The Right to Know Campaign, Accessible Weight Scales in 25 Counties, and Updates on Pending Legislation. This and more in this issue of Accessibility for All.

Accessibility for All 

by the Disability and Health Program (DHP)

News from DHP

The Right to Know Campaign

In honor of breast cancer awareness month the DHP would like to highlight the Right to Know Campaign.  During the last round of funding the University of Florida and FODH were awarded a grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to disseminate a health communications campaign called "The Right to Know." This campaign was developed to promote breast cancer screening among women living with physical disabilities through the dissemination of print and audio health education materials.  Women living with disabilities are at the same risk as women without disabilities of developing breast cancer.  These important new campaign features and targets women with physical disabilities.  Our mission is to disseminate the materials through the state of Florida to reach as many women, and their family members, as possible. To learn more, please visit:


2014 Disability Data Report now available on our website!

DHP's Disability Data Report and Briefing Documents are now on the FODH Website.  To read the chart packs highlighting 2012 BRFSS data, 2012 CAHPS data and our in-house 2012 PWD Survey data, please visit:

Stories of Our Community

DHP is looking for positive stories or messages from individuals with disabilities, their caregivers or family members as well as programs in Florida. We'd like to put more of a focus on story and storytelling as a way to promote your work and highlight the lives of people living with disabilities. 
Personal stories: can be of an individual or family member who has had a positive experience with health promotion, wellness or emergency planning.

For example, a family who builds an emergency kit and was fully prepared for a recent emergency in their hometown. Other examples could include quotes, personal interviews with the family or individuals, etc. 
Program stories: can be a story about a program activity, event or resource that had a positive health outcome to your community or the population you serve.  A good program communication story could be loosely tied and just depicts a good activity outcome. Examples could include resources/ products that were developed and disseminated, trainings provided, changes in policy, new research articles, quotes from partners or individuals, etc.  
One story will be highlighted per month and pictures are welcome. Please send your stories to 

Accessible Weight Scales in 25 Counties 

The DHP collaborated with colleagues in the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention to leverage available funding for the purchase of accessible weight scales for County Health Departments (CHDs).  Of the 67 CHDs, 29 expressed interest and 25 preceded with the purchase. The CHDs that acquired the scales report that they are very useful. These scales can be found in the following counties: Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Calhoun, Columbia, DeSoto, Hamilton, Indian River, Jefferson, Lee, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okaloosa, Orange, Putnam, Taylor, Union, Volusia, and Washington.     


In Other News

People with Disabilities: National Preparedness Month 

This report describes the organizational features of three disability competent health systems: Commonwealth Care Alliance in Massachusetts, Community Health Partnership in Wisconsin, and Independence Care System in New York City.  These program integrate health and social services to deliver patient-centered care to Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries with particularly complex chronic care needs. To provide program operators and useful information about these programs, the report details how staff deliver services and coordinate care for people with disabilities. To read this report, please visit:

Girls and Women with Behavioral and Mental Health Conditions

A new knowledge path aims to bridge the public health and mental health information needs of professionals on approaches to promoting optimal health and wellness for women of childbearing age who experience a mental, emotional, or behavioral health condition.  The Women's Integrated Systems for Health (WISH) project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University, both of whom are funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau released a new report titled "Health and Wellness for Adolescent Girls and Women with Mental and Behavioral Health Conditions."  Topics include: reproductive and maternal health, intentional injury, chronic conditions, healthy behaviors, and health disparities.  To access the report, please visit:

Risk for An Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancy

A study published in The Maternal and Child Health Journal estimates the number and characteristics of women in the United States who are risk for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy.  According to the study, nearly 2 million non-pregnant women in the U.S. (or 1 in 30) were at risk for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy in the month before they were interviewed, including more than 600,000 women who were binge drinking. Women's plans for pregnancy were the biggest predictor of risk.  Women who said they were trying to get pregnant by not using contracreption (birth control) were at increased risk for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy because they continued to drink even after they stopped using contraception.  To read more about the study and its implications, please visit:

