that people with disabilities in the U.S. are consistently less likely to be working than their non-disabled counterparts. The rate is calculated by dividing the number or people who are employed by the sum of people who are employed, unemployed, and not in the labor force. This data is on Institute for Community Inclusion's Web site, www.communityinclusion.org.
Special Education Survey
2011 OSEP Parent Survey - The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the United States Department of Education is coming to Michigan later this year to examine the delivery of special education services in our state. The Michigan Alliance Parent Training and Information Center is responsible for providing feedback to OSEP from parents in Michigan. Please fill out this survey so that your voice can be heard and share it with any other parents/parent groups. If you have any questions, please call 1-800-552-4821.
Tax Information

Rebuilding the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit

Governor Snyder’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget includes $102.7 million for an expansion of the Home stead Property Tax Credit, which was cut in 2011. This will benefit middle-income families, seniors and veterans, in particular. Read more.

Working households urged to file for credits, deductions - “Money Back in Michigan”

The Money Back in Michigan packet also encourages tax-filers to use IRS-trained volunteers for help in filing taxes or to file online for free. Visit www.michiganEIC.org, or call 2-1-1 (or 1-800-552-1183 if no answer), to find the closest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site.

 

Find Free Tax Help at: http://michiganfreetaxhelp.org

 

Taxpayers can also find forms at post offices, libraries or by calling 1-800-TAX FORM to file their own taxes.

The 2014 Income Tax Guide for Tax Year 2013 - was prepared by Thomas F. Kendziorski, Esq., Executive Director of The Arc of Oakland County. This guide has been prepared for persons supporting children and/or adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and is available online at no charge in pdf format. The guide may be printed without permission for use by members and friends of The Arc Michigan.     
Travel and Transportation

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.

Greyhound Improved Accessible Bus Service

In recent years Greyhound has improved its accessible bus service as part of a settlement agreement with the US Department of Justice. For those requiring accessible bus services, call the Greyhound ADA Hotline: 1-800-752-4841 or 1-800-345-3109 (TDD). Call at least 48 hours before you want to travel. Greyhound may need to call you back to make final arrangements. A Personal Care Attendant may be issued a 50 percent discounted ticket to travel with you.  For more information, click here (pdf) To gain access to Greyhound's website, click here.

New Air Carrier Access Act Rule

The Department of Transportation is amending its Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) rules for passengers with disabilities to apply to foreign carriers. The final rule also adds new provisions concerning passengers who use medical oxygen and passengers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The rule also reorganizes and updates the entire ACAA rule. The Department will respond to some matters raised in this rulemaking by issuing a subsequent supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking.

 

The new rules that became effective on May 13, 2009 and Frequently Asked Questions can be downloaded from here as Word or PDF files.

Association for Airline Passenger Rights (AAPR) - Educates Policymakers - The purpose of the AAPR shall be to educate policymakers on travel-related information important to airline passengers, improve accessibility for passengers with disabilities and protect the consumer rights and responsibilities of airline passengers. Prior to AAPR, every aspect of the airline industry was represented in Washington, DC except for the people who pay the bills – airline passengers! The airlines, pilots, flight attendants, service crews, and air traffic controllers are all represented, and now AAPR will level the playing field by representing the interests of airline passengers. www.flyfriendlyskies.com
Allies for Transportation 24/7 - Our Goal: Public Transportation is available 24/7 everywhere in Michigan Through a grant from the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council, UCP Michigan is developing and compiling information to teach people about transportation issues and services. This is an effort to gain community support of common problems people with disabilities face while riding on public transportation.

Have you had problems getting to the bus because of snow drifts by the road? Is the path clear from the sidewalk or bus stop to the bus? Or the curb cut blocked because of snow piled in the way by the snow plow? Does your transportation system have holiday hours? When does it run? Click HERE to check out the site and post your comments. http://www.transportationallies.net

When Self-Service puts you out of reach - you're not alone.

