National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center

From Resident’s Voice Door Hangers – Pack of 50 (10 of each design): For Complete Post, click here…

Long-term care consumers from across the country submitted artwork for this year’s Resident’s Voice Challenge, a part of Residents’ Rights Month held every October. Several pieces of art were selected to display on door hangers. These door hangers remind anyone who enters a resident’s room that this is their home and assert residents’ rights. The pack includes 50 door hangers (10 of each design), printed in sharp, full-color on sturdy card stock with glossy UV coating on one side.

Featured artwork by: Carole Luker in Fulton, KY; Matthew Blackwood in Okemah, OK; Residents at Hackensack Meridian Nursing & Rehabilitation in Ocean Grove, NJ; J. Wick in Fort Thomas, KY; and Residents at Waterview Hills in Purdys, NY.

Available for pre-order. Will ship in two weeks.

It’s Time the Behavioral Health Field Expand Their Definition of Lived Experience

From #CrisisTalk: For Complete Post, click here…

In anticipation of 988—the three-digit number for mental health, substance use, and suicidal crisis telecom companies must make live by July 16, 2022—communities throughout the United States are examining their crisis systems. “They want to ensure there are rapid and appropriate responses in place that match people’s needs,” says Amy Watson, Ph.D., professor of social work in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin. She’s also the president of CIT International. The Crisis Intervention Team model is a first-responder, police-based crisis intervention designed to reduce the role of law enforcement in behavioral health crisis response. 

However, as leaders tighten their lens on behavioral health and quality of life crises in their community, there’s a glaring concern they must also simultaneously address: workforce shortages. Dr. Watson says the solution isn’t simply to increase staff in existing positions but rather to develop a community behavioral health crisis responder role. “That means identifying the skills needed to best resolve crises,” she notes, “and make sure there’s an accessible career path for people with a diversity of lived experience.” 

In behavioral health, the term “lived experience” is often synonymous with people who have faced mental health or substance use challenges. “That’s a vital but narrow perspective,” says Dr. Watson. “There are many additional experiences—like being from a disadvantaged or marginalized population—that would be valuable to this role and can help provide a better, more culturally competent crisis response.” This includes the need for crisis responders who are Black, Hispanic, American Indian, have been incarcerated, experienced houselessness, identity as LGBTQ, are veterans, or have developmental disabilities.

Non-law enforcement responses to behavioral health and quality of life concerns—like the need for food and shelter—are critical for diverting people from the emergency department and jail. And because interactions are with civilian responders and not police, it can be far safer for people in crisis, especially among marginalized populations at risk of a police interaction turning deadly. Of people killed in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty since January 1, 2015, 24% were Black, 16% were Hispanic, and 23% were identified as having a mental illness. 

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.

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.

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.

Tasting Freedom

by Wawmeesh Hamilton: For Complete Post, click here…

ngd- Wow!

In her three years at the Edmonton Indian Residential School, Helen Johnson figures she opened hundreds of cans of Spork.

Working in the school’s cafeteria, it was her job to dole out small portions of the foul-smelling meat for her fellow students to eat — paltry meals that left Johnson with hunger pangs and painful migraines.

“It was like a place which was worse than the jail, I think. At least they had meals every day, three meals a day,” she said. “We’d eat pork, pork, pork every day. Tons of pork.”

They’d have other meals, too. Lumpy oatmeal in the morning. A single egg at lunch. But all the offerings were meagre, and every meal was supplemented by Spork.

Staff meals, on the other hand, consisted of chicken, pork chops, steak and other choice cuts of beef. Fresh fruit and vegetables. Bread and butter. Jam. Dessert.

One May evening in 1961, her anger about that disparity reached a breaking point.

She had had enough.

So when a staff member left the cafeteria early, leaving Johnson and her friend, Maria Douglas, unsupervised, they took advantage.

Hauling the boxes of Spork into the school’s hallway, they started throwing the cans against the wall. Curious students stopped to watch their breakfast, lunch and supper fly through the air.

In the ensuing hours, what followed was a full-scale riot that saw approximately 100 students overpower an outnumbered staff, taking over the school until police put down their resistance.

The riot may be the only one in Canadian residential school history.

“Me, I felt like I had power,” Johnson said of that night. “I felt, ‘I have to have the power that was taken from me,’ and I felt good about it.”

Nassar victims, students join protest outside UM president’s home

By Hani Barghouthi: For Complete Post, click here…

A sexual assault victim’s demand for a meeting with University of Michigan leaders lured an army of supporters Wednesday on his sixth day of camping out on the president’s front lawn.

The crowd of about 100 people spilled out from the sidewalk onto the street in the evening, alternating chants of “I am not John Doe, I am not Jane Doe” and “Hail to the Victims.”

They joined Jon Vaughn outside of UM president Mark Schlissel’s residence, the largest turnout since he began picketing Friday night. 

Academia’s ableist culture laid bare

By Kendall Powell: For Complete Post, click here…

Four group leaders with disabilities share their thoughts on how to make laboratories and fieldwork more accessible and inclusive.

Between 15% and 25% of the world’s population lives with one or more forms of disability. Despite some progress on disability rights, for many disabled scientists academic-research spaces and career pathways remain out of reach, both literally and figuratively.

Many nations legally require institutions to make ‘reasonable accommodations’ to ensure accessibility, but disabled researchers think that a corresponding shift in the attitudes of many co-workers is needed.

They say that ableism — beliefs or practices that devalue and discriminate against people with disabilities (whether physical conditions, mental-health issues, chronic illnesses or cognitive differences) — has excluded them from classrooms, laboratories, fieldwork and conferences. Not only are disabled researchers under-represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, but both visible and invisible disabilities are often missing from discussions of diversity and inclusion, they say.

“If we designed physical spaces and classes in a way that suits the common denominator of humans — such as always having a ramp, always teaching in ways that are inclusive of neurodiversity — then we make the system work for everyone,” says Kelsey Byers, an evolutionary chemical ecologist at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK.

At the same time, many disabled scientists point out that the COVID-19 pandemic has eased access, thanks to virtual conferences, remote working, and telehealth appointments — and they fervently hope these options will remain available after the pandemic.

Michigan Covid Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA)

From MSHDA: For Complete Post, click here…

Select Apply Now to authenticate & begin your application.

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The COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program is designed to keep Michigan residents who fell behind on their rent and/or utilities during COVID-19 in their homes.

This program provides Covid Emergency Relief Assistance (CERA) for housing (rent), utility, and internet assistance to qualifying individuals or families. Please review the eligibility and documentation requirements before beginning this application.

To complete the application, you will have to authenticate by proving ownership of the email address you enter. This CERA App will send you a 6-digit code you will need to complete your application.

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