Tuesday, June 19, 2007

People First of Georgia Annual Convention 2007..

WHAT: Get Involved! :: The People First of Georgia Annual Convention 2007

WHERE: Buccaneer Beach Resort - 85 South Beachview Drive, Jekyll Island, GA 31527

WHEN: Friday, 2007-08-24 to Sunday, 2007-08-26. Check-in 3:00pm & dinner at 6:00 pm on Friday 24 - check out before 11:00 am on Sunday 26.

COST: Only $50 registration fee per person for everyone - including supporters, attendants etc.

WHO: Important - Conference only available to People First members from chapters who have received their People First of GA Chartership

Registration Deadline: 12 noon, Friday, July 20 – $50 fee due at registration - space is limited - only 150 beds in 75 rooms

NOTE: The Registration fee includes hotel room for 2 nights only (Friday and Saturday) and meals from and including Friday night dinner, breakfast, lunch, dinner on Saturday and Sunday breakfast

TRAVEL: Conference attendees are responsible for their own travel arrangements and costs - partial travel scholarships may be available – contact People First of GA and submit a travel budget request

CONTACT: People First of GA - 755 Commerce Drive #105, Decatur, GA 30030 – phone 404-687-8890 x150 or 1-800- 239-2507 – FAX 404- 687-8298

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

MHDDAD :: MH Advocates' Meeting 2007-05-22 2:00pm, Call-In participation..

From Glynda King's very information, high volume (i.e. fair warning given) emailing list..

Below is our proposed agenda for the MH Advocates meeting.

The MH Advocates meeting will be held at 2 Peachtree on May 22nd on the 22nd floor in room 270 at 2:00 PM. Please plan to attend the meeting to meet Audrey Sumner, Mental Health Director, and have the opportunity to discuss MH issues and concerns.

For those who are unable to attend, you may call in 1-886-244-8528 passcode 218749.

If you have any items you would like to add, please email Anna McLaughlin at anna.mclaughlin@gpsn.org.

DRAFT agenda for May 22 advocate's meeting with DMHDDAD

  • Welcome Audrey Summer, the new MH chief, and clarification of scope of the job.
  • There are problems with implementation of fee-for-service in delivery of child and adolescent mental health services
  • How is the Division supporting core providers who are not CSBs in the transition to fee-for-service?
  • What plans are being made to protect vulnerable adults as money is removed from that system?
  • Will the Division survey providers to ask if the fee structure will support quality services and if they can provide uncompensated services like 24/7 emergency phone contact services?
  • Can the billing process be simplified?
  • How can/will systems of care be incentivized?
  • The scheduled July 1 implementation of the Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility short-term model also has problems
  • Children with severe disorders related to years of trauma, children with severe behavioral symptoms and neurological symptoms and/or co-occurring disorders, and children who have a history of sexually aggressive behavior are not able to be served in a short-term model. Who will serve them?
  • There is need for greater coordination with DCH.
  • How can DHR's rehabilitation model be reconciled with DCH's medical model to serve people more effectively?
  • We understand that a mental health block grant plan modification is being made. Please tell us more about that.
  • What is being done about the issues we have discussed in the past around people who have mental illnesses and who are homeless?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Atlanta Paratransit Action Today :: MARTA Headquarters, Lindbergh Station

A forward representing a cooperative effort of several Atlanta-based disability advocacy organizations.. Fifty rides is not enough when one considers that this barely covers the coming and going to work, let alone all the other activities one must perform just to maintain the status quo of Life..

This MARTA Paratransit action takes place in little less than two hours.. If you're anywhere near the Atlanta downtown area right now, please help out by show of Body and Voice..

Snipped for brevity

WHAT: MARTA Paratransit Action for People with Disabilities!

WHEN: Monday, May 14, 2007 -- 12:00 noon until..

WHERE: MARTA Headquarters at Lindbergh Station
2424 Piedmont Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30324

For more information, call Cheri Mitchell at 678-755-6015

WHY: People who ride para-transit vans now pay $105.00 dollars for one month's worth of unlimited rides. The MARTA Board of Directors is now proposing that para-transit riders must pay the same $105.00 dollars, but for only 50 rides per month! 50 rides per month is not enough!

Even though People with Disabilities riding para-transit pay double what others pay, they get:

  • Poor Service
  • Late Para-transit Pick Ups
  • Almost No Response from Dispatch
  • Long Hold Times when Dispatch Does Respond


  • Unlimited Rides!
  • On-time performance of 95% (Industry Average)
  • Ride times of 60 minutes or less
  • Timely response from Dispatch with hold times of no more than 5 minutes.
  • No Trip Denials

Cross-posted at: Six. Almost Seven....

