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Showing posts from May 23, 2021

Webinar: Students with Special Needs – Combating Learning Loss During the Pandemic

  Date Thursday, June 3 Time 4 to 5 p.m. Pacific Time Sponsor Exceptional Parent Magazine Details Many students with special needs have been especially hurt by learning loss due to inconsistent delivery of services during the pandemic. Speakers will offer parents practical tips for securing appropriate and effective interventions.  Register .

COBRA Coverage

  From  Covering Kids & Families of Indiana As part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), individuals who were laid off or had their hours reduced, may be eligible for a 100% COBRA premium subsidy for April through September of this year. The ARP also allows those who missed their original 60 day sign up window to opt into COBRA up to 60 days after they are notified of the availability of the subsidies under ARP. Employers are required to notify eligible employees and former employees by May 31 st .  Once the subsidies end in September, consumers may continue COBRA coverage but will need to pay the full price. They could also choose to switch to a plan on the Marketplace. For some consumers, signing up now for the Marketplace instead of COBRA may be a better option. Special enrollment for the Marketplace continues through August 15 th . The blog post below incudes additional information regarding COBRA and choosing between COBRA or Marketplace. Also below is a link to COBRA FAQs provi

Apple Launching New Accessibility Features For Those With Disabilities

Original from  Disability Scoop Apple is set to roll out a host of updates to make its devices even more user-friendly for people with disabilities. The technology giant said that software updates coming later this year will include changes “designed for people with mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive disabilities.” Apple’s iPad will start supporting third-party eye-tracking hardware, the company said, allowing individuals to control the device with their eyes. And, a new background sounds option is intended to help neurodiverse individuals stay focused and calm by masking unwanted external noises with the continuous audio of a stream, ocean, rain or other balanced, bright or dark noises. The switch control system that currently offers users alternate ways to control functions on their iPhone or iPad devices will be expanded to allow for control with sounds like a click, pop or “ee,” Apple said, giving more options to those who are nonverbal or who have limited mobility. Meanwhile,

BDDS Gateway and IT update

The Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services strives to connect people with disabilities and their families to resources and supports to live their best life. To advance this mission, BDDS is progressing with the consolidation and enhancement of IT systems for providers and case managers. The BDDS Portal 2.0 will increase transparency and efficiencies to support person-centered practices. The project team has made significant progress on the BDDS Portal 2.0 system. Currently, development clean-up and quality assurance endeavors are in progress. BDDS Portal 2.0 is on track for deployment in the fall of 2021. User experience testing (non-staff) is underway, and user acceptance testing (staff) is planned for late June/early July. As BDDS continues with these efforts, stakeholders will be updated on progress. The BDDS Gateway has been in production for over 14 weeks! Since going live, 2,072 applications have been received through this platform and 80% of the applications are new indiv

Despite Office Closures, SSA Must Assist Individuals Applying for Benefits

From  Justice in Aging Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a vital benefit for low-income older adults and people with disabilities who would otherwise be unable to meet basic needs.  Unfortunately, with the closure of Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a sharp decline in the number of people applying for SSI benefits, particularly among older adults and people with limited English proficiency. The  Senate Finance Committee recently held a hearing  to discuss how the pandemic, and the closure of SSA field offices, has hampered access to benefits for many.  Despite these field office closures and reduced operations, SSA still has a duty to assist individuals who wish to apply for benefits. A  new blog we wrote for SSA  highlights how individuals can reach SSA to apply for SSI by telephone, as well as how to request an in-person appointment. For certain individuals who need in-person assistance to apply for or maintain benefit

Recruiting for Young Adults with IDD and Their Caregivers for Key Informant Interviews

Got Transition, in partnership with Family Voices, is putting together a tip sheet for primary care providers (PCPs) to use when caring for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers during pandemic and emergency situations. We would like your guidance around what you think would be helpful information for primary care providers to be aware of and offer to better support young adults and their caregivers.     We are looking for self-advocates (18 - 35) and/or their caregivers to participate in a 45 to 60 minute interview. In appreciation of your time and expertise, we will be offering $100 total per interview. Information used from the interviews will not include your name or identifying information.    If you are interested in participating, please complete following intake form, r/QW97GS9  by  6/4/21  and we will be in contact with you for next steps. If you have any questions, please contact Allysa Ware,  anware@

Mental Health Monday-Processing Big Changes

May is Mental Health Month.  Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.  Each Monday in May, we are going to share topics and tips from  Mental Health America . Processing Big Changes by Family Voices Indiana on Scribd