Disability Rights Michigan

Assistive Technology Improves Quality of Life

In 2017, LaKeisha Cammon of Grand Blanc contacted DRM regarding her rights to in-home supports. LaKeisha is living with muscular dystrophy, a disability she has had since birth, and has been residing in Medilodge of Grand Blanc for the past 5 years after being admitted for rehab. At 42 years old, LaKeisha is fighting for her right to leave the nursing home and live in the community.

Allison, an advocate on DRM’s Community and Institutional Rights (CAIR) team received LaKeisha’s case in June 2017. Allison informed LaKeisha that as a Medicaid recipient she has the right to receive certain assistive technology (AT). Allison pressured Medilodge staff for 18 months to file the appropriate Medicaid prior authorization paperwork that would allow LaKeisha to receive a speech-generating device (SGD) and a special motorized wheelchair. In December of 2018, LaKeisha received her SGD and has been able to effectively communicate with her new device.

“LaKeisha lived successfully in the community, with substantial in-home supports, for 7 years prior to Medilodge,” said Allison. “We often see clients lose their independence during rehab because they are denied their rights. Nursing homes are not required to file petitions on behalf of their clients and often see these requests as additional paperwork and beyond their standard of care.”

DRM is appealing a Medicaid decision by MDHHS’ denying Lakeisha a motorized wheelchair which is critical to her mobility and medically necessary. With the appropriate ATs and in-home supports, LaKeisha can once again live successfully in the community. DRM is committed to increasing her quality of life and her right to independence.

“MPAS {DRM} is the first agency I think of when I need help,” said LaKeisha. “I am thankful for this device.  I am able to communicate easier, text, engage on social media, and read. I have waited for over 18 months to receive this device and it will allow me to have a successful transition back into the community. MPAS {DRM} has always been so helpful and I appreciate the work they have done on my behalf.”

LaKeisha’s Speech-Generating Device

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