Disability Rights Montana

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So far Disability Rights Montana has created 15 blog entries.

Opportunity for Youth with Disabilities

By |2021-02-08T12:07:18-07:00February 8th, 2021|Uncategorized|

Alexis Reed, a Developmental Disabilities Behavior Consultant in Oregon, is currently collaborating with the University of Oregon’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities to share a research opportunity for young people (ages 14-24) with intellectual disabilities. They’ve just expanded their outreach to Montana.

The study is a great way for a young person and their parent or provider to make some money, make an important contribution, and break up the monotony of life during the pandemic!

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Dr. James Sinclair: (949) 275-6729, jamesin@uoregon.edu. See the flyer below for additional information.

Image of the flyer

Board of Directors Meeting Agenda – January 30, 2021

By |2021-01-21T14:48:36-07:00January 21st, 2021|Uncategorized|

AGENDA
Board of Directors Meeting
January 30, 2021 – 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Meeting held via Zoom

9:00 a.m. Call to Order
Notice of Meeting
Conflict of Interest Check
Annual Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest Disclosure
Approval of December Minutes
Will Warberg
9:15 a.m. Governance Committee Report
Election of Officers
Renewal of Board Term
Recruitment – Joel Peden
Kathie Waters
9:30 a.m. Executive Committee Report
Chairs and Committee Assignments
Donna Gleaves
9:40 a.m. Bylaws/Legislative Committee Report
Donna Gleaves
9:50 a.m. PAIMI Report
Kathie Waters, Advisory Council Chair
10:00 a.m. Finance / Audit Committee Report
Dave Richards, Tami Hoar, and Kelli Kaufman
10:30 a.m. Fundraising Committee Report
Foundation and Endowment Discussion
Appeal Letter Update
Will Warberg
11:30 a.m. Executive Director Report
Strategic Plan
Grievance Report
Bernadette Franks-Ongoy
12:00 p.m. Break
12:30 a.m. Executive Session
Litigation / Personnel / Grievance / Risk Assessment
1:00 p.m. Board Training
Hot Topics
2:00 p.m. Adjourn Meeting

Board of Directors Meeting Agenda – September 26, 2020

By |2020-09-25T08:52:04-06:00September 10th, 2020|Uncategorized|

AGENDA
Board of Directors Meeting
September 26, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Meeting held via Zoom

9:00 a.m. Call to Order
Notice of Meeting
Acknowledgement of Current Members Below Minimum
Acknowledgement of the Removal of Public Comment
Approval of July 25, 2020 and August 14, 2020 Minutes
Executive Committee Report
Theresa Baldry, President
9:10 a.m. PAIMI Report
Kathie Waters, Advisory Council Chair
9:15 a.m. Governance Committee Report
New Board member nomination
Kathie Waters
9:25 a.m. Fundraising Committee Report
Will Warberg
9:30 a.m. Bylaws/Legislative Committee Report
Donna Gleaves
9:35  a.m. Executive Director Report
Conference
Grievances
List of task forces, boards, cooperative allies, and committees (Work Plan 3.1)
Bernadette Franks-Ongoy
10:00 a.m. Finance / Audit Committee Report
Accounting Manual
Insurance

  • Liability and Officers and Directors Insurance
  • Unemployment Insurance (2nd motion)

Review FY20 Projected Year-end Financial Report
FY21 Budget
Dave Richards / Kelli Kaufman

10:30 a.m. FY21 Priorities and Objectives
11:00 a.m. Executive Session
Risk Assessment
11:30 a.m. Lunch Break
1:00 p.m. Endowment Training
Michael Schechtman, Big Sky Institute
1:45 p.m. Foundation Training
TBD
2:30 p.m. Training Discussion
3:00 p.m. Adjourn Meeting

Disability Rights Montana’s 2020 Virtual Conference

By |2020-09-16T10:23:35-06:00August 4th, 2020|Uncategorized|

Shifting the Narrative: An Intersectional Approach to Mental Health

Montana, are you ready to Shift the Narrative? We are thrilled to announce our virtual conference on September 14-18, 2020. You will have the opportunity to engage with nationally recognized disability and mental health activists, attorneys, and mental health providers for what will be an impactful experience! The conference will include powerful visions and tools for creating culturally competent, non-discriminatory, and inclusive mental health care systems. Register today!

