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Friday Mail

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April 23, 2014

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The Arc Michigan Conference Information:  June 19th & 20th in Lansing

We are VERY excited about this year's conference! See Conference Flyer (pdf)

 

This year's conference will be held at The Radisson Hotel, 111 N. Grand Avenue, Lansing. Room rate will be $109.00. Parking for hotel guests is $5.00. For reservations, call (517) 482.0188. Be sure to reference promo code ARC614.

  • Shirley Paceley, Director of Blue Tower Training, will be our Keynote Speaker and also a presenter for one of our breakout sessions.

    • Standing at the Crossroads: Stopping Sexual Violence

    • Sexual Violence in the Lives of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

  • Corey Smith, Director of Employment Services, VIA Employment Services, was so well

    received at our Leaders in Policy Advocacy trainings, we thought we'd share him with you!

    • "Work is a typical adult responsibility and everyone should have the opportunity to contribute to the employed community. People with disabilities want what most people want - a job with real wages in or around our community."

    Your registration includes a ticket to the Lansing Lugnuts baseball game at 7:05 pm, after the freshly grilled "All You Can Eat" buffet dinner at 5:50 pm, featuring BBQ chicken, burgers and your choice of sides.  Choose Registration forms below:

    Register for Conference and Pay Online on secure site

    Register Online and Mail Payment (use Authorization Form for Credit Card payments)

    Register by Fax or Mail  with payment (use Authorization Form for Credit Card payments)

    If you have accommodation needs, please let us know by May 19th.

    Send questions to Courtney Trunk at courtney@arcmi.org or send Fax to (517) 487.0303.

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End the Economic Servitude and Social Exile of People with Disabilities

April 11, 2014 from The New York Times by The Editorial Board 

This link with take to you a New York Times editorial, “Doubly Disabled in Life”, about the agreement the Department of Justice and Rhode Island made to phase out sheltered work settings and segregated day programs. The last paragraph is powerful.

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Rhode Island Agrees to Keep Residents with Mental Disabilities out of Forced Menial Labor By Michelle R. Smith and Eric Tucker, AP

www.therepublic.com
April 8, 2014
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Residents with mental disabilities would no longer be forced to work long hours doing manual labor for little money and instead would be given the chance at regular employment that pays at least the minimum wage under a settlement announced Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Justice and Rhode Island entered into a court-ordered consent decree that will require a gradual but dramatic overhaul of employment services to the mentally disabled, officials said. The agreement, which the Justice Department says is the first statewide settlement of its kind, covers about 3,250 people. Read more...    
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Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services - Questions and Answers on Requirements in Final Regulations

A new set of answers to frequently asked questions is available online regarding the new requirements in the recently published home and community-based services final regulations. The frequently asked questions are available at: http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Long-Term-Services-and-Supports/Home-and-Community-Based-Services/Downloads/Final-Q-and-A.pdf   top

Registration Open for Housing Advocates Training in East Lansing - May 13 & 14

The Fair Housing Center will be holding Housing Advocates Training (HAT) on Tuesday, May 13 and Welfare Policy Seminar (WPS) on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 in East Lansing.

This two-day training covers topics including illegal evictions, housing discrimination, subsidized housing, and welfare policies. Attending both days is optional. The Fair Housing Center, Legal Services of South Central Michigan, and the Michigan Poverty Law Program provide these participatory workshops for people from local community organizations.

 

This two-day training is an excellent resource for anyone working as an advocate (as well as for clients/consumers). Registration is required (discounts on registration fees available until May 1st).

Registration materials are attached (Registration Form) (Training Locations) and can also be found on our website or by phone at 1-877-979-3247.
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Healthy Michigan Plan - Good news for Michigan’s uninsured!

Good news for Michigan’s uninsured! The expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which is being called The Healthy Michigan Plan, opened for enrollment on April 1, 2014. By the end of the first week over 46,000 Michiganders had enrolled to receive much needed and long awaited health care. Under the expansion, people making up to 133% of the federal poverty level ($15,521 annually for an individual, $31,721 for a family of four) can now enroll for Medicaid coverage. There are no longer age or disability requirements, and there are no asset limits, eligibility is based on modified adjusted gross income. There are some costs to the covered individual, for example most people will have to pay $2 for doctor visits, and enrollees making between 100% and 133% of the federal poverty level must contribute up to 2% of their income to a health savings account. Visit www.michigan.gov/healthymiplan/ for more information or answers to frequently asked questions. Apply online,  call 1.855.789.5610 or    Visit your local Department of Human Servicestop

