The Nebraska Council works to promote the independence, integration and productivity of people with developmental disabilities. The Council identifies and addresses pressing needs, including inequities in employment, education, housing, transportation health care, and community inclusion. In 2013, the Nebraska Council received $451,533 in federal funding authorized under the Developmental Disabilities Act to support its work. It has 23 members appointed by the Governor with 60% of these members being people with developmental disabilities or family members. In 2013, the Nebraska Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities supported a number of activities including the following:
· PAKS Developmental Services in Ogallala established a non-profit employee-owned electronic recycling business. In the first few months of operation, they recycled 7,000 pounds of e-waste, providing much needed employment to individuals with disabilities in Southwest Nebraska.
· The successful Kearney Inclusive Recreation Project mentored community agencies in Grand Island to begin their own inclusive recreation project. Staff at the YMCA and Parks and Recreation received disability awareness training and local occupational therapy students were recruited to serve as recreation assistants in the various community programs.
· Goodwill operated a six-week Summer Work Experience Program in Omaha for recent high school graduates to teach job placement skills. After completing the program, five out of the six participants had jobs.
· Fritz & O’Hare Associates is developing a series of e-learning modules with the purpose of increasing the skills of self-advocates, both children and adults, with developmental disabilities and their families. These modules will help them be more comfortable expressing meaningful choice and self-determination when participating in Individual Education Planning or Individual Supports Planning. The modules are being produced by Southeast Community College and should be available in 2014.
· Munroe-Meyer Institute taught 71 teachers, direct support staff, and family members how to use tablet devices to develop videos that could be used as teaching tools with children and adults with developmental disabilities. The individuals took pride in being the “star” of their own video and families and direct care staff embraced the ease of operating the tablet and making brief videos of desired behaviors or skills.
· The Consulting Services and Information Network worked with three DD service providers to promote customized employment services for the individuals in their services. Agencies were assisted in efforts to move interested people from workshop settings to community employment. So far 33 individuals with developmental disabilities are now working in community jobs as a result of this project.
· Through the Council’s network of statewide regional councils, people were provided support to attend 10 professional trainings to increase their skills. Individuals with developmental disabilities and family members attended 16 different training activities, including disability-specific conventions, self-advocacy conferences, and youth transition meetings. In addition, these regional councils sponsored a number of disability awareness activities in their local communities.
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:
(Alternate formats for persons with disabilities are available by calling any of the above numbers.)