Interagency Developmental Disabilities Workgroup
Meeting Summary

March 12, 2003

In Attendance: Anne Broadhurst, OPA; Barbara Parks Wolf, OPM; Brian Sigman, BESB; Diana LaRocco, DMR; Diane M. Wixted, CDHI; Dick Edmonds, DPH; Dorian Long, DCF

Guests: Amy Porter, Connect to Work; Christine Gaynor, Real Choice Systems Change Grant; Paul Ford and Dawn Lambert, Nursing Facilities Transition Grant

Discussion and Updates Regarding Focus Area 1: Coordination of existing state funded or provided resources, programs, and services at both the state- and local-level.

  1. Nursing Facilities Transition Grant: Paul Ford presented some basic themes that are emerging as they implement the project. Issues drawn from the experiences of individuals transitioning from nursing facilities include:
    • The "Pace of the System"-including responsiveness and the sluggishness of the application and intake processes.
    • No "True" System-Persons with multiple and complex needs must negotiate between and among a variety of different agencies and programs. There are also perceived barriers around interagency data sharing and having multiple case managers or service coordinators.
    • Community Acceptance and Inclusion-Persons with comorbid conditions (e.g., MH/MR, MH/ABI) are particularly challenged with regard to community acceptance and inclusion.

Members present discussed the many reasons why these barriers exist including, for example, federal program requirements. Additionally, over time and because of many competing requirements at the state level, agencies may add steps or paperwork and neglect to eliminate the same, when they are no longer needed or mandated. Lastly, case managers and others may have misinformation or a misperception about what is "required".

Dick suggested that it may be beneficial for state agencies to implement a procedure that was completed for a DPH program. They reviewed paperwork and processes and asked, "What is required by law?" and "What is required by regulation?" The is allowed them to eliminate over 90% of the paperwork fro that particular program.

It was also suggested that it may be helpful to have simple and concise "program fact sheets" that delineate requirements, timelines and expectations as these may relate to program eligibility for example. This type of document would assist with managing expectations, as individuals apply for services and seek supports.

There was a fair amount of discussion about a "disabilities services website". This was a recommendation of the Commission. Additionally, the Long-Tem Care Planning Committee is working on a web site. Barbara will look into this and bring the information back to the group.

  1. Spring Meeting for Advisory Bodies Associated with Disability Issues: Diana noted that John Halliday and she had discussed bringing together the various mandated (federal and state) advisory bodies for a meeting. This would be similar to the meeting held in December and would focus on sharing information and developing a common understanding. In December, the various groups were asked to contact Diana if they were interested in working with the IDDW. No one came forward. The members present agreed that they would like to sponsor another meeting in the late spring. John Halliday had agreed to draft a letter and organize the meeting.

Diana also mentioned that the DD Council, Consumer Advisory Council for the UCE, and the Advisory Board for OPA will be meeting on April 1 to coordinating activities efforts, and resources across these entities.

  1. Opportunities for Cross Agency Training: Diana circulated a listing of training state agency training coordinators/contacts. Members were asked to update their agency information. This is being shared with the Real Choice Staff.

The group discussed current training activities, including ways in which we can provide training and technical assistance across agencies. We discussed several ongoing conference opportunities within which we could infuse information about disability issues and inclusive practices. Some ideas included:

  • BESB spring and fall in-service days that are open to professionals and paraprofessionals.
  • Family Support Conference (DMR)
  • Managers Day (DMR)
  • Self Determination Conference
  • Early childhood conferences such as the Connecticut Association for the Education the Young Children (CAEYC); The Annual Together We Will (April 11 & d 12, 2003)
  • KidCare Training
  • Supported Employment Conference

There was agreement that we would like to present as a "panel discussion" at some of these events.

Discussion and Updates Related to Focus Area 2: Enhance local capacity to meet the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities across the lifespan

  1. Real Choice Systems Change Grant Model Communities: Chris Gaynor reported that over 46 towns have inquired about the grant opportunities. She will be hosting Q & A sessions.

Other Issues
Diana shared a summary of the PRIC scope of study for consolidation of agencies providing rehabilitative services. You may link to that description at 

Our next meeting is scheduled for:
May 2, 2003
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
184 Windsor Avenue
Windsor, CT 06095
Telephone: 1-860-602-4000

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