Congratulations, Thomas!

Thomas was awarded a badge at work today for his 4 years of employment at Lowe’s Home Improvement!  He was so happy.  He loves his job, his co-workers, job coaches and customers.  We often run into his customers when we are out and about in the community doing other things and he gets so excited about seeing them!

 

 

Thomas was able to secure this job through the King County School 2 Work program.  They had a pilot program several years ago in which they worked with students that would have been considered the more “difficult to place” in community jobs.  I’m so glad to say that we were able to appeal to allow Thomas to participate in the program.  Thomas was also the only one in his group to have a job before they “graduated.”  While he still works for the same company, the job has changed as he has gained skills and they have discovered the great abilities he has which he has put to good use there.

Supported employment (or Community Integrated Employment – CIE) is one option that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can choose to utilize if they want to try to work.  Supported employment is very individualized and may take many months to find a job that is the right fit for the person .   Job supports are also individualized – some people need 1:1 support throughout their working experience and others may just need a job coach to check in once a week to once a month.

Supported employment is ideal for Thomas.  He also lives in supported living so he has private transportation to and from work each morning for his hand-to-hand transfer from care-giving staff to job coach.  Given that Thomas also has medical treatments that he needs 3 x week, his care-giving staff then pick him up from work and take him to his doctor appointments.  This makes a full morning for Thomas – he’s ready for lunch by the time he gets back home.

Thomas does earn a bit above minimum wage in his job which is paid by his employer.  The funds for this are funneled from the Federal/State government through the county which pays the vendors for the job supports.  With Thomas typically working 7-9 hours a week, he works more hours than average for someone with his support needs.

While this is a great choice for Thomas, it is not for everyone.  We need to keep alternative choices and opportunities available for those with differing needs and skills.  For instance, there is group supported employment which many people prefer.  Often times the employees in these jobs may make less than minimum wage with a special certificate issues from the state (they are typically called 14 c certificates) Many people prefer these jobs since they are with their friends and enjoy the group experience too.

Our state has already abolished all pre-vocational types of jobs but in other states these may still be a choice.  We need to keep these alternative choices available for those who choose this type of job training.  We can’t talk about person centered planning and then remove choices.

I need to add that is it only due to the “village” that supports Thomas that he is able to be so successful in his achievements:  His village is his family and friends, Provail (employment vendor), Alpha Supported Living (supported living agency) in addition to his co-workers at Lowe’s.

 

 

Exploitation!

For the many #neurodiversity activists who claim Exploitation! with regards to honoring a person’s choice, we are going to quote some definitions we found for exploitation:

  • The act of using someone unfairly for your own advantage
  • The use of something in order to get an advantage from it
  • The use or development of something for profit or progress in business

(from Cambridge Dictionary.org)

  • unfair treatment of someone, or the use of a situation in a way that is wrong in order to get some benefit for yourself.
  • the process of making use of something so that you gain as much as possible from it

The Macmillion Dictionary.com

  • use or utilization, especially for profit:  the exploitation of newly discovered oil fields.
  • selfish utilization:  he got ahead through the exploitation of his friends.
  • the combined, often varied, use of public-relations and advertising techniques to promote a person, movie, product, etc.

Dictionary.com

Yes, I understand that someone’s making a buck somewhere – that’s business and like it or not, it’s pretty much how things work.

  • Business make decisions on business needs not on vocational rehabilitation needs. Businesses do not necessarily see themselves as employers but as businesses making or producing a product  or service to be sold in the marketplace.
  • We must not convey the notion that business is expected to create a job where one does not exist but we need to look at what tasks they need done and figure out how we can do them to the the business.  This process can serve both the needs of the  individual and the business.

There are new CMS guideline for HCBS waivers – first and foremost Federal policy makers focused the new HCBS regulations on the quality of life of individuals, and emphasized the importance of a person-centered plan and an annual review of that plan in order to make sure their support needs and life goals are being met.

