WE’VE MOVED! – Changes To This Blog

For those who subscribe to this blog, we would like to inform you that as of today, AHRC New York City will no longer be posting content here.  If you are interested in keeping up with us and news from the field of programs, services, and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,

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AHRC New York City CHRONICLE Spring 2012

The AHRC New York City CHRONICLE for Spring 2012 is available here:

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs093/1103862535052/archive/1110465793949.html

Check it out for the latest in news and services offered by AHRC New York City!

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

The article below, from disability.gov lists President Obama’s intent to nominate individuals to key Administration posts, including Dr. Sheryl White-Scott, who has worked the Associate Director of Community Health Services at AHRC/New York City since 2008 .  Congratulations to all who are listed, and thank you from AHRC New York City for your continuing dedication to improving the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities!

 

WASHINGTON, DC – July 17, 2012, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:
 
• Bidtah N. Becker – Member, Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development
• James B. Cunningham – Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Department of State
• Richard G. Olson – Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Department of State
 
The President also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:
 
• Peter H. Bell – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
• Jack Martin Brandt – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
• Micki Edelsohn  – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
• Ann Hardiman – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
• Alison A. Hillman de Velásquez – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
• Carl M. La Mell – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
• Julie Ann Petty – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
 Lauren Potter – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
• Lillian Sugarman – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
• Carol Wheeler – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
• Sheryl White-Scott – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
 
President Obama said, “I am grateful that these talented and dedicated men and women have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people. I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”
 
President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:
 
Bidtah N. Becker, Nominee for Member, Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development
Bidtah N. Becker is Assistant Attorney General for the Natural Resources Unit of the Navajo Nation Department of Justice and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.  Ms. Becker served in the Water Rights Unit of the Navajo Nation Department of Justice from 2004 to 2012, and in the Human Services and Government Unit from 2002 to 2004.  Earlier in her career, Ms. Becker taught government courses at the Santa Fe Indian School and was also a Chaplain in Residence at the Georgetown University Campus Ministry.  She serves on the Board of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts and the University of New Mexico School of Law Alumni Board of Directors.  Ms. Becker received a B.S.F.S. from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law.
 
Ambassador James B. Cunningham, Nominee for Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Department of State
Ambassador James B. Cunningham, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, is Deputy Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.  Prior to his post in Kabul, Ambassador Cunningham served as the U.S. Ambassador to Israel from 2008 to 2011.  From 2005 to 2008, he was U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong.  Previous assignments include: Ambassador and Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1999-2004); Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Rome (1996-1999); Director of the State Department’s Office of European Security and Political Affairs (1993-1995); and Chief of Staff to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General (1989-1990).  Earlier assignments include posts with the U.S. Mission to NATO, as well as posts at the U.S. Embassies in Rome and Stockholm.  Ambassador Cunningham received a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Psychology from Syracuse University.
 
Ambassador Richard G. Olson, Nominee for Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Department of State
Ambassador Richard G. Olson, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, served as the Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul from June 2011 to June 2012. He previously served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates from 2008 to 2011 and as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels from 2006 to 2008.  Additional overseas assignments include posts in Mexico, Uganda, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Najaf, Iraq.  Additional Washington assignments with the State Department include posts in the State Department Operations Center, NATO Desk, the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs, and the Office of Iraqi Affairs.  Ambassador Olson joined the Department of State in 1982.  He received an A.B. from Brown University. 
 
President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:
 
Peter H. Bell, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Peter H. Bell is the Executive Vice President for Programs & Services at Autism Speaks, a position he has held since 2007.  From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Bell was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Cure Autism Now, where he helped to establish the Autism Treatment Network.  Prior to his work at Cure Autism Now, Mr. Bell held a number of marketing positions at McNeil Consumer Healthcare from 1992 to 2004.  Mr. Bell serves on numerous boards and commissions, including as Co-Founder and President of Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism and Chair of the Community Advisory Committee for the International Society for Autism Research.  In 2007, he served as Chair of the Integration Panel of the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs for autism research.   He was previously appointed as a Member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Obama in January 2012.  Mr. Bell is the father of a young adult with autism.  Mr. Bell received a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
 
Jack Martin Brandt, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Jack Martin Brandt is the Disability Policy Specialist for the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University, a position he has held since 2010.  Previously, Mr. Brandt was a Disability Rights Advocate at the Virginia Office for Protection & Advocacy from 2008 to 2010 and a Disability Policy Consultant for the State of Virginia from 2006 to 2008.  He was a Virginia Governor’s Fellow at the Office of Community Integration for People with Disabilities in 2006 and a Congressional Intern for the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee in 2005.  Mr. Brandt serves on the Virginia Community Integration Advisory Commission and the Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council.  In 2006, he received the Jackie Crews Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities.  Mr. Brandt was previously appointed as a Member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Obama in January 2012.  Mr. Brandt received a B.A. from James Madison University and is pursuing an M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University.
 
