Friday, October 20, 2017
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Idaho Parents Unlimited supports, empowers, educates and advocates to enhance the quality of life for Idahoans with disabilities and their families
logos of Idaho Coalition against sexual & domestic violence, ACLU, SILC, ICDD, Disability Rights Idaho, IFF, and IPUL


REVISED - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Kelly Miller, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence (208-284-1724)
Leo Morales, American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho (208-344-9750 x1203)
Christine Pisani, Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities (208-334-2178)
Scott Graf, Press Secretary, Idaho Attorney General’s Office, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jeff Church, Press Secretary, State Dept. of Education (208-332-6934)
 
April 24, 2017
 
ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS
COME TOGETHER TO CREATE COMMUNITIES AND SCHOOLS
WHERE EVERYONE IS VALUED AND SAFE
 
(Boise) – Multiple anti-violence, disability, and human rights advocacy organizations have announced a collaborative effort designed to help foster communities and schools where everyone feels safe, valued and able to thrive.  
 
Advocacy organizations have voiced concerns regarding the criminal conduct of three white football players towards a black, mentally disabled teammate at Dietrich High School in 2015. In recent months, these organizations have seen an increase in calls related to the Dietrich case as well as other acts of discrimination and violence. They view this moment as a catalyst for meaningful change.
 
As part of the effort, the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities, Idaho State Independent Living Council, DisAbility Rights Idaho, Idaho Parents Unlimited, Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health and the ACLU of Idaho will be convening regional conversations to invite community members to share the direct or indirect impact of discrimination, hate, and violence in Idaho. 
 
Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb and Representative Melissa Wintrow will facilitate the first forum on Tuesday, April 25th from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove Street in Boise. The group will collect stories about the personal impact of discrimination, bullying, harassment and violence as well as stories of resilience and community support. The stories will be shared with governmental and community stakeholders as they work toward identifying ways to ensure that all our schools and communities are safe and value everyone. Similar events will be held across the state.
 
Idaho’s Office of the Attorney General and the State Department of Education support the new initiative. Wasden, whose office prosecuted the Dietrich case, has pledged to work with organizers on identifying solutions.
 
“I applaud the effort to bring stakeholders together for these important conversations,” Wasden says. “I’m looking forward to sitting down with these groups in the coming months and I’m optimistic that together we can accomplish meaningful change.”
 
The initiative will include a focus on schools. Organizers hope to include teachers, administrators, coaches and parents.
 
“The specter of violence significantly impacts a student’s ability to learn,” says Matt McCarter, Director of Student Engagement at the State Department of Education.  “Although schools play a significant role, issues of bullying and harassment are not school issues alone.  Parents and communities are critical forces in how students learn to manage relationships and conflict.  A united front is required to foster a peaceful generation.”
 
“We need bring people together to heal ourselves and our communities from the inside out and the ground up,” says Kelly Miller, the Executive Director of Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence and one of the effort’s lead organizers. “Together we can transform pain and conflict into tangible solutions.”
 
***
Kelly Miller, JD, Executive Director
Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence
 
Leo Morales, Executive Director
ACLU of Idaho
 
Christine Pisani, M. Spec. Ed., Executive Director
Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities
 
Angela Lindig, Executive Director
Idaho Parents Unlimited
 
Mel Leviton, Executive Director
Idaho State Independent Living Council
 
Jim Baugh, JD, Executive Director
DisAbility Rights Idaho 
 
Stephen Graci, Executive Director
Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
 
 

 

Idaho Parents Unlimited Provides Resources to Parents of Children with Disabilities

Story by Liza Long, Photography by Pete Grady 

From the Greenbelt Magazine

 Angela-Idaho-Parents


Treasure Valley Resource Fair and the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Adventure Island Playground

adventure island logo

 
Thank you to the Treasure Valley Resource Fair and the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Adventure Island Playground Sponsors and attendees!
 
Kaleidoscope Saint Als 
 Meridian Pepsi Logo CCI crop
 
 

Long Sought Legislation on Restraint & Seclusion Introduced in Senate

APRAIS coalition applauds the introduction of the Keeping All Students Safe Act by Sen. Harkin

The Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion, known as APRAIS, applauds the much sought-after introduction of the Keeping All Students Safe Act by U.S. Senator Harkin, (D-Iowa) and co-sponsored by Senator Murphy (D-Conn.). If passed, the legislation will provide federal protections for students by prohibiting abusive seclusion and restraint use in schools. Representatives George Miller (D-Calif.) and Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) introduced a similar bill in the House last year (HR 1893).

