The Kentucky Department of Medicaid Services Invites you to talk about your experience with Medicaid Home and Community Based Services

The Department of Medicaid Services (DMS) invites you to focus group meetings to talk about home and community based services provided through 1915 (c) waivers.  DMS would like to talk with you about how waivers are working now and about how to improve them for the future.

Focus Groups will be held at the following locations:

  • Somerset (Tuesday 10/3/17)-Center for Rural Development 2292 South Hwy 27, Somerset KY-Ballroom A & B80 Chenault Rooms
  • Prestonsburg (Wednesday 10/4/17)-Big Sandy Area Development District 110 Resource Court, Prestonsburg KY 41653-Meeting Room and Conference Room
  • Ashland (Thursday 10/5/17)-The Log Cabin & The Round House, 615 22nd Street, Ashland, KY 41101
  • Louisville (Tuesday 10/10/17)-Down Syndrome of Louisville 5001 South Hurstbourne Parkway, Louisville, KY 40291-Sublett Hall & Early Education Classroom
  • Lexington (Wednesday 10/11/17)- Indiana Wesleyan University Lexington Campus 2530 Sir Barton Way, Lexington, KY 40509-Rooms 206 & 210
  • Florence (Wednesday 10/18/17)-Florence Government Center 8100 Ewing Boulevard, Florence, KY 41041-Community Room A & B
  • Frankfort (Thursday 10/19/17-Best Western 80 Chenault Road, Frankfort KY 40601-North & South Meeting Rooms

At each of these locations, DMS will hold four focus groups, one for each of the following categories:

  • Individuals currently accessing services or waiting to access services-Afternoon Session
  • Caregivers if individuals currently accessing services or waiting to access services-Afternoon Session
  • Direct support providers-Morning Session
  • HCBS provider owners, operators and managers: Morning Session

Morning Sessions will begin at 9:30 a.m. and last until 11:00 a.m.  Afternoon sessions will begin at 2:00 p.m. and last until 3:30 p.m.

Focus groups will offer an opportunity for DMS to have conversations to understand stakeholder’s experience when receiving or providing services through waiver programs.  DMS wants to understand what is important to individuals of the Commonwealth, so that we can shape services to meet the needs and wishes of those who participate in home and community based services.  DMS also would like to understand first-hand what individuals hope to see improved, as we consider ways to enhance these programs in the future.

Please call 502-564-7540 and ask to speak with Misty Peach or email Misty.Peach@ky.gov, to reserve your spot in a focus group.  Please let her know which category and location you wish to attend.

If you are not able to participate in a focus group, we invite you to give DMS your comments by emailing: MedicaidPublicComment@ky.gov

KY HCBS – Focus Group Announcement

Now Hiring for KY-SPIN Region 3 & 6 Parent Educator Consultants

KY-SPIN Region 3 & 6 (view map) Parent Educator Consultants positions (must commit to 40 hours per month at $400 a month) to provide training and information services throughout the state.  These parent educators will conduct workshops, attend meetings representing the agency, attend community fairs, set up booths, problem solve with parents, and serve as a resource in their region of the state.  They will be working with community partners to increase the SPIN presence in their area. They should be active, involved members of their local communities, who want to bring positive change for parents and children with disabilities.  We are looking for someone who is a self-starter, outgoing, approachable, strong work ethic, able to present to groups, and has a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs. Experience/knowledge of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), IEP’s, IFSP’s, disability rights, disability systems navigation, and inclusion is a plus.   Persons with disabilities and parents or family members of children with disabilities are encouraged to apply.   KY-SPIN, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

If interested, send a letter of interest, and a current resume to spininc@kyspin.com

Now accepting Applications for KY-SPIN Youth Council

KY-SPIN Youth Advisory Council is for individuals with disabilities ages 14-26
The KY-SPIN Youth Advisory Council will assist and advise KY-SPIN to address the needs of youth with disabilities for high-quality services that increase their capacity to be effective self-advocates.  

KY-SPIN Youth Advisory Council Application

For more information contact Ian Rosser by phone at (859) 878-0560
or by email at ian@kyspin.com 

Join us for Information meeting:

Youth Council Information meeting 5/30/17 from 5-6 in Lexington, KY For more information contact Ian Rosser by phone at (859) 878-0560 or by email at ian@kyspin.com

