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It Matters to Me

March 11, 2016


It Matters to Me logo

Do you want to know how changes in funding will affect work programs and employment opportunities, what changes are coming to community-based services, or how the Able Act could benefit you or your family member? Do you love door prizes??

If so, you should attend It Matters to Me to learn more about how these issues can affect you, how you can get involved with advocacy, and maybe even walk away with a prize! John Dickerson, former executive director of The Arc of Indiana, will keynote an evening of informative and interactive sessions that will give you information about impending changes and what you can expect.

This event is free and open to people with disabilities, their families and staff, and the public.

Monday, April 18th 2016 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 100 IN-46 Bloomington, IN 47408

ABLE Act
The ABLE Act aims to provide tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities to help reduce financial strains. It works as a special savings account for disability-related expenses. These tax-free savings accounts will be available to cover expenses such as medical and dental expenses, education, housing, and transportation. This bill will work as a supplement for benefits that are provided through things such as private insurance companies, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources. An ABLE account provides individuals with disabilities flexible savings tools similar to those that all other Americans have access to through college savings accounts or health savings accounts. Contact your legislator to tell them a personal story about how an ABLE account could help you and your family!

Presenter: Caitlin Larson, from the Office of the Treasurer

Advocacy
Advocacy is one of the most important ways that you can make a change in your community. Being an advocate means speaking and acting on behalf of yourself, and others. As an advocate, you can help people who have been elected to public office learn more about what good supports are and how they can assure that people with disabilities receive them. There are many ways to become an effective advocate including attending public meetings, joining an advocacy group, or voting. In order to take these necessary actions, you must be informed. Interactive information sessions, such as It Matters to Me, are perfect for learning the information you need to effectively communicate with public officials.

Presenter: John Dickerson, former Executive Director of The Arc

Employment
Employment is a fundamental part of adult life. New state and federal rules emphasize community-based, integrated employment as the first priority and preferred outcome of people with disabilities receiving supports. Stone Belt has been providing employment services since the 1980’s and is in support of this philosophy. The emphasis on community-based employment also has an effect on workshop programs. Come learn about the changes ahead and Stone Belt’s proactive approaches to helping people get ready for them.  

Presenters: Bitta DeWees, Stone Belt Director of Community Employment and Karen Freeman, Stone Belt Director of Manufacturing.

Community Based Services
On March 17, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued regulations that define the settings in which it is permissible for states to pay for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) known as the HCBS Final Rule. The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that individuals receive Medicaid HCBS in settings that are integrated and that support full access to the greater community. This includes opportunities to seek employment and work in competitive and integrated settings, engage in community life, control personal resources, and receive services in the community to the same degree as individuals who do not receive HCBS. These changes will maximize the opportunities for participants in HCBS programs to have access to the benefits of community living and to receive services in the most integrated setting.

Indiana is developing its transition plan, which must be met by 2019.  Stone Belt is following this closely and working to align our services to meet the new requirements.  Come learn more about the final rule, the state’s transition plan, and Stone Belt’s response to these changes.

Presenters: CEO Leslie Green, Stone Belt Director of Lifelong Learning Susan Russ, and Stone Belt Central Region Supported Living Director Nancy Smith.

For more information or questions contact Leslie Green.