Michigan Signs Memorandum of Understanding for Integrated Care Program

For Immediate Release April 3

"The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is pleased to announce it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the new MI Health Link demonstration program to integrate care for individuals who are dually eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

 

Through the new MI Health Link program, all services currently covered separately through the Medicare and Medicaid programs will be integrated into a single health care delivery model. This model will feature coordinated care for physical health, long term care, and behavioral health services and supports. The program will also focus on increasing access to home and community-based services and enhanced quality through performance monitoring. MI Health LInk will include the use of person-centered processes and promote enrollee choice in all aspects of the program." Read more here (pdf). top                 

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.

Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities: A National Snapshot
The Ms. Foundation for Women and the Center on Victimization and Safety (CVS) of the Vera Institute of Justice, partnered on a report investigating the sexual abuse of children with disabilities entitled "Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities: A National Snapshot"
(pdf). The issue brief, which hopes to begin a conversation around strategies to end the sexual abuse of children with disabilities, provides an overview of the latest research on the incidence and prevalence of this abuse. It discusses the dynamics of sexual abuse, the factors that contribute to its high prevalence, the status of prevention and intervention services designed to address this problem, and critical gaps and opportunities. It concludes with recommendations to create a national strategy in response to this epidemic. top

Arc of Central Michigan Seeking Part-time Executive Director

The Arc of Central Michigan, a non-profit organization for individuals with Developmental Disabilities, is seeking a highly motivated part-time Executive Director. Please visit www.arcofcentralmi.org for responsibilities and job requirements. Interested individuals should send a resume and cover letter to: President, The Arc of Central Michigan, PO Box 171, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48804-0171 or email to: info@arcofcentralmi.org. The Arc of Central Michigan is an equal opportunity employer. top     

The Arc Community Advocates Annual Inclusion Conference: Education & Transition and Film Festival - Thursday, April 24th 8:30 am - 4:30 pm at Fetzer Center, Western Michigan University. Register online at communityadvocates.org or call 269.342.9801 See flyer.                                                         top

House and Senate Pass Bills Removing the “R Word” from Statute

On March 5,  3014 the Michigan House and Senate, after testimony from The Arc Michigan and other advocacy organizations, unanimously passed respective bills that will remove the “r word” from state statute and replace it with "developmental disability" or "intellectually disabled". This follows years of efforts by advocates who were able to eliminate such language in the Mental Health Code in 1995.

Senator Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) said in a statement, "Michigan is one of only seven states that have yet to strike this hurtful and dehumanizing language from statute, and it is high time we did so as a matter of respect for our fellow Michiganders." The Arc Michigan agrees.
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How the Affordable Care Act is working in Michigan Detroit Free Press (guest column) by Don Hazaert

"While the early technical problems at Healthcare.gov received feverish scrutiny, the unfolding Michigan miracle in health insurance enrollment has been going largely ignored. But for the growing numbers of consumers who are accessing affordable, quality health care coverage, many for the first time in their lives, the promise of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is becoming a reality.

Data released this month by the federal government show that, despite all of the technical problems and bad publicity that followed the Oct. 1 launch of the ACA website, private health insurance enrollment in Michigan now exceeds original estimates by 12,000. In other words, despite one of the worst product launches in the history of product launches, the private insurance plans being sold at Healthcare.gov are being snapped up by consumers in Michigan at a faster rate than anyone anticipated." Click here to read more    
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Mental Health Association in Michigan (MHAM) seeks applicants to succeed President & CEO

MHAM is the state’s oldest non-profit advocacy organization for persons experiencing mental illness. The Association, affiliated with Mental Health America and supported by local United Ways, primarily engages in policy analysis and regulatory advocacy at the state government level.

This position is full-time, based in Farmington Hills, and begins the fall of 2014 to allow a crossover period with our retiring chief executive. Competitive starting salary and benefits offered. Click here for position description and qualifications. (pdf)

 

To apply, send cover letter, resume, and brief writing sample to msrmha@aol.com by May 1, 2014. MHAM is an equal Opportunity employer.  www.mha-mi.com      top

Michigan Alliance for Families 2014 Webinar Series Focusing on Transitioning to Adulthood
Join us for an hour on most Thursdays through May, starting at noon. Click here for the Webinar calendar. Clicking on the date will open the registration form for that Webinar.  Please share our Webinar flyer with others who are interested in this important topic. Scroll down the Webinar calendar page to view other interesting Archived Webinar topics.