Now Hiring for KY-SPIN Region 9 Parent Educator Consultant

KY-SPIN Region 9 (view map) Parent Educator Consultant position (must commit to 40 hours per month at $400 a month) to provide training and information services throughout the state.  These parent educators will conduct workshops, attend meetings representing the agency, attend community fairs, set up booths, problem solve with parents, and serve as a resource in their region of the state.  They will be working with community partners to increase the SPIN presence in their area. They should be active, involved members of their local communities, who want to bring positive change for parents and children with disabilities.  We are looking for someone who is a self-starter, outgoing, approachable, strong work ethic, able to present to groups, and has a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs. Experience/knowledge of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), IEP’s, IFSP’s, disability rights, disability systems navigation, and inclusion is a plus.   Persons with disabilities and parents or family members of children with disabilities are encouraged to apply.   KY-SPIN, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

If interested, send a letter of interest, and a current resume to spininc@kyspin.com

OSERS Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities released

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is pleased to publish Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities.  Along with our partners in the Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Office of Special Education Programs has issued this guide to advance our efforts in ensuring that all students and youth with disabilities are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be engaged in the 21st century workforce.

This transition guide addresses the following topics to facilitate a seamless transition from school to post-school activities:

  • Transition planning: opportunities and programs;
  • Transition services and requirements, as authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act;
  • Education and employment options for students and youth with disabilities after leaving secondary school; and
  • Supporting decisions made by students and youth with disabilities.

We recognize the significance of collaborative partnerships and hope that the information in this guide will assist students and youth with disabilities and their families in developing and pursuing their goals for adult life.  Additionally,  this transition guide will help students and youth with disabilities and their families to better understand how State educational agencies, local educational agencies, and State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies work together to facilitate improved outcomes for students and youth with disabilities.

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities

By U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education released three new sets of guidance to assist the public in understanding how the Department interprets and enforces federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities. These guidance documents clarify the rights of students with disabilities and the responsibilities of educational institutions in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn.

The guidance released includes a parent and educator resource guide; a Dear Colleague letter (DCL) and question and answer document on the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools; and a DCL and question and answer documents on the rights of students with disabilities in public charter schools.

“These guidance documents share information with our full school communities – educators, parents, and students – about important educational rights, including school obligations to identify, evaluate, and serve students with disabilities,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, the Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights. “Vigilant attention to the rights of students with disabilities will help ensure fair treatment for every student and that every student has equal access to educational programs and has an opportunity to experience success.”

The Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, issued by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), provides a broad overview of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). The guidance describes school districts’ nondiscrimination responsibilities, including obligations to provide educational services to students with disabilities, and outlines the steps parents can take to ensure that their children secure all of the services they are entitled to receive.

Among other things, the Section 504 Parent and Educator Resource Guide:

  • Defines and provides examples to illustrate the meaning of key terms used in Section 504.
  • Highlights requirements of Section 504 in the area of public elementary and secondary education, including provisions related to the identification, evaluation, and placement of students with disabilities, and procedures for handling disputes and disagreements between parents and school districts.

The second guidance package released by OCR addresses the circumstances under which use of restraint or seclusion can result in discrimination against students with disabilities, in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Department’s May 15, 2012, Restraint and Seclusion: Resource Document suggested best practices to prevent the use of restraint or seclusion, recommending that school districts never use physical restraint or seclusion for disciplinary purposes and never use mechanical restraint, and that trained school officials use physical restraint or seclusion only if a child’s behavior poses imminent danger of serious physical harm to self or others. The DCL and question and answer document released today offer additional information about the legal limitations on use of restraint or seclusion to assist school districts in meeting their obligations to students with disabilities.

The third guidance package released was developed by OCR and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). The jointly-issued Dear Colleague Letter and question and answer documents will help update educators, parents, students, and other stakeholders to better understand the rights of students with disabilities in public charter schools under Section 504 and IDEA. These documents provide information about how to provide equal opportunity in compliance with Section 504 in key areas such as charter school recruitment, application, admission, enrollment and disenrollment, accessibility of facilities and programs, and nonacademic and extracurricular activities. The documents are responsive to the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s 2012 report, Charter Schools: Additional Federal Attention Needed to Help Protect Access for Students with Disabilities, which included the recommendation that the Department issue updated guidance on the obligations of charter schools.

“It is critical to ensure that children with disabilities have access to a free appropriate public education in charter schools,” said Sue Swenson, delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Department’s assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services. “These guidance documents are designed to support states, local education agencies, and charter school personnel to understand their responsibilities under IDEA and Section 504.”

The Section 504 Charter guidance:

  • Explains that charter school students with disabilities (and those seeking to attend) have the same rights under Section 504 and Title II of the ADA as other public school students with disabilities.
  • Details the Section 504 right to nondiscrimination in recruitment, application, and admission to charter schools.
  • Clarifies that during the admission process a charter school generally may not ask a prospective student if he or she has a disability.
  • Reminds charter schools, other entities, and parents that charter school students with disabilities have the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under Section 504.

