Recent News and Current Events

Recent News and Current Events2020-03-09T15:18:31-06:00

DRM Statement on the Death of George Floyd

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.

By |June 12th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

MT Shares Annual Raffle

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

By |June 11th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

State’s Appendix K Waiver Request Approved

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 […]
By |May 21st, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Board of Directors Meeting Agenda – April 25, 2020

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
By |April 13th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

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

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 […]

By |April 3rd, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

COVID-19 News: Emergency petition filed today

Today we filed an emergency petition with ACLU of Montana to ask the Montana Supreme Court to protect prisoners with disabilities by reducing the number of people who are now in or who will enter Montana’s jails and prisons. The ACLU of Montana, together with the Beck, Amsden and Stalpes law firm filed the petition on behalf of Disability Rights Montana.

The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is spreading exponentially across the country and the state. According to the petition, the Montana Supreme Court has the power to immediately reduce the number of incarcerated people in Montana in these extraordinary circumstances. Doing so would mitigate the mortal harm to incarcerated people with disabilities while also protecting other incarcerated people from undue harm, public health, and public safety.

According to public health experts, the two most important ways to prevent the spread of the highly-fatal COVID-19 are social distancing and frequent handwashing. For people in Montana’s prisons and jails, complying with those methods is virtually impossible. An estimated 32 percent of prisoners and 40 percent of those in jail report having at least one disability. These disabilities make them particularly susceptible to COVID-19. Further, when the outbreak reaches Montana […]

By |April 1st, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments