UNMC header bar

 November 2013

With the Right Supports, Anything is Possible
[Must See] Richie Parker (Guy With No Arms) Of Hendrick Motorsports| Inspirational Video
Richie Parker's Drive
Richie Parker works for Hendrick Motorsports, the most winning organization in Nascar. Parker designs chassis and body components for racers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon. For any engineer, this is considered an elite position. For Parker, it is a dream come true and something many people told him that he would not be able to do. Parker was born with a non-genetic birth defect also known as bi-lateral amelia which simply means that Parker has no arms. He was told that he could not ride a bike, drive a car or even live on his own. Yet, Parker does all of these and more. Click on the link above to hear about his life in his own words and how his parents built an environment that allowed him to do everything he wanted.
The Status of Employment for People with Disabilities
Imagine you are an employer about to interview someone for a job.The individual seems qualified based upon his or her resume and reference checks. Upon meeting them, you find that they are in a wheelchair or have a guide-dog. Would you question their ability to do the job even though their experience shows they are capable?These questions are part of a broader national conversation, such as one featured in a  New York Times' editorial. October was disability awareness month which provided an opportunity to highlight the disparities in employment for those with disabilities. According to the Federal Department of Labor, only 21 percent of individuals with disabilities participate in the labor market. Recently, the Federal Government published rules encouraging contractors to hire individuals with disabilities and veterans. In 2010, President Obama made it a federal priority to hire more than 100,000 individuals with disabilities by 2015, saying that the Federal Government must lead by example. The Nebraska Department of Labor has launched an initiative called, "Hire our Heroes" and is working with companies across the state to hire veterans. In Nebraska, Vocational Rehabilitation works to assist individuals with disabilities find employment. Read about some of these success stories.
NE Dept of Ed  
 Public Hearing on Rule 51 and Rule 52
The Nebraska Department of Education is having a public hearing for changes that they are making to Rule 51 (Special Education state policy) and Rule 52 (Early Intervention state policy). The hearing will be held on December 9th at 10am in Lincoln or by teleconference on December 10th at 10am in Lincoln and Omaha sites. For additional information, click NE Dept. of Education.
 NE SILC's New Logo SILC Logo
On October 1st, the Nebraska Statewide Independent Living Council (NESILC) celebrated its 10th Anniversary.  The theme of the event was "CelSILC Anniversaryebrating Independent Living in Nebraska." As part of the celebration, NESILC hosted a logo contest and included the community in the process.  More than 20 entries were submitted and, Robert Reich's logo design was selected. Reich's design epitomized independent living and access to the community.  Robert Reich of Lincoln and Brad Muerens, NESILC chair are featured above.
Health Insurance Marketplace - Plan Compare

Health Insurance Marketplace -

learn more by clicking above

Nebraska's Marketplace
Starting October 1, individuals without employer sponsored health insurance and not eligible for Medicaid can go to their states health insurance exhange or 'marketplace' to purchase health insurance. Often compared to online travel companies such as Expedia or Travelocity, these new marketplaces are designed to build transparency and competition in the insurance market. Those with incomes between 100-400 percent of federal poverty level (which is $11,000 to $45,000 for indviduals and $23,000 to $94,000 for families of four) are eligible for cost-sharing subsidies to help purchase health insurance. Kaiser Health has developed an online tool to estimate the subsidies that individuals and families will be eligible. Click here for this online calculator. Open enrollment started October 1st and lasts until March 31st, 2014. Coverage however, does not start until January 1st. Individuals are able to apply and get information about the marketplace by:
For more information regarding Nebraska's health insurance exchange go to: healthcare.gov or Nebraska's Dept of Insurance.  Also, Enroll Nebraska is a dedicated website with backing from many groups to help connect and equip organizations with the resources they need to ensure all Nebraskans can enroll into coverage. *Last year, the state opted not to expand Medicaid. This has the potential to create a 'gap' of individuals who are neither eligible for subsidies through the marketplace nor qualify for Medicaid. Stay tuned on this issue.
Upcoming Legislative Hearings
Below are dates of NE legislative hearings which may be of interest to individuals with disabilities and their families. Please click on the hyperlinks below to learn more.
  • LR 300 - Interim study to examine the treatment and services for individuals dually diagnosed with intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental illness, or behavorial problems. Dec. 9th at 9:00 am in Hearing Room 1524
NE State Capitol
  • LR 143 - Interim study to examine the day services available to support children with multiple disabilities. Dec. 9th at 1:30 in Hearing Room 1524
  • LR 241 - Interim study to examine the financial impact of, and financing options for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Dec. 18th at 1:30 in Hearing Room 1510

An International Treaty to Improve Disability Rights   

The CRPD (Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities) is an international treaty recognizing the rights of people with disabilities around the world. Modeled after the United States' Americans with Disabilities Act, the treaty would not cost the United States any money but provide a framework for legislation and policy to promote equal rights and dignity for all individuals around the world. Last year, the Senate failed to ratify the treaty by five votes. It is anticiapted that the CRPD will be brought out of committee and voted upon soon.  For more information, visit here.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities Seeks Input 

The Nebraska Health and Human Services Division of Developmental Disabilities is seeking public input into the development of the three-year state plan and waiver amendments. Meetings and locations for these public forums are available by going to the Nebraska Division of Developmental Disabilities homepage.

 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.  

MMI Logo


*This newsletter is intended for informational purposes and does not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Nebraska.

To Share: 
this email
Like us on Facebook 


Join Our Mailing List



Additional Information:
MMI Website
Contact News Editor   






Community Services 


Specific Disabilities 



About our Services:


Clinical Services 



To Schedule an Appointment:


402-559-6418   or

1-800-656-3937 ext.9-6418



Take our survey:

Rate this newsletter 



Other Statewide Resources:


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. 






Necesidad de traduccion al espanol?  1-800-656-3937 ext. 9-5815