Council Annual Report Summary

Community and Rural Health Planning
Public Health

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

​​Council activities in 2021 included the following:

  • The Council completed and submitted its 2022-2026 State Plan to the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Disabilities identifying the areas of most pressing needs of individuals with developmental disabilities in Nebraska. State Plan Goals include:
    • Employment - Provide resources and improve competitive, integrated, and meaningful opportunities for employment, including self-employment with competitive wages, for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities from diverse locations and identities.
    • Informal and Formal Supports - Increase and strengthen the knowledge of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to promote and encourage informed decision making about their choices leading to improved quality of life, increased independence, productivity, and full inclusion in their communities.
    • ​Community Integration and Inclusion - Increase the capacity of communities and systems to fully include individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities so individuals will have opportunities for greater independence and integration.
    • ​Ad​​vocacy and Self-Advocacy - Expand the tenets of self-determination, increase the ability and opportunity for individuals to advocate for themselves and others, and increase the number of individuals who meaningfully participate in policymaking and leadership roles.

  • The Center for Outcome Analysis was extremely successful in year 1 of the Person-Centered Planning (PCP)Training project. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the training was moved to a virtual format which allowed for far more participants than was originally planned. PCP Training was presented to service recipients and their families/guardians, service provides, provider staff, policymakers, advocates, and other interested persons across the state. This almost 300% increase in the number of people trained has provided Nebraska with a significant core group of people who are now knowledgeable and committed to the implementation of PCP. The PCP project had complete buy-in from the Division of Developmental Disabilities. Staff were assigned to be active participants in project planning meetings and to create a PCP page on their website. They required all Department of Health and Human Services and contracted Service Coordinators and Service Coordination Supervisors to attend trainings specifically designed for them. Additionally, the Division of Developmental Disabilities contracted with Liberty Healthcare Corporation to improve quality services, create the Incident Management System, and establish a Strategic Plan, which would include PCP and Charting the LifeCourse.

  • People First of Nebraska (PFN) is a cross-disability organization and the state's only advocacy organization run by and for people with disabilities. By supplying direct funding to PFN, PFN can strengthen support for an increased number of self-advocates through leadership development and coalition participation through advocacy activities; supporting opportunities for individuals with I/DD who are considered leaders; providing leadership training to individuals with I/DD who may become leaders; and supporting participation of self-advocates in cross-disability and culturally diverse leadership coalitions. PFN worked to stay connected with their members across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of PFN's activities were conducted and attended virtually, including the national Disability Policy Seminar, Council-funded Person-Centered Planning training, the Regional SOAR convention, and the annual PFN convention. PFN invited the statewide Nebraska Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) members to participate in weekly meetings and the Disability Pride Rally. PFN members noted that NYLC is like another PFN chapter and discussed giving NYLC an affiliate representation on the PFN board. The Disability Pride Rally, the only event held in person, drew self-advocates and advocates to a city park where people could socially distance while listening to a variety of speakers, including two senators supportive of the disabilities community, and visited booths from 12 disability and community-based organizations. PFN members continue to increase their advocacy and leadership skills and have become more confident in their outreach and work in the state, regionally, and nationally.

  • Niagara University received subaward funding to present Emergency Management Disability Awareness Training. The main objective of the program was proper and appropriate response to individuals with disabilities, achieved through inclusive planning and active participation of individuals with access and functional needs in emergency planning, preparedness, response, and recovery. This training reached emergency managers and others involved in emergency response. Nebraska-specific documents were created, presentations were made, and meetings were held with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency ADA Coordinator, the Nebraska Association of Emergency Management President, the Nebraska Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, Independent Living Centers Directors, Nebraska's Protection and Advocacy agency, and others with roles and responsibilities related to inclusive planning to introduce the upcoming trainings. Four two-day training sessions were completed across the state with 90 participants.

  • ​The Arc of Buffalo County received subaward funding for their Technology Training and Outreach project. The Arc of Buffalo County provided training to individuals with developmental disabilities, who live in rural central Nebraska, on how to use social media and technology to increase community inclusion. Area service providers were asked to participate in the project with the individuals they support and received a limited number of tablets for individuals to check out and use in their homes. A series of online classes provided opportunities for participants to learn technology skills as well as life skills. Weekly virtual activities were organized to share the many ways that social medica can be used. These activities provided training on using tablets, accessing the internet, and internet safety while providing weekly activities to build skills. The isolation of individuals with developmental disabilities, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, was the impetus for this project. An unanticipated benefit to some of the activities was that provider staff began seeing changes in the individuals they supported as they learned to follow written and oral directions. The virtual cooking class gave people confidence to make very simple foods in the microwave. They were able to measure their ingredients and required less and less assistance. Attendees of the virtual Bingo games began recognizing letters and numbers and were proud to repeat the numbers and letters to show they did get a Bingo. The 15 members of the weekly Weigh-On-Wednesday group learned better eating habits and lost weight, especially those who also attended the weekly stretching sessions. Individuals were learning how to use the tablets, how to connect with and make new friends, and internet safety, but they were also learning new skills that improved their lives and health. Throughout the project, participants expressed joy in participating in the online activities and disappointment if a session was cancelled.

  • ​The Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska (BIA-NE) received a No-Cost Extension to continue training professionals working with youth in the juvenile justice system on screening youth for brain injuries. In April 2021, these efforts were strengthened when the BIA-NE was accepted into the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) Leading Practices Academy (LPA) on Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project in conjunction with subaward funding from the Council. NASHIA provided strategic and customized technical assistance to five states to develop protocol and practices for improving outcomes for justice-involved youth with brain injury for those states involved in the LPA. With NASHIA's guidance, BIA-NE coordinated a multidisciplinary team of Nebraska professionals, working with youth involved in the juvenile justice system, to develop a comprehensive plan for identifying and addressing brain injury in justice-involved youth. The target youth were those in pre-diversion, diversion, probation, and juvenile detention. The long-term goal of the project is to train the workforce to identify indicators of brain injury and understand basic strategies for making accommodations to improve successful program participation for these youth.

  • ​The COVID-19 pandemic did have an impact on the Nebraska Olmstead Plan. The DHHS division-wide strategy related to Olmstead had to be put on hold due to resources needed in Public Health to respond to the pandemic. Despite the pandemic, work continued on the strategies outlined in the Olmstead Plan. The December 2020 early preview report outlined opportunities and recommendations for each of the seven Olmstead goals. To facilitate work on strategies outlined in the Plan, lead DHHS staff began to work to develop three workgroups to address the goals and strategies for housing, education and employment, and data. Each workgroup includes members that represent individuals with disabilities and disability advocates. The Council continues its involvement to be a strong voice to ensure that the Olmstead Plan will be comprehensive and that the voices of those in the disability community are heard.

2020 Annual Program Performance Report
2021 Annual Program Performance Report