New Posting

NWVCIL HUD Fair Housing Grant

Posted: January 22, 2015

The Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living (NWVCIL) has been awarded almost $975,000 through a competitive HUD grant program to continue to combat discrimination in housing across West Virginia for the next three years.

The competitive grants are funded through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) to help enforce the Fair Housing Act through investigations and testing of alleged discriminatory practices, and to help educate housing providers, local governments and potential victims of housing discrimination about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.

NWVCIL will continue to assist victims of housing discrimination based on all protected classes including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. NWVCIL will continue to focus education and enforcement activities on identified discriminatory practices in West Virginia including:

  • The denial of families with children in rental units
  • Sexual harassment in rental housing
  • The denial of reasonable accommodations for assistance animals in rental housing
  • The design and construction of new multi-family housing that is not accessible to persons with disabilities.

Anyone who believes they may have faced housing discrimination or those seeking more information about Fair Housing rights should call the Fair Housing Hotline at 844-212-3464 or visit

New Posting

New Anorexia/Bulimia Support Group

Posted: January 22, 2015

Beginning on February 12, 2015, a new support group will be meeting on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM

Who: Anyone with anorexia or bulimia (at least 16 years old) and anyone who has a loved one (family or friend) with anorexia or bulimia.

Where: New Life Church, 1101 Cedar Crest Drive, Huntington, WV 25705

For more information: Teena Bryson, 304-617-5014

The West Virginia Olmstead Council is recruiting applicants for membership to fill vacancies on the Council. The deadline to apply is December 26th. 

West Virginia Olmstead Council Application for Membership (DOC)

The West Virginia Family-to-Family Health Information Center is seeking feedback from family members of children and youth with special healthcare needs, and the professionals who serve them.

If you would like to provide feedback, please click this link, which will take you to a brief survey:

The survey takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and is entirely anonymous. The information you provide will be used to improve services for children and youth with special healthcare needs and their families throughout West Virginia.

For more information on the West Virginia Family-to-Family Health Information Center, please visit or call 800-281-1436

ExclaimationThe WV Statewide Waiver Transition Plan has been posted for public comment until December 26, 2014. Here is some more information from APS Healthcare:

On behalf of the Bureau for Medical Services, APS Healthcare is notifying you the WV Statewide Waiver Transition Plan has been posted for public comment until December 26, 2014. You may comment on the entire plan which includes all three Waivers (ADW, IDDW and TBIW) or you may comment on the individual waivers.

You have four ways to make a comment and the particulars of how to do this are in the posted Transition Plan:

  1. Respond by email
  2. Respond in writing
  3. Call the Bureau for Medical Services
  4. Attend the Public Hearing on Dec. 15, 2014 from 1-3 pm at the Bureau of Senior Services in Charleston, WV.

Please go to this website to view the public notice by clicking the blue PUBLIC NOTICE letters:

Abbott Patient Assistance Foundation

Posted: November 19, 2014

The Abbott Patient Assistance Foundation provides Abbott Medical Nutrition products at no cost to patients experiencing financial difficulties.  For more information see the application (PDF).

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, together with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, issued joint guidance about the rights of public elementary and secondary students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities to effective communication.

Mountain State Parents Child and Adolescent Network (MSPCAN) has begun holding parent support groups the second Tuesday of each month, starting December from 6pm to7pm at the Dils Center 521 Market Street Parkersburg WV.

Please contact Sharon Linch; at for more information or questions.

The Arc of WV is having a Special Education Advocacy Training on November 20, 2014 in Charleston, WV.  The training is free and the deadline to register is November 16th.

CMS is beginning work to update policy on coverage of speech-generating devices to reflect changes in the technologies and usage. While this work is being done, the devices are eligible for coverage under Medicare.

To view the new benefit category analysis or to submit comments, please click here. CMS is accepting comments through December 6th.

As part of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today issued guidance to schools reminding them that bullying is wrong and must not be tolerated—including against America's 6.5 million students with disabilities.

The Department issued guidance in the form of a letter to educators detailing public schools' responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of Americans with Disabilities Act regarding the bullying of students with disabilities. If a student with a disability is being bullied, federal law requires schools to take immediate and appropriate action to investigate the issue and, as necessary, take steps to stop the bullying and prevent it from recurring.

"While there is broad consensus that bullying cannot be tolerated, the sad reality is that bullying persists in our schools today, especially for students with disabilities," said Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. "Basic decency and respect demand that our schools ensure that all their students learn in a safe environment. I look forward to continuing our work with schools to address and reduce incidents of bullying so that no student is limited in his or her ability to participate in and benefit from all that our educational programs have to offer."

