Nebraska Planning Council on
2016 Annual Program Performance Report Summary
The Nebraska Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities works to address identified needs by conducting advocacy, systems change, and capacity building efforts that promote self-determination, integration, and inclusion. Key activities include conducting outreach, providing training and technical assistance, removing barriers, developing coalitions, encouraging citizen participation, and keeping policymakers informed about disability issues. In 2016, the Nebraska Planning Council received $497,888 in federal funding authorized under the Developmental Disabilities Act to support its work and priorities identified in the Council’s State Plan. Its 24 members are appointed by the Governor with 60% of these members being individuals with developmental disabilities or family members. Council activities in 2016 included the following:
- The Council completed and submitted their 2017-2021 State Plan to the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) identifying the areas of most pressing needs of people with developmental disabilities in Nebraska. The Council collected information through surveys, focus groups, public comment, and research to develop the new plan. State Plan goals include: 1) Improve transition across the lifespan of more individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities; 2) Improve advocacy, self-advocacy, and self-determination for more individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities; 3) Influence systems change to provide increased opportunities for more individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) to pursue an employment path of their choice; and 4) Increase community inclusion for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) of diverse identities.
- Six voluntary Regional Councils comprised of individuals with disabilities, family members, agency representatives, service providers, and advocates conducted local activities across the state in advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change based on the Council’s State Plan priorities. As a funding source to help implement the state plan through public education and awareness efforts, Regional Council funds supported 503 individuals across the state to attend conferences, workshops, and training in leadership, self-advocacy, and self-determination.
- The Council supports self-advocacy as a valuable resource to bring system improvements and awareness through People First of Nebraska (PFN), a state-wide nonprofit advocacy organization led by people with disabilities. PFN hosted another successful annual convention, sustained and strengthened their partnerships with self-advocacy organizations across the Midwest, and empowered members to develop relationships and strengthen leadership skills to enhance their advocacy efforts within PFN and their communities. Their website www.peoplefirstnebraska.com provides excellent self-advocacy resources to strengthen local chapters. PFN is emerging as national leaders in self-advocacy, and in 2016 they shared their expertise in re-building and reviving their self-advocacy organization with groups from across the country through webinars.
- Council funds supported the Autistic Women’s Network (AWN) to publish and promote an anthology of more than 20 writings by autistic women titled, "What Every Autistic Girl Wishes Her Parents Knew." The publication and resource is available in paperback, hardcover and eBook formats, and is being promoted worldwide. It is being marketed to parents, guardians, caregivers, loved ones, friends, educators, mental health professionals, and more importantly, girls who have autism as a resource to help readers understand and empathize with females who experience autism.
- In an effort to promote inclusion, the Council funded Disability Rights Nebraska (DRN) to plan, organize and conduct an Inclusive Education Advocacy Institute with a focus on children with developmental disabilities in Pre-K thru middle school. The institute trained parents, teachers and administrators on the inclusive education model that benefits students with and without disabilities.
- The Council funded the Nebraska Association of Service Providers (NASP) to address the specific quality needs in the developmental disabilities workforce. Using data, best practices research, and focus group input, NASP identified challenges and best practices in workforce recruitment and retention in the developmental disability field and developed a blueprint for strategic action to promote quality services. Additional funds are supporting NASP’s continued efforts to recruit a more diverse field of job coaches, staff members, and leaders to enter and strengthen the developmental disabilities services field.
- Council staff advocate, collaborate, and increase awareness for individuals with developmental disabilities by serving on numerous advisory councils and committees. These workgroups provide Council staff the opportunity to stay engaged in federal and state legislative changes and policies impacting individuals with developmental disabilities. Council staff also serve on various work groups focused on the Division of Public Health’s strategic plan, including addressing the health disparities for persons with disabilities to develop strategies for greater inclusion of persons with disabilities in generic public health programs.
- Collaborative activities between the federally funded DD Network Partners (Munroe-Meyer Institute/University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and Disability Rights Nebraska) foster partnerships within the network, including significant information sharing, joint training, and unified advocacy efforts.
- The Council annually publishes Newsline during the legislative session to keep citizens informed regarding proposed legislation related to developmental disabilities and provides status updates on legislative bills the Council has selected to follow.
If you have additional questions or comments about the Council’s activities or would like to receive a copy of the complete annual report, please contact:
Nebraska Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities
Nebraska Health & Human Services
301 Centennial Mall South
PO Box 95026
Lincoln, NE 68509-5026
Phone: 402-471-2330 Fax: 402-471-0180
(Alternate formats for persons with disabilities are available by calling any of the above numbers.)
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