The mission of the Utah DD Council is to be the state's leading source of critical innovative, and progressive information, advocacy, leadership and collaboration to enhance the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.
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The Utah Developmental Disabilities Council would like to announce the 2013 Advocacy Award Winners!
Each year the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council likes to recognize outstanding people and their efforts on behalf of the disability community.
Legislator of the Year-
Senator Margaret Dayton, Orem
Media Representative of the Year-
Fox 13's Big Budah, Salt Lake City
Self-Advocate of the Year-
Anna Lillquist, Park City
Educator of the Year-
Willis "Bill" Jensen, Orangeville
Employer of the Year-
Robert Sullivan, Salt Lake City
Parent of the Year-
Laura Anderson, North Salt Lake
The Sibling Support Project is Proud to Announce over 400 "Sibshops" Nationwide
The Sibling Support Project is an organization that provides resources to siblings of people with disabilities. They believe that siblings play a very important and unique role as a life-long support for the family member with special needs. A sibling may be the longest relationship a person will have, outlasting any care provider and the majority of parents. Their aim is to provide peer support and information to siblings. Their mission has gone global and are building community supports in England, Ireland, Japan, and New Zealand. They also have service providers in all 50 states. “Sibshops” are workshops for young siblings of people with disabilities where these children can meet other siblings in a recreational setting. These workshops are designed to share the good and the bad experiences that accompany being a sibling to a person with a disability. Being involved in Sibshops is not limited to children. Adult siblings are encouraged to facilitate Sibshops and to members of their communities. The Sibling Support Project is excited to announce that there are over 400 registered Sibshops in the US! Follow the link below to find a Sibshop in your area!
Utah Care Giver Alliance Launches Web Registry!
The Utah Caregiver Alliance was developed to create a network of valuable resources to local Utahans. They have created a web registry to help you locate services and supports in our community. The web registry has a Shared Support feature that connects you to other local families with similar needs to create a larger resource pool for everyone, and It is free! Call 866-404-9080 or visit http://caregiveralliance.com for more information.
Your Rights Under ADA
Offered in the Spring 2013 issue of Apostrophe is "A quick guide to federal laws covering people with disabilities." You can learn more about the information presented by visiting www.ada.gov or by calling the ADA information line at 800-514-0301 (Voice) 800-514-0383 (TTY)
Affiliate Alert: Updated FMLA Language
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has issued a new Administrator Interpretation that expands the Family and Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA) current language to include adult children who are unable to care for themselves because of a mental or physical disability and whose disabilities occurred before or after the age of 18.
The previous interpretation of the law was unclear as it applied to adult children with disabilities. This Interpretation also clarifies FMLA-protected leave for a parent is not dependent on the age of the adult child and the onset of their disability, and broadens the definition of “disability” to reflect the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).
Ultimately, this Interpretation means that more parents will be able to take FMLA- protected leave from their jobs to care for their adult children with disabilities.
Learn more about FMLA and this new Administrator Interpretation.
The Administration for Community Living website is home to a blog for sharing stories. Recently, Sharon Lewis, Commissioner of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities submitted a post to the blog. To read the Commissioner's post and others click here.
Employment and Housing Resources
This October, the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council will collaborate with the Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD) to encourage people with intellectual / developmental disabilities who are employed in competitive (earning minimum wage of $7.25 or more) individual jobs, to get involved in our “Take Your Legislator to Work” project.
Check out the informational video on YouTube!
Below is the Participant Information Sheet that we want interested candidates to fill out prior to September 20, 2013 to enter into the project with us. Once we have your information, we will be in contact and give you and a facilitator packets of information about “how to” contact your legislator, “how to” conduct the legislator’s visit to your work place, and “how to” report back about your experience! We will collect pictures and stories of the legislator’s visit and we will put together a booklet highlighting all the participants – employers, workers, and legislators!
Participant Information Form
We have adapted this project from a similar project that originated with the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities. This project fits right into the national theme for the National Disability Employment Awareness Month:
Because We Are EQUAL to the Task
Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The theme for 2013 is "Because We Are EQUAL to the Task."
NDEAM's roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month." Upon its establishment in 2001, ODEP assumed responsibility for NDEAM and has worked to expand its reach and scope ever since.
Come join us and let’s educate our lawmakers about how Utahns with intellectual and developmental disabilities are ‘equal to the task’!
FINDING YOUR LEGISLATOR
Talk to your legislators about the importance of supporting disability services
Click the orange button to find your local Legislator.
Follow this link to find out about Accessibility at the 2013 Utah Legislative Sessions
New Mobile Apps Making Your Job Search Easier
The U.S. Department of Labor's CareerOneStop website now offers five mobile web applications you can use on your smart phone, tablet computer and other mobile device. These mobile apps can help you locate an American Job Center near you, search job listings and find local education and training programs.
Visit Disability.gov for more career planning and job search tools, as well as information about job accommodations that can help you succeed in the workplace.
Disability Programs: Taxes Matter
Don't miss this opportunity to weigh in. Many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities rely on Federal social insurance and safety net programs (like Medicaid and SSI) and on discretionary programs (like housing, education,and transportation) for their safety, and well being. These essential programs are entirely funded by tax dollars. Right now, tax policy, which determines the amount of money available to fund these programs, is a critically important issue for the disability community. Plans being developed to overhaul our tax system will determine how much funding is available for at least the next decade.
Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Representative Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, have launched a website so YOU can tell THEM what YOU want THEM to do about tax reform. This website provides a unique opportunity for you to speak directly with two of the most influential people in America who are leading tax reform efforts. These members of Congress want to hear from you! Let us take this opportunity to tell Sen. Baucus and Rep. Camp exactly what we believe; that we need a tax system that raises sufficient revenues to fund essential supports, services, and benefits for people with disabilities.
Among the most poor Americans, people with disabilities are being called on to sacrifice their lifeline programs to reduce the National deficits. Programs for people with disabilities are already being cut and it is time to level the playing field and raise our voice! It is time to ask those who can afford to help, wealthy individuals and corporations, to pay their fair share. Take Action by clicking here to post a comment on the website! Sen. Baucus and Rep. want to hear what you have to say!
* People with Intellectual and developmental disabilities want to live and work in the community and have access to services and support to allow that to happen. Tax and revenue policy should support adequate funding for these vital services and supports.
* Further cuts to non-defense discretionary programs and any cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare should be avoided by ensuring that the government raises sufficient revenue to support critical programs.
with intellectual and developmental disabilities have disproportionately low income. Tax and revenue policy should support economic advancement for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; reject policies that help only the most wealthy and raise revenues in a progressive way without increasing poverty or income inequality.
If you are a person with a disability or the parent of a person with a disability, please share information about your individual financial situation in your comment and tell how a reformed tax system would benefit you.
To view a letter that the UDDC submitted to the Congressmen regarding tax reform click here.
UDDC News You Can Use
Do You Need Health Insurance if You Have Medicare or Medicaid?
By Lisa Greene-Lewis | U.S.News & World Report LP
Under health care reform, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, uninsured Americans will be required to have health insurance by March 31, 2014
or face a tax penalty
There will be an option to shop for and purchase health insurance through your state's online health insurance marketplace
beginning Oct. 1, 2013
. You may also qualify for a tax credit to help you pay for your health insurance if you purchase through the online exchange.
However, some uninsured lower income, elderly or disabled individuals may not need to purchase health insurance
through their state's online marketplace, as they may qualify for Medicaid and Medicare. Here is the difference between the two programs and how they're affected by health care reform.
What it is: Medicaid is a state-run health insurance program for individuals, families, children, and people with disabilities under the age of 65. Individuals can qualify for Medicaid based on their income and family size.
If you currently have Medicaid: You're already covered and you don't need to worry about purchasing health insurance through the exchanges. Although you are ineligible to receive a tax credit through your state's health insurance exchange, you have the benefit of receiving free or low-cost health insurance through Medicaid.
Who qualifies: Some states have expanded their Medicaid insurance program to individuals with higher-income limits. Under the new health care law, you may qualify for Medicaid coverage if you make up to $15,800 per year or $32,500 for a family of four.
Individuals with higher incomes ($200,000 for an individual and $250,000 for couples filing jointly) may see an additional Medicare tax of 0.9 percent on their wages beginning this year as a result of health care reform.
The benefits: Medicaid benefits may also vary by state, but there are certain benefits that must be covered by every Medicaid program, including inpatient hospital services, X-ray and laboratory services, and physician services. Keep checking on your state's Medicaid coverage plans, since states are allowed to expand their programs at any time and there is no deadline for expansion. You can check your state's Medicaid office to find out the status of your state's offering.
The bottom line: If you qualify for Medicaid and don't have health insurance yet, you can apply as early asOct. 1, 2013 through your state's Medicaid office or your state's health insurance marketplace. You can avoid a tax penalty by having Medicaid coverage before March 31, 2014.
What it is: Medicare
is a federal health insurance program for individuals age 65 or older, people with disabilities under age 65 or people of any age with kidney failure.
If you currently have Medicare: You are covered and don't need to worry about purchasing health insurance through exchanges (Medicare isn't part of the health insurance marketplace) or receiving a tax penalty.
You can see if you're eligible for Medicare by checking the Medicare Eligibility Tool
. In general, you may be eligible for Medicare if you or your spouse worked in Medicare-covered employment for at least 10 years and you are at least 65 years old.
The benefits: Various parts of Medicare cover different services. For example, Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care as well as hospice care. Meanwhile, Medicare Part B covers outpatient care, medical equipment expenses, health care provider services and some preventative screenings, which have been expanded under health care reform. Preventative care includes an annual wellness visit, flu shots and HIV, depression and diabetes screenings, among others.
The bottom line: The method in which you obtain Medicare coverage won't change under the law, and the open enrollment is still Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. You can visit Medicare.gov to learn more about the program's options.
Lisa Greene-Lewis is a certified public accountant and TurboTax tax expert. She has more than 15 years of experience in tax preparation, including positions as a public auditor, controller and operations manager. For more tax-related tips, go to blog.turbotax.intuit.com.
What can you do?
The US Department of Labor has recently launched a new campaign encouraging youth with disabilities to pursue their career goals! "Because" follows real people with disabilities that have successfully reached a goal through hard work and the aid of mentors in their lives. The web site has several tools to help reach your goals and to spread awareness. Follow the link below and discover what you can do!
From Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) Commissioner, Sharon Lewis
Click here for full report
The Supporting Families Wingspread report, "Building a National Agenda for Supporting Families with a Member with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities," is now available.
The report outlines recommendations developed in March 2011 by a group of diverse national and state disability leaders at the Johnson Foundation's Wingspread Conference Center.
To ensure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are fully integrated and included in our society and that the role of families is reflected in disability policy, stakeholders at this conference made recommendations involving the types of supports that families need and the advancement of a national agenda on supporting families.