Vol. 1, Issue 2 September 2011 Guam Advocates N E W S L E T T E R An official newsletter of the Guam Legal Services Corporation - Disability Law Center “GLSC-DLC will provide legal assistance, advocate, and promote equal rights and equal access to justice for the underserved communities of Guam” -GLSC_DLC Mission Statement Understanding Health Care for Patients with Disabilities by: Carol CabilesIndividuals with disabilities, their families and service providers listen to GLSC-DLC Executive Director, Harold Parkerpresent on the topic of Power of Attorneys and Legal Guardianships.Guam Disability Heath Conference, Developmental Disabilities Counciltitled “Understanding Health Care for (GDDC) in collaboration with the GuamPatients with Disabilities” was held on Tri-Agency on Developmental DisabilitiesSaturday, September 24 at the Guam partners – Guam Legal ServicesMarriott, over 200 attendees participated Corporation Disability Law Center (GLSC-in this event sponsored by the Guam DLC), and the University of Guam CenterMedical Association (GMA) and Guam See Health Care. page 6
Page 2 Annual Protection & Advocacy (P&A) Public Input Session By: Carol CabilesAs part of our continuing effort to address the issues and service needsof individuals with disabilities, GLSC-DLC held the annual P&A Public InputSession on Saturday, September 17. Over 75 individual with disabilities, familymembers and service providers attended the session at the Guam Reef Hotel. GLSC-DLC proposed goals and priorities for fiscal year 2012 were discussed and verbal inputwas received from participants knowledgeable about our work and about the needs ofthe individuals with disabilities on Guam. GLSC-DLC Executive Director, Harold Parker receives verbal input from participants attending the P&A Public Input session on September 17th at the Guam Reef Hotel. Ever wanted to learn about your legal issues and Guam laws? Then visit us at: www.lawhelp.org/gu You will find articles, guides, community information and more. Are you more interested on filing your own petition for guardianship or uncontested divorce? Then you may want to check out our online interactive interviews that will ask you some simple questions and draft the documents needed in legal format ready for printing or download.
Page 3 Meet our Staff Administration and AttorneysHarold Parker Sheila Cruz Renita Taimanao Alisha Molyneux Matthew WolffExecutive Director Administrative Staff Attorney Staff Attorney Staff Attorney Director Program Coordinators & Advocates Carol Cabiles Eileen Jao Dador Michelle Nicole Leslie Gatan Program Advocate Cruz Advocate Coordinator Advocate Leticia Piper Jennifer Vicente Nora Cadag Clyde Ulbenario Program Advocate Advocate MIS Advocate Coordinator Support Staff Vera Cruz Teo Gogo Christine Visosky Christine John Cruz Legal Secretary Legal Secretary Accountant Camacho File Clerk Receptionist
Page 4 Teen Dating Violence - Warning Signs By: Jennifer VicenteViolence is becoming a more common issue in relationships today. Not onlyis it common amongst adults, but it is becoming more prevalent in teens. These violent andunacceptable behaviors can either be physical, verbal, and/or emotional. The intentions of thebehavior may be overlooked at the beginning. But more often if the behavior is occurring, it isignored or denied. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), dating violence is aserious problem in the United States and many teens do not report it, because they are afraidto tell their friends or family (Centers for disease control and prevention, 2010). With the beginning of a new school year, teens and parents need to be aware of theissues and take part in preventing the unacceptable behaviors that occur in relationships.Communicate with one another and assure each other that getting help is important. No oneshould ever be afraid to ask for help. If you are not doing yourself a favor, do others the favorand encourage healthy decision-making in relationship. No one should ever have to go througha relationship fearful of what his or her partner is capable of doing.What to look out for: Signs you’re in a violent Signs someone you know may be relationship in a violent relationshipYour partner… hits, slaps, pinches, kicks, or uses any notice frequent bruising or injuries kind of force resulting in any bruises or change in behavior injuries has to ask partner for approval/ curses, name-calling, humiliates you in permission front of other people withdraws from company (friends, controls and makes decisions for you, family, co-workers) whether you approve or not making excuse for their partner’s threatens to harm others or behavior themselves changes in routine, schedule (tardiness, threatens to destroy belongings absence) controlling is aggressive and often has mood changes resulting in his/her anger directed towards youIf you or someone you know maybe in a violent relationship, get help! Talk to someone youcan trust (family member, friends, teacher, counselor, or help lines) let them know thesituation before it’s too late.