For more information visit https://tinyurl.com/y2x73dnx

Board of Directors Meeting Agenda – July 25, 2020

By |2020-07-16T14:33:19-06:00July 16th, 2020|Uncategorized|

AGENDA
Board of Directors Meeting
July 25, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.
1022 Chestnut Street, Helena, Montana

9:00 a.m. Call to Order
Notice of Meeting
Executive Committee Report
Acknowledgement of Current Members Below Minimum
Acknowledgement of the Removal of Public Comment
BOD Calendar Amendment: Liability Insurance
Approval of April 25, 2020 and June 12, 2020 Minutes
Theresa Baldry, President
9:10 a.m. PAIMI Report
Kathie Waters, Advisory Council Chair
9:15 a.m. Finance / Audit Committee Report
FY19 Year End Financial Reports
FY20 3rd Quarter Financial Reports
FY19 Audited Financial Statements
990 Review
Update to Travel Reimbursement Rates
Dave Richards / Kelli Kaufman
9:45 a.m. Fundraising Committee Report
Will Warberg
9:50 a.m. Bylaws/Legislative Committee Report
Subcommittee of Appropriations – Beth’s request for information on Republican House Members
Donna Gleaves
10:00  a.m. Executive Director Report
COVID-19 Update
Program Activity
Conference Update
Bernadette Franks-Ongoy
10:10 a.m. Governance Committee Report
Recruitment Update
Kathie Waters
10:20 a.m. Strategic/Work Plan Discussion and Amendments
10:50 a.m. Executive Session
Personnel/Grievance updates
Executive Director Evaluation
11:10 a.m. Recognition of Maryanne’s Years of Service
11:20 a.m. Adjourn Meeting

DRM Statement on the Death of George Floyd

By |2020-06-12T15:52:35-06:00June 12th, 2020|Uncategorized|

Once again, we have witnessed vast disparities in our criminal justice system. The death of George Floyd and many others before him have highlighted the racial injustices that has long plagued our nation.

This needs to end.

You may be asking how this is a disability issue.

The answer is simple.

People with disabilities are black, people of color, indigenous people, immigrants, detainees, refugees, members of the LGBT community and every religious group. We are interconnected.

Disability Rights Montana stands with those demanding justice. We believe that ALL people, including those who face oppression by systemic racism, are entitled to equal access to the opportunities and safety afforded to ALL members of our society.

We reject hate. We demand change.

As Desmond Tutu wisely said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

DRM is willing to be part of a broader conversation with all stakeholders to find solutions.

DRM is committed to continue our work to reform the criminal justice system through advocacy and legislation to the benefit of ALL.

MT Shares Annual Raffle

By |2020-06-11T14:36:36-06:00June 11th, 2020|Uncategorized|

The 26th annual Montana Shares raffle is now underway and the drawing will be held on September 18th, 2020. Support Disability Rights Montana and other Montana non-profits and become eligible for great prizes. You need not be present to win. Winners will be notified by mail and will be posted within two weeks after the drawing on the Montana Shares website.

There are 33 fabulous prizes, including 14 prize packages this year (each prize package is worth $200-$300)! Raffle tickets are $10 per ticket, 3 tickets for $25, 6 tickets for $40, or 18 tickets for $100.

