The tragic event in Orlando which has been determined as a hate crime by a lone shooter is shocking and painful for all of us at ILCNSCA. We send our support and stand with those who have suffered loss from this event, and send our strength to the survivors and the families and community affected. To those who live on the North Shore and Cape Ann, our service area of 25 municipalities, ILCNSCA has been a leader in serving those who are LGBTQIA and living with disabilities of all types and ages, and offers to you our support and encourage you to attend our monthly peer support group, held the third Thursday of each month, at 1:30 to 3:00 PM at our office. The meeting we are having on June 16, 2016 will provide an opportunity for us to share our responses to the Orlando tragedy, discuss how we are moving forward in our lives in the face of this homophobia, how we can cope with homophobia and ableism, as well as prepare for the 5th Annual North Shore Pride celebration on June 25. Orlando, we stand with you, and are here to provide you what we have to offer to you…alliance, solidarity, and strength.
PRESS RELEASE: Advance CLASS Applauds House Energy and Commerce Bipartisan Hearing on Long -Term Care Financing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Connie Garner
Washington, DC (February 29, 2016) — Advance CLASS, Inc., commends the House Energy and Commerce Committee for its decision to hold a bipartisan hearing “Examining the Financing and Delivery of Long-Term Care in the U.S.” Advance CLASS is pleased that both Republicans and Democrats recognize the importance of, and the pressing need to address the lack of long-term services and supports (LTSS) in this country for those in need.
Because of this need, bipartisan groups have come together over the past few decades to present recommendations on how to help Americans better prepare for their current or future long-term care needs and costs associated with those needs. The financing of long-term care is complicated, yet the research continues to refine strategies to address this crisis. It is now time for Congress to act.
Advance CLASS supports the financing and implementation of a comprehensive, high- quality system of care. We must ensure that aging seniors and people with disabilities can access services and supports in a manner that they choose. Advance CLASS continues to believe that a long-term care financing and delivery system should provide universal access and high quality services to individuals, and should promote personal planning throughout one’s working years. Advance CLASS will continue to work towards the goal of ensuring consumer choice and control related to services and supports for all Americans in the years to come.
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About advance CLASS, Inc.
Advance CLASS, Inc. is the national advocacy organization dedicated exclusively to the implementation of a strong and vital long-term services and supports program. The group is an independent 501(c)(3) organization, comprised of prominent national organizations who serve the most vulnerable in both the aging and disability communities. This “big tent” group is eager to expand further, and include a variety of stakeholders including diverse providers of care, and companies who specialize in delivery of crucial services. For more information, visit www.advanceclass.org or follow us on Twitter @advanceCLASS.
Hi all, I attended as a member at large the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Board winter 2016 meeting last week as well as the 2016 NCIL Congressional Briefing and Reception on NCIL 2016 Legislative and Advocacy Priorities on February 24, 2016 at the Senate Visitors Center. Senator Schumer attended and spoke passionately about the Disability Integration Act he is sponsoring, a key piece of our disability rights and independent living advocacy. Check out at this link so you can be informed on the NCIL priorities defined by the NCIL membership: http://www.ncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Policy-Priorities-Spring-2016.pdf
I was also able to visit with Senator Elizabeth Warren, accompanied by Sarah Launderville, NCIL Region 1Board Representative and ED of Vermont CIL. See photo. Senator Warren has been a strong supporter for independent living and we thank her for her advocacy.
Administration on Aging (AoA)
Draft Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State APS Systems
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has drafted “Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State Adult Protective Services Systems” to promote an effective adult protective services (APS) response across the country so that all adults, regardless of the state or jurisdiction in which they live, have similar protections and service delivery from APS systems. These guidelines are informational in content and are intended to assist states in developing efficient and effective APS systems.
At this time, ACL is seeking input from a variety of stakeholders. To this end, ACL has launched an engagement and outreach strategy to refine and finalize the draft Guidelines for State APS Systems.” Throughout the public comment period (from July 13 to October 30, 2015), ACL is hosting a series of Listening Sessions which will be conducted via conference calls. The goals of the Listening Sessions are to:
- inform the community about the project;
- explain the project’s purpose, methodology and scope;
- generate interest in and support of the project;
- record the community’s comments, questions and edits;
- strengthen the Guidelines document.
