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Community Meeting on Caseload Ratio Survey to be Held on June 10, 2015

The Programs and Services Board Committee is hosting a community meeting on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 10 a.m. at Lanterman Regional Center to discuss the outcome of the Center’s service coordinator caseload ratio survey and to develop a plan of action with the input of the Lanterman community.

This meeting is for all interested parties affiliated with Lanterman clients, including organizations representing Lanterman clients, family members of clients, service providers and other interested parties.

The meeting will be held at Lanterman, 3303 Wilshire Blvd., Berendo Room A, 3rd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010.

For questions and to advise of your attendance at the meeting, contact Gabriela Sanchez at gsanchez@lanterman.org.

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Information and Resources are Only a Click, E-mail or Phone Call Away

A few weeks ago, Lanterman's Koch-Young Resource Center (KYRC) received an e-mail at Help Desk asking for information regarding epilepsy. The information was provided, and then not too long thereafter, the KYRC received an update. It turns out the requester was a high school student who has epilepsy and lives in Wyoming - Gabbie Marie.

Rose Chacana, director of the KYRC, shares, "She found us on her own, researched the Lanterman Web site and used the information she gathered to create a school project designed to increase epilepsy awareness. I really like her initiative and she made very good use of the Web site and KYRC resources, all while residing in another state. We touch many lives..."

Gabbie Marie's project was presented at the Wyoming State FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) in Cheyenne. Her presentation and project placed bronze in the statewide Illustrative Talk competition. And while she didn't make it to the Nationals, her story is a shining example of what can be accomplished with the information and resources that are available with only a click, e-mail or phone call.

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Nurturing Staff at Casa de Adora Help Two Brothers from Lanterman Developmental Center

Nurturing Staff at Casa de Adora Help Two Brothers from Lanterman Developmental Center Find Their “Voice” and Express Themselves Positively

Eight years ago, brothers John and Daniel, who had spent much of their adult lives at Lanterman Developmental Center, moved into Casa de Adora. And contrary to all of the naysayers who argued keeping adults with developmental disabilities like John and Daniel in the developmental centers was better for them, with nurturing and support from the staff at Casa de Adora, John and Daniel have all but disproven this.

It’s not to say that it didn’t take time to achieve the marked progress that can be seen in their lives and the daily lives of the other residents at Casa de Adora, but they are a case in point example of the breakthroughs that can be achieved when clients are provided with ways in which to find their “voice” and express themselves positively.

“When they first came to Casa de Adora,” recalls Julio Vicente, a QA Specialist in Lanterman’s Community Services department, “the two brothers had uncontrollable behaviors, including hitting, kicking, head banging, yelling and spitting, and they didn’t like to be around others, especially people they didn’t know. For Daniel, these were the ways he used to communicate as he didn’t’ have any other means or know what else to do, and John would also retreat to his room and spend hours in his chair alone.”

Fast forward to Daniel’s most recent birthday celebration, and the two brothers can be seen celebrating with the Casa de Adora staff and the other two residents – Jaime and Mario. Julio adds, “Daniel no longer exhibits any of the above behaviors, enjoys hanging out and has learned some basic sign language to communicate with others. John, who never came out of his room and did not want to participate in any activities, now spends time in the living room watching television with his brother and his peers, partakes in meals with the rest of the residents, and has even learned to smile and attempt to communicate through sign language as well.”

Mario and Jaime have also made leaps and bounds since moving in. The staff have worked very closely with Mario and his doctors on medication reduction, and Jaime has gone from being introverted to talking, singing and making eye contact with his peers and with people in general.

Julio adds, “This is all very endearing to me, because I saw them when they first got to the home and I’m looking at a totally different and amazing picture now.  Wonderful to see!”

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Grassroots Day 2015 ~ Sacramento

Last week was Grassroots Day in Sacramento, and Lanterman board member and parent Karla Garcia, along with Enrique Roman, associate director of Client and Family Services, and Karen Ingram, director of Community Services spent the day in Sacramento visiting with members of the Legislature and their senior staff to build support for the much needed 10% funding increase for regional centers and providers. They shared how key this increase is for providers as far as offering competitive wages, hiring quality staff, reducing turnover and in the end their ability to stay in business.

Photos (clockwise from top left): Enrique, Karen and Karla with Senator Holly Mitchell (at right), an advocate for children and regional centers who was instrumental in restoring Early Start last year; Karla with the Golden Bear; and Karen and Enrique with Tina Andolina (center), Senior Policy Consultant to Senator Ben Allen

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Mark Your Calendars for the Special Olympics Southern California 2015 Summer Games

The Special Olympics Southern California 2015 Summer Games are coming to California State University, Long Beach on June 13 and 14. The games are free and open to the public and competitions include aquatics, athletics, basketball, bocce, golf and gymnastics. Learn more at www.sosc.org/summergames and come out and show your support for more than 1,100 athletes from all over Southern California.

