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October 9, 2015

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News Items

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The Arc Michigan Guide to the Use of Powers of Attorney

The Arc Michigan has prepared a Guide to the Use of Medical Powers of Attorney (pdf) to provide guidance on the use of medical powers of attorney, clarification on the difference between medical powers of attorney and patient advocate designation and describe other types of forms that can be used. Sample forms are included. top

Self-Advocacy Meeting for Adults with Developmental Disabilities in Lansing - Oct. 30th/31st

This is the start of a new and exciting time in Michigan. Adults with developmental disabilities will direct their own advocacy journey. ‘Nothing about us without us’ will be a guide, as adults with developmental disabilities will make decisions about the self-advocacy movement in Michigan.

The goal of the October meetings are to identify people willing and committed to creating a statewide self-advocacy group. Interested attendees will become the founding members.

See the attached registration form for October 30th (1 pm to  5 pm) OR 31st (10 am to 2 pm)  Self-Advocacy Meetings. Registration deadline is 5:00pm, Friday, October 16, 2015.  Mileage reimbursement and overnight accommodations are available for those meeting the criteria. If you require accommodations to participate, please include them on the registration form.

Michigan Alliance for Families Hiring in Macomb & Genesee Counties!

Are you the parent or close family member of a child with a disability who has received early intervention or special education services? Do you enjoy interacting with people? Then consider becoming a Regional Parent Mentor!


Michigan Alliance for Families is hiring a Parent Mentor to cover Genesee/Tuscola counties.      See details here (pdf)
We are also hiring a Parent Mentor to cover Macomb county. Please apply before October 12th. See details here (pdf)  


NEW!!! Sign up to keep up with Michigan Alliance for Families News and Events top

Seeking Parents of Transition-Aged Youth to participate in Online Survey

I am a student in the Special Education program at the University of Oregon and the parent of a young adult with a disability. I am conducting a study to explore factors that influence parent participation in planning for a youth’s transition to life after high school. You are invited to participate in this 15-25 minute online survey because of your unique perspective as the parent or caregiver of a youth (age 14-25) with a disability.

Please complete this survey by October 31, 2015. Upon completion you will have the opportunity to be entered into a drawing to win one (1) ipad mini or one of eight (8) gift cards.

Kind Regards,
Kara Hirano        

From Workshops to Workplaces - Achieving the Goal of Employment First

Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst's (APSE) two-day program is designed to help disability services providers transition to a supported employment business model with the goal of serving people in competitive, integrated jobs in their communities. The conference is being held November 17th and 18th in Detroit at the MGM Grand. Please see attached for more information


In honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July, Thomas E. Perez, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor sent the attached letter (pdf) to all United States' Governors as we "press on in the the Unrelenting pursuit of innovative approaches and effective tools for breaking down barriers to the mainstream workforce for unemployed and under employed Americans".    top

The Institute for Community Inclusion is Seeking Nominations of Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs)* for Case Studies on Organizational Transformation!

ICI is seeking nominations of CRPs that have moved successfully through an organizational change process that prioritizes integrated and competitive employment for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). Integrated and competitive employment refers to full-time or part-time work at minimum wage or higher, with wages and benefits similar to those without disabilities performing the same work, and fully integrated with co-workers without disabilities. It includes supported and customized employment. Learn more here   top

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

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


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

Illinois Governor Signs Sweeping School Discipline Bill Championed by Students


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

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


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

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


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

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

Leaders in Policy Advocacy (LIPA) Training

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


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

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


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

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

Dohn Hoyle Receives Jim Neubacher, Lifetime Achievement Award

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department Issues SIS Use Guidance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MI Health Link Webinar Presentation Handouts

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • What is Early On?

  • Parent to Parent Advice

  • Natural Environments

  • Problem Solving

  • Transition: Leaving Early On

  • Parent Survey

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

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

A limited quantity of DVDs is available.

“Making the Most of Early On®” was produced through an IDEA grant awarded by the Michigan

Department of Education to Michigan Alliance for Families.

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

Check out our new brochure (pdf)        top

Michigan History of Our State Institutions for People with Developmental Disabilities

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

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

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

Michigan Alliance for Families Web site offers Resources to help Families

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

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

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

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



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