Money collected from the raffle helps Montana Shares’ program budget, which in turn, helps them support members with the ongoing work to invest in Montana’s human, animal, cultural and natural resources. Click on the images below for a list of prizes and printable raffle tickets. To enter the raffle, print and complete the number of tickets you’d like to purchase and mail them along with payment to:

Montana Shares
PO Box 833
Helena, MT 59624

Image link to PDF list of raffle prizes
Link to printable link to sheet of 18 tickets

State’s Appendix K Waiver Request Approved

By |2020-05-21T08:23:18-06:00May 21st, 2020|Uncategorized|

In response to the Covid-19 emergency, MT DPHHS has submitted a series of amendments to Montana’s Medicaid waivers to help lessen the impact of the situation upon providers and those who receive their services. The most recent of these was an Appendix K request which included various requests for alterations to the way that Medicaid waiver services are provided. This included all three disability waivers in our system: the Big Sky Home and Community Based Waiver (“Big Sky”), the Montana Behavioral Health Severe Disabling Mental Illness Home and Community Based Waiver (“SDMI”) and the Montana Home and Community Based Waiver for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (“0208″). We were given the opportunity to comment on the wavier application prior to submittal, and many of our recommendations were adopted.

The federal government approved the request on April 30, 2020. Significant changes are as follows:

  • Waives prior authorization limits on the following services:
    • 0208 waiver – respite;
    • Big Sky waiver – companion, respite, personal assistance services and non-medical transportation;
    • SDMI waiver – homemaker chore services
  • Permits the following services to be delivered in a participant’s home environment or alternative provider or community setting:
    • 0208 waiver – day supports and activities, retirement services, supported employment-follow along support and individual employment support, personal care, companion, personal supports, homemaker, residential habilitation;
    • Big Sky waiver – adult day health, day habilitation, supported living; and
    • SDMI waiver – adult day health services.

It also allows services to be provided in these additional settings: the private home of the participant or a family member of the participant; a provider owned or controlled or extended family home; the private home of a direct care provider; community center or designated community gathering center; hotel/paid lodging; newly rented room; other residential setting; or telework settings.

  • Approves reimbursing “legally responsible persons” as caregivers for services that already allow a relative or legal guardian to provide. These are:
    • 0208 – day supports and activities, homemaker, residential habilitation, respite, companion services, personal care, personal supports, retirement services, specialized child care for medically fragile children, supported employment-follow along support, supported employment- co-worker support, supported employment- individual employment support, supported employment- small group employment;
    • Big Sky – day habilitation;
    • SDMI – personal assistant attendant, specially trained attendant.
  • Expands provider pool by allowing any enrolled waiver provider to work in all three waivers.
  • Temporarily extends deadlines for all training requirements for 60 days from the original due date.  However, all direct care staff should continue to receive training on the participant’s plan of care for whom they are providing support. Training on the plan of care must consist of basic health and safety support needs for that individual. Providers must continue to ensure that direct care staff are able to demonstrate competency in the skills and techniques necessary to perform their assigned tasks under the participant’s plan of care.
  • Expands provider types for specialized equipment and supplies to purchase items from nontraditional vendors who have necessary items in stock when supply or cost impacts occur due to COVID 19 on a case by case basis.
  • Suspends periodic licensing and quality reviews of provider agencies throughout the duration of the pandemic. Allow provider flexibility in daytime staffing levels as long as care quality is retained.
  • Temporarily modifies processes for initial level of care for waiver eligibility to allow evaluations to be conducted via telephone or other interactive electronic communication.
  • Allows for payment of services to support a participant when temporarily institutionalized in a nursing facility, swing bed, critical access hospital or acute care hospital for a COVID 19-related illness. This is for providing additional supports for communication, behavior and/or extensive personal supports and such services that are not covered in such settings:
    • 0208 – residential habilitation, day supports and activities, retirement services, personal supports, companion, adult foster;
    • SDMI – specially trained attendant, life coach.
  • Adds or increases retainer payments for providers of services identified as habilitation services that include a component of personal care and/or personal care. Retainer payments shall be available when the participant is hospitalized or otherwise unavailable to participate in habilitative services for the duration of COVID 19 related absences. The retainer time limit will not exceed the lesser of 30 consecutive days or the number of days for which the state authorizes a payment for “bed hold” in nursing facilities. The services included are:
    • 0208 waiver – assisted living, companion services, day supports and activities, personal care services, residential habilitation, retirement services, supported employment follow along support, supported employment individual employment support, supported employment-small group employment;
    • Big Sky waiver – residential habilitation, post-acute rehabilitation services, supported living, adult day health, day habilitation, personal care services, private duty nursing;
    • SDMI waiver – residential habilitation, personal care services, specially trained attendant, private duty nursing.

