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Friday Mail

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November 24, 2014

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News Items:

Opportunities for Comments and Involvement

Free Workshop - Innovative Strategies in Community Based Employment with Corey Smith

Tuesday, December 9th, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

(Lunch Provided)

Resource & Crisis Center

1200 N. Telegraph Rd., Bldg 32E, Pontiac, MI 48341

RSVP by December 4th at

For questions or special accommodations, call Debbie Wisser at 248.858.0929


Learn how to: Investigate employment readiness through the discovery process and gain employment; develop individual employment outcomes for future high school graduates; effectively work with partners in traditional and non-traditional settings to improve employment outcomes; and maximize economic and social capital at the individual, family and agency level. 


Who Should Attend: People receiving public mental health services, employment specialists, and family friends & network service providers. See Flyer  (pdf)  top

Innovative Strategies in Community-Based Employment with Corey Smith

Wednesday, December 10th, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Greater Grace Temple

22500 W. Seven Mile Rd., Detroit, MI 48219

See Flyer (pdf)

For more information, contact Tiffany Devon at 734.722.7185 or


Innovative Strategies in Community-Based Employment with Corey Smith

Thursday, December 11, 2014, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

201 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI - Conference Rooms A, B, & C

Cost: $15.00 - Includes Lunch

Limited number of scholarships available for people with disabilities

For more information or to request a scholarship, contact Wendy Duke-Littlejohn at or 517.225.2062

 Registration Form pdf  (deadline 12/1/14)    Promotional Flyer pdf

Join us to:

Investigate moving from employment readiness to the discovery process and how to use it as a tool to gaining employment

Learn methods on how to develop individual employment outcomes for high school students before graduation.
Learn to effectively work with partners in traditional and non-traditional settings, including small business, to improve employment outcomes.

 >  Learn to maximize economic and social capital at the individual, family, and agency level.                                                      top

Medicaid Home Help Providers Newly Subject to Criminal History Checks

The Department of Community Health has begun its implementation of criminal history checks on Medicaid Home Help providers. Home Help providers will also be entered in the Community Health Automated Medicaid Processing System (CHAMPS) for payment processing. Letters notifying the providers of these changes went out on November 20, 2014. The letter can be found here:

The criminal history checks began with newly enrolling providers on October 2, 2014 and all currently enrolled providers must be checked by March 31, 2015. Some criminal offenses will result in a mandatory exclusion of the provider, however a participant may request to select a provider who has a criminal history as long as the conviction does not fall into the mandatory exclusion category. There are limited rights to review and appeal.
Finally, providers who do not have any excludable offenses will have their name entered in a provider referral database unless they indicate that they are not available for referral. The policy bulletin outlining these changes and listing the excludable offenses can be found at


Notice of Proposed Policy - Provider Enrollment and Service Verification - Comments due November 30th

Program Affected: Home Help  (Project Number 1454-ESV)

This bulletin addresses modifications to the requirements for provider enrollment and verification of provided services in the Medicaid Home Help program. Specifically, it updates and replaces processes identified in the Adult Service Manual. This bulletin will apply to all individual providers in the program who receive an individual rate for services. Additional guidance will be provided to agency providers as changes are made that would affect them.


Please review the policy summary and attached materials describing the specific changes being proposed and submit to the analyst by November 30th. top

Notice of Proposed Policy - MI Health Link Program - Comments due November 30

Programs Affected: MI Health Link, Medicaid  (Project Number 1453-IC)

Effective January 1, 2015, The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), in partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), will implement a new capitated managed care program called MI Health Link. This program will integrate into a single coordinated delivery system all physical health care, pharmacy, long term supports and services, and behavioral health care for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. The goals of the program are to improve coordination of supports and services offered through Medicare and Medicaid, enhance quality of life, and improve quality of care.


Please review the policy summary and attached materials describing the specific changes being proposed and submit to the analyst by November 30th. top

A Quick and Easy Method of Screening for Medicaid Eligibility Under the Pickle Amendment: 2015 Numbers - from Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, by Gordon Bonnyman, Attorney, Tennessee Justice Center

"Screening for Medicaid eligibility under the Pickle Amendment is quick and simple. Without the necessity of performing any mathematical calculations, screening eliminates the great majority of those who are not eligible." Click here for more information on screening and a simple formula for performing necessary calculations.    top

Gov. Rick Snyder: State government must lead by example in efforts to hire people with disabilities - Executive directive calls for new policies, training across agencies, departments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Read entire press release (pdf)
Monday, Oct. 27, 2014
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan must lead by example and provide a welcoming environment for people with disabilities, encouraging them to work in state government in a competitive, integrated setting, Gov. Rick Snyder said.


