INW Publishes First Newsletter

Hard to believe, but here at INW we’ve never published a newsletter… until now. Check out the first issue of our quarterly newsletter here.

Special thanks to Beri Swango, Ron Spence and Erin Graff for their hard work on the first issue. Leave us comments and let us know what you’d like to see in the spring issue.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Training – March 28, 2012 in Clackamas County

Clackamas County DD Program, as part of the DD Training Co-Op offers:

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Presenter: Lori Thompson, MS Ed
Date:     Wed., March 28, 2012
Time:
     9am – 12noon
Class site:  Clackamas County Public Services
2051 Kaen Rd.
, Oregon City, OR 97045 
From
I-205, Oregon City/Molalla/Park Place Exit, Right on Beavercreek (Shari’s on Left), Left on Kaen. Rd.

Course Description These disorders are currently recorded as the leading cause of intellectual disabilities in the United States. FASD occurs in 10 per 1,000 live births. FASD is not a diagnostic term. It refers to conditions such as: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Effects, Alcohol-Relayed Neuron-Developmental Disorder and Alcohol –related birth defects. The estimated lifetime costs for one child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome alone is $2 million. This workshop will help participants understand the damage that alcohol can have on the developing brain and provide practical strategies that are most effective when dealing with FASD within a family setting, foster home environment, group home and/or day program. Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders present increasing challenges and often utilize a large portion of community based crisis stabilization services. This workshop is highly recommended for anyone who provides support services to individuals within the developmental disability community.   The presenter, Lori Thompson, M.S. Ed, has over 30 years of experience working in the field of developmental disabilities.

Cost per registrant $25 (Co-Op member rate*) includes snacks and coffee/water

*Member agency staff, foster providers, & families of individuals in DD services get Co-Op rate, but DOUBLE for others.

Contact Robyn Hoffman at robynhof@co.clackamas.or.us  or 503-557-2872Additional info about this and other DD Training Co-Op classes available at www.disabilitycompass.org .

House Bill 2283 and Transition Services

The Department of Human Services  released the following transmittal this morning. It relates to House Bill 2283 and the responsibilities of school districts, brokerages, and Vocational Rehabilitation with regard to service provision for adults in transition.

The content of this message was jointly composed by representatives of the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Oregon Department of Human Service’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Office of Developmental Disability Services. This same message will be distributed by the ODE, OCDD, and OVRS to their respective stakeholders.

The passage of House Bill (HB) 2283 is causing some confusion regarding the implementation of services for youth with disabilities ages 18 through 21. The two main areas of concern are the provision of “other” services by non-educational agencies and the interagency agreement.

The intent of HB 2283 was to ensure all students have access to instructional hours, hours of transition services and hours of other services that are designed to:

1) Meet the unique needs of the student; and,
2) When added together, provide a total number of hours of instruction and services to the student that equals at least the total number of instructional hours that is required to be provided to students who are attending a public high school (990 hrs/yr.)

HB 2283 encourages collaboration among all agencies providing services to the student. However, education, human services, Community Developmental Disability Programs, support service brokerage and employment programs cannot supplant services that are the responsibility of another agency. A copy of this bill can be viewed here.

The purpose of this transmittal is to inform the field that the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), the Office of Developmental Disability Services (DD), and the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) have joined forces to clarify implementation of this new law, so that all partners can continue to focus on the outcomes for this group of students. Until the final education rules are in place and agreements are announced, this transmittal is providing you guidance in your work relationships with other agencies.

General Information about Education Expectations

• Students on IEPs are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) through their 21st year, or until they earn an Oregon high school diploma.
• A school district or public charter school cannot unilaterally decrease the total number of hours of instruction and services provided to students. As required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the IEP team determines services that are needed to meet the unique needs of the student. If the IEP team determines that fewer than 990 hours should be provided, a written statement that explains the reasons for the reduction must be included on the IEP.
• Transition is not a “program” but a coordinated set of activities designed to facilitate successful movement from school to post school activities. It takes the coordinated efforts of many partners for a student’s transition to be successful.
• Educational transition activities include instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. School districts are not responsible for the development of employment. Schools are responsible for helping develop the skills needed to reach the employment objectives. They are not responsible for identifying an actual paid job and providing the support in the job. In 1997, the intent of IDEA was to make certain that in addressing transition, IEPs were not just based on traditional academic goals/objectives, but would be addressing the post school vision of each student. Thus, in 2004 regulation for post–secondary goals was established.
• The IEP must include measurable post-secondary goals in the areas of education, training, and employment and where appropriate, independent living skills. School districts are required to get the student ready to meet these post-secondary goals. Annual transition goals, transition services, and courses of study are educational requirements needed to assist the student to reach those post-secondary goals. IDEA also requires IEP teams to invite to the IEP meeting other agencies who may provide or pay for services.

