UNMC header bar

February 2014

MMI photo
MMI and the UCEDD 
The Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) is one of nine academic units on the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus. It also is the state's federally-designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). The UCEDD receives federal funding from the Administration for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to 'build capacity' and 'systems change' for individuals with disabilities and their families throughout the state. This means that MMI provides interdisciplinary training to professionals, technical assistance and direct services to individuals and families. Currently the UCEDD's Community Advisory Board (CAB) has two openings for individuals with a disability or their family members. Applications are being accepted. For more information about the CAB, please visit MMI's homepage. For questions about this opportunity, or to apply, contact Sarah Swanson at sarah.swanson@unmc.edu or 402-559-4573.
Duracell: Trust Your Power - NFL's Derrick Coleman, Seattle Seahawks

NFL's Derrick Coleman

Seattle Seahawks

Trust Your Power
This 1-minute video is a must watch. Duracell recently launched a media campaign called, "Trust your Power." One of the ads feature the inspirational story of the NFL Seahawks' recently-drafted fullback, Derrick Coleman. As a child, Coleman was bullied, left out and constantly told, "No." Coleman shares that, "Since I was deaf, I didn't listen." He made history by becoming the first deaf NFL player.  
Save the Date:  "Medicaid Works" Photo-Voice Project
Mark your calendars now for Saturday, April 12th.  On this date in Lincoln, the Munroe-Meyer Institute, The Arc of Nebraska, Disability Rights Nebraska, and other advocacy organizations will team up with Nebraska Appleseed to host an educational advocacy training for individuals with disabilities.  This one-day event will provide an overview of important victories, pertinent legislation which have impacted people with disabilities or is impacting people with disabilities and their families and teach specific advocacy skills. In addition, 2-3 participants will be selected to work with a photographer to showcase the importance of the Medicaid program to people with disabilities. This is an event you should not miss.  Stay tuned for more details.
Does Your Child Have Difficulty Following Instructions?
Researchers at the UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute are currently conducting a study to help parents/caregivers teach their children to follow directions and reduce disruptive behavior.  

Who: Children ages 2-6 and a parent/caregiver AND

Children who refuse to follow instructions

When: Scheduled at the caregiver's convenience (including weekends and evenings)
Where:  The Munroe-Meyer Institute (Omaha, NE)
For more information, please contact Leny Velasquez at 402-559-5007 or email at leny.velasquez@unmc.edu                                    IRB# 656-13-EP

Nebraska Legislative UpdatesNE State Capitol

There are several disability-related bills this session.  Below is a summary of a few:

  • LB887- Expands Medicaid and allows the state to use Medicaid dollars to purchase coverage through Nebraska's health insurance exchange.
  • LB 920- Provides an office for public guardianship.
  • LB854- Prohibits the release of a request for proposals for Medicaid managed long-term care before Sept. 1, 2015.
  • LB1076- Halts Medicaid reductions to home healthcare providers.
  • LB1078- Requires insurance coverage for telehealth services.
  • LB375- Provides funding for individuals on the Developmental Disabilities waiting list.
  • LB 505- Requires that autism coverage be provided by insurance companies.
  • LB556-
  • LB901- Provides psychology internships through the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN)
  • LR400- Creates an oversight committee to investigate the problems with Access NE- Nebraska's system to apply for Medicaid coverage and economic assistance programs.
  • LR20- Continues the Special Investigative Committee for Developmental Disability services.
  • LR422- Provides that the Health and Human Services and Banking and Insurance Legislative Committees create policy recommendations to transform Nebraska's health care system.

 Click here to see the full listing of bills and here to view additional news from the Unicameral.

Medicaid Managed Care and Concerns by Advocates 

Many states are moving their Medicaid programs to "managed care" as a way to improve quality, and decrease costs. Recently, Kansas made national headlines for becoming the first state to submit an application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to use managed care for individuals with developmental disabilities. Rather than the state providing the direct services and supports, Kansas officials proposed to contract with private health insurance companies. Advocates in Kansas are concerned that general health insurance companies do not have an understanding of the needed non-medical community supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Disability advocates have expressed concern that managed care does not have enough protections in place to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to get access to the services they need. Organizations such as American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the National Council on Disability have expressed concern as well. Nebraska Medicaid currently uses managed care for their behavioral health services and for their Medicaid services. Nebraska had planned to implement managed care for its Medicaid long-term services starting in 2015, but there is currently a bill in the legislature that would block the full implementation until 2017. For more information regarding disability advocates 'concerns regarding managed care, check out the links below.

AAPD letter to CMS

National Council on Disability letter to CMS

Disability-Related Events
  • "Spread the Word to End the Word"- On March 5th from 10am-noon in the UNL Student Union, Haley Waggoner and other Nebraska Youth Leadership Council members will host an educational event for individuals to pledge not to use the "R-word" (retarded). For more information, go here.
  • Autism Awareness- On the morning of February 25th, local autism organizations will come together to highlight the increased incidence of autism the need for insurance coverage. For more details, click here.
  • The Rose Theatre- In March, the Rose Theatre will hold classes for children/youth on the autism spectrum. For more information, check out their brochure. 
  • O'Hana Kids Newsletter- Is a statewide resource featuring inclusive activities and events available for children/youth/families across the state.  Check out the link on the right for additional information.
Sign up for Health Insurance by March 31st

Individuals that need insurance can enroll by February 15th and have coverage on March 1st. Open enrollment for 2014 ends March 31st.*  Obtain additional information or support about Nebraska's Exchange by:

* (Source: https://www.healthcare.gov/)

 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