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Old 05-11-11, 07:20 AM   #1
DnvrFox
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OT - Disability Related, but perhaps of interest to some. An article abut me

This is an article about a national survey I just completed on using "Natural Supports" published by Justice For All, an arm of the American Association of People with Disabilities

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Old 05-11-11, 08:54 AM   #2
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What is natural supports? Obviously the article was written for a group that knew the terminology presented within.
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Old 05-11-11, 09:02 AM   #3
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What is natural supports? Obviously the article was written for a group that knew the terminology presented within.
I think the words "friendship" or "community" are close in meaning.
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Old 05-11-11, 09:15 AM   #4
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What is natural supports? Obviously the article was written for a group that knew the terminology presented within.
Natural supports are those supports that exist for the individual that are not part of any formal service delivery system. For example, a neighbor who does grocery shopping or drives an individual to do his or her own shopping when he or she can't do it on their own, would be a natural support. Or, another example, a daughter who provide assistance with personal care such as bathing, dressing, etc. In the formally funded network that serves older adults (Aging Network) the term used is informal support, meaning the same thing.
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Old 05-11-11, 01:28 PM   #5
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I purposely did not define "natural supports" for the population I was addressing in the survey as I wanted a wide a divergence of responses as possible.

One of the problems has been a lack of a clear definition in the communities where the term is used. All the way from supported employment in the workplace to a recreation program, etc., etc.

I did not feel that I was smart enough to redefine it, and, besides, one of the purposes of the proposed research is to further define the term and concept after a thorough review of what folks think it means.

Right now, it is very nebulous and unclear, yet blithely spouted out by top US administrators as a solution to a critical problem - and they have no clue if, how, when and where it might work.
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Old 05-11-11, 05:57 PM   #6
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One of the challenges I've encountered, although in a different specific area, is that what used to be called "community" and "neighborhood" to a large degree no longer exists in many areas of the US, at least. Without that sense of community it is all too easy to dismiss needs of other people and leave it up to "the government", or to "the people who get paid to help". At the same time there are so many who look upon people needing help as a source of income and power rather than as an opportunity to serve.

It may be cynical of me but I'm of the opinion that at the top management levels actually helping individuals is not the goal. The goal is to get as big a rice bowl as possible.
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Old 05-11-11, 06:27 PM   #7
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It may be cynical of me but I'm of the opinion that at the top management levels actually helping individuals is not the goal. The goal is to get as big a rice bowl as possible.
Not cynical. Our Executive Directors of our relatively small 501c3 regional centers make up to $400,000 in sal + benefits. AT the same time, there are huge waiting lists and reductions in services. I have exposed this travesty to legislators, the press, the community, etc., and I get a great big "yawn" in response.

Our state equivalent bureaucrats make about $80,000 for same level of responsibility. Oh, did I mention - the Executive Directors essentially choose their own B of D's - who set the salaries. Nice deal, huh?

No one really gives a hoot.

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Old 05-11-11, 09:11 PM   #8
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Not cynical. Our Executive Directors of our relatively small 501c3 regional centers make up to $400,000 in sal + benefits. AT the same time, there are huge waiting lists and reductions in services. I have exposed this travesty to legislators, the press, the community, etc., and I get a great big "yawn" in response.

Our state equivalent bureaucrats make about $80,000 for same level of responsibility. Oh, did I mention - the Executive Directors essentially choose their own B of D's - who set the salaries. Nice deal, hih?

