Oklahoma City—The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) will hold a series of listening sessions around the state in September and October to hear from families about how DDS can improve services for Oklahomans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
"We want to hear from families who have loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are already receiving services as well as those who are waiting for services, about their needs and their concerns," said Beth Scrutchins, Director of DDS. "We want to hear their ideas about how DDS can improve our current support system and the way families are served while they are waiting for home and community-based services. We have been working over the past couple of years to better understand the needs of families who are caring for loved ones with disabilities and how we can best meet those needs."
At the end of state fiscal year 2018, there were nearly 5,250 individuals receiving Medicaid home and community-based services through a waiver program while more than 7,600 persons remained on a waiting list for that program. Nearly 5, 400 persons on the waiting list are already receiving supports and services from other assistance programs.
At the end of the 2018 legislative session, $2 million was appropriated for DDS to serve those who had been waiting the longest for services. This was the largest appropriation the agency had ever received to serve individuals on the list. With this funding DDS estimates being able to serve approximately 200 more people from the waiting list.
In addition to advocating for more resources, in 2015, Governor Fallin's "Blue Ribbon Panel on Developmental Disabilities" recommended establishing a system to support and understand individual needs as a more effective way to provide services. By Executive Order 2015-17, the Governor established an Executive Council to carry on the work of the Blue Ribbon Panel's recommendations and continue to work with DHS and other state agencies to improve the range and quality of services accessible to Oklahomans with developmental disabilities.
DDS will hold two meeting times at each listening session location: Noon-2 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.
|September 18: Altus, Southwest Technology Center, 711 West Tamarack Rd, Altus Oklahoma 73521|
|September 25: Tulsa, Laura Dester Children's Center, 7318 E Pine Street, Tulsa Oklahoma 74115|
|September 26: Enid, It is NWOSU at 2929 E Randolph Room 127, Enid Oklahoma 73701|
|October 2: Wilburton, Kiamichi Technology Center, 1004 Highway 2 North, Wilburton, OK 74578|
|October 16: Ardmore, Southern Technology Center, Conference Center in
Conference Room A, 2610 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK 73401|
|October 23: Woodward, High Plains Technology Center, 3921 34th Street, 73801|
|October 30: Oklahoma City—location to be determined and announced|
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