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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Aging and Disability

NCIL Welcomes New ADRC Subcommittee Co-Chair

NCIL would like to welcome Ericka Reil to the ADRC Subcommittee. Ericka comes to us from the Vermont Center for Independent Living in Montpelier, Vermont. Ericka has worked for the VCIL for eleven years in many different capacities, most recently and currently, she is a Peer Advocate Counselor Coordinator. She is also Chair of the Barre City ADA Committee, Chair of the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Program (PAIMI) Council, and sits on the Board of Disability Rights Vermont. She has also been involved in ADAPT and National People’s Action (NPA).

Ericka ReilWhat interests Ericka in disability issues is that not only was she born with Marfan’s Syndrome, she also acquired a mental health diagnosis. She also has a son who is on the Autism spectrum. She would like to help build a world where her son doesn’t have to feel that he has to hide his disability the way that she did before she found out about the ADA and Independent Living. “I don’t want anyone to be ashamed of who they are. I am disabled and I am proud. 15 years ago I probably would have never have uttered those words, but now I don’t care who hears them,” she says.

An Update from the NCIL ADRC Subcommittee: Disability & Access At 2015 AIRS Conference

The 2015 Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) Conference took place in Dallas, Texas. The AIRS Conference is a great experience that features information specialists from 211s, Area Agencies on Aging, Veterans Affairs, and now Centers for Independent Living coming together and talking about common issues, problem solving, and networking.

Mary Margret Moore, Ericka Reil, and Lindsay Baran where there as presenters this year, and attended various workshops and planned events that AIRS hosted. But all came back with the same conclusion: access for people with disabilities was not well planned. There were times that the accessible doors to the conference area were broken or locked; and the workshop room did not allow room for wheelchairs other mobility aides. The luncheon area had poor acoustics and did not allow room for people with wheelchairs or other mobility aides.

However, when NCIL presented, people stopped and listened because the information was new to them. They were very interested in what NCIL was and wanted more information on how to include NCIL in their organizations. People seemed very hungry for disability information.

This seemed to really ring true when Mary Margret Moore and Ericka Reil presented on disability. Even though many of the people in the audience knew a lot of the information, they still wanted it. People approached them after the workshop, in the hallways and outside, asking questions and thanking them for being there and inviting them to their state to present. Each and every time, they were encouraged to talk to their local CIL and include them if they already had not.

The next AIRS Conference happens in St. Louis, Missouri and Lindsey, Mary Margret, and Ericka hope to be back again.

Information Alert: Funding Opportunity for States to Enhance Consumer Access to Long-Term Services and Supports through No Wrong Door Systems

At the end of May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) announced a funding opportunity for states to enhance consumer access to long-term services and supports through No Wrong Door (NWD) systems, entitled Transforming State LTSS Access Functions into a No Wrong Door System for All Populations and All Payers: Statewide Implementation. This grant builds on previous Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) efforts and is part of a years-long effort to streamline access to LTSS for seniors and individuals with disabilities of all ages and all incomes.

Applications are due July 27, 2015, and up to six awards with an award ceiling of $850,000 will be granted. Applicants must be from one of the 25 states that received a planning grant in 2014.

Applicants must be a state entity designated by the Governor, and the application must involve the state unit on aging, state entities serving people with disabilities, and the state authorities administering mental health services.

Action Alert: Act Today to Support Loretta Lynch for Attorney General!

In the last 30 years, no nominee for US Attorney General has waited longer than Loretta Lynch. Loretta Lynch is more than qualified to be our next Attorney General and demonstrates a steadfast commitment to justice.

We need your help spreading the word. Please contact your Senators, especially if they are Republican. We need Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to move this vote to the full Senate today!

