Friday, August 26, 2016

Voting Resources

Thousands of people with disabilities in Indiana are waiting for services. Medicaid recipients face cutbacks. Too many Hoosiers with disabilities are unemployed. These issues, and many others, are why citizens with disabilities – you – need to get involved in elections. Policymakers make decisions that impact most aspects of your daily life, so you need to have a say. Exercising your right to vote gives you a voice in this process. 

Do you know your voting rights? Are you interested in helping others register to vote? Use the resources listed below to make sure your voice is heard this Election Day on Tuesday, November 8th.    
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Order Your Voting Guide 

This free 54 page booklet provides information on voting including key dates, access requirements for polling places and voting machines, how to check to make sure you are registered, how to find out who your candidates are and research their records, different ways to cast your ballot, voter identification requirements, helpful resource groups and more.
Click here to view the PDF or visit
Click here to order your copy.
Your Vote is Your Voice Cover
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Count Us In! Campaign Launch 

The ARC of Indiana, INARF, the Self-Advocates of Indiana, and the Direct Support Professionals of Indiana have partnered together to launch the 2016 statewide Count Us In! Campaign. 
Connect with your local SAI ChaptersChapters of The ArcINARF Members, and DSPIN Members and begin planning how you can work together to reach the goal of 92 Voter Registration Events to occur between September 6 and October 11.

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#HoosiersVote is an initiative of Indiana Disability Rights. Exercising the right to vote is an essential element of our civil rights. Every person who has registered to vote and has proper identification should be able to cast their vote privately and independently at their polling place or through absentee voting. Unfortunately, some people with disabilities may experience issues when they try to vote.
Visit for more information and resources to help you exercise your right to vote and be sure to follow the project on Facebook and Twitter by searching for HoosiersVote.
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Indiana Institute on Disability and Community Voting Guide 

This guide from IIDC provides links to some of the great resources developed by the members of the Developmental Disabilities Network.  The network is made up of the Indiana Institute on Disability and CommunityIndiana Disability Rights and the Governor's Council for People with Disabilities.  
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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Q&A about Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Plans

Does your child struggle with behaviors that impede learning at school? Do you know about Functional Behavior Plans and Behavior Intervention Plans?

Learn more here:

If you missed our twitter chat, you're in luck! We are sharing it here as well. Feel free to contact us for more information. 317 944 8982

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Legislative Forum Indianapolis 9.8

The Presidential race is not the only one being decided in November. On election day, voters will also choose the members of the Indiana House of Representatives and half of the Indiana Senate (other half will be elected in two years). To help you and the people and families we serve learn more about these candidates, Noble will host a Legislative Forum:

Thursday, Sept. 8
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Noble East
7701 E. 21st Street

Monday, August 15, 2016

Developing an Individualized Health Plan

Ensuring your child’s health and safety is of utmost importance for parents. If your child has a medical condition, developing an Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP) with the school could be as important and necessary as the goals in the IEP. The way the IHP looks may vary from school system to school system, but the information they contain should be the same. The IHP should identify all health concerns and needs, determine when and what medications the child may receive while at school, what to do in case of a medical emergency, and create solutions to possible problems. These can and should be developed for a variety of conditions such as diabetes, seizures, severe allergies, and asthma. Other possible concerns that can be added are toileting needs, special feeding instructions, and training for staff. It may be necessary to work with your doctor, as well as the school staff, to create a complete and effective IHP. It is helpful for parents to think about the things that need to be added in the IHP prior to the case conference, and depending on the child’s condition(s) it may be necessary to set up a time to work with the school staff on the IHP at a separate time. For examples of an IHP visit:

Another thing to consider when developing an IHP is how much school your child may miss due to their health condition(s). If the amount of days could become excessive, it would also be advisable to do a Certificate of Incapacity. This is a form that the doctor will fill out and the school will keep on file. It will protect the school, you and your child from truancy concerns. A sample form can be found at or your teacher of record (TOR) can get you a copy.

There are many stressors when your child has a chronic illness that require monitoring and managing. Talking about and thinking ahead of the needs and possible concerns can help alleviate some of the stress, not only for you and your child, but for the school staff as well. Being as prepared as possible and knowing exactly what to do in case of emergency can put everyone at ease so that your child’s school experience can be productive and successful. Many of our Health Information Specialists have IHP’s in place for their children. If you would like to speak to someone who has personal experience with IHPs contact us today. 

