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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Aging and Disability

I&R Professionals: Please Participate in the 2015 Aging and Disability I&R/A National Survey!

NCIL has been working in partnership with NASUAD’s Information & Referral Support Center on the 2015 Aging and Disability I&R/A National Survey. We are requesting your assistance with the dissemination of the survey, which is designed to assess the state of Information and Referral/ Assistance (I&R/A) systems serving older adults and persons with disabilities. Findings from the survey will highlight important trends and developments in the provision of I&R/A services. The results of the survey will be compiled into a final report and shared with NCIL and NASUAD members, as well as the I&R/A network as a whole.

We are requesting that you share the survey with I&R/A lead staff at your agency so that they may complete the survey. Additionally, we would appreciate if your staff could disseminate the survey to agencies (particularly AAAs and ADRCs) in your network for them to complete the survey. We are requesting responses by March 23.

Please complete the survey online if you are able. The survey is also available in plain text.

The I&R Center’s director, Nanette Relave, is available to address questions, offer assistance, and provide the survey in an alternate format if needed (she can be contacted at 202-898-2578 x305 or [email protected]).

We appreciate your time and assistance in helping us disseminate this survey to increase our collective knowledge and understanding of the delivery of I&R/A to seniors and individuals with disabilities!

Join DirectCourse: College of Personal Assistance and Caregiving for A Webinar on CMS Core Competencies: Aging and Disability Sector

Register online

Thursday, March 5, 2015; 2:00 PM-3:00 PM EST

DirectCourse Logo - online curricula for life in community - educate - enrich - inspireOn January 22, Lori Sedlezky, MSW of the University of Minnesota RTC, presented the newly validated, CMS funded DSW Core Competencies. In this important follow up webinar, Mel Neri, Director of Curriculum Development for the Community Living Policy Center at the University of California, San Francisco, will discuss what these core competencies mean for the Aging and Disability sector.

We will also explore a crosswalk that demonstrates how DirectCourse: College of Personal Assistance and Caregiving addresses these competencies.

By attending this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand the new CMS Competencies on a basic level
  • Realize the opportunity these competencies offer to improve training of caregivers working with older adults and people with disabilities
  • How DirectCourse: College of Personal Assistance and Caregiving supports these competencies via a crosswalk of the curricula

Reminder – AIRS 2016 Conference Call for Proposals: Aging and Disability Track

Source: National Information & Referral Support Center

The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) has released the call for proposals for the 2016 Annual Information and Referral (I&R) Training and Education Conference. Next year’s conference is being held in St. Louis, Missouri, with pre-conference intensives on May 22 and the regular conference May 23-25. AIRS is seeking workshops addressing the breadth of I&R service delivery.

The Aging and Disability track provides a valuable opportunity to share developments and effective practices in serving older adults and persons with disabilities with I&R colleagues across the country. This track is coordinated by the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) I&R Support Center, which strongly encourages aging and disability I&R agencies to review the call for proposals and consider a submission. See past topics.

Topics such as family caregiving, elder justice, mental health, aging with a disability, developments in home and community-based services, cross-sector partnerships and collaboration (including ADRC and 2-1-1 partnerships), No Wrong Door system building, ADRC funding and sustainability, use of technology in I&R, transportation, health coverage (Medicare and Medicaid coverage), and data collection and quality assurance are all topics of interest in aging and disability I&R.

The deadline for proposal submissions in February 10, 2016. Send submissions for the Aging and Disability track to Nanette Relave at [email protected]. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about the Aging and Disability track.

Join the I&R Center’s distribution list.

National Council on Aging Call for Proposals: Benefit Enrollment Centers

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) Center for Benefits Access is seeking nonprofit or public agencies to be part of our next cohort of Benefits Enrollment Centers (BEC). BECs use person-centered strategies in a coordinated, community-wide approach to find and enroll Medicare beneficiaries—both seniors aged 65+ years and adults living with disabilities, aged 21-64, who have limited income and resources—into available benefits. The primary focus is on Medicare Part D Extra Help (or Low-Income Subsidy, LIS), Medicare Savings Programs (MSP), Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Applicants also have the option of including other benefits in their proposal, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), State Pharmacy Assistance Program (SPAP), state property tax relief, pharmaceutical assistance programs, state tax credits, and other programs.

