Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Email Template for Writing Legislators

Here is some good info thanks to Hacienda Healthcare!

We need your help to contact legislators about preserving the services your family member depends on. Many legislators do not have a clear picture of a person with developmental disabilities. It is up to you to be sure your legislators know why your family member needs services. This is not the time to be proud of what they can do – be realistic about the services they need that you now receive, and why.

To find your legislators, go to
or call 602.926.3559 for the Senate Roster or 602.926.4221 for the House of Representatives Roster.

We recommend you email your Senators and Representatives TODAY – they are making decisions now. You have one state senator and two state legislators who will be making decisions very soon for the new budget starting in July, and state revenues continue to drop. Stimulus dollars are helping, but they do not close the gap.

The following is a suggested format for your email letter. Legislators will usually open ones from people who live in their district – those they actually represent so in the subject line state A Note from a Family in Your District.

A suggested letter template:

Dear Representative (or Senator_____)
(Remember you have two reps and one senator who each should receive a letter.

(Begin with your name & address at the top so they immediately recognize that you are in their district.)

Since I live in your area, I am writing to you for help. My (son or daughter) is a (male or female) who is ____ years old. He or she is developmentally disabled (tell why - at birth or other circumstance). (Let your son or daughter’s personality come through in your message, but keep each part of the message 3 to 4 sentences).

In three sentences or less tell why your individual needs services. Be sure to be specific as to what your family member’s limitations are; for instance: doesn’t talk, can’t bathe without help, toileting, mobility, etc, and whether he or she can exist without those services. If your son/daughter has chronic illnesses, specify those as well.

Describe the services he or she now receives, and how your son or daughter benefits – in one or two sentences.

Add one or two sentences about what would happen if the service were no longer available because your provider closes due to cuts in services. Explain whether you could provide the care yourself, or if not, what would happen – if there is any option.

In your own words, ask your legislator to please consider how necessary the services are to your son or daughter’s safety and health. Ask the legislator if he or she would like to meet with your son or daughter.

If there is no response in two days, send a second email. Please contact me once you have sent your emails and once you have received a response from your legislators.

Monday, April 27, 2009

No News on Court Cases

I checked the notes at both the Superior Court and the Appellate Court, there are no new entries. I do know that they were supposed to be having a hearing at the Appellate Court on the 23rd, but it looks like that was just to present sides of the argument, as far as I know there is no new ruling as of yet.

I am still waiting for my due process hearing to be scheduled, so far, they are 20 days past their 30 day deadline.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Budget Meeting Appears to Have Been Called Off

Senator Jack Harper had sent an email to someone on a yahoo group that the appropriations budget meeting has been "called off" I'm assuming it was cancelled, no word on when or if there will be another meeting anytime soon.

I think it would make sense for them to wait to see what the rulings on the current lawsuits are before they try to figure out the budget, otherwise they would probably be forced to have another meeting to revise it.

But then again, when does it ever make sense?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another Legislative Alert

I wonder if there is a coincidence that this budget meeting is taking place right before the AAPD case is heard in the Appellate Court. This is a notice from the Governors Council on Disabilities.







As you know, services that people with disabilities and their families depend on sustained major cuts in the FY09 Budget solution and due to the state's continued economic crisis, there is an additional deficit that remains for FY2009 (estimated at $400-$500 million). Legislators will likely have to revisit the FY2009 Budget and may have to make additional cuts to critical state funded programs and services that Arizonans with disabilities and their families rely on.

Legislators are ALSO trying to resolve and even GREATER deficit in FY2010 (approximately 2 times the deficit in FY09 ($3 - 3.4 billion).

Although the federal stimulus monies may help the situation somewhat, the specifics are still somewhat unclear.

Because of this, Legislators are desperately looking at ways to save the state money.

That may include ADDITIONAL cuts to crucial services and programs that people with disabilities and their families depend on.

It is likely that the Budget Bills scheduled to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee this Thursday will move quickly through the process which means that there is very LITTLE time left to advocate for the preservation of critical health and human services that Arizonans with disabilities and their families depend on.