Policy alone will not improve employment outcomes for those with IDD, and in the case of Maine, it can actually decrease employment rates. Across the country, local communities are trying to create employment opportunities that are created around the interests and abilities of those who have not found meaningful work.  These efforts to increase the variety of employment options should not be thwarted by well-intentioned, yet inflexible policy.  One’s choice of where and with whom one would like to work should be guided by the goals, interest, and support needs of each unique individual with IDD as outlined in their person-centered plan.

Also, in case one may not be familiar with person-centered planning – here is a quote taken from the Administration for Community Living website:

Person-centered planning (PCP) allows individuals to be engaged in the decision making process about their options, preferences, values, and financial resources. Individuals in need of services or who are planning for the future have access to one-one-counseling in a variety of settings, including within the home, community residence, acute care hospital, school settings, or several other settings based on the individual’s needs. PCP is a valuable tool for the aging and disability networks that can improve access to care through streamlined partnerships, technology, and resources that put the focus on the needs of people and their caregivers.

The PCP approach identifies the person’s strengths, goals, preferences, needs, and desired outcomes. The role of staff, family, and other team members is to enable and assist the person to identify and access a unique mix of paid and unpaid services to meet their needs, and to provide support during planning and implementation.

When done thoughtfully, PCP creates a space of empowerment—a level playing field—that allows for consideration of personal preferences as well as health and safety needs, without unnecessarily restricting freedoms. The best person-centered planning helps people to live better lives, with support to do the things most important to them.

PCP is a cornerstone of the No Wrong Door systems model.

By the way – advocates – are you being paid for your advocacy work? Is advocacy your employment?   We are a fully volunteer organization doing this work for free on our own time.  We are committed to making services and supports better for each person, as they choose.

National Council on Disability – Employment

The Arc of King County has a representative, known to harass and bully disabled community members and disability advocates speaking as a panelist at the upcoming National Council on Disability Quarterly meeting.

Why is the Arc of King County enabling this abusive person to continue in this role?  Please contact the Arc of King County and ask why they encourage this type of behavior?

PLEASE NOTE CORRECTION SENT OCTOBER 22, 2018 FROM NCD REGARDING CALL-IN PHONE NUMBER – ALSO LIMITS ON PUBLIC COMMENTS – THEY ARE NOT TAKING COMMENTS ON EMPLOYMENT

We apologize for posting the incorrect call-in for tomorrow’s board meeting in our earlier email. Please note the change below.

**CORRECTION**

NCD’s Council Members will meet tomorrow, October 23, in Jackson, MS, to receive presentations on its latest report, “New Deal to Real Deal: Joining the Industries of the Future,” including a consumer panel to discuss it. A lunch break will follow that panel. Following lunch, the Council will receive a series of presentations from a bioethics and disability panel on the topics of genetic testing and gene editing, organ transplant policy, the use of quality adjust life years to limit healthcare, and physician-assisted suicide. Following a brief break, the Council will next receive a presentation regarding involuntary institutionalization as a result of disasters. The meeting will then include a time for public comment on NCD’s bioethics topics, before concluding with a brief period for any unfinished business.

This meeting will occur in Jackson, Mississippi at the Hilton Garden Inn Jackson/Downtown, Triple C’s: Club, Crown, Coronet, 2nd Floor, 235 W Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39201. Interested parties may join the meeting in person at the meeting location or may join by phone in a listening-only capacity (other than the period allotted for public comment noted below) using the following call-in information:

Teleconference number: 1-800-667-5617
Conference ID: 6973399
Conference Title: NCD Meeting
Host Name: Neil Romano.

CART:
A CART streamtext link has been arranged for this meeting. The web link to access CART on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 is:
https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.streamtext.net%2Fplayer%3Fevent%3DNCD-QUARTERLY&data=02%7C01%7C%7C7d1150d77ee243688cda08d6382a42b8%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636758151489616659&sdata=qMb8Rlq3VyzCNmnOFNhNbAa1uV5%2BFHVtY2ZowthTxVA%3D&reserved=0.

