self-advocacy


Announcement From

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council

WEBINAR: Understanding Asset Building & Public Benefits for People with Disabilities in Florida

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This series consists of two 90-minute installments and will give participants a basic understanding of many benefit programs offered by local, state and federal governments, many of which have applications and rules that change often and can be confusing. Sharon Brent, Director of Training & Technical Support at National Disability Institute will conduct the training sessions.

After participating in this series, you will have a better understanding of:

  • Public benefits and differences of programs under Social Security – SSI & SSDI.
  • The value and effect of how earned income (wages) and unearned income affect cash and medical benefits for both programs.
  • Work Incentives and which benefit program they apply to, when to use them & the value they offer when applied.
  • The difference between Medicaid & Medicare rules and the value when individuals earn income.
  • Available information from the SSA website & other important web resources for updates and continuous learning.

Who should participate in this two-part series?

  • SSI and/or SSDI beneficiaries who work or want to work
  • Parents & family members of SSI & SSDI beneficiaries who work or want to work
  • Direct service professionals who work with a SSI or SSDI beneficiary who earns or wants to earn income
  • Vocational rehabilitation managers & staff serving people with disabilities who work or want to work
  • School-to-work transition staff
  • Anyone interested in learning more about public benefits and the interaction between benefits, employment and asset building

THIS IS A TWO-PART SERIES. Participants must attend both sessions – access to the September 24th session will be given only to those who attend the September 10th session. REGISTER NOW!

This webinar is presented by:

MEETING INFORMATION

Date: September 10 & 24, 2012

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Time: 1:30 to 3:00 PM Eastern


Captioning will be provided during this webinar. If you use a screen reader and would like a copy of the powerpoint presentation ahead of time, please contact Katie Metz.

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APD Regional Directors and Strategic Planning

On May 8 and 9, the six new regional directors for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) met in Tallahassee to begin planning for the restructuring of the APD offices throughout the state.

APD Director Mike Hansen kicked off the meeting. Several program areas presented updates to the regional directors to ensure that they were aware of the latest information.

The new APD regional directors are:

  • Lynne Daw for the Northwest Region
  • Gayle Granger for the Northeast Region
  • Merari Perez for the Central Region
  • Geri Williams for the Suncoast Region
  • Gerry Driscoll for the Southeast Region
  • Evelyn Alvarez for the Southern Region

Following the regional planning meeting, the regional directors joined the rest of the agency for an APD Strategic Plan webinar. Each team leader presented an update on the activities that have occurred as part of the team’s strategic objective.

 

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Webinar for CDC+ Personal Care Services Transition

This transition will affect CDC+ consumers under the age of 21 who wish to obtain PCA service via Medicaid State Plan AND self-direct the approved PCA funds via their CDC+ monthly budget. Consultants who serve these consumers are encouraged to attend one of the scheduled Webinars.

For more information call your local APD area office or contact Alexandra Weimorts CDC+ Director

Consumer Directed Care Plus Services

Agency for Persons with Disabilities

Phone: 850/414-6609 Fax: 850/414-7761

Blackberry: 850/274-1230

Areas 9 & 10
June 14, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Area 11
July 10, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
July 19, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Areas 1 & 2
August 7, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
August 16, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm

Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Areas 4, 12 & 13
September 4, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
September 13, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Areas 8 & 23
October 2, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
October 11, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Areas 3, 7, 14 & 15
November 8, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
November 13, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

 

This is part of the newsletter MedWaiver sent by Aaron Nangle. Go to their website to voice your opinion.

APD Communications Wants Your Opinion

The Communications Office of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities wants to ensure that it is meeting the communication needs of all its stakeholders which include employees, customers, and providers.

The Communications Office is responsible for all agency media relations, program marketing, brochures, posters, the Champion newsletter, websites, displays, constituent correspondence, agency customer service inquiries, Disability Employment Awareness Month activities, presentations, and other related activities.

Let APD know what you think!

Please spend two minutes completing this online survey (https://wwwsurveymonkey.com/s/APDComm) to help APD improve it’s communication with you.

When faced with a problem and needing to confront a person in authority, here are some excellent tips for finding solutions:

1.    Be positive

2.    Be clear and stay focused

3.    Talk to the person who can make the difference

4.    Ask what happened and why

5.    Think solutions, not just complaints

6.      Keep within your own experience of the problem

7.      Write down beforehand what you want to say.  Include the list of issues and questions you want answered, in case you forget in the meeting.