Call and email the Senate Appropriations Committee Members before the Appropriations Committee hearing this Thursday, April 23, 2009 and encourage the Committee Members to advocate in the hearing for the preservation of critical services that people with disabilities and their families depend on for basic quality of life!!

AFTER you contact the Senate Appropriations Committee Members, call and email your legislators and as many of the members of the Senate and House Leadership as possible. Encourage them to also help safeguard crucial services that people with disabilities and their families rely on.

If you are working during the day and cannot make calls and send emails during regular business hours - then call and leave voicemail messages and send emails at whatever time you can. REMEMBER: Make the process work for you! Do anything and everything that you can.

If you have an account with 'ALIS' be sure to sign-on online(on the day of the Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing, Thursday, April 23, 2009 before 9:30am) and leave your comments regarding Arizona's Budget.

Get your friends, family members, neighbors, and acquaintances to do ALL of the above!!!

If you support this issue - What YOU Need to Say

* Briefly tell them your personal story. Explain how cuts would affect you and others.

Consider reminding them that: * Thousands of Arizonans are Counting on them to address the budget deficit by identifying areas that do not cause irrevocable harm to Arizonans with disabilities and their families .* That you'd like them to fight hard to preserve funding for critical services for people with disabilities
* Cutting health and human services is not eradicating luxury; it is eliminating life sustaining necessities.* Addressing the budget deficit isn't just about numbers; it's also about assuring that Arizonans with disabilities are afforded the most basic human accommodation; shelter, food, health care, provision for mobility, education, employment, critical early intervention and rehabilitation services.

IN ADDITON TO YOUR LEGISLATORS, CONTACT AS MANY OF THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE AS YOU CAN: Members of the Senate LeadershipPresident: Robert "Bob" Burns (R-9)Phone Number: (602) 926-5993Email Address: Rburns@azleg. gov President Pro Tempore: Thayer Verschoor (R-22)Phone Number: (602) 926-4136Email Address: tverschoor@azleg. govMajority Leader: Chuck Gray (R-19)Phone Number: (602) 926-5288Email Address: cgray@azleg. govMajority Whip: Pamela Gorman (R-6)Phone Number: (602) 926-5284Email Address: pgorman@azleg. govMinority Leader: Jorge Luis Garcia (D-27)Phone Number: (602) 926-4321Email Address: jgarcia@azleg. govAsst. Minority Leader: Rebecca Rios (D-23)Phone Number: (602) 926-5685Email Address: rrios@azleg. govMinority Whip: Linda Lopez (D-29)Phone Number: (602) 926-4089Email Address: llpoez@azleg. gov Members of the House Leadership Speaker of the House: Kirk Adams (R-19)Phone Number: (602) 926-5495Email Address: kadams@azleg. govSpeaker Pro Tempore: Steven B. Yarbrough (R-21)Phone Number: (602) 926-5863Email Address: syarbrough@azleg. govMajority Leader: John McComish (R-20)Phone Number: (602) 926-5898Email Address: jmccomish@azleg. gov Majority Whip: Andrew Tobin (R-1)Phone Number: (602) 926-5172Email Address: atobin@azleg. govMinority Leader: David Lujan (D-15)Phone Number: (602) 926-5829Email Address: dlujan@azleg. govAsst. Minority Leader: Kyrsten Sinema (D-15)Phone Number: (602) 926-5058Email Address: ksinema@azleg. gov Minority Whip: Chad Campbell (D-14)Phone Number: (602) 926-3026Email Address: ccampbell@azleg. gov Senate Appropriations Committee Chairperson: Russell Pearce (R-18)Phone Number: (602) 926-5760Email Address: rpearce@azleg. govVice-Chair: Al Melvin (R-26)Phone Number: (602) 926-4326Email Address: amelvin@azleg. gov Member: Pamela Gorman (R-6)Phone Number: (602) 926-5284Email Address: pgorman@azleg. gov Member: Ron Gould (R-3)Phone Number: (602) 926-4138Email Address: rgould@azleg. govMember: Sylvia Allen (R-5)Phone Number: (602) 926-5219Email Address: sallen@azleg. govMember: Paula Aboud (D-28)Phone Number: (602) 926-5262Email Address: paboud@azleg. govMember: Amanda Aguirre (D-24)Phone Number: (602) 926-4139Email Address: aaguirre@azleg. gov Member: Rebecca Rios (D-23)Phone Number: (602) 926-5685Email Address: rrios@azleg. govMember: Albert Hale (D- 2)Phone Number: (602) 926-4323Email Address: ahale@azleg. gov Member: Jack Harper (R-4)Phone Number: (602) 926-4178Email Address: jharper@azleg. govMember: Steve Pierce (R-1)Phone Number: (602) 926-5584Email Address: spierce@azleg. govHouse Appropriations CommitteeChairperson: John Kavanagh (R-8)Phone Number: (602) 926-5170Email Address: jkavanagh@azleg. gov Vice-Chair: Andy Biggs (R-22)Phone Number: (602) 926-4371Email Address: abiggs@azleg. gov Member: Steve Court (R-18)Phone Number: (602) 926-4467Email Address: scourt@azleg. govMember: Olivia Cajero Bedford (D-27)Phone Number: (602) 926-5835Email Address: ocajerobedford@ azleg.govMember: Cloves C. Campbell, Jr. (D-16)Phone Number: (602) 926-3042Email Address: clcampbell@azleg. govMember: Russell Jones (R-24)Phone Number: (602) 926-3002Email Address: rjones@azleg. govMember: Rich Crandall (R-19)Phone Number: (602) 926-3020Email Address: rcrandall@azleg. govMember: Matt Heinz (D-29)Phone Number: (602) 926-3424Email Address: mheinz@azleg. gov Member: Nancy McLain (R-3)Phone Number: (602) 926-5051Email Address: nmclain@azleg. govMember: Rick Murphy (R-9)Phone Number: (602) 926-3255Email Address: rmurphy@azleg. gov Member: Kyrsten Sinema (D-15)Phone Number: (602) 926-5058Email Address: ksinema@azleg. gov Member: David Schapira (D-17)Phone Number: (602) 926-3028Email Address: dschapira@azleg. gov Member: Vic Williams (R-26)Phone Number: (602) 926-5839Email Address: vwilliams@azleg. gov

