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)

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.

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. 

NDEAM at NCIL

From NCIL: For Complete Post, click here…

National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which is an opportunity for the US to recognize the vital role disabled people play in the workforce, kicked off earlier this month with the signing of a proclamation by President Joe Biden.  This year’s theme, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” rings especially true as the Independent Living (IL) network continues to engage in conversations regarding inclusion gaps in our own spaces.  We at the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) appreciate that the White House has an awareness of the challenges multiply-marginalized disabled people experience as members of the workforce:

“Despite the progress our Nation has made in recent decades, people with disabilities are still too often marginalized and denied access to the American dream.  Americans with disabilities — particularly women and people of color — have faced long-standing gaps in employment, advancement, and income.  The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded these inequities, as people with disabilities have faced heightened risks — particularly the disproportionate share of people with disabilities employed in the hardest-hit industries.  Our Nation will never fully recover and rebuild unless every single community — including disabled Americans — is fully included.”

This Gen Z Founder Is Building a Media Empire for Disabled Teens

By S.C. Stuart: For Complete Post, click here…

Accessibility technology is the next big market, but teenage journalist (and power wheelchair user) Emily Flores is looking for tech giants to do better in 2022, and she’s using her Cripple Media brand to make sure they listen.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a “doubling down” on investment in technology for people with disabilities through multiple AI for Accessibility Grants. “If there is one thing we have learned from 25 years of work on accessibility at Microsoft, it’s this: People with disabilities represent one of the world’s largest untapped talent pools, but we all need to act with bolder ambition to empower disabled talent to achieve more,” the company said at the time.

One power wheelchair user who is doing just that is 19-year-old Emily Flores. Four years ago, frustrated with the lack of disabled teen representation online (and inspired by Tavi Gevinson’s millennial brand ROOKIE), Flores founded Cripple Media, the first Gen Z digital platform for, and created by, teens with disabilities. 

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.