Medicaid alert

November 30, 2011 by cpehrson

Bottles of prescription medicine

Attention Medicaid recipients–

This is to let you know that Medicaid will be transferring their computer systems on December 28-29th 2011.  Because of this you cannot renew your prescriptions on those days.  They will allow you to purchase your medications for that month only, a week ahead of time.

We have all had to work with computer systems and know that it often can take a little longer then we think so plan on it being down even an extra day or so,  just to be on the safe side.

Medications are so important to so many of our kids so please don’t find yourself without and plan ahead.

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Art Access Gallery stroll

November 29, 2011 by JoLynne Lyon

A variety of paintings hang on a yellow wall

Can you tell which of these paintings were done by artists with disabilities? Me, neither.

The CPD is putting together a display on the history of disability in Utah, to be exhibited in the State Capitol during the upcoming legislative session.

We are now working on a plan to include art by people with disabilities in that display–which led to a breathtaking morning at the Art Access gallery in Salt Lake City. It’s an inclusive gallery, where works by artists with and without disabilities are displayed side by side.

“Our philosophy has always been, ‘Separate is not equal,'” said Sheryl Gillilan, the Art Access executive director. “Good art is good art.”

more art is displayed around a fireplace mantle

More art. It's for sale, too.

The next step is to compile a wish list of pieces we’d like to have on display with our posters. It will be hard to narrow down, but it’s a happy job. The paintings reflect Utah’s true diversity. This blog post comes with a hat-tip to Eric Mitchell and the Disability Law Center. They told me about this collection and dedicated a morning to showing me around.

A painting shows a mother, her son and her brother.

This painting, Kindred Spirits, resides in the gallery's permanent collection.

Low-income and accessible housing opportunities

November 29, 2011 by cpehrson

One story home with two-car garage and tan brick and siding

The Utah Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation (NNHC) offers a self-help program for low income households to participate in building their own home and use “sweat equity” as their down payment.

The program, the Mutual Self Help Program, requires no prior construction knowledge in order for participants to  build these energy efficient, affordable homes with payments as low as $580 per month.  Local participants can choose from a variety of lots, floor plans, and colors to build in Smithfield, Nibley, or Corinne, Utah.  Several building lots will be available Spring of 2012.

One and one-half story home with two-car garage with tan brick and siding

Neighborhood Nonprofit has built over 250 homes, including accessible homes for families that have a member that is disabled.  They also have housing units available for people with physical or developmental disabilities and housing for the elderly. These are located in northern Utah:  Providence Place in Providence, Utah with 22 two-bedroom units, Discovery Place in Brigham City, Utah,  a 6-unit group home and 15-unit apartment building, and River Park Senior Housing in Logan, Utah, a 40-unit affordable housing development,.

To learn more about how you could be a part of this amazing opportunity, call Kim C. Datwyler, NNHC Executive Director at (435)753-1112 or visit online.

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Strengthening family caregivers

November 28, 2011 by cpehrson

Adult woman, blonde hair, kneeling beside a young boy in a wheelchair

This month, National Family Caregivers Month, we have been talking about family caregivers and the kinds of support that they need in order to continue to provide this valuable service for a loved one.

Many caregivers go without supportive services that could help reduce the challenges of providing care.  Our last family caregiver blog outlined some of the resources and supports that are available to caregivers.

Another source of support for family caregivers comes in the form of assistive technology and home modifications.

Assistive technology includes mobility devices like canes, walkers, and wheelchairs, to help someone who has trouble getting around. There are AT devices to help people with limited hand or arm function remain independent, such as an adaptive lever for a reclining chair, or a built up handle on a utensil. Communication AT is available for people who have difficulty speaking; they range from simple picture word cards to more sophisticated devices for electronic technology.  Other AT is available for people with limited hearing or vision.

Many adaptive devices can be customized to meet the needs of the individual.

The Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP) at the CPD specializes in working with individuals and creating  AT devices that answer a specific need.  The AT lab staff have built everything from wheelchair lifts for cars, a standing device so a six-year old can balance and play his Wii Fit, to a latch stimulation board for Alzheimer patients at a local nursing home.

According to Clay Christensen, AT Lab Coordinator, “That is what we are all about at the Assistive Technology Lab, changing lives for the better.”

Home modifications can be made as a person’s health and ability declines.  These can include grab bars and shower seats, as well as portable ramps for wheelchairs or electric scooters.  Hospital beds, commodes, and incontinence supplies can also be obtained from a healthcare supply store.

Financial help is possible through various programs to help with AT equipment or home modifications.  The Utah Assistive Technology Foundation at the CPD partners with Zion’s Bank to provide low-interest loans to help people acquire the equipment and make the modifications that they need.

As family caregivers become aware of the many resources that are available to them, they will find the supports that they need to continue to care for their loved one.

We take our hats off to those family caregivers who make life easier for their loved ones.

This is the last in a series of four blogs about the role and services provided by family caregivers across the nation.

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Attention, educators: Here are two events your students should see

November 23, 2011 by JoLynne Lyon

Black and white photo of many people holding protests signs, three in wheelchairs and one with a seeing eye dog

People with disabilities enter the civil rights movement in this 1960s-era photo. It is included in the disability history exhibit.

Please save these dates:

From January 9-27, an exhibit on the history of disability and advocacy in the western world will be available in Special Collections at the Merrill-Cazier Library.

On January 20th, the movie Lives Worth Living will be screened at the Merrill-Cazier library at 1 p.m.  in room 154. this event is co-sponsored by the Disability Resource Center. The 55-minute movie documents the history of America’s disability rights movement. We have some different options for using this film as an educational opportunity, so please read the details below.

The Exhibit

The exhibit includes panels that outline the history of disability and advocacy. This walk through 3000 years of the human condition is remarkably detailed. It’s sometimes shocking, sometimes poignant, and always informative.

For example, it shows a dark side to the Greek tradition that revered perfection in the human body: Aristotle also recommended that there should be a law “to prevent the rearing of deformed children.” In his Politics, Aristotle wrote, “As to the exposure and rearing of children, let there be a law that no deformed child shall live.”

Here’s an excerpt from  two thousand years farther down the timeline: The medical model emerged around the 18th century, defining disability as any one of a series of biological deficiencies located in the body. … A gradual understanding of science lead to new and often painful treatments for persons with disabilities. People become objects of study, are used in experiments, and assume the role of “patients.”

The exhibit will be in the Special Collections area of the Merrill-Cazier Library. Three cases will also display some of the CPD’s current, disability-related work.

The film screening

Lives Worth Living documents the history of America’s disability rights movement. It was produced by the PBS Series Independent Lens. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on “The Disability Rights Movement: Past, Present, and Future.”

Space is limited for the screening of the film and panel presentation, and seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Faculty members who are interested in arranging a separate showing of the film and related guest lecture should contact Jeff Sheen.