Registration: Effective Communication with School During COVID-19

Fri, Oct 29, 2021 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

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Join Michigan Alliance for Families for “Effective Communication with School During COVID-19” with SEMS (Special Education Mediation Services).

Communication and collaboration in special education are uniquely challenging. The pandemic is another layer that has impacted communication. Join SEMS for this online workshop to discuss what we know about effective communication. We’ll look at how the pandemic has changed family and school relationships.

• Share effective communication tips to improve collaboration and partnerships
• Consider how the Covid 19 pandemic impacted communication and collaboration
• Reflect on what we learned from the pandemic that can inform our learning environments moving forward with this a once in a lifetime opportunity to embark upon a new path to improved student success.

If you need an accommodation to attend this event, please send your request to info@michiganallianceforfamilies.org two weeks prior to the event.

Grieving Who I Was Before My Mental Illness Diagnoses

By Simone Yemm: For Complete Post, click here…

ngd- Grief is a normal part of dramatic personal and life change, and is the first step in recovery…

Once upon a time, I was a whole egg. My runny, gooey insides were safely cocooned in a solid, outer shell. I felt whole.

Then I fell off my perch and the shell cracked. The soggy, fragile contents spilled out and there was nothing holding me together. I was a mess.

I shook and I wept and I panicked. Sorrow and sadness wrapped themselves around me like a cloak. I learned really bad ways of avoiding the emotional baggage I’d hidden away all my life. I didn’t know how to cope anymore.

The trouble with breaking something as brittle as a shell is it can never go back to the way it was. It can be patched and stitched and glued. It can be held together with Band-Aids or covered in clingfilm. But it can never be whole again.

I am eternally cracked

Lansing Schools triage solutions to special ed ‘emergency’

BY KYLE KAMINSKI: For Complete Post, click here…

Record backlog pushes district out of state compliance — and into overdrive.

After only about three months on the job, Superintendent Ben Shuldiner said he has identified three “emergency issues” facing students and staff at the Lansing School District this year. The obvious first is the COVID-19 pandemic. The second is a major shortage of bus drivers, he said.

And the third is a backlog of hundreds of written evaluations for the district’s nearly 2,000 special education students — a problem that has brewed for several years and came to a head after the state put the district into corrective action mode in 2020, district and state officials said.

“I’ll try to be brutally honest. The Lansing School District has not served its special education population well, to put it bluntly. For years, there were specific things that were not done — and this was stuff that was just not acceptable,” Shuldiner told the Lansing City Council last month.

The Michigan Department of Education requires public school districts to complete initial evaluations within 30 days for all special education students in need of an individualized education program — or IEP. Those written plans help to tailor instruction for students with learning disabilities, emotional disorders, cognitive challenges and many other impairments.

When Shuldiner arrived in July, at least 158 of those evaluations had not been completed on time for what amounted to 9% of the district’s total population of special education students — pushing the district into what the Department of Education defines as “corrective action” mode.

Spanning all grade levels, those late evaluations could have led to a wide range of state consequences if left unchecked. Under state law, the district could lose authority to operate special education programs altogether if the issues persisted. It could also lead to state and federal funds being withheld or warrant direct intervention from state officials.

Registration for Building Parent Leadership Skills In Early Childhood

From MAF: For Complete Post, click here…

This free, four-part series of online workshops will help parents understand the important role of they have in positions of leadership.

As a parent, there are many opportunities to add your voice, knowledge and experience to local, county and state boards that support families of children with disabilities.

• Leadership opportunities on local, county and state boards
• Learn your leadership style
• Discuss the importance of early childhood Inclusion
• Your mission: taking your involvement to the next level

Who should attend? Parents of children birth to 5 who receive/received Early On® services, current LICC representatives, and parents who are interested in serving on local, county and state boards. Participants are encouraged to attend all 4 sessions.

If you require accommodations or materials in an alternative format, please let us know two weeks before the event.

Time

Oct 26, 2021 07:00 PM
Nov 2, 2021 07:00 PM
Nov 9, 2021 07:00 PM
Nov 16, 2021 07:00 PM

Time shows in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Michigan to begin changing how it funds mental health, addiction services

By Justin P. Hicks: For Complete Post, click here…

More than a dozen behavioral health clinics across Michigan will now be able to turn to Medicaid to fund its services, the same way community health centers can do for physical care.

