As a sponsor of HB 1706 I am writing you this email with information regarding the discrimination of this bill by denying the opportunity of any disabled person to work as an apprentice, learner or messenger. By eliminating the special certificates for people with disabilities, the other jobs are also denied. Apprenticeship, learners and messengers can be great jobs for people with certain disabilities and it’s shameful to deny those choices.
As stated in the documentary “Bottom Dollars” produced by Disability Rights Washington and Rooted in Rights – “If people are given the proper services and supports and proper assistive technology, the sky is the limit for many, many individuals” I truly believe this – unfortunately, HB 1706 does not address any of the issues of support – just the wage. Do not pass HB 1706 until all the issues are addressed and planned as is recommended in research by national agencies.
Supported Employment is great – it can open up many opportunities for people. It needs funding to be successful and this bill does not address the issue of supporting funds for job coaches, job development, job training or transition planning. It only looks at eliminating the special certificates. Eliminating special certificates without addressing the critical issue of funding supported employment/integrated employment for this population will result in a crisis. This population is already involved in a crisis situation with lack of caregivers and supported living with many people stuck in hospitals with no place to go. Passing this bill at this time is not in the best interest of anyone.
It is interesting to note that not one research report of any advocacy agency recommends immediate elimination of certificates. A well planned and funded transition is needed for a stable and sustainable integrated supported employment opportunities. There is nothing in this bill that addresses any issues regarding transition. It has been stated that a rapid elimination would actually be detrimental to our population.
Elimination of special certificates without taking into consideration the other issues involved will only result in job loss. It will not increase the employment opportunities nor will it mean that those with disabilities will now make a living wage. When a person is only able to work 10 hours a week, minimum wage will not allow them to be self-supporting.
In Seattle, the legislation caused people to lose hours at their jobs. Yes, their wages increased but their hours decreased. For some of these people their job was also their opportunity to be integrated in the community – with the loss of hours, their community integration opportunity decreased too. A question asked in today’s public hearing by Representative Mosbruker was regarding an evaluation of what has happened in places that have eliminated the special certificate. This is a very critical question that also needs to be answered before moving forward. There is information available on this for New Hampshire, Maine and some other states – I would be more than happy to provide links to you.
In Seattle, there were 8 people who were working under a Special Certificate – 6 at Ballard Locks were working 5 hours a day had their hours cut to 3 hours a day, the person at Ballard Lutheran had her hours cut from 15 hours a week to 12 hours a week and the person at Ballard Market was working 6 hours a week and did not have hours cut but the manager express concern about being able to hire employees with significant intellectual/developmental disabilities in the future. It should be noted that none of these employees needed 1:1 job support for their jobs.
I did not hear anyone testify about the support needs for those involved in integrated employment or talk about the number of hours these employees may work a week or the coordination of supports (transportation, housing, personal needs support) needed to be employed. These are all critical issues that need discussion before a bill such as this is passed.
Again, as an example, my son who lives in Supported Living also has supported employment. He works 9 hours a week at Lowe’s and makes $16.59 an hour. This means that his gross wages are $597 per month. He also receives SSI which is reduced due to his wages so overall his income is roughly $900.00. He needs to pay rent, utilities, groceries and all living expenses from that $900.00.
The County (through DDA) pays the employment vendor about $2400.00 a month to provide the support to my son for his 1:1 job support. What have you heard about the funding for these integrated jobs for people like my son who needs 1:1 support to be employed in an integrated community setting? While the employer is paying the employee minimum wage, someone needs to pay the job coach or there is no job at all.
Please do not pass HB 1706 at this time. Yes, fair and equitable wages are important but in order to have fair and equitable wages in an integrated setting we need to look at the whole picture.
At the risk of continued personal assaults from one of the people testifying today, I feel obligated to inform people of the consequences of taking such rash actions without a full understanding and acknowledgement of the various issues involved in coordination of supports. It was not a collaborative process at all with Shaun Bickley (he was co-chair of the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities) taking the helm and violating the First Amendment by censoring and blocking comments from constituents to the Seattle Commission and later writing libelous comments about others and most recently commiting fraud, conspiracy and interference with contractual relations with regards to my work as a registered nurse. This is all in retaliation against me for trying to have accountability and transparency in the process of the elimination of special certificates in Seattle.
