In this Issue:

Legislative News

A New Year, A New You

Wisconsin News and Events

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

~Eleanor Roosevelt~

Spring 2007 CommunicAbility Vol. 7, Ed. 2

New Horizons Un-Limited Inc. (NHU) is a non-profit organization based in Milwaukee with a mission to make information and life experiences accessible to people with life-long disabilities, their families and caregivers. To learn more about our mission and activities, please visit the New Horizons Un-Limited website at www.new-horizons.org or e-mail horizons@new-horizons.org.

Legislative News

Funds allow states to offer home-based care without waiver

Source: Steve Gold, www.stevegoldada.com

Section 6086 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 offers States a new opportunity to provide a full (or partial) range of community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities. As of January 2007, states can use this new statutory provision without applying for a Medicaid waiver.

Here are some important aspects of Section 6086:

It applies to seniors and people with disabilities with incomes up to 150% of the poverty level: $14,700 for a single person and $19,800 for a couple. These income levels are higher than many States now provide for either MA community-based waiver services or MA state plan services.

These services can be targeted to persons BEFORE they go into a nursing home. This is important because, nationally, 11.8% of the persons IN nursing homes went into them directly from their own homes and had NOT been receiving any home health services for entering the institution.

Unlike the Medicaid Waiver, there is no requirement under Section 6086 that persons meet nursing home level of care criteria.

These services can be consumer directed.

To learn more about this important Act, visit the National Disability Rights Network website at: www.napas.org/policy/DRA/CRS%20report%20HCBS%20Option.pdf.

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Mental Health Parity Bill introduced in House

Representatives Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI) and Jim Ramstad (R-MN) introduced the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act (H.R. 1367) to require mental health benefits offered by group plans with 50 or more enrollees be equal to coverage for other medical conditions. This includes application to co-payments, co-insurance, deductibles, out-of-pocket limits, and day and visit limits.

A similar bill, S. 558, was approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on February 14. The differences between the House and Senate bill include designation of which mental health and addiction disorders are covered. The House bill is modeled on the health plans that apply to Members of Congress and federal workers.

If you are a mental health consumer it is important that you keep track of the status of this bill. Contact your representative to let them know how you feel about this important legislation.

To locate your representative, visit the House website at www.house.gov.

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A New Year: A New You

The Secret to Building Self-esteem
By James Delrojo

Many people suffer with low self-esteem. The interesting thing is that your self-esteem is not dependent on the facts; it is dependent on your interpretation of the facts. Here is a simple strategy to improve your self-esteem in such a way that it improves your life as well.

Self-esteem is determined by how you habitually think about yourself and the events of your life. This habitual thinking pattern creates a self-image that determines how you feel about yourself and it may be an image that is anywhere between being totally in line with the facts to being totally misaligned with the facts.

Some peoples' self-esteem is far higher than the facts warrant while others have self-esteem that is far lower than the facts would suggest it should be.

So what makes a healthy self-esteem? A healthy self-esteem is one that allows you to appreciate yourself and have self-confidence, while at the same time keeping you grounded enough that you are aware that you could still benefit from self-development.

The first step to achieving this balance is to show appreciation for who you are.

No matter who you are and no matter what your current level of self-esteem is you will definitely have good points. An important step in acquiring and maintaining healthy self-esteem is to appreciate those good points.

Our society tends to admire the extremes; the rich, the famous, the slim, the beautiful, the clever, the talented, and so on. While this is fine in itself, the problem exists that our society also looks down on those who aren't in those categories. This can lead to you developing self-critical habits early in life and maintaining those habits throughout your life.

This low self-esteem then often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because it stops you from setting goals and working successfully towards them.

Make a decision today to appreciate all of your good points and to congratulate yourself for being so fortunate as to have all these good qualities.

The second step is to eliminate critical self-talk.

It's amazing to hear how people talk to themselves when things go wrong. They will call themselves idiots. They will tell themselves that nothing ever works out well for me. They will be critical in every way without even stopping to think of the damage that they are inflicting on themselves by this verbal criticism.

Imagine that you want to help a child to learn to tie her own shoelaces. Would you be understanding of the difficulties and encouraging of her efforts or would you say "why are so stupid? Any idiot can tie their shoelaces but you are so useless that all you do is mess it up"? I sincerely hope that you would use the first method.

This first method of encouragement and understanding is exactly how you should speak to yourself. Your subconscious mind, which is where your self-esteem resides, is far more like a little child than it is like your adult conscious mind. Develop the habit of speaking to yourself with respect, encouragement and understanding.

The third step is to ignore or counteract the non-constructive criticism from others.

Have you ever found that sometimes other people can be unjustly critical of your goals or of your behavior? Being critical of others is simply a sign of poor personal development. It is an unfortunate truth that you will encounter these enlightened folk on a regular basis so you need to have a strategy for dealing with them.

There are basically two strategies that you could use.

  • The first is to ignore the comments or to not mix with people who give empty criticism.
  • The second is to counteract that criticism by saying to yourself mentally that the criticism is unfounded and that you refuse to allow such nonsense into your mind.

    The fourth step is to set a goal and then break it into small steps and focus on the current step.

    You can build your self-esteem by setting goals and then breaking down the achievement of that goal into a progression of simple, easy steps. Then as you achieve each step you congratulate yourself on your progress and reinforce that you are a successful person who is making good progress toward a worthwhile goal.

