Monday, August 17, 2009

Rumor Has it...

Rumor has it that the Family Cost Participation policy was submitted DESPITE everyone's objections at public hearings, and the OSEP approved it. It leaves me to wonder how much of public comments and concerns actually made it to OSEP for review, because frankly, I think that if they truly reviewed the concerns that I heard at the hearings that I attended, I can't see how they would think it was an acceptable policy.

DES supposedly made changes to the policy with our input in mind, but I wouldn't know, I cannot find any copies of the revised policy online to begin to comment. I do know I was furious when I heard this news. I don't think anyone was even for it, except DES of course.

I am concerned about how this will effect the future of our kids, what will this do to families struggling as it is? Will they even take debts or bills into account? Do they even care? They think we should pay out of pocket for it? REALLY??????? WHAT ABOUT THE TAXES WE PAY????? THAT SHOULD PAY FOR IT!

As you can tell I still am furious about this, because quite frankly, if we personally had to pay what they are proposing, looking at just our income and not our bills, we could not afford therapies for our son due to our debts, and if we can't there will be many other families in the same boat, and that to me is unacceptable, period. I doubt they would even track it, or maybe they would come up with some convoluted appeals process, like the one they tried to slide in illegally when the state attempted to remove our services, or better yet why don't we use due process? Let's clog up the courts some more, that will surely be great for the state won't it?

As far as I am concerned this is not over yet: there is an old saying "No matter how hard a door shuts, another opens, you just have to find it"

As soon as the policy and implementation comes out, you can bet I will be looking really hard for that other door.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It just Occured to me...

I know DES posted a sentance on their website about the service reinstatment, but it is in English, anyone have any word on where and how they plan to communicate this to Spanish speakers? The state of Arizona discrimininate? No- it can't be! They sent out their letters in both languages, I must be mistaken, feel free to give me the info so I can post it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

AZ Center for Disablity Law Agrees to Dismiss Lawsuit

ACDL has agreed to dismiss the current lawsuit they filed against the state because the state has agreed to continue services, for the next year at least. According to the article, they agreed to drop it, but still have the ability to file again if the needs arises. The article is below, and here is a link to it as well:

Arizona's Early Intervention Program Funded. Parties Agree to Dismiss ACDL Class Action Lawsuit.
Posted by Peri Jude Radecic on August 4, 2009 at 1:53pm
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With Arizona’s Early Intervention Services funded for fiscal year 2010, the Arizona Center for Disability Law (Center), along with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, moved last week to dismiss the Center’s class action lawsuit filed against the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES). On Monday, August 3, 2009, the U.S. District Court in Tucson ordered the action dismissed without prejudice. A dismissal without prejudice means that the Center could return to Court with the same cause of action.The Center filed its class action lawsuit in April 2009 to prevent the state from carrying out millions of dollars in budget cuts which violated federal and state law by eliminating or greatly reducing the provision of early intervention services to eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities. At the time, DES notified families that their children’s early intervention services would be reduced or suspended.The terms of the settlement, which led to the dismissal, included DES posting a notice on their website that states:Early Intervention UPDATE: The Department of Economic Security plans to continue providing early intervention services to eligible children and their families for the 2010 state fiscal year (July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010).“The Center’s priority was to ensure that early intervention services were provided to every eligible child in Arizona,” said J.J. Rico, one of the attorneys who filed the class action lawsuit. “At this point, our clients are receiving services and we saw no need to continue with the lawsuit.”Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) is a statewide system of supports and services for families of children, birth to age three, with disabilities or developmental delays. AzEIP was created in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C, to aid infants and toddlers in catching up to their peers and/or learning to adapt to their disabilities; thereby avoiding possible institutionalization and reducing costs to the education sector and society in general. All fifty states provide services and supports under this federal law. In Arizona, AzEIP is a collaboration of activities by: DES; Arizona Department of Health Services; Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind; Arizona Department of Education; and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.The future of early intervention services beyond fiscal year 2010 remains uncertain as the Governor and state legislative leaders continue to debate additional budget cuts to bridge a growing budget deficit. Some analysts have estimated the current budget gap to be over $3 billion dollars.“The Court dismissed our suit without prejudice,” said Rico. “We can return to federal court to protect the rights of children with disabilities again if necessary.”Zoe M. v. Blessing is a continuation of the Center’s work to ensure that children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education as guaranteed by federal and state law. The Center’s staff handles issues ranging from abusive seclusion and restraint, the failure to implement Individualized Education Plans, and disputes over related special education services.JoAnn Sheperd and J.J. Rico were the Center’s lead attorneys on this case.- 30 -The Arizona Center for Disability Law is a not for profit public interest law firm, dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals with a wide range of physical, mental, psychiatric, sensory and cognitive disabilities. The Arizona Center for Disability Law is authorized under various federal statutes to ensure the protection and advocacy of all individuals with disabilities in the state

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Good News! Victory! Well, sort of...

The following is posted on the DES DDD site:

NEW Early Intervention Update: The Department of Economic Security plans to continue providing early intervention services to eligible children and their families for the 2010 state fiscal year (July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010).

Here is the link:

Of course, you can't see it unless you know to look for it, because the only statement on the main DES homepage says this:

Early Intervention UPDATE The Department of Economic Security will not reduce early intervention services to eligible children from birth to age three and their families in state fiscal year 2009 (July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009) as a result of Senate Bill 1001.

Stupid? Absolutely! Surprising? Unfortunately not.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for a letter in the mail either, I wish they could think of some formal way of notifying families, it is not respectful or fair to any of us to just put a blurb that isn't even on their homepage, I just don't get it, they can find the money to notify us they have no money, but can't find the money to notify us that they do have money.

I just don't get it, I really don't, our taxes pay their salaries, to be honest I don't feel that we should be treated like this, after what they have put us through the LEAST they could do is send out letters or even have our caseworkers call us to give us an offical word, but NO! All they will post a little sentance on their site that you can't even see unless you look for it.


Well, it is bittersweet, I'm thrilled and relieved that the funding has come through and the program is no longer in danger, but on the other hand, I'm extremely disappointed yet again as to how this is being handled.

Maybe I'll call my elected officials for old time's sake and complain so they can make a note of it.

Maybe if we all do, they might at least be willing to send out letters or even call us. Who knows?

As far as this blog goes, I will have to do some thinking as to where to take it from here, I do want to help everyone and get more info out there, so it might become more research based, I would love to have anyone contribute any articles if they would like to do that as well.