I would be more than happy to provide information on national research regarding the issue of special certificates and special wages, integrated and supported employment and transition planning to ensure sustainability and success.
Thank you for your concern and attention to this critical issue.
I and many others are well aware of the crisis that we have regarding lack of trained, qualified and committed caregivers for our community members in need.
Being aware of this crisis, I would think that the Department of Social and Health Services would want to work with their clients and independent providers to provide flexibility and alternatives so that the providers are able to complete the training.
In Washington State, independent providers can be hired by the disabled person and after having completed the 5-hour “Orientation and Safety” class, background check and fingerprints, may begin working. They have 120 days to complete the remaining 70 hours of the Basic Training and need to have their Home Care Aide Credential within 200 days of starting to provide care.
While this may not sound difficult, in reality, many people are finding it impossible to complete for several reasons.
- While working and providing care for the disabled person, the IP is also expected to travel to the SEIU training sites to attend the required evening classes. For a person who provides care in the evening, this task is virtually impossible once caregiving duties have started.
- There is no “exception to rule” or extension available if unusual circumstances come up – such as family crisis, relocation, availability, change in status. DSHS has no flexibility for accommodations for IPs to get their training.
- Even though there are alternative courses available through other DSHS approved training sites, IPs are not informed of these choices – even if they have difficulties with attending or completing the Training Partnership classes.
In order to be independent and involved in her community, Sarah needs to have reliable caregivers. Sarah is able to self-direct but does need the caregiver to provide physical and personal care. Sarah had a terrific and experienced caregiver. The restrictions of completing the 75 hour SEIU 775 training within 120 days of starting work has proven to be too restrictive for many people who have applied.
The caregiver, having graduated from PIMA Medical Institute and having worked in an Internal Medicine Clinic as a Medical Assistant for 4 years in addition to having the experience of caring for her profoundly disabled younger brother, it seemed that she would fit into one of the categories that do not need to complete the full 75 hours SEIU 775 training by the criteria of “similar training”.
Unfortunately, a medical Assistant is not one of the jobs with “similar training” that is exempt from the 75 hours. The caregiver decided that taking a Nursing Assistant Course and becoming a Nursing Assistant – Certified (NAC). would be the best option for her.
This is where the whole issue gets more and more confusing and ridiculous when one just wants to do their job and provide appropriate and safe care to her employee.
DSHS sent a letter informing her that she would not be paid after 120 days due to not completing the SEIU 775 Training within that time frame. DSHS sent the letter to an old address (even though they had been using her current address for not only her W-2 but other correspondence between the case manager and SEIU 775). Due to this error on the part of DSHS, the caregiver did not receive the notice until the time limit to send an appeal had expired. The caregiver had already taken steps before the deadline to become an NAC.
- January 18, 2018 – Application sent to Department of Health for Nursing Assistant Certification
- February 26, 2018 – appeal letter sent in to DSHS from caregiver regarding notice that she would no longer be paid since she had not completed the SEIU 775 training.
- March 13, 2018 – caregiver had discussion with the credentialing specialist at DOH who provided extremely useful information with some options available to gain certification. She provided information on the pending NAC if that was still a consideration. (See note below) The information on the website was not totally correct with the processes and testing needed to complete the bridge program from MA to NAC and this lack of information was a barrier to completing this training.
Your Pending Nursing Assistant Certified (NAC) will stay pending for 300 days. At that time, you will be sent a 30 day warning letter. That gives you 30 days to respond letting us know if you would like to keep your NAC open. All you need to do is simply respond to that letter via email or by phone and we will extend it another 300 days. There is no limit to how many times you can extend it out as far as I know. This will keep your already submitted $65 payment and NAC application applicable to completing the NAC application process at a later date if you would like.
There is also a 24 hour bridge training program you can take after you have an Active Home Care Aide license as well. If you would like to pursue your Home Care Aide license for now and complete the NAC application process at a later date via bridge training, you would need to submit the following: (You’ve already submitted the application and $65 payment)
4. April 9, 2018 – DSHS filed a Motion to Dismiss claiming the caregiver had no right to appeal. A hearing was heard with the judge and the Department Administrative Hearing Coordinator – Mr. Korff.
