DDS forum on new Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule 12/1

Department on Disability Services (DDS) is hosting a training session and public forum on December 1, 2014 on the new Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule, and D.C.’s proposed waiver amendments and Transition Plan.  We appreciate everyone who came to our last public forum and the robust discussion.  We look forward to seeing many of you on December 1st.

 We are also hosting a new session, on December 8, 2014 at 2 PM, for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  At this meeting we will read through, discuss, and accept comments on the proposed D.C. Transition Plan.

 People with disabilities and their families, advocates, providers, and other stakeholders are invited to join DDS at upcoming community forums to discuss:

 •      CMS’s Home and Community Based Settings Rule

•      Proposed amendments to the HCBS Waiver, including new rates for services and changes to existing services.

•      D.C’s plan to assess our settings and come into compliance, where needed.  (Transition Plan)

 December 1, 2014 (3 – 6 PM)

DDS, 1125 15th Street, NW, Room 1A, Washington, DC, 20005

3:00 PM  Presentation on CMS HCBS Settings Rule

4:00 PM  Community Forum on DC’s Proposed Waiver Amendments and Transition Plan

 December 8, 2014 (2 – 4 PM)

Special Session For People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

DDS, 1125 15th Street, NW, Room 1A, Washington, DC, 20005

2:00 PM         Reading and Discussion of DC’s Transition Plan

 All documents are posted for your review at:  Please come and share your thoughts and ideas. You may also submit comments to:

Please confirm your attendance and submit any requests for accommodations to: Jestina Heroe, (202) 730-1586

Univerisity Legal Services survey

As you may know, each year, University Legal Services (“ULS”), the protection and advocacy program for individuals with disabilities in the District of Columbia, solicits input from the community to help guide and shape our annual priorities and objectives for the work we do on behalf of individuals with disabilities.  We hope you will take a few minutes to complete the attached survey, which lets us know what advocacy issues are of most importance to you.


Please return the survey by mail or email to Jane Brown at University Legal Services, 220 I Street, NE., Ste. 130, Washington, DC 20002, or fax to 202-547-2083 by September 30, 2014.


Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts and helping ULS focus on the issues that matter most to the community.


**click on this link to get the survey –!2546&authkey=!AD_7x8SY2I8G29w&ithint=file%2cpdf

The BFG – sensory friendly performance Sunday, July 27, 11:00 a.m.

Imagination Stage is gearing up for our Sensory-Friendly performance of Roald Dahl’s The BFG on Sunday, July 27 at 11:00 a.m. We are really excited about this production, and would love your assistance, as always, in spreading the word.


Below is basic information about the event, and attached you’ll find a flyer for you use.


Please let me know if you have any questions.






Based on the book by Roald Dahl

Adapted by David Wood

Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer and Eric J. Van Wyk

Sensory-Friendly Performance: Sunday, July 27, 11:00 a.m.

June 25-Aug. 10, 2014 | Tickets: $10+

Little orphan Sophie can’t sleep. When she peeks out the window, she is surprised to see a giant. He’s surprised to see her too and whisks Sophie away to his home in Giant Country. But this is no ordinary giant; Sophie’s giant is the world’s ONLY friendly giant. He operates in the strictest of secrecy to bring good dreams to the human world. Other giants steal and have a nasty habit of eating children! To save the children of England, Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant (BFG) embark on a magical journey to Buckingham Palace.


Learn more.

Ability Olympics at JMU April 25-26

Dear Families,

 We want to share an exciting upcoming event called Ability Olympics – where EVERYONE can be an Athlete! The event is for individuals with any disabilities ages 8-22. The mission is to empower individuals by giving them the chance to compete and learn in a challenging and successful athletic environment. During this event, participants will have opportunities to sign up/compete in three different activity sessions showcasing a variety of activities. Participants get an opportunity to experience life of an athlete. In addition, participants will get an opportunity to try sports/activities that peak their interest, but possibly have never tried. Each participant will be assigned a one on one mentor who will support him or her and their family throughout the day (i.e. during each event) and become his or her biggest fan! Sibling events and kids zone for young children also available.

 The event is April 25-26th and kicks off Friday night with a social dance/meet and greet event. Families, participants, JMU students, and other volunteers will interact/get to know one another. Disability organizations will be present to share information, products, and resources.

 Saturday’s all day event highlights sport opportunities for all different levels and abilities. Conducting sessions by classification or individual heats accommodates a wide range of involvement and ability. The list below provides examples of the activities that will be offered.

Aquatics and Track/Field Events (competing by classification: Orthopedic; Autism/Intellectual; and Learning/Hearing/Emotional Disabilities)

Basketball (Wheelchair basketball and 2 v 2)

Baseball/Softball (Beep Baseball, Traditional, and Modified)

Archery, Golf, Bocce, Tennis, Goal Ball, Judo

Numerous exhibitions (self defense, yoga/pilates, canoeing/kayaking, hand cycles, etc.)

The event is FREE OF CHARGE. Donations accepted to JMU Foundation – Empowerment3 to support additional outreach events and future Ability Olympics

If you are interested in registering/attending or learning more the event, contact Katie Chapman at We are also asking for your help in sharing this event with others across state or mid-Atlantic region as we hope to EMPOWER many individuals with disabilities through this event and let them know that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! Please RSVP by Monday, April 21st.


