Enhancing Healthcare for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities Forum for Healthcare Providers
JUNE 11, 2013
Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, ME
This one-day program will provide information valuable for improving clinical and systemic capabilities for the effective delivery of healthcare to persons with intellectual disabilities.
Carl V. Tyler, M.D., M.Sc., the key presenter, was a NIH fellow and author of `Intellectual Disabilities: A Health Care Resource,’ a guide for healthcare providers. He is currently the Geriatrics and Research Director for the Fairview Hospital/Cleveland Clinic Family Residency Program. Dr. Tyler’s clinical and research interests include the primary medical care of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and practice-based health services research utilizing electronic health records.
Other professionals will present on supporting patient participation and promoting healthy lives.
The Maine Developmental Disabilities Council has offered to cover registration for family members and consumers who apply for that support. Individuals who wish to receive assistane with the cost of their registration should email email@example.com.
Mid-Coast Collaborative for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Disability Awareness Day
On April 10th, from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm, the Disability Rights Center, Maine Developmental Disabilities Council and University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion & Disability Studies will host the annual Disability Awareness Day at the State House. More than twenty disability advocacy organizations will fill the Hall of Flags for this important educational activity for legislators and those working and passing through the State house. Disability Awareness Day is an opportunity to connect with people and provide information to them about the issues that are important to people with disabilities and their families. Participants will also benefit from the opportunity to network with one another and identify resources that they can share with their members.
Homeward Bound is designed to help elderly and disabled adults with complex, long-term care needs move from institutional to community settings. It is also designed to help examine how best to help people transition and use this information improve Maine’s long-term care system beyond the grant period. Homeward Bound is Maine’s Money Follows the Person program, a demonstration project funded by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS).
To qualify for Homeward Bound, individuals must be 18 or older at the time of transition and:
* We are able to begin transition assistance prior to the 90 day mark.
Participation in Homeward Bound is voluntary and individuals are given their choice of available community housing options. In order to qualify for Homeward Bound Services, the participant must move to a “Qualified Residence,” defined by CMS as:
People who enroll in Homeward Bound are eligible to receive an individualized package of services and supports:
The Preliminary Assessment process is the first stage of the enrollment process. This stage includes three assessments: Self, Family/Friend, and Readiness.
During the transition planning process, the resident and team use the information collected from the assessment phase, determine eligibility for Homeward Bound, set goals and develop a solid plan to transition into the community. This will include a review of past and current services accessed by the individual.
The transition process is the final phase of enrollment into Homeward Bound. This stage involves carefully planning for moving day, and making sure all of the pieces are in place for a successful transition home. The Transition team assists the individual with enrolling in programs (if needed or desired), arranging and scheduling services and supports and setting up their new household.
Once home, a community coordinator helps to monitor the plan to ensure that the services in place are addressing the needs and works with the team to adjust the plan if needed.
Through the Homeward Bound program we will provide services to make sure the transition has been a success. The community coordinator will also help to make sure that, when the Homeward Bound program ends after 365 days in the community, necessary services are in place.
For More Information
Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Elder Services
Program Director: Frances Ryan
This waiver program is the result of the August 2011 settlement of class action lawsuit brought by the DRC and its partners on behalf of individuals diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and other related conditions who had been unnecessarily institutionalized in nursing facilities. The case brought claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehab Act for the State's failure to provide appropriate community services for these individuals, as well as claims under the Nursing Home Reform Act for the state's failure to provide necessary “specialized services” to these individuals while they are isolated in nursing facilities.
The case was initially brought, in December 2009, on behalf of 3 young men with cerebral palsy who have been forced to live in nursing facilities for years because of the lack of appropriate community services. On January 31, 2011, Chief US District Judge John Woodcock granted Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.
The DRC was joined on this case by Jeffrey Neil Young, an attorney with the firm of McTeague Higbee, Maine Equal Justice Partners, and the National Health Law Program.
For more information about the ORC waiver, please contact Staci Converse, Esq. at 1.800.452.1948, Ext. 217 (V/TTY) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Panel Backs Compromise on Maine Student 'Restraint' Rules
(Portland Press Herald, March 6, 2013)
By Noel K. Gallagher, Staff Writer
AUGUSTA — The Legislature's Education Committee voted Wednesday to back a compromise reached by teachers, parents and disability rights groups on how much leeway teachers have in managing a disruptive student.
A new rule that took effect this school year said Maine teachers couldn't use physical restraint unless the student or teacher was in imminent danger of harm. A bill was introduced this session to undo parts of that standard, but some supporters of the rule objected that the proposed changes would go too far.
The compromise language, explained Wednesday to the Education Committee, carves out an exception for "physical escort." That standard would allow temporary touching to "induce" a student to walk to another room without triggering the definition of the more serious "restraint," an action that requires extensive documentation and follow-up.
The group also agreed to eliminate the word "imminent" so that a teacher can act if he thinks the student is at risk of injury or harm, not just "imminent" risk.
Teachers said the original language of the bill would not let them help a student on the ground get to his feet, or let them put an arm around a student's shoulders to guide him out of a room, if the student was at all resistant. That kind of touch was considered "restraint."
"It was overly complicated on what we were trying to describe, so reasonable people couldn't interpret it," said Atlee Reilly, a staff attorney for the Disability Rights Center, who spoke on behalf of the groups that reached the compromise.
"I think (these changes) are going to go a long way to clearing that up."
The committee voted 12-1 that the bill, with the suggested amended language, should pass. It now goes to the Senate for a vote. Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, sponsored the bill.
Rep. Madonna Soctomah, representing the Passamaquoddy Tribe, said she voted against the compromise language Wednesday because she opposed any physical restraint of a traditional student, saying teachers should verbally reason with him. She said she also opposed the rule changes last session.
The state's restraint and seclusion rules are known as Chapter 33. The tighter rules that took effect last fall came in response to reports that Maine students were being restrained inappropriately. It was the first overhaul of restraint rules in 10 years.
But within weeks of the new rule taking effect, teachers were reporting problems, primarily citing their inability to intervene if a student started destroying school property, according to the Maine Education Association. Because the student or teacher wasn't in "imminent" danger, the teachers felt they could not do anything to stop the student.
At a public hearing, several teachers described escorting an entire class out into a hallway in order to leave a single disruptive student alone in a classroom.
Among those supporting the compromise were the MEA, the Disability Rights Center, the Maine School Management Association and the Maine Administrators of Services for Children with Disabilities.
"We know that this may not solve everything," said John Kosinki, the lobbyist for the MEA. "You're never going to stop the student who grabs a computer and smashes it to the floor. But this gives teachers more tools to address the situation without it spinning out of control."
The ACLU of Maine, which had opposed Saviello's bill, said it endorsed the compromise.
"We are thrilled that the committee and key stakeholders worked together on a compromise that is good for both teachers and students," said Shenna Bellows, executive director of the ACLU of Maine.
"The issue of restraints in the classroom has spurred a great amount of thoughtful dialogue, and we are confident that this outcome protects safety and civil liberties for teachers and students."
More than 30 states have passed restraint legislation, and federal legislation has been proposed.
Noel Gallagher can be reached at 791-6387 or at:
Maine Ruling Backs 'Humiliated' Blind Diner
(Portland Press Herald, February 25, 2013)
By BETTY ADAMS
AUGUSTA - A human rights panel voted 5-0 Monday to find reasonable grounds that the Great Wall Buffet in Augusta discriminated against a Presque Isle man who was seated apart from the rest of the diners when his guide dog accompanied him at the restaurant two years ago.
Bruce Archer, who is blind, had complained to the Maine Human Rights Commission that along with the separate seating, "each time I went up to the buffet and everywhere I walked, there was a woman with a bucket on wheels following right behind me, mopping," according to a report by commission investigator Michele Dion.
"I was embarrassed and humiliated to be treated in this way," Archer told the investigator about his experience, which occurred Nov. 16, 2010.
The ruling by the human rights panel is not law but may become grounds for lawsuits.
Outside the hearing room, Archer said that one result of the commission recommendation in his favor would be "more of an education" for the public.
"The owners of restaurants need to be trained and need to provide training for their workers about service animals and Seeing Eye dogs in particular," he said.
During the hearing and afterward, Flash, a 9-year-old golden retriever wearing a harness, remained quietly at Archer's side or at his feet. The guide dog is among those trained by Seeing Eye Inc. of Morristown, N.J.
Archer was also accompanied by Julie Michaud, the personal assistant who also had been with him at the Great Wall Buffet.
Dion recommended a finding of reasonable grounds to believe that Archer was discriminated against on the basis of his disability at the 1 Anthony Ave. restaurant.
John Topchik, an attorney representing the restaurant owner, Judy Li, said that there was no intent to discriminate against Archer and that restaurant staff followed instructions Li previously received from a representative of the Maine Department of Health after some diners complained two years previously about an animal being present.
Topchik said things have changed already at the restaurant because of Archer's complaint.
"Right now her policy is people with Seeing Eye dogs and service animals can sit anywhere they want," Topchik told commissioners Monday. "She has done and will do whatever she can to solve this."
Topchik said the separate seating and the mopping behind the animal "was a good faith effort to alleviate concerns other people might have after seeing an animal in such close proximity to food."
He added, "The discriminatory action, if any, in this case was directed at an animal. The dog isn't protected. Mr. Archer is."
Kristin Aiello, an attorney with the Disability Rights Center in Augusta who represented Archer at the hearing, said her client carries cards with him explaining that his dog is a service animal and needs to accompany him.
Aiello quoted from sections of the Maine Human Rights Act, which says it is unlawful "for any public accommodation ... to ... discriminate against an individual with a physical or mental disability who uses a service animal at the public accommodation."
Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at: email@example.com
The Provider Interview was designed by the Disability Rights Center Advocate and members of SUFU. It is designed for people with developmental disabilities and their families to use when they are looking for a service provider. The sample interview includes questions to use when looking for Home Support and Community Supports. People are encouraged to print it, add their own questions and use it to interview providers when shopping for services.
The Community Case Management interview was designed by Brenda Wood at DHHS and can be used by individuals shopping for Community Case Management services.
PDF & WORD version of interview
DRC is a Proud Supporter of "Voices of Recovery"
Voices of Recovery is a speakers bureau of trained individuals who share their personal stories on what it is like to live with and love someone who has a mental illness. Speakers are available for presentations to students and professionals in health care, community organizations, places of worship, civic groups and any other interested organization or group. Their stories are truly compelling and will have a profound impact on both the work you do and the way you live in your communities. For more information or to schedule a presentation contact firstname.lastname@example.org