5. April 19, 2018 A pre-hearing appointment with the Judge and Department Administrative Hearing Coordinatore was set for
“Mr. Korff stated at the motion hearing April 9, 2018 that the Department first learned of my change of address on March 1, 2018 when they received my request for an appeal. I believe that the evidence I have provided indicates that the Department had my current and correct address on record as I was receiving mail and payments from November 2017. I did my part and updated my address with the case manager and evidently there was a break in the system after that”
“I was working for free from January 26, 2018 and am currently still working for free for Sarah due to the fact that there are so few providers that are able to work and I do not want to leave Sarah without the needed care. My plan was to complete the certification for a CNA as soon as I could and then submit the license to DSHS and resume being paid for the care I provided.”
“I had sent in my appeal to the Office of Administrative Hearings with the hope of being able to extend my temporary status and complete the HCA training. My concerns I raised are appropriate and I believed that common sense and possibly an exemption to the rule could be used to enable me to continue the HCA training (at my own expense) and also be paid to provide care to Sarah”
“It has been clear by my actions that I have been attempting to accomplish training and complete the required steps in order to have a HCA credential and be paid for care-giving. It has been through a series of unfortunately timed events that I was unable to complete the steps in the required time set by the Department.”
“Things are again stalled due to the Department refusing to allow me to have an appeal and instead changing the hearing to a “prehearing conference”. There is still no decision on the part of the Department.”
Below are the actions that I am requesting:
I receive payment for the two weeks I worked in January, 2018 that I was unable to document due to being locked out of the IPOne system. (Allow me access to the system so that I can update it and submit my hours)
I would like an exemption to the rule of 30 days to appeal and to extend the temporary contract. I would like an extension of 60 days which will give me time to complete all the required training for the HCA.
I would appreciate being paid for the time going forward while I complete my training (at my own expense) and continue to provide the caregiving that Sarah requires. I plan to have my HCA training completed within 60 days from now. I would greatly welcome the opportunity to continue working for Sarah during this time but I also need to be paid for my work.
6. April 26, 2018 – Mr Korff objected to each of the 9 documents that appellant submitted regarding the Motion to Dismiss on the grounds of relevance – stating all were irrelevant.
7. May 7, 2018 – Order Denying Department Motion to Dismiss issued – Judge found the appellant’s request for an appeal hearing was timely.
8. May 8, 2018, Caregiver submitted HCA Application to DOH choosing to complete the HCA training at a DSHS approved training site rather than the NAC since it would be quicker at this point to complete and get the certification.
9. June 13, 2018 – Administrative Court Hearing with Judge and Department Administrative Hearing Coordinator, Mr. Korff. Mr. Korff again stated that there were no other options to take the HCA training and that SEIU 775 was the only course available.
10. June 28, 2018 – Caregiver submitted documents to the Judge regarding appeal and request for extension as an exception to the rule together with information from DSHS regarding alternative training available which the Department Administrative Hearing Coordinator denied existed.
To be continued –
Shaun Bickley, Autistic Leftist Activist, full of vitriol and ableism, was confirmed today in a Commission Appointed seat on the Seattle Disabilities Commission.
Below is a link to the special meeting – there are several public comments which start at 12:15 and run through 26:00. The discussion with Bickley and Co-Chair ObeySumner regarding the appointment begins at 1:03:45 and runs through 1:31:29
I fully understand the process and the “hands-off” approach the city council is taking with a Commission Appointment. I also understand this is the first time there have been public comments opposing an appointment. Given that this appointment, with knowledge of the allegations and evidence of abuse, libel, discrimination, violations of First Amendment and violations of the Washington State Law Open Public Meetings Act, was confirmed sets a dangerous precedent in Seattle.
Is it an oxymoron that Mayor Durkan signed Executive Order 2018-04: Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination today? This “will reform and update how the City addresses allegations of harassment, discrimination, and other forms of misconduct.”
Both Bickley and ObeySumner identify as autistic.
