The Census and the Disability Community: Get Ready to be Counted!
Please join The Arc and the National Disability Rights Network for a webinar to discuss the 2020 Census and how it relates to the disability community. The webinar will begin with a 2020 Census overview along with a summary of why it matters to people with disabilities. The webinar will also share the resources and materials for a successful Get out the Count (GOTC) effort.
February 13, 2020
2 pm ET
Action Alert – LD 1984 "An Act To Eliminate Waiting Lists for Home and Community-based Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, Autism, Brain Injury and Other Related Conditions" and LD 399, "An Act To Align Wages for Direct Care Workers fo
A Public hearing was held on 1/27 in front of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee for LD 1984, "An Act To Eliminate Waiting Lists for Home and Community-based Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, Autism, Brain Injury and Other Related Conditions"
It is not too late to submit written testimony online and/or contact members of the HHS Committee. Please consider taking action to show your support for this bill, and there are a couple easy ways in which you can do so:
Additionally, LD 399, "An Act To Align Wages for Direct Care Workers for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism with the Minimum Wage" passed last year but was on the Special Appropriations Table awaiting funding when the Legislature adjourned last session. This bill would set MaineCare reimbursement rates for direct service providers (DSP) for adults with intellectual disabilities or autism at least 125% of the state minimum wage. The bill was carried over into the Second Legislative Session and currently sits with the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. If the DSP rates remain something about which you’re concerned, and you believe they ought to be set at 125% of minimum wage, you might consider reaching out to members of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee advocating for this bill’s passage. You can contact Members of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee via the email addresses below:
Forwarded Action Alert – Maine Disability Alerts: Upcoming Public Hearing regarding LD 1984 "An Act To Eliminate Waiting Lists for Home and Community-based Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, Autism, Brain Injury and Other Related Co
Forwarded Action Alert – Maine Disability Alerts: Upcoming Public Hearing regarding LD 1984 "An Act To Eliminate Waiting Lists for Home and Community-based Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, Autism, Brain Injury and Other Related Conditions."
Dear Friends of Mainers with Disabilities,
A Public hearing has been scheduled for LD 1984, "An Act To Eliminate Waiting Lists for Home and Community-based Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, Autism, Brain Injury and Other Related Conditions"
The public hearing will be at 2 pm on Monday, 1/27 in the Health and Human Services (HHS) committee room, which is room 209 Burton M Cross State Office Building, Augusta (free parking is available in the garage across the street).
Please consider taking action to show your support for this bill, and there are a few easy ways in which you can do so:
Webinar 1/22: Partnering with Families to Provide Programs for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Webinar 1/22: Partnering with Families to Provide Programs for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Register for the webinar on Wednesday, January 22 at 1:30 - 2:45 pm ET.
Tennessee’s Employment and Community First CHOICES program, serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, was implemented in 2016 following robust engagement of the people and families who would be served by the program and extensive collaboration across state agencies and the advocacy community. The program emphasizes employment and community inclusion as the first and preferred option for people with intellectual and development disabilities and provides a broad array of services responding to the diverse needs shared by people and families.
The National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems (NCAPPS) presents a webinar: "Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement: A Collaborative Approach to Programs for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Their Families" on January 22.
Participants in this webinar will learn:
All NCAPPS webinars are recorded and archived at ncapps.acl.gov.
NCAPPS assists states, tribes, and territories to transform their long-term care service and support systems to implement U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy on person-centered thinking, planning, and practices. It supports a range of person-centered thinking, planning, and practices, regardless of funding source. Activities include providing technical assistance to states, tribes, and territories; establishing communities of practice to promote best practices; hosting educational webinars; and creating a national clearinghouse of resources to support person-centered practice. Visit the NCAPPS website for more information.
SequelCare of Maine is currently looking to fill a few of our open beds in our growing Section 21 program. These openings are located in Windham and Winthrop.
In Windham, we have an opening for a male client in our brand new 2-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom duplex style home located in a quiet neighborhood. The home features an open concept kitchen and living area with a full basement, large closets and a nice backyard with a deck. The bedrooms and full bath are on the second level.
Our Winthrop home is an updated older house with 5 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, a large kitchen and good-sized living room. The house sits back from a main road and has a wooded back yard. We have an opening for a male or female client in one of our second-floor bedrooms.
We plan to open several new residential homes in Westbrook this spring and will be looking for male and female clients. Please contact Jaye van Dussen at email@example.com or 207-319-5688 for more information and to discuss any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!
Sequel Care of Maine works with children, families and adults with mental and behavioral health needs. We also offer home health services. Our offices are located in Bangor, Searsport and Yarmouth. We serve those with MaineCare and offer: Outpatient Therapy, Home Health Care, Behavioral Health Home (case management), Substance Use Disorder Treatment, Opioid Health Home, Direct Living Skills, Home and Community-based Treatment and Rehabilitative and Community Support Services.
Wings for All® is Coming to BGR Airport
We are happy to announce that Wings for All will be landing at the Bangor International Airport (BGR) on Saturday, February 1, 2020.
Wings for All® is an airport rehearsal program designed specifically for individuals with autism or other intellectual disabilities. Families are given the opportunity to practice all steps involved in air travel including: entering the airport, obtaining a boarding card, going through TSA security, and boarding a real plane (that does not take off). A small reception will be held for all participants with light snacks and refreshments after deboarding the plane.
This event is FREE to families, but pre-registration is required as space is limited. Wings for All is a national program of The Arc of the US. For more information, check out the Wings program website at thearc.org/wings or contact Cathy Dionne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seasons Greetings Postcard to Send to Your Local Legislators
It is an excellent time before the legislative session gets busy to reach out to your local legislators. Sending a postcard or email is a good way to build or strengthen your relationship with them. We have made it easy for you to do this by creating a “Seasons Greetings” postcard. For more details click on this link: https://communityconnectme.org/ It has all of the instructions about how to find the contact information for your local legislators and how to download and send a card. -
Thanks and Seasons Greetings to you all!