Video on "Special Needs Survival"

Here is a link to a video that I just noticed on the AZ Repblic website, it looks like they are talking about the AAPD lawsuit

Monday, April 20, 2009

The State's Appeal Info for AAPPD Case

I found the number for the AAPD (Ariona Association of Providers for Persons with Disablities) case is cv90167, it looks like the appeal is scheduled to be heard on Thursday April 23rd at 10:30 AM in the Appelate Court. This is the case that currently has the injunction in place so we can still have services. I can't tell if it is open to the public or not, I'll try to get a chance to call and ask, I probably can't go due to childcare issues, if anyone knows feel free to post the info in the comments. Here is a link to the online course document:

Here is a link to the Appelate Court website:

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Lawsuit Against DES

There has been another lawsuit filed against DES to help us maintain services! The Arizona Center for Disabled Law filed a federal lawsuit in the US District court on Wednesday, it is different than the other suit that has the injunction in place because that suit had been filed in an Arizona court, this one is in a court that has federal instead of state jurisdiction. Hopefully, this suit will help us strengthen our case for needed services and be a backup incase something happens and the other injunction is lifted. Here are the links to some articles:

AZ Central:

ABC 15

Tucson Citizen

USA Today

Arizona Daily Star

The Arizona Center for Disabled Law has also posted some info on their website as well:

You can view a copy of the complaint for free through the Arizona Center for Disabled Law's website here:

Since it has been filed in the US district court, there is a charge to download case documents from the court's website to read it, if anyone is interested in paying to look at it, just go to "Case Information" at this link:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

March of Dimes March for Babies Walk: Saturday April 18

The annual March of Dimes March for Babies is going to be held on Saturday March 18th at Wesley Bolin Plaza, check in time is 7am and the walk is at 8am. Since my son is a preemie, this is a cause that is near and dear to us. I will be walking with both my husband and my son; we're also hoping we can catch up with some of my son's former NICU Nurses. Here is a link to the local March of Dimes website with more info:

Friday, April 10, 2009

DES is at it Again

There is a "Public Notice" posted on their site in regards to an application of funds and changes to the AZEIP program that they want to institute. The link to the site is here:

It looks like there is going be a series of "public hearings" to "discuss" these issues

Persons submitting comments on specific items in the application should indicate support, opposition, suggested changes, additions, or deletions pertaining to the specific item. Input received by DES/AzEIP by 4:00 p.m. on June 3, 2009 will be considered. If you are unable to access the application electronically, please contact DES/AzEIP at (602) 532-9960; toll-free at (888) 439-5609, or by e-mail at

One of my concerns is their proposed "Family Cost Participation Policy" it goes as follows:

AzEIP will institute a Family Cost Participation (FCP), this would require that families whose children receive services from AzEIP and DDD (but not ASDB) families making over 200% of the federal poverty level will pay 15% of the costs of their child's services (therapies, not service coordination, evalutions/assessments or IFSP development) and then it will increase by 5% to 100% of the costs.

I don't really know where we would fit in all of this, but I find it disturbing to say the least. I looked through the policy, it just says that they use your tax return and a calculation (with no real detail) as to how they determine your income. It doesn't discuss whether or not they fit your expenses into the equation, or what happens if you can't pay, or what your and your child's rights are if you can't pay. It also does not mention how those with private insurance fit into their little equation either.

Then there is the phrase "and then it will increase by 5% to 100% of the costs" Huh? How often does it increase, how do they decide the interval of the increase, how do they determine whether or not it increases? Where does private insurance fit in? How do they fit your medical expenses in?

For a change, it looks shady and makes absolutely no sense.

Personally, I don't like being told what I can and cannot afford by someone else, aside from the fact that my son is legally disabled and has a right to edcuational services, it seems comprable to requiring parents to pay for public school, forcing people to pay for things they have a right to under the law does not make sense to me. Never mind the fact the people that pay the most in taxes have to pay the most for their services. There is nothing indicating any tax breaks or implications either, would these services quailfy as a deduction? Who knows?

Here is link to some info I was able to find on the Federal Poverty Line they they are thinking of using:

There are also going to be "hearings" on this issue the info is following:

May 8, 2009 2:30-3:30 p.m.
AZ DOT – HRDC Grand Canyon Rooms 1&2 1130 N. 22nd Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85009

May 26, 2009 2:00-4:00 p.m.
East Flagstaff Community Library Meeting Room 3000 N. Fourth Street, Suite 5 Flagstaff, AZ 86004

May 27, 2009 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Yucca Library Meeting Room 5648 N. 15th Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85015

May 28, 2009 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Himmel Park Branch Library Meeting Room 1035 N. Treat Avenue Tucson, AZ 85716

Anyone notice that all of these hearings are taking place during business hours? Those of us that have jobs might not be able to attend, or will have to take off of work, as if people that have special needs children don't have to take enough time off of work already. I'm going to try to go to at least one, and I'm going to write them too, I would love input on how we can best word our objections. Let me know what you all think!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Delay in Due Process Hearing Schedule

I got a voicemail from AZEIP yesterday, they have not scheduled our due process hearing yet, the hearing officer informed them that they are behind due to the impact of the budget cuts for their office, they are aware they are going to miss their 30 day timeline for us, but will let me know as soon as it is scheduled.

Does anyone have a similar story or any other info?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Due Process Hearings- Has Anyone Had One Yet?

I know it's been a little while since my last post, I have taken advantage of our great weather and the end of RSV season to go out and about quite a bit, but I looked at the calendar last week and found that my Due Process hearing has not been scheduled as of yet, I called AZEIP, and they didn't know what was going on or if "any" of the hearings have even been scheduled. They were going to try to figure out what was going on and get back to me, so far, I haven't heard anything yet.

Has anyone had their hearing or at least had their hearing scheduled?