 

Check out our new brochure (pdf) and Event Calendar for workshops this spring. top

2014 Income Tax Guide for Preparing 2013 Federal Tax Returns

The guide, published by Tom Kendziorski, Attorney at Law, and Executive Director of the Arc of Oakland, is for persons supporting children and/or adults with intellectual impairment and/or related developmental disabilities. Click here to download (pdf)   top

CMS Issues Medicaid HCBS Settings Final Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) settings final rule (CMS-2249-P2). The final regulation addresses several sections of Medicaid law under which states may use federal Medicaid funds to pay for HCBS.

The rule will not be in the Federal Register until January 16th. The pre-publication version is available at:
http://ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2014-00487_PI.pdf or from the web at: https://www.federalregister.gov  
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Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Website is Launched for Michigan
In August of this year, the Social Security Administration reinstated the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance program (WIPA). WIPA is a step by step process, to assist people with disabilities who are receiving benefits from Social Security, toward a goal of employment and greater financial independence, by understanding how to use the many incentives to work that are available. Working with a Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC), eligible individuals will also gain an understanding of how employment will affect their Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and other benefits they may receive.

In Michigan, three organizations were granted the opportunity to coordinate this program, The Arc Michigan, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, and United Cerebral Palsy of Metropolitan Detroit. Between these three organizations, WIPA services are available throughout the state. If you are interested in learning more about the WIPA program, information and specific contact numbers for your county can be found at the newly launched website.   top

Leaders in Policy Advocacy Leadership Training Opportunity!

Interested in taking your leadership and advocacy skills to a higher level? The Arc Michigan is pleased to offer an intensive leadership training program for adults with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities. Leaders in Policy Advocacy, a grant project funded by the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council and administered by The Arc Michigan, will support participants to become leaders in the movement for people with disabilities to claim full, productive lives in their communities. Participants will learn about disability history, inclusive education, assistive technology, self-determination, person-centered planning, social media, systems change, access to employment, housing and recreation and more!


Participation requires a significant time commitment. Six (6) weekend sessions begin with check-in on the first day (a Friday) at 12:30 p.m. and end on the second day (a Saturday) at 3:00 p.m. There is no cost to participate in the training. Click here to download application
(pdf), or visit their Web site and  apply online.

 
If  you  want more information or want to participate, please contact Salli Christenson at the Arc Michigan. She can be reached at 800 292-7851, ext. 130 or salli.c@arcmi.org  
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A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities

2012-2013 National Governors Assn. Chair's Initiative

This initiative will focus on the employment challenges faced by individuals with intellectual and other significant behavioral and physical disabilities and the roles that both state government and business can play in helping people with disabilities in helping people with disabilities overcome those challenges. The best way to achieve the vision and goals is for the public agencies, businesses, and the disability community to work together to chart the path forward. — Jack Markell, Chair 

Click here for press release. View publication: A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities top

Disability Community Unveils Key Principles of Community Integration

Washington - July 31 2013 - At two congressional briefings celebrating the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on Monday, the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law unveiled a set of consensus principles reflecting the disability community's shared vision of community integration. The document, entitled Community Integration for People with Disabilities: Key Principles (pdf), lays out a vision in which people with disabilities are afforded opportunities to live in their own homes, work in regular, non-segregated employment, and make their own choices.   top

Action Alert! Stop Hurting Kids

Every student deserves to learn and grow in a safe, supportive environment, yet each day children across the U.S. continue to be subjected to restraint and seclusion abuse. We can do more to protect our kids, and we can start by advocating for federal policy that puts an end to restraint and seclusion abuse.


As a partner organization of the Stop Hurting Kids campaign, TASH is asking you to contact your congressperson in the U.S. House of Representatives with a simple message: stop hurting kids. It takes just minutes to make a difference.     
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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: www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/babies-and-toddlers.


Parents and professionals can view the videos via the Michigan Alliance for Families YouTube Channel  at www.youtube.com/michiganalliance.

A limited quantity of DVDs is available.

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

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Michigan Alliance for Families' upcoming workshops can be viewed at:

 www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/upcoming-events/  Upcoming and archived Webinars can be viewed at: http://www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/webinar/

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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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlg-g7l-MBg                                         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 disability.gov.                              
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Michigan Alliance for Families Web site offers Resources to help Families

Michigan Alliance for Families is excited to announce that our website (www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/eo) 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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