Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Public forum about DD waiver system changes 10/9

A member of Family Voices Indiana attended the DD Commission meeting today and took the following notes. Official minutes from the meeting will be posted on the legislative site in the future.

The official notes have been posted (9/28): http://www.in.gov/legislative/interim/committee/minutes/MRDDF9B.pdf

Legislators are hearing from constituents about changes to the DD waiver system, so they have decided to open the next DD commission meeting to the public as a forum to hear from families and individuals about the changes to the waiver system. If families would like to attend, they are welcome to apply for the Family Voices Indiana family leadership fund to access a stipend to offset parking, childcare, transportation, etc. You are also welcome to contact us for tips regarding sharing your story in the most effective way. 317 944 8982   info@fvindiana.org

You can also contact your legislator directly. You can find that information here.
Members of the DD commission are especially interested in your views. The list of those members is here.

*Public Forum about changes to DD waiver system
October 9 at 10:00 A.M.  
Room 404 of the State House
200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, Indiana

DD Commission Meeting 9/11 notes

Studies - IU (employment for people with ID/DD)  Dr. Teresa Grossi
Snaphot - May (data/informaiton) Where do people with DD spend their day?
How do we improve outcomes?

Follow: Sheltered, Off-site, Self-Emp, Community jobs, non-employment.  Increase of Alternative to employment (volunteer/enrichment, etc.) No drastic change to other classifications.  Looking for a job/retirement-challenge to find community positions.

Who are the individuals in the report?  Primary/secondary disabilities.  70% - down to 58% ID/DD label. Rise in individuals with Autism Spectrum.  Increase in Mental Illness (co-diagnosis) also has an impact on employment approaches.

Quality of Jobs - many part-time jobs.   20 hour/wk job - are their non-disabled counterparts working the same amount of hours or not?  If not, then why discrepancy?  Earnings: $8.51 (community), Sheltered ($1.80) - poverty level still.
Need more info on work incentives so employees better understand impact to SSI.

Supported Employment - COMMUNITY setting/integrated.  Competitive work with ongoing supports.  Follow-along supports:  21% no follow-along?  

Efforts to improve: providers: VR, Transition-to-Work efforts, Professional Development, Employment Specialist Training. 

MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) in process - DDRS (VR) - Transition efforts - get providers into the schools so that students can leave with jobs in place.  

Employment First Initiatives - education for BDDS and case management.  Re-education of how work may impact SSI and/or Medicaid benefits - ensure providers and families are getting accurate information on the impact of wages on benefits.

General economy - also adverse and impacts the outcomes. Challenging to locate jobs with competition.  

First Steps Update -   Dawn Downer/Director

Early Intervention System Update - 22,000 Children/Families past fiscal year serviced (down 6% from last year).

1400 providers throughout state/in natural settings - focus on carry-over via caregiver.  DOE - good communication with First Steps as referral/incoming to special education, etc.

First Steps Achievements - met metrics from last year.  Reaching individuals in need, billing private insurances (large priority for this year), and providers all now working within an agency format, education and empowerment of the family/parent/caregiver.  Service Coordination under the SPOE (Systems Points of Entry).  Team concept/support as a result - leading to quality.  Assist to target staff, training, and professional development.  Co-pays in place -- 75% of families do not have a co-pay.

Tasks from Legistlators to FSSA:
Charges from the State for the FSSA to look at areas:
Dual Diagnoses - improve communication between agencies
Incarceration/Mental Health - FSSA look at the situation and determine possible improvements
State Guardianship - needs for population without guardians.  Problematic for placements and decisions.

Additional focuses:
Breaux - look at provider reimbursement rates and how they can make it more transparent.  Process to determine the rates.  This is a decision that has far reaching consequences for services, programs, etc.

Miller - aging parents.  How we can look at assistance for aging families to ensure safety and care for adult children with disabilities.  (Add this concern to other guardianship issues?)  

5 items for these topics to be reported back to Commission next year.

SAI  Melody Cooper
Annual picnic - increased awareness and participation this year. Various activities to engage interest and congressional advocacy on a state and national level.  Voting encouragement message to be forthcoming.  Nursing home initiative also a focus of SAI's continued work.

Public Testimony: 

Guardianship (Arc of Lake & Porter Counties) 
Advocacy can be a conflict of interest - ask for outsiders to be involved.  Indiana Adult Guardianship Services - take this program to make it statewide.  Funding from DDRS.  Backing from Arc of Indiana.  Trying to initiate statewide movement and provide a model for guardianship for DD + aging communities.  This is a less expensive option and more targeted because there is no "caseload".  Task force with all stakeholders through court process to develop model and program.  Model of the CASA program for children.  

Feedback from Public on Concerns:

Needs Based Waiver - CIH / Future planning becomes more important.  Need to discuss placement and how to determine need.  Encouragement of family feedback and changes that are initiated.  Provide a listening forum. 

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