DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AWARENESS DAY 2016

Announcement From: The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council

  For more information, please contact Margaret Hooper or Vanda Bowman.

DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AWARENESS DAY 2016

 The Arc of Florida & The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council will host 2016 Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day on February 18, 2016. Exhibitors will be located on the 2nd Floor Rotunda to display and share information and services available to persons & families with developmental disabilities.  There will also be a program in the courtyard (weather permitting). You will have an opportunity to visit with legislators to share your opinions regarding issues affecting persons with developmental disabilities.  

 

For more detailed information click here.

Source: http://files.ctctcdn.com/b260d50b001/87e7c...

The Florida First Budget Will Make Florida First for Supporting Persons with Disabilities by Eliminating the Critical Needs Waiting List for the Third Year in a Row

Historic $1.2 Billion Investment will Support Floridians with Disabilities

APD Offers Waiver Enrollment to 2,499 Individuals
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is offering Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid waiver enrollment to 2,499 individuals on the waiver waiting list. Everyone on the waiting list with critical needs as of November 1, plus students transitioning out of school will be receiving waiver enrollment offer letters within the next two weeks.

 Governor Rick Scott is recommending $1.2 billion in total funding for APD, an increase of 23.6 million. This historic investment will eliminate the critical needs waiting list for the third year in a row, and help Floridians with disabilities live, learn and work in their communities.

Governor Scott said, “Florida has made significant investments in supporting individuals with disabilities, and I am excited to announce that we will continue on that path by eliminating the critical needs waiting list for the third year in a row. This historic investment will provide opportunities for Floridians with disabilities to receive the services and assistance they need to live more independently, find a great job, and achieve their dreams in our state.”

The “Florida First” proposed budget includes:

  • $15 million to enroll more than 700 individuals with developmental disabilities on the critical needs waiting list to the APD Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver. This is the fourth year the Governor has recommended money to serve those on the waiver waiting list.
  • $10 million to reinstate Department of Education funding for the Adults with Disabilities program.
  • $1 million for the Employment Enhancement Project to serve people on the waiting list who want to go to work. This funding will pay for supported employment and supported internship services for people with developmental disabilities.
  • $2.6 million for staff to perform customer needs assessments using the Questionnaire for Situational Information.
  • $400,000 for a Medicaid waiver Provider Rate Study.

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “I deeply thank Governor Scott for his ongoing support of individuals with disabilities. For the fourth year, Governor Scott is recommending funding to move people off the waiting list. This money will allow everyone with critical needs to enroll onto the Medicaid waiver in the coming year. I sincerely appreciate Governor Scott’s confidence in APD and compassion for those we serve.”

See APD's brake down for the Florida First Budget 2016 - 2017.

Provider, Waiver Support Coordinators & Families. This information is important for you all to know.

It is very important that providers, most of whom do not belong to a provider/advocacy association, pay close attention to this.  Very few providers have come forward to identify settings that are going to be problematic to maintain due to their inability to compensate staff according to the DOL regulations with the rates they are receiving.  It is also very important for those providers who believe they are exempt from minimum wage and overtime provisions to once again review the DOL regulations for exempt employees.  

 I am certainly no expert in this area, but I do know that many of the employment situations in these types of settings will not meet the DOL definition for an exempt employee. The consequences can be very expensive and the enforcement period is now here.

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AGENCY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Department of Labor Home Care Rule  

 

1. The Department of Labor adopted the Home Care Rule extending minimum wage and overtime protections to most home care workers. This rule is applicable to both waiver providers and providers who render services through Individual and Family Support Services.

2. Providers must comply by ensuring that their employees are paid wages commensurate with this law.  Providers should link to the DOL website at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/ for the details.

3. The Consumer Directed Care Plus program is a self-directed program and therefore the client is the employer and should consult the DOL website to determine the obligations under the new rule.

4. The state is responsible for having an individualized process available to any person whose service hours would be reduced as a result of the final rule to examine if the service reduction would place the person at serious risk of institutionalization, and if so, what additional or alternative services would allow the individual to remain in the community.