Videos Bring to Life the Promise of the Olmstead Decision

Two new companion videos, The Promise of Olmstead: 15 Years Later and Voices from the Olmstead Decision, are now posted to the website.  Voices from Olmstead Decision shares stories from an individuals with disabilities, their family members, and other stakeholders whose lives have been positively impacted by Olmstead's promise of community integration.  To watch the videos please visit:

A Tribute to Senator James M. Jeffords, A True Public Servant

"Senator Jeffords was a champion for people with disabilities, and, as the committee chairman, wanted to personally oversee all disability legislation assigned to the HELP committee.  He worked closely with other committee memebrs who shared this commitment - including Senators Kennedy and Harkin - to fashion and move major pieces of legislation through this committee.  His progressive stance on disability legislation was an ongoing point of contention with many of his more conservative Republic colleagues - but that never made him back down.  For this, he was recognized by the disability community - and often, was asked to speak at their gatherings or attend to receive special recognition." To read the complete tribute, please visit:

New Guide on Accessible Fitness Released

The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability, in partnership with Beneficial Designs, released Discover Accessible Fitness: A Wheelchair User's Guide for Using Fitness Equipment. The guide discusses safety, stability, adaptive equipment, accessibility, and exercise precautions, and provides a full overview of the components of fitness including cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility. The new guide was developed in response to two new standards for inclusive fitness equipment approved in August 2013, which work to ensure fitness equipment more closely meets the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To read the guide, please go to:

HHS Announces $99 Million in New Grants to Improve Mental Health Services for Young People

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today $99 million to train new mental health providers, help teachers and others recognize mental health issues in youth and connect them to help, and increase access to mental health services for young people.  These funds were included in the President and Vice President's Now Is the Time plan to reduce gun violence by keeping guns out of dangerous hands, increasing access to mental health service, and making schools safer. For more information about the grant, please visit:

Physical Activity and Disability

In conjunction with the release of the May 2014 Vital Signs on Disability and Health, the Center for Disease Control has set up a dedicated resource page for doctors and other health professionals with information to help them recommend aerobic physical activity to their adult patients with disabilities. 
To visit the resource page, please go to:

Social Security Administration (SSA) Mailing Social Security Statements

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it will resume mailing Social Security Statements once every five years to most people.  People over age 60 who aren't receiving benefits will get their statements every year.  SSA still encourages everyone to create a my Social Security account so they can access their statement online at anytime.  Around 14 million people have already signed up to create an online my Social Security account.  Your statement has information about your earnings and taxes, as well as estimates of potential retirement, survivors and disability benefits.  SSA estimates that 48 million of these statements will be mailed out each year. For more information, please visit:

Accessible Emergency Information

Over the past few years we as Americans have experienced both natural and man made disasters.  In an effort to better inform the community the Northeast Texas Public Health District has compiled 18 Emergency Preparedness Topics and formatted the information to be friendly to deaf, blind, and limited sight populations.  The information is in video and downloadable document format for public use.  There is no charge for use of the materials posted. To access these videos, please visit:

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Releases Report on Special Education

On September 24th, the GAO issued a new report titled, "Special Education: Improved Performance Measures Could Enhance Oversight of Dispute Resolution."  According to the report, the number of due process hearings declined from 7,000 during the 2004 - 2005 school year to 2,262 in the 2011 - 2012 school year.  One key factor that attributed to this decline were significantly less hearings in New York, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., which account for over 80 percent of the nation's hearings.  The report noted, however, that just because hearings declined does not mean special education services have improved.  For more information, visit:

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Awards $7.5 Million in Grants That Will Help People With Disabilities

On September 23, HUD awarded $7.5 million in grants to 39 owners of private housing developments that receive rental subsidies from HUD to low-income individuals in 21 states.  These grants will help senior citizens and people with disabilities to receive health care, meals and other supportive services.  The property owners of these housing developments will hire service coordinators with backgrounds in providing social services for people with disabilities and the elderly in order to help these residents with special needs. For more information, visit:

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Awards Grants to Prevent Chronic Diseases

On September 25th, HHS awarded $212 million in grants to all 50 states in an effort to prevent chronic diseases.  Part of the monies come from the ACA and 193 awards were made to states, large and small cities and counties, tribes and tribal organizations, and national community organizations with a focus on those populations that are hit hardest by chronic diseases.  The goals of the grant funding are to reduce rates of death and disability due to tobacco use, reduce obesity prevalence, and reduce rates of death and disability due to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.  For more information, visit:

Update On Pending Legislation From Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST)

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to draw a line in the sand, daring the legislature to defy their new funding rules regarding speech- generating devices. Meanwhile, the U.S. legislators left some bills on the tables before they went home, including bills to assist in the funding of Complex Rehabilitative Technology (CRT), S.948, written by Sen Schumer and co-sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson in 2013.  Nevertheless, here are some other, related recent bill updates.