Loretta LynchWe need a push to all Senators, but especially from the following states: Alaska, Georgia, Illinois, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Act Now:

  1. Call your Senator: Contact your Senators at 1-866-338-5720. Make sure you give them your name and identify yourself as a constituent. Tell them, “Please Confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General now,” and why it is important to you. See Talking Points for more information.
  2. Send a letter (organizations and individuals): Draft your own letter or use our Sample Letter by adding your information, including name, address, and why this is important to you. Then, email or use social media to get it to your Senator!
  3. Use social media to tell your Senator to vote to confirm Loretta Lynch: All US Senators are on Twitter and their teams follow these closely. Twitter Hashtags: #LorettaLynch, #ConfirmLynch. You may also wish to join the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ Twitter Storm, which occurs every Thursday 11:00 a.m. Eastern.
  4. Media outreach: Write Op-Eds for local news and talk with your local media.
  5. Thank the Republican Senators who have publicly stated that they will vote to confirm Lynch: Collins (ME), Flake (AZ), Graham (SC), and Hatch (UT).

[Read more…]

2015 Aging and Disability I&R/A National Survey Deadline Extended

NCIL has been working in partnership with NASUAD’s Information & Referral Support Center on the 2015 Aging and Disability I&R/A National Survey. We are requesting your assistance with the dissemination of the survey, which is designed to assess the state of Information and Referral/ Assistance (I&R/A) systems serving older adults and persons with disabilities. Findings from the survey will highlight important trends and developments in the provision of I&R/A services. The results of the survey will be compiled into a final report and shared with NCIL and NASUAD members, as well as the I&R/A network as a whole.

We are requesting that you share the survey with I&R/A lead staff at your agency so that they may complete the survey. Given the comprehensive nature of the survey, NASUAD has extended the deadline for responses to March 31.

Please complete the survey online if you are able. The survey is also available in plain text.

[Read more…]

I&R Professionals: Please Participate in the 2015 Aging and Disability I&R/A National Survey!

NCIL has been working in partnership with NASUAD’s Information & Referral Support Center on the 2015 Aging and Disability I&R/A National Survey. We are requesting your assistance with the dissemination of the survey, which is designed to assess the state of Information and Referral/ Assistance (I&R/A) systems serving older adults and persons with disabilities. Findings from the survey will highlight important trends and developments in the provision of I&R/A services. The results of the survey will be compiled into a final report and shared with NCIL and NASUAD members, as well as the I&R/A network as a whole.

We are requesting that you share the survey with I&R/A lead staff at your agency so that they may complete the survey. Additionally, we would appreciate if your staff could disseminate the survey to agencies (particularly AAAs and ADRCs) in your network for them to complete the survey. We are requesting responses by March 23.

Please complete the survey online if you are able. The survey is also available in plain text.

The I&R Center’s director, Nanette Relave, is available to address questions, offer assistance, and provide the survey in an alternate format if needed (she can be contacted at 202-898-2578 x305 or nrelave@nasuad.org).

We appreciate your time and assistance in helping us disseminate this survey to increase our collective knowledge and understanding of the delivery of I&R/A to seniors and individuals with disabilities!

Join DirectCourse: College of Personal Assistance and Caregiving for A Webinar on CMS Core Competencies: Aging and Disability Sector

Register online

Thursday, March 5, 2015; 2:00 PM-3:00 PM EST

DirectCourse Logo - online curricula for life in community - educate - enrich - inspireOn January 22, Lori Sedlezky, MSW of the University of Minnesota RTC, presented the newly validated, CMS funded DSW Core Competencies. In this important follow up webinar, Mel Neri, Director of Curriculum Development for the Community Living Policy Center at the University of California, San Francisco, will discuss what these core competencies mean for the Aging and Disability sector.

We will also explore a crosswalk that demonstrates how DirectCourse: College of Personal Assistance and Caregiving addresses these competencies.

By attending this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand the new CMS Competencies on a basic level
  • Realize the opportunity these competencies offer to improve training of caregivers working with older adults and people with disabilities
  • How DirectCourse: College of Personal Assistance and Caregiving supports these competencies via a crosswalk of the curricula

Reminder – AIRS 2016 Conference Call for Proposals: Aging and Disability Track

Source: National Information & Referral Support Center

The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) has released the call for proposals for the 2016 Annual Information and Referral (I&R) Training and Education Conference. Next year’s conference is being held in St. Louis, Missouri, with pre-conference intensives on May 22 and the regular conference May 23-25. AIRS is seeking workshops addressing the breadth of I&R service delivery.

