Thursday, July 24, 2014

Happy 24th Anniversary ADA

Saturday, July 26th marks the 24th Anniversary of the signing of the ADA into law by President Bush. The most comprehensive federal civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability ever enacted, the ADA has brought about substantial changes, making buildings more accessible, providing greater employment opportunities for people with disabilities, enhancing transportation opportunities, making businesses and state and local government services more accessible, mandating the provision of sign language interpreters and other services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and increasing the availability of printed materials in alternative formats, and allowing people with disabilities to go where they want accompanied by their service dog.

 The Center for Independent Living of South is proud of the wide variety of ways that our consumers have gained independence as a result of the ADA, and we continue to work with state and local governments, employers, and businesses to enhance their opportunities and increase compliance with the law. If you want more information about the ADA, and about the CIL's work on behalf of consumers, contact us.


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Sunday, July 20, 2014

No Name Pub in the Keys Becomes Accessible

The No Name Pub in the Florida Keys Becomes Accessible.

signnew
According to the No Name Pub's Website:

"No Name Pub has been awarded top scores for food and service in the ZAGAT Survey’s Casual Dining category for many years running. The ZAGAT surveyed over 700 South Florida restaurants and rated the No Name Pub as the “Best casual dining experience in the Florida Keys ”. They went on to say, if you can find it you’ll be rewarded with the “best pizza anywhere”, chili, smoked fish dip and sandwiches served on paper plates in a real old rustic bar plastered with autographed dollar bills; those in the know say this Big Pine Key haunt is “worth the drive."

old1"The history of the No Name Pub goes back to 1931 when we were a general store and bait and tackle shop. We remained that way until 1936 when the owners added a small room on to the main structure which became a restaurant and the Pub was born."
"Our early customers included people from all walks of life, world travelers that arrived from the mainland via ferry and of course, the local Fisherman. The late 1930s brought an interesting twist to No Name Pub history. In an effort to increase business, the upstairs storage room was converted into a Brothel. While popular with many, the venture failed after several years as the fisherman were reported to be better looking than the ladies."
The front door of the restaurant/pub has a flight of stairs, and the side door, which is accessible, is always locked. Customers in wheelchairs had to knock as loudly as possible on the side door, but could rarely get in, as the noise inside prevented them from being heard by staff.
The CILSF's Director of Advocacy visited the pub, and spoke to management. Management was very receptive to addressing the problem, and installed signage at the side door and a very loud buzzer. Staff reports that many guests in wheelchairs now visit and enjoy the restaurant.
If you visit, say hello to the many Key Deer that roam the area, and try the shrimp pizza. It's well worth the drive.







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Friday, July 18, 2014

Article: People With Disabilities Institutionalized in Nursing Homes

Sent: Monday, July 14, 2014 10:19 AM
To: stevegoldada@stevegoldada.com
Subject: People With Disabilities Institutionalized in Nursing Homes

People With Disabilities Institutionalized in Nursing Homes, Information Bulletin #394 (7/2014).


Think about the warmth and coziness conjured up by the term "nursing homes." Much of the public and as well as the press think that "nursing homes" are the places where people must go in order to receive intensive nursing care. Let's take a look at the extremely effective branding of a
product: nursing homes.


As of December 2013, 69.4% of the nationb s 15,666 nursing homes were classified as "for profit," only 24.7% were classified as "nonprofit," and 5.9% were classified as "government/public facilities." In Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Utah, more than 80% of the nursing homes are "for profit."


More than 55% of these 15,666 facilities were owned by multi-nursing home chains and corporations, with each corporation having two or more nursing facilities under one ownership or operation. Nursing homes have not been "mom and pop" operations for many years.


Nursing homes are a $74 billion Medicaid funded industry. Medicaid certifies about 90% of the nursing facilities. Most of these facilities are BIG BUSINESS funded by public taxes and dollars. Think BIG LOBBIES using people with disabilities as cash cows to make profits.


Most of these are large institutions, "not homes," not even "group homes," of only a few people.  This is not surprising since "for profit"
means making money for the owners.  That means meeting the interests of the owners and not the residents in terms of size and scale.


The "nonprofits" are really not that much different from the "for profits"
with regard to their size.  They are not "homes." Don't be fooled by the label "nonprofit."  Executive Directors' salaries in nonprofit nursing homes can be hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.  Senior staff in "nonprofits" also make a lot of money.


What about the residents in Medicaid funded-nursing homes?  They are all people with disabilities.  Regardless of their age, in order to be eligible for Medicaid funded nursing homes, people must meet the State's criteria disability consisting of physical and/or cognitive impairments that limit activities of daily living.


Elderly people cannot just decide that they want to enter a Medicaid-funded nursing facility, like they would a hotel.  They must have a certain number of impairments, just like younger people with disabilities.


With regards to the alleged doctors, let's examine their affiliations with the facilities. Most people in nursing homes do not know they can have their own doctors continue to treat them there. Rather, the nursing homes have an understanding or deal with certain doctors who "care for" all the residents.  The result is that the doctors in nursing homes are beholden to the nursing facility, and the residents/patients in these facilities are cash cows for the doctors.


These doctors do not view the residents as their patients because in order for the doctors to continue to be reimbursed, they must cater to the nursing home proprietors. We have seen the "drive by" medical care that these alleged medical professionals provide. They bill Medicaid for hundreds of alleged patient visits, as well as care and treatment for all the nursing home patients just in a few hours.  In reality, they rarely even see the patients but just sign hundreds of charts.


What about the "nursing" part of "nursing homes"?  The general public, the press, and elected officials must think that people with disabilities, regardless of their age, really need to be in a nursing facility because they need direct care that can be provided only from well-trained health care staff in a nursing facility.  Hmm.


Let's look at how much time measured in hours per patient per day residents actually receive "nursing" care and services.  Nationally, the average of "total direct care" staff hours provided per patient per day is
3.71 -- that a total for registered nurses (RNs), licensed practicing nurses (LPNs), and aides.  However, of this average 3.71 hours per nursing home, less than half an hour is provided by a RN and about three quarters of an hour is provided by an LPN, who generally have only one year of training.


Does anyone really think that a "visiting nurse" in one's home could not provide the same patient care in the same amount of time, but much more cheaply?


Who is providing this "direct care if not the RNs or LPNs?"  It is the "aides."  These are the people who provide the assistance with residents'
daily living needs -- transferring them from their beds, assisting them with toileting, showering, dressing, and other such needs.  Yes, the assistance personal attendants provide in the nursing homes is the same assistance with activities of daily living that people with disabilities receive in the community.


So why has the nursing home industry been so successful in deceiving the public?


First, the nursing home industry is well-funded; they are active lobbyists and contributors to your State legislators and Governor.  They play this system much better and more effectively than the community-based community-care providers.


Second, advocates for the elderly and non-elderly disabled people have not
developed or engaged in effective activism and advocacy.   There have not
been the press or television stories that were produced about institutions for people with intellectual or mental disabilities, showing how absolutely terrible they were.


Third, once people with disabilities enter nursing homes, especially if they are elderly, they give up hope that they can live in the community.
Their families do not know about or believe they can receive appropriate or the same services in the community that they think nursing facilities provide, and they do not fight for those services.


We need a new Frederick Douglass.  He knew that power concedes nothing without struggle.  Where are you?


 Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues

Back issues of other Information Bulletins posted after 10/2013 can be found only athttp://stevegoldada.blogspot.com/

Information Bulletins before 10/2013 are available online athttp://www.stevegoldada.com with a searchable Archive at this site divided into different subjects.

To contact Steve Gold directly, write to stevegoldada1@gmail.com or call 215-627-7100. Ext 227.

--
Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues

Back issues of other Information Bulletins are available online athttp://www.stevegoldada.com

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Article: Medicaid Expansion: Real People, Real Lives, Real Injuries.

This article comes courtesy of attorney Steve Gold:

Medicaid Expansion: Real People, Real Lives, Real Injuries.
Information Bulletin # 395 (7/2014).


Too often, advocates get bogged down with "policy" formulations and do not
focus on the people who are affected by these policies.


Here is what is at stake for non-elderly people with incomes below 133% of
the poverty level in the 24 States that have not opted to receive 100%
federal reimbursement for Medicaid expansion since January 1, 2014.
Chart #1 below lists the 24 States.


On July 2, the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) issued a
report, *Missed Opportunities: the Consequences of State Decisions Not to
Expand Medicaid,* which details the impact of states' decisions to not
expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.


We are talking about a lot of people whose health care needs are put at
risk because the 24 States have refused to expand Medicaid:

1.      Preventive health care will not occur each year  -

a.  for 214,000 women between the ages of 50 and 64 who would have
received mammograms;

b.  for 345,000 women who would have received pap smears, and

c.  for 829,000 men and women who would have received cholesterol-level
screenings.

See Charts #2-4 below for a breakdown by State.



2.     Also, 651,000 people who would have received "all needed care" they
  felt they needed during the year.



3.     If Medicaid had been expanded in every State, an additional 1.4
  million people would likely have had a primary care visit at a
  physician's office.

Real people, real lives, real injuries.

Becausee these 24 States have not accepted Medicaid expansion, 255,000
people risked facing catastrophic out-of-pocket medical expenses which
would have otherwise been covered with Medicaid.  Even without
catastrophic medical expenses, there would have been 810,000 fewer people
who had trouble paying rent and utilities because they had to pay for
medical bills.


Medicaid expansion thus helps people to have greater financial security in
addition to improved access to health care.

Finally, in addition to individuals receiving health care, let's not
forget the impact on your States' economies because your State has opted
not to have Medicaid expansion.  The impact on State economies is stark:
those 24 States that have not expanded since July 1, 2014 will lose $88
million in Federal payments through calendar year 2016.  Those 26 States
that have expanded will receive $84 million over that period.

Because Medicaid expansion is funded through our federal taxes, tax-payers
in the 24 States that have not opted to expand Medicaid are subsidizing
the 26 States that have expanded.

The federal government pays 100% of the health costs for Medicaid
expansion for three years -- 2014 through 2016.  Thereafter, the federal
government pays about 90%.

It is really hard to believe and understand why any State would not accept
100% federal funds for health care for the lowest income people, other
than a real enmity toward low-income people, especially when a State could
opt out of Medicaid expansion for whatever reason.

Advocates in the 24 States that have not expanded Medicaid should think
about whether your State accepts federal highway and other infra-structure
funds for bridge repairs.  We bet none of these 24 States turn down those
funds.  Does your State turn down federal special education funds?  Maybe
we should not mention food stamps for fear that the apparent hatred toward
low-income people would be extended to those federal funds too.

Chart # 1 -

*Number of people denied health care *

*in States without Medicaid Expansion*



Alabama                     235,000

Alaska                       26,000

Florida                     848,000

Georgia                     478.000

Idaho                        55,000

Indiana                     262,000

Kansas                      100,000

Louisiana                   265,000

Maine                        28,000

Mississippi                 165,000

Missouri                    253,000

Montana                      38,000

Nebraska                     48,000

North Carolina              377,000

Oklahoma                    123,000

Pennsylvania                305,000

South Carolina              198,000

South Dakota                 26,000

Tennessee                   234,000

Texas                     1,208,000

Utah                         74,000

Virginia                    210,000

Wisconsin                   120,000

Wyoming                      16,000



Chart #2          States Without Medicaid Expansion  and

                       People who gave had



                   *No Mammograms         **In Past 12 months      *



Alabama                       9,300

Alaska                          900

Florida                      35,300


Georgia                      17,000

Idaho                         2,300

Indiana                       9,000

Kansas                        3,100

Louisiana                    10,400

Maine                         1,300

Mississippi                   6,200

Missouri                      9,400

Montana                       1,600

Nebraska                      1,600

North Carolina               13,900

Oklahoma                      4,800

Pennsylvania                 11,100

South Carolina                8,000

South Dakota                    900

Tennessee                     9,500

Texas                        44,100

Utah                           1,900

Virginia                      8,000

Wisconsin                     3,800

Wyoming                         700




Chart # 3         States Without Medicaid Expansion and

                       People who gave had



           *     No Pap Smears In Past 12 months   *



Alabama                     14,200

Alaska                       1,500

Florida                     52,000

Georgia                     28,900

Idaho                        3,300

Indiana                     15,200

Kansas                       5,800

Louisiana                   16,000

Maine                        1,700

Mississippi                  9,700

Missouri                    14,900

Montana                      2,400

Nebraska                     2,900

North Carolina              23,000

Oklahoma                     7,300

Pennsylvania                17,600

South Carolina              12,000

South Dakota                 1,500

Tennessee                   14,000

Texas                       75,200

Utah                         4,500

Virginia                     1,300

Wisconsin                    6,700

Wyoming                      1,100



Chart #4          States Without Medicaid Expansion and

                       People who gave had



           *            No Cholesterol Screening*

                    *In Past 12 months     *



Alabama                      34,200

Alaska                        3,800

Florida                      23,000

Georgia                      69,600

Idaho                         8,000

Indiana                      38,200

Kansas                       14,600

Louisiana                    38,600

Maine                         4,100

Mississippi                  24,000

Missouri                     36,900

Montana                       5,500

Nebraska                      7,000

North Carolina               54,900

Oklahoma                     17,900

Pennsylvania                 44,400

South Carolina               28,800

South Dakota                  3,800

Tennessee                    34,100

Texas                       176,000

Utah                         10,800

Virginia                     30,600

Wisconsin                    17,500

Wyoming                       2,300



Real people, real lives, real injuries.





Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues




Back issues of other Information Bulletins posted after 10/2013 can be
found only at http://stevegoldada.blogspot.com/

Information Bulletins before 10/2013 are available online at
http://www.stevegoldada.com with a searchable Archive at this site divided
into different subjects.

To contact Steve Gold directly, write to stevegoldada1@gmail.com
or call 215-627-7100. Ext 227.

--
Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues

Back issues of other Information Bulletins are available online at
http://www.stevegoldada.com

TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THE LIST:
To Unsubscribe from this mailing list, send a message to
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News: Nonprofit executive arrested for stealing grants for the blind

Jul 17, 2014, 4:48pm EDT

Nonprofit executive arrested for stealing grants for the blind

The head of a Homestead nonprofit group was arrested on charges of stealing $460,000 in public grants, including funds meant to aid the blind..... Continued at http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2014/07/17/nonprofit-executive-arrested-for-stealing-grants.html



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Update on Bathroom Access at Polling Places in Miami Dade County

July 18, 2014 - Update on Bathroom  Access at Polling Places in Miami Dade County

As readers of this Blog will recall, Miami Dade County officials, when asked to ensure that voters with disabilities would not be deterred from voting by having to endure long lines and no accessible bathrooms at churches serving as polling places, refused to survey restrooms, and announced the closure of all restrooms at all polling places to all voters.

After a firestorm of nationwide adverse publicity about this decision, including news stories on MSNBC, CBS News, the front page of the Miami Herald, and all over the Internet, the County relented, with the Supervisor of Elections telling a group of concerned organizations that contrary to the written statements of the County Attorney's Office and the written statements of her own office, restrooms at public buildings would be open to voters.

Of course, this position still failed to address the underlying concern - what about voters with disabilities who need an accessible restroom, and who cannot wait in the heat in long lines? Couldn't the County simply advance voters with disabilities in line on Election Day? Couldn't the County simply rent accessible port a potties and place them at churches that lack accessible restrooms?

No.

The County continues to refuse to accommodate voters with disabilities,
The County continues to refuse to make reasonable modifications of policy to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability.

Next week (Saturday, July 26th) is the 24th Anniversary of the signing of the ADA. Isn't it time for the County to consider accommodating voters with disabilities, and coming into compliance with the law?

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