Since 2009, OCR has received more than 2,000 complaints regarding the bullying of students with disabilities in the nation's public elementary and secondary schools.

Today's guidance builds upon anti-bullying guidance the Department has issued in recent years concerning schools' legal obligations to fix the problem, including:

  • 2013 dear colleague letter and enclosure by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) clarifying that when bullying of a student with a disability results in the student not receiving meaningful educational benefit under IDEA, the school must remedy the problem, regardless of whether the bullying was based on the student's disability.
  • 2010 dear colleague letter by the OCR, which elaborated on potential violations when bullying and harassment is based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disability.
  • A 2000 dear colleague letter by the OCR and OSERS, which explained that bullying based on disability may violate civil rights laws enforced by OCR as well as interfere with a student's receipt of special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The latest letter makes clear that the protections for students with disabilities who are bullied on any basis extend to the roughly three quarters of a million students who are not eligible for IDEA services but are entitled to services under the broader Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. That law bars discrimination on the basis of disability in all programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

Help is available for those who are either targets of disability bullying or know of someone who might be, such as:

  • A fact sheet for parents on schools' obligations under federal law to address bullying. The fact sheet is also available in Spanish.
  • Visiting the federal Web site,, which provides useful information on bullying prevention and remedies.
  • Asking to meet with the student's team that designs his or her individualized education program—the IEP or Section 504 teams.
  • Asking to meet with the principal or school district's special education coordinators to have the school address bullying concerns.
  • Seeking help from OCR. The office investigates complaints of disability discrimination at schools. To learn more about federal civil rights laws or how to file a complaint, contact OCR at 800-421-3481 (TDD: 800-877-8339), or OCR's Web site is To fill out a complaint form online, go to

To view OCR's guidance detailing public schools' responsibilities regarding the bullying of students with disabilities in Spanish, click here.

From the CTD Institute:

Today, November 3rd, the CTD Institute opens its online doors!  The CTD Library comprises hundreds of evidence-based resources, including fact sheets, videos, training materials, research reports, and other relevant and current information on assistive and instructional technologies.  The CTD Café will host its first webinar and multi-week forum later in the month.  The CTD Learning Center will offer in-depth, expert-led e-learning modules on a wide array of AT and IT topics.  If you haven't already signed up for CTD updates you can sign up here.

The Library requires no registration, but to participate in Café and Learning Center events, we ask that you complete a very short, online registration. You only have to register once to participate in events throughout the next 4 years!  Register today!

We welcome all ideas for CTD events, topics, experts, and materials to feature.  Feel free to contact us at:

CTD is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).  It is administered by FHI 360, American Institutes for Research (AIR), PACER Center, and Adirondack Accessibility.

Depression and Bipolar Support Meetings

Posted: November 4, 2014


Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Meeting
South Charleston
Berea Seventh Day Adventist Church
Nov. 5, 5:30-7:00
for more info: Karlene (304)747-8456


Westbrook Health Center
2121 7th St
Monday evenings, 6 P.M.
Contact: Susan (304)481-9690
or Roberta (304)841-4638

Exclaimation A little more than a year ago, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule that extended minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers The effective date for the home care final rule, is January 1, 2015. However the Department of Labor announced on 10-7-1 4 that they are implementing a time-limited, non-enforcement policy with respect to the requirements under the rule.

The DOL has adopted the following a time-limited non-enforcement policy: For six months, from January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015, the department will not bring enforcement actions against any employer who fails to comply with a Fair Labor Standards Act obligation newly imposed by the rule.

During the subsequent six months, from July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, the DOL will exercise its discretion in determining whether to bring enforcement actions, giving strong consideration to the extent to which states and other entities have made good faith efforts to bring their home care programs into FLSA compliance. Throughout 2015, DOL will continue to provide robust compliance and technical assistance. For further information, including the Federal Register Notice regarding the non-enforcement policy, visit Questions can be directed to

Family Youth Engagement Skills Training

Posted: October 9, 2014

Legal Aid of West Virginia’s Family Advocacy, Support and Training (FAST) Program will be offering Family Youth Engagement Skills training (PDF) in various locations across the state.  This training is sponsored by the WV System of Care and will teach professionals practical tips to implement into daily practice to better engage families.

General Election, 2014

Posted: October 9, 2014

The last day to register to vote in the general election is October 14, 2014.

For more information and dates on the election check out our Voting Guide for the 2014 General Election.


FY 2015 Priorities and Objectives

Posted: October 6, 2014

WV Advocates has published our Fiscal Year 2015 Priorities and Objectives.  Our Fiscal Year runs from October through September.

Older News items available in the News Archive.