Free Training Opportunity: Empowerment Education Training Initiative

From DDI: For Complete Post, click here…

Wednesday October 27th, 2021 9:00 a.m. − 12:00 p.m.

Webinar Training Topic Conflict Resolution
9:00 a.m. − 10:30 a.m.
Presented by Elizabeth Janks, LMSW & Nia Anderson, LLMSW
This training is designed to help you understand what causes conflict and learn ways you can respond to conflict in a constructive manner. Individuals attending this training will have the opportunity to:
• Learn about attitude and self-image
• Learn how to achieve control through self-talk
• Understand conflict and criticism
• Learn how to control emotions
• Learn how to resolve conflict

Ten Successful & Assertive Steps for Working with Professionals
10:30 a.m. − 12:00 p.m.
Presented by Kristen Columbus, LLMSW
This training is designed to give you practical ideas on how to increase your own level of assertiveness when working with professionals in service to people with disabilities. Individuals attending this training will have the opportunity to: • Assess our current level of assertiveness
• Identify characteristics of aggressive, passive and assertive behavior
• Understand the concept of personal assertive rights
• Identify the 5 Ps of successful change
• Practice to construct and use person anchors
• Assess our problem areas of assertiveness and develop an action plan

Registration Information Wednesday October 27th, 2021 9:00 a.m. − 12:00 p.m.
Target Audience: Direct Support Professionals, Professionals working with Individuals with I/DD, Peer Mentors, Individuals receiving services, and Advocates.
Requirements This training webinar is FREE, however, to participate you must REGISTER.
Questions? If you have any questions, please contact: Elizabeth Janks, LMSW Email: Nia Anderson, LLMSW Email:
Each training module carries 2 Hours of Social Work CEUs and 2 Hours of QIDP.
To attend this webinar all participants must register.
The deadline to register is Monday, October 25, 2021.
To register please visit:

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.


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.”

Check out Chromebook’s new accessibility features

By Cynthia Shelly: For Complete Post, click here…

Chromebooks now have enhanced, natural-sounding voice options for Select-to-speak, which lets you hear selected text on your screen spoken out loud.

With accessibility features on Chromebooks, we want everyone to have a good experience on their computer – so people can get things done, families can play together, students and teachers can learn together, and employees can work productively and efficiently, wherever they are. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, so we wanted to share a few recent and new Chromebook features that help people access information in a way that works for them.

New enhanced voices for Select-to-speak

People spend a lot of time reading on their laptop, doing things like reading news articles or reviewing school textbooks. Reading on a screen can be less than ideal for many, including people with dyslexia (an estimated 10-20% of the population), low vision, those learning a new language or people who have a hard time focusing on busy text.

With a few clicks, Select-to-speak on Chromebooks allows you to hear selected text on your screen spoken out loud. Earlier this year we added new features like controls to speed up, slow down or pause the reading voice, and to easily jump to different parts of text. Plus, you can choose to highlight the words being spoken while shading background text to help focus your attention.

Making Chromebooks more accessible

Over the past year, we’ve also made it easier to use, discover and customize Chromebook’s built-in accessibility features. This includes updates to the screen magnifier, like keyboard panning and shortcuts. We have also developed new in-product tutorials for ChromeVox, and we’ve introduced point scanning to make the selection process for switch users more efficient.

Android accessibility update lets you control your phone, communicate using facial gestures

By Abrar Al-Heeti: For Complete Post, click here…

The new features, called Camera Switches and Project Activate, let users navigate their devices without their hands or voice.

Google is rolling out a few new accessibility features for Android users, including the ability to control your phone and communicate using facial gestures, the company said Thursday. It also rolled out an update to Lookout, which uses a person’s phone camera to identify objects and text in the physical world. 

The first update, called Camera Switches, detects facial gestures using your phone’s camera. Users can choose from six gestures — look right, look left, look up, smile, raise eyebrows or open your mouth — to navigate their phone. They can also assign gestures to carry out tasks like open notifications, go back to the home screen or pause gesture detection.

Additionally, a new Android app called Project Activate lets people use those same facial gestures from Camera Switches to activate customized actions using a single gesture, like saying a preset phrase, sending a text and making a phone call. 

Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights

From USEEOC: For Complete Post, Click Here…

If you have depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or another mental health condition, you are protected against discrimination and harassment at work because of your condition, you have workplace privacy rights, and you may have a legal right to get reasonable accommodations that can help you perform and keep your job. The following questions and answers briefly explain these rights, which are provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You may also have additional rights under other laws not discussed here, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and various medical insurance laws.

1. Is my employer allowed to fire me because I have a mental health condition?

No. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you simply because you have a mental health condition. This includes firing you, rejecting you for a job or promotion, or forcing you to take leave.

How to Change The Windows 11 Font Size System-wide

From Major Geeks: For Complete Post, click here…

If you’d prefer a smaller or larger font in Windows 11 to make things easier to read, it’s easy to do.

A neat way to temporarily change the size of everything is to hold down the Ctrl key and scroll your mouse wheel up or down.

Click on Start > Settings or press the Windows Key + i.

Click on Accessibility on the left.

Click on Text size.

Move the slider underneath Text size and watch the live preview until you achieve your desired size.

Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute Podcast: Episode 1: Transitioning to Independent Life

From DDI: For Complete Post, click here…

In this episode, we talk with Elizabeth Janks, Associate Director of Training and Education at MI-DDI, about transitioning young people with disabilities to adulthood and promoting their independence. Elizabeth maps out the steps a parent or caregiver should take to prepare for this life change.

Elizabeth Janks, LMSW

Associate Director for Training and Education at MI-DDI

Email address:

Elizabeth has worked at MI-DDI for over 28 years. She is a social worker and educator, and has managed several projects surrounding caregivers of people with developmental disabilities and those that focus on health promotion for people with disabilities. Learn more.

Resources from the Episode

Possibilities Podcast Series


By Heidi Blake and Katie J.M. Baker: For Complete Post, click here…

ngd-This is part 1, there are two other parts with links through the complete post…

THEY CAN ISOLATE YOU: A teenager with cerebral palsy was snatched from the school gates and hidden from his parents.

THEY CAN BLEED YOU DRY: A successful rheumatologist was declared incapacitated after a bout of depression and lost her million-dollar waterfront home.

AND THEY CAN LEAVE YOU TO DIE: A 46-year-old man died under a do-not-resuscitate order that went against the desperate pleas of his wife.

All three nightmares share a common cause: These people had been placed under the care — and control — of legal guardians. America’s guardianship system was designed as a last resort to be used only in the rare and drastic event that someone is totally incapacitated by mental or physical disability. In those cases, conscientious guardians can provide vital support, often in complex and distressing circumstances. But an investigation by BuzzFeed News has found that the system has grown into a vast, lucrative, and poorly regulated industry that has subsumed more than a million people, many of whom insist they are capable of making their own decisions, and placed them at risk of abuse, theft, and even death.

The #FreeBritney movement has drawn international attention to the case of Britney Spears, and wrongdoing by individual guardians has surfaced in the past, but our investigation reveals the systemic failings behind these isolated stories.

In local courts across the country — often woefully unfit for the sweeping power they command — guardians, lawyers, and expert witnesses appear frequently before the same judges in an established network of overlapping financial and professional interests. They are often paid from the estate of the person whose freedom is on the line, creating powerful incentives to form guardianships and keep them in place.

“The judge knows the lawyers, the lawyers know each other,” said J. Ronald Denman, a former state prosecutor and Florida lawyer who has contested dozens of guardianships over the past decade. “The amount of abuse is crazy. You’re going against a rigged system.”

NEW RESOURCE: Peer to Peer: Bridging the Gap Through Self-Advocacy Curriculum

From End Abuse of People with Disabilities: For Complete Post, click here…

People with developmental and intellectual disabilities are at an increased risk of experiencing abuse. They may turn to a variety of support systems in the aftermath of victimization, but barriers that exist within these support systems often create obstacles to healing. Other people with disabilities can make ideal supports for people with disabilities who have experienced domestic and sexual violence because they can provide support on an equal level with the person who has been hurt.

The Peer to Peer: Bridging the Gap through Self-Advocacy curriculum was designed to provide self-advocates with the information and tools needed to support survivors and to act as a bridge between the survivor and the programs in the community designed to serve them. Through four interactive courses, self-advocates will learn peer support skills and information about domestic violence, sexual assault, and the justice system.