Planning for a Meeting about Your Child's Behavior at School

When a child's behavior causes concern at school, parents may find themselves among competing approaches to handling behavior. Planning ahead for an individualized meeting about their child's behavior needs will help parents explain their own ideas about the best way to help their child in addition to listening to the ideas of others. English version from PACER Center in Minnesota. Spanish version from Parents Resource Network in Texas.  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Info on Positive Behavioral Supports in School

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)  issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) that emphasizes the requirement that schools provide positive behavioral supports to students with disabilities who need them. It also clarifies that the repeated use of disciplinary actions may suggest that children with disabilities may not be receiving appropriate behavioral interventions and supports. When schools fail to consider and provide for needed behavioral supports through the Individualized Education Program (IEP), it is likely to result in children not receiving the free appropriate public education to which they are entitled under federal law.
“All students, including those with disabilities, should have the supports and equitable educational opportunities they need to be successful in school,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “It’s our duty as parents and educators to ensure that children who show up at school to learn get the maximum out of their educational experience. This guidance will help schools create a safe, supportive learning environment for those students who need additional behavioral supports and services to help them thrive.”
Current law allows educators to remove students with disabilities from their classrooms if the student violates a code of conduct. Data indicates students with disabilities are disciplined at far higher rates than their non-disabled peers. The DCL includes two resource documents to assist teachers and school leaders. The Department is providing supports to assist teachers with classroom management strategies and assist schools in implementing school wide behavioral efforts to create safe and effective environments where all students are given an opportunity to positively engage in their education.
To better address school discipline and to shine a spotlight on inequities, the Department has updated its school discipline webpage,#Rethink Discipline. This online tool contains data, graphics, and other information on the prevalence, impact, and legal implications of suspensions and expulsions; resources on effective alternatives; and ways to effectively create positive school climates. The webpage also highlights the disproportionate rate at which black students, particularly black males, receive out-of-school suspensions, and data on suspended preschoolers, by race and gender.
The letter is embedded below:

Friday, August 12, 2016

Share Your Voice!

Indiana Association of United Ways :

Connect with your Member of Congress during the August recess
Members of Congress began their summer recess on July 18 and they won't be returning to Washington until September 6.  This is a great time to engage your Members through invitations for site visits, meetings with district staff, participation in town halls or community conversations and other public events.  
Check out this video from United Way Worldwide for tips on how to connect with Members of Congress during the August recess.

Weigh in on issues important to you!
Submitting comments during rulemaking periods is an important way to shape policy. State and federal agencies appreciate specific comments about possible impacts and ways to improve proposed rules. Below are a few open comment periods in Indiana.
  • Department of Education, will hold listening sessions to gather input for Every Student Succeeds Act state implementation.  
  • FSSA Division of Aging, will hold regional stakeholder meetings to share key components of the final No Wrong Door planning grant.  Learn more.
  • FSSA Division of Aging, is seeking public input on the amended Statewide Transition Plan.  Submit comments by 8/26/16.
  • FSSA Division of Mental Health and Addiction & Department of Correction, will host the Indiana Annual Recovery Month Symposium (INARMS) to bring together mental health, substance abuse and criminal justice professionals to interact and share ideas.  Learn more about 9/26-9/27 event.
  • Department of Insurance, is doing a study concerning the current capacity, training and barriers to navigators who provide assistance to individuals applying for health insurance coverage.  Take the survey by 8/17 if you are a navigator or application organization.
  • State School Bus Committee, DOEwill hold a hearing on rules related to child alert systems, contents of first aid kits and optional rear stop arms. See LSA #15-426. Hearing on 9/6/16 at 9am.
Legislative study committee calendarState Capitol
During the legislative session many interim study committee topics are recommended by the General Assembly. The meetings allow experts in the field and state agencies to share information about the current state of issues in Indiana in preparation for the next legislative session. In late May, the Legislative Councilannounced the topics to be studied in the interim before the 2017 session. 

Upcoming committee meetings include: 
Check the interim committee calendar for updates.