The Ableds (or Allistics/Allists) – anyone who is not autistic. The Ableds are named as the root of most of the problems that autistic people face in society. The Ableds are said to go out of their way to make life harder for autistic people. The Ableds do not understand autistic people. The Ableds are evil and are only self-serving. The Ableds are for eugenics. The Ableds. . . . .
Personally, I’m really tired of reading about “The Ableds” and reading about all they are doing to impinge on the lives of autistic people.
I’m not sure if autistic people have even thought about how the so-called “ableds” have actually been there providing support so that autistic people (and all the other disabled people – specifically those with intellectual and developmental disabilities) are not isolated in their homes – oops – that is an ableist statement. How can one do anything that isn’t ableist in the eyes of these neurodiversity activists? And though “the abled” may not be autistic, they may have other disabilities that affect their ability to engage in meaningful activities of their own.
Many of “the abled” devote their lives to supporting those with disabilities so that the disabled have opportunities they would not have without that support.
Many disabled people, if not most, live in collaboration with their “abled” caregivers and support people. Some disabled people may be totally unaware that their support person has another life besides being there for support. because that “abled” person is devoting their life to support the disabled person.
What I find extremely discordant is that it seems that many of the people who identify as neurodiverse also identify as non-binary and prefer pronouns of they/them. For being so unyielding about their non-binary identity they are also very dogmatic about calling anyone who is not autistic “Abled”. There is no non-binary when it comes to Abled vs Disabled in their minds.
Take a moment to read this blog posting “Three Strikes… and He’s Out?”
Wow – this is reality for many of our family and community members – this is why we become isolated. Inclusion for us is a fantasy.
A recent comment made to me by a King County District Court Judge regarding taking my son to a self-advocacy meeting and a Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities meeting ;
“I think you took your son there just to bother him” (referring to the Autistic Activist who told me that guardians are all self-serving and every person is able to speak for themselves)
Thank you, Judge, for your understanding – I do not take my son places to bother others – is that how you view INCLUSION, Judge?
Yes, I’m sure my son’s behavior does bother people and he is not able to be appropriate in many settings of inclusion. Waiting in line, being patient, being quiet, sitting down, keeping hands to himself, are all very difficult things which take constant support to try to have a resemblance of “appropriate” behaviour. It takes alot of energy to provide this constant support – one of the reasons that caregivers become isolated when ensuring people with disabilities are included. We don’t want to bother others and it’s not fun for us to try to manage our son’s behaviors in places that are difficult for him – it’s always a balancing act with a needed escape route.
So, if you see us out in our community – we are not there to bother or frighten you – we are there to try to give our son some meaningful experiences in life.
Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities – a commission that sounds as if it’s diverse, inclusive and collaborative has proven to be something else. It has been a commission of bullies who falsify information to the public.
- I have requested meeting minutes be posted their website. The Commission responded that it was up to the city to post the minutes, that they had been submitted.
- I requested copies of the meeting minutes through City of Seattle Public Records Request for the minutes from June 2017 through March 2018. My response was returned “The records you requested have not been created and finalized by the commission because of lack of a quorum. As a result, there are no existing records that match your search.” (Office for Civil Rights)
- How is a city commission able to function for over 8 months without a quorum and also elect new co-chairs? How can they function without meeting minutes?
This Commission needs to have some direction and oversight. It is run by people of questionable motives with little understanding of some of the real issues facing our community members with significant cognitive and developmental disabilities.
My experience with this Commission has only been since July, 2017 when I found out about their agenda to eliminate special certificates . By the time I had any information on this there had already been work done through the Office of Labor Standards. While I know there have been and still may be some people with integrity on the commission, they are not the ones that are making decisions and speaking on behalf of this commission.
From what I have seen since July 2017 bullying and causing chaos have been the behaviors that have been accepted by the commission. The Commission roster has changed and there are new co-chairs.
Without having a quorum for at least 8 months I’m very curious how decision have been made and why there has not been a quorum. How can new co-chairs be elected without a quorum? What guidelines does this commission follow in managing their meetings and work?
April 30, 2018 – Shaun Bickley (apparently co-chair) and Jessica Williams-Hall terms expire.