At the October MNCCD Health and Wellness Conference Mercarik Assistive Technologies will be presenting an overview of many of the different assistive technologies available as well as giving an opportunity to play with a few of the devices to help get a better understanding. Though this session will be brief and not all areas will be addressed it will discuss commonly used solutions and some not often utilized.
In the meantime, I thought it might be a helpful to see what the Minnesota Olmstead plan has to say about assistive technology.
The Following is an unedited passage from Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan-
What this topic means
This topic is about people of all ages, all disabilities, and all settings having access to assistive and other technologies that will improve their quality of life and support them, especially in integrated settings.
The timely access to assistive and other technologies will result in progress on measurable goals found elsewhere in the Olmstead Plan. It is expected that the results can be measured in improved quality of life and increased movement from segregated settings to integrated settings.
It is also about building program capacity, leveraging resources and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of assistive technology services through coordination and collaboration among state agencies.
Definition of assistive technology
Assistive technology is “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. This definition does not include a medical device that is
surgically implanted, or the replacement of such a device.”
Assistive technology service is any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. This includes:
o The evaluation of the needs of an individual with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the individual in the individual’s customary environments;
o Purchasing, leasing or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by individuals with disabilities;
o Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
o Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
o Training or technical assistance for individuals with a disability or, if appropriate, that individual’s family; and
o Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education or rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of that individual.
Matthew Hansen ATP, EAS
Many individuals with disabilities rely on government programs to help them with their medical needs. Often these programs have limits on what kinds of assets a program participant can own. This can make it challenging for family and friends to care for the disabled person.
One tool that is available is a special type of trust that can hold assets without affecting a person’s medical benefits. These trusts come in two types.
Special Needs Trust
A Special Needs Trust holds assets belonging to an individual who is enrolled in a public benefits program. By placing their assets in trust, the enrollee can sometimes prevent these assets from being counted by the government program. This allows them to use their assets to their benefit instead of losing them to pay for care.
Supplemental Needs Trust
A Supplemental Needs Trust also holds assets on behalf of a disabled individual. Supplemental Needs Trusts differ from Special Needs Trusts. A Supplemental Needs Trust holds assets that originally belong to a 3rd party (like a parent or relative) and allow those assets to be used for the disabled person’s benefit.
Pluto Legal, PLLC operates differently than most firms. Our office and staff are located in Tyler, Minnesota, while our attorneys currently live in Olivia and St. Louis Park. The attorneys at Pluto Legal will make house calls throughout Minnesota. So, rather than asking you to travel and bring all of your information to our office, we meet with you in the comfort and privacy of your own home or other convenient location.
We offer a no charge consultation to review your situation and base our recommendation on only what you need. We will never recommend services to you that are unnecessary.
We offer many workshops for community education and for Continuing Education Credits. Please contact Pluto Legal for more information Toll Free 1-866-457-3131, firstname.lastname@example.org 100 E. Hwy. 14, Tyler, MN 56178 or check out our website, www.plutolegal.com.
Health and wellbeing are dependent on many factors, including genetics, environment, and behavior. While some things are outside of our immediate control, other things – like learned behaviors – make a huge difference in how we feel. This cuts both ways, of course… less-skillful behaviors contribute to feelings of
dis-ease, while more-skillful behaviors contribute to feelings of wellbeing. Wellbeing is a feeling that signals alignment between our values, beliefs and behaviors. It is a feeling that communicates, “I am on the right track” and “Keep doing more of this because it is good for me.”
Compassionate communications is a tool to increase this critical alignment, along with feelings of wellbeing. When we identify and share feelings and needs, as well as listen to others through healthy conversations, we build trust, are able to form close relationships and feel valued and understood.
In the Compassionate Communication as Self-Care breakout session, we will expand our understanding of universal needs and experience the feelings associated with needs when they are met and unmet. We’ll talk about what is happening in our brains when we learn how to skillfully express our needs. Finally, we’ll have fun practicing this effective tool.
Compassionate communications is a wellbeing tool that can be learned and used by everyone, including caregivers and clients, parents and children, and nurses and patients. As we increase our skill, we increase our own health and the health of our organizations.
Ricka Robb Kohnstamm, ALIGN Whole Health Coaching, creates safe space for clients to untangle complex issues that contribute to feelings of dis-ease of mind, body or spirit. Through her soft, supportive approach, her clients find the courage within themselves to embrace a meaningful, always evolving life.
Ricka will be a Presenter at our October Health and Wellness Conference.