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Early October Edition 2013

Limited Funds, Lingering Bias Has Delayed ADA Compliance
Limited Funds, Lingering Bias Has Delayed ADA Compliance
PBS Interview
Senator Tom Harkin, one of the co-sponsors of the Americans' with Disabilities Act was interviewed by Judy Woodruff on 'PBS NewsHour' about the report he commissioned on states' progress in meeting the ADA requirements. Click on the picture above to watch the interview or go here to access the full transcript. You can also access Harkins' full report, "Separate and Unequal: States Fail to Fulfill the Community Living Promise of the Americans' with Disabilities Act" by clicking here.
Nebraska's Disability Center stuberg

The Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) is the state of Nebraska's federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). As such, MMI receives federal funding to "build capacity and systems change" for individuals with disabilities and their families. Dr. Michael Leibowitz, Ph.D.,  has been the UCEDD Director for more than 16 years. Effective July 1, Dr. Wayne Stuberg, Ph.D. became the UCEDD Director and also the Associate Director of MMI. Dr. Leibowitz will remain Director of the Institute. Learn more about these changes by clicking here. (Dr. Stuberg is featured in the picture above.)


Family Leadership in the Early Development Network
EDN Parent LeadershipRecently, five family representatives were selected to attend the fall Office for Special Education Programs (OSEP) IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. These families represented leadership from the local and state level in the Nebraska's Early Intervention Program, The Early Development Network (EDN). A minimum of 20 percent family representation is required by statute in both the local Planning Region Teams (PRT) and also on the State Early Childhood Interagency Coordinating Council. Featured above include: Lindsay Moore (Bellevue), Jennifer Hansen (Norfolk), Julie Mizner (Ainsworth), Tammy Stevenson (Lincoln) and Christy Pelton (Betrand). Tammy and Christy are state representatives. The others represent their local Planning Region Teams.  Mark Smith, Munroe-Meyer Institute's Resource and Family Support Coordinator sits on the EDN's Co-Lead team.  The other Family Co-Lead representative is Connie Shockley at PTI-Nebraska. To learn more about the EDN or how you can become a family leader, contact Mark at msmitha@unmc.edu or 402-559-5744 or Connie at 402-403-3911 or cshockley@pti-nebraska.org 
People First Conference Set for OctoberLynn Redding
"People-First" is Nebraska's Self-Advocacy Organization. The Nebraska Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities funds this organization as they are required to fund one self-advocacy program in the state. This year, the theme of the People First's annual convention is "Rebirth of People First."  The convention will be held on October 11-13 in Kearney, Nebraska.  For more information or to register, click here. Lynn Redding, People First Treasurer is featured at right with State Senators Galen Hadley and Colby Coash at the signing of LB 23, a bill which requires the words "mental retardation" to be replaced with the term "intellectual disability" in state documentation.  This is similar to "Rosa's Law" at the federal level.
NE Dept of Ed 
Transition Summit  "Connecting the Dots"
The Nebraska Department of Education is hosting a Transition Summit on October 8th and 9th in Grand Island. The registration cost is $35 and includes conference materials, lunch and other refreshments. The summit is for teachers, counselors, transition coordinators, administrators, parents and young adult agency personnel. Topics to be covered include: writing measurable post-secondary goals, guardianship, self-advocacy, college support, and employment. To access the full agenda, click here. You can register by clicking here or by contacting Laura Ochsner at 402-463-5611 or lvalenti@esu9.org
The New Marketplace
Starting October 1st, individuals will be able to shop, learn Medicaid eligibilty, compare premiums and enroll into the new health insurance marketplace. Coverage will begin on January 1st. To learn more about the options available, you can check out the Nebraska Department of Insurance's website here or go to www.healthcare.govIn addition, the Community Action Agencies and the Ponca Tribe were awarded the federal Navigator grants to conduct outreach and education to Nebraska communities. 
 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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A statewide resource for parents of children with disabilities or special healthcare needs to have the capacity to improve their child's education and health. Click here for their upcoming trainings and events.




This is the federally-funded Protection and Advocacy Organinization for Nebraska.

They protect and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities and their families. Check out what they are doing by going here.





O Hana Kids  

This is a statewide newsletter that promotes and disseminates information and events to families that have children with disabilities and  special healthcare needs. Go here for more info. 






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