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Issue Spotlight

On the Blog: Kevin Mahoney, “There Are Faces I Remember”

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.

Join the conversation on the blog or on Facebook, and be sure to Like, Follow, Share and Tell Your Story with the National Advisory Board and your social network.

News & Events

What We’re Reading: Aug. 31, 2015

National Advisory Board

Disability Scoop
Feds Clarify Rights Of Parents With Disabilities
Technical 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 Heasley
Related: 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 Recommendations
The 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
Related: The Texas Tribune, “
State Disabled Worker Program Faces Overhaul

Modern Healthcare
NLRB ruling could shake up healthcare staffing industry
A 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 Care
Hospice 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 Push
The 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 Disabilities
On 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, US Paralympic athlete and disability advocate; and, Dr. Mary Hums, professor of Sports Administration, University of Louisville

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