Please read this forwarded message by Disability Rights Maine that gives opportunity to share your family's experience with restraint and seclusion at the state level. If you have any questions, please contact Cathy Dionne, Executive Director, Autism Society of Maine: 1-800-273-5200
The Bill is referred to as LD 1376, "An Act To Direct the Department of Education To Amend Its Rules To Ensure That Physical Restraint and Seclusion Policies Are Followed for Special Education Students and Make Biennial Reports on the Use of Physical Restraint and Seclusion."
Bill text: https://legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0997&item=1&snum=129 , also attached.
The Bill is scheduled for public hearing on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 1 PM in Augusta at the Cross Building in Room 208.
Given your experience with _____ enduring restraint and seclusion in school, I wanted you to be aware of this platform to share, if you are interested. The Bill is designed to add more accountability to school districts in the use of restraint and seclusion. I believe it would be valuable for the members of the Committee On Education and Cultural Affairs to hear your story regardless if you are 'for' or 'neither for nor against' the Bill. We will be there testifying for the Bill and can provide support, if you need.
You need to be aware that public hearings are in fact public. Any written testimony provided for the hearing will be placed online on a page associated with the bill and any oral testimony is streamed online and recorded. So you need to take this into account when determining what information to share.
Issues that you might highlight:
-Experience with restraint and seclusion at a special purpose private school versus a public school,
-Special purpose private school's dependence on using the seclusion room for managing behavior,
-Overuse of restraint and seclusion,
-Inappropriately using restraint or seclusion when there no emergency and the student presented no risk of injury or harm to herself or others,
-Not recording as 'seclusion' when the student was alone in the time away room and the doorway was blocked by a staff,
-Staff need more training to teach students skills, as opposed to reacting with dangerous restraints or seclusions,
-The affects you see on the student from enduring these interventions.
Here are some resources to aid you in your testimony:
DRM's 2017 Report highlighting the data and flagging issues: https://drme.org/news/2017/chapter-33-report
Current resources from MDOE regarding restraint and seclusion: https://www.maine.gov/doe/schools/safeschools/restraint
Guides on how to testify: https://www.maine.gov/sos/path/exploring/testify.html ,and
If you are unavailable to attend that day, you can also just submit your comments here: https://www.mainelegislature.org/testimony/
Autism Society of Maine
Phone: 1-800-273-5200 or 207-377-9603
72 B Main St., Winthrop, ME 04364
Please share with advocates, feel free to redistribute
Dear Friends of Children with Disabilities,
LD 632 will have public hearing in the Education Committee Mon at 10 am. It would repeal Kindergarten-CDS choice.
Under current law, the IEP Team makes a determination whether it is in the best interests of a child with a disability who has a "late birthday" (July 1 - Oct 15) and who is already receiving CDS services whether to enter kindergarten as one of the youngest children in their class or to stay in CDS for another year.
Before about a decade and a half ago, parents of children with late birthdays who didn't have a disability could choose whether their child should enter K as the youngest in their class or whether they should stay out for a year, but parents of children with late birthdays who had a disability didn't have that choice, because they'd lose CDS eligibility as soon as they became *eligible* for kindergarten. But law was changed to allow parents of *all* children with late birthdays to make the choice.
A few years ago, the state changed the law from K-CDS *parent* choice to K-CDS *IEP team* choice. Having it be IEP team choice was better than no choice at all, but it would have been better to retain *parent* choice.
Now, LD 632 would eliminate choice altogether, returning us to the situation from 15+ years ago, when children with disabilities with late birthdays would be forced into kindergarten as the youngest children in their class.
As long as CDS continues to exist, parents of children with disabilities should have the same rights as parents of children without disabilities to choose whether to enter kindergarten as the youngest children in their class.
Please contact members of the Education Committee to oppose LD 632. I suggest one of two alternatives: either VOTE AGAINST LD 632 to RETAIN K-CDS CHOICE or AMEND LD 632 to RESTORE PARENT CHOICE.
There are three ways you can weigh in:
Hello ABLE supporters and advocates:
My personal apologies for the short notice. As part of our efforts to develop and promote a Maine-based ABLE product, Senator Nate Libby of Lewiston has agreed to sponsor legislation to: 1) prevent Medicaid clawbacks that might deter Mainers from opening and growing ABLE accounts; 2) exempt gains in ABLE accounts from state taxation (as is already true in the federal tax code) and; 3) exempt ABLE accounts from asset tests for other state benefits. Thank you to Senator Libby for sponsoring!