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Uniform Holiday Schedule and Half-Day Billing Requirements No Longer In Effect

On February 13, 2015, a federal court issued a ruling that the Uniform Holiday Schedule and Half-Day Billing requirements put into effect in 2009 could not be enforced until such time as the state had obtained approval for the requirements from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Essentially, the Court said the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) cannot implement Uniform Holiday Closures without prior approval from CMS, so they are no longer in effect. What this means for regional center clients and families is that programs and transportation services that were impacted by these closures MAY provide services on March 31 (what was to be the next Uniform Holiday Closure date), and on all other future UHC dates. Families should, however, confirm with the program that they will be open that day.

The Court also said that DDS cannot implement half-day billing requirements for day programs without prior approval from CMS, so this is no longer in effect as well. This applies to Activity Centers, Adult Development Centers, Behavior Management Programs and other look-alike day programs.

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The Time Has Come - Let Your Voices Be Heard, Show Your Support for a 10% Funding Increase

The time has come - get informed and then let your voices be heard and show your support for a 10% funding increase for the developmental services system - before it's too late.

Get Informed - Read ARCA's Report and Senator Beall's New Letter
ARCA has released its newest report, titled On The Brink Of Collapse, meant to provide policy-makers, advocates, and the citizens of California an understanding of the crisis engulfing our state’s developmental services system.

ARCA hopes this report will increase your understanding of the fiscal challenges California’s developmental services system faces in fulfilling its promise to individuals and their families and the urgent need for both short and long-term Budget solutions, which ARCA and the other Lanterman Coalition members support, to stabilize and advance the system.

On a separate front, Senator Beall has authored a second letter itemizing various harms done to the developmental services system, and specifically asking for the 10% POS/OPS increase. He is requesting that other legislators sign on. Read a copy of his letter and use it to inform your personal comments and testimony.

Take Action - Attend the March 4 Capitol Rally or E-mail Your Testimony for the Hearing
The Lanterman Coalition's members continue to push for funding reform to fix our developmental services system, but they need our help. If you can, join them at the State Capitol in Sacramento for a rally at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4 or come testify and show your support for our system at a Budget hearing, in room 4202, at 1:30 p.m. that afternoon.

Now is the time to advocate for our system and your services. This is your first, and best chance to tell the Legislature why your service system needs a 10% increase now, and long-term funding reform.

Can't make it, but still want your voice to be heard? Please e-mail your personal, honest and respectful testimony and comments to "The Honorable Tony Thurmond," chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services. The email address is: assemblymember.thurmond@assembly.ca.gov. And be sure to include your mailing address at the bottom to ensure your testimony can be properly accepted.

Read more about what you can do to take action in ARCA's latest newsletter.

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DDS SafetyNet ~ Don’t Get Measles - Get Vaccinated

California is having a measles outbreak. You can protect yourself and others from measles by getting vaccinated. 

What Is Measles?
Measles is a disease that you can catch from other people. It can cause cold-like symptoms, fever, and a skin rash. It can make you really sick. Measles: What You Need to Know

How Do You Prevent Measles?
There is a shot, also called a vaccine, that keeps you from getting measles. Children and adults should have a Measles Vaccine.

What Happens When You Get a Shot?  
Getting a measles shot is quick and easy. Learn what to expect by reading Shots Can Keep You Healthy.

For more useful tips on vaccinations, visit the DDS SafetyNet.

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DDS SafetyNet ~ Check Up on Your Preventive Health

The SafetyNet has brand new tips and tools to help you be prepared for your annual checkup, preventive health screenings, and vaccinations to help you stay healthy. Tips to read before your checkup:

Tools to Complete for Your Checkup:

For more information on annual checkups, health screenings, and more, visit the DDS SafetyNet.

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Governor Releases Proposed Budget for 2015-16; Does Not Address Need for 10% Funding Increase

Governor Brown has presented the proposed Governor’s Budget for fiscal year 2015-16. The priorities he outlined included maintaining a balanced budget and rainy day fund to protect against future recessions, and paying down debt. He noted that to accomplish this, the Governor’s Budget for next year is “basically flat” with modest increases in some areas.

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DDS SafetyNet ~ Stay Healthy This Winter

It's a new year, and a new you. Keep yourself healthy during winter flu season. Watch these videos to learn what you can do to stay healthy. 

Get a Flu Shot
Getting a flu shot can help protect you from the flu. Watch the video below to hear from self-advocates who got their flu shot. The video also includes more tips on how to stay healthy this winter.

Wash Your Hands
Wash away germs on your hands that can make you sick. Learn the best way to wash your hands by watching this video.

More on Staying Healthy
There are many tips on how to stay healthy this winter. Use this neat poster to remind you of these tips. Click here for a copy you can print. Don't forget to share it with your supporters and your friends.