8.      Focus on a way forward

This information was supplied by

The Family Cafe
888-309-CAFE
http://www.FamilyCafe.net

1332 N. Duval St.
Tallahassee, FL 32303
United States

Riding the bus is as much a part of the culture of the mentally challenged community, as struggling to read.  In our Central Florida county, parents sometimes complain about the long bus trips that our population must take each day to get to and from work.  Often, parents will opt to transport their children to doctor’s appointments and Rec Department events, rather than teaching them the intricate maneuvering required to learn the route schedules.  The professional community has never caught the vision of teaching people who are mentally challenged how to figure out the schedules.  Transporting them in private vehicles seems easier. 

Yet, I seldom hear the same complaint from Special Gathering members and my other friends.  When Diana developed the skills needed to ride the bus to work and to her appointments after her mother died, she gained a new sense of independence.  She and her close friend, Mimi, often ride the bus together to go to lunch and to the shopping center.

Because of the complexity of the geography of the county, bus routes can be complicated and hard to understand.  Therefore, there are not as many bus people who live in our county, except a few scattered homeless individuals.  Bus people are folks who ride the bus everyday for fun and entertainment.  

A good friend of mine has a daughter who is in her mid-thirties.  She is mentally challenged and bipolar.  She lives in South Florida where there are many bus routes.

This young woman boards the bus early everyday and rides all day long.  She gave up employment years ago because she doesn’t like the tedium of the day programs.  The erratic behavior caused by her bipolar symptoms, makes it hard for her to understand the logic required to be able to submit to authority.  For that reason, she hasn’t succeeded in working in the community.  Therefore, she finds that riding the bus everyday, fills her time in a meaningful way.

Perhaps one of the best things the professional community could do within our cloistered, sub-culture is bus training.  Teaching individuals who are developmentally disabled to ride the bus to doctor’s appointments and to the shopping mall should be an intricate part of the skill sets needed for survival. 

Part of my desire is to get a grant that can be used to teach people how to ride the bus in our county.  It will mean educating parents and professionals first but it would be worth the effort.   As the cost of gas continues to climb, riding the bus may become a necessary skill set that we cannot afford to be without.  

Does anyone know of a grant that teaches people to access public transportation? 

NEW SERVICE

Space Coast Center for Independent Living has partnered with Legal Advocacy Center of Central Florida, Inc.

The mission of Legal Advocacy Center of Central Florida, Inc. (LACCF) is to enforce the legal rights of the disabled community, eligible low-income and elderly persons by providing advice and representation in impact litigation matters, advocating for clients’ legal rights and conducting community education.

The service will be free of charge for individuals that meet SCCIL’s disability requirements. Individuals that are not disabled may still receive free services if income qualified.

Services to be provided:

Consumer RightsHousing RightsImmigrationHousing Discrimination,

Disability RightsPublic BenefitsIndividual Rights and Educational Rights.

Please call 321-633-6011 to inquire about eligibility and to schedule your appointment.

LACCF is not able to assist in criminal or traffic law.

Jill L. Dunham-Schuller
Executive Director
Space Coast CIL
571 Haverty Court, Ste. W
Rockledge, FL  32955
(321) 633-6011 Voice/TTY
(321) 543-1272 Cell

Yesterday, I wrote an article for the Carlton County, South Carolina self-advocacy group that meets in Walterboro in our ministry newsletter.  When the group began about ten years ago, the members wanted to have dues.  They are minimal $1 per person, per meeting.  Things went well for a time, then one by one people stopped bringing their dues.  Sure, there were thre or four people who paid their dues, but most of the people “forgot.”

These dues were to pay for parties and other events.  At one party, the people who were not paying dues complained about the refreshments and that they had to help pay for the entertainment.  The members who had been giving regularly were not happy about the reactions of the people who had not been paying their dues.  They decided that it was time to put a stop to the fact that the members wanted parties and events but they didn’t want to help pay.

There was a new vote.  The result was that everyone would be required to pay the monthly dues if they were members.  If someone didn’t pay for one month, then the person was rquired to bring $2 the next month.  If the person did not pay after four months, they were no longer considered members; and they would not be allowed to go on the summer trips and events that are paid by the agency and friends who help sponsor the program.

Feathers were ruffled and people complained.  But the self-advocates stuck by their decision and they have not allowed non-paying members to continue to sponge off of the efforts and dues of a few people.  As a result, their membership has grown and people are actually taking real ownership of this important program.

There are times we feel that we must always help people who are disabled.  However, there are other times that their greatest growth comes from allowing people in the disability community to fail and then grow from failure.  That is, after all the way most of us grow, isn’t it?

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