5. The legislature will determine if rates will change for the types of services affected by the DOL rule. 

6. The following services may potentially be impacted by the rule:

  • All Solo Life Skills Development Level 1 – Companion 1:1 quarter hour rates
  •  All Personal Supports Day rates at the 1:1 ratio, including those that get both day rate and quarter hour
  • All Residential Habilitation Live-in Day Rates at 1:1 ratio
  • Respite Day 1:1 Ratio

7. Waiver Support Coordinators must notify APD immediately if they encounter a client whose service needs are not being met by their provider as a result of this rule. In these instances, the APD Region office will contact the provider directly. The Region will work with the client, WSC, and provider to address the client’s service needs. This may include, but is not limited to the following activities:

  • Review of personal supports, companion, and respite service logs for the past 3 months to verify hours of service provision
  • Review of the client’s weekly schedules for services
  • Review of client’s support plan and QSI information
  • Assist the client in choosing alternate service options or alternate providers based upon needs, if necessary

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WSC ADVISORY #2015-001

US Department of Labor Home CARE RULE

ACTION REQUIRED

Effective Date: October 23, 2015

1. The Department of Labor adopted the Home Care Rule extending minimum wage and overtime protections to most home care workers. This rule is applicable to both waiver providers and providers who render services through Individual and Family Support Services.

2. Providers must comply by ensuring that their employees are paid wages commensurate with this law.  Providers should link to the DOL website at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/ for the details.

3. The Consumer Directed Care Plus program is a self-directed program and therefore the client is the employer and should consult the DOL website to determine the obligations under the new rule.

4. The state is responsible for having an individualized process available to any person whose service hours would be reduced as a result of the final rule to examine if the service reduction would place the person at serious risk of institutionalization, and if so, what additional or alternative services would allow the individual to remain in the community.

5. The legislature will determine if rates will change for the types of services affected by the DOL rule. 

6. Waiver Support Coordinators must notify APD immediately if they encounter a client whose service needs are not being met by their provider as a result of this rule. In these instances, the APD Region office will contact the provider directly. The Region will work with the client, WSC, and provider to address the client’s service needs. This may include, but is not limited to the following activities:

  • Review of personal supports, companion, and respite service logs for the past 3 months to verify hours of service provision
  • Review of the client’s weekly schedules for services
  • Review of client’s support plan and QSI information
  • Assist the client in choosing alternate service options or alternate providers based upon needs, if necessary
  • The Waiver Support Coordinator must also notify APD of any other service not listed above if they encounter a client whose service needs are not being met by their provider as a result of this rule.

7.The following services may potentially be impacted by the rule:

  • All Solo Life Skills Development Level 1 – Companion 1:1 quarter hour rates
  • All Personal Supports Day rates at the 1:1 ratio, including those that get both day rate and quarter hour
  • All Residential Habilitation Live-in Day Rates at 1:1 ratio
  • Respite Day 1:1 Ratio

PLEASE NOTE:  The list above is not an all-inclusive list of services that may need to be reviewed by the Agency. The Waiver Support Coordinator must notify APD of any client service needs not being met as a result of the Home Care Rule.

LEETRAN’S PASSPORT TO EXTEND COVERAGE AREA

Additional funding approved by Lee County commissioners will allow LeeTran to offer enhanced travel options to disabled clients of its Passport service, starting Nov. 2. The new county funding of $301,674 will allow Passport to offer about 5,200 trips per year that extend beyond this geographical limitation. The trips will be in addition to the regular ADA service, which provided 113,405 passenger trips in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. In order to use the service, passengers must be pre-approved as ADA eligible, requiring an application process and personal interview. Premium trips will cost $6; regular ADA trips will continue to cost $3. Existing Passport clients can start reserving premium trips on Nov. 2; Lee County citizens who wish to apply for Passport eligibility should call (239) 533-0300 to begin the application process.

I Am Able: Raising Awareness of Disabilities

The Office of Community Outreach would like to invite you to save the date for our upcoming Lecture Series on raising awareness of disabilities, coming up on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at the Cohen Center Ballroom at FGCU. Our speaker, Cori Bright-Kerrigan, works actively with students with disabilities here at FGCU. A panel discussion will be held.  This free event will begin with a mingling reception at 6:30pm and the lecture will start at 7:00pm.

Please contact the Office of Community Outreach if you have any questions at communityoutreach@fgcu.edu or 239-590-1258. Thank you so much and we hope to see you all there!

Christine Douangsouri - Office of Community Outreach @  Florida Gulf Coast University
 

SHIP Housing Assistance for Individuals with Special Needs

What is SHIP? 