Micki Edelsohn, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Micki Edelsohn is currently the Treasurer of Homes For Life Foundation, a nonprofit organization she founded in 1999 that builds group homes for adults with intellectual disabilities.  In addition, she works with many organizations for individuals with intellectual disabilities, including The Arc of Delaware, the Governor’s Commission on Community Based Alternatives, the Center for Disabilities Studies at the University of Delaware, and the Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens with Intellectual Disabilities.  Recently, Mrs. Edelsohn was inducted into the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame and was named one of the “25 Who Matter” in Delaware by The News Journal.  She has also received the Humanitarian Award from the United Way of Delaware, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wilmington Senior Center, and the Delaware Housing Coalition Award.  Mrs. Edelsohn was previously appointed as a Member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Obama in May 2011.  Mrs. Edelsohn has an adult son with an intellectual disability.  She received a B.A. from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University.
 
Ann Hardiman, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Ann Hardiman is currently the Executive Director of the New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies, a position she has held since 1995.  Ms. Hardiman previously worked as an Assistant Executive Director at Opengate, Inc., from 1992 to 1995, and as the Director of Residential Services at Rehabilitation Programs, Inc., which is now known as  Abilities First, from 1978 to 1992.  Ms. Hardiman was previously appointed as a Member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Obama in May 2011.  She received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Potsdam and an M.A. from Marist College.
 
Alison A. Hillman de Velásquez, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Alison A. Hillman de Velásquez is a Program Officer for the Open Society Foundations’ Disability Rights Initiative, a position she has held since December 2009.  From 2002 to 2009, Ms. Hillman de Velásquez was Director of Disability Rights International’s Americas Programs.  In 2003, she received the Paul G. Hearne/American Association of People with Disabilities Leadership Award as an emerging leader in the disability field.  Ms. Hillman de Velásquez was previously appointed as a Member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Obama in May 2011.  She received a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law.
 
Carl M. La Mell, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Carl M. La Mell is President and CEO of Clearbrook, an Illinois service provider for individuals with developmental disabilities.  He has held this position since 1996.  Previously, Mr. La Mell worked at the Victor C. Neumann Association from 1979 to 1995 as its CFO, Associate Executive Director, and lastly as its CEO.  Mr. La Mell is also a member of the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, the Illinois Department of Human Services State Task Force on Autism, and the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  From February 2010 to April 2010, he chaired the Finance Committee of the Illinois Statewide Early Intervention Task Force.  He has been awarded the Executive of the Year Award from the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, the Community Leader of the Year Award given by the City of Rolling Meadows, and the Claude D. Pepper Distinguished Service Award.  Mr. La Mell was previously appointed as a Member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Obama in May 2011.  Mr. La Mell received a B.S. from DePaul University.
 
Julie Ann Petty, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Julie Ann Petty has been a Project Trainer for Partners for Inclusive Communities at the Arkansas University Center on Disabilities since March 2007.  From 2007 to 2009, Ms. Petty worked as a Policy Analyst at the Human Services Research Institute and, from 1998 to 2007, she was the State Coordinator for Arkansas People First.  Ms. Petty has served as National Chairperson for Self Advocates Becoming Empowered and Co-Chair for the Alliance for Full Participation.  Ms. Petty was previously appointed as a Member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Obama in November 2011.  Ms. Petty received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Arkansas.
 
Lauren Potter, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Lauren Potter is a cast member on the FOX television program Glee where she plays the part of Becky Jackson.  Ms. Potter serves on the Board of Best Buddies International and lends her name and fame to numerous organizations, including the Down Syndrome Association.  She has participated in the AbilityPath.org campaign against bullying and partnered with the Special Olympics in their “End the Word” campaign.  Her disability rights advocacy has earned her awards from The Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, the Arc, the Full Life Festival, and the American Association of People with Disabilities.  Ms. Potter was previously appointed as a Member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Obama in November 2011.  She is a graduate of Polytechnic High School in Riverside, California and is currently a student at Irvine Valley College.
 