Snyder on Monday issued an Executive Directive (pdf) requiring the government adopt a variety of policies and procedures eliminating hurdles faced by people with disabilities as they seek a career in public service.


Snyder also called for increased training for all state employees to raise awareness of disability etiquette and best practices, ensuring every employee is treated with dignity and respect at all times.                                                         top

Autism Leadership Awards Reception in Honor of Dr. Joseph Buxbaum and Alison Singer- December 4

Thursday, December 4th - 5:30 pm  t0 8:30 pm

EmblemHealth Building, 55 Water Street, New York City

Order you Journal Ad to congratulate our honorees and show your support for the mission of Autism Spectrum News! Please visit the Event Page or view the Mail-in Form and reserve your Journal Ad Today!! Register, Take a Journal Ad, Become a Sponsor Now!


Persons on Spend Down at Risk of Losing Essential Services - from Dohn Hoyle

Some persons with a developmental disability are facing a crisis, in most cases, not of
their or their families making. Recent changes, current circumstances and prior
decisions have persons on “spend-down” for Medicaid eligibility in jeopardy. They are at
risk of losing or being denied essential Medicaid and Medicaid funded mental health
supports and services.

Adoption of Healthy Michigan (Medicaid Expansion), possible miscalculation of the
General Fund savings Michigan would achieve and, perhaps, a failure to recognize one
important facet of Medicaid Expansion has potentially changed the entire landscape for
those persons who do not have Medicaid as a result of never having received SSI.

If Medicaid eligibility was through one of the approximately 40 other Medicaid programs, income, especially unearned income, over the protected income level for your county, will need to be spent for medical needs in order for the person to qualify for Medicaid (The pitiful monthly protected Income levels for Michigan range from $341, all the way up to $408). Qualifying for Medicaid is an essential factor in entitling a person with a developmental disability for Mental Health Supports and Services. A person with SSI eligibility established prior to receiving Social Security benefits has those benefits waived or not considered in determining their financial eligibility for Medicaid.  Click here to read more. (pdf) 

MPAS Employment First in Michigan September 2014 Report

Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc., Developmental Disabilities Institute-Wayne State University, and Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council have completed their September report, Michigan Employment First in Michigan (pdf). It talks about the unemployment rates and strong reliance on 14c waivers.     top

Leaders in Policy Advocacy Now Accepting Applications for April 2015 Class in U.P.

Leaders in Policy Advocacy, an intensive leadership development project administered by the Arc Michigan and funded by the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council, is now accepting applications for the next class in the Upper Peninsula, scheduled to begin in April 2015.  Eligible applicants are adults with developmental disabilities and parents of minor children with DD. More information and an application form can be found here:      top

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) signed into Law on July 22nd

President Barack Obama on July 22, 2014, signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Congress passed the Act by a wide bipartisan majority; it is the first legislative reform in 15 years of the public workforce system. WIOA is designed to help job seeker employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.

This Act will make important changes to disability programs. Under the new law, the Independent Living and Assistive Technology Act programs, and the National Institute on Disability and Independent Living Rehabilitation from the U.S. Department of Education to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL).

The Act will increase individuals with disabilities’ access to high-quality workforce services to prepare them for competitive integrated employment. It requires better employer engagement and promotes physical and programmatic accessibility to employment and training services.

Click here for more information about the WIOA   top

HHS Issues New Guidance on Implementing Person-Centered Planning and Self-Direction

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


Michigan Community Dental Clinics (MCDC) accept Medicaid 

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

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

  • What is Early On?

  • Parent to Parent Advice

  • Natural Environments

  • Problem Solving

  • Transition: Leaving Early On

  • Parent Survey

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

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

A limited quantity of DVDs is available.

“Making the Most of Early On®” was produced through an IDEA grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education to Michigan Alliance for Families.


Michigan Alliance for Families' upcoming workshops can be viewed at:  Upcoming and archived Webinars can be viewed at:

Check out our new brochure (pdf)


Michigan History of Our State Institutions for People with Developmental Disabilities

This video documents this regretful history and celebrates the hard work of families and advocates with the final closure of our last institution in Michigan in 2010.  top

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

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

Michigan Alliance for Families Web site offers Resources to help Families

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

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

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

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



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