ACL will hold both open sessions as well as sessions targeting professional stakeholders/groups. Anyone may participate in any of the listening sessions. However, listening sessions targeting a group or stakeholder community (e.g., APS professionals or Tribes) will be geared to solicit feedback specifically from the perspective of that group or community. These conference calls will be facilitated by ACL to solicit the callers’ feedback. The calls will be recorded and the proceedings transcribed.
The following list identifies the Listening Sessions that ACL has scheduled to date. If you are interested in participating in a listening session, please select the registration link for the session you would like to join. Please be aware that each session is limited to a capacity of 75 participants, so early registration is encouraged to secure a spot. Please check back regularly for updates and additions to the schedule below. When you register, you will receive the call in information. We hope you will participate.
|Listening Sessions||Date||Time (EDT)||Registration Link|
|General Public (I)||August 26, 2015||2:30–3:30 pm||oejaps-ls-gp1.eventbrite.com|
|Aging Network||September 9, 2015||2:30–3:30 pm||oejaps-ls-an.eventbrite.com|
|APS Network (I)||September 14, 2015||2:30–3:30 pm||oejaps-ls-aps1.eventbrite.com|
|APS Network (II)||September 16, 2015||2:30–3:30 pm||oejaps-ls-aps2.eventbrite.com|
|Tribal||September 17, 2015||2:30–3:30 pm||oejaps-ls-tribes.eventbrite.com|
|Legal Services Network||September 22, 2015||2:30–3:30 pm||oejaps-ls-lsn.eventbrite.com|
|Disability Rights Network||September 29, 2015||2:30–3:30 pm||oejaps-ls-drn.eventbrite.com|
|Long-term Care Network||October 7, 2015||2:30–3:30 pm||oejaps-ls-ltco.eventbrite.com|
|General Public (II)||October 13, 2015||2:30–3:30 pm||oejaps-ls-gp2.eventbrite.com|
|General Public (III)||October 21, 2015||2:30–3:30 pm||oejaps-ls-gp3.eventbrite.com|
The on-line form for submitting written comments on the guidelines is available during the full public comment period, July 13, 2015–October 30, 2015.
Thank you for your feedback.
Organizations Set Forth Seven Reform Principles
Washington, DC (September 15, 2015): Seven leading organizations comprised of Americans with disabilities announced today that they are calling for reform of the AbilityOne Program and set forth seven principles for overhaul of the program, which affects hundreds of thousands of American workers with disabilities. The announcement was made by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), TASH, the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL), the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), and the United Spinal Association. The seven principles for reform put forward by the organizations are as follows:
1. Commitment to the expressed integration mandate set forth by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Olmstead v. L.C.: Segregation of people with disabilities in work sites, such as sheltered workshops and enclaves, is inconsistent with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. People with disabilities must be supported to lead fully integrated lives in their communities, including throughout their workday.
2. Implementation and development of best practices for employment of people with significant disabilities: People employed by contracts negotiated through the AbilityOne procurement process must have their employment goals supported by providers implementing recognized best practices, such as Supported Employment and Customized Employment, that result in good jobs in the community.
3. Elimination of conflicts of interest that contribute to exploitation, fraud, and abuse: Conflicts of interest in AbilityOne contract implementation are rampant, and must be identified and prohibited. These include determination of employee eligibility by community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) implementing contracts, as well as the use of contract funds for lobbying and other purposes.
4. Payment of prevailing wages and the elimination of subminimum-wage payments: Payment of subminimum wages to people with disabilities is intolerable in the United States. People with disabilities should be paid the prevailing wage for the task they are performing.
5. Ensuring financial and operational transparency and accountability: AbilityOne contract use of funds must be transparent and readily available (online) to the public at every level, including the purpose and amount of funds used by the Central Nonprofit Agencies, executive compensation packages of nonprofits involved in the program, worker wage ranges, and purposes of funds used.
6. Relationship with employer: The ultimate objective of a federally-sanctioned special procurement program should be to connect employees with mainstream employers, as opposed to having people with disabilities working for nonprofit entities under specialized, set-aside contracts.
7. Prioritizing awarding of contracts available through the procurement process to disability-owned businesses, including self-employed individuals with disabilities: Rather than all contracts going to the non-profit organizations currently involved in the program, individuals with disabilities should be encouraged to compete for service contracts.
