Montanaro Says Rhode Island DD Services Have a Long Way to Go; She Won’t Miss the Politics

By Gina Macris

a photo of Maria MontanaroWhen she became director of Rhode Island’s developmental disability agency in February, 2015, Maria Montanaro inherited a budget with no relation to actual costs that was destined to run a deficit.

She had to work with a state­-run system of group homes resistant to change, which she said exists to preserve jobs and not to serve clients.

And she had virtually no high-­level staff to form the leadership team necessary to move forward on compliance with the 2014 federal consent decree that requires Rhode Island to transform its services for adults with disabilities from segregated programs to integrated, community­-based supports.

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