Future Planning Center

By Michelle Diament ~

As people with developmental disabilities live longer, a new national center is gearing up to help individuals and their families plan for the future.

The Arc said it will establish a center to address the needs of an estimated 600,000 to 700,000 American families that include an adult with developmental disabilities with no clear long-term plan. In many cases, the group said aging caregivers are struggling to plan for a time when they will no longer be around to provide support.

Known as the National Center on Future Planning, the initiative will offer information, resources and assistance with everything from person-centered planning to guardianship, housing options and financial considerations, the group said.

“In the last 20 years, people with disabilities have made great strides to live independently, be a part of their community and experience all they want in life,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc. “But too many people are facing the next chapter in their lives without a plan.”

The future planning effort will include an online database of local resources throughout the country as well as a phone number that people can call to be referred to services in their area.

What’s more, organizers said they expect to offer training for families and create a volunteer network of typically-developing individuals who can visit those with developmental disabilities and help monitor their quality of life.

Hiring is currently underway for staff to run the project, which is being funded with a grant of $800,000 over two years.


Applying For Autism Tracking Devices

By Michelle Diament ~

Police departments nationwide will be able to make the tracking devices available to children in their communities who are at risk of wandering using money available through the Justice Department’s Byrne grant program, officials at the federal agency said.

Byrne is an existing program that law enforcement agencies routinely tap to pay for everything from crime prevention programs to officer training and equipment like police radios and lights for emergency vehicles.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that his office had determined that Byrne funding could be used for tracking devices.

“Byrne grant money can be made and will be made available for the purchase of these devices,” Holder told a U.S. Senate panel.


Quality Assuarance/Monitoring News

Far Northern Regional Center extends a “Thank You!” to residential and supported living services (SLS) vendors, their staff and the consumers they serve for their continued participation in the regional center’s announced and unannounced monitoring home visits.

This is to advise residential and SLS providers that Regional Center staff and consumer monitoring teams will ask to look at staff quarters or in owner-operated facilities, owner’s private areas, for safety reasons. The intent is to take a quick visual assessment of these areas to ensure no obvious safety hazards exist (i.e. portable heating and other electrical devices positioned too closely to bedding, curtains, etc., frayed electrical cords, exposed wiring, unsafe electrical outlets, etc. ). Thank you for your cooperation and ensuring that we work together to keep consumer living environments safe.

FNRC extends its appreciation to both residential providers and our newly implemented Consumer Residential Monitoring Teams. We are happy to share that theconsumer monitoring teams have now completed about 30 scheduled visits to residential facilities in our region! Overall, the teams have been impressed by the quality of the environments in which their peers reside. They have shared that the majority of providers have been welcoming and comfortable with the process. From time to time the team has observed areas in which improvement is needed including: food supplies, water temperatures, unsecured medications or toxics, issues with bedding or linens, electrical hazards, fire safety hazards, etc.

Participation in the consumer monitoring teams affords consumers an opportunity for paid employment while at the same time enhancing the efforts made by service providers and the regional center to maximize the safety of consumers in residential care settings. We are looking forward to expanding this effort to other settings including supported living and day programs, in the future. Thank you once again, for your participation in these monitoring visits!


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