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December 11, 2017


IN THIS MEMO:
  • Affordable Housing...A Relative Term
  • Tax Bill Threatens Critical Programs - Act Now
     
  • Minimum Wage Increase - DDS Vendor Letter
  • Keep Fighting Bad Legislation!
     
  • And Then They Came For The Disabled.... 
  • Focus On: Save The Date, Public Policy Conference
  • Upcoming Events, News, Articles, and Research
  • Jobs, Funding Opportunities, & More


Affordable Housing...A Relative Term
by Teresa Anderson, MPH



The issue of affordable housing, or lack thereof, is certainly not new to the intellectual and developmental disability community. Suggesting that there is an affordable housing shortage is a gross understatement because as we know the reality is people with IDD face a serious affordable housing crisis in California. In fact, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) statewide housing assessment 2025 reports housing costs and supply issues particularly affect certain vulnerable populations that tend to have the lowest incomes and face significant barriers in obtaining affordable housing.  In addition, it was reported that both overt and subtle discrimination, inadequate accommodations for people with disabilities, lack of transportation access and stringent financial requirements prevent many people with disabilities from finding a place to live. Data from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) support this finding as 41% of the discrimination claims filed in CA were by people who felt they were discriminated against due to their disability (this is inclusive of all disability). 

The economic disadvantage for people with IDD who want to live on their own or in a supported living arrangement is dramatic. 2013 data from The State of the States in Developmental disabilities shows that 743,230 participants in CA disability programs receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is intended to cover housing and living costs (including food). The maximum 2017 benefit for SSI is $895.72 per month. To put this in perspective if we use the HUD income limits for 2017 non-metropolitan county median income ($41,950.00 for an individual) and compare it to a person living on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) ($895.72 per month or $10,740 per year) we find that they don't even meet the criteria for Extremely Low Income ($12,600 per year) in a non-metropolitan area. 

For example Fresno County city-data, a non-metropolitan area with a lower annual median income, lists the median rent for the county as $784.00 per month ($616.00 lower quartile and $990.00 upper quartile).  Even at the lowest quartile of $616.00 per month housing costs far exceed the recommended 30% of income toward housing. Needless to say the divide is even greater in higher median income metropolitan areas. Although there are public housing programs, vouchers and other housing assistance programs available they are limited, often having a waiting list, and people with IDD have to basically compete for available programs and housing units with everyone else seeking housing assistance.  

Nearly all Regional Center consumers 18 years of age or older rely on SSI to meet their housing and living needs. A small percent (14%) of consumers earn some wages that may or may not reduce their total reliance on SSI for housing and living costs. It is important to note that housing and support services are separate.  Unfortunately for adults with IDD living in CA the limited availability of safe, accessible and affordable housing coupled with the socioeconomic reality of living within an extremely low (and often less than extremely low-income levels) makes finding housing extremely difficult.   


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Teresa Anderson,
Prevention Coordinato





Tax Bill Threatens Critical Programs - Act Now

Jordan Lindsey,
Executive Director, 
The Arc CA

Or call (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with your local member of the House.

The Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and it is now moving back to the House. A vote could happen in the House as early as today. We need your help to stop this dangerous legislation! You can learn more about the tax plan here.

Congress is moving quickly to pass a tax bill that will place critical programs for people with disabilities at great risk! The bill will reduce federal revenues so much that Congress is all but certain to move to cut programs to pay for the tax cuts.  In fact, several Members of Congress have been promised that Medicaid and other programs will be cut next year if Congress votes for a bill that increases the deficit.

We need your help to stop this dangerous legislation!

Congress is also planning to repeal the "individual mandate" that requires people to obtain health care coverage or face penalties. This will result in nearly 13 million people losing health coverage and will increase premiums for people buying insurance on the health insurance exchange by 10%. The individual mandate is a critical piece of the complex system of incentives and penalties created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and repealing it would undermine the entire law. 


