Call your representatives! đź“ž Protect the ADA!

An attack on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an attack on disability rights – and that’s exactly what’s happening in Congress right now. Last week, the House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017. Don’t let the name fool you; this bill puts new restrictions on the ADA and the rights of people with disabilities. We need to push back now: contact your Representatives and let them know that our civil rights don’t come with a waiting period.

Under H.R. 620, before we can exercise our ADA rights, a new bureaucratic process would have to take place every time a business is inaccessible.

  • First, you would have to send a formal letter to the business describing the problem.
  • If your letter doesn’t include all the technical legal language the law requires, it won’t count, and the business can ignore it.
  • After receiving your letter, the business can put off fixing the illegal barriers that exclude disabled people for up to four months before you can sue for your rights.

Businesses have had 27 years to come into compliance with the ADA. Some of them still want a pass on excluding disabled people – but we don’t have to give them one. Contact your Representative and tell them to vote NO on delaying our rights.

You can find contact information for your Congressional Representative at contactingcongress.org. Here’s a script you can use to call, write, or email:

My name is [Name], and I live in [your town]. I’m [calling/writing] to ask Representative [Name] to vote NO on H.R. 620. People with disabilities need to be able to shop for groceries, stay at hotels, and use other public accommodations. It has been 27 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act. Disabled people in our district have waited too long for access – and businesses have had plenty of time to provide it. Please protect the ADA and vote NO on H.R. 620.

After you’ve called or emailed, check out our civic engagement toolkit for more ways to engage with your elected officials. When Congress is debating disability policy, they need to be listening to disabled people – so speak up, and be a voice they can’t ignore. Make sure your Representative gets the message: Nothing about us, without us!

 

*This Article is posted via ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network) Communication.

Come Celebrate with SAU1 – You’re Invited!

Self Advocates United as 1 has been
supporting self advocacy of people with disabilities
for positive impact in our communities and in people’s lives
since 2007. Time for our 10 Year Celebration Luncheon!

Self Advocates United as 1 logo. Image of 3 people coming together over the state of PASAVE the DATE!
Tuesday September 26, 2017
1:30 – 4 pm
National Civil War Museum
Harrisburg, PA

You’re Invited to come celebrate with SAU1 and Self Advocates!

RSVP to save your Seats at the Celebration

We are now accepting RSVPs for the celebration!

How do I RSVP to Celebrate SAU1?
There are two ways to RSVP for this event. You can RSVP online, or by mail.

Option 1:
If you are on our physical mailing list, you will receive an RSVP card to fill out and mail back with your check or money order.

Option 2:
We have also set up an online RSVP system* for anyone to use as a convenience option.
When you RSVP online you can choose to pay for your seats, and any donations, either online**, or by mail. but it will help us keep better track of the number of seats left as we take RSVPs.

*Your personal information, such as your name and mailing address, that you enter when you RSVP online is only visible by SAU1 Administrators. Your information will not be shared, given, or sold to anyone. You’re information is also stored in an encrypted format for security purposes.

**All online payments will be processed through PayPal’s Secure Payment gateway. We do not receive, and can not view or store any sensitive payment information.

Event Pricing:

  1. Single Ticket – $25
  2. Guest Ticket – $25 per Ticket
  3. Table of 8 – $185 ($15 Savings)
  4. Donation to fund a Self Advocate in need to attend* – $25
*Donations of $25 to fund a Self Advocate to attend will be used to give a Self Advocate, who is not able to otherwise attend the event, a ticket to  come and celebrate with us. This is considered a donation, and may be tax-deductible.

If you are a Self Advocate and do not have money for a ticket, Call our message line at 1 877 304 7730. Say your name and phone number two times, very slowly. SAU1 staff will call you back to let you know if we have scholarship money for you.


We couldn’t have done it without you!

Share your story of how SAU1 made an impact in YOUR life.
Email Celebrate10@sau1.org with your story or for more information.

Our mission is to support the self advocacy of people with disabilities for positive impact in our communities and in peoples lives.

Our vision is a world where individuals with developmental disabilities and their families are united to share knowledge, empower others, and use their voices to transform their lives and communities.

Click HERE to RSVP Online!


Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program Advisory Meeting

Posted via Disability Rights Pennsylvania(DRP)

Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program Advisory Meeting

If you receive SSI/SSDI or support individuals who receive SSI/SSDI in employment, then we want to hear from you.

Come and learn about WIPA services and what other community employment resources are available.  Let’s talk about how we can work together to help people receiving Social Security benefits reach their employment goals.

Come out and join us in helping people with disabilities fulfill their work goals.  When all people work, everyone benefits!

When:  Thursday, September 14, 2017, 12pm-3pm

Where:  Montgomery County Workforce Development Board, 1430 DeKalb Street Norristown, PA  19401 – Room:  TBD

Speaker:  TBD

RSVP by calling or texting 215-980-7730 or e-mail tvirden@disabilityrightspa.org.  If you need any environmental or language accommodations, let us know by September 7, 2017.   Free parking available.  See you then!


PCAA Upcoming Events and Information

Posted via PCAA Newsletter
PCAA is the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy

PCAA Upcoming Events

Learn legislative self-advocacy!

Sunday, August 13
2 PM – 6 PM
Rodef Shalom Congregation (map)

We’re joining the Autism Connection of PA and the Multicultural Disability Leadership Center to present a training on legislative advocacy.

Learn the process, step-by-step, for meeting with your political representatives. Ever wondered how to schedule a meeting or what to say? This training, run by autistic self-advocates and engaged parents, will cover everything you need to know, including opportunities to practice with a panel of legislators and staffers.

Registration encouraged but not required. Reserve your spot here.

August Social Meetup

Sunday, August 27
4 PM – 7 PM
Mellon Park Rose Garden (map)

Come hang out with your local Autistic community! Each month, we host a sensory-friendly social meetup, where we hang out, play games, do puzzles, color, and enjoy ourselves as a community. These events are very laid back. Please do not worry about arriving late or leaving early!

These events seek to be as sensory friendly as possible. Please refrain from wearing strong scents or using noise devices without headphones.

Where is Hope?

Wednesdays, September 6 and 13
6 PM – 8 PM
CLP East Liberty (map)

Join PCAA and Black and disabled community builder, Dustin Gibson, for a screening of the film Where Is Hope?, which explores police violence against people with disabilities, and a panel of local speakers on this phenomena on September 6. The following week, Cori and Dustin will present a workshop on the intersection of ableism and racism, how these phenomena affect us all, and next steps.

 


 

Public Policy Report

ACTION STEP: Disability Integration Act

The Disability Integration Act has been introduced in both the US House and Senate. Senator Bob Casey is already a co-sponsor, as are Representatives Robert Brady [PA-1] and Dwight Evans [PA-2].  Key targets for co-sponsorship are Representatives: Brendan Boyle [PA-13], Mike Doyle [PA-14], and Matthew Cartwright [PA-17]. Contact your representative and ask them to co-sponsor this legislation.

Paul’s Law (PA Senate Bill 108)

Paul’s Law passed the Senate, and has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where it will likely stay until after the Pennsylvania budget is finalized. Expect future updates after the budget has been resolved.

PA Medicaid (PA House Bill 59)

“Legislation passed by the state Senate late last month could re-shape the commonwealth’s Medicaid program — potentially making benefit changes and requiring work from the program’s able-bodied recipients.”

– For the rest, see link.

National Healthcare Legislation

While the latest GOP attempt at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act failed, healthcare access is still at risk. President Trump has taken several steps to make the healthcare market more unstable, including threatening to withhold payment to insurers, releasing anti-ACA videos, decreasing the window for enrollment, and considering not enforcing the clause requiring everyone to purchase insurance. The House and Senate appear to have moved on from healthcare….for now. This doesn’t mean they won’t revisit changes in the future.