Ability Olympics – Where EVERYONE can be an Athlete!



5:30 – 6:00 – Arrival (Convo)

6:00 – 8:00 – Meet and Greet, Dance and Social (Convo)


9:00-9:30 – Arrive – Breakfast Social (Convo)

9:30-10:00 – Registration

10:00-10:30 – OPENING CEREMONY (Convo)

10:30 – 11:00 – Transition

11:00-12:30 – EVENT 1

Godwin Pool Aquatics Events (Orthopedic)

Godwin Gym Wheelchair Basketball

Godwin Field Archery (ANY)

Godwin Multipurpose Room Dance Expo (ANY)

Combative Room Goal Ball (VI)

Tennis Courts Tennis (LD, HI, ED)

Softball Field Softball (LD, HI, ED)

Convo Track Track/Field (Autism/Intellectual)

12:30-2:00 – Lunch – Picnic (Convo)

2:00 – 3:30 – EVENT 2

Godwin Pool Aquatics Events (Autism/Intellectual)

Godwin Gym 2 v 2 Basketball (ANY)

Godwin Field Bocce (ANY)

Godwin Multipurpose Room Yoga/Pilates Expo (ANY)

Combative Room Judo (Any)

Tennis Courts Wheelchair Tennis/Tennis (Orthopedic)

Softball Field Beep Baseball (VI)

Convo Track Track/Field (LD, HI, ED)

3:30 – 4:00 – Transition to Last Round of Events

4:00 – 5:30 – EVENT 3

Godwin Pool Aquatics Events (LD, HI, ED)

Godwin Gym Power Soccer

Godwin Field Golf (ANY)

Godwin Multipurpose Room Exhibition TBA

Combative Room Exhibition TBA

Tennis Courts Tennis (Autism/Intellectual)

Softball Field Baseball (Autism/Intellectual)

Convo Track Track/Field (Orthopedic)

5:30 – 6:00 – CLOSED CEREMONY (Convo)


Parent to Parent support through AJE

Parent To Parent

The Parent-to-Parent Program provides parents with a supportive network of peers and the skills to advocate effectively for educational and other services for their children and youth. This program offers parents an opportunity to develop leadership skills to offer parents in similar situations with support. Peer supporters are provided a comprehensive parent advocacy training and leadership institute that focuses on educational advocacy, the laws supporting special education and related services, and leadership training.

Understanding the Family Community Experience to Enhance Community Participation for Children Diagnosed with Sensory, Cognitive, and Developmental Disabilities

Please see below on how to participate in some doctoral research:

To whom this may concern,

My name is Alyssa Reiter. I am a doctoral candidate in Occupational Therapy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, PA. Over the last 2 years I have been a member of the Autism Advisory Committee at the Smithsonian and involved in access programs here in Washington D.C., such as the Morning at the Museum program at The Smithsonian Institution and “Sensory-Friendly” Performances at The Kennedy Center.

I am currently completing my capstone research in collaboration with the Accessibility Departments at both The Smithsonian Institution and The Kennedy Center. This is a study to identify parent perceptions of the physical, social, and cultural challenges you face in participating in community activities with a child with a sensory, cognitive, or developmental disability. In particular, parent perceptions and participation in sensory friendly activities at local museum and theater venues.  In working with and understanding the needs of parents and their children we can create programs that are truly inclusive and accessible to all families no matter the abilities.

Through my research I was hoping to work directly with parents with a school aged (K-12) child diagnosed with a sensory, cognitive, or developmental disability, such as but not limited to Autism, through survey, interview, or focus group.  My colleague, Joshua Taylor, the Autism Specialist in Arlington Public Schools, forwarded me your contact information. I was hoping that you could forward information about my study to parents that may be interested in participating.

My project consists of gathering data through a survey. The online survey will be open until March 31st. The link for the online survey is:

I am also looking to talk to parents on a more personal level through focus groups or interviews. My schedule is very flexible and I would be willing to accommodate your schedules. I understand that most parents have very busy schedules and time is precious. I will do anything in my power to make participation as convenient and effortless as possible. Please contact me if you are interested in participating in a focus group or interview.

Thank you for your time,


Alyssa N. Reiter, OTS
University of the Sciences
Doctor of Occupational Therapy Candidate ’14
(856) 905-0024

Latest Events from Kids in Action

Kids in Action has a few upcoming events to share.

We will be having a really neat workshop on March 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 10:00-12:00 at HSC.  There will be a child portion and also a PARENT portion.  The kids’ portion is called “I Will” and it will focus on socialization, self-esteem, and self-expression.  The kids will learn an African dance that they will perform for the parents on the last session.

The parent class is called “Parenting on Purpose” and is a really great support group.  Yolonda and Eleanor who previously helped us with the “Move this World” event will help facilitate it.  Please see attached for the flyer- feel free to share within your networks.  This should be a great event!!!

Kids in Action will have YOGA on April 12, 19, and 26 from 10:00-11:00.  It will be at 900 2nd St, NE (near Union Station- and there is free garage parking).  Space is VERY limited for this event- we are limiting it to 10 participants, so please let me know ASAP if you want to participate.  Our yoga instructor is an OT who is fabulous!!!!

For more information, please contact Robyn Winston Cohen , CTRS, 202-557-1851 or