Cleveland-area parents: We want to hear from you!
The Arc of Greater Cleveland and Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) invite you to a family forum to discuss your child's experiences with special education services.
During the forum, Disability Rights Ohio will discuss its Doe vs. State of Ohio education lawsuit. Only parents and guardians of school-age children with special needs are permitted to attend. This case involves the claim that the state does not provide enough resources to school districts to provide free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities. Parents will learn why this case is important to children with disabilities. Sharing your experiences can help improve the education system.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
10 a.m. to noon OR 6 to 8 p.m.
The Arc of Greater Cleveland
William Patrick Day, Early Childhood Center
2421 Community College Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
Space is limited. Accommodations, including ASL and Spanish-language interpreters, are available upon request. RSVP online Here
Ohio ABLE Act Introduced
Lawmakers from the Ohio House and Senate, as well as Treasurer Josh Mandel, discuss future legislation that would allow Ohioans with disabilities to create their own tax-advantaged savings accounts.
The legislation, which will be sponsored by Reps. Margy Conditt (R-Liberty Township) and Jonathan Dever (R-Cincinnati) in the House and Sens. John Eklund (R-Munson Township) and Shannon Jones (R-Springsboro) in the Senate, is an Ohio-specific adaptation of the federal ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act, which was signed into law in December.
The Arc of Ohio, Autism Speaks and the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio participated in a press conference today in support of the legislation.
Click here to see the full press conference:
ABLE Act - Federal Fact Sheet
Independent Provider Update
We expect the proposed state budget to be ammended regarding Independent Providers. The ammendment will delay implementation of any proposed changes by at least a year; and a "Self-Direction Advisory Workgroup" will be created.
The Workgroup will include The Arc of Ohio, among other stakeholders, and will make recommendations by December 1, 2015 regarding self-directed services.
There appears to be a misunderstanding among families and independent providers regarding "self-directed services". We have received nurmerous calls of concerns asking if individuals will be forced to exchange their Individual Options (IO) Waiver for a SELF Waiver, which is self-directed. You will not be required to trade your IO Waiver for a SELF Waiver;and, we would recommend you never do that.
The proposal, at this point, is that a new service category will be added to both the IO and Level 1 Waivers, which will allow you to receive a Self-Directed Service as part of your current Waiver. (Remember that individuals on the Transitions DD Waiver will be transitioned to an IO Waiver between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2017.)
This new Self Directed service wil be added to the IO and Level 1 Waivers BEFORE anything will be done to affect your current Independent Provider.
What does this mean?
Basically, you will still be able to choose your Independent, but he/she will be paid by a fiscal intermediary (currently Morningstar Financial Services
) rather than directly by the State of Ohio. You will retain the right to hire/fire that Independent and you will be given options of what type of authority you want as the "Employer.
What we do not know at this point, is how much you will be able to pay your Independent but we expect, like in the SELF Waiver, you will be able to negotiate that pay, within a range dictated by the state.
The amount of pay will most certainly be one of the recommendations provided by the Self-Directed Workgroup. Work has already begun with another group, under the direction of the Ohio Department of DD (which includes The Arc of Ohio) to modify and improve other areas within our current Waivers.
DODD has posted updates regarding this process on their website:
We are making progress. The delay in implementation gives us time to work out the details.
TDD Waiver Update
The following letter is being mailed to all TDD Waiver recipients: