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State Spotlight: Louisiana’s Collaborative Emergency Response

Join Mark A. Thomas, the Deputy Secretary for Louisiana’s Department of Health and Julie Foster Hagan, the Assistant Secretary for the
Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities also at Louisiana’s Department of Health. This podcast focuses on Louisiana’s emergency response both within the I/DD system and the larger departmental and state responses in Louisiana. Did previous emergency responses position the system to better respond during COVID-19? How do state agencies work as one effective system to serve the community? Find out more about the unique and universal challenges in this state’s crisis response.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN OR GRAB THE LINK TO SHARE: https://soundcloud.com/user-27965428-561770656/state-spotlight-louisianas-collaborative-emergency-response

Info Related to COVID-19

HDC has shared a list of COVID-19 related resources geared toward Louisiana residents. Click here to view it: https://www.hdc.lsuhsc.edu/covid19_resources.aspx

Louisiana Department of Education Expands At-Home Care and Learning Supports for Families with Young Children

The Louisiana Department of Education today announced it has expanded its at-home care and learning supports for families who are home with young children as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. See news release here.

LASARD Parent Behavior Webinar

The LASARD Project is posting resources and short videos/webinars to their LASARD Facebook page to support parents who are now “teaching” at home.

Their latest mini-webinar reached 1.6k views. LASARD coordinator, Julie Riley, developed it to help familes understand how they can help their child feel supported and understood during these difficult times. She also shares several low-tech communication supports that can be created at home. Here’s the direct link to the post. https://www.facebook.com/LASARD.Project/posts/2737608002954394

ELC Re-opening Date

The ELC re-opening date is expected to follow the LSU Health Sciences Center (HSC) calendar. However, at this time, we cannot project a specific date because there are no hard dates or plans for a definitive re-opening of the HSC. We will keep you informed of any updates via email and this website. In the meantime, please visit the ELC Resources webpage (https://www.hdc.lsuhsc.edu/earlylearningcenter/resources.aspx) for free websites with activities to complete at home with your infant, toddler or preschooler.

April Dunn

April Dunn

On March 28, 2020 Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a press release announcing the passing of 33-year old April Dunn who succumbed to complications from COVID-19. April was a dedicated staff member who served in the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs and a tireless advocate for people with disabilities.

Photos of April can be found here, along with a Public Service Announcement April filmed with the Governor in 2018, which can be found here. April’s memorial service will be on Friday, July 31, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Church, 3912 Gus Young Ave., Baton Rouge, La.  


April Dunn
April Dunn (1986-2020)

LaDDC Suspends Meetings and Activities

Yesterday the Executive Committee met and decided to suspend all Council meetings and in-person activities until further notice.  Due to the ever changing status of the situation there is not a definitive end date to this suspension.  A decision to resume in-person activities will be made based on guidance and direction of CDC and the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force. 

Specifically, the Council will not hold its April Council meeting nor standing Committee meetings in April (i.e., Act 378 Committee, Education and Employment Committee, Self-determination and Community Inclusion Committee).  Additionally, all Ad Hoc Committee meetings are suspended until further notice, including Executive Director Search Committee, FY21 Planning Ad Hoc Committee, Membership Committee, and the Grievance Ad Hoc Committee. 

If you would like to share the message of the Council status here is the link to the Council’s LaDDC News – Council Suspends Meetings and In-Person Activitieshttps://laddc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/LaDDC_News-Council_Suspension_of_Meetings_and_Activities.pdf

Beckwith/Wiedemann Syndrome Awareness Month

Come learn about Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS). The event will be held at 2716 Indiana Avenue, Kenner, Louisiana, on Sunday, April 5, 2020. The event is free and open to the public, but you should email kolivaphotographyllc@gmail.com to reserve a seat and table for gumbo and jambalaya.

OAAS Home- and Community-based Services Settings Transition Plan

The Louisiana Statewide Transition Plan (STP) for Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) is out for public comment until March 16th. 

The Louisiana Department of Health submitted this transition plan to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services {CMS) to explain how the state will bring its HCBS waivers into compliance with their new regulations that define the settings in which it is permissible for states to pay for Medicaid HCBS. The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that individuals receive Medicaid HCBS in settings that are integrated into and support full access to the greater community. The Office of Aging and Adult Services (OAAS) has developed this transition plan for the purpose of ensuring that HCBS settings within the Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) and Community Choices Waivers (CCW) meet the requirements of the rule and to allow the public an opportunity to provide input on the transition.

For more information, see the Louisiana Department of Health article on the Statewide Transition Plan.