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National News!

Restraint needed on restraints | Battle Creek Enquirer |
Tom Watkins    click here to read article
Tom Watkins

New Olmstead consent decree in RI

Click here to see the consent decree about sheltered workshops and day programs!!!

Medicaid Expansion

June 20, 2013
The Michigan Senate adjourned late last week (June 20th) without voting on Medicaid expansion.

Please click here for the latest information.

HHS Finalizes Rules Guaranteeing 100% Medicaid Funding

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced a final rule with a request for comments
that provides, effective January 1, 2014, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of certain newly eligible
adult Medicaid beneficiaries. Read more

Just Released Information from National Council on Independent Living

As you may recall, the law firm of Brown Goldstein and Levy has agreed to work with NCIL to pursue legal action against entities egregiously violating the rights of people with disabilities. Read more

Commonwealth of Virginia will partner with The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
to test a new model for providing coordinated care

The Health and Human Services department just recently announced the Commonwealth of Virginia will partner with The Centers for Medicare and  Medicaid to test a new model for providing more person-centered, coordinated care to Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. 
Virginia is the fifth state with approval for a capitated demonstration to better integrate and coordinate service delivery for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. Approximately 78,600 beneficiaries will be eligible for the demonstration. Subject to plans passing a readiness review, enrollment would begin in February 2014.

The full text of the Memorandum of Understanding will be available soon at:

Important Information for State Medicaid Directors about Long Term Care in Medicaid

Long Term Services and Supports Delivered Through Medicaid Managed Care Programs

States Delaying, Dropping Controversial Dual-Eligible Pilot Program
By Rich Daly  Modern  May 23, 2013

More than half of the states that applied to participate in a controversial CMS pilot for dual-eligible beneficiaries have either dropped out or delayed implementation of their programs, according to health policy experts.
read more

Medicaid Expansion-Contact your legislators

Time is running out for those who support Medicaid expansion in the state of Michigan. This month, the House reported out its 2014 budget, without Medicaid expansion.  The week of April 8th, the Senate is expected to do the same.  The Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards is recommending everyone who supports Medicaid expansion take action by writing letters and making appointments with their district representatives, especially those that are not in favor of expanding Medicaid.  Several people supported by Community Living Services ( are meeting with their district reps and others are showing up at the legislator’s district coffee hours. “This is an important issue that affects a lot of people in Michigan,” said advocate and Peer Mentor Andre’ Robinson. “I believe Medicaid should be expanded to those who need it.” For more information visit:

Nerney's Tribute to Dr. Koop

To read what Tom Nerney published, visit:

TEAM Act Would Re-Focus Funds to Support School Transitions and Integrated Employment

The three bills are referred to as the “Transition toward Excellence, Achievement and Mobility Act (TEAM Act). This legislative package will focus on helping people with disabilities gain full-time employment in an integrated environment at a livable wage. The plan would also support long-term career development and community inclusion. The three different bills are: The TEAM Education Act, The TEAM Empowerment Act and The TEAM Employment Act. To read more follow the link:


Achieving a Better Life Experience

The Achieving a Better Life Experience or ABLE Act offers a pathway to a better future for people with disabilities and their families.  It would give them access to savings accounts, allowing them choice and control, while protecting their Medicaid, SSI, private insurances and other benefits.  Savings accounts could be created accruing interest tax-free.   The account could also fund a variety of essential expenses including medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing and transportation. For more information on the proposed legislation, follow the link:

Excellence in Mental Health Act Legislation Introduced

US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced legislation which is focused on supporting the nation’s community mental health and addictions system. The Excellence in Mental Health Act will establish standards and oversight for Federally Qualified Community Behavioral Health Centers. These standards would give greater access to the services and treatments for Americans living with mental illness and addictions.  Follow the link for more information,

How to Create Your Own Budget

MPF LogoThe Michigan Partners for Freedom is an alliance of people with disabilities, family members, advocates and organizations working together to make Self-Determination a reality for everyone. MPF has developed a new video called: Owning the Process: Individual Budgeting. The video focuses on one of the tools of Self-Determination, individual budgeting and how to create a budget and why it’s so important.  Please follow the link to the video:

"Telling Your Story"

Looking for a way to  compose and practice your personal story to present to elected public officials or other policymakers?
Check out “Telling Your Story” and  learn the best ways to introduce yourself and talk about your issue, record and practice your story.

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities  has created "Telling Your Story" a tool that persons with disabilities, family members, and other advocates can use to compose and practice the personal story they'll present to elected public officials or other policymakers at all levels of government when seeking policy changes or increasing awareness about disability issues. The app guides users through the steps, from introducing yourself to identifying the specific issue to the best methods for presenting a compelling personal story. After entering the text of their story, an audio recording feature allows the user to rehearse their story. Users can also select and preview a photo they may wish to include.

The app is available free at the iTunes Store:

Another great resource from Partners in Policymaking  !!!

HHS Announces 89 New Accountable Care Organizations
click for details

Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act

click for details

Statement from Secretary Sebelius on the
Administration for Community Living

click for details

The Health and Human Services Department Announces
Funding For Older Adults and People with Disabilities

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new $25 million funding opportunity made possible by the Affordable Care Act to help states strengthen and expand their ability to help seniors and people with disabilities access home and community-based, long-term services and supports.  Over the next one to three years, funding will support Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) in almost every state.
To read the entire story click on and click on “News.”


Please take a few minutes to read this article. It will make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities when it comes to transition plans and living a life of freedom and independence.
Keep Home Care A Safe Choice

Please take a few minutes to listen to one woman’s journey toward independence using the tools of Self-Determination. Featured are: Michigan Partners for Freedom Local Leader Rachel DeMaadg and representatives from The Kent County Arc located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

click to listen

3 Provider Organizations Awarded Medicare Accountable-care Organization Contracts
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State of Michigan's Medicaid Program Ranks 2nd in Nation
in Providing Services to People with
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities!

click for details


barCenter’s Executive Director Takes on a New Role

Tom Nerney

Tom Nerney, who has been the Executive Director of The Center for Self-Determination for more than a decade, is taking on a new role. Although Tom will continue working with The Center, he will also lead a new Policy Division and hopefully get to spend more time with his 12 grandchildren.
Tom is also working on health care issues which we will see more of through the Institute on Health Quality and Ethics which will work closely with The Center and address policy issues together when possible. Tom may be contacted via email at


The Center for Self-Determination is a non-profit organization, established in 2000, operating as the primary clearinghouse, training and technical assistance source on Self-Determination in the United States and other countries. The Center is devoted to working within the public and private sector to move power and authority over resources directly to individuals with disabilities, families and allies.


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New Video Focuses on Caring for Loved Ones in their Homes and Communities

Support at Home
is a video highlighting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, seniors and veterans and shows how family and friends can find resources as they face the challenge of caring for their loved ones.
Follow the links: or

Tom Watkins
Tom Watkins

"Support at Home"
shows how to bring help
to those who need it.
Click here to read article

©2012 Center for Self-Determination