UNMC header bar

 January 2014

Gifts Can Take Many Forms
Scottish Rite Masons - RiteCare Clinics of Nebraska
Scottish Rite Masons - RiteCare Clinics of Nebraska
Families of children with disabilities who receive speech therapy or alternative communication devices indicate that it can be 'life-changing" and a 'gift.' The Munroe-Meyer Institute is one location of four locations in the state of Nebraska to offer speech services supported by the Scottish Rite Masons. As, people return to work and students return to school after the holidays, co-workers and friends often ask about gifts. Yet, not all gifts are tangible. For instance, the ability to effectively communicate or even communicate at all is a gift. Not all children acquire speech at the same time. Some children need assistance in learning how to talk. Parents need help identifying why the child's language is delayed. Learn more about these Rite Care Clinics and the importance of early intervention by clicking on the link above. 
Widespread Abuses in Nebraska Guardianship Cases 

Recently, the state auditor issued a report detailing fraudulent activities by a woman living in Western Nebraska who served as guardian for over 600 individuals with disabilities. Upon investigation by the State Patrol, it was determined that she had access to more than $600,000 in several bank accounts obtained through the state's Aged, Blind and Disabled Program. This program is used to support individuals with disabilities and provide them reimbursements to meet their basic needs and medical expenses. The Lincoln Journal Star offers more details about the auditor's findings.  In addition, learn how Disability Rights Nebraska, the state's Protection and Advocacy organization for individual's with disabilities and their families is collaborating with others to find solutions to the problems identified. (Nebraska is the only state that lacks an Office of Public Guardianship.)

Health Insurance Marketplace - Plan Compare - Extended Version
Health Insurance Marketplace - Plan Comparison -
Nebraska's Health Insurance Marketplace

The start of the New Year included a new way to shop for health insurance. It also presented new protections for people with disabilities and chronic health conditions. Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals who did not previously have insurance, purchased their insurance privately or who had employer sponsored health insurance which was considered 'unaffordable' by federal definition (the cost of individual insurance exceeding 10% of the family income) could purchase insurance through the state exchange. Doing so, might entitle the individual or family to a tax credit, reducing  the total insurance cost. (The video above provides a summary of how to compare plans in the exchange.) In addition to these changes, individuals that do not have health insurance of some kind (private insurance, employer sponsored insurance, Medicaid, Tricare or Medicare) may be penalized. Click on the video link below to learn more about the tax credits and penalty. Open enrollment for coverage in 2014 lasts until March 31st.


Learn more about Nebraska's marketplace by:

Health Insurance Marketplace - Advance Premium Tax Credit
Health Insurance Marketplace - Advance Premium Tax Credit
Girl with Down Syndrome Walks the 'Red Carpet'   
Megan Squire captured headlines when she accompanied Katy Perry to the American  Music Awards. Squire, a 17-year old who happens to have Down syndrome inspired Perry when she was featured in a video that her school submitted for Perry's "Roar" contest. Squire's school captured her desire to be a cheerleader and showed how the school rallied around her. The video went viral and was highlighted on ABC's Goodmorning America. Though Squire's school did not win the "Roar" contest, Perry flew Squire, her entire family and the school's videographer to Los Angeles for the AMA.
Nebraska Legislative UpdatesNE State Capitol
The 2014 legislative session opened on January 8th. This year is a 'short-session' lasting only 60 days, making it more difficult to get bills out of committee and passed. Bills can be introduced until January 22nd. Most likely, there will be many disability-related bills including Medicaid expansion, autism coverage, funding for developmental disabilities waiting list and treatments and services available for those that are dually diagnosed with intellectual/developmental disabilities and a mental illness or behavior problem as an example. Click here to see the full list of bills. Stay tuned for specifics.
Mark Your Calendars
Arc of NE logo 2014
The Arc of Nebraska is hosting the annual Senatorial Dinner in Lincoln at the Cornhusker Hotel on February 6th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The evening offers an opportunity to support the Arc of NE, meet your state senator, and network with other disability advocates.  In addition, you also are welcome to attend the legislative briefing from 4-6 and learn about legislation affecting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our state. Past dinners have honored state senators and others for their leadership and commitment to individuals with disabilities and their family members.  This is an event you should not miss!  Register online by clicking here or access a paper registration here.
 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