NASHIA: Washington Weekly Update

With offices in Honolulu, Hilo, Kailua-Kona, Waimea, Wailuku, and Lihue, personal injury attorney Ian Mattoch is close-by to help victims injured in accidents in the State of Hawai`i.  To identify and create resources for clients with traumatic brain injury, Ian serves as president of the Brain Injury Association of Hawai`i.  This week, Ian was updated on the following administrative news, federal policy, meetings, webinars, and conferences from the National Association of Head Injury Administrators:

Administration News
DOT Cracks Down on Drunk Driving:  Yesterday, the U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) joined with safety advocates and law enforcement officials to announce the Department’s annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown on drunk drivers. This year’s announcement included a special focus on the victims of drunk driving, as NHTSA data show that every three hours in the United States, a drunk-driving crash claims the life of someone who was not driving drunk.  The annual crackdown on drunk drivers comes at a time when nearly 10,000 people are dying each year in drunk driving crashes: 27 people a day, or one person every 53 minutes, according to NHTSA data. More than one-third of those killed in drunk driving crashes are not the drunk driver. From August 16 to September 2, more than 10,000 police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country will be out in force to crackdown on impaired drivers for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown. The U.S. Department of Transportation is also conducting a $14 million national advertising campaign that sends the message that law enforcement officers are vigilant to the signs of impaired driving and committed to enforcement. Additional information on drunk driving can be found in NHTSA’s latest issue of SAFETY 1N NUM3ERS, an online monthly newsletter on hot topics in auto safety – including problem identification, people at risk and recommended practices and solutions to mitigate injury and death on our nation’s roadways.

OSERS Releases “Dear Colleague” Letter on Bullying of Students with Disabilities:  On Wednesday, The U.S. Department of Education (DOE), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) released a “Dear Colleague” letter on the issue of bullying students with disabilities. The letter notes that any type of bullying could deny a student with a disability their right to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE), which could thus affect the student’s individualized education plan (IEP). The letter also says that schools cannot unilaterally decide to try to fix a bullying problem by moving a student with disabilities to a more-restrictive “protective” environment, or by changing a student’s special education services.

Federal Rules and Regulations
SSA Rule Changes Mental Retardation Terminology:  The Social Security Administration has issued a Final Rule to replace the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” in its Listings of Impairments. Its Listings of Impairments are used to evaluate claims involving mental disorders in adults and children under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act and in other appropriate sections. The change reflects the widespread adoption of the term “intellectual disability” by Congress, government agencies, and various public and private organizations.

Upcoming Meetings and Webinars
CDC to Hold Webinar on Sports-related Concussions September 13th:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s InjuryCenter is planning to hold a Webinar, “Addressing Youth Sports-related Concussion: Using CDC Resources and State/Local Approaches”, September 13th from 10:00 – 11:00 am (ET). The webinar is being conducted in collaboration with NASHIA and the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).  More information will be provided once all the speakers and meeting arrangements are finalized.

Associations Plan Webinars on Falls Prevention:  The American Association on Health & Disability and the United Spinal Association are hosting a Webinar on September 17, 2013, 2:00 pm (EDT) on “Preventing Falls in Adults with Disabilities and Chronic Health Conditions: What Works?” For more information and to register, click here.

National Center to Hold Webinar on Emergency Preparedness for PAS:  As part of a series of webinars from the National Research and TrainingCenter for Personal Assistance Services, an August 28th Webinar will highlight emergency preparedness tips that are specifically relevant to individuals who use personal assistants, attendants or caregivers. Planning elements will include support teams, communication, evacuating and sheltering, supplies, and resources that provide additional ‘how to” details on these areas. Input from the PASCenter’s online surveys and research with individuals who have real world experience with living through an emergency that required them to either evacuate or shelter in place will also be woven into this webinar. The Webinar will be held from 2:00 – 3:00 pm (ET). Join the Webinar or dial in: 1-800-625-5918, passcode: 7023043.

DSW RC Offers Final Webinar on Workforce Development:  The final session in the DSW RC Summer Webinar Series will focus on different opportunities and methods States can use to develop their workforce in Participant-Directed Models Supporting Workers. The session will be held August 28th, 3:00 – 4:00 pm (ET).  Register in advance.

NCIL Reschedules Teleconference on Successful Aging & Disability Partnerships:  The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) has rescheduled its webinar, “What Is Next for ADRC / NWD Networks?” for August 28th. The Webinar scheduled earlier this month was canceled due to technical difficulties. The No Wrong Door (NWD) / Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) Network serves as the foundation for recent efforts to streamline and enhance access to long-term services and supports for individuals with disabilities and older adults. State and local ADRC networks have created strong partnerships across aging and disability organizations and assumed critical roles in the conversation and planning on re-balancing LTSS. This teleconference will tell how to build on those partnerships to take advantage of new funding opportunities, expand funding from existing sources, and share resources with partners. NCIL members from Vermont and Connecticut will share some of their successes. The Webinar will be held from 3:00 – 4:00 pm (ET). Register in advance.

BIANY Offers Webinar for School Nurses and Concussion Management:  The Brain Injury Association of New York State is offering a free webinar,”From the Desk of the School Nurse: How to Implement A Concussion Management Protocol”, on Wednesday, August 28th, from 11:00 am – 12:15 pm (EDT). The presenter, Patricia McLaughlin, RN, will focus on the importance of taking a multi-disciplinary team approach to concussion management and how best to implement a concussion management protocol in a school district setting. Patricia McLaughlin is a parent and a registered nurse with 25 years of experience. She is a current member of the staff at Albany Medical Center Coronary Care Unit. Mrs. McLaughlin also works as a full-time school nurse at Pine Bush Elementary School K-5, where she has been for 6 years. For more information, please click here.To register, please click here. Please register by Tuesday, August 27th.

Commission on Long-Term Care Holds Final Public Hearing:  On Tuesday, the Commission on Long-Term Care held its final public hearing that addressed Long-Term Services and Supports Service Delivery and Workforce Issues. The Commission heard from two panels; the first discussed Service Delivery and Provider Innovation and Issues, and the second panel discussed Workforce Innovation. The Commission is scheduled to release its final report to Congress in September. Click here to learn more about the Commission and the hearing.

National Disability Institute Begins 3rd Annual “My American Dream” Initiative: The National Disability Institute has kicked off its third annual “My American Dream – Voices of Americans with Disabilities Video Contest” this week. The initiative is meant for people with disabilities to share their dreams and goals for the future. The deadline to submit videos for this contest is September 10, 2013. Learn about how to enter the contest by visiting the National Disability Institute.

DOT Praises Illinois for Banning Handheld Cell Phone Use by Drivers:  This week, DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx praised Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for signing into law a bill amending the Illinois Vehicle Code to ban handheld cell phone use for all Illinois drivers. The law becomes effective January 1, 2014, and strengthens Illinois’s 2009 law that banned sending or reading text messages while driving. Under the new law, drivers caught talking on a phone while driving can be stopped and ticketed by police, except in emergency situations. Fines for a first offense are $75, and increase by $25 for subsequent offences, to a maximum of $150.  In 2009, the DOT launched a national anti-distracted driving campaign to combat the growing trend of dangerous distracted driving behavior in America. To help further raise awareness, the U.S. DOT also launched, a dedicated website that provides the public with a comprehensive source of information on distracted driving. With the addition of Illinois, 12 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam ban handheld cell phone use for all drivers. Illinois is among the 41 States, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam that have previously banned text messaging for all drivers.

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