New Posting

We are seeking Advocates!

Posted: January 20, 2016

West Virginia Advocates, the federally mandated advocacy system serving people with disabilities in West Virginia, is hiring Advocates for our federal and state funded programs.  Must have a Bachelor’s degree in a field of study directly relevant to the core job functions of the position and one year experience working with the disability community. Advocacy experience with mental health, developmental disabilities or special education services preferred.  These are full time positions with generous benefits in our Charleston and Clarksburg offices.

Submit resume to: jobs@wvadvocates.org or fax to 304-346-0867.

Ticket to Work: Finding a Job with a Federal Contractor

Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. EST

Join us on February 24, 2016, for the latest WISE webinar. We will be presenting information on Social Security programs and rules that may apply to you, including details about Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 503 is a regulation that prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against people with disabilities and requires these employers to take action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain more people with disabilities. The presentation will include information on:

  • What Section 503 changes mean for Social Security disability beneficiaries;
  • Tips for self-identification during the application and hiring process; and
  • Tips on how to demonstrate your skills and abilities at a virtual job fair.

Register online at www.choosework.net/wise or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

The Developmental Disabilities Council is seeking input to be used in the development of its Five Year State Plan. You are encouraged to complete the survey even if you participated in one of the Council's forums. The deadline for participating is March 31, 2016.

Disability Rights of Washington's Rooted in Rights project has created five videos about voting rights.

Ticket to Work: Debunking the Three Biggest Myths about Disability Benefits and Work

Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. EST

If you receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to make more money through work, Ticket to Work can provide the support you need.

The January 27 national WISE webinar will address common myths about how working will affect your cash disability benefits and Medicare or Medicaid.

  • Find out how Social Security will postpone your medical continuing disability review (CDR) while you are participating in the Ticket to Work program.
  • Find out how you can restart your cash benefits without reapplying if your job does not work out.
  • Get details on how you can keep your Medicare or Medicaid after you begin replacing your cash benefits with earnings from work.

Register online at www.choosework.net/wise or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

VR TIP: The Goal of the VR Program Under WIOA
by Amy Scherer, NDRN Staff Attorney

On July 22, 2014, Congress passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). This piece of legislation made some significant and important changes to the VR program. Much of the focus has been on the alterations made to transition services and the addition of pre-employment transition services.

However, there was also a change in the stated purpose of the VR program which has key ramifications that should not be overlooked.

Prior to WIOA, the overall goal of the VR program was to help individuals with disabilities “prepare for, secure, retain or regain employment.” This goal met the needs of many VR clients. But, it left one particular segment of that group in limbo. What if an individual was successfully and happily employed, but required the services of VR in order to be considered for a promotion at their job? Could VR step in and assist this individual? Based upon the specific statutory language of the Rehab Act, the answer was unclear and somewhat open to debate.

Some clarification was provided by the definition of post-employment services provided in the Code of Federal Regulations. Although certainly not a necessity for every client, post-employment services can be an essential step in an individual’s journey to reach his/her ultimate employment goal. Implemented after the successful achievement of the client’s initially identified employment outcome, post-employment services are defined as “one or more services necessary to assist an individual to retain, regain or ADVANCE (emphasis added) in employment” [34 CFR § 361.5(b)(42)].

So, the definition of post-employment services opened up the possibility of VR support for advancement in employment which was a positive step. But, the caveat provided by this regulation remained narrow because the concept of advancement was being applied specifically within the context of post-employment services. More information about the topic of upward mobility or advancement in employment was provided by a Policy Directive (PD) released by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) in August of 1997. This PD stated:

“The provision of VR services to an eligible individual who is currently employed, but whose job is not consistent with the individual’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities, must assist that individual to obtain employment consistent with the individual’s primary employment factors and informed choice.  Under such circumstances, VR services would be provided for “career advancement” or “upward mobility” purposes.” (RSA PD-97-04)

This Policy Directive widened the door further for the possibility of VR’s support of an individual’s career advancement. But, as the directive makes clear, this route was determined to be appropriate only if the person’s current job was inconsistent with his/her current strengths and capabilities. Additionally, although VR seemingly embraced the concept of career advancement in this directive, its impact was somewhat lessened since the crucial language was not found in the statute or the federal regulations.

WIOA finally rectified the situation by changing the language in the statute itself. Under § 722(a)(1)(B), may require VR services to advance in (emphasis added) employment, not just obtain, maintain or regain employment.
The small, but critical, change made in the statutory language of WIOA should make it easier for VR clients to access needed services in order to achieve advancement or upward mobility within their profession.

Each VR Tip is intended to provide brief information about a particular VR-related topic. It is here to answer common questions posed by CAP advocates on a variety of issues.

FACES Meeting: Rethinking Guardianship

Posted: December 7, 2015

The FACES Disability Networking and Support Group Meeting (pdf) in Parkersburg, WV will be on January 13th from 11 AM to 1 PM.  The topic is Rethinking Guardianship.

Goodwill's Meet the Artist Night

Posted: December 7, 2015

Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley is having a meet the artist night (pdf) on December 15, from 6 PM to 7:30 PM.

The West Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council is recruiting nominations of individuals with disabilities to fill vacancies on the Ron Yost Personal Assistance Services (RYPAS) Board. 

Gas Mileage Reimbursement through MTM

Posted: November 25, 2015

Gas Mileage Reimbursement through MTM Brochure (PDF)

More information on requesting gas mileage reimbursement from an email from MTM:

Once an individual has contacted the reservation line, they will indicate that they would like to receive reimbursement for transporting the member. The five-business days’ notice does not apply to individuals who are receiving reimbursement like it does for individuals who actually need MTM to find transportation for them. As long as they call us before the appointment, we will schedule the trip. We will need the following information on the call:

  • Member name, home address and phone number
  • Member Medicaid ID number
  • The street address and phone number to which they are traveling to
  • The name, phone number, address and zip code of the health care provider the member is seeing
  • The date and start time of the appointment
  • The end time of the appointment if they know it

The payee is reimbursed at $0.57 per mile (this is a fairly recent 10-cent increase from the former $0.47 rate) and they will be reimbursed via a ComData MasterCard once we receive copies of these credentials:

  • Proof of valid registration
  • Proof of valid vehicle insurance
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social security number

The customer service representative can provide additional detail about all of this on the call. Additionally, I have included an electronic version of a brochure that provides a brief overview of the gas mileage reimbursement program.

I hope this information helps streamline this transition for everyone as well as ease concerns. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have additional questions or concerns. I will be glad to help!

Thank you,

Crystal R. Richardson
Education, Training and Outreach Coordinator, MTM, Inc.

From WhiteHouse.gov:

Friends,

Today, the White House will present Disability Employment & The Arts: A Celebration of Diversity and Inclusion, an event designed to highlight the contributions and creative solutions of people with disabilities in the arts and entertainment industries.
We invite you to tune in live at www.whitehouse.gov/live at 4:00 pm EST to watch this exciting event, which will include:

  • Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz
  • A panel of artists with disabilities and inclusive employers
  • Performances from the ground breaking cast of Broadway’s Spring Awakening and a discussion with the cast and creative team

Tune in live at 4:00 PM, and join the conversation on social media by highlighting the talents of people with disabilities in every occupation by using the #WHDisability.

The live stream for the event will be captioned.

Best,
The White House Office of Public Engagement

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