From www.disabilitygas.com

As the petroleum industry shifted from a full service to a self service industry, they forgot about us. Many of us drivers with disabilities actually need help getting gas into our vehicles and by law they are required to pump our gas if there is more than one employee on duty.

The two basic problems with this are:

1)  We don't know how many employees are inside.

2)  We have no consistent way of letting them know we need assistance when we get there.

There are millions of us drivers out there and we need to let our voices be heard.

We need you to do 5 things!

1)  Watch these news videos about how drivers all over the country can't get gas in their car.

2)  Fill out the survey (takes about 5 minutes).

3)  Write legislators on Federal, State and local levels to share your frustrations. Visit our document library to see model legislation to fix this problem.

4)  Share this site with other drivers with disabilities.

5)  Write to the Department of Justice and let them know your thoughts about the current guidelines (PDF) that they are giving the petroleum industry. They are the enforcement arm of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and if they don't hear from you - then they won't know it's a problem. Here is the address:

United States Department of Justice
Disability Rights Sections
PO Box 66738
Washington, D.C. 20035-6738

"The Pump Guide"

People living with severe disabilities, especially wheelchair-users, must often find creative solutions to life's everyday obstacles. "The Pump Guide" is a collaboration between the nonprofit sector, business, and government that solves a problem created by the growth of self-serve gas stations. For the disabled driver, fueling a car or van can be difficult if not impossible. That mechanical process can intimidate drivers who choose not to travel in Michigan due to "fear of fueling".

 

Developed by the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America (MPVA) through a partnership with the members of the Michigan Petroleum Association, "The Pump Guide" is a free site that gives those drivers new confidence and independence. It lists over 800 Michigan gas stations that submitted info with the message "We're ready to help". With this information, a driver can plot a route throughout the state knowing that there is a friendly fill-up waiting anywhere from Monroe to Marquette.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer in Michigan Today!

Are you looking for ways to give back to your community, support a cause you believe in, develop new skills, or make new friends?  Whatever your reason, you can put your time and talents to good use by volunteering.

On Monday, June 22, 2009, a new summer service initiative launched at the this past year's National Conference on Volunteering and Service. The initiative, called United We Serve, aims to put volunteers on a path to sustained service.

The
United We Serve effort focuses on four broad issues:
1. Promoting clean energy, energy efficiency, and public land restoration
2. Supporting education and literacy for all Americans
3. Increasing health care access, public health awareness, and prevention
4. Providing community renewal to areas hit hardest by the economic crisis

Come participate in an opportunity to share your thoughts on how to expand service and volunteerism to help address our state's biggest challenges - such as hunger, homelessness, unemployment, illiteracy, high school dropouts, and the environment. Stops will include Benton harbor, Cadillac, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Houghton, Lansing, Muskegon, Saginaw and Sault Ste. Marie.

Learn more here. Register here.

The Arc of the United States Position Statements Adopted on October 27, 2012

  • Employment: People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities1 can be employed in the community alongside people without disabilities and earn competitive wages. They should be supported to make informed choices about their work and careers and have the resources to seek, obtain, and be successful in community employment. Click here to read more

  • Health, Mental Health, Vision & Dental Care: All people, including people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD)1, should have timely access to high quality, comprehensive, accessible, affordable, appropriate health care that meets their individual needs, maximizes health, well-being and function, and increases independence and community participation. Click here to read more

  • Housing: People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD)1, like all Americans, have a right to live in their own homes, in the community. Children and youth belong with families. Adults should control where and with whom they live, including having opportunities to rent or buy their own homes, and must have the freedom to choose their daily routines and activities. Click here to read more

  • Physician-Assisted Suicide: Physician-assisted suicide must be prohibited for people with intellectual disability (ID)1 due to the inherent risk of undue influence.
    Click here to read more        
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The Arc Michigan Past Conferences

2009 Arc Michigan Conference Presenters and Presentations - includes Key Issues Update presented by Mike Head and information about speakers and presenters.

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