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Posted Aug. 26, 2015 | Kevin J. Mahoney, Ph.D., founding director of the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services and a member of the National Advisory Board, is on the Declarations Blog, sharing the value, importance and future of self-direction.
Feds Clarify Rights Of Parents With DisabilitiesTechnical assistance issued jointly this month from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services clarifies that children should not be taken from their moms or dads simply because a parent has a disability. Similarly, federal officials said that people with disabilities should not face added barriers to becoming foster or adoptive parents due solely to their special needs. The move comes in response to an increasing number of discrimination complaints that the federal agencies say they’ve received from people with disabilities. — Shaun HeasleyRelated: The guidance, “Protecting the Rights of Parents and Prospective Parents with Disabilities: Technical Assistance for State and Local Child Welfare Agencies and Courts under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act”
Bipartisan Policy Center
Improve the SSDI Program and Address the Impending Trust Fund Depletion: Consensus RecommendationsThe impending depletion of Social Security’s Disability Insurance Trust Fund is what brought the working group together, but finding cost savings for the program was not the uniting goal. Rather, consensus was sought and achieved on proposals designed to improve Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiary wellbeing, program operations, and program integrity, and having potential to yield higher employment and reduced reliance on benefits in the future. — BPC's Disability Insurance Working Group
State Disabled Worker Program Faces Overhaul
NLRB ruling could shake up healthcare staffing industryA ruling Thursday by the National Labor Relations Board could complicate relations between healthcare organizations and their workers employed by staffing agencies. The board ruled that workers employed by a staffing agency are jointly employed by the agency and the organization where they're working. That means those organizations should be involved in any collective bargaining with the temporary workers and could be held liable for unfair labor practice cases filed with the federal government. — Adam Rubenfire
Kaiser Health News
A Racial Gap In Attitudes Toward Hospice CareHospice use has been growing fast in the United States... But the Harrises, who are African-American, belong to a demographic group that has long resisted the concept and whose suspicions remain deep-seated. It is an attitude borne out by recent federal statistics showing that nearly half of white Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in hospice before death, compared with only a third of black patients. The racial divide is even more pronounced when it comes to advance care directives — legal documents meant to help families make life-or-death decisions that reflect a patient’s choices. Some 40 percent of whites aged 70 and over have such plans, compared with only 16 percent of blacks. — Sarah Varney
The Wall Street Journal
Report: VA Falls Short on Mental-Health Care Despite Hiring PushThe Department of Veterans Affairs lacks enough full-time psychiatrists to meet demand for services and those on staff aren’t being used efficiently, despite a multiyear, multibillion-dollar effort, says a report from the department’s internal watchdog. The VA hasn’t been “fully effective” in hiring psychiatrists or in using those it has, the VA’s Office of Inspector General reported Tuesday, adding that the department has focused on meeting overall hiring goals rather than on hiring personnel to fill gaps at specific facilities. — Ben Kesling
The Huffington Post
Blog: 10 Crucial Ways We Can Make Society More Inclusive for People With DisabilitiesOn the outside it's easy to assume that because of the ADA, discrimination never occurs and full equality prevails for every person with a disability living in the United States. This wishful thinking is comparable to thinking that racism no longer exists because we have an African American president. Although the ADA made significant changes, it did not address everything a person with a disability faces on a daily basis. Just because a president signed a piece of legislation into law doesn't mean that a) it's fully enforced and b) it 100 percent changed our culture on how we view the disability community. — Kristin Duquette
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