Board of Directors Meeting Agenda – April 25, 2020

By |2020-04-13T14:16:42-06:00April 13th, 2020|Uncategorized|

AGENDA
Board of Directors Meeting
April 25, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
1022 Chestnut Street, Helena, Montana

9:00 a.m. Call to Order
Notice of Meeting
Approval of January 31, 2020 Minutes
Theresa Baldry, President
9:10 a.m. Governance Committee Report
New member – Joel Peder’s application
Kathie Waters
9:25 a.m. PAIMI Report
Kathie Waters, Advisory Council Chair
9:30 a.m. Finance / Audit Committee Report
Review and Approval of FY20 2nd
Quarter Report FY20 Budget Revision
FSA Plan Document Amendment
Dave Richards / Kelli Kaufman
9:45 a.m. Fundraising Committee Report
Will Warberg
9:50  a.m. Bylaws/Legislative Committee Report
Bylaws Amendment Approval
Donna Gleaves
10:00 a.m. Executive Director Report
COVID-19 Update
Bernadette Franks-Ongoy
10:15 a.m. Executive Board Report/Executive Session
Personnel/Grievance updates
10:30 a.m. Additional Items for Discussion
11:00 a.m. Adjourn Meeting

COVID-19: A Letter From DRM’s Executive Director

By |2020-05-05T11:21:11-06:00April 3rd, 2020|Uncategorized|

Dear Friends,

The COVID-19 is affecting all of us. This invisible virus is sweeping across Montana, our country and the world and is disrupting our lives and daily routines. We are all being asked to do our part to “flatten the curve” and practice “social distancing”.

The virus does not discriminate. That being said, policies and practices that are implemented, though intended for the greater good, can be unintentionally discriminatory having negative and disproportionate impacts on people with disabilities. Disability Rights Montana staff is working with and monitoring city, county, and state officials as policies and practices are implemented.

This week we sent a letter to Governor Bullock itemizing steps we believe are necessary to protect Montanans with disabilities. We highlighted discrimination in the delivery and access to medical services, quarantine capacity for people who live in congregate living settings, capacity to provide in-home services, halting termination or redetermination of Medicaid eligibility, flexibility for providers who deliver in-home and day program services, support and expansion of mental health services, and the monitoring of institutionalized settings. We are gratified in knowing that some of our recommendations are being implemented and that others are being considered.

In an effort to support Chief Justice McGrath’s letters to courts of limited jurisdiction encouraging the release of nonviolent offenders, we filed a petition to the supreme court requesting the release of prisoners with disabilities who will be at great risk if this pandemic breaks out in the prison. We are very mindful of community safety and request the release of prisoners with disabilities be handled through the appointment of a special master. The Supreme Court granted our petition and has ordered the parties to full brief the issue.

Many people with disabilities already live in social isolation and now with the outbreak of this pandemic disease we are being asked/required to “social distance” even more. The social distancing requirements add unintentional burden on people with disabilities. We are asking you to be mindful of your neighbors and friends with disabilities who may need a helping hand during this time. Call them and check in. If you suspect unintentional or intentional discrimination, call DRM and report it to us.

Although our office is physically closed, DRM staff are working and available to answer questions and provide information.

We encourage you to call our office and leave a detailed voice message and phone number or email address where we can contact you. Please note that return calls may be made from blocked numbers since staff are working remotely.

DRM will continue to stay in touch with you as we monitor the situation. In the meantime, may you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe. We will get through this together.

Sincerely,

Bernadette Franks-Ongoy
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