Yesterday was the NCIL 2014 Pre-Conference event. In 2012 NCIL started having Pre-Conference half-day sessions on one specific issue area for a longer discussion and interaction with the membership. The first year the issue area was Diversity and Cultural Competency, in 2013 it was Employment of People with Disabilities from a Youth perspective and the launch of the Career ACCESS initiative – www.ourcareeraccess.org and this year it was the US Department of Labor’s Home Care Rule.
One of the most important issues we work on is implementation of Olmstead – getting people out of institution settings. The way this is done is like the question of “what comes first the chicken or the egg” – all of these areas are important none more than the other – housing, employment, education, transportation, direct care – because for people with disabilities they are all needed to live independently and in the community.
So, for you non-policy wonks, I am going to try to keep your interest here. There are multiple steps that have to happen after a bill becomes a law. I don’t think “school house rock” covered that part, although I LOVE me some “How a bill becomes a law” (sorry the YouTube version is not captioned properly –so no link) Once a law is created the Administration has to implement it and they do this through assigning the law to the agency that directs it and that agency creates regulations and rules for implementation. (see my new column at LEADON Update for the month of August)
US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) are the administrators of the Home Care Rules for home care providers. Millions of people with disabilities (PWD) rely on direct care workers (DCW) to live independent lives. The WHD enforces two principles: the wage rights of most DCW and to support innovative models of care that assist PWD and their families need to live in the community.
Bruce Darling, NCIL Board member and Co-Chair of the PAS Subcommittee led this informative and interactive Pre-Conference session. At NCIL conference you will meet PWD, their family members, advocates, public policy makers, Congressional staff members, Congressional representatives and representatives from the Administration.
Bruce brought the US DOL WHD to NCIL Pre-Conference to discuss the new rule. The first panel was Lara Fortman, Deputy Administrator, WHD; Michael Hancock, Assistant Administrator for Policy, WHD and Jennifer Brand, Associate Solicitor, Fair Labor Standards Division. They discussed the new rules of Shared Living programs and Joint Employment.
The second panel was Allison Barkoff formerly of the US DOJ and leaders in the IL movement discussing moving these rules forward and getting the word out to the advocates. Allison will be back in the advocacy world and joining Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in September and I look forward to working with her. (See info below from the Pre-Conference)
Each year the NCIL leadership has an Orientation about the NCIL Conference. It is an opportunity to welcome new members, first time Conference attendees and all to the conference. There is an introduction of the NCIL Leadership, President, Vice President, Secretary, Conference Chair and Executive Director. Then they give a brief history of the organization, explain what NCIL membership means, how to get involved not only at conference but when members return home by joining committees. They review the conference program, highlight speakers (SURPRISE for you readers), the sessions, the annual meeting and voting, the ADA Party and last but not least the March and Rally.
Yesterday’s orientation was full and most of the people in the room were first time attendees. It was great to see and they are ready for their first NCIL Conference!
Information from this post:
Make sure you see the other posts in this series – 2014 NCIL Conference Day 1 -4
To see pictures go to my Twitter feed & the pictures section of this blog!
You can see the conference schedule at: http://www.ncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2014-Program-LR.pdf
Bruce Darling is the President / CEO of the Center for Disability Rights and the Regional Center for Independent Living in Rochester, New York. Bruce has been a disability advocate for over 25 years and is best known for his work with ADAPT.
Follow Bruce Darling on Twitter: @AdapterBruce
Follow ADAPT on Twitter: @NationalADAPT
US Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/
Direct Care Workers: http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/workers.htm
Senate Finance Committee hearing on Olmstead at 15yrs old & next steps: http://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=a5047e41-5056-a032-52a6-32ec5408f1c0
Links from presentation:
CMS Guidance regarding reimbursement options: http://www.ancor.org/newsroom/news/cms-issues-guidance-joint-employment-reimbursement-under-new-flsa-requirements
Send questions about the Rule or the application fo FLSA in the home care context to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned! Today is Day 1 of the Conference – Follow my Twitter handle!
Hint: Today’s speaker at the Opening Plenary – is in the Administration and his last job was mayor of the city where the DNC was held in 2012! (You policy wonks should know the answer) Queen City should be proud!