The Lighthouse Rehabilitation Center Accessibility Plan
It is the policy of The Lighthouse to admit, provide treatment services, and initiate patient referrals without regard to race, color, religious creed, disability, ancestry, national origin, age or sex.
There is no distinction in eligibility for program services, which shall be made accessible to persons with disabilities through modifications and adaptive methods that are both practical and feasible. This includes but is not limited to: equipment redesign, assessment and elimination of architectural barriers, the provision of aids to overcome environmental barriers, the use of alternative delivery locations to overcome other barriers, personnel education and ongoing assessment to remove attitudinal barriers, resource coordination and referral to address financial barriers, programming flexibility to address employment barriers, internal transportation services and referral to external transportation services as well as structural modifications as needed to address communication or other barriers to treatment.
Ensuring program accessibility is the responsibility of every employee of The Lighthouse. From the first referral of a potential client of The Lighthouse, individual needs and barriers to access are evaluated and necessary modifications are suggested. The accessibility plan is implemented on a daily basis and reviewed annually by The Lighthouse Management Team. Specific areas addressed in this plan include the following:
Architectural Barriers: All physical structures which comprise LH campuses are designed to meet the evolving and varied needs of individuals who have suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (hereafter TBI) or other disabling conditions. Input from Occupational and Physical Therapists is taken in to account in the design, developments and modifications of all Lighthouse structures. Designated therapists conduct an annual assessment of architectural and environmental access with the input of Lighthouse Residents. Therapists tour The Lighthouse campuses with residents to evaluate if all buildings are accessible and safe for the residents. If an architectural barrier is identified by the therapist, home manager, direct care staff, resident or other individual, this barrier is reported to the Director of Operations in written format. The Director of Operations then assesses the reported barrier, seeks input from pertinent staff, and makes the appropriate modifications to the structure to accommodate the individual needs of the resident. Budgeting for these modifications is an ongoing process.
Environmental Barriers: The Lighthouse environmental structures are developed in a manner that accommodates the unique needs of the populations served. Barriers such as lighting, noise, and equipments are addressed in a quarterly home managers and safety committee meetings. The need for additional environmental accommodations for each individual is assessed during the initial evaluation by the appropriate speech, occupational and physical therapy staff. In addition, environmental needs identified by appropriate psychology or social work staff as well as direct care, clients or family members are addressed. These efforts are designed to take full advantage of each individual’s capacity to be independent. Identified environmental barriers are reported to the Operations Director or Clinical Director, who implement measures to remove the barriers or refer to The Lighthouse management team for additional support in the removal of said barriers. The input of the resident and/or the guardian will be considered foremost in the realization of projects designed to remove barriers to access in any Lighthouse programs.
Attitudinal Barriers: Professional staff meetings are completed on a monthly basis. During these meetings, attitudinal barriers to providing treatments are assessed and if necessary addressed. Attitudes of all staff and stakeholders are assessed on an ongoing basis, informally through team meetings and staff education, formally through team reports and performance evaluations. Annual staff surveys are conducted to identify any attitudinal barriers which may exist with The Lighthouse staff. Identified attitudinal barriers are addressed by the Director of Human Resources and/or Clinical Director. Strategies to remove attitudinal barriers include staff development and educational activities, progressive performance review and possibly removal of staff form the provision of treatments services. Methods to address attitudinal barriers in the community may include school in-services, staff participation in community organizations and boards.
Financial Barriers: The ability of a resident to access care with available financial resources I assessed by The Lighthouse accounting department. The Lighthouse CFO completes the negotiation of contracts to remove financial barriers. Barriers to care, which have a financial basis are reported to the accounting department and the CFO. Additional support to address financial barriers are provided by the social worker and include assistance in the procurement of Medicaid, Social Security, or other related fiscal resources for clients. If it is determined that all fiscal resources have been exhausted and financial barriers cannot be eliminated, the client swill be referred to a provider agency that does not have the same level of financial barriers (i.e. a provider that accepts Medicaid payment). The Lighthouse will endeavor to preserve adequate funding for each program of the agency.
Employment Barriers: Employment barriers are addressed internally and through referral to external agencies. The Lighthouse has vocational services, including varying treatment options, which allow for greater flexibility in employment options for clients. The Lighthouse has an established internal enclave, to allow residents with more profound employment limitations the ability to work for a sufficient wage. Residents who seek outside employment are assisted with this pursuit with application support, interviewing skills development, job coaching and referral. The devastating economic climate in Michigan in recent years has made the community employment market much more difficult for individuals who have suffered a TBI. The Vocation Department works closely with local employers to educate and advocate for the residents who have achieved the level of employment eligibility to work in the community. The Lighthouse Vocation Department is actively involved with local and state groups to promote employment opportunities for our clients.
Communications Barriers: The Lighthouse recognizes that the inability to communicate leads to increased frustration which is often the precipitant of negative behaviors. The Lighthouse employs many speech therapists that provide ongoing assessment and treatment to over communication barriers. In addition, The Lighthouse employs therapists that are fluent in languages other than English to meet the needs of individuals with limited English proficiency. Pictures exchange communication boards for non-verbal individuals, adoptive communication devices as well as the presence of many staff that are proficient in sign language is instrumental in the elimination of communication barriers. Annual surveys of communication barriers are completed with staff. As with all barriers, the individual communication barriers are addressed and solutions are determined to meet the unique needs of the individuals served.
Transportation Barriers: Because we are located in a rural area with limited public transportation availability. The Lighthouse recognizes the importance of adequate transportation services to increase the success of our clients. The Lighthouse has a complete transportation program which includes buses, vans, and cars. The buses and vans are equipped with wheelchair accessibility features. In addition, The Lighthouse utilizes an external transportation program to meet the needs of clients that may be receiving partial day programming or outpatient services rather than residential treatment. The Lighthouse maintains a listing of external transportation providers for referral clients that report a barrier with their transportation services. The Lighthouse staff collaborates in the provision of transportation services for clients.
Other Barriers: Barriers to care at The Lighthouse are not limited to the above categories. All staff members are encouraged to assess any barriers to care for clients and to report the perceived barriers to the management team. The management team assesses barriers; input is sought form the client and/or their guardian and a concerted effort is made to eliminate the barrier. If the barrier cannot be eliminated, appropriate referrals are made.
Barriers to care at The Lighthouse are deemed as priority situations. The Executive Director will review the accessibility plan annually.