DD Coalition: Developmental Disabilities Services Funding At Risk As Oregon Faces Significant Budget Deficit

Important Announcement from the DD Coalition:

Developmental Disabilities Services funding is at risk as Oregon faces a significant budget deficit. Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and the newly-created Oregon Health Authority (OHA) are now formulating budget priorities for the current and upcoming two year fiscal cycle. If DD services are important to your family, friends, business and/or community, EMAIL DHS TODAY at dhs.oha@dhs.state.or.us.

The budget projections are grim and there will be cuts! Community Forums have been held throughout Oregon over the past few weeks to discuss DHS/OHA budget and funding priorities. However, the number of people speaking on behalf of DD services were minimal. It is essential that DHS / OHA leadership hears about the importance of the services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.


1) Protect Funding for Services to People with Developmental Disabilities

DD services support one of Oregon’s most vulnerable populations across the lifespan through a diverse array of services. DD services are cost effective and efficient. Many of these services have already experienced reductions over the past several fiscal cycles including employment / day services and family support. There are no budget reductions that will not significantly impact the lives of vulnerable individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Background: The challenge facing Oregon is how to maintain funding even for existing services. The DD Coalition will join with other organizations to prioritize human services to vulnerable populations and to address the resource issues in the Oregon budget.

2) Protect Access to Adult Support Services

The Staley Settlement Agreement has resulted in cost effective and efficient delivery of services to adults with developmental disabilities entitled to Medicaid services. Access to Adult Support Services provided through the system of nonprofit brokerages must be preserved.

Background: The Staley Settlement Agreement ends in June of 2011. There are discussions occurring to extend the Agreement but it is not a given that will happen. It is important to maintain the current service structure, services, and access to supports.

3) Memorandum of Understanding Needed between DHS and OHA

Seniors and People with Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities Program must maintain the ability to operate services and implement quality assurance / quality improvement even if DHS no longer has the Medicaid Authority. There must be a detailed Memorandum of Understanding to protect the integrity of DD services.

Background: When DHS splits and OHA is created, the actual authority for Medicaid moves to OHA. A detailed agreement between the two agencies is needed to assure that the DD program can continue to implement and improve services.

4) Continue to Utilize the Fairview Community Housing Trust for its Intended Purposes

The Fairview Trust represents a promise made to Oregonians with developmental disabilties and families. By providing small amounts of funding for physical adaptations and accommodations, it fulfills a committment to community based living for hundreds of Oregonians with developmental disabilities each year.

Background: The Fairview Trust was established with the assets from the sale of the Fairview Training Center property. It is designed to serve generations of Oregonians with developmental disabilities.The funding is most often used for critical home modifications that address the health and safety issues. If the trust fund dollars are used by the state for other purposes, it is very unlikely that they would ever be replaced.

***Additional Public Participation Opportunity***

DHS and OHA have created new mission statements, and have created surveys that provide an additional opportunity for stakeholders to express their opinion regarding agency priorities. Please visit the DHS/OHA agency transition web site at www.oregon.gov/OHA/transition/vision.shtml to see the proposed mission statements and take the surveys.

NOTE: These surveys close on May 26! ACT NOW!

DHS external stakeholder survey

OHA external stakeholder survey

Online Courses on Disability, Self Determination, Disability History, Employment

Partners in Policymaking offers extensive online learning courses for you, your family and professional caregivers. Check out their offerings here.

Partners in Living

This seven-hour self-directed e-learning course has been created to help people with developmental disabilities, their parents, family members and friends, educators and service providers understand the important concepts of self-determination, family support, community living and assistive technology. The course focuses on helping people with developmental disabilities, their family and friends explore these four important elements that, together, can help them create a meaningful life that is independent, inclusive, productive, self-determined and integrated.

Partners in Time
This eight-hour self-study was created to help people with developmental disabilities, their parents, family members and friends, educators and service providers understand the history of society’s treatment of people with disabilities from ancient times through the present. The course focuses on the way that people with disabilities lived, learned and worked throughout history and growth of the Disability Rights Movement. The course also introduces some of the individuals and groups whose efforts resulted in new ways of thinking about people with disabilities and their rights.

Partners in Education

This three hour self-directed course was created to help parents of children with developmental disabilities understand and maximize the special education system. The course focuses on a child’s right to a free appropriate public education, the laws that protect those rights and offers practical ways that parents can ensure that their children benefit from an inclusive education. The course has been updated to reflect IDEA 2004.

Making Your Case

This three hour self-study course is designed to help people with disabilities and their families create positive change through advocacy. The course helps participants understand the legislative process, the essential elements of good advocacy, identify and research personal issues, then advocate for systems change as individuals and as part of larger community efforts. The course includes opportunities to put what has been learned into practice through a series of interactive exercises.

Partners in Employment

This six-hour self-study course is designed to help people with developmental disabilities find meaningful jobs and plan a career. In this course, participants will create a resume or portfolio of their strengths, skills, and interests; learn how to network and identify potential employers; prepare for an interview; and understand the hiring process.

Dental Care Assistance for People with Disabilities Age 18 and Younger

The Doctor of Smiles Program for Special Needs Children with Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Down Syndrome and other neuromuscular conditions provides funding for dental care at the dentist of your choice for children 18 and younger.

This is sponsored by the Grottoes of North America.

Dental work must be approved BEFORE treatment will be funded (except for the initial exam, prophy, fluoride and x-rays which are paid for if the child qualifies for the program.) You can access more information including application forms at http://www.hfgrotto.org. Our local contact is Lloyd Fries, who can be reached at 503.357.6419.

Via the United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon and Southwest Washington newsletter.