HDC News

Employee Spotlight: Elna “Lea” Garner-Williams

Elna "Lea" Garner Williams

Lea is an Assistant Toddler Teacher at HDC’s Early Learning Center.  She has her BS in Early Childhood Education which she received from the University of Southern Mississippi. Lea was an assistant teacher to the toddler program at USM Center for Child Development. She worked with children that needed accommodations and extra interaction for their early learning development. She is new to New Orleans and is eager to learn and work with the team, children, and families at HDC’s Early Learning Center. Lea says, “working with children is the greatest blessing, because you get to share the experience and growth of each child. I am so excited to be a part of the incredible teaching team here at LSU HSC HDC Early Learning Center.”

HDC Featured News

Assistance Needed: Beta-Testing a Decision Guide for Families with Special Needs

The Administration for Community Living has been working with a group of federal and non-federal partners – including several experts from the UCEDD network – to develop a COVID-19 decision guide for families with children with special health care needs. We are seeking your assistance with beta testing this tool.

While many children have already started school — parents of children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN) will continue to make difficult personal decisions about how to keep their children safe and learning. With guidance from public-health experts, parents, and health providers – the Stanford Health Literacy Lab has designed this interactive, educational Guide for Parents of CYSHCN, to help parents make sense of these back-to-school decisions.  Please access the Decision Guide at SCOLGuide. Now in “beta test” mode, the Guide is meant to be used on a smartphone, and to guide discussion with a trusted advisor (child health provider). 

We are asking that you share this with your networks so that the developers at the Stanford Health Literacy Lab can improve upon this tool to make it most useful to families. We appreciate your assistance with getting the word out about this important resource for families. Please send any feedback within the Guide, or to mcjsmith@stanford.edu

Free AbleNOW Webinar

Learn more about ABLE accounts to help individuals with disabilities Achieve a Better Life Experience. Registration is open for a free information session on Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 12-1 p.m. ET. This webinar will cover the advantages of ABLE accounts and the ABLEnow program.

Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7592949528941623052

For more information about ABLE accounts and the ABLEnow program, visit the website at: https://www.able-now.com/

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

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.

2020-2021 Cohort for the Interprofessional Preparation for Related Services Personnel Scholarship Program

Maya Leslie, a Xavier University graduate student, was recently accepted into the 2020-2021 cohort for the Interprofessional Preparation for Related Services Personnel scholarship program. (See Xavier University news article link below.) The Interprofessional Preparation for Related Services Personnel grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, with LSU Health Sciences Center, School of Allied Health Professionals acting as a liaison for scholarship recipients. One student from University of Louisiana Monroe and two students from Tulane University were also accepted into the program along with six graduate students from the School of Allied Health Professions at the LSU Health Sciences Center. 

The one-year program is completed in tandem with the scholars discipline specific graduate training program and prepares the scholars for careers in their chosen professions within educational environments.

View Article Here

HDC News

FEMA Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance

To ease the economic burden for those struggling with lost wages due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, President Donald J. Trump authorized FEMA to expend up to $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund for lost wage payments. FEMA will provide grants to participating states, territories, and the District of Columbia to administer delivery of lost wages assistance. Please see the attached document for further details.

FEMA Assistance for Marco and Laura

Louisiana has been approved for a major disaster declaration for Emergency Protective Measures (Category B). (More information can be found on FEMA’s website at: www.fema.gov.)

FEMA’s Region 6 (which includes Louisiana) Disability Integration team members will provide support to its disability partners throughout Louisiana to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities, including access and functional needs, are incorporated throughout disaster operations.

To register for assistance, call the FEMA Helpline: 1-800-621-FEMA or 1-800-621-3362, or go to: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

National Disability Institute Releases New Research Brief: Race, Ethnicity and Disability

National Disability Institute (NDI) has prepared a new research brief: Race, Ethnicity and Disability: The Financial Impact of Systemic Inequality and Intersectionality. This unprecedented time has also increased the disparity in economic status and opportunity available to people that are Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC) with disabilities. This brief shares a historical context for understanding intersectionality, the financial impacts on BIPOC individuals with disabilities and presents a set of conclusions and recommendations that should involve all of us as individuals, families, organizations, institutions and government. The most financially vulnerable population in America is the group of individuals that live at the intersection of disability, race and ethnicity.

LATAN Announces New Program, Stand Up Louisiana

Standing frames, also known as standing technology or standing devices, are an assistive technology that can be used by a person who relies on a wheelchair for mobility. The standing frame supports the individual in a standing position. The use of the device promotes a better quality of life for those living with paralysis. Benefits include improved respiratory function, blood pressure, and circulation, as well as increased muscle strength.

Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network (LATAN) is excited to announce a new program, Stand Up, Louisiana! Stand Up, Louisiana allows people of all ages living with paralysis to learn more about standing frames by providing standers on a temporary basis. If there is an interest in keeping the stander after the trial period, then LATAN will assist in securing permanent ownership.

On average, standing frame costs can range from $2,000 to $8,000 and are often not covered by health insurance. LATAN is removing that cost barrier with the Stand Up, Louisiana program with the hopes of offering not only trial access, but ownership. LATAN is removing that barrier with the Stand Up, Louisiana program with the hopes of offering not only trial access, but ownership.

We can provide demonstrations, training, and technical assistance to users, family members, caregivers, and rehabilitation professionals.

Stand Up, Louisiana is supported by a grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation.Contact Tiffany Johnlouis or Cynthia Cox for more information and to request referral forms. You can fill out our online form, send us an email at info@latan.org, or call us at 800-270-6185.

The Feeling Through Experience

Welcome Everyone!

Join us for a live stream of The Feeling Through Experience – the groundbreaking screening event featuring the first film to star a DeafBlind actor. It will be followed by the documentary that describes how the film came to be made and a live panel discussion where the audience can ask questions and share their impressions. Mark your calendars for an excitng event! This is part of the Florida Film Festival. Please share and register to be part of this event!

Thanks so much and hope to see you Thursday!

Emily Taylor-Snell

Florida and Virgin Islands Deaf-Blind Collaborative

Date: Thursday, August 13

Time: 4pm – 6pm PT/7pm- 9pm ET  Sign up for your FREE e-ticket at feelingthrough.com/register

The Florida Film Festival Livestream of The Feeling Through Experience featuring Doug Roland, Creator, The Feeling Through Experience; Robert Tarango, Lead Actor, Feeling Through; Divya Goel, Vice President, DeafBlind Citizens in Action; and Emily Taylor-Snell, M. Ed., Project Coordinator, Florida and Virgin Islands Deaf-Blind Collaborative