Gallivan’s Short Stint in RI Brings Plenty of Change, Starting with Plans for Better DD Assessment

a photo of interim DDD director Jane GallivanIn just the few months she has served as interim director of Rhode Island’s Division of Developmental Disabilities, Jane Gallivan has been instrumental in changing the state’s approach to providing services for individuals with intellectual challenges. On the most concrete level, she has set plans in motion to adopt an improved version of a controversial assessment – the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) – to more accurately determine the needs of clients.

With help from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Gallivan also has shifted strategies for presenting the division’s budget so that the state Budget Office and the General Assembly better understand what it means to support individuals with developmental disabilities.

The initiatives Gallivan has begun, and the tone she has set, are expected to continue after her role changes Friday, Sept. 30, to that of long-distance consultant.


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General Assembly Approves $15.4 Million Increase For DD; Worker Raises Are Assured

By Gina Macris

a photo of the Rhode Island State HouseRhode Island’s developmental disability budget for the next fiscal year includes assurances that a total of $9.1 million in Medicaid money will be spent to raise pay for direct support workers and to begin transforming the state’s system of services for those with intellectual challenges.

Shortly after 1:30 am on Saturday, June 18, The Senate approved total developmental disability funding of $246.2 million beginning July 1 in concurrence with the House vote taken Wednesday. That total, almost all of it state and federal Medicaid funds, is nearly $15.4 million more than the General Assembly approved last year at this time for the current budget, which closes on June 30.

Click here to read the rest of the article on Developmental Disabilities News

Your Chance to Speak Up: 2015 Public Forums for People with Disabilities

State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Public Forums to Identify the Concerns of People with Disabilities and their Families

During the week of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (signed on July 26th), the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities and many other state and non-profit agencies conduct a weeklong series of open forums to hear the concerns of people with disabilities and their families.

The forums are open for anyone to come in and speak; representatives of the sponsoring agencies will be there to listen. State policy makers and planners want to hear your concerns about current services, unmet needs, and suggestions for improving services and expanding opportunities.

Monday, July 27, 2015 | 3:45 – 5:45  PM

South Providence Library
441 Prairie Avenue
Providence

Hosted by Perspectives Corporation

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | 2 – 4 PM

Warwick Public Library
600 Sandy Lane
Warwick

Hosted by the Ocean State Center for Independent Living

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 | 4 – 6 PM

Peace Dale Library
1057 Kingstown Rd
Peace Dale

Hosted by National Multiple Sclerosis Society RI Chapter

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 | 4 – 6  PM

Middletown Public Library
700 West Main Rd
Middletown

Hosted by Opportunities Unlimited For People With Differing Abilities

Thursday, July 30, 2015 | 1:30  – 3:30  PM

Zambarano Unit, Eleanor Slater Hospital
2090 Wallum Lake Rd
Pascoag

Hosted by Zambarano Unit, Eleanor Slater Hospital

Thursday, July 30, 2015 |  4 – 6  PM

Woonsocket Harris Public Library
303 Clinton St
Woonsocket

Hosted by RI Department of Health

Friday, July 31, 2015 | 2:45 – 4:45  PM

East Providence Public Library
41 Grove Ave
East Providence

Hosted by RI Statewide Independent Living Council and National Federation of the Blind of RI


Additional information from the governor’s Commission on Disabilities about attending the Forum:

Remarks can be made in person during the forums, faxed to 401-462-0106, e-mailed to GCD.Disabilities@gcd.ri.gov, or mailed by August 8th to:

Governor’s Commission on Disabilities
John O’ Pastore Center
41 Cherry Dale Court
Cranston, RI 02920

CART Recorders (real-time captioning) and assistive listening devices will be at all sites, courtesy of the Office of Rehabilitation Services/Assistive Technology Access Partnership. The RI Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will provide sign language interpreters for each forum.

To request information or accommodation, please call 401-462-0100 or 401-462-0101(tty) in advance; arrangements will be provided at no cost. Language interpreting is available with the Deptartment of Human Serivces and requests can be made to 401-462-2130 in advance.

When making the ADA reservation with RIde to get to and from the public forum, tell the RIde reservationist (1-800-479-6902) that this trip is for the Governor’s Commission’s Public Forums in order to guarantee your return trip, after normal RIde hours of operation. ADA fare is still applicable.

When attending the forum, please use unscented personal care products. Mild fragrances can constitute a toxic exposure for a person with an environmental illness.

Statewide Informational Meetings in January/February 2013 for Families on DDD’s Next Phase for “Project Sustainability”

a photo of BHDDH Director, Craig StenningCraig Stenning, Director, BHDDH, was the Guest Speaker for the DDC’s Quarterly Meeting held at the Radisson Hotel in Warwick on January 16, 2013. Director Stenning commented that the department was entering the next phase for implementation of “Project Sustainability”. The initial phase was for the department to bring transparency to the DD Service System by utilizing a new uniform assessment tool, the “Supports Intensity Scale (SIS)” to provide the basis for consumer-directed care planning and to align resources to individual needs; and to develop a new equitable rate structure for all agencies for billing for services provided to individuals.

Director Stenning stated all people with disabilities

should receive the right services in the right place, in the least restrictive environment, at the right time and integrated in the community… people have a right to live in the community.

Click here to read more about the next phase of “Project Sustainability”.

Click here to view a schedule of upcoming family information sessions about
“Project Sustainability”.

Circle of Hope

People with disabilities, advocates, family members and service providers encircled the Rhode Island State House during a candlelight vigil at dusk Tuesday.

More than 2,000 protesters formed a “Circle of Hope.”.

They are protesting what they said is $24 million in funding cuts to services for the developmentally disabled.

Protestors included people with autism, cerebral palsy and other disabilities. They were joined by their family, friends and caregivers.

State lawmakers, trying to close a nearly $300 million deficit in the $7.7-billion state budget, reduced state reimbursements for transportation-related costs by about $4.5 million. They also cut millions by reducing reimbursements to service providers.