Suzanne Sewell, President & CEO , Troy Strawder, Board Chair
On July 22, 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The bill addresses unemployment across the spectrum – from vocational training, resume writing and English as a second language, to laid-off workers, disabled veterans and Americans with disabilities – the legislation casts a wide net through a host of federal government programs. In terms of Americans with disabilities, the bill is aimed at helping to prepare a new generation of young people with disabilities to succeed in competitive employment and predominantly impacts individuals with disabilities who are 24 years old and younger. This “new generation” will be required to first try vocational rehabilitation services before they are permitted to work in jobs paying less than the federal minimum wage. The bill is compatible with Florida’s Employment First Initiative which Florida ARF supports.
Meanwhile, Congressman Gregg Harper of Mississippi is sponsoring the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013 (HR 831), that if passed, would phase out 14(c) special wage certificates under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 over a three year period. The bill has 94 sponsors and additional members of congress are poised to sign on. In Florida, six members of the congressional delegation have already signed onto the bill – Corrine Brown, Kathy Castor, Ander Crenshaw, Alcee Hastings, Daniel Webster, and Dennis Ross.
Now more than ever, the insights and viewpoints of Floridians with disabilities and their representatives are essential to the policy discussions going on at the national level. As we know, one size does not fit all. Many Community Rehabilitation Provider Agencies serve diverse constituencies and it is imperative that we make sure our congressional leaders are provided with a balanced perspective on the concerns and merits of center-based work experiences and 14(c) certificates and the need for more oversight of the programs at the federal levels. A number of variables play into the current equation including funding mechanisms, appropriate budget allocations and limits to disability compensations making it imperative that our congressional leaders recognize the true complexity of these issues.
We believe employees with disabilities and their representatives are the ones who should explain their experiences and tell their personal stories and that their representatives will hear and understand the complexities of the pending policy issues best when it comes from their own constituents.
Congressional Education Campaign
Florida ARF will be assisting its member agencies and interested parties with a campaign to educate members of the Florida Congressional delegation about the long-term implications of the policy decisions they are currently addressing. We encourage recipients and community rehabilitation providers to demonstrate real-life examples of how the proposed legislation to phase out 14 (c) would impact Floridians with disabilities in each congressman and woman’s district.
Collecting Authentic, Florida Stories
First and foremost, the campaign will involve telling the stories of employees throughout the state about their experiences in center-based employment environments and 14(c) employment opportunities and what they and their caregivers would be doing if the programs were eliminated.
Even though we support federal legislation and Employment First trends for younger employees with disabilities for youth transitioning out of school, we still need to feature current employees that would not be served outside of their current environments so that every individual with a significant disability has employment options. Therefore, we have developed a form to help your staff document the unique stories of the individuals they serve who receive 14 (c) subminimum wages.
Developing the Packet and Case Statement
With collaboration and final approval from each participating agency, staff will develop a packet of the top stories. The packet will also include white papers from appropriate sources, a Florida ARF position paper, and other relevant materials developed in collaboration with staff from a member agency.
Schedule Visits to Congressional District Offices
The Florida ARF Grassroots webpage contains information on how to set up Congressional appointments and a link to each US Senator and Representative serving Florida. Whenever possible, these visits should include employees with disabilities, their families, and other stakeholders on the scheduled visit to the congressional office. Remember, the purpose of the visit is to ensure that each congressional office hears directly from the community that will be impacted by the pending policy changes and what repercussions it will have on both the employee and the employee’s caregivers’ quality of life.
Let’s make a difference nationally and empower all Floridians with disabilities to validate the current merits of their employment!
The Agency for Health Care Administration invites you to participate as an attendee in the following online training session:
Topic: SMMC: Developmental Disabilities Webinar
Host: The Agency for Health Care Administration
Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Time: 11:00 am, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Session number: 643 551 021
Session password: This session does not require a password.
To join the training session
1. Go to https://suncom.webex.com/suncom/k2/j.php?ED=259209702&UID=1732291422&HMAC=7e63c53a351f9355a3cc5729dd8669f01089473c&RT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D
2. Enter your name and email address.
3. Enter the session password: This session does not require a password.
4. Click “Join Now”.
5. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.
To view in other time zones or languages, please click the link
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Idaho Non-Profit Agrees to Pay $50,000 for HIPAA Violation
01/03/2013 -In a first of its kind settlement, a non-profit medical facility in Idaho will pay the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $50,000 for HIPAA violations surrounding potential exposure of patient information.
The settlement is the first involving a breach of electronic protected health information affecting fewer than 500 individuals.
“This action sends a strong message to the health care industry that, regardless of size, covered entities must take action and will be held accountable for safeguarding their patients’ health information.” said OCR Director Leon Rodriguez in an HHS press release published Wednesday.
In February 2010, Hospice of North Idaho (HONI) reported to HHS that an unencrypted laptop containing information on 441 patients was stolen from inside an employee’s car.
An OCR investigation found that HONI had no policies or procedures in regard to mobile device security as required by HIPAA. Additionally, HONI had never done any type of electronic protected health information risk analysis.
The laptop was never recovered.
When a breach impacts more than 500 individuals, companies are required tonotify all major media outlets in their state, as well as the government. A notice is included on the Department of Health and Human Services Web site in accordance with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.
For breaches that affect fewer than 500 people, organizations keep a log that is turned in to the Secretary of Health and Human Services annually.
In addition to the fine, the December 28th agreement includes a two-year corrective action plan that mandates that the facility immediately report any future breaches to HHS.