LD 1637 An Act To Prevent Medicaid Payment from a Savings Account Established under the Federal ABLE Act - Read the proposed legislation here: http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/bills_129th/billtexts/SP052601.asp
The bill will be heard this Thursday at 1 PM at the Health and Human Services Committee, Room 209 of the Cross Office Building in Augusta. You do not need to attend in person to make a difference but you are welcome to attend.
I encourage you to submit testimony online here: https://www.mainelegislature.org/testimony/
Or, you may email me testimony at firstname.lastname@example.org. Supportive testimony is best when it is concise, personal, and helpful. Something like: “I encourage the Legislature to pass the bill to give certainty to Maine ABLE account holders and encourage savings.” Do not hesitate to share why an ABLE account will make a difference for you or someone you know.
Thank you for your patience and support of the ABLE program.
Henry E. M. Beck, Esq. | Maine State Treasurer | Office of the State Treasurer
39 State House Station | Augusta, Maine 04333-0039
Burton M. Cross Building, 111 Sewall Street, 3rd Floor
p. 207.624.7477 | TTY Maine Relay 711 | email@example.com
www.maine.gov/treasurer | www.maine.gov/upsearch |
Southern Maine Advisory Council on Transition Meeting (SMACT)
WHEN: FRIDAY, May 3, 2019 TIME: 1:00 – 3:00
Portland Career Center
151 Jetport Boulevard, Portland, Maine
Join Us For SMACT’s April Meeting Presentation
Maine Apprenticeship Program
Joan Dolan, Director of Maine's Apprenticeship Program, will share information about the careers that offer apprenticeships in southern Maine, about the application process and about the benefits of participating in the program. We'll also learn about the Pre-Apprenticeship Program for high school juniors and seniors.
*Light Snacks Will Be Provided*
Wish to attend but require an interpreter? Please forward your request for an interpreter two weeks prior to the monthly meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org and one will be provided for your party.
Please, feel free to distribute this flyer to anyone interested in joining us and/or receiving these e-mails. You can also now follow us on our Website or Facebook Page!
Don’t Miss Our Resources:
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/someadvisorycouncilontransition
Thank you all for doing such wonderful work on behalf of students!
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for Parents
Presented by: NAMI Maine
June 7. 2019
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
At NAMI Maine, 52 Water Street in Hallowell, ME
Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach adults how to help a youth or teen (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge or crisis. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, and disruptive behavior disorders.This course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent
development, and teaches a 5-step action plan on how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.
For parents who are also professionals you will earn 8 continuing education credits and a three-year national certification from NCFBH. This training meets the state mandate for school staff in suicide awareness.
This training is offered at no cost to parents. There will be a half hour break for lunch, lunch is not provided so please plan accordingly.
To register go to: https://www.namimaine.org/events/register.aspx?id=1224525&itemid=8b2db312-3185-4b7d-a445-bd5ba5bbc219
For more information on this training, please contact Maine Parent Federation: email@example.com, (800) 870-7746 or Libby Wright: firstname.lastname@example.org, (207) 622-5767 x2320.
Please contact Libby for information on other community trainings or to schedule a
private training for your agency.
Please see the flyer below for information on a forum from Maggie Hoffman:
An exciting program for young adults to socialize and have fun!
Young Adult Social Activities Group
This group is a social space to meet new people, and integrates theater games, drama play,
and coffee/tea house time. It promotes relationship building and fosters skills in social
behavior, communication, and social/emotional problem solving.
Dates: The group will meet on six Thursday afternoons from 4pm-6pm:
May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, and June 6, 2019.
Staff: The group will be led by professionals with experience in theater arts and working
with individuals of all abilities. The group leader will be Susan Bahadori, Speech and
Language Pathologist, and there will be guest artists.
Enrollment: Limited to 8
Cost: $180.00, scholarships available
Location: Aucocisco School and Learning Center, 126 Spurwink Avenue, Cape Elizabeth, ME
Please call or email Aucocisco for more information and to register.