For more tips on staying healthy, visit the DDS SafetyNet.

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CDCAN State Capitol Update: Self-Determination Progrmam Funding Proposal Submitted to Fed. Gov’t

CDCAN State Capitol Update: "Self Determination Program" Funding Proposal Submitted To Federal Government Last Week by Department of Developmental Services - Major Step Toward Implementation in California

SACRAMENTO, CA [CDCAN LAST UPDATED 01/08/2015 – 09:00 AM] – A new program that is meant to give eligible persons with developmental disabilities in California more flexibility, control, and choices on their services and supports called “self determination” moved a major step forward toward implementation with the submission of a funding proposal to the federal government by the Brown Administration last week on December 31st.  The State law that authorizes the Self Determination Program requires approval of matching federal funds in order to be implemented in California.

While the submission of the proposal to the federal government is a significant step, the normal review process could take several months or even longer before expected approval is given by the federal government and actual implementation of the program can begin in the State.

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Petition the State House and Senate to Support the Developmental Disabilities Community

The developmental disabilities community needs help now. During the past ten years this system has endured over 50 cost cutting changes to the Lanterman Act, elimination of services, and reductions to a rate system that was already frozen. This major divestment from a once robust and comprehensive community system of coordinated care, supports, and services has resulted in a fragile system that has begun the collapse many have warned about for years.

The Lanterman Coalition, consisting of the 19 statewide organizations of the California Developmental Services system, has urged the Brown administration to stop the current state of collapse of our system with a 10% reinvestment and Senator Jim Beall and others have writtten a letter in support of repairing the IDD system with ongoing support. 

Please support the Lanterman Coalition's 10 Campaign and join your colleagues in supporting Senator Beall's sign on letter.

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Obama Signs ABLE Act Into Law

On December 21, 2014, President Obama enacted the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) which will allow tax-free savings accounts to help individuals and families cover lifetime disability expenses. ABLE will allow individuals will disabilities to protect or qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid by eliminating a $2,000 cap that now applies to conventional savings accounts.

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Lanterman Families Help First Year Students at UCLA School of Law Gain Valuable Hands-On Experience

Earlier this year, UCLA School of Law reached out to Meredith Goetz who oversees the Lanterman Special Education Law Clinic, to see if Lanterman would be interested in participating in a month-long trial program that would provide first year law students (LS1s) the opportunity for some time-limited field work. Students would practice interviewing clients and writing summary memos that would be used to help develop the client's case.

The Lanterman Law Clinic approached the 80 or so families they are currently working with and received an outpouring of support for this pilot, so every Friday in the month of October, the first year law students practiced their interview skills with Lanterman families.

“We are grateful to the Law Clinic for all the hard work and care they give to us. Without them, we wouldn’t get the school to listen to us. Thank you. We keep looking forward to working with them," share parents Maria Barrera and Jessi Escalante.

Melinda Sullivan, executive director adds: "This was a win-win, in the process of interviewing Lanterman families, the LS1s were exposed to special education issues and introduced to the field of special education law, gained hands-on practice writing summary memos of the legal issues and assisted the Clinic in their work helping families with the school district." 

Whether this model meets the needs of the UCLA School of Law to provide field work to first year students going forward, one thing can be said for certain, it did leave an impression on one first year law student - Ethan Feng. He says, “It was wonderful to see how your organization can help children and young adults with special needs.”

If you would like more information about the Lanterman Special Education Law Clinic, contact your service coordinator.

Pictured from left to right: Law student Ethan Feng and parents Jessi Escalante and Maria Barrera and Below: A thank you card from UCLA Law School students that participated in the pilot program interviewing parents about their special education concerns.

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New Rules for IHSS Regarding Overtime and Related Changes Coming in the New Year

On January, 1, 2015, new federal rules and state laws take effect regarding overtime and related changes. Check out this informative publication from Disability Rights California called "New Rules for IHSS: Overtime and Related Changes" for everything you need to know.
 


Learn More About the Lanterman Coalition’s Ten4Ten Campaign

Check out the Lanterman Coalition's Ten4Ten campaign that suggests ten things clients, families, service providers and others can do to advocate for a 10% increase to stop the current collapse of the community based service system for children and adults with developmental disabilities.


Area Board 10 Gets a New Name in the New Year

A new year brings a new name for Area Board 10... Assembly Bill 1595 goes into effect January 1, 2015 and it contains some changes to the structure of the Area Boards. For the past 12 years, Area Boards have been constituted as regional offices of the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD). With the passage of AB 1595, the term “Area Board” will be eliminated to better clarify that the offices are regional offices of the State Council. This will bring the California Council into alignment with the federal law that governs their operations. They intend to continue transmitting the same informative monthly newsletter with a new byline. And, their office remains committed to serving the needs of the Los Angeles developmental disability community. See more online at www.scdd.ca.gov/areaboards.htm.

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