Monday, March 22, 2010

North Carolina disability rights alert: State Issues EPSDT Revision

North Carolina has released a new revision of the state policy towards EPSDT, dated January 10, 2010.

In accordance with recent federal court decisions and federal intervention in six other states, the policy defines EPSDT in the broadest terms.

Please make sure that every parent of a disabled child in North Carolina gets a copy of this.  It opens the door for them to submit requests under EPSDT for home services, skilled nursing, assistive technology and speech replacement devices, other durable medical equipment, ABA and other therapies to supplement or replace those provided by the school, etc.

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About Me

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I'm the mom of a child with disabilities. Hannah's first neurologist said she might never develop beyond the level of a 2 month old infant, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. The brain damage was just too severe. Nine years later, she walks, uses a touchscreen computer and I've just been shown she can learn to construct sentences and do simple math with the right piece of technology. Along the way, I discovered I needed to teach myself what Hannah's rights to services really were. Learning about early intervention services led to reading about IDEA and then to EPSDT. I've been waiting for the Obama administration to realize the power and potential of EPSDT for the medical rights - including the right to stay at home with their families - of children with disabilities. The health reform people talk about long term care, and the disability people talk about education and employment, but nobody is talking about EPSDT. So I am.