Lillian Sugarman, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Lillian Sugarman has been an independent consultant for early child development programs in Washington, D.C. since April 2012.  Most recently, Ms. Sugarman was Project Director for the Community Development Institute on an interim project from April to July 2012.  Previously, Ms. Sugarman worked at the national nonprofit organization ZERO TO THREE as Director of the Early Head Start National Resources Center from 2004 to 2011 and as the Center’s Assistant Director from 1999 to 2004.  Prior to that, Ms. Sugarman served in the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as Director for Technical Assistance in the Child Care Bureau from 1997 to 1999, as a Program Specialist in the Child Care Bureau from 1995 to 1997, and as a Head Start and Youth Program Specialist in the Region III Regional Office from 1987 to 1995.  She is currently a member of the Human Rights Committee at the Mary Campbell Center and previously served on the advisory committee for the Special Quest Project.  Ms. Sugarman was previously appointed as a Member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Obama in May 2011.  She received an M.A. in Teaching Early Childhood from the University of the District of Columbia and an M.S.W. from Virginia Commonwealth University.
 
Carol Wheeler, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Carol Wheeler is currently U.S. Board Chair of the South Africa-Washington International Program, Honorary Board Chair of N Street Village, and Chair of the Friends of J.O. Wilson Elementary School.  Previously, Ms. Wheeler served as coordinator of the Washington chapter of Project Children and was the founder and Board Chair of the Washington Ireland Program for Service and Leadership.  In addition, she was a consultant with America’s Public Television Stations, Vice President for Government Affairs at the National Association of Broadcasters, a liaison for women’s organizations in President Carter’s Administration, and Executive Director of the Women’s Campaign Fund.  She was previously appointed as a Member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Obama in May 2011.  Ms. Wheeler is the mother of a young adult with Williams Syndrome.  She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Iowa.
 
Dr. Sheryl White-Scott, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Dr. Sheryl White-Scott is the Medical Director for Brooklyn Developmental Disabilities Services, a position she has held since 2009.  In addition, Dr. White-Scott has been the Associate Director of Community Health Services at AHRC/New York City since 2008 and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at New York Medical College since 1993.  From 1999 to 2007, Dr. White-Scott was the Director of the Program for Developmental Disabilities at Saint Vincent’s/Catholic Medical Center.  Dr. White-Scott is currently a member of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and former President of the American Association of University Affiliated Programs, which is now known as the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.  Dr. White-Scott was previously appointed as a Member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Obama in May 2011.  She received a B.A. in Natural Sciences from Johns Hopkins University and an M.D. from State University of New York Stony Brook School of Medicine.

Politics As It Happens: Paul Marchand Analyzes the Supreme Court Decision’s Impact on the I/DD Field, Other News

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Statute

By a narrow and surprising 5 to 4 margin, the Supreme Court voted to uphold most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on June 28. Even more surprising was the deciding vote which was cast by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr.  Thus barring future Congressional or court action regarding the ACA, the law will become fully effective on January 1, 2014.  The one major component of the decision that narrows the ACA relates to Medicaid coverage.

ACA Significance to Disability

Numerous provisions in the ACA are intended to broaden coverage for people with disabilities.  For example, health insurers will 1) no longer be able to limit or alter coverage due a person’s pre existing health condition, 2) be prohibited from canceling coverage due to a change in health status, and 3) be disallowed from placing lifetime caps on health care costs.  Already in effect is an ACA provision that has saved seniors and people with disabilities approximately $3.7 billion on prescription drugs.  Most importantly, the Court’s decision does not alter any current Medicaid eligibility or services.

The Medicaid Ruling

By a 7 to 2 vote, the Court did limit a key ACA provision that sought to significantly expand Medicaid benefits to low income individuals and families.  That provision was intended to provide Medicaid services to 16 million Americans with incomes below 133% of poverty.  A number of individuals with milder forms of intellectual disability who earn at or near the minimum wage could receive Medicaid coverage under this provision. The ACA would have required every state to expand its Medicaid program or lose existing Medicaid funding.  During the unusual three day arguments before the Court, a full day was dedicated to this provision.

