As issues of interest arise (or continue to be of interest!) in Washington, Greene, and Fayette counties, TRPIL staff works diligently to inform, advocate for, and otherwise support our members' and consumers' independent living goals.
Texas Mother Asked to Be Part of TSA Disabilities Coalition
Things never change because we wait for them patiently and quietly. The TSA is using the below situation as an opportunity to improve their customer service skills.
From THIS article:
"On Thursday, Williamson, whose Facebook post about the pat-down went viral, said she had been contacted by the TSA, who asked her to participate in a three-tiered solution to making the regulations for children and people with challenges more sensitive and clear.
She said she was asked to become a member of disabilities coalition within the TSA, in addition to collaborating with them to author a piece of training that would address sensitivity for the agents and helping the TSA to clarify language on the website about procedure and policies."
ACTION ALERT: The ADA is under attack!
The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620) introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), would seriously weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA is the signature law protecting the civil rights of people with disabilities.
It requires a person with a disability to give a business owner who has barriers to access a written notice, and 60 days to even acknowledge that there is a problem—and then another 120 days to begin to fix it. No other civil rights group is forced to wait 180 days to enforce their civil rights.
The ADA was enacted in 1990 as a compromise between the disability and business community. Unfortunately, even after 26 years, there are still organizations, businesses, and companies who have yet to comply. H.R. 620 would make it easier for businesses to continue to ignore the ADA.
We believe that it is important for Congress to hear the voices of many who oppose this legislation. It is imperative that your Representative be told to oppose H.R. 620 ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017.
For more information, see THIS LINK .
ACTION ALERT: Protect Your Rights Under the ACA!
Tell Congress that the rights of disabled people shouldn't be swept away in the repeal of the ACA!
Congress is on the fast track to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There are many, many advocates fighting to preserve the insurance provisions of the ACA - known as ObamaCare, but virtually no one is talking about the disability-specific aspects of the law. Here are four important provisions in the ACA that are critical for the Disability Community.
- The ACA prohibited discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions by insurance companies.
- The ACA extended Money Follows the Person, a Republican New Freedom initiative that is liberating thousands of disabled people from institutions, but that program is ending because of Congressional inaction.
- The ACA established the Community First Choice Option a Medicaid option that incentivizes states to FREE OUR PEOPLE from nursing facilities and institutions.
- The ACA authorized accessibility standards for Diagnostic Medical Equipment so people with disabilities could get access to preventative healthcare screenings and appropriate diagnostic testing.
Congress is acting swiftly to repeal the ACA, but most members of Congress have no idea that these provisions were even included in the ACA! We cannot rely on other groups to defend our interests and issues. The Disability Community - itself - needs to act now!
To find all of your state and federal representatives in one place, just text (520) 200-2223 with your zip code as the message. You will get a text back with all of their phone numbers in one convenient place.
Pennsylvania Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE)
The PA Treasury has launched a new Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Savings Program website that provides quick and easy access to essential information on the upcoming program to give individuals with qualified disabilities a tax-free way to save for future disability-related expenses, while maintaining government benefits. The site also has a short quiz to help determine eligibility, a comprehensive Frequently Asked Question section and allows users to sign up to receive updates on the program, including when accounts open for enrollment. For more information, click HERE .
The ADA Participation Action Research Consortium invites you to participate in a survey investigating the accessibility of public transportation for people with disabilities. You can find the Transportation Access and Experiences survey in English and Spanish at the following link: HERE
If you are interested in completing the survey by accommodation over the phone, please call (312) 996-9655. Thank you.
TRPIL Rolls Onward!
A member of TRPIL's ATRC staff has recently gained a new accreditation! They now hold the Assistive Technology Professional designation through the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).
This is our first staff member to achieve this certification in TRPIL's history, and is one more example of our commitment to excellence for the consumers and members we serve.
For more information, please call 724.223.5115 ext 1371.
And to see the wide range of Assistive Technology (AT) resources and information we have available to you, please see our AT page.
We won an advocacy victory recently, called Nurse Delegation that will mean direct care workers can be trained to do many tasks that formerly only able to be carried out by nurses. This could lead to grater flexibility in your daily schedule and control over your life.
Help Protect Access to Your Equipment
Once again the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are considering changes to how we can access Complex Rehab Technology. A 6-month extension of the current system has passed the US House of Representatives. Please click HERE for information on how to contact Senators Casey & Toomey.
Contact Matt or Brenda for more information but don't wait to act for yourself.
Wolf Administration Issues Recommendations to Help People with Disabilities Find EmploymentHarrisburg, PA; September 15, 2016 – In March, Governor Tom Wolf signed Executive Order 2016-03, entitled “Establishing ‘Employment First’ Policy and Increasing Competitive-Integrated Employment for Pennsylvanians with a Disability.” The goal of this executive order is to make the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania a model state when it comes to creating a climate hospitable to workers with a disability.
- See our Employment page for more details.
Changes Coming to MLTSS
In July 2017, southwestern Pennsylvania will undergo a major overhaul of its Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) system. These services will be delivered under a managed-care system. This means that the state will contract with various Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to provide all the services that are currently provided by the Office of Long Term Living waivers.
UPDATE (12/14/2016): Join us the 3rd Thursday of every month for a Webinar on Community Health Choices (CHC). You can register for the Webinar by clicking HERE
See our Managed Long Term Services & Supports (MLTSS) page for more info.
Maximus Waiver Enrollment Delays Lead to Unwanted Outcomes
Mark Frydrych desperately wanted his ailing mother to spend her final days surrounded by family at his Trafford home.
But with the demands of home, work and his mother's advancing dementia, he knew he needed help.
So he applied for the Medicaid Waiver program, jointly run by the state and federal governments that provides in-home services ranging from assistance with bathing to installation of wheelchair ramps.
Two months later, with no word about his application, he had no choice but to place her in Westmoreland Manor, the county-run nursing home in Hempfield.
By the time she died July 17 — three months after he filed his application — Frydrych still had heard nothing.
Call Brenda at 724-223-5115 for advocacy assistance.
Hot Topics (2016)
Disability Rights Legal Decisions
For an archive page of important recent legal decisions about disability rights, see our page HERE.