 


 

Studies and CFPs

Diversity of social strengths and challenges in autism spectrum disorder
Women often struggle to get diagnosed and get support, because clinicians and others have a male-biased view of what autism should “look like”. In clinical language, autism involves “restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities” (RRB), at least in childhood. RRBs are known to look different in women compared to men, but little is known about how. This questionnaire aims to ask about women’s own experiences, to understand female autism better, increase acceptance and help women get support.
Study Link
Contact: Kajsa Igelstrom, at kajsa@princeton.edu
Study on the Experiences of Young Adults with Autism
Are you a young adult age 21 through 35 who has a diagosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder or the parent of a young person with ASD in this age range? Are you available for an interview lasting 1 to 1.5 hours?This study seeks to document the experiences of young adults with autism and their families in order to inform human service providers, postsecondary education and training institutions, policymakers, and other interested in helping young adults with autism and their families.
Contact Jake Dembosky at (412)-719-3653 or j.w.dembosky@iup.edu

Participants receive a $20 giftcard to Amazon or Target for their time.

Social Brain Interaction Study
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are looking for adults diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to participate in a research study investigating the brain during social interaction. Participants will wear a safe and painless device measuring brain activity using infrared light while interacting with another person and wear a small device that records their daily conversations in their homes.
To see if you qualify: Call 412-383-5280
Text 412-463-1253
childbrain@upmc.edu / www.lcbd.pitt.edu
Autism and Gender Variance Study
Researchers at UMass Boston want to learn more about your experience of identifying as gender diverse (transgender or gender nonconforming) and as being on the Asperger’s/Autism spectrum. This study might be a good fit for you: • If you are willing to talk about your experiences with these two identities • You are 18 years of age and older • Identify (broadly) as being gender diverse (transgender or gender nonconforming) and on the Asperger’s/Autism spectrum. • You are living in the U.S.
To take part in this study, please contact Meredith Maroney at Meredith.Maroney001@umb.edu
ASERT Social Skills Course
ASERT is offering a free 16-week social skills course for 18-35 year old Autistic adults. Each week involves a 75 minute instructive session providing a window into neurotypical social expectations and a 90 minute practice session with neurotypical volunteers. This social skills group is offered as part of a study funded by an Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative Grant from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Autism Services, Department of Public Welfare. To participate, you’ll meet with the researchers to confirm your eligibility for the program, participate in a pre-test, and a follow-up a few months after the course.
For more information, contact Ryan Schaitkin (412-339-0956 or rps30@pitt.edu – Subject line: Young Adult Participant.) Study director: Jamie Kulzer, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh
Mindfulness and Autism Study
Are you an adult diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Do you feel stressed, anxious, or dissatisfied with your life?University of Pittsburgh researchers are conducting a 10-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction research study for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

This research study will involve:
• Guided mindfulness meditation practices
• Gentle stretching and mindful yoga
• Group discussions

Participants will be asked to attend 8 weekly 2.5 hour classes, a 7.5 hour practice retreat, and complete daily homework assignments. Participants will be paid up to $140.

Contact: 412-383-6727/ KAB277@pitt.edu

Transportation Study
We are looking for people who are 18 years and older with developmental disabilities to complete a survey asking questions about transportation. We are trying to learn about what transportation people with developmental disabilities use to get to activities in the community. We are also trying to learn about people’s experiences using public transportation (i.e., buses and trains) and what makes it hard or stops a person from using public transportation. We want to know how transportation impacts participation in life activities such as work, doctor’s appointments, shopping, social events, and any other activities important to the person. The findings of this survey will be used to identify transportation issues and help in the development of future transportation training programs.
 If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the study, please click on the following link:
Transportation Survey
Please feel free to contact Dr. Beth Pfeiffer at bpfeiffe@temple.edu or (215) 707-4504 with any questions or if would like additional information about the study.

