Category Archives: Region 1

Rep. Ed Redd Legislative Newsletter

From Representative Redd:
Hey everyone! I will be doing a newsletter for the rest of legislative session and if you would like to be on the emailing list email me at eredd@le.utah.gov and let me know. Thanks!

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Join GAP, LCPD, UDDC, and DLC in Requesting Respite

 

WHY UTAH NEEDS A FAMILY RESPITE PROGRAM FOR THOSE
IMPACTED BY DISABILITY

Four advocacy organizations (Grassroots Advocacy Partnership,  Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities, Utah Developmental Disabilities Council, and Disability Law Center) have come together to request an appropriation of $350,000 to provide critical support to families on the Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD) waiting list through a Family Respite Program (FRP).

There are 1,878* families waiting for services throughout Utah. The FRP will help some of these families with respite services they need.

⫸ Respite care is relief for those who are caring for family members with disabilities. Respite can prevent the need for more intensive services that the family would not otherwise choose. Respite programs provide planned short-term and time-limited breaks for families and other unpaid caregivers of children and adults with disabilities. Respite helps keep the family unit together. The FRP will allow families to hire caregivers to provide direct care in their home. For example, a caregiver may be hired for a few hours a week, giving the family caregiver an opportunity to focus on other siblings.
⫸ Respite care is the MOST requested DSPD service because it gives families a break from the constant stress of caregiving and helps prevent further crisis. These individuals are already determined Medicaid eligible and qualified for much more costly services.
⫸ The FRP is a Utah designed program and is intended to serve a limited number of families without additional federal oversight. FRP supports the collection and analyses of data on the program’s effectiveness and possibly a limited services-type waiver.
⫸ Funding the FRP at $350,000 will begin to serve families with the most critical needs-families near or in crisis today.
⫸ The value of respite cannot be overstated. It provides the family caregiver with dependable care options while the caregiver engages in self-care and tends to other family responsibilities. Respite also can be a source of prevention for potential abuse and neglect. Uninterrupted and persistent stress among family caregivers has been shown to contribute to negative health outcomes, increased use of medications, and increases in depression.(1) Furthermore, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest respite care as a means for keeping balance in the family (see www.cdc.gov Caregiving Tips for Families of People With Disabilities).

WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU:

Please join us in asking your legislators to support this appropriations request. Contact your state senator and representative. Tell them you are a member of GAP and that you support the appropriation for a Family Respite Program. Send emails to your family and friends and ask for their support. Share this information with other disability organizations. A printable copy of the fact sheet is available here.

(1)As just two of many research findings about the value of respite, see the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. virginia.gov; and the Administration for Children and Families at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

*As of January 22, 2013

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Read the Latest GAP Newsletter

Click on the link to view the latest GAP newsletter. It contains information on advocating from a distance, how to give public testimony, video of Jacob Hansen testifying, and the respite appropriations request that GAP is supporting.

GAP Newsletter, Legislative Session Week 2

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Region 1 GAP Update – February 10, 2013

As I’m sure you all know, the 2013 session of the Utah Legislature is in full swing! Here is some information to keep you up-to-date on what is going on in Salt Lake:

1. Saturday Meetings with Cache Valley Legislators – Every Saturday through March 9, 2013, Representatives and Senators to the Utah Legislature who represent districts in Cache Valley have been invited to participate in weekly updates on legislative progress. These events will be held at the multi-purpose room at the Cache County office building (179 North Main, Logan) from 7:30 – 9:00 am. Legislators will present information from 7:30 – 8:30am, followed by an opportunity for individuals from the community to present information and ask questions. OPTIONS for Independence will provide training to those interested, but request for transportation must be made at least 48 hours in advance. To make a reservation for transportation, please call (435) 753-5390.