Page 5 Legal Guardianship Over a Minor By: Nora Cadag As our island school children head back to school, many parentsand families are faced with issues regarding enrollment requirements ofGuam Department of Education (GDOE) for children, including the needfor legal guardianship in order to enroll. Specifically, children who are underthe care of an adult, other than their parents, are required to be under guardianship ofthat adult in order for(GDOE) to enroll that childin that adult’s schooldistrict. Guam LegalServices Corporation-Disability Law Center (GLSC-DLC) is able to assist withlegal guardianships overminors for parents, familymembers, and individualsauthorized to care forchildren who are not in thecare of a parent. In general, if aguardianship is needed, plan to submit an application at least 6 months in advance.Another tip to consider is if you plan to register your child at another school, pleaseinquire with the receiving school if a guardianship is needed. This is important if youintend to have your child live with a relative who may not be living in your designatedschool district. Upon submission of your application to GLSC-DLC for services, you willbe required to submit the following documents on the day of your intake appointment:birth certificate(s) of the minor child/ren, proof of household income, and informationon the proposed guardian(s) as well as the biological parents of the child/ren. (Continued on page 6)
Page 6(Continued from page 5) Upon review of GDOE’s Student Procedural Assistance Manual (SPAM) andunder the Registration Procedures and Documents section, enrollment requirementsare set forth for three (3) specific situations: 1. For children whose parents/guardians are on-island 2. For children whose parents/guardians are off-island 3. Registration by adults who are not guardiansWe, at GLSC-DLC, recommend that parents, guardians, and individuals authorized tocare for children familiarize themselves with GDOE’s policies and procedures regardingits registration procedures by visiting their respective school(s) prior to withdrawingthe child and when seeking to give guardianship over a minor. For more informationregarding enrollment requirements, please visit GDOE’s website at https://sites.google.com/a/gdoe.net/gdoe/. *[SPAM - #2011-001.pdf]. For more information about our services contact GLSC-DLC @ 477-9811/2 orvisit our website @ http://www.lawhelp.org/GU/.Health Care (Continued from page 1)for Excellence in DevelopmentalDisabilities Education, Research, &Services – Guam System forAssistive Technology (UOGCEDDERS GSAT). The conferencegave participants an opportunity tolearn about various emotional andintellectual disorders, AmericanSign Language (ASL), physicaltherapy for patients, Powers ofAttorney and Guardianships, andaccessibility in medical offices andclinics.
Page 7 Effective Advocacy Tips for Individualized Education Program (IEP) Meetings By: Leslie Gatan“Marketing and selling the way you present things can turn thingsaround”-Peter Wright, Esq. As the first few weeks of school had past, meetings have probably beenscheduled for your child’s IEP. To prepare for these meetings, here are some effectiveadvocacy tips for parent advocates.Know your rights!Be familiar with the law as you can use them to your advantage when deciding andpromoting what is appropriate for your child’s success in their education. Whenmaking requests or inquiries to what your child is entitled to, you can reference theIndividuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA) of 2004. The information in IDEA willhelp you find answers to your questions regarding laws, regulations and provide youguidance to justify your requests.Try your best to have a “Mrs. Manners and Mr. Right” demeanor.How you present an issue or concern to the team and how you mark it is what makesor breaks your possibility of cooperation. Having a frustrating experience with your IEPteam can get the best of us, but try your best to balance the good natured “Mrs.Manners” with the aggressiveness of “Mr. Right”. To get a point across, be cordial butto the point, and well prepared with legal reference or ‘hard evidence’ to back up yourrequest.As difficult as it may be, try not to speak with anger. Promote Teamwork, do not builda wall. Using your parent rights as a reference would be key. One example isdetermining when and where an IEP meeting is scheduled. The IEP meeting location,date and time should be mutually agreed upon by the school and the parent. Parentsalso have a right to call an IEP meeting at an earlier date if they feel that a specific issueneeds to be addressed. Another example is if the school does not agree with yourrecommendations, you as a parent must be given prior written notice. If this does not (Continued on page 8)
Page 8(Continued from page 7)happen, you can request for mediation and/or due process hearing.Request supporting IEP documents before the scheduled meeting.Teachers Reports and Evaluations should be readily available to you at least a weekbefore a scheduled meeting. Request for these documents to give yourself time toprocess all of what the team is planning for your child. Note down questions and getyour references ready.Get actively involved during the IEP MeetingTake Notes, ask Questions, and make suggestions. Remember that you are an essentialpart of the team and that you are the person who knows your child best.Goals and Objectives are S.M.A.R.T.Specific: Goals should not be broad. They should be concise and descriptive.Measurable: Goals are measured by the objectives. Objectives should have a soliddescription on how they will be assessed.Action words: Action words should be incorporated into the objectives. How will thechild execute these objectives?Realistic: Goals and objectives should be tailored to what the child is able to do. Theyshould be challenging, but realistic enough for the child to achieve.Time Specific: IEP Goals and objectives should specify a time period they will beconducted. (ex. Child will be tested every week for spelling).Remember the Rules of Negotiating:1) Know what you want but always keep in mind what your child needs.2) Understand the position of the other side.3) Have two interests:a. Solve the problemb. Protect the Parent-School Relationship4) Keep emotions under control as much as possible. Emotions usually have a negativeimpact on creative problem solving.5) Seek Win-Win Solutions
Page 9When you negotiate, you put yourself in the shoes of those people onthe other side.Ask the 5 W’s + H+E: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How…and Explain.4 Rules of Conduct:1) Listen more than you talk; 2) Tell your story; 3) Ask Questions (5ws + H+E); 4) Alwaystreat the other side with respect.If you do not agree with it, do not Sign it!Request a copy of the original (drafted) document at the day of the actual meeting.You can request that you sign the FINAL Document once it’s ready. (This is so that youcan assure that everything that was discussed in the meeting is accuratelydocumented.)Post-Meeting SuggestionsRecord impressions of the meeting and review your notes. Send ‘thank you’ notes tothe school administrator, Certified Resource Teacher (CRT) or Individualized EducationProgram Coordinator (IEPC) and all the IEP team members. The ‘Thank you note’should have a recap of what was discussed and agreed upon, requests for anyunresolved issues, information/reference that supports your request and if issues areunresolved, request another meeting. (ex. “Thank you for your efforts for trying to fix(issue). I look forward to see what progress you have made in the next few days.”)At GLSC-DLC, our Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with DevelopmentalDisabilities (PADD) program provides advocacy, technical assistance and services inassisting students with disabilities with Special Education issues. For more resources,please visit our website: www.lawhelp.org/GU, or call our office at 477-9811.These tips were compiled and summarized from a training provided by Wrightslaw founders PeterWright, Esq. and Pam Wright, titled, “Special Education Law and Advocacy Boot Camp” (November 2009)in Long Island, NY. For more information, visit www.wrightslaw.com.
