Category Archives: Disabilitiies

“Is That Service Dog A Fake? Under Federal Law, You Can’t Even Ask” – DisabilityScoop

ds171205_servicedogs.jpg“Josh Lewis, right, walks out of North Kansas City Hospital with his caregiver Meleana Still and service dog Bing after physical therapy. Bing has helped Josh with his walking and balancing.” (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star/TNS)

by Mark Davis, The Kansas City Star

“The unleashed dog lunged from the woman’s lap and right at Andy, Michaela Chase’s dog.

“‘It was going for blood,’ Chase said, thinking back to the narrow waiting room at her physical therapy gym in Lincoln, Neb. ‘It was in full attack mode.’

“Shielded by Chase’s wheelchair, Andy avoided the other dog, which had a tag on its collar that said ‘service dog.’ But though there was no fight, the damage was done.

“It really ruined Andy,’ Chase said of her service dog trained by Paws for Freedom Inc. in Tonganoxie, Kan. Andy — the victim of a fake service dog, Chase said — now distrusts other dogs. He’ll even bark at other service dogs.

“Fake service dogs are essentially untrained pets wearing vests or tags purchased online so Fido can tag along, too. They’ve become the bane of those who rely on trained service dogs to deal with disabilities.”

Read this article in its entirety at Disability Scoop.

Community Health Choices implementation timeline

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to increasing opportunities for older Pennsylvanians and individuals with physical disabilities to remain in their homes. If you’re 21 or older and have both Medicare and Medicaid, or receive long-term supports through Medicaid because you need help with everyday personal tasks, you’ll be covered by Community HealthChoices.

Community HealthChoices will coordinate your health care coverage to improve the quality of your health care experience — serving more people in communities rather than in facilities, giving them the opportunity to work, spend more time with their families, and experience an overall better quality of life.

CHC timeline

To download the above graphic as a .pdf format for sharing / printing / enlarging, click on the graphic or here.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY – “Developing Solutions for Social Isolation in the United States: Learning From the World”

We’re providing a total of $2.5 million in funding, looking for the best ideas from around the world that can address social isolation in the United States.

SOCIAL ISOLATION

by Maryjoan Ladden

I remember reading the story of a dying patient who, when asked who to call as his life was ending, he replied, ‘no one.’ He had absolutely no immediate family or close friends. Dr. Druv Khullar who wrote the piece noted ‘the sadness of his death was surpassed only by the sadness of his solitude. I wondered whether his isolation was a driving force of his premature death, not just an unhappy circumstance.’

“This profoundly sad story struck me to my core.

“Not everyone has a social network to call on when they need people by their side. Many people feel disconnected from society and from life, and that contributes to a host of physical, mental and emotional health problems. In fact, according to experts, social isolation is as bad for your health as smoking, obesity, elevated blood pressure, and high cholesterol.”

Click here to continue reading.

 

If you have an idea from abroad that just might work in America, see our new Call for Proposals!

 

See full Call for Proposals for more information.

 

Hamilton Relay Offers $500 Scholarships: Application deadline is March 1, 2018

Creating opportunities for higher education is a priority for Hamilton Relay. The goal of the Hamilton Relay Scholarship is to support students who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have difficulty speaking in their post-secondary education.

The Hamilton Relay Scholarship is extended to a qualifying high school student living within one of the states where Hamilton Relay is the contracted telecommunications relay and/or captioned telephone service provider. This includes California, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington.

In each of these states, a $500 scholarship will be awarded to one eligible applicant. All applicants must meet eligibility requirements and submit required application materials prior to the March 1, 2018 deadline.

Download the Hamilton Relay Scholarship Guidelines and Application and apply today!

Scholarship Application . Word file|

Scholarship Application .pdf

For additional information and questions, please contact Customer Care at 800-618-4781 or scholarship@hamiltonrelay.com.

 

Friday Wrap-Up, December 1, 2017 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth. Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file. 

“10,000 people died in the past year while stuck in a backlog of judges’ disability cases.” – The Washington Post

Webster County, Miss. — On the 597th day, the day he hoped everything would change, Joe Stewart woke early. He took 15 pills in a single swallow. He shaved his head. And then he got down to the business of the day, which was the business of every day, and that was waiting. He looked outside, and saw his mother there in a green sedan, engine running. So many months he had waited for this moment, and now it was here. Time for his Social Security disability hearing. Time to go.

Group of Multiethnic Hands Holding DisabilityDisabled America: Between 1996 and 2015, the number of working-age adults receiving federal disability payments increased significantly across the country, but nowhere more so than in rural America. In this series, The Washington Post explores how disability is shaping the culture, economy and politics of these small communities.

“Stewart, 55, set out on crutches, tottering out of his mobile home and down a metal ramp he’d laid when stairs became too much. “I’m sweating my ass off,” he said, getting into his mother’s car, his long-sleeved dress shirt hanging open. He tilted the passenger seat all the way down, placed a pillow at the small of his back and, groaning and wincing, settled in as best he could.”