 


Calling all Bloggers – Paid Opportunity

Calling all Bloggers – Paid Opportunity

Do you have a story to share that connects to a broader disability rights perspective? Rooted in Rights is seeking article pitches between 400-600 words that are focused on disability rights topics. Compensation per published piece is $150. Submit pitches via this form: http://www.rootedinrights.org/about/submit-a-blog-idea/.

 

Posted Via Policy Information Exchange (PIE).


Wolf Administration Discusses Negative Impact of Proposed Cuts

Wolf Administration Discusses Negative Impact of Proposed Cuts to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Funding

House Bill 218 would devastate funding to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic.

Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Deputy Secretary for the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) Dr. Dale Adair was joined by county agencies, providers, and other advocates at the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association to discuss the $9 million in cuts to mental health and substance use disorder services proposed in the House Republican budget, House Bill 218.

“The proposed cuts to mental health funding within House Bill 218 would jeopardize the way counties perform mental health services to some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens. The last time funding was cut to mental health programs, the counties were unable to absorb the costs and critical programs ceased,” said Dr. Adair.

The proposed budget includes a reduction of $5 million in community mental health county allocations. This cut will jeopardize available funding to serve individuals leaving state hospitals to live in the community with related impact on serving individuals in the forensic unit.

In addition, there is a reduction of $4 million to county behavioral health funding, which would eliminate the amount that was included for treatment costs for 1,200 individuals not eligible for Medical Assistance who are newly able to receive substance use disorder treatment through the Centers of Excellence.

“Our providers have mastered the ability to do more with less during times of fiscal constraint, but without sufficient funding over the long term, there is only so much each provider can do to meet service needs,” said Richard S. Edley, PhD, President and CEO of the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA), the state’s largest and most diverse health and human services trade association. “Funding reductions have a negative effect both on those providing services as well as those receiving services. Funding cuts don’t just hurt the organizations receiving the funding. The cuts ultimately hurt the individuals and their families who rely on services and assistance through providers.”

Governor Wolf’s proposed 2017-18 budget included continuing the $20.4 million investment in creating 45 Centers of Excellence to improve opioid treatment outcomes, providing $13.4 million to partner with PCCD to increase access to naloxone for first responders and expand specialty drug court, and maximizing the $26.5 million in federal Cures Act funding annually for the next two years to help address the opioid epidemic.

 

For more information on DHS and OMHSAS, click here.

Information Posted Via PA DHS.


AAPD Announces the Summer Internship Program Class of 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is pleased to announce the Summer Internship Program Class of 2017.

AAPD’s Summer Internship Program provides the opportunity for students with disabilities to gain hands-on professional experience to help advance their career goals. Through the Summer Internship Program, AAPD seeks to give a class of students with disabilities the skills, resources, and networks they need in order to not only become employed, but to be employed in meaningful and high-level positions. Our Summer Internship Program engages students and recent graduates with disabilities from all across the United States. Because we cover the costs of travel and housing, in addition to providing a living stipend, we are able to recruit a diverse class of interns that may not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in a program like ours. For many of these students, participating in AAPD’s Summer Internship Program is their first exposure to the broader disability community, which empowers them to be self-advocates and sets them on a path to employment.

In addition to placing each intern on Capitol Hill, in government agencies, national nonprofit organizations, or the private sector, AAPD also matches each intern with a mentor connected to the disability community. The program begins with a week of Orientation to help the interns get acclimated to living in the city as well as to establish a base understanding of the history of the disability rights movement and current policy issues impacting people with disabilities. The AAPD Summer Internship Program is unique and effective because we offer a comprehensive experience that goes beyond the normal 9-5 intern work-week. Outside of the internship hours, AAPD connects the interns to a variety of guest speakers, events, and professional development opportunities.

 

Contact: Zach Baldwin

Phone: 202-521-4310

 

The 2017 Internship Class includes:

 

Learn more about the 2017 Summer Interns here!

The 2017 AAPD Summer Internship Program would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Thank you Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, AT&T, the Arconic Foundation, Google, and the Aid Association for the Blind of the District of Columbia for supporting these students!

