Perspectives: How to prevent burnout as a self-advocate

Graphic with text "Perspectives: Health & Wellness. How to prevent burnout as a self-advocate. By Will Johnson with the help of Steven Nguyen AND Lillian DeJean" An image of a woman who appears tired with her eyes closed and hands holding her face appear to the right.

Do you ever feel like you have too much going on? Do you feel irritated, stressed, or tired doing things that used to make you happy? You might be feeling burnout! Self-advocate Will Johnson shares tips on how to keep you healthy, happy, and on track to accomplish your goals.

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LEND Alumni Alert: MCH journeys

The Louisiana LEND program trains professionals from diverse disciplines to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents with disabilities. Here are updates from LEND scholars as they navigate Maternal, Child, Health (MCH) fields since participating in the program from 2021-22.

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Louisiana FASD Summit 2023

Join the Human Development Center at the LSU Health Sciences Center for an educational workshop featuring national experts, families, and self-advocates with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

June 16-17, 2023 from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Human Development Center
411 S. Prieur St. New Orleans, LA 70112

Attend the summit in-person or virtually! Register for virtual attendance here.

Topics will include:

  • Prevalence and identification of FASD
  • Strategies to support learning and mental health challenges
  • Lived experience of families and self-advocates with FASD

The Louisiana FASD Summit is free. However, please consider donating funds to the Human Development Center Foundation to defray costs of the FASD Summit and support future efforts to address FASD in Louisiana. Make a donation here.

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Special IDEA Training Study about Advocacy

Man and woman in office looking at piece of paper, woman smiling at camera while pointing at paper with pen

Below is a notice about a study co-sponsored by the Spencer Foundation and Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans. This notice is provided for your information only. HDC is not responsible for distribution of any prizes awarded for participation in this event.

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Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule Takes Effect

Wooden gavel: Rule or law takes effect

Key points in plain language
Here is a brief description of big ideas coming up in this article.

Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) are for people who receive Medicaid. HCBS allows people to receive services in their own home or community rather than institutions or other isolated settings.

HCBS passed a new rule on March 17, 2023. This rule makes sure that HCBS programs offer services in the most integrated settings. HCBS must serve individuals in the community just as those who do not receive HCBS services have access to similar services in the community.

Visit this link to read the full description of the new HCBS rule:

The new HCBS rule helps the individual receiving services be more independent, be more active in the community, and make their own life choices.

After nine years and multiple delays, the Centers for Medicare and Medical Services’ Home and Community Based Services Final Rule finally takes effect March 17, 2023. This rule ensures that individuals receiving services and supports through Medicaid’s HCBS programs are able to receive those services in the most integrated settings and are provided full access to the community. Such settings must offer privacy, dignity and respect and allow people with disabilities the ability to make independent choices about their daily activities, physical environment and who they are in contact with. The rule increases the quality of HCBS and provides added protections to individuals that receive these services. The changes are expected to impact more than a million people receiving Medicaid home and community-based services. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has a clear definition and hosts regular webinars to help stakeholders understand this HCBS Settings Rule.

ABLE NRC Program Spotlight: STABLE Account

Stable Account logo

Next week, join ABLE NRC for our ABLE Account Spotlight covering the features of STABLE Account and the recent achievements of the program.

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Recruitment begins for scholarship program preparing allied health students to serve children receiving special education

Related Service professional colors with middle-school aged boy in wheelchair. Text reads: Get off campus and Practice your profession in Community-based settings. The Interprofessional Preparation Program is now recruiting for the 2023-24 year. The program offers: Full tuition, paid travel, and cash stipend. Visit to learn more and apply.

Are you a graduate student in the Allied Health Professions and considering working with students with disabilities after your graduation?

Get acquainted with this unique population by participating in the Interprofessional Preparation Program.

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Celebrating Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: Let’s Partner with Councils on Developmental Disabilities!

From the Administration on Disability (AoD)

The AoD Disability Employment TA Center (DeTAC)’s National Community of Practice (CoP) webinar, “Celebrating Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: Let’s Partner with Councils on Developmental Disabilities!“, will be hosted Tuesday, March 14 2023, from 3:00-4:00 P.M. Eastern Time.

Read more: Celebrating Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: Let’s Partner with Councils on Developmental Disabilities!

Come join the DETAC as we celebrate Developmental Disabilities (DD) Awareness month in March with our partners from the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD). This webinar will provide an overview of the role DD Councils play in leading systems change within communities across the country. Additionally, we will drill down to learn more about the innovative employment initiatives from DD Councils in the states of California and South Carolina. Participants will learn the value of partnering with a DD Council in your state as we work together to advance employment opportunities and outcomes for people with DD.


Cherie Moon
TA Manager, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities

Donna Meltzer
CEO, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities

Registration is required. Please register for this webinar here.

We look forward to your participation!

Lynette Fontenot, 1969-2023

Brunette smiling wearing pink shirt

HDC extends condolences to the family of Lynette Fontenot, who passed away unexpectedly on March 7, 2023. Lynette served as a member of HDC’s Constituent Advisory Council (CAC) for many years. We are very grateful for her contributions and she will be deeply missed.

Lynette was a self-advocate whose advocacy interests include housing, education, community supports, employment, and training the next generation of professionals.  She was an advocate, motivational speaker, and artist.  In addition, Lynette served on many boards and advisory councils in Louisiana, including as chairperson for the Louisiana DD Council and as a member of LaCAN (Louisiana Council’s Advocacy Network).  In her free time, she enjoyed going out to eat, going to the movies, and spending time with her husband and niece and nephew.  Lynette said that serving on the HDC’s CAC was important to her because she enjoyed working with individuals with disabilities and other advocates.  She wanted to use her voice to make a difference and be an example for others.

Tribute Wall for Lynette and information about services