The IDEA Charter guidance:

  • Emphasizes that children with disabilities who attend charter schools and their parents retain all rights and protections under Part B of IDEA (such as FAPE) just as they would at other public schools.
  • Provides that under IDEA a charter school may not unilaterally limit the services that must be provided a particular student with a disability.
  • Reminds schools that the least restrictive environment provisions require that, to the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities attending public schools, including public charter schools, be educated with students who are nondisabled.
  • Clarifies that students with disabilities attending charter schools retain all IDEA rights and protections included in the IDEA discipline procedures.

In addition to these documents, the Department also released a Know Your Rights document designed for parents to provide a brief overview of the rights of public charter school students with disabilities and the legal obligations of charter schools under Section 504 and the IDEA.

The mission of OCR is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through the vigorous enforcement of civil rights. Among the federal civil rights laws OCR is responsible for enforcing are Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and Title II of the ADA. The mission of OSERS is to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation. OSERS is responsible for administering the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA).

Parent Guide and Videos for Special Education

Human Development Institute (HDI) & Kentucky Department of Education (KDE):
The Parent Involvement Initiative is part of the Kentucky Department of Education’s State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG), funded by the Office of Special Education Programs and managed by the University of Kentucky. It is designed to promote stakeholder engagement in Kentucky Department of Education initiatives (e.g. State Performance Plan and State Systemic Improvement Plan).

  • Parent Handbook
    The Kentucky Parent Guide for Special Education [PDF] was developed to provide parents and other stakeholders with information regarding the special education process and services provided to students throughout the state. Click on the link above for answers to questions regarding the special education process.
  • Parent Involvement Video Series- Developed to provide information from The Kentucky Parent Guide for Special Education. Videos range in length from 10-26 minutes each, and can be viewed by an individual or a group.  The videos are designed with flexibility in mind, so parents can view them in order, or as specific needs arise. Click on the link provided, and it will take you directly to the chosen video.

STABLE Accounts Now Available

STABLE Accounts give people with special needs more independence and financial security. A STABLE Account is an investment account available to eligible individuals with disabilities. STABLE Accounts are made possible by the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”) Act. STABLE Accounts allow individuals with disabilities to save and invest money without losing eligibility for certain public benefits programs, like Medicaid, SSI, or SSDI. Earnings in your STABLE Account are not subject to federal income tax, so long as you spend them on “Qualified Disability Expenses.”  Learn More

CHEER project is creating an advisory group

The Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DDID) and the Human Development Institute (HDI) have partnered with the Kentucky Department for Public Health to develop and implement a program to help individuals with cognitive and mobility limitations to achieve a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and exercise.  The Community Health Education and Exercise Resources (CHEER) project is creating an advisory group to help empower Kentuckians with cognitive and mobility limitations to make healthy lifestyle choices that reduce negative health outcomes.

They are seeking self-advocates with cognitive and mobility limitations, family members, direct support professionals, providers of services for people with disabilities, and partners with an interest in health and disability issues.

Most importantly, they want people on the CHEER Advisory Group who are interested and excited about health and exercise. Be a part of our team. Gain and share valuable leadership skills. Get involved. CHEER for good health!

Download guidelines that provide more information about the CHEER Advisory Group and the commitment and financial support available for self-advocates, family members, and direct support professionals to participate.  To apply for a position on the CHEER Advisory Group, please complete the online application at: https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9SLaeMs3hmBsNGB

Questions? Need a paper application or help completing the online form? Email Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones at Kathleen.sheppard-jones@uky.edu or you may call Kathy at 859.257.8104.

CCDD is always looking for new Council Members

COMMONWEALTH COUNCIL ON DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES (CCDD)
 
The CCDD is always looking for new Council Members on their Governor-appointed Council, as our members serve on rotating terms and there are frequent openings.
 
The Council is a quasi-governmental agency working to create systemic change in Kentucky that empowers individuals to achieve full citizenship and inclusion in the community through education, capacity building and advocacy.  The Council knows that successful communities fully engage, support and provide equal opportunity for each individual to purse the American dream as fully integrated, valued and contributing citizens.
Members of the Council commit to quarterly meetings of the full Council that last 2 days and must also agree to serve on one of three sub-committees, all of whom meet regularly. They are encouraging people with disabilities or parents of people with disabilities to apply by completing the attached application.  Please note that the Governor’s office has requested a resume upon application, as well.  While this is an unpaid board appointment, expenses will be reimbursed for travel to and from Council business.  Completed applications and further questions can be directed to Jennifer Hicks using the contact information below or at Jennifer.Hicks@ky.gov .
Jennifer Hicks
32 Fountain Place
Frankfort, KY  40601
Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities
Phone: 502-564-7841
Fax: 502-564-9826

Mythbusters

Myth
It is a myth that KY-SPIN files complaints on school districts with the KY Department of Education.