Page 10 Assistive Technology in Education By: Michelle Nicole CruzAccording to the United States on your child to see if they could benefitDepartment of Education website, from AT. They can also make sure you,Assistive Technology (AT) is “any item, your child, and any individual workingpiece of equipment, or product system … with your child at school is trained in thethat is used to increase, maintain, or type of AT that best suits their needs. Beimprove functional capabilities” of an sure to ask your school if an AT evaluationindividual with a disability. Those items has been conducted on your childcan be “low-tech” like pencil grips, recently – if not, make sure you requesthighlighters, or hand-held magnifiers, or one. These devices can range from “low”“high-tech” like computer software, to “high tech.” Some AT devices include:Braille Readers, or power wheelchairs/ handheld magnifiers, large print text,scooters. The Individuals with Disabilities using paper and pen to communicate,Education Act (IDEA) is a law that ensures canes/walkers, color coding, pen/pencileligible children with grips, electronic organizers, amplifiers,disabilities receive audio books, alternate keyboards, powerappropriate early wheelchairs/scooters, Braille Readers,intervention, special digital hearing aids, computer software,education, and related communication devices, Apps, digitalservices – including AT!! books, and much, much more! Check out www.cttechact.com for more informationWhen a child is deemed eligible for on these devices.Special Education services, theireducational team – including PARENTS or At GLSC-DLC, our PAAT (Protection andGUARDIANS – will create an Advocacy for Assistive Technology)Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The Program provides advocacy, technicalteam MUST consider “whether the child assistance, and legal services torequires assistive technology devices and individuals with disabilities who requireservices” (Guam Department of technology-related assistance. To learnEducation Special Education Handbook, more about AT contact me, Michelle Cruz,SY 2006-2007). Guam DOE has an AT PAAT Advocate at 477-9811 or visit ourProgram that can conduct an evaluation website at www.lawhelp.org/GU
Page 11New PAIMI Advisory Council (PAC) Members for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 By Eileen Jao DadorFor FY 2012, the PAC nominated and voted inseven individuals to fill the positions of councilmembers.Voting took place July 15-22, 2011. We are pleased towelcome the following individuals as our new Protection &Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) AdvisoryCouncil members for the FY 2012: Esther “Gina” Arca Hikie Lazaga Rose Babauta Hyenan Hwang Mary-Therese Edgerle Dr. Edward Santos Pictured above, is Ms. Paulina Torres, who Marcelene Santos has completed her term in the PAC. Not shown are Chairperson Jackie Martinez,GLSC-DLC is looking forward to working with its Advisory Vincent Chase, and Attorney SuzanneCouncil and mental health communities, agencies, and Horrigan, who have also completed their 4-organizations of those that will serve the PAC as council year term as PAC members.members. PAIMI Advisory Council Highlights By Eileen Jao DadorGLSC-DLC is pleased to announce community by individuals with psychiatricthat Lourdes Toves and Paulina histories, who have been deprived and notTorres will be attending the 2011 accepted by a society that discriminatesAlternatives Annual Conference against them. This marks the 4th year thatthat will be held on October 26-30, GLSC-DLC sponsors members of the PAC to2011 at the Caribe Royale All-Suite attend the Alternatives Conference.Hotel & Convention Center inOrlando, Florida. For inquiries regarding the PAIMI AdvisoryThe event is the national mental health Council or for information on becoming anconference organized by and for mental Advisory Council member, please contacthealth consumers/survivors. This year’s PAIMI Advocate Eileen Jao Dador at 671-922-conference theme is Coming Home: Creating 4571/2 or email atOur Own Communities of Wellness & firstname.lastname@example.org.Recovery, reflecting the desire for