The states that opposed the Medicaid expansion argued, successfully, that the Medicaid expansion and its sanctions were coercive and punitive.  The Court decision allows the Medicaid expansion to stand but permits any state to opt out without having its existing Medicaid program undermined.  A number of states are expected, at least initially, to opt out. The Governors of Florida and Texas have already announced their intention to opt out.  Many other states, particularly those dominated by conservatives, are pondering whether or not to go forward with the expansion.  The ACA provides strong incentives for states to expand their Medicaid coverage.  The law provides 100% federal funding for the expansion for the first three years and states would have to contribute no more than 10% in the out years.  This compares very favorably with the average 40% Medicaid state match under current law.  Overall, the Medicaid expansion is expected to cost $619 billion over 10 years.  According to a USA Today poll of states, New York is among the top states that are preparing to fully implement the ACA.

What Does the Future Hold for ACA Implementation?

With just less than a year and one half before implementation, lots must be done and several potential pitfalls loom ahead.  More lawsuits are anticipated to scale back the law or further delay its implementation.  Every state must work out its plans for implementation.  The federal government must continue its ongoing efforts to assist states and to build its own capacity to shape and monitor the law’s implementation.

The Republican-dominated U.S. House of Representatives scheduled another ACA repeal vote on July 11, which passed 244 to 158.  The Senate, however, is unlikely to schedule such a vote, thus killing a repeal this year.  Congressional conservatives may also attempt to derail implementation by reducing funding to those federal agencies charged with implementation.

The ultimate future of the ACA will be dependent on the upcoming November election.  Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has repeatedly expressed his intention to repeal the ACA if elected president.  House and Senate Republican leadership have expressed similar desires.  The repeal efforts will be stymied if President Obama is reelected.

Expect many more bumps in the road before the ACA’s promise is realized.

Paul Marchand
Consultant on Governmental Affairs, NYSARC, Inc

Feds: Least Restrictive Environment Applies To Transition Too

By law, students with disabilities are supposed to be included in general education to the greatest extent possible. Now, federal officials say the same tenet of inclusion should apply to transition as well.

Informal guidance issued recently from the U.S. Department of Education indicates that the requirement in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, that students be placed in the “least restrictive environment” extends beyond the confines of the classroom.

Specifically, the concept should apply to work placements if such experiences are part of a student’s individualized education program, or IEP, officials at the Education Department said.

“Placement decisions, including those related to transition services (including work placements), must be based on these (least restrictive environment) principles and made by the IEP team,” wrote Melody Musgrove, director of the Office of Special Education Programs at the Department of Education. “The IDEA does not prohibit segregated employment, but the (least restrictive environment) provisions would apply equally to the employment portion of the student’s program and placement.”

Read Full Article at disabilityscoop.com

Innovative Ideas Workshop July 17, 2012

On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, OPWDD will hold the second in a series of workshops showcasing some of the innovative ideas collaborating groups of nonprofit agencies are discussing/developing as they look for ways to support people with developmental disabilities under the People First Waiver.  This Innovative Ideas Workshop will be held via statewide videoconference, presenting general information on collaborative directions underway by groups of providers that have come together independent of OPWDD in anticipation of service delivery system changes.  The idea is for these collaboratives to share innovative ideas with individuals, family members and provider agency staff and engage these audiences in discussion, thereby sparking more conversation about system innovation.

 

Based on feedback following the first workshop on June 26, 2012, the July 17 workshop will run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and conclude with a working lunch. Those who wish may stay to hear a report of the lunchtime discussions. To allow the workshops to generate productive dialogue and discussion, participation in the workshop will be limited. However, OPWDD will provide a video of the workshop presentations and presentation materials on the People First Waiver Web page, as well as a summary report following the event.

 

Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline for registration is by close of business on Friday, July 13, 2012.  To sign-up to participate in the July 17, 2012 People First Waiver Innovative Ideas Workshop, please contact your DDSO’s People First Waiver Liaison.

Health and Safety Alert: Heat Related Illness – HEAT ADVISORY THROUGH THIS WEEKEND

THE TEMPERATURE IS EXPECTED TO BE ABOVE 90 DEGREES WITH HIGH HUMIDITY.

Please ensure that you are offering individuals plenty of water and/or clear liquids. Stay away from caffeine, as it will dehydrate you further.

During the hottest part of the day (10am-3pm) remain in air conditioned areas.

Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen with an SPF30 or greater.

The word of the day is FLUIDS!!!

As always, especially during hot days, any and all perishable food items must be handled appropriately.

Items needing refrigeration should not remain out longer than 30 minutes.

Use ice packs and coolers for extended periods where refrigeration is not available

Thank you.               

