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June 2013

Iowa Jury Awards 32 Men with Disabilities $240 Million
Over a period of 40 years, Henry's turkey manufacturing plant employed hundreds of workers with intellectual disabilities and paid them 41 cents per hour. Learn more about the men and their story by clicking here. To watch a video of this case, click on the picture below.        
The Bunker
Hospitals are Required to Report the Cost of Procedures
Recently, the Omaha World Herald did a feature comparing the cost of medical procedures by hospitals in the eastern part of the state. This transparency is one feature of the Affordable Care Act that is allowing consumers to become more knowledgeable about their healthcare, increase competition and to help drive down costs.  Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human services shares that paying a higher price does not ensure a good outcome. Click here to learn more. 
Rally at the Capital for Medicaid ExpansionRally
With the legislative session now over, the option to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will not occur in Nebraska this year. Medicaid is a program that provides health coverage for low-income families, children and is often considered the life-line to community living for individuals with disabilities. At the same time, concerns have been raised regarding the long-term expenses to the state if Medicaid were expanded.  However, according to Cornell University's 2011 Disability Status Report 15,300 individuals with disabilities did not have insurance in Nebraska. If Medicaid were expanded it is estimated 14,000 of these would be covered. On March 15th, there was a rally at the Capital to raise awareness for the number of individuals who would not be eligible for health insurance, nor be able to access insurance in the exchange should the state not choose to expand Medicaid. In addition, many hospitals support Medicaid expansion because without it they will lose money because they still will have to provide emergency care to those without coverage. Sharin Lind, CEO of the Ogallala hospitals (shown above) states that Medicaid expansion is vital to individuals and families in rural Nebraska. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, hospitals were reimbursed by the federal government for providing care to the uninsured for ER visits. When the law was upheld by the Supreme Court and the Court ruled that states would have the option of expanding Medicaid, the loss of the federal reimbursement to hospitals was an unintended consequence. Click on the photos below to hear testimony from the two featured senators regarding Medicaid Expansion. Introduced as Kathy Campbell's priority bill, the Legislature was not able to gather enough support to stop the filibuster preventing LB 577 from even being debated by the legislature. Even if it had been debated, the Governor stated that he would veto the bill because of concerns regarding the long-term cost to the state. Most likely, Medicaid expansion will be carried forward to next year's legislative session.
Senator Lathrop
Senator Ashford
 Verdict in BSDC Case Expected Soon
When Ian HBSDCamm, a former resident at the Beatrice State Developmental Center (BSDC) almost died due to the mismanagment of his medical condition, Disability Rights Nebraska sued the medical provider for negligence as well as the state.  Learn more about this case by clicking here. Disability Rights Nebraska is the State's federally designated Protection and Advocacy Organization for individuals with Developmental Disabilities and their families.
The Departments of Housing and Justice Release New Guidance on Accessibility Requirements for Housing
The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice recently released new guidance on multi-family housing units; specifically that they will be reinforcing the Fair Housing Act and must make the homes accessible to individuals with disabilities. Learn more by going here
Recreational Activities for Individuals with I/DD
Bob and MaryMunroe-Meyer Program Evaluator, Bob Pawloski was recently awarded a grant from the Nebraska Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Pawloski was asked to develop a survey to determine the recreational opportunities available for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the state. Help him collect this information by taking the survey here or by forwarding this newsletter so that others can take it. Pawloski is featured above with Physical Therapy Student, Mary Kaletta and UNMC Information Technology Staff.
Mark Your Calendars

Opportunities for Families:  

Helping Build the Community Supports Your Child and Family Need Through the EDN's Planning Region Teams

June 21st and 22nd  (both days) in Omaha

This training will help participants learn about the Early Development Network's (NE's Early Intervention System) structure that provides services and support at the community level which children with developmental delays and their families need.  Participants will receive a $150 expense stipend and will learn how they can be part of their local Planning Region Team. Click here for additional information or register at: 


Munroe-Meyer's Augmentative and Alternative Conference (AAC)

June 14th in Omaha

Geared toward professionals and students as well as families and individuals who use AAC, this conference will offer practical, language-based interventions in addition to displays by "Dynavox Technologies" and "Talk To Me Technologies." The conference is scheduled from 7:30a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Storz Pavillion at Clarkson Tower and features Dr. Jennifer Kent-Walsh an Associate Professor and Director of the FAAST Assistive Technology Demonstration Center at the University of Florida.  Click here to view the conference flyer for additional information.


Other Munroe-Meyer Activities

Click on the link below to see an overview of the many activities MMI faculty and staff are involved.

Spring MMInfo

 For Help Navigating Systems and Information: 

 Contact our family support coordinators:


Mark Smith

402-559-5744 or




Sarah Swanson

402-559-4573 or


The Munroe-Meyer Institute is a University Center of Excellence committed to unlocking the potential of children and adults with developmental disabilities and genetic disorders through exceptional patient care, education and research.  
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This newsletter is intended for informational purposes and does not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Nebraska.
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This is a statewide newsletter that promotes and disseminates information and events to families that have children with special needs. Go here for more info. 






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