The State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program is available broadly across Florida—each county and large city receives funding. This money is locally controlled; each jurisdiction determines how to use its annual allocation of funds to address local housing needs.  The funds are from the Sadowski State and Local Housing Trust Funds created by the William A. Sadowski Affordable Housing Act in 1992.  The funds are from a dedicated revenue source generated by documentary stamp surcharges on real estate transactions.  Each county and city of a certain size receives an allocation based upon population. The funds are administered by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.  Technical Assistance is provided by the Florida Housing Coalition. The information below explains more about the program and how to request assistance. 

Are SHIP funds available to assist individuals with special needs? 

Yes.  The Florida Legislature has appropriated $100 Million for the 2014/15 SHIP allocation.  Twenty percent of these funds must be used to assist individuals with special needs.  First priority must be given to individuals with a developmental disability.    

How is special needs defined in this legislation? 

Each local government must use a minimum of 20 percent of its allocation to serve persons with special needs as defined in section 420.0004, Florida Statutes.  The first priority must be to assist homeowners with Developmental Disabilities (DD) as defined in section 393.063, Florida Statutes, with an emphasis on home modifications, including technological enhancements and devices, which will allow homeowners to remain independent in their own homes and maintain their homeownership. 

When ranking which SHIP applicants will receive assistance first, homeowners with DD receive top priority.  Second priority is granted to households in which a developmentally disabled adult or child is living with family members. This will be followed by other applicants who pass the definition of special needs found in Section 420.0004 of the Florida Statutes: 

Persons with Special Needs: 

* An adult person requiring independent living services in order to maintain housing or develop independent living skills and who has a disabling condition 420.0004(7) FL Statutes  

* A young adult formerly in foster care who is eligible for services under s. 409.1451(5); 

* A survivor of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28; or  

* A person receiving benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program or from veterans’ disability benefits. 

Furthermore, disabling condition is referenced related to persons requiring independent living services: 

Disabling Condition is defined in Section 420.0004(7) of the Florida Statutes: 

Disabling condition means a diagnosable substance abuse disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability, or chronic physical illness or disability, or the cooccurrence of two or more of these conditions, and a determination that the condition is:  

(a)Expected to be of long-continued and indefinite duration; and 

(b)Not expected to impair the ability of the person with special needs to live independently with appropriate supports.

How can SHIP funds help persons with special needs with affordable housing? 

SHIP funds are fairly flexible but each community decides how to use them in their Local Housing Assistance Plan.  The most common uses are: 

* Purchase Assistance.  SHIP funds can be used to pay the down payment, closing costs and principal reduction for income eligible buyers for new or existing homes.  In some cases the funds can be used for acquisition and rehabilitation costs.  The buyers must be qualified for a first mortgage and receive training in homeownership responsibilities. 

* Home Repair.  SHIP funds can be used by homeowners to repair their home to make it more livable as well as accessible. 

* Rental deposits.  SHIP can be used to pay the security and utility deposits to help with move in costs for low income renters. 

* Rental housing development. SHIP can be used by rental housing providers to pay for a portion of the development costs for building or rehabilitating affordable rental units.  These units will be rented to low income households at affordable rents.   

How do you apply for SHIP assistance? 

Each community has a specific plan for the use of SHIP dollars.  Contact the SHIP office in your community to find out what type of assistance is available and how to apply.  See below for link to SHIP contacts.  

What if the local SHIP office does not have the type of assistance needed? 

Before each city or county receives new SHIP funding, the local government must certify what new or existing approved strategies in its Local Housing Assistance Plan (LHAP) will be employed to meet the special needs requirement.  Contact your local SHIP offices now to help SHIP staff consider how to best assist special needs applicants.   

SHIP contacts are listed at the following link:  http://apps.floridahousing.org/StandAlone/FHFC_ECM/AppPage_SHIPLGContacts.aspx

For more information, contact the Florida Housing Coalition at info@flhousing.org or call 800-877-4548 or visit www.flhousing.org.   

Also, visit http://www.fddc.org/publicationsto order a copy or download “Housing In Florida, A Resource Guide for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities.”  Scroll down to “Service Coordination”. 

Master of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health

The University of South Florida, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences is offering a fully online Master of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health.  

We are now recruiting for our Spring 2016 cohort! 

Students can chose from one of four concentrations:

  • Developmental Disabilities

  • Leadership

  • Translational Research and Evaluation

  • Youth and Behavioral Health

For more information visit our website, http://cabh.cbcs.usf.edu, or email Dr. Bruce Levine, Program Director! 

 Click here to access the flyer for more detail.