    The fifth step is to keep a success book.

    Keeping a success book is an excellent and fun way to develop a healthy self-esteem. You simply record in the book, each and every day, at least one success you had that day. The success doesn't have to be earth shattering. As long as you achieved something, no matter how small, then it can go into the book.

    This habit helps you become aware, on a daily basis, that you are actually achieving things. Also, if you have times when your self-esteem is down then you can lift it by taking out your success book and reading it.

    A natural side effect of keeping this book is that over time your daily successes will be getting bigger and more impressive and you will be able to see that you are actually becoming a more successful person as time goes by.

    If you combine these five simple steps, and persist with them long enough for them to become habits, then you will develop and maintain a healthy self-esteem that will steer your life to happiness.

    This article has been reprinted from its original state as it was published on www.my-articles.com, your source for free reprint articles.

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    Calling All Creative Writers!

    In an effort to share the creative written works of individuals with disabilities, we have developed a web section entitled Writings and Perspectives. This section is a collection of writings that share personal disability experiences and the perspectives of people with disabilities. We want to add your writings to this section.

    If you wish to share a story, poem or unique perspective with our web visitors, please contact us via e-mail - horizons@new-horizons.org.

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    Wisconsin News and Events

    NAMI Greater Milwaukee's Creativity Heals Art Gallery and Stage Show

    The National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Greater Milwaukee will be hosting their 2nd Annual Creativity Heals Art Gallery and Stage Show to showcase the talents of local mental health consumers. The event is scheduled for Sunday, May 6, 2007 between the hours of 3:00 and 5:30 p.m. at Bucketworks, 1319 N. Martin Luther King Drive in Milwaukee. The event will feature visual arts, dance, music and poetry. If you would like to attend, please contact NAMI Greater Milwaukee at (414) 344-0447.

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    Self-Directed Services Informational Meetings

    Family Care is expanding throughout Wisconsin. One part of Family Care, Self-Directed Services or SDS, gives people an opportunity to choose their own care services. To educate Wisconsinites on this important aspect of Family care, the Self-Determination Wisconsin project is presenting a series of informational meetings. The meetings are for people who get long-term care services, their families, service providers, advocates, and others who want to learn more about SDS.

    There are a number of meetings scheduled throughout Wisconsin in April and May. To see a complete schedule of the meetings and to obtain a registration form, visit www.wcdd.org/whoweare/2007_events/sds.cfm.

    The Self-Determination Wisconsin project is part of the Wisconsin Council on Developmental Disabilities' current five-year State Plan. To learn more, visit www.wcdd.org/07stateplan/self_determination.cfm.

    If you do not have access to the web, please contact NHU at (414) 299-0124 and we will provide you with the meeting times and locations.

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    4th Annual Benefit Golf Outing

    Our Annual Benefit Golf Outing, scheduled for Wednesday, June 6, 2007 at Hawk's View Golf Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, has proven to be great fun for all. With a best ball format and our unique Mulligan Package, you need not be an expert golfer to enjoy our outing. Plus, our after-round banquet offers a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and network with colleagues. Why not join us for a great day of golf!

    We are also offering a number of terrific promotional sponsorship opportunities in a variety of price ranges. Our golf outing draws more than 100 golfers from the Greater Milwaukee and Greater Chicago areas, offering an excellent opportunity to reach this audience.

    Contact us today to learn more and to request sponsorship and registration materials. We can be contacted via phone at (414) 299-0124 or via e-mail at horizons@new-horizons.org

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    NHU's Spring Raffle and Silent Auction a Great Success

    This year's Raffle for Opportunity and Silent Auction, our 5th annual, was a great success. Thanks to a number of great prizes donated by some wonderful people and businesses and the tremendous effort put forth by our volunteers, we saw a 50% increase in raffle ticket sales.

    We'd like to extend our thanks to all of our generous prize donors…

    Bartolotta Restaurants Betty Brinn, Children's Museum, Breadsmith, Chamber Theatre, Charles Allis/Villa Terrace Art Museums, Circus World Museum, Comedy Sportz, German Fest, Gold 'n Treasures, Great Harvest Bread Co, Green Bay Packers, Kopp's Frozen Custard, Lake Lawn Resort, lia sophia, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Next Act Theatre, Pizzeria Piccola, Polish Fest, Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Vodka, Rupena's Fine Foods, Saz's State House, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Silpada, Stone Creek Coffee, Sunset Playhouse, Wagon Trail Resort, Wisconsin Athletic Club, Winkie's of Whitefish Bay, YMCA of Metro Milwaukee

    Of course we cannot go without saying a big thanks to all of our volunteers who kindly solicited donations, sold raffle tickets, coordinated the silent auction gift baskets and staffed the event. Thank you all for your time and creative talents.

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    Here's how you can help:

    Step one: Visit www.goodsearch.com.

    Step Two: Type New Horizons Un-Limited in the "Who do you GoodSearch for?" box.

    Step Three: Click the Verify button. New Horizons Un-Limited (Milwaukee, WI) will appear.

    Step Four: Search. Type your keywords in the search box provided and click the Search the Web button.

    For each search you complete, one penny will be credited to our account. While one penny does not seem like much, there is strength in numbers. The more people searching on our behalf, the more donations we can look forward to. Please consider "GoodSearching" the web on our behalf.

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