General Agency (non educational) Expectations
• The Medicaid Waiver funding cannot be used to fund transition activities considered the responsibility of education.
• Collaboration among non-education agencies and school districts is permitted and encouraged in HB 2283. The hours of services that are not educational, provided during the school day, and paid for or provided by non-education agencies may be included in the calculation of the total hours of service. However, this is dependent on a mutually agreed IEP that is consistent with the requirements and program guidelines of each partner. Services provided by non-education agencies after school hours are not to be considered educational services and cannot be counted in the calculation of the total hours of service.
• Mutually agreed upon transition and other services provided by non-education entities may be provided at any time during the day but must not supplant required educational services. Transition services and other services may be provided to the student through an interagency agreement entered into by the school district if the student’s IEP indicates that the services may be provided by another agency. An agency is not required to change any eligibility criteria or enrollment standards prior to entering into an interagency agreement

More specific guidance will be issued once the cross-agency agreements are made on coordination of these critical transition activities. In the meantime do not hesitate to contact your state liaison for further explanation or clarification. Thank you for all you do for the students in Oregon as we prepare them to become healthy, productive and satisfied adults within their communities.

If you have any questions about this information, contact Mike Maley at 503-947-4228 or Mike.j.maley@state.or.us

An Open Letter to Independent Contractors

January 18th, 2012

Dear Independent Contractors and Support Services Provider Community,

In the last month or so, brokerage employees have received a number of inquires regarding the future of independent contractors in support services. The common thread is a rumor that brokerages either have stopped or plan to stop qualifying independent contractors entirely. We’ve even heard from some providers that “brokerages are doing away with both independent contractors and domestic employees.” These rumors are unfounded and without merit and we are issuing this written statement in an attempt to prevent their further spread.

Community Pathways Inc., Inclusion Inc., Independence Northwest, Mentor Oregon Brokerage, Self Determination Resources Inc. and UCP Connections have taken no steps to quit qualifying independent contractors. We continue to qualify providers of all types. That said, we are seeking clarity on the conflicting rules and expectations of the various governmental bodies who oversee brokerages and determine the validity of independent contractor classification. The input of these agencies is ongoing and additional understanding of their expectations and of our legal responsibilities will undoubtedly inform the ways in which future providers are qualified.

Often, it seems as if brokerages are perceived as creating policies that are in fact created by state and federal authorities. For instance, brokerages don’t set provider rate ranges (the state does that) and we don’t make rules about what providers can be paid for (federal Medicaid authorities do that). And while we don’t create those policies we have a contractual obligation with the Department of Human Services to ensure compliance with those rules and to assure their proper implementation. This has become increasingly difficult over time as the number of conflicting governmental statutes continues to grow.

If things shift in terms of qualification criteria or other state or federal requirements, we will do what we have always done: communicate. We have spent many years nurturing, advocating for and enhancing provider and resource capacity in the metro area. We’ll continue to do so. Is there a possibility the way we must qualify providers will change? Sure. Do we know what those changes might be? Not at present. But if and/or when things do change, we will be in contact. We are partners in this process and we have the same aim: to provide exceptional service to our joint customer base.

Please forward this information on to those you know who might be misinformed on this topic. Thank you for your continued work with our shared customers. The work you do each day makes an enormous difference in the lives of thousands of Oregonians in our community.

Best regards.

Jennifer Bickett, Community Pathways Inc.
Larry Deal, Independence Northwest
Sarah Knight, UCP Connections
Howard Miller, Inclusion Inc.
Dan Peccia, Self Determination Resources Inc.
Katie Rose, Mentor Oregon Brokerage

January 18th – Inclement Weather Office Hours 11am to 5pm

INW follows Portland Public Schools’ closure schedule in the event of inclement weather. Due to snow on the roads, we will open two hours late. Our office hours will be from 11am to 5pm today. Be safe out there!

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