Community Connect Maine
This statewide survey is being conducted by the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine (USM) on behalf of Maine’s Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS).
Maine Caregiver Survey
Maine wants to improve services that support older adults to live in our homes and in our communities as long as possible. As part of this, Maine wants to hear from you if you provide any kind of help or care to an older adult or an adult with a disability or if you are an older person who has primary responsibility for the care of a grandchild or other relative under the age of 18. This includes unpaid caregivers as well as caregivers who are paid to provide help to a relative or friend. This statewide survey is being conducted by the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine (USM) on behalf of Maine’s Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS). While the survey is voluntary, (you don’t have to do it), the findings will help the State and its community partners focus on the areas that are of greatest concern to you and other caregivers in Maine. Information about this survey, including a link to the survey, is also on the OADS’ website: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oads/news/news-details.html?id=1760587
Please feel free to share this survey with other people or organizations who might be interested. Thank you!
To begin the survey, click here: Caregiver Survey
DHHS OADS Quarterly Update: Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities & Brain Injury in their Homes & Communities
This update originally appeared on the DHHS-OADS website. Click here for the original post.
Quarterly Update: Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities
October 8, 2019
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home- and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government, and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.
Funding for these services was expanded in Governor Mills' biennial budget that took effect July 1, allowing DHHS to serve an additional 167 people in the current fiscal year under Section 21. We've started offering Section 21 services to additional people and expect to hit this target promptly.
Since our last update in May, the number of people served in Section 21 rose from 3,173 to 3,186, while those served through Section 29 grew from 2,281 to 2,286.
Table 1 provides a snapshot of the programs as of the start of this quarter of the year.
Most of the individuals on waiting lists for Sections 18, 20, 21, and 29 (1,219 out of 1,918, or 64%), currently have coverage under a different Section of MaineCare. This includes, for example, 978 people who are receiving services under Section 29 while they await services under Section 21 (Table 2), representing 60% of the Section 21 waitlist. As more new offers are made for Section 21 services, additional capacity will be opened in Section 29 as people move from one waiver program to the other.
The waitlists also include individuals who may not need waiver services currently but have added their names to the waitlists in anticipation of needing services in the future. This includes those who are added to the Section 21 waitlist when they turn 18 years of age, but who plan to continue receiving services under the Children's Services Section until they become 21 years old. The following charts show that most people on waiting lists are young adults.
None of those on the Section 21 waitlist are categorized as Priority 1, which includes people determined to be in immediate need of Adult Protective Services due to abuse or neglect. Those waiting are in the Priority 2 and 3 groups. The Department continues to serve all Priority 1 applicants by using openings that become available when people leave the waiver program (attrition).
With funding provided through Governor Mills' biennial budget, we are also establishing a crisis intake function for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, autism and/or brain injury. This will help to prevent and de-escalate crises by using specially trained crisis workers, providing better assessment of clinical needs earlier, improving program data, and taking pressure off overextended field workers.
Maine DHHS recognizes that there has long been a need to improve services for individuals with developmental disabilities and brain injury. While capacity to serve eligible people in Maine has grown, so too has demand - at a greater pace. And as important as the current waiver services are, they represent a limited set of choices for individuals and their families. Many have asked for services to be more flexible and more responsive to individual needs and phases of life.
The Department is receiving invaluable feedback from stakeholders on the Home and Community Based Services Advisory Committee, which is helping ensure Maine's compliance with federal rules that require all service settings to be as integrated in the community as possible. The Department also participated in listening sessions with the Maine Developmental Services Oversight & Advisory Board (MDSOAB) this summer, where many individuals and family members expressed the need for better information and family networking opportunities, a broader array of flexible service options, better person-centered planning that addresses the entire lifespan, more training for people at all levels of the system, and better support for people with challenging behaviors.
This and other feedback collected through multiple venues are informing the Department's plans for developmental services, autism and brain injury, which will be submitted to the Legislature in February. We look forward to finding ways to improve the quality and accessibility of these services.
This update originally appeared on the DHHS website. Click here for the original post.
New Developments at DHHS
October 31, 2019
Improving Transportation for Those We Serve
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides transportation to approximately 55,000 Mainers each year. This includes about 2.5 million trips to doctors' offices, educational classes, employment opportunities, and appointments.
These services are provided through various contracts to diverse populations with a range of needs, from children to working families to adults with disabilities. The cost is significant: $83 million per year ($30 million state General Fund), with nearly all covered with MaineCare funds.
We recognized an opportunity to improve and better coordinate these services, so in June 2019, DHHS convened a workgroup consisting of staff from the Offices of MaineCare Services, Child and Family Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Aging and Disability Services, and Contract Management to perform a comprehensive review.
The workgroup's objective was to assess DHHS transportation services and recommend improvements based on their evaluation. Throughout this process, the group examined quality, performance, and safety requirements in DHHS transportation contracts to identify opportunities for greater consistency and alignment.
The workgroup identified several challenges, including: the billing of multiple funding streams, overlapping client populations, and varying eligibility requirements and payment methodologies used across client populations.
The workgroup has put forth a series of recommendations to address these challenges. By the time transportation contracts are renewed on July 1, 2020, the group recommends that DHHS:
We will assess a number of options, which could include implementing a single statewide transportation system through a request for proposals (RFP).
Our work will also incorporate communications with clients and stakeholders to learn more about their experience and identify barriers to access to transportation services.
We will hold four listening sessions throughout the state in November:
We look forward to making DHHS transportation services more efficient, accountable and accessible.