West Virginia Advocates is asking for comments from the public on its Fiscal Year 2015 (October 2014 thru September 2015) Priorities and Objectives from May 17, 2014 through June 30, 2014. You may find our current (Fiscal Year 2014) Priorities and Objectives here.

You may submit comments by:

Public Meeting

You are invited to attend a meeting for the purpose of providing comments on West Virginia Advocates’ Fiscal Year 2015 Priorities and Objectives.

When: May 19, 2014 from 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

Where:

Hilton Garden Inn
606 Emily Drive
Clarksburg, WV 26301
304–326–9200

From I–79 south bound, take exit 117 and turn Left onto US–58 East then turn Left onto Emily Drive. From I–79 north bound, take exit 117 and at the stop light continue straight onto Emily Drive. Hotel is located on Right.

A continental break will be provided

Do you have a group of people that would like to provide comments but cannot make it to Clarksburg, WV? Contact Clarice Hausch at (800) 950–5250 and request a meeting at your location.

The Arc of West Virginia will offer six training sessions throughout the state for people with disabilities, family members, service providers, personal attendants and community members. Each session will cover three major topics: How to Advocate & Navigate, Self-Protection: Preventing & Addressing Abuse & Neglect, and People First of West Virginia.

The sessions will run 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and there is no cost to attend. Lunch and training materials will be included. Please RSVP by no later than 3 days prior to the date of the training.

Flyer and Registration (PDF)

The training dates and locations:

April 23, 2014 - Jackson County
WVU-P Jackson County Center
105 Academy Drive, Ripley, WV

April 24, 2014 - Kanawha County
Kanawha City Community Center
3511 Venable Avenue, Charleston, WV

May 15, 2014 - Berkeley County
WVU Health Science Center
2500 Foundation Way, Martinsburg, WV

May 20, 2014 - Marion County
Disability Action Center
102 Benoni Avenue, Fairmont, WV

May 29, 2014 - Nicholas County
City of Summersville
400 Board Street, Summersville, WV 

June 6, 2014 - Wetzel County
Health and Recreation Building
425 S. 4th Avenue, Paden City, WV

The 2014 tax filing season begins on Jan. 31. The IRS has several short and informative YouTube videos on a variety of tax topics. These videos are available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL). Find them here:

New Posting

Voting Rights Video

Posted: April 10, 2014

2014 is an election year, check out our Voting Rights video on youtube.

The Early Intervention Family Alliance (EIFA) is conducting a survey (doc) for participants in Part C Early Intervention programs.  The survey is available until April 16, 2014 at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MB3WCWX

US Department of Labor's Fact Sheet: Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to Domestic Service, Final Rule (dol.gov)

WVA is sharing this information because the US Department of Labor has made a significant change in the regulations that employers must follow under the Fair Labor Standards Act regarding personal care services.  We have received questions about changes that are going to occur in all of the WV Medicaid Waiver Programs (ID/D, Aged and Disabled and TBI) as a result of this new regulation.  The new rule goes into effect January 1, 2015 and will impact employers who provide personal care services such as licensed behavioral health providers who serve ID/D Waiver clients as well as ID/D and other waiver clients who use the Personal Options choice for their Waiver services. If you need additional information please contact WVA at 1-800-950-5250.

New Posting

Beacon Barn Summer Group Program

Posted: April 9, 2014

Beacon Barn will be providing a summer group program for kids and teens beginning in June. The cost is $35 per week, or $25 if registered by May 16th. This includes one group session plus one parent support group session, weekly. The purpose of this program is to provide a safe, therapeutic and fun environment for children who may be struggling with emotional and/or behavioral problems that is negatively impacting their home, school and/or social lives. Group goals will include developing effective communication skills by learning how to identify and express emotions and utilizing appropriate coping skills. Therapeutic activities will be combined with group projects, gardening and the opportunity to interact with companion/therapy animals, both domestic and farm animals.