Accommodations:
Those who plan to attend the meeting in-person and require accommodations should notify NCD as soon as possible to allow time to make arrangements. To help reduce exposure to fragrances for those with multiple chemical sensitivities, NCD requests that all those attending the meeting in person refrain from wearing scented personal care products such as perfumes, hairsprays, and deodorants.

AGENDA: The times provided below are approximations for when each agenda item is anticipated to be discussed (all times Central):

Tuesday, October 23

9:00-9:15 a.m.–Welcome and introductions
9:15-9:45 a.m.–Executive reports
9:45-11:45 a.m.–“From the New Deal to the Real Deal: Joining the Industries of the Future” national disability employment policy and  consumer panel
11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.–LUNCH BREAK
1:15-3:15 p.m.–Bioethics and disability policy panel
3:15-3:30 p.m.–BREAK
3:30-4:15 p.m.–Involuntary institutionalization as a result of disasters policy panel
4:15-4:45 p.m.–Town hall to receive comments about bioethics and disability (The five areas NCD is conducting research on include: organ transplants; medical futility; Quality Adjusted Life Years; physician assisted suicide; and genetic testing.)
4:45-5:00 p.m.–Unfinished business
5:00 p.m.–Adjourn

Public Comment:
NCD will receive public comments limited to those regarding NCD’s bioethics and disability research areas–organ transplants; medical futility; Quality Adjusted Life Years; physician assisted suicide; and genetic testing. To better facilitate NCD’s public comment, any individual interested in providing public comment is asked to register his or her intent to provide comment in advance by sending an email to PublicComment@ncd.gov with the subject line “Public Comment” with name, organization, state, and topic of comment included in the body of your email. Full-length written public comments may also be sent to that email address. All emails to register for public comment at the quarterly meeting must be received by 5  p.m, EDT, Tuesday, October 22, 2018. Priority will be given to those individuals who are in-person to provide their comments during the public comment period. Those commenters on the phone will be called on per the list of those registered via email. Due to time constraints, NCD asks all commenters to limit their comments to three minutes.

More Information:
If you have any questions about this meeting of the Council, please contact Anne Sommers at asommers@ncd.gov.

 

Screenshot (63)

Tune in on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 7:45 AM to listen to the panel (CALL-IN NUMBER:  800-667-5617, Conference ID: 6973399; Conference Title: NCD Meeting; Host Name: Neil Romano) have a discussion regarding

National Disability Employment Policy, From the New Deal to the Real Deal:

Joining the Industries of the Future

I am anxious to hear the comments of Shaun Bickley, representing Arc of King County, regarding his activism in Seattle which led to the elimination of the special certificates.

I wonder how Bickley will address the fact that he withheld critical information from the City Officials, falsified information, negated the research and report done by the National Council on Disability, bullied and harassed other disability self advocates and community members, refused to allow public comment on city websites of the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities or that 7 of the 8 employees in Seattle personally affected by this law had their work hours reduced.

Will Bickley be accountable to the problems that have been raised by community members?

NCD Quarterly Meeting Agenda October 2018 – Shaun Bickley, Arc of King County, as panelist

I will be submitting a public comment – if you are so inclined to do so, the information from NCD is provided below.

 

 

PUBLIC COMMENT: To better facilitate NCD's public comment, any 
individual interested in providing public comment is asked to register 
his or her intent to provide comment in advance by sending an email to 
PublicComment@ncd.gov with the subject line ``Public Comment'' with 
your name, organization, state, and topic of comment included in the 
body of your email. Full-length written public comments may also be 
sent to that email address. All emails to register for public comment 
at the quarterly meeting must be received by Monday, October 22, 2018. 
Priority will be given to those individuals who are in-person to 
provide their comments during the public comment period. Those 
commenters on the phone will be called on per the list of those 
registered via email. Due to time constraints, NCD asks all commenters 
to limit their comments to three minutes. Comments received at the 
October quarterly meeting will be limited to those regarding NCD's 
bioethics and disability research areas--organ transplants; medical 
futility; Quality Adjusted Life Years; physician assisted suicide; and 
genetic testing.