 

Risk Factors for Heat Stroke Death

Older adults have the highest rates of illness and death from extreme heat exposure, but people of all ages are at risk, especially those with underlying health conditions and those taking medications that can impair thermoregulation. Specific risk factors for illness and death include: cardiovascular disease, a history of substance abuse, psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia or dementia, diabetes and/or obesity, or a breathing condition such as emphysema. Cerebral palsy can put younger individuals at increased risk of heat illness or death.

Hyperthermia victims are most often overcome by heat in their own homes, frequently live alone, and do not have fully working air conditioners or may only have fans, which do not provide sufficient cooling during extremely hot weather. Fans should only be used when the air conditioning is on or windows are open, and are best to use at night to bring in cooler air from outside. 

 

Checklist: Most Vulnerable Populations at Risk for Heat Illness and Death

  • Adults less than 65 years of age
  • People with chronic health conditions including:
    • Cardiovascular, respiratory, or renal disease
    • Acute or chronic substance abuse
    • Obesity (BMI > 30), Diabetes
    • Psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder
    • Cognitive disability
    • Social isolation or limited mobility

 

Those taking medications that can impede thermoregulation, in particular the following drug classes:

  • Diuretics
  • Anticholinergics
  • Neuroleptics
  • Individuals without home air conditioning or those who cannot afford to use it or don’t like to use it, especially those with any of the above health conditions.

 

Excerpt taken from the NYC Department of Health Heat Alert #9: Extreme Heat Health Advisory, June 28. 2012

 

Five days of uninterrupted extreme heat conditions are expected.   The first general rule that should guide everyone is to ‘err on the side of caution.”  The third general rule is to take this QUIZ : 

 

The following “quiz” tests your knowledge of dealing with extreme heat:

(Scroll down for answers)

True/False: 

  1. During the day, If you don’t have air conditioning, the best way to cool down is to shut the windows and doors of your apartment to keep the heat out and have a window fan blow air on you.
  2. One of the “Warning Signs” of “Heat Stress” is dry skin.
  3. To prevent Heat Stress a freezing cold shower and an ice pack to the forehead should be used.  
  4. High blood pressure is NOT a risk factor for Heat Stress,
  5. Medications that DON’T increase risk for Heat Stress include:  psychotropic medication, blood pressure medication, medications for Parkinson’s disease and or antihistamines.
  6. Wearing tight clothes helps prevent Heat Stress by keeping the sweat sealed in so the body can stay cool.
  7. Nausea is a SERIOUS sign of Heat Stress.
  8. Window shades should not be used to keep out the sun as can they heat up the apartment.
  9. Avoiding physical activity because it’s hot outside is just another excuse to be lazy.
  10. A person experiencing SERIOUS signs of Heat Stress should lay down in a cool room for an hour and given fluids to drink.   Then, if they are still not feeling well after an hour, 911 should be called.

ANSWERS: 1-10 are ALL FALSE.

Want to know more?  

READ the OPWDD Alert and the following:

Helpful (FREE) NYCDOH brochures recommended by OPWDD:

“Beat the Heat”

http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/downloads/pdf/heat_brochure_english.pdf             

“Keep Cool”

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/cd/keep-cool-bro.pdf

 

Prevention of Heat-Related Illness

Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable. People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to cool down properly, especially in high temperatures and high humidity. People at greatest risk for heat-related illness are the elderly, the very young, people with acute/chronic illness, those with cognitive impairments, and people taking certain medications. Agencies should activate heat-related plans of action when external temperatures reach 80, and continue with implementation as temperatures rise.

 

Taking Precautions:

  • Be aware of the heat, and modify or reschedule outdoor activities accordingly.
  • Stay in air conditioned areas whenever possible and stay in the shade when outdoors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, limit caffeine, and eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals.
  • Wear loose fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.
  • When indoors, use window coverings to help keep the inside areas cool.
  • Be aware that fans do not provide cooling—they only move hot air around.

 

Types of Heat-Related Illnesses:

Heat Exhaustion – a milder form of heat-related illness. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Heavy sweating, paleness, skin may feel cool.
  • Muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness.
  • Dizziness, headache, fainting, nausea or vomiting.
  • Pulse rate may be fast and weak, and breathing may be fast and shallow.

Heat Stroke – this is a medical emergency. When a person’s body temperature rises to a dangerous level, it can lead to vital organ damage and death. Signs and symptoms include:

  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103 F).
  • Red, hot, dry skin, and absence of sweating.
  • Rapid, strong pulse rate, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea or vomiting.

