Loud and Clear: A Special Needs Conversation

Bipartisan Policy Center Recommends Long-Term Care Innovations

By Robert F. Brogan, CELA It was in late 2013 that the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), led by former Senators Tom Daschle (D) and Bill Frist (R), began studying the financing and delivery of long-term care. It took only a few months for them to assess the problem’s scope. Long-term care is costly in the […]

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Posted: April 13th, 2016 | No Comments »

Vote!

By The Arc “Vote as if your life depends on it,” Justin Dart, Jr., the disability rights pioneer often known as the father of the Americans with Disabilities Act, implored us, “Because it does.” Our core values call us to focus on voting during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in this critical election year.  The Arc’s […]

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Posted: April 1st, 2016 | No Comments »

Choosing Summer Camp for Kids with Disabilities

By Mary L. Waltari, Esq. The summer camp experience can benefit a child with special needs and parents alike, but they’re likely to feel anxious ahead of time. For kids, it’s fear of the unfamiliar. For parents, it’s worries about having someone who doesn’t really know their child suddenly take charge. But if properly researched, […]

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Posted: March 3rd, 2016 | 2 Comments »

Roundup: When You Suspect a Disability/Guardianship Mediation/Nursing Home Discharges

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with the wide-ranging issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of posts from member blogs and newsletters. When You Suspect Your Child May Have a Disability… It can be overwhelming to realize that your child may have a disability. Read tips […]

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Posted: February 24th, 2016 | No Comments »

Katie Beckett Waiver Brings Home Care to Kids with Serious Disabilities

By Tara Anne Pleat, Esq. In many states, the Medicaid program can generally be seen as having a strong institutional bias when it comes to coverage of long-term care, forcing many families to place loved ones in skilled care facilities or similar institutional settings, despite longstanding efforts to serve individuals with disabilities in mainstream settings. […]

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Posted: February 17th, 2016 | 6 Comments »

Long Waiting Lists for Community Services Deny ADA Rights

By Jason A. Frank, CELA and Jenna L. Snyder Both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Supreme Court’s related Olmstead decision support an individual’s right to receive long-term care in the least restrictive manner possible. Yet when families ask if Medicaid can help them pay for home and community-based services (HCBS), the answer […]

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Posted: January 12th, 2016 | No Comments »

Celebrating the Holidays When a Child Has Special Needs

By Jo-Anne Herina Jeffreys, CELA Holiday crowds, twinkling lights and unfamiliar scents can confuse and even frighten a child with disabilities. The season’s disruptions can be particularly painful for those who don’t handle change well. But with a little planning, you can contain the stress. Prepare Your Child Preparing your child in advance by revisiting […]

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Posted: December 1st, 2015 | No Comments »

Implementing the ABLE Act

By John Ariale, Esq., Guest Blogger One year ago, the chances for passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act seemed bleak. However, for those of us advocating for its passage, our lame duck strategy worked, and the ABLE Act was signed into law on December 19, 2014. The intent behind ABLE was […]

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Posted: November 6th, 2015 | No Comments »

Roundup: Special Needs Trusts/Vets with Disabilities/Medicare

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with the wide-ranging issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of posts from member blogs and newsletters. Mother’s Gifts to Children Create Dispute over Special Needs Daughter When planning for the longtime financial security of a child with disabilities, it’s best […]

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Posted: October 16th, 2015 | 1 Comment »

Glut1 Deficiency Syndrome: A Little-Understood Disability

By Emma R. Hemness, CELA Before representing the Special Needs Alliance (SNA) at the Glut1 Deficiency Syndrome Foundation’s annual conference in Orlando, I knew very little about the disease being discussed. Unfortunately, my lack of awareness wasn’t unusual. According to the National Institutes of Health, since first identified in 1991, only a few hundred cases […]

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Posted: October 5th, 2015 | No Comments »

How You Can Promote Supported Decision-Making for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

By Robin Shaffert, Senior Executive Officer, Individual & Family Support, The Arc You may have heard about supported decision-making and wonder what it is and how it applies to your practice. Supported decision-making is an effort to promote the rights of people with disabilities to make their own decisions by developing the skills and support […]

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Posted: September 22nd, 2015 | 2 Comments »

Siblings Don’t Always Make the Best Trustees

By Robert B. Fleming, CELA As the parent of a child with disabilities, you may already know that you have to establish a trust to handle any inheritance you leave for your son or daughter. But do you know the most important question? Selecting your trustee is at least as critical as getting the trust […]

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Posted: August 4th, 2015 | 2 Comments »

Roundup: Supported Decision-Making/Bullying/Pre-Dementia Planning

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with a wide array of issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of posts from member blogs and newsletters. Supported Decision-Making: A Model Alternative to Guardianship? Supported decision-making is an approach to enabling individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to control the […]

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Posted: July 23rd, 2015 | No Comments »

Americans with Disabilities Act Turns 25

By Emily A. Donaldson, Esq. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landmark legislation likened in scope to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. With its passage in July 1990, discrimination based on disabilities was banned in employment, public accommodations, telecommunications and government programs. Sponsored by recently retired Senator […]

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Posted: July 2nd, 2015 | 1 Comment »

Having Your Say: What if Advance Directives Are Ignored?

By Professor Kim Dayton Making medical and financial choices for an aging parent or other adult with special needs can be stressful. Health care directives and financial powers of attorney are meant to establish an agent’s decision-making authority, but in practice, it doesn’t always work that way. Time and again, health care professionals ignore medical […]

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Posted: June 13th, 2015 | 1 Comment »

Making the Most of Summer Vacation

Who doesn’t love summer vacation? But when a child has special needs, all that free time brings challenges. Youngsters who thrive on routine can find schedule changes disorienting. Some may become socially isolated without classes to attend. And, of course, if their life skills and academic work aren’t being consistently reinforced, months of hard-won progress […]

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Posted: May 26th, 2015 | No Comments »

Special Needs Trust Fairness Act Is Reintroduced

By Jennifer Steneberg, Esq. Legislation to enable individuals with disabilities to create their own special needs trusts (SNTs) has recently been reintroduced in Congress with bi-partisan support. Representatives Glenn Thompson (PA-05) and Frank Pallone, Jr., and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) have introduced the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act of 2015 (H.R. […]

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Posted: April 2nd, 2015 | 8 Comments »

Disability Policy Seminar 2015 – Get Involved and Get the Facts!

By Trudy R. Jacobson, Senior Executive Officer, Development & Marketing, The Arc Hosted by: The Arc, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), and Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) Promotional Support Provided by: Sibling Leadership Network […]

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Posted: March 20th, 2015 | 1 Comment »

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: Opportunities and Misconceptions

By Margaret Graham, Esq. March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Owing to parent advocacy and landmark legislation, communities have become significantly more responsive to the needs of people such as my daughter, Emily, who has cerebral palsy and autism. But challenges remain, and families continue to band together throughout the U.S. to help one another, […]

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Posted: March 4th, 2015 | 2 Comments »

Understanding the Role of Representative Payee

By Neal A. Winston, CELA According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), over seven million individuals currently require assistance with their monthly SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or Social Security Retirement, Survivors and Dependents Insurance (RSDI) benefits. For that reason, SSA has the Representative Payee Program, through which it authorizes family members, friends, government agencies, and […]

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Posted: February 13th, 2015 | 3 Comments »