APRAIS, a 30-member coalition that has advocated for a federal baseline of protections for years, believes the long overdue legislation will ensure the prevention of practices that cause physical and emotional harm to students with and without disabilities. These practices have resulted in the serious injury, emotional trauma and death of hundreds of children nationwide.

“The lack of protections for students limiting the use of restraint and seclusion has proven to be a disastrous missing component of our national education policy for children and parents. If passed, the Keeping all Students Safe Act will align federal education policy with all other federal policy related to human services and for the nation’s youngest, most vulnerable citizens,” said Barb Trader, Executive Director of TASH, which founded the APRAIS coalition. “The members of the APRAIS coalition and TASH are grateful to Senators Harkin and Murphy for their leadership on this issue, and urge swift passage of this legislation that fully protects each student’s right to be safe at school.”

The introduction of the bill was preceded by the release of a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools. Instances of restraint and seclusion use in 10 states are highlighted, describing the impact on students and families. It reveals that parents of students who are restrained or secluded are not notified and highlights difficulties they face, once aware, to end abusive use of these techniques by school staff. This follows a 2009 report, also by the GAO, which drew national attention to this issue. Both reports found abusive practices were occurring in schools throughout the U.S. Both reports also acknowledge that no federal laws exist restricting restraint and seclusion in schools, and state laws vary widely if they exist at all.

The APRAIS coalition has worked with Sen. Harkin and others in Washington for a number of years urging for adequate protection from and reporting of restraint and seclusion instances in schools. Representatives George Miller and Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.) first introduced the Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (HR 4247) which passed the House with bipartisan support in 2010. Since that time, numerous reports, national data collection by the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, and news reports have highlighted alarmingly frequent use of restraint and seclusion in public schools. You can learn more about the APRAIS coalition, TASH and nationwide efforts to prevent restraint and seclusion by visiting www.tash.org/aprais and http://stophurtingkids.com.


New Section 504/ADA Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education

January 19, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released new guidance regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act’s impact on public elementary and secondary education programs. The Dear Colleague Letter and Questions and Answers document discuss how Section 504 and the ADAAA define disability and the obligation of school districts to evaluate students for disability, provide a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities, and provide procedural safeguards for identification, evaluation, and educational placement. See links below for further information and resources.January 19th, 2012, 


Regional Early Childhood Committees and State Early Childhood Coordinating Council (EC3) Opportunities for Parents

Idaho's Regional Early Childhood Committees seek parent participation: 20% of total membership will be parents of children with disabilities. Child with disabilities must be under age 13. RECC's advise and assist the implementation of the Infant Toddler Program (ITP) in the region. Infant Toddler Program operations are under the guidance and direction of the Regional Program Manager and Early Intervention Specialist. The RECC will facilitate the discussion of transition issues, eligibility issues and inter-agency issues in regard to early intervention services. A formal process exists for dispute resolution. REEC's disseminate public awareness materials for typical and atypical child development, infant toddler program information and education and evidenced-based practices for early childhood programs will take place annually.

The Early Childhood Coordinating Council also seeks parent participation. The EC3 is responsible for developing a sustainable and coordinated statewide-plan to achieve mutually defined goals for early care and learning with evidence-based outcomes and approval and support from stakeholders, as well as the Governor and will facilitate the activities of the Early Childhood Coordinating Council which will establish an ongoing communication network between state agencies, policymakers, families, stakeholders and communities for the purpose of planning and implementation of a coordinated system of early care and learning in Idaho. 20% of Council membership will be parents of young children with developmental delays or disabilities.
 


Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare - Children’s System Redesign

The goal of the Children's System Redesign is to implement a system of care that has an improved array of Medicaid benefits for children with developmental disabilities. Beginning July 1, 2011, children will be phased into the new system according to their birth dates. Be sure to visit the updated website for new information. www.redesignforchildren.medicaid.idaho.gov.


The Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health -SIBSHOPS

Sibshops is a program designed for brothers and sisters of kids with special needs. The Federation of Families will be hosting two separate dates on October 20th and November 19th. To register call 208.433.8845.