The new avenue for funding will allow clinics that meet quality standards to expand access to services, including 24-hour psychiatric crisis services, which is expected to reduce unnecessary visits to jails and emergency rooms as a result of no community mental health services.

News on No-Fault: DIFS Bulletin addressing reimbursement limitations to certain products, services and accommodations

From CPAN: For Complete Post, click here…

On October 11, 2021, the Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (“DIFS”) issued Bulletin 2021-38-INS addressing the applicability of the reimbursement limitations set forth in MCL 500.3157 to certain products, services and accommodations that constitute “[a]llowable expenses” under MCL 500.3107(1)(a).  Specifically, in the Bulletin, DIFS opined that “[p]roducts, services, and accommodations that are not provided by physicians, hospitals, clinics, or other like persons . . .” are not subject to the reimbursement limitations set forth in MCL 500.3157.   In the Bulletin, DIFS also expressed its view that MCL 500.3157 “governs the amount payable to any persons providing attendant care” services to auto accident survivors.

The Bulletin provided examples of several types of products, services, and accommodations that are, in DIFS’ view, exempt from the “fee caps” in MCL 500.3157, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Services related to guardianship or conservatorship;
  • Vehicle modifications;
  • Home modifications;
  • Computer equipment and supplies;
  • Generators;
  • Non-emergency medical transportation;
  • Non-prescription drugs;
  • Over-the-counter medical supplies; and
  • Certain case management services

Notably, the list of exempted products, services, and accommodations set forth in the Bulletin is not exhaustive, as DIFS itself acknowledged.  Instead, according to DIFS, the proper inquiry for determining whether a particular product, service or accommodation is subject to the reimbursement limitations set forth in MCL 500.3157 is whether it was “provided by physicians, hospitals, clinics, or other like persons.”

Moreover, in the Bulletin, DIFS explicitly directed no-fault insurers who have applied the reimbursement limitations in MCL 500.3157 to products, services, and accommodations that are exempt (including those listed above) to “re-process” the claim immediately, applying only the “reasonable[ness]” requirement set forth in MCL 500.3107(1)(a).  Further, DIFS instructed providers whose bills have been processed improperly to contact the no-fault insurer at issue to request reconsideration.

In short, DIFS’ Bulletin 2021-38-INS may be used by providers other than “physicians, hospitals, clinics, or other like persons” to assert that the “fee caps” set forth in MCL 500.3157 should not be applied to limit reimbursement by no-fault insurers for the products, services, or accommodations that those providers  render to auto accident survivors.

The Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice Secures Commitment From Boy Scouts of America to Appoint a Survivor on National Executive Board

From The Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice: For Complete Post, click here…

Survivor Representation on Executive Board to Add Greater Accountability and Ensure Current and Future Scouts Are Protected

Coalition Launches New Website, scoutingabusesurvivors.com, to Inform and Update Survivors on Historic, Multibillion-dollar Plan

The Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice (“Coalition”) announced today that it has successfully negotiated a commitment from the Boy Scouts of America to appoint a Boy Scouts sexual abuse survivor to its National Executive Board as part of the Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan.

“This measure is a critical step toward justice for survivors around the country,” said Coalition Co-Founder Ken Rothweiler of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. “It was of utmost importance to the Coalition that we secure accountability beyond monetary compensation. Having a survivor in the room when decisions are made means that their voices will be heard well beyond this bankruptcy.”

“We heard repeatedly from the thousands of survivors we represent that it’s not just about the money, it’s about accountability and making sure this never happens again,” said Coalition Co-Founder Anne Andrews of Andrews & Thornton. “The only way to do that is to make the Board less opaque, more transparent, and further accountable to the 83,000-person survivor community once this bankruptcy concludes.”

“This action to add a survivor to the very top level of its decision-making is going to reverberate far beyond the Boy Scouts,” said Adam Slater of Slater Slater Schulman LLP. “It should serve as a clarion call to other institutions facing historical abuse claims, from USA Gymnastics to universities to the Catholic Church.”

