About Brokerage Services in Oregon
Support Services have been available to adult Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) since 2001. At the start of the decade, five families with adult children with I/DD sued the state for timely services, resulting in the Staley Settlement. Soon thereafter, Support Services Brokerages began opening up throughout the state. This was a revolution in services in our state, radically altering opportunities and lifting the disability community to a new level.
Support Services Brokerages are private organizations (primarily non-profits) that provide case management and access to community resources. We offer self-directed, person-centered services and we’re founded on the principles of self-determination. All of us are directed and governed by boards and/or oversight bodies comprised of at least 51% people with disabilities and their families. Today, there are fourteen Support Services Brokerages serving nearly 8,000 adults with I/DD. (Learn more about our joint work by visiting the Oregon Support Services Association website.)
If you’re over 18, have been diagnosed with an intellectual and/or developmental disability, and you live independently or with your family in the community, you’re most likely eligible for our services. Once enrolled in services, you can choose whichever brokerage(s) serve(s) your county. Here in the Portland metro area, you have up to six different choices including Independence Northwest. Once you choose your brokerage, you then have the option to choose your own Personal Agent. If you’d like to learn more about INW’s Personal Agents, click here.
Your Personal Agent works with somewhere around 45 brokerage customers. If at any time, you’re interested in working with someone else, just let us know and we’ll help you find the right fit. Personal Agents are responsible for performing a needs assessment to determine what you need to live independently and what your resources will be. Once you know your benefit level, your PA will then help you find professionals to help you meet your goals. You can choose from Domestic Employees, Independent Contractors, or Provider Organizations. Domestic Employees and most Independent Contractors are Personal Support Workers whose rates are determined by agreement between the SEIU (union) and the state; Provider Organization rates are determined by the state. Each year, you will develop an Individual Support Plan (ISP.) Our job is to help you meet your goals – your plan says what YOU want it to say. Brokerage services in Oregon are amongst the most progressive in the United States.
If you have questions about who we are and what we do, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are honored to serve nearly 500 customers and their families throughout the tri-county region.