Fact
KY-SPIN’s role is to help build partnerships with schools and families.  We help educate families on the special education process and dispute resolution.  We help families so that they can help their child.  Even if you are not in agreement with the school it is important to still have a working relationship with them to get an appropriate education for your child. 

 

Kentucky ABLE Act Factsheet By CCDD

Kentucky ABLE Act Fact Sheet
By Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities (CCDD)
Download Factsheet

Promoting Independence, Work & Savings for Kentuckians with Disabilities

Starting July 15, 2016, eligible Kentuckians can open ABLE accounts without jeopardizing Medicaid eligibility or means-tested benefits such as SSI.

FACTS ABOUT THE KY ABLE ACT

  • The Kentucky ABLE Act (SB 179) allows Kentuckians to benefit from the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which allows people with disabilities to establish tax-deferred savings accounts under §529A of the US Tax Code.  The new law will be effective on July 15, 2016.
  • The new law DOES NOT create a state program.
  • The new law DOES allow Kentuckians to establish accounts (operated under other states programs) without jeopardizing means test benefits or Medicaid.
  • The new law directs the State Treasurer to work with several other government and advocacy stakeholders to determine the best plan of action related to ABLE accounts for Kentuckians.

HOW CAN KENTUCKIANS OPEN ACCOUNTS?

  • As of June 2, 2016, Ohio is the only state that has a program offering ABLE Accounts.  The Ohio program is open to people from other states, including Kentucky.  More information is available at http://www.stableaccount.com/ .
  • Several other states plan to begin offering accounts soon, including: Tennessee, Nebraska, Virginia and Colorado.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF ABLE ACCOUNTS

  • To quality, an individual must become disabled before age 26. In addition, an individual either must be entitled to Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Income benefits, or file a disability certification with the IRS.
  • ABLE Accounts are similar to college-savings plans governed by §529 of the US Tax Code.  However, spending is allowed for “qualified disability expenses” (not just on education-related expenses).
  • Qualified disability expenses are any expenses made for the benefit of the designated beneficiary related to his/her disability, including: education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology and personal support services, health, prevention and wellness, financial management and administrative services, legal fees, expenses for oversight and monitoring, funeral and burial expenses.
  • Any person, such as a family member, friend, or the person with a disability, may contribute to an ABLE account for an eligible beneficiary
  • The legislation includes a Medicaid pay-back provision, which could allow recoupment for Medicaid payments from money left in the account after the beneficiary’s death.

For more information, visit http://www.ablenrc.org/

HDI Research Brief Spring 2016

Nothing about us without us: Asking Kentuckians with disabilities about what they need to thrive

As a part of their strategic long term planning process, the Commonwealth Council for Developmental Disabilities (CCDD), Kentucky Protection & Advocacy (KPA), and the Human Development Institute (HDI) at the University of Kentucky developed a survey to identify areas of high need for people with disabilities in the state. This research brief describes how we used several different methods to make sure everyone’s voice was heard, including professionals, families, community leaders, and, most importantly,  self-advocates. Because perspectives were formed by professional and personal experiences, the data helped us find various solutions to to attain better outcomes for Kentuckians with disabilities.

Read the HDI Research Brief Spring 2016

by Chithra Adams

FREE Lifetime Access Pass to National Parks for People with Disabilities

Who qualifies for the Access Pass?

The Access Pass may be issued to U.S. citizens or permanent residents of any age that have been medically determined to have a permanent disability (does not have to be a 100% disability) that severely limits one or more major life activities.

A permanent disability is a permanent physical, mental, or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

Overview of the Access Pass and How to Apply

Kentucky Office of Autism Needs Your Input

The KY Advisory Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders was signed into law to unify and promote initiatives aimed at improving Kentucky’s system of care for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families.  A key part of improving services across the life span for individuals with ASD is understanding your or your family member’s needs as they relate to transition from school into adult life and the strengths and challenges in Kentucky to community integration as an adult.  The Adolescent/Adult Subcommittee of the KY Advisory Council has developed a short survey for you to describe those needs and tell them what is most important in your life or that of your family member.  All responses will be kept confidential, and no individually identifiable information will be shared.  They will present the results of this survey in their Annual Report to the Governor and the State Legislature, so your voice is very important in letting your state leaders know about what is both working and not working in your life or that of your family member with ASD.

Please take a few moments to complete this survey.  You can take this survey if you are a parent/guardian of an individual with ASD, a youth with ASD, or an adult with ASD.

Click here to complete the survey https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3Qpx4cdeS83Ib3L Thank you for your time and valuable feedback.