The AbilityOne Program must be brought up to contemporary standards of practice for supporting people with disabilities to access competitive integrated employment. When these reforms are adopted, an inspector general should be appointed to provide rigorous oversight to ensure that the days of exploitation and fraud are brought to an end.
Barb Trader, Executive Director of TASH, said: “The continued segregation of people with disabilities in employment is unjust, and the payment of subminimum wages is discriminatory and demeaning. Americans with disabilities must be freed from the overwhelming control of the entities that simultaneously determine their eligibility for services, administer those services, and function as their employers. The concentration of power in community rehabilitation programs and sheltered workshops is a fundamental flaw in the AbilityOne Program. Any federally-sanctioned program must be a positive force for workers with disabilities by providing them freedom, self-determination, and real employment and career development opportunities.”
Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The principles we are setting forth today reflect the hopes and aspirations of all Americans with disabilities. Neither AbilityOne nor any other program that purports to serve us can do so without reference to our own determinations on how to live the lives we want. We urge all other organizations of Americans with disabilities and like-minded service providers to join us in calling for an end to discrimination and low expectations, and to work with us for a future in which we, as Americans with disabilities, have full control over our destinies.”
Last week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. upheld the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Home Care Rule (PDF) and reversed the lower court’s January decision to vacate the Rule. As a reminder, in September of 2013, the DOL issued a regulation known as the Home Care Rule that expanded the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements to most home- and community-based service workers, who were previously exempt from these requirements. In January of this year – when the Rule was supposed to go into effect – Judge Leon of the U.S. District Court for D.C. vacated the Rule (PDF), stating that the DOL was “trying to do through regulation what must be done through legislation.”
NCIL is extremely supportive of higher wages and benefits for personal care attendants. Unfortunately, that is not what this Rule will accomplish. The reality is that this Rule will result in harmful cuts for both consumers and workers. In several states that have started planning for the Rule’s implementation, we’ve already seen consumers get their service hours cut and workers receive notices of caps on hours and earnings. If this rule moves forward, the result will be widespread service disruptions that will lead to negative health consequences, decreased independence, and increased risk of institutionalization for millions of consumers with disabilities around the country.
Without further action, the Rule will go into effect on October 13, 2015. During this time however, the plaintiffs have the opportunity to file petitions requesting the decision be reheard by the entire D.C. Circuit, or asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision by filing a Petition for Writ of Certiorari. Depending on how the case moves forward, an additional “stay” can also be sought to maintain the status quo until a final decision is made.
It is still important for advocates and consumers to be knowledgeable about this Rule and any actions your state is taking to prepare for its implementation. It is vital that the disability community be involved in these state plans to ensure that they do not cut services, dismantle programs that allow consumers to control our services, or place caps on worker hours and earnings. NCIL will continue to be engaged with this case and will keep you updated on its status as it moves forward.
The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) and the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will host a workshop promoting the wider use and increased accessibility of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Thursday, August 27, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The workshop will be held in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C305, Washington, DC 20554.
For a detailed agenda, including names of panelists and speakers, visit the below links:
Registration and Attendance: The workshop will be open to the public but will be limited to the seating available. Individuals who wish to preregister may contact John A. Evanoff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-418-0848. Those who pre-register will be asked to provide their name, title, organization affiliation, and contact information. All attendees are advised to arrive approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of the workshop to allow time to go through our security process.
Webcast: The Commission will provide audio and/or video coverage of the workshop over the Internet from the FCC’s Web page at http://www.fcc.gov/live.
Questions: The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions. Those following the live stream will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the event via email at email@example.com. Depending on the volume of questions and time constraints, session moderators will work to respond to as many questions as possible during the workshop. Interested parties can also follow the workshop on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FCC. If you wish to send questions to the workshop you can submit them via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To signify your participation in EAS workshop via Twitter, you can tweet your comment or question and include the hashtag #FCCLive. Then click refresh to view your tweet.
Reasonable Accommodations: Open captioning will be provided for this event. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests for such accommodations should be submitted via e-mail to email@example.com or by calling the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418–0530 (voice), (202) 418–0432 (tty). Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed. In addition, please include a way the FCC can contact you if it needs more information. Please allow as much advance notice as possible; last-minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill.
For additional information about the meeting, please contact John A. Evanoff, Attorney-Advisor, Policy and Licensing Division, PSHSB at (202) 418-0848 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.