New DDS Commissioner Macy's First Stop...Meeting with Self Advocates
In his first act as Commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), it was important to Dr. Macy to make it memorable.
"I wanted my first meeting outside of the agency, as Commissioner, to be with People First of Connecticut," Commissioner Macy told the crowd. "You matter, and what you think matters to me. I'd like to meet with you on a regular basis to hear what you are thinking about what the Department is doing or what other issue are important to you."
People First of Connecticut is a statewide self advocacy organization with 10 chapters in the state. The chapters meet every other month at a central location to share self advocacy news and issues.
"It meant so much to me as the new commissioner to meet with self advocates from around the state," said Commissioner Macy. "If we are to build a more inclusive community it will require that all stakeholder groups work together. It’s only through listening to each other that we’ll be able to ensure that citizens of Connecticut with intellectual disabilities or developmental disabilities and their families have the most responsive and cost effective service systems possible."
Commissioner Macy's first couple of weeks has been extremely busy meeting with legislators, department employees in Central Office, Southbury Training School (STS) and the regular monthly meeting with the trade organizations. He also testified before the Legislator on the new Autism Waivers and the Executive Nominations Committee for his confirmation.
As part of his transition, Commissioner Macy plans to engage in listening tours where he hopes to solicit from everyone the issues that are most important to the people the department supports and their families. From these listening opportunities, he can develop a prioritized list of issues that the department can look at with various stakeholder groups.
“I will begin my listening by going to each region and sitting down with families. I think it is imperative to hear their voices first,” said Commissioner Macy. “I am also developing a commissioner’s transition team which will include a self advocate, participants from nonprofit cabinet and the Council on Developmental Services a DDS employee and the Governor’s Nonprofit Liaison. They will assist me in creating a broad vision for the department going forward.”
Commissioner Macy has said time and time again he is ready for the many challenges that will come and committed to “creating a sense of “A Community of Providers”, a community that doesn’t have to have private sector nor public sector labels, but one that is focused on meeting the needs of those we all share responsibility in supporting and perhaps re-thinking how we can all work more productively together.”