Pushin’ON VOL 34 | NUM 2 2016 UAB Spinal Cord Injury Model System Digital Newsletter Headline News The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is honored to again be designated as a Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SCIMS). UAB is 1 of 14 Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research to institutions that are national leaders in medical research and patient care and provide the highest level of comprehensive specialty services - from the point of injury, through rehabilitation, and returning to full community life. The UAB-SCIMS is the only continually recognized SCIMS since funding began in the early 1970s. The University of Alabama at Birmingham Spinal Cord Injury Model System (UAB-SCIMS) provides Pushin’ On twice annually as an informational resource for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). UAB-SCIMS Program Director: Amie B McLain, MD Pushin’ On Editor: Phil Klebine, MA 529 Spain Rehabilitation Center 1717 6th Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35233-7330 Phone: 205-934-3283 TDD: 205-934-4642 Fax: 205-975-4691 WWW.UAB.EDU/SCI firstname.lastname@example.org /UABSCIMS /UABSCIMS /UABSCIMS The contents of this publication were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90SI5019). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. ©2016 University of Alabama Board of Trustees. The University of Alabama at Birmingham provides equal opportunity in education and employment. The October issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation features a collection of 27 articles on research done by the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Model Systems. These articles focus on a wide range of topics related to neurologic classification, community integration, health services research, assistive technology, and other topics of interest in SCI. You can also listen to a free podcast discussion on current outcomes from the SCI Model System Centers. You can also read all of the research abstracts for free. Many persons with disabilities, including spinal cord injury, are residents in long-term care facilities (sometimes referred to as nursing homes). Many of whom would prefer to live in their own home or private residence but do not know how to make that happen. What many do not know is that it is against the law for persons with disabilities to be refused the option of living in a community setting rather than being placed in a long-term care facility. Many long-term facilities are not referring residents who are interested in living in the community to appropriate referral sources. This is a violation of that law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued new guidance to assist Medicare and/ or Medicaid-certified long term care facilities in complying with their civil rights responsibilities to make referrals to appropriate community assessment agencies to help individuals successfully transition into the community. The new guidance provides a series of recommendations for steps that long term care facilities can take to better ensure compliance with the law to avoid discriminatory practices towards residents. Now, facilities cannot simply judge that the best interest of the resident would not be able to live in the community. Facilities cannot deny a resident choice based on the opinions of the resident’s family. Instead, facilities must ask residents if they wish to speak to someone about possibly moving into the community. Residents only need to have an interest in the possibility of moving. They do not need to know exactly how or whether a move would take place. Facilities are then required to refer residents to the “Local Contact Agency” designated to assist residents in moves into the community.