Re-Opening and People With Disabilities

 

To Whom It May Concern,

 

As Nebraska considers when and how to re-open businesses and state services, the Nebraska Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities urges strong state and local actions to protect high risk populations and public health.

COVID-19 has shown to be particularly dangerous to people with disabilities, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions. Those who reside or receive services in congregate settings have been shown to be at extreme risk of contracting COVID-19.

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DHHS Appendix K

Nebraska DHHS has submitted their Appendix K amendments to CMS.  These will be the adjustments made by the state in reaction to the Corona Virus Pandemic.  While these still have to be approved by CMS we expect this will significantly be the changes made. 

DD Comprehensive Waiver

DD Day Waiver

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NCCD Corona Virus Guide

NCCD CoronaVirus Guide

 

Right now everyone is in a state of reaction to the CoronaVirus.  We know for individuals with disabilities and families with a child with a disability, there are many extra concerns.  Please know that we are still working to find ways to help assure the safety, health, and well being of people with disabilities.  If you come across an issue that needs addressed, please contact a member agency.

 

Member agencies continue working to protect and support individuals with disabilities during these uncertain and rapidly changing times.  For instance, member agencies have been working on important issues like ensuring access to medications, access to providers, preventing utility shut offs, preventing evictions, educating families, working to coordinate a variety of other organizations, protecting voting, advocating at the state, ensuring the safety of individuals with disabilities in a variety of ways.  Now we are gearing up to serve you as situations change.

 

We hope the following resources may be helpful for individuals, family members, caregivers, service providers and anyone that may be seeking resources for children or adults with disabilities.

 

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Family Support Waiver

This week we have a very important hearing.  The hearing for LB 1204 The Family Support Waiver will be at 1:30 on the 19th at the State Capitol. We need as many people there as possible sharing their stories of our broken system and how this can help fix it.  Below is a graphic to help understand the Family Support Waiver.  We've also attached a sample email for you to submit testimony to the committee.

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Olmstead Plan Comments

Below is our comments on the Olmstead Plan draft.  If you have comments you would like to add you can email nebraskaolmstead@tacinc.org to see the draft plan click here.  These are just initial comments on an evolving plan.  We hope this is realistic, quantitative, has serious actions, and is followed up on.

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Share of Cost Update

Emergency Alert- Share of Cost!!!

 

We have been diligently working to protect families of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities from Share of Cost Assessments. We helped many families avoid the cost administratively. However, some were still being charged improperly. So we helped fund a court case to work to overturn these decisions. Then we won the case!

 

However, now the department is coming back to change the section of regulations so that they can charge a Share of Cost. This decison could re-expand the people who could have Share of Cost Assessments applied. We are still assessing the impacts of these modifications, however, were just alerted to the hearing tomorrow morning at 10 am. Please come to the hearing or email comments ASAP.

 

September 25, 2019, 10:00 am Central Time Gold’s Building - Room 534 1033 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

If you can’t make it, then please email dhhs.regulations@nebraska.gov

 

 

 

 

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End The Waiting List

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Edison McDonald, Executive Director, The Arc of Nebraska, 402-475-4407 or edison@arc-nebraska.org

Disability Advocates Kick Off Grassroots Campaign to Ensure Access to Vital Services

Lincoln, Nebraska, July 2, 2019 – “Nebraska is at a crossroads with its obligation to Nebraska citizens with developmental disabilities. Several Nebraska Senators have recognized the urgent need to develop a strategic plan to address the current and future needs of citizens with DD and their families.” This is what the 2008 LR 156 report said over a decade ago.  Yet we have instead allowed this waiting list to grow and vulnerable Nebraskans to go without vital services.

In reaction to this disability advocates are taking up a new grassroots drive to end the Developmental Disability Waiting List.  “It is absolutely unacceptable that we have over 2,332 Nebraskans with disabilities who are not receiving these vital supports.” Said Edison McDonald Executive Director for The Arc of Nebraska.  They have been forced onto a waiting list that could require them to wait for years to access vital services.  This waiting list forces them to consider more expensive and segregated settings.  This average cost per Nebraskan with a disability could be hundreds of thousands of dollars per citizen with disability.  We must do better.

Launching off a petition drive, community conversations, and careful research of the issue advocates are ready to take on this significant issue for Nebraskans with Disabilities.  The first community conversation will happen at the annual Disability Pride Event at The Nebraska State Capitol on July 12th at 1pm.  For more information please refer to https://www.arc-nebraska.org/end_the_waiting_list

 

About The Arc of Nebraska

For over 60 years, The Arc of Nebraska has provided advocacy to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. A nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Directors, The Arc has more than 1,500 members across the state.

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Restraint Bill Updates

AM 1750 to LB 147: The Restraint Bill

Update

LB 147 is out of Committee due to the Pull Motion now it is headed to General File and we need you to raise your voice to oppose this bill still!  Your calls made a difference and are the reason why he only barely made it through.

 

Senator Groene has been attempting to pull LB 147 the Restraint Bill out of committee through any method possible.  We have been able to stop him from getting it out of committee through the regular process!  However, now he has called for a Pull Motion that means that he can skip the committee process and bring it straight to the floor if he can get 25 votes on Tuesday, May 21 at 1:30 pm. The conversation will hopefully now revolve around AM 1750 an amendment that we worked on that helps to improve the bill.  However, even with this amendment, not enough of our concerns are alleviated.  As a parent said, “I would be scared to send my child to school if this law passed.”  We represent people with disabilities and their families and will stand up for their safety.

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LB 147 The Zombie Restraint Bill

Senator Groene has been attempting to pull LB 147 out of committee through any method possible.  This bill allows for the usage of child restraints with almost no protections.  LB 147 has been described as a bill to allow teachers to bring safety to the classroom.  We have many concerns about this bill because it will disproportionately harm students with disabilities.  According to the Civil Rights Data Collection: Data Snapshot (School Discipline) “Students with disabilities (served by IDEA) represent 12% of the student population [of U.S. schools], but 58% of those placed in seclusion or involuntary confinement.” Nebraska students served by IDEA represent 15% of the total enrollment but 77% of those who were physically restrained.  If you want more information on this bill please watch out discussion on restraint with one of our board members https://www.arc-nebraska.org/restraint_policy

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Brain Injury In Nebraska

Chris Stewart is the Resource Facilitator for The Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska.

Do you know someone that has experienced a brain injury?  The answer to the question is probably yes.         Let’s check:

Do you know someone that has taken a hit or had their head bounced around in a vehicle accident, fall, playing sports or an assault? What about a family member or friend that was diagnosed as having a stroke, aneurysm, tumor or was unable to breathe for a brief period due to choking or carbon monoxide? These are some of the causes of brain injuries reported by individuals calling the Brain Injury Alliance – Nebraska.

Brain Injury Alliance – Nebraska (BIA-NE) is a not-for-profit organization advocating with individuals that have experienced a brain and their family members across the state, to establish needed resources in prevention, education, awareness, and supports.  The BIA-NE tag line has become, “A Brain Injury Can Happen to Anyone, Anywhere, at Any Time.”

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