2. Legislative Resources – As you will see by reading the list from LCPD, there are a lot of bills that will be discussed that are relevant to people with disabilities. One challenge for those of us living outside of Salt Lake is following legislation (and committee hearings) of importance to us. Here are some ways you can stay up-to-date on legislative activities and be involved in the legislative process:
a. Follow Organizations on Facebook – In addition to GAP, organizations such as the LCPD, the League of Women Voters of Utah, the Utah Senate, and the Utah House of Representatives are using Facebook to share information about what is going on at the Legislature. You can “like” these pages to receive legislativeupdates.
b. Utah Political Capitol – This website (http://utahpoliticalcapitol.com/) attempts to provide bi-partisan information about bills in the Utah Legislature on a broad range of topics, including issues such as Insurance Coverage for Autism (SB 55) and Civil Rights Amendments Relating to Persons with Disabilities (SB 108).
c. Utah Legislature Website – The website for the Utah Legislature (www.le.utah.gov) has information on all bills, committee meeting agenda and minutes, and audio (for committee meetings) and video (for floor debate). You can sign up to follow a bill via email and can check committee and floor agendas daily to see if an issue of importance to you will be discussed.

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Saturdays with the Legislators

Beginning Saturday, February 2nd (and continuing through March 9th), Representatives and Senators to the Utah Legislature who represent districts in Cache Valley have been invited to participate in weekly updates on legislative progress. These events will be held at the multi-purpose room at the Cache County office building (179 North Main, Logan) from 7:30 – 9:00 am. Legislators will present information from 7:30 – 8:30am, followed by an opportunity for individuals from the community to present information and ask questions. OPTIONS for Independence will provide training to those interested, but request for transportation must be made at least 48 hours in advance. To make a reservation for transportation, please call (435) 753-5390.

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Northern Utah “Meet Your Elected Officials” Event a Success

The Jim Bridger Room at the Logan City Library was packed last Thursday evening with people who were interested in hearing what two local legislators had to say about disability. The “Meet Your Elected Officials” event on Jan. 17 was organized by the Northern Utah Coalition on Disability, of which the Center for Persons with Disabilities is a part.

Republican Representatives Rhonda Menlove and Edward Redd participated in the forum. Menlove is the Vice Provost for Regional Campuses and Distance Education at Utah State University and has served in the legislature since 2005. She currently is the chair of the House social services appropriations committee.

Redd practiced internal medicine in Logan for 16 years before being named deputy director and medical office with the Bear River Health Department. He also provides care for people with mental illness through Bear River Mental Health. This is his first term in office, and he serves on the social services appropriations committee and the health and human services committee.
Rep. Ed Redd addresses the crowd.

As a new representative, Redd said he is still learning a lot, but as a physician, he has a unique perspective on what happens when people don’t get the services they need.

“I do have some insight into the challenges you face and your families face,” he said.

Redd would like to work towards programs where people with disabilities can be employed and not lose benefits. Too many people have to choose between remaining unemployed or losing benefits.

“It’s really frustrating to watch them struggle with that,” he said.

Redd also said he is interested in the area of preventive intervention.

“I’ve worked with many people and have wondered what they would be like if they’d had early intervention,” he said.

He said people need to talk to their representatives and tell them what issues are important to them.

“It gives us a spine,” he said. “If we know you guys are passionate about something, we’re more likely to be able to support you in the legislature.”
Image of crowd of people.

About 50 people attended Thursday’s event.

Addressing the crowd of about 50 people, Menlove said many meetings to which she’s invited have low attendance.

“This is one of the larger groups, Representative Redd. I’m impressed,” she said.

Her three favorite bills of all time: scholarships to train more special ed teachers, supporting the employment bill and the autism bill—it was very challenging and difficult, and “it was nothing short of a miracle that it got approved from the feds,” she said.

The committee reviewed requests for proposals for a two-year Medicaid waiver from agencies that supply services.

“We’ll study it, we’ll research it to see what are the outcomes,” she said.

Menlove said the biggest challenge in the current session is the disability waiting list, which makes people with disabilities spend 90 days in a long-term health care facility before getting in-home services. People with more severe disabilities receive care first.
Image of panel.

“That will be the biggest discussion,” she said.

Menlove said the Affordable Health Care Act expanded Medicaid coverage so more people will access it. Last year, the legislature saved $40 million, so they will be able to cover the first year of the expansion. After that, the question is whether to roll out the full expansion and take the federal dollars.

Disability issues are growing in our nation, Menlove said.

“They are not going away. We’re all going to have to work together in the disability community,” she said.

Cache County legislative representatives host Meet & Greets from 7:30-9 a.m. in the Cache County Building on Saturdays until the end of the session. OPTIONS for Independence will provide free transportation with 48 hours notice.

