Interagency Developmental Disabilities Workgroup
Meeting Summary


In Attendance: Anne Broadhurst, OPA; Elizabeth D'Amico, DMHAS; Dick Edmonds, DPH; Roger Frant, SDE; David Guttchen, OPM; John Halliday, BRS/DSS; Brian Sigman, BESB; Diane M. Wixted, CDHI; Diana LaRocco, DMR; Dorian Long, DCF; Steven Staugaitis, DMR

Guests: Christine Gaynor, Real Choice Systems Change Grant; Lynda Pletcher, Real Choice Systems Change Grant; Paul Ford, Nursing Facilities Transition Grant; Dawn Lambert, Nursing Facilities Transition Grant

Introductions and Opening Remarks
Diana LaRocco and Steven Staugaitis briefly reviewed the history of the Advisory Commission on Services and Supports for Persons with Developmental Disabilities who do not have Mental Retardation (Commission). The Interagency Developmental Disabilities Workgroup (IDDW) has been formed in response to the work of the Commission and will focus its efforts on implementing the Commission's recommendations. The primary goals of the IDDW are:

  1. Coordination of existing state funded or provided resources, programs, and services at both the state- and local-level
  2. Enhancement of local capacity to meet the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities across the lifespan.

Outcomes of December 10, 2002 "Information Meeting"
Diana briefly updated the group on the December 10, 2002 "Information Meeting for State Appointed, and State Administered Federally Required, Advisory and Governing Boards, Councils and Commissions". She reported that the representatives in attendance wanted to actively participate in the work of the IDDW. It was suggested that the councils look at their mandates and identify where there was overlap. There was agreement regarding the importance of identifying common interests and developing a unified voice based on these interests. Diana also noted that these representatives would like to see future multi-council meetings for the purposes of sharing information and developing a common agenda. The representatives in attendance agreed to ask their respective groups to identify persons who would be willing to participate in the work of IDDW.

Coordination of IDDW Efforts with Statewide Grant Initiatives
Diana noted that Connecticut currently has several grants from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that directly relate to the work of the IDDW. They include the Real Choice Systems Change Grant, the Nursing Facilities Transition Grant, and the Connect-to-Work Project. Their person-centered, community based nature mirror the guiding principles set forth in the Commission's recommendations. David Guttchen suggested that we dovetail our work with these grants and thus maximize the influence of IDDW efforts.

Real Choice Systems Change Grant: Christine Gaynor and Lynda Pletcher presented information on the Real Choice Systems Change Grant. The primary goals of the grant are:

  1. To build the capacity within the state of Connecticut to support informed decision-making, independent living, and a meaningful quality of life for persons with disabilities across the life span
  2. To assist three communities in Connecticut to become models of support for opportunities and choices for persons with disabilities across the life span.

Key objectives of this grant include a) consumer participation in all aspects of the project (e.g., staff, steering committee, workgroups), b) training of state agency personnel, c) workforce expansion, and d) the development of three model communities. Christine shared copies of the grant tasks and timelines and a draft of the Model Community Application. She anticipates that an announcement regarding the Model Community Application will go to Connecticut cities and towns at the end of January. For specific information about this grant, please contact Christine Gaynor at (860) 679-1534 or

Nursing Facilities Transition Grant: Dawn Lambert outlined key activities of the Nursing Facilities Transition Grant. The goals are to:

  1. Create a system for individuals living in nursing facilities who want to move (or transition) to the community with the supports they need, and
  2. Demonstrate the effectiveness of the system by assisting one hundred and fifty (150) individuals to transition from nursing facilities to the community.

Among other items, Dawn noted that a) a survey of nursing facilities was completed, b) an extensive transition guide book was developed, c) activities related to housing vouchers and a common sense fund are ongoing, and d) nine people have transitioned to date. For specific information about the Nursing Facilities Transition Grant, please contact Dawn Lambert at (860) 656-0430 or

Connect-to-Work Project: John Halliday described some of the ongoing work of the Connect-to-Work Project. The goals of this project include:

  1. Establishment of a statewide network of benefits counselors, available to individuals with disabilities, families, employers, service providers, and advocacy groups.
  2. Provision of a single access point for information and assistance around benefits and services, connecting the key components of employment, health care, and benefits counseling.
  3. Provision of training, public education and outreach around benefits and services offered within the State of Connecticut (with a particular emphasis on the Medicaid for the Employed Disabled Program).
  4. Policy review and policy development to enhance opportunities for individuals with disabilities to enter the labor force. For specific information about the Connect-to-Work Project, please contact Amy Porter at (860) 424-4864 or

Next Steps
The group discussed how we could best maximize these grant opportunities and avoid duplication of effort. It was suggested that the IDDW actively support the development of the three model communities. The group discussed the advantages and disadvantages of this approach. As a state-level workgroup, we could provide direct assistance to the model communities and pilot cross agency person centered planning, training, and development, for example. Diana LaRocco and John Halliday agreed to coordinate the efforts of the IDDW.

There was clear consensus that we should join with the Real Choice Systems Change Grant in implementing the model community objective and other grant activities. It was suggested that we recruit stakeholder representatives to participate on all of the various Real Choice Workgroups. Immediate next steps include actively participating on the Model Community Work Group, giving feedback to Christine on the Model Community Application, and developing a list of other "state-local" initiatives that are outside of the regular work of state agencies.


What When Who
Provide comments on the Model Community Application To Diana by
January 3, 2002
Identify "state-local" initiatives that are outside of regular agency activities To Diana by
January 3, 2002
Participate in Model Community Workgroup January 6, 2002
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Next Meeting:
January 14, 2002
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
184 Windsor Avenue
Windsor, CT 06095
Telephone: 1-860-602-4000

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