New Posting

MTSTCIL Walk for Independence 2014

Posted: April 8, 2014

The Mountain State Centers for Independent Living is holding its "Walk for Independence 2014" at Ritter Park in Huntington, WV on Saturday July 5th starting at 8:00 A.M.

They will have a health fair from 9 to 11.  Little Victories no kill animal shelter will be there from 10 - 2.  At 11 A.M. there will be a parade.  Live entertainment from noon to 4.

New Posting

MTSTCIL First Annual Abilities Fair

Posted: April 1, 2014

Mountain State Centers for Independent Living (MTSTCIL) First Annual Abilities Fair is being held June 20-22, 2014 at the Huntington Mall.

Central WV Consumer Affairs Committee is presenting "Kanawha County Accessible Transportation Symposium (PDF)" on April 29, 2014.  Registration (PDF) is free, but limited to 50 participants.

New Posting

USDA's Summer Food Service Program

Posted: March 31, 2014

The SFSP is a feeding program established to ensure that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Free, nutritious meals are provided to all children at feeding sites in areas with significant concentrations of low-income children during school vacations, primarily in the summer months.

USDA's WebPage on SFSP (usda.gov)

USDA's Summer Food Service Program Flyer (SFSP) (PDF)

The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) invites West Virginia artists with disabilities to enter the 2014 West Virginia Diversifying Perspectives Art Contest and Exhibition. The event will feature original artwork created by people with disabilities to promote their creative and diverse abilities, talents and contributions.

The 2014 exhibition opens Wednesday, September 17, at the Culture Center in Charleston and remains on display through October 31, 2014.

Entries can be submitted from June 2nd to June 30th.

WV Division of Rehabilitation Service's Press Release on the 2014 West Virginia Diversifying Perspectives Art Contest and Exhibition (PDF).

2014 West Virginia Diversifying Perspectives Art Contest and Exhibition Flyer and Application (PDF).

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/school-discipline/index.html

This resource is a new “Dear Colleague” letter released by the U.S Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education on January 8, 2014.  The letter addresses how discipline in elementary and secondary schools should be administered without discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.  This resource describes the laws that protect students from discrimination in these areas.  It describes different ways that discrimination can occur and provides specific examples.  There are also flowcharts to illustrate main points and recommendations on how to address discriminatory discipline in schools.  

Additional resources are available on the linked website that further explain the “Dear Colleague” letter, answer frequently asked questions, and provide data on discipline throughout the country. 

New Posting

Suspending Children with Disabilities

Posted: March 19, 2014

This resource at http://www.wrightslaw.com discusses what IDEA 2004 says about suspending children with disabilities.  The article answers several questions from parents about suspensions and how children who are receiving special education services have certain protections under the law.  There is even a section on manifestation determination reviews and changes of placement.  

The article provides additional links to other resources on discipline for children with disabilities.  The Wrightslaw website has detailed and easy to understand information on many different areas of special education policy and law.   View the article here: http://www.wrightslaw.com/howey/idea.suspend.htm

The West Virginia Department of Education has a PowerPoint presentation on manifestation determination reviews (MDRs) available on their website.  MDRs are required by WV Special Education Policy 2419 when a child receiving special education has experienced a "change of placement."  The PowerPoint provides definitions, examples, and other information about when an MDR is necessary and how they should work.  

To view this helpful resource, go to this link (http://wvde.state.wv.us/institutional/SpecialEd/SpecialEdMainPage.html) and click on the category of "Discipline."  There, you will see a link to "Manifestation Determination Review (PPT)."  Once you click the link, the PowerPoint will download to your computer.  You will need a program that allows you to view PowerPoint presentations to access this resource.

The West Virginia Bureau of Senior Service (WV BOSS) has workshops to help you with healthcare.

Flyer for WV BOSS's workshop on the Health Insurance Marketplace (DOC)

Flyer for WV BOSS's workshop on "Understanding Medicare" (DOC)

The WV Fair Housing Action network has a free training, "Fair Housing: It's Not an Option, It's the Law" (wvfairhousing.com).  It is on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 from 9:30 to noon at the Ohio County Public Library.