No one really gives a hoot.
$400,000 seems excessive. IRS regulations prohibit 501c3s from paying unreasonable compensation to management (part of what are called excess benefit transactions) and there are substantial penalties for doing so including loss of the tax exempt status. Take a look at their 990 which should disclose those salaries. The IRS is a bit short staffed when it comes to enforcement actions for not-for-profits but if you write them a letter complaining about the unreasonable compensation it might stir up some action. If you've got some data on comparable salaries that would help.
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Old 05-11-11, 09:35 PM   #9
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$400,000 seems excessive. IRS regulations prohibit 501c3s from paying unreasonable compensation to management (part of what are called excess benefit transactions) and there are substantial penalties for doing so including loss of the tax exempt status. Take a look at their 990 which should disclose those salaries. The IRS is a bit short staffed when it comes to enforcement actions for not-for-profits but if you write them a letter complaining about the unreasonable compensation it might stir up some action. If you've got some data on comparable salaries that would help.
I've tracked (and published) the 990's salaries in summary tables for years. I am fully aware of the IRS regs, and I am not about to write any kind of traceable letter to the IRS, thank you. Too many stories about them automatically auditing folks who report others.
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Old 05-12-11, 05:49 AM   #10
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I've tracked (and published) the 990's salaries in summary tables for years. I am fully aware of the IRS regs, and I am not about to write any kind of traceable letter to the IRS, thank you. Too many stories about them automatically auditing folks who report others.
It really makes me mad about the salaries of fund raisers and execs of charitable orgs. These folks are milking the organizations while the low paid staffers and volunteers do the work. We should elect one of those low paid community organizers as President - maybe then the situation will change (sorry - too political).
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Old 05-12-11, 08:15 AM   #11
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I purposely did not define "natural supports" for the population I was addressing in the survey as I wanted a wide a divergence of responses as possible.

One of the problems has been a lack of a clear definition in the communities where the term is used. All the way from supported employment in the workplace to a recreation program, etc., etc.

I did not feel that I was smart enough to redefine it, and, besides, one of the purposes of the proposed research is to further define the term and concept after a thorough review of what folks think it means.

Right now, it is very nebulous and unclear, yet blithely spouted out by top US administrators as a solution to a critical problem - and they have no clue if, how, when and where it might work.
Good points Denver. Culture will most likely play a big role in how the term is understood.
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Old 05-12-11, 08:41 AM   #12
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That's where the government gets in the way. People think, well the government will/should take care of that, so I won't/shouldn't have to do it. The fundamental problem with 'socialism'. No one feels the need to help a neighbor anymore because "the government should do it". Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.
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Old 05-12-11, 08:56 AM   #13
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That's where the government gets in the way. People think, well the government will/should take care of that, so I won't/shouldn't have to do it. The fundamental problem with 'socialism'. No one feels the need to help a neighbor anymore because "the government should do it". Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.
Sometimes "helping a neighbor" in terms of desire isn't the issue. For example, I'm not trained on the proper way to use a toilet transfer board to help an individual from a wheel chair to the toilet. And, I'm certainly not trained to perform even more complicated tasks. Nor, working 55 hours a week to pay mortgage, taxes, etc. do I have the extra hours to assist someone who may need multiple hours on a daily basis. It is a complicated issue for which simple solutions are sure to do as much damage as good.
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Old 05-12-11, 10:31 AM   #14
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That's where the government gets in the way. People think, well the government will/should take care of that, so I won't/shouldn't have to do it. The fundamental problem with 'socialism'. No one feels the need to help a neighbor anymore because "the government should do it". Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.
Neighbors are working. Some folks require 24/7 technical care, are on respirators, have profound developmental delays, marked behavioral issues. I have tried, without success, to get my church to even show a spar of interest in the issue. Churches were among the lowest rated in terms of providing support.

Simple solutions are easy to state.
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Old 05-12-11, 11:52 AM   #15
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As has been stated many of the help sources us elders counted on earlier in our lives just aren't there any more. Some incidents from my experience:
>City Council Meeting: The Council was in its' annual budget discussion and specifically addressing some social service spending. A council member asked the pastor of a local church why their church no longer had assistance programs. The pastor replied that it wasn't the church's job; that the government had taken that over and was being paid taxes to do it.
>TV ad: If you see someone in trouble, or a crime don't attempt to do anything yourself. You might do it wrong or place yourself in danger. Instead call the authorities so someone trained can respond and handle the situation. i.e. Leave it to the Experts.
>Conversation: Other person says: "I don't have time". But, in the conversation it is apparent they have time for watching TV and keeping up on several internet forums and social media like Facebook and Linkedin.
>Assistance worker for person with diabilities: "Would you do this as a matter of community service?" "Not on your life. I do this because I need a job and this is it". (paraphrased of course).
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