Immediate Steps to Take:

  • If heat stroke is suspected or a person is exhibiting extreme symptoms of heat exhaustion—contact Emergency Medical Services (EMS) immediately.
  • Get the person to a cool, shady area, and attempt to cool them down with cool water applied to the skin. Monitor body temperature, if possible.
  • Give fluids if person is alert and able to swallow.
  • Seek medical follow-up for milder heat-related illness as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit: www.health.ny.gov/publications/1243/.

Please contact OPWDD at people.first@opwdd.ny.gov should you have questions or concerns about the information in this alert or suggestions for future alerts.

Politics As It Happens: Justice Center Bill Dominates Legislative Session

The Governor’s legislation creating a Justice Center for the protection of vulnerable populations dominated the legislative session which ended last Friday night.  The bill was the Governor’s top priority for the legislative session.  Its passage by both houses marked another big accomplishment for the Cuomo Administration.

Almost none of the dozens of other bills impacting people with developmental disabilities, particularly in the areas of abuse, passed both houses.  Out of about 30 bills, only a bill extending Jonathan’s law until 2015 passed the Senate and Assembly.  The law was due to sunset in 2012.

In the area of guardianship, however, a bill proposed by the NYSARC Guardianship Committee to facilitate succession of alternate and standby guardians passed both the Senate and Assembly in May.  It is not yet clear when it will be sent to the Governor.

The highly complex, 92-page Justice Center bill was the focus of considerable activity by NYSARC, CP Associations of NYS, the Alliance of Long Island Agencies, the Developmental Disabilities Association of Western New York and the Interagency Council (IAC) representing New York City agencies.

Our collective advocacy resulted in critical amendments to the Governor’s original proposal.  Nevertheless, given the size, scope and complexity of the Governor’s proposal, all parties  agreed that it will not be clear what provisions should be amended, deleted or supplemented until the Justice Center has had the opportunity to be operational for a reasonable period of time.  The Justice Center begins operations on June 30, 2013.  Throughout negotiations over the bill the Governor’s Office was candid as well as enormously receptive and responsive to the concerns of providers, advocates and families.

 

Read Full Article at nysarc.org

Politics As It Happens: Today’s Albany Times Union Commentary – Clarence Sundram Asserts that Creation of the Justice Center Makes New York the Leader in Protecting People with Disabilities

From the Albany Times Union:

“When Gov. Andrew Cuomo took office in 2011, he inherited a human services system riddled with problems. The people the state was charged with looking after — individuals with developmental disabilities, special needs and other vulnerabilities — were far too often facing abuse and mistreatment at the hands of the very workers who were responsible for their well-being. New York, which in the past had led the nation in its quality of care for this community, was clearly not living up to its responsibility to protect the vulnerable people in its care.

 

Clarence Sundram at AHRC New York City’s 63rd Annual Dinner

New York is hardly alone in wrestling with the problems of abuse and neglect in its human service systems. States all across the country are experiencing similar problems, and most are responding, if at all, with limited and specific fixes.

While Cuomo took a series of immediate steps to stem the crisis, including bringing in a new commissioner at the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities and commencing a series of preliminary reforms, he recognized that more had to be done.”

Read Full Article at timesunion.com

IAC Comments on New Legislation to Protect People with Special Needs

The message below comes from Winifred S. Schiff, Associate Executive Director for Legislative Affairs at the Inter Agency Council, of which AHRC New York City is a part:

Yesterday afternoon and evening, the Justice Center legislation passed both houses unanimously.

 

The bills that passed were an improvement on the Governor’s original program bill with clarification of the definitions of abuse and a solution for the conflict between effective dates of the previous abuse prevention notification legislation and the registry in the justice center bill, among many other improvements.   

 

In addition to Senator Roy McDonald who is the bill sponsor and Chair of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, a few other Senators spoke in favor of the bill prior to its passage. 

 

In the Assembly, Felix Ortiz, bill sponsor and Chair of the committee, explained the bill and the protections it would provide while thanking everyone involved in the process (which was very difficult to say the least) followed by lots of discussion and questions, and an impassioned speech from Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, who, with mixed feelings proclaimed his support of the bill.  Assemblyman Weisenberg was the author of the abuse prevention notification system statute.  Originally, the Justice Center Bill repealed the abuse prevention notification system but the final version included its provisions delays its implementation till July 1, 2013.

 

We will be discussing the Justice Center and roll out of this legislation over the coming months.  Feel free to contact me with thoughts, questions and  concerns.

- Winifred S. Schiff, Associate Executive Director for Legislative Affairs, INTERAGENCY COUNCIL

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