NCOA Logo - National Council on AgingOrganizations eligible to apply for BEC grants include state or community-based nonprofit organizations, government agencies, faith-based organizations, and coalitions addressing the needs of older adults and younger adults with disabilities. Organizations that have been funded in the past as BECs are not eligible for this award. Successful applicants will receive up to $100,000 over 15 months to enroll Medicare beneficiaries in core benefits. For more information about how to apply, please read the attached Request for Proposals.

Letters of intent are due November 21, 2014. The deadline for full proposals is December 12, 2014. If you have any questions during that time, please contact [email protected].

An Update from the NCIL ADRC Task Force

Is your CIL or SILC participating as an equal partner in an Aging and Disability Resource Center? Are the administrative and attitudinal barriers for access to services and supports by those living with disabilities and seniors being mitigated or erased in your service area? What does this No Wrong Door (NWD) model mean for CILs and SILCs? Is the new Person Centered Planning / Counseling implementation in synchronization or conflict with the Independent Living model and paradigm? These are the core questions that the NCIL ADRC Task Force is addressing, particularly now that the Administration for Community Living will be the new home for the Independent Living Administration.

At the NCIL Conference in July 2014, there were two workshops related to ADRCs / NWD that presented critical information that impacts CILs, and SILCs, and our values. The Task Force also conducted a survey last year on the status of ADRCs meeting the NCIL ADRC Position. This was sent to all CILs and SILCs electronically and responses were reviewed, tabulated and analyzed by Co-Chair of the NCIL ADRC Task Force (and staff of Disability Rights and Resources in Charlotte, North Carolina) Julia Sain. These results will soon be posted to the NCIL ADRC Task Force page and show that there are some ADRCs that do implement our values per our position paper, yet there are many that still do not.

The PowerPoint slides from the workshop on the intersection of Person Centered Planning with IL Paradigm have been posted as well, and areas for advocacy and vigilance are identified. Ongoing dialogue on the status of Part A states under the ACL grant process is proceeding through the new Part A CIL group, with strong involvement from the NCIL ADRC Task Force.

We are also at national conferences to present our NCIL ADRC values, successes, and alternatives. So, get involved! We meet monthly on the first Wednesday of each month at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Ensure that you are an individual member of NCIL, then send an email to NCIL staff Lindsay Baran at [email protected]  or Task Force Chair Mary Margaret Moore at [email protected] to join!

ACL Releases Online Learning Tool: Building Respect for LGBT Older Adults

Source: Administration for Community Living

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL) is proud to announce the release of an online learning tool: Building Respect for LGBT Older Adults. The tool is designed to increase awareness of the issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals living in long term care (LTC) facilities.

There are approximately 1.5 million adults over the age of 65 who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. By 2030, those estimates are expected to rise to nearly 3 million. Estimates indicate that there are hundreds of thousands of older adults who are transgender.

Unfortunately, research shows many older LGBT adults do not feel safe discussing their sexuality in LTC facilities. “As people who work with seniors every day, it’s our job to ensure that everyone has the same protections and rights as their neighbors, friends and families,” noted Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for aging and administrator of ACL.

“This training tool will play an important role in educating a wide audience of care providers about the needs of LGBT seniors. It can help improve the quality of care given to this vulnerable population,” said Hilary Meyer, director of the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. “Helping to create a more welcoming environment for our LGBT populations will benefit everybody.” Read more at ACL’s website.

Information Alert: ACL / CMS / VHA Funding Opportunity Announcement

NCIL is pleased to share the following Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) from John Wren, Deputy Administrator for Disability and Aging Policy at the Administration for Community Living, on behalf of the U.S. Administration for Community Living, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Veterans Health Administration.

Funding Opportunity Announcement

I am pleased to share with you a copy of a Funding Opportunity Announcement that was jointly issued today by the U.S. Administration for Community Living, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Veterans Health Administration to assist states in the planning of a No Wrong Door (NWD) System that will make it easier for all populations in need of LTSS to learn about and access the services and supports they need. While most states have already developed programs to improve consumer access to LTSS using various federal grants and authorities, including Aging and Disability Resource Center grants, Money Follows the Person grants, and the Balancing Incentive Program, few states have developed statewide systems that reflect the functional and operational capacity of the NWD System described in this FOA.

