Free training on making new and existing homes accessible

October 30, 2009 by heather

The training will focus on practical and affordable modifications to make homes more accessible.

The training will focus on practical and affordable modifications to make homes more accessible.

By Heather Young

The Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP) is holding a FREE online interactive training on Wednesday, November 18, 2009; from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Accessible Designs and Home Modifications for New or Existing Homes will be presented by Roger Borgenicht, Director, and Melissa Hoffmann, Access Design Coordinator at ASSIST Inc—A Community Design Center. ASSIST provides accessibility design assistance throughout the State of Utah and accessibility training throughout the United States.

The training will be a photo/graphic PowerPoint illustrating a range of access features for existing and new homes. It will focus on practical and affordable modifications that can be made to existing homes to increase safety and accessibility for people with infirmities or disabilities. Design ideas for new homes will include a prioritized list of access features for new homes with three categories:  A. Essential Visitability Features, good for all homes,  B. Easy Living Conveniences, easily included, and, C. Upgrades and Adaptations, as needed or desired.

To participate you will only need a computer with high-speed internet access. If you are interested in participating please RSVP by Monday, November 16, to Heather Young. I will email you the participant instructions.

If accommodations are needed to participate in the training please contact Sachin Pavithran no later than Friday, November 13, to make arrangements.

Please feel free to pass this information on to anyone that may benefit.

IDEA Training Curriculum Now Available in Spanish

October 26, 2009 by cpehrson

The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY), at the request of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), has produced a Spanish version of a training curriculum on IDEA 2004.

This curriculum is intended to help all those involved with children with disabilities understand and implement the IDEA 2004, the nation’s special education law.  Now it can also help families whose primary language is Spanish.

Building the Legacy / Construyendo el Legado: A Training Curriculum on IDEA 2004,  is organized into modules, most of which are now available in Spanish.  Each module includes:
•    a slideshow for trainers to use;
•    a Trainer’s Guide explaining how the slides work as well as the content of the slides; and
•    handouts for participants.

If the slideshow and Trainer’s Guide for a module are available only in English, trainers will have Spanish-language handouts that they can share with Spanish-speaking participants.

To view the training materials, go to the NICHCY website.

State Health Care Systems Assessed in 2009 Report

October 23, 2009 by cpehrson

The 2009 State Scorecard on Health System Performance report has just been issued by the Commonwealth Fund foundation.  This is the Fund’s second state health care report which ranks states on 38 indicators in the areas of access, quality, costs, and health outcomes. 

 The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that promotes a high performing health care system for society’s most vulnerable people, including low-income, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.

 The 2009 edition of the State Scorecard on Health System Performance found improved quality of care, overall, but also found evidence of deteriorating health insurance coverage for adults and rising health care costs.  Gains in children’s coverage and improvement of hospital and nursing home care were evident in this year’s report.

 The scorecard found continued wide variation in performance across the states.  As reported in 2007 and still found in the 2009 report, where you live within the United States makes a difference in your access to care, quality of care, and experiences with care providers.  All states face the challenges caused by the rising costs of care and poor care coordination.

 To view state-specific rankings and results and to check out the comparison tool between states, you can go to the Commonwealth Fund website.

Programs Available to Help Those with Disabilities Gain Employment

October 22, 2009 by cpehrson

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and the  the theme is Expectation + Opportunity = Full Participation.  It is intended to urge employers, as they seek to fill positions,  to embrace and consider the talents of all workers, including workers with disabilities.

President Obama has announced several new initiatives that will support the millions of people in this country with disabilities who are working or who want to work.

In President Obama’s words: “My Administration is committed to ensuring that all Americans have the chance to fulfill their potential and contribute to our nation. . . As the nation’s largest employer, the Federal Government and its contractors can lead the way by implementing effective employment policies and practices that increase opportunities and help workers achieve their full potential.  We must also rededicate ourselves to fostering an inclusive work culture that welcomes the skills and talents of all qualified employees.”

Included in the new initiatives will be a day long Federal Government-wide job fair for people with disabilities.  The Fair will take place in early spring 2010 throughout the country and will include workshops throughout the day on a variety of topics that will support and inform potential employees with disabilities.

Utah’s Governor Gary R. Herbert has issued a declaration drawing attention to this “untapped resource” in Utah.  He states that there are “23,000 people in Utah’s workforce with a disability, ” and that the “estimated unemployment rate of working age (25 to 61) civilian men and women with a disability in Utah is 55%.”

The Center for Persons with Disabilities, in collaboration with the Utah Department of Health and other state agencies and organizations, has worked to increase the employment outcomes for people with disabilities in Utah through a project called Work Ability Utah.  Its purpose is to enable people with disabilities to find and retain competitive employment by providing information and resources to both the perspective employees and employers.

Another project funded through the CPD for several years, The Supported Employment Specialist Training (SEST) project, prepares specialists to serve as job coaches to adults with developmental disabilities who want to work but often need support to achieve job readiness. Supported employment specialists also assist others who are ready to enter or re-enter the workforce and already possess marketable skills and educational backgrounds, but need assistance with their job search.

In these economic times, it is good to know that there are programs that offer those with disabilities the best chance possible to attain and maintain employment.

Discount Prescription Drug Card Available to Salt Lake County Residents

October 22, 2009 by cpehrson

A new discount drug card program for Salt Lake County residents was announced this week by Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and the Salt Lake Valley Health Department Executive Director Gary Edwards. 

This free discount card is  available to all SLV residents, insured or not, at no added cost to taxpayers. There are no claim forms to fill out nor annual fee to pay, and no income or age requirements.  This program has unlimited useage for entire families.

With this discount card, consumers will save an average of 20% off the pharmacy’s regular price on all commonly prescribed prescriptions and an average of 50% off on 90-day supplies of select generics through mail service. Savings are also available on high-tech and injectable drugs through specialty pharmacies.

 Many pharmacies in the Salt Lake Valley will accept the Discount Prescription card including Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Rite Aide.        

For more information, including card pick-up locations, please call toll free 1 (877)321-2652 or visit the Salt Lake Valley Health Department website.