The Special Needs Alliance

The Special Needs Alliance is a national, non-profit organization comprised of attorneys who are respected authorities with regard to public benefits, guardianships/conservatorships, special needs plannning and special education. The average member has nearly two decades of relevant legal experience. Many of them have family members with special needs, enabling them to bring additional insight to their work.

Growing Up Online: A Must Have Guide for Parents, Teachers and Kids

The More You Know in collaboration with NBC News has partnered with leading non-profits Common Sense Media and NetSmartz Workshop to produce the first eBook in The More You Know Learning Series on digital literacy and Internet safety. The eBook provides an informative, interactive, media-rich learning tool for parents and teachers of children ages six and older about responsible Internet behavior including topics like filtering and parental controls, how to find safe sites and cyberbullying.  Also included are four video comic books for kids focused on real-life situations that may arise when they go online.

Growing Up Online: A Must Have Guide for Parents, Teachers and Kids

National Policy Matters – The 2014 Federal Home and Community Based Service Regulation: What You Need to Know

On January 16, 2014 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued final rules in the Federal Register that implemented section 1915(i) State Plan home and community-based services; defined and described home and community-based setting across all Medicaid home and community-based services authorities; defined person-centered planning requirements for sections 1915(c) and 1915(i) home and community-based services; and allowed states to combine target populations in one section 1915(c) waiver.

In order to receive Medicaid reimbursement from the federal government for providing home and community-based services, states must ensure that the services are delivered in settings that meet the new definition of home and community-based (HCB) setting. The primary focus of this National Policy Matters is the new definition of HCB setting.

National Policy Matters – The 2014 Federal Home and Community Based Service Regulation: What You Need to Know

National Policy Matters – The Affordable Care Act: What Nonprofit Employers Need To Know

The Arc is pleased to announce a new edition of National Policy Matters entitled, “The Affordable Care Act: What Non Profit Employers Need to Know” which explains the basic provisions of the law. Although the Administration recently announced that many of the provisions have been delayed one year in order to have more implementation time, employers will still need to plan for the new requirements. This publication will provide an overview of:

  • What will the ACA require of employers?
  • What penalties are imposed on large employers?
  • Can employers keep their current health insurance?
  • Can non-profits apply for tax credits?
  • What additional provisions apply?

We hope this publication will serve as a tool to you and your chapters as new steps in implementation begin. Please check The Capitol Insider Blog’s Health Care section for additional resources on implementation of the ACA.

National Policy Matters – The Affordable Care Act: What Nonprofit Employers Need To Know

National Policy Matters – The Chained CPI Cuts Social Security and SSI: What Disability Advocates Need To Know

With Congress gearing up for more “fiscal cliff” battles this year, The Arc is concerned about threats to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These lifelines provide essential financial security for millions of Americans, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Arc believes that Social Security and SSI should not be part of deficit reduction, and that any changes to these systems must be carefully evaluated in terms of their effects on beneficiaries. This issue of National Policy Matters looks at one major threat to Social Security and SSI, the chained Consumer Price Index (“chained CPI”).

  • The chained CPI cuts Social Security and SSI benefits by reducing annual cost of living increases. Cuts add up significantly over time and would disproportionately harm people with disabilities.
  • The chained CPI also cuts veterans pensions and certain military and civilian retirement benefits, and would limit eligibility for over 30 vital programs such as Head Start and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
  • The chained CPI has been considered as part of most major deficit reduction proposals over the last several years, and has at different times been supported by Members of Congress from both political parties and by the White House.
  • The public strongly opposes cutting Social Security, including through the chained CPI.

National Policy Matters – The Chained CPI Cuts Social Security and SSI: What Disability Advocates Need To Know

National Policy Matters – Deficit Reduction: What Disability Advocates Need To Know

The Arc succeeded in helping to protect Medicaid in last year’s deficit reduction law, the Budget Control Act. Now there is mounting pressure to find an alternative to cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act or to find additional cuts in the federal budget to reduce the deficit further. We must renew our efforts to protect the four major programs that impact people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) – Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – in addition to the many discretionary programs that people with disabilities rely on to be a part of their community.

Disability advocates must remain engaged throughout the coming months to minimize cuts to these programs and protect eligibility and services that are vital to the lives of people with disabilities. Advocates must urge Congress to provide sufficient revenues to fund critical services and supports needed by individuals with I/DD to live and work in the community.

The bottom line is that our work is far from over, and Medicaid continues to be at risk. This analysis aims to educate advocates about the current fiscal situation and its potential impact on people with I/DD.

National Policy Matters – Deficit Reduction: What Disability Advocates Need To Know

National Policy Matters – The Affordable Care Act: What Disability Advocates Need To Know

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the disability community must work to better understand the law and the many benefits it can provide to people with disabilities. This will be critical to the community’s role in helping to move states forward with implementation.

Numerous ACA provisions related to both acute care and long term services and supports hold great promise for improving the health and well-being of people with disabilities. This issue of National Policy Matters provides information about the major provisions and the status of their implementation.

National Policy Matters – The Affordable Care Act: What Disability Advocates Need To Know

Report: ‘My Thinker’s Not Working’

Link

http://aadmd.org/sites/default/files/NTG_Thinker_Report.pdf (PDF)

Description

This report, by the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices, summarizes challenges in the United States surrounding the increasing rate of older people with intellectual and developmental disabilities having dementia. The report finds that though the research about the causes and factors influencing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are better known, the social care system still remains challenged with offering the best and most efficacious ways to identify, support, and care for older people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and dementia.

This report also offers recommendations and suggestions on how to address the needs and help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities affected by dementia. These include: early and periodic diagnostic services, training and education about dementia, and community-based and home-based supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities affected by dementia.

Source

Submitted by The Arc.

Expressing Yourself: Assessing Self Determination in Your Life

This self-assessment is designed to help you discover how much self-determination you have in your life. You are the person in charge of this assessment. To complete it, you’ll read a series of statements and think about whether they describe your life. This will help you identify life areas (such as money or relationships) where you’d like to increase your level of self- determination and other areas where you’re already satisfied. The simple act of thinking about these things will increase your awareness of the presence of self-determination in your life.

http://www.psych.uic.edu/uicnrtc/sd-self-assessment.pdf