TAKE ACTION




Minimum Wage Increase - DDS Vendor Letter

December 1, 2017,

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has released an advisory letter to all vendors regarding increases in state minimum wage that will be effective January 1, 2018.  Vendors may begin submitting requests to the Department for increases in rates to comply with the new minimum wage.  The deadline for submission is March 1, 2018.  The full letter can be read here here.



ADVOCACY & COMMUNITY ORGANIZING

Keep Fighting Bad Legislation!
Tim Hornbecker,
Director of Advocacy & Community Organizing

History just repeats itself with good legislation and bad legislation! The recent passage of a national tax plan by the House and then by the Senate, is now awaiting reconciliation, and legislators already have declared they will now go after entitlements like Medicaid, Medicare, Welfare and Social Security to pay for the 1.5 trillion dollar deficit resulting from their proposed budgets! 

The Tax Bill under reconciliation will mean over 13 million people will hose healthcare by the repeal of the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, increased premiums for others by 10%, and decreased funds for home and community-based long-term services and supports! Medicaid is the funding lifeblood of services and supports for people with I/DD, from funding for Medicaid Waivers allowing people to live and work in their communities to funding for Special Education in our schools. 

If you haven't called, you need to call Now! The Capitol Switchboard in Washington, D.C. is (202) 224-3121. Encourage others to call. Use your social media to share with your contacts the impact of these cuts!

Please keep advocating as if millions of people's lives depend on it, they do!

Tim Hornbecker, Director of Advocacy and Community Organizing   


 

CUTTING THROUGH THE FOG
A Self-Advocacy Column by Eric Gmeinder

Then They Came For The Disabled...
Eric Gmeinder,
Guest Writer

At times I have been told that my columns are too politically charged. But now this topic has resurfaced, and I don't think I can keep silent anymore. But I will go to lengths not to offend my counterparts.

The far-right has appeared to make a priority of protecting rich, white, heterosexual, Christian men. In the last few years, a few more groups have been added to the fray: those who are cisgendered, neurotypical, and able-bodied.

Compared to other social groups, the fight for rights in the disability community has been whited out by the media, both fiction and news. Therefore, most Americans remain unfamiliar with disabilities and those who have them. The injustices they've suffered are, by extension, the injustices suffered by poor people. How can we help but be poor? 68 percent of people with disabilities are unemployed, including 85 percent of people with intellectual disabilities.

But President Trump is still being chastised by the able-bodied, neurotypical population for mocking Serge Kowalski, a reporter with a physical disability, during the campaign. Recently his Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, rescinded six dozen guidelines for educators regarding disability rights. He appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and even the other Justices have condemned his ableism as too extreme.

For the second time in my life, I am seriously considering moving to another country, partly because of the so-called Tax Scam Bill. Provisions stop just short of eliminating Social Security and Medicaid, and progressive places like California are targeted the hardest. I now fear no longer having healthcare, or even my own income, until I get a job.

Instead of feeling sorry for other minority groups that I am not part of, I am starting to truly feel in mortal danger because of the impending rollback of disability and LGBT rights. I now taste the same fear in this era as immigrants and women. I would love to get involved in a large-scale protest, and by "large-scale" I mean like the Women's March, #MeToo, or opposing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act or DACA. That will get results that make feel welcome; sitting around and waiting for The Powers That Be to save us will not.


FOCUS ON:





SIGN UP FOR OUR NATIONAL ACTION ALERTS
  
SIGN UP FOR OUR CALIFORNIA ACTION ALERTS

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UPCOMING
 
 

March 11-13, 2018
The Arc & UCP California Public Policy Conference, Sacramento, CA
 


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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES



 
The purpose of the ARRT program (funded through NIDILRR's Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program) is to provide advanced research training and experience to individuals with doctorates, or similar advanced degrees, who have clinical or other relevant experience. ARRT projects train rehabilitation researchers (including those with disabilities) with particular attention to research areas that support the implementation and objectives of the Rehabilitation Act and that improve the effectiveness of services under this law.