Specifically, funds under this FOA are being made available to support state-led 12-month planning projects to identify the actions the state would need to take to successfully implement a NWD System as described in this FOA. The following state agencies must be involved as full partners in co-leading this planning process: the State Medicaid Agency, the State Unit on Aging, and the state agencies that serve or represent the interests of individuals with physical disabilities, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and individuals with behavioral health needs. The planning process must meaningfully involve key external stakeholders including consumers, their advocates, Area Agencies on Aging, Centers for Independent Living, local Medicaid agencies, and local organizations that serve or represent the interests of individuals with physical disabilities, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and behavioral health needs. The main “deliverable” a funded state will have to provide to the 3 federal partners at the end of the 12-month planning period is a detailed 3-year plan the state will use, pending the availability of additional federal support, to begin transforming the multiple access programs and functions administered across its various LTSS programs into a single statewide NWD System of Access to LTSS for All Populations and All Payers.  [Read more…]

Request for Proposals: Bi-Annual Summit on Aging and Independence

Every two years, Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL – the parent organization of Western New York Independent Living Family of Agencies) hosts a Summit on Aging and Independence to bring educators, researchers, human service providers, caregivers, and speakers together to educate, inform and discuss the current issues, topics, research, and barriers and successes in care for individuals who are 55+ and / or have a disability. This event includes workshops, a keynote speaker, and a two-day information / vendor fair.

Logo - Summit on Aging and IndependenceThis year’s theme is Aging, Independence, Culture in an Evolving World.

  • April 30, 2014: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; entertainment and keynote at 6:00 p.m.
  • May 1, 2014: 8:30 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Niagara Falls Conference Center, Niagara Falls, New York.

WNYIL hereby requests proposals to present at the Summit. To apply, please fill out the Proposal Form, save it to your desktop, and email it to Yvette Lucas at [email protected]. Hard copies can be delivered to: WNYIL, Inc. / Attn: Yvette Lucas – Summit on Aging / 3108 Main St. / Buffalo, New York 14214.

Please forward this on to anyone who might be interested in applying. For more information on attending, presenting, sponsoring or exhibiting, please contact Yvette Lucas at 716-836-0822 ext. 146 or by email at [email protected].

An Update from the NCIL ADRC Task Force

Julia Sain (of Disability Rights and Resources in Charlotte, North Carolina) and Mary Margaret Moore (of the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann in Salem, Massachusetts) Co-Chair the NCIL Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) Task Force. In early 2013, the Task Force conducted a survey on status of relationships between CILS / SILCs and Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) in ADRCs. The results of the Task Force’s survey were very informative and will be shared at the workshop The CIL / SILC Role in ADRCs: Best Practices and Next Steps, which will take place Wednesday, July 24, at the 2013 Annual Conference on Independent Living.

The ADRC Task Force has provided input to NCIL staff on Administration for Community Living (ACL) contract items and is working collaboratively with ACL in preparation for another workshop, ADRCs: The No Wrong Door Network, taking place on Friday, July 25 at the 2013 Annual Conference on Independent Living,

The ADRC Task Force is committed to advocating for the ‘D’ in ADRC and ensuring the voice of the disability community is an equal partner. The Task Force is open to new members and the Co-Chairs encourage NCIL members to become a part of it. The Task Force meets at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on the 1st Wednesday of each month. Contact Julia Sain at [email protected] and Mary Margaret Moore at [email protected] for further information.

NCIL Partners with Administration for Community Living to Expand Disability and Aging Partnerships

NCIL is excited to announce our continuing partnership with the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to promote and expand disability and aging partnerships. Collaboration is essential if people with disabilities and the aging are to acquire needed services. Cooperation between disability and aging organizations should be nourished and supported by all agencies committed to successful community alliances. Since CILs and aging service providers provide complimentary services, and given the current economic climate, it is more important than ever to efficiently utilize existing resources while avoiding duplication of services and ensuring sustainability. In an effort to understand and develop more substantial relationships with the aging community, NCIL recognizes the need to educate Centers and give them the tools they need to succeed.

Through this project, NCIL will consult with many of its member CILs to develop practices that will improve collaboration with the aging community. There are still many CILs that have not participated in discussions to this end. NCIL is most interested in engaging these untapped resources and providing outreach to an even broader target base while ensuring sustainability of existing collaborative efforts.  [Read more…]