Statement of Strategic Direction - Dec 11, 2014

Posted by: hamiltonddsadmin

The Board has spent several months thoughtfully considering our agency’s position on several emerging trends and issues that are changing the landscape of services to people with disabilities in Ohio and beyond.  The result of those considerations is the “Statement of Provision of Services and Strategic Direction,” which you can read below or by clicking this link.

Statement of Provision of Services and Strategic Direction

December 10, 2014

The Issues:

Several emerging national and state trends, rules and laws are challenging the traditional ways that services for people with disabilities have been delivered in Ohio for more than 70 years.  These set the stage for sweeping system change and raise crucial issues for County Boards of DD in Ohio:

  • Ohio Department of DD’s (DODD) response to Gov. John Kasich’s Employment First Initiative requiring every person served to seek community employment
  • The Centers for Medicaid (CMS) 2014 rule eliminating funding for segregated services in five years
  • The proposed CMS requirement that a provider of services should not also be a provider of case management
  • The Department of Justice’s ongoing legal enforcement of the Supreme Court’s Olmstead Decision of 1999 and ADA of 1990.  Olmstead requires services to be provided in community settings, instead of segregated settings, like adult centers, schools, and residential facilities. Olmstead also requires that the integrated settings are appropriate, not opposed by the person served, and reasonably accommodated within available resources and the needs of other people served.

Our History:

We have been a leader in innovative service delivery, creatively responding to all levels of needs and choices with a tradition of caring and quality, within resource limitations.  Some accomplishments: 

  • Person-centered planning
  • Employment pilots with Starfire, Easter Seals TriState, and Goodwill
  • Collaborative training and consultation with contracted providers and community organizations
  • Routine Based Interviewing in Early Intervention
  • Leaders in Action (LIA) and the Advocacy Leadership Network (ALN)

Our tradition of providing an array of service options in partnership with dozens of community agencies has been a key reason why voters in Hamilton County have passed our levies every five years since 1974.  This levy provides 72 percent of our funding.  In 2013, we underwent a strategic planning process that involved conversations with people served and their families, providers, community leaders, and other stakeholders.  The resulting plan positioned our agency through 2019 to move towards integration in everything we do and build the capacity of our community to support this direction. 

Our Commitment:

Despite uncertainties statewide about how best to respond, the Board of Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services (HCDDS) and advocates, who are people served and their families, continue to uphold CHOICE, OPTIONS, and BEST PRACTICE.  We will continue to be a safety net for people with the most complex needs and listen to people served, advocates, families and other key stakeholders. 

Our Future:

We are building a new legacy of including and integrating people with disabilities in all aspects of community life.  Our vision includes:

  • Implementing proactive and extensive work options to support the Employment First Initiative 
  • Supporting school districts in their mandate to fully accept and educate students with disabilities based on each student’s needs through transition
  • A full range of options for adults focused on their individual needs with informed choice in partnership with community agencies, including collaboration with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Call to Action:

We cannot do this alone.  Additional organizations and people across the county must step up and take a new look at what opportunities they can provide.  We call on large and small businesses and civic, political, government and non-profit organizations to partner in creating opportunities for integrating people with disabilities into all aspects of community life.   

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