“The theft of the laptop was out of our hands, but the measures we have taken since then to ensure the security and privacy of our patients’ information have been numerous,” Brenda Wild, Hospice of North Idaho Board President said in a written statement.
Since the incident, the facility has increased security on any equipment that contains patient information, including encryption and increased password protection, and scheduled security training.
HONI’s staff of more than 100 people is North Idaho’s only inpatient hospice facility. The organization serves members of the community regardless of their ability to pay.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has scheduled five webinar sessions, one for each region of the country, on the new rules on home care / companionship services. DOL encourages participants to register for the webinar that is scheduled for the state where they live.
Thursday, October 3, 2013: Northeast Region (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, PA, NJ, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, PR) 3:00-4:30 Eastern Time
Tuesday, October 8, 2013: Western Region (AZ, NV, CA, OR, WA, ID, HI, AK) 10:00-11:30 Pacific Time
Thursday, October 10, 2013: Midwest Region (OH, MI, IN, IL, WI, MN, IA, MO, NE, KS) 1:00-2:30 Central Time; 2:00-3:30 Eastern Time
Tuesday, October 15, 2013: Southeast Region (KY, TN, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS) 9:00-10:30 Central Time, 10:00-11:30 Eastern Time
Thursday, October 17, 2013: Southwest/Mountain Region (LA, TX, AR, OK, NM, CO, WY, UT, MT, ND, SD) 1:00-2:30, Mountain Time; 2:00-3:30 Central Time
More information is available at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/webinar.htm
Therap’s first customer in Florida MCPRS: Miami Cerebral Palsy Residential Services is nationally recognized for how they support their direct support professionals! We are proud to be affiliated with MCPRS!
Florida ARF & FADSP Celebrate Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Recognition Week
DSP’s Making a Difference: Leylany Hernandez
As part of DSP Recognition Week, FADSP is pleased to recognize Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who are making a meaningful difference in the lives of the people they serve. Leylany Hernandez is one of those DSPs.
Leylany Hernandez has been a Miami Cerebral Palsy Residential Services, Inc. (MCP) employee for 7 years and currently serves as a Direct Support Professional. Leylany is not only considered a DSP employed at the Life Long Learning Program (LLLP) of MCP but also a member of the “MSE Team.” The Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE) under the supervision of the Occupational Therapist is a program that offers a variety of sensory experiences that bridges the gap between the individual and deficits in modulating sensory input there by allowing participants with physical, cognitive, behavioral, and developmental disabilities the opportunity to explore their immediate environment via sensory integrated interventions. At a glance, the MSE comprises of one on one session(s) offering opportunities for the individual to engage in a variety of therapeutic interventions that elicit a desired response based on the attendee(s) sensory deficits. With this being said, none of this is possible without the support of Leylany and her dedication in addressing the needs of the individual(s) she serves. While under the supervision of the occupational therapist, Leylany is trained yearly on updates and innovative techniques and approaches to ensure that her skills are current and effective. She shows excellent integrity and responsibility by taking it a step further by asking questions, offering suggestions, and providing accurate feedback regarding activities and treatment provided to each client.
The dedication and passion provided by Leylany is extraordinary. With Leylany, the MSE has broadened its mission of providing a relaxed and enjoyable environment that addresses the sensory integrative limitation of its participants to well beyond its initial purpose. Leylany has stepped up to the challenge of integrating skills obtained during treatment sessions to include providing the skills needed to increase the individuals participation in the classroom, the community, and in their activities of daily living. Leylany has collectively combined her personal experiences with the clients and her sensory integrative training to ensure that each and every individual receives personalized treatment that is multifaceted, dynamic, and most importantly, client centered. There are many examples of how amazing Leylany is and how much care goes into finding the “just right fit” between the intervention and the individual. This can only occur when the person(s) providing the treatment has the tenacity in exploring options that equal results and this is Leylany’s number one goal.
Leylany takes it upon herself to research, observe, and read all she can on the person she is supporting so that she can meet each and every need. She desires to provide a client centered approach during treatment and equips them with the tools needed to advocate the likes and dislikes of the individual both at the residence and at the LLLP. Leylany evaluates the health factors of each individual and ensures that she provides an optimal and safe environment for the individual at the same time documenting and relaying important findings to ensure that the clients attending the MSE as well as their other clients are receiving the best service and care on a daily basis. She has formed close relationships with the people she supports and is seen by her peers as a tremendous supporter of MSE and its objective in meeting the needs of the individuals served.
Thank you Leylany for your continued service to the individuals served at Miami Cerebral Palsy Residential Services!
Therap Services will be hosting a regional conference in West Palm Beach, Florida this October.
Attending the conference will be a good opportunity to learn about recent developments in Individual support documentation and reporting, electronic health records (EHR) and training management from technology leaders in the developmental disabilities field. The training intensive event will include beginner, intermediate, and advanced level sessions conducted by Therap experts on various Therap modules.
Conference highlights will include sessions on:
- Therap’s health tracking modules for appointments, seizures, lab tests, vital signs, and medication histories
- Therap Medication Administration Records (MAR)
- Therap Individual Service Plans (ISP)
- Hands on training on different other modules including Therap GERs (incident reports), Time Tracking, Secure Communications and Training Management
- Therap electronic billing, service authorizations and claim tracking
Please check back on our website for updates.
We look forward to seeing you in Florida!
In the coming months, we will be hosting conferences in many other states including Colorado, New York, Texas and Iowa. Details regarding these events can be found here.
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