Friday, April 20, 2007

AJC :: Georgia's hospitals to get Federal investigation..

A breaking news announcement shared that Governor Sonny Perdue has been notified that the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights division is headed for Georgia to investigate our state's seven state-run mental health hospitals..

The rest of the story may be found at:

Justice Dept. to investigate Georgia's mental hospitals..
By Alan Judd, Andy Miller, authors of the A Hidden Shame ongoing series of articles regarding the condition of Georgia's state-wide run mental health care hospitals..
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution..
Published on: 2007-04-19

You're going to have to grab it quick because the AJC's articles go into archive very regularly.. Be forewarned that it takes a subscription to view many of their articles.. Perhaps this one they'll just let slide..

Cross-posted opinion at: Six. Almost Seven....

Gwinnett County :: Meeting 2007-04-20: ACLU Sponsored School to Prison Pipeline Project..

WHAT: The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is sponsoring a "School to Prison Pipeline Project in Gwinnett County, Georgia..

WHO: For parents and community members interested in learning more and making a difference in Gwinnett County

WHEN: Friday, 2007-04-20, 7-8:30pm

WHERE: Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, Conference Room B, 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville , GA 30045

DIRECTIONS (From South of Gwinnett)

  • Take I-85 North to Hwy. 316 (splits to the right)
  • Exit Hwy. 316 at Hwy. 120 (Duluth-Lawrenceville exit) and go right approximately 1.5 miles
  • Turn right at the 6th light (Langley Drive)
  • Go approximately .5 miles and the complex will be on your right

Resource: Member post at GA-ChildrensNetwork, Yahoo! group (semi-high traffic, in-depth application process to join)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Georgia Special Education Petition :: Keep parents in the know, in the loop..

There is currently an online petition circulating concerning special education in Georgia.. It is being forwarded by parents of children with disabilities (CWDs).. They want to make the message clear that they are very serious about staying involved in the education of their children, our Future.. Please pass it on quickly..

Cyberhoused at The Petition Site: Educate Georgia Petition (#600878749)..

The Educate Georgia Petition states:

Children with Special Needs and their Parents want to be "equal" partners in the education of "their" children.

Recently, Georgia Dept. of Education, Division of Exceptional Students has proposed changes to the Special Education Rules, which will be effective July 2007, unless we speak up! Many of the proposed changes will negatively affect Children with Special Needs, their parents and education in our communities throughout Georgia.

The following petition is the collected voice of Concerned Public Citizens and Parents of Children with Special Needs. We the undersigned, hereby agree by adding our signature to this petition, that we are not in agreement with the 2007 Proposed changes to Special Education Rules and Regulations, as proposed by the Georgia Department of Education, Division of Exceptional Students.

The proposed changes will NEGATIVELY affect the education of Children with Special Needs and communities in Georgia. In addition, we, the concerned Public Citizens and Parents of Children with Special Needs propose the following changes: Adoption of Proposed changes, as contained in this petition, to improve the educational results for Children with Special Needs throughout Georgia.

Make Parents “equal” partners in education. Give us a place at the table when making decisions about our Children with Special Needs. Georgia Leaders, we are asking you to change the course of Georgia’s Education!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Unlock Action Alert: 2,000 MRWP Slots for 2008 DHR Budget..

Found the following Unlock The Waiting Lists Action Alert while suggesting UNLOCK as a resource with respect to a question regarding MRWP (Mental Retardation Waiver Program) services..

The Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR), recommended approximately 2,000 new Mental Retardation Waiver Program services (MRWP) for the FY08 budget to unlock the waiting lists for home and community based services!

The [Georgia] Governor has presented his budget to the General Assembly on January 10th, cutting the DHR's proposal by 500 services and funding 1,500 new MRWP services with $12.2M to Unlock Georgia's waiting lists for disability supports. We sincerely appreciate the Governor's commitment to fund these services for people with disabilities.

However, the multiple year funding plan to Unlock Georgia’s waiting lists for disability supports calls for 2,000 Mental Retardation Waiver Program (MRWP) services for the FY08 budget.

A handful of talking points UNLOCK provided about Georgia's waiting lists..

  • Its a fact that the waiting list that grows by approximately 1,100 people each year.
  • Over 700 students with disabilities graduating every year to adult waiting lists.
  • With over 6,400 people currently waiting for help, we must remain committed!
  • There are over 17,000 individuals with disabilities living with caregivers over the age of 60!

UNLOCK additionally provides links to a sample letter along with tips on successfully, respectfully advocating for all of Georgia's citizens currently locked away from full community inclusion.. Never forget your Voice counts.. This is another great way to use it effectively..