People First1 
of North Carolina

















NC Innovations Medicaid Waiver Feedback Needed






Statewide ADA Birthday Parties



The ADA Legacy Bus Tour Comes to Raleigh, NC











State Legislative Day






Legislation to Create New Savings Plans for People with Disabilities Introduced in NCGA











DHHS Waiver Advisor Committee (DWAC)






Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) Stakeholders Meetings

How RANE Helped a Person Get Out of an Institution:

RANE is a group of People with Developmental Disabilities, based in Orange County. Our strength is rooted in real growth, for Real Advocates. RANE stands for Real Advocates Now Emerging. We work as a team and support each other to unite the larger community by getting involved, letter writing and our actions. In 2000, RANE began a 5 year journey that would change us in a way we will always admire. An advocate from RANE met with Jack in Butner, North Carolina where he was placed into an institution because he was unable to control his anger problems in his home with his family. Among having anger problems, he would steal with his loved ones. He could not read or write because of his learning disability. Jack’s friend seen that he was very unhappy and she seen the need and concern for getting him out if this institution. After lunch, his friend knew that something needed to be done in order to get him to a better place where he was happy and can live his life. There were many meeting with the State of North Caroline, Department of Health and Human Services, Cross Disabilities, and the Disability Rights group of NC. These meetings went on almost every week discussing how we would be able to get Jack out of the institution. The NC Council on Developmental Disabilities fought hard for him to get out because they saw the potential to see him grow and develop new friendships in the community of his choice. After 5 years, Jack was able to get out of the institution under the care of Cross Disabilities and he also had a provider that took the responsibilities of providing care because he needed 24-hour care. Today, RANE is growing rapidly with their members and doing many things for our community. We are writing letters to politicians, getting people registered to vote, and making sure that documents are written in a way that people with disabilities can understand. Moving that one person into a community he was happy in has motivated RANE to continue advocating for people with disabilities.

The public has a month to give feedback on the NC Innovations Waiver amendment. This period ends on July 14th at 12:01 AM. So it is important to tell them what you think about it before then!

If you want to look at the Medicaid Waiver, it is here:

If you want to email comments to DHHS, here is their contact information:

email: [email protected]

phone (to leave a voicemail):  919-855-4968

This is very IMPORTANT! Make sure your voice is heard!!

ADA Birthday Parties Across North Carolina

Wilmington - July 21st 
Elks Lodge at 5102 Oleander Dr, Wilmington

Chapel Hill/Carrboro - July 21st 
Town Hall at 301 West Main St, Carrboro

Charlotte - July 27th
St. Gabriel Catholic Church at 3016 Providence Rd, Charlotte

Representative Insko and Ellen sign the 

ADA quilt

Road to Freedom ADA Legacy Bus in Raleigh

Ellen and John talk about People First

Ellen and Tim advocate for Section 8 housing to Representative Price

Ellen, Laura and John educating State law makers about People First on May 13th at the Legislative Building in Raleigh.

The legislature is thinking about whether or not to pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.

What is the ABLE Act?

The ABLE Act gives people with disabilities and their families a way to save money in an ABLE account, and they don’t have to pay taxes on the money put into the account. People can use the money they save to pay for:

  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • college
  • job training
  • Assistive technology
  • housing
  • transportation
  • Community based supports

How can someone get an ABLE account?

The person has to be diagnosed with certain types of disabilities before they are 26 years old. Once a person gets an ABLE account, anybody that wants to can put money into the account for the person to use.

*To read more about the ABLE Act, please visit:

DWAC gets together one time every month to give advice to Division of Health and Human Services (DHHS). DWAC gives advice about:

1.) Implementation / Operational phases of the 1915 b/c Medicaid waivers = this means that the DWAC looks at how the existing Medicaid waiver should be put into action

2.) Ongoing LME-MCO operations (Medicaid managed care, Innovations, and LME operations) = this means that the DWAC looks at the current way Managed Care Organizations (MCO) work

Some current DWAC Projects: Writing a letter that explains in self-advocate language how to how to deal with a denial that ALL the MCOs would use. This will make it much easier for people to understand and know how the system works. We’ll put it up on the website once the letter is finished.

Purpose of the meetings:

The Medicaid Waiver is due to run out in 2016, so the State has to get started early making changes to things that aren’t working. The Division of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Medical Assurance (DMA) formed a committee that began meeting two times a month starting in the middle of 2014. They call these meetings the I/DD Stakeholders Meetings. DHHS and DMA have set up a Listening Sessions that meets all across the State with people who get services and their families and providers. The Listening Sessions gets feedback from everyone and then, during the I/DD Stakeholders Meetings, the committee looks over the comments to help them make things better. The committee also looks over the service definitions and makes suggestions about how to make them better.

What are some of the things being discussed?

1.) Community Guide versus Care Coordinator – what is still not being covered now that there are no more Case Managers

2.) Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) Policy – which will be replacing SNAP testing

3.) Whether or not to get rid of the 3 year prior experience requirement for Supported Employment