We need a groundswell of action – #MedicaidCantWait for this long-overdue support!
For years, the service system that people with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD) and their families rely on, Medicaid, has needed an update. People are stuck on waiting lists, the direct care workforce is underpaid, and too often, unpaid family caregivers are filling in the gaps in service. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified these problems and exposed the cracks and gaps in the care infrastructure when it comes to supporting people with disabilities.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) will not be implementing Community First Services and Supports (CFSS) in November 2021 as planned. Instead, DHS plans to implement this service at earliest, June 1, 2022.
What is CFSS?
DHS is implementing a transition from Personal Care Assistance (PCA) to Community First Services and Supports (CFSS). CFSS will expand people’s options on how they prefer to receive their services. People will have more choice in who provides their services as well as additional support for writing plans, more self-direction options, and the ability to purchase goods to aid a person’s independence. The eligibility requirements for CFSS will be the same as PCA. CFSS will also replace the Consumer Support Grant (CSG) program.
CFSS will cover the same main services as PCA:
Activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, grooming and transferring
Instrumental activities of daily living, such as shopping, cooking, laundry and assistance with medications
Observation and redirection of behavior.
People who use CFSS will have more options and supports:
Unlike PCA, in CFSS a person’s spouse or the parent of a minor may serve as that person’s support worker.
People may choose to purchase goods to aid in their independence.
The CFSS budget model allows people to choose to be the employer of their support workers.
The state provides a budget that the provider agency or the person may use to train workers on the individual needs of the person.
The consultation services provider will provide education and support in writing the person’s plan.
Recent updates on the delay:
DHS is delayed in transitioning due to delayed federal approval on waiver and state plan amendments.
#FreeBritney: Lessons for People With IDD and Their Families
Tuesday, October 5, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Britney Spears’ public battle over her conservatorship is shining a light on some of the broader challenges that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) face under guardianship, which is a term some states use for that kind of court involvement.
Topics discussed in this webinar will include:
Some of the issues being highlighted in the media from Ms. Spears’ case
How those issues might apply to people with IDD
Alternative approaches to guardianship that people with IDD and their families might consider
This workshop series is based on the book Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice written by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Aegor Ray, a queer and trans writer, multidisciplinary artist, and organizer will facilitate the events. Attendees can also participate in art activities, such as weaving, and stamp making, led by teaching artists Nailah Taman and Julie Boada. The workshops will be hosted on Zoom and Facebook Live.
Tuesday, October 5, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM with Julie Boada, "Revealing Possibility: Soap Carving"
Tuesday, October 12, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM with Nailah Taman, "Potato Markings: Stamp-Making"
Tuesday, October 19, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM with Julie Boada, "Strands of Connection, 3-Dimensional Weaving"
Tuesday, October 26 , 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM with Nailah Taman, "Zine Making"
Tuesday, November 2, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM Closing Celebration
ASL interpretation will be provided at every workshop. Please indicate when you register if you have additional accessibility needs.
Dignity in Schools Week of Action
October 16 – October 24
National Week of Action Against School Pushout. Each October, members of the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC), a national coalition of over 100 organizations, host a series of events, teach-ins,rallies, protests and workshops across the country designed to bring attention to the ongoing and devastating impacts of school policing and zero-tolerance discipline policies. Beginning on Saturday, October 16th and running through October 24th, DSC’s 12th National Week of Action Against School Pushout will bring students, parents, education advocates, lawyers and many others committed to social and educational justice together to amplify the nationwide call for schools to move away from punitive, cold, criminalizing policies and towards emotionally-safe, restorative and culturally responsive school communities.
2021 Minnesota Gathering for Person Centered Planning
October 27 – October 28
The 7th annual Minnesota Gathering is taking place virtually starting October 27th. Explore what is working for Minnesotans in person-centered planning practices through conversations, learning sessions, networking and activities.
All sessions will be recorded and available after the event.
Help Promote Disability Awareness in Your Community’s Schools
Using a variety of short films, The Arc’s Watch & Learn: Disability Film Program provides a structured and ready-to-use way to educate students in your community about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, building awareness of diversity and fostering greater inclusivity.
Collections of short films, categorized by age group (elementary, middle, or high school levels), are available for purchase through a one-year subscription program.
Each set of films comes with a facilitation guide, discussion questions, and pre and post surveys, all of which help to create lively discussions among students to build understanding and acceptance of all types of people.
Watch & Learn can easily be implemented via in-person or remote learning.
From American Association of People with Disabilities:
3 Ways to Reach Voters with Disabilities
Last year, over 38 million people with disabilities were eligible to vote. We make up 1 in 4 American adults, and are a part of every community. We are people of color, LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit, young, and old. We live in cities and rural areas, and exist in every part of America. But too often, voter outreach efforts exclude people with disabilities. Many access barriers keep voters with disabilities from registering to vote and from casting their ballot.
Voter outreach should seek to break down these barriers! Here are three ways to make your voter outreach more inclusive of people with disabilities.
Include people with disabilities. Inclusive voter outreach campaigns start with campaigns planned by and with people with disabilities. Are their people with disabilities on your team? Does your workspace create a safe environment for people with non-apparent disabilities to disclose their disabilities? Are people with disabilities in leadership positions on your team?
Partner with disability organizations. Not sure where to start? Partner with AAPD and other disability organizations. Disability organizations have lots of experience engaging the disability community and can share ways to engage voters with disabilities.
Prioritize accessibility. Voter outreach will fail to reach people with disabilities if it is not accessible to us. Here are a few quick tips for accessibility: include closed captioning and ASL interpreting in large events and videos, use plain language as much as possible, and make sure images and visuals are described whether on social media or during slideshow presentations. These are just a few accessibility tips.