CDHD Announcements
CDHD Welcomes Jen Magelky-Seiler,
Idaho Living Well Grant Project Coordinator
Portrait of Jen Magelky-Seiler
Jen Magelky-Seiler returned to the CDHD January 14th, 2019 to head the Living Well project, a grant received in late August. Jen was previously employed at CDHD from 2002-2010.

As Project Coordinator, she is a liaison between the various partners involved with the grant. These partners include the Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities, Idaho Medicaid, and the Moscow, Idaho chapter of the Self Advocacy Leadership Network (SALN). Jen has been a member of SALN since 2005, and is well known in Idaho for her advocacy work.

The grant helps support the work of Community Now, which made seventeen recommendations to Idaho Medicaid on changes to Home and Community-Based Services provided to individuals with disabilities.

According to Jen, “I was interested in this position because I want to do work that has a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities.”
CDHD All Staff Meeting
On the 8th of January, CDHD staff from around the state joined together via zoom to attend the annual staff meeting. In this meeting we discussed our goals and accomplishments for fiscal year 2018. The information presented was broken down into CDHD's overarching goals: enhancing university-based education, expanding quality supports and services, and broadening impact on policy and research. To keep staff engaged for each section, a staff member shared personal stories about their projects and the community members they were impacting. Following this portion of the meeting was information from each CDHD team: Operations, Technology, and Dissemination.
Magic Wheelchair
Photo of a child in a wheelchair that has been modified to look like a dragon.
By Jessilyn Matthias

A wheelchair is a stigma of disability that is often difficult to remove. It is an obvious sign of something being “wrong” with a person. For children, this sense of feeling different can last for years, causing loneliness and low self-esteem. What if a child was proud of their wheelchair, and being in one earned them friends instead of scorn?

Enter Magic Wheelchair, a nonprofit organization started in 2008 by Ryan Weimer. Ryan is the father of three children who have varying forms of muscular dystrophy and require wheelchairs for mobility. Inspiration struck when his son, Keaton, wanted to be a pirate for Halloween. Ryan knew that a simple outfit wouldn’t be enough. Instead, he decided to build an entire pirate ship that fit around Keaton’s wheelchair. The project was such a hit that he was asked to build more costumes for kids who use wheelchairs in his community.

Volunteers and donations are used to create each design based on the child’s interests. Each personalized “costume” is elaborate and can cost upwards of $2000, but is completely free for the family of the child.

Magic Wheelchair has captured the imagination of the wider public and has been featured in talk shows, news stories, and several YouTube videos. The added publicity has increased the workload, but the fabricators don’t mind at all.

See more unique creations at the Magic Wheelchair website at
Idaho Autism Insurance Implementation Workshop
The Idaho Department of Insurance issued Bulletin No. 18-02 in April 2018. The bulletin clarifies that treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) cannot be excluded from coverage if rehabilitative or habilitative services are covered. Coverage for ASD services became effective January 2019.

Lorri Unumb, from Autism Speaks, presented on understanding the coverage and assisting in implementation. Wes Trexler, from the Idaho Department of Insurance, was also on hand to answer specific questions and concerns. CDHD sponsored the event with over 50 family members and providers from across the state, receiving current information and resources.
group picture of autism insurance implementation workshop Boise participants
Richelle Tierney (Left) and community members attending Idaho Autism Insurance Implementation Workshop in Boise.
Annual Fred Riggers' Disability Awareness Day at the Capitol
From Left to Right: Nick Stallings, Sara Fluer, and Carly Saxe representing CDHD and AT.
Steve pictured with family members at the capitol.
Steve Graci (Middle) surrounded by family holding Marilyn Sword Advocacy Award.
CDHD took part in the Consortium for Idahoans with Disabilities (CID) 8th Annual Fred Riggers' Disability Awareness Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 29th. CDHD and AT staff spoke to legislators and community members about CDHD projects and services.

The event included a noon presentation with remarks from Lynda Wolters, Fred Riggers daughter, and the presentation of the Marilyn Sword Advocacy Award. Steve Graci, retired executive director of the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, was the recipient of the award. Lt. Governor, Janice McGeachin read the Disability Awareness Day proclamation, and Courtney Lehosit from Sen. Crapo's office presented Steve with a certificate and the flag that was flown over the US Capitol in his honor.
artAbility Volunteer Seminar
By Laura Hannon

CDHD trainees and UI students attended a volunteer seminar on January 24th to prepare for this spring’s artAbility workshops. Students are required to attend the seminar before volunteering with artAbility in order to ensure they are well equipped to support individuals with disabilities. CDHD's Living Well Coordinator, Jen Magelky-Seiler, presented a “disability etiquette crash course.” She taught students about language guidelines, disability awareness, and the social model of disability. Mia Giglio, artAbility Coordinator, then discussed the best way to help other’s write, as poetry can be an intimidating form of art. She role-played with attendees to show how to assist someone without doing their project for them. Two artAbility workshops will be held this semester before the showcase on April 19th.
Jen Magelky-Seiler presenting her disability etiquette course to UI students.
Disability Integration Act at DAC
By Kat Moffis

On the 17 th of January, the Disability Integration Act (DIA) was re-introduced and there was a viewing party to celebrate this event. Four trainees along with Trainee Coordinator, Olivia Lebens, took a field trip to Disability Action Center (DAC) in Moscow to join staff and community members in watching the proceedings happening in Washington, DC. When we arrived, Independent Living advocate, Bev Gadberry, gave us a short presentation about the Disability Integration Act (DIA). To summarize, the DIA is the right of choice for anyone who is eligible for long term care to live in their community; and not just people on Medicaid. After the presentation, we went online to watch the live stream of the celebratory re-introduction of the DIA.

To learn more about the DIA go to and to learn more about DAC visit them at .
CDHD Trainees with DAC Staff posed around refreshments waiting to watch the DIA live stream.
Idaho Developmental Disabilities (DD) Network Event
Blessings of Liberty invitation.
Join CDHD at the premiere screening of "Blessings of Liberty" on February 7, 2019. "Blessings of Liberty" is a film produced and sponsored by the Idaho Developmental Disabilities Network.  This film was created to emphasize the importance of Home and Community Based services in Idaho, which so many Idahoans rely on to gain greater independence and access to community.

We look forward to seeing you there!
Trainee Corner
Graduated Trainee
New Trainee
Isabel Teppner completed her interdisciplinary traineeship with CDHD in December. Isabel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. Isabel has been a critical part of our Core project for over two years. She leaves CDHD to begin working on her student teaching in the Moscow area. Good luck in your future endeavors Isabel!
We have a new trainee this semester! Daphne Dryden is a freshman at the University of Idaho studying marketing. She will be working as part of our core team. Welcome to CDHD Daphne!
7 - Blessings of Liberty - Boise
7-8 - IASA Blue Jeans Conference - Boise Idaho Positive Behavior Network Conference - BSU
18 - Presidents Day
20-23 - UI Jazz Festival

4-5 - Tools for Life - Boise
11-15 - UI Spring Break
22 - Intelligent Lives Screening- Moscow
29 - SALN presents "Blessings of Liberty" - Kenworthy

19 - artAbility Showcase - 1912 Center
20 - Courageous Kids - UI Climbing Center