S.2887: Accessible Transportation for All Act -

S.2888: Exercise and Fitness For All Act -

H.R. 5547: To ensure that Medicaid beneficiaries have to opportunity to receive care in a home and community-based setting

H.R. 5541: To promote the provision of exercise and fitness equipment that is accessible to individuals with disabilities

Accessibility and Accommodation Modules for Mammography Technicians, Radiology Technicians and Women with Disabilities About Breast Cancer Screenings 

The University of New Mexico has come out with 5 online modules, and resources, to provide mammography and radiology technicians and women with disabilities more information about being prepared for breast cancers screenings and about providing needed accommodations. To access these modules, please visit:


Florida Disability and Health Program

Disclaimer: These links are provided for informational purposes, not to solicit donations to an organization nor to promote one organization or resource over another.

Upcoming Events

Fourth Annual Children's Mental Health Conference 
November 1, 2014, Fort Myers, FL
For more information, please call (239) 425-3273. To register, please visit:

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: A Focus on Congenital Heart Defects
November 4, 2014, St. Petersburg, FL 
For more information, please visit: 

The American Public Health Association's (APHA) 142nd Annual Meeting and Exposition: Healthography - How Where You Live Affects Your Health and Well-Being
November 15-19, 2014, New Orleans, LA
For more information visit: http://

Twenty-second Annual Statewide Centers for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) Conference
January 16-18, 2015, Orlando, FL
For more information please visit:


Stakeholder Engagement and the Home and Community Based Services Settings Rule -State and National Perspective
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.EST
The new home and community-based services (HCBS) will require significant changes to the Medicaid HCBS program. Such a large changes to the program must include robust engagement with individuals with disabilities, their families, and other stakeholders. While the rule requires public comment, advocates are encouraging states to use that public comment period as the minimum, not the maximum, of public engagement. Come to this webinar to learn about how states are engaging stakeholders in the process and how state and national advocacy organizations are organizing to support stakeholders and states in the process.
To register please visit:

Employment/Day Guidance
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST
As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services articulates a new standard for what will and will not constitute Home and Community Based Services, advocates and policymakers are paying close attention to the implication for day and employment services. Many expect that new regulation will have a profound impact on integration in day and employment activities. Join us to learn more about the potential impact and how to influence implementation relevant to employment and day services. 
To register please visit:

Enforcement and Monitoring of HCBS Rules 
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST
Presenters will discuss strategies for individuals to enforce HCBS rule requirements; and mechanisms for states to monitor compliance with the rules over the long term. Speakers will highlight potential areas where individuals may face issues in implementation of HCBS rules and available advocacy options, such as grievances or appeals. Examples may include: when assessments of need do not reflect the standard of integration reflected in the regulations; conflict of interest or provider qualification standards are not met; and managed care utilization controls discourage fidelity to person-centered planning. Lastly, presenters will offer tips advocates can use to urge states to include monitoring and enforcement mechanisms in state HCBS Transition Plans.  
To register please visit:

Bridging the Rainbow: Bringing LGBTQ+ and Disability Communities Together
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST
This webinar will provide an overview of the parallel background of LGBTQ+ and disability communities, as well as discuss the possible spaces for coalitional activist work. In addition, the particular concerns of people with I/DD who identify as LGBTQ+ will be addressed, and suggestions and resources for further points of connection will be given. 

To register please visit:

About the DHP

The Disability and Health Program (DHP) is funded through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Formerly the Florida Office on Disability and Health, the DHP is housed under the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention in Tallahassee, FL with partnership from the University of Florida.
Copyright © 2014 Florida Disability and Health Program, All rights reserved.
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