###

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site: www.aapd.com.

Posted Via American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).


DRP Opposes the U.S. Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act

Disability Rights Pennsylvania Opposes the United States Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act

As a leader in the advancement of the civil rights of people with disabilities for forty years (40), Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) is opposed to the Better Care Reconciliation Act introduced today by the United States Senate (Senate).  We are deeply concerned about the direction Congress is headed and the impact this legislation will have on rights, independence, and health of individuals with disabilities.  Today, on the eighteenth anniversary of the historic Olmstead Supreme Court decision that ensured that individuals with disabilities must receive services in the most integrated setting, the United States Senate has proposed a bill that will force people with disabilities to lose access to health care and community based supports.  This bill decimates the promise of Olmstead that allows people with disabilities to participate and thrive in their communities.

The Better Care Reconciliation Act ensures that people with disabilities will lose access to critical health and mental health care.  The decision to allow states to either Block Grant or create a Per-Capita payment will result in the program being eligibility based instead of an entitlement.  Individuals will only get services if funding is available, and if there is not enough funding then individuals will be placed on a waiting list.  Waiting lists for services will grow exponentially and individuals with disabilities could be placed in life threatening situations.  This bill will result in even less funding available over time than what the House bill proposed.

In addition, there is still a requirement to provide institutional based care.  This bill will all but ensure that Pennsylvania will not have enough funding available for Home and Community Based services and supports in any way that allows people to meaningfully participate in their communities or work.  Optional services such as employment, person driven services and home and community based long-term supports would not be required to be provided by the state.  People with disabilities will have no guarantee that any home and community based services will be available ten years from now.

We call on the Senators in Pennsylvania to stand up for the promise of Olmstead and replace this bill with legislation that supports the needs of people with disabilities by retaining the current Medicaid financing system.

For more information about the rights of people with disabilities visit www.disabilityrightspa.org.

 

Posted Via Information provided by Disability Rights Pennsylvania.

 


CMS Extends Timeline to Complete HCBS Transition Work

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Informational Bulletin

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released an informational bulletin noting that states will have an additional three years (until 2022) to comply with the home and community-based settings rule.

The informational bulletin notes that “…states should continue progress in assessing existing operations and identifying milestones for compliance that result in final Statewide Transition Plan approval by March 17, 2019. However, in light of the difficult and complex nature of this task, we will extend the transition period for states to demonstrate compliance with the home and community based settings criteria until March 17, 2022 for settings in which a transition period applies. We anticipate that this additional three years will be helpful to states to ensure compliance activities are collaborative, transparent and timely.”  You may read more at https://www.medicaid.gov/federal-policy-guidance/downloads/cib050917.pdf.

 

What this means for Pennsylvania’s Office of Developmental Programs

Compliance with the rule and the requirements of the transition plan have not changed. The CMS bulletin however provides three additional years to fully meet the settings requirements.

 

  • The service definitions in the proposed ODP Consolidated and P/FDS waivers will remain the same. We will consider extending the dates for compliance with Community Participation Support requirements and limiting facility based services to a maximum of 150 participants at any one time.

 

  • Waiver transition plans will be revised to initiate provider self-assessments for settings compliance to the spring of 2018 (originally scheduled for the fall of 2017).

 

  • Waiver transition plans will be revised to build in additional time for providers that are found to be out-of-compliance so they can come into compliance by March 17, 2022.

 

For more information about the Community HealthChoices Waiver Transitions; You can read our original post here.


A Time to Learn Our History

In conjunction with National DISABILITY Pride Day,

Speaking For Ourselves

is proud to present

A Time to Learn Our History

…what was, who we are currently

& who we will be in the future!

at the National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

June 17, 2017
11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Come see our colorful and informative History Panels about Speaking For Ourselves Hear our stories! See our short & entertaining videos!

*Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Coalition Honoring People with Disabilities in Pennsylvania