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July 26, 2013

Open Line

July 26, 2013

This week’s edition includes important information I want to share with you:

“Day of Independence” for people with disabilities: July 4th was our nation’s Independence Day, but July 26th is considered by many to be the “Day of Independence” for people with disabilities. Twenty-three years ago our nation’s lawmakers established a comprehensive mandate to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities by passing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA was and is a necessary step in working towards a future in which all the doors are open to equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, integration and economic self-sufficiency for all for persons with disabilities.
To read the full version of the Americans with Disabilities Act please visit http://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.htm.


Community Conversations: Focusing on how we can strengthen our community by supporting the employment of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a Community Conversation was held in Lawrence County on July 16. Advocate and organizer Tommy Lee Kidd spearheaded the local planning committee in efforts to explore innovative solutions to issues concerning disability and employment. The event surpassed our expectations with 96 members of the community participating and resulted in the Lawrence County community making positive steps towards increasing employment for youth with significant disabilities. We cannot wait to see where things go in Lawrence County! Community Conversations are facilitated through the AIDD TennesseeWorks grant at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. If you would like to participate in an upcoming event, contact Sarah Harvey at sarah.harvey@vanderbilt.edu


National Association for Dual Diagnosis Conference: The Tennessee Chapter of the National Association for Dual Diagnosis will hold its annual conference on August 29 and 30, 2013 at Century Place in Nashville.  The name of the conference is Achieving the Dream: Interdisciplinary Treatment Approaches and it will feature presentations on the topics of sexuality for persons with ID, capacity to consent,  treatment of persons with severe behavioral health disorders, risk assessment, inter-agency collaboration during crises, emotional intelligence, mindfulness techniques for self-calming, and ethics. The program also features a complete track for direct support professionals that will include training in understanding developmental and diagnostic influences on behavior, practical behavior management, decreasing reportable incidents, and working as a team.  Leslie Walker-Hirsch is this year’s keynote speaker and Dr. Bruce Davis is a featured speaker at the conference.  Find conference details at www.tn-nadd.org.


Policy Publication Notice: The form, DIDD-0598 Exemption Request Form, has been revised and published to the DIDD internet and intranet sites. It is available for providers here. Please inform individuals who do not have access to e-mail.


Relias Training update: Any agencies who have not completed their bulk downloads into Relias need to finish those up and get them back to our Relias project team as we are starting to download the historical records from CDS into the Relias system as supplemental learning.  We want to take this opportunity to remind agency trainers that there is a section on Course Updates located on the enrollment tab that has several courses listed which are new and available in our Tennessee library. Some of these new courses are: Safe Eating, Effective Communication, Professional Boundaries, Managing Global Communication in the 21st Century, and Assisting People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Choice Making.  Several courses have also been recently updated and they may deserve another look as you consider courses for your agency staff.  Some of these are: Documenting the Treatment Planning Process, Family Assessment and Intervention, Case Management Basics, and Crisis Management. Your comments on new material are welcomed by Staff Development.
Some agencies have contacted central office about the Universal Precautions course.  In Relias it is called Blood-Borne Pathogens and it was added to the curriculum called TNDIDD Annual Training along with Title VI, and Confidentiality and HIPAA courses which are a federal training requirement annually.  We acknowledge that this course does not thoroughly cover the topic of infection control for direct care staff.  We highly encourage your agency to look at the Relias Infection Control series Part 1 and 2 for assigning to staff “new to the field” or staff who may need corrective action to improve their effectiveness in the home.  Some agencies are assigning this and other courses to all new hires and we want to encourage all agencies to expand your new employee training to cover topics you feel are important to your agency.  Webinars will again be offered next week for anyone with the supervisor role and sub portal administrators.  See below the schedule for next week.
Monday July 29, 2PM CDT (3PM EDT) Supervisor Overview of Relias Functionality
Tuesday, July 30, 1PM CDT (2PM EDT) Sub-Portal Administrator Overview and Q & A
Thursday, Aug 1, 9AM CDT (10AM EDT) Supervisor Overview of Relias Functionality