The Aging and Disability track provides a valuable opportunity to share developments and effective practices in serving older adults and persons with disabilities with I&R colleagues across the country. This track is coordinated by the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) I&R Support Center, which strongly encourages aging and disability I&R agencies to review the call for proposals and consider a submission. See past topics.

Topics such as family caregiving, elder justice, mental health, aging with a disability, developments in home and community-based services, cross-sector partnerships and collaboration (including ADRC and 2-1-1 partnerships), No Wrong Door system building, ADRC funding and sustainability, use of technology in I&R, transportation, health coverage (Medicare and Medicaid coverage), and data collection and quality assurance are all topics of interest in aging and disability I&R.

The deadline for proposal submissions in February 10, 2016. Send submissions for the Aging and Disability track to Nanette Relave at nrelave@nasuad.org. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about the Aging and Disability track.

Join the I&R Center’s distribution list.

National Council on Aging Call for Proposals: Benefit Enrollment Centers

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) Center for Benefits Access is seeking nonprofit or public agencies to be part of our next cohort of Benefits Enrollment Centers (BEC). BECs use person-centered strategies in a coordinated, community-wide approach to find and enroll Medicare beneficiaries—both seniors aged 65+ years and adults living with disabilities, aged 21-64, who have limited income and resources—into available benefits. The primary focus is on Medicare Part D Extra Help (or Low-Income Subsidy, LIS), Medicare Savings Programs (MSP), Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Applicants also have the option of including other benefits in their proposal, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), State Pharmacy Assistance Program (SPAP), state property tax relief, pharmaceutical assistance programs, state tax credits, and other programs.

NCOA Logo - National Council on AgingOrganizations eligible to apply for BEC grants include state or community-based nonprofit organizations, government agencies, faith-based organizations, and coalitions addressing the needs of older adults and younger adults with disabilities. Organizations that have been funded in the past as BECs are not eligible for this award. Successful applicants will receive up to $100,000 over 15 months to enroll Medicare beneficiaries in core benefits. For more information about how to apply, please read the attached Request for Proposals.

Letters of intent are due November 21, 2014. The deadline for full proposals is December 12, 2014. If you have any questions during that time, please contact becproposals@ncoa.org.

An Update from the NCIL ADRC Task Force

Is your CIL or SILC participating as an equal partner in an Aging and Disability Resource Center? Are the administrative and attitudinal barriers for access to services and supports by those living with disabilities and seniors being mitigated or erased in your service area? What does this No Wrong Door (NWD) model mean for CILs and SILCs? Is the new Person Centered Planning / Counseling implementation in synchronization or conflict with the Independent Living model and paradigm? These are the core questions that the NCIL ADRC Task Force is addressing, particularly now that the Administration for Community Living will be the new home for the Independent Living Administration.

At the NCIL Conference in July 2014, there were two workshops related to ADRCs / NWD that presented critical information that impacts CILs, and SILCs, and our values. The Task Force also conducted a survey last year on the status of ADRCs meeting the NCIL ADRC Position. This was sent to all CILs and SILCs electronically and responses were reviewed, tabulated and analyzed by Co-Chair of the NCIL ADRC Task Force (and staff of Disability Rights and Resources in Charlotte, North Carolina) Julia Sain. These results will soon be posted to the NCIL ADRC Task Force page and show that there are some ADRCs that do implement our values per our position paper, yet there are many that still do not.

The PowerPoint slides from the workshop on the intersection of Person Centered Planning with IL Paradigm have been posted as well, and areas for advocacy and vigilance are identified. Ongoing dialogue on the status of Part A states under the ACL grant process is proceeding through the new Part A CIL group, with strong involvement from the NCIL ADRC Task Force.

We are also at national conferences to present our NCIL ADRC values, successes, and alternatives. So, get involved! We meet monthly on the first Wednesday of each month at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Ensure that you are an individual member of NCIL, then send an email to NCIL staff Lindsay Baran at Lindsay@ncil.org  or Task Force Chair Mary Margaret Moore at Mmmoore@ilcnsca.org to join!