Phone (207) 773-7323; Email: email@example.com
Autism Society Statement Regarding President's Budget Cuts to Special Olympics and other Education Programs
Autism Society Statement Regarding President's Budget Cuts to
Special Olympics and other Education Programs
Bethesda, Maryland, March 28, 2019 -- The Autism Society has received requests for information about the President's Budget for the Fiscal Year 2020 cuts to Special Olympics and other education programs following congressional testimony provided by Education Secretay Betsy DeVos on March 27, 2019, before the House of Representatives. She was scheduled to testify before the Senate today.
During the House of Representatives hearing on the President's Budget, Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) asked about cuts to the U.S. Department of Education FY 2020 budget that impact people with disabilities.
The President's Budget eliminates federal support ($17.6 million) for Special Olympics' Unified Champion Schools program, in which students with disabilities team up with students without disabilities in various sports and activities. The program is offered in 6,500 schools nationwide and could impact approximately 272,000 students with disabilities if it is eliminated as proposed. Mr. Pocan also pointed out that the President's Budget makes cuts to other disability-related programs in the Department of Education. These include cuts to special education technical assistance ($18 million) and the complete elimination of the supported employment program ($22 million).
The Autism Society of America opposes these cuts but would like to point other cuts to the education budget that are of concern. For example, as Secretary DeVos points out, the special education state grant program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is level-funded. However, as the child count goes up, along with inflation, the continued level-funding of special education programs amounts to a significant cut. When IDEA was enacted in 1975 it promised to provide 40 percent of the per-pupil cost of providing special education. The percentage provided now is at 13 percent and trending downward. Early intervention and preschool services, where many students with autism and other developmental disabilities get the most benefit, has been level-funded for years.
In addition, the continued promotion of voucher programs using public dollars for private schools is of great concern. The President's Budget provides $500 million, an increase of $60 million over FY 2019, for this purpose. Many students with autism, developmental disabilities, or those with mental or behavioral disabilities are shut out of these options. Private schools also often require parents to waive their educational and due process rights under IDEA when they make this choice and many parents are not even made aware of their rights before making these important decisions.
Finally, the Autism Society is most concerned with proposals in the Budget to cut and cap the Medicaid program. Medicaid supports schools by funding many of the health and related services that allow students with autism to be successful in schools, such as behavioral health, occupational, speech and language therapies. This Budget proposes $777 billion in cuts (over ten years) to Medicaid along with structural changes to the program. Medicaid is the only federal program that provides long-term services and supports in the community. This would be devastating to the lives of families impacted by autism.
The Autism Society is pleased to see bipartisan Members of Congress challenge the Administration's proposed cuts to programs that support people with autism and other disabilities. We will be working with Congress as the appropriations subcommittees mark up their funding bills to ensure the highest possible funding levels that assist people with autism to be successful and have high-quality lives.
For more information about the Autism Society, please visit our website at
Vice President of Public Policy
Autism Society of America
The Senate is now considering H.R. 1839, which passed the House of Representatives on March 25 and gives the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program an extra $20 million dollars to extend its operations through the fall, pending a longer-term agreement.
The Ask: Please use our call tool and our email tool to ask your Senators to vote YES on H.R. 1839.
The Details: Currently, the MFP program is operating on a 3-month funding package which was slated to run out in April, although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently assessed that states will be able to stretch out this funding until September. On March 25 the House voted to give the program extra funding to be stable during negotiations for a longer-term renewal, such as a five-year renewal or making the program permanent. The Senate is now considering the same bill, which Senate champions are trying to bring up for a vote this week - so this is a very timely moment to show support for this program by asking your Senators to vote yes on H.R. 1839.
MFP is an important rebalancing program which has so far helped over 85,000 people with disabilities and/or chronic conditions who have asked to move out of state-run institutions live instead with the community with their family and peers. Because of its importance in supporting the inclusion of people with disabilities in mainstream society, renewal of the MFP program is a policy priority for ANCOR, and ANCOR has been a leader on these bills in the Congress. ANCOR has heard from Congressional allies that this longer-term renewal will be proposed in the fall - please stay tuned for more advocacy opportunities on MFP this summer!
Have an extra minute? Please share your support for MFP on social media, using #FUNDMFP. We have sample social media at the end of this article.