Additionally, the Coalition announced the launch of its new website, scoutingabusesurvivors.com, to share critical information and updates to the survivor community as they vote from now until December 14, 2021 to approve the Reorganization Plan, which includes the largest sexual abuse settlement fund in history – $1.887 billion and growing.

The ADA lawsuit settlement involving an accessibility overlay

By Sheri Byrne-Haber: For Complete Post, click here…

What the settlement agreement included, and what does it mean for the industry?

Eyebobs’ is an online glasses company that was sued for not meeting accessibility requirements by a blind plaintiff in January 2021. “Accessibility” refers to whether or not something is usable by an individual with a disability. The general standard used globally is WCAG

Like hundreds of thousands of websites, the Eyebobs’ website used an accessibility overlay to attempt to mitigate its known inaccessibility. Accessibility overlays are tools that attempt to make websites accessible. However, overlays (also known as tools, plugins, and widgets) force users with disabilities to use the assistive technology provided by the overlay rather than the assistive technology that the user may prefer to use that might be customized for their unique needs. Overlays do not make websites accessible, and can actually create accessibility problems for users.

What distinguished this case from the almost 200 other accessibility lawsuits involving overlays was the participation of Karl Groves as an expert witness, who wrote (and made public) this 35-page scathing indictment of how inaccessible the Eyebobs’ website was despite using a well-known accessibility overlay.

Karl is also responsible for creating overlayfactsheet.com, a website where over 600 accessibility professionals have signed a pledge which requires in part that the signatory “never advocate, recommend, or integrate an overlay which deceptively markets itself as providing automated compliance with laws or standards.” Note: I am proud to be signatory #38 on overlayfactsheet.com

The Eyebobs’ settlement requires them to make numerous changes to policies, procedures, and personnel to promote the accessibility of its digital properties. I will address each of these changes one by one. All of the statements in the remainder of this article attributed to the overlay companies were copied directly from their respective vendors’ sites on October 17, 2021.

Investigations in 18 States Find Serious Abuse at For-profit Youth Facilities

From Disability Rights TN: For Complete Post, click here…

A national report, Desperation without Dignity, was released today revealing widespread abuse and neglect at for-profit youth residential facilities. This report by the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) provides a broad review of investigations by several Protection & Advocacy agencies, including Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT). Brought to light are the failures of youth residential facilities to provide appropriate services and to protect the children in their care from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by staff.

In Tennessee, DRT has been monitoring and investigating youth residential facilities and other places where Tennesseans with disabilities live and receive services. Our work has shown that Tennessee’s most vulnerable children are being harmed in facilities that are meant to protect them. The use of widely banned interventions, such as prone restraint and chemical restraint, harm children and compound with existing traumas. When combined with a lack of appropriate mental health supports and special education services, the children’s suffering is further exacerbated.  

“We need to remember that the children in these facilities are coming from high-risk environments and often have disabilities,” states DRT’s Executive Director Lisa Primm. “These children need support and services, not to be retraumatized and abused.” 

Primm continues, “With our clients, we’ve seen time and time again, that when they receive the right behavioral, educational, and environmental supports, they grow into engaged members of our community. They can fulfil their potential, and everyone wins.”

This report shows that issues of abuse and neglect in youth residential facilities isn’t just a Tennessee problem. It is a national issue rooted in the system of youth residential facilities themselves. A system that is underregulated and designed to be for-profit instead of for the well-being of our children. A system that favors residential treatment, rather than enhancing our community-based services.

“We can’t let the system stand as it is any longer,” says Jack Derryberry, DRT’s Legal Director. “In the face of clear evidence that our children are being traumatized and even killed in for-profit youth residential facilities, we are morally obligated to change the way things work. Action needs to be taken to protect our children.

184- Who can you sue for nursing home neglect?

From The Nursing Home Abuse Podcast: For Complete Post, click here…

A typical nursing home neglect lawsuit is filed against several entities.

All responsible parties are named, including management companies, license holders, involved owners, and employees.

How are each of these defendants responsible for injuries? In this episode, we discuss who you can sue for nursing home neglect and why.