In recognition that some service providers need to take steps towards modifying their services to come into compliance with the HCBS rules by March 2022, the 2017 Budget Act contains $15 million to fund necessary changes. 

Disparity Funds Program
$11 million to the Department to assist regional centers in the implementation of strategies to reduce purchase of service disparities.

National Council on Disability
$150,000

Services for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
The purpose of this project is to increase community integration and independence of individuals with developmental disabilities and to improve the quality of home and community-based services (HCBS) by developing and testing one or more model approaches of a coordinated and comprehensive system that includes two interrelated core components for enhancing and assuring the independence, integration, safety, health, and well-being of individuals living in the community: (1) Community Monitoring and (2) Community Capacity Building. 
HHS 

More Grants Can Be Found at https://www.acl.gov/grants


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CAREER LADDER
The Arc of California posts job announcements in the Career Ladder section every week because we would like to contribute to steering quality candidates to professional positions that support people with disabilities and we are trying to communicate to Direct Support Professionals that there is a real "career ladder" in their chosen profession.
 
Children's Services Division annually supports almost 700 children with intellectual and developmental delays and behavioral health needs and their families.

The Dale Law Firm is a law office in central Contra Costa County that is dedicated to assisting persons with disabilities and their families to provide quality of life through utilization of special needs trusts. The Dale Law Firm is very active in a number of education activities including webinars, presentations for disability groups as well as professional organizations that serve persons with disabilities.

The Executive Director is accountable for the legal, safe, and effective operation of all activities and programs of the agency.  Responsibilities include association-wide fiscal management, personnel management, business compliance, long-range planning, program management and evaluation. 

The Chief Executive Officer/President enables PWI to adapt to and influence a dynamic environment. Working with and reporting to the Board of Directors, this role helps set policy and strategic leadership in concert with the mission, vision, purposes, and values of the organization. The CEO/President serves as the principal external representative of the organization and manages internal systems and complex processes of the organization to achieve effective and efficient operations. This position also directs budget development, fiscal responsibility and assures successful financial performance.

The Executive Director supports and advances the regional center's Vision and Strategic Plan and ensures that the operations and services of the regional center are aligned with that Vision and Plan. Under the policy direction of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director provides leadership to the staff and community, plans, organizes, develops and directs the operations and services of the regional center in accordance with the law, state regulations and the provisions of the Regional Center's contract with the California Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS). 

Executive Director position open for Resources for Independence Central Valley (RICV). RICV is located in Fresno, CA and provides independent living services for five counties in Central California. It has numerous funding sources including grants and fee-for-service programs. Excellent salary and benefits for the Central California area.

The Legislative Advocate 2 is part of the legislative unit for the organization and is responsible for legislative advocacy activities. The person identifies, monitors and advocates for legislative activities that affect Californians with disabilities.

Would you like to advocate for the employment, independence and equality for people with disabilities? Are you interested in joining a council that ensures consumers and other stakeholders have a voice in California's vocational rehabilitation program? If so, then a position on the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) may be for you! The SRC is recruiting for three perspective members representing:
  • The business, industry and labor community,
  • Disability advocacy groups, and,
    A current or former Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) consumer.
The Supported Life Institute seeks a Self Advocacy Project Coordinator that will work with, facilitate, empower and support dedicated self-advocates and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and advisors and facilitators involved with Self Advocacy Chapters throughout the Sacramento region in the Peer Advocacy Connection Project (PAC) and the Facilitation Services Project (FSP).   To learn about these important programs visit the SLI website at: http://supportedlife.org    and click on the Peer Advocacy Connection link. If this position matches your goals and interests, please email: dfaletti@supportedlife.org
. for a full job description.  No phone calls please


A job portal custom-designed for people on the autism spectrum. This portal is free for the autism community and developed in partnership between Autism Speaks and Rangam Consultants Inc.


 
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The Arc of California, 1225 8th Street, Suite 350, Sacramento, CA 95814.  Office (916) 552-6619, Fax (916) 441-3494