Advocate NH presents its seventh Annual Advocacy – Learn It! Live It! Love It! Conference on Friday September 27, 2019 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, NH.

The theme of the 2019 conference, "The Future of Advocacy", represents a chance to ask: What does a truly inclusive community look like? How can I live my best life? and then work together to figure out what steps we can take to realize our visions of a better future.

The spotlight keynote is "The Power of One: Yes, You Got This!" presented by Therese Willkomm, Ph.D., Director, Assistive Technology in NH. Spotlight sessions include:
  * Ordinary Items, Extraordinary Solutions
  * Gentle Yoga for Well-Being & Personal Growth
  * Employment: Find It, Keep It, Love It!
  * Sexual Self-Advocacy

Since 2013, the Advocate NH Committee has presented an annual networking and skill-building event by and for people involved in disability advocacy in New Hampshire. This event is a day for people with disabilities in NH, and their family members and other individuals who support them, to come together and join a network of advocates who care about making our communities inclusive and supportive.

Suggested cost is $35. Sign up at

Families and staff are invited to an informative and informal information session to learn more about the ins and outs of advocacy. Bring a bag lunch to this one-hour session on Wednesday, October 9 at MDS in Keene. Heather Young, CSNI's Director of Advocacy & Education, will be on hand to lead the discussion and answer questions. RSVP so we can provide adequate beverages and dessert: 603-313-8693 or maryla@mds-nh-org

A letter from Marylouise Alther, MDS Legislative Liaison (September 1, 2019):

Your involvement is crucial to ensuring funding and enacting the legislation of new bills related to disability issues. Your voices need to be heard.

The Governor vetoed the budget voted on by the House and Senate. This budget included a fully funded waitlist and other benefits for our community. We currently have a default budget (this past year’s budget). Now is the time to make your voice heard and to take action to support adequate funding and critical disability bills.

This one-hour informational session will include an overview of what we all can do to improve access to funding and urge the legislature to support funding for the waitlist, dental health, and more. We will cover:
    1. how a bill becomes law
    2. what advocacy is, in its many forms
    3. how you can become an advocate

Heather Young, from Community Support Network, Inc. (CSNI), joins us as guest speaker.

Bring a bag lunch if you wish. Drinks and cookies will be provided.

Advocacy Session
MDS Keene, 121 Railroad Street
Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:30-1:30 p.m.
RSVP: 603-313-8693 or maryla@mds-nh-org


Transition Fair October 25 KSCThe Monadnock Region Transition Fair will be held on October 22, 2019 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Keene State College.

This event is part of a statewide series called the INTELLIGENT LIVES “Opening Doors” Campaign: Expanding NH’s Workforce—Preparing Youth with Disabilities for Employment and Higher Education. This series features the newest documentary film project by the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire’s award-winning filmmaker, Dan Habib, INTELLIGENT LIVES. The campaign includes a film screening, discussion, and transition fair events aimed at improving higher education and employment outcomes for youth with disabilities.

Event co-hosts include Keene State College, the Southwest Center for Educational Support at KSC, Kappa Delta Pi at KSC, Monadnock Developmental Services, the Keene School District (SAU #29), SAU #29’s Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), and the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District (SAU #47). Organizations and schools from throughout the Monadnock Region and statewide will provide information about transition, higher education, and employment opportunities for young adults.

All are welcome – and the event will be particularly relevant to high school students with disabilities, families, college students and teachers from various relevant departments, educators, administrators, business and non-profit staff and leadership, and service providers.

During the event, Dan Habib will screen and discuss some of the INTELLIGENT LIVES films that document the experiences of students with disabilities transitioning from high school to career and/or higher education. Advisors for this project include national experts on effective practices in transition. In addition to Dan Habib, Garrett Shows will participate in the event, including the post-screening discussion. Garrett is featured in GARRETT SHOWS: I’M IN CHARGE, one of the short films that will be screened, and is a student at ConVal Regional High School in Peterborough, NH, participating in the Project SEARCH program.

The strategies and principles explored in the films and resource fair participants include:

  • Person-centered planning/student-driven IEPs
  • Self-advocacy/self-determination strategies and leadership development
  • Inclusive education
  • In-school supports such as vocational training and college/career counseling
  • Community-based experiences such as extended learning opportunities, internships, work study, and apprenticeships
  • Paid work experience and entrepreneurship development
  • Family involvement and high expectations
  • Higher education opportunities and supports

The Southwest Center for Educational Support will be offering .2 CEUs for this event.

Questions? Contact Lance Neeper: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Co-sponsored by Keene State College, Monadnock Developmental Services, Southern NH University and NH Vocational Rehabilitation.


People have been asking for clarification on Medicaid adult dental benefits. This confusion has stemmed from the timing of messages about HB 692, HB 2 and the open enrollment period for the Medicaid managed care organizations.

Dental Care for Medicaid RecipientsCSNI has provided the following information to help make things more clear.

It has been brought to our attention that there is some confusion related to a dental care benefit for adults that are on Medicaid. We hope to help clarify some of the information related to this to better inform recipients and their families of what is being offered.

HB 692, relative to dental care for Medicaid recipients, is a bill that went through the 2019 legislative session. When this bill was introduced, it required the Medicaid managed care programs in NH to provide a dental benefit to recipients that were in their plan. The bill moved through the legislative process and, like many other bills, the language was amended along the way. The final version of this bill gave authorization to the Medicaid managed care programs to be able to provide a dental benefit to Medicaid recipients in their program, at some point in the future. It also required the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services to convene a work group to develop an adult dental benefit that was a value-based plan. The Commissioner is then required to submit all proposed changes to state law that may be necessary to incorporate an adult dental benefit into a value-based care plan by October 1, 2019. DHHS will then required to present an update on the status of the plan each month to the Health and Human Services oversight committee and the fiscal committee.

A few things to know:
• This bill does not mandate the managed care companies to offer a dental care benefit at this time, rather it will happen sometime in the next few years.

• HB 2 (the budget vetoed by Gov. Sununu) had language to begin the implementation of this benefit by April 2021. This budget is in a Continuing Resolution at this time, and the dental care language, start date and plan may change.

• This summer another Managed Care organization -- AmeriHealth Caritas -- has been added to Medicaid health plan options, so now there are three Managed Care Organizations in the Medicaid program -- and a Special Open Enrollment is in effect from August 1 to August 31, 2019. This new company, AmeriHealth Caritas, is offering a dental care benefit for adults that are 21 years old and older. (They state there are some restrictions and limitations that apply.) AmeriHealth is offering this as a value-added service to its members, and is not required at this time; they are offering this as a value-added benefit.

To find the language to the final version of HB 692:

To find more information about the Special Open Enrollment period for the Medicaid managed care organizations and comparison of plans, click here to visit the MDS page on this or go to the DHHS website.