For the full article, see http://www.cpdusu.org/blog/2013/01/menlove-redd-offer-views-on-disability-legislation/#.UP1oPerd9IQ.facebook

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Utah Symphony – Utah Opera Education – Events for Individuals with Special Needs

January 24, 2013
7:00 pmto10:00 pm

The Utah Symphony | Utah Opera offers an annual concert for children of all ages with special needs and their families. We present this concert because we know that many families cannot attend cultural events together because their special needs child acts in distracting ways. We feature our Opera Resident Artists with the Utah Symphony on the Capitol Theater Stage in a special concert where everyone understands the difficulty of keeping these family members quiet in their seats. This concert is FREE but registration is required.

WEB--special-needs-concert-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utah Symphony – Utah Opera Education – Events for Individuals with Special Needs.

 

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LCPD Legislative Reception February 7, 2013

February 7, 2013
4:00 pmto5:45 pm

Please join us at the LCPD Legislative Reception. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet your elected officials. Call them prior to let them know you will be attending. Invite your local People First chapter to attend with you.

For a printable flyer, please click here.

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Logan Area Meet Your Elected Offical Event

January 17, 2013
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

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Northern Utah Coalition on Disability (NUCD)

Thanks to the USU Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD) for covering this coalition, which includes a representative fro GAP!

(Full article here: http://www.cpdusu.org/blog/2013/01/coalition-formed-to-boost-advocacy-efforts/#.UPA6rs_pE50.facebook)

Coalition formed to boost advocacy efforts

January 11, 2013 by Sue Reeves

Image of two people shaking hands.Three local organizations have joined forces to expand their advocacy efforts on disability issues.

Representatives from the Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD) at Utah State University, OPTIONS for Independence and the Grassroots Advocacy Partnership (GAP) of Utah recently have formed the Northern Utah Coalition on Disabilities (NUCD) to share and maximize each organization’s resources.

“We all have different roles in advocacy, we all work on policy, but we all associate with different circles,” said Jeff Sheen, CPD policy analyst. “We would have a greater impact as a combined voice … Our core values are in complete alignment.”

The CPD offers direct services to families with very young children who have disabilities, OPTIONS serves mainly adults with advocacy and independent living skills and GAP helps adults with disabilities and their family members to aid them to participate in making public policy.

“We hope by combining under one umbrella as far as a legislative presence, it will have a more significant impact,” said Cherrisa Alldredge, GAP coordinator for Region 1, which is comprised of Cache, Rich and Box Elder counties.

“All of us have different connections,” Sheen said. “We all add different parts to the disability community.”

“We have some pretty important legislators,” Alldredge said. “We might as well take advantage of that and insert the disability message wherever we can.”

Sheen said the group wants to have more regular contact with local legislators, rather than only when disability issues are being discussed.

“We want to set ourselves up so when you (legislators) need information, when you need facts, you can come to us,” Shen said. “We want them to see us as a valuable asset throughout the year.”

The NUCD will host a “Meet Your Elected Official” event on Thursday, January 17 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Jim Bridger Room at Logan City Library, 255 North Main Street. Legislators from Cache, Rich and Box Elder counties have been invited. For more information, see the CPD blog on Monday, January 14.

 

About the coalition organizations

The Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD) at Utah State University has worked to improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families through research, direct service and training since 1972. During fiscal year 2012, the CPD provided direct service to more than 4,000 individuals and conducted 4,400 hours of research in genetics, early intervention, health education, assistive technology and other disability-related topics. Nearly 90 projects are operated through the CPD at the local, state, national and international levels. For more information, visit the web site.

OPTIONS for Independence is a non-profit, non-residential Center for Independent Living (CIL) in northern Utah. The four core services provided by OPTIONS are individual and systems advocacy, information and referral, peer support and independent living skills training. Other programs include outreach to youth, support groups, services to people with vision loss, recreation activities and public education about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For more information, visit the web site.

The Grassroots Advocacy Partnership (GAP) of Utah is a non-profit organization established to provide education to individuals with disabilities and their families so they can proactively participate in the making of public policy. In addition, GAP is involved in efforts to provide information to legislators and other decision makers on legislative issues of importance within the disability community. For more information, visit the web site.

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