New Oregon Law affects Personal Support Providers

Source: DD Coalition

House Bill 3618, the legislation designed to include individuals hired by people with developmental disabilities and mental illness or their families into the Home Care Commission, was passed during the last week of the February Legislative Session. The bill will provide worker’s compensation, training, and a registry for personal support workers beginning in January 2011.

Additionally, the bill would allow for organizing of workers and possible unionization after 2011. The fiscal impact for 2009-2011 is $1 million; for 2011-2013 the fiscal for the workers compensation, training, and registry is projected to be $2.5 million GF (State of Oregon General Fund dollars). This does not include the cost of possible collective bargaining if the workforce chooses to unionize.

More information forthcoming on this important change.

Oct 1st ASO Conference: Navigating Life as an Adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Believe in Possibilities, Navigating Life as an Adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Autism Society of Oregon‘s fall Conference will be for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, their parents/caregivers and professionals working with the adult population.

The conference will be on Friday, October 1st at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR (more details here).

There will be several break out sessions on various topics and an exhibition hall of agencies and non-profits who supports adults with ASD.

View agenda

Register Online

FREE CLINIC – September 18th – Medical, Dental, Vision, Social Services, Chiropractic and More

The Downtown Compassion Connect Clinic invites you to a FREE CLINIC providing Medical, Dental, Vision, Social Services and more on September 18th from 9am – 3pm at the Portland Memorial Coliseum. Other services offered include bicycle repair, haircuts, chiropractic and a clothing bank.

Doors open at 9am

The Downtown Compassion Connect Clinic is focused on providing basic medical, dental, vision exams to meet the needs of the residents in the Central City and downtown Portland neighborhoods. They focus on people who do not have insurance or have enough insurance to cover needed services.

Free parking at the Garden Garage courtesy the Portland Trail Blazers.

Looking for Energy Assistance Resources?

A list of energy assistance resources courtesy the fine folks at Rose City Resource:

  • 901 SE Oak Street Suite 106
    (503) 669-8350
    Call for Availability.

    May Provide Energy Assistance.

  • 10055 E Burnside St.
    Portland 97216-2333
    (503) 988-6020
    Call for availability.
    Transit: 19, 20, MAX blue line

    May provide Energy Assistance.

  • 1335 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
    Portland 97214-3691
    call for availability
    Transit: 14, 10

    Utility assistance when funds are available.

  • 6535 SE 82nd Ave.
    Portland 97266-5658
    10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon.-Thur.
    Transit: 19 or 72

    Help with water, gas, electric services with shut-off notice. Boundaries: 39th-136th, Clatsop to Powell, Powell to Glisan, 60th-82nd.  Call for availability.  Bus service: 19, 72

  • 501 NE Hood Ave.
    Ste. 310
    Gresham 97030
    (503) 405-7877
    Call for Availability.
    Transit: MAX Blue Line, 4

    May Provide Energy Assistance.

  • 12350 SE Powell Blvd
    Portland 97236-3432
    (503) 548*0217
    Call for availability.
    Transit: 9, 17, 71

    May Provide Energy Assistance.

  • 4424 NE Glisan
    Portland 97030
    (503) 235-9396
    Call for availability.
    Transit: 19, 20, 75

    May Provide Energy Assistance.

  • 1631 SW Columbia
    Portland 97201-6025
    (503) 224-1044
    Call for Availability.

    May Provide Energy Assistance.

  • P. O. Box 2148
    Salem 97308-2148

    If you receive food stamps, Oregon Medical Welfare Card, Oregon Health Plan, or SSI, you may qualify for a lower rate. Applications are available at any Oregon Department of Human Resources office or on-line.

  • 1712 NE Sandy
    Call for Availability.
    Transit: 12,20

    May Provide Energy Assistance.

  • 4134 N. Vancouver Ave
    Suite 311
    Portland 97217-2900
    (503) 240-0828
    Call for availability.
    Transit: 4, 33, 44

    May Provide Energy Assistance.

  • 806 NE Alberta St.
    Portland 97211-4530
    9 a.m-1 p.m. Mon., Wed., Thurs. and Fri..

    Electricity assistance with 5-day shut-off notice. Boundaries I-5 to NE 25th Ave., NE Killingsworth to NE Shaver.  Bus service: 6, 8, 44, 72

  • 503-235-8431
    10 a.m.-noon, 1:15-4 p.m., Mon.-Fri.

    Emergency energy assistance.
    Bus service: 17, 19, 33, 70

  • 4620 N. Maryland
    Portland 97217-3626
    6:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Mon.- Thur., 8 a.m.-noon Fri. (Phone calls only); (closed noon hour). By appointment only.

    Assistance for electric, gas, water and oil. Bus service: 4, 72, MAX Yellow Line. No PGE or Pacific Power.

ORA: Additional DD Budget Cuts Go Live October 1st, Reductions Cut “To the Bone”

Oregon Rehabilitation Association‘s notice on the October 1st budget cuts to DD services:

The July Headline from the Emergency Board “Legislature Prevents Cuts to Senior In-Home Care and Services to People with Disabilities”, is actually a very partial truth:   HERE’S THE REST OF THAT STORY“Emergency Board Will Restore $17 Million out of $158 million in DHS Cuts”.

While the restorations to some limited services for people with disabilities by the Emergency Board were welcome, it is critical to note that only about 10% of the cuts were restored.   People with developmental disabilities (DD) who receive 24 hour support from community nonprofits are getting substantial cuts in October.

In total, over $33 Million will be slashed from DD budgets.  Some of Oregon’s most vulnerable people (over 3,000) will find that their support workers wages and benefits have been cut.  Many of these jobs are being eliminated completely and monitoring and quality assurance personnel are being cut as well.

The legislature simply did not have the funds to protect vulnerable people from these serious cuts.  Adding insult to injury, every dollar cut from state funds triggers the loss of two additional dollars in federal match.

Community nonprofits are under contract to deliver services that meet federal and state guidelines for health and safety.   Those requirements are not changing with these cuts, but the rates paid for their delivery are being reduced by 6%.  Providers have no choice but to reduce their labor costs, as over 80% of their budgets go directly to labor.

Will the system survive these cuts?  In the main, yes, although organizations may refuse to serve people who simply cost too much at these reduced rates – these nonprofits have nowhere else to go, as state rates are their primary (or only) source of support.

Our major concern is that these reductions have cut the DD system to the bone.  Following years with no cost-of-living increases, providers have already made the efficiency and other adjustments possible while maintaining the integrity of the DD system.   Any further cuts, like those predicted for the coming biennium, will result in a general system collapse, forcing the state to step in and provide these services itself at far greater cost than current expenditures.  Oregon has closed its state institutions; further reductions will destroy a community infrastructure of nonprofits built over the past forty years that would take decades to replace, if indeed it ever could be.

These people will not disappear; they will be cared for by the state, whether it is through contracts with the existing cost-efficient nonprofit system or a hastily thrown-together patchwork of very expensive public supports.

We urge the legislature and Governor to carefully consider long-term implications of any further reductions to services to people with developmental disabilities.

Questions?  Contact Tim Kral, Executive Director or Nan Heim, ORA Lobbyist, 503 585 3337.