February 2015 Creating Home News

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Creating Home News
Where shared interests
create lifelong friends and great neighborhoods
regardless of diagnosis or IQ

Thirty-seventh Edition, February, 2015
AttendantCare Update - 18,000 Letters!
CPSH presented the issue of AttendantCare to the Intellectual and Developmental Disability System Redesign Advisory Committee in Austin. AttendantCare is part of the committee's efforts. The following points were addressed:
  • AttendantCare needs to be addressed immediately for all adults with IDD community and those with social challenges regardless of IQ. Including but not limited to those who qualify for medicaid waiver programs but haven’t moved off the interest list, as well as those whose IQ’s are above 70 and have challenges to living independently. Adults in all of these situations deserve the same opportunities to live their best lives with each other and others who don’t live with these challenges. Community First Choice is a good start. I will be watching this to ensure the level of need is addressed sufficiently, so that peole whose parents are aging can move out of their parent’s homes permanently.

  • In addition to having these services available, the compensation rate for caregivers needs to be addressed. If the pay is not a living wage the providers will have a difficult time staffing with the right skill set. Caregivers need to be educated in how to work with these consumers, showing respect and patience. This is a job creation opportunity for Texas. There are hundreds if not thousands of students in the Texas University system that have majors in social sciences - such as social work - who would make great care givers.

AttendantCare supporters are sending about 18,000 letters to Austin. Thank you to everyone who participated in this advocacy effort. CPSH volunteers will be at the Texas State Capital on 2/5 and 2/6 to deliver letters to Texas elected officials about the importance of AttendantCare and the need to provide regulations and budget for these services in this Legislative Session.

"Every letter is worth 100 votes."

"As few as 10 letters on any one topic can sway a legislator's vote."

A special "Thank you" to Paul Drake, Todd Flippen, Kathy Cox, David Catlett, Taylor Drake, David LeoGrande, Amanda Balderas and Jim LeoGrande for their tremendous time and effort to assist in printing and processing the letters, with CPSH Board Members Jane Drake, Brenda Catlett, Virginia Phillips, and Robin LeoGrande.
Donor Challenge Increases - Your Donation Doubles Until 2/28/15
Jim LeoGrande
Jim LeoGrande is a North Texas parent of an adult son living with Intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

"In January, I made a challenge donation as an initial investment in the social media improvements that support the mission of CPSH.

"Because of the generousity of the CPSH community, I am raising the amount of the challenge grant to improve the CPSH Website and attract more visitors. Between now and 2/28/15 for every $1 donated, I will match the donation, up to a total donation of $5,000.

"Would you take a moment to consider the mission of CPSH and how an updated website would help the volunteers meet the mission? Together we can make CPSH even more successful in 2015.

"To donate, go here."
2/21/15: MIMI AND DONA Screening, Denton, TX 1pm
MIMI AND DONA is a documentary film that explores the challenges faced by aging caregivers of people with disabilities through the story of an unforgettable mother and daughter. Dona and Mimi lived in Dallas until Dona moved into the Denton State Supported Living Center. CPSH encourages you to attend this viewing and see how one family helps their loved one transition into more independent living. The documentary will be shown in Denton, Tx:
  • Date: Saturday, February 21, 2015
  • Time: 2:00 PM
  • Campus Theatre
  • 214 W. Hickory St
  • Denton, TX 76201
Links about the documentary: Sadly, Dona Thornton passed away in her sleep on January 13, 2015. Dona's family has suggested that donations be made to CPSH in honor of Dona's life and legacy. Your donation will be matched. For Dona's obituary and donation information go here.
CPSH Idea for the Texas Intellectual and Developmental Disability System Redesign Advisory Committee
CPSH attended the January, 2015 Texas Intellectual and Developmental Disability System Redesign Advisory Committee and heard Commissioner Traylor's suggestion that the Committee address housing for this population. Here is a suggestion from CPSH that we sent to Clay Boatright (Committee Chair) and Kay Carlson (Housing Subcommittee Chair).
  • "Texas should support both choice of living options and have available the full array of services to meet each individuals needs. The Olmstead Act warns against forcing people into settings that are inadequate and emphasizes the need for states to provide an array of services to meet the needs of a population with widely diverse needs.

  • "There are already many different housing options in Texas that will meet the needs of most people living with these disabilities, provided services are available. Minor modifications to existing structures may be required. Of course there may be people who require unique living situations where current brick and mortar doesn’t exist, however with the variety of options currently available modification may be possible, for these individuals as well. Building unique housing for this population should be the last resort.

  • "Housing preferences and services need to be viewed from the perspective of the individuals and their families. Then the community needs to provide those preferences. We should not fit the needs to what is available. This will take time, but we need to change the way this is approached sooner rather than later.

  • "In all cases the needs of the individual must be determined without consideration for what housing and services currently exists, but rather what housing and services need to exist to provide access and integration in the community. This will take time, but we need to change the way this is approached sooner rather than later. The community needs to address the desires of its citizens. (City Planners do this frequently for the general public. CPSH is working to include people with IDD in the general public.)

  • "The HCBS rule (CMS)does not restrict the number of people living in the same home or neighborhood, but it does say that the setting has to provide "access" to "integration" in the "community". These terms are not sufficiently defined in the rule so that we know exactly what this means. Unfortunately the rule encourages Texas to consider policies that are even more restrictive than the HCBS rule, defining “community” and “integration” so narrowly that it deprives people of specialized services and residential options that they need for their comfort and survival. Why does Texas take this approach? Why doesn’t Texas intreprent this rule so that it encourages integration and services to save money - improve services and steer people with IDD to live in community. (Yes, the effort is at work for those in the State Living Centers, with challenges and stalls.)

  • "I would like to suggest the the IDD System Redesign Committee suggest specific changes to rules, regs, and laws in Texas to allow people to live where they want to live and streamline the service model so people have access to services so they can live successfully without their parents of desired. In the long run this will redirect funds to services and improve our community.

  • "It can be done."
If you would like to contact Clay and Kay regarding this or other ideas, go here.
CPSH in North Texas During February, 2015
CPSH is around North Texas sharing the updates of our projects. You're invited!.
Links, Like and Follow CPSH

CPSH Brochure English
CPSH Folleto Español
CPSH Website
2015 Priorities and Goals New!
Very Short English CPSH Housing Survey Please complete the survey.
español Encuesta de Vivienda Por favor complete la encuesta.
CPSH Facebook Like Us!
CPSH contact us
Volunteer! New!
Where Will I Live Without You. (short film - an easy way to share the mission.)
Dallas Morning News Special Needs Blog.
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