Have You Thanked Your Legislators?
This year we have a nuanced message – thank you for your support but Illinois’ work is not done – there remains a staffing crisis, funding needs to be more flexible so that people can receive services where and how they want and we need more competitive integrated employment!
Check out a good article by NPR on the topic – Shout out to Kim Zoeller, CEO of Ray Graham for a great interview!
*Disability Rights Advocates: Staffing Crisis Will Worsen Despite Rate Increase In State Budget
Illinois Public Media (WILL), 6.17.19
The Illinois budget that goes into effect July 1st includes a 3.5% rate increase for state-funded agencies that provide services to people with disabilities. But after more than a decade with no significant rate increases, some who work in the disabilities services sector say the new funding is not enough to ensure people with disabilities get the care they need.
*Syndicated by Northern Public Radio (WNIJ and WNIU)
ISC Transition Update From DDD
We continue to call on the Division to increase direct communications to families and individuals regarding the ISC transition. We appreciate the following notice provided today. In addition at the end of this notice, you will see that last week, DDD published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the metro east area where services are currently being provided by DDSME.
“The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) continues to progress with the transition of moving from 17 ISC areas to 12 areas. Not all areas of the state were affected by the final results of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Please refer to the maps attached. The first map is the current ISC areas. The second map reflects the ISC areas that will be in effect July 1, 2019.
At the time of this communication, DHS is in litigation related to ISC services in some parts of the State. Until there is a decision regarding these lawsuits, the Division of Developmental Disabilities continues to take steps for an effective transition by July 1, 2019.
In early March, the Division formed five Transition Teams representing each of the five areas around the state where there are changes effective July 1, 2019. Weekly Transition Team meetings are held between Division staff and the incoming ISC, with the current ISC agency joining on a bi-weekly basis. Areas A, E, G, H and I are the five areas that are changing. The topics of each of the meetings include a status update and discussion on the following: staffing/hiring staff, physical plant and property, active and inactive hard copy records, data and communication. More detailed information on the transition can be found on the DDD website at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=116491.
A dedicated email address was established for individuals and families to submit questions or concerns. That email address is: MyISC@illinois.gov. Check out the full notice here.
Additional updates will provide ISCs office locations and contact information for all ISC areas. Thank you for your patience during this transition.
NOFO 20-444-24-1731-01 (Independent Service Coordination Agencies)
Please be advised that the DDD has published a Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) for Independent Service Coordination Agencies. The agency contact for the NOFO posted is Christina Miller, who can be reached at Christina.Miller@illinois.gov.
Please see the recently posted Information Bulletin at the link below, effective July 1, 2019.
Changing from 38U to 30U Program/Bill Codes
DDD Request for Comments
Changing Grant Payment Procedures (7000.120)
Non-Medical Transportation (55T)
Federal – Major Recent Events
Money Follows the Person Passes
the House with Super Majority!
Tuesday night H.R. 3253 – Empowering Beneficiaries, Ensuring Access, and Strengthening Accountability Act passed the House with a vote of 371-46. This bill included 4.5 years of funding for the MFP program, we are moving onto the Senate. The bill that passed the House still doesn’t have a Senate companion, so in the Senate we will keep pushing for the EMPOWER Care Act that includes funding for MFP.
We are calling for a National Day of Action geared towards the Senate today, the link to the FB event is here, feel free to share with your networks: https://www.facebook.com/events/470220790392285/
Here is The Arc’s action alert please share widely: https://disabilityadvocacynetwork.org/app/make-a-call?0&engagementId=432613
Education: Bill to Improve Access to Accommodations in College Introduced in the House
On June 4, Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Kim Schrier (D-WA) introduced the Respond, Innovate, Succeed, and Empower (RISE) Act (H.R.3086). The Senate version, S.1585, was introduced in late May. This bill would require institutions of higher education to accept a student’s individualized education plan (IEP), 504 plan, or prior evaluation as sufficient proof of disability. Additionally, it requires institutions to provide transparent information regarding the process of determining eligibility for disability services and to disseminate the information in an accessible format. It also requires institutions to report information on the number of students with disabilities served, their outcomes, and the accommodations provided. The Arc supports this legislation.
Employment: DOL Seeks Comments on Subminimum Wage; Deadline Extended to Thursday
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has created a national online dialogue on the use of subminimum wages under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. DOL is specifically seeking comments from people with disabilities, their families, providers, disability organizations, employers, researchers, and other stakeholders. The Arc supports building infrastructure and supports to increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment and has created sample commentsfor chapters and advocates. Comments can be submitted here by June 20.
Technology: Assistive Technology Act Reauthorization Introduced in the Senate
On June 13, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the 21st Century Assistive Technology Act (S.1835). This bill reauthorizes the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, which was passed to increase awareness and access to assistive technology. The proposed reauthorization clarifies that the program serves all people with disabilities, including those who develop disabilities later in life, and increases funding for programs serving rural areas. The Arc supports the 21st Century Assistive Technology Act.
Technology: Augmentative and Alternative Communication Bill Introduced in the Senate
On June 13, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Access to Free Speech for All Act (S.1836). This bill seeks to ensure that all individuals with significant disabilities affecting communication have access to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, services, and supports. It would create five training, technical assistance, and research centers focused on AAC. The Arc supports the Access to Free Speech for All Act.
Education: SPLC Report Highlights Disproportionate Use of Corporal Punishment on Students of Color and Students with Disabilities
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has released a report on the continued use of corporal punishment in public schools. The report found that over half of schools that still use corporal punishment use it disproportionately on students with disabilities. Furthermore, the report found that black boys were almost twice as likely as white boys to be subject to corporal punishment and black girls were nearly three times as likely as white girls. Recommendations include banning corporal punishment in public schools and replacing it with evidence-based practices such as positive behavioral supports.
LTSS: HCBS Business Acumen Center to Host Webinar on Stabilizing Business Operations
On June 20, the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Business Acumen Center will host a webinar titled “Holding the Course: Stabilizing Business Operations.” Panelists will be Chip Dodd, President and CEO of Support Services of Virginia, Inc; and Laura Vegas, Managed Care Organizations Business Acumen Director at the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services. The webinar will take place from 12:30-1:30 p.m. EDT. Register here