Read this Washington Post article in its entirety, click here.

Pennsylvania Launches Website to Help Seniors and People with Disabilities Find Services Near Home

Harrisburg, PA – Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf announced the launch of the Pennsylvania Link to Community Care website, which connects older Pennsylvanians and individuals with a disability or behavioral health need to services and support available in their community.The Pennsylvania Link to Community Care website provides users with a wide variety of resources including a home care directory and an information referral tool.

“We have been working hard to help individuals with a disability and older Pennsylvanians to live where and how they choose, just as any of us would want,” Governor Wolf said. “This new website is a tremendous tool to help you or your loved one make the best and most informed decision about care and services.”

The website is a collaboration between the departments of Aging (PDA) and Human Services (DHS), and serves as an extension of PDA’s Aging and Disability Resource call center. With this online resource the commonwealth is adding to its continuing efforts to help Pennsylvanians locate and get the best use of services at the local level.

“Our capacity to link seniors and their families with community resources is critical to helping them live and age well at home,” said Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne. “Today’s launch empowers older Pennsylvanians and their caregivers to proactively explore the service options that are available to them as they seek to remain independent and age in place.”

The site features 12 service and support categories, including Advocacy, Behavioral Health, Employment, Finance, Health Care, Housing, In-Home Services, Legal, Meals, Protection from Abuse, Support Groups, and Transportation.

Users can find information about organizations, services, and programs within these categories. One major component to the site is its home care directory, which connects individuals to in-home services available in their county. More than 350 in-home service providers appearing on the searchable directory may offer personal care, assistance with activities of daily living, companionship services, respite care, and/or habilitation services.

“We are committed to serving Pennsylvanians where they want to be – in their homes and communities,” said DHS Acting Secretary Teresa Miller. “This website is a great resource to connect an individual to the services they need to provide a choice in where they live.”

Following the launch of Pennsylvania Link to Community Care, the departments of Aging and Human Services will continue to enhance the website using data and feedback from users, and expand the resources and information provided throughout the site. If you are a provider licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and would like to appear on the home care directory, you may submit your information by navigating to the footer of the site and clicking on “Apply.”

To learn more about the Pennsylvania Link to Community Care website, or to find information on resources available in your county, visit www.carelink.pa.gov.

“Tightening the Leash on Fake Service Dogs” – STATELine

service dog“Chris Slavin of Danvers, Massachusetts, with her 3-year-old service dog, Earle. Massachusetts is considering a bill that would crack down on people who misrepresent their pets as service dogs. Nineteen other states have adopted similar measures.© Courtesy of Chris Slavin

by Michael Ollove

“Chris Slavin was in an elevator a couple years ago with Earle, her yellow lab service dog, sitting calmly beside her wheelchair. The elevator doors opened and in walked a woman holding a purse. In the purse was a teacup poodle the color of apricots.

“The doors closed just as the poodle spotted Earle. That’s when the trouble started. In an instant, the poodle leaped from the purse, flung himself at Earle, and clamped his teeth into the bigger dog’s snout, leaving Earle bleeding onto the elevator floor.

“‘As soon as this occurred the woman said the poodle was a service dog,’ said Slavin, who has a severe spinal injury that requires use of the wheelchair. ‘She then said he wasn’t a service dog but an emotional support dog. Finally, she admitted he was a pet she just wanted to bring in the building with her.’

“Incidents like that one in Reading, Massachusetts, not far from where Slavin lives in Danvers, have spurred 19 states to enact laws cracking down on people who try to pass off their pets as service animals.”

Read this STATELine article in its entirety, click here.

 

Social Security Announces 2.0 Percent Benefit Increase for 2018

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration announced recently.

The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits) The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2018, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

Here is a fact sheet showing the effect of the various automatic adjustments.

Two agencies align with Service Area 13 Link partners’ networks

NEW PARTNERS

Berks County partners’ network

Lancaster County partners’ network

Lebanon County partners’ network

Over the past month, two more resources providers have aligned with the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources | Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area..

To align with the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area as a partner entity costs nothing. The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources part of the national Aging and Disability Resources Center [ADRC) network.

For more information about how your agency, entity or organization can become a partner, text or call the Lead Link coordinator at 717.380.9714 or email blllink@mail.com.

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) are the first place to go to get accurate, unbiased information on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability.

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) are a nationwide effort to take a seamless approach in the way we assist seniors and adults with disabilities who need help with activities of daily living. The ADRC in Pennsylvania is known as the Link.

HOW CAN THE LINK ASSIST YOU AND/OR YOUR FAMILY?

  • Easily connect you to local services/supports through any Link partner agency
  • Explore existing options to ensure a secure plan for independence
  • Assist consumers with applications to determine funding eligibility
  • Help consumers remain or return to their community because of a disability, an illness or accident, or to transition from an institution back to the community
There is no charge for information and assistance provided by any Link or Link partner agency.

PA LINK TO AGING AND DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTER TOLL FREE HElpLINE: 1-800-753-8827